When he finally gets to the studio (icy roads, Karen, that goddamn accident, etc.), she's taking the final pushpin from her stapler sketch. She's got all of them piled in her left hand as she pushes the pins back into the wall in the shape of her name. She runs out before she can finish the M and she hangs her head a little before sighing and turning around, startled to find him there.
He feels guilty, but he isn't sure why. After all, it's not really his job to support her anymore. It's never really been his job to support her, he just did it without even thinking most of the time. Still, when she looks up at him with those familiar disappointed eyes, he feels guilt rise up in his throat and that instinct kick starts again within him and he wants to make it better for her.
"Hey, sorry I'm late," he says, not bothering to list reasons, because he isn't sure she wants to hear about Karen's purse and the crumpled up flyer for the show and how he didn't even know about it until half and hour ago.
Her mouth sort of smiles, but doesn't really, "Oh, that's- it's okay. You didn't miss much."
She looks down at her stack of art, her index finger toying with the upper right hand corners. Bending and folding them. He reaches out for them, tentatively with his eyes on hers.
She nods, hands them over. Her eyes stay on his hands and wrists as he shuffles through them. He looks at each one carefully, looking at details and colors and lines. He smiles softly when he's done.
"These are really great, Pam."
She smiles, pulling at her necklace and not looking at his face, "Thanks."
He hands them back to her. If she had been courageous and honest before, this would be happening differently.
He puts his hands in his pockets and rocks back and forth on his heels. Then he says suddenly, "I love that you're doing this. I mean- I'm really glad you're for going after this."
It's not about how pretty her art is. He recognizes this, understands this.
She's pulling her sleeves down over her palms. The studio is empty and silent, just the buzzing of florescent lights over their heads when she starts to cry noiselessly. He has to duck his head so her face catches the light to even be sure that there are tears. But there are and so he reaches his hand out for her shoulder and squeezes a little before dropping his hand back to his side.
She wipes the corner of her eye with the cotton covered heel of her hand. "Sorry, it's just been a…Sorry."
"It's fine," he says and smiles to reassure her, "You look great, by the way. I like your hair. And your artsy fartsy turtleneck."
She gives a tear clogged laugh, "Thanks. I really wanted to look the part tonight, you know?"
"Well, it definitely worked for you."
She nods, smiling and looking down at their feet. Then she sniffles and blinks and says, "So what do you say we go find some defenseless young woman for you to feast on?"
He grins and starts to open his mouth, but she stops him, holding up a hand as they make their way toward the door.
"If you're going to ask if you can sire me, the answer is no."
"Aw, come on, Pam, it could be fun. We could roam the dark alleyways together in search of prey." he says with laughter in his voice and she thinks about sketching his ears or his mouth when she gets home. She thinks about putting them in her next show, an entire series dedicated to the parts of him she wants to keep for herself.