Title: What You Don't Know …
Spoilers: for 5.21
Disclaimer: Not mine or I'd sit them down and set them straight.
A/N: This is purely an indulgence, because it was my city on the chopping block last Thursday and I didn't even know it until 3 ½ hours later because SPN was pre-empted by a stupid baseball game …
What You Don't Know …
The elevated train's rumble trailed off and Sandy picked up her phone to dial another one of her nurses.
"Hey, Sandy, want to go out to Rinaseita's to get pizza for lunch?"
Crap. Pizza, she would love pizza. She could live on pizza. Dammit, she'd only been on her diet for two weeks and pizza was sooo not on it …
"I dunno, Chris …"
"Oh, come on, you've been working really hard on staffing assignments all morning and Mitch isn't here today so he can't bitch if we take a long lunch."
"Yeah, but …" Sandy could just hear the little angel and little devil sitting on her shoulders.
You've been virtuous for two whole weeks …
The deal is to only have one 'fall off the wagon' day every other Sunday and you already had it last weekend …
You brought your lunch today.
A yogurt and seven rice cakes and a banana doesn't count as food!
Rinaseita's pizza is really good!
Their deep-dish isn't as good as Lou Malnati's, so it's not worth cheating over something inferior.
You never get Malnati's pizza!
It's pouring rain.
Sandy seized the last thought.
"It's really awful outside, I don't want to get soaked and spend all afternoon sitting in wet clothes."
Chris rolled her eyes. "There are these inventions called umbrellas."
"I didn't bring one. Besides …"
Sandy hated talking about dieting. She might be unhappy with her weight but she didn't need everyone else to know that. And Chris, who probably weighed a whopping 110 pounds, was not going to be a terribly receptive confidant.
"Besides, I, um, already brought my lunch."
"You're not chained to your desk, you know."
Sandy ducked her head in a noncommittal nod and went back to scrolling down her computer screen, making sure that all the client cases were covered. This rash of nasty weather had resulted in more absences that usual. Three nurses had called in unable to work because of their homes being flooded, and Sandy felt terrible for them. She wished she could do something to help them, she couldn't imagine losing all your possessions in one unpredictable moment.
Her cat and her photographs, she thought. That's what she'd have to grab. Everything else could be replaced …
"If you don't want to go out, how about I call for delivery? It's kinda silly, it's so close, but you're right, it's like a monsoon out there now. We'll give the deliveryman a decent tip."
So she's weak. She'll skip her next pig-out Sunday.
"Mushrooms, peppers, onions okay?"
Sandy sighed. Chris knew what to order. Too bad they liked the same toppings. They'd eaten enough Rinaseita pizza over the last year. Chris would never understand why Sandy really wanted to lose forty pounds before October. Before she went to the Stargate convention. Before she had her picture taken with Michael Shanks.
It was silly. She admitted as much to her family, and she didn't expect them to get it. And it wasn't even that she had fantasies about making any kind of a memorable impression. Daniel Jackson was a fictional character and Michael Shanks was an actor with his own private life.
She just wanted to see if he was as handsome in real life. That's all. Just curiosity.
Chris was frowning.
"Rinaseita isn't answering the phone."
"Maybe they're busy, it's lunchtime."
"Yeah, but even when they're busy someone answers to put you on hold."
"Oh, well. Guess we'll have to live without pizza today."
Another train clattered by on the tracks outside the window.
"Hey Sandy, look! It's totally stopped raining and the sun is out!"
Sandy thought the standard comeback but didn't bother saying it out loud: Well, that's Chicago weather, for you. If you don't like it, stick around five minutes and it'll change …
"So let's just go out, okay? I really want pizza and I don't want to order a whole one for myself. C'mon, Sandy?"
Sigh. She really wanted pizza now too, darn it.
"Okay, give me a few minutes to finish this and then we can go."
It took almost fifteen minutes to give the staffing report a final check, then Sandy grabbed her coat and went over to Chris' desk.
"I can't believe the rain stopped just like that. It's like someone just flipped a switch."
"It must be about twenty degrees warmer." Outside, Sandy slipped off her coat. Now it felt like a day in early May, not November like this morning.
It was a five minute walk to the pizza place. The restaurant was tucked among anonymous storefronts on a block that hadn't been doing all that well before the recession.
As Sandy reached for the door it opened from inside. Two men stepped out. The good-looking one blocked the door.
Tall and gorgeous gave her the strangest look. "You don't want to go in there now."
Chris immediately snapped, "Yes we do!" but Sandy's eyes were drawn to the second man. She worked with seniors all the time, but this man wasn't like any elderly man she'd ever encountered. It wasn't that he looked all that old, maybe seventies? And although he had a cane he wasn't moving in a particularly debilitated manner. But his eyes – they were ancient. They rested on her and she shivered.
"This restaurant is closed." The old man's voice was velvet-covered steel.
"Let's go, Chris."
Chris was still glaring at the younger man. "It's lunchtime. Why would they be closed now?"
His mouth quirked. "Business was dead today."
It was hard to breath under the old man's merciless stare. Sandy tugged at Chris' sleeve.
"C'mon, Chris." Purely by size Sandy was able to push her co-worker away from the doorway.
"I don't …"
The old man turned and as he walked away Sandy took a big gulp of air and then looked at the second man again. Now she noticed his eyes, a most amazing green but so terribly haunted.
"You really don't want to go in there, okay?"
Sandy just nodded. This was all too intense for her. They were going right back to the office. The perfectly normal noise of the El drowned out Chris' protests.
She had a yogurt and rice cakes and a banana waiting for her.