hell is that noise
& nice job breaking it, hero // jack & scarlett

there was nothing scarlett loved more when coming home after a stressful day at work than to step out of her heels and change into a set of comfortable shorts and a t-shirt with a faded print of bowie on the front. she had been running errands pretty much all day, and her feet had been sore already come lunch time. sometimes, she felt like her boss made her run these errands just to show that he could; show who was the boss. it didn't help either that he wasn't very tall, and with heels scarlett was almost an inch taller than him. he was without doubt very brilliant at his work, but the way he treated her and some of the other employees on the floor made her want to strangle him. her dad had managed to get her the job as a personal assistant as her boss apparently like to spend time at the country club that her dad owned, but she was so damn tired of it.

she lay on her bed, not even bothering with a blanket because it had been a very warm day and she felt sweaty and achy, her joins complaining as she stretched. she told herself that it would be okay to just close her eyes for a second before starting on dinner. ten minutes, tops. or that had been the plan at least. she woke up hours later, the bedroom completely dark. with a quick glance at the clock, she noticed that it was almost nine at night and she had been out for almost four hours. the apartment was completely silent, and based on the lack of sound she knew she was home alone. she considered turning on the tv or even the light on her nightstand, but didn't. instead, she just lay there, enjoying the silence. her eyes felt dry and she blinked a couple of times as she adjusted to the darkness. it didn't take long until her eyesight had adjust to the lack of light, and she could make out the furniture. the curtains were still open and the light from the moon shone in, casting a soft light on the floor. she dozed off again, enjoying just laying on her bed.

the sound was small, barely even there, but she had definitely heard it. what the hell was that noise? then came the sound of something breaking. someone was in the apartment with her. had they been there all along? she felt her heart beating faster and reached out for phone. the sound came from the other room. the living room, she guessed. she briefly considered calling for the cops, but her curiosity got the best of her, and instead she slowly got out of bed and tip-toed over to her dresser. her mom had gotten her a taser when she had first moved out, and she had never used it before. she didn't even know if it worked, but there was no time to test it. another sound came from the living room, and she sneaked over to the door pulling it ajar just enough to see out. there was no light anywhere, and she knew that her roommate would have turned it on when he came home. no, whoever was there was definitely not supposed to be here.

the saw the shadow of what she assumed was a tall guy. he was standing close to the window. without much thought she tasered him, aiming for his back but instead he must have turned around and instead she had gotten him in the stomach. "who are you?" she yelled, reaching for the light next to the couch, finally turning it on. "what are you doing here, i've called the cops." she hadn't, but he didn't know that.

huh, jack remembered thinking, squinting out in the low light of the living room as he scanned it. doesn't look abandoned. but that was what the message had said — this address, abandoned, with suspected haunting. someone had just moved out, it said, terrified away by the sounds of scary ghosts in the night. bumps and thumps and cabinets rattling, creaky doors, spooky sightings in mirrors, all the usual shit. carbon monoxide poisoning, jack figured — but he needed to scout the place out first before he brought his camera gear and crew in, before they did a proper shoot, so he could prove the whole thing was fake, or easily explainable.

the email hadn't mentioned that whoever had moved out hadn't brought their stuff with them, though. it wasn't an unusual thing — jack had seen it before. someone so terrified of possible demons trying to possess them that they'd abandoned everything they'd owned for the fear that it was cursed and run off, never to be heard from again. most of the time jack figured that was just because they were hiding from something else — double lives, secret families, embezzlement, the whole nine yards. it wasn't entirely unusual, then, but he'd noticed it, and he regretted not listening to that part of him, then, as he climbed through the window and started nosing around.

he heard the creak of the floorboards, first. jack didn't get scared — everything had an explanation, and he'd never once been surprised by a ghost on the job. he still furrowed his brow and turned.

it wasn't a ghost, no — but holy fuck did it take him by surprise. all he caught was a glimpse of blonde hair and then a whole shock of something agonizing was running through him, a spark like a punch to his gut, and jack let out a shout and doubled over in agony, barely managing to catch himself on the floor as he collapsed. "oh, holy fuck, what the fuck," he groaned out, gasping, "holy shit, shit, did you just fuckin' tase me?!"

her finger automatically pressed the button again, making the taser crackle with electricity between them. she took him in as he lay on the floor in front of her, clearly hurt. he seemed vaguely familiar, though she couldn't really place where she had seen him before. he sounded like she was in the wrong here; like he hadn't just broken into her place to fucking rob her. "of course i fucking used my taser on you," she said, rolling her eyes, frustrated. "that's what you get when you try to break into my fucking apartment."

she took a step back, creating space between them. she didn't really feel threatened, though she knew that it was best to be on guard. a hurt male might as well have been a wounded animal, or so her mom had once tried to explain her, and she knew that the chances of him lashing out were pretty big. after all, that's what she would have done herself if she had been hurt and someone was standing in front of her with a taser in the hand. "why are you here? what are you looking for?" she thought about her possessions, wondered what a thief might be looking for.

the second time she used the taser on him was kind of on accident. she hadn't meant to actually tase him again, but him getting up from the floor made her react. she was so surprised herself that she actually stumbled back, knocking into the couch with her hip, pushing the big piece of furniture a bit which in turn made it knock into the lamp that fell onto the floor, breaking. and then the lights were gone. breathing heavily, for the first time feeling a bit scared, she tried to squint in the darkness to make out his form. she held the taser out, ready to strike again.

jack groaned into the floor, holding onto his gut. getting tased fucking sucked, he thought to himself, wincing and dizzy and trying to assess what the fuck was actually happening. this apartment shouldn't have had a person in it — a person who was now accusing him of trying to break in, of trying to rob her. and, alright, so — yes, he absolutely had broken in, illegally, but he wasn't a thief. sometimes. most of the time. not in this scenario, anyway. jack let out another groan, which was the only kind of answer he could muster for her, and pushed a hand against the floorboards in an effort to push himself up from his crouched and collapsed position.

and then she tased him again. he swore violently, collapsed backwards, and fell to the floor. jack lay there for a long few moments, breathing deep, trying not to let out a whimper, which was exactly what he wanted to do. "don't... fucking... tase me... again..." he just barely managed to eke out, holding still onto his throbbing stomach, fighting against the way the pain made him want to hurl.

jack rolled onto his side, reached out to grab the nearest flat surface he could find, and hauled himself onto his feet. "i'm just — it's a fuckin' — mistake. i'm not... not robbing... you... don't call the cops..." he wheezed, staggering slowly towards the window.

she took a step back, then another, and then one more, breathing heavily as she watched the guy in front of her. what had she done? she had no idea why she had tased him the second time, it really had been an accident, or more like, her fingers had worked all on their own without her realizing it. an apology was just on the tip of her tongue but she held back. she didn't owe this thief anything; didn't have to apologize for anything as she was clearly the victim in this situation. she knew though, if someone were to step into the apartment to see the two of them like this, they'd clearly think he was the victim with the way he was holding his stomach. and the weird thing was, that she was actually not even feeling scared or worried, even though she should be; had every reason to be.

"a mistake?" she asked, eyes narrowing slightly as she took in his words. "you broke into my place by mistake?" she watched as he took a step back, and then another, and before she had a chance to warn him she saw him fall back. and then he was gone. "oh my god!" she exclaimed, running to the window, looking down, eyes desperately trying to locate him in the dark. she could make out a figure on the ground? or was that on top of a trash can? she couldn't tell in this darkness, and made a mental note to call the city tomorrow to make sure they fixed that light down in the alley. "you alive?" she asked, worried. she held her breath as she waited for a response.

well, fuck, was the only thought that had popped into jack's head the moment he'd missed the landing of the fire escape and gone crashing down into the alley below. thank fuck for whoever had piled the dumpster up with a whole bunch of soft shit in garbage bags, which had considerably softened his landing, even though he'd still walk away from this with taser burns and bruises. jack groaned, head swimming as he lay there and tried to understand what the hell had just happened. the girl was still shouting at him from up above — only now she seemed at least a little concerned. about time, considering she'd been the one to zap him twice now. jack winced an eye open and lifted a hand to pick a banana peel off of his face as he glared up at where she was peeking out the window.

"i'm fuckin' fine, no thanks to you!" he shot back up at her, though he sounded much less aggressive than he wanted to — too busy groaning and grunting at all the ways his body hurt. but he definitely needed to get the fuck out of there before she actually did call the cops, or someone else did.

jack dragged himself out of the dumpster, tumbled all the way out and onto his face in the alleyway, and then staggered to his feet. "your place looks like shit by the way!" jack shot up at her, cranky and grumpy, and then staggered, weaving his way down the alleyway in escape.