A/N I can't really believe I'm posting this.. whatever. Everyone does strange things in their lifetime, right? Also, I'm really not that sure of the contents of Sean's backyard, I only watched the film once and doubt I'll do it again.

A Portrait

The party didn't seem to work for Samuel, who was spending it stuck to his chair.

Despite being in the middle of the throng, Sean had to wonder if, mentally, he was in the same place. Young faces were swarmed around him, and for the third time that week he felt old. Which sucked, this was supposed to make him feel better, not worse.

He's not sure if it's apprehension or hope that rises in him when Samuel leaves with a blonde. The slim number he's dancing with giggles, drawing his focus away from the door and down to her. Sean smiles, and blames the sick feeling he gets on too much beer.

In the morning, he doesn't remember the name of the woman he wakes up next to.

After a shower and a cup of coffee he manages to get her out the door, and then starts to clean up everything from the party at the studio that had leaked into his home.

It's our parents' house. Gale's voice reminds him. He wants to tell her to shut up, but doesn't find the energy.


In a week, Samuel calls him, tells him he has a plan, but first, where the hell does Gale's husband work? He had thrown the bastard's card out months ago. He gives his friend the address and then sits back down in front of his current piece.

It's a portrait of a woman, and in that moment he finally realizes who it is.

Sean throws it out and starts again on something else.


When Samuel and Rebbecca announce the wedding he attends the engagement party alone, and sincerely congratulates them. Then he goes back to his parents' old house and drinks so much he blacks out. When he wakes up in the backyard he's grateful that he doesn't have a pool.

Not a day later, Gale calls to tell him that she's coming over. Not only is the warning a surprise, but so is the fact she's leaving the husband and the little demons behind. Before she comes over he makes a half-hearted attempt to clean the place, but it really isn't all that dirty. He spends most of his time in the studio, not his home. Sean does find several odd sketches he did on a whim laying about the place, most of them of a face he hasn't seen in months.

After throwing a handful away he collects the rest and puts them in a folder in his seldom used bedroom.

He helps Gale out of the car when she arrives, monotonously chiding her that a woman so pregnant shouldn't be driving. She jabs him in the ribs for the remark and announces that she has to pee.

Sean has a glass of orange juice waiting for her in the kitchen when she's done. He thinks she craved it during one of her other pregnancies. She starts drinking it without comment, and then suddenly asks him what's wrong.

He gives his baby sister a funny look and asks her if there's something wrong with her. She leaves after a half hour.

Her visit still jars him, and after she's gone he viciously kicks the cupboard. While he's hopping around on one foot he decides he's sick of this suffering artist bullshit.


Sean pours one beer down the sink, decides that's symbolic enough, then hides the rest in the back of the fridge behind a carton of milk that expired several months ago.

He spends twenty minutes going through a stack of old photos before realizing he doesn't need them, then jumps in his car and drives (a little above the speed limit) to the studio.

Twelve hours into his new project he runs out of coffee and has to run to a shop to buy some. It costs forty dollars for a cup and a small bag of pre-ground beans. Once he's in the car he swears explosively at the price and nearly spills his precious caffeine fix.

When he finishes the new project he smiles without realizing.

Something that has been sleeping a long time in him wakes up. Sean almost forgot what it felt like to do art without a profit in mind.


The canvas is tucked under his arm, and Sean suddenly realizes he's terrified. Well alright, this is the fourth time he's realized that.

He parked a block away, telling himself that if he can't walk up to her door than he has no business doing this. He nearly walked back three times, but the fear of rejection turned him back. If he cared that much about what she thought, that meant he cared, didn't it?

His palms are sweaty when he knocks, and he hurriedly wipes them on his pants before she can answer the door.

Sean has the sudden terrifying thought that she might not be alone when the door opens.


When Samuel and Rebbecca's wedding comes around, he debates whether or not he can invite her.

She has received her own invitation and laments that she'll be out of town that day for work. He promises to give the new couple well-wishes from her, and when she says thank you he feels a little more confident.

At the reception he tells his friend what a lucky bastard he is for managing to get such a beautiful woman, and having a family on the way. Samuel laughs like he did that day at the tennis court, as if Sean's comment hadn't been said in all honesty.

He pulls the same 'oh, you're serious?' face.

Then Sean laughs, because he figures he'll see that same expression if he mentions he's been talking to her again.


He steps off the stool and does a great vaudeville 'tada!' motion with his arms.

She tells him she doesn't want to appear narcissistic.

Sean tells her not to be ridiculous and wraps his arms around her as he stands behind her, staring up at the wall with her. She snuggles closer into his chest and he kisses the top of her head. Her portrait stares back at them.

They named the kid Samuel, she blurts suddenly. Can you believe it? Sean can't help but chuckle, thinking of the insane story he had been told about the trip to the hospital.

Out loud he tells her Sean is a terrible name and she shouldn't consider it.

She makes a strange sort of hiccup sound, and he's not sure if she's laughing or crying. Does he really think he's ready? She needs to know the answer now, it's been over a year since their blow-out over the issue, and she's confident he's had plenty of time to think about it.

Give me.. five minutes. Then I'll be ready, he tells her, kissing her neck.

Christina laughs so hard she cries.