"And in other news-"
"A freak windstorm-"
"-authorities have no leads-"
"-suspected vandals at a local park-"
Andy flipped off the TV after only five minutes of channel surfing. Soren and Ike were sitting at the table fiddling with one of her old cell phones. She tossed the remote aside moments before someone knocked hard on her door. Andy stood and walked over to her door, looking through the peephole.
"Crap," she muttered under her breath. She opened the door and a man, taller than her and with much lighter hair, glared at her.
"Andria," he said angrily. "You didn't return my calls after you cancelled our date."
"I'm sorry, Matt, I didn't-"
"I don't understand, Andy! Were you just going to cut off all communication with me and hope I just disappeared?" He shoved his way into her apartment, not seeing either of the other men, both who had come alert at the sound of shouting. "It's not as if I'm going to just vanish, you know!"
Andria was speechless. Matthew was her sort-of boyfriend, but they hadn't gone exclusive yet. "Wait...I'm lost. I only cancelled once-"
"And didn't call me for a how many days?" He turned to pace and froze at the sight of Ike standing slowly from his seat. Matt turned on Andy. "Who the hell are they?"
Andy growled at him. "None of your-"
Matt grabbed her arm, his roughness bruising her. "I knew it. I knew you were che-"
He didn't get any further as he was lifted from his feet and shoved bodily into the wall. Ike held him several inches off the floor, his arm pressed to Matt's throat. Soren went to Andy, checking her arm, seeing the bright red marks that had been left.
Soren looked towards Matt. "You dare lay your hands on a woman?"
Ike bared his teeth in Matt's face. "If I ever see you talk to her again, I will be certain that it will be the last time you breath."
He let the other man fall to the ground. Matt took a moment rubbing his throat before he fled the apartment. Ike shut the door and locked it, turning back to where Soren had sat Andria on a chair. It appeared as if she was in shock.
"Andria?" Soren asked quietly. "Who was he?"
Andy looked up, meeting Soren's oddly red eyes. They could pass as brown in the right lighting, but here they were red. "He is...was...my kind of boyfriend. I wasn't ready to go further, so we...and he wanted...but we didn't..." She shrugged, not sure what she was saying, but sure that she was confusing them.
"He's gone now," Ike said reassuringly. He looked at Soren. "I'm going to go to B's apartment for awhile. He said he wanted to watch a movie...whatever that is." Ike unlocked the door and let himself out, leaving Soren kneeling in front of Andy.
"I'm fine, Soren. Really."
"You don't look fine," the archsage said slowly. "And he hurt you."
"It's nothing. I've had worse."
Soren simply shook his head, at a loss as to what to say. "Humans are odd creatures, to be sure. Especially in this world." He stood and went to her freezer, pulling out the ice pack she had shown him when Ike had tripped over her cell phone's power cord. He handed it to her and then turned again, running her a glass of water. "Drink this."
Andy nodded and took the water. It was odd to her that Soren was taking care of her. He usually did this for Ike. Not her.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" he asked suddenly.
"Like you're confused about something," he replied, his tone of voice never changing. "Like I fascinate you."
"You do fascinate me," Andy said. She stood and went over to the couch where she had been sitting earlier. Soren joined her. "You wanna watch a movie?"
The archsage nodded. "Sure."
Andy put in Kate and Leopold without really stopping to think about the movie she had chosen. The credits rolled as she made popcorn. When she hopped over the back of the couch and landed next to Soren, the movie was already beginning with a man running through the eighteen hundreds streets.
Soren didn't care much for the popcorn, but he ate some nonetheless. He asked questions sometimes regarding certain situations in the movie, then would watch the scenes pensively. As the movie ended, Soren looked over at Andria. It worried him that after the happy ending of the movie, she appeared sad.
"Why does the ending make you sad?"
Andria shrugged, her eyes not leaving the screen. "I guess...I'm single, living in an apartment, I've never even had a serious boyfriend. Every girl just wants to be swept off her feet by some handsome stranger she was eventually destined to be with." She blinked but still didn't look at Soren. "But we all know deep down it's not meant to happen."
"How do you know some man isn't just sitting there waiting for the woman of his dreams to look his way?" Soren asked quietly, his tone not as harsh as it usually sounded. He was usually very sarcastic, but not now.
"Because that's just not how the world works," Andy said, finally looking at Soren. "There's very little magic in this world and no room for miracles." She stood and stretched, headed towards her bedroom. "Goodnight Soren."
The archsage watched her as she slipped into her room, shutting her door firmly behind her. Soren changed into his night clothes and went out to the kitchen, getting a glass of water from the faucet. He finished the water, then set the glass down, leaning on the counter with both hands. She was oblivious to what he was trying to say, that much was clear.
Ike came back not much later. He grinned at Soren as he helped himself to some of the leftovers in the fridge. "What did you two do tonight?"
"Watched a movie and talked," Soren said, deadpan.
Ike winked at him. "Did you finally tell her how you feel then?"
"Tried," Soren responded, sitting on one of the stools at the counter. "I don't think she feels the same."
"You never know," his friend said with another grin. "She might surprise you."
"I don't think so. Ike...She doesn't believe in magic or miracles, that much is clear."
Ike put a hand on the shorter man's shoulder. "Well, then, it's a good thing you have both of those in abundance. I'm for bed. Don't stay up too late."
Soren nodded and went to the couch, laying down as Ike took the futon in the other room. He fell asleep to the thoughts of proving to Andria that magic still existed.
Andy slid down her wall, tears still streaming down her face. It had been inevitable, she knew, but it still hurt more than she was willing to admit. She sat in her room crying until she finally made it to her bed and cried herself to sleep.