Why does she call him? She cannot answer it but the rude, obnoxious coroner just seems to be the best person to help.
She looked out of the window at the night's sky. It was full of storm and the lightening crashed down before the heavens gave the world a new offering. The lights flickered and she turned to check on the microwave, two minutes and her curry for one would be ready.
It had only been two days since she'd been to the morgue but it had given her two profound things to think about. One was that she couldn't understand anyone wanting the job of a medical examiner because it must surely hit home about how fleeting life was. It was a reminder, every day that you were sooner or later going back to the earth.
The second, though not as philosophical, was why on earth she couldn't get that abrupt shit out of her head. He hadn't even offered to drive her home, probably pissed that his precious car was covered in vomit. The cab drive from the beautiful neighbourhood to her own dismal one bed place was also not helping. She wondered if an ME really made that much money or, she decided her fantasy was more fun, if he was secretly trading something like drugs. He was too straight laced for that, the tight jaw and the acid attitude. She decided he was more likely the kind of man that liked the lights off and a warm mug of chocolate. All very English she surmised with a smile to herself.
She jumped when the lights went out. It was the first time she had been through a power cut on her own. The lights went out round the neighbourhood and she realised with a curse that her dinner was also lost. She pulled it from the microwave and it was still a little too cold in the middle.
"Great, not even dinner for one." She murmured and then heard shots from outside. She was suddenly very, very worried. She locked her doors and looked around before trying to talk herself out of being frightened.
Ten minutes later she was still in the middle of the room only this time she had a large white Rabbit in her arms. The over fluffy thing had been given to her from a pen pal in Japan, it was a small offering of friendship and now it was a massive comfort. There were arguments outside and still she could see nothing. Her phone beeped signalling a low battery life. She made the split decision...
This is Archard, if you wanna entertain me leave a message. For God's sake sound like you have more life than the comrades in my day job. Leave ya number. She took a breath.
"Archard, Agent Vortigern, it's... its Sara. I am probably being silly but there's a power cut, I heard gun shots and I'm scared. Plus my microwave isn't working. If you want to..." The phone died and she cursed.
He had woken to the sound of the phone and wandered out knowing he wouldn't sleep until he knew what it was. He listened to the message and tried to call her back. He got her answer phone and found some clothes before grabbing his keys, pager and mobiles.
The car was sat silently in the car park. There was no power cut in his house and looking out around the block he couldn't see it was his area affected. He looked at her card and realised with a small curse that he did not know her address.
He ended up going back to the flat to find her in the phone directory and smiling as he realised that she wasn't unlisted. He took the name down and punched her zip code into the route finder. He looked with mild surprise at the fact that the area was rather rough for a nurse to be living in and getting any sleep to do her job.
Sara jumped with a little squeal when she heard the door go. She wasn't expecting anyone; it was nearly one in the morning. She wasn't feeling tired but her nerves were racing and she hoped to God it wasn't the man or woman with the gun outside. There was another knock, it sounded harsher, impatient and she decided that she wasn't going to get away with ignoring it.
Opening the door there was a tall dark figure with dripping wet hair and a long funeral style tailored coat. She let out a sigh of relief, it was Archard. Then gripping the rabbit she wondered how the hell he had found her. Mind you, he worked for the FBI so maybe he had called in a favour. The obvious had not occurred to her.
"Are you alright?" He asked her as he stepped in and put down a small hooded lantern. He lit it and then looked around before moving her arms and hair to check she wasn't injured.
"I'm fine now." She said realising that she had relaxed the instant he came through the door. "I was just worried when I heard the shots. I mean it might have been thunder and I am so sorry to have bothered you." She rambled on and didn't ask why he'd brought such an old thing when a torch would have been more practical.
"It's fine. Do you want to pack a night bag and I will get you some take out. You can stay over at mine." He told her. If he smiled she couldn't see it properly. She nodded dumbly and headed to her room. Archard took a look at the trip switch, the place hadn't shorted but it didn't look promising. He shoved his hands in his pockets while he waited.
She came back with a small bag it had her work clothes and some toiletries. She wasn't going to question him. At least while she was with him she wasn't home alone. He took the bag from her hands made sure she had her dead phone and then watched her as she locked up. It was curious to him that she would choose a man she hardly knew. He wondered why him, there must have been at least a dozen friends for a nice woman like her.
"The cars outside. Let's pray it still has its wheels." He said with a light tone in his voice. He sounded comforting. She followed and then realised she still had her rabbit in her hands too. She put it on the dashboard as they got in.
Archard nearly fell back from his seat at the sight of it. It looked like it brought back memories to Sara so she moved to take it from his sight. Strangely he stopped her and ran a hand down the ear before he set it on her knees and turned on the engine. The green lights displayed the information for him and he pulled off without another word.
He drove home in silence.
The rain pattered down gently and made him think of his years in Japan. He had gone there for no real reason but finished his training as a medical examiner over there. It had been the best and worst years of his life in many ways. The rabbit reminded him of a friend there, he thought of the young man and then his jaw tightened. They pulled up at the apartment and he showed her inside trying to put aside memories that he had wanted to forget.
She headed through, the lights were a creature comfort and when he picked out several menus for tea she stopped him. She put her things down in the hallway and put the menu's down. He had already done far more than he needed too. She saw it as some sort of gesture to give her all the basic when what she really needed was a hug and someone that would let her just feel safe.
"I would rather just make myself some toast." She told him. In truth it was late and she was now feeling tired. She had to be up for work in the morning. "I'll be fine with a snack and a cup of coffee."
"Coffee would be a bad idea at this time." He said sharper than he meant too but he didn't apologise. "I will make you a green tea. If you need somewhere to stay you can share my bed. The spare rooms are a hell of a mess."
She nodded a little dumfounded as he was so abrupt and then went to put her things in his room. He didn't even look up but she got the feeling he was very aware of her movements. She pushed the door open, jumping a little when Cheya flew out to join them and put her bag on the bed before trying to find the light switch. When she found it she half closed her eyes expecting a bright light. She was a little surprised to find that the lamps gave off just enough light to undress by and little else.
She looked with a little surprise at the Katana on the wall. It looked so out of place amongst all of the stale walls of his apartment. The Katana had a beautiful painted hilt, the blade was hidden in the saya and she wondered if he had ever drawn it. She pondered about taking a closer look and then remembered reading a book a few years ago about how the sword should never be drawn from it's sheath unless you intended to use it.
Archard walked in without a word and handed her a kimono with a big dragon. He gave her some tea and then whistled Cheya. The crow landed on his shoulder and he grabbed some silk pyjamas and headed to the bathroom. She looked a little unsure for a moment. Most men in his situation would take advantage or try something to test the water. He just seemed to be oblivious to her. She thought it was very strange but she was almost grateful for it and changed quickly. He was back fairly soon and put Cheya on her perch. He had deep blue silk clothes and they complimented him well and she noticed that he was very well trimmed as they stuck to his body. He was not getting that fit working in the morgue.
"If you need anything in the night help yourself." He told her and headed to the side of the bed that housed the katana on the wall. "I get up early so I will try not to wake you." He told her setting the bedside alarm and his phones.
"Are you going to be all right?" She asked him getting nervously into the other side. How many other women shared his bed? She thought that the idea was unfair on him but he wasn't expected to be solo or anything just because it suited her fantasy. "I mean you won't have slept much. I have work in the morning. I need to be up at seven anyway."
"I will reset the alarms. If the phone goes off then ignore it I will get out of your way quick enough. I am on call too." He explained and turned the lights off.
She sat in the dark for what seemed forever, it was really strange to her. She was in bed with a man she really couldn't fathom. He was nothing less than abrasive with his tone of voice but she couldn't help wondering what had made him that way. Something in his nature was kind because he had done this without needing to be asked. She thought that it wasn't the work of someone that hated everything and everyone. He just seemed so jaded, but damn him if he didn't also smell like heaven on the bed beside her.