Disclaimer: All rights on Men in tress belong to ABC

Chapter 1: Starting the mission

Previously on Men in trees:

Marin: "Didn't know you had a tattoo"

Theresa: "When did you two start sleeping together?" Marin: "We're just friends"

Marin: "What just happened?" Jack: "Great sex"

Marin(reading the New Yorker): Oh god! This whole chapter is about Jack!"

Jack: "I am not your friend, I'm a subject"

"Marin: "So if I go back to New York now and never come back our "friendship" is over?"

Jack (on the phone):"I think I might be falling in love with you"

With a subdued sigh Jack hung up the phone and turned back around to go back into the main room of the Chieftain. He was disappointed that he had only talked to her voicemail and not to her in person. In his head it had all been so clear- despite the several beer he had drunk already that evening. He thought he could call her and when she would answer he would tell her that he was sorry and that he read her article and that he liked it. And then he had intended to tell her how he felt. The voicemail had surprised him though and he had stuttered a bit and his big romantic declaration had become a stuttered apology with a "might" in the declaration of love.
The booze had loosened his tongue and had also been the main reason why he had found the courage to call her to begin with.. Now it only enforced the feelings of regret and sadness because of her absence.

"And? What did she say?" asked Jerome, being his usual subtle self. Jack sat down between the elder man and Buzz on his abandoned chair.

"Nothin'" he replied and took a sip of his beer that Ben had placed in front of him meanwhile.

"You should have told her that you love her", Buzz offered his un-asked for advice without knowing what Jack had said.

"It's none of your business"; jack replied grumpily, his sadness and disappointment not helping his mood.

"We're just sayin'" Jerome replied and held up his hands defensively.

"She didn't answer. Went straight through to voicemail", Jack finally explained and toyed with the stem of his beer-glass.

"You left a message?" Buzz wanted to know.

"Yep," he said and took another sip.

"And?" Jerome prodded and raised his eyebrows questioningly.

"I told her", Jack nodded, his vision getting slightly blurry as he moved his head up and down.

"You told her voicemail", Ben pointed out. AS usual he had listened silently to the talk at the counter, but now he had to throw his five cents in.

"Uhm…" Jack said and felt a bit dumb now that he thought about it.

"You tell someone in person that you love her and not with a message on her voicemail", Buzz nodded in agreement. "Told Mai something important once by leaving a message on the answering- machine. Boy, did that backfire", he added.

"Messages always backfire with the ladies. If they don't get it what you're trying to say you can shut them right up if you're there in person, if you know what I mean", Jerome said and gave them a meaningful look.

"But you just said…" Jack protested with a smile, but Jerome just waved him off. While Ben went and brought another customer some food the three others sat in silence, each of them contemplating the situation. When he was back at his usual spot in front of them behind the counter he looked at Jack and then shrugged and grinned like the thing he was going to say was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Why don't you go to New York and get her? Tell her in person and shut her up if necessary".

Jack slowly lifted his head. "New York?!" he asked.

"That's a good idea! I mean it is your fault that she is gone because you refused to read that damn article. You can't expect her to jump on a plane and come crawling back just because you left a message saying "I love you"", Jerome said enthusiastically. Something was happening right here at the Chieftain and he was there to meddle, what a joy!

"I said ' I think I'm falling in love with you'", Jack corrected.

Buzz snorted "Even worse".

"You need to surprise her, sweep her off her feet", Ben advised and smiled into Theresa's direction, while she was talking to some guests by the stage.

"Always worked for me", Buzz nodded and patted Jack amicably on his back.

"Can you fly me out?" Jack asked the pilot after a moment in which he tried to sort his thoughts in his alcohol clouded brain.

"Sure. Doctor says after my operation my eyes will be fine again", Buzz shrugged.

"I mean tonight", Jack clarified and stood up from his chair. He gripped the edge of the counter to steady himself.

"Don't you think it would be better to wait until tomorrow and sleep it off", ben grinned and pointed to Jacks hands.

"But I need to talk to her", Jack got defensive. Now that he had the idea of flying to New York in his head he didn't want to wait anymore. He wanted to talk to her and apologize. Tell her that he read her article and liked it. That he was flattered by the things she had written about him. And he wanted to see her eyes when he really told her that he loved her.

"If we fly now you won't get any flight from Vancouver. You will have to spend the night at the airport", Buzz said.

"I don't care", Jack dismissed it and let go of the counter.

"Atta boy", Jerome smirked and took another sip of his beer. "Go get her".

"Come on, let's go", Jack said impatiently to Buzz who just shrugged at Ben and stood up. Both men grabbed their jackets from the back of the chairs and put it on and then walked to the door. They were nearly out when Jack stopped suddenly and Buzz ran into him.

"Man, turn on your brake-lights", Buzz muttered and re-adjusted his cap.

"I don't have her address. I have no idea where she lives", Jack spoke out loud what had just popped up in his head.

"I have her address", Jerome said proudly and got up as well and walked over to his two friends.

"Why do you have her address?" Jack asked confused.

"I work at the post-office", Jerome rolled his eyes. "Maybe you should really wait a little longer if you can't even think that far". On that note they left the Chieftain under Ben's watching eyes and a small smirk and made their way to the post office to get Marin's address.

Of course in Jerome's chaotic office it took a while but in the end they were successful and could go over to Jack's to grab some clothes. That took exactly three minutes and then they were off to the "airport"… but then needed to turn back around because jack had forgotten his toothbrush.

So finally, at 2am in the morning Buzz Airways started the flight to Vancouver and mission "tell Marin how I feel in person" had started. If only they knew that Marin had had a similar idea…

TBC