Kayla wasn't sure how she had gotten there in the first place; work had gotten the best of her that night, and her walk had quickly turned into one much longer than she'd anticipated. Before she even realized it, she found herself headed in a very familiar direction, one that she had not been to in months. She had sat outside the bench near TJ's home for a very long time, part of it thinking of everything that had happened that day, part of it wondering why she still did what she did, and the rest of it talking herself in and out of just going to see him. She still wasn't quite sure if she had won or lost, but there she was.

Knock. Knock.

As soon as her hand touched the door to TJ's home, she knew there was no more turning back and heading in the opposite direction toward where her apartment currently was. She could still remember when that had been her home as well, and try as hard as she might, she couldn't pretend that she still didn't miss it. It had been months, but ten years was a very long time to try and forget. In all reality, she knew she wasn't about to forget -- she might move past it, but certainly not forget.

Part of her knew she was making a mistake by being there; all she had wanted that night was to clear her mind, and in spite of everything, he was still her friend, but she also knew whether they were together or not, he would always be the man she spent the last decade of her life with. Truthfully, there were days when she still wondered.

She was brought out of her thoughts by the sound of the door opening, and she couldn't help the smile that touched her lips, however small it was. Pushing her hair out of her face, she gave a small shrug of her shoulders, "You said you'd have time to listen.. the silent line after you fell asleep wasn't quite going to cut it.." She tried making it come off as a joke, but she really was only half kidding. "So.. Hi?"

TJ was settled into the corner of his leather couch, a bowl of potato chips in his lap while he read a novel he'd picked up from the book store a couple of days ago. He wore lounge pants and a simple white t-shirt. The heat was on in the house to ward off the chill outside and he was quite comfortable, legs stretched out in front of him and crossed at the ankle. He wasn't expecting anyone, so the knock on his door quite startled him. He frowned, set his book down on the coffee table face down so to keep from losing his place and the bowl of chips followed.

He stood and padded quietly to the door, peering through the peep hole to find Kayla standing on his porch. Surprised, he threw the deadbolt and opened the door, stepping back a bit. He was about to open his mouth and ask her what she was doing there when she supplied the answer. He closed his mouth, smiled and nodded, "Of course, come in." They were friends, after all, and he had told her that he would listen any time she needed to talk.

He led her into the living room and gestured for her to sit wherever. There were a couple of leather chairs that matched the couch and a rocking chair that looked very out of place. But she was also more than welcome to sit next to him on the couch, too. "Do you want something to eat or drink? I've got wine."

Kayla had been outside for the better part of an hour, but it wasn't until she finally made it into TJ's home that the chill of the night hit her. She had been so distracted by her own thoughts, and so unsure about what she was about to do that she had not paid any attention to just how cold it really was. Now on the other hand, now that she was in the warmth of his house, she welcomed it. Pulling her jacket closed, and her arms wrapped around herself, she followed him inside. It wasn't that she had expected him to not open the door -- pretend he was asleep or something -- but she was certainly glad that he didn't seem too care too much that she was sthere.

Taking a look around the place she once upon a time called home, she smiled a little to herself. Not much had changed, really. A few things were missing -- things she'd known he'd never been a fan of in the first place, and that rocking chair that she both loved and hated was still there. It had always been her go to seat when she was home alone, and she always found herself wondering why she would choose it out of all the other more comfortable seats around. "I can't believe I forgot the love-hate relationship I had with that thing.." She laughed quietly, nodding in the direction of the rocking chair as she took what she had claimed as 'her spot' on the couch so many years ago. It wasn't necessarily that she was trying to be next to him, though the idea didn't quite bother her, but old habits were simply hard to break.

One thing that she had forgotten was just how easily he could change her mood. It would always go one of two ways -- he'd either get her in a better mood simply by being there, or she'd go in the opposite direction and not be able to control her anger. That night, while she wouldn't go as far as say she was in the best and happiest of moods, he managed to make her smile, even if just a little bit. In all reality, she wasn't exactly too sure what she was doing. She wasn't sure she was ready to vent -- it wasn't really something he had to deal with any longer, and she didn't want to put that on him. What she truly believed was she had needed to see him -- not so much because she missed him, even though she did, but because of who he had been before they had started a relationship. She needed a reminder of why she loved her job so much, and why she wasn't ready to give that up.

Looking over at him once she was seated, she finally took the sight of him in. It wasn't that she wasn't paying attention before, because she usually always was, but she had been too distracted, and if she ever would admit to it, almost nervous about being there. They had been friends a long time ago, but that was the first time that she had gone to see him as just that since they had broken up. 

Answering his question, she rubbed her hands over her arms, trying to warm her body once more. "I'm not really hungry, no.. thank you, though." Thinking about it for a second, she added, "I wouldn't be too against wine, though.. definitely a lot nicer on me tomorrow than what I'd be hitting if I was home right now.." It was part of the reason she had not stayed home; if she was alone she would have more time to think, and a lot more time to get herself into trouble. "So.. I interrupt anything important?" She asked, knowing full well what the answer was by the look of the book and chips nearby. She was reaching, she knew that, but she needed something other to talk about than her work issues -- at the very least for the time being.

TJ felt an odd sense of nostalgia hit him like a wave as soon as he saw Kayla standing in the living room once again. She was looking around, as if to see what had changed, and it shocked him to think that very little had changed with the exception of her things being gone. He was not a man who appreciated change. He didn't get restless and move things around or add things he didn't need. He was happy with the way the house looked, even if he missed some of the things she had taken with her. Never the rocking chair, though. He laughed and nodded at her comment about it and waited until she was seated. When she was, he nodded at her request for wine.

He disappeared shortly, grabbing a bottle from the wine rack in the corner of the kitchen counter and popping it open. He took down two glasses and filled them halfway with the dark liquid, then carried them into the living room to sit down next to her on the couch, holding out her glass to him. "It probably needs to breathe a minute before you go for it," he warned and then lifted his feet and rested them on the coffee table. He shook his head to her question. "No, nothing that can't wait." He felt that way about most entertainment. It wasn't as if he were in the middle of working. It was reading and he would always be able to pick up where he'd left off when she was gone. He leaned forward and retrieved the bowl of chips. "But if you don't mind, I think I'll finish my snack," he said with a smile, putting a chip in his mouth and chewing.

He noted the way she was rubbing her arms and he reached for the blanket that lay across the back of the couch and draped it across her lap. "You look like you could use a little warming up. I didn't hear a car, did you walk?" If she'd walked in the cold, he knew that something was really bothering her. She could be pretty reckless, but she didn't usually willingly put herself in danger. The temperature could drop really quickly in Colorado and he knew she knew that, so whatever it was that was weighing on her mind, it was something that would distract her enough from taking a car instead of walking.

Getting comfortable on the couch, Kayla glanced over in his direction as he walked over to the wine, then finally settle down on the couch himself. Taking the glass he offered her, she smiled, and had to shake her head at his comment. "Since when has what I said kept you from eating your food..?" She laughed as she said that, half tempted to steal a chip from his bowl. It was certainly something she would have done under different circumstances as that had always been her normal -- told him she didn't want food then take his. It was those simple things that she missed the most; it was actually those simple things that she needed at that moment.

Swirling her glass of wine, she brought it up to her face, taking in the scent of it. She wasn't the biggest wine drinker around, but it was something she always did, regardless of where she was. It had been one of the things she'd always been teased about. Taking a sip of the drink she sent a small smile in his direction, "Thanks.." She said motioning to the wine. It might not have been as strong as she'd originally planned on that night, but it did the trick, and she was sure the company was better than it would have been elsewhere. ".. saved me from a bottle of Jack and a shitty bar."

Reaching for the blanket he'd place over her, she brought it up to cover most of her lower body. She might not completely admit to being in the wrong, but the jeans she'd chosen to wear that night weren't quite working at keeping her warm. She simply shrugged her shoulders at his question. He knew her well enough that there really was no sense in lying to him. "It was either the bike or walking...if I took the bike I would have probably been that dumbass who ate a tree you hear about in the news... so, walking it was." She had already found herself in that situation once, a few years after finishing the academy, and she really didn't want to go through that again. "I was already that dumbass once.. not doing that again.."

Part of her wanted to treat being there like she would have in the past -- simply vent, have a few drinks, fall asleep on the couch, and wake up in the morning with it all behind her. The realist in her knew it wasn't going to happen, and she had to take what she could get. She was already sitting on his couch, which was more than she thought possible earlier that day. "You know.." She added, changing the conversation in a different direction. "I seriously contemplated a career change this morning.." It might have been more than she wanted to say about it at that moment, but she needed it out. At that statement, she brought the glass of wine to her lips and chugged it all, making a face as she did so. She always forgot how disgusting drinking wine so quickly was.

He nodded when she thanked him for the wine and he took a sip of his own to wash down the potato chip he'd just eaten. "I don't know, Jack and a shitty bar might have been more fun," he said, without knowing the real reason she was there. He offered her another smile and settled his arm on the armrest, holding onto his glass by the stem. It felt like the old days with her sitting on the couch next to him, drinking wine. If the television was on one of the shows they mutually liked, it would have been like deja vu. But he was aware that there was a little bit of a discomfort about this evening. Like they weren't sure exactly how to be around each other.

"You're that distracted, huh?" he asked when she mentioned that she might have driven into a tree if she'd taken anything but her feet out that evening. He would have hated to get that kind of a call and was grateful she'd decided to walk instead. He had known about her accident, but hadn't been around when it happened. "At least you know your limits," he said distractedly, trying not to envision her wrapped around a tree. "I'd rather you didn't do that again, either." He glanced over at her and pulled the blanket up a little around her waist, tucking it between her and the couch, just to make sure it was warming it as efficiently as possible.

He raised an eyebrow at her sudden confession. He had been mid-sip when she said it and he lowered his glass to rest in his lap, watching her warily. She'd talked about doing other things before, but they had been passing thoughts, nothing she'd ever seriously considered. So it was almost alarming to hear her say that she'd thought about it so candidly. He grimaced when she downed the wine so quickly, but he sat forward and set the chips on the coffee table again, rising to go grab the bottle from the kitchen. He returned and held it out to her, offering to pour her more. "Maybe sip it this time," he suggested, setting the bottle on the coffee table and taking a chip to put into his mouth. "Something happen that made you go that route with your thoughts?"

Part of her was on automatic at that moment, and when he refilled her glass, she gave him a smile they both knew wasn't the most sincere. Whenever she got in her head, it usually took a lot for her to finally come back to earth. She was a person who could overthink everything, and she knew that was exactly what she was doing at the moment. Almost as if on reflex, and without even realizing it, she let herself lean against him as he better positioned the blanket around her, her head resting against his shoulder. It was something he had done a million times before, and she felt an instant wave of sadness knowing there wouldn't be many more times like it.

At his question, she nodded her head, seriously contemplating just how much she planned on sharing with him. She knew that he would understand, he had after all been there for all of her ups and downs, but just like so many years before, she was embarrassed to admit that something had gotten to her so badly. Her job had always been a very important part of her life -- at times it had even gotten in the middle of their lives, and she didn't know how to tell him that something had seriously made her contemplate it. The realist in her knew that there was nothing she could have done to change it, but the rest of her couldn't help but feel guilty. She felt even worse at the realization that she had let their relationship suffer because of how dedicated she was to the job, and now somebody elses life was making her rethink her decision to stay.

Attempting to get comfortable on the couch, but too fidgety to succeed, she started to ask, "Have you ever made a decision that you know is right at the time..?" Biting down on her lip, she let out a slow controlled breath, trying to maintain composure. She had cried enough over the whole thing already, and she refused to do so anymore -- especially in front of him. In her eyes, crying was a sign of weakness, one that she didn't want him to see in her. Taking a sip of the forgotten glass of wine in her hands, she started again, hoping her voice wouldn't crack as she did so, "... only to find out that your decision had horrible circumstances for someone else?"

Kayla really did not want to talk about it, but at the same time she knew that if she didn't she would eventually break. She needed him to tell her she was being stupid, to tell her what happened would have happened regardless. In the back of her mind she knew that was the case, but every time she closed her eyes she could still see the young woman lying in a puddle of her own blood. "All day I have wanted nothing more than to just go back and do it differently.." Sighing softly, she closed her eyes, feeling the knot in her throat once more. ".. yet, at the same time, I know that I could never do it differently.. even given the opportunity.." She was certainly more confused than she cared to admit. She had only gone through that same confusion once before, but unlike now, she knew she had done the right thing -- this time she wasn't so sure.

Shaking her head, she took in a deep breath, tilting her head to look up at him, yet at the same time, hoping he couldn't see just how much everything was bothering her. Not knowing what else to say, but at the same time feeling like she should apologize for putting that all on him, and even more for feeling like she was betraying what they'd had by not wanting to give up her job in order to make them work, but contemplating it over a dead girl who she didn't even know. "I'm sorry I'm dragging you into all this.." She closed her eyes, pushing back the tears she didn't want to cry before he had the chance to see them. "I'm sorry this is making me want to leave... but couldn't put the job to the side to make us work.." She didn't want to say it, and she hated admitting to it, but at the end of the day she knew it was mostly her fault -- which only made the entire situation, and even him letting her be there even worse. "I'm really sorry.." She almost whispered that time, feeling like she had to say it again.