The show, characters, and even the opening dialogue aren't mine. Sad as that is, it's probably a good thing.


"I have one evening with you. One chance. And I don't wanna waste it talking about what wines you like or what movies you hate. I wanna know how you feel... About me." Her heart raced. He paused. The silence was so loud she didn't know if she could take it.

"You live under the delusion that you can fix everything that isn't perfect. That's why you married a man who was dying of cancer. You don't love, you need. And now that your husband is dead, you're looking for your new charity case. That's why you're going out with me. I'm twice your age, I'm... not great looking, I'm not charming, I'm not even nice. What I am is what you need: I'm damaged." He paused. He wanted to take back everything he'd said. He wanted for it not to be true. But it was, and it had to be said. He had to squash this insignificant crush she had on him. She had to know why it could never be between them.

She stared for a moment. His words cut her, but mostly because she knew they were true. She was much more introspective than most people gave her credit for, and there was almost nothing any one else could say about her that she didn't know already. She gathered her thoughts too slowly, but she wanted them to be just right.

"You're right," she said. "I married my husband because I thought I could fix him, and I even became a doctor to make sick people better. But if there's one thing I've learned from being a doctor it's that very few things are actually in our control. I'm not here because I want to fix you. I actually don't think there's anything wrong with you. Yeah, you're different from most people, but that's not damage, that's integrity. That's what draws me to you. You don't do things to be liked or even to get ahead; you do them because they're right, and that strength is intriguiging to me." She held her breath waiting for a reply.

Those were some of the last things he expected to come out of her mouth. "You're wrong," was all he could think to say.

"No, I'm not. And you know I'm not. This isn't just some school-girl crush; it's not just some fantasy I'm trying to play out. I genuinely care for you and I know you care for me too, contrary to anything you might say." She was not going to let him talk her down from this ledge she knew she was on.

He hung his head, feigning defeat.

The waiter came over and took their orders. She ordered the ravioli and he ordered the puttanesca. The waiter fled.

"First off, I never said I didn't care for you." He looked into her eyes. He was on the ledge now too and they both knew it. "What I said was, I'm damaged. I can't make you happy."

She cut across him. "I determine what makes me happy. You can only determine if you're going to be happy with me or not."

He cut back across her. "Second, this would be a whole lot easier if it was some silly fantasy. If we could just get this over with and move on. But as it is, your feelings are too deeply involved." His voice grew quieter and gentler. "This will only end with you getting hurt." He inhaled and returned his voice back to normal. "I don't think the team could take it if you had to leave again."

She saw past his pretenses and spoke with a tone mirroring his gentler one. "It could also end with you getting hurt." He sharply looked into her eyes. "I don't want that to happen any more than you do."

"So you understand why this can't be." His voice was even.

"The other option is that it could not end." Question and doubt played on his face as she spoke. "It is possible for two people to have a lasting relationship."

"That's naive."

"No, it's not. It's optimistic, but it is possible for two people who love each other and are willing to work at a it to have a good, lasting relationship."

"There's the problem, I'm not willing to work."

"Yes you are," she almost snapped. "You work every day to figure out things that have nothing to do with you. I know you well enough to know that if you really want something you'll do anything to get it."

He hung his head again, this time in real defeat. He knew this was true. "And what if it does end badly?"

"Then we act like adults and move on." She paused, wanting to see his reaction. "It's a risk I'm willing to take..." The question, 'Are you?' hung in the air, never voiced, but thickly implied.

She waited for what seemed like hours for his response.

He gathered as many of his thoughts as he could. There was no way he could make sense of them all tonight. Finally he said what everything within him had been screaming since the moment she made him promise her a date.

"Then we try."