A/N- it didn't really dawn on me until now how ridiculous it was to have Nathan (ASH's character) drinking coffee when he (ASH) was the spokesperson for coffee all those years ago. LOL! Ah well. I realize that this doesn't mean he can't drink coffee, but the mental image, well. . .I babble. Enjoy.
Nathan arrived on time, dressed impeccably. Mag wasn't shocked. Punctuality was something he prized more than anything. One of his first gifts to Marni was a watch. He didn't buy it merely for its usefulness.
He greeted Mag when he walked in the door and kissed her lightly on the cheek. Nathan took off his jacket and put it on the coat rack. He could smell the coffee brewing. Mag looked tenser to him than usual, he was picking up on some sort of vibe, but he couldn't guess what it was.
"Hi Nathan, please have a seat." She was finding it hard to hostess actually. He was still tight-lipped despite the levitation in his mood. Small talk was always difficult. Nate was a man who was concise and to the point. He said he peace and moved on. Still, he didn't seem as closed off or distracted as before. However, this only made things worse for today. He took a seat on the sofa, and admired the silver set of dishes being used for coffee this afternoon.
Mag poured the coffee and handed a mug to Nathan, her hands shaking a little. He fiddled with the handle on his mug.
"Look, Nate, I didn't just invite you over for chat. I need to talk to you about something that's very important to me.
"Of course, what is it?" Nathan had a look of concern on his face. Mag sighed. She had his full attention and it was only making things harder. It was in her nature to be to the point as well as Nathan, but today was going to be a little different.
"When Marni told me you were getting married, I was so happy for both of you. Marni was out of her controlling relationship with Rotti and you were so good to her." Mag smiled. "I appreciated that. I appreciated it a lot. You are a decent man. One morning I woke up and realized you were more than a decent man, and, I had started to feel things. I couldn't wait for the next outing with the three of us, and then there was that day in the park when Marni wasn't feeling so great, and we decided she needed to rest, but she insisted you and I go out anyway. It was such a lovely day. I enjoyed it more than I cared to admit." Mag stared into her coffee.
Nathan was looking at her, waiting for her next words. Mag looked up at him.
"I care about you Nathan," she stated bluntly.
"I care about you too, Mag, you were such a wonderful support for Marni. I don't know what she would have done without you there." He affirmed.
Mag shook her head. "No, I care about you Nathan," she emphasized. She hesitated to use the word love. People fell in and out of love every day. She was certain she did love Nathan, but at this juncture didn't want to scare him away. She set down her mug and took Nathan's mug as well. Both containers of liquid out of the way, she place her palms on the top of his thighs and leaned in to give a chaste kiss on the lips and pulled away.
Nathan felt a little dizzy and more than a little aroused. He'd hadn't been with anyone since Marni died. In all the time he had known Mag, she had always been there, somewhere in the background when he was with Marni; a brush here, a tickle there. In small ways she had been telling him, the entire time. Mag was gorgeous as always, her hair fell in gentle curls to the small of her back. He didn't want to betray the memory of Marni, but what would it be like to be with Mag? He had a sudden curiosity.
As swift as lightening, he moved to kiss her, gently at first and then deepening the kiss. It went on and he paid attention to her neck and the exposed portions of her chest. One hand was gripping her hair; the other was groping her chest. Surprised, but not disappointed, Mag was responding in kind. Her right hand had a deathgrip on the hair at the back of his head. She melted into him. She could feel his body heat through her clothes. Her face flushed. He felt like a teenager again. Mag, Marni, Marni, Mag. They were one. Marni! The cry was in his head. The monster that had become the RepoMan rose up. Violently he ripped himself from Mag's enthusiastic response. It hadn't manifested itself like this before. He placed his forehead against hers.
Breathless, he panted "I. . .can't. I. . ." Mag simply nodded her head.
"I. . .that isn't what I wanted. . .I mean it is, but the choice is yours."
"I care about you Mag, but I'm not sure how I feel. I don't know if I care in that way. I don't want to give you any false hopes and I don't want to treat you the wrong way. Marni just. . .I miss her so much."
"I know you do. So do I," she grasped one of his hands in a fierce grip, desperate not to break contact with him.
"I should probably go."
don't have to."
"I think I should," Nathan got up. He cursed himself for acting so rashly. The outside world would say he hadn't done anything wrong, but he had. He had taken advantage of Mag in her grief. Things were always his fault. He needed go home to Shilo again. That was the only comfort that could possibly make him feel better these days.
Mag walked him to the door and handed him his jacket. Had she come on too strong? She questioned her own motives. She had wanted Nathan for so long. If he walked out that door the odds of him walking back in were slim to none. It was all too painful for her to bear.
"Perhaps another time," Nathan said as he left. The guilt was beginning to grow. He felt guilty for cheating on Marni, even if this was something she might want. He felt guilty for how Mag might be feeling at this very moment. None if it was her fault. She could help how she felt.
As the door clicked shut, Mag could almost feel her heart shattering into tiny pieces. No hope remained. There was no one else. Numbly, she lay down on her bed and cried herself to sleep.