I am so sorry that it took a year to update this! Work kept me busy and the time got away from me. I hope that this part is ok. I've been working on it off and on over the year. I'm not sure how good it is. Please, if anyone is even still interseted in this story, let me know what you think...
It was a quiet night at Charlie's, being the middle of the week and with most of the college students having gone home for the holidays. Tru was standing behind the counter reading a book that was required for one of her classes next semester. Every once in a while one of the regular barflies would call out to her for a refill, or to announce their arrival and desire for a drink. Only she and Charlie were working that night and he was in his office cursing out the inventory sheets and other paperwork that he was loath to do. Tru was so absorbed in her reading that she did not hear someone sit down in front of her until they spoke.
"Fancy meeting you here."
She nearly jumped out of her skin, her head snapping up; then she narrowed her eyes when she found Jack Harper smirking at her unrepentantly. "You know, it's not nice to sneek up on people."
He smirked. "Well maybe I'm not a nice guy."
Tru wondered if this man was ever serious. "That wouldn't surprise me," she commented wryly. "What can I get you, Jack?"
Laughter lurked in Jack's eyes as he said, "So many ways to answer that…"
The young woman raised an eyebrow. "Let me amend that: What drink can I get you?"
"Shot of Jack," he requested sardonically.
She rolled her eyes as she poured the drink.
His eyes drifted around the sparsely populated bar. "Slow night?"
Tru shrugged, setting the drink in front of him; then returned to her book. "College town during the holidays. Plus most people don't go out and get plastered mid-week." The words were said pointedly but she was staring down at the pages.
"Damn alcoholics," Jack deadpanned.
She smirked, eyes still on her book.
Jack opened his mouth to say something when Charlie appeared at the doorway of his office and shouted at Tru, "Tru, phone!"
She looked up. "Who is it?"
She frowned, marking the page in her book and closing it. "Did he say what he needed?"
"Nope." He traded places with her behind the bar. "Sounded pretty tanked though."
She sighed heading into the office and closing the door behind her.
Jack had tracked her movements and watched the door for a moment before turning to Charlie. "Her brother call here a lot?"
"Enough," the older man grunted. He sounded slightly disapproving.
Moments later Tru exited the office and headed over to the bar. "Charlie, can I take off for an hour? Harrison's totally sloshed; he lost everything, including his car, in a poker game and can't get a ride."
"Sure, Tru." He frowned in concern. "How are you getting there?"
She shrugged. "I'll call a cab."
"I can give you a ride." The young woman and the bartender looked at Jack in surprise.
"We hardly know each other," Tru pointed out.
"I'm feeling generous," he said carelessly.
Tru glanced at her boss with a raised eyebrow; Charlie shrugged but nodded.
She took a deep breath and, almost resignedly, nodded her head. "Sure, thanks."
Jack laid enough money on the bar to cover his untouched drink; Charlie gave it back to him. "Forget about it." Jack nodded; then slung his leather jacket over his shoulder and led Tru out to his car.
"So, where to?" he asked as they settled into their seats. She told him the address; he nodded. "I know the place."
They sat in silence for a while.
"So," Jack finally said, "you get calls like this a lot?"
She glanced at him then looked back forward. "He's my younger brother."
He raised an eyebrow. "That's not really an answer."
"It's not really your business," she said tightly.
'Touchy subject,' he mentally remarked. "Here we are." He parked his car along the curb.
Tru searched the sidewalk; then groaned and got out. Jack followed her as she walked over to a figure slumped against the building.
She knelt down next to the blond headed boy – he really was little more than a child. "Harry?" she shook his shoulder a little. "Harrison," she said louder and shook him a little more. He stirred and mumbled something but remained passed out. She scowled. "Harrison!"
The kid reared back from her shout. "Jeeze, Tru!" he gripped his head. "Why'd'ja have't yell?"
She rolled her eyes, gripped him under one arm, hauling him to his feet. "Get up, Harrison."
"Too tired," he grumbled, not complying, allowing his body to sink back down; pulling his sister slowly with him.
Jack grabbed his other arm and pulled up too. "C'mon, Harrison. I don't think your sister's in the mood."
The boy looked over at his sister; seeing her annoyed expression he finally began taking weight on his legs and sort of walking. He then turned to Jack blearily. "Who ya?"
"He's the guy who's helping me take your plastered ass home," Tru told him. "Say thank you."
"Tanks," he slurred at Jack, who had to close his eyes at the overwhelming smell of alcohol on his breath.
"You should probably take it easier, kid," the Jack informed him.
"Nah," there was the slightest movement of his hand; they figured he was trying to wave dismissively. "'M fine."
"Right," Tru said wryly as they more or less dumped her brother in the back seat.
Harrison was passed out once again the moment he was in the car. Jack made sure he was on his side so he would not drown in his vomit.
The two sober people got in the front.
Tru looked at him. "I'm sorry in advance if he throws up."
Jack shrugged. "Wouldn't be the first time it happened."
She raised an eyebrow. "Haul blitzed people off often?"
He smirked. "Enough times to have it no longer bother me and to know the place to go the get the stains and smell out."
"That doesn't seem healthy," she commented.
"I'm an EMT."
Her eyebrows shot up. "Well…that would definitely constitute being used to vomit and the extremely inebriated."
He nodded. "So where to?"
She glanced back at her brother thoughtfully. "I have to get back to Charlie's, but I can't leave him alone in this state." Biting her lip she thought quickly. "Go ahead and take us back there; Charlie will let him crash in the back room so that I can keep an eye on him."
Jack complied heading in the direction of the bar once more. They sat in silence again.
"Do you have any siblings?" She broke it this time.
"I have a younger sister. She's a little older than you." He tilted his head in her direction; there was a touch of pain in his eyes when he spoke of her. "You?"
"Older sister." She stared out the side window, her lips tight.
He wondered the story behind her obvious agitation.
They pulled into the parking lot of Charlie's; they got out and just barely managed to once again rouse Harrison enough to get him out of the car and head into the bar.
Charlie looked up at their entrance; he shook his head and pointed to the back room.
"Thank you, Charlie," Tru said gratefully.
"Heya, Char'ie," Harrison slurred.
"Harry," Charlie sighed, seeming torn between amusement, disappointment and annoyance. He looked at Tru. "Never seen him this bad before."
She shrugged helplessly.
Tru and Jack got her brother settled on the couch in the back room on his side with a trashcan next to his head.
She turned to him as they headed back into the bar. "Thank you for your help."
"No problem." He smirked. "You could always repay me with a free drink."
She rolled her eyes. "What the hell? Maybe I'll even make it two."
He nodded his head in thanks.
They settled back into their spots, while Charlie went grudgingly back to the office and paperwork.
She poured him another shot; he raised it in salute.
She tapped her glass of soda water against his sardonically. "Family."
I am not trying to make Harrison out to be a total drunk, but he would be pretty young during the time of this story and it seemed to me watching the series that as a teen he might have gone out and gotten totally obliterated once in a while at that age. I hope that it was ok! Thank you so much for reading!