Okay guys, here's my first attempt at writing Mr. Dean Ambrose. I've become a big fan of his and this really just came at me and well, hell, why not. This is also my first swing (in quite some time, I daresay I've gotten much better at it since the last time I tried this) at switching POVs from chapter to chapter. Nothing too crazy, just between Jon and the OC.
Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy!
March 2, 2010
"It'll only take me an hour and some to get home, Jon. All my roommates left and I'm bored to tears sitting here by myself," Kelsey sighed, already shoving her last bag into her car. "I promise I'll be careful."
On the other end of the phone, Jon, her older brother, groaned. "I don't want you driving by yourself, a freaking midnight, Kelsey."
"I've done it a hundred times, Jonny. I'll be fine," Kelsey said, pulling the car door shut. "I'll see you by one-thirty, okay? I love you, Jon."
"I love you too, Kels. Please for the love of fuck be careful." Jon said.
"I will, I promise. Make me some hot chocolate, huh? I know you have the house freezing." Kelsey giggled.
And that was the last time Jon ever heard his baby sister's sunny little laugh. The last time he heard her voice. One-thirty had come and gone with no word from her. Two came, then two-thirty, and by three he was really worried. He called her phone dozens of times, even resorted to calling one of her roommates to see if she'd heard from her. After a grumpily given negative answer, Jon called the police. He said his sister had left the college campus at a little after midnight and was expected home at one-thirty that morning but hadn't turned up. The drive from the University of Kentucky back home to Cincinnati shouldn't take that long, especially so late at night with little traffic. He gave them her name, a description of her, and her license plate number. The police hadn't been much reassurance to him, but asked for his name and phone number and said someone would be in contact if anything was uncovered.
Three hours and zero sleep later, Jon's phone rang. The officer on the other end sounded genuinely upset when she said to him:
"I'm terribly sorry to have to give you this news, Mr. Good. Your sister's car was struck on the driver's side by a drunk driver who crossed into the opposite lane of traffic. She was killed immediately. I'm deeply sorry for your loss."
That day changed everything for Jon. His little sister had been the last light in his life, and he'd buried her a week later. Hardly 19-years-old, so much life ahead of her, but now she was in the ground. Gone.
Jon had nothing left.
This time of year, most people knew just to leave Jon alone. He was going to be grumpy, irritable, and socially uncooperative no matter what. It was drawing closer and closer to the third anniversary of his sister's death and he still wasn't dealing with it well. His closest friends knew, and said nothing of it. Didn't continue to offer their condolences, just let it hang in the air, something the knew was there but wouldn't touch.
The poor girl sitting next to him on the flight home had no clue.
Jon's heart almost stopped when he saw her. Like a ghost of his past sitting in the seat by the window. He stared, openly, as he tried to shove his carry-on into the overhead compartment. She had gold-blonde hair, pulled into a ponytail that rested over her left shoulder. When she'd glanced over at him for a half second he'd spied her clear blue eyes and was sure his heart almost burst.
This strange girl reminded him of Kelsey so much he thought he might pass out. Her hair, her eyes, the black-rimmed glasses she wore. Everything. It was like she was sitting in that chair, waiting for him to sit down so she could ask how his day had been. But this wasn't his Kelsey, just some girl on an airplane, waiting to get to her destination just like he was. He flopped down into the seat closest to the aisle, dragging his hat down further over his eyes, determined to be asleep before the plane took off.
It was half an hour later when the captain's voice over the PA system pulled Jon out of his restless, upright sleep. He'd said something about a delay and they were going to be idled on the tarmac for an unforeseen amount of time. Jon groaned to himself and shut his eyes again, crossing his arms over his middle.
"Wow, what a bummer, huh?"
Jon's gut clenched, even her goddamn voice sounded similar. He glanced over at the girl, who was smiling at him. He didn't bother to try and smile back, just shrugged.
"Used to it."
"Oh. Do you travel a lot?" The girl asked.
"Yup." Jon replied.
"Hm. Work? Or for fun?"
"Look, I really don't feel like talking right now," Jon said, sighing heavily. "So if you could just stay over there, that'd be great."
"Oh. I'm sorry," The girl frowned, sliding her glasses off, hanging them from the neck of her shirt. "I just...no. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have bothered you."
Jon looked at her again, a pang of guilt sweeping through him. He knew that look. That discouraged, dejected, sad look. And on a face that reminded him so much of the sister he'd lost, it made him feel awful. The girl reached down, grabbing a bag from between her feet. She dug out and iPod and some headphones and plugged them in.
"Wait," Jon said. "Sorry. Shouldn't have snapped at you like that. Caught me at a bad moment."
"Oh, it's alright. I shouldn't have pried," She said, tucking one of the headphones into her ear. "I won't bother you."
"Hey, seriously. I'm sorry," Jon said, mind racing, he asked a rash question. "Really. Um... what's your name?"
"Danica," She said softly. "But you can call me Dani. And you?"
Dani smiled. "Nice to meet you, Jon."
He simply nodded her way, biting his lip. He couldn't talk to her. Everything was too familiar, yet totally different at the same time. This girl confused him. She was nice enough, but he immediately pushed her back. Not wanting to deal with the familiarity so close to such a painful time for him. Jon glanced over at her again, she had folded one of her legs underneath her, the other hanging, her foot bobbing with the music she listened to. She was toying with the end of her ponytail, staring down at the tablet in her lap. He watched her tug her fingers through her hair, frowning unknowingly when she came across a tangle. It almost brought a smile to his face, but he scowled instead. This was not the time for random girls to be getting under his skin.
Dani looked up from her tablet, seeming to sense Jon's eyes on her. She didn't smile at him this time but looked away sheepishly, and changed the song on her iPod. Jon pulled off his hat, resting it over his eyes. Eventually, the pilot came over the PA system again and said the flight was finally ready to take off. Sleep slipped away from Jon once they were in the air. He was exhausted and the flight home to Cincinnati from Baltimore felt like it had already taken forever. Halfway through the flight, he heard Dani shifting around beside him. She sat her bag in the empty seat between them and stood up. Carefully, she shuffled by him and walked down the aisle. The only thing about her that didn't remind him of Kelsey was her smell. Dani smelled warm and sweet, like amber, and coconut. Kelsey had always smelled fruity and bright. Young, his sweet little sister.
He smelled her when she came back; her amber and coconut smell washing over him again as she squeezed by, stepping over his long legs. He lifted his hat from over his eyes, peering over at her. Dani pushed the buds back into her ears, resting her tablet in her lap again. She squirmed in her seat, and looked over at him again, one eyebrow raised.
"Do you want to say something?" Dani asked, taking her earphones out.
"No." Jon said, scratching his chin. "Maybe..."
"You kinda... look like my kid sister." He blurted.
"Oh. Well, I'm not your sister. Stop staring at me." Dani said.
"I know you're not my fucking sister," Jon snapped angrily. "She's fucking dead."
Dani's jaw hung for a split second but she clamped her mouth shut. She gnawed on her bottom lip for a moment, guilt clearly washing over her face. "God. Jon I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to be so rude..."
"Forget it," Jon said curtly. "It's done."
Dani hung her head, stuffing her earphones back in. Jon rolled his eyes, dropping his hat back over his eyes. He squeezed them shut, knowing he wasn't going to sleep but tried anyway. He hated this time of year, whenever March drew closer, he became surlier, and more withdrawn than normal. And meeting Dani just a few short months before the anniversary of Kelsey's death was odd. There were so many things about Dani that reminded him of her, but at the same time, she was different. Kelsey never would have taken the bullshit way he spoke to her. She would have given him a verbal slap and he would have laughed at her and ruffled her hair. Dani just sat quietly beside him, her shoulders slumped and avoided looking at him again.
After what seemed like forever, the pilot came over the loud speaker again and informed them they'd be landing in a few short minutes. The landing was rough and finally, when everyone was allowed to depart, Jon snatched his bag from the overhead compartment and stepped out into the aisle. Dani stepped out a few people behind him and kept her distance as she followed him up the ramp from the airplane. She was behind him when he started heading toward the baggage claim. Dani sped up a few steps, reaching out and grabbing a handful of the back of Jon's jacket. She tugged on it, making it sag off his shoulders. Jon stopped, whirling around, a scowl on his face.
"What do you want?!" He snapped, yanking his jacket straight.
"I-I just...I wanted to apologize," Dani stammered, not looking at him. "I'm really sorry about earlier."
"I said forget it," Jon said. "It's done. And I'll never see you again. So it doesn't fucking matter. Have a nice life, Dani."
Jon turned away and stalked off towards the baggage claim again, leaving Dani standing where she was. He heard her sniffle and stopped. Why couldn't she have just said what she had to say and walk away? Why'd she have to start crying?
Jon turned back to her, but Dani had started to walk away. He followed, and grabbed her arm when he caught up, tighter than he meant to. Dani winced, the rims of her eyes were red but tears didn't fall.
"Look," Jon said, staring at her. Fuck, it was so eerie to look at her face. She was beautiful but too familiar. "I don't know you. And if you got your feelings hurt, maybe you shouldn't stick your nose in people's faces like that. But you're freaking me the fuck out because you look just like her."
Dani tugged her arm, but Jon didn't let go. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories for you. I'm sorry your sister is gone. Please, just... let me go."
Jon shook his head, dropping her arm. "Sorry, I guess."
Dani nodded, hitching her bag up on her shoulder and turned away. Jon stared after her, watching her move through the crowd. She looked back at him, her face sad but still without tears. Dani turned away, narrowly dodging a person walking in front of her. Jon sighed, watching until she disappeared. Something inside him felt like garbage for treating her the way he did. But he knew it was only because of who she reminded him of. But she wasn't Kelsey. She was just some beautiful stranger that he'd never see again. That, if nothing else, Jon clung to as justification. He'd leave her behind in that airport in Cincinnati, never again to be haunted by her all too familiar face.