Title: She Talks to Angels
Rating: PG, PG-13.
Warning: allusions to drug abuse, prostitution
Pairing/Characters: Jessica, minor characters
Word Count: 740.
Summary (for chapter): She folds her arms across her chest in an effort to shield his eyes from the faint network of scars traveling along the blue shadows of her veins and fights the heaviness she feels tugging at her spine.


The room is small, barely big enough to fit a table in—one of those fold-up kind, for playing cards—and a couple of chairs. Her chair wobbles under her weight, and she hooks her bare feet around its legs to steady it, presses her toes into the cold concrete floor. She rests one elbow on the table, dropping her chin onto the ledge of her palm. Stretching her other arm out, she taps her nails rhythmically against its scratched surface and waits.

And waits.

Finally, Quinlan enters the room, and she looks up from her bored examination of the chips in her black nail polish, watches warily as he settles into the chair opposite her.

Marty Quinlan is older than she remembers, with more gray sprinkling the hair at his temples. Faint lines spider out from his kind eyes, laugh lines, but he doesn't smile at her, doesn't even speak for several long moments.

She straightens in her rickety chair, stares at him with big eyes, feels at once like the shy teen-aged girl that used to sneak smiles at him when she knew he wasn't looking, him and Luis, and feels the creeping sense of shame that clings to her bones these days, squirreled away in the very depths of her marrow, seep back to the surface of her skin, staining it in a faint blush. She folds her arms across her chest in an effort to shield his eyes from the faint network of scars traveling along the blue shadows of her veins and fights the heaviness she feels tugging at her spine. She opens her mouth to speak but realizes she doesn't know what to say, doesn't know how to explain the wreck her life has become, and drops a hand to pick self-consciously at the edges of her skirt, hiked high on her thighs.

Quinlan clears his throat, and the kindness in his eyes becomes tempered with something else. He speaks, and he is all business as he pulls a tablet from the inside of his jacket, reads the charges off of it like bullet points. "Possession, intoxication, soliciting…the list goes on."

Not only does it go on; it gets worse, she knows. Still, she stares unblinkingly at Quinlan, steels herself for whatever else he has to say to her. Her urge to fidget restlessly under his intense gaze manifests in her bouncing thigh, and she draws her shoulders up and sniffs, the action unconscious, knee-jerk. A little piece of her, a tiny smidgen of pride she didn't know she had left, recoils and starts to shrivel up at the pity she glimpses in his eyes, and it becomes too much, looking at him. She redirects her glassy gaze to a point over his broad shoulder and withdraws into herself, into that tiny box inside of her, her safe place, shuts the drone of his voice out, until something else he says jerks her back into the cold, hard present.

"You help us put Spike behind bars where he belongs, and a judge might look more favorably at you, give you a chance to take your life back. You won't get off scott-free, but it will be better than spending most of your adult life in the Pen upstate." Quinlan leans back, knows by the look on her face that she's seriously considering his proposal. The ice melts from his eyes, and the kindness is back as he drops his voice to a low, caring whisper. "It's as good a deal as you're going to get, so you think long and hard about it. Okay?"

A knock at the door startles them both, and she feels the words spilling forth without her permission, laden with a thin strain of desperation as she watches him stand, cross the room, and lay his hand upon the knob.
"In here? What are you going to do? Keep me here until I say yes?"

A dark-haired man appears at the door, a member of the Castleton squad instrumental in the previous evening's bust, and talks to Quinlan in hushed tones.

Despite his quiet murmur, though, she picks out one name, a familiar one, and looks to Quinlan in question as his eyes fall back upon her.

"Not here," Quinlan finally tells her.

An avalanche of warring emotions engulfs her with his answer, and her skin starts to itch with anxiety.

"Jessica, Officer Lopez-Fitzgerald is here to take you home."

So...apparently, I have some sort of sickness, lol, that involves constantly starting new stories.

Sorry. It seems I can't listen to music without getting ideas.

Don't worry; I haven't forgotten about my other stories. I just have to get this one out of my system, because it seems to be all I can think about the last few days.

This is a break from my usual fare. I don't know quite how I feel about it yet.

Let me know what you think about it, okay?

Feedback is love.

Thanks so much for reading!