Hey, it's an update, almost a year later!

Un-beta'ed.

- o – o -

Dana: Heartbreak

Dana turned the radio on, trying to find something that would drown out the people outside her office. Ever since word had gotten out that "Chess' Widow" was working at the Public Defender's Office, she hadn't gotten a moments peace. The reporters seemed to be more interested in her than anything else, and they just. Wouldn't. Stop.

"Because you live and breathe—" Dana switched the station almost automatically. She didn't need to hear that today. The lawyer glowered at the closed door of her office and heard the quiet clicking of cameras. She buried her face in her hands, taking deep breaths as she tried to control the urge to tell all of the reporters camping out in front of her door to go jump off a cliff.

"Time af—" Definitely not. The public defender glowered at her radio, wondering if every DJ in the city was just trying to piss her off. Vince had loved that song, simply because it drove her spare. He'd played it constantly when they were first dating… Dana sighed and swallowed, eyes closed to hold back tears. She'd stop complaining about the song if she could just have Vince back.

Half an hour later, Dana braved the corridor outside her office to get something to drink. The reporters seemed to have thinned down some, which was a relief. Her break from being hounded by the media was short-lived, though, as one of them caught sight of her.

Running in heels was a skill to be admired. Dana pelted for the safety of her office. Once there, she leaned against the door and slid down it, sobbing aloud. Why couldn't they just leave her alone? Hadn't she suffered enough already? Her husband was dead, her son had horrendous nightmares every night, and she was running on pure caffeine because she couldn't sleep either.

Every time she woke up in the dark, she prayed that the explosion had just been some horrible dream. And then she rolled over and found that the other side of the bed was cold and Vince's pillow had no indentation in it. The tears would start all over again, and she'd be unable to go back to sleep for the rest of the night.

The public defender pulled herself up, using the door to help her stand. There was no use crying right now, not when she had work to do. And… Getting this job had been a miracle that she'd needed. Badly. Although she'd never admit it to Travis, she could have kissed him for giving her a job. Even the firm she'd worked at before Trip had been born, before she'd taken time off to raise her son, hadn't given her a job. Apparently a good lawyer wasn't worth the publicity that came from hiring "Chess' Widow".

Dana sighed and looked at her radio in apprehension. It wasn't like anything else could go wrong, could it? She turned it on and swore into her hands as the radio began playing Here Without You.

She gave in and left the radio playing, opting to bury her face in her arms as she cried. Some days, the stress of losing Vince and watching her son drift away were more than she could handle. Even work wasn't doing anything to distract her—there was too much of a routine in the cases already, and routines allowed her mind to wander.

A quiet knock on her door had Dana looking up. She scrubbed uselessly at her eyes, smudging her mascara and eyeliner beyond easy repair. "Whoever it is, go away!" she snapped, cursing mentally at the hitch in her breath.

The door opened and Dana picked up her mug, fully prepared to throw it at whoever had dared to come in. She set it down almost immediately when she saw Kia, one of the women who worked in the office. Dana hadn't spoken with the Hispanic lawyer more than once, and that was only to exchange the barest pleasantries.

"You look like you could use this," Kia said, and placed a cup of coffee and a muffin on Dana's desk. She smiled at Dana to show she wasn't kidding or about to do anything cruel. "Welcome to the office, by the way," she added.

Dana smiled weakly and took the lid off of the cup of coffee. Alright, maybe her coworkers weren't so bad. And apparently, she and Kia took their coffee the same way—black, two sugars. She gave Kia a teary smile and sipped the coffee. Kia stayed in her office for the rest of the day, doing paperwork and making snarky comments about some of the arresting officers.

As she packed up for the day, Dana reflected that maybe things weren't so bad. She swept the remains of her radio into the garbage bin and locked her office door behind her before leaving.

She bought three red roses on her way home, and took a detour to the graveyard where what had been left of Vince's body was interred.

"I love you Vince," Dana whispered, and placed the roses on the headstone. "I love you so much."

- o – o -

So, what did you think? Good? Bad? Think Dana needs more than a cup of coffee? Drop a line and let me know!