Author: Steph

Disclaimers: The characters do not belong to me, they belong to Lynn-Marie Latham and Bernard Lechowick. Although I would appreciate enormously that Dan Lennox is with me, if you know what I mean.

Spoilers: End season 2. (By "end", I don't mean the last episode)

A/N: I adore all the episodes of "Wild Card" and I find that all the episodes had the potential to finish differently, but if it were the case which would remain to make to the authors of fanfic? I'm asking you. I hope that you will appreciate even if I think that the bottom of the history leaves something to be desired.

Thank you to the readers of my first fic and I make a point of saying to them that this fic will not be the last either. The idea of this history was in my spirit where I looked at the end of the episode in which Dan finds his father, couldn't stop me from thinking that Zoe was for something in all that. Thank you at my muse as always and to Cat for your support from both of you. Cat, this fic is for you. I hope that you will like it. This is my second fic "Wild Card" so then be lenient for those which will read it.

Feedback: Please, if you want to express your appreciation, please do but if you do not like my work for whatever reason, it's not a big deal to me, but there's not no need to let me know.

23:45 -- Busiek's House

Dan was parked in front of the house -- well, he parked on the other side of the street opposite the house -- and sighed, he needed to speak to Zoe, he had something important to tell her. However, he was afraid she wouldn't believe him; what he had to say to her wasn't a joke, far from it, he had only thought about it throughout the way to come here. The fact of seeing his father again had maturely made him think.

He had realized that sometimes opening his heart to a person you love or appreciate has some good. Dan closed his eyes and breathed in deeply before breathed out slowly. He listened a beautiful song talking about a person who had never seen two so determined people to be unaware of the obvious -- in this case, obviously, these were the feelings that they felt for each other. Dan also knew that it was his and Zoe's case. Well, more Zoe's case who persisted in saying that there was nothing between them.

We had to be insane or drunk not to see that they were obviously attracted to one another. And the event which had occurred a few hours earlier had awaken Dan, he had to express to Zoe what he felt for her. The worst that could happen was that she would deny everything. Dan took a last deep breath before turning off the car and putting the key in his jacket's pocket. His father had remained in his apartment and Dan had told him he had to go speak to Zoe.

Dan's father had not said anything and had simply smiled as if he had understood. Dan had left a few seconds later with a smile which was as large as his father's. He still couldn't believe his father came back in his life after all that had occurred between them. He had even thought he would never see him again after the phone call they had during the day. His father didn't want to believe him when Dan had explained to him why they were taken hostages.

But all was well that ended well, he had found his father. He'd had this odd feeling during all the evening while speaking with his father that his partner was not foreign with all that. Dan got out of the car, took again the keys in the pocket of his jacket and pressed the small button on the key to lock it. He crossed the street and stopped in front of the door of Zoe's house; hesitated a few moments and, reconsidering once again what had occurred in the afternoon, he rang the doorbell.

Zoe opened the door a few moments later, first of all, being astonished to see him on the step of her door at this late hour. She worried then, thinking that it had arrived something to the father of her partner. "Dan, is your father ok?" She asked worriedly. "Yes, don't worry, my father is fine. Thank you for worrying. Can I come in?" Dan answered. "Of course, sorry. Come in." Dan hesitated one second. "You're sure? I would not like to wake up the children."

"Don't worry about that, they are with some friends. But tell me, what do I owe the honor of your visit at this late hour? You're sure that everything is fine?" Dan Lennox could not stop from smiling in front of her dismayed attitude. "Yes, Zoe, I assure you, everything's ok. I just want to speak to you is all. No worries." He said with a smile. "Ok, then in that case, make yourself comfortable, you know where the couch is, right?" She said with a smile.

Dan returned her smile by removing his jacket. He was ready to hang it to the coat rack but Zoe took it nicely from his hands. "Sit down…" She indicated to him gently. She hung Dan's jacket and a few moments later, she sat down besides him on the couch. "You want something to drink, Dan?"

"No thank you, I don't want anything for the moment." Zoe Busiek would never have acknowledged it to him but she was glad her partner came to visit her because without the children in the house, she felt all alone. This house which, usually, was a normal size suddenly appeared to have an enormous size and it was also too quiet. As Zoe didn't want to watch the television, she had turned on the radio at a station which only put some "old-fashioned things", although "old-fashioned things" was quite a coarse word; it was quite simply a radio station which put songs from the 70's – 80's that Zoe adored because in fact those songs had a soul, songs that it was enough to hear to have the goose flesh.

"Hello… Earth to Zoe. Zoe, everything's all right?"

"Hmmm? Yes…" she said discreetly. "Thank you." Dan murmured. Zoe leaned down the head on the side slightly, "Thank you for what?"

"Thank you for my father. He told me what you did."

"Me? But I didn't do anything…" she answered him funny. "Thank you…" He repeated gently inclining himself slightly to give her a kiss on the cheek. Moving back then she looked at him during one moment -- a little too long however but that does not mean anything more than what it was supposed to mean: a simple glance of gratitude. This moment seemed to be suspended in time, nothing didn't seem to exist around them and Zoe felt herself lost in those eyes.

She had never noticed until now at which point the color of his eyes was intense. Then Zoe gathered her thoughts and cleared up her throat, obviously slightly ill at ease, she asked awkwardly… "Dan, didn't you have something to tell me?" She says, getting up to look for something to drink. Abruptly any saliva seemed to have disappeared from her mouth as well as her throat. Dan had always had this effect on her.

Each time that she rested her eyes on him, she felt these same feelings, this same heat wave going up in her. Generally she managed to hide that fact very well in acting spontaneously and being cheerful but this time there was something so… so captivating in his glance which she had really some difficulty to get out of his glance. "Yes, I have something to tell you…" He started, but his voice got blurred.

To the change of tone in the voice of her colleague, Zoe turned over. "Dan?" She said worriedly. Dan didn't react, he looked to the ground and seemed to have heard nothing. The only thing that he heard was the song he had heard before in the car and which passed by again now in his head.

I gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I'm older

Now this mountain I must climb
Feels like a world upon my shoulders
I through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
Cant stop now, I've traveled so far
To change this lonely life

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me

I'm gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me
I've got nowhere left to hide
It looks like love has finally found me

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
I cant stop now, I've traveled so far
To change this lonely life

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
And I wanna feel, I want to feel what love is
And I know, I know you can show me

Lets talk about love
I wanna know what love is, the love that you feel inside
I want you to show me, and I'm feeling so much love
I wanna feel what love is, no, you just cannot hide
I know you can show me, yeah

I wanna know what love is, lets talk about love
I want you to show me, I wanna feel it too
I wanna feel what love is, I want to feel it too
And I know and I know, I know you can show me
Show me love is real, yeah
I wanna know what love is…

Dan had just realized that the song talked about his own situation. There had been heartache and pain in his life. He'd had to go through a long way full of obstacles to be the man he is today. He had succeeded; he also seemed to have found another thing: love. Yes, the love was the feeling he felt towards his business partner. Of all his life Dan had never felt anything similar for any woman. Not even for Candy and yet God knows how much he had thought of loving her, but Candy had detected something that Dan refused to admit: his feelings towards Zoe Busiek.

Today, things were different, Dan had understood that he loved her. What had occurred this afternoon had been the catch. Zoe was for him the person with who he wanted to learn what was love as the song would say. "I love you, Zoe…" Dan murmured, gently raising the eyes towards her. Zoe suddenly couldn't breathe. It was not possible. Hadn't Dan just said what she believed hearing? Had Dan really just pronounced the sentence: I love you, Zoe?

No, it was her imagination, she was sure. It was unthinkable that her partner could say these words. Zoe seemed to be fixed on the spot. Abruptly she could not make the least small movement anymore, pronounce the least word. Seeing her like this, Dan could not prevent a smile from taking shape on his lips. He got up and moved towards the woman he loved. Dan stopped within two meters of her. "Zoe, blink the eyes if you hear me," asked Dan gently.

She took a few moments to process, but Zoe ends up blinking the eyes. Dan still moved up and right in the eyes looked at her then repeated once again the three words that he had murmured a few moments before but with a more audible and clear voice this time. "I love you, Zoe." He still looked at her a few seconds then gently, slowly he leaned down, before posing his lips tenderly on hers. A few seconds later, he broke already this so soft contact and moved back a little bit seeking the glance of Zoe, hoping to find an unspecified emotion.

What he saw in her eyes as on her face surprised Dan. He saw a broad smile there. Not the "leave-me-alone, Dan! I don't feel anything for you. We should not do this. It is crazy by the way, I do not love you!" No, there was absolutely nothing of that. The smile which lit the face of Zoe was the same one that shine in her eyes. This smile was back on the face of Dan. They remained a few moments at this position, face to face, when Zoe intensely looked at him, who had just expressed his feelings to her.

She closed her eyes and leaned down, approaching her lips to his. She kissed him tenderly until the kiss became more passionate. Dan gently slipped his right hand into the back of Zoe. Zoe slipped her left upper arm around the neck of Dan while the fingers of her right hand slipped into his short hair. It was as if what she had tried to keep in for two years suddenly had been just released in this kiss. Zoe had the impression that she felt weak in the knees.

They broke the contact at the same time, the need for air being necessary. "Wow!" Dan murmured while smiling. "Like you said…" She answers with a smile. "I love you too, Dan Lennox." The smile of Dan still widens. His right hand slipped slowly on her upper arm causing light electrical shocks all along her spine. Dan was the only man to ever had this effect on her. She had never felt such feelings with Marcos.

Zoe realized suddenly that during all the time that she was with him, all that she had made was to try to convince herself that she loved him -- it was also for this reason that each time she was asked whether or not there was something between her and Dan, she didn't waste time to answer that there was absolutely nothing between them. Truth be told, even if nothing happened between them, she was already in love with him.

Her feelings frightened her. She had never known anything similar before and considering the reputation that Dan had. How not to be worried? But today that appeared so stupid to have questioned it… a small voice in her head recommended to be careful. A look in the eyes of Dan and all the doubts that she had flew away all at once. Dan's eyes reflected only the love that he had for her. The hand which always caressed the upper arm of Zoe still slipped a little and was found in her partner's, their fingers were intertwined as if they had acted of their own mind.

Zoe invited Dan to the couch while smiling. They sat down, Zoe leaned her head on Dan's shoulder. She felt good. "Dan?"

"Mmm?" He answered absent as if he were thousands of kilometers from there. "Why having chosen to tell me now?" She asked while slightly raising the head to look at him. "Why having chosen to tell you what now, Zoe?" He asked pretending not to understand but he had to make a superhuman effort not to smile. "Dan!" Zoe said indignant before smiling and kissing him quickly. "What?" Dan said while laughing. Before becoming again serious and looking at her intensely.

"Why I said it to you now? It's that simple, Zoe. The fact of seeing my father again and speaking with him made me think. As I said to you in my office, my father doesn't have a cell phone because of a brain tumor. It is after having it explained to you and that you left the place that I really became aware of the pain he is in. Zoe, you know, I had never realized it. All these years, I wasted my time to make silly things. I lost 7 years of my life with my father. All that because I had embezzled the insurance and that I had lied to him. I could never have caught up with him this time without you -- I know, we can't never go back, we can't either run after time -- but it's you who made me aware, just like this desperate mother who hold us hostage with a lighter…" His voice got blurred. Zoe observed him, worried… Dan suddenly appeared so sad. "Dan, talk to me." She said to him gently, caressing his cheek.

Dan diverted the head so that Zoe cannot see the tears going up to the eyes. Zoe got up again a little to face him. She caressed once again his cheek with her right hand and of the index of the left hand, placed now under its chin, she exerted a light pressure, again made him swivel the head so that it looks it in the eyes. "Dan, what is it?" she asked gently. "Nothing."

"Dan, it's me you're talking to, Zoe Busiek. I know you and I know when something is wrong."

"Ok, you won. I will tell you what's wrong. I have the impression that I've failed." He said in an anxious voice. Dan Lennox pushed back Zoe nicely and got up. Zoe observed him without saying anything, the heart torn to see him torturing himself. She moved towards the door which carried out to the small terrace. Zoe followed him but before caught a mineral water bottle in the refrigerator. "Dan, don't say that. It's not true, see, you didn't fail everything." She tested gently.

Dan turned over to face her, now outside on the small terrace and Zoe was surprised to see that he had now the eyes filled with tears which obviously he tried to pull back. "Really? Tell me what I did good?" He asked her in a voice broken by the emotion. Zoe considered it a few moments. It was necessary that she finds the means of making reappear this so beautiful smile on his face -- this smile that each time made her melt, this smile which made her forget her reasons for anger and which disarmed her completely.

Coming from nowhere a mischievous smile took shape on her lips and also gleamed in her eyes. "I know tons of things that you did good in your life -- but there is one of them that I prefer overall and is really the best thing that you did…" She started. Seeing the expression on Zoe's face, Dan could not prevent a shy smile from appearing on his so soft features. At once the smile of Zoe widens. "And what is it this thing that I did, tell me?" He asked gently sitting down on the small stone low wall.

Zoe advanced very slowly, in a tempting way. She sat down on his left knee, put her arms around his neck and kissed him before making a pout. "You really don't see it?" Pretending disappointment. "No," he murmured resting his face against hers. "It's pretty simple, Dan. You fell in love with me," she answered with a simple smile.

Dan burst of laughing. "As if that's a difficult thing. I was already in love with you when I first saw you." In spite of darkness Dan could see the eyes of the woman he loved to shine like a diamond. Zoe's eyes radiated love for him. Zoe had never imagined to be able to love somebody as much as she loved Dan Lennox. Men, she had known some of them, however she all had liked them but nothing compared to her business partner.

If something should happened to him one day -- God knows -- she would be sick. "Dan?" She called such gently. "Hmmm?" He said in a absent tone. "What is it that you don't tell me?" She questioned nicely. "You remember little Svetlana?" Zoe has a smile with the thought of this splendid small kid and her smile still widens when she remembered Dan taking care of the baby. He was so nice and if she had not already felt something for him at this time, she would have fallen crazy in love with him in this second.

He had something strong when he was in the presence of a child. He was so tender, so soft… "Of course I remember this little kid." She answered him smiling. "You would make an excellent father, Dan." She added by leaning once again for brushing hers lips to his. "It is precisely there the problem, Zoe. I would like to become a father but I am afraid of not being at the height and then, imagine a little if our children make the same silly things like me…"

He wanted to continue but stopped when he saw the expression that had taken shape on the face of Zoe. "Zoe? Is everything all right?"

"Yes, it is just that I am a little surprised…" she says after a few moments. "Surprised? Why?"

"Dan, do you realize what you just said?" She asked him gently whereas a smile appeared on her lips. "Well yes, I said our children…" His voice got blurred. Dan did not manage to believe what he had just said twice. "You think about what you have just said?" Dan did not answer immediately, slowly absorbing the idea which had been just formed in his mind. He realized that it was what he wanted from the bottom of his heart -- but he was afraid. Afraid of not being a good father, afraid of making mistakes. "Yes, I think about it, but…" He stopped.

Zoe put a finger on his lips. "No Dan, don't think about that. What you did in the past is a part of you and you will never forget it. These choices made you who you are today, but the past is the past and it belongs to the past. You must look towards the future now… And then I saw you with Hannah, Cliff and Taylor. You are great with them. You even make it work with Taylor even though sometimes I do not know what to do with her anymore." Although she said this sentence, Zoe did one of her famous glances. This last remark combined with the grimace made, Dan smile.

"Plus, Hannah adores you, Dan; you must be blind if you don't see it. You always were there when I needed you. You have even been baby-sitting for me. You are an integral part of our lives, Dan. When I am mad, it is enough for making me smile so that this anger flies away. When you call my name, a silk cloth wraps me all around the body and when you kiss me, nothing exists and I only want to lose myself in you."

Dan had now sore throat and wet eyes. For the first time in his life he had the impression that he was in the right place. That all he had achieved had perhaps been only stupidity. Zoe wrapped her arms around him and murmured to him in the ear, "You know, I wouldn't mind at all to see a little Dan running everywhere in the house…" Dan rejected the head gently behind to be able to look in the eyes, looking for the certainty of what he had just heard out of Zoe's mouth.

"You're serious?" He asked in a whisper. Dan suddenly seemed to have problem to breathe. For any answer, Zoe kissed Dan in an impetuous kiss. Their lips separated only when the need for air was obvious. "I love you, Dan, and that, that will never change." An enormous sexy smile lit now the face of Dan. "I love you, Zoe, I always will." Their lips were linked once again in a kiss full of promises with a future of a life together.