Author: Prairie24 PM
A short post-episode piece for "Penny From Heaven" and "Counterfiet Love."Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship - Words: 854 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-15-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5444861
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Rin Tin Tin K-9 Cop/Katts and Dog isn't mine.
Author's Note: Post-ep for "Penny From Heaven" and "Counterfeit Love"
Late Saturday Afternoon
Hank Katts was miserable. He could hear the happy voices of his son, Steve, and his best friend Renee floating in from the yard where they were grilling burgers. Hank sighed and felt tears sip down his cheeks. Anyone entering the kitchen probably would have thought they were from the onions he was slicing at the kitchen table.
Only Hank knew otherwise. He let his mind wander back over the last few weeks - back to Alicia. Hank sighed again. Alicia had been something else – cute, quirky, sweet, adventurous. And he, Hank, had been gullible. Alicia's father was a mobster, and he'd made sure that Hank had no place in her life. She'd let Hank know that, too. He had just been a fling.
But to him it hadn't been a fling. He had been in love. Wiping at his eyes with his sleeve, Hank stood to wash his hands. He supposed his problem was that he trusted too quickly. He'd been that way when he was younger, too. His brother, Fred, and Fred's friends were forever tricking him. Hank snorted and startled his dog, Rinty, who was napping in the corner of the kitchen. "You'd think I'd have learned by now," Hank told Rinty who looked at him quizzically without moving a muscle. Hank shook his head.
Hank jumped and turned around. "Renee, I didn't hear you come in."
Renee smirked. "I know. You were too busy talking to Rinty."
Hank grinned and turned to the counter, busy transferring the onions to another plate. Renee could always make him smile.
Renee leaned her elbows on the counter and watched Hank quietly for a moment before speaking up. "So, how are you doing?"
Hank panicked and changed the subject; he didn't want to talk about Alicia. He didn't want Renee to see how much he was hurting. "Don't you need to check the burgers?"
"Steve is watching the burgers."
Hank had the look of a deer caught in the headlights. Renee walked around the table and placed a gentle hand on Hank's arm. "Come sit down and talk with me."
Hank knew when he was trapped; Renee could be very persistent. He sat the plate of onions on the counter and allowed Renee to lead him to the table. Rinty followed and leaned his head on Hank's knee as if to lend him support.
Hank shifted nervously in his chair and refused to look Renee in the eye. Instead, he carefully examined each and every fingernail and the grain of wood in the table.
Renee plunged in. "Have you talked to Alicia?"
"No," Hank shook his head. "She tried to call two nights ago, but I wouldn't accept the call." It was no use opening old wounds; Hank knew there could never be anything between he and Alicia now, not with her father in the mob.
Renee reached out to squeeze Hank's arm. "I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, Hank. I wish there was something I could do to make it better."
Hank finally looked up at her and smiled; this time the smile reached his cool blue eyes. "Thanks, Renee."
"You know, Hank, I was worried."
Hank looked confused. "About me?"
"Well, not you, exactly. I was worried that you and Alicia would get serious."
Hank's mouth immediately went dry and his eyes widened. He tried to study Renee's face, but now she was the one who wouldn't look him in the eye. He reached out to where her hand was lying on the table and slid his hand over hers. "Renee, Alicia and I are over – completely and totally over." Hank gave her hand a slight squeeze.
Slowly, Renee brought her eyes up to meet his. "I want you to be happy, Hank," she said softly.
"I know, and I will be. I'm lucky to have you in my life, Renee." Hank suddenly found he couldn't tear his eyes from her face.
"Hey guys, the burgers are ready," Steve yelled, appearing in the doorway.
Hank and Renee both jumped guiltily, and Hank released Renee's hand. The atmosphere in the kitchen was tense. Steve looked back and forth between the two adults, realization dawning that he had interrupted something.
Before he could back out of the kitchen gracefully, Renee stood. "Let's eat; I'm starved," she announced. Renee hurried out the door, leaving Hank and Steve to stare after her.
"Sorry, Dad," Steve grimaced apologetically.
Hank sighed and placed his hand on his son's shoulder. "It's okay, Steve. Come on." Hank picked up the plate of onions, and he and Steve followed Renee into the yard.
Hank's eyes studied Renee as she lifted the burgers off of the grill. He had a feeling things were going to get very interesting.