Keywords: Betty/Ignacio/Henry/Other Character
Summary: It's Just Something She Knows
Disclaimer: Ugly Betty is the property of Silent H Productions, Reveille and Ventanarosa, and Touchstone Television.
This story is from the windmills of my mind.
Shout outs and thanks to spiceandnice for liking the title and to lumosthecat for being my beta. You guys rock!
- - - - -Chapter One – A Walk to First
Another long day, no, make that a long week at MODE.
Rotating her neck to get out the kinks, Betty began setting things up for Monday. She had follow up calls to make and appointments to confirm so she was prioritizing her To-Do list. Right now, she was looking forward to the weekend.
She'd practically spent the entire day at her desk on the phone doing things for Daniel and for Alexis who didn't have her own assistant yet. Why did it seem like the days were getting shorter? She could never really remember the specifics, but she knew someone who did. Yeah, it would be just something he knew. She smiled at the fleeting thought and returned to her list.
She sighed as the phone on her desk rang for the umpteenth time today. She really wanted to finish up and go home. However, she didn't want to risk missing the call, in case it was someone calling back giving her the chance to cross whatever it was off her already heavy To-Do list.
"Daniel Meade's office. Betty Suarez speaking."
"Dad? Is there something wrong?"
"No. I'm downstairs in the lobby of your building. Are you finished for the day?"
Puzzled, she asked, "Almost. Why?"
Ignacio chuckled into the phone. "Justin and Hilda have something to do for the evening, my stories are over and I didn't feel like staying at home. I thought I'd come into the city and see if you would like to do something with your father."
Betty smiled. Glancing at a notation in the left hand corner of her electronic calendar, she knew where this was going. "Give me ten minutes," she said laughing and began to shut down her computer.
- - - - -
Riding the subway with her father reminded Betty of the times when she was younger and they would have 'adventures'. As she sorted through her memories, she recalled the time Ignacio had taken her to the observation deck of the World Trade Center on the weekend of her Quinceanera. The security checks were a bit frightening, but after they were whisked to the 107th floor indoor observatory, she was greeted with a 360- degree view of the New York City skyline. They even took the escalators up to the top. The view was breathtaking. She had felt dwarfed by the height of the building and humbled by the unobstructed view. The weather was so clear that day, so that no matter which way you turned, you could see for miles.
She remembered feeling her father's warm hands on her shoulders as she pressed her hands on the railing and looked out over the Manhattan skyline. "M'ija. With the celebration of your Quinceanera, you're a young woman now. You can have, be and do whatever you want in life. Lo que en los libros no está, la vida te enseñará. You just have to believe it in your heart and not be afraid to take chances." Emerging from the memory, she noticed they were near their stop and she glanced sideways at Ignacio, her heart warming at the sight of him. I love my Dad, she thought to herself.
- - - - -
Once the doors opened there was the usual crowd of people jockeying for position to get off and onto the train. Getting caught trying to get around a young man with a large suitcase, both Betty and Ignacio were pushed forward and rather forcibly ejected from the train along with another passenger.
With a 'No worries', the woman veered left and took off at a rapid pace. All Betty caught was a glimpse of a baseball cap, a long braid, glasses and...
"M'ija, look at the back of her jacket. It says Homestead Grays 1912-1950, Negro World Champions," commented Ignacio, pointing, as he and Betty watched her hurrying to her destination. "That's a fan. She obviously knows her baseball history."
"Yes, Dad," replied Betty, looking at her watch, walking faster. "But if we don't hurry, we're going to be late."
They arrived at the top of the stairs in time to see the woman raise her arm and yell across the street as the light changed and she began to cross. "Rico."
Betty was startled to hear a familiar voice answer the hail and see the familiar face of…
Betty watched Henry smile at the woman and gesture to her as she arrived on the opposite side of the street. Where's Charlie? She wondered.
She watched the woman ('Toni' she corrected herself), smile up at Henry and turn around modeling her jacket. She then watched her turn Henry around and point at his New York Mets jacket and cap. Betty was so caught up in this tableau, she didn't realize that the light had changed in their favor and Ignacio had stepped off into the crosswalk ahead of her. She hurried to catch up.
"Come on, M'ija, I want to get a good table."
Catching up and turning her attention to the man beside her, Betty laughed and replied, "Dad. How long have we been coming to Beto's? We always get a good table." She wound her arm through her father's and proceeded to cross the street. It wasn't until they'd gotten up onto the curb that she realized she'd lost sight of Henry and Toni. I wonder what that was all about.
- - - - -
Henry and Toni found a table with a fairly unobstructed view of the big screen and commandeered it. They both loved Beto's. It was in the neighborhood, had been around for a long time, was divey in its way, had no weird pretensions and great food 'even corndogs', exclaimed Toni…which, said Henry, they only bring out because I think some of those old men have a crush on you. Toni's reaction, anytime Henry mentioned that, would be to merely stick her tongue out at him.
After going through a similar routine again with her, Henry laughed. "It's true you know. I've come in here alone and they look at me and then at the door. When you don't come in, after a while…" he trailed off.
"You know you really need to quit it," shot back Toni, punching him in the arm and picking up a menu from the table. "Heard from Charlie lately?"
"No." He fidgeted with his glasses for a moment before adding, "You know the breakup was not amicable."
"Hmph. On her part." Toni rolled her eyes. "Know what you want?"
"Almost." He studied the menu. "And I still feel badly about the boys."
"They still love you, and they're glad to be able to hang around with you again. It's spring, and they're looking forward to going to the park with you."
Henry smiled and they both continued to peruse the menu. The room began to fill up.
"So," said Toni, still looking at the menu, "tell me how things are going with you know," she leaned into Henry and whispered, "your woman, the real one, the most wonderful…."
Toni looked up at Henry, whose attention was suddenly diverted away from her and then followed his line of sight. Peering through the dimness, she spied two familiar figures.
"I recognize them."
"What? You do? How?" Startled, Henry turned back towards Toni.
"We were on the same train just now. Of course I didn't know this was their destination." Smiling widely, and ignoring Henry, who had caught hold of her jacket sleeve, she got up, pried his fingers loose and approached them.
"Fellow riders of the storm. Come and sit with us! We've a got a great table!"
Herding them toward the table, she flashed a wicked little grin at Henry. This should prove to be very interesting.
- - - - -
Henry groaned. Great. Just great, he thought to himself as he watched Toni approach Betty. His gut clenched a little as he vividly recalled the day he realized that he may have lost any chance that he had to be with her
- flashback -
It was the last day of March. He was hoping against hope that Betty would bring down Daniel's expense report. She always had before. Her handing it in would guarantee him at least one opportunity a month to see her, after everything that had happened.
When he glanced at the clock he saw that it was 10:25. She still had five minutes before the deadline and he knew that she always did like to cut it close. He pulled an Inter-Office envelope from his Inbox to bide his time while he waited for Betty and removed the contents. He perused the sheets thinking - This report looks all in order. When he went back to the beginning to scrutinize the report a bit more thoroughly the name at the top caught his eye and caused his chest to tighten and his breath to catch. Daniel Meade. Oh God, no. Please no.
He recalled their last conversation up in her office the day after Charlie's birthday party.
'So what does that make us?' he asked.
'Two people who work in the same building,' she replied.
'Oh. Ok.' And he had turned and left.
Realization came swiftly. He was not going to see her again. It hurt to breathe. Looking at the clock on his desk, the illuminated numbers telling him that the time was now 10:32 was the final nail in his coffin.
- end flashback -
And I haven't seen her since, he thought morosely to himself.
- - - - -
Translation: That which isn't in books, life will teach you.