On You and Me

The next morning, Stella saw the note through the glass even before she entered her office.

Strange. If it was from someone in the lab they would have just sent me a message through the lab's intranet. Unless they were in a hurry and had already turned their computer off, she thought, remembering that Danny had done so once. She unlocked her door and picked up the note. On a whim, she stopped herself from turning it over and reading it, wanting to see if she could guess who it was from. Then she remembered with annoyance Flack's comment the night before.

With my luck, it'll probably be a stalker she thought ruefully walking around to her desk. Dismissing her guessing game she turned the note over.

Stella, I' m sorry. What I meant to say is would you be interested in dating someone you know won't end up trying to kill you? Say, me for example? Flack.

Stella barely had time to register the request when someone knocked on her glass door. Looking up, she saw Flack, who entered without waiting for an invitation.

"Is this a joke? You trying to throw me off being mad at you?" Stella asked, raising the note up a little.

"No. It's actually the reason why I came to see you last night, before I opened my mouth and ate my foot."

"Came to do what exactly…?"

"Ask you out. Just like the note says. Let's go on a date." Flack stated, careful to not appear even slightly nervous.

"What?" Confusion had completely replaced her anger.

"I'm serious. Why not? You're single, I'm single-"

"Since when? What about Devon?" Stella asked, feeling the room spin a little.

"We split up awhile back," Flack informed her, observing her sit down in her chair, "Like I was saying we're single, we enjoy each others' company. Heck, we see each other almost every day, and we're friends. Why not try an actual date, see what happens."

"Would you shut the door please," Stella asked, still trying to gather her thoughts. Flack did as she asked, then sat down at the chair facing her desk. By that time, Stella had recovered enough to answer him.

"Flack, the reasons you said are exactly why we can't date: because we enjoy each others' company, we see each other almost every day, and we're friends," she answered, "Besides, is it just me or is this kind of out of the blue?"

If it was 6 months ago, then it would have been understandable. There had been a lot of chemistry between us. But this is a little too sudden.

"I'm not going out with you just because you feel sorry for me," she informed him.

"How about going out with me because I've been attracted to you for a long time, and I'm sick of seeing you wind up with losers just because I've been too chicken to ask you out?"

Stella found herself uncharacteristically tongue tied. The plainness of his speech left her in no doubt of his truthfulness.

Flack was always straight forward.

It was one of the qualities she admired about him.

Stella's mind raced with the possibilities, imagining herself as Don's girlfriend. It was an exciting image, but it also worried her. If nothing else, life taught her to never let her guard down.

"Flack, I don't know. I'm really flattered. And you know I love you but don't you think it'll be too awkward? I mean, what if it doesn't work out?"

Reason told her that there would be many complications, even if she was too surprised, and excited, to think of any now.

"Stella we know each other enough to know that neither of us would ever intentionally hurt the other. What if we agree that whatever happens, we'll remain friends? You can bail out whenever you want." Stella had to smile.

"You certainly make a convincing argument, but do you mind if I sleep on it?" I'm too excited to think clearly. I have to weigh this decision before I make it. "I'm not trying to be coy, I'd just like to think about it first. Can you give me a day or two?" she asked.

"Sure. There's no hurry," Flack answered, already impatient, "in fact, we can even discuss it over dinner, say tomorrow?"

Stella laughed, a beautifully unguarded laugh that chimed like bells in his heart.

"We'll see," she said, knowing exactly what her answer would be once her obligatory thinking period was over.

Author's Note: Title taken from the Lifehouse song, You and Me. It's kind of my Fiesta theme song.