A/N: This story was written before my previous story Maybe's, but when I read over it, it seemed to be almost like the continuation of that story. Since it wasn't my original intention though, I'm posting it separately.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything lfn
It meant Everything
It had been a long day. Too long, in fact. It had only been a few days since Jurgen's death. And it was still weighing down her soul. And when the days grew too long, her soul dragged behind her on the ground.
She wanted only one thing. Maybe two. A hot, steamy bath. And a warm cup of tea. Both awaited her at her apartment.
She was just approaching the exit when she heard her name called. Turning, she saw Birkoff was on his way to Systems but trying to catch her attention. It wasn't easy lately, her mind was often buried deep in someplace else.
"Michael asked me to tell you something before you leave," he stopped her. "Said there was something in his office for you."
Her interest was peaked. What could he have left in his office - for her? There wasn't a single thing that came to mind when she wondered what it could possibly be.
"Michael's not there anymore. He was called away a little while ago," Birkoff continued.
She nodded in appreciation, then took off down the hallway. Reaching his office, she found the door unlocked, so she slipped right in.
There, on his desk and under his small lamp that shone light upon it, was a brown parcel. Not very big in size, but decent. Sure enough, it stumped her guesses.
He had written her name across the top with a black marker. She smiled. Somehow, her name never looked better.
Enough with nonsense thoughts, she picked up the lightweight box and started out, making sure to lock the door behind her. Michael had trusted her in to his personal quarters while he was gone, the least she could do was to lock up to avoid curious eyes.
With the parcel under her arm, she eagerly went to the elevator that took her up a dizzying number of feet.
Out in the cool of night, she slid in to the seat of her sleek black car and drove the distance home. Her craving for a hot bath had grown considerably, though so did her curiosity for the contents of what was inside the box that was nestled in the passenger seat.
Home. It may have been recently destroyed by Section's hands, cleaned out of all her personal affects and left her with nothing, but it was still home. Her allusion of safety. Of comfort. Of ease. It was the best she could do at the present time, so it was enough.
Up the flights of stairs, she finally found the door that was hers. With a quick swipe of her key, it opened to her humble abode. Humble, being a key term. A few things she had been able to salvage. One of the operatives in Systems had pocketed her favorite white chair, as Birkoff had told her. As she found out, quite a few operatives who had assisted in cleaning out her place had taken her stuff.
But not enough. So much had been taken from her. True, it was only material things. It didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. But a home wasn't a home without a few key essentials. So far, she hadn't gotten around to replacing what she had lost yet.
Placing the parcel on the counter, she grabbed a knife and carefully slit it open on the side. Peeling back the paper, she opened the box itself. And was shocked with what she found.
Michael had told her that for too many grueling months, he had thought she was dead. And Walter had let it 'slip' that Michael had expressed his grief in ways that ensured Section that he was hurting badly.
In her hands, she held one pair of sunglasses that used to hand over her counter. In the box, there were more. All of them, in fact.
He had kept them all. he must had found out that they were to clean out her place and taken a key item that reminded him of her. And he had kept them in here. Had they helped reassure him that she was alive? Kept him sending all those countless messages, night after night? Kept his small flame of hope kindled?
And now he was giving them back to her, no longer in need. At the same time, he was letting her know that he had missed her. And was grateful that she was alive.
Her heart was aflame in affection for the man she had treated cruelly the last few weeks. She had been confused in his actions. Had thought that he must not really care for her after all. That the rest had been a play.
But she had been wrong. Misled by her overactive thoughts.
Forgetting about her much needed bath and drink, she climbed the few stairs to her bed and laid down, cuddling the box close to her.
The knowledge of his true feelings, of the fact that she had been so wrong about him, warmed her whole body without the need of adding hot water.
To know meant so much. It meant everything.