It wasn't so much that he didn't want to be alone tonight. He remembered Zoe accusing him once of only being in their marriage so he would have a warm body to sleep next to every night. No, it wasn't that he didn't want to be alone tonight. He just didn't want to be alone without her.
Cal emerged from the bathroom and looked down the hallway at what he knew to be Gillian's room. A faint light seeped through from the crack underneath the door. Without considering it for a moment, he walked over and knocked. He listened carefully as the sound of shuffling footsteps came closer and stopped just before the door. It opened.
"Hi." He paused, taking the time to study the woman standing before him. Her eyes were still red and he could tell she was tired, too much so to bother hiding her fears. It broke his heart to see her this way. "Can't sleep?" He asked lightly, resisting the urge to reach out and brush away the loose strand of hair that had dropped over her eye.
"No, I…" She trailed off, not knowing what excuse to use or whether an excuse was necessary. They both knew why she couldn't sleep. It was the same reason why he hadn't slept yet.
"How about a drink then?"
She smiled gratefully and nodded.
"You still have that bottle of scotch?" He asked, leading her to the kitchen.
Something in her voice made him look at her but she had her back to him now, making it very hard for him to read her.
The scotch had remained largely untouched except by her on those rare occasions she had needed a drink on her own. Alec's drug of choice had never been the liquid kind. But she decided to keep that to herself. She reached up for some empty glasses in the higher cupboard and joined Cal at the dining table.
Neither of them spoke until the drinks had been poured and a few healthy sips had been taken. Cal looked at his glass and smiled. "I still remember the first time you tried this stuff."
She chuckled, her first sincere laugh in what seemed like an eternity. "You told me it would go down smoothly and that I would love it. I can't believe I believed you!"
Seeing her laugh made him smile even more. "I'm sorry, love, I couldn't exactly afford the good stuff back then." He reached out for the bottle and refilled both their glasses before continuing, "Got you this to prove I hadn't been lying."
After nearly choking down her first taste of scotch, she had refused to try it again. That is, until Cal bought her a premium bottle of scotch for her wedding. "Scotch as a wedding gift. Only you would find that to be appropriate, Cal."
"This thing cost me $300! Don't tell me you'd rather I'd have gotten you uh…one of those…" He waved his hand freely, trying to remember the right word.
"Mixers? Blenders? Dishware?"
"Yeah, yeah…boring. This stuff is gold." He tapped the bottle with his finger.
Silence fell between them again. Her eyes fell down to the glass inside her hand and he took this time to watch her fixedly. Though she had loosened up a good deal from when he had first arrived on her doorstep, he could tell the day's events were still weighing heavily on her. The fear was written all over her face. He had never seen her this scared. Not even when she was attacked during the Andrew Jenkins case had she been this afraid.
"I'm sorry, love."
His voice broke her out of her reverie. She looked up at him curiously. "For what?"
"For today. For putting you through that…"
"That wasn't your fault. You didn't ask to be taken hostage."
"I know but…I could've easily ended it at plenty of points but I didn't. I insisted on trekking forward, my life be damned. I didn't…" His eyebrows furrowed, "I didn't think about how that would affect everyone."
"You wanted to find the truth. I wouldn't expect anything less from you." She smiled reassuringly. "What's important now is that you're ok."
He didn't respond right away. He narrowed his eyes at her and let out a scoff when the look on her face confirmed what he had suspected. "But you're still angry with me…even if it's just the tiniest bit, yeah?"
She said nothing, the smile staying on her face. She didn't have to say anything. He really didn't even have to read her to know how she was feeling. She was never one to let him get away with anything.
"Thanks for getting me out of there in one piece."
"It was a team effort, really." She shrugged nonchalantly, tracing the rim of her glass with her fingertip.
"Yeah but, I would've been a dead man if Reynolds had insisted on calling the cops…which, I'm sure, he insisted on. Torres would've been feeling too guilty to do anything productive, at least, in the very beginning and Loker…well, he's not half as persuasive as you can be." There was a twinkle in his eye as he realized everything he said had been spot on.
It never ceased to amaze her how much he knew even when he didn't try to search out the answer. "It was the least I could do."
"Thank you, I mean it." When again, she said nothing, he touched her hand lightly with his. "I know you're still afraid but I promise I won't get myself into anymore trouble…for, at least, a year. Promise."
She let out a tired laugh. "A year only?"
"Yeah, well, I can't help it if trouble finds me." He leaned back in his chair, watching in relieved delight as her shoulders relaxed further as they continued with their conversation.
For a moment, it looked like she was going to say more but, instead, she got up with her glass in her hand. "I think I'm gonna call it a night."
He nodded, his head tilting back as his eyes followed her. "Night, love."
She stopped at his side and wrapped an arm around his head, dipping down to kiss the top of his hair. "Night, Cal."
He watched as she disappeared into the hallway and a moment later, heard the soft click of her door closing. It was only then that he realized his lips were still curled up into a smile. He wasn't sure how tomorrow morning or the next day after that would be but, for now, he knew everything would be ok.