anightingalesang: (Over shoulder shock)
Parachute or not, Jack hit the ground hard, half stunned. He twisted enough to land properly without breaking anything, but it still jarred him and he disconnected from the chute on instinct and lay on the ground trying to get his bearings and catch his breath. Something had happened up there, something he couldn't fully describe. Already dizzy from the smoke and heat from his plane burning around him, it had seemed like the sky itself opened up, sucked him in. After struggling to even be able to eject from the burning cockpit, he figured he had to be delusional, must have hit his head on something, but now, staring up at the empty sky, he reassessed that. No planes. No wreckage. No enemy fighters. None of his men. Nothing but a few birds up against a leaden sky. He'd felt tossed around by the wind, felt pretty sure he'd blacked out for a while, but no way he'd gotten carried this far away from the fight without realizing it, was there?

Cautiously, he reached around to feel his head. Whatever had hit him hadn't done so hard enough to break skin or leave any knots he could feel. Pushing himself up to sitting, he started coughing, throat and lungs both raw with smoke. He felt like he'd been run over, caught in a tornado, tossed around with Dorothy's house and smashed into the ground under it for good measure, but he was alive.

The question was where.

It was silent, no sounds of fighting reaching him. God only knew how far he'd been blown off course, and the sense of unease, the image of the gaping hole in the sky wouldn't leave him. He managed to get to his feet, tugging off his helmet and goggles as he looked around. The terrain still looked like Wales, but nothing struck him as overly familiar. When he turned enough to catch a glimpse of the city on the horizon, though, he froze. Something was wrong, all right, very wrong. Because while there were a couple of familiar looking landmarks telling him he'd landed not so far outside of Cardiff, the city he was looking back on didn't look like the Cardiff he knew at all.

"What the hell is going on?"
anightingalesang: (Standing alone)
"Why did you make me kiss her goodbye?"

"I just think you should live every night like it's your last. Make tonight the best night of your life. You're alive, right here, right now. Your men are fine."

"What are you trying to say?"

"Go to her. Go to your Nancy and lose yourself in her."

"Maybe I should."


"Is Toshiko your woman?"

"No. There's no one. - Go to her."

He made it down the stairs, to the coat room, reaching for his ticket to claim his coat. His feet dragged every step, though, like fighting through quicksand to get to the door. It opened and a laughing couple came in, relief on their face that the air raid was over, and a hectic shine in their eyes that said they were all too intent on following through with on Captain Harper's maxim. Carpe diem, right? Eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow you may die. However you said it, he'd heard it all before, from a dozen different sources, books and lips, and seen his men and the girls they held living it out before his eyes. Nothing wrong with it, he supposed, except for the trail of broken hearts it left behind for some.

She loved him, and for all that he knew she was a sweet kid, there was nothing in her that lit that spark in him. He wouldn't lose himself in her, no matter how hard he tried. Instead, he'd perpetuate a sham he lived every day, concentrate on keeping that facade up and working. There would be no joy in it for him, and only raise expectations in her that he would never be able to fulfill. There had been something in Captain Harper's eyes, some desperation he didn't want to name or look at too closely, and a loneliness that echoed and touched his own.

If this were truly his last night on Earth...if he had only one chance for one thing in life left...

Handing his coat back to the girl behind the counter, he moved back upstairs.

"I thought you'd gone. This could be your last chance."

'That's why I came back' )
anightingalesang: ([Jack] Look)
It was funny, in a sort of sad way, how when his actions could upturn his whole life, he'd barely paused to think before making a move toward the man who drew him like a magnet, but now that his life had been upturned every time he thought of taking that step again, he felt himself falter.
anightingalesang: ([Jack] Look)
James told him to spend the night as if it were his last, as if there would be no tomorrow, and Jack had every intention of doing so, caught up in the urgency in the other man's voice, but they were interrupted by a flash of light, and while morning did dawn the next day, Jack faced it alone.
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