This is my first Nashville story. It's always a little nerve-racking coming into a new Fandom, but I started re-watching from Season 1, and I just couldn't help myself since this moment burrowed its way into my head/heart again. This is a [very] little one-shot that takes place during "You Win Again" in Season 1.

Deacon had his foot on that for sale sign, like it was the only thing holding him to the ground. Like it was his lifeline, and without it he'd float, sink, or explode.

Rayna's never truly been a betting woman, but she'd put all her money on the last one. That man had always had a smoldering just under the surface, from the day she'd met him. Usually, it was for her. But not today.

Today, when he laughed, it was mean—oh, she'd heard it before, this wasn't the first time they'd fought—and she suspected it wouldn't be the last. She knew every laugh he had to give, and this one was downright mean. Sexy, but mean. And she knew that look in his eye, too. She'd spent the better part of her life learning her way around this man, and so here they were.

How'd we get to this point? She wanted to ask him. She wanted to scream it at him, to pull him close and whisper it into his ear, trace the question into the bare skin of his abdomen with her index finger. How did we get to this point where you want to sell your damn house to get rid of me?

It's not about you, Ray. He'd say—and they'd both know that was a lie.

So, she says the only thing she can say, the only thing that makes sense, the party line she has to because she's a married woman in love with another man.

I can't keep doing this with you.

Then don't. He says, and his voice is harsh, rough like it always is. She's always felt his voice reverberate in her body whenever he speaks, she's felt it in her toes, in her face, in her heart, but this time she feels right in her gut, and she wonders briefly how she's still breathing, because all her breath is gone. It's like someone knocked the wind out of her, because it seems he's finally grown tired of this dance they've done for the last 13 years.

By the time her breath comes back, he's gone. She stands there for a minute, looking at the sign, looking at his closed door, surprised her heart isn't littering the lawn. She thinks this might really be it, the last straw, she thinks they might really be through this time; but that thought hurts too much, so she shakes it out of her head, tries to abate the stinging in her eyes, and walks away.

She feels three things when she sees him walk on that plane:

She's mad as hell, because how dare he? And don't even get her started on Juliette.
She's jealous, because for as long as she can remember it's been Deacon and Rayna on that stage.
And, because brooding Deacon has secretly always been her favorite type of Deacon, she's incredibly turned on. She shifts in her seat, and tries to keep her face neutral.

She'll spend the rest of the flight feeling the waves of heat coming off of him, stealing glances at him, and feeling the heat rise through her body every time he catches her staring. And when their boots finally hit the tarmac, their gazes will lock only for a moment, and she'll know they haven't gotten to the last straw quite yet, not by a long shot.