265 Hours


When Jack came home from school looking mischievously excited, Bobby was suspicious. He didn't remember learning anything in high school that made for that kind of excitement, nothing they taught you in class anyway, but the fifteen year old looked pretty eager about something.

"Hey," Bobby greeted him from the couch as the kid dropped his book bag on the floor. He was intrigued. "What's that grin about?"

"You're home early," Jack answered.

"Practice let out," Bobby answered, referring to the League's hockey schedule. "What're you so happy about?"

"Not happy about anything."

"No?" Bobby raised his eyebrows. Jack was going through his dark, emotional, 'no one understands me and my music' phase, which often resulted in sulky, brooding looks and limited conversations. Bobby was started to get used to Jack having these phases. It was for this reason he found the smirk on Jack's face amusing. "Is it a girl?"

Jack looked surprised. "No."

Bobby frowned. He squinted at Jack's worn Metallica t-shirt as he tried to think to himself what else it could be. "A boy?"

"No, Bobby." Jack gave him an annoyed look. "It's not a person."

"Not a person…" Bobby persisted. It was now a game to him, trying to figure it out. He leaned back against the couch cushion, taking a sip of his beer. "Then what… What could it be…"

"Hey, can I have a beer?" Jack looked at him pleadingly.

Bobby hesitated and glanced at the clock. Ma wouldn't be home for a few hours. He glanced at Jack again and shrugged. "Yeah, if you bring me another one too." He finished the last bit in his own can.

Jack flashed a very quick smile as he disappeared into the kitchen. He came back moments later, handing Bobby a can as he dropped down next to him on the couch.

"So it's not a person…" Bobby started as he snapped open his new beer. "What is it?"

"A theory."

Bobby gave Jack a disgusted look. Here was his self-determined proxy, excited over a theory? Bobby wasn't even sure what that meant. "Jack. What the fuck does that mean?"

"In school today…" Jack started.

"Don't give me some nerdy theory from a science class and tell me it's got you all hot and bothered," Bobby muttered. "Please tell me I raised you better than that."

Jack rolled his eyes. "Listen. It happened to be a science class but—"

Bobby shook his head and took Jack's beer out of his hand teasingly. "No more. Not if this is what you bring me."

"Bobby…" Jack laughed, taking his beer back. "Listen…"

"It's just bad enough," Bobby began as he wiped the condensation from the can off his hand onto his jeans, "that you listen to that pussy music all day locked in your room, but now I find out you get keyed up over science?"

"You're not listening." Jack took a sip of his beer.

"Okay, I'll listen. But if the words coming out of your mouth don't change we're gonna have a problem."

"Just give me a chance. I'm trying to tell you."

"Go ahead." Bobby sighed.

"Okay, in class people were giving reports on things… It was pretty broad about what people could do it on. And one of the guys did it on sleep."

"Sleep," Bobby echoed. "Riveting, Jackie. Just riveting."

Jack tried to ignored Bobby's sarcasm and explain himself. "And sleep deprivation."

"I think I just wet myself."

Jack glared at Bobby. "Can I talk?"

"You are. Keep going." Bobby gestured with his hand.

"Okay, and so this one guy in my class, he talked about sleep deprivation and about this kid who went 264 hours without sleeping, just to prove he could." Jack gave Bobby an insistent look and noticed Bobby's eyes were on the TV. "Bobby, are you listening?"

"Yeah, I am," Bobby said, eyes not moving from the screen. "264 hours just to prove he could. Sounds like a stupid kid. How many days is that?"


Bobby shook his head. "Crazy. I can barely pull an all-nighter. I love my sleep, man."

"He made the Guinness Book of World Records, Bobby."

"The only Guinness I care about is the one I can drink, Jack, I'm sorry."

Jack took a deep breath. "Well, even though you're not listening to me, I'd like you to know that I'm going to do it."

"Do it?" Bobby frowned and looked over at him. "Do what?"

"Beat the record."


"It just so happens that next week we all have to create our own science projects. And I figured what better one to do than this, and beat a record at the same time? I would just keep track of what happens."

Bobby took a sip of his beer. "Do you remember what it's like to wake you to go to school in the morning?"

"Now no one has to. Because I won't be asleep."

"You can't just not sleep, Jack. You fall asleep whether you want to or not."

"This kid didn't."

"Jack. Come on. Grow up… You're not doing it."

"Are you saying it because you don't think I can do it?" Jack asked. "Or because you don't want to let me try?"

"Both." Bobby figured he covered all territory with that. "It's a stupid idea, brainiac. No wonder your grades in school aren't very good."

"Well, I'm doing it whether you like it or not." Jack was persistent. "I'm only telling you because I wanted to tell you, not because I was asking permission. I don't need your permission."

"You know, I appreciate the whole stubborn, teenage rebellion thing lately, Jack, I really do, but why don't you do it on something a little more worthwhile?"

"It's for science, Bobby."

"Do you really think that's a compelling argument for me?" Bobby sighed. "I mean, seriously." He studied Jack's expression and then said, "What if I agreed that I think you can do it, then do you still have to do it?"

"I don't know if I can do it, that's why I want to try."

"So me saying I think you can isn't worth anything?"

"I'm still gonna try it. I'm starting tonight."

"Alcohol is a depressant." Bobby watched Jack take another long drink from his can of beer. "Meaning it makes you tired."

Jack shrugged, cursing Bobby under his breath as he pushed himself off the couch and started walking away. He realized that it was stupid to think Bobby would be supportive of the idea.

"Jack, you'll be asleep tonight. No doubt about it," Bobby replied, watching him walk away. "And hey…" Jack wasn't turning around, so it said his name louder. "Jack."

Jack turned and leaned in the doorway, giving him an annoyed look.

Bobby rolled his eyes at the lanky teenager. "Don't you leave beer cans in your room. Ma will blame me, you know."

"I like it better when you're not home," Jack muttered, turning again to leave the room.

Bobby felt a pang of something, whether insult or surprise he wasn't sure. He had it in his head that Jack loved, even if he hid it internally, whenever Bobby was home. "Get your ass over here!" he barked, dumfounded. Jack didn't turn back but he continued. "No you don't! Who buys you beer when I'm gone?"

"Angel!" Jack yelled back.

Next Bobby simply heard Jack's pounding footsteps up the stairs. He set his jaw, half missing the submissive child Jack that tiptoed around the house and did everything he said without him having to tell him more than a couple times. Jack had matured and was starting to turn into his own person. It was more evident each time Bobby came home, and especially when he had been gone for an extended period of time.

Most of the time Bobby thought it was about damn time Jack grew up. He could finally drink with him and talk to him about more than monsters in the closet.

He still hated anything one-on-one, which was evident in how he ran away every time Bobby raised his voice even slightly. Bobby was always frustrated in how easily Jack would turn away from him, ever since he was a little boy. He'd gotten slightly better. After all, you had to learn to stand up for yourself in this house.

Bobby walked into the dining room later, finding Evelyn and Jack talking, and Jack was explaining his premise to her. She had a discouraging but half-interested look on her face.

"His name's Randy Gardner," Jack finished. "You can look him up."

"And he didn't sleep for 264 hours?" Evelyn asked, holding a cup of tea between her hands on the table.

"Yeah, when he was 17. It was 1964. But I would do it for 265. Since my goal is to beat him."

"I didn't know you were that competitive, Jack. How long is that?"

"Eleven days. Well, mine would be eleven days and one hour."

"Why one more hour? Why not just another minute?" Bobby asked from the doorway.

Jack turned in his chair and glared. "Shut up."

"Bobby…" Evelyn began disapprovingly. "Are you supporting this, too?"

"Supporting?" Bobby echoed. "Ma, you've got to be kidding me."

"Okay, then," she looked relieved. "Jack, honey… It sounds like an interesting science experiment… but not one very good for your health."

"My health is fine," Jack persisted. "It's in the name of science."

"I never knew you had a particular interest in science," she answered. "Didn't your teacher maybe suggest any other projects?"

"No, she said to do what we want. And this is what I want," he said stubbornly.

Evelyn frowned. "Sweetheart… I don't even understand how it's science."

"It is though. It's observing the effects on the body from no sleep."

"People die without sleep."

He scowled. "I'd sleep before I'd die." He look exasperated. "C'mon, let's be real."

"You sleep when you die," Bobby pointed out. "In fact, there's plenty of time for sleeping when you're dead, so hell, with that logic, then—"

"Shut up, Bobby!" Jack responded agitatedly.

"—why ever sleep at all when we're alive?" Bobby finished.

Jack looked frustrated. "It's for school."

"It's for pissing people off, that's what it's for," Bobby muttered.

"Bobby, Jack…" Evelyn shook her head. "Calm down, and let's talk about this. Jack, I'm happy you enjoyed listening to the report on this… Randy Gardner, but I've never heard of him, and—"

"Peter Tripp too. In 1959 he did it too… 201 hours."

"While the trivia is impressive…" she persisted.

"Don't patronize me," he insisted irritably. "I'm doing it."

"Just let him," Bobby said as he moved to sit at the table as well. "He's not going to be able to do it. I've seen him fall asleep just watching a movie. Never mind after eleven days of trying to stay awake."

"I can too do it," Jack objected.

"Jack." Bobby gave him a critical look. "Remember when you tried to pull an all nighter for that biology test?"

"So? Biology is boring."

"I found you on the floor drooling all over your notes. Like fifteen cans of Coke—"

"Should have had Mountain Dew," Jack answered. "They have more caffeine."


"Is it cheating to have caffeine?" Evelyn asked.

"No," Jack insisted. "Doctors were watching Tripp when he did it, and they had to give him drugs so he could stay awake."

"Jack… That seems a little ridiculous."

Bobby chuckled. "You really know how to support your case, Jackie."

"It was for a Telethon thing," Jack objected. "For, like, the March of Dimes or something. That's why he did it."

"Why did Randy Gardner do it?" Evelyn asked.

"To beat Tripp." Jack shrugged.

"And you're doing it to beat Gardner."

Jack nodded. "Yeah."

"Thrilling," Bobby muttered, ignoring Jack's defiant stare.

"Well…" Evelyn sipped her tea. "I don't think it's a good idea. And Bobby doesn't think it's a good idea. What did your teacher say?"

Jack shrugged. "I don't know. We haven't told her what we're doing yet."

"Well, I think you should talk to her about it, and see what she thinks."

"Well, I'm starting it tonight anyway," Jack insisted. "Because it'll take me eleven days, and then I need a day to sleep, and then I need to write the report on everything that happened."

She paused, taking another sip of tea, and then just frowned at him. "Honey."

"I'm doing it anyway."

"Well, I want you to think about what your brother and I think, and then you can decide."

Bobby gave Jack a look. Evelyn was prone to put the decision into Jack's hands so that he could decide for himself. He had been victim to the same psychology as a kid. Basically Evelyn knew you'd feel guilty enough to do the right then, with at least the comfort that you had made your own decision instead of being directly told you had to do one thing and not the other.

"Okay," Jack agreed. He drummed his fingers on the table, looking between the two of them for a minute, and then sighed contently and leaned back in his chair. "Thought about it. Starting tonight."

"Okay, Jack," she said with a shrug. "It's your decision."

Jack gave Bobby a victorious smug as he pushed his chair back, leaving the dining room. Bobby just watched him leave silently and then turned to look at Evelyn. "I'm not sure why I'm using my week off from practice to come home and watch him turn into a psycho."

She smiled. "Oh, Bobby."

"He won't do it."

"He'll try," she answered.

"Oh, he'll try. But he'll never make it through tonight."

She nodded hesitantly. "I have the inclination to agree with you… But what would you do if you were doing it?"

Bobby gave her an incredulous look. "Me? Ma, I'd never do anything as stupid as that."

"You've done stupider," she answered. "Trying not to sleep is pretty innocent compared to some of your stunts, Bobby Mercer."

"Okay fine." He rolled his eyes. "In hindsight, sure. But it's still stupid. And I wouldn't ever try not to sleep. I love sleep."

"But if that was your plan?"

He shrugged. "I wouldn't, but if it was my plan, I would definitely actually do it, because I don't make plans that I'm not going to go through with."

"So what do you think he's going to do?"

Bobby sighed. "Even if he wants to do it, just to prove us wrong… It's not physically possible. He takes more naps than a three year old nowadays. There's no way he's going to be able to stay awake for eleven days."

She shrugged. "If he does, I figure he's punishing himself, and he'll learn either way."

"I guess."

"If you tell him no, it only makes him want to do it more."

"I know."

"Wouldn't you?"

"If I ever had such a stupid idea, well, then sure…" Bobby admitted. "But it is stupid."

"You and your brother are stubborn as mules, Bobby," Evelyn answered. "I wouldn't put anything this 'stupid' past either of you."

"Well, I'm not doing it. And I'm not some stupid high schooler so don't group me with him, Ma."

She laughed. "Okay, Bobby…"

"Thought I'd find you here…" Bobby said groggily as he entered the family room at four AM and found Jack sprawled on the couch in front of the TV.

Jack turned his head just slightly to view Bobby, who looked tired in shorts and t-shirt. Jack didn't feel too tired physically, but his eyes were getting tired from all the TV. He was starting to realize he was going to need to find something to other than that. "Yeah."

"Move over," Bobby persisted as he pushed Jack up so he could sit on the couch as well.

"Are you purposely checking up on me?" Jack began as he sat up and moved over. "Because if you're here to tell me to go to bed—"

"You can have your little game," Bobby answered, waving his hand at him tiredly like he didn't want to argue. "I don't give a shit."

"Then why are you up?"

"Because I just can't sleep," Bobby answered. "I usually wake up at least once during the night."

Jack just shrugged. "Fine."

"Fine," Bobby agreed. He watched the TV for a moment and then glanced over to look at Jack and study him. So far he looked no worse for the wear. He looked like his same stubborn self with his shaggy hair and sullen expression. No sleep deprivation showing yet.

"What?" Jack looked at him uneasily when he noticed Bobby's stare. "Stop." He reached up and put his hand on Bobby's face, pushing his cheek to make him look away. "Don't look at me."

Bobby shoved his hand away but looked at the TV anyway. "When did you start counting that you've been awake?" Bobby asked.


"You have to start counting from somewhere."

"Oh. This morning when I got up for school," Jack said softly as he began counting on his fingers. "That was at six. So it's been… eighteen plus… four… Twenty two hours awake so far."

"Impressive." Bobby counted in his head. "243 to go?"

Jack nodded.

"You know, when you're done, if you ever are done…" Bobby said, "I'm not gonna be proud of you. I'm gonna call you an idiot and see how long you sleep for. Maybe cut your hair while you're sleeping it all off like a zombie."

Jack ran a hand through his blondish shaggy hair protectively, making a face. "I don't need you to be proud. I'm doing it for school."

"Why didn't you call Guinness World Records to come watch?"

"It's the Guinness Book of World Records, Bobby."

"That's what I said."

"No, it's not."

"What's the difference? What did I say?"

"Forget it, Bobby."

Bobby sighed. "How's anyone supposed to know you're actually doing it anyway?" he persisted.

"Whattaya mean?" Jack looked at him. "I'm keeping track of what happens."

"Well, I mean, I walked in and you're awake now… But no one's supervising or anything," Bobby explained. "You could sleep a few hours and no one would know the difference."

"Yeah, except I'm not."

"Which begs the question… How do we know?"

"You just fucking do," Jack answered.

"I bet Tripp and Sandy—"

"Randy, Bobby. It's Randy."

"Yeah, whatever. I bet they had people making sure they didn't fall asleep, right?"

Jack shrugged. "Maybe." He knew in fact they did. Tripp did it publicly and always had people around. Randy had his friends keeping him awake, constantly talking, playing pinball, basketball, or whatever would keep him from falling asleep. He was frustrated because he knew that Bobby was deep down making fun of him, and he couldn't stand that.

"So what's going to keep you awake?" Bobby insisted

"Me. I keep me awake."

Bobby rolled his eyes. "And when it gets tough?"

"Then I'll do stuff to stay awake. I'll walk around, I'll play music, I'll—"

"You're not going to be able to do it," Bobby laughed.

"Wanna make a bet?" Jack narrowed his eyes.

"No." Bobby shook his head with a smirk. "That would please you too much."

Jack grunted in annoyance. "You're a pain in the ass."

"Of course," Bobby answered. "Me. I'm the pain in the ass. Yup." He pressed his lips together, and looked down at Jack's hands where he was playing with his lighter absentmindedly. He thought of something. "Jackie, isn't this the same science class that like three weeks ago the teacher called Ma because you were burning pages in the textbook during class with your lighter?"

Jack scowled. "First off, I burnt a hole into one page, just one page. And second of all—"

"Why would you do that?"

"Because. The paper was real thin and I was out of papers to roll with so I thought if that burned the right way I could—"

"God dammit, Jack." Bobby gave him a look.

"How do you even know about that?" Jack returned, giving Bobby a petulant look. "Ma never even said anything to me about it."

"Ma fills me in on all you guys' shit when I talk to her on the phone," Bobby answered with a sigh. "When you're naughty and nice." He paused. "Besides, she knows I'm the real pyro so she thought I'd get a kick out of it."


"Don't do it again. Especially in school. That's bad news."


"I'm serious, man. Fire in school is no joke."

Jack frowned at him. "Stop, Bobby. You're so…"

"So what?"

"Just stop telling me what to do," Jack insisted.

"Well, just don't get suspended, Jack."

"I never have."

Bobby shook his head and looked down at the lighter again in Jack's hand. Then he noticed the dark marks on Jack's left wrist and paused. "What's that?" he asked. He recognized what they were. His eyes glanced from the lighter back to the wrist. They were burn marks, and he'd never seen them before.

Jack flicked the lighter on. "What's what?" he answered obliviously.

Bobby felt his light mood start to fade, replaced by a mixed feelings. He wasn't going to jump to any conclusions but he felt a mix of dread, regret, and just plain defeat. "Your wrist, Jack."

Jack stopped playing with his lighter and looked down at his wrist like he had no idea what Bobby was talking about. But Bobby saw the flush that took over Jack's cheeks as he frowned and shook his head. "Oh, I don't know. Nothing," he replied.

"Nothing," Bobby echoed. "No, don't hide it," he objected as Jack turned his hand over, giving a view of his forearm instead. "Jack. Don't hide it."

Jack frowned and suddenly looked uncertain, flustered even. "I…"

Bobby remembered when Jack first came to them, wearing long sleeves in the heat of the summer so hide the bruises on his arms and body like he was either ashamed or taught to hide them. Bobby even remembered him once skinning the palm of his hand outside when he was playing with Jerry. For days he kept his hand clenched or his sleeve pulled down long like it was out of reflex.

Now, with a t-shirt on, Jack looked confused and agitated, like he didn't know what the next move was when he was revealed.

"Oh, I think it was from when I was cooking," he continued, voice faltering just slightly. "On the oven range, and I—"

"That's bullshit. You think I like being lied to?"

"I'm not lying," Jack protested. "I—" He cut himself off when he met Bobby's eye, and quickly looked away. "It's nothing."

"I said, don't lie to me," Bobby said firmly.

Jack nodded, staring ahead at the TV as he slouched down a little bit more.

"What's it from?" Bobby persisted. "Let's not drag this out."

Jack said nothing, continuing to stare at the TV. He just shook his head, tight-lipped.

"Jack," Bobby persisted. "You're not a baby anymore. That silent stuff hasn't worked on me in a while. I know you can hear me."

"I can't."

"What'd you do?" Bobby persisted, his voice more confused now than stern. He reached over to take Jack's left arm. "Just show me."

"I didn't do anything," Jack answered reflexively as he reluctantly let Bobby take his arm. Bobby was gentle this way, and he knew that if he protested Bobby would just get frustrated and still not take no for an answer.

Bobby ran his finger across the underside of his wrist, eyeing the marks. There weren't many, but enough that he stared. A couple were faded on his pale skin, blending in with the small veins of his wrist.

After a moment, Jack pulled his arm away and stuck it between himself and the arm of the couch protectively, eyes remaining fixed to the TV screen.

"You did that?" Bobby asked suspiciously. Jack didn't respond for a few seconds and then just shrugged hesitatingly. But Bobby knew what that shrug meant. "Why?"

Jack's eyes remained on the TV as he slowly spoke. "Really, Bobby… Let's not do this." His voice was deeper, steadier, but there was undoubtedly the same scared kid behind it.

"You did it to yourself," Bobby repeated. "Has Ma seen that?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know?"


"You think I'm going to drop this?"

Jack knew he wasn't. He just wished that he would. He turned his wrist just a little and glanced at the marks. It was nothing. He told Bobby that again. "Really. I was bored, or whatever, and…" He shrugged.

"So let me try to understand… You're bored… So you decide to burn holes in yourself…"

Jack swallowed. The way Bobby phrased anything could make Jack's point of view look so ridiculous. Which in this case was probably fairly accurate, but he still didn't think it was that big of a deal. "Oh fuck, come on. There's no holes in myself."

"Jack, I don't even know what to say to you."

"It doesn't even hurt, really," Jack persisted. "And it'll fade. Here, look." He picked up his lighter and lit it. "I'll show you, it doesn't even hurt."

Before he could do anything else, Bobby snatched the lighter out of his hand and shoved it into his pocket. "Fuck you," he said stiffly. "Fuck you, Jack."

"Bobby," Jack objected. He reached for Bobby's pocket, but the man caught his wrist tightly.

"You listen to me," Bobby began, giving him a stern look. He saw Jack's head start to turn and quickly said, "No, no, you look at me, too." Jack's eyes slowly drifted back towards him, and he continued. "I'm not giving your lighter back until you give me a God damn reason why. Fucking boredom is not an answer."

"Why? Why anything, Bobby? I don't know what you want, because it's nothing." Jack shook his wrist free.

"It's not nothing. It's hurting yourself."

Jack made a face. "It didn't hurt. I told you it didn't."

"Look, I know you don't want to talk about it, but just I need you to."

"Bobby, it's four o'clock in the morning."

"Yeah. With 243 hours to go, remember? You've got plenty of time to try to explain this to me."

"There's nothing to explain."


"Nothing," Jack persisted.

"Fine. I'll ask Ma if she thinks it's nothing tomorrow and then we'll decide." Bobby leaned back into the couch, arms folded across his chest.

Jack suddenly glared at him. "First off, I'm sick of you pretending like you're my father, Bobby, because you're not. So stop fucking talking to Evelyn about every little thing I do, like it's your job or something to tell me what to do. I'm sick of it. You're not even here half the time anymore so—"

"Oh, fuck off, Jack."

"I'm serious, Bobby," Jack answered stiffly. "I'm sick of it."

Bobby grew exasperated. "I'm not your fucking father, Jack, that's right. I wouldn't dream of it. But I'm sorry if I see that you're burning your fucking arm with your lighter because you're 'bored' and I can't just not give a shit. What do you expect, huh? You expect me really not to fucking care?"

"Yes!" Jack answered. "Because it's nothing!"

Bobby knew he'd hit a nerve somehow, because it was seldom Jack ever raised his voice about anything. But he wasn't going to drop it. He didn't know what to say, but he definitely wasn't going to drop it.

Bobby was silent and that made Jack even more uncomfortable. He wanted his lighter back and he wanted Bobby just to go to bed and forget about all of it. "Just give me back the lighter, Bobby. I need a cigarette."

"No. I told you, not till you explain."

"You're being ridiculous."

"Oh, please, Jack. You don't give me any incentive to trust you right now."

"What is this about trust?" Jack answered. "Forget it." He pushed himself up off the couch. "Keep the fucking lighter. Not like I haven't got like a half dozen others."

"Jack," Bobby said, realizing his tone was kind of harsh but not caring. "Don't. Come here. Don't walk away from me."

Jack turned and gave Bobby a look. "It's nothing. Please, stop."

"Nothing," Bobby echoed. He patted the sat beside him. "Sit."

"No, Bobby, I—"

"Sit, Jack."

"What are you going to say?"

"While you're standing there? I'm just going to say sit, Jack," Bobby insisted.

Jack reluctantly walked back over to sit, a miserable look on his face. "Listen, Bobby, you judge everything like this. And it's nothing. Absolutely nothing. It didn't hurt. It fades. It's not this big thing. You act like I slit my wrists or something."

Bobby gave him a look.

"What," Jack persisted. "I don't know what you're looking for me to say, Bobby, but there's nothing else about it. For fuck's sake…"

"Never do it again."

"Oh, gimme a break, Bobby. You act like—"

"Never," Bobby repeated, "do it again."

Jack rolled his eyes. "Sure. If you'll shut up about it."

"You think I'm not serious."

"You're quite serious," Jack answered sarcastically.

"I am."

Jack didn't reply for a moment, distressed by Bobby's tone. He watched TV for a moment, feeling Bobby's presence even when he refused to look at him, and fidgeting. After a minute he couldn't take it anymore and conceded, deciding he had to at least convince Bobby he was sincere. So he nodded, saying softly, "Okay, Bobby."

Bobby wasn't sure how to reply. He didn't feel like anything was "okay". He didn't know what the marks on Jack's arm meant. He stared at the outline of the lighter in his own pocket. After a moment he pulled it out and tossed it back at Jack, landing it in his lap. Jack was right, he did have more lighters. So confiscating this one like he was a child wasn't going to fix anything.

"Whatever, Jack." Bobby got up off the couch. "I'm going to take some Nyquil and go to bed."

Jack was surprised, fiddling with the lighter for a moment as Bobby started for the doorway. "Bobby," he objected before he was out of the room. "Please don't be mad."

Bobby just shook his head and disappeared.

Jack sat there, feeling coldness in the pit of his stomach. He suddenly felt a mixture of feelings, none of them good. He wasn't sure what to do, and the marks, something he'd nothing really thought about, something he had inflicted almost subconsciously, suddenly bothered him. Bobby might be mad, or he might just be annoyed, but either way, it bothered him.

He sighed, because there was no use now in trying to explain himself, especially because he wasn't even sure how to explain himself.

Jack sighed.

Something to lose sleep over.

After all, he had 243 more hours to go.

Soooo this should be a few chapters more at least. How long will Jack stay awake? What will the effects be? Stay tuned to find out. Please review if you read.