Jacklyn took in a deep gasp of air, reaching out for something - anything to grab on to that might help her up. She was tired - too tired for all of this. She was too tired to climb, too tired to keep running and fighting. For goodness' sake, she hadn't slept in... she didn't know how long - certainly not since she managed to get her heart to stop trying to fail on her. She groaned softly, kicking against the wall as she tried to find some kind of foothold and reach further out to find something to hold on to.

She'd still have to drag herself up, but it would be better than clinging to this grimy ledge. She tried getting up a different way, but the only set of stairs seemed to have been taken out a while ago. It looked like climbing was going to be it. She had to keep moving, certain that there were splicers behind her.

There were always splicers behind her.

She cried out in frustration, feeling her tired hand begin to weaken and slip. The other hand retreated to the edge to give the other a break from supporting her. A couple of quick breaths and she reached out again - desperate to find something to cling onto. she was barely reaching up there as she was - it was going to be almost impossible to haul herself up this slippery thing.

And then her hand found something and she let out a little laugh of relief - almost of disbelief.

Her hand wrapped around the cool metal bar - part of a fence or an old machine or something maybe - and she started to pull herself up. She scrambled and fought - her other hand grasping at the bar now too. She was so very tired - every muscle in her body ached and screamed at her to just lie down and go to sleep. Unfortunately, her body wasn't aware of the situation.

She was running from splicers, trying to find her way out of here, and trying to find her way to Fontaine.

Her body was being very impractical about all of this.

She released another great burst of air as he managed to pull herself up. She laid down on the somewhat wet, slippery, cold ground for a moment - feeling she had earned herself a quick rest. she shut her eyes, just lying there. It was far from the warm, comfortable bed she had been craving all of this time, but she was happy to have anything to lie on at all.

She may have continued lying there too, had she not heard a soft chuckle above her.

She pushed herself up quickly, and looked up - right into the cold blue eyes of Frank Fontaine.

"Fuck!" she shouted, scrambling back and jumping to her feet. She felt his heels go over the ledge and felt herself tipping backwards. She flailed her arms, reaching out for anything dhe could grab onto. That thing ended up being Fontaine's arm as the man reached out and grabbed a hold of her, pulling her back - hard enough to tip her forward again. Fontaine let go at the last second, allowing Jackie to fall forward onto her knees.

"Better watch your step there, boyo," Fonaine said in a lilting tone with a little smirk on his lips, mocking the accent he had used when posing at Atlas. He chuckled, "Surprised to see me?"

Jackie growled in her throat, grabbing her pistol. She got up onto her feet again - she had meant to leap up onto them, but found that her legs were not willing to comply with such an action. She raised the pistol, pointing it at Fontaine. "Yeah, a little, but I guess that this just makes it easier, doesn't it?"

Fontaine laughed, tapping the ground with the metal pipe he had been holding - the object that Jaciek had grabbed onto in order to pull herself up. "Come on, kid," he said with a grin, "you can't shoot me."

Jacklyn scoffed, "And what makes you say that? I've shot plenty of people since getting down here - if you haven't noticed." She had never thought she would fire a gun at another human being, but she supposed that had been before she had gotten here…

No, she reminded himself. She'd been here long before this.

Fontaine's grin only widened. "No, kid, you've shot splicers. Sick and deformed sons of bitches looking to drain you of every last bit of ADAM tucked away in that pretty body of yours…Do you think you can honestly look me right in the eyes and pull that trigger? Hm?"

Jackie grit her teeth - shifting her feet and still holding the gun steadfast. She was certain she could do this - absolutely knew that she could. This was going to be easy. She wasn't going to have to look for this guy. She could take care of him - get back at him for all of this shit. For everything she'd been through, for all the lies and the pain…All she had to do was pull the trigger, thens he, the girls, and Tenenbaum could get out of here. They'd never have to set foot in Rapture again.

She looked right into the other man's eyes, steeling herself.

And did nothing.

She bit his bottom lip, hard, as Fontaine started to laugh - eyes shining bright.

"I knew you couldn't do it, kid. Don't be ashamed - not all of us can look a fellow in the eye and shoot. There's no need to be ashamed…" Fontaine was walking towards her now - his footsteps ringing clearly against the metal floor. Jackie shuffled back, still holding the gun.

Why couldn't she fire? She hated this man - Fontaine. Hated him. Didn't she? Just pull the trigger and it's over. He's point blank now. It would be easy. So easy.

"Especially considering the way you feel, Jackie girl."

Jackie grit her teeth, "What are you talking about, Fontaine?"

Fontaine smiled, still moving closer. The taller man pushed the gun aside with one hand - Jacklyn offered little resistance, much to her own surprise - and moved in more quickly so that he was standing just a breath away from Jackie, looking down at her with an almost sinister smile on his lips.

"Come on, kid. You're starting to remember stuff, right? Besides…That kind of adoration doesn't disappear just 'cause your memory does. That kind of thing is permanent."

Jackie opened her mouth to protest, but was quickly cut off as Fontaine's fingers grasped the front of her shirt and pulled her closer. The man's other hand reached out to grab the pistol that Jackie still held - to try and pull it from her hand. Jacklyn, however, did not let go.

"I gotta say though, kid, I'm still kind of fond of you myself," Fontaine said, a twisted sort of smile on his lips that resembled a pretentious smirk. "So, this is what I'm going to do. I'm gonna give you an easy way out. I think we both know what'd happen in a fight between the two of us, and honestly, kid, I'd rather keep you around instead of beatin' ya into a pulp. So…"

That smile broadened, "I'm gonna let ya live, kid. And you are gonna give up on this whole crusade that you're on."

Jackie practically snarled, pulling back to try and break free of the grip on her shirt - though that did nothing - Fontaine's grip held steadfast. "Fuck you, Fontaine," she growled - at least able to get words of protest out this time.

Fontaine's smile faded a little – and his grip on Jacklyn's shirt tightened more, "Come on, kid. No need to make this more complicated than it needs to be. Just hand over the fuckin' gun. Think about it for a second, anyone with half a brain can figure this out – and I know you're a smart one. You can either risk dyin' here or you can be safe, sound, and livin' in luxury. It's not a tough choice. So…" his tone became softer as he again tried to pry the gun out of Jacklyn's hand. Jaciek could feel the other man's fingers prying and grasping, trying to slip under her grip and steal the gun away.

Jackie tore his hand with the gun away and used her free hand to push against Fontaine's chest to shove him away – using a quick jolt of electricity from her hand to give the push a little more power. It had the desired effect – Fontaine let go. The slightly larger man let go of his quarry and jumped back to avoid the shock.

"Fuck," Fontaine growled, his blue eyes taking on a dangerous light. It looked as though a fire had lit behind the man's eyes – and they narrowed darkly. His brow furrowed and the sly smile had turned into a snarl.

And quite suddenly, Jackie was afraid.

"Fine, kid," he said with that same growl to his voice, "you wanna play it that way? I can play along."

And before Jackie had time to raise his pistol, Fontaine had raised her hand and pushed it forward. A rush of air slammed into Jacklyn's chest and she felt her feet leave the ground and her body sail backwards. And then there was nothing there and she was falling. She reached out with her empty hand – desperately reaching out for anything to grab onto something. There was nothing there, however, to save her.

She hit the ground with a thud and a groan. Pain shocked through her body and the air rushed out of her lungs, leaving her stunned for a moment. She coughed and sucked in air with a desperate, gasping sound. By the time she was pushing herself up – hands and knees pressed against the cold floor – Fontaine had jumped down and was approaching her with quick steps.

"One more chance, kid!" Fontaine's voice rang out.

Jackie scrambled up, realizing then that the pistol was not in her hand. She looked around – unable to see it in the dimly lit room. She looked up just in time to see Fontaine raise her hand again. Jackie jumped to her feet – dashing away – feeling another blast of air rush just behind her – blasting away a trash can and other debris around it. She reached out, grabbing up a lead pipe lying on the ground next to a splicer who had met his fate earlier.

She didn't stop though, running as fast as her legs could carry her. She turned for the briefest moment to send a fistful of lightning behind her at the man stalking towards her with a threatening gate. All that left her hand, however, was a fistful of sparks. Jackie swore under her breath, turning to run again – feeling another blast of air rush by, clipping her and making her stumble. She righted herself, running down the hall and ducking into a small room – the third door she spotted – hoping that Fontaine would take time to find her.

The door slid shut behind the brown haired young woman. She pressed her back against the wall – groaning as the cold wall pressed against her back, injured from the fall, sending another shock of pain through her. She tried again to send electricity from her hand to shoot a shelf against the other wall. Her hand barely sparked. Her hand searched quickly for the Eve hypo she prayed hadn't broken or been lost when she hit the ground. She almost laughed in relief as her fingers curled around the cool surface. But it was the last one. She wasn't going to have too many chances with this. Shit. She hadn't been expecting to run into anything more threatening than a confused splicer.

She most certainly hadn't expected Fontaine to come looking for her.

She lifted the blue syringe and took in a deep breath before shoving the needle into her wrist. A shudder ran through her body as the Eve ran through her veins. She would never quite get used to it.

She shook herself lightly. She didn't have time to stand there and get used to the feeling. She could hear slow, determined footsteps moving down the hall.

And she heard Fontaine's voice speaking clearly – cutting through the groaning of the city.

"It doesn't have to be this way, kid." Fontaine called out – his footsteps stopping. Jackie swore she could hear her own heart beating as she pressed herself against the wall – ignoring the pain. She gripped the lead pipe tightly – her other hand now sparking with electricity.

"You could come out now, I won't hold it against you kid. Gotta expect it. You're scared, angry – no wonder you're gonna run. Just come out now, and we can stop this. Who needs all this bullshit?"

Jackie heard something metal clank against the door of the room next to her. Fontaine was getting close. Did he know which room she was in? Or was he just trying to spook her into rushing out? Well, if Fontaine opened the next door – all he would find would be a burst of lightning.

And there were the footsteps again. She heard them moving slowly towards her hiding place – each one distinct. She drew in a breath, readying herself to deliver the shock and then the blow that would follow. She smirked lightly. The one-two punch.

Remember – 'Atlas' had said – the one-two punch.

What good advice.

Shee heard that chuckle. That deep, almost warm chuckle. It sounded so familiar, but not because of Atlas. No, she knew that chuckle from somewhere else. The shocking thing was that it didn't fill her with dread. No, that chuckle made her heart sore and her chest warm. Shee remembered that chuckle somewhere inside of her – and it was not a bad memory.

"I know you're in there, kid…I'll give you to the count of three to come out – hands up. Or I'm comin' in there…One…Two…"

Jackie didn't let him get to three, turning quickly so that the door would open and shot a blast of electricity at the man who stood there – blue eyes wide with surprise. Jackie raised the metal pipe – ignoring that tug at her heart that she could not quite explain – as she moved to bring it back down and strike the man.

The pipe hit Fontaine, but not in the way Jacklyn had planned. It hit against the man's open palm. Fotaine's teeth were gritted and she did not look happy, but she had not been stunned for long. Now Jackie's own brown eyes were wide with surprise. How had Fontaine recovered so quickly? A blast in such close quarters would have given him more than a little time to finish with a strike from his weapon.

It was very clear that Fontaine was not to be trifled with.

"You're makin' me do this, kid." Fontaine rumbled, raising his own weapon – another discarded item, a heavy but short plank of wood.

Jackie just barely escaped the blow by releasing her own weapon – unable to pull it out of Fontaine's grasp – and jumping back. The wooden weapon barely missed her – a rushing sound following its movement. Fontaine was the one to dodge this time as another burst of lightning rushed towards her. Jackie swore at the near miss – Fontaine had had to jump out of the way, barely staying on his feet.

Fontaine let out a practical roar of frustration – dropping the wooden plank in favor of the pipe he had taken from his prey. Jacklyn backed up quickly – accidentally pushing herself into a corner. Her hands groped for anything she could use on as a weapon on the nearby shelf. Her fingers brushed over a bucket, a bag, what felt like a pep bar. Unless Fontaine was highly allergic to pep bars – there was nothing there of use.

"Get your ass over here." Fontaine's voice was quiet, but was seething with danger. He wasn't willing to give Jackie a choice in the matter either – it seemed. Instead of being blasted away, Jackie felt herself being pulled towards Fontaine. She reached out and grabbed the shelf and dug her heels into the floor, but to no avail. She was lifted off the ground, reaching desperately for something to keep him grounded.

"How many of those blasts you got left, kid? 'Cause I can keep at this all day." Fontaine said with a grin. Jackie let out a cry as she was forced forward through the air towards Fontaine. The man reached out and grabbed her by the shirt. The force keeping her in the air seemed to be transferred as Fontaine twisted, slamming her into the ground. Fontaine wasn't going to give her a chance to recover, grabbing her with the other hand as well and pulled her up – slamming her down against the ground again – and again.

Jackie's head was swimming and pain seemed to beat in every nerve. One of her hands lifted off the ground to grab onto Fontaine's arm. The man had been pulling her up again – preparing to slam her into the ground. At Jacklyn's touch, however, he stopped – simply holding Jackie off the ground. This stillness only lasted a moment as Jackie used the last of the energy the Eve hypo had given him to shock Fontaine.

He was not stunned long, but it seemed to hurt. Fontaine swore loudly and let go – letting Jackie fall to the ground again.

"Fuck! God damn it, kid! Why don't you just fucking give up already!"

Jackie cried out – air rushing out of her as Fontaine's knee slammed into her stomach. The man put pressure down on that knee as he leaned down, closer to Jackie – their faces only an inch or so apart.

"You always were a little stubborn…Damn it, kid. Why the fuck can't things just go back to the way they were? Why won't you just be my girl again?..."

Fontaine's hand moved to his face and Jackie flinched, expecting a blow. She was surprised to feel a gentle touch instead. Fontaine's hand slowly ran down her cheek – his fingertips tracing along her jawline and his lips.

"Ah, kid…"

In a quick change, Fontaine's hand moved back to her shirt and pulled her up again, slamming her into the ground twice more – letting the smaller woman's head hit the ground hard – dazing her. Pain throbbed in the back of her head – and everywhere else. It was hard to breathe – Fontaine's knee still pressed into her stomach. Sje felt confused and almost exhausted. She lifted her hand again, feebly pushing at Fontaine's chest – making one last attempt to escape.

It was futile. They both knew that.

She closed her eyes – waiting for Fontaine to finish it. She waited to feel another slam into the ground or that metal pipe against the side of her head. She waited for that rush of pain.

What she felt instead were lips against her own – kissing her tenderly – and yet possessively. Fontaine seemed to encompass her, hovering over her, holding onto her. And Jack was surprised by how warm it felt – how comforting it was to have Fontaine's lips on hers and to feel that hand running gently through her hair. She whimpered softly as Fontaine's hand fisted in her hair.

Jackie felt a loss as Fontaine's lips slowly parted from her own. She looked up at the man with half-lidded eyes. Fontaine was looking down at her – a sadness in those blue eyes now.

"You made me do this kid."

Jackie had no time to prepare for the blow. Fontaine pulled her up one last time – slamming her hard into the ground. Jackie was out cold almost the second that she hit the ground again.

Fontaine ran a hand through his hair, letting out a sigh and slowly releasing his hold on the young woman beneath him. Gently, adoringly, he ran the back of his fingers across Jackie's cheek and fingertips over her closed eyelids. This was a familiar feeling, Jackies's form underneath his. There was that beautiful, soft skin under his finger tips.

He had known that this was what was going to happen if he confronted Jacklyn. He knew the kid wouldn't give in without a fight. His sweet, beautiful Jackie wouldn't give in that easily.

And this certainly hadn't been easy.

Why had Jackie forced his hand like that? Why couldn't it have been easy?

A smile crossed the man's lips. Well, it hadn't been easy, but it was done. He had won and now Jackie was back within his reach.

"You're gonna be so sore when you wake up, kid…" he said with a soft laugh and a shake of his head. "But trust me, you're gonna thank me someday soon."

He leaned down – placing a kiss on Jackie's lips. His Jackie's lips. All his. Finally. Things would be like they were before. Sure, it might take some work and it might take some coaxing…But things would be like they had been. Jackie was going to adore him again – love him. He would make it happen.

He got up slowly – sore himself from the shocks of electricity.

He leaned over, wrapping arms around Jackie's body and lifting her up – carrying her and letting Jackie's head rest against his shoulder. He turned his head and smiled softly. He brushed his lips against the top of Jackie's head – taking in a deep breath, taking in the young woman's scent.

It felt better than he had even dreamed, holding Jackie again.

How was it that he hadn't been able to realize how truly precious his darling was to him until he had almost lost her?

He was going to take care of this woman, and Jackie would love him for it. Those beautiful brown eyes would look up at him with adoration again.

He smiled gently as Jackie made a soft noise, but did not stir. No, she wouldn't be waking up for a while.

Fontaine carried Jackie, walking out of the little room that had served as their battle ground. When she awoke, Jacklyn would be in a warm, safe bed – she would be home. Fontaine could only hope that being back in that bed would awaken old memories – that Jackie would remember the way things had once been and would smile at him again.

That beautiful smile.

If the bed didn't remind her though, Fontaine would be sure to find other ways to spark fond memories. Now that he had her again, he could so clearly remember the feel of Jackie's skin under his lips, the girl's hands on his body. He could feel that sweet shudder that coursed through his sweet Jackie every time. He could feel Jackie clinging, could hear her whimpers and moans.

They would have that again - that happiness. He was determined.

He smiled in contentment and kissed Jackie's forehead tenderly, whispering softly, "Sleep well, kid…See you in the morning."