Characters: Tess Fontana, Grace Monroe | Pairing: Jack Carter/Tess Fontana
Timeline: Pre 4.01, but in the retcon-universe that happened in that ep.
A/N: Apparently, I'm just all sorts of understanding with characters I don't like. And it's scaring me.
A/N2: This is actually cropped dialog from another fic I was writing because it didn't fit. Which you didn't need to know but I wanted to share.
Feedback: is a must!
Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with other people's toys.
First Posted: September 21, 2010

"So, are you going to explain why you've been so subdued today?" Grace asked once they were outside Global.

Tess sighed. "It's complicated. It's just... well, actually, complicated is pretty much the only apt word."

"Ah." Her friend nodded sagely. "And you don't want to distract me from our very challenging job of counting. I understand."

"Look, it's just... I got this job offer. It's an amazing opportunity, doing what I actually went to school for. And I know I should take it, because I'm only here until Allison gets back from mat-leave and God knows Fargo doesn't want me here anymore then I want to work for him, but..."

"But what?" Grace prompted her softly, all the teasing gone from her tone.

"It's in Australia."

"Oh. And Jack-"

"Told me to do whatever makes me happy. And I know he meant it. He was really understanding and everything. But I feel awful because I told him... Okay, I know this makes me a horrible person, but I kind of blurted it out as a response to him asking me to move in with him."

Grace's eyes widened. "Ouch."

"Yeah. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that Jack is what makes me happy. I love him and even though our relationship is moving way faster than either of us is ready for, I know I love him and when it comes right down to it, it's a choice between Jack Carter and my dream job in Australia. And Jack wins, no contest."

"So what's the problem?"

"I can't shake the feeling that taking the job is what I should be doing. I can't explain it but I can't shake it either."

"And the phone call..."

"Was my final chance to say yes. It's juvenile, because I've already decided I'm not taking it, but it's like I can't make myself actually turn it down." Tess coughed, uncomfortable. "Hey, you know what? This is depressing. How about we change the subject from me and my overly-complicated life to yours, in it's almost sickenly adorable marital bliss?"

Grace chuckled. "How about we do it over cocktails later tonight at my place? Henry's working late tonight."

Tess nodded. "Sounds good. Say eight?"

"Make it seven." Her friend said. "We can't have you pre-moping and getting yourself depressed before you come over, can we?"

As Tess watched Grace climb into her car and drive off, not for the first time she was grateful to have a friend like Grace, who may not have understood Tess's need to turn to alcohol in times of depression, but at least the other woman wouldn't let her drink alone.

In the back of her mind, she wondered how long it would be until she pushed Grace away, like she was currently doing to Jack, too.