"I'm really sorry about this. I just can't focus on anything while Toby and Happy are suffering." Paige tried to explained herself for the third time in the last half hour. Since they had left the garage, her mind couldn't stop thinking about Happy, Toby and of course Walter. Her team was in pain, and she felt horrible being in a car with Tim going to Tahoe to a Jazz festival and leaving them when they needed her the most. Sure Toby had told her that he didn't want to talk to anybody and Happy usually was never up for a talk but still going away made her feel like she was deserting them.
However if she was entirely truthful Walter was the one person that she couldn't walk away from. The way he broke down in front of her about how he seemed to be thinking of her just like Paige kept thinking of him made her heart ache. For months now she was sure that Walter had moved on from their relationship or whatever they had, but now a ray of hope came charging in just to be destroyed by him at the same moment. Paige's mind kept replaying moments between them, little glances to each other when they thought the other one wasn't looking, the way Walter kept making the coffee just the way she likes it even when nobody else did, how he was such a good father figure for Ralph. The memories started flowing back with more intensity when a bump in the road suddenly made Paige come back to the present and realize that while she was reminiscing Tim had been talking to her which only made her feel worse about asking him to go back to the city. "Sorry, I got distracted. What were you saying?"
Tim took his hand from the wheel and gently put on Paiges hand giving her a little squeeze while giving her a small smile. "Don't worry Paige. I understand that is not the best time for us to go away, I'm actually really worried about them too. I know I only been with the team for a short period of time, but I actually thought Toby and Happy were perfect together."
Paige smiled at how concern he sounded, Tim was an amazing guy that keep proving to her how much he wanted to have a relationship with not only her but Ralph and in the context she was living the attention was more than welcome. Not many people could work with the team, she had learned rather quickly that what they saw like normal behavior translate like rudeness to the rest of the world including her on some occasions. As time went by Paige understood them better, and the fact that they helped Ralph open up not only to her but the rest of the world make her love them even more. When Tim came into the picture, she was amazed at how comfortable he was with them he was open about his situation with the Navy Seal and didn't feel like he needed to proof anything to them and still respect and complement their accomplishments.
The couple continued to talk about what had transpired between their friends in the garage hours ago both of them wondering who exactly was the person Happy mention and the possibility that it was just an excuse the girl told in the heat of the moment. They soon dismissed that hypothesis because Happy was not afraid to speak the truth so now they were just left to wonder who could she had married with neither of them knowing much from the past of the team the conversation quickly die down. They were already in the city by then, and Tim suggested going to grab something to eat, but Paige was really in need to see Walter.
She agreed to go eat but proposed they went by the garage first so they could check up on Toby, in reality, she wanted to see Walter's reaction to seeing her back. If by any chance he would show any sign of relief or happiness she would know that there was still a chance for them. Sure the situation between Happy and Toby was scaring Paige a little too about the future of the team, but she wanted to have a chance with Walter. His breakdown had shown her that he had mix feelings about their decision of been apart, the moment where Toby was singing his declaration to Happy she was so happy for them and without even thinking about Paige found herself turning to see Walter.
To her delight, he was looking at her and for a second her heart was full of hope, and she wondered if maybe at some point they would be in a situation like the one their friends were living, that wish though was destroyed when Happy said no.
Finally, the car came to a completely stop and Paige focus herself in not running toward the garage. Tim came to her side of the car and open the door for her, and she couldn't help the smiled that came to her face remembering the mission when she had gone on a date with Walter. He had walked out of the car toward the mansion, without opening her door, it took him a couple of seconds to understand why she didn't follow him but then came back to open her door. Things had changed a lot between them since then, Walter was definitely more attentive with her but that night would always be special for her do to the dance they had shared.
While walking to the garage she saw that the company car was gone and wonder if maybe Toby had gone after Happy, after all, a second later she found herself inside the garage with Tim hearing what seemed snores coming from the sofa. They walked in and saw Toby laying face down on the couch and a bottle of Tequila tossed on the floor completely empty if Toby was here who had taken the company car?. Tim told her that he was going to check if someone else was in the garage so they could help him take Toby upstairs so he could lay on the bed, Paige knew Walter wouldn't feel comfortable with Toby sleeping in his bed but it was an excuse to go looking for him. Quickly she told Tim that she would go looking upstairs while he checked downstairs been careful not to make much noise so they wouldn't disturb Toby, although she was pretty sure nothing could wake up the doctor for now.
Paige started her way upstairs fixing herself a little bit and wonder into the dark loft, her heart beating faster by the second in the anticipation to see Walter laying in his bed. She softly called his name, but no response came back, taking a few steps in she found the switch and turned the light on and quickly realize that she was alone. A sense of sadness washed over Paige not only because he wasn't there and she couldn't see his reaction but mainly because he had left his friend in need. In the last year, Walter constantly had proof to Paige that his EQ was raising, and she was so proud to help him understand the parts of the world that escape him but tonight even after his speech he seemed to have taken a step back.
With a deep breath, she went downstairs where Tim was trying to help Toby into a more comfortable position without any help of the drunk psychiatric. Paige came to his side and between the both of them, they managed to move Toby upstairs to the bed after been sure he was ok Tim went downstairs to get a glass of water while Paige got aspirins. After setting both things next to the bed, they put the alarmed in the garage and went back into Tim´s car.
Once inside Paige saw Tim trying to adjust his seat and remembered about his back problems, even though it was evident that taking Toby upstairs was going to mean pain for him he had insisted in helping the doctor spent a better night. Things like this were the main reason why Paige thought so highly of him, he wouldn't have left a friend in need alone no matter what the excuse was, not like Walter had done. Paige suggested to Tim that they just went back to her place, they could order in, and he could lay on her couch while they waited so his back would have some time to readjust. Tim tried telling her that he didn't want to impose but she was stubborn, and he was glad for the company.
Minutes later they were in her apartment, and Tim was on her couch trying to joke about the entire situation making the situation less awkward, even in his discomfort he had insisted on carrying her bags upstairs when they saw that the elevator was broken again. They quickly decided on Chinese food and Paige took her cellphone out noticing for the first time that it was dead, she wasn't in the mood to unpacked in search of her charger so she just tossed it on her bed and used the landline. That night they talked about their childhood and she opened up about her desired for Ralph to have the best of both worlds, the one where he was a genius and the one where he could interact with other kids.
Tim told her about the reasons that drove him to go into the Seals and with the passing of the hours they fell into a comfortable conversation that didn't involve the team at all. For Paige it was a nice changed, all her conversation usually involve the team in some capacity or Ralph but that night with Tim she felt like her old self again, she wasn't a liaison for a group of genius or the mom of a genius. She was Paige, and that´s it, they even joke about Tim playing the guitar while she would sing in some café he knew where there was an open mic night every week. They stop talking when they noticed the sun coming up and marvel at the amount of time they had spent sharing stories with each other, Tim left and promised Paige to call her later that they.
After Tim had left, she went into her room and changed, again she ignore her dead cell phone and got ready to sleep however the second her eyes close Walter´s face was the first thing to appear. His speech before she left with Tim replayed in her head, again and again, she knew that was as close as a declaration she was ever going to get from the genius and without realizing it tears started coming out of her eyes. It was frustrating for Paige to know that even though she had a wonderful time with Tim, her mind and heart wouldn't let go of Walter or the idea of them been together at some point. She tossed and turned for what felt like hours until exhaustion took over her body and she finally felt comfort in her sleep. Again Walter would be the main character of her dreams, but Paige had long resign herself to that and in days like today, she welcomed the chance to be with a Walter that wasn't afraid to reciprocate her feelings. Maybe someday 197 would be that opened about his feelings for her or at least she would be strong enough to move on from her dreams.
So here it is. It took some time to get the idea right, and I hope I have actually manage to do it, sometimes I can't seem to express myself in the right way. So there is going to be two more chapters after this one. Hope you enjoy it, thanks for taking the time to read it.