DISCLAIMER: not mine. Just playin' 'what if?'

DEDICATION: bourbon, merryann, bmfejk (my fellow CJ/Jericho addicts) and those who have feedbacked Jericho fics especially

SPOILERS: whole series to date

SUMMARY: drabble-y little fic that takes place after Jake gets Hawkins back to Jericho.

NOTES: I'm working on getting some of these fics off my hard drive and posted. I've got so many Jericho fics started that it's either silly or embarassing. I don't think I've ever attempted such a wide range of fics as with Jericho (Buffy post-The Gift series not included) so hopefully they will all be in character and enjoyable.

FEEDBACK; of course! (Please?)

Debt

I opened the door cautiously. Surprised Kemchy had told me I could see Hawkins at all, I didn't want to wake him up if he was sleeping. I caught sight of his family, Darcy standing at one side of the bed, the two kids on the other. Samuel was talking a mile a minute. I started to pull the door shut, wanting to come back later. I wasn't fast enough though; Darcy saw me. She smiled at the children and excused herself, promising them she'd be right back. Allison nodded, assuming the mantle of a grown up all too easily. I stepped back in to the hall and walked toward the next door down.

Darcy came out of the room and glanced in my direction. She hurried toward me, her smile gone, only worry left in the depth of her eyes and the tightness of her jaw. I looked down at my shoes for a moment, unsure what to say to her, knowing there wasn't much I could day. When I raised my eyes again, she had tears trickling down her face. "I understand I owe you my husband's life."

I shook my head. "If I'd-"

"Jake, I know what you did. Getting him to the Texas Embassy." She paused. "At the airport. In Cheyenne."

I was still unsure what to say exactly, but I had to reply somehow. "He – uh – he wanted me to leave him there."

She nodded. "He told me."

"I couldn't."

She nodded again. "It could've cost you everything, Jake."

I laughed softly. "It would've cost more to leave him."

"Thank you." It was soft and simple, but full of meaning. She punctuated it with a quick hug before turning back toward her husband's room.

"Darcy?" She turned when I call her name. "He'll go back out there, you know."

She hesitated, as if a shifting a great weight within herself. "I know."

"I'm not sure I'll be with him."

She smiled. "I am." She resumed her walk back to his room, but stopped once more as she reached the door. "And I know you'll both come back."

I watched her go through the door. She was right. About the first part anyway. I could only hope she's right about it all.

END