Disclaimer: Don't own them

Tell Me

"Tell me we're okay," he says, and she honestly doesn't know how to respond. "You know I've always had more trouble reading you than anyone else." He studies her face for a moment, and then he's walking away and she wants to stop him and let him go at the same time. Damn this man and his excruciating habit of infuriating and charming her at the same time.

She lets him go; from the room, at least. After a few moments she walks back to her office, and turns her chair so she can look out the window as she lets his words roll around her head.

Tell me we're okay...

Are they okay? They've haven't been, not really. Ever since he started spending time with Wallowski he's been treating her more like an employee than a partner. He's keeping more secrets, taking more risks, pushing her, and everyone else around them, too far. And yet... here she sits. So maybe it wasn't too far. Maybe nothing ever will be. And the reason for that can be found in a million images and words that swirl in her head. ...how beautiful you looked last night... she's my best friend... not when it comes to you... How is it that he can jump from that man to one who says things like "mess with my finances again, and you and I are through?" The man who said that isn't the man who told her he'd forgive her for whatever she was keeping from him, the man who called her "Mother Superior" isn't the same man who hugged her and held her close after she was attacked in her own home.

She should be used to him, by now, the chameleon she's always known him to be; she's seen him leap from his role as a loving father to interrogating suspects in the Cube, she's watched him gamble recklessly and speak to her softly with love in his eyes, she's observed him flirt with danger and panic when people close to him might be at risk. Yes, she's seen over the years how he can flit from role to role, be a hundred different people and yet somehow still be him. But this is different. Because he's never been like this to her. And he's recognised it; she could see the guilt and fear on his face when he asked her if they were okay. He needed her reassurance, because he feared he'd pushed her too far. Well, maybe they are okay. Or at least, they can be. But first she needs some answers of her own.

She finds him in the Cube, sitting at the table and staring into space. The other room is deserted; she wonders how long he's been in here. It seems faintly amusing that the conversation they're about to have should take place here; the space where they put people so they can scrutinise them, analyse, find the answers they're looking for. Perhaps they should have put themselves here sooner – directed that microscope of inspection at their own lives and relationship, instead of other people's.

He doesn't see her until she's inside. She closes the door and sits opposite him; interviewer and interviewee, and she doesn't even really know which way round they are. He doesn't say anything, just look at her expectantly, so she begins.

"You want me to tell you if we're okay. Well, before I can do that, I need you to tell me something. I need you to explain, Cal. Everything." She doesn't elaborate; she knows he understands exactly what she means. "Tell me," she breathes softly, and he leans towards her and reaches for her hand.

Stroking his thumb lightly over her palm, he nods, then raises his eyes to meet hers. "Alright, darling. I will."