I am posting this in honour of tonight's finale. YAY! But what am I supposed to do next week? Okay, this is a post-ep for Live Catch, 4.14. I had so much fun writing it.
Fun question: If you were watching a movie late on a Sunday afternoon with Mike Flynn, what would it be? Something to think about.
Additional author's note: I have nothing against Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom, and Kate's thoughts don't necessarily mirror my own.
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters, locations or storylines from Sea Patrol. Those rights belong to Hal and Di McElroy, and the Nine Network, and I do not intend to infringe copyright laws. I am not making any profit from this story and am writing it for my enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.
Now to the story...
Hospitalised yet again. The Hammersley crew probably spent a little too much time there, possibly more than any other ship's company. It was her turn... again. The doctors were running around doing all sorts of diagnostic tests before Kate had the chance to run, sign an AMA waiver and escape the four walls of a building that she saw more often than NAVCOM HQ in Cairns. She was bored and fidgeting, still dressed in her AUSCAM working uniform, as the numerous doctors checked her vital signs a few times over. They even wanted her to stay in overnight for observation. She told them that there was no chance of that happening. Apparently, cyanide poisoning was actually something rather serious. But she felt fine, for goodness sake! At least there was some satisfaction to be gained from the knowledge that 2Dads was going through the exact same experience in another room.
Mike was still fetching a brew. Hadn't he been gone a while? Or was she just losing track of time? In all her frustrations, it was getting a little hard to tell. His concern for her was commendable, but she drew the line at an order to stay in hospital overnight. For that, she was grateful that he was taking such a long time to purchase coffee. It would not be so bad for her, in fact, if he didn't show until the examination was complete. What Mike didn't know about her health and wellbeing wouldn't hurt him.
He eventually did show as Kate was signing discharge (he guessed) papers. "Good to go?" he inquired persistently as he handed her the steaming foam cup in his hand.
"Yes," she answered disdainfully and took a sip, followed by a carefully-construed expression of surprise. "Caffé Latte?"
"I'm stepping up. Thought you deserved better than the ol' flat white."
"Well, thank you for your consideration," she remarked genuinely. That easy banter they shared had had very little place in their conversations after the incident with Commander White. It was nice to see it back there.
They walked in acceptable silence back to his dark grey Commodore in the carpark. On this day, they'd been fortunate enough to manage a spot near the main entrance. Mike had already offered to drive her from the port to the hospital and, when the medical profession permitted, directly to her front door. It was an offer she could not, under pain of death, refuse. The door-to-door service might have been perceived as chivalrous, but Kate merely saw it as another chance for Mike to boast his chauvinist attitude and affirm his postulated ego.
He turned the radio on to some easy listening for the drive, and left Kate wondering why he couldn't have done the same just a few weeks earlier instead of leaving them in an absolute, awkward silence. Was there a royal decree by way of King Mike that stipulated when a distraction was necessary or when an inarticulate lull was more respectable?
They were at her house within five minutes. Late on a Sunday afternoon, there'd be little to no traffic clogging up the small city's main roads. She wasn't surprised when Mike grabbed her bag from the back seat, walked her to the front door and invited himself inside. But if there was something that she didn't want, it was for him to linger for too long in her private residence. Too many indiscretions had developed right there in her kitchen. Too many intimate scenes had wrought havoc on her emotional psyche and threatened to destroy the tenuous grasp she held on her self-control. It could not happen again.
"You don't need to stay," Kate said across from the kitchen.
He reappeared from her bedroom. "Yes, I do. Why do I get the feeling that you were supposed to stay a little longer in hospital?"
"I feel fine!"
"You've said that so many times to me it doesn't even sound like a sentence anymore."
"Pfft." She was in her bedroom now, changing, he suspected. And his suspicions proved to be correct when she returned minutes later in a fresh pair of sweats.
"You should be resting," he said in a soft voice.
Her disposition didn't change with his. "You should be leaving."
"I'm not going anywhere."
The death glare match was over. He won. As always. She should've learnt by now not to flare at the stare. It was a losing battle.
"Where you going?" he asked her back.
She turned round quickly. "To watch TV. I was poisoned and drugged. I'm tired, and mostly just of dealing with you."
There was a cheeky grin on Mike's face when he followed her, jumping on the couch beside her and taking the remote from her hands.
"What are you doing?"
"Watching TV," he replied with an obvious tone. "I told you, I'm not leaving."
"I give up."
"Finally." And he turned his attention back to the onscreen TV guide. "Ooo, that looks good."
The channel materialised before Kate had a chance to read the screen. "What looks good?"
"Okay... what is it?"
"Well, wait until it starts and you'll find out."
Kate had precious little energy to wait for him to be ready for their relationship let alone wait for him to tell her what they were going to watch on television. She leaned across the length of his torso and reached for a trashy tabloid magazine from the coffee table.
"Kerrbloom. What kind of a celebrity name is that?" Mike put forward in his best interested voice.
His face soured. "Harsh. Or are you genetically predisposed to thinking that all relationships are due to fail?"
She glared. It didn't work nearly as well as one of his.
"It's starting," he announced with the excitement of a child on Christmas Day, leaving Kate to wonder what had happened to put him in such a mood. Maybe he had done amyl?
He watched as she returned to her magazine. When the cover-to-cover was done, she sat up straighter, tossed it back on the table and leant casually back against the rest of her lounge. It didn't take long for Mike's loose arm to sneak around her shoulders and pull her close. Despite the raging internal battle, Kate let him, and even moved closer to snuggle against his chest. It was a very comfortable position, and it didn't take long for her to succumb to exhaustion and allow her heavy eyes to droop closed.
When she woke, hours later, the scene around her had changed. It was dark, she noticed that right away, but it took her a few more moments to realise that she was in her bedroom... in her bed. A noise inside her house distracted her from wondering how. She leapt from the mattress and crept to investigate.
The LCD television in her living room was still on and Mike was still in her house, asleep on the couch with one hand on the remote and the other falling to the floor. She turned it off at the base and retrieved a blanket from her laundry. He woke slowly when she tucked it around him.
"Hi," he muttered softly, a smile slowly forming on his lips.
She crouched down so their eyes met at the same level. "Hi."
"You should be sleeping."
"You should've gone home. I told you I was fine."
He smiled again, leant forward and kissed her forehead. "Goodnight."
Her eyes didn't open until she felt his lips retract. "I'll see you in the morning." She rose to her feet before anything more could happen. Her brain was shouting as clear as day that nothing could happen again. She walked back to her room alone.
Mike was staring at the ceiling. A big part of him wanted to follow her. Another big part knew that he couldn't. The battle of wills was raging on.