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stargate, DanielJackson

Week 7, Title: Missing her was dark grey all alone

Posted on 2018.11.29 at 21:09
Tags: , ,
Jake stands in line for lunch, his hands gripping the tray too tight, and his heart-beat pounding in his ears. He wants to look around, but can’t afford to seem skittish. Tries to hold steel in his spine and isn’t sure he succeeds. Jake’s not sure whether he should be more concerned about being a cop sharing a cell block with guys he’s put away or being Jewish and sharing a cell block with Nazi’s who’ve been convicted of murder. He moves through the day with muscles coiled, fear wrapped around him like a skin.

“I’m innocent,” Jake says to anyone who asks what he did. The words ring hollow, it’s what everyone says- he knows. It’s the first time he’s considered that that doesn’t make the words untrue. He suddenly finds himself itching to pour through his old cases. To double, triple, quadruple check whether he’s left anyone innocent in this position, having to live like this. It’s so unfair.

Jake side-steps and ducks into corners, keeping his head down. And it feels so unlike him, the anti-thesis of his being. The darkness presses in. He’s not doing so well.

He enters his cell with relief that he never thought he’d feel at entering a cage. He’s locked in but everyone who wants to hurt him is locked out. He sits on his bunk, fingers pressing urgently against the picture of Amy that he’s stuck to the wall, and counts the minutes until he’s allowed to call her. 

*

Jake holds the phone in his hands like the lifeline it is, savouring the sound of Amy’s voice, letting her be his guiding light in the dark. He needs to memorize this, capture it. He longs to touch her again.

He wants to avoid the showers. He’s almost certain there are people waiting to jump him. But waiting for his badass girlfriend to prove his innocence and bust him out is starting to feel unrealistic. And he’s never felt such a need to be clean.

Jake tries to be quick, but there are guys waiting. He fights, but his cop skills are useless against the four heavily muscled men. Just as he’s beginning to panic someone else enters.

“Let him go. He’s ours.”

The men grudgingly walk away.

“Thanks,” Jake says.

*

He learns that the mysterious man belongs to an old crime family- the Cortez’s. He also learns, after two further incidents, that the dude wasn’t lying. The Cortez’s have apparently decided that Jake’s one of theirs and deserving of their loyalty. It’s bemusing and he knows he should be wary, nothing in here comes without a price, but as the ever-present fear eases up and breath flows easier into his lungs he can’t help but be grateful. He should know better, but he needs this and he’s always been a little too impulsive.     

Jake spends most of his time with The Cortez family. They’re alright guys and he gets on with them well. But they tell all these stories, almost legends, about this amazing little girl who they lost, and Jake has to grit his teeth against spitting out, ‘well why did you have to kill her?’

*

Everyone has heard the story of Pedro Cortez’s daughter, Lilia Cortez, the girl who was a genius, who wanted more than anything to be a cop, who single-handedly landed her entire family in prison and paid the price with her life. Tears almost spring to his eyes just thinking about the kid. The others nod in joint commiseration and he has to stop himself from calling them hypocrites.

Jake wanted to be a cop since he was a kid too, but he can’t imagine having the guts and the talent at the tender age of twelve to pull a collar like that off. He thinks about the amazing cop- the amazing woman- she would’ve become if given the chance.  

They light candles for her, even twenty years on, because even though she betrayed them- she’s still theirs. 

*

Jake makes plans, endlessly, for how he’s going to propose to Amy once he’s out of here. It keeps him sane. But every day it feels more like a bizarre fantasy. Any real proposal will be across a dingy visitors table. And Jake won’t do that to Amy. She deserves so much better.

It’s during one such fantasy that he’s moving around without thinking, imagining he’s in the precinct bullpen, figuring out the final stages of The Plan. And he bumps into someone he really shouldn’t, some mafia dude.

Jake tries to say sorry, he really does, but apologies have never been his strong-suit.

And then The Cortez’s step forward, and the mafia step forward.

For ten terrifying minutes Jake’s certain he’s started a war and then the mafia dude backs down. He fills with relief. But he can’t keep ignoring that he has no idea why they would risk going to war for him.

*

Jake steps into the boss’ cell, as respectfully as possible, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” Pedro answers, gesturing to the bunk opposite.

He sits. “Why are you protecting me?”

“You’ve heard the story of Lilia?”

Jake nods.

“Well, let me tell you anyway, you can hear it properly.”

“Okay,” Jake says, forcing his expression into something other than disgust. He still doesn’t understand how anyone could have their own child killed.

“I always taught my children of the importance of family, of looking after family, protecting family, that you do whatever you have to do to achieve this. That is the point of having this power. But Lilia, she had a big heart, she saw the whole community as her family, as people who needed protecting. She thought that we were the ones the community needed protecting from. And, just as I’d taught her, she did whatever it took to protect them."

“She sounds like an amazing kid,” Jake says.

“It wasn’t easy for her, you know, and I don’t just mean that it hurt her to do it. We were good at hiding our shit. But she always had that investigative instinct. And she did what she did knowing what would happen. She was a special one. Two decades later, I still miss her every day.”

Jake for a moment wonders if he reminds Pedro of her, whether the protection is some form of atonement. If so, Jake doesn’t feel at all worthy of the comparison.

“The feds tried to put her into witness protection. But I found her and I knew that meant others would’ve. They would’ve made her death slow and long and agonising and I couldn’t let that happen to her. I made it quick. What I did was mercy.”

Jake stays, still for once, angry and sad and knowing he still has to push for an answer. But he senses more is coming, he waits.

“That’s the story you’ve heard. Don’t tell any different story, it won’t be good for anyone,” Pedro peers at Jake as if looking into his soul before continuing, “Would you like to see a picture of her?”

“Yeah sure.”

Jake unfolds the old weathered photograph carefully. The kid looks surprisingly familiar. It takes him a moment to put it together and even then he doubts, but looking further, he’s certain. It’s Amy.

Comments:


rayaso
rayaso at 2018-11-30 21:24 (UTC) (Link)
What a great set up and twist! I did not see that coming. This was very imaginative and entertaining. Great job!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-01 08:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you didn't see it coming, I was hoping the twist would work :).
Teo Says
eternal_ot at 2018-12-01 14:47 (UTC) (Link)
Oh Wow! This blew me away...I guessed it almost at the last minute when the picture conversation came up..So this was pretty neat. Superb use of the prompt..nice premise..I loved and enjoyed it.Kudos!

Edited at 2018-12-01 02:47 pm (UTC)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-01 15:33 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it :)
(Anonymous) at 2018-12-01 18:41 (UTC) (Link)
THAT caught me off-guard and was unexpected! But this is very well-written, and I enjoyed the way you told it. Excellent writing; I was captivated.

(This is bsgsix - don't know why my name isn't showing, and DW is giving me crap about it!)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-01 18:48 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad it caught you off guard and that you enjoyed it :).

(It may be because it's on livejournal, I don't know how the cross-posting of comments over the two sites work.)
bleodswean
bleodswean at 2018-12-01 19:04 (UTC) (Link)
Queen of the Twist! This is fantastically well-told and very fun! You're so generous to your readers, J. What a great piece!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-02 10:28 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the lovely comment, so glad you liked the twist :).
morettaallstar
morettaallstar at 2018-12-01 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
Fucking fuck. I'm not sure if you know just how heart wrenching this is from the very beginning, but I had to stop and start. This is so good.

Mate.

I don't have words, but it is so good. Oh, Jake.

Have a hug.
I think I need a hug.
So well done.

Edited at 2018-12-01 09:58 pm (UTC)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-02 10:32 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, this is such a lovely comment, thank you, so glad it moved you that way :).

*Hugs you*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
halfshellvenus at 2018-12-02 03:19 (UTC) (Link)
I don't watch the series, so I don't know how much of this has happened on the show- if any of it.

But what a terrific setup and twist. And it was true-- "killing" his daughter himself WAS the best way to protect here, and now she's hiding in plain sight. :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-02 10:37 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the twist, yep, they can't kill you if you're already dead :).

Jake does end up in prison in the show, but pretty much everything else I made up.
(Anonymous) at 2018-12-02 19:00 (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely loved this. The twist at the end was perfect.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-02 19:17 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the twist :).
Murielle
murielle at 2018-12-03 00:27 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! Wow oh wow oh wow!

I. LOVE. THIS.

Brava! Brava!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-03 17:34 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, thank for such a lovely comment, so glad you enjoyed it :)
alycewilson
alycewilson at 2018-12-03 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
Whoa! I love how he cautions him very subtly not to tell any other story, because it wouldn't be good for anyone. Great twist!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-04 17:54 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the cautioning and the twist :).
flipflop_diva
flipflop_diva at 2018-12-04 00:02 (UTC) (Link)
I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so this was super fun to read. (I've also written a ton of fanfic for it, although it's all been on the humorous side and not the angsty side.) But I love how you took the canon set up and put such a cool twist on it. I like it a lot!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2018-12-04 17:58 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, it felt like such a juggling act to get it to work for people who know the show and people who didn't know the show, so I'm glad to hear it works from someone who's a fan of the show :).

And ooh, I'll check out your fics!
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