VIII. Questions, No Answers

.::.

"You do not have to stay." She tucked her feet beneath her, sinking deeper into the soft cushions.

"I think I'll stay," she scrutinized him as he ignored her obvious invitation to leave and instead cleaned up the dishes.

"It was an accident, I told you." His body halted and his eyes snapped to her, drawn back by the ferocious anger and concern that lingered within his eyes she could feel her already vulnerable emotions lose control. When he placed down the dishes and stormed over to her side, she didn't really know what to expect.

"Of all things, you could do… just don't lie to me." The words struck right at her, even the air between them froze, and anything at that moment could've tipped them over the edge. And something must've gambled it, because the anger inside her shook and like a flip of a switch she was back on offense.

"As if you could say anything for yourself."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Jeanne-"

"That was different."

"You could've told me, did you not trust me?"

"Is this what it's about? That you're pissed at me for not telling you?"

"Your life is all a lie Tony! To think the only time you could even be honest with yourself is when the circumstance was a lie." The final words left her mouth with a ton of guilt, and she wanted to slap herself for being so insensitive. She watched him as he stumbled backwards, clearly marred by her words and with a quick turn he rushed out of her apartment.

Exhausted and too tired to even care and worry about what had happened she cleared the dishes and clumsily placed them in the sink. She steadied herself against the counter and hoping by some miracle that her stubbornness would let loose a little and let her go after him. She never did, instead, she dragged herself back to the bathroom to inspect the damage she had caused herself earlier.

She was a treacherous mess when she stared at her own reflection. Her fingers rose to the cotton-covered gash and slowly she explored her own face, from her eyebrows to her delicate little lips. And she was surprised by the unfamiliar contours of her face; she'd gone so long without taking care of herself that she'd completely forgotten what she actually felt like.

She pulled her hand away an inch or so but let her little finger linger on the caved corner of her lip, a slight smile lit her face when she remembered when he'd kissed her so unexpectedly hard during their undercover mission that she had bit her own lip.

She rubbed her eyes tirelessly and with a sigh she trudged towards the window that looked out towards the street. And as she had expected, his car was still there, but no matter how hard she squinted, there was not a trace of him. A little worried she headed for the door and ran downstairs.

.::.

The heavy doors banged open and had she not seen his hunched body on the steps she would've flew down the steps onto the footpath, and with a high probability of a concussion after her previous injury. He didn't seem a single bit bothered by her, knowing him as she did she parked herself down beside him.

"I am sorry for what I said earlier, I was out of line."

"But you're right." He finally glanced up at her, and nodded his head, almost as if he had actually accepted the fact.

"Does not mean I should have said it the way I did, I was cruel." His silence tainted the space around them with awkwardness and she'd give anything for a car to drive by or even just a bark from a dog.

"You're head's bleeding again," he picked at the gauze pad he'd placed there before and dabbed the crimson liquid that had snuck out, "let's get you back inside."

She knew he was trying to avoid the conversation that was inevitably going to take place, but even she knew she wasn't ready for that yet, she couldn't tell him yet.

.::.

"Why do you stay?" her brown eyes flickered up as he sterilized her gash from the dirt that had somehow made their way onto her wound.

"What?"

"Nothing." There were a few moments of silence before he sighed.

"I promised you. Remember?"

"So you are only here because of a promise? Is this an obligation that you feel you have to fulfill for you to be satisfied?"

"I'm doing this because I'm your partner, and partners have each other's backs. Well… in this case I have your forehead." And for the first time that night, things lightened and the first laughter broke through from the two.

"Thank you."

"Can I ask you something?"

"You want to know, right?"

"Ye –"

"No." Their eyes locked onto each others like they had done many times before, and it took all her strength for her to keep up her walls in their close proximity. She'd never admit it but he could break her down in an instant if he wanted.

"I heard Probie's gonna rock some leather pants tomorrow."

And she was glad he didn't.

.::.

A/N: Eeek, it has been quite a while since I last posted… I'm start writing the next chapter now. Drop a review if you still follow, or else I'll just wrap it up. Thanks!