Niko Bellic was drowning his sorrows in vodka, hoping that it was finally over. He had no place else to go, no one to go to. He had ruined any chance with Kate, Roman was dead and his other friends, aside from Little Jacob, would only get him into more trouble. It had been eight weeks since he'd killed Pegorino and Dimitri was long gone as well. He downed the last of his drink then motioned for more from the bartender who merely shook his head and shrugged.
"I don't think you need any more pal."
"Jebi se." Niko muttered, haphazardly tossing some bills on the bar before nearly falling off his stool.
Stumbling outside, his phone buzzed and with the little conscience he had left he unlocked the screen and read the text message, having to brace himself on the wall as he read Kate's words across the screen.
"Niko, I haven't heard from you in a long while. Are you okay?"
She was the last person he'd expect to worry about him. She had called once the day after Roman's murder to check up on him, and having isolated himself from everyone he once called friends; he never bothered to phone her again. Truth-be-told he didn't have the heart. All he wanted was to ensure her safety since everyone else he seemed to be close to met a violence and untimely end.
'Fuck it.' He thought as he shambled down the street, away from the Steinway Beer Garden. He knew exactly what he needed to do and where he needed to be. He made an attempt to pop the collar on his winter jacket, but the biting wind still chilled him to the bone and the rain wasn't helping. He was nearly hit by oncoming traffic twice and knocked a man's coffee from his hands while trying to regain control of his own feet on the steep, downhill, sidewalk.
He reached his destination and slowly pulled himself up the steps of the apartment he was looking for, hesitating before pounding his fist against the red door. After two knocks it opened and Kate stood before him, though there was still a faint light through the grey clouds, her sweats and tank top gave the assumption she was already dressed for bed.
"Niko…" she barely whispered, shell shocked by his sudden appearance on her doorstep. "What are you doing here?"
He looked down at her, eyes bloodshot and wreaking of alcohol, and broke down. "I'm so sorry Kate." He nearly sobbed, "I owe you such an apology and I don't know what to say. I'm not sure why I even bothered you…I…I just…" She caught his arm before he collapsed.
"Niko, come inside and have a seat." She beckoned, guiding him to the living room. She settled him on the couch and held up one finger signaling that she'd return shortly. He stared straight ahead at a black television screen as she placed a blanket around his shoulders and set a cup of coffee on the table in front of him.
"Do you want to talk about it?" She asked softly.
Niko looked over at her. He was still buzzed and he wasn't sure if it was the booze or the fact that he had been attracted to her since the moment he met her, but he had the urge to kiss her; one that he knew he had to repress or the progress he'd made in such a short amount of time would disappear just as soon as he'd achieved it.
With his voice shaky he spoke. "I'm a fool. I should stay away from you because I know you'll get hurt one way or another. I am not meant to care for anyone the way I do you, but I can't stay away. I've lost too many people I've been close with, left a lot of people behind and I'm tired of running from my past. I want to live life, to have a reason to care." He shook his head. "But I don't know where to start. I don't even know how to live a normal life. Since I was a boy I have had nothing but disappointment. Sometimes I wonder if I can even be normal. Then there is Roman…"
"Of course you can be normal!" Kate interrupted. "Niko, if you're looking for someone to care you always have me. And from what I've heard your mother wants the best for you. You can't deny you're past, but you can move on. Find something legally constructive that you can put your energy into. I know you can do well, I believe in you. Roman was a wild man from my understanding but I know that he'd want you to be happy and the life you've lead since you came to this country has not been one that's done that for you." She put her hand over top his "I want you to be happy Niko. What can I do to help you?"
Her gesture didn't go unnoticed and Niko's raised an eyebrow as he stared at their hands. "If I told you would you be upset?"
Kate smiled. "I think I may already know but why don't you just fill me in anyway?"
"Give me a chance?" He said slowly. "I know what you have said and I am not a very good man but I'd really like this one chance to prove that I can be who you need."
He barely had time to finish his thought as her lips caught his. She was clearly inexperienced, as Packie had pointed out, but she was a fast learner. After what seemed like minutes they broke for air. Kate caught her breath and blushed slightly.
"I'm sorry. I…I just have no idea what got into me. Honestly I was afraid I had shoved you away forever after rejecting your invitation to the wedding. I figured it was better that way. My family is full of criminals and I didn't want to fall in love with one. However, if you are being truthful, if you want to change for the better, I will do everything I can to guide you. Just remember that I'm pretty fucked up too." She laughed. "But I've grown quite fond of you Mr. Bellic, and I don't want to see you ruin yourself any further than you already have."
Niko nodded his understanding. "You have my word, no matter how little that may mean to some people."
"I'll take that. Now come on," She stood, holding a hand out toward him "you look exhausted and I know you'll need to sleep this off. You can have my bed."
He accepted her offer and took her hand. Kate led him up the stairs and to a room at the end of the hall. She pulled the sheets back and was about to walk out of the room when he took her wrist. "Stay." He asked so quiet she thought she was hearing things.
"I want try anything, not with someone of your faith, I just…I want you to stay with me."
Kate nodded and closed the door as Niko peeled off his jacket and began to pull his sweat shirt off. He lay back on the bed and pulled her over to join him. "Tell me if I do something you don't like." He said, wrapping an arm around her waist. "Is this too much?"
In all honesty Kate had never had anyone in her bed, let alone someone to hold her. She rather enjoyed the company of this man. "No." She said over her shoulder.
Niko smiled. "Goodnight Kate."
And within minutes both were fast asleep.
A/N: I've had an idea like this in the back of my mind for a while so I finally made the decision to type it up and submit it. Let me know what you all think.