A/N: The lines written in italics are what Albus has said in the previous conversation. I hope that makes it easier to read. lol.

The second hand on her large grandfather clock ticked away slowly, too slowly for Minerva. Her chin rested down on the palm of her hand, leaving her elbow in turn to rest on her desk. Her other hand rested lightly in her lap, as her green eyes counted every second that past with the slow second hand on the large clock in front of her. Her straight, black hair hung down beside her face, and around her shoulders, just barely reaching for the desk she leaned on.

Her heart had stopped beating – she was absolutely positive about it. She would never feel anything again. She would be stuck in time for the rest of her life, forced to relive this moment over, and over again. She would be stuck in routine. She would – most importantly – be alone for the rest of her life.

She was wearing the muggle pajamas he had bought her the previous Christmas. Red with penguins on them, and unbelievably soft, she had questioned him with the reason for the pattern. Penguins? She remembered his answer; he wanted to do something unexpected. It was too ordinary for anything cat-like, and she had always looked good in the color red.

Slowly the tear that she had been blinking back since he had left her there, sitting at her desk, wearing the unordinary pajamas, made it's way down her prominent cheekbone to slowly drop into her lap. As the tear's wet path began to dry from the warm air in her rooms, it made her cheek itch. She ignored it, watching that second hand move slowly.

She needed to change her mind – now.

She stood up, unceremoniously, and practically ran to his office. She had to move quickly, he wouldn't wait for long - if he was waiting. Her stomach turned at the thought of him already giving up on her. She bit her lip, to stop it from quivering. Finally, she reached the gargoyle, where she spun out the password from her lips quickly. Running up the steps quickly, she shoved her way through his office door.

She stopped suddenly at before his desk. Her chest was heaving, as he looked up into her green eyes with tired, heartbroken blue ones. She let go of her bottom lip, letting it quiver from holding back her emotions. A black strand clung to the corner of her mouth. He didn't move. She didn't know what to do; what to say.

Time stood still, before Minerva finally let go.

Tears fell freely from her cheeks, as she did nothing to wipe them away. She covered her face with her hands, sobbing into them, until Albus moved to gather her into his arms. But instead of allowing him told her tightly, warmly, she pushed him harshly away. Her eyes were red, and still letting go of the tears kept inside. She shook her head at him, her eyes trying to tell him her story.

He didn't understand, and she knew that.

The conversation in her head was their conversation from just over thirty minutes ago.

"I love you Minerva."

She choked on her tears, as she watched him stay in the place she pushed him. She wanted to tell him. She really did.

"I have since we first began to teach together."

"I… I… I don't deserve you, Albus." She protested out loud through her tears. He stepped forward, his hand reaching for her, but she stopped him. Her hand flew up, and pointed at him, accusingly. "Don't say anything. I get to talk now." She paused, swallowing. "You just don't understand!"

"The time we spend together means more than anything to me; even when we are just finishing up paperwork in silence."

"I don't want to hurt you, Albus. We both know I have abandonment issues." Minerva said, her tears still flowing down her cheeks. She wiped them away, annoyed.

"Your opinion means more to me than anyone else's; I can't do anything without knowing what you think of it first."

"If we were going to be together, you would have to be so many things to me. I don't want to make you choose between your work and myself." She protested against his silent argument. She could see him looking at her through love filled eyes. "Don't you dare look at me like that," she hissed through her broken voice.

"Minerva, I know that you need more than a man, because of your past. But I really want to try. I know that I would always be there for you – Minerva, you're my everything."

"I just… I don't want to be responsible for the mental and nervous breakdowns of the world's most powerful wizard." She finished weakly, and she knew it. Her hands wrapped themselves around her, as she shivered.

Albus moved forward, ignoring the resentment in her eyes. She melted against his embrace, as he kissed the top of her head. He rubbed her back slowly, gently, holding her close to his heard in every single way.

"What's scaring you Minerva? Me, or the world around us?"

She decided to answer his question she ignored back in her rooms. She pulled away slightly, and looked up at him. "What scares me, Albus, is that I think we can make it."

Albus smiled, and kissed her softly, before pulling her back into his arms.

"Minerva, we can do this. I believe we can… do you?"