We walked a few blocks to Bonnie’s little diner across from the AU building. It was a quiet walk, both of us in our own minds, or Alex in mine. I didn’t know. I just hoped he didn’t get on to me about being a mess again. I could do my best to not show him how fucked up I was. But I hated being fake.
As we walked and my thoughts spiraled into descent Alex took my hand. “Do you want me to stop reading you? Not that I think I can, but I could try.”
I shook my head. “No. But remember my thoughts are my own. If they bother you, you don’t have to read them.”
Alex nodded, “Maybe I should just go, leave you to your thoughts.”
I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, we’d almost made it to Bonnie’s without a fight. “I don’t want you to go. I just don’t want you to get mad at me because my thoughts are a mess.” I sighed, but turned and walked towards the diner pulling my hand free. “But you do what you want, obviously I’m selfish.”
Alex grabbed my arm, “Fuck Nox. Can’t we just have breakfast without fighting.”
“I’d like to.” I said and pulled my arm from his grip, I pulled my shields up tight around me and I heard Alex groan as he caught up to me.
“You didn’t have to do that.” He said.
“I did. You don’t want to see my selfish thoughts, so now you get to see what everyone else does.” I sighed as I opened the door and stepped inside the small diner across the street.
Bonnie greeted us, “Hey Nox. Alex.” She sounded surprised to see us both together.
Alex took a seat in a booth in the middle of the room and I slid in across from him. I looked back at the place I usually sat and felt uncomfortable, but I put on a smile and took a deep breath.
Bonnie came to our table and smiled, she gave me a look of concern but started rattling off today’s specials. “Your usuals boys?” She asked.
I nodded. Alex looked at me, “Yes please.”
Bonnie took our orders and left us alone with a glass of water a peice and the growing gap between us. “You come here often?” Alex asked.
“I used to come here everyday when I was younger. It was an easy respite from the chaos that is the dorms so I could study without someone trying to make trouble.” I said. “How long you been coming here?” I asked.
He smiled. “For as long as I’ve been following you.”
“Oh.” I said. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
“Nox…” Alex said.
“I don’t want to talk about it Alex. I don’t want to fight.” I looked at him with a smile, “Why do you have two apartments? I mean, do you rent them both, or have you lived in New York long?”
“I told you one’s a business one.”
“Right, but why don’t you just have one? Seems like a lot of wasted money to me.” I said.
“I have money to waste. But I only pay for one, the other is bought and paid for. I haven’t been in New York long. Only since December.”
“And you already bought a house? Must really like it here.” I said.
Alex shook his head, “Actually I hate this city.”
I frowned. “I’m sorry.”
“I’d say it’s not your fault, but it’s part of the reason.” Alex said.
“And the other part?” I asked, trying to ignore the lingering tension that had risen between us at the admission.
Bonnie brought us our coffee and set down a pot for us to refill with at need. “Your food will be ready soon darlings.”
“Thank you Bonnie.” Alex said as she left. “Uh. A woman I was seeing died here.”
“I’m sorry.” I said. “Were you close?”
“What’s will all the questions, Nox?” Alex asked.
I took a deep breath and sighed. “You say I never ask, so I’m asking.”
“Shit! Well don’t, Nox. I don’t want to talk about me.”
I nodded. “Which is why I never asked.” I stood up, pulled my wallet out and dropped cash on the table. “We’ll try this again some other time. Enjoy breakfast. I’ll call you later.” I said as I walked out the door so close to fucking tears it wasn’t even funny. I didn’t wait for traffic to lull as I pulled a veil around me and walked across the street avoiding the cars on a lane by lane basis. No one even knew i was there. I could have stood there all day and unless someone tried to change lanes at the precise place I was standing I was perfectly fine. But I had a job to do and I needed to go do it.