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My second Fanfic

My second Fanfic in English!
It's a fanfic about Jack and Charlie, an Pub-owner
My biggest thanks goes to xandra73 for her great help. She makes the beta-reader for my German fanfic.
Thanks to hoppel1711 who translated it into English as well as to ladyofavalon77, she corrected it for me. Thanks all!

Title: Desperate
Author: schusy
Category: Drama, Romance
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Jack/Charlie
Spoilers: None (after Season 1)
Summary: Jack is in a big mental crisis and his friend Charlie tries to help him
Disclaimer: Jack and Charlie are not mine, they belong to the creators of 24. Just borrowing to have fun.



Desperate

Sultrily brooding, Jack sat at a table in the farthest corner of Charlie’s pub. Since Teri’s death, he spent a lot of time here, too much time in Charlie’s opinion.

Charlie was an Irishman, but had immigrated to America in his younger years to find his luck here. He had dreamed of an immense fortune and reputation, but he had only managed to own this small pub in one of the many streets of Los Angeles.

Charlie’s pub was considered a favorite meeting point for men stressed out by their everyday life. Most of the time the small comfortable room for the guests was rather crowded. The walls were paneled with dark wood. Partitions divided the room into several small niches. Tables, benches and chairs were made of dark wood, too. Small lamps at the walls and on the ceiling spread a warm light. To the left an impressive bar was to be found. Its back wall was dominated by huge mirrors. Several bar stools, which were almost always taken, stood in front of the counter. The small table, which was always reserved for special guests, was in the farthest corner, protected by partitions.

Countless voices could be heard, smoke was in the air and now and then someone gave out a loud, hearty laugh. Charlie’s pub was the ideal place for a nice chat with friends, and often Charlie kept his guests company, sat down at one of their tables and was invited to a drink. Stories were told, problems debated or the general favorite topic was discussed: sports. Everybody liked Charley’s pleasant way of taking his time for each of his guests and his unmitigated passion for his favorite sports team. He was one of them.

Charlie was more than content with his life, for fate had not only blessed him with many friends and acquaintances, but also with his beloved Emma. Emma was the best wife a man could want – he was undeniably convinced of this. She had given him two great sons and a daughter whom he was incredibly proud of.

Sarah was a beauty and very mature for her 16 years. He would have to keep an eye on her, as the men were already giving her wistful looks.

She was lucky to have two elder brothers, Daniel and Adam, who jealously watched over her.

Charlie had to smirk, when he thought how a drunk guest had once tried to make a move on his little girl. Daniel had immediately intervened, shoving his little sister protectively behind him. At the sight of this young giant the guest obviously had lost his appetite. He had hastily thrown some dollars onto the table and taken off as quickly as possible.

No, Charlie did not need to worry about disagreeable guests. His sons had everything under control.

For the time being he worried about Jack. He knew his tragic story, had learned of the loss of his wife and could understand his pain only too well. However, he could not approve of Jack’s behavior now. He was about to destroy himself completely and Charlie had already tried several times to put a stop to this.

Not for the first time Jack sat at this table in the corner, a bottle of Bourbon in front of him. Charlie had tried to talk to him and to prevent his constant drinking every time, but those attempts were mostly in vain. Jack would only react in despair and deep pain as he stood helplessly in front of him. Charlie had such a big heart.

Instead of refusing to give him his drinks, he had kept him company most of the time and drunk one Bourbon after another. He knew that he did not help Jack by doing so, but this way he could keep an eye on him. Whenever he realized that Jack was close to falling off his chair, he had given a signal to one of his sons, who inconspicuously took Jack to the back of the pub. There was a small room with a couch where Jack could sleep it off without being disturbed. Charlie knew that Jack was grateful to him, even if they had never talked about it.

Today Jack had appeared again, disappearing into his corner as Charlie brought him the usual stuff. Jack reacted quite surly when Charlie tried to start a conversation with him. Nevertheless Charlie sat down at his table and quickly realized that Jack seemed to be in the midst of a very deep crisis today. Up to now, however, he had not succeeded in learning the reason for Jack’s depression. Jack had always responded to all his endeavors with an icy silence.

Suddenly Adam called his father to the phone and, before he knew it, Jack had succeeded in emptying half the bottle of Bourbon. Now Charlie stood behind the bar and watched Jack, full of grief. He thought of their first, wonderful encounter and how they had sat at the same table that night.

Charlie had visited an old friend and was on his way back to his pub. It had been far after midnight and he was not altogether sober. His thoughts were already of his beloved Emma, and he was oblivious to his surroundings, when suddenly loud voices made him prick up his ears. He saw three guys menacing a young African American. At once Charlie started to run to help the victim.

The three guys had immediately became angry when he interfered. One of them had drawn a knife and started to threaten Charlie. At this moment tires squealed beside him, but Charlie was not really paying attention at this point. He was much to busy keeping out of his assailant’s way. Unfortunately, at that same moment, one of the others grabbed him from behind.

It could have come off badly for Charlie, if not for a sudden loud, energetic voice that commanded: “Hands up! Freeze!“

The guys had flinched and tried to run for it. The man with the gun, however, didn‘t let them get away. Charlie suddenly realized that this man was a pro and had the situation under control as the three guys became rather subdued. The incident quickly turned out to be a family quarrel. The young African American had fallen in love with Maggie, the sister of one of the assailants who was not happy with that. He was of the opinion that a ‘black man’ had no right to touch his sister. This was reason enough for him to send two of his associates to “confront” her friend in order to make him understand that he should stay away from Maggie.

The man who saved Charlie asked for the names and addresses of the three guys, asked them some questions and let them go, pointing out to them that he would check into the matter later. The guys then quickly left the scene.

In the meantime, Charlie had taken care of the young man. Luckily he was able to intervene in time, so that the young man was only frightened and not physically hurt. Benny, or Benjamin, which was his real name, thanked them and then went on his way. The man had offered to give him a lift home, but Benny said it was not far away.

Finally Charlie had time to thank his savior. Smiling, he had held out his right hand to the man and introduced himself.

“Charles O’Connor – are you a policeman?“ Charlie had asked him.

The man had smiled, too and had answered: “Not really ... Agent Jack Bauer.“

“I’m lucky that you were at the right place at the right moment. Otherwise this could have ended differently. Thank you, Agent Bauer.“

“Yes. It is always dangerous to intervene in such a quarrel as a civilian. It was rather reckless to try to take on three guys, Mr. O’Connor.“

Now Charlie had to laugh.

“That’s true! I suppose the ex-policeman in me wanted to come out again.“

Jack looked at him in astonishment and had asked: “You were a policeman?“

“Yes ... but it’s been a while ago. My wife Emma was of the opinion that this profession is too dangerous for a father of three children. So I gave it up and became a civilian again.“At these words Charlie had to grin.

“As an ex-policeman you should have been more cautious.“ A slight annoyance creeping into Jack’s voice.

Charlie had answered the reproach with a smile: “You know what? You’re right, it was rather ... brash on my part but I think we deserve a little drink after this ruckus. My pub is only three streets away. Follow me and I will buy you a drink. What do you think? Or are you still on duty?“

A little smile had crossed Jack’s face.

“No...“ Jack replied, scrutinizing his new friend closely. “I hope, you have a good Bourbon. “

“The best one you can ask for...“ Charlie had answered with a smile.

They had got to know each other this way and in the course of time had almost become friends. Now and again Jack had appeared in his pub. He had kept him company then and over a drink they had talked. Sometimes Jack would drink too much, but it had never been as bad as today.

Charlie sighed. He had been watching Jack now for quite a while. If Jack continued drinking this way, he would fall off his chair soon. Charlie could not go on watching this. He had to do something to help Jack.

He glanced at his wristwatch. It was shortly after 1.30 a.m. In half an hour he would close the pub. Half an hour ... enough time for Jack to get drunk. No, Charlie could not wait any longer. Resolutely he steered towards the small table at the corner.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ladyofavalon77
Dec. 25th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
So glad you posted it :)
I really like the themes running throughout!
schusy
Dec. 26th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
Re: So glad you posted it :)
Sure - I posted it. :) Now, I also posted it in 24_fanfic.
I'm happy that you like my fanfic.
tretyukova
Feb. 17th, 2013 11:16 am (UTC)
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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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