13 November 2008 @ 04:56 pm
Why I Shouldn't Think While Pissed....Part II  

So...I'm in Canada.  Oh joy of joys, somebody kill me now before I die of...somethin' I'd rather not die of.  Montreal, to be specific, and I /guess/ it's not as bad as I was thinkin' it would be.  Aside from the whole "goin' to visit the last known residence of your boyfriend's dead ex" thing...Can't even /tell/ you how awkward this trip is.  Whole /layers/ of awkward, like a bloody /onion/.  Or was it a parfait...Doesn't matter.  Stupid movie, anyway.  And it's not the point.

The point....oh, found it.  Sittin' here with a bottle, or two, Jack's off reminiscing with Gwen or whatever - don't much care as long as he ends up back here when they're done.  Anyway, I've got to thinkin'.  I know, always a bad idea, /particularly/ when I've been drinkin'...But there it is.  I've been thinkin'.  About the past, things that...well, I'd rather not think about, but this whole damn trip seems to be about that, so...Might as well join the bloody club, right?  And since I'm in a sharing mood, for whatever reason....

But he’ll come back.  ‘Course he will.  What we have…well, last night just proves it, doesn’t it?  He’ll come back; he wouldn’t just /leave/ me here.  He knows better.


Only he didn’t come back.  I checked the records later that day, and he was marked as on leave.  Considering he was such a workaholic he’d built up quite a bit of leave time, but…I knew he wasn’t coming back, even if I didn’t want to admit it.  I’m not an idiot, he hadn’t been kidding when he said he couldn’t work for them anymore.  About a week later when I checked again he’d been completely erased from the lists; as far as the Time Agency was concerned, he didn’t exist.  So whatever he’d gotten involved in that made them need to erase two whole years of his memory…it must’ve been pretty bad.


Needless to say, it still didn’t sit easy.  I was alright for the first week or so; easy enough to convince yourself your closest mate’s comin’ back when he’s only marked away on leave.  Just a holiday, needed to clear his head, didn’t want me getting ahold of him until he was good an’ ready, and that’s why he left the ring.  It wasn’t ‘cos he actually /left/, no.  Didn’t matter that he wouldn’t’ve left the ring if he was just goin’ away on leave, the lists said he was comin’ back, so he was comin’ back, simple as that.


Except it wasn’t.


The second week was when he didn’t show up on the lists.  Of course, whoever I talked to about it just brushed it off like it didn’t matter or assured me that everything was fine, but whether that was ‘cos that’s what they actually thought or if it’s ‘cos that’s what they were /told/ to tell me (and yes, I’m more’n aware I was marked as the “unpredictable” one, which would be why I was never allowed on missions by myself and was handled with a bloody 10 foot pole, like I was gonna explode at a moment’s notice) I don’t know, and honestly don’t much care to either.  But the second week was when it started to go to hell.


It started out as more of an exaggeration of what I normally did than anything else.  Got in more fights than normal, hit more parties than I normally would, drank more, drugged more, and had a new bird or bloke every few nights.  Barely noticeable to the casual observer, and really Lara was the only one who actually noticed.  Then again, she was probably also the only other person who might have come close to understanding.  Of course, I also skipped more training sessions than normal, but since the one person who actually made sure I /went/ to those things wasn’t there anymore…Well, there was no incentive to go, now was there?  I mean, sure, Lara /tried/ to step in, but she was no Jack, and since every time we actually got in a physical fight over it I won…well, she couldn’t exactly keep me in line very well either.


Over time though, it got worse.  The longer Jack was gone the worse it seemed to get, because at /some/ point I had to accept that he was gone for good, probably somewhere clear across the universe by now, and I had /no/ way of finding ‘im, but I didn’t /want/ to accept it.  I /couldn’t/ accept it.  Not sober, anyway.


Lara found me one night, strung out on Goddess only /knows/ what, pneumatic on the floor and empty bottles scattered around.  “John, what are you /doing/?” she cried out, sounding concerned.  The words seemed to come from rather far away.  “You’re gonna self-destruct if you keep this up, you git; what would Jack think?”


It took me a bit to find words; I was numb, /comfortably/ numb, as that song goes, and would’ve /much/ rather stayed that way than deal with Lara at the moment.  If I was numb, I wouldn’t have to think, and that was /damn/ appealing.  I finally managed a muzzy “Well, Jack’s not ‘ere, now is ‘e?”


She didn’t have a response for that.


Time passed in a haze.  Missions came and went, partners came and went as each one requested a change after one or two missions, saying I was “reckless” and “didn’t follow orders” and “was a danger to self and others”.  For the next few years I was damn near impossible, more so than I’d been before.  There wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t on /something/, be it alcohol or whatever drugs I could get my hands on, and it only made me more difficult to deal with.  I had a different “partner” every night, when I could get one, and when I couldn’t I’d resort to the kind you can buy.  The fighting graduated from simple brawls to full on battles, and it was only ‘cos they kept getting broken up that I didn’t kill anyone.  Well, any of my fellow agents.  After hours I’d go out and roam the streets, and crime went down in the area due to my methods of “stress relief”.  It didn’t matter /what/ I did as long as it kept me from thinking too much, as long as it would make me feel /something/ other than abandoned. 


They wanted to discharge me, I know they did; even as far gone as I was, I still had ears, I wasn’t deaf to the whispering.  But I was too good an agent to let go, even as difficult to manage as I’d become, so instead they sent me to rehab, any and all they thought appropriate.  Lara visited once or twice, which was rather nice of her considering all I’d been putting her through, but even all her talks about how I had to get ahold of myself fell on deaf ears; I just didn’t want to hear it.  None of it worked, obviously, and in some cases it only made it worse, particularly the alcohol and drugs ones, since in those cases I was actually forced to be /sober/, and, well, as far as I was concerned that was just intolerable – I would’ve much rather escaped from my problems than deal with them head-on.  So the minute I got released I was back to spending every penny I had on drugs and booze.


Eventually I got burnt out on that lifestyle; ended up in hospital locked to the bed on forcible detox ‘cos Lara got scared an’ called an ambulance when she found me lying on my cot, completely unresponsive, telltale paraphernalia nearby.  What can I say, drugs and alcohol are a bad combination.  /Particularly/ when you’ve stopped caring that they are.


Lara stopped in regularly until they let me go though, not that I’d expect otherwise.  Showed up bright and early the soonest they’d allow me visitors. 


“Hey you,” she said, like she was talking to one of the stray kittens that roamed around outside the compound, rather than someone she’d shagged a few dozen times already.  I guess walkin’ in on an unintentional suicide attempt’ll do that to some people.


“Back atcha, luv.”  ‘Cos really, what else could I say?  I mean, sure, maybe thanks were in order, but at that point it really didn’t feel it; two days in and I was about ready to wish I /had/ died – it wasn’t like rehab, where if you knew the right people and were hurtin’ bad enough (and willing to pay the price) you could get a hit.  These folks were /serious/.


“Don’t ‘luv’ me.  This is serious.”


“Oh, I dunno, believe last time that’s /all/ you wanted…were pretty serious about it, too, if memory serves…”  The smirk was reflexive, but just as hollow as the barb it was attached to.


“I mean it, John.  You could’ve…”


“And so what if I had?  Not like the Agency would care, hell, I’m sure they’d be /thrilled/ to get rid of my fucked-up ass.  They’re just /waiting/ for me to self-destruct that bad, everyone is, and you bloody well know it.  Not like there’s anything keeping me here anymore, not with J-“  My voice caught.  “Dammit, can’t even say his bloody /name/ without wantin’ to break down.  Selfish bastard…”


“You don’t mean that,” Lara said quietly.


I snorted derisively.  “Like /hell/ I don’t.”


“So there’s /nothing/ keeping you here, then?”


“Not a /damn/ thing.”  Of course, /that/ was a trap, and I should’ve known it, but I was too busy trying to stuff down all the shit she’d brought to the surface that I’d spent /years/ trying to lock away to see it.


“Fine,” she said coldly.  “If that’s how you feel-“


“-And it is-”


“-then I’ll leave.  Good luck with everything.  Though, before I go, I just want to let you know that Jack would be ashamed of you if he saw you right now.  And it’s because of the /Agency/ that you’re still here at all.  So think about that the next time you want to feel sorry for yourself.  Let me know when you finally decide to grow up a little.  And in case you don’t…you’re welcome, but I won’t be there next time.  It was nice knowing you.”  There were tears in her eyes when she left.


It took me a day or so to even /consider/ that she might have been right.  And another couple days before I was considered “well” enough to be released.  But by then I’d already decided to lay off the drinking and drugging – well, a /little/, anyway.  Not completely, I mean, come on.  But nowhere near the extent I’d /been/ using. Even vowed to lay off on the other two vices a little.  ‘Cos she was right; wasn’t doin’ me any good trying to escape the facts, it was only gonna make things worse.  Jack left, and sure, it was absolute /shite/ and the next time I ran into him he was /damn/ well gonna pay for it (and yeah, it wasn’t if, it was /when/; hadn’t had the actual thought yet, but it was always in the back of my mind that I was gonna find him somehow, ring or no), but it wasn’t the end of the world.  Universe doesn’t stop ‘cos the ex is an insensitive, deceitful little twat.  Plenty of other fish in the sea, no point in gettin’ hung up on one to the point where you can’t think straight anymore.  Of course, I didn’t believe that /completely/, but it helped some.


I ran into Lara a few days after I got released.  Not the best of conversations, took some doing to convince her I really was alright, or at least /would/ be, but the fact that I was on probation again probably had a lot to do with her finally being convinced.  She got assigned to be my new partner, since she was the next best thing they had to Jack at keepin’ me in line, and that was that.  Kept on until she disappeared on me too (and if I didn’t know any better I might’ve started to develop a complex or something), but it wasn’t long after that until the Agency got shut down for good, since it had pretty much outlived its usefulness; other organisations had been created that did pretty much the same thing without all the shady dealings, so…they didn’t need the Time Agency anymore.  And then I was on my own.  Again.  Well, until I managed to track down Jack, anyway…And then there was the whole clusterfuck that is Gray...But that’s another story.

I'm warning you, it's not pretty.  Told you; shouldn't be allowed to think when I'm pissed.
Current Location: random hotel room in bloody /Canada/
Current Mood: contemplative