A/N: New story. Jack and Audrey post season 4 AU. No stuff with Jack having to disappear. Reviews appreciated.
Audrey opened the hotel room door and sank to the floor. She had cried earlier today, but this was different. She thought of the previous night when she and Jack had been in this room together, happier than she had ever been. Now she had completely tore their relationship apart.
How could one day have changed everything? How could she have felt so many strong uncontrollable emotions in such a short amount of time? Love, fear, more love, horror, betrayal, and sadness. Audrey forced herself up and walked to the bed. She collapsed onto it and could barely stand the fact that they had made love in that bed such a short time ago.
She wanted him to be there with her. To hold her as she cried and tell her that everything was going to be okay. But, at the same time she never wanted to look at him again. She cried until she had no tears left to cry. Finally, she fell asleep.
When morning came Audrey woke up and started reaching across the bed for Jack. It was a habit she knew she'd have to give up. She wondered where he was right then. Where had he stayed? She looked at the clock and saw that her flight left in four hours. She got up and took a shower. She thought of him again and this time got angry with herself. How could she let him go if she kept thinking of him all the time?
She turned off the water and got dressed into comfortable clothes for her plane ride. She started to pack her things promising not to let any more tears fall. She kept her promise for about a minute and a half. She picked up the necklace he had given her for her birthday and started to cry. She didn't know whether or not to keep it. If she kept it, would it mean she forgave him? If she left it for him, would he think she didn't want to try again someday?
Audrey cursed herself. She didn't give him any reason to think they still had a chance together. But, part of her knew that given a little time, they might be able to reconcile. She took the necklace and put it in her suitcase.
Jack had spent the night at CTU. As much he wanted to leave that horribly cursed place, he couldn't. Audrey wouldn't want to see him. Tony had offered Jack a place to stay for the night, but Jack passed. He was glad that he had. Staying up let him finish up the work he had to do. There were many loose ends to tie from that dreadful day. He wanted to get back to D.C. as fast as possible. He wanted to show Audrey that even though he may belong at CTU, he didn't want to be there.
He hoped that she would forgive him for his actions that day, but knew that it was a stretch. He killed her husband. She was going to leave him for Paul. He knew he should've been angry with her for that, but knew that none of that would've happened had he kept his dark side from her. He should have left it to CTU to do their jobs. He should've stuck to his job.
Jack's thoughts were interrupted by his cell phone, which was now ringing. He reached for it frantically hoping it was Audrey. He was upset to see that it wasn't her. It was Secretary Heller. Jack answered.
"Jack, how long are you staying in L.A. for?" asked Secretary Heller.
"I'll be catching a plane for D.C. tonight, Sir," Jack replied.
"Good," Secretary Heller said, "I was afraid you'd want to stay there. You're one of my best workers, Jack."
"Thanks, Sir," Jack said.
"And, Jack," Heller continued, hearing the sadness in Jack's voice.
"Yes, Sir?" Jack asked.
"Audrey won't be mad forever," Heller finished. He hung up before Jack could respond.
Jack put down his phone. He certainly hoped she wouldn't. He looked at the clock on his phone. Only an hour until Audrey got on her plane. He figured by the time he got to the hotel, she'd probably be at the airport. He walked out the doors whispering a cursed goodbye at the place that had once again caused his life to turn upside down.
Audrey walked out of the hotel room and took a taxi to the airport. When the plane arrived Audrey got on and started to feel nervous. She had never been afraid of planes. She just couldn't help but think that this was the final goodbye. Jack would stay and she would never see him again.
"Everything okay?" asked a lady who Audrey hadn't even noticed was sitting next to her.
"I'm fine thanks," Audrey said, forgetting how people could just be generally friendly like that.
"I'm sorry, it's none of my business," the lady said.
"No, it's not that. It's just complicated," Audrey said, not wanting to make the lady feel bad, "I still feel like I'm going to wake up from some horrible nightmare any minute now."
"Sometimes talking about it helps," the lady said, "I'm Rachel."
"Audrey," Audrey replied introducing herself. She wasn't normally one to talk about her problems, especially to a stranger. But, Rachel was a generally caring person, which Audrey needed at that time. Audrey told the lady everything going on without giving out secret information.
"And, that's my story. Oh, I'm so sorry. You probably didn't want to hear any of that," Audrey said realizing she had just become the "passenger who can't stop talking about herself".
"No, it's okay," Rachel said, "That must have been one hell of a day."
"Yeah," Audrey said.
"For both you and Jack," Rachel said.
"I guess," Audrey said.
"Not that I can blame you, but maybe you decided too soon," Rachel said, knowing that she might offend Audrey. Audrey didn't speak which Rachel took advantage of. "I bet it wasn't easy for him to decide to do all those things if he thought he was losing you."
"He wasn't losing me. Not until he killed Paul," Audrey said.
"From what you told me about wanting to leave with Paul, I'd say that's not true," Rachel said.
"I was going to leave with Paul. But, I wasn't going to be with him. I didn't think it was fair that he got tangled up in that day. So, I was going to stay with him until he got better. Just because I love Jack doesn't mean I didn't still care about Paul," Audrey said more to herself than to Rachel. Rachel sensed this and kept quiet.
"I would've gone back to him. Just because I don't like that side of him doesn't mean I hate all of him," Audrey continued, "And, I knew about that side of him. I read his file. Just seeing it made it a lot more real. I could've gotten over that."
"But, you don't think you'll get over him saving lives over killing your husband?" Rachel asked.
"No, that's the part I hate. I do forgive him. But, I shouldn't. Right? It was wrong and I should never forgive him for something that horrible, yet I am."
"I don't know what to say," Rachel said.
"Thank you for all your help," Audrey said. Rachel smiled at her not knowing how much she had actually helped.
Jack opened the door to the hotel room slowly. Part of him wanted her to be there. The other part didn't. He wouldn't know what to say. He looked around but saw no sign of Audrey. He grabbed a suitcase and started packing. His plane left in a couple hours.