Title: the sidewalks are watching me think about you
Loker, Cal/Gillian, post-Honey, PG
Disclaimer: I do not own this show or these characters.
Thanks: To my beta, tempertemper77, for her help, encouragement and kind words.
The sidewalks are watching me think about you
- The Weakerthans, Left & Leaving
The October evening air was cool as Loker pulled his jacket tighter around himself. He'd been walking the streets of D.C. with little direction since everyone had dispersed at the Lightman Group a good two hours earlier.
He thought of Torres, visibly shaking as she shrugged off any attempt at comfort from himself or Reynolds. She'd sat huddled in a corner of reception on the phone, looking younger and smaller than he'd ever seen her. Fifteen minutes later Dupree was there, his arms encircling her and her soft sobs the only thing breaking the silent air.
Loker had watched as Reynolds had fielded questions, demands, accusations and pats on the back. Six people knew the events that had unfolded at the Lightman Group that day, and Reynolds was keeping it that way. As Reynolds had surrendered his firearm for inspection Loker had met his eyes briefly, understanding and respectful thanks passing between them as Loker silently walked out into the darkness.
His feet crunched through the leaves as he thought about Lightman. He thought how, today, he had witnessed surrender on his mentor's face. Lightman had a gun to his head, and there had come a point where he had given up. Loker thought how he should now being seeing Lightman as weak, he should be disappointed that he hadn't stayed strong until the very end. But Loker himself had never been so scared as when he impersonated Mike Zancanelli, and suddenly he was filled with nothing but awe as he realised just how long Lightman had held on to his courage and self-sacrifice.
Foster's hands had been shaking, he remembered, tears leaking from her eyes as she painted the perfect picture of helpless anguish. Suddenly he'd had the strongest urge to protect her, something he was still feeling now. As much as she'd explained away Lightman's sudden departure, Loker saw in her face how she wanted nothing more than for Lightman to take her with him. She needed his presence to convince her that everything would be ok.
Loker wondered, naively, if he could be a good enough replacement presence. He was drawn to Foster, inexplicably, which was why he wasn't entirely startled to find himself a couple of roads away from where she now lived. He remembered her moving-in party, the warm green-coloured walls and the picture frames and the log fire and the comfortable furniture. It wasn't very Dr. Foster but it was very Gillian, and it was in that moment that he'd realised how much he wanted to know the latter.
He was just turning the corner when he glimpsed a figure with a recognisable gait. He stilled, pausing behind some trees on the corner of the street, suddenly feeling like a peeping tom. He shouldn't be here, witnessing this, yet he couldn't tear his eyes away.
He could see her relief upon opening the door. He could see his guilt and confusion, hurt and distress. He could see so many emotions upon his mentor's face that it floored him and he suddenly realised that there was another side to Lightman, too. He was called Cal and only Gillian got to see him. Loker wondered how he'd never fit the pieces of the puzzle together before, and came to the conclusion that he just hadn't wanted to see them.
They were dancing, in their own way. He stepped in, stepped out, she followed him, he came back. He looked lost, she looked concerned. Loker didn't need to be able to hear them to know what was going on. Cal asked a question, finally, and Gillian collapsed in relief. Yes, was the answer. As she stopped him to embrace him, clinging on so hard she had fistfuls of his shirt, Loker saw all he needed to see on Gillian's face. Love.
He turned around.
It was time to go home.