She took another sip of water, and ran a hand back through those garnet strands. She gave him a long look, and then a bright laugh broke from her lips. "Jesus, Killer...how'd you get better looking?"
He grinned again, running a hand through his short hair and shook his head. "I uh...I haven't had a cigarette since....well. Since. And I drink, maybe once a month. It's kinda cleared a lot up. Evened me out."
"Is that the trick? Maybe I'll try that..." She knew she wouldn't, although she had cut back, and was spending more time doing things like....yoga. Not quite the party girl anymore. "And you're working a legitimate job...no more fights." It wasn't a question.
He almost said no. He stopped himself, squinting. "Well....not intentionally? I cold cocked some fat old pervert the other night for trying to grab Tessa. " Simon couldn't help the smile forming on his face. "Like riding a bike."
"Not like you were though. Knights have to fight for their damsels, Killer...even if they're getting paid." Winking, she kept just out of arms reach. She wouldn't put it past him to try and ...tickle her or something. "It's ingrained. Who you are. Even if you use those powers for ... good... now..."
Simon smirked, he still wasn't on board with that term, but he didn't argue. "So...what have YOU been into? I don't imagine you've exactly settled down."
"Not...exactly? I'm...actually cutting back on clients...still working at The Line. They have me running the book once a month at the Hold." She'd always be a little grey, it was just how she was.
Somehow it was a comfort to him. At least she was dependable. "You DO seem like you're doing better. You look good."
"Thanks. Nearly dying a few times will really make you look at things.." She shrugged, doing better was one way to look at things. "Still have the penthouse, you'd probably love the Panamera...maybe if you're nice, I'll let you drive it."
"Oooh-hoo-hoo. Tempting." He chuckled. "They hooked me up with a Mercedes. Quick little bastard. Lotta space. The other day a kid jumped up and tried to kick in the windshield and I faceplanted his ass into the roof."
"Sweet." Chuckling at the thought, Tahlia ran a hand back through her hair, and looked at the strands for a moment. It was strange how unfamiliar the color looked now. With a thought, she switched it back to her usual blonde. She looked back up at Simon, one hand sneaking under her shirt to brush the black pearl nestled in her navel. "Wait...Mercedes...wasn't that the car at the beach?"
Simon pushed off the tree, memories flooding back of a time they jacked a car and took it on down to the beach to...well...they took it to the beach. . "It was indeed. Though...I didn’t have to break into this one." He took a seat at one of the benches, eyes up to her. "Paige REALLY straightened my ass out. Like, the second I got there she laid down the law. 'No smoking, no getting drunk, no drugs, no crime....
"Well, I guess that makes sense, her being a cop, or former cop, and...well...everything right before. You could get your own place, now...if you wanted..."
He cracked a sheepish little grin. “No women."
"No women? Wait...so..." Careful, Tahlia, finishing that sentence might not be a good idea. Even if she suspected they were now both thinking the same thing.
He laughed and nodded, "Said I had to get a hotel if I ever picked up a woman. Not that I've exactly had time since moving in. Most nights, it's the two of us eating pizza watching one hour dramas on HBO."
"...really?" She couldn't help the note of disbelief. "Killer...how are you not sneezing dust? Once a night was never enough, you used to keep going for hours..." Aaaaaaaand now she'd kicked the door open, hadn't she. Flushing deeply, she ducked her head, and focused on her water for a minute. "Sorry..."
He didn't seem offended. No this was amusement. He just laughed. "I know, I know! It's amazing how a busy schedule makes you kind of forget about things. Honestly, it's not that bad." It really wasn't. He didn't feel the constant need to bury himself in sex and substances anymore. "To be honest, the smoking and booze was harder. I mean, I snag a drink every now and again, but it's been...well, since us that I've REALLY gone out on a bender."
"Yeah, I guess we were positively made up of sex, drugs and bad decisions, weren't we..." And she'd loved every minute. But some part of her had known they couldn't stay like that forever. "It's...better now. I guess. I don't believe quitting smoking and drinking was harder than sex, though." It was her own worst addiction, she knew, and she was a little surprised at how well she was handling her own relative dry spell.
He was quiet a long moment, a little smile forming slowly. "well....I'm not saying it was easy...but you know. I can go out and buy a pack of smokes and a bottle, but I can't...well...I'm not willing to go out and buy myself a woman."
The smile faded then, a more somber look in his eyes. "Plus...I was a mess. Wasn't really in any place for it. I used to do that and it left me kinda...hollow."
"I used to have this...this hole. This big emptiness inside of me. And I filled it with all this destructive ****. Women, drugs, booze, fighting. And after everything the past couple years, I just...I don't have the hole anymore."
There was a moment of silence, her eyes wide, staring at him in thinly veiled shock, and hurt. She knew that feeling, knew it well...but it had never happened with him. Still...the little blonde looked away, closing her eyes to take a deep breath, and try to push everything away. Her free hand slipped over the brand on her ribs, and she let the air out, shaking. "Yeah...I...that's good, right?"
He could sense something was wrong He wasn't entirely clueless. He stepped up to her, placing a hand on her arm. "It's because of you, y'know?" He looked her in the eye, speaking softly. "I went around just looking for death and punishment, and then you showed me there could be something more, regardless of how things ended."
She didn't want to cry. Even with her current uncertainty...things were...good. But they'd never gotten to do this, there had been no fight. He had just been....gone. "I didn't know I could. I mean...I hadn't, ever. You were just supposed to be a one-night stand, and then...you weren't. I didn't even know what was happening, and I tried so hard not to, cause I didn't think you did, or would..." Eyes shimmering, she reached up, and brushed the backs of her fingers along his jaw. "I guess we showed each other..."
He reached up and took her hand, placing a kiss at her knuckles. "I think we were exactly what both of us needed...at the time. It just..." He sighed, still holding that hand. "We burned hard. Fast. I think a little too hard and fast. I don't think we could have lasted..." There was a hint of sadness, though, he'd accepted this a LONG time ago. But that little grin returned. "But, damn were we good together."
"Yeah...we were...I still..." It wouldn't be her if she didn't dance on that line, swept away in the moment. And the memories were right there. But he was right. They'd been intense, and explosive, sometimes literally, and they'd left a path of destruction behind them. "Well, you know." Keeping a hold of his hand, she bit her lip, pale green eyes staring into blue ones that she used to think held the whole world.
Those baby blues turned up to her, taking her in the moment, remembering every second they had together in almost crystal clarity. his free hand reached up, thumb rested behind her ear gently. He leaned in...and pressed a lingering, gentle kiss to her forehead,.
She'd meant only that she still thought of him, of the same moments that were probably running though his memory. They'd never had a problem in that area, but for the first time...she was perfectly content with that kiss on her forehead. She'd missed more than just the physical, with him. She'd missed her friend, her confidante. Especially now, when she was alone, and playing a dangerous game with no backup. But the rest...that was in the past. Smiling, she turned her head and brushed a kiss to his palm. "Still friends?"
He looked her in the eye, that solemn expression on his face as he smiled. "Always."
Simon wrapped his arms around the woman who had once been the devil on his shoulder and his guardian angel all at the same time. It had been a long, messy road to get there., but it felt right. After a long year, Simon finally felt that weight leave his shoulders. Tonight, he was happy.