Disclaimer: Don't own them, don't think I really want them (I'm pretty sure it would be messy to say the least).

Author's Note: About a month and a half ago my PC formatted itself. Which meant that everything I had ever written (including many fics I had never posted but intended to) is lost forever. This is my first attempt at warming up, fighting off a major case of writer's block. Bare with me.

For starters, I would like to state that I hate songfics or anything like that. I get bored with the lyrics, I skip them, and then I don't get the main point of the story. But then some songs are just too darn perfect, and it is indeed the best way to warm your writing up (I'm pretty sore). One doesn't even need to come up with a plot (or a title)!

Now, as you may have guessed, this was inspired by the song 'Kite' by U2, from their album "All That You Can't Leave Behind". I don't know if the song is as great as I believe it to be (both lyrically and musically speaking), but there is something extremely appealing about it.

Timeline: This is post FO. I liked the episode, well, not the part when Jack gets Sam out of the bookstore, but it was surely compensated but the S/M scene by the ambulance, and the ending. Whatever. I suggest you read 'Elysium' by Sydney Gray, by far the best WAT fic I've ever read, to get a vague idea of the scenario I was imagining for the beginning of this. I'm not the review-y kind of gal, so this is my way of complimenting the story and recommending it. I have to say it would be a quite realistic scenario for the beginning of Season 2, but since the writers would never – ever – consciously let us get away with it so easily, I don't think this is what's coming for S2. No, this is not a fic about a fic.

Rating: G. OK, maybe PG to be sure, but just MAYBE. This is supposed to be M/S by the way, but I'm not so sure about it.

Feedback makes my day, flames will end up in the fireplace (it's freezing cold down here), and I promise answers for everyone. Capito?


Danny heard the elevator's door opening, and knew instantly who was stepping outside. It wasn't really hard to guess, not after three days of the same routine. Punctuality was the very first defining thing about the Missing Persons squad, but not so much lately.

He figured he was supposed to mind his own business -- it didn't matter how close it hit him or how much it affected him. Friendship was a universal invariant, just not in this geographical area. Then again, it was getting harder not to notice. And he wasn't the only one that had started picking after the recent changes.

Vivian watched silently, half smirking-half frowning, as Martin and Samantha arrived uncharacteristically late, uncharacteristically together. Well, maybe not after several days in a row. Jack didn't even raise an eyebrow -- he had chosen to stay out of it until it became a team issue, she supposed. They smiled at each other interrupting the conversation they had oh-so-animatedly sustained on their way to the office and took their seats around the table, waiting for the briefing to start.


Is about to give

I can feel it coming

I think I know what it is

As usual, Danny glared and Martin ignored it. Only a few weeks had passed since Sam had been released from the hospital, yet it felt longer. They all had been there to watch her take her first steps back into recovering, everybody but Jack. He understood him at some level, giving his marriage another shot while working with the very same woman he'd had an affair with wasn't supposed to be the easy way. True, he had been the one to end it but Martin knew all too well how tempting memories could be.

Still, she had been in an extremely stressful situation and needed all the support she could get. That had allegedly been the ulterior motive in his doing, having soon become her friend, her confidant, her ally.

It had started the innocent way. A ride to the doctor's here, a comforting hug there. But by now he'd had enough fooling himself. The shaky pace wouldn't blind him anymore -- he wasn't used to taking things this slow and that had probably been what had disguised the real direction their relationship was heading to. In other circumstances he would just ask her out, no agonizing over the topic. He had tried that. He had been rejected at that time. But he couldn't help but wonder if his once honest intentions hadn't been a self-deceiving unconscious attempt at a second chance. An attempt that was definitely giving results.

I'm not afraid to die

I'm not afraid to live

And when I'm flat on my back

I hope to feel like I did

Fortunately, or maybe not, it was a calm day. With paperwork to do, they were most likely stuck there all day. Exactly what Martin hoped to avoid. The accusing looks from his partner that had driven him to question himself in the first place.

Of course, Danny was determined not to leave it alone. Which would have been his typical thing to do if he had been sure where he stood regarding the situation.

On one hand, Samantha was his friend. They had hit it off from the beginning and he knew she deserved the best. She deserved someone who wasn't afraid to live. Someone who fought for her. Someone to bring her to the light. Oddly enough he didn't care the nature of their relationship, whatever it was, he knew that Martin could be all that and more.

On the other hand, he knew all well that she had been vulnerable at the time when his fellow agent had started to play white knight in armor. And although she was too proud to show any kind of aftermath there had to be nightmares, and fears, and the sense of helplessness that usually came after severely traumatic events.

And hardness

It sets in

You need some protection

The thinner the skin

It was a no win situation as it always was when someone was taken advantage of. The time was passing by, and he knew the blonde agent would soon be heading out. She had returned to work immediately with the condition of leaving early for the first couple of weeks. He watched her bite her lip as in search for courage and approach the newest agent with a smile. She still had a slight limp, but other than that it would have been really hard to tell she had been shot. The doctors weren't exactly certain she would regain full use of her leg, but there she was. He suspected the credit was 50% Samantha, 50% Martin. He had to give him that.

"Hey" She called.

"Hey, Sammy" He replied, leaving whatever he was doing completely forgotten. Danny was astonished. He had heard him call her Sam before, and had winced both at the mention of her name and the lack of her usual response to that. But now, well, he had never heard anyone call her Sammy. Not even Jack. He studied his companion's body language realizing his whole attention was focused on her. "Heading home already?"

"Yeah" She smiled again, finding impossibly difficult not to do so. "Listen, I got tickets for the game tonight. Do you want to come with me?"

She was relaxed. No stiffness, no anxiety, no lump in her throat. He was so tired of watching her step aside, live in the shadows of what she had once been, that it felt surreal to witness the scene. It also felt like a wave of fresh air.

"Sure, maybe we could grab a bite afterwards."

"I'd like that" The pile of files in his desk wasn't getting any smaller. Martin would probably slaving over paperwork the rest of the week. He didn't seem to care.

"Great, so it's a date. Pick you up?" She nodded. That was a first. Her smiled widened into a grin just as she turned around to be left face to face with her friend. Jack was right behind him, just staring.

Danny was sure she would sober up, come up with some excuse or just sneak away, the way she always did in the past. He expected her to fake it for him, for everyone. To keep her voice a whisper, the way it had been with Jack. Instead, she blushed a little but continued smiling. Time and place were hers again, and he loved to see her like that. She wasn't suffocated anymore, she didn't need to hide, to lie. They didn't need it. The cage's door was open and she was standing there spreading her wings for anyone to see.

God he hated to play devil's advocate.

Looking around he noticed Vivian and Jack weren't in sight, it was awfully quiet. He assumed the latter had preferred to crawl back into his office. He wasn't sure about his boss' intentions of working things out with Marie, or the strength of his determination. There had just been too many times. Which was exactly why he had to do what he had to do.


"Yeah?" He turned, fully aware that the whole team had witnessed his whole conversation with the blonde. Everyone seemed to pay a lot of attention to them lately.

"So, Samantha and you..." He trailed off. The tone in his voice was anything but teasing.

He sighed tiredly. "None of your business" He wasn't interested in what he knew was coming.

"It is if one of my friend's gets hurt" Martin considered telling him off, but something in the way the other agent had spoken stopped him. Danny was worried, sincerely worried. That had to be worth at least five minutes to let him elaborate.

"We're just *friends*. You know, I figured that you of all people would be supportive of Sam and understood what I am doing! Instead all I get is funny looks. What's going on?"

"I can't ignore it, Fitz. I cannot say there's nothing brewing between the two of you, and neither can you" The volume of the argument was slowly increasing.

"Aw, spare me the ninth degree, Danny. We're both adults!" He had listened long enough. He turned his back on him, pretending to become engrossed in his files again.

"She's vulnerable now"

"Do you really think I'd have something more than honorable intentions when it comes to her? I'm not gonna hurt her" He said softening. He understood his overprotective brotherly position, but saw no need of it.

"Is it like Sam to let you in so easily? To be so open and sharing?"

"So, you'd rather have her all bitter and secluded, I see." There had to be a rational point to this conversation.

"No, but I don't want to see her believing her whole life comes down to this again!" He motioned to their surroundings. "Right now she is depending on you Martin, just like it was with Jack" He shook sadly.

Martin sighed, confirming what he had suspected for a long time: that Jack and Samantha's affair was the FBI's worst kept secret. His father had known all the way, he presumed. Oh yes, he could picture the familiar reunion. 'What you've been up to, son?' 'Nothing dad, just hanging out with Jack Malone's mistress'. Except she wasn't his. Or Jack's. And Danny had realized that before him. He was ashamed.

"What's gonna happen if and when Jack wants her back? What are you going to do? This is the way things are between them. Jack goes to his wife, plays happy family for a couple of weeks, then comes crawling back to her with puppy eyes and she takes him back. Every time."

The mere thought made him sick to his stomach. "Things are different now."

"Maybe, but how will you ever know if she doesn't take that step on her own? It'll be easy to stand her ground if she's with you, he probably won't even think about it. But what is going to happen when she's by herself? How will you know how she feels..."

"I wouldn't doubt her..." He started to interrupt, just to be cut off himself.

"It's not about you. Right now she's broken hearted, scared, bored, lonely and getting cold in the middle of the night"

I want you to know

That you don't need me anymore

I want you to know

You don't need anyone

Or anything at all

It was the second red light he passed by without even noticing it. His grip on the wheel was too strong, his knuckles were white.

He wished he hadn't heard him. He wished Danny hadn't opened his big well-intentioned mouth. He wished he didn't crumble so easily. He wished -- he wished he knew what to make out of the whole ordeal. What had he been implying? That he was the one being taken advantage of?

He saw the third red light and stepped on the brake a little too harsh. He was angry. He had let him get under his skin, and he didn't do that in a common basis. Then again, this wasn't an ordinary situation. But what made him angry the most was that he didn't know. He had no clue about what was going on in that blessed head of hers. He wanted to protect her, to take care of her, without even knowing what she needed and how to give it to her. He hated that he was not only doubting his own intentions, but hers as well.

Who's to say where the wind will take you

Who's to say what it is will break you

I don't know

Which way the wind will blow

Who's to know when the time has come around

Don't want to see you cry

I know that this is not goodbye

After overhearing Van Doren's conversation with Jack, it had all became painfully clear to him. The tough act. The rejection, the stolen glances, how whatever remote possibility of anything with her came crashing down the minute Jack entered the room. He had noticed her growing quiet at Jack's sole sight, as if she owed him something. He had mistaken it for respect to the authority. After a while he just figured he wasn't supposed to try to pursue anything with her, and dropped it.

He didn't want her to become that person again. He could try and convince himself that things could and would be different. But he wasn't about to risk it. He cared too darn much for her.

It's somewhere I can taste the salty sea

There's a kite blowing out of control on the breeze

He hated when Danny was right. He hated having epiphanies. He hated doing '*the* right thing' when his gut told him not to. Samantha would be shocked, that was about the only thing he was certain of. She would demand explanations. She would have questions. So would he.

I wonder what's gonna happen to you

You wonder what has happened to me

Martin fumbled with the keys mindlessly. He didn't want to talk to her. He didn't want to see her. He needed to, though. Sitting on the bed, he placed his head in his hands. Work was taking his toll on him. Besides he had taken as his duty being there for Sam. She called him when she had nightmares, they took long walks together in the morning as a part of her physical therapy - or so he claimed -, he took her to the doctor's. He had been so flattered she had turned to him without reservations of any kind that he had failed to see how depending she really was.

But he refused to believe *everything* was part of an act, whether conscious or unconscious. It couldn't be. Because everything he had blocked away after being turned down by her for the first time was coming back to him, and fast. Any other options implied that it all meant simply nothing. He *had* to believe there was something there.

And yet, it was increasingly notorious the gravitation of Jack in the whole equation. They had fooled themselves believing that something as important as it had been in her life could be minimized so effortlessly. He smirked bitterly. She pretended she was totally over it. Of course he could see the half-second of adjustment in her eyes everytime he was brought to conversation. It still shook her. It shook her to the bone, mercilessly.

I'm a man

I'm not a child

A man who sees

The shadow behind your eyes

He changed his clothes. He knew what he had to do. He knew what he had to say. It didn't help, but it was better than improvising. After all, who knew. Maybe she would tell him he was right. Maybe she would ask him to stay with her. She would contravene his every statement. Or not. She would guess Danny had said something, or perhaps she would think he was so paranoid and insecure that he had rationalized it all. She was most likely to deny any residual feelings for Jack, excepting for the fact that he thought she would confirm him right by confessing them.

He had never been so certain that he didn't know anything at all.

Who's to say where the wind will take you

Who's to say what it is will break you

I don't know

Where the wind will blow

Martin cursed the whole way to Samantha's place. It wouldn't be a pretty picture. There would be yelling and crying, or maybe just acceptance and resignation. But deep inside he was at ease. The ease that came with the certitude that he was indeed doing what was right, what was best. He wanted to believe. He wanted to believe in her. He wanted to believe that maybe there was a time for them, not now but in a near future. And that conviction would be there to fill the void of absence. If she felt the same way he did, then he would comfort her - for the last time - with that thought. That sooner or later, the time would come.

Who's to know when the time has come around

I don't want to see you cry

I know that this is not goodbye

The one and only thing he made sense of was that it would be the most difficult thing he'd had to do.

He arrived, not quite ready to face the music yet. There was light in her window. She was probably still getting ready. His last thoughts as he rang the bell weren't encouraging. Well, at least he hadn't screwed it up. It was probably for the best, not waiting until there was a relationship to ruin. If they had gotten closer, well, *that* would have been torture.

Did I waste it

Not so much I couldn't taste it...

Somehow those thoughts didn't make him feel any better when she greeted him with a bright smile.



Written by Mary S. I didn't want to give my first fic in the oblivion a sad ending, so I kinda settled for the middle. Hope dies last. I mean, if it was my Universe Samantha would probably yell at him for being so stupid, ask him to give 'them' a chance, talk him out of it. Wait a minute! It *is* MY universe! Hmmm.... Once again, feedback is really appreciated.