This chapter was a little emotional for me to write. Not that I want to make you suffer, but I hope I managed to convey the same emotions for the readers! Note that I changed the pairing to Jessica/Brody because the fic didn't actually take the path I thought it would. Although, and you will see it for yourself, it doesn't mean they "are" together.
If you want to compare with the first chapter, I did not write this one in class. ;)
For Alida who asked: I used to study philosophy and literature and I'm now doing a Master's degree in Communication & Multimedia studies.
When Jessica came back home, everything was in slow motion. Everything felt different, like she was in a dream. Her surroundings looked numb and she wasn't even sure if she drove the car. She remembered holding the steering wheel but she had been floating, not driving. The landscape had been winding on and she hadn't seen it, her instinct having gotten the upper hand so she automatically took the right way home.
Her mind was blank. She didn't know what to think, so she decided to stop thinking.
Her chest was still constricted and she felt a flow of emotions rushing through her. Two contradictory feelings were fighting inside her and she feared she had just gone insane.
Maybe it was all for the better since madness seemed to be the only way to live in this world.
She craved to rush into Mike's arms, to finally return to the life that had been normal and secure for years. To the only man who had loved her through this and could make life easy again.
She wanted to go to Brody, to lie in bed with bed with him like they used to do and comfort him, strike his hair like she could still be here for him and tell him she understood, tell him everything would be okay.
But how do you live with a husband who's in love with someone else?
When she arrived at home, finally, and clueless as to how she really got here, she let herself fall in the couch, glad there was something to stop her fall when nothing could stop the conflict and the crushing in her heart.
The kids were still at school and the silence wrapped her in, brought her to a sense of peace and comfort contrasting with the ravaging turmoil in her head.
The voices were screaming in her head.
He told her she was crazy.
He believed she was crazy.
He fucking sent her to a mental institution! She saw it. He was part of the reason she lost her job and probably a part of her life. How could he work with her when he didn't respect her? How the hell could he be in love her?
She felt bad for Carrie. For being in love with a married man who destroyed her.
But then – she had him.
Jessica would like to believe Carrie was the other woman. But was she really? He was in love with her, he was open with her. She had no doubt that he talked to her. About what he went through, about what he was feeling, about... herself?
God, she was going to be sick.
Did he tell her how bored he was with his marriage? That he didn't feel anything for his wife? She had been a fool. She was the one he didn't respect, not Carrie.
He may think Carrie was crazy but he respected her.
But why the arrest and... - Mike's voice echoed in her mind, once more. Tom Walker. Brody being a suspect. And then her own voice. He hadn't been the same.
What if there was more to it?
Carrie was a CIA agent, she must have been investigating Brody's kidnappers and Tom Walker. If Brody killed Tom Walker then he wouldn't have wanted Carrie obstructing his path... She would have been an obstacle that Brody had to eliminate. She saw Carrie, despite the nuttiness and her obvious attraction to Brody, she seemed good at her job. Perservering.
It didn't make sense.
She saw it. The feelings. The love. They couldn't have been playing in each other. Maybe they did at first but then fell in love – No, that sounded like a bad movie. That wasn't it.
How could this theory make so much sense and be crazy at the same time?
Her head was spinning, completely illogical.
But no matter what was true, it was clear that whatever was going on between the two of them – they were in a deep mess.
And she hope she wouldn't be caught in the middle of it.
She was still reeling from everything that just unclosed before her when she heard a knock at her door. Who could it be? She didn't expect anyone, she wasn't in a condition to greet anyone. She wished whoever it was would just go away, but it seemed the incessant pouding on the door wasn't about to stop. It reverberated and became amplified in her already agonizing head.
She sighed and braced herself. Trying to put aside any thought in her mind.
When she opened the door, she felt relieved, and every weigh dropped off her shoulders as she realized who was in front of her, who mattered the most to her.
"Hey." He looked hesitant, not completely meeting her gaze. "Look, I know you didn't want to see me but I just wanted to apologize..."
She cut him with a kiss. She needed it – when she let her lips brushed over his, she knew this was what she needed, what kept her sane.
He seemed to be surprised, shocked, not expecting this at all and absolutely not complaining as she became conscious of how much he loved her and waited for her, desperately.
"Come in," she whispered.
He entered behind her, uncertain.
"What do you mean?"
"Well you were mad at me the last time and we haven't... you know. I thought with Brody and..." He was awfully rambling, a mix of excitment, craving for more than a kiss and true confusion.
Jessica shook her head, sighed. "I don't know, I just..."
He took her hand, worried.
She looked up at him with a sincere but sad smile.
"Everything is beyond me. Brody is... more secretive. I thought he was opening up but I feel like it was just a ruse to hide even more. And I'm not even sure what he's hiding."
"So you... believe me?" He said cautiously.
"It's possible. I just, I can't believe he would, this is not the man I know and this is definitely not the kind of man I want to be married to. But everything else just don't make sense." The despair in her voice was heartbreaking and she gladly went into Mike's arms, snuggling against his warmth and comfort.
They stayed silent for a while before Jessica broke the quietude.
"I followed him this morning."
Mike stepped back to look at her.
"I followed him when he told me he had to go the CIA. I wanted to see."
"Well, he really was. But..."
She trailed off. Mike looked at her, insistent.
"She was there. The CIA agent he's been cheating on me with. He assured me he wasn't working with her. And she was there."
"It didn't have to mean anything. They could have just walked in together..."
"No," she raised her voice. "You weren't there, Mike. You didn't see it. There is something between them, I don't know exactly what it is, if they're fucking together again but there is something and nothing makes sense."
She was almost hysterical, on the verge of tears and Mike caressing her skin, his hands smooth, soothing her... It was good and it was too much because it was on the opposite side of the reality she had to live in.
"Calm down. It's going be fine."
"He's my husband, Mike..." The sadness gave way to the anger. 'He doesn't even want you around but he thinks he has the power to do whatever he wants!"
"Look, you don't know for sure. Did you see them... ?"
"No, but -"
"Then stop hurting yourself."
"He doesn't tell me anything. How will I ever know? I may be married to a cheater and a killer! How can it be fine if no one can ever prove it? If I won't ever know for sure?!"
Mike could only look at her, sorry and helpless.
"You know I have resources, I can investigate... But do you really want to know?"
"I don't know. Jesus – I don't know."
"I'm here, Jess. I hope you know that, even if it's the only thing you can be sure of, I'm here."
"I know. Thank God, I know it. And I wish you could be here. And it makes me feel so awful sometimes. Because I wish... I wish Brody wouldn't have come home."
A sob ended her sentence. A sob that had been threatening her the whole time, opening the gates of a flow of tears. Because she felt awful and she felt bad, but she felt so much freer now she had said it.
I almost wrote "fin" but it doesn't feel like it, does it?