A/N-Paprika012345 here…this is my first TDAT fic and please no flames about the fact that the main character of this story should be dead…I know that I'm just experimenting.
Disclaimer-I do not own, nor am affiliated with The Day After Tomorrow...this is just an idea.
Having a lot of time on his hands he tended to allow his mind to wander on his life before the storm, before falling…before her. A workaholic, that's what everyone would say about him, the only one worse than him at the office, was Jack but it was close competition.
A confirmed bachelor through and through. Everyday he would go into the office and punch the clock, put in more hours than humanly possible. He made many trips along side Jack and then when he came along, Jason. It was on one of these trips, the one where Jack and Jason had almost died that he decided he needed to reassess his priorities. And opportunity knocked. In the form of Janet Tokada. He knew, from the moment he saw her that he felt something, if not love. He could also tell that Jason had a puppy crush on her from the way he introduced himself-syrupy and like a lovesick puppy. He tried to ignore it but every time while Jan would ask him something and Jason would answer his stomach gave an angry protest and he felt, inexplicably like killing Jason for breaking in.
Then it had happened. Jack's son had been stranded in New York when that tidal wave hit it. He had tried to talk Jack out of it knowing that if Jack left he would follow if only to help him out and provide him with the support he needed…to watch his back was the excuse he came up with. But in his gut he knew it was to get as far away from Janet as humanly possible…and perhaps forget about his feelings for her…allow Jason to ease into his place. Then the day they left, while Jack was presenting to the President an inter-office memo came for him. From her. When she saw him, wearing his thick clothes, preparing to go on the hike of his life it almost looked as though she was going to break down. "Jan…what's wrong?" He asked. She sniffed and said, "So you're going to go with him are you?" Immediately he had seen what was wrong. It wasn't Jason she liked….it was him. "Jan I'm too old for you…I…" He trailed off as she broke in. "What if I don't care? The heart doesn't choose who it falls for." Janet walked over to him and threw her arms around his neck. back okay?" she whispered before kissing him on the cheek. Then he had driven off without another word.
Then it had happened…somewhere between Philadelphia and New York he had fallen into that…sky gallery. He could see his friend's shocked faces as he raised the knife to the rope that, if not severed would bring about their deaths. "Frank. I can get you out!" yelled Jack. 'Janet' was the person he thought of as he had severed the rope with one slice of his knife. 'Forgive me for not coming back…' he fell through space.
All he had to say was thank God for Arctic snowsuits. While they didn't cushion his fall to the point where it wouldn't hurt it saved his life. His friends must've though he was dead…for he was unconscious on impact. He woke up…he didn't know how long later. At least one, if not both legs had been broken and he felt as though he had been hit with a semi. He knew, with his friends thinking him dead he would take low priority…as in he wouldn't be rescued unless Jack, Janet and Jason wanted his body for a funeral. So, he managed. He set both of his legs, self set them so they would heal, and got used to living in the mall. He had all the supplies from the sled, which included a tent, a thermal sleeping bag and the like. He didn't have to worry about clothes, food and things like that…he was in a mall. He would manage.
He had been keeping track of the days using a calendar from one of the stores along with a battery-run clock. His days were regimented. Get up. Have breakfast at McDonald's or Denny's-he cooked of course-walk around the mall 5 times for exercise and physical therapy for his legs. Go into Indigo or Borders and read. Go to the sports store and read the magazines. Try on various male- and sometimes to amuse himself, female-clothes. Six months…six long months of this before, one day he heard noises in the snow outside the mall. "OK Jim! This body has top priority. You know Jack Hall, the dude who predicted the storm? His friend died here to save his life…he requested it special. The only one who got prescience over him was the body of the president." He got up slowly with a cane to support his healed but gnarled legs. He walked over to where the noises were and called up.
"Welcome to my humble abode. And you won't find any bodies here." "Why old man did you eat them for food?" He scowled. "Who ya calling old? No one here but me! Name's Frank. I think I'm the body you're supposed to recover." The person who was apparently Jim raised the radio to his lips and said amazed "this is no longer a recovery mission, it's a rescue mission. He's alive" he cut in "Please don't tell my friends yet. I want to surprise them." Jim smiled and accordingly put the order through on his walkie-talkie.
Janet sat alone in the darkened room of her office. When Jack had come back and told her that Frank had sacrificed his life so they could survive she was broken. She had carried on of course… but she was not the woman she was before. "But he promised…" she had whispered obliviously to Jack. "He promised he'd come back." And that was probably when Jack told Jason to back off… because the young man became more a friend than an annoying person who had a crush on her.
And now they were going to recover his body. She could understand why he would take low priority because they needed to get at the living first. And now the reason she was sitting alone in her dark room was because today was the day Frank would be returning to her…in a wooden box, or a plastic bag. She turned away from the door, keeping her back to it as she broke down. She couldn't go meet the helicopter…not like this.
Jack stood on the tarmac in Mexico, stunned. He had been prepared to morn his friend and was left speechless when his old friend…albeit gnarled and stooped over a cane due to his weak legs…but Frank nonetheless stepped off of the helicopter. "Jack. Good to see you." He smiled wanly. Jack raced over and threw his arms around Frank in a rough hug. You old badger. If I had known you were alive I would've sent someone sooner. JASON!" The same process was repeated as the younger man came running down the pavement.
"Where's Jan?" Jack looked down and said, "She took your supposed death rather badly. She carried on, I think only because you would've wanted her too. She's sitting in her office."
And that's how Frank found himself looking in on Janet's beautiful long hair, shoulders shaking from sobs. He opened the door softly. "Jack…you know I can't go up there…I can't see him like that…" Frank remained silent and walked towards her. "Didn't you hear…." Her voice broke of in a sharp gasp as she turned around and got a good look at whom she was talking too.
"They told me…you died…you can't be here." Frank snorted and said in a quiet voice "They underestimated my longing to return to you. After all I made you a promise did I not?" Janet got up slowly and walked over to where Frank was standing and rubbed a hand over his cheek-smooth because of all the shaving stuff at the mall- and said, "Why'd I doubt you I'll never know." With that she wrapped her arms around him and he said "Miss Tokada I was just wondering…do you love me as I love you?" She playfully punched his arm and said, "What do you think old man?" She whispered, kissing him fiercely.
A/N-like I said above no flames about the fact that Frank is supposed to be dead…this was just an idea I had. R&R