AN: I had to get out of bed at 1 am last night to write this because the dang plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone. X[ I think the idea was supposed to be for a season 3 fic, but it turned into this instead. Thank you to webuiltthepyramids for reading this over for me! :D
It had never been her decision.
Every one of her past relationships had been instigated by the guy. Sure she had the option of being receptive or not of their advances and thus could easily fool herself into believing she held the power.
But she didn't. Not really. This was never clearer than in how each of those relationships ended.
Every break-up was forced upon her, even if he didn't actually dump her. He was cheating on her. He was using her to cheat. He never wanted sex. He only wanted sex. He was cruel. He was just boring. Each reason plainly spelled out in neon flashing lights why this relationship was wrong.
There are no signs with Leonard.
She's been stumbling blind since she met him. Every time she would think they've hit familiar ground, he would change directions, and she'd get lost all over again. He broke every expected pattern. She's upset and drunk on his couch, but he pulls away. Every stray hug and kiss never go anywhere. He clearly wants her, she can see it in his eyes, but he never makes a move. It takes her awhile, but she finally figures it out.
The ball's in her court. It's up to her.
She doesn't know what to do with that.
It's why she nearly balks when he does finally ask her out. Because he's not demanding a date like all the other guys. He's asking for her decision. And she doesn't quite have one yet.
When he grabs her and kisses her, she thinks this might be okay after all. Because now they're on familiar ground. Now she has a sign to follow.
But then another sign doesn't come.
She stumbles around in the dark for a couple of days, looking frantically for that next sign, but all she comes up with is an exit glowing serenely back at her.
So she takes it.
She corners him in a no-win situation and uses his response to propel her through the door. And then she's free.
But she knows it's still not over. The tension is thick between them.
So she finally makes a decision. She picks Option C: None of the above. It's a coward's decision and she knows it.
But at least the ball's in his court now.