Disclaimer: If I owned the show, we wouldn't be waiting until May to hear our fate, mmkay?


He told his daughter that he didn't have an answer for her. He held her close, and he let the silence following his words settle, and he knew she'd absorbed the reality of what he'd just said: that he was in love with his best friend, and he didn't know what he was waiting for. He'd told her that he didn't have an answer, but the truth was, he couldn't choose an answer, because there were just so many. A thousand and one reasons whirling around his brain, all of them screaming at him not to just wait, but to never go there at all.

Because you're not good enough for her.

Because she doesn't feel the same way.

Because you'd screw it up.

Because business and friendship and romance do not all mix.

Because if it went wrong, you'd lose her.

Because if you lost her, you'd lose everything.

Because she deserves so much more.

He didn't pay much attention to the other, quieter voice in his head, the one that sometimes sounded like Emily. The voice that said he's a risk taker, so why not take a risk now? The voice that told him he should chase after what he wants, instead of letting opportunities pass him by. The voice that said he's wrong to think she doesn't feel the same way, because she does.

He hugged his daughter, and tried to banish the image from his mind of Gillian looking so hurt, and vulnerable, and in pain. He listened to the hum of the fridge, the sound of his daughter's quiet breathing, the ticking of the clock. He tried not to listen to the conflicting voices in his head, and the thousand and one ways he could answer his daughter's question. Did he love Gillian Foster? An unequivocal yes. What was he waiting for? For a time when none of the reasons in his head made sense to him anymore, and the word because wasn't so loaded with bittersweet sorrow and the tang of regret for something that had never even happened.

The other voice was whispering, though, and right now it was only saying one thing. Because you love her. He wasn't sure that whisper was enough to drown out the din of the other reasons rattling around in his brain; he wasn't sure if he'd ever find out.

The real question, of course, was which one of those voices he was going to listen to. And what the consequences of his decision would be when he finally made it.