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 Discovering the truth;, tagged: jack
SALLY
TWENTY TWO
TELEPATHY
BARTENDER
HETEROSEXUAL
SHE/HER

played by TEEJAY29 posts • prefers SHE/HER pronouns
make me feel alive and
shatter me
Life had been going so smoothly that Celine had found herself almost carefree. She hadn’t felt such happiness since she was a young girl. Jack was to be credited for that. Since the two of them had admitted their feelings for each other, and the night they had shared since then, her days had been positively blissful. Though they kept their relationship pretty well under wraps because Celine was still his employee, she didn’t mind. It wouldn’t have been fair to expect him to gush about her and worry about his other employees thinking he would favor her over them. That wouldn’t be good for business, and not matter how much Celine wanted his attention all the time she wasn’t quite so immature to expect it. Still, there had been moments the two of them had sneaked looks and a quick kiss here or there. It was easier when it was just the two of them closing the bar and she could nab his attention once he was done with paperwork and numbers. Jack’s office was being used for more than just closing procedures as of late.

Though no matter how happy she was, how much Celine wanted to give Jack all of her, there was still one small hang up. He still didn’t know who she really was. It killed her a little inside each time he murmured the name “Ivy” into her ear instead of her given name. It was a harsh reminder that she was still lying to him. It never failed either. Any time things got hot and heavy, Jack would call her “Ivy” and it felt like hitting a brick wall at a hundred miles per hour. Celine played it off as though she just wasn’t ready but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. She absolutely was ready to give Jack her body if only she could get past her identity crisis. She also felt terrible about it because she knew it wasn’t fair to him. Celine would rile him up so much only to shut him down. But Jack had an unwavering patience with her that she appreciated more than she could ever truly realize. She knew she needed to tell him the truth. She’d been mulling it over in her head for days about how exactly she was going to bring it up. It never seemed the right time. How did one tell the person they were very well falling in love with that everything about them was a lie? Celine knew there was a very good chance that Jack would call it quits with her and she didn’t blame him. That was what concerned her the most.

Celine’s class that night was a late one and it was well past ten o’clock by the time she got to her apartment. It was an old building that didn’t have an elevator so she had to take the stairs to the third floor. Between classes and work she was tired and took her time getting up them. When she reached her door, nothing seemed out of place and it was still locked like it had been when she left. Celine inserted her key and entered the small apartment which was dark inside. She set down her backpack, purse, and keys on the small kitchen counter that was just inside the door. She flipped on the light above the stove so she could see and promptly removed the wig she wore. It got hot quickly and she was glad when she could pull off the wig cap and allow her natural red locks to spill free. Celine turned from the kitchen with the intent of going into the bathroom when she heard something that had her freeze. Someone was in her apartment and her heart began to race.

Slowly, Celine placed one foot in front of the other as she inched toward the door, peering around the wall that separated the kitchen from the main room. She could clearly see the window with the fire escape just outside had been smashed. Someone had broken into her place and immediately Celine knew it could only be someone hired by her father. It was the only thing that made sense to her in that moment. Somehow, her father had figured out that she hadn’t actually died. That she had faked her death and changed her identity and now he had sent someone for her. It was the one thing she feared above all else; being dragged back to the life she’d been forced to endure for so long. A shadow moved along the wall above her bed and Celine couldn’t help the tiny yelp that came from her voice, alerting the intruder that she’d seen him. Though her mind was racing, Celine could clearly see the man had been stuffing things into a bag. Wait. That didn’t seem right. Why would they come only to steal the few belongings she had? It didn’t matter. They had come for her and she was frozen in place.

The next few moments happened so quickly that Celine could barely register what was happened. There was the unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked and a spark of light as it was shot in her direction. Celine screamed as she felt the heat of the bullet rip past her and hit the wall behind her. Three inches to the right and she’d have been dead on the floor. Celine shot into action and tore from the apartment, down the stairs, and out into the streets where it had begun to rain. She didn’t even stop to think about the fact that it was unusual for it to rain this time of year in New York, she was too terrified. There was no conscious thinking about where it was she was running either. Her feet were carrying her in the direction of Mister Unlucky’s. Celine didn’t look back to see if the intruder was following her. Tears streamed down her face and smeared her mascara down her cheeks. People were quick to jump out of her way as she tore through the streets.

Celine reached the back alley behind Mister Unlucky’s moments later, soaking wet and sobbing. She climbed the stairs leading to the apartment above the bar and pounded on the back door. She knew Jack wasn’t working tonight but she hoped to God that he was home. ”Jack!” she cried. ”Jack, please! Open the door!” When the door opened seconds later, Celine launched herself into his arms and buried her face into his chest and cried harder, great sobs racking her small frame.

JACKSON D. KINGSTON
quote
Jack Skellington
Thirty
Shadow Manipulation
Bar Owner
Heterosexual
He/ him

played by Kimilicious41 posts • prefers She/ her pronouns
nothing left, now i'm feeling numb
The past month had been one of the most blissful in recent memory. In the thirty years he'd been on this planet, perhaps even in the many years before he was here, Jack couldn't remember ever being so disgustingly happy. He'd always tried to be the carefree sort, the man that looked out for others before himself. Love was something he'd read about, something that he'd longed for even when he'd been a kid in foster care. He wanted family, people all around him who cared about him, who he could care about, too. He'd collected a lot of those people, found those from a time long ago and forged lasting bonds with them. There were a few people he knew with every fiber of his being that he'd give his life for, that would do the very same for him. Those thoughts warmed his soul, but until recently there had always been something missing.

When he'd first seen Ivy, something about her struck him. It wasn't like it had been with Kizzy or Tate or Mikey or Lalita. No, it was something different, but similar. He didn't know who she was, only... felt it. She was something, someone, but he'd be damned if he could figure it out. He'd hired her, both because she'd been so determined and because his curiosity had gotten the better of him. He was glad he'd taken the gamble because not too terribly long afterwards she'd pulled him into her arms, kissed his face, and asked to have him. He'd known even before the first time she'd kissed him that she would be the one to sink him. Kizzy, his doggedly determined best friend, still hadn't any idea he and Ivy were together and while it pained him to keep it from her, he didn't want her to sabotage this, either. Ivy was special, she wasn't just some girl that had fallen into his bed for a good time. When she spoke to him he couldn't help but admire her, how hard she worked for what she wanted, how much passion and drive he saw in her face. She was easily the most beautiful woman he'd ever met, even if she kept secrets from him. They all had secrets, didn't they? Jack was going to share his with her and soon, but how? How do you tell your girlfriend that you could walk through shadows? Manipulate the darkness around you into a physical thing? How to tell her that this life was an echo of your last, that once upon a time you'd been a walking, talking skeleton? Every time he thought of it he'd buried his face back into his pillows, knowing he'd sound like a lunatic. Those closest to him, those who knew the truth, they accepted because they were like him, they didn't have to go on faith, they knew it was true because they, too had lived it. What if Ivy, for all that he felt for her, all her familiarity and love, what if she thought him mad and left? Could he even blame her if she did?

Jack had been sitting on his sofa, feet propped up on an antique ottoman and a book in his hands that he hadn't actually read anything of for the past twenty minutes. He'd been lost in thought, gaze unfocused as his mind wandered to his current dilemmas. His life had always been strange and now was no different. Who the hell had to make the sort of decisions he did? He closed the book, tossing it onto the table beside him as he scrubbed at his face, groaning.

He didn't have a great deal of time afterward to contemplate further. He heard feet pounding along the steps towards his apartment before she'd ever reached the door. Jack turned to look at his front door, an eyebrow cocked. Fists banged against the door and he sprung up at the sound of his name cried through the wood. He crossed the living room in two steps, flinging the door open mere seconds afterward. Ivy threw herself into his arms and it was all he could do to catch her, gathering her into his arms as he leaned out of his apartment, looking down the stairway to see if anyone was with her. "Ivy! Ivy, what's the matter?" There was no one to be seen, but he pulled her inside anyway, kicking the door shut behind him, locking it for good measure. If there had been something chasing her, he could handle it. If someone had hurt her, he would handle it.

He'd looked away from her for only a second to lock the door, but when he'd looked down at her, her face buried in his chest, his breath caught it his throat. Red. Ivy's hair was red. He'd known the black she'd been sporting hadn't been the true color of her hair, suspected that she'd dyed it or wore a wig, but to see her vibrant red hair now was like an electric shock to his system. There were memories in his head, so many of them fighting for their position at the front of his mind. Sally. Sally.

Jack shook himself, sucking in a breath as her name, the name she'd once had, repeated over and over in his head. Later. He was going to have to deal with that later. Right now he had to deal with Ivy, whatever problem she had, whatever was terrifying her so deeply, he had to make the right first. Jack wrapped his arms around her, pressing her into his body. She was soaking wet. He leaned against the door, sliding down against it so that the two of them were sitting in a heap on the floor, Ivy gathered into his lap as he held her protectively. He leaned his face against her forehead, wiping damp hair from her cheeks. "Tell me what happened. I'll take care of it. I've got you, baby." His voice was soft as he tightened his hold on her, his legs bent at the knees, pressed close to her so that she was bound up in his arms. Whatever it was that had frightened her, whatever had brought her to him in such a state, it damn well better not let him find it.

CELINE A. DELACROIX
thanks evvie!
quote
SALLY
TWENTY TWO
TELEPATHY
BARTENDER
HETEROSEXUAL
SHE/HER

played by TEEJAY29 posts • prefers SHE/HER pronouns
make me feel alive and
shatter me
Despite the fact she was in the safest place she could think of, her fear along with being soaked to the bone, left her shivering against Jack. As they sank to the floor, she clung to him tightly and eventually her sobs quieted to small hiccups. Celine waited for them to abate before she tried to speak and even then, her words came out soft and strained. ”He found me. They’ve come for me.” There was blatant terror in her voice. How long would it be before they found her once more to drag her back to her father. What would they do to Jack if he tried to protect her? It dawned on Celine that she was putting his life in danger just like she had that boy so many years ago. She wouldn’t be able to live with herself if someone harmed Jack because of her. Not him. Not the man she loved so deeply.

Celine’s hand curled into a fist against Jack’s chest, his shirt bunched in her fingers as she forced herself to stop and think. It was hard to clear her mind when all she could think about was keeping herself hidden away from the goons her father had sent to collect her and protecting Jack at the same time. This was a point of no return. Not only was she free of the black wig that covered her hair normally but she knew she couldn’t keep her secrets anymore. If Jack was going to try and protect her then he deserved to know who she was protecting. Celine sucked in a deep breath and though tears still streamed down her pale cheeks, she could finally speak without the hysteria. She leaned back so she could look at him. He was so perfect. So beautiful. She prayed that after this he didn’t turn his back on her. ”I’m sorry,” she sniffed, her voice shaky. ”I didn’t know where else to go. Someone broke into my apartment and shot at me. I just...I ran...because I think...I think…” Celine hesitated once more, unsure of how to continue. This would be the most truth she had spilled in a long, long time.

”Jack, I have to tell you something. A lot of things. I’m sorry and I hope that after you hear the truth you don’t hate me. I won’t blame you if you do but please...hear me out,” she began. Another deep breath to try and control the shakiness to her voice, which didn’t really help. This was it. The truth was going to come whether he was ready for it or not. ”My name isn’t Ivy. It’s Celine. Celine Delacroix. My father is a powerful man in Paris. A geneticist and a monster. He killed my mother when I was only a girl because she had an affair and since then he’s kept me under lock and key. I was never allowed to go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything. If I acted out he would lock me away for days at a time until I complied with his demands. He told me it was for my own protection. So no the world wouldn’t taint me. I didn’t know about my mother at first. I had been told she died of cancer. It wasn’t until later, when my first boyfriend was murdered, that I got suspicious. I found out so many horrible things about my family, Jack. So many awful, terrible things.” Celine reached up to wipe the tears from her eyes though it only smeared her makeup further. Her throat was raw from sobbing and her chest hurt from the anxiety. She was tired. So tired all of a sudden.

Slumping forward slightly, she curled back up in Jack’s lap and rested her head against his chest on the good faith he wouldn’t reject her before she continued. ”I worked hard to be the ideal daughter he wanted just so I would have some freedoms. Enough freedom so I could plot running away. It took a long time...but I managed to figure it out with some help but no matter how far I went or how many identities I took on, he always found me. Finally, I got to Australia and staged my own death so he would think I was gone for real. I came here, changed my name to Ivy, and started a new life. A lie. I’m so sorry, Jack. I never meant to lie to you but I was so afraid he would find me again. I was so afraid he would hurt you and I couldn’t live with that. I would rather die than see you hurt because of me.” Celine squeezed her eyes shut to ward off a fresh round of tears. Even though she’d spoken the truth, it only left her feeling mildly relieved. There was still the intruders in her apartment who she wasn’t sure were because of her father. It had triggered the paranoia in her.

Celine fell silent for a moment before once again she leaned back so she could look at him. A small hand raised to cup his cheek and she moved her thumb against the apple of it. ”Please say you forgive me. I love you, Jack. I love you so much,” she whispered softly. Celine didn’t expect him to love her back. How could he? He didn’t know her as Celine but as Ivy.

JACKSON D. KINGSTON
quote
Jack Skellington
Thirty
Shadow Manipulation
Bar Owner
Heterosexual
He/ him

played by Kimilicious41 posts • prefers She/ her pronouns
nothing left, now i'm feeling numb
Jack held her tight as she cried into his arms, patiently waiting for her to find the breath to speak to him. Whatever had happened, whatever reason she'd come to him like this, he'd make it right. Jack was a patient, meticulous man and he could ruin lives if he so put his mind to it. In the time it took her to gather herself he smoothed her hair, all that beautiful red hair, and made soft shushing noises. They've come for me. Her words struck him to the core. Who? He bit back the question, not wanting to pressure her just yet. He had faith she'd tell him what was going on if he just gave her the time to do so.

Ivy's fingers curled into his shirt and he tightened his arms around her. Even though his own head was a mess right now, he pushed it all aside for her. There would be time to sort through such things later, together perhaps, but there was still so much he wasn't sure of. Did she know who she was? Did she knew of another life, of the Pumpkin King? He thought not. If he knew her, and he liked to think he did, he doubted she'd have been able to keep something like that from him for too long. She'd have dropped hints, much like he knew he might have had he actually remembered. God, how could he have not remembered? He'd beat himself up over it later, right now Ivy had finally gotten her breath back, though the tears were still streaming down her face. Even though she was soaked, her makeup a mess, she was still heartstoppingly gorgeous. She leaned away from him just enough so that she could look up into his face. Someone was coming, Jack felt it in his bones. Tonight, right now, was going to be a turning point in their life together.

She apologized to him then, Jack's brows creasing in mild confusion. Again, he bit back anything to interrupt her. She told him that someone had broken into her apartment and shot at her and his face tightened considerably. A frown pulled at his features, his body tensing as she spoke. Somehow though it seemed as if that wasn't the worst of it. Jack prepared himself for whatever it was she was going to say, the hesitation in her voice lending him some measure of anxiety. "You can tell me anything." He assured her softly.

She took a breath then and spilled what was probably the biggest secret she had. Ivy was not Ivy at all, but Celine. Celine Delacroix. The name struck a familiar chord in him, having heard the Delacroix name before, years ago when he was traveling. He'd been at a function hosted by the Delacroix family, hadn't he? He didn't remember it very well, but it was familiar at least. She told him then why she'd given him, given all of them, a false identity and his heart broke for her. He'd never known his parents, he'd grown up in an orphanage, bouncing through foster care as he'd gotten older but this? This chaos she's lived through, this torture... it killed him a little. He'd been nearly a man grown by the time these things had been happening to her and even though there was nothing he could have done he hated that he hadn't been there for her. Ivy, no Celine, wiped the tears from her face which only succeeded in further smearing her makeup. Jack raised a hand, wiping the tears from her cheek as she slumped forward into his chest once more. He wrapped his arms around her again, letting her find some form of comfort with him so she could continue.

In the end, who she really was didn't much matter to him. Ivy or Celine, he knew her soul unlike anyone else, especially now. Her past may have come back to haunt her, but he could be far more frightening than any mere man. Jack could be one's closest confidant, their dearest friend... or their worst enemy. There were simply things you didn't do and threaten those he cared for was at the top of his list. Jack wasn't a killer, but he knew he'd do anything in his power to keep Celine safe, to keep everyone in the strange little rag tag family safe. Anything that threatened her threatened them all and that was unacceptable. She apologize again, telling him she'd rather die than see him hurt because of her. He stiffened as she said those words, but she'd leaned back to look into his face once more. Her hand had come to his cheek and she asked him to forgive her, told him she loved him. Jack covered her hand with his much larger one, turning his face so he could press a kiss into her palm. "There is absolutely nothing to forgive." he said into her skin, kissing her palm once more. He pulled her hand from his face before her took hers in his hands. He brought her close to him, their faces only a breath away so she could look into his eyes as he spoke to her. "I'm yours. I've been yours since the moment you walked in here, I think," his smoothed her tears away with his thumbs. "You didn't lie out of malice, only to protect yourself and no one could blame you for that. Your past isn't who you are, it doesn't define you. It only makes you stronger. You're one of the bravest people I know, the most determined, ambitious, intelligent, beautiful," he let a bit of a smile come to his face, one of his hands sliding into her hair as he ran his fingers through its length. "I love you, Celine." Her true name felt strangely poetic on his tongue and he couldn't help but think that it finally felt right. The name Ivy, like her black hair, had never really fit and now that she'd revealed the truth of her identity he knew this was it. She was the one. Even if she wasn't his Sally, even if they'd never had lives before this one, Jack knew he belonged totally and completely to her, heart and soul.

"I love you and no matter what, I'll keep you safe. There's more to me than you know, more to a lot of us than you know. Nothing will ever hurt you as long as you're with me. We all have our secrets and I'll use every one of mine to protect you, Celine."

CELINE A. DELACROIX
thanks evvie!
quote
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