It's been ages I know, and I really truly am sorry for that… but here it is, Batter Up: Chapter 13



"Well, my high school English teacher always told me to Keep It Simple, Stupid. It went by a little acronym, though."

"It did?" Elizabeth asked quietly, cursing herself for her lack of resolve.

"Oh yes. It went by the acronym KISS. Which is exactly what is going to happen tonight, Lizzy, if O'Grady doesn't show up."

With one final look, Romano eased himself away and somehow managed to walk away without a single look back.

Elizabeth used the wall for support, unsure if she trusted herself to move. 'Damn the man,' she thought, getting her all hot and bothered and then walking away. Assuming she'd even want to kiss him in the first place! She laughed a little at this; of course she wanted to kiss him. If she was honest with herself, which at the time she hated to be, she had been doing nothing but thinking about kissing him.

"Damn you, Elizabeth." she mumbled to herself as she walked away to try to get some work done.


I stood in the mirror and checked myself out. Wearing a little black dress cut just above the knee with a deep V that showed just enough cleavage but not enough to get me thrown out, I must admit I looked sexy.

I don't like to get dressed up that much—but when I do, I clean up real nice. Which I've said before, but it's the truth, so I might as well say it again.

I spun around once in the mirror, and smiled. I was doing all this for him. Of course I was. And he damn well better appreciate it.

At 7 I heard the door ring and like a kid in high school ready to go on her first date I felt my heart skip a beat. I chastised myself for being so pathetic and then went to go open the door. It was him, looking smashing in suit and tie, holding a delicate rose.

I hate flowers. You should know that about me. But you should also know that I don't hate flowers that are from him.

I see a gleam in his eye as he looks me up and down as if he's purposefully trying to drive me crazy. Suddenly he pulls me to him and whispers in my ear, "Damn, you look hot."

Correction: He IS purposefully trying to drive me crazy. And it is absolutely, 100 percent working.

I smile. "So do you." I whisper back before turning to grab my clutch, turning out the light and shutting the door.

He puts his hand on the small of my back and I just about melt into a puddle right there because I know where this night is going, and even though I'm not a fan of baseball (although after this is all over, who knows), I just can't wait for the homerun.

He leans in and sniffs my neck and I feel my knees start to buckle. He eyes me and says "You smell good too."

"Shit." I mutter under my breath. I really, really cannot wait to slide into home plate.

We pull up to the Olive Branch at around 7:10, head inside and request a corner booth, so we can once again see all the action without getting caught.


Romano arrived at the restaurant at precisely 7:30, dressed to the nines, with butterflies in his stomach. He had been thinking about Elizabeth all day long—well, he always thought about her all day long, but he was especially thinking about her today.

He went into the restaurant and requested a table. He'd been seated and ordered a bottle of wine when he saw Elizabeth come into the restaurant. She looked magnificent, her red curls pulled back into a twist in the back of her head while a few tendrils escaped classily to frame her face. His breath caught for a moment. Her gorgeous blue eyes scanned the room before they finally settled on him, causing the breath to completely expel from his body.

She made her way over to him, classy in black, with a small smile playing on her face. No one could tell from simply looking at her but her insides were churning.

"Hello, Robert." she said as he stood to greet her.

"Hello, Lizzy. You look…wonderful, as always." he said as he pulled her chair out for her.

"Thank you." she said softly as he pushed it in behind her.

He smiled at her before lifting the menu. A few moments lapsed in comfortable silence as they both considered their menus.

"I think I'm going to go with the ziti tonight." Elizabeth said as she put her menu down.

"Good choice."

The waiter came and poured their wine before taking their orders.

Romano raised his glass into the air and Elizabeth followed suit. "Once again, to O'Grady, whom I am almost positive will not show up yet again."

Elizabeth laughed slightly, "Cheers."

They touched glasses and took a sip together, never taking their eyes off of one another.


I sat with my partner in crime across the crowded restaurant watching the scene unfold. I felt proud, because I knew that tonight just had to be the night—and from the way these two were eyeing each other over their wine glasses, I was so right in assuming that these two are just perfect for each other.

"So, tonight's the night, huh?" He says, raising his eyebrows.

I'm taken aback—I mean, of course I've thought that tonight is the night, but it's one thing to talk about it. "I beg your pardon?"

He chuckles in that sexy way before he shifts his eyes and inclined his head toward the table with Corday and Romano.

"Oh." I say and feel a blush start to creep up my cheeks. "Yeah, it damn well better be after all the effort I put into this."


"Hey, you made one phone call, don't think you can take credit for this genius matchmaking." I say, laughing.

"I've done more than that. I have become your accomplice, going with you to spy on Corday and Romano…that's a lot." He says, smiling somewhat bewitchingly.

"Hah. I wouldn't go so far as 'a lot.' But okay."

We laugh and continue talking, occasionally glancing at the table across the room. Time goes by so quickly whenever I'm with him—while at the same time it seems to stand still. It's weird, really, but lovely all the same.


"Robert, why are you looking at me like that?" A lull in conversation had Romano eyeing Elizabeth somewhat peculiarly.

Romano sighed. "I'm just thinking again about how lucky I am to be sitting here with you. I never thought it would happen, Lizzy, but here we are, together on what has very much become a series of dates and I'm having the time of my life, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be enjoying yourself as well."

Elizabeth smiled at this. She could see where he could have doubts—after all they'd been through together. She never thought she would be somewhere with him like this either. It was surreal, but here they were, together, and she was happy. "No, Robert, you're not wrong. I am enjoying myself. Very much so."

He smiled. "Good, Lizzy, I am glad to hear that." After a moment he reached across the table and took hold of her hand. "Thank you, Lizzy, for giving me a chance… for being here with me like this."

"Robert, you don't have to thank me."

"I feel like I should. I haven't been this happy in a long time."

She smiled, she'd never quite seen the mushy side of Robert and she had to admit she somewhat liked it. "I've never seen you like this, Robert."

"I know. Creepy, huh?"

"Quite the contrary, actually."


She nodded.

"That's good too."

She nodded again, agreeing.

Romano inhaled sharply, trying to gather courage. "Lizzy, I know it's late and we have an early morning tomorrow, but there's something that I have to tell you…" he trailed off, uncertain.

She leaned in slightly, curious. "Go on…"

"You have to promise you won't be scared or hate me for it… but…"

Elizabeth waited.

"Christ, Elizabeth, I might as well just say it… I love you. I have for a long time now, I've come to accept it, and I hope you can too. You don't have to say anything back, I mean I know you don't love me, and I understand that, but I wanted to be fair to you and put it out there from the beginning. Because you deserve that…"

"Robert." She cut him off, and squeezed his hand.

"You're right, I don't love you."

His head jerked slightly, he had known that, but it still hurt like hell to hear her say it. She saw the look that flashed across his face and let out a low laugh.

"Wow, that's not exactly the response I was expecting, Lizzy, but okay…"

"There's more." she said, somberly.

"Oh, great."

"I don't love you, Robert… yet. This is all very new for me, this thing between you and I. I don't know if it's love that I'm feeling yet, but I know I haven't felt like this for anyone before—and it shocks me that it's you who's evoked these feelings in me. Everyday, though, I've begun to realize that I am on my way to loving you, Robert. I am on my way quickly and rapidly."

He smiled at this. "You almost gave me a heart attack. But what you just said now, that's all I need to know." He squeezed her hand. "Come on, let's get out of here."


I was lost in deep conversation with my accomplice when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I saw Romano lead Corday out of the restaurant by her hand, and I knew it was about to go down. I cut my companion off, and we hurried outside, still managing to be incognito.

Which isn't really surprising considering the fact that the two were so intent on each other.


Romano hailed a cab and opened the door for Elizabeth. Still holding hands, she embraced him in a hug.

She pulled away and stopped when she saw the look in his eyes. Tenderly he brought a hand to her face and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Elizabeth." He said, before he leaned in, closing the short distance between their lips.

The kiss was much softer than Elizabeth had expected, especially given the heat earlier in the day, but she found that she liked it. Feeling her acceptance, Romano deepened the kiss, caressing the side of her face. It was so tender, and so beautiful, that Elizabeth almost wanted to cry.

When they finally pulled away, Romano smiled. "Did that just happen?"

"Yes, it did."

Corday, got in the taxi and started to pull the door shut before thinking twice.



"Quickly and rapidly." she said. "At this pace, I'll be there in no time."

He laughed as she closed the door and the taxi took off. He thought about hailing a taxi, but decided to walk home instead. He was much too happy to be confined.


"YES! I knew it. I knew tonight would be the night!" I screamed as soon as I was certain Romano was out of earshot.

"You were correct." He says, linking arms with me.

We walk down the street a little, and I feel so giddy, both from the success of my genius plan and the company I'm currently keeping. "That was amazing. That was so beautiful!"

"It was both of those things." He says, smiling, obviously amused by my giddy behavior and childlike enthusiasm.

He suddenly stops, suddenly somber. "I am so glad to be here with you."

I laugh, "I'm glad to be here with you too."

He puts his finger under my chin and kisses me lightly on the lips. It's short but absolutely electric. "Good." he says, and we keep walking… there'll be plenty of time to cover the bases later.


The Next Morning: An Epilogue of Sorts Where All is Revealed.

Corday was in the lobby when Romano walked in, there was something between them today. Something different, and everyone could see it. They exchanged looks and glances, and he was happy… such a change in demeanor from his usual state.

It was different. I could feel it. Everyone could feel it.

It was a beautiful day…so giddy was I from the multitude of events that took place last night. I was certain that nothing could go wrong.

"Kerry. I need to talk to you about your buddy O'Grady." Romano said, and I felt my heart drop into my stomach. Oh, shit.

Kerry looked at him with the strangest look on her face. "Who?"

"Your pal O'Grady, he's a world class flake."

Kerry's face contorted even more.

"He asked to meet with us on several different occasions and never showed up. Not once." Elizabeth chimed in.

I felt my face turn red, and I stared at the chart in my hand, playing the age old game of 'if I don't look at them, they won't see me.'

"Yeah," Romano said, "Like I said, he's a total flake."

Kerry looked back and forth between Romano and Corday. "I'm sorry to hear that, Robert, but I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about."

Romano and Corday looked at each other. I kept my eyes glued to the chart.

"You mean you don't know anyone by the name of O'Grady? Then who…?" Elizabeth asked, starting to catch on.

Kerry considered for a moment, just to make sure. "Nope. No one." she said, before taking a chart from the board and walking away.

I know I've said it before, but Oh, shit.

It was silent for a moment, and God bless me, I kept my eyes on that chart like there was no tomorrow. But after awhile I could just feel someone looking at me. Staring at me. Hard. I felt my face get even hotter as I tried to muster up enough courage to look up, to face my fate. I made the game, I had to face the consequences.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity of silence, I looked up from the chart and saw Corday staring at me, and Romano, who hadn't quite got it yet, looking at her. Oh, shit. She didn't look as pissed as I'd imagined, in fact, she was quite unreadable.

I laughed nervously as she stared at me in what turned into disbelief.

"I can't believe…" she started, unsure of what to say next.

I chuckled again, not sure what I should do.

She still looked as though she couldn't quite believe the circumstances unfolding before her eyes, which, really, I couldn't blame her for.

"Abby…" she said "It was you?"

I couldn't deny it. I might be a sneaky bitch, but I'm no liar… well, when it's under my name anyhow. I nodded, looking at Corday and then at Romano, who finally got it. He didn't look mad though, he looked pleased… although he was trying to hide it by pretending to be mad. I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, and I realized that if he wanted the glory of being my accomplice, he must be outed as well. I smiled evilly as he unsuspectingly turned the corner, walking right into what had become my makeshift trap.

"Okay, okay." I said, sounding resigned. "I did it. It was me. But, I want you to know that I wasn't alone in this…" I trailed off, and he glanced at me, instantly devising what had happened. His eyes danced in the wonderful way that they do, and I walked toward him. "Dr. Corday, Dr. Romano, I'd like you to meet Dr. O'Grady."

Corday's mouth fell open, and I had to laugh, then she began to laugh to. Romano had a smile on his face, but said sternly, "That's it, Carter, you're fired." Before joining in on the laughter.

"It's a price I'll gladly pay." Carter said, looking at me.

Corday and Romano shook their heads and began to walk down the hall, and I looked after them for a moment—they certainly were a match made in heaven.

"Abby, Abby," He said, taking my hand. I looked at him and he quickly kissed me on the cheek, making my heart flutter. "Good game." He said.

"Yes," I said, eyeing him, "It looks like everybody scored."

"Ooh, I hope so." he said, kissing me again before grabbing the chart out of my hand and heading down the hall.

I watched him walk away, that confident swagger so evident in his gait. He turned over his shoulder and gave me a wink and waggled a little bit, I rolled my eyes but still had a huge smile on my face.

Oh yes, everybody definitely scored.

I'm 2 for 2. And I'm damn proud.

-The End.

Finally. After a long wait. I do apologize. Hope you liked it and it lived up to it's beginning.