DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em; ready, willing and able to stage a coup


A/N: A little fluff break from the other gazillion things I'm working on. There will probably be a sequel.


Someday I'm going to write a book about the trials and tribulations of being a medical examiner. Okay, okay, a medical examiner who happens to be prone to doing a little detective work on the side. Of course, Garret might beat me to it, writing a book about the trials and tribulations of trying to rein in a medical examiner who happens to be prone to doing a little detective work. Mine'll be more interesting though. I'm pretty sure I've had my life threatened more often than he has, definitely been tossed in jail – or damn close – more than he has and, without a doubt I've gotten trapped in way more locations that he has. Way more. I'm going to devote an entire chapter to the top ten most awkward places to get trapped. I know my list is apt to be influenced by a few factors. Well, one factor, I guess. I sigh and look over. Woody is retying the lace on his left shoe for roughly the eighteenth time. I officially stopped counting at an even dozen, but I'm pretty sure it's eighteen.

I pull my hair out of the messy horsetail it's in. I rearrange the hair, double it over and begin twisting the elastic to hold it. Damn holder breaks and goes flying. Towards Woody. He looks up. Did I mention that was about the twentieth time I'd "fixed" my hair?

Yeah. Awkward. If it were that "morning-after-I-know-what-I-want-but-what-if-the-other-person-doesn't-and-I-don't-want-to-feel-like-an-idiot" awkwardness, that would be easy. I pretty much have mastered that one. Hard to have an awkward morning after if you leave in the middle of the night. This is more that "I-love-you-you-love-me-but-we've-both-said-and-done-a-lot-over-the-years-to-hurt-each-other-and-now-we-don't-really-know-what-to-say" awkwardness. Not so easy.

Woody reties his shoelace. Nineteen.

I rummage through my purse, hoping for another elastic band. Smiling stupidly – really, it's just a hair band – I yank one out and pull my hair back, ready to secure it.

"Are you aiming for me or was the first shot just lucky?"

I glare at him mildly. "If I'd been aiming, you'd know it."

He closes his eyes and rests his head against the elevator wall, slumping.

I fix my hair again.

Eyes still closed, he says, "You ever wish there were things you could change?"


He opens his eyes.

"I wouldn't have gotten on this elevator."

His dimples put in an appearance as he grins. "No, I mean change stuff that would… well, change the way your life went, at least, at least… the last few years."

"I don't know. I mean, yeah, I guess. Be kinda cool to make a wish and change something in someone's life. I could wish that girl, Flora, that she'd never been kidnapped. Oh, or – or there was-"

"I kind of meant personally, Jordan."

"Oh." I furrow my brow, not entirely comfortable where this could go. "Um… what do you wish?"

He doesn't answer for a long time. A really long time. Maybe he's worried we'll run out of oxygen in here. Maybe he's fallen asleep. His voice is quiet. "I wish I'd been honest with you out in California, in the desert." Okay, maybe he was weighing his options.

I blink quickly several times and then give a tiny, anxious nod. He is watching me as I weigh mine. It seems like we just jumped into this. Well, jumped into it five years, countless cases, an ex here and there and one fleeting night together later. "I wish I hadn't gone on that body run with Bug. When we got trapped in the T.W.T."

He exhales and waits. "I wish I'd stayed that time, when I brought you back your mom's locket."

I can't meet his gaze anymore. "I wish I hadn't answered my cell phone… that time."

"I wish I'd let you go first that night I told you I couldn't take it anymore."

I can't help the harsh chuckle. "Me, too." I look up at him. His eyes bore into me. "I wish I'd told you how I felt before you were being wheeled into surgery."

It's his turn to look down. I think about switching sides, going to sit next to him, but it doesn't feel right. Not yet. Right, Jordan Cavanaugh. Cautious to the extreme. Unless it risks actual physical injury to life and limb and then… well, a little maiming, a little death… much better than this heart breaking stuff.

He sighs. "I wish I'd accepted that house plant. And asked you to help me talk to it."

"I – I wish… I'd … known how to help."

He shifts slightly. "I – um – I wish you'd never met Pollack."

"I wish you would have told me about Lu."

We both go silent. Too much has been laid bare. Woody reties his shoe again.

I let out a shuddering breath. "At least you didn't say you wished you'd never met me."

He looks up, his blue eyes wide and shocked. "Then I'd have known something was missing, but not what."

I can't reply. This is the "confession-is-good-for-the-soul-or-so-they-say" awkwardness.

He moves, sliding over to me, putting an arm around my shoulder. I allow myself to press in to his side and rest my head in the curve of his neck. He rests his chin on my head. His voice is a soft, almost reverent murmur. "I wish I'd told you how I felt from the beginning, how I knew you were the one, how I'd never leave, how you could trust me."

I look up. His eyes are so close, so clear, so intense in their study of mine. "I knew. I always knew. I wish I could have trusted myself enough to try."

He smiles gently and cups my face in his hands. "I wish the first thing I'd done this morning was this." His lips claim mine in a tender kiss, chaste but with the promise of far more. "And this," he adds, his mouth moving along my jaw. "And this," he told me as he undoes the first few buttons of my blouse." "And definitely this." His hand slides into my shirt and under my bra. I gasp at the touch of his fingers against my skin. He begins to caress me softly, his fingers massaging gently. "And who could forget this?" His fingers brush over my nipples and I moan into his ear.

We stop wishing, at least with words. His hands seem to be all over, all at once. I can hardly catch my breath and I don't believe the elevator is short on oxygen. His lips roam all the places his hands have been. I don't remember how, but my top has come off and my jeans have been pushed down my legs. I've managed to wrap my arms around him and keep him close even as he struggles out of his suit and tie. We lean back and I realize I'm going to end up with that waffle pattern from the car's floor stamped onto my back and ass.

I wish I could care.

No, I don't.

He whispers my name, asks if I'm sure. I give him a low, soft laugh and tell him I should be checking if he's sure about this. He grins at me and his blue eyes dance.

We're going to have to play this wishing game more often.

But not in an elevator.

We both groan as the machinery around us whirs to life.

We scramble back into our clothing and stand up. He pulls me to him and kisses me softly. His mouth moves up to my ear and he murmurs, "I wish you'd have dinner with me tonight."

I lean up and reply, "I wish it'll be more than just dinner."

His eyes twinkle again. "Your wish is my command."

END (for now, there'll probably be a sequel)