Heartbreak and Promise

July 27, 2015:

Oliver catches Jes before she falls.

Dockyard off of South Hook, Gotham

Deck of Jesana's Houseboat

Characters

NPCs: El

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It takes very little to wake Ollie up. He's spent too much time in wild, dangerous places to ever truly give himself over to sleep; at least a sliver of him seems to be perpetually awake. This is why a hint of muffled voices is all it takes to get him to open his eyes. A gentle thumping sound gets him on his feet and searching for pants.

He pops out onto the deck just seconds later. Pants were a successful endeavor, but no luck with shirts. Barefoot and cautious, he slips out the door and closes it gently behind himself.

The ghostly apparation might be a startling thing to see, she doesn't see or hear Ollie at first, so focused on the woman cowering against the wall shivering and looking absolutely terrified. Jes is mumbling to herself. Her voice soft and filled with denial. She gets to her hands and knees, her eyes suddenly locking on the far edge of the boat closest to the dock. "have to run…won't let him hurt…Ollie..?" Jes freezes in place when she sees him standing in front of her, surprise jarring her momentarily from panic. The spirit looks annoyed, very annoyed. She hasn't realized Ollie can see her just yet but he's interuppting her feeding. Jes is focused on him now and not the storm of emotion she was about to become lost in.

Some things are outside of Ollie's area of expertise. Things like this are outside most people's. Ollie isn't sure what's happening, but he knows it can't be good. It's time for an age-old technique.

"Hey!" he shouts, taking off at a run in the direction of the ethereal… thing. Whatever it is, he's doing everything he can to get its attention. His misplaced shirt is in a heap on the deck; he leans low while in mid-charge so he can scoop it up and throw it. "Hey, over here!"

It's a distraction, not an attack. His true attempt at lashing out is an equally age-old technique. The high-speed body block. Something to shove whatever that thing is off the edge and into the water.

El's expression turns from annoyance to surprise and then just as Ollie hits her, fear. He probably doesn't feel anything, it isn't clear if the spirit does but she disappears a moment later. Not aware of the portal in Jes's closet or the magical tinkering done on the boat she has no idea why Oliver can see her. She'd assumed he was a human and nothing more. Humans generally don't see things like her and the spirit knows that Jes has some powerful allies. The God-Wolf, The Hellblazer and The Mistress of Magic as well. If Ollie is anything like them..El decides flight is the best option.

Jes's eyes are wide as they follow her lover's dash across the deck as he yells at her former friend. She's also surprised he sees El. She also realizes his back is toward her now and she manages to get to her feet and stumble towards the dock. She isn't dressed and there's a slick spot beneath her feet, Jes is already unbalanced physically and emotionally both and lacking her usual agility and speed she ends up hanging half over the side of the boat and very close to falling into the water.

Oliver wasn't expecting a disappearing act, but it does simplify things for the immediate moment. With no spectre to contend with, he's free to charge after Jes. He's almost caught up with her by the time she has her mishap, so it's only a few seconds before strong arms pull her back to safety. Once she's no longer in danger of taking an unscheduled swim, Ollie wraps her up in a tight, reassuring hug. "Jes, hon. Are you okay?" He resists asking any of the many other questions on his mind until he's sure everything is going to be alright.

Jes wraps herself around Ollie and clings to him. He can feel her shivering in his arms despite the warmth of the summer night. He asked her a question though and she's still not used to her sudden freedom. He's important to her now. Very much so and until recently most of the important people in her life were those she'd been compelled to answer or obey. Without thinking she starts to focus a little and find an answer. "I don't want to go, Ollie. Not again. I'm so tired of running. I can't let him have you though. Not you too. You're..you're.. Mine." She has to protect him. If that means running she'll do it. Better that than the alternative. "I can't lose another person I love." Jes whispers the last, her arms wrapping tighter around Oliver as if afraid he's going to disappear from her grasp.

There's a moment where Ollie looks stricken by the sheer quantity of pain and fear in Jesana's voice. He holds her against his chest, close enough for them to feel each other's heartbeat. "Shhh," he shushes her gently. "Shh-shh-shh. It's okay. I'm here, you're here, and neither of us are going away."

There's a pause as he considers and reconsiders the last two minutes of both their lives. Then he gives Jes a squeeze and leans back against a rail so he can support their combined weigh without losing his balance. "I…" he pauses, then starts right back up. "You aren't going anywhere and you're not losing anyone. Just breathe. It's going to be okay."

Those two minutes and the strength in the arms holding her, the fact that he's still doing so and hasn't decided to jump ship and get as far away from this madness as he can helps Jesana to calm herself a bit more. She buries her nose against the side of Ollie's neck and lets his scent soothe her shattered nerves.

"I. I'm sorry, Ollie." This is a lot, she knows. Far more than she has any right to ask him to deal with. "I'll..this is not something you should have to deal with. It's too much for anyone. I'm not usually like this, I'm not a coward. I'm not weak!" There's just only so much one person can handle and she's passed that point once or twice already now. "I've got to end this." She stiffens. "Not this. Not you. Please don't go, Ollie." I meant, this battle. This mess. It's the only way. He won't ever stop."

"Relax, I've got you." Oliver's voice is pitched to be low and soothing. He snuggles his arms tighter around Jes. "You're anything but weak. Just breathe. We'll get through this."

His heart is breaking for her so much that it can almost be heard. He forces himself to take a deep, steadying breath of his own so that his voice will be level when he continues. "It's going to be okay. We'll figure this out, I promise."

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