Since You've Been Gone (Rated M)

Chapter 1: Two Worlds Apart

Summary: Jack Mercer was your typical Third Class Rockstar. His life meant lots of women, cheap gigs and even more alcohol and cigarettes. But what will happen when an old flame comes back into his life?

Author's Note: Hi all, this is my first Four Brothers fanfic. A lot of people have written awesome ones already, so I've tried to make this one as different as I can. Enjoy, review and yes, the title's the same name as Kelly Clarkson's song, but it seemed fitting.

A few things:

This is set after the movie, so Jack didn't die (but Evelyn still did)

Jack and Rachel are the same age in this fic: 24

Disclaimer: No, I don't own Four Brothers. If I did, my name would be on the DVD.

Jack Mercer grunted as he rolled out of bed that morning and reached for the box of cigarettes in the side table. He took a sigh of relief once he had lighted the skinny tube of nicotine. He was then aware of the slime figure of a naked blonde under the covers with him. He looked at her with an annoyed expression. Still asleep. Dumb bitch wasn't even a good fuck. He nudged her in a non-affectionate way and she woke abruptly.

'Morning, Johnny Cash,' she murmured. Her mascara was thick and smudged around her eyes, her cheap red lipstick faded. Jack rolled his eyes and picked up the closest pair of jeans and shirt he could find. He then felt something hit his back, only to find the girl trying to entice him with her nakedness.

'Wanna have another go, rock star?' she asked huskily, playing with her messy blonde locks. Jack just looked at her in disgust. Sure, the night before may have been fun (sex always was), but he found her pretty fuckin' average for a groupie. Besides, he never kept his 'relationships' going through past morning anyway. He wasn't really the committing kinda guy. At least he hadn't been for a long time.

'Get up, take your shit and get out!' he ordered, before heading for a shower. The girl's smile turned into a frown and she angrily got out of bed.

'You fucking bastard, Jack Mercer!'

He placed his clean clothes on the bathroom banister and entered the shower. He could still hear the bitch screaming at the top of her lungs.

'...fucking used me for sex...burn in hell Jack Mercer!...I'll cut your fucking balls off!'

'GET OUT YOU WHORE!' he screamed back, opening the shower screen a little so he could be heard.

'THE NAME'S MARLA, DICKWAD!' she cried before the front door slammed shut. Jack took another sigh of relief and let the water spray his slim-built, tattooed physique.

'And why do you think that Cosmopolitan magazine should hire you?'

The young woman dressed in a silk, royal blue blouse and a charcoal pencil skirt gulped before replying,

'I-I think I could bring a lot to the position. I've been a PA before and in the fashion industry.' The interviewer nodded and scribbled on her notepad furiously. After a long pause, the woman declared,

'Caroline needs someone reliable and hardworking to be her assistant, do you understand? We'll be in touch with you in the next week if you are successful.' She shook the applicant's hand and thanked her for coming in. Now in her office alone, the woman made her way back to her desk. Her complexion was pale, her figure slender and her silky straight hair was a dark chocolate. Her dark, long lashes bounced every time her brown eyes blinked, while contemplating whether to just get it over with and recommend that Caroline hire the girl who had just interviewed. On the ledge of her desk was a placard which read HR Consultant: Rachel Morris. Rachel had come a long way to be the junior interviewing, hiring and firing role she was for Cosmopolitan magazine USA. She'd only been living in New York for almost a year, but her Detroit days seemed so far away. Well, except for one part of that life.

'Thanks for dinner, Mrs. Mercer,' a 19-year-old Rachel said as she finished washing her plate.

'You're very welcome, dear. And I've told you so many times Rachel, you can call me Evelyn' Rachel chuckled and took a seat on the living room couch next to Jack who was glued to the television. He seemed to be watching the NHL. Rachel moved closer to him and rested her head on his chest. He took her free arm and kissed the back of her hand, before holding it securely in his.

'Who's winning, baby?' she whispered. He looked like her didn't hear her, but he eventually whispered back,

''s just getting good.' She snuggled closer to him and sighed. She was at college all week while Jack was travelling with his band for auditions. It was nice to finally able to spend some time with her boyfriend.

'You kids don't stay up too late, okay?' Evelyn called. 'I'm off to bed!'

'Night!' Jack and Rachel said in unison. But Jack was still stuck on the game. Rachel smelled his scent and breathed it in. It was the smell of security, love and everything she didn't have with her father and abusive boyfriends in the past. Jack was never violent with her, maybe because he also had a history of being abused in his childhood, so he knew the pain and psychological scarring that came with it. So their instant attraction when they met was almost providence. In a strange way, they had both cancelled out each other's frightening pasts.

Rachel slowly tempted Jack by planting small kisses on his neck until he started making deep moans from the base of his neck.

'Mmm...Rach, not now, the Red Wings could so turn this game around...' Rachel took a deep breath and whispered sensually,

'Well, I promise to be quiet then...' She grabbed his thigh and intensified her kisses. Jack felt like he was going to explode right then and there.


She straddled his lap and kissed his lips deeply, blocking his view of the final few minutes of the game. Jack obliged to his girlfriend's physical demands and kissed her back. Her fingers tangled in his messy blond hair, he placed his hands securely on her waist. A moment later the game finished with a loud, monotonous buzzer and Jack instinctively pushed Rachel off him. She gasped whilst falling flat on her back on the other side of the couch.

'Jack!' she cried. He looked sheepishly from Rachel to the television and apologized.

'Sorry...' He chuckled a little to highlight the humour in her fall. But Rachel didn't seem that amused. She frowned at him and began rubbing the back of her neck.

'I'm going upstairs,' she muttered, getting off the couch. Jack rolled his eyes.

'Rachel, come on. As if that hurt!'

Rachel sighed.

'It's not the fall Jack! You'd rather watch some stupid hockey game than spend time with me! I mean seriously, I haven't seen you all week!'

Jack groaned. He followed her as she trudged upstairs.

'Rachel, don't be mad...' Jack called out. When he reached his bedroom she was already under the sheets 'asleep'. She lay on her side, her back to him. He sat on the bed and tried to comfort her with his touch, but she only responded with sternness.

'I'm sorry...' he whispered in her ear.

'You can make it up to me in the morning,' she snapped.

'Yes, dear...'

His sigh of exasperation made it hard for her to conceal her laughter. Jack's eyes widened as she turned around with a huge grin on her face. She sat up and demonstrated a 'whiplash'.

'I own you, Mercer,' she hissed. Jack pinched her hips.

'You conniving bitch... I'm watching hockey!' he cried.

Rachel sighed at the memory of her past and leaned over to open her desk drawer for her observations of the other applicants. As she impatiently rustled through the overflowing drawer, an old photo dropped onto the floor. It was face down, so when she knelt down to uncover it, her chest tightened. It was a picture of her practically sitting on Jack's lap on the couch at the Mercer house. Both weren't facing the camera, but were intently watching a monopoly game pan out in front of them on the coffee table. Although they weren't being overly affectionate in the picture, their hands were subtly interlocked and the satisfaction on their faces suggested that there was definitely a deep connection.

Their relationship ended abruptly almost a year ago. Rachel wasn't interested in breaking up (that was for sure). She wanted to follow her dreams and head off to New York in search of a better life for herself. But at the same time, she loved Jack dearly and was willing to pursue a long-distance relationship with him. Jack, on the other hand perceived her offers a break up in disguise. The last words she heard from Jack were still ringing in her ears.

'Do whatever the fuck you want, Rachel!'

'What kind of relationship are we goin' to have if I don't see you?'

'Don't patronize me! You make it sound like you don't have a choice! You can be successful here too!'

'Well, I hope your job makes you very happy. I guess I was fuckin' idiot for thinking I was a priority in your life!'

She eventually fished out the papers and took out her diary too. As she flicked to the right date, she noticed a reminder which made her heart sink.

October 15th- Evelyn Mercer's Memorial

Every year of the anniversary there was a reunion at the Mercer house. She had been to every single one. Sending flowers would be too impersonal. But would Rachel be greeted with a warm welcome if she went back to Detroit?

Author's Note: And there's chapter one. Reviews are always welcome, constructive ones even more so! Xx md 22