Disclaimer: The characters from the show are not mine - no money has been made, don't sue.
Notes: Spoilers for "Hell Week"
Summary: Just a nice introspection fic. Zoe's thoughts after the conversation she had with Sophia in "Hell Week." Another file I had written up years ago and was mostly finished. I just added a little bit and spelling/grammar checked it.
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God, I must have let Sophia completely cloud my thinking. I've been working with Dan for months and now I feel all this tension? What, was I just blissfully unaware of it before now?
Sophia just automatically assuming that it was Dan was the reason why I asked about the first kiss, then telling me that he "kind of has a thing" for me. That has to be it. Maybe I'm subliminally looking for signs to back up what she said. Did he mention something to her? Does she know because she works with both of us? Oh, God, what about everyone else in the office?
This is going to drive me absolutely nuts. I know it is!
I hate to admit it, but I kind of regret having that conversation at the university. It was just supposed to be some girl talk, nothing major. See if Sophia could help me figure out what's going on with this confusing on-again off-again is-it-a-good-idea non-relationship I might or might not have with Marcos. Why did she have to open a completely new can of worms right in front of me? Don't I have enough things going on in my life to make me insane?
"Dan kissed you!" God, she was so sure of it, so not surprised. Like she was expecting him to kiss me sooner or later, was just waiting for the opportunity, the chance to see us together.
I'd never seen it. Sure, he asks me if I want to go for coffee but that's just a partner thing. Isn't it? Okay, he did ask me a couple of times before I got a job here, but that's normal. So is the flirting. Yes, I can totally admit to the flirting, but that's natural, isn't it? Everyone flirts; it's ingrained into our personalities when we're young. Dan flirting with me is no different from Dan flirting with Sophia.
Does Dan flirt with Sophia? I want to say 'yes,' but I don't think I've ever seen it. Seen him. Flirt with Sophia. Nope, not something I can wrap my mind around. Not that there's anything wrong with Sophia. Nothing wrong with Sophia Mason: she's a good friend, a great co-worker, and not at all as starched and stuffy as she seemed when I first met her. Sure, she tries to be sometimes, but that's all a façade, just something that she shows to the world to hide who she really is. Of course, if Dan knew, he'd blame me for being a bad influence on her – Sophia was right about that!
Dan. Argh, this is frustrating! It really honestly is. One minute I'm walking along, happily minding my own business, or as much as I can in this job, and the next I've been pushed down the rabbit hole without ever feeling the hand against my back. I swear the Twilight Zone music would be the perfect theme to my life.
I don't want to be nit-picky or anything, but I can see where Sophia would get the idea that Dan has a thing for me. The constant invitations for coffee, the flirty smiles, the body language, and the compliments on what I'm wearing. Even his annoyance with the kids intruding on work: no matter how annoyed he may be, he always asks what's wrong, if they're okay. He's always willing to listen to me when I have a problem, even if I do usually go to Marcos when it comes to problems with the kids. He's always willing to help me out when I need a favor, if he can.
Oh, God, Sophia was right. Wasn't she? Now that I can look at it like that, now that I realize he isn't like that with her, even if he has known her longer… How could I have been so blind? I pride myself on picking up subtle clues from body language; Hell, my job now depends on it. It did before too. Dan just has one big red flag draped all over him and everything he does.
So here's the big question: what do I do now? What do I do with the knowledge that hit me upside the head and turned me into Alice?
Let's look at it from another point of view, okay? Let's go back to the beginning, where this whole thing started.
Ever since I moved back, he's been there. He's great with the kids, knows what he's doing and is a lot of fun to be with. Plus, there's the whole having-a-common-history thing to take into account. Geez, Zoe, way to make life complicated.
Didn't I decide earlier that Marcos was a good guy and a total babe and that it'd be good if I went out with him? Never mind that he's a great kisser. That kiss was totally unexpected but a nice surprise.
But what if Sophia's right? She thought I was analyzing everything so much that I'd talk myself out of a relationship with a good guy. Sophia thinking I overanalyze things – what a laugh. What about the flip side to that?
I've seen Dan with kids; he's great with them, even if he is a typical bachelor. He doesn't quite know what to say, but he's willing to try. He's definitely no slacker in the looks department; bonus points for that. Take into account that he's smart and funny and… Oh, God, this isn't helping.
Okay, how about from another angle. I was worried that Marcos was interested in me because of the past, because of the crush he had on me in high school. Is that one of the reasons why I'm interested in him? Reliving the past, experiencing what I never had? I mean, he fits in with the kids and this completely new 180-ed life so well. Is all this that I just don't want to rock the boat too much?
Am I really the type of woman who'd date a guy because of that? I know I wasn't... but am I now?
I can really really really hate Sophia sometimes. I could be analyzing this so much that I'm talking myself out of a relationship with a great guy. Here's the million dollar question: which great guy??
Think pros and cons, Zoe; pros and cons.
Marcos. Pros: he's good with kids, lots of fun, sweet, and he's a babe. He's also a lot of fun to date.
Dan. Pros: he's good with kids, lots of fun, sweet, and he's a babe. I have no idea what he's like to date, though.
Can I make a decision without knowing that? Or is it one of those things where I have to know to make an informed decision. Oh, why can't I be honest with myself? I want to know what it's like to date Dan. I want to know what it would be like to go out to a nice, romantic dinner with him, or catch a quick lunch where we don't talk about work at all.
I want Marcos to be there for the kids, teacher and coach, always there to lend a helping hand with homework. I want Marcos to show up out of nowhere with a couple of pizzas when I get home from a long day at the office, pizza on the table, kids rushing to greet me at the door.
I want them both!
Or I don't want either of them.
Maybe that's what all this is about? Some part of my mind knows that this is a bad idea, that I can't put the kids through another change so soon after everything that's happened in the last year… That I can't put myself through another change, another potential heartbreak…
Am I just too scared to put myself out there again?
If that is what it is about... what type of coward have I turned into?!?
I wish I had someone I could talk to, someone who knew at least one of the guys… Unfortunately, that leaves Sophia, and she started this mess!
Maybe I should just shelve this all and let what happens… happen. It'll definitely make me feel less confused.
That's always a good thing... right?
Reviews are welcome!