|Location||Roof - Avenue B Apartments|
|Summary||Rohan offers an apology. Ciel offers some news.|
| Avenue B Apartments stands a story or two above most other Town buildings, which means that the flat roof affords a surprisingly good view of Mutant Town. To the west, the treetops and basketball courts of Tompkins Square Park are clearly visible, and beyond, the neon-lit skyline of Greenwich Village and Midtown rise against the sky. Several feet below, the occasional aircar passes with a gust of air.
Someone has hauled a trio of beat-up lawn chairs to the rooftop and arranged them around a rotting wooden crate. One corner of the roof has apparently been designated for trash, and venturing too close suggests that it may have been designated as toilet as well. The door to the stairwell has a tendency to stick, making any trip up here a risky adventure that may end in a dangerous attempt to drop down to the fire escape.
| It is a winter evening. The weather is cold and flurrying.|
There are more congenial days to be on the roof. It is cold, the air nipping at exposed skin, and the air is filled with snowflakes. Light, whirling flakes that cloud the air, turning it misty and half-obscuring the lights beyond.
Snowing or not, Rohan is here. He is leaning against the wall just beside the stairwell, which has a slight overhang and is the closest there is to shelter on the roof, clad in his leather jacket over a worn hoodie, the wind biting at his scarf, bright red against the snow. He is smoking, the smoke trailing from his cigarette to join the flakes. At his feet is a bag, half-concealed by his boots, but it appears to contain a box or two and something that looks very much like a bunch of flowers.
It is cold, and although such a thing isn't quite enough to keep Ciel out of the sky, it is enough to keep her largely confined to portals rather than pure flight, blipping through one and then another in a quick teleporation that carries her across the city in a few blinks of the eye. There is, therefore, very little warning between the first distant appearance of a shimmering portal amidst the night lights of Manhattan and the moment when Ciel floats through one, drifting down to the roof with her own scarf wrapped tight around her neck and tugged up to cover mouth and nose.
Rohan is lost in his thoughts, and in his cigarette, and the blink of the portal startles him; he jerks upright and blinks at Ciel's sudden arrival. He tenses, the tension clear in his shoulders and stance; his fingers tighten on his cigarette. He is not wearing his gloves, one hand shoved in his pocket, and the other reddened with the cold. He draws a deep breath. "Kane," he says. He tries to sound casual. So casual.
Ciel stumbles back a step, green eyes meeting Rohan's gaze with a surprised jerk. There's a beat of silence, for his presence, for his 'Kane', for his casualness. She tucks her hands into the warm pockets of her coat and says, "Rohan. Hi."
There is a moment of silence, as if Rohan is perhaps seriously considering saying nothing more and letting her slip past him and into the building. His gaze goes to his cigarette, the tiny flame among the snow. He looks tired, as if he hasn't slept, or, possibly has been on a self-pity-induced drinking binge. He draws another breath, and finally says, "I was on my way to see you." It's worth noting the roof is not between their apartments. On the other hand, cigarettes are claimed to calm the nerves.
Indeed, Ciel glances over her shoulder, then back to him. She frees one hand to tug her scarf down a touch, just enough to free her mouth. "On the roof?" she wonders with a dry humor that seems, perhaps, remarkably good natured given their last interaction.
Rohan considers her with a touch of confusion. "You weren't home yet," he points out. "So I went for a smoke." In truly awful weather. The cigarette has burnt down nearly to his fingers, he winces faintly, and tosses it aside, grinding it under his boot into the snow. "I just. You know. Wanted to apologize for being a drunken idiot."
Ciel's eyes flick down to the cigarette between his fingers, and for a moment she watches it smolder, smoke trailing into the air, before he drops it to stamp it out. Then she drags her gaze back up to meet Rohan's, and she nods, slowly. "Okay."
"I was drunk and out of line." Rohan speaks slowly, his breath coming in clouds, as if every word is a stone he has to drag up a hill. He shoves his hands into his pockets. "So. I'm sorry." He presses himself against the wall, as if frustrated in an attempt to step away from her. "I put together an apology-bag," he adds, dryly, with a touch of his foot to the bag at his feet.
"You were," Ciel agrees. She tucks her arms in a fold across her chest, gaze dipping briefly down to the bag before rising to Rohan. She draws in a breath, shivering briefly against the cold. "No," she says. "Don't do that, Ro. You've got to stop this. Just-- apologize and leave it alone. Do better. Don't-- this whole thing where you do something and I get angry and you do this big apologetic gesture with food and-- /apology bags/. It's too much. This is too much."
Rohan remains pressed against the wall, tension in his frame. "You missed the turkey," he says, voice dry. "I think Moody ate the last of it." He takes a deep breath, and presses his lips tightly together, as if trying and failing to contain words. "I am _trying_," he says. "But what I am to do? You don't ever seem to believe a word I say, so at least I can try to back it up with _something_."
"That's not fair, and you know it," Ciel answers in sudden snap, a flare of anger rising in her eyes for his words. "What you mean is that I don't want what you want. That I haven't fallen back into your life the way you want me to."
Rohan draws a deep shaky breath, and looks away, to the obscured lights in the distance. "That's not untrue," he says, his voice hoarse. "but neither is what I said. You've spent a lot of time since I got here disbelieving me and implying I'm not good enough...for anything. And I'm _trying_. Maybe I'm crap at it. But I'm really trying."
Ciel looks away, her gaze skimming toward the distant Manhattan lights as her hands rub brisk against her arms. When she looks back, it's with a shake of her head that sends her hair flying around her face. It's damp with melting snowflakes caught fast in the darkness of her waves. "I'm tired of having this argument, Ro," she says finally. "You've decided to stay, and that's-- fine. We work together. We live practically next door. /Fine/. I'm dealing with it. But that doesn't mean that I owe you this conversation over and over again." She looses her hands, lifting one to rub it against her mouth as she breathes out. Her next words are low, muttered almost to herself. "Maybe I should've just-- kicked you out and left it at that. Maybe we'd both be happier at this point if I had."
"What argument is that?" asks Rohan. He sounds more tired than anything else. "Perhaps you best explain so I don't accidentally step into it again." He stuffs his hands further into the warmth of his pockets. "You did kick me out," he only says, voice quiet.
"Yeah, and then I kept letting you back in," Ciel says quietly. She lapses silent, studying him for a long beat before she says abruptly, "I'm seeing Kade. I wanted you to hear it from me and not through the rumor mill."
Rohan tenses further, so much so it almost seems like his jacket might burst from the tension. "What," he says, "The same Kade who told me, months ago, there was nothing between you and I had nothing to fear from him?" His voice is still quiet, but despite careful control, edged with the sting of betrayal from more than one side.
"To /fear/ from him?" Ciel's eyes float upward, instantly exasperated, and then jerk back down to stare at Rohan. "I don't know how much more clearly to say this. Rohan, we are not together. I don't belong to you. Months ago, he was /right/. And now things changed, and I'm pretty damned happy about it, and why am I even /defending/ this to you? What right do you have to be upset about the fact that I'm dating a guy I-- I really like?"
Rohan draws a deep breath, and then another. He is still pressed against the wall. "If you think I /don't/ know that," he begins. He takes another breath, trying to calm himself. "I just thought--he and I had...god, how do you put it over here? A bro talk. Apparently I completely misunderstood. And..." He takes another breath. He is fighting with himself, the struggle clear in his face, in the lines of his body. "I want you to be happy," he says, with a struggle. "And if--you can be--that's great. But at the same time, if you're going to stand there and deny me even the right to a broken heart..."
Ciel makes a sound of frustration, deep and low in her throat as she tips her head back to stare at the sky, where stars would be if it weren't Manhattan. She blinks snowflakes away from her eyes, then drags her gaze down to him. "You know what," she says. "You just-- I don't know, Ro. I don't know what to tell you. But I need a serious break from this, and I /am/ happy. Today, I am happy." She blinks at him once, then lifts off, her feet leaving the firmness of the rooftop in a hover of a few inches. "And I'm going to go."
Rohan says, very quietly, voice broken, "You don't know what I did to get here." He looks up. "Fine," he says. "Go. And--please--stop /looking/ at me, Lucille Kane, super-spy. Then maybe I can be better."
Ciel's expression flashes surprise, and then, perhaps inevitably, renewed frustration as she stares down at him. And then she doesn't. Per his request, she looks away, and disappears through a portal without another word.Rohan stands in the snow, still, letting himself freeze. For a moment the peace of the rooftop is shattered by a noise, half-whimper, half-cry, of pain and frustration.