Packing
By jennamajig


Spoilers: Nothing too specific, but draws upon a line mentioned in the S2 opener.

A/N: A little one-shot as I try and plug away at another long fic. As always, thanks to devra for the alpha and support.


It was part of moving on. Packing up an apartment, leaving nothing yet everything behind, and taking a leap.

"So, you're really moving, right? "

Terry dropped her roll of duck tape and hit Don playfully on the shoulder. "No, I'm being sadistic and making you help pack up my entire apartment. The real joke will be when you carry it all downstairs tomorrow and the moving van doesn't show."

"Me? Carry all this downstairs? Now, that wasn't what I agreed to."

"If you're not going to help me carry it, what good are you?" Terry bent down and retrieved the roll of duck tape. She pushed herself up to survey the living room. Only a few more things were left unpacked.

"What good am I? I could be at home now, you know."

"I know." She paused a moment. "Thank you."

"Any time, you know you that." Don looked at his watch. "Although, it's seven and I remember dinner being part of our deal."

"Of course." She ducked into the kitchen, pulled something off the fridge, and walked back into the living room, handing it to Don. "You want to call or should I?"

"Pizza?"

She shrugged. "It's always been good enough for us before. Besides, I'm buying."

Don smiled. "So, free pizza?"

"Nothing better, right?"

"You ever going to let that go?"

"Let what of go?" She started playing with the roll of tape still in her grasp, rolling in between her hands.

"Pizza. The Laundromat."

She shook her head. "No. Pizza and the Laundromat were just fine." She suddenly felt uncomfortable, awkward. It was a strange feeling, considering the fact that discussing their history had never made her uncomfortable around Don before.

Still, before she hadn't been leaving LA, moving to Washington to try and patch up a marriage she wasn't truly sure would ever work. Mark was great. She loved him. He loved her. Enough to try again, yes, but to succeed, she was unsure. She stilled her hands and put down the tape.

"You want a glass of wine? The fridge is pretty much bare, but I think I may have a bottle or two left that I'd like to get rid of."

"Wine and pizza? This seems oddly familiar."

"No. I didn't even have a couch that time. We ate pizza using one of my boxes as a table. I got grease on my pillow cases."

"You didn't label the box."

She rolled her eyes. "One box, I forgot. Not everyone is as anal as you are, Don."

"Hey! I'm insulted."

"Well, if it makes you fell better, I learned from the experience and labeled the box this time. And the coffee table is still here." She headed back into the kitchen, grabbing an open wine bottle from the counter and a couple of plastic cups.

"Plastic cups?"

She put everything down on the coffee table. "Everything else is packed. Wrapped in tissue paper."

Don took a cup. "I would have brought glasses."

She smiled. "I know." They were both silent a moment and she turned to pour wine into Don's glass before filling her own.

Don raised his glass. "To you and Mark. May you resolve all your problems."

"To that," she agreed softly, touching his cup to Don's before taking a sip. A sip that quickly turned into a gulp. Before she knew it, her cup was empty.

"Whoa, Terry, slow down."

"Right." She blinked at him, put her cup on the coffee table, and sat down on the couch, focusing her eyes at the spot where her now disconnected television was.

"Okay, something's not right." She heard Don shift, knew he'd put down his cup. A moment later, he sat down next to her.

She turned her eyes to him, tried to smile, but figured she failed. "I'm fine. Stress of moving. It's cross-country. New office. New co-workers. Winter."

"New husband?" Don put in.

She let out a short laugh. "Hardly. Mark and I love each other. This is why we're giving it another shot."

"Of course," Don responded. "He seemed like a nice guy when he came here."

"Yeah." She turned back towards the wall. "Do you think I'm making a mistake?"

Even though she wasn't looking at him, she knew Don was surprised by the question.

"Terry, I'm the last person to answer that question."

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean…" She trailed off and sighed. "I love him. I do."

"Who are you trying to convince here?" Don asked. "It surly isn't me."

"No one."

Don didn't look convinced. "You sure?"

She nodded. "Yes. I'm moving, right?"

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean you still can't have doubts. It's human."

"Human, yes, but how can I be trying to patch up a relationship that never seemed to go right? Mark and I would have shouting matches over whose turn it was to pick up milk. I mean, milk. I'm sure the moving van will get there and they'll be moving my furniture in while Mark and I argue on the front lawn. I must be insane. Am I insane?" She shook her head. What was she saying? "No, wait don't answer that. This is silly. I mean I made my choice. I know what I want. Simple, right?"

"I think the FBI has taught me nothing is ever simple. Besides, you're the psychologist, here, Terry. I'm way out my league."

"I don't need a psychologist. I just need a friend."

"Well, that I can do. You know, you can call from Washington. You and I don't have go another ten years without talking to each other."

Terry smiled. "No, we don't." For a brief moment, she contemplated what might have happened if she and Don had been posted to the same place after the Academy. Would they have continued? Or fizzled out? Argued day and night until they realized a committed relationship wasn't a good idea, then spend almost two years separated only to learn that being separated was the last thing either one of them wanted?

No, that was her and Mark, not her and Don. She and Don didn't exist anymore.

No, that wasn't right. She and Don existed, perhaps in the one form they were best at: friends. She liked that, would miss that.

"Maybe I'll hate Washington. I didn't like much the first time."

"Well, if you do, I know a team in the LA field office that could always use a psychologist."

She smiled. "Even if you get someone new?"

Don grinned back at her. "I think we'd work something out." Don reached out to the coffee table, grabbing the wine and refilling Terry's cup. He handed it to her and picked up his own. "Try this again?" He raised his glass. "To new beginnings."

She lifted her glass. "To new beginnings. And old friends."

"Here, here," Don agreed and touched her cup. He took a sip.

Terry held her cup a moment longer before drinking. When she was done she lowered the remaining wine.

"Thank you," she said. "For listening. And helping me pack."

"Like I said before, any time. Now, didn't we say something about pizza?"

"Yes," she agreed. "We did."

She was taking a leap, all right. She still wasn't sure whether it was right or wrong. But, in the end, with a friend or two behind you, it didn't really matter.