==> Victoria: Prepare to face the music.
His stiff dismissiveness is steadily leaving you baffled, fast. You unlock the doors by reflex, letting hoim out of your momentary confinement. You suddenly really, really want to hurt him. Because maybe you’re just looking for an excuse to vent, fight… how can he be so indifferent when you’ve just tried to be considerate of his feelings? Can he really just shove this on a shelf and leave it for the dust to settle? Because that’s surely more than you can do right now.
Damnit, Edward would have wwhined at you, maybe clung to you a little and try not to sob. Even the Stoner Boy would have given you a carefuly calculating glance, then look for another way under your skin… or maybe just skin-deep would be fine, hands roaming. And John— no. No you couldn’t be a bitch to John. In fact, you sort of can’t even think about John right now. Your façade is already cracking, webbed with lines patched up with a makeup of indifference.
You slam the door of your car shut with slightlly more force than needed, eyes poisonously blue and subtle as they watch him make the call with what you wish was disgust. Holly hell, why did you kiss this guy? Why do you… need him around? Why do you want him to shelter you, cherish you… when he suddenly seems to hit all of your sore spots in a milisecond? Why is he so damn important to you? You killed him last time and—-
No. NononononononoNO. You’re not going down that train of thought, not today. You’re not sure what you can handle today.
Shoulders squared you march for the office. Old bricks and four steps - your hand rests on the morning-chilly metal of the knob as you take one last, resolving breath. You’re suddenly not so sure what you want, and that in itself is not exactly a big surprise. Your tongue may be sharp, but your conscience, if you can even call it that, is sort of a won and lost battle where you’ve lost the bets and tabs on. Which is why you’re battling one right now; if they find her - then yes, you’ve lost your marbles, all of them, and maybe it’s prime time you give in to the damn medication and forget about that dream world - because without John… what’s the point? Right or wrong becomes irrelevant to the one who’s thrown their fate to the Wind.
… but what if they don’t? What if you really are right? What if they’re all morons, clouded up in this illusion and you’re the only one half-awake? Then what?
A cold chill suddenly runs down your spine. Because for once, you don’t have a plan B. But you will. Your hand pushes the door inwards, and as you pass the threshold you instinctively push your right hand into your pocket. Your fingers find something small, smooth, solid; your subconscious reason why you pulled on these shorts, didn’t change into long jeans.
Feeling steadier, your eyes scan the poorly lit entrance hall. A polished wooden bench that’s seen better days is pushed against the far wall. Windows bulked up with iron crosses, their shadows long in the morning light across the grey linoleum floor. The place smells of cheap coffee and chlorine, or whatever it is they mopped it with the night before.
“G’morning, how can I help you?”
You turn sharply towards the desk on the far left, where a female officer of colour seems to regard you in a wont, law-enforcement fuelled pomp she obviously believes is the way you need to see her with, because she is the law and she will protect you or put you right where you belong. But your gut instinct tells you otherwise, leaving a murky, cold feeling in the pit of your stomach instead.
“I’d like to report a missing person,” you start, taking a hesitant step towards her, your fingers tightening around the die in your pocket, as though you could feel how many white dots are now facing upwards, engraved into your palm. “I’ve tried call—”
The doors open with force behind you, and you barely turn, sidestep in time, because there’s two officers dragging a man in and straight for the wooden bench. A man with suspiciously familiar curly black hair.
“Linds, got a party boy over here, get some water,” one of the officers calls out the lady. You idly hear her get up, ask something, but your mind’s reeling.
He’s going to get arrested. He can’t get arrested. You need him, because he’s one of you.
“Hermano!” you call out, thank god for your Spanish classes. The officers cease their talking as you press forward, hands in the air and reaching for his face, holding his slightly raspy cheeks as though he really was your long lost brother.
“Por Dios, ¿dónde estabas?” You don’t know why it is so essential you save his ass right now, but as words flow, a plan seems to be forming. And you sure as hell hope he’s not too drunk or high to not catch on. “Qué susto me has dado, tonto!” You swat him across the back of his head, not too hard, just enough to sway him for dramatic effect, before you’re leaning over and hugging him for dear life. Also for dramatic effect. And you catch a sob in your throat, because you can and because you know they heard it loud and clear. It’s on.
You wait for the phone to answer as Victoria steps into the police office, the door closing behind her. The phone rings for a few more times before a tired voice picks up the other side. You’ve already had time to sink down into almost a crouch, leaning against the sterile walls of the building.
“Yes, hello, my name is Tyler Norton, I called you yesterday about…”
You pause for a while, wondering how you should phrase it, but then you just mentally shrug it away. “…my missing family.”
“Yes the address was…” You recite it from memory, heavens know you’ve written too many letters to the place. You wonder if anyone ever got them. There’s a muttered excuse, and he’s put on hold for a while. Yeah, you expected this, the police in those parts were never good at keeping tabs.
You notice someone’s being dragged into the police. Unkept dark brown hair… stoner? Probably, judging from the faint smell. You glance the other way, lost in thoughts when suddenly.
“Yes… yes that’s what I said…”
You actually stare at the phone for a moment, the voice of the officer mutedly asking where you went. How could that be? They must be wrong.
“Are… are you sure? Yes, yesterday. Tyler Norton… Yes, Norton. My father’s name is Andrew… my sister’s Tina. Yes, yes I called you yesterday!” You’re starting to lose your temper, no good.
“You want me to call the phone company? I talked to three different people! No I don’t want you to go out there it’s fucking abandoned!”
“Yes… yes I’m sorry, I lost my temper, I’m sorry… You have to understand, this is important! They’ve been missing for I don’t know how long. Completely gone… yes, no trace. I sent them money… I was in the army, yes, served in Iraq. Yes, I got letters from them…”
You retell the whole story, leaving nothing out, you even mention sleeping at a friend’s… you even give them the address. When finally you seem to have everything taken care of… again… you hang up and get inside, Victoria still being inside.
God damn fucking cops…