Disclaimer: Don't own it.

We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.

It's raining in January. That's odd, even for the east coast. She curls further into herself and tightens the blanket around her frame. The city is busy beneath her. New York never stops. Not for rain, not for snow, not at night. This city is so stubborn it will never cease to exist.

Her apartment is quiet save for the bustle below.

Her phone vibrates near her feet and she reluctantly grabs it, silencing her alarm.

She sighs heavily and slowly untangles her body from her warm little haven. She has school soon and then a shift at her mom and dad's restaurant.

He won't be there. He hardly ever wanders into the mortal world anymore.

She hates magic.

The rain continues to fall all day. She runs from the bus stop to Waverly Place. Careful to avoid puddles but she ends up soaked anyway. She could just dry herself with a simple spell, but she broke her wand months ago.

Her parents don't know. Just another thing to add to the list of things they are oblivious to.

She quickly rushes up the stairs to the loft and into the bathroom. She runs a towel through her hair, drying it roughly. Her next stop is her old room. She digs through a few drawers and finally finds something to wear.

Her parents barely glance at her as she enters the station again. She ties an apron loosely around her waist and begins taking orders.

She fakes smiles and laughs with regulars.

By eight her feet are killing her, her makeup is smeared, her hair is frizzy and all over the place. And all she wants to do is sleep.

She's finishing up some dishes when her mother approaches her.

"Do you want to stay for something to eat? Your brother called your dad earlier. He said he should be here tonight. Says he misses all of us." Theresa smiles at Alex's back and runs her hands through her daughter's hair.

Alex shrugs, "Sure. I thought Max said he was going out with Maggie tonight. Why did they change their plans?"

"Oh, no, sweetie. Not Max. Justin. Justin is coming here tonight."

Alex stiffens and drops the dish in her hands. "Dammit," she mumbles to herself. The dish split cleanly, cutting the palm of her hand.

Theresa winces and makes a hissing noise, rushing to get a towel. She wraps up Alex's hand and forces her up to the loft to clean and bandage the wound.

Alex stares blankly at the wall as her mother tends to her. She can't even remember the last time she saw Justin. He left so long ago.

She was eighteen the last time she saw him. She knows that much for sure. Three years. She hasn't seen her brother in three years. She hasn't even talked to him in that time. "Mom, why is Justin coming here? Did something happen to him?"

Theresa sighs and briefly looks up at her daughter, she shrugs her shoulders, "I don't know, mija, he called your dad out of the blue today. He asked if he could come see us. We weren't about to deny him that."

Alex's throat tightens and she can feel the tears welling up in her eyes, "I don't want to see him."

Theresa brow furrows and she frowns slightly, "Alex, he's still your brother. You promised. All of you promised that the competition wouldn't tear you apart. Do you remember that?"

Alex rolls her eyes and pulls her hand away from her mother's, "I'm not the one that left. I'm not the one that broke that promise, mom, he did." She races out of the bathroom and down the stairs to the substation. She can hear her mother calling out her name but she ignores the sound. She's out the door and running through the rain before her mother can stop her.

When she wakes up her stomach is cramping in her hunger, her hand is throbbing, her heart is racing in her chest and her pillow is soaked in sweat.

Her apartment is dark, save for the city lights shining through her window.

"Fuck," she mutters to herself, bringing her sore palm to her chest. She eases herself out of her bed with one hand and makes the small walk to her bathroom. The light burns her eyes and she squeezes them shut for a second.

She slowly unravels the bandage her mother put on her hand and grimaces at the sight of her wound. The blood has dried and the cut is red with infection and irritation. She cleans the cut again with peroxide and puts a new bandage on it.

She checks her phone when she gets back into her room. It's only midnight. She's only been asleep for a few hours. She's starving though. She makes a trip to her tiny kitchen and prepares herself a PB&J sandwich.

She finishes in a few quick bites and washes her plate in the sink, careful of her cut.

She isn't quite sure why she's so angry at her brother. She just knows that this frustration with him as only gotten worse over the years.

There's a knock on her door and her body stiffens.

She's knows that it's him.

"Alex," he says through the door. She closes her eyes at the sound of his voice. God, she missed him. She can't answer that door. She's supposed to be mad at him. She has every right to be upset with him. Especially after the way he's treated her. And Max. And their parents.

She swallows hard and gets up to answer the door.

A/N: I'm back. If you remember me/don't hate me, lol. My life is completely different from a year and half ago. I lost my best friend in the entire world. I've transferred to a new school. And I met someone that asked me to marry him. That's a lot of stuff in a year and half, lol. Words cannot express how sorry I am. Shadows does have an end. And yes, I remember it, lol. Once school settles down a little bit (ie, not taking five classes a term), I will get back to that. This story is going to be short. And as cliche as it might be, a Valentine's day story of sorts. Let me know what you think!