Summary: Post Season 3 Jack and Chloe have a one night stand that ends in a daughter. What happens next will change their lives forever.
Chase was a determined man. He always had been. Maybe not always, maybe only after his dad died and he was left, at ten years old, the man of the house. Whenever, however it had happened, he didn’t really care. It was who he was. And tonight, he was determined to make his equally stubborn best friend enjoy her damn birthday if he had to threaten to kill her.
Said best friend was currently rolling her eyes at him, so it might actually come to that.
“Look,” he sighed, “I know it’s been a rough few months.”
“Rough,” she laughed.
“Yeah,” he muttered, “rough.”
“You almost lost your hand.”
“Among other things.”
“Other things. Other things.”
“Angela learned to walk,” he pointed out.
“You’re not playing fair, bringing her into this.”
“You taught me that you never win playing fair,” he countered. “It’s your birthday. We’re celebrating the future.”
“No,” he said firmly. “We did not come out here and spend all this money on whiskey when we could be getting drunk at home for free to feel sorry for ourselves. Celebrate dammit.”
Chloe drained her glass. “Happy?”
“Delighted,” he grinned, topping off her glass.
She settled next to him in the booth, resting her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes. “This is kind of nice,” she murmured.
“See, that’s what I’m talking about.”
“It’s been a long time since we’ve done this.”
“Before Angela,” he agreed.
“We should have a toast,” Chloe said, brightening suddenly. “Isn’t that what people do when they celebrate?”
“I think you’re supposed to toast with champagne darlin’.”
“Hey,” he said, “I know an Irish blessing, my Ma used to always say it. ‘May God grant you always a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you’. Happy birthday my darlin’ girl,” he said, pulling her closer.
“That was nice,” she said, closing her eyes again. “We don’t drink often enough,” she rambled. “I forget how nice and warm it makes you.”
“You might want to try some water,” he chuckled.
“I hate water.”
Chase opened her mouth to attempt to reason with her when he glanced towards the door and stiffened. Shifting and hoping Chloe was too drunk to notice he silently cursed. Of course Jack Bauer would show up at Chloe’s favorite bar on Chloe’s birthday. Perfect.
“What’s going on,” Chloe asked, sitting up and almost falling into his lap.
“Nothing,” he muttered. “You want to go home? I’ll let you cuddle up with me.”
She shook her head. “More whiskey,” she slurred, trying to pour herself another glass.
“Careful,” he said, taking the bottle from her before she spilled it all over the table.
“Chloe,” Jack asked, surprised.
“Jack,” she squealed, popping out of the booth to hug him.
“Jack,” Chase sighed.
“It’s my birthday,” Chloe said brightly, pulling him into the seat next to her. “We’re celebrating.”
“I see that,” Jack said evenly.
“With whiskey cause we’re Irish and we know it’s the best,” she continued.
“Happy birthday,” Jack murmured.
“Thank you. I love this song. Do you love this song? We should dance. We should all dance,” Chloe babbled.
“She’s drunk,” Chase muttered. “Happens fast. There’s a tiny little window with Chlo between the perfect amount of alcohol and this.”
“I don’t dance,” Jack explained.
“But it’s my birthday,” she said, her face falling.
“One dance,” he agreed, following her onto the dance floor.
Chase moved to follow them, frowning when his phone vibrated.
“You need to come home,” Kim said firmly.
“Kimmie,” he sighed, “soon. I just gotta get Chlo.”
“Angela won’t sleep and she has a fever and she’s miserable Chase.”
“I’ll be there,” he promised. He made his way to Chloe. “We gotta go darlin’.”
“I’m having fun.”
“Angela’s not feeling so good, she needs her daddy.”
Chloe’s face fell. “Is she okay?”
“She’s fine. She just can’t sleep.”
“You go take care of Angela,” Jack offered, “and I’ll make sure the birthday girl gets home safely. I’ll even tuck her in.”
“Go,” Chloe urged, pushing on him. “I had a wonderful birthday.”
“I’ll call you later,” Chase warned her. “If you don’t answer I’ll call SWAT.”
Chloe was going to kill whoever was on the other end of the ringing telephone, and maybe go back in time and kill the bastard that invented the telephone to begin with. She finally managed to knock the offensive appliance off the nightstand, tumbling out of bed after it.
“What,” she groaned.
“Morning sunshine,” Chase said cheerfully.
“I hate you.”
“I just wanted to make sure you made it home alright.”
“What are you talking about,” she muttered, leaning against the bed and closing her eyes. “You were with me.”
He sighed. “I’ll explain later.”
“Whatever,” she said, dropping the phone.
She was contemplating sleeping on the floor versus attempting to crawl back into bed when she heard another, somehow familiar groan come from above her.
She pushed herself slowly to her feet and screamed, covering her mouth quickly. “Jack Bauer is not in my bed,” she whispered. “Jack Bauer is not in my bed.”
“Are you okay,” he asked without opening his eyes.
“Fine,” she whispered. “Sorry. I…stubbed my toe.”
“You’re a lousy liar,” he sighed. “Do you have coffee?”
“I could make some. Are you…did we…we didn’t, right?”
“It was the jello shots. You insisted we have jello shots for your birthday. Somebody from the bar called us a cab, we came here, I don’t really remember anything after that, but Chloe, I’m pretty sure we did.” He propped himself up on one elbow and turned to look at her. “I’m sorry.”
“It was a mistake,” she said quickly. “A stupid mistake, but we’re…we’re grown ups, we’re professionals, we’ll handle it like grown ups. We’ll just keep working together like nothing happened.”
He chuckled darkly. “Don’t have to worry about that. Driscoll fired me.”
“What,” Chloe shouted, collapsing on the bed next to him.
“Please don’t yell,” he pleaded. “She fired me. I’m…I’m leaving.”
“There’s a job in Washington.”
“Look, Chloe, it’s not like we won’t see each other again. Between Chase and Kim…we’ll be friends, or something. I was always kind of fond of you.”
“You don’t have to say that just because we slept together.”
He chuckled. “It’s the truth.” He leaned over and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek. “Happy birthday.”
She’d been sitting on his couch practicing saying it all afternoon, ever since the doctor had given her the so called good news. When Chase opened the door her finger was trapped between her teeth. She was gnawing on it in that way that always made him nervous.
“What’s wrong,” he asked immediately, setting Angela down.
When she opened her mouth to say the words, the one’s she’d been so busy practicing, she never got farther than a broken sob.
“Oh my darlin’,” he murmured, wrapping his arms around her. “Talk to me.”
She clung to his chest desperately, sobs wracking her body.
“Shh,” he soothed. “Whatever it is, it’ll be okay Chlo. Just talk to me.”
She pushed away from him suddenly, running down the hall to the bathroom and falling to her knees in front of the toilet, vomiting. Chase followed her, holding her hair and rubbing circles over the small of her back.
She started to cry again when he left, but then he was back just as quickly, settling Angela in the corner with a book and a box of crayons and giving Chloe a glass of cool water. He cleaned her face off tenderly and let her climb into his lap.
“Talk,” he pleaded.
“I’m pregnant,” she whispered.
“Shit,” he muttered, closing his eyes. “It’s gonna be okay.”
She rolled her eyes. “Very reassuring.”
“Do you wanna have it?”
Another nod. “Is that stupid?”
“Not if it’s what you want. We just need a plan,” he sighed. “We’ll get you to a doc and get you all checked out, and then we’ll call Jack and tell him what’s going on.”
“Can’t what darlin’?”
“I can’t tell Jack.”
“You have to tell him. It’s his kid. If you’re scared, we’ll talk to him together. We can do it however you want, we can call him, or we can go out there and see him”
“Chase stop,” she interrupted.
“Chloe,” he murmured.
“I’m not telling him.”
“He’ll come back. He’ll think he has to.”
“He has the right, if he wants to.”
“He has a life Chasey. He…I looked him up. Where he’s been, what he’s been doing.”
“He’s in Washington, rubbing elbows with boring important people.”
“He’s sleeping with Audrey Raines.”
“Not that pretty.”
“You’d sleep with her.”
“I’m a slut. I’d sleep with anybody.”
“I don’t mean anything to him Chase,” she said, crying softly. “We agreed what happened was a mistake, it never would have happened if we hadn’t been drunk, if he hadn’t been leaving. I’m not going to ruin his life, to drag him back here.”
Chase shook his head.
“What,” she asked softly.
He shrugged. “You think Angela’s mom said all that stuff when she decided not to tell me about her?”
“Please,” she sobbed. “Please Chasey, please, I need you. Don’t make me do this by myself.”
“Calm down,” he murmured. “All that crying can’t be healthy. This is what you need to do, you’re sure?”
She nodded slowly.
“Then I’m gonna take care of you.” He stood up, helping her to her feet. “You tired? I’ll get you and my Angel all tucked into bed, and then there’s something I have to do, and when I come home we’ll have some dinner and figure everything out.”
“I have to talk to you,” Chase said quietly, taking Kim by the hand and leading her to a chair.
“What’s going on,” she asked nervously.
He swallowed. “Chloe’s pregnant.”
“O..okay. Wow. I didn’t know she was seeing anybody.”
He took a deep breath. “It’s mine.”
“Are you joking? Is this some sick joke?”
“It was a one time thing. A stupid accident, a mistake, I never meant to hurt you.”
“Shut up,” she snapped.
“I’m sorry,” he repeated. “I’m so sorry.”
“Can we really do this,” Chloe asked, chewing on the cookies Chase brought her.
“My Angel needs a mom, your baby needs a dad. You’re my best friend Chlo. I’d do anything for you. I’m gonna take care of you and your baby.”
“By saying it’s your baby.”
“It’s gonna be my kid Chloe. This way, nobody hassles you about who the daddy is, and Jack hates us too much to get suspicious.”
“And I ruin your life in the process.”
“Not ruined. Just different.”
“You’re going to hate me someday.”
“I will never hate you,” he swore. “I love you.”
“And when the baby pops out with blonde hair and blue eyes?”
He shrugged. “You’ve got blonde hair. We’ll say we had blue eyed parents.”
“I hate lying.”
“I know,” he sighed. “I don’t know what else do Chlo. We’re gonna be together, and raise our kids and we’re all gonna be just fine.”
“I’m scared,” she admitted.
“I know,” he murmured, kissing the top of her head. “I’m going to be here with you for everything darlin’. You’re never going to be alone. I’ll even marry you, if that’s what you want for your baby.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“I know. I will though.”
“You’re not in love with me,” she said simply.
“No, but I do love you, and you’re my best friend, so that probably makes us luckier than a lot of people.”
“This is a crazy, stupid idea and you’re making it sound completely reasonable.”
“That’s my charm,” he chuckled.
“You want to get married?”
He shrugged. “I want to take care of you. You remember that night, back in DC, you put me back together after the mission and you gave me your ring, the one Morris gave you, and you promised that not matter what, you’d take care of me? It’s gonna be me and you Chlo, just like it was back then.”
“Then we should do it,” she said softly. “Let’s do it. Let’s get married.”
They were married before a justice of the peace, just the two of them and Angela. Their daughter was born in the middle of the night on the hottest day of the summer, and Chase would forever have a scar on his arm from where Chloe bit him. They named her Anna and moved to the suburbs.
“Mrs. Edmunds,” the man asked.
“What do you want,” Chloe muttered, eyed the graying, well dressed man nervously.
“My name’s Bill Buchanan,” he said, extending his land. “I’m the head of CTU Los Angeles, your former place of employment.”
“I don’t work for the government anymore,” she said stiffly.
“I understand that.”
“I have daughters to think of. My former work wasn’t particularly safe.”
“I understand all of that Mrs. Edmunds. Someone asked me to find you, and find out if you’d do us one last favor.”
“I’m not interested,” she said, moving to close the door.
“It’s about Jack Bauer.”
“Jack,” she whispered, struggling to swallow.
“Can I come in?”
She nodded, stepping back and following him through the house. “Is he okay, Jack?”
“He’s fine. He asked me to talk to you.”
“Why didn’t he talk to me himself,” she asked softly.
“He’s on a plane, flying back from London.”
“Oh.” She blushed. “I didn’t expect him to come or anything. What does he need?”
“I’m not sure,” Bill admitted. “He wants to explain things himself. I’m just hear to see if you’ll meet with him.”
Chloe bit her lip nervously. “I have to talk to my husband.”
“Of course. Mr. Bauer said to assure that you and your children will be safe.” He leaned forward and stared at a framed picture. “Those are your daughters?”
She nodded. “Angela’s two and Anna’s four months.”
“Thank you. When does he want to see me?”
“Soon Mrs. Edmunds.”
“Chloe. My name’s Chloe.”
“Chloe,” he said warmly.
“They’re sleeping,” she said absently.
She nodded. “It’s naptime. Anna doesn’t like to sleep. Have you seen him?”
“Jack,” the man murmured, trying to keep up with her rambling.
“Jack,” she repeated.
“Yes, I’ve seen him. I’ve worked with him.”
“And he’s alright?”
“He’s just fine, Mrs…Chloe. You were close?”
“We were friends, or something like that. Sort of. It’s complicated.”
“Jack Bauer is a complicated man.”
“He always was,” she murmured, starling when a soft cry came from the stairs. “I have to go. Tell Jack I’ll see him whenever he wants.”
“Of course. It’s a shame you tired of government Chloe. I think I would have enjoyed you.”
“So,” Chase said casually, “when are you meeting Jack?”
Chloe glanced up at him from the bed where she was feeding Anna. “I don’t know. I told him I had to ask you, but then he kept talking about Jack and I just…”
Chase chuckled. “We don’t have one of those marriages anyway. Plus, it’s Jack. No matter what you said, you were always going to see him.”
“Are you mad at me?”
“We don’t have one of those marriages either.”
“What kind of marriage do we have then,” she sighed.
“A very unique one,” he grinned.
“Do you think it’s a bad idea?”
“I think,” he murmured, climbing into bed, “that you’d have to go, no matter what.”
“What do you think he wants?”
“Don’t know darlin’. You have to ask him that.”
Chloe sighed, shifting Anna to her shoulder. “She doesn’t want to sleep.”
“Look at her parents,” Chase sighed. “Between you and Jack, our poor babe didn’t stand a chance.”
“Ours,” she said firmly. “Our baby. Our girl.”
Chase offered her a smile and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “So what was Buchanan like?”
“Why? Tired of private security already?”
He shrugged. “I don’t have a bunch of people telling me how brilliant I am, on the rare days I have to go into the office. It’s not quite as cushy for me.”
“We think you’re brilliant,” she said, kissing his cheek and handing him Anna.
He chuckled, patting the baby’s back slowly. “Thanks darlin’s.”
“He was nice. Mr. Buchanan. He seemed nice. I didn’t think that was possible in a CTU boss.”
“He’s not your boss,” Chase pointed out.
She shrugged. “We have to talk about this Jack thing.”
“You go see him, you find out what he wants, and you do it.”
“It’s that simple?”
“It’s what’s going to happen. It’s you and Jack. It’s inevitable.”
“What if I can’t do what he wants? What if it’s not safe?”
“Then you come home. And if you and I can’t find a safe way to do it, you tell Jack you have a family to worry about now. And you come home to us, and we love you, and not that much changes.”
“I know. You’ve done all kinds of scary things Chlo. You’ll do this too. I can go with you to see him if you want, but I think it will be better if it’s just you.”
“You understand why I have to go,” she asked softly, twisting her ring around her finger.
“You and Jack were always all tied up to each other. I understand that. I understand you darlin’.”
“Thank you,” she murmured, closing her eyes.
“It’s nothing,” he sighed. “Sleep.”
She almost turned and ran back to her car when she saw him, and when she steadied herself and moved forward, she thought she might throw up. She finally crossed the distance between him and stood awkwardly in front of him.
“Hi,” she finally mumbled.
“Thanks for meeting me.”
She glanced around. “This is a weird place to meet, isn’t it? A park?”
“I thought you might have your kid.”
“Daughters,” she corrected. “I adopted Angela.”
She swallowed. “What do you need from me?”
“I wanted to thank you.”
“You created some program, they used it and saved my life.”
“You sent the director of CTU to my house so you could come to some park and thank me?”
“I wasn’t sure whether you’d see me.”
She stared at him. “You’re welcome,” she finally muttered.
“I’m glad you came.”
She watched his face carefully before turning away. “You went to a lot of trouble to get me here.”
“I saw you,” he said quietly, staring at the ground.
“I saw you with your baby. Your daughter.”
She could feel her heart pounding against her chest.
“She’s mine, isn’t she,” he asked, barely above a whisper.
Chloe felt her knees give out and found herself being lowered slowly to the bench behind them.
“When Kim told me what happened, I always…I always thought it might be. It just didn’t seem like you,” he sighed. “I was walking through the grocery store and I heard your voice and then I saw you, and I saw her and I knew.”
She rubbed at the tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Chloe say something.”
“Her name’s Anna,” she breathed. “We named her Anna.”
“Is she healthy?”
Chloe nodded. “She has your eyes.”
“Anna,” he said softly. “Anna.”
“When I was pregnant Chase would read names out of one of those baby name books, and he was saying Anna the first time she kicked.”
It was Jack’s turn to look away from her silently.
“I’m sorry,” Chloe sobbed.
“I was a drug addict. I was a bastard. I wouldn’t let me near my own child,” he sighed.
“Jack,” she protested.
“I changed,” he continued, interrupting her. “I went through rehab. I’m a different man.”
“I believe you,” she said, finding the right words for once in her life.
“Can I meet her?”
“Yes. Yes Jack, you can meet her.”
“Thank you,” he whispered, taking her hands in his. “Chloe thank you.”
“I have to go,” she said, standing on shaky legs. “But you’ll meet her Jack. Whenever you want, you’ll meet her.” She made it to her car and managed to drive one entire block before she broke down, pulling into a parking lot. She dropped the phone twice before she finally managed to dial the right number.
“Chasey,” she whispered between sobs.
“What happened,” he demanded, grabbing his keys.
“Chasey, he knows.”