This is set right at the beginning of season 4, when Daniel is having trouble dealing with Molly's death. I started writing it after seeing episodes 1 and 2, and had forgotten all about it. I'm not sure whether to leave it as a one shot, or to continue with it, so any feedback would be much appreciated. Flashbacks are in italics. Rated for the odd swear word.
Once again, I own nothing, but you guys already know that. Some of the dialogue is taken from the show, and I'm filling in the blanks. Hope you all enjoy.
It had all started a month ago, during a time when everything around them was changing. It seemed understandable looking back, hindsight was a tricky thing. With it everything made sense, yet here she was, lying awake at 3 o'clock in the morning, wondering how she had gone from Junior Features Editor by day, to this. Lying to everyone, her friends, her work colleagues, even her family. She sighed as she rolled over, wincing when the sleeping form beside her began to stir. She didn't want to wake him, he looked so peaceful. It seemed that the lonely hours of the night, which were just that to him, had now become the part of his day that he longed for. The one to one moments that gave him the human contact he craved. Her day to day routine had hardly differed, she had been a Junior Features Editor for a month now, and she was slowly but surely, finding her footing. But it was the nights that had changed, at least with her new job, her excuses seemed plausible, she was working late at the office. She had even snuck out of the house in the middle of the night, because that's what he had needed. She had told herself it was all for him, but lately she wondered how she would feel when he woke up one morning, and decided he was finally okay. She wouldn't be needed anymore, at least not in such an intimate and emotional way. She rolled onto her back, carefully pulled the covers back, and made her way into the kitchen. Grabbing a glass from the cupboard, she went to the sink and turned on the tap, as she remembered when it all started.
He was angry. She remembered the phone call, the one meant for his assistant, the assistant role that she wasn't completely ready to let go of yet. She had seen the anger and sadness in his eyes, as she calmly tugged Daniel away from the Tahiti poster that now lay in shreds on the sidewalk, outside the Meade building. The town car ride had been in silence, his eyes remained focused on the city that whizzed past them, and she knew better than to push at this moment. He needed time to cool off; he would open up to her eventually.
They returned to his apartment. Molly's apartment, and as he took a seat on the couch, she made herself busy by boiling the kettle. She turned to him, and with all the compassion of a friend she asked him. "Daniel, what were you doing out there?" He had gone from quiet to agitated. "Betty, I know it's just, Tahiti was where Molly and I were supposed to go on our honeymoon. I just, I have to see that stupid ad everywhere in this city. I just, there it was right in front of Mode, I, I just, I just lost it." She took a moment, trying to say the next part without pointing the finger. "Well you are surrounded by things that remind you of Molly." Again he seemed angry. "No, I know Betty, I know, God. How could I have been so stu…" But before he could finish his sentence, the anger took over, and he pounded his fist against the coffee table, and pushed the paperwork that littered it, onto the floor. He rubbed his hand, obviously it had hurt him more than he was expecting. Betty was worried. "Okay, um lets maybe not hit things anymore." She walked towards him with a mug of tea, but as she offered it, he was up and about. "Look we can find you another place to stay." She suggested, hoping that some distance between Daniel and Molly's memories would help. "No I don't need another place to stay. Look I'm sorry you had to bring me home, I apologise, I hadn't seen my temp all day okay." "Daniel I'm happy to help." Putting down the tea, she added. "Is there anything else I can do?" "No, no nothing, everything's fine, besides you need to go to work." She looked at her watch, he was right, she needed to be at the concept meeting, but her strong connection to Daniel was tugging at her. "Yeah, um, well you probably shouldn't be alone. Um I could call your mom." "No, no she just worries, okay go, I'm gonna be fine." He turned away from her, didn't he realise she worried too? As he turned again she noticed. "Daniel, you're crying." Saying the words aloud almost had the same effect on her, but he tried to write it off. "Oh it's just stupid allergies, I just…" But as he spoke he tripped on the hand shaped chair, and began kicking at it in frustration. She called out to him, but he only continued, this time kicking the small table, and picking up the pot plant. "Son of a bitch!" He yelled angrily, spinning ready to toss it, when the scared look on her face stopped him. He looked down at the plant, as Betty averted her eyes. Sighing he carefully placed the pot on the table, and spoke just above a whisper. "I haven't been sleeping…at all…just a little on edge." Upset, she mimicked his tone. "Yeah, I know." It was obvious he had been holding this all in. "It's just…I'm used to being in the room with someone…and without that…it, it's pretty quiet."
She knew where she was supposed to be, but she also knew where she was meant to be. As important as her first shoot was, she couldn't leave Daniel when he was like this. Besides, she could finish up her work here, and call to check in on progress at Mode. "Um, just give me one second." She told him, finding a quiet corner to call Matt. Matt as it turned out, had been less than happy at her preference to Daniel over work, and made no effort to hide his true feelings. Even though she had explained the situation, he had heard enough of her so-called excuses, and left her to it. Deciding Matt's childish behaviour was the least of her worries, she returned to Daniel. "Good news, I can stay a little longer." She knew he would protest, and he didn't disappoint. "Oh Betty, I can't ask you…" But she cut him off. "You don't have to ask." And that's where it all began. Who knew that by choosing to stay with him, she had set in motion the events that now had her creeping around behind everyone's backs?
Realising she had spaced out for a moment; she placed the glass under the running water, and then turned off the tap. Taking a sip, she padded back into the bedroom, and placed the glass on the nightstand. He looked so peaceful yet she was restless. She thought back to that day she decided to stay with him. It had only been her intention to stay for a while, but after Scrabble, takeout and a movie, not to mention her workload, somehow exhaustion had overtaken them both. That was the first full night sleep Daniel had had since Molly, and it was because of that, she was now watching him, as she gingerly sat on the edge of the bed. It had started off as occasional, she could tell a few days later that sleep, once again had eluded him, and had offered to come over for takeout. Once again they had fallen asleep on the couch, and although it hadn't been the most comfortable of sleeps, it had gotten Daniel the much needed rest he craved. Then somehow it had become more frequent, changing from once or twice a week, to practically every other night. It was like an unspoken agreement that she would be there, because that's what he needed. And if she was totally honest with herself, she felt as if a part of her needed it too. Why else would she be worried about the day she knew would eventually come? The day when she wasn't needed, and she had to return to a life where their interactions took place across a desk. There was no way she could go back to that, they had seen a side of each other that was far too open and trusting to let go of. She knew people at work talked, they always had something to say. Even after that first night, Matt had asked her if she was sleeping with him. Daniel, angry as he was, saw the best way to deal with Matt, was with a fist to the face. Although she couldn't blame him, Matt had it coming, especially for treating her like crap these last few weeks. But they could talk all they wanted, there was nothing going on between her and Daniel. Well, not in the way they imagined.
"You know it creeps me out when you do that." Daniel said groggily, causing her to jump a little. She had been so lost in her thoughts, and he didn't even need to open his eyes to know what she had been up to. He looked up at her, now awake. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you." She shook her head. "Its fine, guess I just spaced out there for a second." It wasn't the first time she had been restless in the night, and obviously not the first time Daniel had noticed. He could see there was something wrong, and he sat himself up, patting the space beside him, asking her to come closer. She complied with his wishes, and scooted closer. "What's the matter?" he asked, taking her hand. She didn't want to tell him the real reason that she was awake. That deep down, she knew one day this would all end, and if he knew how much she was dreading that day, he would think her clingy, and end things there and then. They weren't in a relationship, and they weren't a couple, but the thought of someone else lying in that spot, the one she had occupied for a month, was enough to make her question her true feelings. Was it possible she was in love with Daniel? She had always found him attractive, but he was her best friend. The more she thought about it, the more confused she became. There was no way he had thought about the possibility of anything ever happening between them. He was grieving his dead wife, and here she was thinking about whether or not she was in love with him. She knew she loved him, at least as a friend, but now she was starting to think it might be more than that. "Betty?" she could hear him say, she must have spaced out again. She looked at him, signalling she was back in the conversation. "Are you okay?" She didn't know, discovering you might have feelings for your best friend, did tend to complicate matters. "Yeah, just tired. Got a lot on my mind doesn't help." "Do you want to talk about it?" He asked with genuine concern. "It's fine." She shrugged it off; she didn't know what she would have said, even if they did talk about it. "Are you sure? I mean you do so much for me, present situation included, I just want to be able to return the favour." She was flattered by his emotional display, and was thankful that he had offered, making their friendship a two way street. "I'm sure, can we just go to sleep now?" she asked tiredly. He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and smiled. "Okay." It was not the first time he had done it, but with her sudden epiphany, the action seemed to take on new meaning. He began to scoot down in the bed lying on his side, he held the blankets open for her, and she slid in on her side, as he wrapped the blankets and his arms around her. "G'night Betty." "G'night Daniel." As he lay behind her she thought about her feelings, was it really possible that she thought of Daniel that way? All she knew was at that moment, she was exactly where she was meant be.