PREVIOSLY ON JUDGING AMY
He'd rsvp'd. "Of course I'll be there."
Today she would marry Stu Collins.
He was dressed and ready to go, but something held him back from walking out the door.
Amy was getting married. He couldn't watch.
"I'll be there in ten."
He put the phone down again and raced out the door.
She'd pushed him to be her friend, and now she needed him. That's what friends were for.
Amy Gray entered her chambers, followed closly by her friend and CSO Bruce van Exel. Today was her first day back from Maui after her wedding a week ago.
Although she was still a single woman.
Preparing for their wedding, she and Stu hadn't been able to agree on anything. And then as she walked down the aisle, she made up her mind that she couldn't marry Stu Collins. He was just able to talk her into doing a lot of things that she didn't want to do.
But Amy refused to allow him to do this.
Even after she told him she couldn't do it, he tried to talk her around, saying they could wait a few months, until she was ready.
Amy had to say it. She had to tell him she didn't want to marry him.
And that night, her wedding night, she sat at home alone for hours. Until Bruce called.
He sat with her for the rest of the night as she blabbered about her reasons for not getting married. Bruce told her she'd done the right thing. "A marriage should not be entered into lightly." Bruce explained. "Two people need to want it. Not just one."
With very little persuasion, Amy decided to go on her honeymoon. Alone.
Bruce was the first to suggest it, and her mother was very supportive of the idea, telling her that she needed to get away, and take some time before getting back to work.
Now a week later she was back on the bench.
"We've got a pretty easy day today." Bruce explained, sifting through the files. "Five custody cases. A convenience store robbery; carjacking; and a rape. And... Eight transfer hearings."
"Easy day... Right."
"Judge Wells wants to see you too, Judge Gray." Donna announced.
"Great. Well I guess we should get started. Five minutes?"
"Ok." Donna and Bruce left her chambers and Amy pushed her hair away from her face. Taking a deep breathe, she began to walk towards the door, ready to start her day.
After three days back in the courtroom, Amy felt as if things were geting back to normal. With the exception of her phsyc evaluation, and the fact that Stu was now ignoring her compleatly. That part, she mostly understood. She'd told him, in the back room of a church, that she couldn't marry him. But now he was doing everything in his power to avoid her. He hadn't been into his office since before their wedding, and no one had heard from him. He was also dodging all of her phone calls to his apartment. For all she knew, he didn't live there anymore.
It made sense; he had every reason to hate her. But all she wanted was two minutes. Just a little time to apologise for demolishing his heart, for hurting him.
Trying to distract herself from the same loop of thoughts, Amy begged her mother to get Lauren to school, so that she could go into work early and start reading through some of her cases. 'That oughta show Judge Wells that I'm fine'
"Judge Gray, you're in early." Bruce stated, as he let himself into her chambers.
"Yah, I do that sometimes."
"Not often." He replied with a grin. She looked up, glaring at him. She wasn't in a good mood because her work destraction wasn't working. "Ok, sorry, I'll just go get you a coffee. I'll be right back."
"Thank you. I'm-- I'm sorry." she finished weakly as he shut the door.
By the time he returned, carrying two coffee's, Amy had started reading through another case.
"Oh my God!" She gasped, dropping the polaroids that accompanied the file. "What's wrong?" Bruce asked, pushing Amy's coffee towards her. He moved around the desk to look over her shoulder.
"The things this boy did to those poor kittens... It's nauseating!" Bruce leaned down to look through the photo's entered as state's evidence. "Oh, I can't read this anymore. Not this early." she turned away, inhaling Bruce's cologne as he continued to read over her shoulder.
Closing her eyes, Amy leaned just slightly towards her associate.
Bruce, planning to move away, froze as he became concious of how close his boss was. As she moved towards him, he seemed to regain his senses and stood up straight.
"Judge Gray, I-"
"Don't try and explain away this moment. You- you can't just... You can't do that everytime you get uncomfortable. It's not fair!" Amy ordered, her eyes wide and angry.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Everytime we get close you run away. I'm sick of it. I won't let you do it anymore. We have to have this out here and now."
"What do you want me to say, judge Gray?"
"Well, you can start by using my name. It's been over four years Bruce. I know you're capable."
"I don't understand. Amy."
"You and I have been dancing around each other for years. You're fanatical about keeping your distance, but then you come over and comfort me after my wedding. So what I don't get is how you can be so cold now, when one minute ago-"
"You're my boss. We aren't friends." Bruce wouldn't look at her. He kept looking around the room, anywhere but at her.
"What was that then? Before?"
"It was nothing. I... It was nothing."
"Nothing. Ok, fine. I think I'd like some more time to go through my cases." Bruce nodded and left her alone to obsess over something new.
If she weren't so confused by Bruce's behaviour, she would have been happy to realise that for the first time in ten days she wasn't thinking about Stu Collins.
Bruce scanned the cafeteria. Donna sat across the table from Judge Gray. As soon as she saw him she stood up and started waving.
"Bruce! Bruce, over here." he shook his head and watched as Amy slid down in her seat slightly. "Bruce come on." Amy looked over her shoulder, signalling that he should come sit down. "Geez, what was that? I've been calling you for ages."
"Ahh, nevermind. I'm gonna get a soda. Anybody want anything?"
Bruce shook his head. "No, I'm fine." Amy replied. Donna left the table and Amy turned on Bruce. "Ok, so where did we leave off? Right, we're not friends, have I got that right?"
"It's not what I meant."
"What did you mean then?" Amy pressed, staring at him hard.
"Just that... Well, you're my boss. We shouldn't have a relationship outside of work."
"Fine. I'll see you back in court, mr. Van Exel." Amy spat out before standing up and walking away as Donna returned.
"Where's judge Gray going?"
"Her chambers I guess." Bruce replied quietly before eating his lunch in silence.
Two weeks later Amy was still confused about why Bruce had suddenly become so cold. Their relationship had never been heated by any means, but since her return to the courthouse Amy noticed a chilly, hostile air to all her dealings with her CSO.
"I just don't get him, ma." she whined. Having very few female friends Amy was forced to burden either her mother, brothers, sister-in-law or court clerk with her problems. Donna was much too likely to go and tell Bruce they'd been talking about him, and her brothers - even her cousin Kyle wouldn't be caught dead listening to her romantic or platonic issues. 'Not that this is a romance thing.' Amy began to mentally back peddal.
"What is there to get Amy?"
"Well, you know, he's been so strange the last couple of weeks."
"Have you tried talking to Bruce about this dear?" Maxine asked pouring herself a coffee.
"He just says we shouldn't have a personal relationship. Business all the way!"
"Is that really a problem?"
"Yes! I've spent so much time and effort, trying to get in, to become friends, and now he doesn't want anything to do with me. I just, I just... I don't know. It's not fair!"
"Try again. Keep pushing. You're good at it."
Keep pushing him, that's what her mom said. 'Fine, I'll push him.' Amy decided. She would go and push Bruce somewhere he couldn't run away. Lauren was still with her dad for the weekend and wouldn't be home for a few mor hours. So Amy drove over to Bruce's apartment and knocked loudly on the door.
As she waited for the door to be answered, she suddenly remembered Rebecca. How would she explain her presence to the twelve year old?
"Judge Gray? I... I mean, what are you doing here Amy?"
"I wanted to talk to you. Is Rebecca here?"
"No. She's staying at Winnie's for the night."
"Good, ok, do you mind if I come in?"
"Uh, sure. I guess not. Sit down."
"Ok, so I've decided something. I don't agree with you." Amy announced once she was sitting on the couch. "I think that when it comes to a friendship, two people should decide. Like you said about a marriage it's not up to one person. So I've decided that we are friends."
"Isn't that just you deciding? Each of us have a different oppinion on the matter and you're pulling rank."
"No. It's not just me. Everyone agrees."
"So whether I like it or not-"
"You do like it. We were friends for a long time until you changed your mind."
"Well I have. Changed my mind, I mean." Amy couldn't beleive what she was hearing. Bruce was really, truely telling her he didn't want to be her friend anymore.
"I... I wasn't-- I mean, I didn't expect-"
"I can't be your friend anymore. I tried. I've been trying for a long time. But it's too hard."
"Why?" Amy stood in the middle of the room, her coat half on as Bruce explained.
"Because of this," he pulled her towards himself and captured her lips in a kiss. He took the chance, because either way, life as they knew it was over. He couldn't work for her now. That would just be way to awkward.
When Bruce finally released her, Amy staggered back a step, her fingers coming up to touch her lips.
"Oh. That." she whispered, still in shock. "I guess that's a good reason." she stared up at him for a long moment. Finally seeing him clearly. Again. She'd seen him before, but she'd been drinking at the time and forced herself to ignore whatever she felt. Chalk it up to inebriation.
But this was Bruce.
"I quit." they spoke in unision before coming together again.
Amy changed her mind then too. She didn't need this man as her friend. She just needed him.
Oh my God, so sappy... Well, there's plenty more where that came from. Please review. Please, please please!