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All roads lead back home…

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Ah! Home away from home. Or secondary home away from home. Why was she out at this time? Her appointments had run late. The detective was working as per usual, and the shifter was in need of some kind of company. At this point even the surrounding wildlife would’ve done the trick. But tonight it’s cold outside, and she’s shivering her little ass off as she stands, staring at the entrance to the Blue Moon. This was habitual for the shifter; to be stood, standing outside an establishment, staring at the wood until her lips thinned and took on a glacier blue hue. Wide doe eyes of emerald green shift towards one of the windows, a slight head tilt given as she drew that dense cashmere coat tighter around her paper thin shoulders. Three of the several large buttons remained intact over the slight roundness of her belly currently hidden from view.

Slender fingers flutter against the door, giving it a firm inward shove until the panel swung on it’s hinges. Heat greeted her frigid skin, warming deep into the marrow of her bones as she entered. Twisted, free-flowing tendrils of unnatural red hair bounce against her hollowed cheeks with every gradual step that would see her five feet four inch frame being swept into the establishment, legs carrying her towards a vacant barstool. Having ensconced upon a barstool, she folds one lithe pencil leg over the other and smoothes her open palms against the denim of her favorite charcoal grey denims until she’s ready to order. When Harry arrives, settling with his hip propped against the counter, that stoic and muted expression pinching at the bartender’s features, Abbey cocks her head and smiles. But that smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes.

She’s been debating it ever since New Years… going home. Back to Earth and the place she once called home, Australia. The thought of leaving behind loved ones and people she knew weighed heavily upon the shifter’s heart, but it would be for the best. Wouldn’t it? At least that’s what she keeps telling herself. Harry’s patiently waiting opposite. “Water, please and thank you.” Her Australian accent pulling thickly at every syllable that rolls effortlessly off her tongue. A silent nod is given as the bartender glides away. It doesn’t take long before a tall, semi-frosted receptacle containing the water and a wide slice of lemon as garnish would be presented to her along with the addition of a bowl of blackberries and a vial of that iridescent azure blue liquid. She was going to miss that… Harry had known the shifter a long bloody time, surprisingly.

Plucking one of the plump and excessively juicy blackberries from the bowl, the shifter turns the edible between her digits before popping it past her lips, a thoughtful, debatable hum resounding as she crushes the ridges with her teeth. An action that is repeated a handful more times before she’s satisfied for the moment. At this point she’s taking a sip of her chilled water, letting the cool liquid wash away the bitter aftertaste of the berry and cleansing her palette. She’s going to miss this place. And the imps, the other patrons – even if she didn’t know who or what they were. “Harry,” gripping the vessel between her palms, the shifter reclines herself. She’s still harboring the portal coin Valerie offered her that one time at the Red Sun, to avoid being eaten by that scaled monstrosity. She keeps it on her immediate person at all times.

Idling nearby, the bartender reaches for the towel slung over his shoulder and begins the process of drying a cocktail glass. His silence is deafening. “I need to ask you a favor,” the shifter murmurs quietly, downcasting her gaze at the curved lip of the glass, the pad of her middle finger rimming the edge. She’s biting her wobbling bottom lip, eyebrows scrunched together. Why is this so fucking hard? “I-I need you to pass on a letter for me. To Desmond.” Her chest constricts as she sets the receptacle back onto the counter and goes fishing into the pocket of her coat. The envelope is off-white in color and scented with her particular fragrance, soft, subtle and floral. The letter itself is three pages long — most of which has the shifter apologizing profusely. There’s even evidence of tears that had fallen before, during and after.

On the front is Desmond Locke’s name scribbled carelessly and yet so beautifully, the script cursive and elegant. Once she’s rid herself of the letter, though it felt not like the weight of the world had lifted any, the shifter would return to her drink, knocking back the last of the water in few gulps, swallowing with a singular bobbing of her throat. She’d hardly touched what remained of those berries occupying the bowl, and as she made to stand, the grating of the barstool’s legs against the wooden floor echoing off the tavern’s walls, she waited. “I’ll take some of those vials to go while I’m at it, please and thank you.” Her voice shook as she spoke, the emotion caught at the back of her throat preventing her from saying much else. Harry’s already moving out of reach, out of sight and momentarily out of mind, only to return a few minutes later with the pouch of requested vials. Some for the road.

She would offer Harry a hug, but then it might just make saying goodbye harder, so she simply offers the man a waning smile and turns, striding with purpose towards the Blue Moon’s exit one final time. Once she’s back out in the cold, she digs out that portal coin, exhales a pain-filled sigh, and steps through the swirling vortex beckoning her home, a blur of red fluttering in her wake.

With a zip! Pop! And crackle! She’s gone.

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