Disclaimer: If The 4400 were mine, it would still be on the air... just sayin'. (see profile for a REAL disclaimer)
A/N: Written for mini_nanowrimo over on LJ, day number four!
"I just don't know what to do anymore," Meghan whispered, silent tears slipping down her cheeks.
Diana sighed sympathetically, studying her boss from the other end of the couch. She knew exactly how she felt- lost, confused, helpless- it was terrifying watching someone that you love being used like that. Somewhere in the back of her mind, he was still just her partner, her friend. But, the Tom Baldwin that they knew was gone, his body taken over by a Marked entity forced inside of him against his will, pretending to live his life like nothing was wrong. And accepting that, she'd quickly learned, was a lot easier said than done.
Regardless, she wanted to try and help, to support Meghan however she could. It may have only been the second time that they'd gotten together outside of work, brainstorming ways to keep that thing out of the loop, but she'd like to think that she could call her a friend. They were in this together, and nothing was going to change that.
Carefully setting her glass of wine on the coffee table, she grabbed a tissue out of the box nearby and slid across the cushions until she was close enough to pass it to her. Smiling sheepishly, she wiped her eyes, and Diana took the moment to make herself comfortable. Angling her body sideways, sliding an arm along the back of the couch as she tucked one leg beneath her, waiting patiently.
"Thank you," Meghan finally sniffled, "I'm glad I'm not alone in this."
A faint smile flickered across her lips, "Me too."
Minutes passed. Maia must have left her door cracked before going to bed, because all they could hear were her soft snores and ticking from the clock that rested above the fireplace. Their eyes met, uncertainty suddenly wavering between them. She wasn't sure why, but it made her stomach flip and her heart skip a beat. Meghan looked away first.
"Do you think we'll ever get him back?"
Hesitating for a moment, she reached out and brushed a lock of blond hair away from the other woman's forehead, hoping that she might find comfort in the gesture as much as she did.
"I don't know," her voice wavered, "I hope we do."
They're quiet again, her honesty settling heavily between them. She desperately wanted to cry, to break down and scream and sob, but she couldn't. Diana had to stay strong. Because, the second she let herself fall apart, she knew that there'd be no putting herself back together again.
"I, uh-" Meghan cleared her throat, breaking away from the gentle caress of her fingertips, "I should really get going. He'll wonder where I am."
All of the air felt like it left the room at once, the reality of just how dangerous what they were doing finally hitting her. Meghan was going to have to literally share a bed with the enemy, to keep the fear out of her eyes when they talked, and to relax into his kiss. If they weren't careful one, or both of them, were likely going to end up dead. Exactly how far were they willing to take this?
"Of course. We wouldn't want to rouse his suspicion, would we?"
Neither of them moved.
"This is usually the part where one of us gets up and goes to the door," Diana continued, trying to lighten the mood.
Meghan didn't laugh. Instead, she surprised them both by reaching between them and gripping her hand so tightly that Diana could feel fingernails digging into her palm.
"I don't want to go, Diana,"she admitted, her gaze never leaving the floor.
She squeezed back, waiting until the younger woman turned and looked at her. She wanted to tell her that she was scared too, that she wanted to take Maia and run as far away as she could, but she couldn't just abandon Tom like that. Neither of them could.
"You don't have to go, Meghan. You don't. No one's making you do anything you don't want to."
Without thinking, Diana bridged the gap between them and tugged her into her arms- chin fitting tightly in the crook of her neck, long hair tickling her face. Fingers immediately tugged at the back of her shirt and the ripple of trembling muscles nearly broke her heart.
"What am I going to tell him?"
She sounded so small and scared.
"We'll figure it out," Diana whispered, wrapping her more securely in her embrace, "I promise."