"I'm With You"

Inspired by the song from Avril Lavigne, this is a little snippet that popped into my head over the weekend and just took off from there.  Can I say I was inspired by a story from another author as well as the simple need to do my first PM fanfic?  Please be gentle, this is my first venture out of Medjai-land in a long time. LOL I mean no harm or disrespect to those of you who liked the character of Rae Brennan.  Ultimately I hope you enjoy it and of course, comments are always welcomed.  Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer:  This story is for entertainment purposes only, no money is being made, no infringement intended.  Presidio Med and it's characters belong to Lydia Woodward Productions and Warner Bros Television.  All original characters and situations belong to the author. 


Journal entry:  October 2am

Marcus Who?

Oh yeah, he was my date for tonight.  Tall, athletic, handsome and with an ego the size of the Grand Canyon.  Looking back, I fail to see what attracted me to him in the first place but somehow, we managed to date for a couple of months.  I thought we got along great, kind of balanced each other out; that sort of thing.  Considering how my night has ended, I've been proven wrong and I couldn't be happier.

Journal, I know I've told you about Marcus: a pharmaceutical sales rep for one of the nation's largest drug manufacturers.  And I often pondered, filling many an entry with my theories and hypotheses, about how a sleek, urban professional like him could fall for mousey little me: the receptionist for one of the companies he visits.  I will readily admit each time he came for the weekly visit, we would flirt with each other like crazy.  But I never thought it would go anywhere.  

Oh sure, laugh at me as I remember my entry from August, when he finally asked me out for drinks on a Friday night.  Yeah yeah yeah, count how many pages I gushed on about the physical virtues of Marcus; the way his blonde hair always fell so perfectly across his brows, the deep sea green color of his eyes or how tight and firm his ass was.  I realize now Marcus was and always will be a ladies' man and I've just been added to the long list of casualties. 

So do you wonder why I don't feel like crap right now, Journal? Oh c'mon, take a guess.  

That's because Fate decided to step in tonight and I was fortunate enough to meet somebody new.  But I digress…let me get to the crux of all this meandering chatter and refresh your memory.

Tonight we attended an after hour's party for some doctor that works at the Med in downtown San Francisco.  Let's see if I can remember her name…ah yes, Dr. Harriet Lanning.  Marcus said all the staff of the Presidio would be there and he saw it as an excellent opportunity to hob-nob with these doctors and start passing out his business card. 

Did I ever mention how much I hated it when he passed out his business card?  It was like this six million dollar bionic extension of himself; a small 3x5 card that summed up his life, his ambitions and how to reach him 24/7 via fax or cell phone.  And he had an endless supply of them!  I once asked him if he had kidnapped the Keebler Elves, was holding them hostage in abandoned warehouse somewhere and forcing them to manufacture his cards.  Marcus didn't like my joke and said I needed therapy.


Well let me clue you in, Journal, my therapy is lying on my couch in the living room right now, fast asleep.  All six-foot something of him; that long lean body, those broad shoulders, the dark hair and scruffy goatee.  Can I digress for a second and just state for the record that when Nick holds you; it's like he's really holding you?  When his arms go around your body, it's like you're cocooned into this…warmth.  I felt secure, protected and…dare I mention the four letter word?  No, not a cuss word although some have said it like a curse. 

It was like I was loved.

Crazy, I know!  I've only met the man tonight and already I'm…ok, I digressed again.  Sorry, let me get back to the contents of this entry.

So we go to this party and pull up in front of this huge, expensive looking house.  Did I even mention how shy I get when I go to a party full of people I don't know?


"Come on baby, don't be afraid," Marcus Howard crooned and pulled the reluctant young woman out of the foyer and into the hallway of the elegant home.  "You'll have a good time, I guarantee it."

Bethlynn Williams looked and felt like she was being led to the gallows; her face was pale, eyes wide with trepidation and she had a death grip on her date's hand that was just short of crushing his bones.  "Promise you won't leave me, Marc," she leaned up and whispered into his ear.  "I don't do well in crowds."

"I promise.  Now smile for all the nice people and just follow me," Marcus advised.  His gaze swept over the crowd milling around the hallway, spilling out into the spacious formal living room, his mind already assessing who he needed to visit first.

With the expertise of a veteran sea captain, Marcus steered Bethlynn through the throng of happy partygoers, navigated around obstacles of furniture and finally reached the ultimate goal: the bar stationed at the end of the room.  He pulled her to one side, ordered her a glass of white wine without asking her preference and turned his predatory gaze back to the crowd.

"Do you see anyone you know?" Bethlynn knew it was a stupid question even before she asked it.

"Actually, yes," Marcus pushed himself away from the bar and forgot about the vow he had made to his girlfriend within a matter of three seconds.  He called out to an acquaintance across the room and he launched himself into what he called "The Marcus Mode - Salesman Extraordinaire."  "Chuck Hillman, is that you, you old devil? Hey, you're looking great, how's the wife and kids?"

Bethlynn resisted the urge to give herself a good swift mental kick in the butt even though she realized she had just given Marcus the escape he had needed.  She sighed to herself as she watched him work the room.  Apparently he was not only forgetting his promise to stay by her side but also the talk they had had earlier in the day.  "No, he's not selfish, self-centered and egotistical," she muttered and took a sip of her wine.  She caught the bartender giving her an odd look and with a tint of a blush staining her cheeks, Bethlynn left the bar and decided to be daring; to boldly go forth and try to mingle with…strangers.


Journal entry 10/2 continued:

Okay so no big surprise.  Marcus left me quicker than a wino leaving a liquor store with a cheap bottle of vino.  I'm strong, I can adapt.  I suck it up, suck in my stomach and circulate around the room.  I don't remember much of what I did or who I talked to; I do remember smiling a lot and having trouble explaining exactly why I was at this party in the first place.  I got the feeling some of the guests thought I was a party crasher. 

About an hour later, I was ready to admit defeat. 

My face ached from keeping in place this fake smile that I had plastered all over it, my stomach hurt from being sucked in and my stockings had decided it was just too much to stay around my waist and traveled south for the winter.  Destination?  My ankles.  Needless to say I wasn't a happy camper and when I couldn't find Marcus anywhere, feelings of insecurity and loneliness popped up I thought I had buried long ago.   

Defeated and depressed, I walked out onto the stone terrace, having no idea that I wasn't the only one having a bad night.


The chilly breeze coming off the bay made Bethlynn pull her shawl a little tighter around her shoulders as she stepped out onto the enormous patio.  A quick glance around told her she was alone and gradually she let the happy and confident young woman façade slip.  The disappointed and sad young woman emerged, her vulnerability shining in her eyes.  She walked over to a shadowed corner of the patio and melted into the darkness, gazing wistfully at the lovely view.   

It had been a mistake to come here tonight, just as it had been a mistake to think she could have had a meaningful relationship with Marcus.  Not sure why she consented into dating him in the first place, Bethlynn felt the first of many tears to come roll down her face and she quickly rubbed it way with the back of her hand.


A white napkin suddenly materialized in front of her and Bethlynn looked up in surprise.  It was hard to make out the exact details of the man standing next to her but overall impressions were of height, dark hair and deep dark eyes that she could easily fall into.  "Thanks," she murmured and quickly swiped at her face. 

"I hope I'm not intruding, but it seems we both had the same idea," he said softly and glanced back at the brightly lit home filled with laughter, music and friends.  "Neither of us wants to be somewhere that we don't belong."

"Do I know you?" Bethlynn asked.  She tilted her head to one side, studying the profile, the mannerisms, the clothing until a recent memory came into focus.  "You're Nick Kokoris, the new doctor at the Presidio, right?" 

Nick's smile was a brilliant flash of white in the darkness and he nodded his head.  "Amazing you can remember me, considering we met only a short time ago.  Then again, you seemed to have been a woman with a mission: get to know everyone in the room in less than one hour.  Quite impressive."

"Oh God, was I that bad?" Bethlynn groaned.  She resisted the urge to retreat back into the safe haven of darkness and stared at Nick unabashedly.  He was so different in coloring from Marcus; mentally she compared the two and silently dubbed Nick her dark rescuer.

Nick smiled again but this time, it was tinted with a hint of sadness. "No.  At least you were brave enough to circulate among people who will most likely remember only one thing about you tomorrow morning."

Bethlynn gave an unlady-like snort of laughter.  "And that one thing would be?  And I hope it's not because I came with Marcus Howard."

"Your smile." Nick replied.  "I think they will remember your smile.  Personally, I admire your courage."

Bethlynn's eyes widened with surprise.  "You think I was courageous?"

"Far more than I," Nick admitted softly.  He closed his eyes for a brief moment and thought of Rae Brennan.  She had looked radiant and beautiful tonight, her smile chasing away any lingering doubts about why Nick had traveled so far and sacrificed so much to be with her.  Her laughter had been like a soothing balm to his troubled heart and he longed to be near her, to take her in his arms and kiss her senseless.  Consequences be damned, he had started to walk across the room when suddenly her husband appeared by her side.  Sean's presence made Nick feel like he had just been punched in the stomach.  This had happened once before and the introductions had been clipped and strained.  Seeing her with him tonight made Nick realize there would never be anything more to his relationship with Rae except a few stolen weeks out of each year. Nick couldn't go on living like this and he was contemplating turning in his resignation in the morning.  He was also ready to leave the party; reluctantly admitting he felt even lonelier than usual, but then someone had miraculously changed his mind.  She had approached him with a whirlwind introduction, her name rattled off so fast Nick felt certain the words tumbled over themselves.  She had left him a few minutes later, leaving behind feelings of intrigue and curiosity about the feel of her hair, the smell of her perfume, and he sensed bravado mixed with a shy uncertainty that he found too appealing.  Seizing the chance, he had followed her out onto the patio only to find her crying in the dark.  

"Well, I don't feel very courageous right about now," Bethlynn sighed.  "What I feel is tired and confused." 

"And lonely." The words effortlessly tumbled from Nick's lips and he was surprised he had said them.  But they were the truth and as much as it hurt, knowing the truth was good. 

"Yes," Bethlynn whispered and stared at Nick.  Despite the cold and the hurt from Marcus' leaving that was rapidly fading, she felt an odd kinship with the young doctor and to her complete surprise, the next sentence spilled forth from her lips, with no thought of the consequences.  "You wouldn't want to leave this party, would you?  Go somewhere and grab a cup of coffee…or something?"


Journal entry 10/2 continued:

Do I believe in fate? Karma?  The balance of things in the universe?  You be the judge, oh wise and silent journal. 

Nick and I stayed out on that cold patio and just talked, it felt like for hours.  I had finally found someone who wanted to talk to me and it seemed Nick had found someone who would listen.  We lost all track of time and eventually the sound of my teeth chattering drove us back inside.  We slipped through the crowd, and I felt like we were two naughty children, scared of getting caught stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.  We maneuvered through the happy, boisterous crowd, each avoiding our own personal landmines.  I tugged on Nick's hand [can I just mention that holding his hand is such a treat?  It's large and warm with long fingers…] neatly avoiding Marcus, who had cornered another poor soul and was offering his business card.  Nick guided me around a couple standing near the doorway, promising he would tell me later about them and then by a silent, mutual consent, we agreed to leave the party. 

We walked a few blocks away to a little coffee house and as we warmed ourselves up with steaming mugs of hot chocolate [with whipped cream of course], we continued the voyage of discovery of each other.  I found Nick to be quite engaging; charming, humorous and yearning for companionship as much as I was.  And did I mention gallant?  Not once did he comment on the multiple ringlets of pantyhose I now wore proudly around my ankles.

The only awkward moment of the evening came when it came time for us to leave.  Maybe it was me; maybe I was fantasizing that this handsome young man would want to come home with me, so we could continue our conversation.  Can you imagine my surprise when he seemed to be as reluctant as I to just say goodbye?  So we would walk a few blocks, stop and talk, trying to say our good nights that somehow ended up in another extended conversation. 

Next thing I know we're at the front door of my apartment, still talking, exchanging funny stories; the smiles came easily, the laughter genuine and infectious.  We were almost drunk from the experience of two lonely souls at last finding one another; the moment of sobriety coming when I unlocked my door. 


"So what happens now?" Bethlynn sighed and leaned against the door frame.  What a pleasant surprise the rest of this night had turned out to be.  Should she ask him in for another cup of coffee or did he want to leave?  Her eyes widened in surprise when Nick placed a hand on the wall by the side of her head and she suddenly realized he had stepped closer, his gaze on her mouth.

"May I kiss you?" Nick asked.  He groaned to himself when he saw her nervously lick her lips then he couldn't hold himself back any longer.  He had to taste her to see if she was as sweet as she looked.  Slowly he ducked his head.

Bethlynn barely had time to whisper her consent before her mouth was covered by Nick's: warm, gentle and firm.  He leaned forward, his chest almost touching hers but not quite, the body heat radiating off of him in waves, making her feel deliciously warm.  She caught of a whiff of his masculine scent and she took a deep breath, inhaling all that was Nick, feeling it wash over her soul.  She felt her toes curl as Nick lazily continued exploring the shape of her mouth, licking her lips with a velvet tongue, so gentle and easy.  She grew bold and opened her mouth, hoping to entice him to taste her further and could barely contain her gasp of pleasure when his tongue slowly slid into her mouth. 

Nick felt Bethlynn's arms timidly circle his neck as he slid his tongue slowly over the edges of her teeth, across her tongue and back out again.  He kissed her again and again: long, slow, languorous kisses that made her sag against him until finally Nick managed to gain back some self-control.  He pulled away even as the taste of her still lingered on his tongue, sweet and hot with the faint taste of chocolate.  "Jesus," he whispered hoarsely and dropped his head near her cheek.  He closed his eyes and struggled to calm down his racing heart and aroused body. 

"You know I never did answer my question," Bethlynn muttered dryly.  She saw Nick's dark head come up and they intensely stared at one another; she saw the raw naked hunger in his eyes and vaguely wondered if she was the cause of it.  "Do I know you?"

The question caught Nick off balance and he stepped back.  She was right, they were two complete strangers coming off bad relationships and yet there they were, kissing in the hallway of her apartment building like two horny teenagers.  He threaded a hand through his hair and sighed with exasperation.  "It would serve me right if you asked me to leave but…I don't want to."

"I don't know who you are but…" Bethlynn held up one hand, reaching for him, a mute appeal in her eyes.  "Whoever you are, I'm with you.  Take my hand and come inside.  We have all night to remedy this problem."

Nick stared at her hand, then looked up at her face and silently swore to himself that she was too damn beautiful.  Her eyes were wide and luminous, her lips still swollen from his kisses and her hand had the tiniest tremor in it.  All he had to do was to slide his hand into hers…and maybe, just maybe the memory of another could be washed clean from his heart.  "I'm with you," he replied softly.


Journal entry 10/2 concluded:

Well oh silent and nonjudgmental Journal, it's time for me to wind this Hallmark entry down.  Who would have thought my night would have turned out like this? Oh, did I mention Nick is asleep on my couch right now, even as I write this?  Oh yeah, I did but what the hell, let me mention it again.  He looks damn good when he's asleep.

Ah sorry, I am wandering but you know how much I love to do that.

What can I say?  Nick took my hand and I swore I heard the dramatic music swell up in the background.  He came inside and we did…nothing but watch TV and talk.  It was weird, because both of us could feel the sexual tension between us but for some reason, we caved into another desire first.  To be held and to hold someone.  Nothing like it in the world, especially when Nick starts touching my hair.  Jesus, that man has found my weakness already and I just about turned into jelly in his arms. 

Did I mention he has long fingers…really long fingers?

Okay so where was I? Oh yeah, the rest of the night.  While we watched TV, he slowly told me about his old girlfriend, Rae, and what he did for her; part of me wanted to call him a schmuck for dating a married woman but I didn't.  The vulnerability and self-loathing in his eyes was testament that he was punishing himself enough, no need for me to dump on him as well.  Time passed as did the shows and endless parade of commercials.  He fell asleep in my arms, and eventually I dozed, allowing myself this crazy little fantasy that maybe something good will come out of this night. 

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Sometimes things don't look the same in the bright, pristine light of morning, but what the hell.  I took a chance and I get the feeling Nick did as well.  If I want to get all romantic about this, it was like we were two lost souls that needed to find each other and help ourselves heal.  I am so done with Marcus and by the way, he left a message not that long ago.

He was drunk and angry; claiming I left him stranded at the party and yada yada yada.  Imagine my surprise when Nick came in and somehow, broke my answering machine.  Gee, I don't know what happened. I simply told him where the disconnect button was and voila!  Marcus was no more.

Even now as I try and conclude this long winded entry, Nick is watching me from the doorway.  I can feel the heat of his gaze on my back and damn, if it doesn't feel good.  He wants me to come back and lie down with him on the couch again so who am I to say 'no'?  Go me. 

Funny man, he's holding out his hand, waiting for me.  That's my cue to signoff for now…oh yeah, but let me add this:

Marcus who?