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Emergency Call - The Fictional Diaries of Ms. Spell
Born with the sole purpose of making a bad pun
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Ms. Spell
2007-06-13 19:11
Emergency Call
Public
fandom: lost, genre: angst, genre: drama, jack shephard, jacket, juliet burke, un_love_you prompt
Emergency Call
Prompt:
un_love_you, #17: “Wish I didn't love you.”
Rating: R
Warning: Drug abuse.
Characters: Jack Shephard, Juliet Burke
Timeline: Soon after the S3 finale.
Word count: 1,846
Author’s Note: I did some research on the topic, but I never actually saw a person OD-ing. The depiction here is a literary guess.
Disclaimer: This is a fictional, nonprofit work for entertainment purpose only. The copyright in the TV show LOST and its components is owned by "American Broadcast Companies, Inc.", which reserves all rights therein.


If a stare could burn, Juliet would have already made two holes through the door. It glares back at her with its single eye, waiting for her actions. Her finger hesitates over the doorbell; when she decides to push the button, it’s only to find out the mechanism isn’t working, as she expected.

She finally breaks the silence, rapping impatiently on the wooden surface. After ten minutes of knocking and calling out, nobody answers. No sound comes out of the flat. Her fear starts to show. Luckily there’s no one in the hall to see it.

Juliet reaches for her cell phone, presses 9, but flips it close again. No. Not now. Not yet.

Sighing deeply, she rummages over the inside of her purse, until she fishes out the key. She was hoping she wouldn’t have to use it – sometimes she believed she’d never come to use it again.

The flat stinks.

She scans the room and steps inside carefully, avoiding the papers and maps scattered over the floor. Her fingers are twitching to clean up the place, her phone weighing in her shirt pocket, but there is a mantra being repeated on her mind and it tells her not to touch anything. If you find him, check his pulse. If he’s dead, or dying, then you call 911, sit tight and breathe in and out till the cops arrive.

Her eyes fall on his body down the corridor, sitting next to the bathroom door. If you find him, check his pulse. Her chest tightens at the sight; he’s not moving. Check his pulse. She walks with quiet steps, crouching down beside him. Don’t touch anything. The position of his head seems to invite her to search for his carotid. If he’s dead, call 911. And don’t you cry, for God’s sake.

There’s a pulse. A thin, shallow call for life. How long has he been like this? She needs to act fast; with such a weak heartbeat, he’s still under high risk.

She slaps him. “Jack. Jack, wake up.”

He’s not reacting. It’s worse than she thought. “Jack, please, wake up, Jack”, she goes on, shaking him by the shoulder. “Come on, Jack. Jack, come on, wake up.” His eyelids flutter; she notices he’s having problems to breathe. He makes a rasping sound at the back of his throat. “Here, Jack, Jack, look at me. I’m going to make a call, but you must stay awake, ok? Stay with me.”

His lips move after enormous effort. He wants to talk, but the words won’t come out. “What? What is it?”, she asks. He mumbles again. There’s hardly a sound, but Juliet has spent enough time with sick people to understand. “Naloxone. You said naloxone. Is that it? Move your head if that’s it.” He nods off once. She takes it as a ‘yes’. “Ok, you must stay awake. I’m going to look for it. Stay awake. Keep trying to talk to me. Ok? Can you do this, Jack?” His answer is a pained frown. She dashes out to the bathroom.

There’s water everywhere, but she doesn’t notice, too focused on her task. Somewhere in her brain she wonders why would he keep emergency opioid antagonists at home (she knows why; she just doesn’t want to believe).

“Here”, she’s back by his side with the medication, syringe and needle. He’s trying to keep his eyes open, but it’s obvious even such a simple gesture is a challenge. She injects the substance in one of the veins of his hand; it’s faster to find and he’s too anaesthetized to complain.

Juliet’s shoulders slump down as she holds onto the point of injection with one hand and puts away the used-up instruments with the other. It will take a minute or two for the medication to kick in, but for now she has done what she could. “Now you’re going to breathe and tell me what happened here.”

Jack tries to fill his lungs slowly. It’s still difficult, but he’s little by little coming out of his comatose state. “Juliet—”

“What happened, Jack”, she insists. He keeps his mouth shut; she knows it’s physically hard for him to talk, but there’s more to it. “You have to tell me what it was. Heroin?”

He blinks, shaking his head lazily. “Pain killer”, he admits in a raucous voice. “Oxy…”

“Oxycodone”, she completes. “Is that all?”

“Whisky.”

She wants to scream at him, to tell him how irresponsible he is, but she just nods. “You’ve been into it for a while. That’s why you stashed the naloxone.”

He tries to smile. “You’re good at guessing.”

“You really thought you’d be able to inject it on yourself?” He doesn’t answer that. She looks at his hand, the one she had been holding. “I have to call the hospital.”

“No.”

“Jack—”

“Don’t do to me what I did to my dad”, he interrupts aggressively, words still hoarse.

At that, she lets her body fall back for a moment. It hurts to see him so deeply broken; hurts even more to know that maybe, just maybe, she has a share of the blame. Yet, she knows what needs to be done and she has dealt with a stubborn Jack before. Juliet takes a long breath before talking again, this time in a slower, didactic tone. “Jack, naloxone is short-lived. Oxycodone is not. You know that. When the naloxone wears off, you’ll still feel the other drug on your system. You could go back into shock, and then I—”

“I’m fine.”

Everybody has limits; not for the first time, Jack is reaching hers. “You look like a dead beggar, Jack. You’re not fine.”

He looks away – not so much because he's offended, but because he knows she's right. Juliet sighs and grabs her cell phone. She's entering the fourth number on the keypad when Jack bats her arm away with a clumsy gesture. The phone flies from her hand; she winces when it cracks over a faded red Asia on the floor.

Jack blinks, looking ashamed. “I didn't… it shouldn't have gone that far.”

“I was just calling Rachel”, she whispers, rubbing the inside of her arm. Knowing that he didn't mean to hurt her doesn't change the fact that she's going to have a bruise in the morning.

“How is she?”

“She's ok.”

Both of them fall into silence; it's not the best moment for small talk. Jack tries to get up but nausea and dizziness prevent him from it. He slides down the wall with Juliet's help.

They spend a while not looking at each other. “Why did you come back?”, he murmurs.

“Kate called me. About three days ago. She said you were strange. Somebody had to check on you.”

“Why you?”

“Who else would?” She lifts her eyebrows. He looks down. “You should be glad it was someone with medical knowledge. Do you realize what just happened here, Jack? If I hadn’t arrived now, if I had just... caught another flight, it would have been too late.”

“Why did you come back, Juliet?”

She sighs, wondering if he heard a word of what she said. “I told you already. Kate—”

“No”, he frowns, raising his head to stare deep into her eyes. “Why did you really come?”

It's there in what he's not saying, there in the way he fixes his focus on her face and rubs his fingers uneasily on the side of his dirty jeans: he wants to know if she changed her mind. The thing is, her reason says she didn't. As she said to Rachel while packing her bag, she had to come to his aid because it was her responsibility as the most apt to deal with the situation.

Her heart, however, says otherwise - and even though she's conscious that it doesn't change anything, the reason she gives him is the closest one to the truth. “Because unfortunately, Jack, I still care about you.”

The words dance around him for a moment. “Then why did you leave in the first place?” His voice falters in the middle of the sentence. He had always been more susceptible to tears than her, even though this time her eyes are burning too.

“It was killing me”, Juliet finally lets out, and that’s enough to break her. “You and that,” she sobs, “that obsession with going back. I left because you pushed me away.”

Her chest aches when it’s over; maybe it’s for releasing the burden, the mix of anger and sorrow she’s been keeping inside herself for months. Or maybe because it’s hard to talk and cry and breathe at the same time. She doesn’t know. What she knows is that, with her feelings put in the open, her brain is free to function properly again.

Jack averts her eyes, trying to hide his hands between his legs. They are shaking, and his forehead is covered in sweat. He must be reacting to the substances in his body. Her mind is set on IV drips and medical charts. “If I promise to help you,” she starts, knowing that she will eventually regret suggesting it. “If I promise to do whatever I can to help you find it, to... to help you go back. Will you come to the hospital with me?”

He takes a quick look at her, then lets his head fall back against the wall. She knows his confused mind is pondering whether he should buy into what she’s offering or not. “I can't show up there like this. They’ll—”

“I can take you somewhere else. Another hospital, not St. Sebastian.”

“They’ll know me.” He lets out a humorless, sad chuckle. “Fucking hero doctor Shephard. No, they'll know me.”

“I’ll come up with something. I can cover up for you. You know I’m good at that, Jack”, she insists, grabbing his hands for emphasis. “Please.”

The twin hazel orbs are into her again, a mist of hate over them - if directed at her or at himself, there is no way to define. (She had forgotten how much power he can have over her through a simple glare.)

“I don't want you to help me out of pity, Juliet.”

She just shakes her head. (Her eyes can control him, too.) “I’ve pitied people before, Jack. I know the difference.”

They battle each other in silence – one too focused, the other too stubborn – because that’s the way it always works when both of them believe they are right, and the winner is not necessarily the one who has more faith in their own opinion. When Jack breaks eye contact this time, it’s because Juliet is desperately determined to make him agree and he’s too tired to fight back.

She breathes out, holding his arm and kissing the back of his hand in silent gratitude. Even though her promise already seems irresponsible, she knows she will not go back on her words. In the back of her mind, Juliet thinks she should call her sister. She’ll have to ask for extra clothes.
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Ms. Spell
msspell
2007-06-15 13:21 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thank you! :) Initially I thought this would be a one-shot, but now I plan on writing a prequel about the break-up. No ideas for a sequel at the moment, though - let's see what my brain might conjure up on the next few days. ;D
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Erica.: downfall
lady_e2484
2007-06-16 10:35 (UTC)
(no subject)
AV:downfall
Awww mate I seriously love your fic !!

This was so sad and dark .............. poor Jack, seeing Jack in this kinda of state makes my heart hurt and your description of Juliet breaking down was so heartbreaking !!


Loved it xxxxxxxx
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Ms. Spell
msspell
2007-06-16 23:31 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks! I always had a tendency to write more angst than happy-end stories, so canon future!Jack fitted like a glove to my style.

Of course, as a Jack-lover, I want to pamper him and play with his hair until he's better, but my plot bunnies are a bunch of sadistic bastards. :DDD
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Sarah
iorwen107
2007-06-16 14:39 (UTC)
(no subject)
where are my tissues?! So sad, so beautiful.
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Ms. Spell: Lost
msspell
2007-06-16 23:26 (UTC)
(no subject)
AV:Lost
Thank you! :) *hands you tissues*
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twix: b&w jacket
coffeecrisp7
2009-01-05 03:46 (UTC)
(no subject)
AV:b&w jacket
Wow, that was really sad, but so well-written... I could easily see that happening on the show if Juliet had gotten off the island.
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