Two years ago, Jill came into the office the day after New Years and found Leon face down on a pile of reports. [For Fanfic100]
Jill left him to it, until he wandered away and came back balancing three cups of coffee. One he left on his desk, one he put on hers, and the other he kept, breathing steam down the back of Jill's neck. She kept writing, snagging the cup as she pecked at the keys, and asked "So, made any resolutions yet?"
Leon snorted. "Sure, same as last year. Stop fucking drinking when you're gonna make me come into work the day after."
Last year, Leon was in before Jill. She stopped in the doorway, staring at him, then crossed to the desk and checked his temperature. Leon - she thought it was Leon; if it wasn't it was a very convincing doppelganger - waved her away and turned his attention back to the case file he was studying. Jill hesitated for a few minutes; if it was Leon, then something must have happened in the week she hadn't seen him to make him spend New Years sober and come in early.
But he didn't look like something happened - he looked... He looked calm. Determined, calm, and concentrating, which was exactly the combination that screamed of a storm brewing, especially since he had taken an interest in the pet shop.
Instead, Jill sat at her own desk, looking at the pile of work she was going to make Leon do when he was done being fascinated by the file on the pet shop, and said "I don't suppose this showing up on time thing is part of your new years resolutions is it?"
"Does that sound like the sort of thing I'd do?"
"I guess not. So what's it going to be? Stop drinking so much? Stop harassing the Count?"
Leon clenched his hands into fists, crumpling the folder, and said nothing.
This year, Leon isn't even in the same time zone for the New Year, and Jill's not sure where he is, so she can't work out when to call him. She takes a chance and rings him anyway - if she doesn't, she might not hear from him for months. Leon sounds awake when he answers the phone, which is something, and half-way to drunk, which is something else entirely. He wishes her a happy new year immediately, asks her how she is, dodges any questions about his well-being or location. Finally, when she can think of nothing she hasn't told him in email - he reads them, he tells her; when she asks him if she has a new partner yet he can't answer - she asks "Have you made any resolutions?"
There's a long pause, so long Jill starts to worry that his phone's died, and then Leon says "None that make sense."
How do you expect to keep a resolution about tracking down a man who died months ago? Jill thinks but doesn't say. She has a feeling that this is the one resolution Leon's going to keep if it kills him.