Dinner and Bowling

Title: Dinner and Bowling
Author: DebC
Email: debchilson@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-PG13
Keywords: D/P Relationship potential, UST, Peggy POV
Disclaimers: Declan and Peggy belong to the creative minds of Carl Binder, Peter O'Fallon, Lions Gate and PAX. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for giving the world such wonderful characters.
Summary: The date continues and Peggy has a revelation about her friendship with Declan.

Dedicated to Ash. She knows why. :-)

First Date:
"Dinner and Bowling"

"And then he just took off through the park..." Declan said, telling Peggy about his adventures with Mole. While he spoke, the waitress returned with their food. She set it in front of them and left.

"Wow," Peggy said. "That sounds like a busy night!" Then she kicked herself for sounding like she was talking to a patient.

Declan didn't seem to notice, however. "Yeah, tell me about it. I was afraid I was going to be late."

"You weren't late at all, Declan," it was a minor lie. Peggy had been watching for him out the window the whole time, feeling amazingly like a teenager waiting for her Prom date and hoping he would actually show up. Which was a silly way to feel since that she and were just friends.

Now, why was it that she had to keep reminding herself of that fact? Maybe because he was a sweet funny man who made her laugh--one of the qualities she had so loved about Adam--and because he genuinely cared about her. Maybe because being with Declan made her feel full of life and hope. She'd stopped hoping for things--miracles, as Declan would say--after Adam died. She'd lost too much too, or so she thought. Until she met Declan, that is, and he opened her eyes to...

Peggy had to force her mind from this path of thought--from thinking about Declan as something other than a friend--and back to his story. Declan was just telling Peggy about how he tripped over Mole when the little girl stopped to pet him.

"It was the only way I could get him to hold still long enough to put the leash back on him," Declan said. "You know how much Mole likes his freedom."

"Yeah, I do." Peggy smiled at Declan and felt her heart warm when he smiled back. This time, she didn't force the tender feeling away.

The pair sat and talked for a while--chatting about nothing in particular over burgers and fries. Again Peggy found herself thinking about Declan. When she first met him, she thought he was just some loony guy with strange ideas. Never in a million years would have imagined this night--or the two of them talking about anything at all, for that matter. But here they were sharing stories about work and mutual friends (Miranda and Mole) over dinner. And here she was enjoying herself with the one guy she had nothing in common with.

"Peg! Hey!" Declan's voice startled Peggy out of her thoughts and she felt herself blushing when he asked where she'd "been" just then.

"Just...thinking..." she answered. Thinking about you, her mind added.

"Oh," Declan said. He didn't ask if what about, and for that Peggy was grateful. "You want to head over to the bowling alley now?" I reserved us a lane, but if we don't show up in the next twenty minutes, they'll give it to some one else.

"Umm... yeah," she said, also grateful for the change of both scenery and topic. Maybe if they weren't sitting across the table from one another, she could keep herself from thinking about him.

~*~*~*~

"There, see," Declan grinned at her as they watched his ball roll down the lane towards the pins. "I told you'd I'd been practicing." His triumphant look was momentarily dashed when the ball only knocked down 3 pins.

"Well, that's better than those gutter balls you were throwing," Peggy said with a gentle smile. She patted his shoulder in a friendly manner as she passed him to take her own ball from the return.

"Yeah, no kidding!" Declan said, his grin returning. That smile had always been infectious and Peggy found herself grinning back at him as she nailed yet another perfect strike.

"Hey, Peg! Watch this!" Declan called out. Peggy looked up from the score card and found herself laughing as Declan did an imitation of the Fred Flintstone bowling stance--tippy-toeing up to the line and releasing the ball. It sailed down the lane, making a bee-line for the head pin. There was a crack as the ball connected with the pivotal pin, which fell, taking the rest of the pins with it.

"Yabba-dabba-doo!" Declan shouted, taking his imitation of the best prehistoric bowler in the known world to the next level.

Before Peggy realized what she was doing, she was up out of her seat. "Declan, you got a strike!" she said as she grabbed his shoulders, jumping up and down excitedly. Declan jumped with her, and they were both laughing. Caught up in a youthful, care-free moment, Peggy hugged him. Declan pulled away slightly, but then grinned and hugged her back. Then they both separated, still laughing, and it was Peggy's turn once again.

When her turn was over, however, Peggy watch Declan take his nex turn and chided herself for the hug. It had happened in a spontaneous display of friendship and fun, but when Declan had hugged her back, she couldn't help but feel something tugging at her heart. Part of her had wanted that hug to go on forever--her heart.

All night long, she'd been trying to deny it, she realized. His infectious smile, his way of making everything funny and fun, the way he made her feel all giddy and young--like a teenager almost... all these things kept adding up, and tonight, she felt as if they were ganging up on her.

And making her see--clearly for the first time--what it was she had been trying to deny all week.

I have a "thing" for Declan, Peggy told herself, bluntly admitting what the twinge in her heart was trying to tell her. She had a "thing" for him, and now that she had finally admitted it to herself, she knew she had to do something about it.

The question was--what should she do?

(Continued in "Good Night Kisses")