A Marvelous Night


brian_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title A Marvelous Night
Synopsis … this is not. Veronica and Brian have a chance run-in. Veronica says her goodbyes.
Date January 6, 2010


"I won't be needing you to keep this for me anymore."

"Is something wrong?"

"No.. I just can't afford to pay you anymore. I'm sorry. I know these are rough times. Here's this month and next month's rent and.. Yeah. Just take that as my gift to you."

Winters pushes the money in the paper bag across the counter of the small corner store. The man behind the counter gives a somber nod before leaving and returning with a small safe.

Smiling gently but sadly, "Well it was nice knowing you Hakim. Good luck bro." Picking up his black duffel bag the safe is pushed into it. Going to zip it up, he flings it over his shoulder. He won't insult the other man by checking the contents in front of him. Hakim has been keeping care of his stuff for a while. Just a small payment every month… They even got to be friends. He knew he could trust the man, but now, he knew he would probably never see him again.

Taking a step out, he adjusts the duffel bag on his shoulder. When you don't have bank accounts, you have drop points like this. Pay someone to watch over your shit and it's just as good as a bank. He's been collecting all the money he had been making the years before. When you don't have to pay bills for several people, but get to work several people's jobs… You can save up quite the small fortune.

But everything comes to an end. And Brian needs every dime he can get a hold of now. Having visited several of his drop points today, he looks up at the dark sky when arriving outside.

It's almost curfew, time to go home. Pulling his coat close, and buttoning it. Brian reaches up to pull his beanie low. Or maybe he could visit one more drop… He dodges curfew all the time.. It wouldn't hurt.

Curfew isn't on Veronica's mind as she comes around the corner — not that she ever has to worry about it. She looks unwell; her skin is a little pale, dark circles smudging the areas beneath her tired looking eyes. She moves slowly, and there is a tension around her eyes and mouth as if she's in some pain caused by the simple act of walking. Her hands are in her pocket, her head down — she's obviously not working, whatever it is she's doing wandering the sparsely populated street this late at night.

As Brian comes out of the store, her eyes lift. The beanie makes her overlook him for a moment as anything other than a potential threat — as any stranger might be in this city, but then the so-familiar curves of his face register a second later, and her lips part. Brows furrow and she simply drops her eyes, to allow him to pretend not to see her if he so wishes.

A step is taken, and then his heart stops. Almost missing his step, Winters stumbles somewhat his feet flinging out to keep himself upright. Flinging his back up so that he doesn't topple over, his eyes skim over Veronica. She looks away. He could slip away. He could run. He probably should slip away, should run. However his eyes are glued on her, somewhat wide. His mouth has the inability to close.

He doesn't do anything. He stays still, staring at her. His hands loosely gripping at the strap hanging from around his shoulder. What is he supposed to do? Whatever it is, he is unaware of it. He remains completely still.

When he doesn't move away, her eyes inch up toward his. A hand goes to her chest, where she wears his ring again, hidden beneath the layers of clothing — having taken it out after the last time she saw him. Those brown eyes dart to the door of the store he came out of and then back to his face.

"Hi," Veronica says softly, husky voice weaker than usual. "I wasn't… I'm not tailing you or anything," she says a little lamely. "I'm just out walking." She's far from her apartment or her work for a stroll, but then she doesn't see anything as home in this city, so any neighborhood works as well as another.

"Hi.." He returns, a little awkwardly. His eyes follow her hands vaguely. Once realizing that he's staring at her chest he winces subtly at himself. Eyes are then floating back up to her face. He doesn't make eye contact instead he makes teeth contact. Just watch her teeth.

"I know.." He lets out. Trying to suggest he would know if she was trying to tail him. Because he's that good. But.. He doesn't need to get in a penis size with her. She already knows where they stand. "Oh." He lets out into response of her statement about walking. The strap is adjusted on his shoulder again. Brian looks to the side then back to her. He's not real sure what they're supposed to do now.

The awkwardness is too much and Veronica looks away — first to the side and then to the sky — her eyes glimmer a little, reflecting lamplight and starlight for too long of a moment before her hand reaches for her neck again.

This time, a second joins it, and she's unhooking the necklace, pulling it up with a little wince as it rakes along the burned flesh beneath. One hand curls around the necklace, the ring in a fist, and she stares at her hand.

It's a long, still moment.

Pressing her lips together, finally, her eyes drop again. Twin tears stream down either cheek as she takes a step forward, holding her hand out and waiting for his so she can drop the treasure into his.

Her hand trembles. A tear drops off her jaw and to the sidewalk below from her bowed head.

"Vee.. Don't.." He starts. He was going to tell her not to cry, but his voice stops. When she reaches up and takes the necklace out from under her shirt. His eyes practically boring holes through her hands. His own hands are busy clinging to the strap around his shoulder tightly. He looks confused as her hands stretch out…

Looking down he takes a shuffle step forward. Hand leaving the duffle strap, his hand wanders out. Placing the hand onder hers hesitantly he watches the trembling hands carefully. He manages to stay stoic for now, not allowing his own eyes to tear up.

She bites her lower lip to try to keep it from trembling. Everything she ever truly wanted is here on this sidewalk. Everything real. Everything important. The tears stream down, rivulets down her pale face. The mask she's worn for so long, the one that he saw through, it's gone tonight.

"I love you," she whispers.

It's not enough.

"I'm sorry," she adds, then tips her hand up, turning it to open her fingers, revealing the ring he'd given her inside — not for his sake, but for hers. To look at it one more time. To remember what could have been.

A tremble runs through her body and she turns her hand downward, bringing it to his. She lets her hand linger for a long moment before she takes a sharp breath and turns away.

His eyes follow the cascading tears down her cheeks, forcing his hand to remain still. His tongue lashes out to dab at his lips weakly. Bringing it back in he watches with constipated emotion. He's seen that mask break down a few times. But never this much. Never in this kind of public setting.

She loves him. His eyes close.

She's sorry. His brows knit in some and his head turns away a little bit.

His hand trembles slightly when her skin touches his, accepting the ring. Brian's hand closes in around it. Glancing up at her, his eyes are slightly wet. Watching her turn, his hand drops to his side as he watches her go. No words are allowed to go past his lips.

She doesn't look back. She doesn't allow herself to look back.

But she doesn't get very far before she slumps down to sit at a bus stop — the last bus was an hour ago, so it's simply a place to rest.

And cry.

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