I had no idea what Bane was doing, but having her arms around me felt... I don’t know. I’d missed it. no one else had been able to make me feel like I was at home since her, but like this, I was instantly there, safe and where I needed to be. Her apologies were sobbed out into my fur and I wanted to just give in and let her back in my life like nothing had happened. But I couldn’t. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t let myself do that. She’d hurt me so much and left me so vulnerable.
After a while, before I could let myself get too attached to her again, I stood up, signalling to her to stay put. She sat up but otherwise obeyed, waiting for me as I clambered up stairs, changing back as quietly as I could into my human form. I threw on some clothes and padded back down stairs, forcing myself to go back into the room where she was.
She shuffled away from me slightly and I cleared my throat awkwardly. Why was she moving away from me? Did I scare her?
"So what're you plans?"
"I don't know, I don't know," she murmured, shaking her head. "I'll stick around, for you."
"You don't have to do anything because of me. We're in the twenty first century now, you can make up your own mind," I muttered, with no real idea of what to say to her. I’d been dreaming of the day she’d return to me, imagining it as one of those loving reunions you see in the movies, but now it was really happening, I had such an overwhelming mix of emotions I could barely breathe. Hate, betrayal, longing, a love that I’d tried so hard to crush. I wanted to hide from it all; I didn’t want to have to make the choice. I wanted the numbness of alcohol.
"I'm not doing it as I feel as a female I have to stay here. I want to stay. If you'll have me, I want you. I want Bane."
"I don't know yet," I told her. I didn’t know anything.
"I understand that, you need time to think," she nodded, "I don't want to let you go though." She was reaching out for my hand. I didn’t move away from her, but I didn’t take hers either. She took it and kissed the back of it. “It'll have to do," she smiled slightly. "Do you want me to let you think alone?" I nodded dumbly. She paused for a moment, gazing at me before hanging her head and giving my hand a squeeze. "Okay," she left slowly, as if deliberately dragging the aching silence between us out. She kept a hold of my hand for as long as she possibly could, letting go only when she really had to.
My hand fell back down at my side, limp and tingling with the sensation I hadn’t felt in so long. I didn’t know what to do. Both Bane and I wanted her back so badly, but neither of us could really trust her again. After all that had happened, how could we? We’d fought so much in the time we were together as it was, and then the final blow had been when we’d ended up having kids, which meant her leaving altogether. We’d been through so much.
I felt like curling back up under that tree and never coming back out of the woods. Or getting drunk. Or both.
Instead, I found my feet taking me outside, and my nose guiding me to those guys I’d been sat with on the bus.