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Tru Calling: Couldn't Be

Summary: The last installment following the events of Into the Light and An Affair of the Heart: Tru continues to struggle with the symptoms of her PTSD, the aftermath of her breakup with Jack and faces a final confrontation with her father.

Lost in reverie. Lost in a dream. Wanting to scream, cry, yell and even panic. Panic at the thought of losing her. He wants to hold her and never let her go. There was some unseen desire that he couldn't pull away from.

The constant tug and pull back and forth. The struggle to break free from him. From his intimacy. Comfort. Protection. Love. Is that what it was? Or was it something else? A deep, dark secret. A secret that crept its way into the present, twisting and breaking free so that it could finally take her in its malevolent grasp.

The duplicity of the heart was torn. And all that was left was a deadened sense of being. The salty tears that fell down swollen cheeks were augmented by this feeling.

Betrayal.


He couldn't sleep. It seemed like an eternity before he felt some slight movement in-between the creamy silk sheets. Then he heard a low, soft moan and felt the movement again. Gently placing a hand on her shoulder, he suddenly heard her startle and gasp. Her brown eyes were still laced with drowsiness as she heard the voice float towards her.

"Bad dream?"

She rolled over in bed, now facing him, instantly embraced in his arms as his warm breath caressed her neck.

"Something like that," Tru Davies replied as Jack Harper leaned forward and brushed a kiss against her forehead.

"You couldn't sleep?" she asked him.

"No," he replied. "I was worried about you."

"I'm fine. Really."

"Promise?" he whispered seductively into her ear.

Acting almost instantly on his response, she wrapped her arms around him, using the leverage to pull herself forward and capture his lips in a savory kiss that left him breathless.

He was the first to pull away, gazing into the haunting depths of her dark brown eyes. He melted into them, lost in a mesmerizing ecstasy…

"Jack…"
He suddenly heard her calling his name. It seemed so far away…

"Jack, help me. Please… I'm bleeding."

Crimson blood soaked through her pink tank top, seeping onto the silk sheets.

"Please, Jack… I'm bleeding. I'm dying…"

She clung to him in sudden desperation, her eyes wide and frightened. Blood stained the palms of his hands.

No. Why is this happening?

"Jack… I love you…" She was hysterical and gasped anxiously for breath that could not be breathed.

"Tru… TRU!" The distance between time and space separated them. He was suddenly falling. Farther and farther away


Jack shot up in bed, gasping for breath. He had almost lost her once and was determined not to lose her again. But first, he had to gain back her trust


"Hey, Tru!"

No response.

"TRU!"

Tru startled from her sunken reverie. "I'm sorry. What?"

Harrison Davies sighed, putting his coffee cup down on the café table. He knew his older sister well. At least well enough to know that she was still suffering from a black depression, heightened anxiety and numerous sleepless nights. Ever since she had broken up with Jack, the symptoms of her PTSD had skyrocketed. She began to sink inside the core of her being more and not let anyone in – not even herself. And yet, the one person who she wanted to let in most of all was the smoldering center of her fear.

"You're still thinking about him, aren't you?"

Tru nodded slowly.

"You wanna talk about it?" he offered.

"I don't -…" she began.

"You know, that's why I brought you here. A little fresh air, a dash of freshly brewed caffeine and a pep talk from your baby bro."

"Did Davis put you up to this by chance?"

A feigned look of shock spread across Harrison's face. "Now, Tru, why would I -…?"

"Because I know you, Harrison," Tru retorted. "And I know Davis. Don't you think I miss him? But this is all too much. First it's Luc, then Jensen, then my own father tries to kill me, and then Jack… of all people he…" Tru faltered for a moment, trying to choke back tears. She stood up defiantly, looking down at her brother through teary eyes. "I can't. I'm sorry, Harrison."

With that, she picked up her coffee cup, still half full, and walked off, embraced by the late morning sunshine.

Harrison sighed again, his eyes overcast with concern for the well-being of his sister – the one who had always been determined, confident and kept everything from falling apart.


A thick blanket of eerie darkness permeated through the city that night. It was cold, too. Tru shivered with uncertainty as a fierce, icy wind blew past her. She hadn't remembered it being this cold in quite some time.

Pulling her jacket around her tightly, she walked into her apartment building. She turned the key inside the lock of her door and let out a quiet sigh of relief as she stepped inside.

Every day seemed long and hard for Tru; the constant ticking of the clock seemed to drag on for long, interminable hours. For now, she was happy to just come home and relax.

"You should really find another place to hide your spare key," Jack said, standing up from the couch, and startling Tru as she shut the door behind her.

"Oh, my God, Jack! What the hell are you doing here?"

:"We need to talk, Tru. You've been avoiding me for almost 3 months."

"We don't need to talk about anything," Tru snapped. "I have nothing to say to you."

"But I have something to say to you," Jack countered, maintaining solid eye contact with her as he moved closer, his voice soft and gentle.

"I want a second chance. Please, Tru. I never intended to hurt you like that. After all you've been through, especially these past few months; I was only trying to help you get well again."

"But you were drugging me," Tru spoke slowly as tears began to fall from her eyes, staining her rosy colored cheeks. "What were you thinking? I'm 23 years old! It's my life. My body. My decision. How can something like that be considered okay?"

They were inches apart from one another now. He stared deep into her dark chocolate brown eyes, falling into their black abyss, which became nestled into the core of her excruciating pain. The lavender blouse and blue jeans she wore hung loosely on her thin frame. She had definitely lost weight again. Her face was pale and the usually beautifully accentuated features of her face seemed to have lost their luminous shine.

It hurt Jack more than anything to see Tru in a state like this. Seeing her now and just being in her presence made him desire her more than ever before. He had been there for her at one time, whispering soothing words of comfort into her ear, holding her, kissing her, making love to her.

"No, it's not okay," Jack finally replied. "But I was afraid, Tru. I just hope that you can find some way – any way – to forgive me."

She looked away from him dismissively. "I've been taking my meds if that's what you want to know. But I'm not taking the Ambien anymore because the doctor said he was worried about the risk of dependency. So whenever I have trouble sleeping sometimes I make tea and other times I just try deep breathing. It usually works."

"Whatever works for you is fine," he said as she gradually met his eyes again "I'm just happy to hear you're taking care of yourself."

She barely flinched when he brushed the side of his hand against her face, a stray tear smeared against his thumb. "I've missed you."

Her breath caught in her throat. I've missed you, too.

"I know."

Balance kept Life and Death in limbo. Always keeping the scale from tipping. One always triumphed over the other. The end of the day always brought both victory and defeat.

But when that thin line was crossed, two worlds bled together and became one. No longer torn in-between and caught in the delicate fabric of the universe. No one could replicate love like the passion that blossomed between fated lovers. Two people who've changed the course of Destiny and Fate, who've made the distance between space and time last for longer than an eternity. When they were joined together, they were strong. Apart from one another and the tumultuous turmoil never ceased. There was indefinite chaos. Chaos that prevailed until the bond was rekindled and trust conquered the fear.


Sometimes silence heals. Silence that breaks the cycles of Destiny and Fate, the interlocking paths that cross immeasurable boundaries on the verge of the golden horizon.

But the silence between Tru and Jack deemed unacceptable. It had taken another 2 weeks after their first confrontation before Tru was finally able to speak with Jack again. They met every night from that point on just to talk. The feelings were still there. The feelings that anchored in their hearts; hers was out of fear and his out of concern. There was no intimacy – not yet – only feeling.

The cold night air settled around Tru as she came home late from another night with Jack a few weeks later. An unsavory chill crept around her as she slipped in-between the silk sheets, resting her head on the pillow beneath her.

Something in the back of her mind told her not to close her eyes. But the exhaustion overtook her quickly and she drifted off into a deep slumber.


"Jack! JACK! Please… I think there's someone at the door! I don't know what to do!"

There was a scream at the other end of the line. And then a dial tone. Nothing.

"Tru? TRU?"

Damn it.


"Get up, Tru." The voice was harsh and grating.

Even in the darkness, she knew the voice well. Her heart pounded ferociously inside her chest and her breathing came and went in shallow gasps. But she obeyed as she quickly maneuvered out of bed and became face-to-face with her aggressor.

"It's the middle of the night! What do you want from me, Daddy?"

"Nothing, sweetheart," Richard Davies replied; his tone was caustic and cold as ice. He moved closer, suddenly grabbing hold of her arms and pulling her to him. She could almost see his metallic gray eyes glowing in the darkness.

"I wanted to talk to you about Jack. About what he did to you? It wasn't fair, was it? How he drugged you without your permission? How he violated your personal rights? I know you still have feelings for him. But do you really want to live with that stuck in the back of your mind?"

He paused. "Do you?"

No response.

He shook her. Hard.

"Tell me," he demanded.

Unable to speak at that moment, she just looked at him with wide, horrified eyes. Although Richard's vision was obscured by the darkness and he was barely able to see her terrified expression, he could definitely sense his daughter's fear.

"I -…" she began.

Suddenly, they both heard the sound of a door being swung open and then slammed shut.

"Tru?" a voice called. "Where are you?"

Jack.

"In here!" Tru screamed frantically. "Hurry!"

A light flickered on and was illuminated from the doorway of Tru's bedroom.

"NO!" Jack shouted as he stood momentarily stunned in the doorway as Richard held Tru firmly; his hands were wrapped securely around the base of her neck.

He was choking her.

Suddenly fueled by an overwhelming burst of anger, Jack came at Richard from behind, prying his hands off of Tru with such force that she fell back onto her bed and lay still.

Seizing a quick, opportune moment before Richard could regain his composure from the sudden impact, Jack looked over at the dark haired brunette who lay motionless on the bed. He knew she wasn't dead and figured she had just passed out from momentary shock and temporary lack of oxygen.

"Come to play hero again, Jack?" Richard questioned coyly, picking himself up from the floor. "You're an intelligent young man. I thought we already had this discussion."

"We did. And I told you to leave her alone."

"And I told you that you can't always protect her. But here you are… defying your calling, falling in love with the one person you swore to me you would defeat and then disowning her? If she means everything to you, why would you do that?"

"Go to hell."

"Now, now, is that really a pleasant way to speak to your mentor?"

"After what you've put me through, Richard, I don't really care."

"Then let's settle this once and for all, shall we?"

"I think that would be a good idea," another voice suddenly chimed in.

Unexpectedly caught off guard, both men turned around to locate the direction of the voice.

Tru was sitting on the side of her bed, glaring at both of them intently.

"Tru, are you -…?"

"I'm fine, Jack."

"Sweetheart, this is not what you think it is," Richard added quickly.

"No," Tru began, "this is exactly what I think it is." She stood up, tears filling the corners of her eyes, her arms crossed in defiance. "You can never take away my feelings for Jack, Daddy. And -…" she paused; her voice was quivering.

Fear.

"Don't let your fear consume you, Tru," Jack whispered urgently, making brief eye contact with her. "Don't let your fears make you feel any different about yourself. You're powerful. Strong. Courageous. It's okay to be angry. Get angry."

Tru drew in a sharp, deep breath, turning Jack's words over in her mind, and then narrowed her eyes at her father.

"And maybe it was wrong for Jack to do what he did to me, but I think we can work on forgiveness. I don't think I can ever forgive you for what you did to me. For what you did to Mom. I've lost way too many people I love to death. I don't want to lose anymore." There were no tears in her eyes as she stood her ground.

This time it was Richard's turn to be stunned. Stunned at the cogent power of his daughter's scathing words.

Jack seized this opportunity once more and stepped forward, taking Tru into his arms and staring fixedly into her glowing brown eyes. His tone was serious when he spoke. She knew he meant business – nothing more.

"Listen to me, Tru. Take my keys, put on your shoes, grab your jacket and go straight to my apartment. If I'm not there within the hour, call Harrison or Davis. Tell them what's going on. They'll know what to do. Understand?"

Tru nodded in confirmation.

"Good," Jack replied firmly. "You fought your fight, Tru. Now it's time for me to fight mine." He paused and kissed her lightly on the forehead.

"Do you trust me?"

She said nothing.

In that moment, there was some unseen, indescribable understanding that passed between the two. It was something that separated the arduous restraint between time and space and let the moment merely exist. Exist where love and hate, peace and disharmony, equilibrium and chaos were extricated somewhere in the in-between.

In the next moment, Tru tore her gaze away from Jack and did as she was told. Meanwhile, Jack kept a trained, steady gaze on Richard, making it crystal clear that he was keeping Tru out of harm's way.

Without a single glace at Jack or her father, Tru headed out into the night, praying that soon all of her fear would disintegrate like grey ashes and she could put this all behind her. For good.


Tru had made it to Jack's apartment safely and now all she could think about was him. As much as she hated to admit it to herself, she was afraid. No matter how many times she told herself not to be, she still was. It made her anxious and restless.

But time had no conscience, no fear. Time merely existed, moving forward in a constant, syncopated rhythm. Ironic how two people could alter these syncopated rhythms by challenging the very existence of time itself. Ironic how reliving a day could change the simplest, most intricate patterns of time which kept the universe in an uncertain equilibrium.

Yet this day had not been a rewind day and Tru still felt unsteady, like all of the time that kept the universe in that uncertain equilibrium had suddenly ceased to exist.

And there she was… waiting.


Just as she was about to give up and call her brother, a gentle knocking resonated through Jack's apartment.

"Tru?"

The wooden door opened, revealing a very anxious looking Tru who stood before him barefoot and donning a light pink tank top and grey sweatpants.

Jack sauntered in quickly and she closed the door behind him, instantly gazing up at him expectantly with a pensive expression set on her face.

Swift and unhesitant, Jack pulled Tru forward into his waiting arms. His voice slipped through his teeth like delicate silk, drifting towards her in a soft whisper.

"It's over, Tru. You don't have to worry about it anymore. I took care of it."

"Is he -…?"

"No, not dead. But I know for a fact that he'll be donning black and white stripes for the rest of his pathetic life."

After all of this chaos, was it really that simple? After all of their stalwart battles, was the fight – the struggle to release the unbroken chains of time – finally over?

Dad…

"I trust you."

Her unexpected response made Jack tighten his hold on Tru. But only for a single, fleeting moment. In that moment, he inhaled her words so that they suddenly became a part of him. Nothing better than that could've ever been said in that moment. The pit that had stationed itself in Jack's stomach seemed to be dissipating suddenly as a crashing wave of satisfied relief washed over him.

He came out of his dreamy reverie to find Tru looking up at him with sleepy, wistful eyes.

"I trust you," she repeated.

"Thank you," Jack breathed, brushing a few stray strands of her wavy locks from her eyes.

Unable to resist the undeniable magnetism that drew Life and Death together once more, Tru leaned in slowly…

The kiss was supercharged, overwhelming both of them with electrifying passion and sweeping them away in a sort of intangible ecstasy – one that could only be shared by fated lovers. One that walked along the parallel lines yet dare not wander into the territory of the unknown.

When they finally broke apart, Tru leaned her head fervently on Jack's chest as his arms readily embraced her, holding her close.

The sudden onslaught of tears came without warning – nothing prepared her for the salty concoctions that ran down her face, staining his shirt with an unspoken, unbidden plea. A plea of forgiveness.

He understood the implications. His fingers weaved in and out through her dark curls as he stroked her hair, comforting her with a gentle shhh.

After a few minutes had passed, she looked up at him again.

"You're exhausted," he told her. "C'mon, let's get you into bed."

He gathered her into his arms, carrying her into his bedroom and placing her in-between the soft sheets of silk. She then felt him settle in beside her and give her shoulder a light squeeze.

She rolled over so that she was facing him, resting her head on the soft pillow beneath her.

"You did well tonight and I'm proud of you. I know it took a lot of courage for you to trust again. To trust in me again. But I told you I'd wait. There couldn't be anything more that I want right now but you."

Her heart skipped a beat and a smile formed around the corners of her lips.

His fingers wrapped around the thin strap of her tank top, pulling it down as it brushed against the smooth texture of her lightly tanned skin. She barely felt her sweatpants slide down her legs as she was embraced by the warmth of the silk sheets.

A bolt of pleasure seized her suddenly, making her moan quietly.

Satisfied with her response, he silenced her with a long kiss. She was the first to pull away this time, laying her head back on the pillow as he wrapped an arm around her waist. It made her feel safe again.

"Feel better?" he asked her.

She smiled again and nodded vigorously.

"Go back to sleep," he told her. "You're gonna need your rest. I'm taking you out to a late breakfast. No arguments."

"Okay," she agreed.

Less than a half an hour later, Tru lay fast asleep next to Jack who stared absentmindedly up at the ceiling.

He knew everything was going to be fine now. Tru was a tough girl and he knew there couldn't be anyone else who would've come out as strong and resilient as she did. Yes, it had been rough, but the entire experience had made her stronger than ever. And, in Jack's eyes, that clearly exemplified the traits of a true heroine.

THE END