Somewhere In Between
Timeframe: right after 'try the pie'
Author Notes: Please forgive the misnomer of the town that Tom visited in 'Try the Pie'. I did a cursory search and couldn't find it. This vig is inspired by Diana's private and work related turmoil in the wake of 'The Truth and Nothing But the Truth'
"What I am doing here?" Diana Skouris said under her breath, shaking her head at the destructive nature of her arrival at this place. Maia had a sitter, though she resented the idea, saying she was old enough to take care of herself. Tom had gone home, preferring think on his son's recent "religious" conversion on his own. Ben was gone; sulking off to Europe after she had chosen her job over him and a relatively carefree life in Spain.
"You're taking a break," said Marco Pacella, entering the room with a spring in his step. This only served to heighten her feelings of guilt about meeting him privately in the 'Theory Room'. "It's good to see you one on one. It's been a while." He handed her a cup of tea, lowering his head and quickly moving behind his desk. She could tell he was nervous, but shy had never been his problem.
"What have you learned about Collier's whereabouts since he evacuated Fairview?" she asked, trying to keep the conversation work related." She cupped the mug of tea in both hands and raised it to her nose to take in the scent.
"Do we have to talk about Jordan?" Marco asked, taking a pull from a water bottle. "I was hoping to catch up a bit. You've been gone for a long time."
She smiled weakly, letting out a long sigh. "It's not smart of me to be here, Marco. I mean, alone with you."
"Why?" he replied, standing and coming to her side. He put a hand on her shoulder. "Have I ever given you a reason not to trust me?"
"Of course not, but I…Ben." She did not meet his eyes, lowering the cup of tea to her lap.
Marco removed his hand from her shoulder at the mention of Ben's name, but did not move away or harden himself to her. "I won't lie and say that I'm not glad he's gone, but you made a choice that you thought best for you. Diana, you are invested in the 4400 in every aspect of your life. I can see how you would want to see it through."
"You are sweet, Marco," she said, in small voice. "It seems that a normal life is not in the cards for me."
"Don't get down on yourself, Diana," he said, raising her chin with his hand. It was a bold move, she thought, but he was acting as a friend, and didn't appear to be making any awkward advances. "I know this was a hard decision for you. Perhaps, it was Ben that made the wrong decision? Why didn't he stay?"
It was a good question and, strangely, one that never crossed her mind. He had just asked if it was over. She knew that he hoped for a reconnection at some point in the future, but he had not fought for her; he made no stand. Hindsight is 20/20, but she made no move to keep them together either. The relationship, as fun and passionate and fulfilling as it was, just dissipated like cold breath on a winter day. She could neither blame not take the blame. It just happened. Maia seemed the only one that wanted to fight, but she knew words would not suffice. But some of Maia's words could not be ignored. She had said that she saw them married. Married? The relationship as it was was more of an affair. But, an affair that could have lasted.
"I don't know, Marco," she replied gloomily. "I guess neither of us fought very hard to keep it together."
Marco brightened at this, but almost imperceptibly. Only her trained eye caught his glimmer of hope. He shook his head as if to dispel the feeling of depression that had fallen on the room. He stepped back toward his desk.
"Jordan must be hold up in the Cascade foothills, somewhere east of Monroe," Marco said, returning to business, and using his laser pointer to highlight Highway 2. "We should be able to track a group of one hundred people fairly easily. We have tactical teams out there as we speak searching Fairview and looking for the trail. I suspect we'll have him by tomorrow midmorning."
"I think you're right," she replied flatly. "It will be quite a coup. Tom will be happy to have Kyle away from Jordan. That's for sure."
Marco disengaged the laser pointer and gave her a sympathetic look. "You look sad, Diana," he said, softly, meeting her eyes. "I hate seeing you like this."
She had really liked his eyes during their brief tryst, but the glasses were a goofy turn on as well. He was at once intelligent, sexy, and caring and then geeky, goofy, and awkward. It was quite a combination; and, one that was beginning to work its wiles on her at the moment. He was looking quite dapper tonight in his brown t-shirt and white jeans.
"Let's go to your place," she blurted out, with absolute zero forethought, regretting it immediately. Her eyes popped at her own words. Marco did not respond. The words hung in the air like a tree about to fall and crush an unsuspecting home. Their eyes met, and as he was about to speak, she shot from the chair feeling the heat of embarrassment and mortification on her face. She did an about face and made for the door.
"Wait!" Marco said, still stunned. "Diana, please don't go."
She was already out the door, but she stopped. She did it because of what they had before. She owed him that. Perhaps, somewhere in her mind, that's why she made the absurd statement of moments before: Because he was familiar and because she had cared for him. Did care for him.
"What, Marco?" she replied, not meeting his eyes.
"You look beautiful tonight," he said, boldly.
"Just listen a minute, Diana," he replied, taking off his glassed. He waved a hand across his forehead, pulling his black gelled hair out of his eyes. "It's no secret how I feel about you. But, I don't want you like this."
"It was a mistake to come down here, Marco," she said, with an exasperated edge in her voice. "I don't know why I did it."
Marco smiled warmly. "It wasn't a mistake, Di. I'm a friend: a friend who wants more, but a friend, nonetheless. I'm here to talk whenever you need me."
She didn't smile, but she was relieved the situation was not as bad as it might have been. She gave him a small wave of thanks and turned to leave the cramped office.
"Diana," Marco called to her back. "This never happened, ok? Think nothing of it."
"We have a Collier to catch," she replied, a smile reaching her eyes.
"That we do," he said, replacing his glasses, and turning back to the map. "That we do."