Disclaimer: None of the characters from the movie belong to me, enough said.
A/N: So, here's my next long Day fic, as promised. Some parts differ from what happened in the movie and I realize this and I've written it that way, but just go with me on this one. The idea to put quotes before each chapter comes from the talented writer Sullen Lily, so the credit's all hers. As always, review and let me know what you think and enjoy.
"In the old days, people used to hide out in churches. They claimed sanctuary." "What were they hiding from?"
-Dr. Malcolm Crowe & Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense
Sam Hall really wished that he had an umbrella. Not for himself, though it wouldn't have hurt to at least be a little less wet then he currently was, but for the girl standing next to him, shivering in the rain that seemed to pour from the sky, standing in water that reached well over her ankles. Laura Chapman wrapped her arms around her elbows, squinting her eyes in an attempt to peer through the thick sheets of rain, shivering as she watched the street before her. Sam figured his attention would be on the street as well, if he weren't so busy watching her.
After all, how often was it that one got to see New York Avenue completely underwater, taxi cabs stuck with their wheels spinning, sending sheets of water cascading behind them, and people complaining of that fact, as though they couldn't see the water that was causing the sight. Sam knew it had been raining in sheets for nearly three and a half days but it still seemed surreal that a city such as New York could be nearly incapacitated by nearly five inches of water. It certainly wasn't something you saw every day, that was for certain.
On Sam's other side, his best friend, Brian Parks, commented once again and how bizarre the weather was. Sam was certain that all of New York City had come to that conclusion, but that didn't stop his friend from stating that fact for what felt like the tenth time in so many minutes.
"This isn't exactly how I pictured this trip to go." Laura remarked and Sam's attention was once again fully concentrated on her. She sighed, blinking her eyes, tiny droplets of water falling from them.
Sam nodded in agreement. "Me neither." He remarked, though he made no move to tell her just what he had had in mind for his first trip to New York. After all, Laura had no idea that he'd been in love with her since the first moment he saw her five months ago, and so it would do no good to explain the romantic ideas he'd had in mind.
Laura looked away from Sam and focused her gaze once again on the payphone across the street where J.D. Walters stood, speaking, without success it appeared, into the black receiver. She hadn't known J.D. for more then a few hours, but she had the feeling that getting out of the rain and finding a place to stay until the ban on air traffic was lifted depended solely on him. After all, she didn't know anyone else that lived anywhere near New York, let alone someone that had an apartment and was willing to let her and her friends stay there until they could get home again.
With a look of exasperation, J.D. slammed the phone back onto its cradle and turned away, squinting his eyes as he looked across the street, as though checking to make sure Sam, Laura and Brian were still waiting for him on the other side. He headed away from the payphone and across the road, glaring down at the water with a look of disdain as the murky water rose over the sides of his shoes, soaking through his soaks. Sam couldn't help but roll his eyes; it was just like a rich New York City kid to get a little pissy when his two hundred dollar loafers got a little wet.
When J.D. joined the others on the sidewalk, he was still frowning. "Victor's stuck in traffic." He explained and Laura couldn't keep a little sigh from escaping her lips. "We can either wait here until the traffic breaks up or we can walk to my apartment."
Brian looked at the other boy. "How far to your apartment?" He questioned and Sam expected him to pull out his trusty map of the city, as though planning on checking for the shortest route. But his gaze remained on J.D., his suitcase at his feet.
"Three blocks." J.D. answered promptly. "But it'll probably take longer in this weather."
Laura was surprised to hear J.D. say 'this weather', as though he expected the rain to simply clear up in a matter of minutes and the miniature flood to go with it. As far as she was concerned, the two feet of water she was standing in could no longer be considered 'this weather.'
But, of course, Laura didn't say any of those things. Instead, she questioned, "How long did your driver say he would be stuck in traffic?" J.D. couldn't give her an answer. She turned to look at Sam, though she wasn't quite sure what had driven her to do so, as though he would provide her with the support that she needed when she offered her next suggestion. "Maybe we should just walk." Laura looked away from Sam and toward the sidewalk, feeling fluttery and embarrassed and not quite sure; he was just Sam, after all, he fellow decathlon teammate who showed no interest in her, whatsoever.
Nearly as soon as the words were out of her mouth, Sam agreed with them. "It could take hours for this traffic to dissipate." He pointed out when J.D. and Brian glared at him. "I'm not too keen on standing out in this rain for hours."
Laura looked up and nodded her agreement, adjusting the hat covering her damp and frizzy locks so that the bill partly covered her eyes. "I don't think the rain is going to let up any time soon." She added.
"But," J.D. protested. "It's three blocks." Sam expected him to get pouty, like a kid denied his share of ice cream after dinner, but he just frowned. "It might not take that long for Victor to get out of traffic."
Sam rolled his eyes, ignoring the glare that J.D. gave him. "Three blocks isn't that far." He remarked. "Besides, if you ruin your shoes, I'm sure you can use daddy's credit card to buy a new pair." Laura looked at him, her eyes silently urging him not to slung any of the barbs he might be preparing. Sam fell silent, wishing he had never spoken, realizing how immature he probably looked at that moment for taking such a low shot.
The glare didn't vanish from J.D.'s face. "If you have a problem with me," he said, his voice low, eyes locked on Sam, "then maybe you should bring it up now." He took a step forward. "That way, we can deal with it."
Laura put her hand on J.D.'s arm, gently pushing him back again. "Now is not the time." She said, looking at J.D. Sam couldn't help but feel that she was defending him, but that feeling disappeared when she looked at him with that same scolding look in her eyes. "I think we have more important things to worry about right now."
Brian cleared his throat, looking from Laura, to the boys and then back again, acting as though he realized he should be the one breaking up the fight. "Yeah." He agreed, shifting his weight. "Grow up." He shut up then, feeling like a complete idiot.
Laura looked at him for a second before releasing J.D.'s arm and picking up her suitcase. "Come on, it's only three blocks." She said, sounding more commanding then Sam had ever heard her sound before. "We're just wasting time."
Sam looked at her for a moment, causing Laura to feel embarrassed all over again, before picking up his own bag. "She's right." He turned his attention toward J.D. "Which way?"
J.D. stared at his for a moment before motioning down the left side of the street; he and Brian led the way, with Sam and Laura following a few steps behind. Sam looked over at Laura, trying to catch her eye and say something, anything, but she stared straight ahead, as though purposefully avoiding him. He sighed and focused his attention ahead as well, though that view wasn't as pleasing as looking at the girl beside him.
The group walked in silence, buried in their own thoughts, the tension nearly palpable between Sam and J.D. Laura was all too aware of the looks that Sam was giving her and she almost felt guilty for stopping the fight that would surely have erupted between him and J.D.; he probably thought she was some stuck-up goody-two shoes who always had to have things neat and orderly and her way. She kept her gaze on the road ahead of her, unwilling to meet his eyes and see the thoughts behind them. It killed her to think that from the moment she first saw Sam, she fell in love with him and all she managed to do was screw up any chances that they might have had together.
As they got closer to J.D.'s apartment, the streets and sidewalks were growing more and more submerged, until Laura and Sam found themselves nearly up to their knees in water. Brian dragged his water-logged suitcase along, narrowing his eyes every time it bumped against his leg, nearly tripping him. He looked back at Sam. "Maybe we should have waited." He remarked.
Before Sam could say anything, J.D. interjected. "We're almost there." He told Brian. "Just another block." Brian remained silent after this, knowing it would take longer to go back and wait then it would to get to J.D.'s apartment. At least there he could get nice and dry and stay that way until the rain stopped and the flood was dealt with.
The towering building that housed J.D.'s apartment came into view at the same moment a sing-song ringing filled the air. Laura nearly jumped in surprise when the phone in her pocket began to ring and vibrate simultaneously and she looked down, as though she wasn't quite sure where the noise was coming from. She pulled the phone out of pocket. "I didn't have any service back by the school." Laura said to no one in particular as she flipped open her phone and answered it.
Sam stopped walking and turned to look at Laura, unable to keep the amused smile from his face when he realized that her ring-tone was the old Rick Springfield song about a guy that wanted someone else's girlfriend. Brian and J.D. stopped walking as well, once they realized they weren't being followed.
"Hi Mom." Laura was saying into her phone, looking pleased for a moment. "Yeah I'm still in New York. I don't know when I'll be home." Her pleased expression was slowly disappearing. "There's nothing I can do, Mom; I'll be home as soon as I can. Listen, Mom, I-" She stopped speaking abruptly and even Sam could hear the click from the other end of the phone. Laura sighed, the look on her face breaking Sam's heart into millions of pieces. "Yeah, love you too, see you soon." She mumbled dejectedly, flipping her cell phone shut and pocketing it again. Laura offered Sam a slight smile, though he could tell that her heart wasn't in it. "Connect was lost, maybe."
Sam smiled, though his heart wasn't in it either, for he was too busy picturing the heartbroken look on her face; he wondered if the look was a common one for her whenever she spoke to her mother. He wanted to ask, but it was obvious that now was the wrong time. "Well," he said, trying to keep the smile on his lips and force away the pained look on Laura's face. "At least we know the cell phone works in case we need it."
Laura didn't say anything in reply and they started walking again, quickening their pace slightly to catch up with Brian J.D., who had given up waiting. She tried to push aside the sound of her mother's voice, short and stony, sounding as it always did and thought instead of something that might cheer her up. She was, after all, getting the chance to spend more time in New York City, something she'd always wanted to do. And Sam was going to be around...
When they reached the sidewalk that stretched out in front of the towering apartment complex, not so cleverly named Plaza Apartments, Laura, Sam and Brian took shelter under a forest green awning while J.D. fished around for his house-key. Every so often, the awning would collect too much water and dump a bucketful onto the heads of the students seeking refuge beneath it, something that had Brian rolling his eyes every time it happened.
J.D. finally located his key and turned back to face the others, unable to keep himself from smiling when he saw them; the trio of students from Woodmont High looked like a trio of drowned rats, especially Laura, who's long curls had come loose from beneath her hat and fell across her cheeks and shadows in water-logged locks. But, J.D. couldn't help but realize that she still looked absolutely adorable; too bad Sam had already made it clear that she was off limits, though it wasn't like he was doing anything about it...
"Did you find the key?" Brain questioned, jarring J.D. out of his thoughts. The boy in question nodded and Brian sighed. "I don't understand why you couldn't have looked for it inside, where it was dry..." He grumbled, pulling his suitcase out of the water and slinging it over his shoulder.
Without another word, Sam and Laura followed J.D. into the lobby of the building, leaving Brian to tag along, grumbling to himself. J.D. headed for the elevator but Sam wasn't so sure that was the best thing to do. "Maybe we should take the stairs." He suggested.
J.D. turned to look at him. "My apartment's on the top floor." He pointed out, looking at Sam like he'd finally lost his mind. "What's wrong with the elevator?"
"With all the rain, the elevator might not be a good idea." Sam defended. "I mean, half of the city's already lost electricity."
Laura shuddered at the thought of being stuck in an elevator; she hated small places, elevators in particular and she instantly nodded. "The stairs sound like a good idea."
Sam couldn't help but smile, though he tried to keep the expression to himself. Maybe Laura didn't hate him after all, she was certainly quick to agree with him. He turned toward the winding staircase and thought about taking her arm to nudge her in that direction too, but decided against it. "Walking can't be too bad." Sam pointed out, looking over at his shoulder at Brian, who rolled his eyes. "How many floors can there be?"
"Twenty-five." J.D. supplied, almost smugly, as though that fact would steer Laura back in his direction and knock the idea of walking out of Sam's head.
However, Sam and Laura started toward the stairs, leaving J.D. to stare after them for a moment; mostly for the sake of staying with Laura, he hurried after them. Brian groaned, shifting his suitcase from one shoulder to the other. "What is with all this walking." He grumbled to himself as he mounted the stairs. "We're in New York, no one walks." It also appeared that no one was listening and Brian fell silent.
The only thing Sam regretted about deciding to walk was having to drag his water-logged suitcase up twenty-five flights of stairs. He was about to roll the bag down the stairs and say the hell with it when J.D. offered to carry Laura's suitcase, something he had been thinking about doing ever since they'd stepped off the plane.
Laura smiled and handed her bag to J.D., causing Sam to roll his eyes, though he was certain no one noticed. What a real gentleman that J.D. was, they were almost to his apartment for God's sake! But still, Sam was certain that Laura didn't notice that fact and J.D. was a gentleman in her eyes. Nice going Sam... he thought to himself and groaned inwardly.
Twenty-five flights of stairs later, they had reached J.D.'s apartment; the door was already unlocked, something that didn't seem to trouble J.D. as he pushed it open, flicking on a light switch. Laura's eyes widened as she took in her spacious surrounds in the decor in the living room that probably cost more then the furnishings in her entire house. She let out an appreciate sigh. "Wow." Her eyes continued to scan everything: the cherry wood furniture, the flat screen television, the wallpaper that looked like Chinese silk. "You live here."
J.D. sighed, sounding almost as though he regretted that fact. He set Laura's suitcase down beside the dining room table. "Only the weekends, it's my dad's place actually." Another sigh. "But he's kinda never around."
Laura looked over at Sam and raised an eyebrow; Sam was, first, touched that she remembered something so mundane as the fact that he didn't get along with his globe traveling father and second, surprised that she actually cared enough to let him know. Regardless of those facts, however, there was no way in hell he was bounding with that punk J.D. over something like that.
"Where is he?" Laura questioned, looking away from Sam and giving her attention back to the spacious house. She's love to explore the back rooms, but figured she'd let J.D. offer to give her the tour instead of wondering around by herself.
J.D. took off his damp coat and tossed it on the table. "Skiing in Europe with my step-mom." He grumbled unenthusiastically. The thought of his father with a woman barely old enough to be his big sister still revolted him, especially when he thought of his mother, cast aside for someone younger and blonder.
Sam took a look around the living room as he stripped off his coat and tossed it on top of J.D.'s; he had to admit, the apartment didn't lack in style and beauty. After a moment, he looked over at Laura, who was still taking in the sights, and then looked for Brian, who was standing by the window. He joined his friend and looked down at the water-swamped streets below. "I'm glad I'm not out there anymore." Sam remarked, for, if it was possible, it had begun to rain even heavier.
Brian looked over at his friend. "I know, it's crazy." He mumbled, sighing. "I feel like I'm hiding from something." He rolled his eyes. "Maybe I should start claiming sanctuary." It was a joke that only he seemed to find amusing.
Laura joined them at the window, standing beside Sam, taking off her hat. "What are we hiding from?" She questioned, her gaze remaining on the streets below. Even though the water seemed to be raising, a little rain still didn't seem like something to cower from.
There was silence for a moment before Sam said, "Nothing yet."
Somehow, Laura couldn't help but think that his words were shortly going to prove true.
So, sorry this chapter wasn't very good but I wanted to set up for the story. It'll get better later, I promise; review and let me know what you think.