Title: The Log.
Author: A.M. Glass
E-Mail: glasswrks May 3rd, 2007 – May 6, 2007.
Revised: May 10, 2007.
Fandom: Ugly Betty.
Couple: Betty/Henry – kind of.
Ratings: (US) T (UK) PG (AUS) PG
Spoilers: For "Secretaries Day," "Icing On The Cake," and "Petragate."
Show Disclaimer: The characters of "Ugly Betty" are derived from "Yo soy Betty, la fea" which was created by Fernando Gaitan. The following companies produce the show: Silent H Prod/Ventanarosa Productions/Touchstone Television in association with Reveille Productions and it is presented by ABC television. The Executive – Co-Executive producers are: Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Marco Pennette, Ben Silverman, James Hayman and Jose Tamez.
Author's Disclaimer: Let's face it, I don't own UB or any of the characters, back story, etc. I'm not making a cent from it – if I did, I'd buy a new computer and some other things. The story; along with any original characters are mine though... I think. Pesky copyright laws.
Author's Note: This is my first attempt at UB fiction.
Feedback: Umm, yes. I'd like to know if you believe I kept in character.
Thanks: To my beta reader: Kirk B. I still think I should list him as co-author, but he really doesn't think I should. So, I'll thank him here, the story reads a lot better because of your input.
Summary: What could Henry possibly be thinking if he could, after losing consciousness? As I have no idea what the dimensions of the "Log" are, I made them up. One last thing, as I can't recall if Henry actually saw Nick throw, whatever it was at Betty, he does in my story.
"I love you."
Three very astonishingly simple words.
They were the last things Henry said before he passed out, that, and looking into the face of the most beautiful woman in the world.
How had it all gone so wrong?
He'd asked Betty if he could crash the party being held at the medieval theme restaurant for Administrative Assistants Day, partly because he wanted to go, but mostly he wanted to spend some time with her.
And he did. At first.
He'd finally told Betty how he felt about her, and it should have been the best day of his life.
Instead he ended up out cold, bruised in places he didn't even know he had places, and probably a little bloody too.
It all started when he challenged... okay, so challenge was stretching it a bit, Alexis Meade's assistant, Nick Pepper. Who did Nick think he was anyway? Donnie Yen? He probably doesn't even know any martial arts.
The fight; it was decided, would take place in an area the restaurant had set aside for such occurrences and Nick would pay for what he'd done.
Betty had tried to talk him out of it. Said he didn't have to do it - he didn't have to defend her honor.
But he did. He had to make her, Nick, everyone, understand.
Armed with what could have been described as a cotton swab looking version of a military Pugil stick and protective headgear, he took his place on: The Log. The beam was probably ten to fifteen feet long, about two feet wide and perhaps three or four feet off the ground. The object was to knock your opponent off it and on to the protective mats below.
Very American Gladiators.
Too bad he was anything but.
He was Henry. Accountant. Nerd. Not badass. Not Nick. His mind wasn't filled with various ways to hurt people and enjoy it. It was filled with random bits of trivia floating around in his head, which from time to time popped out of his mouth. Useless stuff.
To everyone but Betty.
She was different.
She hadn't laughed at him.
Hadn't put him down.
Hadn't made fun of his position.
Hadn't made fun of him.
Before his girlfriend Charlie arrived, he'd been working up the nerve to tell Betty how he felt. He really hadn't meant to hide Charlie's existence from her, it simply hadn't occurred to him. Then she arrived at the office unexpectedly, surprising both he and Betty.
Now, Charlie was living with him and he felt as if he were cheating on Betty, as if he were betraying her. He felt awkward and flustered around her, more so than before. He wasn't sure what to say or how to act.
He realized now what a mistake it was, trying to get Betty and Charlie to be friends. He should have realized he was hurting her feelings. Betty shouldn't have had to tell him it wasn't going to work. That they were two people who simply worked in the same building, when he asked her: what about us?
He was miserable without her and if it hadn't been for the seventy-five thousand dollar check Daniel Meade had asked for; to pay off Petra, the model he'd slept with and had been scammed into thinking was underage afterwards, he probably wouldn't have had the chance to tell Betty he missed her.
She had gotten under his skin. Had become an important part of his life and when she smiled - one that lit up her entire face - it made his heart beat faster. He knew, before she had a chance to tell him she'd missed him as well, he knew he was in love, and living with the wrong person.
Not that he could ever just "live" with Betty Suarez. She was the kind of person he could see spending the rest of his life with - which meant only one thing: He had to break up with Charlie. He didn't want to hurt her, she had moved to New York to be with him, but he wasn't the same person.
He had changed and for the better.
Charlie deserved more than what he was giving - half of himself. Betty had his heart and there was nothing he could do about it.
Charlie had noticed a change in his behavior, how it started when Betty had brought a date to her birthday party. Seeing Betty with someone else shocked and scared him more than he liked to admit. Later Charlie asked him if there was something going on between them, said he seemed jealous.
He never answered and the rift had grown larger.
Then tonight, Charlie's ill-timed call asking where he was - if Betty was there, led Betty to ride the mechanical horse, the one he had signed up for, in his place.
He had been willing and able to ride the thing. He wanted to prove himself to her. He wanted to help her family by winning the thousand-dollar prize for staying on for ten seconds. Betty made him feel ten feet tall and he couldn't let her down, not again.
But he did. After hanging up, he'd walked back, making his way through the crowd of people who had gathered at the mechanical horse arena and he'd felt his heart stop.
Betty was riding. She had been hanging on for dear life and it looked as if she was going to make it - without him, again. Then she'd started sliding off, she had been literally hanging over the side.
Henry knew why. He'd seen Nick Pepper throw something. It hit Betty in the side of the head, and his heart caught in his throat. 'Oh God. Oh God, please don't be hurt!' he thought as he rushed to her side after Betty had been flung to the mats.
He had been terrified, almost too afraid to touch her, to see if she was okay. When Betty's eyes fluttered open and she told him, "I couldn't do it," his vision went blood red and the nerd took a back seat to the caveman.
He strode purposefully over to where Nick Pepper and his friends were laughing... at Betty. After a few heated words the pushing match began and was just as quickly ended.
And for one shining moment as he took his position on the log he wasn't the geeky accountant – he was a man possessed.
Of course now he was a man possessed of a few bruises and quite possibly a bloody lip, but it had been worth it. Seeing Betty, the concern on her face, made the pounding in his head a little easier to bear. And a little easier to say, "I love you," to her.
Now, if only someone would stop hitting him...
His eyes opened.