I don't own them.

But I do own a pink peacoat.

The bus stop is only four blocks away from my apartment, but right now, that doesn't matter because the busses aren't running, and I have to walk all the way home from the grocery store where I work.

It's snowing.


And it's not just snow – it's also quiet, but harsh wind that blows fat, constant snowflakes in my eyes. And nothing helps, not even last year's scarf I currently have wrapped around my face. Thankfully, no one is out in this right now, and I'm especially grateful that the store shut down early and it's not completely dark outside.

I shove my gloved hands in the pockets of my peacoat. I wish I was wearing a long coat. Something puffy and thick and filled with what I imagine is down. Although, anything I could afford would never be filled with down. Hell, my pillows aren't even filled with down. They're stuffed with what feels like knobby cotton balls or some kind of foam. But even a foam coat sounds good at this point.

I close my eyes against the wind, only looking up from my feet whenever I hear something approaching. Which – in this weather – is few and far between. Only one car passes me on my walk home. It's awkward when the woman looks at me like I'm crazy for being out in this. And I want to tell her, "Trust me. I'd rather be anywhere other than here." But soon enough, she moves past, and what seems like eleven million years later, I'm turning down the street that leads to my apartment.

I'm so relieved to actually see my door that I don't even feel when my feet slip from beneath me. And then, for just a moment, I don't feel anything. Not the frigid snow against my back, the air that's been knocked from my lungs, or the bump I definitely have on the back of my head from hitting the slick sidewalk.

But I hear him.

It's muddled at first. Mostly because I'm disoriented and still slightly unaware of what's going on. But then everything hits me at once – the burning in my chest, the freezing snow soaking through the clothes against my back, the pounding ache in my head. And my neighbor – at least I think he's my neighbor – standing over me.

His hair's a mess, and he has a beard. Or what looks like might be the start of a beard or maybe he just hasn't shaved in days and days. I don't know why I'm focusing on his might-be-a-beard. Maybe it's because I don't want to focus on his angry, green eyes. I don't know why he would be angry. I'm the one who fell. And it's not like I fell on him. But they're angry just the same. And so are his words.

"Shit like this wouldn't happen if you'd shovel the fucking snow like you're supposed to."




I was feeling inspired.

Thank to my prereaders - Jaime, Kourt, Laura and Raina. It never ceases to amaze me when you all still read whatever I decide to write. ILY

Marvar - you are, as always, amazing. And the best beta, friend and ficwife ever. Even after all these years.

And to everyone reading - thank you for taking the time to read my words.

This will update daily. Probably a couple of times a day actually. See you in the morning.

Reviews are love.