Gift Fic for [livejournal.com profile] xandra73!

Dec. 15th, 2004 06:58 pm
catch22girl: (windmills by midgewood58)
[personal profile] catch22girl
Early holiday fic for Yvonne but since she wasn't feeling well earlier this week I thought she could use it.

She wanted Jack/Kate, Christmas before Mexico. This is...close to that.

Yvonne,

<33333 Hope you have an excellent rest of December and an even better next year.

Much love,

Rachel

Title: Last Christmas
Author: Catch22Girl
Summary: It's Christmas and Kate is trying to ignore the signs. Gift fic for Yvonne.
Disclaimer: Not mine, belong to FOX and Real Time Productions

Thanks to the hivemind. This is pretty much unbeta'd so...all mistakes are mine.



"Are you alone this year, Kate?" Great-Aunt Allison sipped from her glass and lowered herself to the couch, motioning for Kate to join her.

"No, my boyfriend spent today with his family and will be here soon."

"A new boyfriend?"

"Same one for the past two years, Aunt Allison."

She shook her head, "I don't know why you couldn't find a nice banker. Your father's company is full of eligible bachelors. The men at my country club..."

"I'm sure they're very nice, Aunt Allison. But I'm not with them."

"I can't believe your father lets you date -- "

Kate felt her face grow hot and had to bite back her words. Allison lived by the old rules and wondered why Kate hadn't found a guy six years earlier. Allison also had never recovered from what happened to Marie and still blamed the government for it, especially Jack.

She smiled instead, "Do you need another drink, Aunt Allison?"

"Yes, that would be nice dear."

Kate stood up and walked towards the bar. Marie used to be the buffer. Since she was beautiful and perfect, Aunt Allison would talk to her and Kate could avoid Aunt Alison's questions about why she was such a workaholic and when was the last time she'd been on a date? Allison had even accepted Reza.

Memories like tentacles threatened to overtake her mind - she forced them away and focused on the present. First, Aunt Allison needed more ice.

People were milling around, a small crowd, most sitting on the couches in the living room and a few watching TV. The food had been catered. Marie had always loved cooking but it had never been Kate's favorite activity. After what happened, somehow she couldn't be in a kitchen without seeing her sister running around. At least not this kitchen.

Yesterday, she'd tried to see Marie, but once again Marie had refused to see her. It was as if she wanted to pretend her life from before never existed and Kate had tried not to take it to heart but it was still a rejection and even after everything Marie was her sister.

She heard a soft sound and looked down to find that the glass was overflowing with ice. She grabbed another cup and transferred the ice out, gently berating herself for losing concentration.

"Hey," a voice near her ear and one that she would recognize anywhere.

She smiled. "When did you get here?"

"A few minutes ago,"

She turned to look at him. Even if she felt out of place with her family now, Jack never seemed awkward or unsure. It was an ability she admired. He could fit into any situation.

Today, though, he looked ill.

"How is Kim doing?"

"Good, she said to tell you that she's free for dinner on Thursday," he flashed a genuine smile. "And this year she brought her boyfriend."

"It must be getting serious,"

"Hopefully I didn't scare him too much."

She laughed, "So she didn't want to come with you?"

"Do you want to be here?"

"Good point," she touched his arm, "Are you feeling okay?" He was pale and had finished almost half a bottle of water.

"Yeah, I'm just coming down with something. It's been a long week."

But she didn't know any illness where pupils looked quite like that.

In fact, she could only remember one time in her life where she saw those eyes. When they were living in the Middle East, she would see opiate addicts on the street and a few times she would look at them and ask her mom why their eyes looked so odd. Her mom answered it was the drug that did it. Kate had never been able to understand addiction, how people didn't mind that they were living on the street or that their eyes were dead. Her mom tried to explain that they'd reached a point where they were unable to remember when life used to be happier and this was a better option.

The memory knocked her back, she tried to think of another explanation, maybe Jack was tired, or sick, and she tried to put the conclusion away from her mind.

"How long do you have to stay?" he whispered, his hand on her shoulder.

"I don't know. Maybe I can arrange to be out of the country next Christmas."

"Or we could go to a ski resort," he said and at one time she felt a thrill when he discussed their future, but not anymore. Over the past few months she had felt a distance and over the last few days sensed a difference she could not explain.

She looked into his strange eyes and made a decision, "I can leave now."

Later, she lay against him on his couch and leaned her cheek against his chest.

"Kate," he whispered and when she looked up at him she knew that she didn't want to hear what he was about to say. His hand stopped rubbing her back.

"It's Christmas, can we talk tomorrow?" She wrapped her arm around his neck and pulled him towards her, with relief she noticed his pupils were back to normal.

"Okay," he touched her face and leaned in to kiss her, his hand tangled in her hair and her lips opened under his. She moved to straddle him and felt his arms around her.

Afterwards, curled next to him on the bed, she examined his left arm, wanting to be wrong, sliding her fingertips over his skin and seeing a small, healing mark.

"What are you doing?" she breathed, trying not to wake him, but lying there she knew that their days were numbered.
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