Disclaimer: I own nothing. You no sue. Royal Pains belongs to USA Networks and it's writers and producers. I am merely borrowing the characters for a little fun and amusement. Also, the songs featured in this story do not belong to me. They belong to their writers and artists. Anyway, I promise to return the characters unharmed. They have endured enough over the past few episodes lol. Miranda Underhill is my creation (hehe that sounds weird) and thus, belongs to me. She's the only one.
A/N: Okay so after seeing "Mano a Mano" this story is now AU to a certain extent. I will attempt to weave some things from the new episodes into the story but for the most part, it won't happen. lol sorry.
Rating: T just to be safe may take a T+ turn sometime in the future chapters.
Pairings: Jill/Hank (because they're awesome) and Boris/OC. I will say that I am an Evan/Divya shipper but the pair will only flirt/argue in this story. sorry.
This is unbeta-ed so all mistakes are mine. The song featured in the chapter is Turn and Turn Again by All Thieves. This is dedicated to Bagpipe_mouse, ddane, and superario over on the Royal Pains forum on both of whom have not only given me Boris's age but have opened my eyes to the man Boris is behind his facade. Thanks guys!
Hope you enjoy! Please R&R!
Chapter 2: Every Traveler Please Come Home
Chapter 2: Every Traveler Please Come Home
She stepped closer to the very large, very luxurious four poster wooden bed frame. A single lamp on the bedside table lit up the dark room in about as much light as a small army of candles would but her eyes still couldn't get used to the lighting. It was far too dark and mysterious and foreboding. She took a deep breath in, her legs suddenly feeling like jelly. It smelled like him, distinctly masculine, his masculine, with the scent of scotch, expensive cologne and, she sniffed, Monte Cristos. Illegal Monte Cristos from Cuba. She wondered why he still had Cuban cigars when it had been—she counted off in her head—almost eight years since he'd been last.
Her eyes landed on the bed and memories flickered like wildfire before her. Her mind was playing tricks, forcing her to relive the intimate and the nasty, the sweet and the condemning, all at once. She blinked, finally used to the light, and forced a smile. He was still handsome, she could at least see that in the darkness. He hadn't always been a "silver haired fox". No, she remembered when his hair had been jet black and it made the green in his eyes stand out like emeralds against pale skin. She also never remembered him having a goatee but she had to admit, it looked damn good on him. The fake smile suddenly melded into a genuine one. She ran her hands through her mess of hair then comfortably rested them on the bed frame to prevent them from shaking.
"How long have you been in the Hamptons, Miranda?"
"Only a few days, Mr. Ratenicz." She mentally slapped herself.
"I think you know me better than that." She heard the scowl in his voice but she also heard the compassion, the longing, the...betrayal. She suddenly felt lower than pond scum, as the saying went.
"I got in on Wednesday," she said as she avoided the awkwardness.
He nodded. "What brings you back?" He asked dryly.
And there it was, what she had been dreading since she had shown up. He was more detached and more distant than he had been before she left. Her heart broke but she convinced herself she didn't care for him like that anymore. She cared for him as a friend. A friend who was hurting, or sick, or all of the above. With Boris, one couldn't know what was wrong with him. He hid behind his masks and his walls, and she wondered how she had managed to penetrate them all those years ago. Then she realized, he didn't hide when they first met. She was let in willingly and when she left, she started the foundation. She wondered, though, how much of that was her because the distancing began when they were still together. She stopped musing. It was too much to figure out with an already inebriated brain.
She let out a short burst of breath that resembled something along the lines of a short, non-sounding chuckle, and answered, "The same thing that took me away."
"Freedom?" Again, uninterest.
Miranda's lips curled up in a half smirk. "Something like that."
He nodded. "How long do you plan on staying?"
"I've moved back permanently."
He stiffened as the full brunt of her words hit him. She noticed but she was surprised when she didn't feel anything. She figured she would feel bad that she was throwing a wrench in his perfectly made plans but she inferred that after today, she wouldn't ever see him again. If things went her way, that's how it'd be and she was fine with that.
She opened her mouth to say something, to break the awkward silence, when the door to Boris' room burst open to reveal another curly headed brunette, one who Miranda hadn't met yet. She figured that by the looks of it, it was Hank Lawson the doctor brother to Evan Lawson. They were similar in appearance. This brother seemed to be more put together and "laid-back" then the unusually loud and hyper Evan, if she remembered the party correctly. This brother also had green eyes where Evan, she was sure, had blue.
"Ah, Hank," Boris sat up in bed. "Have you met Miranda? She's an old acquaintance of mine."
She glowered at the regal German.
"No, I haven't." He approached her with an extended hand. "Hank Lawson."
"Miranda Underhill." She took the hand and gave it a firm shake.
"I have been trying to get in touch with you for weeks."
Boris' eyes landed on her. She could tell he was curious but that was only because she had seen that look before. Many times. She foundered for a few moments under the shock but recovered quickly.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I've been out of cell phone reception for a while. You should've left a message with Mrs. Newburg. I'm sure her name was in the file."
Hank shook his head. "I tried her but she didn't know where you were either."
"That's why you leave a message," she muttered. An eyebrow went up in annoyance to prove her point.
Hank ignored it and went on. "Miranda, what do you know about Cuba?"
Her face hardened, her eyes glazing over with a myriad of emotions. She could almost feel Boris falter in his stare and it made her all the more angry. Hank looked confused and if she hadn't been so mad, she would've laughed.
"We are not talking about Cuba. Not now. Not ever. If you really want to know, ask him," she jerked her head in Boris' direction, "because I will not discuss it. I simply came here to see if you," she turned to fully face the man in the bed, "were okay. Apparently you're not, but you seem to be in good hands." She paused as Hank's face brightened in appreciation. "Now, if you'll excuse me, Dr. Lawson, Mr. Ratenicz, I really must be going."
She walked away from her post at the foot of the bed and approached the door. She stopped a few feet shy of it and turned back around. She locked gazes with Hank who was still confused.
"If you need me in the future, Dr. Lawson, leave a message with Mrs. Newburg." She turned to address Boris who was still sitting there starring, emotionless. She could've hit him. "Thank you for allowing me into your home. I promise it won't happen again."
With that, she turned on her heel and stalked out the door. The two men watched her leave with scrutiny and she could've sworn she could feel their eyes following her all the way down the hall. She didn't mind if he didn't want to see her but to announce her as an acquaintance was fuel for the fire that was now burning in the pit of her stomach and the back of her mind. How dare he? She thought as she maneuvered through the immaculate mansion. How dare he objectify me like that! She was fuming. I am not a little toy he can just...Her thoughts trailed off into oblivion. Why did she care? She wouldn't see him again, Shadow Pond was easy to avoid, so why did she care?
She mulled the possibilities as she exited the front door. She got halfway to her car only to realize she had left her purse on the floor of Boris' bedroom which meant, she couldn't drive or get into her motel room. She groaned and crumpled onto the curb.
"Ms. Underhill!" She turned at the sound of a distinctly British voice coming up behind her.
"Miranda," she corrected.
The British voice stepped fully into the sun and out of the shadows of the walkway. The voice was beautiful, prettier than she ever hoped to be. Her raven hair flowed down past her shoulders, perfectly coiffed, every hair in it's place and shiny. Miranda had never seen such shiny hair or such copper skin. She'd had her fair share of "Spanish lovers" and those men had nothing on her. The redhead's eyes grew to cup saucer size as she stood up and held out her hand.
"Divya Katdare." They shook hands, Miranda still in complete awe.
"It's a pleasure to meet you. Might I ask what hair care products you use?"
Miranda heard a snort coming from the breeze way. She smirked and stepped to the side of Divya to see Evan leaning against the stone with his hands in his pockets.
"What? It's a legitimate question!" She stepped back in front of Divya. "Never mind."
The, Miranda assumed, Indian woman chuckled shortly. "You'll have to excuse Evan, he has the mentality of a twelve year old."
Miranda smiled. "I understand. What can I do for you Ms. Katdare?"
"Please, it's Divya."
The younger woman shrugged. "Okay, since we're on a first name basis. But, what can I do for you?"
"I'm Hank's P.A." Miranda starred at her. That didn't mean anything to her and she wondered why the other woman had even mentioned it. "Physician's assistant?"
"Right," she motioned to Divya in understanding. "Physician's assistant. Gotcha. So, what is it that you want? Information on Boris?" Divya feigned confusion while Evan kept leaning against the breeze way stone. Miranda sighed. "I can't help you."
She began to walk in the direction of the road when a voice stopped her."Is he sick?" Evan had finally moved from his spot and took a few steps toward her.
She spun around quickly. "Sick? Why would you think that?"
"Because we just got back from Cuba."
At that revelation, even Divya was stunned. "I thought you were in the city for the whole weekend!" She exclaimed, her proper London upbringing thrown out the proverbial window.
"Cuba?" Miranda seethed. "You just got back from Cuba?"
Evan shrunk back from her anger but nodded in affirmation. She took a deep breath, her own expertly made mask shooting up to guard her. Cuba. He'd been to Cuba. She hadn't had a cause to go back in the house before but now she did and she was fully prepared to take advantage of the situation. She held out her hand to Divya once more who took it and gave it a firm shake.
"Divya, it was a pleasure meeting you. I hope we can see each other in the near future." She turned to Evan. "Evan, don't do anything stupid."
Divya chuckled. "I highly doubt he'll keep that promise."
The grin on Evan's face faded and he looked astonished that the two women wouldn't trust him. Miranda just sort of smirked.
"I can see that Divya. See you soon."
The red head let go of the Indian's hand and stalked back into the mansion.
"What was that all about?" Hank asked as he approached the end of the bed.
Boris didn't answer for a long time. He just starred at a nondescript place on his wall. He didn't want to admit it but he wanted, no he felt like he needed, to tell him. He was his doctor after all. But something felt wrong. It was private. It was his own. It wasn't Hank's. It was bad enough he knew about Marisa. This could be prevented. He sighed heavily and leaned back into the down pillows. For being a German dignitary he felt smaller than he ever had. Miranda never failed to do that to him.
Miranda. He felt like smiling but refrained. Miranda had been his life at one point. She was his fire. She was his spirit. The things she had shown him. The things he had experienced, the happiness, the amazement, the wonder. She had revealed so much to him. He had learned so much from her. It was a give and take relationship, one he had actively participated in.
After a while Hank shook his head and broke the silence. "You're right, it's none of my business."
"No," he finally looked at Hank. "No, it isn't."
The younger doctor nodded in understanding. "So, what happened in Cuba? The first time?" Boris shot Hank a glare. "Still none of my business, right, I get that, but this could prove to be a turning point."
"A turning point for what, Hank? Marisa already diagnosed me."
"But you came back. Why?" The curly headed brunette set his hands on the wooden bed frame.
"My health is still failing," he replied nonchalantly.
"And you don't want her to suffer?"
"I want her to be able to help without emotional attachment."
A thought suddenly occurred to Hank. "You don't love her, do you? You stayed behind to explain why you left the first time and why you had to leave again. You tied up loose ends," he paused and shrugged, "so to speak."
Boris sighed again. He never used to be this easy to read.
"Marisa and I were never in love, you are right about that. But we did have a relationship."
"A physical relationship," Hank spoke the unspoken ending hanging after his statement.
The German nodded rather solemnly. He wasn't sure ho much more he would've revealed but as soon as Hank had stopped talking, a flurry of red hair burst into the room. Hank barely had time to brace himself.
She crossed the girth of the room quickly. She was seeing red and all thoughts in her mind were anything but rational. It could've been worse, she reasoned in her subconscious, at least I'm not contemplating flat out murder. No, she wasn't thinking killing. She was thinking hurting. She wanted him to hurt. She wanted him to hurt physically, mentally and she wanted him to know how she felt all those years ago.
She reached the right side of the bed and gave Boris—that pompous German!-a resound crack across his jaw. She pulled back her hand, her palm stinging, her furious heartbeat throbbing in the soft, unworked skin. Her anger subsided a small amount. She still seethed enough to be shaking.
"You went to Cuba? What, was one time not good enough?" She yelled.
Hank grabbed her by the shoulders and wrestled her away from him.
"Miranda, what are you talking about?" Hank asked as he struggled to pin her arms behind her back.
She jerked loose from him, shooting to Boris' side. "What, you screw Marisa once and she takes your money? She takes your heart? She took you away from me and you go running back to her? How dare you!"
She raised her hand to smack him again but he grabbed her wrist. She yanked it away roughly, still not finished with her tirade. Hank had the notion to call for Dieter but all coherent thought was a jumbled mess. He wasn't quite sure what to make of Miranda and what to make of Boris and Miranda. The two couldn't seem more different especially with her flying off the handle like she was. Boris was quiet and shy. Miranda was fiery and loud. Something wasn't right with this picture.
He was fully intent on musing some more when Miranda's voice pulled him out his reverie.
"Tell me, Boris! Tell me how you slept with her, came back, and pushed me away!"
"That's not how it happened," Boris said fiercely. She stopped her raving, her hands still shaking.
"But you did sleep with her!"
He didn't deny it but he looked embarrassed, like a young boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar. She remembered he didn't like confrontation but this was cause for one. She glared. If she was going to be nice, he better tell her everything, and she wanted everything. No short cuts, no omissions.
"Okay then, how did it happen?"
He sunk further into the pillows that lined his headboard. Hank watched cautiously, ready to jump in if she got violent again. Boris turned to him.
"Please leave us, Hank."
The younger man was about to protest but he saw the pleading look in the older man's blue eyes. Hank nodded and backed out of the door. Miranda and Boris were alone now. She paced the floor beside him, annoyed, aggravated, and highly disappointed. If there was one thing for certain, Boris Kuester von Jurgens-Ratenicz never failed to bring out the worse in her. She wasn't sure if it was because of his personality, emotional baggage, or the fact she was so in love with him. She would run the world and back for him, do anything he'd ask her to do. There were very few people who she would do that for and he was first on that list.
He starred at her for a few moments before she had even noticed. When she did, she stopped pacing and sat down on the bed beside him. Her hand itched to feel his skin. As if he could hear her thoughts, his hand snaked across the bedspread and into hers. She looked at it, her's enveloped in his. He had weathered hands, the skin tanned and pulled taught over sinew and muscle and tendons. She fought the urge to smile but lost, a small grin tugging her lips upward. She had memorized his hands. She had memorized the way they fit into hers when they had danced, her mind flashing back to that vivid day. She sighed and pulled away as their gazes locked.
"You're not going to tell me, are you?" He looked away from her. The smile faded. "That would be a no."
She went to get up. Boris grabbed her and sat her back down again. She starred, as she had been prone to do lately, as his hand traveled up her arm. She shivered, goosebumps raising where his fingers had caressed.
"We can't do this," she breathed, finally getting free.
"Is that your assessment, or your opinion?"
"Why does everything have to be a matter of fact or fiction with you?" He gracefully gave her a half shouldered shrug. Her anger returned. "I want the truth, and not your version of it. I want it all. What happened to you in Cuba the first time?"
Miranda wasn't expecting an answer. She never expected an answer with him. He always gave her some sort of round about riddle. She was tired of it. So when he opened his mouth and started talking, she was surprised. In fact, surprised was an understatement. She was floored. She sat down beside him in awe and tried not to look like a fish out of water.
"Marisa Casseras was a young, up and coming geneticist. She had a million opportunities at discovering a cure for my...ailment, but she didn't have the money."
"So you leave in the middle of winter and decide to make Cuba your 'vacation' home?" She snapped.
"She contacted me." He continued, ignoring the outburst. "Told me she could work on my diagnosis if she could set up a suitable hospital."
"And you jumped at the chance. She was just another skirt to chase."
"I won't deny that Marisa and I had a relationship."
Miranda flinched. She thought she would be mad at the revelation but instead, she felt pain. She felt an intense amount of pain like her heart had been carved out and stomped into the ground.
"Did you..." she trailed off.
"Did I love her?" He asked picking up the sentence. She nodded. "No, I only stayed in Cuba this last time to tell her why we couldn't be a couple."
She had already gotten up and was heading out the door. She remembered her purse at the last minute. She bent down, scooped it up, and slung it over her shoulder. She stopped when she heard him finish.
She ran her fingers through her hair and turned toward him. "Why couldn't you be a couple?"
"I am dying," Boris said simply. Her eyes narrowed. She reached for the door knob as he said, "and I am in love with someone else."
Miranda dropped her purse, the red leather hit the floor with a dull thud. Seven years and it still didn't get any less surprising. A smirk tugged at her lips and instead of suppressing it, she let it grow into a full on smile, a smile that lit her face up like a Christmas tree. Welcome home, she thought as she picked her purse back up and left the room.
okie dokie then, this is all for the second chapter! w00p w00p! I hope you guys are enjoying it! Please R & R and let me know what you guys think or what I should change!