Summary: "Thank god it's you, you know your timing is impeccable. I'm not fooling you. I don't know what to do..." Lit

A/N: based on the song Alice Childress by Ben Folds Five.

Spoilers: Season 4

Rating: PG-13 for language.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No money

Timing

It's raining like hell and damned near impossible to light a cigarette.

He tries anyway. He's given up on most everything else (love, forgiveness, hope), but he refuses to give up on this. He wants his fucking smoke.

He glares at his wet lighter and pockets it. He's not giving up; just trying again later.

All he really wants is a bottle of beer to go with his Dickens and nicotine.

He's reading Oliver Twist again and he doesn't know why.

Masochistic? Him? Never.

He trips, suddenly, and stumbles. He rolls his eyes and thinks nothing of it (crack in the sidewalk, most likely).

He only thinks something of it when a rough hand grabs his shoulder and whirls him around. He thinks even more of it when a fist connects with his jaw.

He fights back, of course (valiantly so!), but to no avail. In the end he's left bloody, bruised and wallet-less.

He fucking loves New York.

Eventually, he picks himself up. He's wet and muddy; he wipes his mouth to discover its bleeding and the dull throbbing in his left eye tells him that it'll be black by morning. He begins to limp home, and vaguely remembers that the bastards had taken a baseball bat to his knee.

He put a hand to his hair and pushes it out of his eyes. He winces as his fingers brush against some sort of gash on his forehead.

They'd gotten him good. All that for a stupid wallet.

He's even more wet and completely drained when he reaches his door, and at first he doesn't register that there is someone waiting there already.

He very nearly bumps into her, but stops just in time.

His soggy footsteps and short stop alert her to his presence and she whirls around to stare in shock for a moment.

His left eye that he'd presumed would merely blacken is swelling shut, but at least his lip has stopped bleeding.

He speaks first. He feels he has every right to.

"Rory?"

She opens her mouth to speak but no words leave her lips. The next thing he knows, her arms around holding him tenderly against her.

He stumbles again, due to his bum knee, but manages to stay on his feet and wrap and arm around her waist. He thinks he feels tears against the crook of his neck where her face is buried, but it could be the effect of her warm breath hitting his rain-soaked skin.

He's shocked. Shocked out of his mind that should be here after all was said and done.

But he has to admit that her timing is impeccable.