Spoilers: Not really.
Summary: [GSR] I should have left everything alone.
Notes: Something I wrote at 4 in the morning. The best time to write, I was thinking. Thanks Xanti for watching me go out of my mind on Yahoo Doodle while she beta'd this for me. I love moo cows, I do. (don't ask. Lmao)
Sara stared at the candle flame and breathed out a slow sad sigh as her fingers of her right hand absently drew lines in the condensation on her glass of water.
"Ma'am?" A tall, thin waiter called, standing there in his black and white uniform with a white towel tucked into his black apron pocket and a notepad with pen poking out of a second pocket.
Looking up slowly, she nodded. "Could you bring me the bill?" She asked softly, placing her napkin on the table in front of her. She pushed her chair back and took the bill the waiter handed to her.
"Thank you Ma'am." The young waiter offered a small smile and assisted her with her long black coat.
Turning to say thank you, she nodded and smiled a little.
Leaving the classy restaurant, Sara headed towards her car with a lag in her step and a heavy heart. It wasn't every night that she was left in a restaurant before the night had even begun.
What was supposed to be the most romantic and most important night of her life, turned out to be a lonely ache that she thought would never return after hearing his soft proposal one night after a particularly long and hard shift.
Now she didn't know what to do, or feel.
It was like she was being punished.
She had waited the whole night, just in case he was running late, but when she got no phone call or message, she figured it wouldn't hurt to give him the benefit of the doubt and maybe she wasn't being stood up by the one person she thought she could give herself to.
After several hours of plain bread rolls and glasses of water, she was leaving the only restaurant where she was sure her life would begin.
No matter how many excuses she could think of that would explain his absence, it didn't take away the hurt and loneliness that clung inside her.
Maybe I was hoping for too much. It wasn't really a date. He didn't say it was a date. He didn't say it was anything, just dinner. Maybe I read too much into his intentions. I keep doing that. I keep setting myself up and I keep getting hurt.
My own stupid fault.
She let out a weak breath as she sat in her car, staring at the restaurant as the lights were turned off. Maybe she should just let it all go for good this time. It was obviously not that important, whatever it was meant to be, whatever the reason was in the first place.
She just wasn't meant to find out what it would be like to actually be alone with him. It didn't matter what happened, she was not supposed to know what it would feel like to have his full attention outside work, outside the harsh world.
Her own world was quickly swallowing her up and depleting her of what once was. She needed his world, but after tonight, everything was painfully put into perspective.
I should have left everything alone.
Being only a few hours until shift started up again and not having gotten much sleep, she still felt the heaviness and the loneliness sitting directly on top of her heart.
After spending a whole evening by herself, she had gone home to her dark, one bedroom flat to find that her new house guest was running havoc with her spider plant on the coffee table.
After cleaning up a few soil spills and some shredded spider plant leafs, she scooped up the small ginger and white bundle and headed straight to her bedroom to lay awake until the sun came up.
Surprisingly she did sleep, but not for long.
Sitting at the dining table, she flipped idly through the days paper, sipping her hot coffee and absently stroking the soft fur curled up in her lap.
It was a diversion of sorts and her landlord wouldn't allow dogs in the apartments, so a cat was something Sara could take care of and she had always had a soft spot for the furry things, especially when they were kittens.
For years she had listened to her mother and father's chit chat about natural remedies and some she actually tried and believed in, but when it came to stress, a cat was the only thing that had helped her, that and mindless tasks around the apartment.
After the night before, she needed something to help her forget. She still hadn't heard from him and one call to the lab had quenched one worry that there hadn't been an accident.
Thinking that he must have forgotten had entered into her mind several times and the urge to pick up the phone and ring him was strong, but after thinking about it, she remembered that they had never done that.
It seemed odd that they were once friends, good friends, that used to phone and write and email, but that was all in the past. She hadn't had any of the last two and she certainly didn't have a phone call from him that wasn't work related.
Her need to escape it all was added pain in itself. She had once tried to take time out from it all and it didn't work. She still didn't know what changed her mind. It wasn't the plant, it had to be something else, but she couldn't place her finger on it.
If I meant anything to him, he would have at least called, right? I mean, if it was a date, he would have called. He would have been worried or something, made sure I got home ok and stuff. Maybe his cell phone broke or something.
She sighed into her coffee and closed her eyes as she took a large sip.
Almost choking on the hot coffee at the sound of a knock at her door, she startled again when the ginger and white bundle bounded from her lap and scurried away to hide under the couch.
A few minutes had passed and Sara finally got to her feet to answer the door, thinking it was only a neighbour or the mailman. Anything but what her heart truly hoped it would be, but that, she knew, was setting herself up for another disappointment.
When she pulled the door open, she came face to face with what looked like a plant, but it was hard to tell when it kept shaking.
Shaking? Sara furrowed her brows. "Hello?"
It was him.
Opening the door further, she took the offered plant with nothing but blankness in her eyes.
"I'm so sorry." He said in earnest. "I got called in at the last minute. I tried to ring, but got no signal. I really did try to get away, I did, I swear."
Sara looked up from the plant and stared at him for a moment. Focusing back on the plant, she nodded slowly. "It's ok."
"It's not." He protested strongly, closing the door behind him as she turned and moved into the living room to place the plant on the coffee table with the smaller, more shredded one.
"I should have sent someone. I should have tried ringing again. I'm so sorry." He pleaded with her as he stood in her living room, looking at her back as she examined the new addition. "I hope you didn't wait on me too long, Sara."
"I figured I'd wait a little bit." She said distantly, standing up to turn to him. "I figured it would be work, or something else."
"It WAS work, seriously." He sighed heavily as he explained. "Double murder, possible high profile, turned out to be two sisters on a acid trip and off'd themselves." His eyes locked with hers. "I'm really sorry."
She shrugged. "It was just dinner."
"It wasn't JUST dinner." He corrected. "It was THE dinner. The one I turned down. It was supposed to be the night that changed everything and I screwed it up." He stepped forward to touch her arm. "I really am sorry. I didn't mean to stand you up."
Nodding slowly, she shrugged once again, showing him it wasn't a problem, but inside she was hurting. "Would you like a drink?" She offered, moving towards the kitchen.
He sighed. "I can't. I've got to get back to work."
Sara stopped halfway and dropped her head in defeat.
Sensing a great shift in the room, he became more concerned. "Sara?"
"It's nothing." She said sadly. "I guess you should go then."
"First tell me we're ok. That this isn't going to affect us?" He pleaded, almost begged her for an answer.
Turning to him, she shook her head. "Everything's fine."
"You sure?" He asked.
She nodded and took a shaky breath. "Sure."
"Sara," He began.
"Griss, it's ok. I swear. I was having my doubts and everything. I thought you stood me up or forgot or-"
"I did not FORGET. God Sara," He breathed harshly. "This is important to me too. I don't set dates with just anyone you know."
Sara blinked. "You didn't say it was a date."
He looked at her hauntingly. "You didn't think it was a date?" Came his sad and soft voice. Dropping whatever sudden anger that had flashed through him.
She looked down at her feet. "You asked me if I wanted to 'grab a bite to eat.' It was at work and the other's were near by. I guess I thought about it, but I couldn't tell. I-" She looked up and shrugged, not knowing if she should continue, her over-talking suddenly kicking in.
"Hoped?" He asked, carefully taking her hands as he stood in front of her. "I hoped, we could go on a date." Squeezing her hands, he nodded. "Granted it wasn't very romantic, the way I asked, but I thought I'd just, suggest it, you know?"
She shook her head. "Very confusing."
He sighed. "I'm sorry. I should have said it." Waiting a few minutes before speaking again, he was interrupted as something dropped onto his foot.
Looking down, his eyebrows shot up. "A feline is attacking my shoelaces."
Sara giggled slightly, the tension fading away as she pulled her hands free to bend down and lift the ginger and white bundle up. "He's very fond of laces."
He looked at the plants on the table briefly before turning back to pet the kittens head as it stared up at him with bright green eyes. "And spider plants by the looks of those leaves."
"Yeah." She sighed. "Good thing you bought me a new one, cuz I was thinking of just letting him eat it, seeing as he can't help himself."
"Frisky, huh?" He teased, scratching the underside of the kittens jaw, listening to it's purring.
"You should get back to work." Sara said after they'd fussed over the kitten for a few minutes.
"I should get back." He sighed tiredly, patting the kitten's head one last time.
Walking him to the door, Sara remembered something. "Griss?"
He looked at her. "Yeah.
Standing in the doorway with him close to her, she looked into his eyes. "I waited until closing."
"At the restaurant?" He asked, knowing the answer. He nodded and sighed. "I am sorry honey, I'll make it up to you, promise."
The endearment made her smile. "Just call me, ok. Even if we can't get away for a while, just call me or something. You've got a line in your office, you can email me."
"Like we used to." He reminisced.
Sara closed the door quietly and lifted up the now sleepy kitten. "Not so alone anymore huh?"