Kat Scratch Fever
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Touch

An AU perspective on the years between The Telling and The Two

Title: Touch
Author: Kat 
Disclaimer: Not mine
Rating: NC-17  

~*~

The sunglasses covered her eyes as she lay on the balcony. The rays of the sun seemed to glow around her, showing off her deep tan. Jack stood in the doorway and admired the view. Her hand lifted, moving the glasses slightly higher on the bridge of her nose. Lowering her arm, she stretched slightly, before turning to lie on her stomach. She pushed her hair out of the way and moved to undo the back of her bikini top.

She reached for the drink that sat next to the chair. He wasn't sure if she knew he was there or not, but her next action was nearly his undoing. She ran her tongue around the edges of the straw before slowly sliding it into her mouth. 

Jack watched, unable to move. He had been sharing a small hotel room with Irina for a week now, and he still wasn't entirely sure of her motives. They were trying to locate Sydney, but had had no luck so far. Her help had been invaluable, her contacts providing the only leads thus far. Sharing the same space for a week was beginning to wear on his nerves. Watching her at this moment was starting to make him crazy. 

He started forward, approaching the balcony. His gaze wandered over her bare back, drinking in the sight of her. He swallowed hard, averting his gaze for a moment to regain his composure.

"Enjoying the view?"

The voice startled him and he jumped slightly before he saw Irina's teasing glance. He turned to look at the sky which was slowly darkening, the clouds moving to cover the sun.

"It looks like rain."

Irina let the sunglasses drop low on her nose, sighing. "Not that view."

His hand slowly moved to caress her shoulder and she shivered. Jack sat on the chair next to her, his hand moving lower to explore the curve of her side. He leaned forward, placing a kiss on her shoulder and moving towards her neck. 

Irina tried to roll over, but Jack used his body to pin her to the chair. "Not yet." He gently nibbled his way along her neck, enjoying the way she shivered beneath him. He brushed her hair aside, lightly licking around the shell of her ear. "It's been a long week."

Her hands clutched the edges of the chair and she squeezed her eyes shut. His hands slowly slid down until they reached the edge of her bikini bottoms. He lightly squeezed her ass through the material as he placed himself more fully on the chair.

He began to lightly trail kisses along her spine. Placing a kiss on the small of her back, he lightly licked the area before nipping the skin. Irina jumped at the unexpected sensation, and he used her momentary distraction to pull the bottom of the bikini further down. 

"Jack, the least you can do is start taking some of your own clothes off. I'm at an unfair advantage." 

Irina smiled into the chair as she felt the weight of Jack's body leave hers. She could hear him rustling with the buttons on his shirt. In a few seconds it lay in a rumpled heap next to the chair. The sound of his zipper came next; she could hear it slide slowly down. Again, he lowered himself across her body and she shivered as he began to slowly kiss around the nape of her neck.

Slowly, she slid his pants and boxers down, bunching them around his knees. Her foot slid slowly back up as her toes curled around his hard erection. A sharp gasp filled the air as he braced his arms on either side of her. Irina turned and found herself staring at Jack's still well-toned forearms. Inching sideways, she placed small open mouth kisses along his wrist. A soft moan ruffled against her hair as she licked lightly at him and wiggled back against him.

His mouth traveled along her shoulder, his tongue tracing small patterns along her shoulder blade. She shivered and reflexively arched her hips back against him. He moaned as his erection pressed against the curve of her ass. Irina smiled into the cushion at his reaction to her touch.

She grabbed Jack's arms, gripping them tightly. With an easy tug, she felt him cover her again, his body pressed against hers. Jack nuzzled around her ear, tickling along her burning skin. A throaty laugh escaped her as he blew lightly against the sensitive spot. Irina struggled to roll, but his arms, his body, his force, held her still.

Her hips arched back again, this time with purpose, as she slid along him. He squirmed against her touch and groaned into her hair. His hands curled around the edge of the chair as he rocked his hips into the curve of her ass, his breathing growing shallow.

"Jack?" she asked coyly. "Are you alright?" Her arms slowly reached out, rubbing lightly against his ass, cupping it and pulling it closer. 

"God no," he groaned. She could hear the urgency in his voice and arched once more against him. This time his hands grabbed her hips, stilling them. Her breath caught in her throat as he rubbed against her, teasing her entrance with
the head of his cock.

He slowly slid into her, pulling out before she had a chance to realize what was happening. She moaned as he raised her hips higher, tracing along her swollen clit. Slowly, he slid along, burying into her. Rising higher, she pushed back against him, moaning his name, writhing against his touch. His lips kissed along the back of her neck, nipping at her skin as she sighed at his hot touch. Distracted by his lips and his touch, he pulled out before she had a chance to realize what happened. "Jack," she implored, pushing back against him.

"Shh..." he said, sliding his hands along her body. A drop of rain landed on her bare skin and she shivered. Jack leaned down and kissed it away. Irina shook under his lips. More drops fell, and his hands slid easily over her. Each new raindrop was greeted with a hot kiss from Jack's lips. Her body burned against his lips. A gasp filled the air as his kisses wandered lower, into the small of her back, along her ass and down her thighs. The rain fell harder, soaking their bodies, mixing with their sweat. She raked a finger through her hair, pushing the damp strands from her face. Fighting for air, she moaned as a harsh groan flew from Jack's throat. She felt his kisses journey higher as his tongue traced the soft curves of her ass. 

One hand flew back, her fingers tangling through his wet hair. Fiercely, she guided his head towards her center. Her fingers slid from his hair as he lowered himself further, his tongue tracing along the small path between the curves of her ass. Her breath caught in her throat as she gripped at the cushion, pushing herself hard against Jack's tongue as it danced and flicked along her. "Stay," he rasped, holding her still. She felt his breath, hard and labored against her skin. "Let me touch you." Smiling into the cushion, Irina complied, feeling her insides explode as he buried his tongue into her.

Writhing against the cushion, Irina held her breath, as her mind reeled from the sensations he sent through her body. She felt his teeth scrape roughly against her swollen clit and her fingers clenched around the soaking wet cushion in a final effort to keep from crying aloud. Harsh breaths filled the air as Jack pulled out, he voiced a low growl.

"Stay."

Arching her face up into the rain, she groaned as his hands held her still, sliding slowly along her hips as he leaned forward against her body.

His teeth grazed the skin near the nape of her neck and she arched her hips back, rocking against him as he slowly thrust into her, setting the pace. One hand moved to lightly pinch her ass and she smiled, trying to catch her breath enough to think of a response.

"What was that for?"

"Want me to kiss it and make it better?"

She swallowed her next words as he changed the angle of his thrusts. He drove harder, pushing further into her, until she felt ready to explode. The rain fell against her skin, making her shiver. She could feel Jack's breathing growing shallow as he pounded into her. She cried out as his fingers rolled against her clit. Her mind went blank as Jack collapsed against her body, sated. She sighed deeply as he kissed her shoulder, not daring to open her eyes just
yet.

The air around them fell silent, the rain the only sound. She felt his weight shift off her, rolling onto his side. His hand trailed along her hip, rubbing small circles around the skin. She felt Jack begin to move further away and she looked over her shoulder, cold now that Jack's body was no longer keeping her warm. Her eyes held a questioning glance and she could see the unsure look in his eyes.

She rolled onto her side, moving to hold his hand. He stared at their entwined fingers, his expression unreadable. He glanced at her face, his eyes running across the length of her body before standing and walking back into the small apartment.

She sat in the chair, leaning over to grab the towel lying next to the chair. She stared at the pattern, not even aware of the light rain still falling from above. Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine what was going through Jack's head at the moment. Or what had possessed him to start this dangerous game in the first place. There were so many unspoken things between them and this was sure to drive a wedge further between them.

Looking up into the sky, it dawned upon her that it was still raining. She wrapped the towel around her shoulders, attempting to warm up. Walking through the door, she walked into the bathroom, closing the door, and leaning against the edge of the sink. His touch had lit a fire within her and she wasn't sure if she could handle working so close to him without being tempted by another taste of him.

~*~

Steadying herself against the sink, Irina slowly looked into the mirror. Brushing back a stray hair, she took a deep breath, trying to collect her thoughts. She wouldn't let Jack get to her like this. A part of her was satisfied that it had only taken a few months for him to crack, but the other side of her was worried about what he would do.

Noticing that her clothing from earlier was on the counter, she sighed in relief. She couldn't walk out there and confront Jack dressed in only a towel. Methodically dressing, she began to think about all that had happened within the past months.

Although she would never admit it, she needed him for more than just his contacts. She was beginning to enjoy just being near him again. But he was already starting to keep his distance. It had taken months to build up to the point where they freely shared information with each other. And with one single action, they were once again separated. She tried to build up her courage. They needed to talk, to get past this obstacle.

Opening the door, she could see that Jack was standing near the balcony, watching the rain fall. She slowly made her way to his side, frowning as he visibly flinched when she touched his shoulder. 

"I'm not going to disappear this time."

Jack turned, his face remaining impassive. "Should we just test that little theory out? See how many times we can f*ck before you run away again?"

Irina stilled. "Well, if you would control yourself, we wouldn't have to test that theory." She could see that his eyes were full of questions, and perhaps a bit of pain. He was stubborn, she had always known that. They stared at each other, and she could see he wasn't going to back down from this. 

Squaring her shoulders, she took a step forward, making sure his gaze met hers. "Jack, you're being a bastard, and you know it. If I was going to run out on you, I would have left months ago. But instead, I'm still here."

"You're also a traitorous bitch."

She slapped his face, not caring if she was losing her temper. "You know nothing about me Jack. Half of our life together was a lie. I know that and you know that. But things change, people change."

"I would believe that more if you didn't stab me in the back every time I started to think about trusting you again." 

"Jack, think about it. We've been searching for Sydney for almost 7 months now. By pooling our resources, we've gotten more leads than if we would have been working alone. I've shared everything I know with you. Dammit, Jack!" She stopped, trying to compose herself. Breathing deeply, she glared at Jack, daring him to contradict her.

He approached her, stopping when they were nearly face to face. "I may have trust issues, but can you blame me? I thought you were dead, I spent months in prison because of you, and our daughter has suffered because of you."

"Then why do you continually come to me for information?" She watched him, waiting for his reaction. "Face it Jack, you want to trust me, you just won't allow yourself to. You were the one who chose the single room when all of the other trips involved two separate rooms."

"That's just sex, Irina. Trust has nothing to do with it."

"So that's all I am to you? A way to get off?" 

He swallowed nervously, and she raised her eyebrow expectantly. "That's not what I meant."

"It's what was obviously on your mind."

Jack turned his gaze toward the wall, refusing to meet her eyes. "Irina-"

She cut him off before he could continue. "I won't be your whore, Jack."

He looked in her direction once more, a slight smirk appearing on his features. "I never said you were a whore. You just jumped to your own conclusions."

"Because I am one?"

"Do you consider yourself a whore?"

Irina glared. "You may as well hand over money so it's official. We had sex in the chair and then you acted as if nothing has changed between us."

"Where you really expecting a tender moment where we shared our feelings? I would hardly match that with you."

Irina turned away. "You hardly know a thing about me Jack. Not everything I did as Laura was a lie. We were the same person, whether you want to believe that or not."

Jack nearly growled. "Don't you dare bring up our marriage. This has nothing to do with those years. It has everything to do with you trying to believe you're not a manipulative whore."

"I thought you didn't see me as a whore, Jack." Brushing past him, she grabbed the small bag on the dresser. Jack was silent, watching her. She could feel his eyes following her every movement and she gathered thing and placed them in the bag.

"What are you doing?"

She turned, smiling. "I'm leaving. We can't work together like this. You survived without me more than once, you can survive again. And as you pointed out, I'm nothing but a manipulative whore anyway." Jack stared at her, daring her to act upon her words. She flipped him a small picture, and reached to open the door. "Goodbye Jack. I wish I could say it was a pleasure."

~*~

The Epilogue

~*~

The days passed by in a blur. Information was slow and leads were scarce. After parting ways with Jack, Irina focused all her efforts on tracing any information that came her way. She was easily frustrated, working on hardly any sleep. Try as she might, she couldn't shake the memory of how she had left Jack.

The first month had been the hardest. She could still remember every touch from that night. She had been easily distracted and barely able to focus on the one thing that would keep her sane. After suffering from bouts of insomnia, she had finally pulled herself together by the second month.

All of her contacts were on high alert and she began to travel around the country herself, looking for anything that would lead her to her daughter. The stay in Vienna had proved to be a smart choice, allowing her to find a picture of a woman who could have been Sydney. It might have been a sick game, but it gave her hope.

The third month proved to be the most frustrating. She became short tempered when none of her contacts could find anything. All of her information led to dead ends and it began to look like Sloane had vanished off the face of the earth. 

Irina was tempted to give up, but she knew that if she waited long enough, he would surface again. She knew Sydney was still alive; she was the most important part of his plan. Although she had tried to warn her daughter, she had failed to realize who Sloane's mole had been.

It tore her up inside to know that her daughter hadn't even been safe with the people she thought were her friends. She knew it was useless to dwell on these things now. They had happened over a year ago, there was nothing she could do about it now. But the thought of it kept her from giving up. Even if Sydney could possibly be dead, she could still teach Arvin Sloane a lesson about interfering with her family.

When the fourth month started, she was surprised to receive information about Jack. She tried to dismiss the information, but it proved to be impossible. When the insomnia reappeared for a week, she ordered her contacts to send only information about Sydney and Sloane.

The fifth month was relatively quiet, with only a few tidbits that proved to only frustrate her more. By the end of the month, she was on edge whenever she heard anything. It became difficult to focus and she began to wonder if all her searching had been in vain.

The sixth month proved to be the most difficult. Irina began to push herself beyond her limits, rarely sleeping or eating. Her already thin frame began to show signs of fatigue. She fought the dizzy spells and pushed herself even harder. One morning, one of her contacts found her passed out and warned her about the lengths she was going to.

After much arguing, she finally gave in and started to take better care of her body. Her determination had not lessened, but she started to look like her old self once more. 

Seven was sometimes believed to be a lucky number. The seventh month was when Irina began to receive intel on Sloane once more. She smiled for the first time in months. Things began to look brighter as she realized he had recently been spotted in a close city.

But one day, the information just stopped. Placing calls to all of her contacts, she was met with more dead ends. Cursing out loud, she knew Sloane had somehow taken care of her sources. The only one she could find was located in the one place she never wanted to see again.

The eighth month began with her traveling to Panama. Tracking down her contacts proved to be a challenge. She soon gave up, knowing it was futile. As she walked through the streets, she tried to forget what had happened almost two years ago. 

Reaching her hotel, the only comfort she found was that it was not the one she had stayed at with Jack. Stopping at the desk, she checked in and took the elevator to her floor. Walking through the hallway, she looked up as she came closer to the door of her room. She stopped in her tracks as she came face to face with the last person she expected to see.

~*~

Jack had managed to get through the first month by blaming the one person who wasn't there. He would never admit that he had been in the wrong, although he knew he had gone much too far.

By the second month, he had placed all thoughts of Irina Derevko in the back of his mind. For the second time in his life, she was as good as dead. 

In the third month, Jack began to push himself to search harder for his daughter. He traveled throughout Europe, asking people if they had seen anything. He met many dead ends, but knew it would take some time before anything concrete began to appear. 

The fourth month found him in Paris. He had heard that someone matching Sydney's description had been spotted here recently. There had also been a mention of someone who could have possibly been Irina. He hadn't thought of her in months. Although he hated to admit it, he did miss her at times.

For all of her stubbornness, she had been a valuable source. Her contacts were spread throughout the world and she had all the intel she would need right at her fingertips. He couldn't help but wonder if she was having any luck with her search.

The moment the thoughts entered his mind, he shoved them back. Thinking of her would do no good. It only served to make him remember why he was in this position in the first place. Steeling his resolve, he began to search out his contact near the small café. 

The fifth month bought many disappointments. Jack could barely find any information. He laid low for most of the month, waiting to hear anything that would be useful to his search. As the month ended, he realized that Sloane was lying low.

When the sixth month arrived, Jack was in Brazil. All of the leads he had managed to find turned into dead ends. He began to grow frustrated, tired of the long, lonely months. The more he looked for information, the harder it was to find. He began to wader aimlessly around the country, searching for anything that would help him find Sydney. 

The seventh month bought him to Panama. For once, his searching had turned up results. Sloane seemed to be out of hiding, living under an assumed name with his "daughter". He would be traveling to Panama within the coming month and Jack intended on finding him. He only hoped it wouldn't lead to another dead end.

As the eighth month began, Jack was still in Panama. The man he had received information on had only been a decoy. He hated to admit it, but he felt as though he wasn't getting anywhere with this search. In these last few months, almost no information had turned up at all. It was as if someone had silenced all the informants and contacts he had.

He looked around the street and decided it was time to head back to the hotel. Spending a month in Panama had been hard on him. Everywhere he turned, he was reminded of betrayal and lies. Combined with the frustration from not being able to find any concrete information about Sydney, it was enough to put him on edge.

Reaching the hotel, he walked up the staircase, pausing as he caught sight of a woman near the desk. She looked familiar, but he was too worn out to find out anything more at the moment. Continuing up the stairs, he reached the third floor. Hearing the chime of the elevator, he noticed the woman he had spotted in the lobby.

Her head was down as she approached, but he immediately realized who she was. She looked up at him and stilled, her face a mask of surprise. They stared at each other, daring the other to speak first. It had been eight months to the day they had gone their separate ways.

~*~

Their eyes meet and Irina stilled. She mumbled something under her breath, brushing past him. Jack could barely think straight, reaching out to grab her arm. She shrugged him off, glaring as he followed her. He could see the silent threats in her eyes and let her walk away.

The entire eighth month was filled with shouting and fighting. No one wanted to admit anything. Fights could be evoked with a simple greeting at times. To admit anything would be showing a weakness. 

Sydney was the main priority once again. They grudgingly shared information, trying not to be too obvious about how much time they were spending together once more. Looks passed between them as their tempers flared. 

The ninth month bought happiness. Sydney had been found in Hong Kong, but with no memory of the past two years. They were stuck in Panama for another week, but content now that their daughter was alive and safe.

Irina would smile for no reason and Jack would smile back. They began to talk and the shouting wasn't as frequent. A moment of happiness was all it took for them to begin to share. They were almost ready to forgive, to accept.

One night, too much wine bought a kiss. Neither pulled back, instead sharing a secret smile and slowly undressing each other. For once it was slow; both of them taking the time to thoroughly explore each other's bodies. Moans and gasps filled the air as months of frustration disappeared.

Afterwards, they lay on the bed, not quite knowing what to say. There were doubts and fears, but nothing was voiced. Irina eventually fell into a light sleep, letting herself rest against Jack. He watched her as she slept, knowing somehow that this time would be different. They have learned to trust each other, at least for a moment.

Jen's birthday fic!!  It started as a PWP, but I got a little wordy, lmao.  The challenge was rain, a balcony, and all the "blush" words I could fit in, hehe.  It turned serious in the middle and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the epilogue. 

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Characters and show belong to JJ, I'm just playing