See what it's like to be a vulture's lunch
He should have anticipated this really. Maybe he had. He supposed, if he thought about it, deep down he had expected exactly this and yet a tiny part of him had hoped that maybe that distance and time he'd been away from his family might have...softened them. In the least it might have made them more cordial to his presence and yet things were as bad as they had ever been. His Father as unwavering in that commanded to just get out as he had been the first time he'd ever yelled it. His Mother's tears were new and yet was that how far he'd pushed them? To this....breaking point? He'd been a damn fool to expect anything less and yet, worst of all, a tiny part of himself was almost sure he deserved it. At least some of it. Was it really too late to try and fix it? If he could talk to them for even just a minute he could explain and maybe they could see he wasn't the same person he had been when he had left all those years ago. He really had changed (in more ways than one) and yet, maybe this time, it really was too little to late. Maybe this time there really was no second chance. Although really he supposed it would be his hundred and second chance if he was fair about it. He really was different this time though and yet it didn't seem like he was going to get the chance to prove it. Not with his family staring at him like he was some sort of hell creature in their living room. His Father's near threnteing steps towards him the very last straw he was capable of taking- at least with relative silence.
He could feel his lip curly back from his fangs and yet he hardly had a chance to stop it before that feral hiss was spat out. That sound very much a warning and a threat all at once. That predatory part of himself unwilling to allow anything he perceived as a threat to be within range of Abigail. His Father stopped near instantly at that sound, his features seeming to pale all the more and yet that shouting fell from him again, that sound very near a blur to Arlo's own ears. He was aware of that yelling, his mothers crying, his sisters frantically beating heart as that situation simply seemed to get worse and worse with every passing moment. God it was like he was sixteen again. This scene far more familiar then he cared to admit- although the hissing was new. Arlo shifting to keep himself in front of Abby all the same. Those protective vampiric instincts refusing to allow even the chance of harm to come to her as unlikely as it was. At least until his Father's threat to call that Hunter Unit for the town. A threat he was mostly sure wasn't empty. Whatever brief slither of hope he'd held that maybe he could talk to them was rapidly fading until it simply no longer existed. This really was it. This really was the last time he was ever going to see them. He felt those words rise in his throat and die almost at the same time. That singular 'fine' uttered into that empty space before he moved to guide Abby toward the front door. That softly uttered sorry his Little Bear offered his family hardly missed and yet he said nothing off it.
He could almost feel that tension leave his girlfriend the moment they were free of the house and in that night air again. That breeze almost refreshing and yet Arlo's own thoughts had shifted to somewhere else entirely. His body feeling almost numb, his movements on autopilot as he helped Abby load that car before passing the keys to her with the simple instruction to start it. Her insistence that his going back was surely not a good idea echoed somewhere within his ears and yet his feet mounted those steps of the verandah all the same. Arlo pushing that front door open again to step back into the hallway of his childhood home for the very last time. He was hardly gone for more than a few moments, his mothers scream of alarm echoing across the street and yet he hardly stopped. Arlo stepping back outside with that new prize in hand before crossing back over to the car and slipping into the passenger seat with that near emotionless insistence Abby could drive now. His Little Bear hardly seeming confident as she pulled away from the curb to follow the directions of the overly cheery GPS.
The car suddenly seemed as nearly oppressive as the house had been, that silence so loud it was almost suffocating. He could see the tension in Abby's hands, that worry in her face- he could hear that erratic thump off her heart and he was sure he didn't deserve it, not any of it. He didn't deserve her worry or her concern or any of these things he.....he deserved what he got from his family. He'd been stupid to expect anything less and yet it hurt. All of it hurt so much more then he'd thought it would after all this time. That fragile and failing last thread of hope he'd had for his family having been utterly obliterated tonight- right before Abby's eyes. Was there nothing he could do right? Of all the things for her to see it had to be that? And now she was upset for him. If she knew the truth she'd surely have sided with his parents. Well, maybe. She deserved that explanation and yet the very thought of having her look at him the way his mother had, or his sister, was as terrifying as it was painful. God he really was a fucking coward. They were right. All of them. Anyone who'd ever called him that.
His eyes blinked near furiously in an effort to hold back those tears as he reached into that bowl at his lap. The faintest flicker of amusement, as ridiculous as it was, seeming to find him then as he plucked that apple from it. God, he'd reached a new low, stealing a damn fruit bowl and yet, somehow, it made this night better. In the very least he'd kept one promise to the person he cared most about and perhaps the only person he had left. That apple suddenly held towards her with that gentle query laced with emotion he desperately held back. Abigail's own distress perhaps deeper then he'd truly anticipated. The Little Panda pulling up to that stoplight only to burst into tears with his name on her lips. A flicker of surprise finding his own features as he wiped hurriedly at his own blue gaze.
"Don't cry Ab's, it's....it's ok. Babe, if you cry I might cry and then we're going to be those people who cried over an apple in the middle of the night and I...god we're already there."
It was already too late. He could feel that wetness to his gaze as much as he could hear that shake to his voice and maybe......maybe for just a minute it was ok to be those people. In the dark. In the car. With an apple. Who cried. Arlo hardly saying anything for several long moments. The vampire attempting to use his sleeve to wipe at his eyes, the light turning to green and yet Abby hardly moved and he hardly made an effort to tell her too. Arlo at last reaching into the back seat of the car for one of his old shirts to pass it to her to at least dry her own eyes in a more dignified fashion. His voice, this time, having regained at least some of that composure it usually held.
"C'mon Ab's, your not going to be able to see the road like that eh? It's alright, you know what? We don't have to go back there again and it's over for now. I knew it would be like that and I shouldn't have let you come. I'm sorry. Here, let me..."
She would, he knew, surely insist that apology was hardly needed and yet it hardly stopped him from saying it. He'd ruined that relationship with his family entirely. He could still try and salvage this one right? That ache in his chest so hard it felt almost heavy and yet.....somehow there was relief too. As strange as that was. Relief that maybe it really was over. Arlo reaching gently over to brush his thumb across her cheek and wipe several of those tears away for her. The Crusnik attempting that slightly shaky grin. Now....was hardly the time to tell that whole story, maybe there would never be a good time but, she deserved something, didn't she?
"I was....different when I was younger. I made my parents lives really hard. I put them through a lot. I did some really shit things Ab's and that was before I was a vampire. I think the vampire thing was all they could take when that happened and I probably....deserved that tonight. Maybe. At least, I don't blame them for how they were. I ruined their lives and I.....I'm not the same person I was back then, I promise. I ruined that though, with my family, it really is my fault, the things I did, so....so you don't have to be upset for me, yeah?"
He swept that final tear away, Arlo so attempting to make her feel...better and yet maybe this was hardly the way to do it- by insisting he hardly deserved her own emotion, his fingers brushing over her cheek with a clear affection before he settled back in his seat. This...was a hell of a night. That the most he had ever truly shared with anyone about who he'd been before and yet he knew it wasn't enough. It wasn't nearly good enough and yet he could hardly bring himself to tell her all of it. At least not here and now. A sudden, bizarre and yet genuine smile finding his features then as he glanced back towards his girlfriend.
"We just cried over an apple."
And that, it seemed, was enough to bring back just enough of that simper to his lips, that soft chuckle rising within his throat before he gestured to that light that had changed back to red and back to green again in that time. Hell, it was lucky they didn't have any other cars on the road. Arlo waiting for Abby to drive forward again as the GPS finally stopped commanding they they turn, satisfied they were actually going the way it wanted before it continued to rattle off directions to that hotel. They were hardly far. Only a few minutes drive into the next town. Arlo suddenly glad they'd picked something at least one town over from where his family called home. The Crusniks hand lifted once more, brushing his eyes a final time, his gaze glancing down towards that bowl in his lap. Well- it would look good on his table at home right? It was probably about time he had one, given the amount of time Abby spent at his place. Arlo speaking suddenly then.
"You know what? I reckon we should hit that hot tub when we get there. This looks it here, on the left..."
Midnight be damned. Surely they deserved to do something nice tonight right?