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Never let it be said that Ember doesn’t keep up with things. She hears more than people believe she does, the gossip going on around the office landing on her ears even when the workers believe she’s not listening thanks to the earbuds in place. Little do they know they’re playing nothing, allowing her to listen to what’s going on around her without any issue or distraction. It’s sometimes frustrating how her mind refuses to relax for even a minute, never letting her get any damn rest or stop looking over her shoulder but by this point it’s almost become second nature to the red head. Something’s wrong with Jonathan. That had caught her attention and bright blue eyes had shifted up from her desk almost imperceptibly. The people talking never noticed as they continued their conversation as though they hadn’t just dropped the name of someone who may as well be a ghost to the Dhampir. It’s not a time she looks back upon with fondness. She’d just been told her best friend had been murdered for daring to associate with her, she’d been severely injured, and had just managed to finally kill the bastard hunting her… Jon had been the person to find her, help her recover at least physically. She hadn’t repaid him entirely kindly, disappearing without a trace as she was wont to do back then. Even now if she’s being honest. She’d been so scared, so convinced after Roxy that someone would take even his brief kindness as an excuse to kill him too. Not that she’d explained any of that to him but she couldn’t risk it to one of the only people to show her kindness after her life went to shit. Her injuries were never even expounded upon to the Nephilim.
She doubts he’ll want to see her and that’s on the off chance that he even remembers her. It’s been years. But if something is truly wrong as people are claiming, she owes it to him to try and repay the favor, right? A soft sigh leaves her lips as she walks up to the desk at the building where he works, hands tucked into the pockets of her jacket. “Hi, is Jonathan Bradford in?” Her voice, though quiet, carries an air of authority that doesn’t allow most people to blow her off. The woman behind the desk, a receptionist she’s guessing, quickly checks before shooting her an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, I’m afraid he’s already left for the day. I can take a message or schedule an appointment though?” Shit. She was really hoping to see him again for the first time somewhere more public. Mostly because she can’t be sure of his reaction, it’s been years after all. With a brief thanks to the woman she directs her steps outside, stopping to breath in the cool air for a moment while she gets her bearings. Figuring out where the elusive Bradford lives is simple enough for someone in her business, a quick text to Felix back at the company and she has the address in hand, one disadvantage of living life without the constant track covering she does. She stares down at the message in her hand for several long moments, debating whether or not. A part of her is arguing that it’s really none of her business while another part, steadily growing louder, is reminding her that were the positions reversed he wouldn’t just leave her dangling. He hadn’t just left her.
Her phone goes back in her pockets as she starts toward Nephilim territory, the weight of the sheath across her back a comfort as she navigates the cold streets. What is she even going to say to him? ‘Hey, sorry I completely ghosted you after you saved my life, I heard you were in town what’s up?’ Yeah, she’d laugh herself out of the building. Breath puffs out in front of her in the cold air as she slows, regarding someone walking in the cold ahead of her. He seems unsteady on his feet, obviously with no regards to the fact that the sidewalk can be slick this time of year. Or perhaps unable to help himself. The distinct smell of alcohol wafts past her, enhanced senses allowing her to pick it up even from a distance, but something about the smell under it gives her pause. She stops walking, admittedly staring. Now that she really looks, something about the set of the shoulders and dark hair seems familiar and it strikes her suddenly that this may be exactly who she’s searching for. Disbelief etched onto her face she quickly closes the space between them, her steps silent only thanks to experience making them that way. “... Jonathan?” She’s good at keeping any sort of emotion out of her voice that she doesn’t want there, instead of disbelief and caution she sounds more curious. Though she still keeps a bit of distance between them, just in case he’s not who she thinks he is.
His dark cold stare stayed stuck on his ceiling as he lay in his bed listless and numb. Unable to process the change of time as he drowns in the darkest parts of his ever turning mind, sinking to his overthinking and unable to float up for air. Before he knows it it is two hours since his alarm on his phone went off failing to wake as he was already awake. He blinks only twice before coming to senses once again only to find he is not home any longer and the mile-high pile of files before him tell him he had managed to make it to his office no mater being devastatingly late.
The drowning of my thoughts seemed to carry to my hearing as only muffled tones registered with me, failing to pierce through my bloodshot eardrums. I rubbed my face and the talking stopped as if the one who spoke realised I was not hearing them. I growled out a huff the frustrated with only myself and the failure I felt I had become. How could I let everything get so far away from me? Falling apart in public was not my status quo and I hated how everyone was afraid to ask if I needed help or if I was okay just as much as I was afraid to ask for help and tell that I was not okay. I blinked a few times or two after, where was I now? I glanced quickly noting the lag of my thoughts and my vision. Drunk. I felt better drunk. I felt happy drunk.
He stayed here a moment longer before deciding to try and stumble home. Hide from the world and avoid the judgmental eyes of those he knew. Maybe he should have gone out of town to drink but not only was it too late now, getting home would be an even harder task than it was now. He stumbles down the street searching for the path less travelled. "Hmm?" He squint's towards the one who called his name, his squint turning to a glower upon registering the woman's face. Ember. "No. No Jonathan here." He manages to speak without slurring a bitter bit in the tone of his voice distinctly directed at her. He drew in a cool sharp breath into his lungs and rolled his shoulders back and brushed by her. "Why would you care if I was anyway? You care only for yourself!" The liquid courage coursing through his veins feeding into all his anger and directing it towards her as he continued to try and stumble down the sidewalk.
Definitely Jonathan then, she’d recognize that face anywhere. Even looking annoyed or angry, unlike the last time she had laid eyes on him, he’s familiar to her. The sharp bite of his voice is not unexpected, nor are his harsh words. She’d have said the same were the roles flipped, she can’t blame him. Even so, she can’t stop the memories from flowing back to her, unwelcome though they are. She doesn’t know the shape he’d found her in, only knows that it was his voice that kept her grounded until she’d woken up. Perhaps that was why he was the first stranger in a long time she hadn’t shied away from? Not that it matters now, standing in front of him years later like some unwelcome phantom. She doesn’t flinch from the venom in his voice, obviously expecting it and to a degree she’s used to hostility directed at her by now. Not from him obviously, but considering the smell of alcohol surrounding him she wasn’t expecting politeness. Not after what she did.
“I’m not here to defend myself Jon. You can think what you will of me, but… I am sorry.” She doesn’t clarify, he knows what she’s referring to and it’s the truth. She is sorry for hurting him because obviously that’s what her leaving did even if it hadn’t been her intent. Apologies aren’t her thing anyway but hearing how sharp his words are, it brings concern back to the forefront of her mind. Looks like the rumors were true, he is far from alright and she hates the way she moves automatically like she can help. If she were smart, if she’d learned anything from this decade of suffering, she’d turn around and walk away. But seeing him stagger his way past her she can’t bring herself to.
A harsh sigh blows past her lips as she turns to make sure he isn’t going to collapse in the middle of the sidewalk and freeze to death. “What on earth happened Jonathan?” She holds up her hand before he can blow her off, “and don’t even try to start with that ‘I’m fine’ bullshit. We both know you’re not fine.” Does he deserve a straight answer from her? Yes. But he deserves it when he’s sober and would actually be able to remember it. “I can tell you don’t want to see me - I don’t blame you - but you once helped me out when.. I had nothing. So. At least let me return the favor and make sure you get home in one piece, alright?” She’s concerned damn it all, not that she’d ever admit it, but she isn’t allowing herself to focus on it because for now she has to focus on him and not snapping at him like her instincts are telling her to.
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