Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Notes: So. Got the title from an Eagles song (or a drink, whatever floats your boat), but what else is new? In the blurb for the song, Don Henley says, ". . . he thought that it the title was a bit too obvious or too much of a cliché because of the drink that was so popular then. I said 'No - look at it from a different point of view. you've been drinking straight tequila all night, and the sun is coming up.'" and I thought it suited the story so well. I'm warning you now - this is going to be a mish-mash of popular JH clichés, all smushed together into one fic that's so clichéd it's orignal - hopefully. Anyways. I'll get on with it then, shall I?
Oh, but before I do, if you want to leave a review at the end, I'm much obliged. :) And I realise this is short. The chapters will increase in length.
Chapter 1 – It's Not That Easy
January 16, 1983
The summer sun was still low in the Chicago sky when a young woman, no more than twenty five, got out of a taxi on a residential street in the older part of town. She turned around to help a young girl out of the car and hand the driver some fives. The low sun cast long shadows as the girl giggled in delight, exclaiming excitedly, "Mummy, I'm stepping on your shadow!"
'Mummy' smiled distractedly as she pulled a suitcase out from the backseat. "Thanks," she said to the driver before shutting the rear passenger door, and stretching her arm out behind her for her young daughter to grab. She watched the car drive off down the street and started digging inside her purse for a small bear. "Here Soph," she said to the girl, who was clutching her mother's hand tightly. As the young girl took the toy from her, the woman pulled a small piece of paper out of the back pocket of her jeans, reading an address quietly to herself. Slipping the information back into her pocket, she picked up the suitcase. A quick glance around at the poorly visible house numbers directed her, and she began to lead her daughter towards what she hoped was the right house.
"Don't step on a crack, or you'll break your mother's back," Sophie chanted to herself, carefully jumping over the cracks in the road. "Mum, would it really break your back?" Slowing down, she toed one of the faults, and looked up to see that her mother was still alright, and now impatiently tugging her along.
"Sophie, hurry up," she said sharply, checking the house numbers again. The sun cast a red glow around them, and, had the woman not been so preoccupied, she would've taken the time to appreciate what a nice morning it was.
She pushed her black hair out of her face and continued to walk down the street, frowning when she reached the end of the block. "Apparently the taxi driver didn't know where he was going," she informed her daughter who was getting restless. As they crossed the street, Sophie jumping over all the cracks in the road on the way, the woman's mind continued whirring.
Maybe there's two streets? Maybe it's supposed to say Rolsonstreet? What if he isn't even in Chicago? What if he's moved back home?
And just as the young woman was beginning to reach rock bottom with her thoughts, completely sure she was going to have to go back to Wisconsin if she wanted to see anyone she knew, her eyes fell on the house number that matched the digits written on her paper.
Taking a deep breath, she turned to go up the small driveway, stopping only once she reached the door step to put down the suitcase and talk to her daughter. "Sophie," she began softly. "I'm going to go inside to talk to a man, okay? And while we're talking, I want you to be very quiet, and very good, alright?"
Her daughter nodded mutely, blue eyes wide with anticipation of what was to come. With another deep breath, the woman rang the doorbell.
After a few seconds, a man opened it. His hair was longer than when she'd last seen him, disheveled and messy from sleeping on it. Under his eyes there were bags, and he looked entirely unhappy to be answering the door at such an hour in the morning.
It seemed to take him a minute to comprehend who was standing in front of him, then his eyes widened. "Jackie?" he asked, his voice still scratchy from just waking up.
"Steven," she stated softly. "Can I come in?"
She got her answer when the door shut in her face, and she sucked in a breath, and turned to Sophie. "Maybe this won't be as easy as I thought," she muttered.