Disclaimer: Private Practice and its characters belongs to Shonda Rhimes. I am merely borrowing them to make light in the current darkness.
AN: So I went to bed after watching the latest episode, but I was unable to sleep. I had to get up and write down the beginning of a scene before I could go to sleep. That again turned into the short story you have before you. It's a different take on the minor Violet/Pete scene in Maya's wedding, where Violet concludes that by pretty much planning the wedding in detail, Maya's wedding is her wedding. Starts off at the end of that scene and spins off from there. Enjoy, and remember that feedback is always appreciated.
"This is my wedding." Although she says it with a smile, there is a hint of sadness to her voice.
He doesn't know what comes over him. He certainly didn't mean to say it. Somehow it just slips out anyway. "Dance with me."
Violet looks as surprised as he feels. "What?"
"Dance with me," he repeats, this time with a little more conviction. "If this is your wedding, then at the very least you should have your wedding dance."
She bites her lip, and when she looks back at him there's uncertainty in her eyes.
"It's not a proposal," Pete reasons, trying his best to keep their interaction light and easy. He is no fool. He knows she isn't ready to revisit the idea of the two of them. But he is tired of staying away. He misses her, and not just the woman he loves, but the friend she was to him long before they messed that up with sex and emotions. He misses stopping by her office at the end of any particular difficult day, plopping down right next to her on that lumpy old couch of hers and just talking... about anything and everything. No judgement of any kind, no matter how stupid either of them has been or the mistakes they've made. That couch at the end of the day was like a sanctuary. Their private sanctuary.
It's not that he wants to go back to that and simply forget what more they both had and could have again, but at this point it's better than the way they've been these past couple of months. Right now he just wants to dance with her, even if it just is the one dance.
He reaches out his hand, and just when he starts to think he might have to do some more convincing, he feels her hand take his. He looks up at her and they both smile as he leads her onto the dance floor. Reaching the middle, they take a classic pose, his left arm loosely positioned at her waist, the other halfway stretched out, his right palm meeting her left. It's enough space to keep her comfortable, yet close enough for him to momentarily pretend that everything is the way they're supposed to be.
Pretending is easy when she is smiling back at him like that. He feels the urge to lean forward and kiss her, but he restrains himself. She is not ready, he has to remind himself. And the last thing he wants is for her to turn tail and run.
The song comes to an end and he loosens his hold, giving her the option to back out should she want to. She doesn't take it. As a new song starts up they remain swinging lightly from side to side. And once more Pete suffers a Freudian slip. "I miss this."
He can instantly see the light leave her eyes, her smile quickly replaced by a face very similar to the one he saw every day living at her house. "Pete..." The anguish in her voice is enough to make shivers run down his spine.
"No, hear me out," he cuts her off before she can say anything else. "I know you still need time to heal, but I miss you, and not just..." He pauses, trying as best as he can to find the right words, to explain. "There was a time before all this where you and I were friends."
Violet frowns. "You want to be friends?"
"You know what I want. I know what I want. And I know you're not ready for that... I'm just..." Pete sighs. "I'm just thinking out loud, here. It's... it's not exactly been the best of days."
"You want to tell me about it?"
He cocks his brows. "In the middle of the dance floor?"
"Or we could go somewhere," she suggests.
He feels her hand squeeze his.
"I can still be your friend, Pete," she says. "Whenever you need to talk, I'm here. That hasn't changed."
He thinks long and hard. As much as he wants to take her up on her offer, he knows it means letting go of her, and right now his desire to remain on the dance floor simply is stronger.
"Tomorrow?" he asks. "Your office... or mine, either way is good."
Her hand squeezes his once more.
"Tomorrow," she agrees.