A/N: So I branch out again. This time probably to something way out of my element, but it's worth a shot anyway. For a long time, I played the game Lost in Blue 2, mostly because it was the only one I had. After a while, I got the idea to write for it. I realize that I'm more well known in other fandoms, but the idea just wouldn't go away. Plus, I had this sitting in my doc manager, and I thought it had sat long enough.

I realize also that this is a fandom that is pretty much dead. Why I decided to write for it, I don't know. I doubt I'd get a lot of attention here, but I just can't make my ideas go away. This is also a shot at trying to write in a more modern style. I don't know how I did, so let me know in the reviews.

I also realize that I'm falling back on cliches with how I write Jack, but I figure maybe somehow, it might work. It was just the idea. Anyway, enough of my rambline. Enjoy.

The grating buzz of his alarm clock was the first sound Jack heard that morning, although he had heard it about every morning. With a low groan and a slow, exasperated breath, he rolled over to hit the button to turn it off and glance at the clock. The time read half-past seven in the morning in those red letters he had, by now, grown to hate, and he rolled his eyes as he read them. With a low growl his throat at the early morning intrusion, Jack let his head fall back onto his pillow, thinking that maybe he didn't need to get up so early. Try as he might, he doubted he could make himself sleep longer. He was soon proven right, as all he could do was look up at the ceiling and watch the shadows fleeing from the light streaming through the window just to his left.

His right arm dropped into the empty space beside him in the double bed that he slept in. When he felt nothing but the thin sheets under his palm, he let out a heavy sigh. He had lived alone in this apartment for the last two months, and he still found himself on one side of the bed. A feeling of sadness blanketed him, just as his sheets did as he laid there, running his hand back and forth along the bed, hoping to feel someone he had not seen since the day of the rescue.

With a shake of his head at how idiotic it sounded, he managed to get himself standing. He shuffled over to his computer, which sat patiently in the corner across from the bed, waiting for him to begin his morning ritual. He pressed the start button, and recoiled as the glaring light of the monitor met his tired eyes. The machine groaned and hummed as it turned on. Jack looked again towards the clock, which had only changed by three minutes. He knew it would likely take the stupid thing, as he often called it, at least five more minutes before he could use it.

Stretching a bit, Jack slid down his boxers and headed for the bathroom, just a few steps away. He carelessly let the shorts drop as he stepped inside. He knew he would do his laundry later, and he had no one to say anything about leaving them on the floor for that matter.

As he stood under the hot spray from the showerhead, Jack let his eyes narrow, his head tilt forward, and his shoulders sag. Once again, he found himself heavily sighing. Numbing details about jobs and college papers filled his tired brain. Did he remember to count all the words in his lab reports for science class? Did he call ahead to the campus café to let them know he couldn't work that double-shift? Did he remember that his first class started at noon instead of half-past? Did he have enough saved to maybe get a better model of computer or would he have to take some money out of his phone savings? Did he even need a phone anyway? No one ever called him, and Jack was grateful for it. But as he stood there, he could not help but feel overwhelmed by all of the questions and the complexity of his life.

He would have much rather had the sounds of chirping birds to wake him up. He would have rather felt the jolt of cold water instead of the heated stream raining on his head. He would have rather had even cold, hard stone and then warm sand or soft grass under his feet than the cheap, coarse carpet of his apartment. Life seemed so easier when he thought of the island. He shook his head around at the thought, scattering a few clinging droplets. He knew better than to think that life on that island was at all simple.

His shower over, Jack dried off, hoping he could bring himself back to reality. He knew that life was better here. He didn't have to worry about hunting for food, making sure he had enough water, or any of the basic things to survive. And for that matter, he had lived in civilization for three years now, and he had spent most of it trying to take back the two years he had spent fighting for his life against nature itself. But try as he might, Jack could think of one thing he had on the island that he could find nowhere else: her.

Dropping the towel, he dressed partially. He had seen the familiar look of his desktop, and he was too excited, though he knew he had no reason to be, to finish. Shirtless and barefoot, he hurried to his computer and brought up his e-mail. Scanning past a few unwanted ads and college reminders, he hoped to find something better than the mundane drivel using up space on his machine.

"Maybe this time," he said eagerly. Jack had no idea why he was so hopeful; this was a daily ritual of his, and every day, he saw the same results. He supposed that the constant lack of any word did make him somewhat bitter, but in spite of it, he continued on day after day. When he again saw nothing, except the usual messages, he closed the page with a heavy sigh. "I gotta stop doing this," he uttered, his voice now devoid of the earlier enthusiasm. But he knew he would keep this routine alive; it had taken too deep of a root in his life to die.

He had no time to reflect on whether or not he should simply give this hopeless practice up. Life was calling, and he knew he could not afford to pay the price for not answering that call. Dragging his feet all the way across the floor, he finished dressing.

Looking at his clock, Jack noted the time, which now read one minute after eight. Gathering up some papers and his books, he hurried to the kitchen. He really could not stand the food anywhere else, and he thought of himself as a rather good cook.

He started his small stove and set a frying pan on the burner before grabbing three eggs from his refrigerator. He stood deep in thought as he beat the eggs, though he could not keep his mind on much of anything. It was only the sticky splash on his hand that brought his mind back to the moment. He growled as he looked at the dripping patch of yellow on his hand, realizing that he had beaten the eggs too quickly, and now he had wasted some of them. He supposed he owed his newly found frugal outlook to the island as well.

Washing his hand, he poured the eggs into the pan. Moments later, he sat alone at his table. He ate the omelet slowly, fixing his eyes on the empty chair just across from him. The unoccupied space weighed on him, far more than any bundle of wood he had once carried to the cave, and Jack wondered if he could actually carry it.

"How's yours?" he asked the air, hoping to break the crushing silence. He could at least indulge his mind with a few words to her, despite how idiotic it sounded to even him. He imagined his long-time companion was still sitting there. He did not know what she would say, but he continued the conversation anyway. He talked on and on about the little things that meant the most, as he supposed he would if she was actually sitting in that chair.

He was so lost in his conversation with his unseen guest that the next bite he took of his eggs was a rather cold one. Jack grimaced as he realized that he had allowed his thoughts to go too far. Unwilling to waste his meal, he quickly finished off his breakfast before placing the plate in the sink.

"I can do the dishes later," he said, rather sadly. He didn't know why he felt this way, and yet he did know. Gathering up his things again, he headed for the door. Before he stepped out, Jack looked back to the empty table. It was not hard to picture her sitting there, looking at him, silently wishing him luck that day, and eagerly expecting his return later. It pleased and saddened him to do this, but he could not help himself.

"Good-bye, Amy," he whispered to the air. "I'll see you later tonight."

Shutting the door, he left the building. He wished he could go back to his small home, but he knew that he had no reason. No one would be there waiting for him. Jack knew that people were waiting for him in his classroom and at his jobs, but he had no one to wait for him in the place he lived. No one had waited for him since the last day he spent on the island, the place he wished to return.

A/N: It's a short chapter, I know, but I didn't think it needed to be really long. It's just a start to contrast things after all. Things will likely go between the period after the game and into flashbacks to really show what chaged Jack and why he feels the way he does. Updates will also probably be slow. I'm trying to keep three other chapter'ed stories going, and since this one isn't likely to get attention, it's not high on my list. Anyway, hope you like it, and I hope I haven't lost my touch with writing.