(1938-10-19) Coming Clean
Details for Coming Clean
Summary: After a dramatic turn of events Phil breaks up with Laurence and keeps her promise to someone else.
Date: 19 October 1938
Location: Flights of Fancy Broomshop, South Verdic Alley, London
Related: Healer for a Broken Heart, Awkward Devastation

Flights of Fancy Broomshop

Stepping into a dream, the atmosphere in the room show room has polished white pine floors and soft creamy white carpets embroidered with exotic designs of gold, silver and black thread. when visitors look up, the ceiling has been bewitched to resemble the sky just above the clouds and there's a faint breeze in the room, cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter, adding to the fantasy of being up there amongst the clouds. Seats are provided around tables, each table about the length of a broomstick and the seats cushioned like lounge chairs with soft white upholstery and they match the two couches in the waiting area near the entrance of the shop. Daily periodicals and Quidditch magazines can be found and are easily accessible along with some thicker books about the history of Quidditch and other broom related topics. Exotic and fragrant teas are offered to customers as they browse or sit in consultations.

The backdrop for the front desk are all images of modern day Quidditch players who have agreed to try, use, and model certain broom models that were made for them or their teams. There are also large sketches and drawings of brooms and the like framed and placed within strategic view, displaying the artist's talent and appreciation for the crafts that are for sale. The front desk is made from the same polished white pine that the floor is, a sturdy flat surface long enough to rest several brooms upon and wide enough to service and examine things as needed.

The broom displays are the stars of the room however, sorted by function and price…there are racing brooms, brooms made for families, even brooms made for young children to name a few. Pre-Made brooms can be found on display in various points in the room but the majority of brooms that are on display are samples of the base designs that customized brooms can and will be made from based on customer need or demand. Moving pictures and posters are framed and placed strategically on the walls between, beside or above displays showing images of Quidditch players in history and other notable flyers. There are desk displays with little Quidditch accessories and Momentos, the occasional pairs of gloves or goggles for sale along with some sort of baked good…cake or pie, sometimes even tarts and the like under a glass cover for customer access.

It took a while for Phil to get free from her interview and make her way to the shop, but that doesn't diminish the concern on her face when she arrives in the evening. Dressed for the cold weather she pushes back the hood of her red velvet cloak and looks around, breathing in deeply.

The shop is closed for the day…but Laurence isn't the type to just lay in bed all day so it isn't locked up. He sits behind his front desk occasionally sipping from a glass of odd colored liquid or taking a sip of tea. He wears a loose fitted white linen shirt with a pair of dark grey trousers…his hair tousled and eyes tired. He looks up from his paperwork at the charming coo that signals an arrival and just blinks and nods politely.

Hands in the pockets of her cloak, Phil walks over to the desk. "I got an owl that said you were in the hospital, but when I went there they said I wasn't family and wouldn't tell me anything. So I poked around a bit and annoyed the reception witch until she admitted you were no longer a patient." She looks him over. "What happened? Are you alright?"

Laurence just nods slowly. "I was discharged with some potions." He explains softly coughing softly and taking another sip of his drink with a wince. "Did your interview go well?"

"Potions?" Phil comes around the back of the desk and reaches out to rest her hand against his shoulder. "Potions sounds bad, Laurence." She sighs and shakes her head, "No, my interview was a pointless hassle. I went all the way to Wales to interview someone from the ministry only for him to dance around me and refuse to speak to me about anything sensible."

"I am sorry to hear that Philomena." Laurence replies softly before taking a deep breath and shakily patting the hand on his shoulder and taking another sip of his drink. "Thomas told me about you and him. So please let him know i will come to repair things later…"

"That wasn't his place, it was mine." Phil reaches up and strokes his hair, sighing heavily as she does. "I tried the whole open relationship thing, but I'm not quite good at it." She lets her hand fall away and sits down hard on the edge of the desk. "At first it was just attraction and flirting, harmless. Then I realised I had feelings for him, but that's not - I have been struggling with your past Laurence. With my feelings for who I thought you were and who you are and…it is too much for me. I thought I was mature enough, experienced enough, worldly enough but I'm not and you deserve someone who is."

Laurence just listens calmly. "When I was with you…I didn't touch another woman." He admits with a shrug before quickly getting to his feet and cringing before sitting down. "Aye…after i finally trusted you and began to share my path you never looked at me the same. Hazel…Gala..I should know the signs by now. If i am truly happy and wanting to sacrifice everything…wanting to spend my life for a woman..I know what will happen. My truth is my curse.." He trails off. "You owe me nothing Philomena…you are with a man who can give you everything you need and want. So be happy."

"I know you were faithful," says Phil softly. "I never doubted your feelings for me Laurence. That was never the issue." She holds her hand out to him. "You are an amazing man who is loving and kind and deserves a woman who is delicate and looking to be treated like a treasured flower. Then your thoughtfulness and tenderness will be everything she needs. But, she also needs to know the truth from the beginning." Phil looks at him imploringly, "It was too much to align my ideal of you, my vision of you with the reality."

Laurence just arches an eyebrow and smiles sadly shaking his head. "The truth is you never loved me…and that is okay. To suggest the reality clashed with your vision…that tells me as much. You loved the idea of me. Now you have a whole man you can love…so go and do that. This is what you want. I was making you a desk so you had a place to write when you came over…it was made from wood from that grove in Greece we slept in. I will have it sent to wherever you like when I finish polishing things. Now. Do you feel better?"

She looks down then, her dark hair falling forward to obscure her face. "I see." Phil slowly stands up and smooths down her cloak. "You don't need to give me anything Laurence." She walks towards the door then, pulling up the hood of her cloak as she makes to leave, heading to the door.

Laurence watches after Phil with a lost expression before he pushes himself to his feet. "I am trying so hard to give you what you want. I want to see you happy even if its not with me. You are the type of woman I would fight for if I didn't truly know it would hurt you for me to hold on. " He grunts and has to sit down with a want. "I gave you gifts before we were together and I still would because that is what friends do! Damnit you say that do you see but you make it seem like me giving you something is something I feel pressured to do." Elbows on the desk he leans his into his hands choking back a sob. "What do you want…"

Phil stops, her hand on the door handle. Her back stiffens as his words bite into her. She turns and looks over at him. "You just told me I never loved you, which means I clearly never knew my own feelings. That is insulting. Then you turn around in the next breath and tell me how you are giving me what I want?" She pinches the bridge of her nose. "I am trying to be dignified here, Laurence. The moment I knew I was capable of possibly developing real feelings for someone else I decided to speak to you. You deserved to hear it from me first and I am sorry and will always be sorry that you did not. I can't take it back and I can't make it better." She rubs a tired hand over her face, "And I am sorry that I wasn't perfectly content with what we had. Something was missing for me and I thought maybe you felt that way too." She pulls the door open. "I am sorry Laurence, very sorry. I never wanted to hurt you and I don't want to cause you any further pain. You decide where you want to go from here and let me know."

Laurence just blinks and blinks again. "That's what you said…you said that you could not align what you saw as an idea and then reality. That you thought you could handle it…and you could not." He just shakes his head and sighs. "I am not trying to insult you. I just don't want you to ever feel sorry for following your heart. You developed feelings and didn't tell me and you gave yourself to that man. You sat together as I came in to that shop and I made a fool of myself telling Thomas how much I loved you and thanking him for being a good friend. So never say sorry. I am sorry you did not feel you could share any doubts or fears or possible feelings towards another. I want you two to be happy…together and that is where we are. I will always be here as a friend. That? Will never change."

"He didn't know, Laurence. He didn't know it was you. He knew there was someone, I told him that at the beginning but he never knew who because I hadn't spoken to you yet. I thought I could be mature enough to handle being involved with both of you and I couldn't." She laughs bitterly and looks out the window, "Believe it or not I was planning on telling you today. I knew things had gone too far and I owed it to you to be honest. Blame me, recriminate me but Thomas is innocent in this. He genuinely likes you." Her mouth opens and closes like a fish and then Phil says quietly, "Then let us part as friends. I am sorry you became ill. I'm going to go now. Take care of yourself, Laurence."

Laurence says, "I like Thomas." Laurence shrugs and nods slowly. "Be safe." He closes his eye and offers a small smile."

"Goodbye Laurence." Phil looks at him one last time and walks through the opened door.

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