Jack McGee, Retired?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything Incredible Hulk. I just still love the show, here is my support.

It had been years, since all the leads, all the sightings, and all the clues had dried up. To most, he'd simply moved on, realizing the story was dead, but in reality, Jack McGee had never given up. He simply hid his searches away, using other stories to cover for his travels. He'd been suddenly recognized as a top-notch reporter, interestingly enough, on the articles he'd used as disguises in his search of the Hulk. All calls went to his house, where he had a recorder tape them, but each day he returned home, it was empty.

Jack sat at his office desk, now in a brightly lit corner of the National Register's main building. He typed quickly on his computer, boxes strewn about the office filled with his belongings. Awards, a couple pictures and a number of framed news articles filled boxes along with a number of personal files, including three boxes of what the Register still had on the Hulk that it already hadn't given to Jack. He paused for a moment, leaning back in the plush chair, and running his hands through his peppery hair, traces of brown desperately trying to cling to his scalp.

"Jack?" He moved his chair to look past the computer and see the figure standing at his door. He grinned at the woman who looked 10 years younger than she really was.

"Hello, Pat. Come in." He motioned to the chair in front of his desk as she returned his smile, only twenty times more charming, he thought.

"Jack, we're really going to miss you around here. You're such an amazing journalist, even with all you've been through, you came out on top. Are you sure you really want to leave?" Jack grinned confidently and stretched,

"Yeah, it's time for this old dog to retire, let the kids that run around here get a chance." Pat looked at him, more sad than he would have liked. "I will miss the life of this place though. There's nothing like the press, but I'm getting too old to do this every day. I will miss everyone, and you too, Pat." Her eyes sparkled at her name and she stood from her spot moving to the doorway.

"I'll miss you too, Jack. It'll be awfully quiet around here without you keeping the editors and I in line." She walked out of the office, closing the door behind her as Jack watched her walk down the hall through the glass. She didn't get more than a few cubicles away before a number of reporters had swamped her. Jack laughed quietly to himself as he went back to his computer screen and finished typing his last story he would ever submit. He scrolled up to the top of the article and reread the title and opening paragraph before hitting the print button. Jack stood from his empty desk and closed his boxes, moving them closer to the door before walking out and locking the door behind him. The boxes were going to be shipped to his house in the suburbs with thanks to the National Register.

Probably half of the staff in the Register said good-bye to Jack as he went down to his car and got in. He started it up and drove slowly down the aisle until he was at the exit of the parking lot. He gave the guard his parking pass and shook his hand, waving as he drove to the road and started his last trip home from the National Register.

When he walked through the door, he dropped his keys next to the spare phone, and his finger hovered above the message button, twitching for a brief second and then he pulled his hand away. Jack McGee sighed as he looked at the phone and recorder, realizing how much of his life had hinged on the two devices. He turned away, and walked to the kitchen, taking out a glass and a bottle of unopened wine. He popped the cork and poured himself a small portion, sipping it slowly. The aroma filled his nose and he relaxed. He stood still, when the doorbell rang, and he set his glass on the counter, walking over and opening the door.

"Pat." He said, a statement more than a welcome. Four men stood behind her, his boxes in their arms. "Please, come in." He held the door for them as she stood behind him, the moving men carefully setting the boxes in his living room, and leaving with Pat's tips in hand. Jack closed the door after them and turned to her, taking a quick breath. "I just left not an hour ago. Everything went to the blazes already?" He grinned and she smiled back.

"I just wanted to make sure you were all set. The office is quiet without you. I also figured you could use some help putting all this away, or displaying it accordingly." Jack nodded appreciatively and walked over to the kitchen, taking out another wine glass and looking at Pat.

"Would you like some?"

"Wine? Oh, um, if you have enough, yes please." Pat smiled sheepishly as Jack handed her the glass and he held his.

"To a prosperous future of the Register."

"To your retirement." They clinked glasses and took a sip, both watching each other drink. Jack was the first to break eye contact as he walked over to the boxes and opened one, finding some of the very first articles he'd written on the Hulk, and the leads from the story as well.

"What do you think ever happened to John Doe, Jack?" He looked over his shoulder at her and then put the file back in the box.

"I don't know. Maybe he finally found his cure, or he found a way to keep the Hulk from hurting more people. Either way, it's like he just dropped off the earth." He sighed, flipping the box closed and finding one labeled: awards. Jack opened it and pulled out a plaque with his name and one of his numerous renowned articles. He handed it to Pat who smiled and found a tabletop and set it down.

"I just hope he's been as successful as you have, Jack. You were a great part of the Register, as a journalist and a friend. I just, hope you don't mind me stopping by once in a while to say hi." She shrugged and sat down on the couch. Jack stopped sorting through his things and looked over at her.

"You're welcome to come as you please, Pat. My door is always open." He walked to the lazy boy next to the couch and sat down, kicking back with his glass. He swirled it twice and then finished it off. He leaned forward, setting it next to the plaque, and then looked up at Pat, into her eyes. He broke the gaze again and folding his hands, twiddling his thumbs briefly. "Pat?"

"Hm?" She mumbled, taking another draft.

"Would you like to meet someplace for dinner?"

"Tonight?"

"Well, it doesn't have to be tonight, I mean when you're freeā€¦"

"Tonight works great." She interrupted him with a smile.

"Great, where would you like to go?"

"I know this really nice place that's around Times Square. I can call you with the address when I get home later from work." She looked down at her watch and her eyes popped open briefly. "Speaking of work I'm going to be late for a meeting." She finished her glass and stood up, walking to the door. Jack followed her closely until he was able to grab the handle, stopping her just before she left.

"Sounds like a good idea. So I'll, see you later tonight then?"

"Sure, see you Jack."

"Bye Pat. Good luck at your meeting." He opened the door for her and she dashed out, waving behind her.

"Thanks, Jack. I'll call you before I leave!" She jumped into her car and drove off, leaving Jack, as he closed the door, alone in his quiet home. He leaned against the door and looked back down at the recorder, holding his hand to his side. He tore his eyes from it and looked to the boxes he needed to go through, walking over to them, and started to sort through his things.