Happy Enough by SLynn
Disclaimer: Any character you recognize, not mine.
Notes: This is it, the very last chapter. Hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 30: Enough
As Sara drove him home from the hospital, tests all ran and back negative, Greg knew he wouldn't be spending the night alone. It wasn't arrogant to think that, he reasoned with himself, it was almost sad. Because he knew that Sara didn't love him. He knew she cared, that she maybe loved him as a friend, and in some horrible twist of fate she was oddly attracted to him; but it wasn't love.
It was powerful and overwhelming, but not love. This was need. She needed to know he really was here and alive and he needed to feel safe again. Laugh or not, he had been scared earlier. Terrified was a better word. And Sara made him feel safe. She made him feel that none of his problems were problems. Alive. With her he was alive.
He didn't even try to stop it.
He hadn't objected to her coming inside although he knew he should have, it was his only hope. Hadn't even attempted to pull away in the slightest as she drew him into her arms just inside the door, his apartment still dark. And she hadn't backed down as he kissed her. Greg kissed her for all the times he'd wanted to but held back. Thousands of instances built into that one moment. Sara returned his kiss with one, if not holding the same fervor, at least matching in intensity. It was everything he'd remembered from the last time only so much realer. The world seemed realer, brighter, but only those moments.
Even as it was happening he knew it wouldn't last. They weren't going to last. Tomorrow they'd go back to indifference or slight friendship, both bad choices. Tomorrow, embarrassed and ashamed, they'd retreat back into themselves and try to forget until the next time. Because there would be a next time, it wasn't just a fluke. They'd keep this up until they'd finally and completely destroyed their friendship and either jealousy or real hatred was all that was left.
And then what?
He didn't know. Right now, it didn't matter. Right now she was here, with him and it was enough. He could hold her, kiss her, and touch her. She was there now and he'd have to make do.
Greg hadn't completely given up. Not yet. He knew how he felt for her, thought he knew how she felt for him and secretly wondered if he could ever change her mind. He didn't think so, but that wasn't an absolute.
Clinging to each other they made their way to his bedroom. It hadn't taken long to get there. Both knew exactly what was going to happen, what they wanted to happen. Still new to each other, there were nerves that even passion couldn't entirely overcome. Everything was done with a patient deliberateness at first, much like the last time they'd been together. But soon they grew comfortable again. The desire to touch, move and taste was too much for either of them to remain disciplined. Before long it all faded into bliss.
The next morning, really only a few hours later, Greg woke and found the bed beside him empty.
"Where are you going?" he asked sitting up, still drowsy as he found Sara at the edge of the bed putting on her shoes.
"I still have to drop off the truck," she whispered for no other reason then it was dark.
"Are you coming back?" he asked, checking the clock. It was just after five.
She didn't answer immediately, standing up instead and he knew why. She wasn't.
"At least talk to me now then," he implored.
"You were right, we can't keep doing this."
"Well," he began "why don't we do something more? It doesn't have to be just this."
"Yes, it does."
"Because," she started and realized she couldn't give him an answer. "It just does. Greg, if we got involved I'd end up hurting you. It wouldn't be on purpose, it would just happen and I don't want to do that."
"You don't know that. Besides, I'm an adult Sara; I'd rather just take my chances. I know that it might not work, but this is definitely going to fail."
"Greg," she said, sitting down in front of him, unconsciously rubbing his forearm, "There are so many things wrong with me that you just don't know about. I've got a lot of baggage."
"But I want to know," he countered, pressing his forehead to hers.
"No you don't."
He leaned in and quickly kissed her before she could object.
"Yes, I do."
"You're not playing fair," she smiled, pulling away from him a bit as she did so.
"It's not a game," he said half seriously.
"I know," she answered, meeting his tone.
"If it was I'd be reduced to stuffing cryptic love notes into your locker and casting meaningful glances your way during staff meetings."
"That's not funny," she said, now completely serious. It was one of her biggest problem with the whole situation.
"Is that what you're worried about? What people at work will say?"
"Yes, it is. Romance and work do not mix."
"Well, I wouldn't want to take you on a date to the lab, if that's what you're thinking. Besides, you've seen it already and I usually hold off doing that for special occasions."
"I'm being serious Greg."
"I am too, sort of."
"No, you're not. I almost lost it today in front of everyone when Griss said you were at the hospital. And then there was that triple homicide, I complete froze up. It's already a distraction now, if we…"
"Are you saying I'm a distraction?" he asked hastily moving to get up. He needed some space between them suddenly.
"Yes. No, not you. Us. We're a distraction."
"I can't decide if that's flattering or offensive," is what he said, but his tone clearly spoke his opinion.
"But you see my point."
"No, I don't. Because we're already involved. You may not agree with me, but what else can you call this."
Greg had felt this sensation before, once when he'd stopped breathing. All of the air was just gone from him. He knew he'd forced her to say it, forced her to tell him that but it didn't make it one bit easier to hear.
"Okay," he said tersely, "well at least now I know how you feel."
"Greg," Sara tried, her voice sounding thicker then usual "I didn't mean it like that."
"How do I keep doing this to myself?" he asked out loud.
"Please try and understand…"
"No, I need to know. Right now. Can you even imagine it, you and me? Forget about work, forget about what anyone would say, pretend it doesn't matter."
"I don't know that."
"Right now, can you? Can you even try?"
She hesitated. Sara knew what she felt, that it scared her. She also knew what she was going to say. It was a lie and it was going to hurt them both, but it had to be done. They couldn't go on like this.
"No," she answered quietly, "I can't. It wouldn't work."
Greg nodded in silence, barely visible to her from where he now stood across the room. It's what he'd expected to hear. What he'd always told him self she'd felt.
"That's it then," he finally said.
It was her turn to nod silently, tears trickling down her cheeks.
"I should go."
Greg didn't try to stop her, watched her as she walked out of the room, following her into the living room as she made her way to the door.
Sara put on her jacket, picked up her purse and had her hand on the door before she stopped. This was it. There was no changing her mind once she left. She wasn't sure if Greg believed in second chances.
He turned away as she opened the door. Greg thought if he'd watched her leave it might be easier to take, but it turns out he was wrong. He couldn't do it. So when she pulled it open, he retreated back to his room. Frustrated and upset, feeling very much like he'd just let the best thing in his life leave without so much as an attempt to stop her. But what could he do? He couldn't make her stay.
Greg heard the door shut and knew she was gone.
Still standing in his darkened bedroom, he was at a loss. He rubbed a hand across his face, catching a few stray tears he hadn't known about and took a deep breath.
"Can I change my answer?"
He felt delirious, like he might be dreaming. As Greg turned round to just confirm that he indeed wasn't going mad, Sara was there in the doorway. Still in her jacket and clutching her purse nervously before her, but really there.
She couldn't read his face. It was so completely blank she wasn't sure if he was going to tell her everything was fine or just throw her out. She couldn't blame him if he did the latter, but she hoped he wouldn't. She didn't have long to wait. Within seconds of realizing she was there still, really there, he'd crossed the room and wrapped her in his arms. Sara couldn't remember being kissed like that before, with such emotion. She'd never been happier for taking a risk.
"Why'd you stay?" he asked once he'd finally let her loose, a bit breathless and grinning at her like a Cheshire cat.
"You ask too many questions," she avoided more then answered. Sara wasn't sure herself. She'd just felt that maybe it was time to stop running.
"You should try to get use to that."
"I'm not promising this is going to be easy," she said seriously, not wanting to dampen his spirits, but just wanting him to understand the truth of the situation. She wasn't an easy person to deal with and she knew it. Especially for those she loved.
"I know that."
"Do you really?"
Greg nodded. He thought he did. It didn't matter to him, he was willing to try. Willing to do anything to make this work.
"Are you sure I can make you happy?" she asked, this time will so much seriousness that he'd completely stopped smiling despite his mood. Sara still had her doubts, but if he didn't hers would soon be done away.
"Yes, you can." He said assuring her once more of just how he felt. "More then enough."
A/N: Again – thank you so much for all of the incredible reviews! I love and read them all, even the not so flattering. : ) I hope you enjoyed the story.
Couple of notes, I've said this before I never intended this to be a romance. Chapter 7 changed that for me. I'd originally planned another asthma attack for that scene. That would have been three in a row after close contact with Sara, thus giving me a stronger reason (new perfume) for the attacks because originally I'd never planned the tests to come back positive.
Ah, but by then I couldn't stop myself! I resisted right up to the end because in my head she really was walking out that door, call me a coward, but she came back. I love sappy endings. However, because of this my sequel will have to undergo a minor rewrite. No big thing, I'm hoping to have the first few chapters out soon.
About the sequel – it will take place nearly a year after Greg's first diagnosis. It'll be a more case driven story. And it will be titled: Issues. If that sounds familiar, it should, it's the title of chapter 27 to this story. That's all I'm saying.
Again, a million thanks!