What he had thought was a leap forward turned out to be worse than her ignoring and hating him. Knowing that she probably still felt the same way but didn't want to pursue the idea was killing him. He was so close to her, but he couldn't hold her, kiss her. He was glad to finally reach Ireland and have the ability to get off the boat, time to collect his thoughts, calm his nerves, think about what to do about the situation.
"I have some things I have to do," he told her, stepping off the boat onto the dock. "Stay around here. I'll be back."
She rolled her eyes in an annoyed fashion but didn't say anything. He knew she didn't appreciate or follow anyone's authority but her own, but he didn't care at this point.
Briskly, he set off down the dock, stopping first at the boat house to use the pay phone.
"Hey," he said into the receiver, "it's me…Yeah, yeah, just got here…It's a little more complicated than I expected…Look, could we talk about this in person?...Alright, I'll be there soon."
He glanced back toward the ocean before heading for town, quickly reaching the square and his destination. He entered the hotel and ducked into the lounge, finding who he was looking for without much trouble.
"Kat, good to see you again," he said, taking a seat at the bar beside her.
"Little brother, long time, no see," she said, turning toward him. "Come on, don't tell me the obviously painful trip down memory lane made you forget how much you love your big sister," she added, opening her arms for a hug.
He rolled his eyes, hugging her as she wished.
"So, you found her, I'm guessing?" she asked.
He nodded. "Finding her was the easy part. It was the…getting her here that was difficult," he said carefully.
"Define difficult," Kat said, watching him closely.
He suddenly felt very uncomfortable telling her about this. "Well…she wasn't interested in coming before she realized who I was and after she found out who I was she was…well…not all that happy. I think I saved her from another attempted suicide…then she was really pissed at me and…the only way I saw of getting her here was to…tranquilize her."
"You did what?" she asked in a flat tone. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"I was desperate, okay? She wouldn't listen to me and I didn't want to go and lose her again and—"
"Alright, alright, I get it. So what happened?"
"I didn't realize she was prone to seasickness so she was not only pissed about my showing up, she was pissed about me taking her with me and about taking her on a boat."
"I'm surprised she didn't just kill you."
"She wanted to and she made sure I was fully aware of it until…"
"What did you do?" she asked accusatorily.
"Well, I had to find a way to get her to crack…so…I kind of pretended I was going to jump from the top of the mast."
She gave him a quizzical look before slapping him hard across the face. "Are you insane?" she demanded, ignoring the looks from other people in the room. "How could you do that to that poor woman after everything you've told me about her?"
"I…I…I don't…." he stuttered, stunned by her animated response. "I don't know. I thought we were getting somewhere and then she snapped again and I just…lost control of the situation. It worked though."
She shook her head. "Of course it worked. If you really had done it, she would have been alone, probably lost at sea, and her heart would have been irrevocably shattered for the rest of her life. I'm not saying the first time was necessarily your fault, but from the way you made it sound, it seems like it took a lot for her to open up the first time and those kinds of feelings don't easily go away. She probably buried them deep, deep down to protect herself in case it happened again. You essentially wrenched them back up to the surface along with everything she felt initially after you left. How could you possibly put her through that torture again?"
"Don't you think that's a bit over-dramatic?"
"No, not at all."
"Well, whether that's really what happened or not, she just wants to be friends."
A knowing smirk appeared on Kat's face. "And you don't like it, do you?"
"I thought I would, but now I'm not so sure anymore."
"Listen to me," she said, taking his hands. "You can't just rush head-long into this and hope it works. Take some time to think about the best way to go about it. She needs some time to get used to this new arrangement first."
"That's the last thing I want her to do," he sighed. "But I suppose you're right."
"Of course I'm right. Now, is that all?"
"She also said she'd join the Order."
"After you jumped from the mast?"
"Well, I suppose there's at least one silver lining to the situation. That reminds me," she said digging through her purse. "This came yesterday from HQ," she said, handing him an envelope. "It's information about your next assignment, and you're supposed to take her with for a sort of trial run. I guess they just assumed you would convince her to come."
"Alright, then," he said, folding the envelope in half and sticking it in his pocket with intentions of reading it later. "Well, I should be getting back to the docks; though I'm sure she'll have gone off on her own somewhere. You should come meet her."
"I think I'll let you two work things out before I get involved in any way. Besides, I've got to run anyway. Hope to see you back at HQ."
"Likewise," he said, standing from the barstool.
After a quick goodbye, he left feeling just as dejected about the situation has he had been when he arrived. As logical as Kat's advice was, he just couldn't bring himself to follow it. Instead of taking the direct route back to the docks, he wandered around the town, lost in his thoughts instead of the charm of his surroundings. He stopped suddenly outside one of the shops, looking at the display in the window.
He immediately knew what he had to do. It was the complete opposite of what Kat had suggested, but he knew it was the only plan that would settle his disappointment and answer the questions looming over his head. Not hesitating a moment longer, he went inside, knowing exactly what he wanted.
"There you are," he said, finally finding her after searching for almost a half hour. "I've been looking all over for you."
She rolled her eyes. "What, you thought I'd get lost or something?"
"No, I've just been trying to find you. There's something I want to show you."
"Just trust me on this," he said, beckoning her to come with him.
"Alright, alright," she said, following.
He led her a short ways before cutting behind some buildings and climbing up a forest trail. The slope gradually increased before leveling out in a clearing that stretched to a cliff overlooking the bay and small town below. A small wooden bench sat a few feet back from the cliff.
"Wow, what a view," she said, walking right up to the edge. "How'd you know this was here?"
"I've stayed here a few times, so I've had a few chances to explore a bit," he shrugged. "Look, as long as we're here, could we talk?"
"Um…okay…" she said, giving him a quizzical look.
"You should probably sit down," he added.
She sat down silently, a hint of annoyance on her face.
He put his hands in his pockets, holding on to the small object in his pocket to give him the ability to continue with his plan. "The day I left was one of the hardest days of my life. I thought you had wanted me to leave, so even though it was the very last thing I wanted to do, I did it to make you happy. I thought the change of scenery would help me forget everything, but it didn't. Everything I saw seemed to remind me of you. It haunted me. I knew the only way to get rid of the feelings was to see you again so I put your name up for consideration and volunteered to find you straight away. They went along with it. There was no deliberation, reports from agents in the states, or anything like that."
"And you're telling me this because…?"
He sighed. "I'm getting there. Anyway, I completely expected you to turn me down if you found out who I was, I expected the hatred and the anger, but I realized later on that I expected them for different reasons. I thought, originally, that I was because of something that had happened, that it was the reason that you wanted me to leave. When I saved you from that vampire and you later told me about your suicide attempt, it got me thinking that maybe I had been wrong about the whole situation."
She just watched him, an unreadable expression on her face.
"And now I've realized what it was. I hurt you. I hurt you deep. It took so much to get you to trust me and then I just left. I'm sorry. You can't possibly imagine how sorry I am. I know I've said it before, but now I truly realize what I'm sorry for. It was the worst mistake I've ever made."
She looked as if she wanted to say something, but he continued, knowing that if he didn't say it now, he wouldn't be able to. He took her hands, standing in front of her.
"When you said you wanted to be friends, I thought for sure it was the best thing I could ever hope for, but while we were on the boat it seemed like the worst possible scenario I'd gained some of your trust, but not enough to make up for what I'd destroyed by leaving. That's why," he said, dropping down on one knee, "I want to show you that I will never again break that trust I will never hurt you again." He pulled the small box from his pocket and opened it. "Would you marry me?"
Her mouth fell open, her eyes darting between his and the ring in the box. "You…you can't possibly…" she stammered, trailing off as she saw the look in his eyes. "It couldn't…"
"Please," he said softly.
She stared at him for a moment. "I can't deny the fact that you are probably the only person who has bothered to care or understand me. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew there was something. I didn't know what at the time, but it was there. And I let that feeling get the best of me, let me open up to you and then…everything fell apart," she said softly, looking away and shaking her head. "I swore to myself that I had to keep it from happening again. I hated you for it. Any feelings I had for you had to be destroyed. It was the only way I could protect myself from letting the same thing happen again. I learned from my mistakes, and I don't plan to make them again."
His heart fell at those words. He looked at the ring in the box, unable to look at her any longer.
She noticed and looked back at him. "But you came back," she said, lifting his chin to look into his eyes. "Everything I thought I had gotten rid of came flooding back. I knew I couldn't make the same mistakes again, so I went after that vampire like a novice with the hopes that I wouldn't be able to. When that didn't work and everything else fell apart, I tried to find a way to make sure it wouldn't happen…but that in itself was a mistake." She closed her eyes, looking down. "I realized that I was really missing what I truly wanted, but I don't know if I can open up like that again."
The silence hanging in the air was almost suffocating; even the trees around them were still, as if waiting for the answer. He wasn't sure what she was going to say anymore.
"But I want to try."
His attention snapped to her face. "What…what are you saying?"
She leaned forward, kissing him softly before pulling away, looking into his eyes. "Yes, I will marry you."
He blinked in surprise. It took him a moment to realize she was holding her hand toward him. He fumbled to get the ring out of the box and slid it onto her finger. He looked back up at her and stood, pulling her up with him.
He looked into her eyes before pulling her close and placing his lips against hers in a kiss that marked the end of two years of emotional turmoil.
A/N: Yep, short little three part series, just like I promised! Anyway, as I said eariler, this is just one little section of an extensive roleplay that went on for a good two years before we got bored with it. There's a lot more drama, and family problems, and vampires, and vampire hunting, and romance, and evil plots, and chances for them to discover themselves(they do actually have names, I just left them out for sake of the style I was looking for), AND see how this whole scenario came to take place. Like I said, let me know whether you'd like to see me take some time to write it all down or not and I may just give myself a new project for the summer. :D