Disclaimer: The usual...these characters do not belong to me, and I don't stand to make any money off of this...

Author's Note: This little vignette takes off from the scene in the hotel room when David has just told Maddie the history of his marriage. I realize I'm treading on sacred ground here--I think "Big Man on Mulberry Street" is about as close to perfect as a television episode can be--but the current is so strong between David and Maddie that it just left me yearning for a little...bit...more...

Reviews appreciated as always; hope you enjoy!

In the Dark

"See? I told you it wasn't very important." He smiled ruefully and turned to go back to his room.

"David—" she started. Slipping off the bed, she caught his hand and whispered, "I'm sorry."

He glanced down at their linked hands, then brought hers to his lips. Something about the look in his eyes—the unwonted weariness—ripped at her heart, and everything rushed in on her: his lost child…and lost youth; his wife's betrayal; and the accusations she herself had hurled at him in her office—irresponsible, undependable, selfish, jerk.

She pressed a hand to her mouth to hold back a sob, but two traitorous tears escaped and ran down her cheeks. Suddenly, she was in his arms, her tears soaking his white t-shirt.

"Shhh…it's OK," he murmured, rubbing her back. "It was a long time ago."

He brushed her hair away from her neck. The intimacy of the gesture sent a shock through Maddie—not of sadness or sympathy, but something else entirely. She stepped back from him and tried to compose herself.

"I'm sorry," she said shakily, wiping her cheeks. "I'm being ridiculous…I came here to comfort you, not cry all over you."

David shrugged, with a hint of a smile. "S'OK…I like my women damp and disordered." Maddie rolled her eyes.

"Well," he said, putting his hands back in his pockets.

"Well," she replied. The word hung in the air between them for a minute, as David searched her face, looking for…she wasn't sure what. She dropped her eyes.

He nodded, as though he had come to a decision. "Well," he repeated. "Better get some sleep."

"Yeah…me too." Her shoulders sagged a little. She felt…disappointed? No, just exhausted, she assured herself as she got back into bed.

"Blondie," David called from the doorway. She looked up. "I'm…" he looked away, his hand on the knob, and then: "Thanks." He blew her a kiss. "Sleep tight."

"Sleep tight," she replied as he closed the door.

She pulled the blankets up around her, settled herself on the pillows…and stared at that door for a long, long time.