A comment fic written for fic_promptly and the prompt Jericho, Jake, Nightmare of the Wasteland

Sleep Patterns

Jake was too short on sleep and too full of the turmoil of this strange new world they’d been thrust into to dream much in the first days after the attacks. It wasn’t until after life had settled down into its new shape—a nearly silent one, with no TVs or cellphones and few cars, the hush broken mostly by human voices—that the nightmares had come.

Sometimes it was the San Diego skyline from across the bay, a mushroom cloud rising above it, like the cloud he’d seen above Denver. Sometimes he was wandering among the same buildings, marrying the burned out shells he’d seen in Iraq and Afghanistan and his memories of 9-11 with the glass-walled highrises and towering hotels of this city, their windows blown, torn blinds flapping in the breeze. Sometimes the buildings were quite intact, but ghostly ash bodies sprawled on the sidewalks or sat frozen at tables outside cafes.

Mostly he found himself searching, endlessly searching, moving from one old haunt to the next, always looking for a face that was never there—until he would wake at the memory that, by the time the bombs had gone off, Freddy was already lying cold in the city morgue.

Dad had thought a pretty decent fellow had come back to Jericho, but Jake knew he’d still been the stupid little punk who’d left home. Who’d gotten Freddy killed just like he’d gotten Chris killed, and who’d run from trouble, ditching the woman he was supposed to take care of, at the first chance.

He would never find Freddy in the ruins in those dreams that haunted his nights, he knew that. But maybe if he worked hard enough at the labors of helping and repairing and rebuilding that filled his days, he’d be able to stop looking for him.

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  1. Shadowflame
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Awwwww, sad one… 🙁

    Poor Jake of course is haunted by night…. 🙁

    Thanks for this new glimpse into his mind! 🙂

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