TITLE: In Plain Sight

AUTHOR: Jennifoofighter


KEYWORDS: MS, Martin angst, Sam angst, traces of J/S and D/E

SPOILERS/TIMELINE: Post episode 5.12 "Tail Spin"

ARCHIVE: It will be posting simultaneously at and Hank and Co. own everything Without a Trace. No copyright infringement is intended. Heaven knows if I had any control of the show I wouldn't have to write at all.

SPECIAL NOTE: I am doing the unthinkable – I am going to attempt to work on two fics at the same time and this one isn't even planned out! I'm winging it! EEK!! But my faith is hanging by a tenuous thread and I aim to try and restore it.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: SeptemberBaby - who might recognize some little inside references. ;)

SUMMARY: After Sam and Jack reconciled, they left a fractured team in its wake. And when it ended again, the repercussions altered the team forever. Now, a year later, will she realize that what she really needed all along had always been hidden in plain sight?




She leaned forward in the cab as if it would make it move even faster, her foot pressing down on a phantom accelerator. She asked the cabby how much longer and he told her that the restaurant was just three blocks up but with the traffic it was going to take another ten to twenty minutes to get there. Knowing she couldn't wait a moment longer or she might lose her nerve she pulled out some cash and paid the driver before stepping out. She wormed her way through the crowded sidewalk when a bolt of lightening flashed and thunder rumbled, followed seconds later by a torrential rain.

"Perfect," she grumbled.

She pulled her light jacket closer to her and picked up her pace, dashing the final block to the restaurant, the spring rain pouring down on her. April showers bring May flowers, her mom had always said. She finally reached the restaurant and glanced inside the window to see if he was still there. Thankfully Acadiana featured a long bank of windows that ran along the sidewalk on K Street, allowing her a full view of all the patrons inside. It was filled with couples out on dates, men in suits here to discuss the business of the world as they sat at the bar drinking martini's and scotch, older couples sitting under gaudy chandeliers so comfortable together they didn't talk much anymore, and large groups of friends having an expensive dinner before heading out for a night on the town.

And then she saw him.

He was sitting at a table slicing his steak while listening intently to something his mother was saying. He laughed softly before turning his attention to a woman seated on his left. She was lovely with long wavy light brown hair and beautiful wide blue eyes. She reached over and ran her hand over the back of his neck, whispering something in his ear that made him smile. That's when she realized who the woman was: Rachel, his fiancée.

She wondered what possessed her to fly all the way down here and come to this restaurant but she knew she wasn't in charge of her body, it was being led by her heart and the heart wants what it wants. The problem was now that she was here she didn't know how to proceed. She couldn't bring herself to walk into the restaurant and ask him to dismantle the life he carefully built because she had realized what a fool she had been.

So she stood in the rain, calculating how to proceed when she realized that the people inside had noticed her. She watched as all of the patrons of the restaurant turned to watch her. They leaned to the other people at their table, murmuring and pointing, wondering who she was and just what exactly she was doing standing there in the rain staring blankly inside. She started to feel like an absolute fool and began to take a step back when she saw him see her.

Blue eyes met brown and in the distance she heard the thunder rumble again. He is the reason why you are here, she reminded herself.

He excused himself from the table and walked out of her line of sight. Moments later she heard him, shouting her name as he stepped out of the restaurant, looking at her as if she had lost her mind. He ignored the rain and marched to where she stood, asking, "Sam? What are you doing?"

"I needed to ask you something," she replied shakily, her heart pounding in her chest.

He grabbed her hand and led them out of the rain to a nearby awning. Once they were out of the rain she could see the stunned look on his face. He tried to recover and mumbled, "You're soaked." He removed his jacket and draped it over her shoulders, rubbing her arms for warmth and asked, "Better?"

"Yes," she breathed.

He took a deep breath and gazed at her so tenderly it made her want to cry. "Why are you here?"

She choked up and stared up at him; his blue eyes, the ones she missed so much, were waiting anxiously for an answer. She smiled and finally said, "I was just wondering…" she paused, her voice cracking with emotion. "How about instead of marrying her you marry me?"