The Right Thing
Salty tears ran down her cheeks. She swiped at them angrily. She wasn't used to this. She wasn't used to feeling vulnerable and like she had no control whatsoever over anything going on in her life. Even the most simple of things was getting her down and making her wonder.
Was she ruined? Was she broken now, unable to do the very things she loved doing most?
She thought not, but that rather she had come to a crossroads, at which she would have to make a choice. She would need to get all the information she could and determine the facts and what was right for her. She would have to choose.
And she was afraid, so terribly afraid, that she would make the wrong choice. It would be so easy to take the easy way out, to leave behind all that Harry was and meant to her and let him fade away, into her memories. It would be so easy to dismiss all the magic and wizard stuff he went on about on a daily basis.
But would it be the right thing to do? Her heart told her, no. No, it wasn't.
Her heart, she hated to admit, was right this time. Though she hated to think that she was a cowardly person, she was leaning heavily toward the road of denial and a life without Harry Dresden. But she knew, deep down, she couldn't handle that.
After all she had seen, because of and with Harry, she couldn't simply make a choice and turn it all off. That was impossible. After all she had seen, it was dangerous to try and pretend it wasn't there. There were things out there that could cause pain and hurt and death and she couldn't ignore them and let them be either.
They had to be dealt with. And, as she knew about them now, all the supernatural creatures and things of the Nevernever, she had a responsibility to humankind to correct things. She had signed up to be a cop so she could save people. So she could help them. What kind of person would she be if she backed down with Harry's stuff?
Oh, yes. She swore to protect, and yet she won't handle a few demons? That's not a person to look up to. That is someone who cares only for their own well being and will happily let another person get killed or put in peril simply so death or pain would be avoided themselves.
She didn't want to be that person. She couldn't be. It wasn't in her to let things go and move on without another thought. Just as she knew, Harry wouldn't let things go and move on either. He would be caught up in why she wouldn't talk to him and would feel hurt and not understand her intentions.
There's always a victim. She would be it if she stayed and kept fighting demons with Harry. Harry would be one if she cut off contact with him and refused to talk or even look at him again.
It seemed a bit harsh to go to such lengths. It seemed a bit rude to leave him to deal with the monsters on his own. He was human too, and so her oath to protect covered him as well. Could she truly break her own promise to the force and not protect a single person because he was often involved in terrible situations with terrible, unnatural and supernatural creatures?
No. She couldn't. She knew it as well as she knew the streets of her city. The turns in her mind were like the streets, leading on from one to the next, sometimes connecting to more than one train of thought and sometimes leading to a dead end.
What it came down to was she was a good person. A person who cared – too much, one might say. And she couldn't, wouldn't, leave anyone, no matter who they were, alone in situation like Harry's. As much as the man irritated her to no end sometimes. As much as his charm and smiles affected her and made her want to kiss him. There was a friendship between them, a bond, that meant she would never be able to just leave Harry alone.
She wanted to be there, by his side, to fight with him til the end. She wanted to help him. To protect him. To be there if he needed it. She wished he would be there for her more than he sometimes was. He was great at being there for her when it suited him. He was less good at it when it was just a favour, or unpaid.
But he had shown on many occasions that he thought of her as more than just a co-worker, or source of income. He cared. And so, she cared. He was one of the most important people in her life, if she was honest with herself. Those people are the ones that stick with you for all of time, all the way until the end.
Not many people made friendships as strong as theirs could be. She wasn't surprised by that in the slightest. Most people weren't as willing to give themselves up for the sake of another human being. And often, their logic made sense.
Why put a second person in danger? Why risk certain injuries or even death? Why step in and save another person, when ninety-nine percent of human beings on the planet were assholes who barely deserved to live?
She frowned and then sighed. Another tear leaked down her face. She didn't cry often, but she was overtired and stressed and didn't know what to do. She had hoped that some time reflecting would ease her mind and bring her closer to a resolution. However, in the end, all she was left with were more questions and more thoughts to circle around her incessantly. She still had no idea what to do.