AN: Here it is, the continuing saga of the Taylor/Messer/Flack/Hawkes family. :) This story starts between the last two chapters of "Saturday in the Park" and then continues after that story, so you really need to read that one first to understand this one. Also, reading "Band on the Run" might help just for general background. If you have any questions about anything just review me with them and I'll try to answer you and/or answer it in an author's note in a later chapter in case it's a problem more than one person has.
Once again, I must thank my fantastic betas, Kerry Blue and printandpolish, without whom I would probably look like an idiot and who also encourage me when I'm doubting my writing. Thanks bunches to you two:)
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI:NY or any characters recognizable from it. I also do not own New York City, the NYPD, FBI or ATF, the Navy SEALs, or the Chicago Cubs. Oh, and I also don't own the title of this story which comes from a Beatles song. What little is left does belong to me. :)
The day after Chapter 11 of Saturday in the Park when Kaile and Dominic had driven Devon to the airport…
She didn't make any indication that she was awake when she felt the bed shift. She listened as he padded across the floor to the bathroom. After a few moments the toilet flushed, then the shower turned on.
Sighing, she opened her eyes briefly to see what time it was on her bedside clock. 6:04 am. He probably had to leave fairly soon to make his flight which was fine by her. The morning after was never their strong suit.
Why oh why did she let herself do this again? She thought she had finally managed to make a decision and break off romantically from him, but then Ella went and got shot and then disappeared briefly and when they had dropped Devon off at the airport they had ended up at her apartment and they fell right back into their old routine, desperately needing the comfort it offered.
She wished it were different. She wished that they could make it work. They were best friends, he knew her deepest secrets, and she his and they knew how to make each other laugh. Their parents had been close for years before either of them was born. And the sex was amazing. Beyond amazing. Well, she couldn't speak for him, but for her it was like he could read her mind when they were in bed together. But he was going to be playing baseball for another decade barring injury and even after he retired he hadn't indicated for sure that he would come back to New York. And she had made a life for herself here, had started a career that she found rewarding. Besides, she couldn't imagine leaving her father here all alone. She was all he had.
But the handful of times she had gone on more than just a date or two with a guy when they were in an "off" period in their on-again/off-again romantic relationship, she always ended up comparing them to him and they just never measured up. They didn't understand her humor, they didn't stand up to her yet give her the due she deserved as an intelligent and successful woman, they freaked out or badgered her about her job, any number of things.
God, why didn't she just take him to his parents where he had been staying? She had decided once and for all months ago that she just couldn't continue this aspect of their relationship and yet she asked him up to her apartment knowing what that would lead to. He had paused, giving her the opportunity to rescind the offer, but when she didn't, he accepted, which led to where they were now. She could read him like a book, had always been able to, and she knew he had some of the same misgivings she did but just like her he wasn't quite ready to give it up.
The shower turned off and he eventually came back out and she could hear him putting his clothes back on. He paused and she could almost hear him thinking about whether to wake her up or not. But he was as chicken as she was, so he just jotted a note and left it on the bedside table, briefly kissed her cheek, and left the bedroom. Seconds later she could hear the front door to the apartment opening and closing.
Opening her eyes she picked up the note and read it.
Had to leave to make my flight. I'll call you when I get the chance.
Kaile rolled out of bed and headed for the kitchen to satisfy her grumbling stomach. He hadn't signed the note with a "Love ya" or anything of that kind, but she knew why. In a lot of ways their families along with the Hawkeses and Mac were closer than if they had been blood related. It was yet another dimension to the weirdness that was them. They had loved each other as cousins and best friends long before that morphed into something else.
As she ate her cereal she contemplated whether he would actually call. He would eventually, but more than likely not for a few days at least. That was perfectly fine with her because it would give her some time to get her head on straight.
She sighed as she put her bowl and spoon in the dishwasher. Speaking of getting her head on straight, she had better do it soon. She would need to go in to work today now that Ella was safe and back in the hospital and it wouldn't do to be out of it on the job thinking about Dominic. And even more importantly, if she was too obvious her dad would pick up on it and she really didn't want to have that conversation with him today.
Dominic robotically swung his bat around as he stood in the on deck circle. Why the hell had he agreed to go up to her apartment? She had told him months ago she couldn't take their sporadic hook-ups anymore and as much as it had hurt, he had respected her decision. God knew he understood why she wanted to end their romantic liaisons. The "are we or are we not together?" question had been bothering him for a long time, too.
But that didn't mean he wanted to end things. He just never seemed to be able to make a compelling argument for why they should try a serious long distance relationship. It probably didn't help that she would have to deal with their family's questions while he could simply avoid phone calls for long periods of time and just blame it on his busy schedule.
Suddenly the CRACK of a bat hitting a ball got his attention and he barely got out of the way as a foul ball went whizzing by over his head as he fell back on his ass. After the initial gasp from the crowd he could hear the laughter from the thousands of people in the stands as well as his teammates in the dugout behind him. Great, this was just what he needed. And he knew that barring one of the pitchers throwing a perfect game or something, his little fall would be what all that the reporters would want to talk about after the game and what all the sports shows led with.
Get your head in the game, Messer. Think about Kaile later when it won't mean getting beaned in the head and making a fool of yourself on national television.
Sheldon Hawkes winced as he watched a ball nearly decapitate his nephew. He wanted to throttle the TV announcers who seemed to be finding the situation just a little bit too funny. Dominic had been in New York worrying about his injured and then missing sister for heaven's sake. Cut the kid some slack his first day back.
He continued watching as Dom got a single, then turned back to his paperwork. Dominic's baseball games were often a big help in getting through the endless reams of reports he had to read and forms he had to fill out and sign. It helped that his oldest nephew played for the Cubs who still had a lot of day games, so they aired during the work day.
Hawkes sat back and sighed as he rubbed his eyes. The newest ME in the building, Dr. Timothy Wyatt, was eager to show his capabilities and tended to overcompensate by writing reports four times as long as what was really necessary. Years ago Sheldon wouldn't have believed he would miss the weird and sometimes creepy stories his colleague and friend Sid Hammerback told, but at least the man knew how to write a report.
He looked around his office, his eyes glancing off of his framed diplomas and pictures of his family, his attention pausing for some reason on a photo of Kaile Flack and Dominic Messer. It was a picture taken last Christmas when the annual revolving Messer/Flack/Hawkes/Taylor Christmas gathering was at the Hawkes home. Kaile was sitting on Dom's lap and they were both grinning widely. If someone didn't know they had been raised like cousins they would probably think the two were dating.
Not that the dating thing didn't fit too, though according to the family rumor mill that was a thing of the past. How that got around he didn't know because it's not like Kaile or Dom liked to talk about the romantic side to their relationship. It was just something everyone knew about but didn't discuss. Part of that was everyone knowing that Flack wouldn't welcome the topic. Despite her age and abilities, Don was still a bit protective towards his daughter, especially when it came to who she dated. In fact, Sheldon was pretty sure Kaile had had to specifically tell her father to not hassle Dominic about their relationship.
Sheldon sighed again. Worrying about the romantic lives of his niece and nephew was not something he could spend time on just now. He had been away from his work a lot in the past week with everything that had gone on with Ella and he really needed to catch up. The work of the Chief Medical Examiner was never done.