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Fandom: 24
Characters: Jack Bauer, Renee Walker
Pairings: Jack/Renee
Rating: PG
Summary: Routine, in the best way possible.
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: Written for a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] marinw: Jack and Renee's Private Detective Agency.

A passing siren brought Renee out of sleep with a start, her hand reaching for a holster that was no longer on her hip. Even now, more than two years after leaving the FBI, she couldn't quite break the habit.

"It's nothing, go back to sleep," Jack said from the driver's seat, lowering his binoculars to rub the bridge of his nose.

"You look like you're the one that needs the sleep," Renee said, picking up her travel mug. She took a sip, made a face. Tepid coffee wasn't exactly what she wanted after a nap.

"See anything?" she asked, habit, though she knew if he had he would have woken her.

"Nothing yet." Jack sat as stock-still as he had before she'd fallen asleep. Over the last six months, that was one of the things that had surprised her: how he could go from a whirlwind of action to perfect stillness at a moment's notice.

Sometimes, being with Jack was like being in the eye of a hurricane; stillness waiting for the turbulence to come. Only with him it was the stillness that lasted, the turbulence that blew over quickly.

She held out her hand for the binoculars. "Hand 'em over. Your turn to get some sleep."

"I'm good." Same question on every stakeout, same response. It gave a feeling of routine to the proceedings, but not an unwelcome one. One of those old-married-couple exchanges; a give and take that made their relationship--professional and personal--work. Stakeouts and sentry duty couldn't put as much of a strain on a relationship when they did it together, and with both their names on the masthead at Walker and Bauer Security and Investigations the scut work was equally their responsibility.

Not most couples' idea of bonding time, sitting in a car all night, making sure nothing moved outside a client's house or business, but then they weren't most couples.

"I'll do it if you answer one question," Jack said after a moment's quiet, not moving.

"Yeah?"

"What're you wearing tomorrow?" His tone was deadpan, but she could see the twinkle in his eyes as he lowered the binoculars and glanced at her.

"Wouldn't you like to know." With their clientele--thanks to their connections and respective resumes--attending fancy events was fairly common, and Jack had seen her in--and taken her out of--every dress she had for the occasion. That didn't mean she wasn't going to tease him with an air of mystery, and it didn't mean he didn't enjoy it.

Jack dropped the binoculars in her hand. "Wake me in an hour, if nothing comes up."

"Sure," she said. He knew it would be more like two or three, she knew he'd grumble about her not doing as he'd asked. Eventually, providing nothing happened, they're go home, curl up in bed for a few hours while Chloe manned the office. Routine, expected, in the best way possible; same questions, same response. Old married couple.

Renee smiled slightly to herself as she scanned the street with the binoculars. Well, one out of three wasn't bad for the moment.
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