Ch. XV

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Shrill, cacophonous hisses were produced by your house telephone as you chose Kamski's number, praying to whatever divine force there may have been watching you that he was at home.

After putting in the number, you brought up the speaker to your ear, and held up the microphone to your mouth with the other trembling hand. You stifled your tears, crying silently, wiping the hot salty trails of liquid off with your sleeve as soon as they slid down your cheeks.

"Hello, this is Elijah Kamski speaking."

"Elijah...hi, I, it's (y/n). I'm...I'm glad you answered. I-"

"You don't sound alright."

"Brennan is- He- ugh, fuck, I...Brennan is dead. I-I just got a letter." Your voice burned your throat when you spoke. But something about hearing Kamski's perfectly calm voice was...soothing.

"Calm down, deep breaths. I-...I'm free at the moment. Do you want me to stop by?"

"That, that would be nice, actually. T-Thank you."

He hung up without another word, which made you let go of the speaker and the microphone, crashing down onto the floor, face hidden in your knees. You just wanted to weep until the whole world around you would disappear. You kept telling yourself that you weren't ever going to see your brother again, the truth always hitting you harder than before. Your brain kept denying it. Denying the fact that you would never see Brennan again. It was stupid, but when your bedroom door creaked open, you hoped-no, you prayed- it would be Brennan, smiling cheekily as he always did. But it wasn't-of course it wasn't.

"Assistant?"

Connor.

"I...You need to leave." You answered. And that was true-not only because you wanted to spend these seemingly eerie, never ending moments with someone that was capable of understanding grief, but also because Kamski was not going to be happy if he were to find Connor at your place.

"I just saw the letter." He spoke up. "If I had known, I...I wouldn't have forced you to talk. I can understand if you want to be alone."

"I never gave you permission to-" You began, then stopped yourself. Connor probably didn't have any ill intentions when he tried to find out what had upset you. Telling him off like that felt...wrong.

"Sorry, assistant. I promise it won't happen again, and that I'll be on my way." He spun on his heels, closing the door behind himself and left. Without another word.

God, why did everything have to be so complicated? Why did Brennan have to leave? Why did he have to die? Why did you become so harsh on Connor?

Overwhelmed by emotions, you hugged your legs closer, pressing your eyes closed, tear-soaked eyelashes clinging together as you buried your face in your knees.

You stayed like that for God knows how long, until someone knocked at the door. Even summoning the force to stand up was near impossible, and dragging yourself to the door turned out to be even more draining than that. As soon as you opened the it, you had almost crashed into the person's arms-Kamski.

"I'm so sorry, I..."

Witty, icy eyes rested on your face knowingly and comfortingly.

"It's alright." He answered. "May I come inside?"

"Yeah, please..." You moved aside to let him enter.

"You look exhausted. Go and sit down somewhere. I'll make us some tea."

You could barely nod and drag yourself to the living room, letting yourself fall onto the couch. Only minutes later, Kamski returned, holding two cups. He had used to visit you rather often back in the day, and it seemed like he hadn't forgotten where everything was.

He offered the cup to you as you shakily took it from him, setting it in your lap.

"I know you don't want me to feed you sugarcoated lies. I'm not about to tell you Brennan is in a better place, or that there must be a specific reason he passed away, or that he died a hero's death. No one knows how he passed. Whether it was heroic, or cowardly. But I want you to know, (y/n)..." Elijah sighed, closing his eyes for a second before looking back at you. "I want you to know that I am here for you. I made a promise to your brother when he enrolled, and I am going to keep it."

"Thank you." You answered weakly. It was pathetic to find yourself in such a state, but you could not summon the needed energy to change your situation. Not at that moment.

"Drink up." Elijah instructed and sat down next to you. Obediently, you brought the steaming cup to your lips, taking a sip. The warm beverage washed down your throat, loosening the knot that hardly allowed you to breathe, and helping you swallow back your tears. "You've got all of today and tomorrow to rest. On Monday, I want you back on your feet and working. I will make sure not to burden you too much, but you're going to need something to take your mind off of Brennan. Staying productive is the best thing you can do."

Elijah was right, as always. How could you ever have doubted him? Questioned him? Because of a missing memory drive! It seemed-no, it was ridiculous. Everything Elijah had done up until then was for a specific reason, and you knew you could count on him. He was all you had left of your brother, after all.

"Thank you, Elijah. For everything."

"You're welcome." Softly, he laid one hand on your shoulder, the heat of his palm radiating through your clothes.

Yes, he was your boss, but he was also family. Or the closest thing you'll have to family ever again. Reluctantly, you rested your forehead against his shoulder, closing your eyes shut as you inhaled a fragile breath.

"It's alright. Everything is going to be alright." The warm hand from your shoulder moved to your back, holding you close. In that moment, you realized that all you needed was someone warm, and someone that understood. And although Connor may have not been that person, Elijah was.

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