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."