the_chappy: (worried! or angsty! chappy)
[personal profile] the_chappy
When they lived in Virginia they had a tree like this one, large with deep roots and low-slung branches. He had added a tire swing, the kids wanted one and it seemed to fit with the whole package ... two kids, a house in the suburbs with a backyard and a large tree. The kids wanted a treehouse too but the upper branches were too close together to make that possible. Besides, it was too high up and it made him nervous. Not that it ever stopped Chris or Ryan from racing as far up the tree as they could go.

He could hear someone laughing and was brought back to that backyard in Virginia where it was Chris' laugh and she was right near by. Safe at home and he'd never let anything bad happen to her.

His mind veered between the remembered past and the imagined present. Days of teaching her to play baseball, stargazing, soccer games and vacations mingled with memories of reports and his own knowledge of what happens during interrogations. It was no stretch to imagine what was happening to her now, what could happen, the horror bolstered by the truth.

Ryan took one breath, then another and found it hard to breathe deeply without concentrating. Everything he had of her was in the past. Every moment and memory were all relegated to the past tense and soon that would become the new normal. A future he never wanted unfolded before him.

Even then, it was cold comfort to the knowledge that she'd likely never see her family again, that if she were alive she'd spend decades as a hostage until her eventual "suicide". His only hope was that he might see her again here and even that was a slim chance. Beyond that, he had nothing.

Date: 2006-08-14 04:11 am (UTC)
agirllost: (depressed//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim's standing by the lake, looking up at the sky and wishing she could find answers.

Date: 2006-08-14 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
Ryan's not too far off, pacing back and forth by the lake's shore and lost in his thoughts. He looks up to see Kim and walks over, not wanting to have this conversation.

"I spoke to Sharpe."

Date: 2006-08-14 04:27 am (UTC)
agirllost: (phone//indilime)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She nods, her eyes wide with hope. "What did he say?"

Date: 2006-08-14 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"The news isn't as good as we hoped," he tries to say gently.

He could see the hopeful look in her eyes and deciding it would be better to get this over with, Ryan continues before Kim can say anything. "The Chinese captured your father. The group seperated once they entered the prison... Sharpe has no idea what happened to the others left behind."

Date: 2006-08-14 04:51 am (UTC)
agirllost: (shock//kellslawels)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"No."

Her body trembles and she holds up a hand trying to push away he news.

"No. Not -- " She takes a step backward, "Oh God."

'I should have gone I should have gone and they're, oh god Chris and Chase and Tony and and...'

"Ryan," she swallows. "I'm so sorry."

Date: 2006-08-14 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
He looks down at the ground and takes a shaky breath. "I'm sorry too, Kim."

Maybe he should try to say something encouraging but that seems cruel. His daughter was in there, her fiancé and father were in there.

Maybe preparing themselves for the worst was smarter than driving themselves insane with empty hope.

Date: 2006-08-14 05:23 am (UTC)
agirllost: (trying not to cry//candiangirl_86)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She remembers from research at CTU things that the Chinese government did to spies and her stomach turns as she tries not to think about those things happening to some of - if not the - most important people in her life.

"Ryan," her voice is slightly panicked and she can't stop herself from reaching out and holding onto him. "I'm so sorry."

Date: 2006-08-14 05:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
Gently, her grabs her upper arms. The movement is partly reflex and partly worry that she won't stay standing otherwise. "It's not your fault, Kim."

Date: 2006-08-14 06:00 am (UTC)
agirllost: (trying not to cry//candiangirl_86)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"I know," she whispers. But it's the only thing she can say - because she's apologizing for the world, for fate, for the Wheel.

"They - they're not coming back, are they?"

Date: 2006-08-14 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
They're not.

The reality of the situation they're in hit him again. He might not see Chris again here or even in the beyond. At most, he might find out what happened to her and even that might be too much to hope for.

Shoulders slumping with defeat, he shakes his head. "I don't think so."

Date: 2006-08-14 06:23 am (UTC)
agirllost: (trying not to cry//candiangirl_86)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
'You're not supposed to say that you're supposed to say of course they will and things will be okay and no, that's Chase -- '

Her throat hurts as she tries to swallow. "No -- "

Date: 2006-08-14 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
He rubs her arms in a comforting gesture before dropping his hands. Anything he'd say to make her feel better would be a lie.

"I'm sorry."

Date: 2006-08-14 06:37 am (UTC)
agirllost: (shock//kellslawels)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She stares at him for a moment, feeling nothing, wondering why moving suddenly seems like too great an effort.

"They - they're all gone?"

Date: 2006-08-14 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
Ryan gives a limp shrug of his shoulders. "Sharpe said they were all still in the prison as far as he knew. They haven't come back to the bar."

He doesn't add that keeping them all alive would be too much of an inconvenience if they can't get information out of the captives. They both knew it, there was no point in saying it out loud.

Date: 2006-08-14 06:48 am (UTC)
agirllost: (sad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"Prison." She closes her eyes. "He doesn't...doesn't know?"

Date: 2006-08-14 06:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
A rueful smile passes over his lips. "He though they made it back. He didn't know until we spoke that they hadn't."

Date: 2006-08-14 06:53 am (UTC)
agirllost: (sad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She covers her eyes with her hand and nods.

"Does he know...where they are?"

Date: 2006-08-14 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"No," he says, a note of frustration in their voice. Since talking with Sharpe he had replayed their conversation in his head a thousand times, looking for anything to hold onto.

"He just mentioned a mine in China."

Date: 2006-08-14 07:06 am (UTC)
agirllost: (sad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"China," she repeats. And she's tried and failed to get through to any of them with telepathy.

And they won't be quick deaths and they'll hurt them.

"Large country."

Date: 2006-08-14 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"Hundreds of prisons. That we know about."

Assuming they're being held in China. Assuming we're dealing with the government and not some splinter group. Assuming they're being held in a prison and not shuffled from home to home. Assuming they're even still alive.

Date: 2006-08-14 07:14 am (UTC)
agirllost: (sad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Her lip trembles and she can barely see through her tear-filled eyes. "Maybe they'll - after - "

Date: 2006-08-14 07:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
It seemed almost impossible that they wouldn't and right now all he wants is to see his daughter again. He needed something to hope for, even if some pessimistic part of him said it wouldn't happen and he'd spend years waiting by the door for nothing.

"Yeah." He couldn't say more beyond that as his throat grew tighter and it was difficult to breathe let alone talk.

Date: 2006-08-14 07:31 am (UTC)
agirllost: (sad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"I - I have to tell Angie. I can't - how can I tell -- " She takes a shaky breath that turns into a gasped sob.

She might never see any of them again and the thought of that is starting to make it difficult to stand.

Date: 2006-08-14 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"I don't know."

Memories of having to tell Caiti her mother had passed on came to mind. He wondered how she and Ryan would find out about Chris - or would they find out? Maybe they'd wait year without answers, always wondering how their family had shrunk down to two people in the span of several years.

Date: 2006-08-14 07:47 am (UTC)
agirllost: (verysad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
'Why can't you lie to me? Just tell me they'll come back. Don't make me have to face this.'

She wraps her arms around herself.

Date: 2006-08-14 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"Kim," he puts a hand on her shoulder, "maybe you should go inside and rest."

Date: 2006-08-14 07:54 am (UTC)
agirllost: (verysad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Sleep is the last thing on her mind. But she nods because she knows this isn't helping either of them.

"Okay. Thank you Ryan."

Date: 2006-08-14 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
He almost apologizes again but stops before the words pass his lips.

"Take care," Ryan says instead, hating this feeling of helplessness.

Date: 2006-08-14 08:06 am (UTC)
agirllost: (verysad//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
'This isn't fair. This isn't fair. This isn't fair.'

She nods again, resists the urge to hug him, and holding herself tighter, walks back to the bar.

Date: 2006-08-14 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
Elaine came outside, looking for Ryan, and finding him by the lake. She sits down close beside him and leans her head on his shoulder, putting her arm around him.

Date: 2006-08-14 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
It's a small touch be it does make him feel better, if only for the moment. He wraps his arm around her, needing someone to hold onto and not wanting to let go.

Ryan is quiet for a few moments, trying to find the words or where to start. The silence stretches out till finally, he says, "I think Chris was captured."

Date: 2006-08-14 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
"Captured?" She frowns, brow furrowing. "How? Where?"

Her arms tighten around him, as well, as icy worry grips her insides.

Date: 2006-08-14 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"She, Tony, Chase, Behrooz and Sharpe went to go rescue Jack after he was captured by the Chinese."

As he said that, he was filled with a sudden anger that darkened his face and pulled his mouth into a tight line. What was she thinking? A small group like that. This bar she could have chosen a hundred people with powers who could help her! What the hell was she thinking?

"The rescue planned failed," he mutters. "Behrooz and Sharpe made it out, the others didn't. Sharpe doesn't know what happened to them."

Date: 2006-08-14 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
She expelled a soft huff of breath. "Oh, God..." She turns to him and hugs him properly.

"I didn't even know Jack had been captured. Why didn't she say anything?"

Date: 2006-08-14 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"I think she just came in, got a team together and left." With a shake of his head and a frown, he looks out onto the lake. If he had been in the bar he could have stopped her or talked her out of it. Other people had to see - why didn't any of them say anything! If Behrooz and Sharpe hadn't made it back he might never have known what had happened.

"She should have known better," he says bitterly.

Date: 2006-08-14 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
Elaine doesn't say anything to that, but she doesn't know what else to say.

She also doesn't know that she wouldn't have done the same thing, had it been Ryan in Jack's place.

"There has to be something we can do," she says softly, and a little helplessly, because Elaine can't even use a teleportation spell without a known destination.

Date: 2006-08-14 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"We don't know where they are! The only thing Sharpe knew was that the prison was in a mine in China and they've probably been moved by now."

If they're still alive.

"She should have left a note," he growled. "She didn't even say anything, she didn't leave a note, nothing. I can't believe she was so irresponsible! Ten years of military training, several years with CTU and that's the best she can do."

Date: 2006-08-14 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
Elaine has never seen him so angry, but she knows that lying under that is worry and grief, as well. And she also can figure out that given the circumstances, it's quite likely that...

But Elaine doesn't let herself think about that, and just nods, keeping her hand on his arm.

Oh, Chris, why didn't you leave a note, at least? She knows it's going to destroy him if she doesn't come back.

Date: 2006-08-14 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
He shakes his head, still looking out and nothing, lost in his own anger. "She took inexperienced people with her. I mean, Behrooz? He's a kid. He doesn't have the training. And not one of them spoke Chinese! Did she really think it would be simple?"

Date: 2006-08-14 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
Elaine shakes her head, and lets him get it out. He needs to.

She knows why Chris did it, she was in love and her judgement was off where Jack was concerned. She hates seeing him like this.

Oh, God, please come back, Chris, please please please come back...

She doesn't know what he'll do if she doesn't come back.

Date: 2006-08-14 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
There's a huff of breath, followed by another as he finds it difficult to breathe again. A familiar weight settling on his chest again.

"She's not coming back," he gasps between clenched teeth.

Date: 2006-08-14 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
"Oh, Ryan," she says softly and holds him.

She knows what he's saying is...very, very possible, though she can't quite give up hope yet. She just can't.

She swallows and manages, "You don't know that."

Date: 2006-08-14 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
"Yes, I do." He wants to believe her but he's afraid of believing otherwise, of waiting for something that will never come.

Even if he knows he'll never stop waiting.

Ryan shakes his head, focusing on the ground, the grass blurring before him. His voice is thick with emotion as he says, "You don't know them like I do."

Date: 2006-08-14 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
Elaine's heart breaks for him when she hears the tears in his voice. She stays holding him and kisses his temple.

She has to believe things will be all right, she just has to...but she just can't reassure him. Not enough to make him believe, and maybe it was cruel to make him believe. When...she might not be back after all.

Tears threaten and she blinks hard to keep them back.

Date: 2006-08-14 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
He keeps his head bowed, every so often closing his eyes, trying to fight back the tears. It was pointless and some part of him knew that but Ryan didn't want to fall apart.

"I don't know what to do."

About anything.

Date: 2006-08-15 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
He can't see them, but there are tears on Elaine's cheeks. She closes her eyes and holds him tighter.

"I know. I don't either."

I'm not going anywhere.

She knows he doesn't want to fall apart. But it's okay if he does.

Date: 2006-08-15 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_chappy_/
Ryan's quiet for a few moments, waiting till his breathing steadies enough so that he can talk. "I think we should go inside."

His grip on his emotions is tenuous as is, being out in public didn't help.

Date: 2006-08-15 12:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maid-of-astolat.livejournal.com
Elaine nods, brushing tears from her cheeks as she stands. When he stands as well, she puts her arm around him as they head back to the flat.

No matter what, she's not going anywhere.

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