Author Topic: Home Visit  (Read 272 times)

Lucy Rogers

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Home Visit
« on: April 26, 2012, 10:00:20 AM »
Shifts that lasted for days at a time were not conducive to making sure that your sister and her new boyfriend weren't worrying about you. Mind you, they'd had a whole week and more alone together, so Lucy assumed Johnny had fought through all the virginal red tape and nailed her twin at least once by now. She paused, looking up at the building Liv's directions had brought her to, chewing on her lip thoughtfully. It wasn't her sister she was here to see, hence arriving in the middle of the afternoon during what was supposed to be her four hour break for the day. No, Lucy was here to see Johnny. She wanted to make sure he wasn't harboring any ulterior motives for being with Liv, to be certain that they'd both moved on from the mess that had been their brief relationship. And she had a little bit of information which he might actually want ahead of time, too.

Shouldering her bag once again, she moved to jog up the stairs - all four floors' worth - once more coming to a halt outside Apartment 4C. "Okay, Luce, deep breath," she murmured to herself. "You can do this." Shaking out her fingers, she lifted her hand and knocked sharply on the door.

Johnny was in the middle of creating the world's best sandwich when he heard a knock at the door. Liv was at work, and he wasn't expecting any visitors. Hell, hardly anyone knew where he was living except maybe for Lucy and Ben, and he wasn't expecting a visit from either of them. He eyed his sandwich with a frown and waggled a finger at it in warning. "Don't go anywhere. I've got plans for you." He licked a bit of mayonaise from a fingers and started toward the door, figuring it was probably someone selling something door-to-door.

Patience was not a virtue Lucy was burdened with outside working hours. When Johnny opened the door, it was to be faced with his ex-girlfriend - who also happened to be the identical twin of his current girlfriend - pacing backwards and forwards in the hallway, humming to herself as she drummed her fingernails against her cheek.

Johnny opened the door to find Liv pacing the floor in the hallway outside his apartment. At least, that's what he thought for a split second before realizing it wasn't Liv at all, but Lucy, and he wondered why she was there, assuming maybe she wasn't there because of him at all. "If you're looking for Liv, she's at work."

Turning on her heel with a bright, confident smile that proved she was definitely not Liv, Lucy winked at Johnny. "I know. It's you I'm here to see. Can I come in?" She didn't wait for an answer, easing past him with the same flirtatious boldness that had so engaged him when they'd first met. The only difference was that this time she meant absolutely nothing by it; it was just an unthinking attitude that usually got her what she wanted.

"Uh, yeah, I guess," he turned to watch her as she sashayed into his apartment uninvited. "You're already here, so..." He closed the door behind her and turned to face her, still looking puzzled, but trying to be friendly and polite. "Can I get you something? Coffee? Tea? I was just making lunch. Want a sandwich?" He started back toward the kitchen, assuming she'd follow. Not even Lucy was going to come between him and that sandwich.

She laughed, impressed that he'd managed not to blurt out an immediate demand as to the reason for her unexpected arrival. "Oh no, you go right ahead," she waved a hand toward his kitchen as she followed him. "I've only got a little while - I need to shower and change and grab something to eat before getting back to the hospital." Her arms settled into an easy cross over her stomach as she leaned in the doorway. "I thought maybe we should clear the air a bit before my sister tries to force us."

He stepped back into the kitchen to retrieve his sandwich, wrapping his hands around the monstrous thing while she told him the reason for her visit. "Air's clear, as far as I'm concerned." Was he purposely avoiding her gaze or was he really that interested in his sandwich? He took a bite, groaning in delight and smiling over at her with a mouthful of food. "Now, that's a sandwich." For the record, the sandwich was made up of layers of bread, various coldcuts and cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. It was amazing he could even get the thing into his mouth.

Lucy was not convinced, rolling her eyes at his sudden sandwich fetishism as she chuckled. "Oh yes," she agreed in a drawling voice. "So clear, you can't even look me in the eye." She shook her head, moving into the kitchen to lean against the counter, purposely staring at his face until he looked up at her.

He took another bite of the sandwich, chewing and swallowing as she approached. He was dressed casually in jeans, tshirt, and socks, no uniform worn beneath as he was just relaxing at home, off duty. He glanced up to meet her gaze as she came close, having no choice really as she was practically face to face with him. "I can look you in the eye," he told her, leaning in close and purposely staring into her eyes. "See?"

"Well done." Her smile faded, though, as she drew in a slow breath. "I wanted to apologise," she said quietly. "I said some pretty cruel things the day you left, and I wasn't much better when you brought Liv to the hospital. And I forgot to say one very important thing." There was another pause, her expression solemn and sincere for once as she looked up at him. "Thank you for my sister. Without you, I'd have lost her. I've never seen her as happy as she is with you. I know you'll look after her, and she'll look after you. But it all comes back to you saving her life. So thank you, Johnny."

There went his eyebrows again, furrowing deeply, not because he was upset, but because he was surprised and touched by Lucy's unexpected apology and show of gratitude. It wasn't what he'd been expecting. He'd been expecting a lecture or maybe a barrage of questions, but not this. It was rare that anyone bothered to thank him for anything. He leaned away and lowered the sandwich, turning uncharacteristically serious, hesitating a moment before replying. "I'm not sure what to say."

Her lips came together in a slow smile at the unexpectedly serious look on his face. "Well, you could come out with the tired old platitudes about how you'll look after her and never hurt her and all that guff, but you really don't need to." Lucy reached out to pat his cheek gently. "I messed us up, but I don't think we'd have lasted anyway." Her smile deepened affectionately. "You and Liv are a much better match."

He felt a small sad tug at his heart when she patted his cheek. Though they were no longer lovers, he hadn't forgotten the brief but passionate time they'd spent together. They had burned out too soon, like a candle that had burned too bright, blazing brightly and then quickly fading. What he had with Liv was different, it was a mellower, but deeper sort of flame that he was hoping would last. "It wasn't all your fault. I was just as much to blame."

The wince showed in her eyes, if not on her face. "Please don't linger on that, Johnny. You don't know how lucky you are right now - any man would be the luckiest bastard in the world to get a second chance with a woman he wants, much less someone as special as Liv. I'm not ready to settle down, to anything, with anyone. It wasn't you and it wasn't me. But we're set up to be good friends, if you're okay with that."
[size=9:7dea4b7eca][color=darkblue:7dea4b7eca][i:7dea4b7eca][b:7dea4b7eca]Prevention is preferable to cure.[/b:7dea4b7eca][/i:7dea4b7eca][/color:7dea4b7eca][/size:7dea4b7eca]

Lucy Rogers

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Re: Home Visit
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 10:04:40 AM »
He frowned at the look of pain in her eyes, not wanting her to feel guilty or bad about what had happened between them. It had been wonderful while it had lasted; it just wasn't meant to be. "Luce..." He sighed, wanting to tell her how he felt about Olivia, but not wanting her to feel inferior or rejected. He really did care about both her and Liv. "You know, I've thought about what would have happened if it had been you in there."

Her brows rose, guessing what might have been brewing in his mind in that direction a little more easily than he might have been comfortable knowing about. "I wouldn't have been here two weeks later, Johnny, and we both know it." Her smile was gentle, but a little too knowing for comfort. "You've been playing the game for a while, long enough to know that it's not really what you want anymore. I'm still playing, Johnny. Me and Liv, we might look the same but we're two very different people. That doesn't mean she's any better than me, or me better than her. It just means we fit best with different people."

"Maybe not, but it wouldn't have made a difference. I care about you, too, Luce. I just..." He shrugged his shoulders, setting the sandwich down with a sigh. "I guess it just wasn't meant to be." He had no regrets really. He was in love with Olivia and he was happy with her, but he didn't want this awkwardness between them, and he didn't want Lucy to hold it against him, though if she was being truthful, it seemed she, at least, was over it. "I love her, you know. I'm not gonna hurt her."

"Johnny, if you love Liv, you need to stop worrying about me," Lucy told him firmly, reaching out to grip his wrists for a moment, wanting his undivided attention as she spoke. "I'm a big girl, I can look after myself, and it probably stings a bit to look at me and know I'm over it. But I'm sure you'd rather things worked out this way than with me pining after you and resenting my little sister for being happy. Wouldn't you?"

His gaze briefly darted to her hands as she gripped his, before turning back to her and nodding his head, a smile on his face, surprisingly warm and caring, but not the same smile that he gave to her sister, a hint of the old Johnny Storm mischief in his blue eyes. "Not pining even a little bit?" he teased.

Her eyes narrowed, the brown not as soft as her sister's but infinitely bolder when it came to showing her amusement. Her expression opened into a wide grin as she chuckled at his tease. "Well ... all right, then," she snickered, rolling her eyes. "Maybe I'm a little bit jealous. Only a little bit, and much better at hiding it than you two are!" She laughed aloud, leaning back against the counter. "Besides, being your girlfriend's sister puts me in the perfect position to pass on intimate details about her that she might otherwise fail to tell you."

"Or intimate details about me to her," he added with a small frown, searching his mind for anything she might tell Liv that might incriminate him somehow. He wasn't sure how he felt about that, and he picked up his sandwich again and took another bite as he considered it, too curious not to ask the next obvious question. "What kind of intimate details?"

"Oh, where's the point in terrifying her with details of how wild you can get when you'll have so much more fun teaching her about it yourself?" Lucy chuckled, flashing him a very cheeky wink as she stretched lightly, adjusting the hang of her top as she grinned at him. "I mean the kind of intimate details that draw attention to people on certain days of the year like, I don't know ... birthdays?"

"Oh, those kinds of details." He almost blew out a sigh of relief. He thought she was going to start telling him secrets about ex-boyfriends or bad habits Liv had that he had no clue about yet. He furrowed his brows again, as a thought came to him. "Does she... do you both have one coming up?" he asked curiously.

"In theory. I assume she's told you about our lack of parents?" Lucy eyed him thoughtfully, gauging the reaction before going on. "Nearest guess the authorities got to our birthdate was the first of May, so that's our official birthday. But I'm telling you this so you can make it a day she remembers for the right reasons; she hates celebrating her birthday, because it's a huge reminder that our real parents didn't want us."

"The first of May..." He broke off, realizing how close that was. "That's... next week!" he exclaimed, his mind racing again, trying to figure out what to get her, what to do. Should he have a party or take her to dinner? Should he buy her a gift and if so, what should he get her? He set the sandwich down again, a thoughtful look on his face, frowning a little as Lucy reminded him how Liv felt about her parents. "Yeah, she told me about that."

"You know, I... I didn't have the happiest home life either,"  he admitted quietly, unsure why he was telling her that, why it even mattered. He hadn't been born an orphan, but his story wasn't much happier than theirs.  At least he'd had Sue, like Lucy and Liv had had each other.

Lucy's smile was a little sad, but it seemed more on her sister's behalf than for any real pain of her own. She'd long since come to terms with their situation herself, and though Johnny offered an admission of his own, she wasn't the type to linger on sadness or upset that was in the past. "Well, lucky for you, Aunty Lucy has come with a suggestion for you," she offered with a knowing smile. "You might have noticed, in the old apartment, a small glass frog that lived on the windowsill in the bathroom. Replace it." She wasn't going to tell him why that was a good idea; Liv would enjoy being able to thank him and explain why it meant so much, if he chose to take her advice.

There was that puzzled look on his face again, the kind men got when they had no idea what the women in their lives were talking about. "A glass frog? Where am I supposed to find a glass frog?" He wondered if it was significant somehow in that it was said you had to kiss a lot of frogs before you found your prince. Was he her prince, he wondered.

Lucy laughed, shaking her head even as her hand dipped into her bag, coming out with a small catalogue that pertained to the wares of a particular crystalworks in the city. She'd even circled the right little figurine for him, and it wasn't as extortionate in price as he might have thought. "Here," she handed it over. "I thought you might need all the help you could get. I'm borrowing her for the day this Saturday to get her present from me, so you've got her all to yourself on the first."
[size=9:7dea4b7eca][color=darkblue:7dea4b7eca][i:7dea4b7eca][b:7dea4b7eca]Prevention is preferable to cure.[/b:7dea4b7eca][/i:7dea4b7eca][/color:7dea4b7eca][/size:7dea4b7eca]

Lucy Rogers

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Re: Home Visit
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 10:08:02 AM »
He took the catalogue from her, glancing at the photograph of the figurine, which jogged his memory a bit. "Oh, I remember seeing this now. I thought it was kind of cute." He set the catalog aside and looked back at her, curious again. "Are you sure that's all she wants?"

It was such a small thing. He wanted to give her so much more than that, but he wasn't sure what. It was too soon for a ring, and he didn't have enough money to get her anything too extravagant, not unless he made a trip back home first, and he still had no idea how to do that.

Lucy's smile deepened, warm and reassuring as she nodded. "Trust me," she urged him. "Of everything she lost in the fire, that frog is what she misses the most. You don't need to take her to dinner if you can't afford it, you don't even need to get her a card. She's a really soft touch when it comes to things like this."

Her smile was mirrored by a frown. "I wish I'd gotten there sooner. I could have saved some of her things... your things. Photos..." He nodded to the catalog. "Her frog." Yes, he'd saved her life and the lives of an elderly couple he didn't know. Why did it never feel like enough? "I'll get her the frog. Maybe make dinner." He smiled a little. "Something besides grilled cheese."

"Johnny ... everything you didn't save? They're just things. Things can be replaced; lives can't. I know that better than most." Lucy stepped close, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug. It wasn't the embrace of a lover, or the awkward goodbye of an ex; it was the sort of hug a sister or good friend could hand out without a second thought, affectionate but distant in the same moment. "I'm pretty sure whatever you do, she's going to be putty in your hands anyway." Stepping back, she picked up her bag, slinging it over her shoulder again. "Oh, by the way ... you have screwed her, right?"

It struck him at that moment when she wrapped him in that friendly, almost sisterly hug, that something had changed between them and that everything was going to be all right. "You're a good friend, Luce, and an even better sister." He smiled and hugged her back, laughing at her question when she released him and stepped away. "That's a bit personal, don't you think?"

"Well, I need to make sure you're treating her right, don't I?" It was a pitiful excuse for such a prying query, and they both knew it, which was why she then burst out laughing. "I've got to get going, I've only got three hours to get myself sorted before I'm back on shift. But I'll probably see you Saturday, if that's okay?"

"Maybe you should ask her." He smirked, thinking she'd get a far more honest answer from her sister than from him, though he imagined she'd also probably get a blush from the shyer, quieter twin. "I thought you said you wanted to spend the day with her." He'd assumed that plan didn't include him.

She chuckled. "No, I said I'd be borrowing her for most of the day. What I intend to do for the evening is buy you both a takeout and enjoy your reaction to her present while vegging out on your couch." She flashed him another wink, shifting to slip from the kitchen and make her way back toward the front door.

He rolled his eyes at her. "Do I even want to know?" He could only imagine what she had in mind. "Just so you know, I'm not handing out tissues while watching a girlie movie with the two of you." It occurred to him then that if he and Liv's relationship became permanent, it would sort of make Lucy his sister, too. That thought caused him to think of his own sister for a minute as he followed her toward the door. "Hey, Luce..."

She paused by the door, one hand on the handle as she looked back at him. Despite the difference in clothes' sense, the sharper bangs cut into her hair, she could still pass for Liv at a distance, but hopefully Johnny had finally pinned down those differences for good. "Yes, Johnny?"

"I... um..." He paused a moment, feeling a hint of that awkwardness again, not as strongly as before, hopeful it would disappear completely in time. "I'm glad we're still friends," he told her sincerely, realizing how much he really meant what he said and feeling a flood of relief that she didn't hate him.

The smile sent in his direction was so startlingly like Liv's, she might almost have been standing there in Lucy's place for a brief moment. "So am I," Lucy murmured warmly. "But finish your sandwich quick, or you're going to get indigestion on that death-trap you call a bike at the Wonderplex." One hand rose, catching a kiss from her lips to blow it in his direction as she opened the door. "Take care, Johnny. I'll see you soon."

He laughed a little at her presumed concern for his safety veiled as teasing. "Don't worry. I've got a pretty strong stomach." He smiled as she threw him a kiss and he followed her to the door, taking hold of it as she stepped back out into the hallway. "I'll see you Saturday," he reminded her, forming a plan in his mind, a little surprise for both twins.

"You bet." Grinning Lucy turned to make her way down the corridor, pausing to flash him another cheeky smile. "Oh, and Johnny? Try to let her get a little bit of sleep every night." She stuck her tongue out at him, laughing cheerfully as she disappeared from view, heels clicking on the stairs to send her on her way.

"I'll try!" he called back at her, his voice echoing down the hallway as she headed away from him to disappear from view. He leaned against the doorway for a minute, going over memories of the brief time they'd spent together in his head. He smiled as he filed those memories away, letting them go, part of his past, ready to forgive and forget and look forward to the future.

[size=9]((And peace is restored! As always, massive, enormous, HUMUNGUS thanks to Johnny's player!))[/size]
[size=9:7dea4b7eca][color=darkblue:7dea4b7eca][i:7dea4b7eca][b:7dea4b7eca]Prevention is preferable to cure.[/b:7dea4b7eca][/i:7dea4b7eca][/color:7dea4b7eca][/size:7dea4b7eca]