Title: this wide night
Cal/Gillian, post-Grievous Bodily Harm, 618 words, pg-13
Disclaimer: I do not own the show or the characters.
Author's notes: While I can understand the last scene in 2x05, I felt it needed dealing with. All mistakes are mine. Tempertemper77, I hope you feel better soon! Here's a present.
Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you
Carol Ann Duffy
The air felt cooler than the last time he had walked these steps; though perhaps, he thought, it was his guilt wrapping around his shoulders like a cold blanket.
He knocked, stood back and waited. She was slower to open the door this time, and when she did it was with a look of quiet sadness on her face.
"Hi," she greeted, her smile not quite reaching her tired eyes.
"Hi," he repeated. He looked away from her, licking his lips, thinking of what he could say and how he could say it to make everything right. "I appear to have made a habit of standing on your doorstep offering you an apology," he began with a gentle shrug of his shoulders and a heavy heart.
She looked at him for a few moments, then into the distance and back at him. "What are you apologising for?"
He looked at her with honest eyes. "For making you believe that I don't trust you."
She flinched, ever so slightly, as she shook her head and rolled her shoulders, hand still on the doorknob. She couldn't find a response to his statement as the thoughts floated around inside her head.
"You can't deny it," he continued, "and you're right. But I want you to know that I do trust you. Terry and I go way back," he gestured with his arm, "but that doesn't mean that you aren't every bit as loyal. You deserve better than what I gave you this afternoon."
"I don't know that I could be loyal enough to go to jail for someone," she responded, resentment towards herself creeping into her words.
"Oh, I think you could," he answered quietly, studying her face, "if you had to."
Their eyes met once more. "You deserve my unwavering loyalty in return, and you have it, have always had it," he murmured gently. "My words, earlier, did not come out right."
She smiled, her first smile of the evening that created a small sparkle in her eye. "You've had a rough couple of days." Again with the self-deprecating shoulder shrug and the smile that broke his heart.
"So have you." Her surprised eyes met his. "I heard about the girl."
She sighed, tucking her hair behind her ear and looking younger and more vulnerable than he'd seen her in years. She stabbed her foot against the doorframe quietly. "I missed it, and she nearly died."
"She's alright, though. And you helped her more than anyone else in the end by uncovering that bastard teacher of hers."
Again she shrugged, nodding her head slightly but her eyes still looking down.
"And then your day was nicely capped off by your supposed friend lashing out at you. Which you really don't deserve."
She looked up, hair falling out from behind her ear and her right hand letting go of the doorknob, left in her jeans pocket. "Apology accepted. Everybody lashes out, especially after what you've been through."
"You don't." He reached up to tenderly tuck her hair behind her ear, fingers glancing down her cheek as he moved it away. He'd blame it on his emotions being all over the place if he were ever pulled up on it.
She smiled, softly. They were going to be alright. "Come in," she whispered, her free hand grabbing his falling one and tugging him inside.
He followed, removing the blanket of guilt from his shoulders and closing the door on the dark night.