Tru Calling: Three Months in Paris
Author's Note: This story was originally written as a challenge for something on LiveJournal, but I think that kinda fell through, so I'm posting it now, even though I finished it back in March! I have to admit that I kinda forgot about this fic until I received a PM from Amethyst Blizzard where we were both exchanging our thoughts and feelings about Tru Calling. This is only a one-shot inspired by the beautiful films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. It is completely AU. I do not own any of the dialogue I borrowed from Tru Calling and those films. They only inspired my creativity. And special thanks to my friend Jessica for helping with most of the French translations and telling me all about the sights to see in Paris and elsewhere in France! Some didn't get translated, so I kept them in English. Anyway... Happy reading!
"Oh, come on Tru! Spill!" Lindsay Walker exclaimed. "I've just spent the last hour giving you all the intimate details of my time in England and meeting Randall. Now it's your turn. Tell me about this guy you met in Paris."
"Lindsay!" Tru Davies glared at her best friend with an amused expression. "I went to Paris to study abroad and learn about the French culture. Not exactly rocket science. What's with you and the guy craze? We're out of high school. We're beyond that."
"Tru, we're 19! And we're going to be sophomores in college this year. You told me yourself that you wanted to experience some grand adventure in college, so we go study abroad in different countries, we both meet someone and now you won't even tell me the name of this guy!"
Tru shifted her position on Lindsay's bed and glanced down at the bowl of potato chips between them as she popped one into her mouth, chewing thoughtfully. A smile creased her lips as she spoke again.
"His name was Jack. He's… I mean, he was… amazing."
"Good kisser?" Lindsay prodded with eager anticipation.
Tru grinned. "Better than that."
Lindsay's eyes widened. "Tru… no… tell me you didn't!" She paused for a moment, stunned, and trying to read Tru's now indiscernible expression. "You… you slept with him?"
"Lindsay!" Tru plucked a pillow off Lindsay's bed and hit her with it playfully.
"Hey, I'm not letting you off the hook with this! I want to know. Every. Single. Detail."
"What's there to tell? I met this guy, we fell for each other, then we realized we'd never see one another again. C'est la vie!"
"Okay, okay, let's start from the beginning, shall we?" Lindsay prompted. "How did you two meet?"
Tru grinned a little again. "On the train going into Paris. I corrected his French actually."
Tru was just settling in on the train, a map on her lap and a book in her hands. She read contentedly, some book that was required reading for her French Culture and Linguistics course she was taking that very summer.
She was excited to get to Paris, explore the city a bit on her own. Before the summer, just before freshman year of college had ended, she'd spoken with Lindsay about studying abroad with her. But, in the end, they both agreed to go on separate trips. Tru had made it very clear that she didn't want to go to a foreign country whose primary language was English and Lindsay had never taken French, so they ended up planning separate study abroad trips.
As she continued to read her book, she overheard a conversation going on in the next row of seats over from her and looked up. Some guy – clearly an American with very little knowledge or grasp of the French language – was attempting to order something in French. It wasn't going well.
"Je voulez le pamplemousse maintenant!"
The server looked at the man with an air of disgust and started ranting in French.
"Hey, look, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" The man said in English. "Pardon-moi."
Tru laughed. She leaned over, putting her book down. "Hey, what are you trying to order?"
"To be perfectly honest, I'm not so sure. Do you have any recommendations or…?"
"Umm, let's see…" "Avez-vous un menu, monsieur?"
The server gave Tru a menu. She looked at it quickly, then looked back up at the server and ordered something.
When the server left, the man leaned over. "Hey, thanks. Guess I just have to trust what you ordered us, huh?"
Tru pursed her lips and quirked a skeptical eyebrow. "What makes you think I ordered you anything? I mean, I don't even know your name."
"Fair enough. It's Jack." He extended a hand and they shook.
"I'm Tru, nice to meet you. And I ordered us some sandwiches and coffee, if you must know."
"You seem to know French pretty well for an out-of-towner."
"Actually, I'm just studying abroad here for a few months."
"Oh, you're still in school?"
"Yeah, I'll be in school for awhile. Just going into my second year of college. What about you?"
"Oh, you know," Jack replied casually. "In-between jobs."
"Pretty impulsive of you to just take a vacation like this then."
Jack smiled as he gazed into Tru's eyes.
"That's me. Mr. Impulsive. I do things when people least expect me to."
"So what are you studying, Tru? Since you came all the way to Paris, I'm gonna assume French?"
"You've assumed correctly. Although I'm really on a pre-med track. French is my minor. My major is Biology back in the States."
"Ah, so you want to be a bilingual doctor, do you? You think you'll find enjoyment from shoving things up people's asses?"
"What?" Tru exclaimed, a little too loudly. The passengers around Tru and Jack shot brief glares in her direction.
"Sorry," she composed herself. "Pardon-moi."
"Nice," Jack grinned.
"Hey, shut up, okay?" Tru whispered back playfully. "You started it."
"No… no… no… I just meant…" He laughed before he continued. "You know how they say French doctors give a lot of suppositories?"
"What?" Tru asked in confusion.
An awkward silence until…
"So, why are you really going to Paris, Jack?"
"I already told you," he replied. "I'm impulsive."
"Uh-huh. And I'm Cleopatra."
"Really?" Jack asked, intrigued and playing along. "Okay, you want to know… okay… it's… it's family stuff, okay? It's like… it's a family thing."
"You have family here?"
"In Madrid. I found my Dad. Haven't heard from him in years and one day I was doing a little Internet research, made some phone calls and the next thing you know…"
"Wow," Tru said, taking the information in. "I take it by the look on your face it didn't go well?"
"About as well as you'd expect for a son and a father who haven't seen one another in years." His expression suddenly fell, becoming solemn.
"I'm sorry," Tru said genuinely. "Do you have other family in Paris then? Someone that you're staying with?"
"Nope, I'm on my own for awhile. But I think it's better this way, you know? It'll give me some time to process the situation. I figure I'll stay in Paris for a few months until I can get my life sorted out back in the States. I'm just not really sure I can handle going back to the States right now. I need a break. A vacation."
"I understand. Seems like you made the right choice."
Just then, the server came back and served them their food.
"Merci," Tru replied in appreciation. A few minutes of silence passed as Tru and Jack eagerly began to eat their food. When they were done, the server came back to take their food trays away.
"That was delicious. Thanks for ordering that. What did I try to order anyway?"
Tru laughed. "Do you really wanna know?"
Jack smiled. "Yeah, unless you want me to pry it out of you."
"You ordered a grapefruit," Tru told him. "Only not in the nicest of ways."
"There's an inappropriate way to order a grapefruit? Wow. You got me there."
"Maybe you should have taken some classes or something before you came here," Tru said.
"Not really into the whole school thing. I finished my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology three years ago when I was 22. Then I took a few CPR and EMT certification classes, but I never really thought about taking any language classes in high school or college."
"You're an EMT?"
"Yeah, I was. Got laid off about a month ago, though I'm still getting a pretty decent severance package at the moment. Why do you seem so surprised by that?"
"Oh, no, I'm not surprised," Tru clarified. "Just impressed, I guess. I mean… to be surrounded by people in pain and dying all the time… that must be… tough…"
"It is, but it's my job, so I just sort of… do it, I guess. I'm sure you'll have to make a lot of tough decisions when you become a doctor."
"I don't think I'm ready to think about that yet. I just want to graduate from college first, you know?"
"Yeah, absolutely. You're young. You should enjoy yourself. Don't rush yourself. Don't live your life looking back at your regrets."
"Are you saying that because you have regrets already?" Tru asked curiously.
"Well, it's just… I mean, I don't know. We all do stuff we regret, I guess. But umm, because I intend to not make myself have any regrets while I'm enjoying myself out here, we should… you know, hang out sometime. Explore the city together."
"Are you inviting yourself along? I have class during the day, you know. At La Sorbonne."
"What about when you get out of class? I don't really have any maps of this city and I was just gonna walk around. But with you as my tour guide, maybe… maybe I'll enjoy Paris a bit more. And maybe you can teach me some French since I haven't taken any classes or anything."
Suddenly, the train started to slow down as it pulled into a station.
"Hey, I think we're here," Tru said, looking out the window. She began to gather her belongings as the train came to a stop.
"You still haven't answered my question," Jack pointed out as they both began to get off the train.
"I know," Tru grinned as she looked into the deep ocean of his crystalline blue eyes, suddenly realizing how beautiful they were. "But we should meet at Malongo Cafe."
Tru handed Jack one of her maps. "And now you have a map. I have to go meet my group for orientation now, but it was really nice talking to you… Jack."
"You too, Tru. I'll see you tomorrow."
But just as Tru turned to walk away…
"Hey… Tru… umm…"
She turned around, facing Jack once more. "Yeah?"
"You have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen."
Tru smiled, but said nothing, though she assumed her cheeks had probably turned a shade of pink at that very moment. She cast one last lingering look in Jack's direction before walking away, exiting the train station and leaving an intrigued Jack in the distance behind her.
"So when was your first kiss?" Lindsay pressed on, excited for her best friend.
"Lindsay! I'm getting there. The first few weeks we would just meet after my classes were done for the day. We spent a lot of time at Malongo Café. They have these amazing coffee drinks there and stuff. We did a lot before we had our first kiss. Exploring the city together, just like he said we would do."
"Did he finally learn how to read a map?"
Tru laughed. "Barely," she paused. "No, I'm kidding. He did. He found some places that we could go actually."
"Oh, so this one time we went to this beautiful place. Although I actually found that place. Read about it online before I took the trip abroad. I thought it might be a nice place for us to spend the afternoon and get to know one another better. It was called, umm… Jardin du Luxembourg."
Lindsay stared at her for a moment. "English, please?"
"Luxembourg Gardens. It was beautiful there. Really… truly… beautiful…"
Jack was the first to see her. Well, the first thing he noticed was the semi-large school bag that hung around her seemingly small frame, like a purse. The second thing he noticed was her dark tresses of brown hair and how her hair blew in the slight wind that swept across the gardens. They'd been meeting for the past two weeks at Malongo Café followed by long, exploratory walks in the city afterwards, but today, they were trying something different.
"Hi," he said, smiling, as she approached him at the entrance of the Luxembourg Gardens. "How was class today?"
"Hey yourself," she teased, smiling back. "It was alright. Just Intermediate French. The better class is the one I have tomorrow."
"Remind me which one that is again?"
"Art History in France, specifically art history of Paris," she told him. "It's quite interesting actually. Never thought art history would be my thing, but I'm enjoying it."
"I'm glad," he replied. "Shall we start exploring this place?"
As they walked around the gardens, they came across the Luxembourg Palace and a beautiful fountain called Fountain of the Observatory. It seemed like a popular tourist attraction and the people around them seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Tru told him more about her classes and how it was different from what she was studying back in the States. Everything came alive here; everything was more real. She casually asked him about his college experience and what inspired him to major in Psychology.
"Well, I've always been interested in people. But I never did study abroad, so you're quite lucky. It was something I'd always wanted to do, but never did."
"Would you have come here if you did?" Tru asked.
"I don't know," he replied honestly. "Maybe. I just… I really don't know."
At some point during their early evening stroll through the gardens, Jack slid the open palm of his hand against hers and closed his hand in hers. The gesture didn't go unnoticed by Tru who looked down at their now entwined hands, then back up at Jack. Both of them were smiling, happy. Tru even felt her cheeks turning a slide shade of pink again.
"So you never told me much about your family," Jack mentioned casually.
"Well, that depends," Tru teased. "What do you wanna know?"
"Where your family keeps your naked baby photos," Jack teased.
"Haha," Tru shot back, laughing. "I have a younger brother named Harrison. He's 17. And my older sister Meredith is in her second year of law school."
"But they're both kind of messed up, you know? They're always calling me as if I can fix their problems for them. I have a life, too!"
"Now there's a twist on sibling rivalry," Jack commented.
"I wouldn't call it rivalry exactly. Just dependence. I mean… I'm not… I mean, sometimes I think they think that I could step in for Mom or something. But my Mom died when I was 10 and Dad walked out on us shortly after that."
"So basically you've been the glue trying to keep your family together."
"Pretty much," Tru agreed. "Hey, let's take a picture over here. She asked a young couple in French to take a picture of them in front of the Fountain of the Observatory.
And, right before the picture was taken, Tru felt an unmistakable shiver run up her spine as Jack's arm went around her waist and the warm heat of his palm caressed the small of her back.
Two weeks later, Tru and Jack were still meeting daily at the Malongo Café after Tru finished her classes at La Sorbonne (University of Paris). But after their excursion to Luxembourg Gardens and their many travels via boat and trolley car around the city, they decided to embark on yet another grand adventure.
It was a sunny Friday afternoon when Tru walked out of the university and found Jack sitting at their usual spot at Malongo Café. He stood up to greet her as they both kissed one another's cheeks.
"Hey, so I've been thinking…" Jack began to say.
"Uh-oh. Should I be worried about your brain waves?" Tru teased gently.
"Hardy har," Jack shot back playfully. "So I've been thinking that we should go somewhere different today. We should see a part of the city we haven't seen yet."
"There's a lot to see in Paris. I doubt we'll get to see it all."
"I know," Jack said. "But I've been reading this map you gave me and doing a little Internet research. What about the gazebo? You know the one where we can see all of Paris from? It's supposed to have quite the view."
"Oh, you mean the le parc des buttes Chaumont? Wow, someone has been doing their research. I'm impressed."
"Well, what can I say?" Jack replied in a flirting gesture. "I've had a great tour guide during the month I've been here so far. She's been amazing."
"Really? What's she like?"
"Well," Jack replied, a bit seductively. "She has the most gorgeous brown eyes I've ever seen. Beautiful curls of brown hair, so soft… and her smile… it's infectious. She has a wise intellect that I don't find in other girls very often. She seems to care deeply about her family, her friends, the very essence of life itself…"
"Think you can introduce me to her sometime?" Tru teased back.
"I think she's closer than you might realize she is," Jack told her, smiling, and pulling her close to him. He gently combed his fingers through her dark brown hair, memorizing the way the strands of hair felt between his fingertips as he gazed longingly into her eyes.
"You're blushing," he commented as he saw Tru's cheeks deepen to a darker rosy color.
"Sorry, it's just-"
"Why are you apologizing?" Jack interrupted. He surprised her as he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. Then, noticing the questioning, longing look in her eyes, took a step back and extended his hand to her.
"Come on," he said. "Let's get to the gazebo before it gets too dark."
"Wow, this is so beautiful. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before," Tru said, taking a breath in amazement and overwhelmed by the view she saw before her. It seemed to overwhelm all of her senses as she tried to memorize the taste of the air, feeling the light wind brush the back of her neck.
"Yeah, me neither," Jack agreed as he looked out at the view from the gazebo. But soon, his gaze shifted to Tru as he became entranced by her beauty once more. "Hey… Tru…"
She turned to look at him. "Yeah?"
He moved closer to her. Now his face was inches away from hers.
He grinned. "Can I tell you a secret?"
"Yeah," she replied softly.
And then, he leaned in and kissed her. The feeling of his lips on hers felt like a surge of electricity going through her body. Though surprised at Jack's daring gesture, she gave into his kiss after a few moments and wrapped her arms around his neck as she felt his hands tangle in her hair. It was as if no one else existed in that moment. Just the two of them.
Finally, they broke apart for oxygen, both breathing heavily. Tru looked into Jack's eyes, trusting the intensity of his deep gaze. The sun's light made his eyes sparkle in the afternoon sun.
"I have a surprise for you," Jack told her.
"We're going to have a picnic up here," Jack said, shrugging off the backpack he was carrying. "Just you, me, the sun, the view…" His eyes had a mischievous glint to them. "On the grass."
Tru giggled. "Really? A picnic?"
"Yeah, come on."
They picked a shady area where Jack set up their picnic feast. He unrolled a soft blanket. Then he pulled out a bottle of wine, paper plates and silverware, a long roll of baguette, some brie cheese, salami, fruit, cups and a bar of chocolate.
When Jack was almost finished setting up, Tru took the opportune moment to ask, "You planned this, didn't you? The kiss, the picnic, the wine, all of it."
Jack looked up at her, grinning. "Yes. I got everything while you were in class. Thought it would be a nice treat for you after a long week of stress with your classes."
Tru smiled, almost dreamily. "You didn't have to go through all this trouble to-"
"Hey now, who said that this was any trouble? It's my pleasure."
"I get that," Tru replied. "It's just… it's been so long since anybody… I mean, my own family… they barely acknowledge my birthday, if at all."
"That doesn't seem right," Jack said honestly, handing her a brie and salami filled baguette. "Here, try this."
Tru obliged and took a bite.
"Oh… wow… that's delicious."
"You're welcome," Jack replied. "Took me several arduous hours of hard work in the kitchen, but you know what they say."
"No, what do they say?"
"C'est la vie?"
Tru laughed and took another bite of her baguette. Then she picked up her cup that Jack had filled with wine and took a sip.
"How'd I do with my wine choice?"
"Not bad," Tru told him. "Though I don't drink much, so I guess I wouldn't know good wine from bad wine."
"It's an acquired taste."
"Do you say that to all the girls you take out on dates?" Tru teased. "Buy them wine, seduce them with good food."
"Only if works," Jack joked back. "I know how to turn on the charm when I want to."
"Oh, yeah," Jack challenged her. "Try me."
"Okay, Hot Shot," Tru said, in-between bites as she finished off her baguette and picked up a piece of fruit. "Tell me what your first relationship was like."
"My first relationship?" Jack asked in surprise. "Okay, well, if you must know, it was with this girl, Jessica, in the 7th grade. We sat next to each other in American History class. Some might call it love at first sight."
Tru laughed. "No, I meant… I meant your first serious relationship. One you wanted to take to the next level."
"Hmm, let's see… I did take a girl named Kayla to the junior prom. She wanted to lose her virginity to me that night at the after party, but I told her 'no'. She wouldn't talk to me after that night. Never again."
"Why did you tell her 'no'?"
"You're enjoying riffling through my dirty laundry, aren't you?" Jack said, amused at her curiosity.
"Oh, yeah." Tru smirked.
"I guess… I guess I just wasn't ready, that's all. Didn't date again until my junior year of college. Slept with the girl. Christine. But the relationship only lasted until the fall of our senior year. I didn't even think about dating or seeing anyone until about a year or so after I graduated from college. After I'd been doing the odd job here and there and going to night school to get my EMT and CPR certification. I met this girl named Britta at a bar one night. She was this animal rights activist in New York. And an anarchist to boot."
"An anarchist?" Tru asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, an anarchist, can you believe that? We only saw each other a few times, slept together twice, then we decided it just… wasn't working. The relationship wasn't going where we wanted it to go."
"How long ago did you two break up?"
"About two years ago. Hard to believe it's been that long. Haven't really been with anyone since. Not until I met you anyway."
"You sound like you miss her," Tru observed quietly.
"No, it's… it's not her per se. It's just that I miss… I miss the feeling of caring about someone, you know?"
"Yeah, I do," Tru agreed.
Tru and Jack looked into each other's eyes, sharing the briefest of longing moments together.
"Okay," Jack said, trying to break the silent tension building between them. "Your turn. What have your relationships been like?"
"I'm 19!" Tru nearly objected. "I haven't been in many so-called relationships. Plus, the grade school ones don't really count."
"You didn't date in high school?"
"A little. Very little. One of my former best friends, Candace, started dating the guy I liked our senior year. I think he was just about to ask me to the prom when she stepped in. I only really dated one guy before that when I was 16. But it didn't last. Romantic relationships in high school never do. It just seemed like… Like I had all these big dreams for myself, you know? College, the possibility of going to medical school and these guys I dated or showed interest in just weren't as motivated as I was. As I still am."
"You know, Tru," Jack began. "For what it's worth… I, umm…"
"I like that you're that girl. Motivated, driven, passionate."
He then leaned forward, capturing her lips in a soft kiss.
"And romantic," he finished.
"You think I'm romantic?"
"Yeah, sure, why not? You're into me, aren't you?"
Tru rolled her eyes. "Oh, please!"
Jack cleared up their picnic foods, putting the remaining bits of food back in his backpack and then shook out the blanket.
"Hey, come here," Jack said, as he pulled her to him, rolling onto the grass on his back and pulling her on top of him. Tru laughed, enjoying the moment. She then leaned in, kissing him again. Then she pulled back, gazing into his eyes once more and yawning.
Tru nodded. "Yeah."
"Must have been all that good food I seduced you with."
"Probably. I think I just want to close my eyes for awhile. Is that okay?"
"Here? Now?" Jack asked. "Are you sure you don't want to go back to your hotel or…?"
"No, it's fine. I like it here. I like the view. I like the ambiance. I like being with you."
"Okay," Jack whispered. "Get some rest then. I promise I won't magically disappear when you wake up."
Tru rolled off of Jack, repositioning herself into a more comfortable position with her head on his chest instead. Minutes later, she was sound asleep on his chest as Jack, careful not to shift position and wake her, embraced the beauty of where they were. He looked down at the beautiful brunette sleeping peacefully against his chest and realized there was nowhere else he'd rather be.
She didn't know how long she'd been asleep when she woke up. She was woken up by something hard that had hit her on her side. As she opened her eyes, surprised by the jolt of pain, she heard the unmistakable voice of a little girl crying.
"Tru… hey, Tru… wake up." Jack was gently shaking her.
"Yeah, yeah… I'm… I'm awake," Tru replied sleepily as she became re-acclimated to her surroundings and more aware of the slight pain in her side. "And in a bit of pain," she added.
"It's… it's this little girl… she's crying," Jack told her, a sense of urgency in his voice.
Finally completely awake, Tru sat up noticing a ball not far from her and a little girl a few feet away, sitting on the ground in tears.
The ball must have been what hit me, she thought.
"The little girl was playing and she kicked the ball over here and then she fell," Jack explained.
Carefully, Tru approached the little girl. She was brunette with her hair in two long braids, big, wide brown eyes and she wore a brightly colored dress. "Hey… hey… honey…"
The little girl looked at her through tear filled eyes. She looked at Tru a bit confused and scared.
"Excusez-moi. Etes-vous blesse?" Tru asked the little girl in French, figuring she must be confused because of the language barrier.
"Je suis desole!" The little girl exclaimed, hysterical. "Je jouais seulement avec mon ball. Je ne voulais pas vous frapper. Je suis si si desole!"
"C'est bien. Pas de problem ma Cherie. Est-ce que vous avez tombe?"
The little girl nodded.
"What's going on? Is she okay?" Jack asked.
"I'm asking her if she's hurt. She just keeps apologizing. She feels bad about hitting me."
"J m'appelle Tru. Aidez-vous? Je veux ensurer que vous etes bien ," Tru asked as the little girl backed away from her, scared.
"Francesca!" Another girl, who looked to be older than the little girl crying on the grass, approached them.
"Parlez-vous anglais?" Tru asked the older girl.
"Yes, I speak English," the older girl replied. "But my little sister, Francesca, doesn't. I mean, she's learning. She doesn't know English very well."
"You're her older sister?" Tru asked.
"Yes, I'm 13," the older girl replied. "What happened?" She looked between her sister and Tru.
"I kicked the ball and I then I fell," Francesca replied.
Tru looked between the siblings and then looked to the older sister. "Are your parents nearby?"
"No, they're working. But we come to this park a lot. We don't live that far away."
"What's your name, sweetheart?" Tru asked gently.
"Julie," the older sister replied.
"Hi, Julie. My name is Tru. I think Francesca might be hurt. Can I take a look at her?"
Julie nodded, kneeling down and holding Francesca's hand. "It's gonna be okay, Francesca," she told her sister.
Tru looked at Francesca quickly. She just had a few scrapes on her knees.
"I don't think it's anything serious. Just looks like a few scrapes," Tru told Julie.
"I don't have any bandages," Julie said.
Tru then turned to Jack. "You wouldn't happen to have any Band-Aids or anything that you carry around with you, do you?"
"As a matter of fact, I think I might." Jack dug through the smaller zipped portions of his backpack (the ones without the food). He found a few Band-Aids and handed them to Tru.
Tru then opened a fresh bottle of water that had gone unused on their picnic and wet a few napkins. She then wiped Francesca's scrapes, cleaning them, before putting the Band-Aids on each scraped knee.
"There you go, Francesca. All done." Tru smiled and handed the little girl back her ball. Francesca and Julie got up.
Francesca smiled back. "Merci."
"Thank you!" Julie exclaimed before the two girls ran off to another part of the park as the sun began to set just below the horizon.
"Wow," Jack breathed.
"What?" Tru asked curiously.
"You were really good with them. It seems to come so naturally to you."
"I already told you I've been the one looking out for my family. My younger brother and older sister anyway. Still seems like they need me."
"But this was different. You're, like, a natural with kids. Are you thinking about having some of your own?"
"I'm 19," Tru reminded him.
"I know that. I meant… you know, in the future. Do you want kids?"
"Maybe. I don't know. I don't know if I'm ready for something like that. A big responsibility like that when I already have so many responsibilities right now."
"Well, I think you'll make an amazing mother someday. If that helps."
Tru just smiled, settling down beside him again; his arms were wrapped around her as they held each other, each lost in their moments of contemplation. They sat on the grass watching the sunset below the horizon.
Almost two months later and about a week before Tru was supposed to head back to the States, she met Jack at Malongo Café once more. When they had spoken on the phone earlier that day, Jack told her he had something special planned for just the two of them, but he wouldn't say any more than that.
It was around 6:30 PM when Tru spotted Jack at the café. He stood up and walked slowly over the table, his eyes going up and down her body carefully as he took in her beauty. She was wearing a simple black dress with a line of silver sparkles dotted around the neckline complete with a slim black purse and simple black pumps to match. It was one that they had picked out together in one of their earlier excursions around the city at some women's dress boutique shop. Tru had taken quite a liking to it and, when she tried it on, Jack noticed how much it accentuated the shimmering brown of her dark eyes.
"Wow, you look… wow." His breath seemed to catch in his throat.
"I stunned you into speechlessness, did I?" Tru smirked.
"Something like that," Jack replied as he pulled her to him for a long, deep kiss.
"Remind me to dress like this more often then," Tru murmured against his lips when they broke the kiss. "And you don't look so bad yourself."
"Thanks," Jack replied. "Hey, we should get going if we want to make our reservation."
"You made a reservation?" Tru asked.
"Yes, now come on."
"So, how'd I do?" Jack asked her as they waited for their food inside the restaurant, Le Jules Verne, which was inside of the Eiffel Tower.
"This is… this is so amazing… I can't even…" Tru breathed in disbelief.
"Huh. I guess now it's my turn to stun you into speechlessness," Jack said, grinning. Tru leaned across the table and smacked him playfully on the arm.
"How did you even make this reservation without knowing the language?" Tru asked curiously.
"Well, between my French and their English, we figured it out when I called in," Jack told her.
"No… okay… some of them speak English, so it was fine. I just wanted to make sure that tonight was special for you on account of you finishing your final exams and all. How does it feel?"
"Great!" Tru exclaimed before her facial expression fell slightly. "I mean… I'm glad my exams and classes are done, but it's starting to sink in that I'm leaving soon. I think… I think I'm going to miss Paris. I'm going to miss exploring it with you. And I'm going to miss you, too. The more time we've spent together, the more I realize how much I'm going to miss you when I have to leave. It scares me."
"Why does it scare you?"
"Because… because I've never felt this way about a guy before… the way I feel about you… it's different… special… Do you feel it, too?"
A moment of silence passed between them as Jack licked his parched lips and gazed deeply into Tru's sparkling brown orbs.
"Yes, I do."
Just then, the server brought them their food. They ate in silence for a few moments until Jack spoke up.
"I'm taking you somewhere. This coming weekend. Your last weekend in Paris. We're gonna take a weekend trip out of the city for a few nights."
"Really? What if I have plans?"
Jack stared at Tru incredulously. "Do you?"
Tru smiled. "No, I'm just messing with you."
Jack rolled his eyes. "Well, good, then it's settled. This coming weekend… just you and me… outside of Paris for a bit."
Tru took a bite of the steak she had ordered and chewed thoughtfully for a moment. "Where are you taking me?"
"Now that's a surprise," Jack whispered, winking at her. "You'll just have to wait and see."
"I can't wait," Tru replied, her voice full of excitement.
"Explain to me why we have to leave so early in the morning again? It's barely 6 AM!" Tru exclaimed, yawning sleepily.
"We're going to a very popular tourist place and I want to make sure we get there to check in early. We'll get breakfast there, too. C'mon, the train is coming now."
Tru and Jack boarded the train with their bags. As eager as Tru was to spend the last weekend of her study abroad trip on a romantic excursion with Jack, she was also beyond exhausted. As they settled into their seats and no sooner had the train left the station and headed to their next destination, Tru snuggled into Jack and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I know you're tired, sweetheart," Jack whispered, kissing her forehead gently. "Get some sleep and I'll wake you when we get there."
He barely understood Tru's response, but it wasn't long before Tru was fast asleep, resting comfortably against Jack's shoulder. He gently brushed a few stray strands of hair from her eyes and let her sleep; he was happy to be able to spend the remaining time he had with her. Whatever time they had left now they had to make the most of.
The train stopped in Giverny, a small French village about 80 km west of Paris. Determined to make their last weekend together as memorable as possible, Jack had booked a reservation at one of the many bed and breakfast options located there. It was called Le Clos Fleuri.
"Tru… sweetheart… we're here." Groggily, Tru opened her eyes and looked at Jack. "We're here," he said again. Tru blinked once more before they gathered their belongings and got off the train.
"Wow, this place is incredible," Tru said in breathless amazement once they had checked into the bed and breakfast village they were staying at.
"I thought you might like it," Jack replied. "And since you're studying French art history, I thought what better way to spend a final weekend in Paris than walking distance from Monet's gardens and the Museum of Impressionisms?"
"You do know me well!" Tru agreed. This is going to be perfect.
The rest of their romantic getaway weekend was spent exploring Monet's gardens and the Museum of Impressionisms. They even took a hike on one of the nature trails that wind through the hills above Giverny. The weather was gorgeous and they were able to see quite a lot: the Seine valley, the panoramic view of the village as well as the neighboring town of Vernon. They took turns taking pictures of one another and asking other tourists to take pictures of the two of them together, arms wrapped around each other with huge smiles on their faces. Sometimes, on their hikes, they'd find benches where they would sit and Jack would pull Tru onto his lap and touch his lips to hers.
"So… do you think you're ready go to go back to the States tomorrow?" Jack asked her on their final night of their short stay in Giverny after they'd come back from dinner and settled back into their temporary place of residence.
"I don't know," Tru replied honestly. "This whole weekend has been such an incredible whirlwind." Tru chuckled to herself.
"What?" Jack asked.
"I don't know… it's… do you ever wish you could hit the pause button or the rewind button or something… just relive this experience all over again?"
"That's an interesting way of putting it," Jack told her.
"I know. I'm just… I'm afraid I'll forget something, that's all," Tru said quietly. "I don't want to forget about this. I don't want to forget about you."
It was then that Jack presented Tru with a small white teddy bear holding a red heart that said "I love you" in French in the middle of it.
"For me?" Tru looked at the teddy bear in surprise, taking it from Jack.
"Just a little something to remember me by. To remember this weekend… and… and us."
"Thank you," Tru whispered, placing the teddy bear on the nightstand beside the bed before leaning over and kissing him, her arms instinctively reaching up to wrap around his neck as the kissing became increasingly intense and passionate. Tru felt Jack's hands slip from her torso to her hips, gently tugging at the bottom of her shirt before his hands slipped underneath.
"Hey… whoa," Tru said, pulling back slightly and gazing into Jack's eyes.
"Is something wrong?" Jack asked, trying to read Tru's suddenly indiscernible expression.
"No, it's just…" Tru struggled to get the words out. Finally, she whispered, "It's my first time."
Jack nodded, understanding, and kissed the top of her forehead before gazing down to look into her eyes. "We don't have to if you don't want to. If you're not ready."
Tru looked down, thinking a moment. She licked her lips, thinking about her predicament. A part of her did want to tell him that maybe she wasn't ready, but she convinced herself that part was just the fear talking. The fear was trying to talk her out of sleeping with Jack, with someone she really, truly loved for the first time. So she went on her instincts. On passion.
"I'm ready," she confirmed, kissing him as he eased her back onto the bed and she felt the warm heat of his hands on her bare skin. As minutes passed, their clothes were thrown to the floor beneath them as they both slipped underneath the covers and succumbed to undeniable urges of desire, passion and want. Something both of them had been wanting for awhile, yet it had taken the entire three months they'd known each other to get to this point.
In the aftermath of their unforgettable throes of passion, they lay together beneath the tangle of sheets with Tru's head on Jack's chest as Jack's fingers gently stroked Tru's hair.
"Do you ever think about where our souls go after we die?" Tru asked suddenly. Her question seemed to hang suspended in the air for a moment before Jack answered.
"You know, life and death. If we die, where do our souls go?"
Jack shifted a little on the bed, a protective arm going around her. "I… I haven't really thought about it. I mean, we are all gonna die someday, so…" His voice trailed off.
"So why not just appreciate life then? Why do people spend so much time fearing death and not enough time appreciating life?"
Jack chuckled. "I know you're the one in school and all, but it's been awhile since I've taken philosophy class."
"I've never taken a philosophy class. I took Intro to Psychology during my first semester of college last year and we talked briefly about the Five Stages of Grief and it got me thinking, that's all."
"I think people fear death because it's fear of the unknown. Death is a part of life, but people fail to recognize that. Maybe they see death as a demon, an enemy."
"I guess," Tru half-heartedly agreed. "I haven't thought about death because I want to help people. I want to be a doctor because I want to save people's lives. I want to do the right thing. I want to make a difference."
"Well, I don't think you have to worry about that," Jack replied, still stroking Tru's hair as her eyes met his. "I think you'll make an amazing doctor someday."
Tru tried to brush off his encouragement. "Shut up."
"No, I'm serious," Jack defended. "I know you will."
"Maybe," Tru whispered.
Moments later, when Jack looked down, he noticed Tru's eyes had closed and soon, he heard her soft, rhythmic breathing against his chest. Sighing and placing a gentle kiss on her head, it wasn't long before Jack was deep into dreamland himself.
Morning sunlight streamed through the windows of the small village hotel where Tru and Jack were staying in Giverny. Jack opened his eyes carefully, blinking hard against the sunlight. Once his eyes adjusted to the light, he looked down at the magnificent beauty before him as she slept on. Moments like this were never supposed to last. Not for long anyway.
Jack waited for a few more minutes before starting to shift position and whisper to Tru, the defiant brunette who looked just as beautiful in her sleep as she did when she was awake.
"Tru… sweetheart… wake up…"
"Mmm…" Tru mumbled sleepily. "Just a little bit longer. A little more sleep. Please…"
"Baby," he whispered. "You are gonna miss that train."
Tru blinked suddenly, sitting up and attempting to rub the sleep out of her eyes. "Jack… what… what time is it?"
"I knew that would wake you up," Jack smirked. "It's time for us to get going. It's time for us to catch a train back to Paris, so you can catch a taxi that will take you to the airport."
Tru wrapped the blankets more firmly around her naked body. Why was it suddenly so cold?
"I wish we didn't have to say goodbye," she said, her eyes meeting Jack's.
"Okay, so you know which taxi you're taking to the airport, right?" Jack asked her as they got off the train in Paris.
"Yeah, don't worry. I can find my way. I can read maps, remember?" Tru teased.
Jack playfully rolled in eyes. He then looked at her, setting his bags down.
"So… I guess this is it."
Tru looked at him, their gazes matched in longing and intensity. "Yeah, I guess so."
She felt tears begin to form around the rim of her eyes.
"Hey, hey," Jack murmured, wiping her tears away. "Don't cry. We'll see each other again."
"How do you know that?" Tru sniffed. "I mean, I know we have each other's phone numbers and e-mails, but that doesn't mean-…"
"Yes, it does. We'll keep in touch. We'll keep in touch, okay? We should meet back here. Like, in a year from now, we should meet back here."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes. I just… I want to make this work for us and I want to see you again… here… not in the States… I mean, unless something comes up, but why can't we meet back here?"
"I don't think I have the money to study abroad again, Jack. But… maybe I can come back for a few days." She looked into his eyes as tears continued to stream down her cheeks. "A year? Are you sure?"
"One year," he nodded in confirmation. "One year from today at 6 PM. But listen, until then, be well. Do well in school. Work hard."
Tru smiled. "I'll try. But you too, Jack. I mean… I hope being an EMT or whatever you decide to do next goes well for you. I hope you do what makes you happy."
Jack returned a wide smile. "You are so beautiful," he told her before leaning in for a long, deep kiss. The last one the two would share for a long time.
As they pulled apart, his hands caressing her face, she heard him whisper, "I love you, Tru."
"I love you, too, Jack," she replied, her voice full of emotion, pain and longing. "Goodbye."
She picked up her bags and headed in the direction of a taxi as Jack watched until Tru's retreating form became smaller and smaller until she could no longer be seen.
"Goodbye," he finally said, though his farewell was left suspended in the busy commotion around him and on the gentle breeze of the cool wind rushing past.
"And it's been what… about two months now and you haven't spoken to him since?" Lindsay asked, looking at her friend suspiciously.
"Is there something wrong with that?"
"No, it's just… meeting him, all that time you spent together… it sounds so epic, you know? Like this one huge epic love story and I wanna know how it all ends."
"I told you how it ends, Linds!" Tru exclaimed, almost defensively. Then, with a hint of sadness in her voice, she added, "We said our goodbyes. That was it. I mean… We did exchange phone numbers and e-mails, but… I don't know… I just…"
"Tru," Lindsay said, giving her best friend a pointed look. "There's more, isn't there?"
Tru looked down; the bowl of popcorn between them suddenly seemed extremely unappetizing.
"C'mon, Tru," Lindsay urged gently, taking her best friend's hand. "Tell me. What's wrong?"
After a minute or two, Tru's eyes met Lindsay's. "I think I might be pregnant."
"Oh, my God, Tru," Linday's voice had dropped to a whisper. "Have you told anyone?"
"You're the first person I've told," Tru admitted. "But I took one of those store-bought pregnancy tests the other day and it came out negative. But I've noticed I've been feeling a bit strange in the mornings. Headache-y and queasy."
"You should go see a doctor at the student health center on campus. Just to be safe," Lindsay told her.
Tru considered this. "Yeah, I think I will."
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"No… no… I think… I think I can do this on my own."
Lindsay leaned over and gave Tru a hug as Tru closed her eyes and thanked God for the loving support of her best friend.
…His hand slid up her thigh in a slow movement that made her shiver… His soft lips left a lingering trail of kisses along her neck as she moved slightly, burying her face in the crook of his shoulder…
"…Tru? Tru Davies?" A female voice seemed to be repeating.
"Hu—Wha—Oh, yeah, that's me," Tru said, snapping out of her reverie as she sat on the exam table at the student health center. "Sorry… I was daydreaming a little bit."
"It's okay," the woman replied. She closed the door behind her. She seemed friendly and she wore a white coat over a simple blouse and black slacks. "I'm Doctor Rebecca Johnson. Your file says you were seen by one of my colleagues last year."
"Yeah, it was just for a regular check-up," Tru confirmed.
"I see," Dr. Johnson replied. "So what brings you back?"
Tru drew a deep breath. "I think… I think I might be pregnant."
"When was the date of your last period?"
"It's a month late, so I'm starting to get worried. I got one of those store-bought pregnancy tests and it came out negative, but I'm still scared. I just want to make sure."
"Of course. Well, your basic vitals are fine according to the nurse that took them a few minutes ago. Are you experiencing any other symptoms? Headaches? Nausea?"
"Yeah, a little nausea. Some fatigue. Headaches. But I did just recently return from a study abroad trip in Paris. Maybe it's taking me awhile to recover from the jet lag. I just… I wasn't expecting this, that's all."
"I know. But I want you to have a blood test. Would you be okay with that?"
"It's just to see about your HCG levels. That'll determine if you're pregnant or not. I don't want you to worry too much until you get the test results back. We can go from there when we get there. I'll help you in whatever way I can."
"But I am worried!" Tru exclaimed as she started to ramble. "I met this guy in Paris and we got along really well, so we spent all this time together. But it was just one night. Just one night and now I might be… I mean… I don't even know if I can contact him."
"Okay, take a deep breath. Deep breath."
Tru took a deep breath as Dr. Johnson instructed, trying to get her body to relax.
"I'll do the blood test today and contact you next week with the results. In the meantime, if you think it will give you peace of mind, try and contact this person. If you think it will only make your situation worse, then don't. But try not to think about this until I can get the results back from the lab, okay?"
Tru nodded slowly, wiping tears away from her cheeks. "Okay."
About a week later, Tru got a call from Dr. Johnson about her blood test results.
She wasn't pregnant.
When she hung up the phone, she thought she would be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Instead, suddenly overwhelmed with emotion, she dialed Jack's number.
"The number you are trying to reach has been disconnected and cannot be completed as dialed."
Frustrated, she slammed her cell phone on the nightstand beside her bed, then curled up into a little ball on the bed in her dorm room. She picked up the stuffed teddy bear that Jack had given her – the one she'd always kept on her bed since her trip to Paris – and hugged it tightly to her chest. It was the only tangible memory of him that she could hold onto now.
Glad her roommate wasn't coming home that night, she cried herself to sleep. Maybe – just maybe – a small part of her had been hoping for a baby after all. Somewhere inside of her, she knew she was too young to be a mother, yet there was a deep, unresolved longing churning from within her.
Soon, she fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of a little girl – the perfect combination of the two of them – that she would never know.
Three Years Later
"Hey, Davis. Don't mean to bother you, but I just came by to pick up the keys I left here this morning," Tru said, rushing into Davis's office at the City Morgue in New York City, where she had found a job after college. Her paid internship at a hospital had fallen through because the hospital had lost their funding for interns, so one of the doctors there had recommended her to look into her current job as a morgue attendant working most graveyard shifts.
Hey, at least it paid!
"Oh, hey," her boss Davis replied. "Perfect timing actually. This is Mr. Harper. He will be repla—I mean, interviewing to replace Gardez."
Jack Harper turned around. "Hey, I'm—Oh, my God… Tru?"
"Jack?" Tru gasped and covered her mouth in disbelief.
"Well, I… umm… see that you two don't need to be introduced," Davis said, cutting the air of awkward silence between them. "Would either one of you like to tell me what's going on?"
"We've met, Davis," Tru confirmed. "We met three years ago when I was studying abroad in Paris."
"Paris? Tru, you never told me you've been to-…"
"Davis, please," Tru interrupted. "Can you just…" Tru gestured to him, nodding her head in the direction of the door.
"Oh, right. I'll just… umm… I'll give you two some time alone." And with that, Davis started to walk out, backing into a small trash can as he did so. Sometimes, Davis's clumsiness just couldn't help but get the best of him.
"It was a pleasure meeting you, Davis," Jack called out after him.
"You too, Jack." And then Davis disappeared behind the swinging doors of the Standard Room of the City Morgue.
"Tru…" Jack took in Tru. Still so beautiful, he thought.
"Jack…" Tru took in Jack. Still the same dazzling blue eyes he seduced me with, she thought.
"So…" Jack started awkwardly. "What… What are you doing here?"
"I work here," Tru said simply. "I graduated from college and the paid internship at a hospital I had lined up fell through. They lost their funding. So here I am."
Jack chuckled. "You know, this surprises me. Because you don't look like your average morgue attendant."
"Oh, yeah?" Tru teased. "Then what do I look like?"
"Like the same beautiful girl I met in Paris. Only more beautiful."
Tru blushed, looking away. After a few moments, when she could meet Jack's eyes again, she asked, "So, seriously, Jack, what are you doing here?"
"I applied for a job here. Of course, this was before I knew that you were-…"
An awkward, long moment of silence.
"Jack…" Tru spoke up, her voice almost a whisper. "I've been wanting to talk to you for so long."
"Yeah, me too. Seems like it's been longer than three years."
It was then Jack noticed that Tru was looking down again at the floor. As if lost in deep thought or maybe no thought at all? Maybe just emotion, pain, hurt. But he wasn't sure. He tried to read her body language, but even that confused him.
Finally, their eyes met. "Jack… there's… there's something I need to tell you."
"What? What is it? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. It's just…" her voice trailed off. She took a deep breath and tried again. "Remember that last night in Paris when we…" Her voice trailed off again as she noticed a smile crease his lips.
"Tru, I remember that night better than I do entire years," Jack replied honestly.
Tru blushed. She remembered, too. And though she'd been in relationships with other guys since her relationship with Jack in Paris, she never forgot about him. Or about that night. Or that entire weekend for that matter.
"Yeah, well…" Tru continued, a bit apprehensively. "After I came home to the States, I started feeling a bit sick. I was thinking about you and realized how much I missed you, so I called you, but your number was disconnected. I wanted to talk to you."
"Tru…" Jack took a careful step forward.
"I thought I was pregnant, Jack," Tru finally admitted. "And I got so scared. I wanted to talk to you, but when I found out your number didn't work, I… I just never felt so alone."
"Oh, my God… Tru… Pregnant? What… What happened?"
"We didn't use protection that night, Jack! You took my virginity! That's what happened!" Tru nearly screamed, instantly regretting it as Jack took a respectful step back; he was shocked by her sudden outburst and confession.
"No," he said gently. "I meant… Are you okay? Did you have an abortion? Did you keep the baby?"
"I had a blood test at the student health clinic. Turns out I wasn't pregnant after all. It was just a scare. But I was so scared. But what scared me more was that I called you and got the operator. I even tried calling again a few months later and I still couldn't reach you. What happened to you, Jack? Where were you?"
"Tru… If I would have known that you were… I would have… I would have been there for you. I'm so, so sorry."
"Where were you, Jack? What happened? I even showed up in Paris a year after we met, just like we agreed to. I was going to tell you everything then. After I was there a day or two… I… I thought that meant you just didn't want to see me again."
"No, Tru," Jack struggled to explain. "It's not like that. It's… It's complicated. I started having these experiences if you will. And I thought I was going crazy because of them! So I admitted myself to the Shankman Center. Stayed there for awhile before I checked myself out. That's why you couldn't contact me."
"The Shankman Center?" Tru asked, confused. "But that's a psychiatric facility."
"I know," he replied. "I told you. It's complicated. You'd think I was crazy. You know what? The whole thing is… It is just crazy."
"Maybe I wouldn't," Tru admitted, crossing her arms over her chest. "Try me."
"I thought I…" he stopped, not able to finish his sentence. Taking a deep breath, he tried again. "I thought I was reliving days."
"What?" Tru's eyes widened in surprise.
"See? I knew it! I knew you'd think I was crazy. You know what? I'm just gonna-…" He started to turn around.
"No, wait, Jack!" Tru cried out, reaching out and putting a gentle hand on his arm. Their eyes locked in that moment. "What you thought was happening to you. The whole reliving days thing? It happens to me. I relive days, too."
Jack turned in Tru's direction, turning her words over in his mind. "I think we need to talk about this. I think we should go get a drink."
"So, when did it start?" Tru asked curiously as they sat at a bar a few blocks from the morgue having drinks.
"I started having these experiences not long after we met. I was able to get another job as an EMT and during my first week on the job, I had a near-death experience. I was at a scene trying to save this kid, bullets kept firing… one of them got me… I went unconscious and then… I woke up and realized it was the same day over again."
"Wow," Tru replied, taking a sip of her drink.
"What about you?" Jack looked at Tru with the same sense of curiosity.
"It started almost a year ago now. On the anniversary of my mother's death. Isn't it amazing, though? The things we can do? Change things, make things right."
"Is that what we're doing?" Jack's lips pursed together before adding, "Well, you know, I guess I just wonder sometimes."
"Consequences. Ripples in fate. Destiny." He punctuated each word with a sense of finality. "And where the fuck we would've ended up if we would've stayed in touch after all these years."
Tru grinned. "Do you still believe in what you said that night to me in Giverny? All of those things about death and people fated to die? People who genuinely fear death instead of just accepting it? Do you still see death as… what did you call it? An enemy."
Jack thought about it for a moment before his eyes met hers. "Death is a part of life, Tru. I believe that. The universe has a natural order, a balance. Once that balance is screwed up, then who knows what could happen?"
"So, what does that mean for us, Jack?"
"I don't know," Jack replied honestly. "Why? Because a part of you thinks there's some alternate universe where I did show up to meet you in Paris a year later and you told me you thought you may have been pregnant and we lived happily ever after? That's a pretty fucked up fantasy if you ask me. It's too… perfect."
"Listen, Jack," Tru began, trying to think of the right words to say. "Why weren't you there in Paris?"
"I told you why," Jack defended, then lowering his voice he added, "I was in a psych ward, Tru!"
"I know why," Tru murmured. "I just… I wish you would've been. Our lives could've been so much different."
"You think so?" Jack quirked an inquisitive eyebrow at the brunette beside him.
"Yeah, I do. I really do."
"I don't know. I mean, we could've hated each other, fought all the time. I guess I could have… I mean, I should have called you regardless of whether or not I was at Shankman. Why didn't I just-…"
"Because we were young and stupid?" Tru interrupted him. "Both of us didn't quite know what we wanted back then. I had barely started college. You were in a weird transition phase. Maybe the timing was just off."
"Yeah, maybe," Jack replied, his voice suddenly seeming distant.
"I guess when you're young, you assume you'll find more people you'll genuinely connect with. Then later in life you realize it only happens a few times."
"Yeah, and that's when things get screwed up. When you can disconnect," Jack admitted.
"I've noticed that with the relationships I've had since meeting you how much I disconnect, you know? Like, I just recently broke up with someone. I mean, I care about him and all, but there's no spark. I knew he cared about me, but sometimes it felt as though I was dying inside and I just came out of the relationship completely miserable because I couldn't let myself be honest with him. He didn't deserve that. He doesn't deserve someone who feels that way."
Jack struggled for a moment, taking in Tru's words. He took a sip of his drink. "Okay, fine, you know what? You want the truth?"
"Okay," Tru said, a little unsure of where Jack was going to take this tangent.
"I… umm… I have these dreams."
"What dreams?" Tru asked curiously.
"Oh, I have these dreams where I'm standing on a platform and you keep going by on the train. And you go by and you go by and you go by and I wake up with the fucking sweats, you know? And then, I have these other dreams… where you're pregnant and you're in bed beside me, naked, and I want so badly to touch you… to comfort you, but you tell me not to. So I don't. Even though it kills me not to touch you, I don't. And then, I wake up beside my girlfriend… whoever it is at the time… and she's sound asleep, so I go into the bathroom and scrub water and soap all over my face and tell myself to snap the fuck out of it. That's why dreams are dreams… they're not real, just figments of our imaginations. Figments of things I want to cling to, but I know I can't. So I get back into bed and I close my eyes and I dream of you again. You and a little girl who is running around you like she's the luckiest little girl in the world and you're both laughing and then… and then you look up and you look straight at me and you smile… You smile and I…"
His voice trailed off and he looked away, unable to meet her eyes. It was far too painful.
He doesn't notice the tears forming in Tru's eyes or how she reached out to touch him, but pulled her hand away quickly as he spoke. She couldn't touch him. It was too painful. Too raw. Too real.
When his eyes met hers again, she no longer had tears in her eyes. She just gave him a small, pained smile.
"I'm sorry, Tru. I… I don't know what came over me," Jack apologized.
"I have to go, Jack," Tru replied quietly. "I have to go back to the morgue. Davis is probably wondering where I am. But this… It was nice. Thank you. So I guess I'll… umm…"
"I'll be around, Tru," Jack responded quickly. "I promise."
Even though powerful feelings and effervescent emotions lingered in the air around Tru and Jack in the months following their reunited encounter, it was still some time before the two acted on those feelings and emotions.
For one, they had the pressure of their respective callings. Of Tru as a representative of Life and Jack as a representative of Death. Polar opposites. Although Jack was there to stop Tru, both found it exceedingly difficult to do their jobs with the persistent sentiments of love haunting them from their past together in Paris.
When Tru met Jensen, a classmate of hers from medical school where she began auditing classes, and started to fall for him, Jack couldn't help but be a little jealous. Jack noticed the way the athletic sandy-haired pretty boy would look at Tru with his baby blue eyes and charming smile and it killed him inside. There was some inkling of a notion that a relationship between him and Tru wouldn't work, not because of Jensen per se, but because of where they both stood on the proverbial scale of balance and order.
Could it ever work?
When Jensen had died in an accidental shooting and didn't ask for Tru's help, Jack's day had rewound anyway. She'd found another victim who did ask for her help and then she tried to save them both. Though she was able to keep Jensen alive for awhile longer, he knew it wouldn't be long before a part of her cracked. She knew keeping Jensen alive in this way was unnatural, but a part of her didn't care because that part of her was desperate for love, to be loved.
Finally, a few months after Christmas, Jensen died because that's just how the Fate of the universe worked. But, unlike last time, Tru did not seek out another body who asked for help. Jensen was dead and gone, another body to bury in the ground.
Tru couldn't help but be surprised when Jack showed up to Jensen's funeral, a fresh bouquet of blood red roses in his hands. It was at that time when they made a truce. It was then when they decided to work together instead of against one another, waging an unforgivable battle of Good vs. Evil, of Life vs. Death. It was how it was meant to be. Balance.
That meant that Tru would sometimes have to let the dead stay dead and Jack would sometimes have to let people live. It was situational and circumstantial, but a decision that benefited them both in the long run.
This also meant the feelings that they had suppressed for one another for so long had begun to resurface. Jack was intent on being with the woman he fell in love with now almost four years ago. Maybe it was her smile or the way the sunlight reflected off of her beautiful brown ringlets of hair. Or maybe it was her passion and everything that was her. Everything she stood for. Whatever it was, he began falling head over heels all over again.
"Boo!" Jack came up from behind where Tru was sitting at her desk in the city morgue, studying intensely.
Tru screamed. It had been so quiet up until a few seconds ago. "My God, Jack! You scared me!" She turned around, still sitting in her chair. "What… What are you doing here? You know I still work the graveyard shift, right? And medical school classes are being a total pain in my ass right now."
"Sorry," Jack apologized. "I didn't mean to scare you. Really, I didn't. I came to take you out. I thought Davis was giving you the night off. It's our date night, remember?"
Tru's face fell. Oh, shit.
"Oh, Jack… I'm… I totally forgot. I'm cramming for this huge Anatomy test that's coming up and Avery and I were going to have a study session at the Standard Diner."
"Anatomy test, huh?" Jack suddenly pulled Tru up from her seat, pulling her to him and whispering, "So what's your test on? Parts of the body? You know, I could test you on that if you want me to. Although I'd say you know parts of the human anatomy very, very well."
His lips pressed against a crease in her neck as he began kissing her tenderly.
"Jack," she moaned. "Not here. Please… What if…" she stopped, feeling a wave of pleasure overtake her and burying her face into his shoulder. When Tru lifted her head from his shoulder, their eyes met as his arms tightened around her.
"You want me to stop?" he asked softly.
"What if Davis walks in?" she hissed. "I could get fired for… for inappropriate misconduct!"
Jack laughed. "Davis would never fire you. You know that. But you're right. I just… I feel really bad. You've been working so hard with so few breaks. I just wanted to take you out to a nice dinner."
"Date night," Tru sighed dreamily. She looked back, glancing down at her textbooks. "Well, I suppose Anatomy won't miss me for a few hours."
Jack's crystalline blue eyes sparkled with intrigue. "So that's a yes then?"
"Absolutely," Tru replied. Then she leaned into his warm embrace and kissed him.
"Hi, Dr. Johnson? It's Tru Davies. You gave me your card when I came into the student health clinic at Hudson University a few years ago. You said I could call the number of your private practice if I ever needed to-.."
Tru paused, listening. "Yeah, uh-huh. That's me."
"It's good to hear from you, Tru. Would you like to schedule an appointment?"
"Yeah, do you have any openings tomorrow afternoon? I would really like to see someone and I… umm… I think I might actually be pregnant this time."
5 Years Later
"Mommy! Mommy!" Kalea, a five year old brunette with long braids, came crashing into Tru's legs as she walked through the door of the house that her and Jack now shared.
"Hi, sweetie," Tru said happily, lifting her little girl into her arms. "Oh, honey, what's all over your face?"
"Chocolate!" the little girl replied brightly. "I'm making brownies with Uncle Harrison and Uncle Davis!"
"They really are spoiling you rotten, aren't they?"
Carrying her daughter in her arms, Tru walked into the kitchen.
"Oh, my God! What is going on in here?" Tru's eyes widened at the mess before her eyes. The kitchen was an absolute disaster with chocolate splattered everywhere. Everywhere but the baking pans apparently.
Harrison Davies, Tru's younger brother, and Davis turned around guiltily. They were wearing giant white chef's hats that looked absolutely ridiculous.
"Oh, hey, sis!" Harrison greeted cheerfully. "We're just showing the little tater tot how to make brownies. Wanna help? I think we're almost done, though. Mmm." He licked a bit of brownie batter off of his finger.
"Jack and I leave you alone with our daughter for the afternoon and I come home to a mess? Lovely. Just lovely."
"But we had lotsa fun didn't we, Pint Size?" Harrison asked, looking at the little girl.
"Lots of fun!" the little girl squealed.
"Oh, Kalea Bear," Tru murmured affectionately. "Let's go get you cleaned up, okay?"
"Okay," Kalea replied. "But I like playing with Uncle Harrison and Uncle Davis!"
"I know you do, sweetie," Tru told her, looking into her daughter's dark brown eyes. "But you don't wanna be stinky during din din, do you?"
She turned to her boss and brother. "Can you guys please do something about this mess? I need to change Kalea's clothes."
Harrison winked at her. "Sure thing, sis! We'll have this cleaned up in a jiffy."
Davis put the trays of brownie batter mix into the oven (yes, believe it or not, some batter had still made it into the trays and was suitable for baking).
Tru rolled her eyes and carried her daughter to her room.
A few minutes later, just as Tru was finishing putting Kalea on a new set of clothes, she heard a voice come from someone standing in the doorway. When Tru looked over, she found Jack standing there.
"Mayday! Mayday! Our kitchen looks like it's a warzone!" Jack exclaimed, grinning at his girlfriend.
"Oh, you think it's funny," Tru smirked with a knowing smile. "Remind me why we left our five-year-old daughter under the watchful care of two goofballs?"
"Because you love them," Jack said simply. "And you trust them."
"And Avery had errands to run today," Tru pointed out.
"Right. That too." Jack agreed.
"Daddy!" Kalea leapt from her bed and ran to her father who scooped her up effortlessly into his arms.
"Hi, princess," Jack replied. "Did you have fun with Uncle Harrison and Uncle Davis today?"
"Uh-huh," she nodded quickly. "Lots of fun. They're funny." And she giggled. It was quite possibly the most adorable giggle in the entire world.
Well… that or Tru and Jack were just being biased parents. But it was so cute it could melt anyone's heart. Kalea's smile and laugh had that effect on just about everyone.
Jack lowered Kalea to the ground.
"I… umm… I need a few minutes," Tru said, looking at Jack. "Think you can keep Kalea busy and help clean up the mess in the kitchen?"
"Sure, I'll round up the rowdy cavalry. No biggie," Jack joked, grinning. "And I did bring home dinner just in case. Just some roast chicken and side dishes from the supermarket. I also somehow managed to salvage some clean counter space."
Tru smiled, meeting Jack at the doorway and standing on her tiptoes to kiss him briefly. Then, in a low voice, she breathed into his ear, "Remind me to pay you back later."
They made brief but all-knowing eye contact before Jack turned his attention back to Kalea.
"Come on, Kalea Bear," he said. "Let's go help Uncle Harrison and Uncle Davis clean up the kitchen."
"Okay!" Kalea beamed.
Jack looked back at Tru. "You okay?"
"Fine," Tru nodded. "I'll come in the kitchen soon."
Tru watched her daughter run down the hallway with Jack behind her as they rounded the corner and disappeared from her sight. Now all that could be heard was their laughter. She loved the sound of their laughter.
Sighing, she glanced around Kalea's room, covered in everything pink, purple and glittery, and sat on her daughter's bed, her mind drifting to memories of the not-so-distant past.
Flashback – February 2006
"I was beginning to think you weren't gonna show up," Jack said as the familiar brunette approached his table at the café a few blocks from the morgue.
"I got out of class late," Tru defended as she sat down. A cup of coffee was already sitting there, waiting for her.
"Got you some coffee."
"Thanks," Tru replied. "But this is not a date. Or whatever this is in your mind."
"Right," Jack knowingly smirked.
"I'm with Jensen. You know that." Tru responded instantly.
"Isn't that why you're meeting me here today? Because of Jensen?"
"Yes," Tru said softly. "And whatever we have… had… it's in the past."
"But you don't really believe that, do you?" Jack asked her skeptically.
Tru took a sip of her now lukewarm coffee, looked at Jack for a moment, then crossed her arms over her chest. "What makes you say that?"
Jack chuckled. "Okay, I need you to be honest with me. Are you happy in the relationship you're in right now?"
"How is that any of your damn business?" Tru blurted, the words tumbling out of her mouth before she could stop them.
"Because you know keeping him alive is wrong. You know it's screwing up the natural order. But you're just too damn stubborn to do anything about it."
"I am not stubborn!" Tru shot back.
Jack chuckled again, meeting Tru's defiant brown eyes. "Somehow, you're extra sexy when you're this feisty."
Tru rolled her eyes.
"I thought this was about Jensen. Not about me," Tru countered.
"This is about Jensen. It's about what he's doing to you and why you continue to let him live."
"Just… don't, okay?" Tru pleaded.
"Don't what?" Jack pressed on. "Don't pretend that I don't know about the bruises on your arms that you cover up with your jackets or the way your demeanor has changed on a rewind day? I'm concerned about you, Tru. That's why."
"Well, maybe you shouldn't be," Tru said quietly. "I'm a big girl, Jack. I can take care of myself. And how did you even know about-…"
"I love you, Tru. Even during all those years that when by when we didn't see each other, I never stopped loving you. And now you're in this relationship with this bastard who's being abusive to you and it just kills me inside to see you…" His voice trails off.
"To see me what, Jack?"
"You know what? Forget it. I'll just… I'll catch you on a rewind or something."
With that, Jack finished the last of his coffee and stood up, taking long strides as he started to walk away, walk away without looking back.
Jack froze. He turned in Tru's direction.
Their eyes met once more, a rare lingering moment of tenderness rarely shared between Life and Death in the battles they now fought.
"I've never stopped loving you either."
Flashback – April 2006
"Hey," Jack whispered softly as he came to stand beside Tru at Jensen's funeral.
She wasn't even looking at his open casket. She was staring down at the ground instead as tears fell from her eyes.
She looked up at Jack through those same tear-filled eyes.
"You came," she replied, just as softly. She then noticed the bouquet of flowers in his hands, a beautiful arrangement he gave to her a few moments later.
"I told you I would, didn't I?"
"People make promises they can't keep, Jack," Tru responded. "Happens all the time."
"You really think I wasn't going to show up today?"
"I don't know," Tru whispered. "I don't know what to think anymore. Everything just seems so… unclear now."
"Where's Harrison and Davis?" Jack asked.
"They just left. I told them I needed some time alone."
"Do you want me to leave too, Tru? I understand if you-…"
"No," Tru interrupted. "I'm glad you're here."
Tru took Jack's hand.
"Thank you," Tru said sincerely.
"For being here today, for helping me through everything with Jensen, for convincing me to tell Harrison and Davis what a monster he became."
"Is that all?" Jack smirked.
A smile creased Tru's lips as she leaned over and kissed his cheek.
"Hey, why don't you stay with me tonight?" Jack asked, looking into Tru's eyes and gently tucking some of her brown hair behind her ear. "I'm still worried about you. I don't want you to be alone."
"I'll be fine, Jack. Really," Tru resisted.
"Tru… please?" he asked slowly, his eyes boring into hers, trying to make her understand that he was serious.
Tru bit her lip, then looked over at the casket and back to Jack.
Jack held out his hand to her and together they left the cemetery.
"You can take my bed and I'll take the couch, okay?" Jack told Tru as they entered his apartment.
"Are you sure?" Tru asked. "I mean, I'm totally fine with taking the couch. I'm sure it's a bit more comfortable than the one I've fallen asleep on at the morgue."
Jack chuckled, brushing a bit of hair from Tru's eyes and rested his hand on her cheek. "I'm sure. I just want you to get your rest. You must be exhausted."
Tru yawned suddenly as if to confirm Jack's words.
About a half an hour later, as she settled under the covers of Jack's bed and turned off the lights, her last thought before slipping into sleep was that she was grateful to be with Jack tonight.
A woman's scream woke Jack from his seemingly peaceful slumber on the couch only hours later.
He sprang from the couch and made a beeline for his bedroom, only to find Tru tossing and turning in her sleep. He carefully approached the bed and put his hand on her shoulder.
"Tru… Tru… Ba-… Sweetheart… Wake up."
After a few moments, Tru slowly began to open her eyes. "J-Jack?"
"Yeah, it's me," he replied, gently stroking her hair. "I think you were having a bad dream. You'll alright now, I promise."
Once Jack saw that Tru had calmed down, he started to leave, but Tru's voice called him back.
"Jack?" she called out, albeit ever so softly.
He turned around.
Jack thought about this for a moment and took a long sigh before moving around to the other side of the bed and lying down beside her on top of the covers. He wasn't too surprised when she curled up beside him and laid her head on his chest, finally allowing herself to slip into a peaceful sleep. He put an arm around her, waiting until she was asleep before finally drifting off to sleep himself.
Flashback – June 2006
Tru opened the door of her apartment to find Jack standing there dressed in a tuxedo with a rose in his hand.
"Tru…" He found himself breathless when he saw her. What was it about this girl that drove him nuts?
"Hi, Jack." Tru smiled. "Come in."
He stepped into her apartment and kissed her cheek. Then he handed her the rose.
"For me? Thank you."
"Is that…" he began, looking her up and down at the dress she wore. The same beautiful black dress that she wore on one of their dates in Paris. The one he thought made her look sexy as hell.
"Yes, it's the dress I found at the boutique shop in Paris. Hard to believe it still fits."
Jack chuckled. "And while we're on the subject of Paris, you'll be happy to know that I had to speak some French to get you this rose tonight. Though I think the flower shop owner thinks I'm a stupid American."
"Why is he selling flowers here in the States then?"
"Hey, you got me there," Jack admitted.
Tru found a small vase for her rose and grabbed her black velvet jacket as well as her purse.
"Ready to go?"
"Come here," Jack murmured as Tru set her things down and walked to Jack. He enveloped her into a sweet embrace. Then he pressed a soft, warm kiss against her lips. The feeling of Jack's lips against hers again made her whole body tingle with excitement and desire, suddenly remembering how good it felt to be in Jack's embrace, to be kissing him… almost like their time in Paris a few years earlier…
"Let's make this a night to remember, okay?" he murmured softly against her hair.
Moments later, he pulled back and gazed into her eyes, then carefully took her hand and led her out the door.
Flashback – February 2008
"Look at you. You're so beautiful. Yes, you are," Tru cooed gently as she held her newborn daughter in her arms.
"Wow," Jack said in breathless amazement as he stood beside Tru's hospital bed. "She really is something, isn't she?"
Tru kissed her daughter's forehead affectionately. She then looked up at Jack and smiled.
"I just… I can't believe we could create someone as beautiful as this."
"I can," Jack whispered, then looked at her newborn daughter. "Isn't that right, baby girl?"
The newborn's eyes – identical in color to her mother's – searched her mother's face for a moment, then let out another loud wail.
"Oh, honey," Tru whispered softly. "It's okay. Mommy's here. Daddy's here, too. You're safe."
She held her newborn daughter close, rocking her gently in her arms as the infant finally began to calm down.
"Her name," Jack said slowly.
"I thought we were gonna wait until Harrison, Avery and Davis showed up. Plus, we've been talking about this for months."
"Yeah, I know," Jack agreed. "I just want it to be perfect. She's more than just our daughter. You know that."
Tru's eyes met Jack's just then, but she said nothing. Her silence spoke for itself. A child conceived between Life and Death could very well be a blessing or a curse or it could mean something else altogether. But just for the time being, Tru wanted nothing more than to hold her daughter in her arms, to be with Jack, to be surrounded by friends and family and people she cared about.
"Knock, knock, can we come in?" Harrison asked, appearing in the doorway with Davis and Avery, Tru's best friend from medical school and Harrison's current girlfriend, behind him. "The nurse said it would be okay to see you."
"Come on in, guys," Tru said. She was completely beaming, a mother's glow no doubt.
They all crowded around Tru's bed.
"She's beautiful. Congratulations, you two," Harrison said.
"Yeah, Tru, congratulations," Davis said, a bit awkwardly.
"Thanks, guys," Tru replied.
"What's wrong, D?" Tru asked, noticing her boss starting to back away from the hospital bed.
"Oh, it's nothing, really. It's just… the living… they creep me out sometimes and that would include babies."
"What do you think she's gonna do, Davis?" Jack smirked. "Are you afraid of a little baby slobber?"
Davis made a face.
"Jack, come on," Tru said, shooting Jack a quick glare of disapproval. Then she looked back at Davis. "Would you like to hold her? Then maybe you won't be so afraid."
"No… no… it's alright. She is beautiful, though."
"Can I hold her, Tru?" Avery asked, her strawberry blonde curls perfectly framing her oval shaped face.
"Of course," Tru replied as she handed Avery the squirming newborn who was wrapped in soft pink flannel blankets.
"Hi, there," Avery murmured softly to the newborn. "And what's your name, little girl?"
"Actually, Jack and I were waiting for you guys to get here so we could tell you together," Tru said, sitting up and making herself more comfortable.
"Yeah, umm," Jack began, "while we were away from each other all those years after we met in Paris, we both had dreams about a little girl. So we decided to pick a name that fit that."
"Kalea," Tru told the people surrounding her bedside. "It means 'the dream.'"
"That's gorgeous," Avery commented. "Such a pretty name for you. Yes, it is!"
"What about her middle name?" Harrison asked with curiosity.
"Avery," Tru said simply, locking eyes with her med school best friend as she did. "Her middle name is Avery."
Avery's eyes widen in surprise. "Tru…"
"Avery, you're my best friend. Jack and I trust you. We trust that you, Harrison and Davis will take care of our daughter if something were to happen to us. We want you to be a part of her life. You mean a lot to me, Av.
"Thank you," Avery said sincerely, looking at both Tru and Jack with appreciation. "Both of you."
She then gently placed Kalea in Harrison's arms.
"Hi, Kalea, I'm your Uncle Harrison."
"Your crazy Uncle Harrison," Avery commented. "But crazy in a good way."
"Thanks a lot," Harrison replied, rolling his eyes.
"You wanna hold her, D-man?" he asked, turning to Davis.
"No, I'll just… umm… watch," Davis stuttered carefully.
Jack was about to make another smartass comment when he noticed someone standing outside of Tru's hospital room. He was dressed in white robes and peering inside, looking at the commotion of the happy family unit as they celebrated the birth of their newest arrival. He excused himself and walked out the door, facing the man in the white robes.
"Can I help you?" Jack asked, almost threateningly.
"I'd like to congratulate you on the birth of your daughter," the man said. "She's one of a kind."
"What do you want?"
"Now… now… Jack, that's no way to talk to me. I'm a representative of The Powers That Be. Do you remember me?"
"Why would I remember you?" Jack asked suspiciously.
"Because I'm the one who gave you a second chance at life when you almost died that time. I told you that you were allowed to come back to this Earth if you could do this certain job. If you could make sure the dead stay dead and die when they're supposed to. Tru needed an opposite and I chose you."
Jack licked his parched lips. "Yeah… yeah… now I remember you. And I have been doing my job, so why are you here?"
"What you've done is risky. Your union with your opposite may put you in grave danger in the future, especially the little one's future. You two are opposites, designed to keep a balance. Nothing more, nothing less."
"My 'union' with Tru? What are you saying? That I can't be in love with my opposite?"
"You're taking a risk, Jack. You're taking a risk in loving her. Because in loving her, that means you'll fight for her, not fight for your own side."
"We've both figured out what we needed to do. How is my relationship with Tru any of your damn business?"
"You must understand," the man said in a low monotone. "I'm merely here to remind you that a balance must be kept, must be in place. I'm not for or against one side or the other. It's just that now with the two of you together and with the birth of your daughter, there will be more dangers you will have to face. Ones you won't expect."
"We'll be fine," Jack spat adamantly. "Tru and I… we've been through so much, even long before our callings. The ball is in our court now. And if I'm aware that anyone from The Powers That Be dares threaten my girlfriend and my daughter – my family – I will see that they pay the price for it. Do we understand each other?"
The man in the white robes eyed Jack levelly. He said nothing. Jack turned on his heel to walk away, to walk back into Tru's hospital room. But when he glanced back momentarily to where the man had been standing, he saw that the man had disappeared.
After Harrison and Davis had left (and cleaned up their brownie fiasco), Tru and Jack found it difficult to get Kalea to go to sleep.
"Come on, princess," Jack said, picking up his daughter and kissing her cheek. "It's way past somebody's bedtime."
"Nuh-uh!" Kalea shouted triumphantly. "I'm not sleepy! Uncle Harrison and Uncle Davis let me stay up until midnight!"
Tru's eyes lit up in alarm as Jack shot her a surprised look as well.
"Remind me to have a talk with Davis and my brother this week," Tru said, clearly not impressed. Kalea obviously had them wrapped around her little finger.
"Noted," Jack replied as he carried Kalea to her bedroom. "And what time does Auntie Avery tell you to go to bed, honey?"
"Early!" Kalea exclaimed. "Uncle Harrison and Uncle Davis let me stay up later!"
"Oh, boy," Jack mumbled.
He placed her gently on her bed and gently tucked her in, ruffling her hair.
"Try and sleep, honey," Jack told her.
"Daddy, can you read me a story?" Kalea asked, her eyes wide.
"Only if you promise to go nighty night after, okay?"
"Okay, Daddy," Kalea agreed.
Tru came in as Jack was finishing reading Kalea her bedtime story, gazing down at her now sleeping daughter.
"Finally got her to go to sleep, huh?" Tru whispered.
"Yeah," Jack whispered back. "But this should be fair warning that we shouldn't give her too much sugar before bed either."
So two small brownies after dinner had been a mistake. Oops.
"Goodnight, baby girl. I love you," Tru whispered as she bent down and gently kissed her daughter's forehead.
"Night night, Kalea Bear," Jack whispered as he put the story book he'd just been reading her on her nightstand.
Tru switched off the light in Kalea's room as they both walked out of her room and into their own bedroom just down the hall.
"Do you ever still think about it, about what will happen to our daughter in the future? Since the day I gave birth, you said… you said the white robed man hasn't appeared since? The representative of The Powers That Be?" Tru asked Jack as she settled into bed beside him a few minutes later.
"No, he hasn't," Jack replied. "Why? Has he appeared to you?"
"No," Tru said. "I just… Sometimes I can't help but think what Kalea's life will be like in the future. Which one of our callings will she have? Will she be able to lead a normal, happy life?"
"Of course she will, Tru," Jack reassured her gently, stroking her soft brown curls. "She's our daughter. And she's got a lot of fight in her. I can see it already."
"Yeah, I can too," Tru agreed, a smile creasing her lips. "I guess we just have to raise her as best we can and hope for the best for her. She'll have to make her own choices someday. Just how I made mine and you made yours."
"She'll be fine," Jack placated. "Get some sleep and stop being such a worrywart."
Tru laughed. "I can't help it, I guess. But… okay. Goodnight, Jack."
Jack sat up a bit and turned off the light, enveloping him and his opposite – yet complete – other half in total darkness as the both entered a blissful dreamland. A dreamland where they were both happy and they both looked on at their daughter Kalea with adoring eyes and all the love in their hearts. It was a love that could never tear Life and Death apart no matter what The Powers That Be or anyone else tried to do.
Author's Note: Oh, a few more things... Jack mentioning to Tru that he dated a girl named Britta is a reference to the character Britta on NBC's Community. Also, in the first film, Before Sunrise, the two characters played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet on a train going to Vienna and fall in love over the course of the one night they spend together. In the sequel, Before Sunset, the same characters have a chance encounter in Paris nine years later. I didn't want to wait nine years for the purpose of the fic, so I put the story more in accordance to Tru Calling's timeline (since the show begins when she's 22, so three years later works). The character of Kalea (pronounced Kah-lay-uh) is based on my life coach's adorable 5 year old daughter who's just the cutest thing, so that's a little tribute to her because I adore her. Glad I remembered to post this before I start graduate school in August! Thanks again for reading! Please leave a comment/review as I would love some feedback! :)