Title: (Something About Having) Everything You Think You'll Ever Need
Cal/Gillian, Post-Honey AU, PG
Disclaimer: I do not own this show or these characters.
A/N: Many, many thanks to my wonderful beta, tempertemper77. She has encouraged, supported, helped and guided and as a result has made this story better.
Something about having everything
You think you'll ever need
Sitting in the seat next to you
- 'Another White Dash', Butterfly Boucher
She sat, purposefully not looking at the phone, trying to concentrate on the book in her hand. She ignored the fact that she had scanned the same page eight times and had yet to take anything in. She ignored the fact that her pulse was racing, and not just from the half-empty glass of wine on the coffee table in front of her. She ignored the fact that, time and time again, her mind was back in that room watching that man hold a gun to Cal's head with the sound of her own begging ringing in her ears.
"I guess that's all forever is," his father replied. "Just one long trail of nows. And I guess all you can do is try and live one now at a time without getting too worked up about the last now or the next now."
Her worn, much-loved and repeatedly-read copy of The Horse Whisperer had lost her attention, yet again. The few words she'd managed to take in on this ninth read of the page, however, stuck with her. There was a ringing in her head as she stood, preparing herself to drive over to Cal's – to check he was alright, and in return ensure that she was alright. But rational thought took over again as she sat down heavily. She knew him well enough; just because she was ready to see him, didn't mean that he was ready to see her. She'd wait.
Placing her head in her hands, her elbows resting on her knees, she calmed herself. The now they were living in still included Cal and that thought alone calmed her breathing and slowed her erratic pulse. Tucking her feet up underneath her on the couch and pushing her hair back from her face with one hand she again reached for her book with the other.
There was a knock at the door before her hand met the paper.
A tumbler of scotch in his left hand, his forehead in his right. He didn't fight the tears when they threatened to fall, and she didn't look surprised when they finally did.
"Come here," she whispered, tugging him towards her chest as his head came to rest on her shoulder. Gently, she unclasped his fingers from the tumbler of scotch, leaning forward slightly to place it with her own glass on the coffee table.
"It's alright," she murmured, her hand rubbing up and down his arm, soothingly. "You're ok." Her throat tightened, her eyes watering, as the day's events finally settled on her heart. Her voice broke. "You're ok," she repeated.
He felt her tears landing in his hair and wrapped his arms around her waist to comfort her in return.
"I'm sorry, love," he muttered as he pulled away.
"Don't do that," she admonished softly, her arm still around his shoulder and her eyes scanning his face. "You don't have to be ashamed for crying in front of me, especially after a day like today. God knows I've cried in front of you before," she joked, lightening the mood.
He thought about this for a second. "I'm a man! I'm supposed to be tough and hardy," he attempted to joke back.
She smiled, but her eyes were serious. "You are one of the strongest people I know, Cal. What you did today… I've never been so scared," she finished in a whisper. She stopped the flashbacks inside her head and her voice came back strong, "You saved Torres. She's alright because of you. Our staff – you saved them, too. And you saved me. But most importantly, you saved yourself." Her throat felt thick once more but she met his eyes with her own glassy ones and pushed the words out. "You were a brave man today. Maybe a stupid one, too, but definitely a brave one."
He smiled his thanks at her.
Half a bottle of wine later ("You don't have any more scotch?" "No." "Ok.") found them curled on the sofa, his feet on the coffee table, hers underneath her, and her head on his chest. She listened to his heartbeat, afraid to move even a fraction in case it went away.
"I'm sorry I didn't come sooner," he mumbled in to her hair.
Her hand stilled from the patterns it was gently making on his chest. "I knew you'd come when you were ready," she replied, softly.
"You know, earlier," he began again, his voice so low it was gravely which made her heart flutter, "I was scared."
She sniffled. "I was terrified."
He buried his head in her hair, his voice now but a murmur. "I wasn't scared for me. When he pointed that gun at you…"
Her arm tightened around his chest as she grabbed a fistful of his shirt. It struck her how they had never been so close before and yet nothing felt more comfortable. "Don't…"
"I never want to see you in danger again. My mind went blank, I had no idea what to do. And all I could think about was that we'd had that stupid argument and you were mad at me – rightly so – and that could have been our last conversation."
His shirt was a little wet and her shoulders shook ever so gently. He wrapped a firm arm around them, pulling her even closer. "We're both here now," she choked.
"You should go to bed," he said, reluctantly, stroking her hair softly.
She was quiet long enough for him to count the droplets of water running down the wine bottle. She buried herself deeper into his chest, her arms tightening, and whispered, "I'd rather stay right here, if that's ok with you."
He dropped a kiss to her temple and drifted off in the candlelight.
End of Part 1