Written for the day_by_drabble challenge on LJ. Takes place after the first movie. Very much Jack/Annie


Annie stares at the small piece of plastic in her trembling hand.

Her driver's license.

Today marks the end of her sentence. Now, she can drive with Los Angeles' finest. She never thought her reaction to finally getting back her driving privileges back would be this traumatic. But that was before.

Before Howard Payne.

She puts her driver's license back in her wallet, but as she slides it into place, she flips it around. Annie has no desire to see her smiling image mocking her; the idea of driving has lost all of its former appeal.

She needs a smoke.

The cigarette is already lit and halfway to her mouth when someone knocks on her door.

"It's me."

Jack.

Quickly, she takes a drag and carefully stubs out the cigarette in the glass ashtray. I'll be back for you later. She opens the door and sees Jack leaning against the doorframe. A forced smile appears on her lips. "I didn't think you were going to be here today."

He shrugs as he lets himself inside. He sits at her tiny nook and helps himself to a cup of coffee. "I thought you like surprises."

Normally, she does. But, not today. Not when she wants to mourn for her lack of enthusiam for driving.

"Does that means you have plans for today?" Maybe getting out the apartment is the best thing for her.

He holds up her car keys and dangles them in the air. "You're taking me out."

Panic seeps into her. She's not ready to drive yet! She has only recently been able to look at a bus without totally freaking out.

"Annie." Jack's soothing voice pulls her from the despair. "Everything is going to be fine."

She shakes her head and swallows thickly. "I can't do it."

Jack doesn't seem convinced. "Yes, you can."

"I don't want to!"

"He can't hurt you anymore, Annie," Jack gently reminds her.

But she knows that he is wrong. The actions of Howard Payne haunt her daily. She closes her eyes and leans on the counter. Seconds later, she feels Jack's strong arms wrap around her. "You can do this," he rumbles.

He turns her around and tilts her head up. His lips covers her own. For a few blissful seconds, Annie finds herself not thinking about driver's licenses, buses or being behind the wheel of her car.

"You're very convincing when you want to be," she complains lightly.

He grins. "I'm a trained negotiator. So, does that mean you'll do it?" He reaches around her and picks up the keys, holding them for her to take.

She looks at them and realizes Jack is right: she can do this. "Yes," she replied, taking the keys from him. "Are you sure you want to go with me? I haven't been in my car for a year. We may not be back for a while."

He gives her a wide smile-the kind that can still make her feel giddy after six months. "I don't have anywhere else I need to be."

She grabs his hand. "Then let's go on a road trip."