Disclaimer: Eureka isn't mine, but I'd be more than willing to take Jack off Allison's hands if she ever gets tired of him.
A/N: I often wondered what happened between Allison and Jack during the two-week period following "Omega Girls" that was hinted at in the beginning of "Of Mites and Men." This is my attempt to satisfy my curiosity and fully explore what I think was an important step in their relationship.
Day 1: Starting Over
It had been years since Allison had allowed herself to cry.
And it been much longer than that since she'd let anyone see her in such a weak, private moment. But on this quiet, rainy afternoon, cocooned in the safety of Jack's strong embrace, she gave herself permission to let go. With her body tucked firmly between his side and the cushions of his plush white sofa, she sobbed against the wide plane of his chest. For what felt like an eternity, she poured out her rage, her pain, and her dark, frightening desire for revenge in a torrent of hot, salty tears.
"I'm sorry," she hiccupped once she finally had her runaway emotions under some semblance of control. Embarrassed by her uncharacteristic show of vulnerability, she brushed anxiously at the large wet spot that marred the soft, snowy fabric of his t-shirt.
Jack gently grabbed her hand and laid it flat against his chest. "Please don't apologize, Ally. Not for this." Reaching out a hand, he ran his thumb across her cheek, gathering the warm moisture that was still clinging stubbornly to her skin.
She didn't respond, but instead wrapped her arm around his lean waist and held on tight.
"I'm going to miss the kids," she said after a while, sighing with weary pleasure as his hand stroked soothingly up and down the length of her bare arm.
"Me too, but it's probably best that they stay with your mom for a while." He gave her a reassuring squeeze. "For now, you need to concentrate on getting your strength back."
Mentally as well as physically.
Even though he hadn't said the words aloud, they had dangled from the end of his sentence like a worm from a hook.
Balling her hands into fists, she clenched her jaw so tightly that it began to ache. She wanted to say more, but really…what good would it do? She knew Jack was right, and although nothing she said would change that fact, it still made her see red. After everything that had happened to her, after losing the very essence of who she was to Beverly Barlowe, the thought of being separated from her kids—even temporarily—made her want to scream.
As if he could sense her growing agitation, Jack pressed a kiss to the top of her head and hugged her closer. "We'll holo-Skype everyday, okay?"
Allison nodded sadly. It wouldn't be the same as having them here with her, but it would have to do.
"Jack, can I ask you something?" she asked quietly after a long moment, her eyes fixed sightlessly on the shimmying flames dancing in the fireplace.
"How did you know that something was wrong? How did you know that I wasn't really…me?"
"Ally, you just got your brain back yesterday." She could feel the sudden tension in every line of his body as he shifted uncomfortably beside her. It was patently obvious that this was something that he didn't want to discuss with her. "We don't have to talk about this right now."
"Yes. We do." Frowning, she sat up and looked down at him, trying not to glare and failing miserably. "Jack, for weeks, I had another person living inside my head, directing my actions, stealing my fucking life. I think I deserve to know what the hell happened while my body was being violated by that power hungry nut job!"
Jack's eyes were wide as he stared back up at her. It wasn't hard to tell that he was startled by the ferocity of her response.
Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she put a hand on his cheek and said softly, "Honey, I know that watching what happened to me must have been hard for you, but I have to know…I need to know."
"Okay," he replied just as softly, and she could clearly hear the reluctance in his voice. She knew that he didn't want to do this, but he was going to. For her. "Come here."
Allison let him pull her down on top of him. Tangling their jean-clad legs together, he propped his chin against the top of her head and ran his hands up and down her back. Over and over again, slowly, almost lazily, he skimmed his palms along the length of her spine, and though it was extremely calming, she had the feeling it was more for his benefit than hers.
They'd avoided talking about the situation at length yesterday, but her desire to know exactly what had transpired during her blackout was much stronger than her desire to bury her head in the sand and pretend that the whole thing had never happened.
Just when she thought he was trying to lull her to sleep so he could put off answering her question, he asked quietly, "How much do you remember?"
"Not much," she answered truthfully. "There were flashes of consciousness—short intervals of time when I was aware of what was going on, but other than that…nothing. It was like being trapped in a dark room with no windows or doors." She shuddered at the memory. "It was horrible."
Jack's arms tensed around her. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
If she didn't do it now, it was quite possible that she never would.
She could feel Jack's subdued nod. After another long pause, he blew out a long breath and said, "There wasn't any one thing that made me realize that something was wrong."
"Go on," she prodded when he remained silent for so long that she thought he'd changed his mind.
"There were too many little inconsistencies that made all sorts of red flags go off in my head." He lifted a hand and waggled it back and forth in the air. "You were losing time, suffering from headaches and forgetting the simplest things. You were also avoiding spending time with me, and when we were together, you didn't allow much physical contact. You just…weren't yourself."
"And how did I explain away my strange behavior?"
"You blamed it on the stress of the Astraeus mission."
"The perfect excuse," she admitted reluctantly and then stiffened as a sudden, very unpleasant thought struck her. "Wait…you said that I didn't allow much physical contact. So we never…?" she trailed off, not even able to say the words out loud.
"No! No," he repeated and tightened his arms as if he was expecting her to pull away from him. "There's no way she could have kept up her ruse if she would've tried that, and I think she knew it. As it is, she made the fatal mistake of kissing me."
The thought of Beverly kissing Jack—even using her lips—made Allison fume.
"She actually did us a favor," Jack hurried on, sensing her irritation. "The minute she kissed me, I knew that something was very wrong. I can't explain it—I just knew. Her kiss...there was nothing there. It was blank and dark like a void. Does that make any sense?"
She nodded, humbled at the thought that Jack knew her kiss from any other woman's in the entire world.
"Add that to the fact that there was no record of your accident," he continued, ticking off his points on his fingers, "Zane's PAL system tagging you as a security threat, and the brain scan that you ran on yourself before Beverly took full control…" He shrugged. "It was just a matter of time before we put two and two together."
"You mean before you put two and two together."
"I had help. I couldn't have done it without Henry and Zane."
She pushed herself up just enough to look into his eyes. "You're amazing."
"There's absolutely nothing I wouldn't have done to bring you back to me. Nothing."
Allison felt her eyes burning as fresh tears threatened. "Thank you."
She'd already thanked Jo and Zoe for their part in rescuing her, but she'd never gotten to thank Jack for being the first one to realize that something was amiss. Without him, nothing else would have fallen into place.
She owed him everything.
"Those are two words you'll never have to say to me. I'd do it all again and again and again if I had to." He lifted his head and brushed his lips across hers. "Okay?"
"Okay," she replied with a blissful smile. "As long as you know I'd do the same."
"Of that I have absolutely no doubt."
Laying her head back against his chest, she breathed deeply, greedily inhaling his woodsy male scent. She was happy to be alive, happy to have her mind all to herself again, and ridiculously, insanely happy to be enveloped by the full force of Jack's love.
The strong, steady beat of his heart coupled with the rhythmic swaying of the rippling yellow flames lulled her with a sweet melody that no lullaby could ever hope to match. She was so utterly relaxed that she didn't realize that she'd fallen asleep until a gentle jostling pulled her from the comforting depths of slumber. When she finally managed to peel open her heavy eyelids, Jack was already standing at the top of the stairs with her wrapped securely in his arms.
"I haven't been carried to bed since I was a little girl," she joked sleepily, her eyes already starting to drift closed again.
"I'll always be here to carry you, Ally." He paused in his bedroom doorway and kissed her forehead, his warm lips lingering lovingly on her skin. "All you ever have to do is ask."
All I have to do is ask.
As an independent woman who was used to doing things for herself, Allison wasn't in the habit of asking anyone for anything.
But for Jack, she was definitely willing to learn.
A/N: I hadn't meant to thread such a dark note into this chapter, but I can't imagine that they wouldn't have had a more in-depth conversation about Allison's ordeal beyond what we saw on the show. As for Allison and Jack holo-Skyping with the kids while they're with Allison's mom... I figured if Jack's sister knows about Eureka and it's awesome tech, why not Allison's mother? She is a scientist, after all. I hope you enjoyed.