Summary: 'When I found out she was dying, I started writing a letter; finished it the night she died… When I got home from the hospital – after - I burnt it out the back of my house with a lighter I stole from my dad.' One-shot post season finale. How the story ended for Rabbit and Nancy.
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to characters from Trauma, they belong to NBC and the creative team behind the show. This story was not written for profit or exploitation.
Author's Note: My first fic for this fandom. I have so many ideas but this one sprang to mind. For those English fans about to read this that haven't watched ahead, this fic has spoilers for the season finale (well, the slap-dash one we got anyways).
I only said it 'coz I mean it
She didn't know what had come over her that night. Well, that was a lie, it happened to be a lot of tequila and a stupid feeling that she had a right to be angry at Rabbit for doing his best impression of her dad and not being there for her. She knew it was unreasonable, she knew it was wrong. But Glenn was there… Glenn had… listened. Then she had kissed him.
Then Nancy did what she did best – she ran. She ran home and waited for Rabbit to get home. She hadn't seen him at the party, so she half-expected him to be there already, but that wasn't the case. So she attempted to sober herself up, and stop herself from shaking and berating herself. Really, she should have at least apologised to Glenn before running off; but that wasn't the point, the point was… She had kissed him.
Heavily, Nancy sat on the edge of the bed, shoulders slumped and examining her hands as if they were going to give her all the answers. She kept a close eye on the door, tapping her foot, still clad in her heels from the party earlier. She wanted to change – the dress making her feel sick to the pit of her stomach as she remembered the stupid mistake she'd made, but she couldn't miss him walking through that door. Because although she had to tell him what she'd done, Nancy desperately needed to see Rabbit; just to make her feel human again. She almost hated him for it. The way he could just walk into a room and make her feel happier, more secure inside. She spent so long keeping up a 'hard-ass' pretence, just so Glenn would back off and leave her alone; but as much as she joked about her screwed-up life she realised after tonight she was probably in need of more counselling than her boyfriend ever was.
Her head jerked up as she heard the door swing open and the jingle of keys being removed from the lock as Rabbit side-stepped into the apartment. He kept his head low and he strongly wiped at his eyes with his thumb and fourth finger before shaking his head and looking up. Nancy leant slightly on her right arm, wrapping her left hand around her elbow and offered him a smile and very unconvincing smile.
"Hey…" She said softly, feeling her heart leap in her chest out of a mixture of pure joy and bitter remorse and regret. Rabbit didn't look at her for long; just long enough to mutter a clipped 'hi' before slamming his keys on the table and walking into the kitchen. Uneasily, Nancy left her position on the bed, getting up following her boyfriend into the kitchen, hanging around by the counter while he stared into the empty fridge. She swallowed. "Bad day?" A low laugh escaped Rabbit's lips before he caught himself, standing up straight and closing the fridge door before turning to Nancy and leaning back on the appliance; arms gripping the countertop.
"Fine…" Nancy relaxed a bit at this, nodding and turning up the side of her mouth in a half smile. "Fine until a got to Tyler's and saw you in a clinch with Glenn." Face falling; Nancy opened her mouth to speak. She had heard the hurt he felt practically dripping from that sentence and she wanted to make things right – she really did; but how? How when he saw her and didn't give her time to tell him first?
"Don't." He was firm. His hand was raised in front of him and he had managed to somehow half-turn away from her, so that she could no longer see his face, which was determinedly looking at the floor.
"Please…" She whispered. "Please let me explain…" Rabbit's head whipped to face her and all of a sudden Nancy wished he had just kept avoiding her gaze. She could see a pair of bloodshot eyes staring back at her. A pair of eyes that she hadn't seen since the time she was called out to Rabbit's temporary flat not long after he'd been released from hospital. His eyes were empty again – and she'd done that to him.
"What?" He barked, causing Nancy to flinch. "What could you possibly say Nancy? You kissed him. You." Quickly he stormed past her, brushing her shoulder and entering their bedroom. He ripped off his shirt and lay on the bed, clearly too exhausted to do much else.
Neither of them moved for a while after that. Minutes seemed like hours as both medics refused to talk, move or even look anywhere but the spots where their eyes had been fixed, Rabbit just stared at the ceiling and Nancy didn't dare move for fear of prompting him to leave the apartment and never come back. She needed him. Swallowing and taking a large, steadying breath in; Nancy walked slowly into their bedroom; slipping off her shoes and standing by the side of the bed – looking straight at her partner.
"I'm going to explain. You don't have to listen, or talk or anything but please just… Just stay? And if by the end of the night you still think I'm a manipulative bitch then, then you can leave. I don't want you to… But I'd get it, I would. So please just hear me out okay?" Nancy heard nothing from Rabbit so she nodded to herself and perched on her side of the bed, her back to him as she steadied herself for what she was about to tell him.
"I had a bad day." Reuben started to move off the bed and Nancy tensed. "That's not my excuse. But I have to go from the beginning so… I had a bad day. There was this patient, a woman and she had cancer. I guess it was probably breast cancer but it wasn't mentioned. She reminded me of my mom, I guess." She glanced over at Rabbit, noticing the mention of her mother had gotten him interested. "She was about the same age, and she'd been to so many places… She looked like she'd really lived y'know? She asked us to take her in so she could be comfortable… At the end… And I guess it just touched a nerve. I tried to call you after that, but it went to your voicemail so I hung up. I really needed you today…"
"So you're saying that you kissing Glenn is somehow my fault?" Rabbit raged, leaning up on his elbows.
"No!" Rabbit looked sceptical, but relented, noting the desperation in Nancy's eyes. "What I'm saying is, how can we both be there for each other if we're both doing the same thing, the same demanding job all the time? I'm saying that she'd done so much; she'd travelled, had family and friends around her – her own family and I… I don't want to be the person who dies alone because they chose an action-packed career with limited shelf-life and nothing else to show for it at the end. I wanted to have this conversation with you for an entirely different reason and I was so scared at how you'd react! And I was hurt that I needed you and we just kept missing each other-"
"Which isn't justified!"
"Is the fear that you'll run away when I tell you I want a family justified?" She looked at him then, hoping she'd see something, anything to reassure herself. But she just saw shock exploding onto his features as fast as an express-train. She got up. "That was too much. I'll go." Nancy searched around the room for a jacket – something – she could put around her before she grabbed her purse and ran away, and mentally cursed when she saw nothing.
"Nancy…" Rabbit appeared round her side of the bed and took hold of her wrist lightly.
"I love you." There, she'd said it. If you wanted to scare him off, might as well go all the way. Surprisingly Nancy saw his features soften, and she felt his other hand close around her other wrist. She looked up and saw him urging her to continue, as if he realised she had more to say. My mom got breast cancer when I was a teenager… When I found out she was dying, I started writing a letter; finished it the night she died… When I got home from the hospital – after - I burnt it out the back of my house with a lighter I stole from my dad. I promised myself I'd never miss an opportunity to tell someone how I felt again. If you're going to leave… I had to tell you, I can't go through losing someone like that again…"
"That's the most open you've ever been isn't it?"
"Yeah. Told you – screwed up." She was crying now, crying into the floor and she hadn't even realised it until now. The tears had made warm tracks down her face which were cooling in the night air, giving her a shiver and proving to her that she must look a mess. To her surprise, Rabbit moved his hand onto her face to wipe at a stray tear.
"I'm not going anywhere, because I love you too." Relieved, Nancy staggered into his arms and the pair just stood for a while, enjoying the feel of each other again.
I only mean it 'coz it's true