It's snowing. Thick white flakes sink from leaden clouds, spiralling down, like my spirits. I should be happy, we're away from the hospital and we haven't been followed. But the stillness of the snow, the muted sounds of the distant traffic, a world away now, has made me thoughtful. And the coldness of the weather only matches the chill of my soul.
I'm stood on the loading bay still, the last of the drugs from the ambulance in my arms. Snow is starting to stick to the concrete in front of me, and there's a delicate blue tracery of veins, like the beginnings of ice on a pond, running up my hands and arms. I'm scared. And I'm scared to admit that.
Red -- Jeremy -- or whatever I have to call him next when Grozny reveals his real name, is injured and needs time to heal. We don't have that time any more, we're being hunted, surrounded. If I could hide him away I would, but I don't even know who I'm running from. Grozny is holding all the cards.
Q, poor Q. He thinks I've not noticed the look on his face but I have. He thinks I've betrayed him, I'm sure of it. If I'd had any idea what had happened to him, I'd have tried to do something earlier. I feel guilty when I think about him, and I'm avoiding him to avoid having to feel that guilt. He'll notice that soon, I can't keep getting Laika to check in on him.
And Laika, sweet little Puppy with her mysterious sign language that's driving me mad with incomprehension. Sometimes it seems like there's a connection between her and Red, other times I almost wonder if she's forgotten he exists. She's saved us, I think. I think. I also think that we're here with Russians, and I'm worried about that. If these aren't with Grozny, have we just wandered into the middle of a gang war?
I'm cold enough to shiver, but I'm not letting myself. I'm just watching the snow fall, watching it start to settle on the ground, knowing that soon the world will be blanketed in a clean, white layer. If only all my problems could be hidden away so easily.
There's a faint tapping above me, something rapping on glass, and I look up. Jeremy is at the window on the second floor, looking at me, concerned. He probably should be resting still, not up and worrying about me. I shrug without thinking, forgetting he'll be watching, not knowing that I'm shrugging away my thoughts, and then I smile up at him and carefully wave, balancing the drugs in the crook of my other arm.
It's time to go in, back to the warmth, confusion and chaos, and away from the blissful chill.