Title: Pusher

Author name: Soleil

Author Email: soliel9708@aol.com

Disclaimer: You know, legally, these disclaimers have no effect other than amusing us. I don't own them.

Summary: A way of fixing things. Surprisingly light on angst.

Pairings: H/M

Spoilers: Whopping huge ones for ATW2 and this season.

A/N: This is my first attempt at anything with an R rating because of, well, you know. Blushing now.

He sees her for the first time in weeks at a party given by his department head. She is standing across the room, her arm looped around Clay's shoulder, so that her hand dangles over his chest. The shoulder strap of her dress doesn't stay in place, slipping, slowly traveling, down her arm at regular intervals. His fingers itch to touch it. To move the silky fabric back into place, to let his fingers linger at the space where neck slides into her shoulder.

He has always liked that spot. The spot of negative space between her shoulder and her neck. It was made for his chin. Despite all that has happened, he still believes that. It feels foolish. More foolish for an almost forty-year-old man to lust after a thirty something year old woman like she was the head cheerleader in school.

The pressure from his fingers threatens to snap the stem of his wineglass. He casts a prayer heavenward and hopes that in a room full of spies, spooks, and agents that the grip is subtle enough to pass beneath their radars.

But it does not fall beneath hers. Her head turns and she smiles at him over her shoulder. It's a familiar, wistful smile. A smile that says she wished she knew him better or that the past had been a little different.

They are standing across the room from each other. People mill and socialize between them. Music drifts over their heads and settles in the corners of the room. Her smiles lasts seconds longer than it should. The ghost of it hovers past the fading expression. She turns back to her conversation.

He wonders absently if there is medication for his disease. An anti-Sarah Mackenzie drug that can keep him from crossing the room and standing by here side. From hovering by her like a moth flits around the light bulbs on a front porch in the summer.

Apparently, timing has the same effect. As he begins to weave a path through the bodies between them, she says her good-byes. Her smile catches him again as she disappears across the threshold. Her hand clutches a pager and the smile is apologetic this time. He turns his attention back to the department head.

He knows that this is wrong. More wrong than only paying half-attention to a man who supervises his job performance. He imagines himself splashing mental cold water on his face. He pictures her standing by the taxicab in Paraguay. He hears the cold words splash like ice cubes into the warm night air. But it doesn't work. He's an addict. He can think of no other explanation. She's bad for him and he wants her anyway.