Title: What A Long, Strange Trip

Summary: Walter heads to Tahoe. What a long, strange trip he has.

Author's Note: Yet another story about Walter's trip to Tahoe. This was going to be a short one-shot but it got away from me and turned into eight chapters. The good news is - it's completely finished and I'll be posting chapters every other day or so. I hope you enjoy. If you do, consider leaving me a little note at the bottom! Thank you. :)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own /scorpion. This story is for entertainment purposes only. I make no profit and no infringement of copyrights is intended.

Chapter 1

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

~ Buddha

Walter sped along the Hollywood Freeway, glad that the evening rush was over and he wasn't wasting time stuck in traffic. The temptation to floor the gas pedal was extreme, but the genius recalled that his luck with emotionally driven speed hadn't been stellar of late. Still, with the highway nearly deserted it couldn't hurt to push his speed to ten miles above the limit, right? Maybe even fifteen.

He eased the gas pedal down, watching as the needle swung past the zenith and fluttered around eighty.

He quickly calculated that this moderate increase would allow him to shave an hour and fifteen minutes off his total remaining travel time. He'd left the city and was now traveling through the arid hills of the California countryside, heading up to Sacramento. From there, he would pick up highway 80 east towards the resort areas on the North shore of the lake. He was glad he'd mapped the route and programmed it into his GPS days ago, when he was still planning to take Linda. He'd been able to jump into his car and get on the road as soon as he made the decision to go. And it was his car, regardless of what Toby might say or any vote that was taken.

He couldn't think about that now. He needed to focus on Paige; on what he would say when he found her; on how he could convince her that…that… well, that he was an moron who had ignored the evidence for months, simply because he didn't want to believe in anything as messy and difficult as love. But Toby was right. Walter had pushed the woman he loved out the door and into the arms of a big, handsome Navy Seal. If she told him she had no interest in rekindling the attraction that Walter had been vehemently denying all these months, then he couldn't blame anyone but his stupendously stupid self.

The speedometer needle was hovering further to the right, wavering on the mark that was halfway between eighty and one hundred. Walter eased up. There was little danger of driving off a cliff, but he would never be able to tell Paige he loved her if he wound up in a hospital again… or worse.

Walter nearly ran out of gas, waiting until he was well North of Stockton to pull off the highway at a truck stop. After filling up, he went through the McDonald's drive-thru and got two large cups of coffee, hoping the full tank and the double dose of coffee would carry him the rest of the way to the lake.

He'd given up any notion of spotting Tim's car along the way. There was no guarantee that the man had taken the same route and for all Walter knew, he'd passed them already, since he'd been holding the vehicle between 80 and 85 miles per hour for nearly the entire trip. He doubted Armstrong would be speeding; the man was entirely too ruled by the rules to do that. Regardless, with Paige in the car, he had better not be! Walter tried once more to call Paige's cellphone, but received the same message as before.

As he guided the car up the ramp and back onto the highway, Walter pondered the possible scenarios he might encounter when he arrived at Lake Tahoe.

Fortunately, he knew exactly where Paige and Tim would be heading, since he not only offered Paige his tickets to the festival, he also allowed her to take his hotel reservations. He smiled a moment, secure in the knowledge that at least Paige and Tim would have a room with two separate beds at their disposal. Walter himself hadn't had any intention of sharing his sleeping space with Linda, much less engaging in any intimate activities. Of course, the mere availability of two beds didn't mean that Tim couldn't seduce Paige into sharing just one of them, but Walter had confidence that Paige wouldn't succumb to any such intentions. In any event, the question was moot because Walter had every intention of getting Paige out of that room long before the question of how many beds to use arose.

May 3, 2016