A/N: This is just an idea that came to me today when my friend took her anger out on her brother, even though it was her husband who had caused it.
"You know what, Sahira? I'm sick of your butterfly princess routine. Stop trying to screw everybody over and get on with your job. Then you can go home and clean up after the brats that make you feel good about yourself," Jac said, with all the spite she could muster. She was having a very bad day and could not be bothered with Sahira. She didn't realise that she had just crossed a very important line.
Sahira stood for a moment, trying to rein her temper in. She had not processed exactly what Jac had said yet. And then the last sentence hit her. She launched herself at Jac and slapped her. She hit every inch of the consultant's body that she could reach while Jac fought back fiercely, not caring how badly she hurt Sahira. They broke up when Greg dragged Jac back and Sahira felt a strong pair of arms around her waist, restraining her and pulling her away from Jac. "Never talk about my children like that again!" she shouted as she felt a hand pulling her towards the staff room.
She sat on the sofa and kicked the coffee table in temper. She then heard the one voice she hoped she wouldn't. "What happened? I come onto the ward to talk to you and I walk in on a wrestling match," Hanssen said calmly, yet sternly enough that Sahira looked up to meet his dark eyes. She was surprised when she saw concern there instead of anger.
"Jac bloody Naylor happened!" she spat, still seething. "She crossed the line, and she took me with her!" Hanssen sat down next to her, sitting closer to her than he normally would have. The calm exterior he maintained soothed her. He watched her carefully, looking for a sign that she was going to go back and finish the fight. But all of her anger vanished and she was left with resignation. "I suppose that's just Jac," she sighed. "Michael told me that today is the anniversary of whatever the hell happened with her mother. He didn't tell me anything specific. Just that she wouldn't be in good humour today. She was bound to take it out on somebody."
Hanssen remained silent, allowing Sahira to do the talking. Normally, listening sufficed. There was usually no need for a discussion. But it wasn't typical of Sahira to launch at a co-worker who was in a foul mood. "What did she say that caused you to lose your temper?" he asked.
"She said something about my children. She called them brats. How can she say that when she hasn't met them?" Sahira demanded of Hanssen. She turned to see his face and noted that he was putting together an explanation of Jac's behaviour.
"When things feel hard, some people need somebody to take their anger out on. They need somebody to hate, just until it gets easier," he enlightened her. "They need an outlet. It just so happened that she chose you today. It could just have easily been Mr. Douglas or Dr. Valentine. You were just in the vicinity when she could no longer stand keeping her resentment inside. She needed someone to aim her feelings at."
"She didn't need it," Sahira contradicted him. "She wanted it, but she did not need to do that." Hanssen merely shook his head, more to himself than at her. She did not understand how Jac felt. He did not expect her to; how could she even grasp what Jac Naylor felt like.
"Sahira," he said, turning to face her full on. "Believe me, she needs it. You have no idea of how she feels. She feels unwanted, abandoned. Angry at her mother for lying to her and for deserting her after her helping her. I know what happened and I know exactly how she feels. Do not be too harsh and do not judge her on what she did today."
"How do you know how she feels?" she asked, not sure whether he would tell her or push her away. She had tried getting it out of him before but had never succeeded. She did not expect him to let her in. He kept everyone out and she was no different. He looked down, recalling the memories that made him bitter and resentful.
"When my mother died, my father started drinking heavily. He sent me to England to go to a private school, and I hated him for it," Hanssen told her, almost silently. "Every summer and Christmas, when I went home, all I saw was him drinking. He was not pleasant when he was drunk. I felt like he did not want me in his life, like I was a hindrance. I resent him for that. We have not spoken in years. If I am going to be truthful, I still hate the man."
Sahira sighed and put a hand on his leg. So that was what ate him every year. That was not his fault. She didn't blame him for being bitter about it. Honestly, she would be too. And now she could see why Jac was particularly unpleasant today. Whatever happened, it was not Jac's fault. She could not hold today against her when she felt so horrible. How could she?
And she felt immensely sorry for Hanssen. He was a cold man, but his father had made him that way. His father had made it hard for him to build any kind of friendship or relationship with people. "Henrik," she said quietly. "Come here." She pulled him into a tight hug. She was shocked when his arms tightened around her and pulled her closer. He was letting her in. He trusted her on some personal level. His head was on her shoulder and his eyes were closed. She kissed his cheeks gently and pulled away.
Sahira got up and left the room with Hanssen behind her. As she approached Jac, he stood in the corner, just watching. Sahira held out her hand and Jac reluctantly shook it. She then forced Jac into an awkward cuddle to tell her that she was forgiven. Over Jac's shoulder, she caught Hanssen's eye and he smiled slightly, knowing he had made her understand that Jac had every right to feel the way she did today. He had made her understand that everyone deals with pain differently. And, most importantly, he had brought her to forgive Jac's behaviour. Just for today.
Hope it was OK!