Categories > TV > Without a Trace

Human Dependency

by Park 0 reviews

Jack has been having serious problems with depression without a solution to the problem. It soon becomes obvious how the human mind works and how humans depend on others to help them.

Category: Without a Trace - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Jack Malone,Vivian Johnson - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2008-11-25 - Updated: 2008-11-26 - 2758 words - Complete

Disclaimer: I do not own without a trace.


Jack stared at the papers on his desk. His head ached as he read them. After awhile of just sitting there doing nothing but going over report after report, the words didn’t really register in his mind, just ran through his head and sorted into neat little files. He’d been sitting there all night, just thinking of what he was going to do. At home, he had nothing to look forward to. Just empty rooms and a lonely bed.

He’d lost everything for one thing. He’d known him and his wife were growing apart for years. And then things started to turn with Sam. He loved her, and did things for her. He’d known he was sacrificing things, things he shouldn’t. And in that corner of his mind, he’d known he’d have to pay, somehow, someway. But he’d push it from his thoughts, not putting any care into them.

But then he’d had everything ripped from his hands when his wife found out. She divorced him, ran away and took his children from him. And then the one reason that caused this all, he thought would stay with him, console him. No, she left him. That stung.

He sighed and lifted his hand, massaging his temples, digging his finger tips into his skin. That was years ago, though. Six long years ago. God, it was amazing what could happen in just six years. Everyone that mattered to him was gone, and he would retire sooner or later…

His parents were dead, his daughters hated him, and his wife left him as well as Sam. He placed his forehead lightly in his hand, rested for a moment, and then rubbed his eyes. It was amazing how depression worked. He was a strong man, and had managed to hold together all these years. But now, he was questioning himself, wanting to know just how much longer he could keep holding.

“Jack?” someone called, tapping their finger on the glass. He had the blinds closed, so he couldn’t see who it was and the glass itself masked their voice. He rubbed his face a little. He cleared his throat then called, “Come in.”

A short, dark skinned woman entered the room, her eyebrows raised. “Are you alright?” she asked. Her eyes scanned him, and he knew she had caught on to his odd behavior. They held a brief staring contest. Jack remembered how upset she’d been when he came back and she’d lost her promotion. He felt a little guilty for that, but he had to try to get a job, for his daughter’s sake.

“Yes” he replied. Vivian stood unconvinced. Her eyes looked tired and her face weary with sleep deprivation. She frowned a little, watching him, silently scrutinizing. She raised a brow. “Hungry?” she asked him.

Jack lifted his head a bit and looked at her directly. He smiled. She returned the favor and made a motion for him to leave with her. He stood and made his way to the door.


The restaurant was a small deli and the meal was a cold sub sandwich with a cup of hot coffee. Jack didn’t mind, a meal was always nice. Especially when there was someone to share it with. Vivian fingered her food a little, trying to think of something to talk with him about. Or at least a way to pry his problems out of him.

For a former superior, Jack was a reasonable and fair. But he could be so annoying and hardheaded. She carefully sorted through ideas, thinking of a good one for the situation. The case. She mentally groaned. Cases were stressing her more than they had in the past and she was grateful for early retirement that was slowly making its way to her.

Ah, she knew. The separation. About two years ago, the team had split up. Vivian had taken Jack’s same position, but with another team and Martin was on it, with her position that she had had on Jack’s team. She didn’t really keep up with the others. Sam didn’t really matter much to her, she’d never really cared for women who slept around with coworkers. In her opinion, it was unethical, and not one, but two. She had no clue what happened to Danny or Elena, either.

“How’s your team doing?” She asked conversationally. Jack looked up from his apparently fascination bologna sandwich. “Good.” He muttered and Vivian mentally frowned. Maybe that wasn’t the most interesting conversation.

Jack remembered that just last year, he husband and Vivian had divorced. He remembered how torn up she’d been at first. He wandered how she was doing but wasn’t sure how to ask. How do you ask someone about that? He remembered he head been annoyed when people asked him, but he wanted to know how she was. And subconsciously, he wanted someone to compare himself with.

Vivian watched him. She could practically see the cogs working in his head and see his face twist a little with thought. She could almost read his mind and she smirked slightly. “I’m doing well, so what about you?”

Jack was a little taken aback, but answered her. “Well.” He said and paused for a moment. “How’s Reggie?” he asked. Vivian smiled, proud that she had finally gotten him to talk. “He’s doing well. How are your girls?” Jack felt his stomach sink a little at the mention, but it was a fair question.

“Well.” He lied, straight-faced. Vivian was fooled. She could see the slight flinch in his features, even though it was barely visible. She was mentally patting her own back for her observation skills. Vivian nodded again.

“Ex?” She asked. Jack flinched again, just a little. “Good” he muttered. “Yours?” Vivian pursed her lips and just continued to nod. “Good, as far as I know” she admitted. The conversation was getting more and more personal by the second, and getting closer and closer by the second, breaking into personal space and boundaries.

“Found anyone else?” he asked her, almost with a sense of satisfaction a child would get. She shook her smoothly. “No, not yet” She said, “have you?” Jack shook his head. Of course not.

There was a careful silence and Jack was thinking of what to ask, to burrow closer. Vivian smirked a bit, knowing she was winning some game. But then a new game came about in Jack’s mind, and it was the first un-thought remark that just popped out of his mouth. “You look nice today” he said.

Vivian blinked slightly. What game was he trying to play now? She was at a loss for words. If it had been anyone else, another man, she probably would have accepted, but Jack? “Thank you.” she said quietly, a bit uncertain. “You don’t look to bad yourself.” She said. Jack finally smirked, something that Vivian thought my make a crack in his face if it widened anymore. It’d been so long since she’d seen anything but a frown on his face. She subconsciously enjoyed it.

Jack finally picked up his sandwich and began to eat. He chewed slowly, thinking of something to say. Vivian reluctantly followed his example. She munched on the sub and watched him carefully. What else would he throw at her to knock her off course?

Jack reached across the table and lightly put his hand over hers and Vivian struggled not to widen her eyes and gape at him. After all the years the two had worked together, it was disturbing how close to her he was getting. But…they weren’t co-workers anymore….

She shook questionable thoughts out of her mind and looked back to Jack, who was smirking at her. So to throw him in turn, her thumb of the hand he had covered reached up and stroked the side of his hand. His smirk turned to a small, pleased smile.

Vivian had to turn her head and stair out the window, where the sky was now pitch black and lighted by the ongoing city. She stared hard a car, to keep from letting jack see too much of her embarrassed flattery. Jack turned to look out the window, too, and then stroked all five fingers against her hand as he pulled away. Vivian’s hand flipped over immediately and grabbed his fingers, holding onto his finger tips.

Jack replaced his hand in hers and wrapped his fingers around her wrist. Her fingers gladly copied his and they didn’t even share a glance, though Jack chanced a look at their joined hands. Her wrist was dark, dark and perfectly smooth, and her palm pale. His hand looked strange, wrapped around hers. But it was a unique strangeness that was not unwelcome.

His fingers began to draw meaningless patterns over her skin and she very lightly ran her nails over his wrist in return. His hands were big and tough, several calluses and a notable pencil bump. Her finger tips moved to lightly brush over the hard bumps.

His mouth twisted into a full out smile. He liked where this going and leading to. He could not quite say why, or what he exactly thought this was leading to, but still. It felt nice to be close to someone. To be touched and touching, the feel of skin to skin, even if it was just holding hands, it was an utterly relieving sensation that it gave off.

The meal was utterly uninteresting now, and all that really seemed to matter was that Vivian was with him, and this close. They had already paid up front for the meager meal, but it really didn’t seem too important at the moment.

He stood up, and Vivian, almost questioningly, followed him and his motion, somewhat blindly. She usually on going mind was currently halted and she wasn’t really considering what had happened and still was happening. The fact he was her former superior didn’t seem to matter very much at the moment.

Jack led her out of the building and then the time of departure was upon them. They had brought separate cars. But at least they were going back to the same place. He took a little comfort in that fact, for some reason, more so than he ever seemed to have.

Vivian got in her and shut the door, a bit dazed. She felt like a senior at the prom again, for some reason. Strange. ‘That was ages ago’ she thought. She sighed and rubbed her eyes, driving away from the restaurant. What a strange and interesting this night had been. But then again, it still wasn’t over, not yet.

As her mind slowly returned to her, it gave her little reminders of her work and it nagged at her the entire time. She really didn’t want to return to her work. The cases seemed to become more personal as the years went by, taking a slight hit to her heart. Thinking of all the murder and rape and child molestation cases there had been in all her years on duty, it sort of depressed her. In the back of Vivian’s mind she silently questioned if the loss of her husband had anything to do with it, or maybe her son…? There was not easy answer to the questions, and whether she knew the answer or not, she didn’t want to admit them to herself.

Her mind had been so preoccupied that she didn’t notice the fast approaching building. Her mind must really be off tonight. With another heaving sigh, she drove into the parking lot and shifted the gears of her car before begrudgingly stepping out of it and slamming the door behind her. She made her way into the building, but she was in no hurry, taking her sweet time to think about things that seemed to have recently resurfaced in her head. She pushed her way through the doors and made her way inside, shoes clicking against the floor.

Jack said in his office, thinking more than doing his work that he had recently been neglecting. Vivian littered his thoughts like cigarettes on the sidewalk. He practically replayed every second of the slightly intimate touch they had shared. But then again, how was it intimate? Holding hands? He’d never felt that way with his wife. He’d always thought intimacy was kissing and other things relating to.

He glanced down at the paper work on his desk and began scribbling a report on it. Then there was a knock at the door. Jack’s head rose immediately and a tall woman with brunettes hair entered his office. He was completely let down. It wasn’t who he expected or anyone he might somewhat or remotely want to see. He ignored her almost completely; the words only going through his mind long enough to register it was nothing dire that required his attention or care. He just shook his head once to a question and nodded to another. Then she left.

Jack looked back to the paper work again. His pen slowly began to form words on the paper. He was fully prepared to go over his paper a few times when he was done, sure he would find more than a few mistakes there. It was hours of silence and no one bothered him, mistaking his patient waiting for something else that it wasn’t.

It was late, and Jack was putting his jacket on, picking up his things and somewhat organizing things for the next day. Then there was a knock. Jack didn’t bother to turn, expecting either the brunette or someone reminding his it was time to leave his office.

“Jack?” a female voice called and it was a pleasurably familiar sound. Jack turned to seen Vivian standing just outside, peeking in at him. She stepped in when she had his attention. Vivian wondered why she was there and what she was doing. She hadn’t really meant to stop by, so she had nothing to really say. Jack solved the problem.

“Thanks for dinner” he murmured. Not really dinner, he supposed, maybe lunch and dinner. It took a moment for his words to sink into Vivian’s skull before they processed, but she nodded slightly when they did. For some reason, she didn’t feel much like talking. So, what exactly was she there for, again?

Jack strode to her in a matter of seconds. His head dipped and his face was not but a centimeter apart from hers. He thought, like in the movies or an occasional book you would read, there would be this little red flag going up, a voice squealing something about how wrong this was. Nothing came to him. Not a peep.

Jack’s mouth pressed to Vivian’s for a moment, and then pulled away. Pointless as it was, the enjoyment was inevitable. It didn’t occur to him how weird this must have been and looked, and how out of place Vivian might’ve felt about this. For all he was worth, he probably would never know.

Vivian’s eyes were wide in what seemed like horror, to the naked eyes and an inexperienced on looker. But Vivian was more or less shocked. Jack took it as rejections and straightened his back, stepping to the opposite direction. Vivian, inwardly, sunk.

Then she stepped forward, grabbed him by his cheeks and pressed her lips to his own. Jack’s eyes slammed shut, not questioning her for a second. To his surprise, she tilted his head a little to the side and slipped her tongue over his lips. Jack groaned but complied immediately. It was strange, how straight forward she was, but then again, they’d know each other for years. So maybe that was why…

But he didn’t really care at the moment. Vivian mattered the most at that moment and his mind was blurring like a muddy puddle. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed her into the wall. Just before his mind blanked out completely, one last thought swirled in the muddy puddle slowly consuming his brain. It was something along the lines of how much humans really did depend on each other.


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