Connect the Dots
Chapter 9: Place
AN: Well...hi there. It's been a while, hasn't it?
Yes, I know... I'm very sorry for not updating in such a long time. I never thought I'd be one of those authors who just disappears into thin air. But I did it, and I am truly sorry to all of those people who were reading and loving this story.
Hopefully I will not do this to you again. I do want to get this story moving again, so here goes nothing.
I still don't own Justice League, as you know. I only own Rachel.
A few days had passed since J'onn had rekindled his friendship with Rachel. Since then, she had opened up a great deal to him, giving him warm smiles and laughing at his comments on life. He in turn had begun waiting for her to get off of work, and the two had begun to enjoy evening walks and dinners together. It felt good to truly have a friendship with someone again.
However, J'onn also remained troubled to a degree. He still had not indicated to Rachel who he truly was, and the fact that Rachel now trusted him made it that much more difficult for him. He knew that he would have to tell her eventually, but he just couldn't figure out how...
"John? Earth to John!"
J'onn blinked as a pair of fingers snapped in front of his face, bringing him back to the bench he was sitting on. He looked to his right, where Rachel was seated with an amused look on her face. "You all right?" she asked.
"Yes, forgive me...my mind must have wandered."
Rachel laughed. "It's fine, John. Just don't wander too far or you might end up in Walla Walla."
J'onn chuckled, then asked, "Are you going to the poetry night tomorrow?"
Rachel shook her head. "I've pretty much given up on that place...I can't ever read a poem there without being stared out the door. I'll need to find someplace that actually appreciates my work before I appear in public again."
J'onn nodded. "It is a pity," he said. "You have such talent...I hope you find a way to share it with others."
Rachel grinned. "Thanks, John. You're sweet. You can hear my poems any time you like," she replied.
J'onn found himself grinning back at her. "May I hear one now?" he asked.
Rachel's cheeks flushed. "Way to put me on the spot there," she said.
"You did say any time..."
She chuckled. "I suppose I did," she replied. "I don't have any of my poems with me right now though; if you really want to hear them, we'd have to go to my apartment."
J'onn froze. Rachel looked at him curiously. "Are you ok?" she asked.
"John, if you're thinking of how I'll react to having a male in my apartment, please don't worry. I trust you. It's ok."
'Wow...' he thought, 'She may as well be a telepath.'
He nodded. "If you are certain that it will be all right, then I would be honored," he told her.
Rachel nodded back. "Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
It took a good thirty minutes to get to Rachel's apartment, and by then the sun was well on its way to sinking below the horizon. J'onn felt more anxious with every step. He liked Rachel, he valued her friendship, but he was still unsure about the idea of being in her home. He then realized that she had stopped in front of a door. She fumbled with the keys with a muttered curse, then clicked the lock open and pushed the door. J'onn quickly followed her, closing the door behind them before turning to look at her apartment.
It was not at all what he had expected. Rachel's apartment was an odd combination of Chinese and African styles, with traditional African masks hanging right above Chinese dragons. A painting of a village in a jungle was right next to a Chinese tapestry. It seemed like such an odd combination of cultures.
J'onn then realized Rachel was looking at him, her head slightly tilted. "Let me guess. You're wondering why I have such a weird taste in decoration."
J'onn swallowed, searching for the right words. "I would not call it weird," he said carefully.
Rachel chuckled and shook her head. "John, it's ok. Everyone thinks that. And the explanation is really simple: I happen to like both China and Africa."
J'onn nodded. That made sense.
Rachel then regarded him with a more serious look. "Would you like a drink? I've got all kinds of tea."
"That would be lovely, Rachel. Thank you."
Rachel nodded, and scurried into her little kitchen, where she threw a pot of water on the stove. She then shuffled past him into a room down the hall, where he could hear her rummaging through drawers. She seemed to find what she was looking for, and she came back into the living room area with a notebook in hand.
"This is my poetry notebook. It's got a few rough pieces in here, but you're welcome to look through it if you want."
She held out the book to him as she spoke. J'onn took the book, touched. She then went to check on the tea, and J'onn sat on her sofa and began to skim through it. A lot of the poetry was simple in nature; it depicted human emotion and interactions from the natural world. It was very enjoyable to read. He was about to turn the page, but a shrill whistle caught his attention. He looked up, and a moment later Rachel had returned with two steaming mugs of tea. "Here you go," she said, "The ideal drink for warm winter nights."
"But it's not a warm winter night."
"It is somewhere, isn't it?"
They both laughed. "I suppose so," J'onn replied.
He accepted his tea and sipped it. Rachel sat down next to him and curled up next to the sofa arm. "So," she started, "Besides the unusual decor, what do you think of my little slice of heaven?"
"Your home is quite lovely. Thank you for allowing me to see it."
Rachel waved her arm. "It's no trouble," she replied, taking a sip of her own tea. "So, tell me. What's your place like?"
J'onn paused, taking a slow sip to give himself time to form an answer. "It is...a nice place. Not very big, but it will do," he said, mentally scolding himself for lying once again to her.
Rachel put her mug down and stared at him. J'onn looked back at her, and the silence grew thick for a moment.
"You don't have a place, do you?"
J'onn stayed quiet. Rachel sighed. "John, why didn't you tell me?"
"I..." he looked down, "I did not want you to worry for me. I am truly all right, Rachel."
Rachel shook her head. "No, this isn't all right," she answered, looking at him with determined eyes.
She then got up and walked back down the hall, returning a moment later with blankets and a pillow. Immediately, J'onn stood up. "Rachel, this is-"
"What? Not necessary?" She shook her head, putting the bedding on the sofa. "John, you're my friend and you're important. I am not letting you spend another night out on the streets."
The look on her face told him that she wasn't going to take no for an answer. He meekly took another sip of tea, then said, "Thank you, Rachel...this is most kind of you."
She smiled, then walked over and wrapped her arms around him. J'onn returned the embrace, shutting his eyes and enjoying how close they were.
"You're welcome, John."
Please give me constructive reviews. It's been a while since I wrote for J'onn, and any pointers you want to give would me most appreciated.
Also, do not hesitate to send me reminders to update.