"This whole thing was your idea Stuart, now Kate is gone and Leo…"
Charlie didn't take well to the absence of his elder sister and her new groom to be, after six months the sweet idea of time travel had turned bitter in his mouth, Stuart on the other hand knew what he had done was right, Kate was happy and Leopold was safe and sound back in 1876.
Stuart sat and played his piano ignoring Charlie's hatred fit, he knew he would eventually calm down or get so cross he would leave the room, there was nothing he could say to convince the young man at this point that there was hope.
"Talk to me damn it!" he cursed grabbing Stuart by the shoulders and turning him around violently, as Stuart ceased his playing, looking down, he knew he had disappointed his young friend in front of him, did he think it was easy watching his girlfriend of 4 years leap off the Brooklyn bridge to land in another mans arms? No it wasn't easy, and Charlie didn't understand.
"I don't have time for this.." Stuart muttered to himself as he stood and shrugged Charles hands form his shoulders, walking toward the door grabbing his coat as he prepared to leave.
"So that's it then? Your just going to get up and walk away? I'm never going to see my sister again, all because of you." He blamed, pointing with one hand the other on his hip.
"Charlie she chose Leopold, its how things had to be."
"She chose after you pushed her."
Stuart rolling his eyes, this conversation had taken place too many times to count.
"There was a crack in time, someone had to fix it and sending him back, and her was the only way, I wouldn't have existed not to mention how many other people."
"So you did it to save yourself." Charlie replied. Stuart looking down he couldn't deny the fact it was a big part of his decision making.
"I don't have to explain myself to you." He muttered and stalked out the door slamming it.
"You cant run forever Stuart!" Charlie yelled as Stuart exited the room.
Stuart stalked down the wet streets of New York city, desperately digging through his pocket for his box of cigarettes, he had picked up the habit as they were emptying Kate's old apartment he found a box and with a chuckle thought about how grumpy she must be without them, the work of moving her things and the mixed emotions he felt about the whole situation drove him to start smoking.
Stuart lit the slim paper cigarette as he continued walking taking a puff and let it out the smoke flowing from his nose and mouth giving him some comfort as his shoulders relaxed slightly, with a sigh, leaning up against the cold guard rails formed around the oceans bank he admired the purple and orange sunset gleaming behind the Brooklyn bridge, he took another breath from his cigarette another way he had let Charles down, he had told him he quit months ago, Stuart brushing his fingers through his short curly brown hair, wondered what his life had come too, yes, he had traveled through time, but what was there after that? He had written a book about his travels and people laughed in his face, not one company would publish it, putting the cigarette in the corner of his mouth he pulled his knee length Swede coat closed and buttoned it in the cold winter air.
With a shutter, he turned dropping the cigarette on the ground, and stomping it out with his brown boot, he began on his way home, when an odd sound met his ears, he stopped and listened closely, with a risen pointed brow, it was a faint sound only barely heard over the howling winds, but he heard it all the same, it became louder and louder as the wind began to swirl in front of him.
"This cant be good." He thought as he looked up into the sky with a furrowed brow.
He was almost knocked off his feet, he caught his balance with a stumble as he looked down into big hazel eyes.
"What year is it?" she asked, he looked around himself awkwardly wondering in which direction she had come from. "Please Sir, what year is it?" she asked again desperately, tiny hands grasping the collar of his coat.
"2001" he answered, his deep voice rung through her ears, she took a few steps back as she looked him over his broad shoulders and strong posture seemed to have just dawned on her, he gave a look that said 'get your hands off me.' That caused her to release his coat immediately, she wasn't used to men like this, big, strong and gruff.
"2001?" she asked again hugging herself in the cold, she was not dressed for this kind of weather, she wore skinny ripped jeans and a black t shirt, with what he assumed was some sort of band logo, she shivered as she looked around her, Stuart rolled his eyes removing his coat and placing it over her shoulders.
"Th-thank you." She stuttered in the cold, her auburn waves flowing on the breeze.
"Something I cant stand is women freezing in the cold, even if it is the result of they're own stupidity." He answered. harshly digging in the pocket of the coat she was now wearing, his swift action causing her to flinch a little.
"Relax." He cooed, which in this type of situation didn't cause her to relax at all, until he pulled his box of cigarettes out followed with a light, lighting another, he needed it now that he was nearly frozen in the strong winter winds, he blew smoke from his nostrils.
She looked at him curiously, his smoking, his body type height and 5 o'clock shadow.
"You live around here?" he asked then blew smoke in her widened hazel eyes.
"No, I don't know where I am." She answered looking around, slightly coughing from the smoke.
"How convenient." He answered short tempered, after so many months of being called crazy and Charlie his only friend hating him he didn't have much patience left for anything.
"Can you keep a secret?" she asked, pulling the offered coat tightly around her small frame.
"Sure…" he shrugged.
"I'm from 2021." She whispered, steam coming from her red-orange lips, followed with a smile of accomplishment.
"Really.." his voice trailed off. She blinked long lashes fluttering.
"You don't believe me?" her smile faded as she looked down disappointed.
Stuart for once understood how people felt when he would tell them he had traveled to 1876, he sighed and took another puff of his cigarette.
"No one believed me, why should I believe you." He answered bitterly his voice rough, something she began to find attractive in him, although at first it frightened her.
"No one believed you about what?" she asked.
"I found a crack in time, I traveled back to 1876," he informed with a frustrated snicker shaking his head "see that bridge." He said and pointing, roughly grabbing her bicep through the coat and turning her to look, turning serious. "I was there the day they pronounced this bridge." He replied, then turned her to face him.
"Oh my God." She answered looking into his eyes.
"Crazy isn't it, are you afraid of me now?" he asked wild-eyed.
"No." she answered and grabbed his cheek with her warm slim fingers, Stuart rose a brow surprised.
"Your, Besser right? Mr. Besser how did I miss it?" she asked taking her other hand feeling the other side of his face.
"How do you know me?" he asked.
"Your famous! Where I come from, people have been using your time travel studies in class for years, as a liable theory." She answered amazed, as a huge grin spread across her face.
"No one calls me Mr. Besser, its Stuart." He corrected prying her warm hands from his face, with his frozen fingers.
"May I kiss you, Stuart?" she asked desperately.
"Absolutely not—" he was cut off by soft auburn lips his eyes widened at her persistence, as she moaned into his lips, Stuart pushed her off violently wiping his mouth with his long sleeve shirt.
"What the hell!" he cursed, "Your insane, your crazy!" he declared loudly walking away from her, "Your like 12." He continued stomping off, crossing his arms over his chilled torso with a shiver.
"I'm 27." She corrected, hands on hips, he turned around and looked at her.
"how on earth."
"Anti-aging cream." She answered and shrugged. "I don't look twelve anyway."
"Its an exaggeration, do people always talk straight and proper all the time?"
"Yes actually, where I come from its so structured and planned it drives me insane sometimes." She animatedly answered rubbing her temples frustrated.
"Good night, Good luck." He answered and turned stalking toward home shaking his head in disbelief, soon hearing the sound of light foot steps following him, he turned impatiently.
"Don't follow me, you have a coat what else do you want?" he asked
"I'm afraid, your the closest thing to a friend I have." She answered and tugged on the coat closer, Stuart sighed and looked to the sky in defeat, which had now turned to pitch black.
"Fine you can come home with me, until next Monday when the portal opens again." He answered and started on his way home.
"Thank you." She answered with a sigh of relief as she followed him.
Stuart opened the door to his apartment with a sniffle; the cold had taken a toll on him on their way home it had begun to snow, he held the door for the girl to enter behind him, she entered the cluttered apartment and snarled at its smell.
"If you don't like it, stay somewhere else." he grumbled, she shook her head and smiled.
"Its umm…very nice." She answered and looked around.
"Well, its not much but all I can afford at the moment," he answered with a shiver, he scuffled across the room rubbing his cold hands together toward the fire place and began throwing wood into the pit, she stood back and watched him from behind quietly, he leant down and started a fire with a match the dry wood catching fire quickly, he rubbed his hands together then huffed his hot breath on them attempting to get warm.
"Wh-what is that?" she asked as she observed the flickering orange lights in wonderment, he turned and looked at her with a risen brow and chuckled in amusement.
"Its fire." He answered plainly, she looked at him as if she had never heard of such a thing. "Don't tell me you don't use fire in 20 years." He added with an annoyed huff. "No reason in throwing out something that works." He said her silence beginning to annoy him, she stepped a few more steps in his direction feeling the flames heat on her cheeks, she lifted her fingers to feel the warmth with an outstretched hand sampling the feel.
Stuart looked at her as her mouth curved into a smile. Placing her other hand beside her outstretched vanilla fingers, her eyes shifted from him to the flames in curiosity; she liked how his pale skin was a sharp contrast to his dark short locks, she liked how his posture was strong and straight and the fact he wasn't weak, even the freezing weather had barely fazed him, he cleared his throat at her staring, his brow risen sexily and a half smile curving his lips, she swiftly turned her eyes from him to the fire.
About that time the apartment door creaked open, and Charlie stepped in and looked around the corner, the sound of the door, caused the girl to jump in fright and cling onto Stuarts arm tightly as she turned to the sound.
Charles gave a curious look at the couple, Stuart shrugged her hands off his arm annoyed, she released him and stepped to the side, Stuart cleared his throat.
"How's Patrice?" he asked.
"You look like your freezing." Charles observed, ignoring his question.
"I am, you twit." He answered, then crossed passed him to the bathroom leaving the door open, as he removed his wet cotton long-sleeve, the girls eyes widened at the sight of his muscles rippling, his back firm and taught to perfection, pale smooth flesh and tight abs, she watched as he tossed his shirt into the laundry pile, and turned into the bath to get the water running for a hot shower, he turned back and noticed her gawking.
"What are you staring at? Never seen a man without his shirt?" he asked harshly she cut her eyes away in a different direction.
"Men where I come from, don't look like, well like that.' She answered in hushed tones, Stuart huffed and closed the door.
The girl quietly took a seat in the living room where Charlie had gone unnoticed.
"What's your name?" Charlie asked, as she rubbed her palms together nervously.
"I'm Zippora." She answered, Charlie smiled.
"Charlie." He introduced himself. "You know you don't have to sleep with him, its not like he's going to force you." He replied since he noticed her nervously rubbing her hands together.
"No your mistaken, that wasn't in my plans at all." She answered "If it were I would have at least bought him dinner first." She replied seriously.
Charlie burst out in laughter.
"What's funny?" she asked, then looked up to Stuart as he entered the room after his shower, his skin pink from the hot water, dressed in loose pants and no shirt as he dried his hair with a towel.
"What's funny Charles?" he asked
"She said she would have bought you dinner before sleeping with you if that was her plans." He answered laughing, Stuart Laughed along with him, for the first time in a long time the house was filled with the sound of laughter.
"I fail to see what is so amusing." She declared and stood abruptly slightly offended by they're behavior, crossing her arms over her chest.
"That is the best joke I have heard in a very long time." He answered and laughed more, "Come along to bed." he said laughing as he retrieved blankets for her, as she stood waiting in the living room, shrugging the large coat off her slender shoulders and laying it across a chair, Charlie stood from the couch.
"I best be going to be too, its late." He said with a pretend yawn and headed toward his bedroom giving Stuart a wink as he closed the door, Stuart rose a brow looking back as he entered the living room, Stuart laid some blankets on the couch with a pillow.
"You can sleep here, I'm tired we'll talk more in the morning." He said turning out the lamp and retired to his room slamming the door.
She looked at the bed he had made for her and sighed, laying down and covering herself in the covers. She was fine for the first few minutes until her imagination began to run away with her, sounds began to scare her, the howling of the wind, the insecurity she felt in the apartment as the windows creaked she shivered and brought the blankets up to her chin, as she opened her eyes wider trying to see, which in this case didn't help.
Stuart was almost asleep when he heard knocking on his door.
"Go away." He replied impatiently.
"Please, Stuart, I'm scared." She insisted with a blanket wrapped around he shoulders she glanced in the room behind her, Stuart rolled his eyes and sat up in bed opening the door, she jumped slightly as he did.
"Fine you can sleep in here." He replied allowing her to come into his room she stood next to his bed as he closed the door behind him.
"On the floor." He added as he sat on his bed getting back under the covers, once he settled and his back towards the girl he nuzzled his face into the plump pillow and breathed out, after a few minutes he felt the bed dip down behind him under the small wait of her body, he breathed lightly as he listened closely to her shuffle towards him, soon small soft hands wrapped themselves around his chest and a soft cheek rubbed against his, her soft warm body resting comfortably against his body long ways.
"I'm sorry I disobeyed you." She whispered gently into his ear. "I'm just so scared and cold." She added rubbing her cheek against his again, sniffing in his soapy scent, his hair still slightly damp against her forehead, he breathed out softly, reluctantly putting his hand on one of hers softly.
"I understand." He whispered shifting lightly into her a soft hum leaving her lips as her arms wrapped tighter around him, he couldn't fight the soft smile that curved his lips, his bed has been so empty and lonely lately her presence was more than welcome although he was still afraid to get into any kind of relationship, every one he cares about always get let down, he thought squeezing his eyes shut and squeezing her hand tighter in his,
"What's your name?" he asked softly,
"Zippora." She answered sleepily, Stuart smiled, soon a soft snore began to escape her nose into his ear, a pleasant sound one he wouldn't mind sleeping next too.