I love the fact that Martin Landeau and Barbra Bain were actually married while working on the show Mission: Impossible. So that's partly what inspired me to write this. I also got the idea for this story from listening to the song, 'Love Will Find a Way,' from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. I hope I've written Cinnamon and Rollin relatively in-character. Enjoy!
Cinnamon gave a huff of frustration. The entire team had been back from their latest mission for nearly a week now, and Rollin had yet to visit her. They were the closest of friends, which made his behavior particularly strange. However, Cinnamon had a hunch as to what was troubling him. During the mission, they'd had to pretend to have a fight, which ended only after Rollin had slapped her – hard – and then stormed away. The idea of Rollin beating himself up over something as inconsequential as a slap – however much it may have hurt at the time – was ridiculous, but Cinnamon was willing to humor the man by giving him the time he apparently needed away from her.
It was raining outside, the individual droplets pounding against the window panes. Cinnamon sat curled up on her couch with a blanket around her shoulders and a cup of tea in her hands as she tried to keep warm. Though the water racing down the glass left her transfixed, the weather was doing nothing to improve her mood. She felt lost without Rollin near, and since he'd seemed to be in hiding, she despaired of ever seeing him again. That was preposterous though – they were partners, they'd still have to face each other to be able to work effectively – their current situation was merely the result of Rollin's apparent guilt complex.
Sighing to herself, Cinnamon took a sip from the mug between her hands. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Throwing off the blanket and carefully setting her cup on a nearby table, Cinnamon rose to see who could possibly want to see her so badly that they'd brave a rainstorm in the middle of the night.
Needless to say, she was surprised to find Rollin on her doorstep, soaked to the bone and trembling – a direct result of having been caught out in the rain.
Wordlessly, Cinnamon ushered him inside, shutting and locking the door behind them. She led him to her living room, motioning for him to sit in the seat she had just vacated and wrapping her blanket around him. In brisk up-and-down movements, she attempted to get the blood circulating by rubbing his arms, hopefully warming him up.
When his body finally stopped its violent convulsions, Cinnamon sat back on her heels, her work done. They remained in their positions for a long time, just observing each other.
Finally, Cinnamon broke the silence, "Why are you here?"
"I had to see you," Rollin immediately responded. "I feel so guilty for what happened on our last mission together. I was walking around the block, trying to work up the courage to come up here, when I got caught out in the rain."
"That much was obvious," remarked Cinnamon dryly.
Rollin reverted to staring at his hands, refusing to meet Cinnamon's eyes.
This is ridiculous, thought Cinnamon. I'm a grown woman. I've gone on countless missions, risking life and limb for my country, yet I can't hold a simple conversation with Rollin? What is the world coming to?
"I'm sorry, Cinnamon," said Rollin at last. "I'm sorry for what happened . . . what I had to do to you. I feel terrible about it, and I hope you'll forgive me someday."
Cinnamon watched as Rollin went back to twiddling his thumbs, the muscles in his shoulders tense with anticipation.
"Hey, look at me," she said softly, ducking down to meet his gaze. When his eyes locked with hers, and she was sure that she had his attention, she spoke, "There's nothing to forgive, Rollin. I would have done the same in your position. It was for the sake of the mission – nothing more, nothing less. I mean, it's not like you enjoyed it."
"Oh, God – no!" exclaimed Rollin in dismay.
"See? Nothing to feel guilty over," Cinnamon gently pleaded.
"I still do, though," said Rollin, staring at the ground as though it held the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe. "I hit you; I raised my hand to you, intent on causing you pain. What kind of a man does that make me . . . that I'd hit a woman?"
"You believe in a cause, Rollin – slapping me was just the means to an end."
"But I hurt you," said Rollin sadly, almost desperately.
"So what? Willie's had to punch Barney before, but you don't see that affecting their friendship. We're all in danger, every time we go on a mission – usually from outside sources, but there's always the possibility that we may have to hurt one another for appearance's sake. This was just one of those times."
"How can you be so accepting?" asked Rollin.
Cinnamon gave a helpless shrug. She didn't know what else to do to for Rollin, since he didn't seem to be listening to reason.
"What's really bothering you, Rollin?" asked Cinnamon at last. "No one gets this upset over a little slap."
Rollin bowed his head, afraid that if Cinnamon met his eyes, she would see the truth in them and run.
"Hey, it can't be that bad," said Cinnamon with a reassuring chuckle, catching Rollin's chin in her hand and forcing him to look at her.
Rollin stared at her, willing her to understand so that he wouldn't have to say anything. But Cinnamon remained obstinately silent.
"It's because I . . . I love you," he said in a rush. "I have for a while now. I never said anything, though, because I've been afraid that if we entered into a relationship, we'd be putting the missions and the team at risk. That's why this is so hard for me. To hit the woman I love . . . it's worse than any torture I've ever undergone."
"Oh, Rollin," sighed Cinnamon, glad to at last have found the reason for his distress. Soon, though, she started laughing. Rollin looked on in amazement. "I'm sorry," she gasped in between bouts of laughter. "It's just – I've loved you for a while now too, but I never said anything for the same reasons you mentioned."
A broad grin spread across Rollin's face, and he knelt down on the floor to be level with Cinnamon.
"Weren't we silly?" he said.
By now, there were tears streaming down Cinnamon's face. She threw herself at Rollin, nestling her head in the crook of his neck in an attempt to hide the evidence, for what he would never know was that she was crying tears of both pain and joy – pain for the heartache they'd experienced, and joy for finally having admitted their feelings to each other.
"Shh, there, there," he whispered, rubbing her back in soothing circles. "Everything's going to be fine."
"I'm alright," she said as she pulled away, beaming up at him despite the tear tracks lining her face. "I'm just so happy."
"I am too," said Rollin, caressing her face and wiping away her tears with his thumbs.
Then, as if by mutual consent, they moved slowly towards each other. Their lips met in the middle for a tender kiss – their first of many.
Cinnamon smiled to herself. Though she'd played the role of 'wife' many times for various missions, and had kissed many men – including Rollin – this still counted as her first kiss because it actually meant something to her. For once, she wasn't merely acting for the sake of the mission – she was acting in her own interests.
The kiss soon grew in passion, tongues battling for dominance.
Rollin pulled away briefly. "Cinnamon," he gasped, "I-I need you."
Cinnamon nodded, signifying her consent that Rollin could have his way with her. With that, he swept her up in his arms and carried her into the bedroom.
The pair had spent years pining for each other. Now, they could be together in every possible way - for work and for pleasure.
To me, it seemed very realistic that Rollin might have had to hurt Cinnamon for the sake of the mission and that he would then feel guilty for his actions. Hope you all enjoyed! =)