I had this written Tuesday night, but finally decided to edit it and post it. This is a variation of something I've been trying to write since the premiere, showin Walter and Paige deciding to repeal their declaration of "professional colleagues."
"So," Ray said, walking up to Walter as he sat on the low concrete wall with the juice box handed to him by one of the other volunteers, "tell me more about the day you had yesterday! It sounds intense."
"There's not much I can talk about," he said. "Government business and all."
"I heard you had a close call."
"Eh it was..." he shrugged. "It was nothing."
"Nothing? I wouldn't call that nothing."
"I just..." he shrugged. "I've been in too many of those situations. Eventually it just becomes..."
"I don't know if I could handle that," Ray admitted. "They say when you're about to die, you think of things. People. Things. Regrets. I already feel things so strongly, I feel like I'd just break down and spend my last moments hating how I've led my entire life. Though I guess..." he trailed off, shrugging. "I guess maybe I'd want to experience that once. That moment where you think it's all going to end, and you realize exactly what matters most. I've had such an odd life, Wally. It'd be nice to know exactly what, of all the things going on in my head, is what's most important."
"The greater good is always the most important." Walter cleared his throat. "No matter what. You have to stick to that. I know I can save more people. A lot more people. If things had gone differently yesterday..."
"Okay," Ray said, "but that can't be what you thought of."
"When you almost died," Ray said, taking a drink from the water bottle and wiping his mouth, "what went through your head? What did you fear you'll never get to do?"
Walter's lower lip slid under his top row of teeth, and he shifted his weight ever so slightly. "See," Ray said pointedly, " it's right there. Your answer to my question isn't 'the greater good'. It isn't 'oh gosh, there might be some random joe tomorrow that I won't be around to save'. That's not what you thought of yesterday and it isn't what you're thinking now." He shook his head. "What did you think about, Wally?"
"I'm not asking you to talk about it," Ray said. "I'm just saying, think about it. Think about what you wanted to do. And then..." he shrugged as if he was about to say the most obvious thing in the world, "then go do that."
It wasn't the first time she'd opened the door to unexpectedly see him there, but her response was the same. "Walter?" She stood aside, letting him in. He instantly turned to face her.
"I don't want to let it lie."
She cocked her head. "What?"
"Paige, I need to say something and I need you to just..." he held his hands up, "...just let me get it out. I don't want you looking sympathetic, I don't want you saying my name, I don't want to hear 'but' or any interjection of the sort."
She looked startled, but nodded. "Okay."
"I used to be worse at handling emotions," he began. "I used to have to race cars, risk death, complete dangerous, harmful, reckless acts in order to feel alive. Or in order to clear my head." He sucked in a deep breath. "Those careless pastimes used to keep me going, they were the only thing that both refreshed me and stimulated my mind, but now, uh..." he looked at the floor. "Now you...give me all of that. When I feel like I'm about to break, you...you just...exist, in the same space as I do, and I feel okay. Good." His eyes caught hers again. "Maybe not super clear headed because honestly...I'm still confused. I don't understand why everything about you makes me feel these things that I didn't even know I had the capacity to feel." He cleared his throat. "And I know that we agreed...that we we're professional colleagues, and that's the way things should be, but..." the combination of his earlier run and his nerves had left him panting. "But look back on us. On our relationship thus far. We aren't that. We're stuck between that and something else and I'm here to tell you that I don't want what we have now. I want to...to act. On how we feel. And stop pretending that that would somehow harm the greater good, because..." he shook his head slowly at her, his eyes taking her in in a way that drove her crazy, "because how in the world could this be something...bad?" He swallowed hard, feeling himself choke up. "It's taken me so long to really understand what this is. They don't get to tell me that it's wrong."
She smiled slightly. "It isn't wrong, Walter. Nothing you just said is wrong." She bit her lip, folding her arms, oddly thinking about the first time they stood like this, just inside her apartment. She shook her head slightly, clearing the memory, coming back to the now. "But...one thing you did say, before. Our feelings are destabilizing to the team."
"Maybe not," Walter said. "I mean, we have both gotten...distracted...on the job, by each other. It's human nature to crave something off limits. I think..." he shrugged again. "It might be worlds easier to be professional at work if we knew that once work was over..."
"You don't have to," Paige said quickly. "I know you're rationalizing this in a way that us acting on our feelings benefits the greater good and I'm not saying you're wrong but..." she stepped closer to him, her voice dropping. "You don't have to prove to me that this isn't wrong."
Then her hands were curling around his shirt just above where it was tucked in, his hands were on her back and his mouth met hers in between them, sending the same pleasant jolt through her that she'd felt the first time. And this time, he didn't pull away.