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Tru Calling: Five Years Later

Five years ago, Tru Davies invited Jack Harper to be part of her Christmas celebration with her family and friends. The only one who had given her crap about it later was her brother Harrison.

Now, her heart nearly skips a beat when she hears a knock on the door of her apartment on Christmas Eve. She puts a tray of ready-to-be-baked Christmas cookies in the oven and rushes to the door.

She opens the door with eager anticipation.

"I come bearing Christmas goodies," Jack says, grinning widely as he walks through the door carrying large bags.

"And more Christmas goodies are baking in the oven," Tru replies, closing the door behind him and taking one of the extremely large paper grocery bags from him as he gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.

Tru goes into her small kitchen as Jack follows behind her. They both place the bags on the counter.

"I know it's getting a little late, but do you mind if I see her?" Jack asks.

"Sure," Tru replies. "I just put her down to sleep a half an hour ago. I hope she can sleep with the anticipation of Christmas tomorrow."

She leads the way out of the kitchen and down the short hallway to the very end. The door to the room on the right has been left ajar. Tru turns to Jack and puts a finger on her lips. Jack nods in acknowledgment.

Inside the room on a small bed with princess pink sheets lies a young girl of no more than five. She's sleeping soundly, her arm loosely hugging a stuffed purple puppy to her chest.

Tru sighs heavily, watching her daughter sleep.

"It's not easy being a single mother."

As if to offer the smallest token of comfort, Jack kisses her shoulder. He then whispers in her ear. "But look at you. You've done an amazing job these past five years. You and Kira are both survivors. You're both proof than you're stronger than what happened to you."

There are tears in her eyes now. She tries to blink them away before going into her daughter's room while Jack stands in the doorway waiting for her.

Carefully, she leans over and tucks a strand of Kira's brown hair behind her ear.

"I love you, baby girl," she whispers softly, brushing a kiss against her forehead.

She walks out of Kira's room as Jack follows behind her, leaving the door ajar like Tru had left it earlier. Before Tru realizes it, they're back in the kitchen staring at the giant paper bags filled with the Christmas treats Jack has brought over.

Her voice quivers and seems to vibrate in the stillness of the room. "Sometimes it doesn't feel like enough. Sometimes it feels like I want to give up. Like I want to throw it all away. I mean, I wouldn't trade my daughter for anything, but sometimes… I just want to give up. I messed up. I should have never let Jensen seduce me."

"You didn't mess up," Jack tells her gently. "You were in love with him, so you acted instinctively out of love."

"Was I? Jack, I was in love with a monster! A soulless, evil monster!"

"Shhh, keep your voice down," Jack whispers as he moves forward to embrace Tru. He holds her in his arms and there is silence for a few moments. "He clearly didn't know what he was missing out on, who he was missing out on." He then presses a gentle kiss into her hair before she looks up at him, a smile forming across her lips.

"Guess not," she acknowledges quietly.

She's the first to pull away from his embrace, wandering over to the bags on the counter and pulling things out of them. "You bought all this stuff?"

"You said you were making cookies, so I just bought some chips and dips, things like that. You know, the essentials for any Christmas party."

"I see," Tru replies, a little mischievously as she pulls out a bottle of wine. "At least you know to come prepared."

Jack goes to one of Tru's kitchen cabinets and opens it, taking two wine glasses from the shelf. "Well, you know, I thought we'd get a head start on this whole Christmas celebration thing. Just the two of us." He sets the glasses down on the counter and opens the bottle of wine, pouring a generous amount of wine into each glass.

"I think I like the sound of that," Tru says, her eyes sparkling in the kitchen's light. Jack becomes mesmerized by her eyes for a moment as she stands on her tip toes and kisses him. He returns the kiss in full, wrapping his arms around her and running a hand through her soft hair as they both allow themselves to become lost in the moment. He's the first to pull away this time.

"So… where were we?" he asks.

Tru chuckles a little. "I don't even know."

They make a toast and their wine glasses clink together before they enjoy their drinks.

A few minutes later, after Tru takes the cookies out of the oven, her and Jack are both rummaging through the bags that Jack had brought over. They lay everything out on the counter and Tru starts taking out festive-looking plates and bowls.

"Can't all the set-up wait until tomorrow?"

"I like to be prepared. Plus, I need to make sure I'm the proper hostess for Davis. You know he's bringing over his new girlfriend. And then there's Avery and Harrison. My brother likes to eat! A lot. Maybe all of Avery's Jewish cooking has spoiled him rotten."

Jack considers this. "OK. What about that stuff?"

He gestures to the bag of flour and the leftover bowl of cookie batter in the corner of Tru's kitchen counter.

"What do you mean? I'll probably just refrigerate the leftover batter or something. And that bag of flour should go back in the cabinet."

She doesn't realize he's already over at the other end of the counter, moving the bag of flour and bowl of unused cookie batter towards him.

"You know, my mother always taught me to never play with my food. And usually, I listened to her." He then shoots Tru a wicked grin. "But tonight I'm gonna make an exception."

Dipping two fingers into the cookie batter, he puts some on Tru's nose before she has a chance to react. "And just for good measure…" He sprinkles a bit of flour on her nose as she squirms.

"Oh, you did not!" she exclaims, giggling. She takes some cake batter and smears it on his cheek. Then she attempts to throw flour in his face.

Fail. It lands on his shirt instead.

An hour goes by and Tru and Jack are both covered in flour and cookie batter from head to toe. They're as quiet as they can be with Kira sleeping just down the hallway, but they also can't help themselves. They're both laughing as Jack pulls Tru close, kissing her cookie-batter-and-flour-smeared lips with a tenderness Tru hadn't expected, even after dating him these past several years. He always manages to surprise her. The man who represents Death of all people. She almost laughs at the absurd irony of their situation.

But she learns to let go for a moment. She lets herself become lost again. Lost in the strong embrace of his arms. A loving embrace a single, independent, confident young mother like herself deserves.

Tomorrow, they will open presents with various members of Tru's immediate and extended family. Tomorrow, Tru will watch her daughter's eyes go wide with excitement as she opens her presents. Tomorrow, Harrison will make some sarcastic remark about how Tru and Jack are getting too syrupy sweet and lovey dovey for him to handle. Avery will think it's cute. Davis won't comment, but will unsuccessfully try and avoid their conversations and talk to his new girlfriend about Lord of the Rings. Tomorrow, at the Christmas dinner table, Tru and Jack will look at each other and smile contentedly. And tomorrow, after all the guests have left and most of the clean-up has finished, Kira will be asleep in her own bed once more and Tru and Jack will be on Tru's couch in her living room. Tru will be laying happily in his arms, asleep after a long day of fun and celebration, and Jack will barely be paying attention to the remaining round of Christmas specials playing on the TV and instead be playing with Tru's hair.

But that's all food for thought tomorrow.

For now, Tru has cookie-batter-and-flour-covered Jack as he holds her in his arms as he's done many times in the past. They're on the floor, both trying to suppress extremely loud bouts of laughter from erupting.

"Merry Christmas, sweetheart," Jack whispers in her ear. "I love you."