With a deep breath, Calleigh inhaled the fresh air of the night, backing on the wall with her shoulder, her eyes closed.
She thought something was wrong with her, because her head had been aching all the shift long and still hadn't given her one second of peace. She just hoped it wasn't flu, because she was not in the mood to be confined in bed for a whole week.
She looked up at the dark cloudy sky and let out a weak sigh. She felt tired, but it was more an emotional feeling rather than physical, though she had to admit she wasn't feeling exactly well.
Drenched in her loneliness, she watched fascinated a lightening slash the sky, closely followed by a violent thunder.
"Looks like we're getting some rain, at last."
She smiled inwardly, not even turning around.
She knew that voice. she knew that sweet, friendly tone. She knew every single shade of the warmth of that familiar sound, and it was amazing how it would suddenly come whenever she needed to hear it.
"Hi Ryan." She said softly, not really seeing him, yet feeling him by her side.
"No stars tonight." He noted, looking up with her, his hands hidden in his pockets.
Calleigh turned to him but said nothing. He looked tired as well, but differently from her, he didn't seem affected by that. He wore a lighthearted expression on his face and she couldn't help wondering how he could be so serene after the tough case they'd just close.
She couldn't know he had put on that smile only when he had found her. She couldn't imagine he wasn't like that all the time, because he would always show that same smile with her, but not with anyone else.
It had never crossed her mind he didn't smile for her, but because of her.
"You always watch the stars when you're sad." He said, his gaze fixed on the clouds. "But today you can't watch the stars, so you can't be sad."
She hesitated for a long instant. She had never realized he had noticed that, and it was both surprising and embarrassing.
It was like he could read through her riddles. No matter how cryptic her behaviour could be, he seemed to have the key for her every code.
"I can't see them." She replied. "But this doesn't mean I can't look at them."
He crossed his rams, tilting his head, his eyebrows furrowed.
"How can you look at something you can't even see?"
Calleigh shrugged nonchalantly.
"Haven't you ever looked into someone's eyes and seen things that otherwise you'd have never got to see?"
His head moved her and their eyes met.
"Yeah." Two curls appeared on the corners of his mouth. "A couple of times."
Calleigh stared at him in silence for a long while, until a raindrop fell on her nose.
Both their gazes automatically went back up.
"When the sky cries, an angel dies." Ryan said.
Calleigh sent him a curious glance.
"It's an old rhyme I learned when I was a child." He explained. "I don't remember who taught me it, though."
A light rain started falling, but none of them moved.
"So, aren't you going to tell me what's bothering you?" he asked her.
Calleigh folded her arms, looking at her feet. He knew the answer, maybe even better than her, but he would ask every time, because he wanted her to know he cared. Because she needed to know he cared.
"It was just a bad day."
It was her jolly answer when she didn't want to talk about something or didn't know what to say.
Just a bad day.
Ryan had lost the count of the bad days she had had in the last few weeks.
"You're a terrible liar, you know." He commented teasingly.
Calleigh jokingly glared at him.
"It wasn't a lie."
Ryan turned to her, arching his brows.
"But it wasn't even the truth." He objected. "Cause it's never just a bad day, right?"
"There's always more." She sighed, fidgeting with a small rock on the ground. "But for antonomasia, it becomes just a little part of the bad day."
"And what are you going to do with all these bad days you're so stubbornly keeping inside yourself?"
A faint, bitter laugh escaped from Calleigh's lips.
"I'll keep them for the starry nights."
Ryan gave her a fond, intense look.
"And what about the rainy nights?"
In his eyes Calleigh caught a glimpse she immediately recognized. She had seen it before, but she had never realized it had always been there.
"Do you think you can watch something without knowing it's there?" she asked him, ignoring his question.
"Apparently it's the night of the hamletic questions." He ironized.
Calleigh turned to him.
Ryan took a few second to think it over, but he already had his answer.
"Yes." He said in the end, looking back at the sky, his face gently hit by the rain. "And if you're lucky enough, one day you'll even get to see it."
"Or maybe you'll only see what you wish to see."
Ryan noticed a dark shade cross her face.
He placed one hand on her shoulder and smiled.
"You can never know when your wishes are expressed under a falling star." He whispered. "Especially when it's raining."
And maybe it was the safe feeling of his closeness, or the sweet expression he was wearing, but now the day didn't seem that bad to her anymore. She bit her lower lip, feeling her eyes burn.
"Hey, are you okay?" he inquired, bending on her.
Calleigh nodded, putting on a prompt grin.
"Yeah, it's just a cold, I think."
Just a cold.
She was doing it again.
He rolled his eyes, but decided not to pressure her.
"Do you want me to take you home?" he offered, gently rubbing her back.
For a moment, Calleigh was seriously tempted to accept and let things go their way, just to see how far they would get. But then she cringed, shaking her head.
"I can make it on my own." She said, and this time it wasn't a lie.
It was true, she could make it on her own, but it wasn't the answer to his question.
"I'm fine, Ryan." She added, noticing his doubtful gaze.
"Okay." He gave up. "Goodnight, then."
She watched him go down the stairs and head to the parking lot. For a second he looked back at her with a small smile, then he disappeared in the darkness.
Calleigh sighed, wrapping her rams around herself. He had barely touched her, but now that he was gone, she suddenly felt cold.
In this land of make believe
Dead and dry
You're so cold
But you feel alive
(Breaking Benjamin, So Cold Lyrics)