Platitudes

"Kate!" Angel grabbed the distraught officer's shoulders and shook her gently, trying to catch her attention. He had never seen her like this before; it was concerning to say the least. "Kate," he said again.

Nothing. She stared forwards, unblinking, unseeing.

And then the moment passed, and tears sprung to her eyes. She blinked, furiously,. and pushed against him, trying to get out of his grasp. He held tight, until she stopped struggling against him and collapsed into his arms, sobbing into his chest.

"Kate, are you all right?"

She sniffed and then lifted her head to glare at him. "Do I look all right?"

He said nothing, but frowned.

She swiped angrily at the tears streaking her face, even as more fell.

"Can I... you know. Get you anything?"

She shook her head. "I'm fine."

"What's wrong?" He cringed when she glared at him.

Just as quickly as she had arrived at his door, she began to make her exit. She pulled from his grasp, and told him, "It's... nothing. I should go."

He wondered if he had somehow pushed her away with his words. He couldn't see how, but then, here they were. Kate was one of the strongest people he knew, and yet she had shown up in tears at his place, and now was leaving after he'd asked her if she was all right.

None of it made sense. And why should it?

"If you need anything," he said to her back as she pushed the door open.

She glanced over her shoulder, and a pang went through him at the sight of her reddened eyes and tear-stained cheeks. "I'll be fine," she said, and though he was certain she was far from fine now, he could tell she was being truthful.

He watched her go, and then returned to his office to brood.

fin.