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Spoiler: Season 3 Episode 1
After his personal life fell apart again, it hadn't been too difficult for Jack to allow himself to be convinced to volunteer for the deep cover assignment against Salazar. With Kim safe at school and Kate no longer a part of his life, he felt a level of comfort in dropping out of sight for an extended period of time. The most important thing, a year ago, had become linking the drug lord to his terrorist connections. Though most any agent could have gotten in, Jack knew he was the only one capable of doing whatever it took to accomplish the goal. And the only one willing to do so.
Morally, everything had been scrambled for him since Drazen. By the time he was through the day of the bomb, he didn't know which end was up and barely could determine right from wrong. Then there was the question of whose right? And when right? It all had become difficult to think about, so to keep from finding himself contemplating his navel in a padded room while straight-jacketed, Jack had dismissed the question as irrelevant. The only right was the right of the moment. If an action was necessary to get done what he needed to do, it was right. Period. No sense cluttering his already agitated brain with questions that were impossible to answer, slowing his reactions, and garbling his usually solid instincts.
Not that he couldn't be wrong. God, but he knew that well enough. Now, he refused to consider it. There could be no self-doubt. It was the only way he could maintain even this small measure of sanity and do the things he had done. The things he would still have to do. To anybody who got in his way. To himself.
And he had done this to himself. He hadn't thought in a million years it would be this bad. He thought he was strong enough. He thought he was invincible, in some way untouchable. He had never been addicted to anything in his life. Cigarettes he could take or leave. Liquor held little appeal for him. He seldom took medication, even those he needed. Sex had become something he could live without. But this... this had snuck up on him, surprised him, hooked him. The only sensation that came close to this was the adrenalin rush that came from danger. From having to find a way out. To survive. The survival or escape itself was nothing when compared to the getting there.
This addiction though, was kicking his ass. Usually it was him doing the ass kicking, not the other way around. Not this way. And the shit hadn't even been forced upon him. He'd done it to himself. It had been his little experiment to make sure he could do it if he had to. His body had betrayed him as he had never dreamt it possibly could.
Now, oh God, how he craved it. The whole of it. Even the stick of the needle was welcomed because of the sensations that followed. He had tried to control it, but failed miserably. The warmth that flowed into his vein and flooded his body was more than he could withstand. Even had he wanted to.
Thank God he hadn't discovered this before Kingsley's goons grabbed him. For this, he would have told them anything. Given them anything. He wasn't sure he wouldn't have given up Kim and Palmer for the sweet prick of needle into vein. Oh, God.
Getting Salazar had almost been worth it. Now, it could all be for naught. The last year of his life wasted. All he had was this thing he feared, craved, loved, hated, bone-deep needed. He loathed himself for not being man enough, strong enough, to put it away and say done. No more.
He had tried. He'd tried so hard. He would never have believed, eighteen months ago, that anything could have taken such a hold on him. It called to him like the Sirens and every time he crashed. Alas, he was neither Jason nor Odysseus to his Siren. His brain abhorred everything about it, but his body... . His body won out every single time.
It was imperative, now, that he master this thing. How could he trust his judgment while ruled by the drug? Sitting with his arm exposed, tourniquet around his bicep, needle at the ready, vein full and aching for the tiny pain, gathering all his willpower, Jack squirted the beckoning contents of the syringe into the trash. He would end this. He had to. He didn't like being controlled. Never had. Drazen, Kingsley, none of them had gotten the better of Jack Bauer, and this thing wasn't going to, either. Come hell or high water, he was going to beat it. Too much depended on him for him to depend on a drug. The only thing he had ever depended on was himself, and that was going to be so again.
He threw the syringe and everything associated with it across the room. The tinkling sound the vials made as they shattered against the wall rasped at his brain. It was the best thing he had done since before that first needle slid into his arm, releasing him to the most exquisite high he had ever known. He would be free of this thing if it killed him. He had no other choice.
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