A/N: Just a little take on the 'Devan situation' from Jordan's point of view. Nothing too heavy but an angst warning just in case. Indicates a possible Jordan/Woody ending, mainly friendship though.
There was something strange underlying the desperate desire to surrender to alcohol, but my sane side knew better than to get drunk. I had many responsibilities, some incredibly ridiculous, but the importance of maintaining a strong hold on reality overrode them all. Something had gone wrong on that flight and I couldn't get out of my mind the thought that karma was involved somehow.
I was interrupted by a knock at my door. I was in my apartment, arranging some leaflets I had to hand in to Garret tomorrow…and thinking about the previous night. I made my way slowly to the door, not really wanting anyone to disturb my solitude. I opened it quickly without a care, secretly hoping it was someone I could get rid of easily, but much to my dismay it was not. It was Howard Stiles banging on my door…at midnight. Typical.
He greeted me with a smile and some Chinese take-out in his hand. "Jordan. Thought you might be lonely."
I stepped out of the way and let him in. "Remind me not to take that personally."
He intrusively took off his hat and jacket and threw them unceremoniously onto the arm of my couch, before sitting down himself. "Well, you can't judge a man for wondering."
"No," I started, "but you can judge a man for intruding. How can I be of service?"
He placed the Chinese on the coffee table before grabbing the closest box to him. "Come on, Jordan. Do you really have to ask me that?"
I cringed and sat awkwardly next to him. "And must you ask that." It was not a question.
I knew why he was here; I just didn't want to accept it. I blamed myself for her death in part and it was because of something so selfish it was stupid. Howard just inclined his eyebrows, waiting for me to say something. I didn't. This wasn't the sort of problem talking could solve; it was too deep for that. And besides, I really didn't want to talk about it.
Howard shifted on the couch and took up his chopsticks, readily delving into the box to draw out a dumpling. "So, how are you?"
I nodded, looking for a moment at the Chinese food in front of me before turning away from it. I didn't feel like eating. "I'm…ok."
It was Howard's turn to nod, though almost sarcastically. "Really, Jordan. Are you?"
I leaned back heavily into the back of my couch and sighed, resigning. "Really, Howard, I'm fine. Just a little tired."
He ignored my implication and chewed loudly on his food. "Why don't we start with talking about the terrible tragedy that occurred yesterday? It is my understanding you were…close with Dr. Maguire…?"
He was indirect and direct at the same time. And he knew exactly how to make me talk. "Not exactly," I shrugged. "I mean, we were friends…just not…close."
"Uh huh," he fumbled around in the box before picking up another dumpling. "And why was that?"
"Well," I gave him a strange look, "I didn't know her very well…"
Howard looked me in the eye a moment before turning back to his food. "Right. But you knew her well enough to know she was getting close to Detective Hoyt."
I stared at him. How could he insinuate something like that, and use my guilt against me to justify the questions he was asking? "No."
Howard nodded while still looking at his food. "But that's what your guilt is about, isn't it? Their relationship according to your own with Detective Hoyt."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. How could this man just accuse me of feeling jealous about a relationship that had nothing at all to do with me? How could this man read me so flawlessly and get away with it? How could this man see the truth in me?
"It was their relationship. I didn't have anything to do with it," I said indignantly.
Howard finished consuming his dumpling and dug around for another one. "But you and Detective Hoyt were close at one stage, weren't you? And who was this woman to come in and just steal him when you weren't looking?"
I glared at him. These were my thoughts and they were private. And I was feeling guilty because of them. "I thought you were a shrink, not an instigator. I will ask you one more time, what do you want?"
Howard carelessly threw down the empty take-out box and rudely put his feet up on the table, crossing them methodically. "Your thoughts in words."
It was then that I realised this man would not stop until he had what he wanted. And what he wanted was for me to be at ease with this situation. "You're right. I did feel like Devan had stolen Woody from me. She had no right to him. But in all fairness, neither did I. I disregarded any attempt in beginning a relationship with him and yet I felt insanely jealous when Devan came into the picture."
Howard smiled slightly. "Ok. Dr. Maguire – or Devan," he tilted his head back a little. "Did she ever speak to you personally about her relationship with Detective Hoyt?"
I shook my head. "Not really. In fact, she kind of…hid it from me."
Howard pressed on. "Care to elaborate…?"
I thought of that time when Devan had lied to me about having a 'quiet night'. She had been going out with Woody – I had seen it in his eyes that he was finally over me. "Maybe it was because she didn't want to hurt me, but she lied to me this one time about having a quiet night. She was really spending it with Woody, as I later found out from him."
"And do you think that maybe provoked something in you? Jealousy maybe?"
I nodded. That had been the beginning of it all – that one night. I had spent it with Garret when the one man I had really wanted to spend it with was going home with another woman. I woman I worked with, no less.
Howard sighed and uncrossed his legs, standing up from the couch and roaming around to eventually reach the fridge. He pulled out two beers and brought them back, handing me one before sitting back down…and crossing his legs over the coffee table. "What happened next?"
I twisted the lid of the bottle and took a sip, relieved to finally taste the alcohol I had been craving for two days straight. "They started hanging out a lot and I found myself out of the loop. They shared jokes and laughed about them in the morgue."
Howard took a sip of his beer. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Jordan, but haven't you always thought of the morgue as your own place; somewhere you could go for solitude?"
I nodded slowly, absorbing his words. I always had thought of the morgue as my special place. I mean I slept there some nights. That had to count for something. "And then Devan was suddenly everywhere. This may sound harsh, but she was so suffocating. Relentless, almost." I paused for a long time, gathering my thoughts. And then… "Is it wrong to feel this, to feel resentment for someone who's dead?"
Howard smiled comfortingly. "Well, that depends on who is your local preacher. But to me, it's not wrong. Just as long as you feel sorry for feeling it. Do you…feel sorry?"
I shrugged. Did I? Devan and I, we hardly knew each other. But she didn't deserve to die like that. And she did consider me a friend, however bitchy I had been to her. "The night of the crash, she called me to ask if I could cover her shift. I had just worked a double and I…snapped. It was her fault for not being there. Why should I cover for her? I guess I was just feeling a little…lost."
And why shouldn't I have been? I had lost one of my best friends in the world…to her. She had his attention, and he had hers. At first I didn't feel threatened. Then…something happened between them. Something happened and Devan made it pretty clear he was what she wanted. She made a move while I just stood there, waiting for the nightmare to end. But it hadn't. And it still wasn't over. There was still one more thing left to do.
I knocked on his door. It was past one in the morning and I hoped he wouldn't be too tired to deal with me. It took a while for him to answer, but when he did, he didn't look so well. He had heavy dark blue bags underneath his eyes, accentuating just how tired he really did look. He wore a light, white shirt with trouser pants and it looked like he hadn't shaved for a few days.
"Jordan, what do you want?" His voice came out a cold whisper and a chill ran down my back.
I took a chance, risking everything. "I am so sorry, Woody. I was too stupid to realise I still had your friendship in my hand, and I dropped it. I pushed you away when really that was when I needed you the most. I'm sorry for what I said to Devan that night, and I'm sorry for not accepting your relationship with her. I just…didn't want to. But Woody, I am so sorry for everything. And I hope you can forgive me."
Woody just looked at me. He didn't invite me in, but neither did he slam the door in my face. Well, it was a start.