The rest of the guys would stay a little longer. Patrick wouldn’t be in bed for another couple of hours anyway. He’d been having trouble sleeping for a few weeks now. Some kind of nightmares he’d told Jonathan, but he could never remember what they were about when he woke up. And Patrick Kane would NOT talk to some shrink.
With a heavy sigh Jonathan shut the door to the building and walked to his car. At least Patrick talked to him, even if there wasn’t that much to say. He had nightmares, couldn’t sleep and that was about it. As long as they didn’t know what these nightmares were about or what the reason for them was, Jonathan couldn’t do anything to help his friend. It was good that they were at the beginning of the hockey season, so he had at least some distraction.
In mid-October it was already pretty cold, but he didn’t need a coat from the building to his car. He’d left it at home right from the beginning. Just like his mobile phone. He needed a break from the constant calls his ex-girlfriend gave him. He’d broken it off nearly three months ago, because she’d cheated, lied and manipulated him. But she wouldn’t have any of it. She’d apologized over and over again, trying to get him back. They had been together for not even half a year.
When Jonathan rounded the corner he saw someone standing by his car. The figure was about seven inches shorter than him. The doors to his car were open. The person turned to the side and he could make out that it was a woman. She put something that looked like a guitar case on the backseat.
While she was busy with storing her stuff in the backseat, he snuck up on the car, opened the passenger door as quietly as possible and got in. He didn’t even really know why he did it. Something kept him from calling the cops. Maybe it was just curiosity.
When the woman got in and the light inside the car turned off again, he said: “Where are we off to, stranger?”
“Ohmygod,” the woman shrieked, jumped in her seat and fumbled for the door handle. Quickly Jonathan grabbed her wrist to keep her in place. “Please, let me go. I’m sorry!”
“It’s okay, calm down!” With his free hand he turned on the light. Maybe she wouldn’t be as scared if she saw who was next to her. “I’m not gonna hurt you and I won’t call the cops.”
She wouldn’t look at him. Instead she stared straight at her lap. Her breathing slowed again as she calmed down. Jonathan was still holding her at her wrist. He wanted some answers. Now. But he would wait for her to look at him before he started talking to her.
When she finally did, there was only one question left that he needed to ask.
“Are you alright?” He let go of her wrist immediately and carefully brushed the dark brown hair from her face to look at the cut in her bottom lip and the swelling and bruising at her eyebrow. When she tried to turn away from him, he didn’t let her do that. “Who did this to you?”
“My ex-boyfriend,” she mumbled shoving his hand away. “I grabbed my stuff and got out of our apartment. I wanted to leave Chicago, so I ended up here. I’m really sorry, that I wanted to take your car. That’s not usually like me, but-“
“It’s okay,” Jonathan cut her off, before she started babbling more. Green eyes stared back at him devoid of tears. But he could see that she’d been crying. Her eyes were blood-shot and a little puffy. Dark circles were visible beneath them. But still, something was oddly familiar about her. Her eyes. “Do I know you? Have we met before?”
Recognition showed on her face right before her cheeks turned pink. “You’re Jonathan Toews. Fuck.” When she realized that he was still staring at her, she took a deep breath and answered him. “Yes, we met briefly at a party about a year ago. Your friend hit on one of the girls I was just talking to, so you came over and talked to me.”
“But you never told me your name.” Now he remembered. Pat had been thinking about talking to that girl for half an hour before they’d finally gone over. It had been great to talk to this girl until she vanished and Jonathan hadn’t seen her again.
“Do you need a place to stay, April?” He hardly knew this girl, but she needed help. He couldn’t just leave her out here where she’d try to steal the next car to get the hell away from an abusive boyfriend, or rather ex-boyfriend, and out of Chicago.
“No, I’ll be fine.” She got out of the car and opened the back door. Jonathan followed her, rounded the car and put his hand on her shoulder. Her whole body stiffened.
“Please let me help you. I have a guest room in my apartment and you can stay the night there. Have a shower, grab something to eat and especially get some sleep.”
He usually wasn’t the kind of person to invite strangers to stay at his apartment, but he would never forgive himself should something happen to her. He knew what it was like to just want to run away from everything. Start over in a new city with new people.
“Okay.” April finally gave in. She wasn’t comfortable with staying with a stranger as well, but did she really have a choice? She didn’t have money for a hotel, nor could she go to anyone she knew. All of the people she knew, knew her ex-boyfriend as well and they’d contact him. She didn’t want him to know about her whereabouts. It had been the first time he’d hit her and she’d make sure that he’d never get the chance to do that again.
They swapped places and Jonathan drove all the way home. April didn’t say a word - neither did he. This situation was awkward enough. April couldn’t believe that someone was so trusting and generous, but she was glad. Everyone else would have probably called the police and Jonathan had offered her a place to stay for the night.
He parked his car inside the building and got all of her things except for the guitar. April would carry that herself. Without saying a word she followed him to the elevator and then to his apartment door.
“Are you hungry?” He asked as soon as the door was shut behind them.
“No, just tired.” April looked around. It was tidy and clean. A big sofa stood in the middle of what she supposed was the living room.
“I’ll show you the room then.”
April nodded and followed him. The room was bigger than her old bedroom with a gigantic bed, a wardrobe in the corner, a mirror on the wall and big windows that overlooked the city. She hadn’t realized how high up his apartment was until now.
“The bathroom is the door to the left of this room. My bedroom is directly opposite of this, so if you need anything, just knock on my door, okay?”
“Why are you doing this?” April bit down on her trembling bottom lip. This was all too much, but she would NOT start crying again. Not in front of him.
“Because I know what it feels like to want to run away.” A sad smile curved his lips upwards the tiniest bit. “And I also know how important it is to get help in this situation.”
“Okay.” April looked him straight in the eye. “Thank you.”
“Get some sleep. Tomorrow we’ll look for a way to get you out of that situation.” He turned around to leave the room. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” April was still looking at the closed door minutes after Jonathan had left her alone. She was ready to fall asleep straight away. She wasn’t planning on talking to him the following morning. By the time he woke up she would be long gone. On a train to wherever. But before that she’d write him a little note, thanking him again for his generosity and trust. Especially for his trust in her after she’d tried to steal his car.
NotesAfter some consideration, I started a new fanfic and stayed away from thee Bruins this time.
This idea had been on my mind for a few days now, so I finally wrote it down today.
I hope you enjoy this and you'll let know what you think. Suggestions, Questions and critique are always very welcome