and then there was panic
the morning after · 01/19 · 10:24AM

After rest, there was panic. After sleep, there was urgency in knowing. After bedding a woman tied to his past, there were knots that created more knots in his stomach. Heart in his throat, chest barely containing its air intake, he stood inches away from the bed after quickly fumbling for his side piece. Cold steel was cradled into his hands as the color from his face drained slowly. Pointing from the door, the duffle bag, to the exit out of his room, and back to the bed. Glasses with whiskey residue remained, bottle beside it sitting with quarter of its contents left. Dry mouth spat out words, covered in explicit nature. His mind sped faster than he could stop on one memory. Brows furrowed, eyes closed tightly, hammered from a headache that split down the back of his head and towards the bridge of his nose.

Senses overloaded him, hands now shaking while aiming towards the bed. Sheets wrapped around her, clinging to the shape he couldn't distinguish at first sight until locks of hair brushed away at her face. Etched in his immediate memory, it was her who he felt both hatred, and sadness for. Distant past was thrown in his face as their present was hanging in a balance with questions of the unknown. How did she get there? What happened? Who made this sick joke real? Nathan's brush with attacks from the past week crept up on him with pangs of a sharp tingle felt right under his rib, and a burning flash just beneath his right cheek.

Wildly searching for an item that would jog his memory other than the few things that seemed to piece together to highlight the event of the previous night, he came up empty. Clothes, dark in nature were thrown to the floor. A ski mask creeping from under the bed looked up at him with a wide smile. His other half mocked him from the other side of the veil. Pointing a proverbial finger in his direction, letting the clue simmer on the floor, ready to snap. He stepped back further, gun still trained on her, confused as what to do when he only wanted answers and the feeling of sickness not to expel over himself or the floor. Waking her up was key, but he was scared, fearing that releasing a shot, maybe in the air would push this situation to conclude faster instead of waiting with tension searing through the air.

"El, get the fuck up, now.."

Voice was low, heavy with a growl, barking an order that could rattle a person from any depth of a slumber. The movement left him still, waiting for her to do something. Say anything, instead he got a similar reaction that he revealed. Eyes remained on her, never leaving to check the door, or leave out of his room to check his loft for the presence of anyone else. His voice rose again, begging her to get up when he needed answers from what flashed in a bang of shredded pieces, of events that put him in places he had little to no recollection of being. Including dinner, and rummaging through a home he had no memory of knowing of but understood the both of them left a cold body behind. His gut lurched, rumbled with queasiness thinking about what he possibly had a hand in. Not a moment later, he was less distracted by his own sickness and mind with her state of slumber being disrupted by his brand of hysteria.

"How did you get here? What in the hell is going on, 'El? Start talking." he stuttered the last few words, unable to get out her name when there was a possibility that he did during a night of killing, and unbridled passion.

"What the fuck, Nate?! Don't point that thing at me," were her words shouting back at him and he continued to point. Shaky with the hold until slowly bringing it low, but not too close that steel brushed against his bare form. He searched around his feet for underwear, fuming to himself trying to get a handle on things. Neither his head nor her presence allowed for it, but he still found a groove the moment he hopped into the material without the effects of what seemed to be the worst hangover ever, putting him on his ass. One hand held his firearm; other fell to his face to brush away the sweat, which highlighted his grief.

"I need answers. I don't know what is going on. How this..we, how this fuckin' happened. What happened last night?!"

"I don't know, I don't know...Put it away already!"

Nathan slowly dropped his arm, realizing it would do neither of them justice to waving his gun around as if a sin had been committed against him when they both, mainly himself had sinned the worst. The offense was unsettling but how the point was reached, made him feel that weakness in the knees all over again, especially in a bad joint. He couldn't stand as straight or focus in on her without seeing red. The urge to tear through the entire room stepped forward when he stepped back to lean against the wall to hold him up. Falling apart in the midst of a crisis was one thing; doing so as there being a witness present was another. Head bowed between his shoulders, as he was unable to say anything without coming out of his mouth with words that might drive her closer on the deffense as he was barely hanging on.

His air seemed to lessen in the heat of Monday's morning shuffle. Eyes rose slowly towards the ringing of a phone. Moving wasn't happening when it wasn't his mobile device or the landline, but hers. As a standoff between them took pause, the drumming of his pacing heart rung louder in his ears than a faint but all recent memory of gunshots that initially woke him from his sleep.