Title: Dancing for Rain
Summary: He's been trapped in memories of a lifetime that he tried so hard to forget
He is getting far too old for this.
He stops under the sanctuary of a large tree while he catches his breath. All he can hear is the rain and the crackle of thunder every now and again. His clothes are heavy from the water they carry.
Over his shoulder, Irina Derevko, Ex-KGB agent, wanted terrorist and once the leader of one of the largest Crime syndicates in the world, is hanging unconscious.
He really is getting to old for this.
An old CIA safe house is about one mile away and he really needs to get both of them out of the rain.
He watches her from the back patio.
She's in the backyard, standing in the rain. Her head tilted towards the sky with her eyes closed and she's swaying slightly.
His lips twitch up into a smile watching her, dancing in the rain.
She is completely oblivious to the world around her, absorbed in her movements and the rain.
Suddenly her eyes are open, and she is watching him, watch her. With a finger she beckons him to her. Unable to resist the pull she has on him, he finds himself stepping out into the rain, cold droplets seeping into every fibre of his being.
He trails fingers over her hip, his hand coming to rest at the base of her spine. He easily picks up her rhythm and almost immediately they begin to sway together.
With his other hand he brushes wet strands of hair from her face. Looking at Laura now, he thinks that this is one of those rare moments, where she's open and free and that part of her that she keeps hidden is exposed for him to see.
He doesn't ask her why she's out here. He doesn't need a reason or an explanation, though he'd like to understand, he doesn't push her for it, just takes it for the moment it is.
A moment where they are Jack and Laura, and nothing else exists around them.
He takes her hand and suddenly spins her out. Her hair twirls in wet tendrils and she smiles so brilliantly at him that he can't breathe.
He'll never forget how they danced in the rain that day.
He sets her down gently on ground of the safe house, right in front of the fireplace. He noticed on the way in a fair amount of wood stack just inside the door. The first thing he has to do is start a fire, the rain outside is relentless; they could be stuck here for a while.
As he stands back up, he looks down at her.
His heart twists at the uncontrollable memories of a time when she was someone else and without even thinking he's crouched down at her side again brushing wet hair from her face.
And suddenly the memory is all too real.
(For an instant she's Laura again and for all you know, you've just been dancing in the rain all night. Really you've been dancing in the rain for years with this woman. Whether she was Laura or not.)
He watches a dark haired woman beat the living crap out of a boxing bag.
He's never really been one for the gym, preferring to run by himself. But there's always a first time for everything.
He continues watching the woman with interest. Her moves are well executed and she moves with feline grace, twisting and pivoting with the bag. Her foot work is remarkable and she is constantly bouncing on her toes. She radiates energy that's almost electric.
Drawn to her, he moves closer.
"What did the bag do to you?"
She spins, and a pair of the most alluring brown eyes he's ever seen land on him and he has to remember to breathe.
She looks slightly panicked, but covers it almost instantly. Her head tilts to the side, the tail end of her long braid falling over her shoulder.
"Nothing that can't be rectified by a good beating."
He smiles, pointing at the bag.
"Want me to hold it?"
She seems to consider him for a moment, then nods.
He moves around behind the bag, holding it. Her first punch vibrates up the bag and down his arms, his surprised at the force behind it.
She looks up at him and smirks a little, her eyes sparkle and he knows the look of a challenge when he sees it.
"My names Jack by the way."
Her brown eyes pull him in just a little bit more. He finds himself absolutely intrigued by her.
Her smirk turns into a smile and it's beautiful.
She regains consciousness almost an hour later.
He senses her confusion as she wakes. The last thing she saw was the cold concrete floor of an abandoned warehouse, now she's buried under as many blankets as he could find in front of an open fire.
He hasn't seen or heard from her since she killed her sister, kissed him, and walked off into the night behind a totally decimated city.
After all the time he'd spent with her over the past four years and then the ten years they were married, he still doesn't understand her. She is still very much an enigma to him now, as she was the day he met her.
He's been trapped in memories of a lifetime that he tried so hard to forget, but this woman (who he once loved beyond life, but is now just a passing reflection) keeps finding her way back to him, or him to her and if he believed in it, he'd say they were soul mates in some twisted way.
If they'd met under different circumstances, he thinks he could have loved Irina more than he loved Laura.
He really wants to ask her questions about their time together as husband and wife. He wants to ask her about Laura, because he's studied Irina's mannerisms for four years now and he's noticed that Laura has many of the same traits as Irina. But what he really wants to know is whether Irina was ever Laura, because he's always separated the two as two different women.
But are they really?
Looking at her now, he really wants to know, but talking about their history is like stepping into a mine field, one false move and you're dead.
She's settled back down into the blankets now, staring at him defiantly because she was never one to deny her place in his life, and even now she stubbornly holds it reminding him.
They've never really talked about the past, not like she tried to hide her betrayal, but every time she mentioned something it was like a stab in the back, even twenty years later. He thinks now he's ready for it and wants to hear it, because so much more has happened since then.
But still he can't bring himself to ask her, to be completely opened with her and mesh the idea of Laura and Irina together.
So staring right back at her, he asks the only thing that he can think of. With them trapped in some hell-hole of a safe house, he ventures into the mine field.
"That day in the gym, I never met Laura."
It's not really a question, he knows it, it's a statement there for her to deny or confirm.
She's quiet for a long time, her eyes dark and alluring just like they were that day and he knows at that moment the answer. But as he waits he realises, it's not really about the answer, just whether she'll be honest with him.
She looks extremely fragile in the dim light of the room and he wonders what she's thinking.
Slowly she shakes her head, and over the loud crack of thunder, he's amazed he hears her answer.
And that's it, that's all he needed.
He pushes off the wall he is leaning against and walks over to her. She opens the blankets to him and he slips into the warmth she is offering. He brushes the hair from her face (a habit he'll never shake) and kisses her softly. She curls into his side, like she always did and this is one of those moments he thinks, a rare moment where they are Jack and Irina and nothing else matters.
Though their relationship is undefined, he doesn't mind being trapped in the past anymore, if she's there providing shelter.