tuesday routine, same as last week. the same as the week before. rowan silently cursed herself from falling just slightly outside the unpredictable bubble, though praised herself for the idea that she was actually starting to get her shit together. long behind her the days of staying up til five, drinking and partying the night away. san diego had that effect on her in the beginning and had somehow morphed her into something that could be considered a passable, moderately responsible, adult.
look at her go.
even now, as she filed papers and made notes on a computer screen, her mind drifted to things she could do to progress in the job that she had quickly taken to. her boss, while not a complete joke, made mistakes. he did things that rowan would have done different and challenged her in ways that were usually in the vain of keeping her mouth shut. she often contemplated how differently she'd do things if she had her own office. carless thinking, really. she needed this time of exploration for how investigations worked and as much as she'd hate to admit it, she was learning things along the way. if you checked her top desk drawer, you may have even found a journal of notes.
the office was still quiet as ever and adequately fit the mold of what she might have wanted for her own. the shades were drawn to block the sun from glaring in on her. it was a drab space with only a few pieces of furniture, the door leading to the boss' office closed, light off. he was out doing some recon anyway. or something like that; rowan had neglected to ask as per usual. it wasn't exactly something she paid mind to until the paperwork landed on her desk. soft music played in the background, stolen from some coffeehouse playlist that she begrudgingly played because it gave her a weird calm. the vigilante she happened to be sharing a body with needed it.
that side of her felt stir crazy, however surprisingly at bay since she was still without abilities and anything that connected her to her mercenary self. there was nothing she could do, so she continued to take a back seat, proding rowan with her gripes about everything -- right down to the way her counterpart was wearing her hair these days. they had spent the better part of the morning arguing internally over what to wear and whether or not her friendly outing she had planned for the evening was anything more than that. being that she was even at work was an easy tell of which one came out the winner.
the voice was soft, yet smooth. a tone that triggered the hair on her arms to instantly stand on end. she knew that voice anywhere. she heard it in her sleep, her dreams, and now this moment that could turn into a nightmare. her heart began racing, threatening to burst from her chest as she became both uncharacteristicly emotional and terrified at the same time. slowly, her eyes turned up from her desk to the body in front of her she'd barely heard come in.
"mom?" she asked, hesitantly, her voice shaking. rose had seen this before and she knew it wasn't good.
it's not her. she pleaded with rowan who was in complete control, feeling her tremble, the tears welling up in her eyes, jaw clentching. all she saw was her mother, the woman she when she needed her the most, looking much like she did before she was sick. it was the way rowan preferred to remember her. she was so beautiful. it hurt her to just stand back and stare, knowing that rose had to be right. it wasn't possible. she came to terms with the fact her mother was gone years ago.
"it's me, love." and that voice would haunt her for longer than she'd admit.
rowan froze as she drew closer still. every fiber in her being unable to move as if she was in some sort of trace. perhaps it was awe. why was she there? why now? the strange happenings thus far hadn't effected her personally, but now that was all about to change. her mother reached for her, placing an unusually cold hand on her cheek which rowan couldn't help turn into with a long exhale. had she even bothered to breathe this entire time? movements stayed slow as the distance between them was closed.
for the first time in a while, rowan experienced a surreal twitch of emotion in the pit of her gut that was quickly snuffed out when the same hand that touched her went to her throat. as the panic reached her chest, she looked her mother right in the face. once perfect features had been replaced by decrepit grey flesh, seeminly melting from her face. rowan hadn't seen anything like it. she struggled, clawing at the hands in attempts to loosen the grip before she ran out of air.
rose attempted to take over, knowing that she was lacking certain strengths so she would have to make due with what she had to work with. grabbing a stapler in a quick move of desperation, she smashed it over the zombie's head. this thing wasn't lily okada and rose knew that, nor did she have any emotional connection to her. she jumped over the desk, but rowan's attention was suddenly diverted by a strange orange light coming from the floor beside her where a glowing ring had appeared out of nowhere.
NO! DON'T DO IT! rose screamed internally, though it was too late. rowan was already bending over and slipping the ring onto her finger as the zombie lunged at her. she covered her face with her hands, tackled to the floor. with a blast, the orange light filled the room, easily blowing the undead entity of her mother into a thousand pieces. pieces that she'd probably have to clean up eventually. pushing up onto her hands, she gasped for air, looking around in attempts to process what just happened.
she was in for an interesting week.