Title: Christmas Melancholy
Summary: Sofia is so tired.
Disclaimer: If it looks or sounds like something from For Lovers Only, I don't own it.
A/N: I've been meaning to try writing a FLO fic for awhile, and the holidays just seemed like a good excuse :)
Sofia sighed as she unlocked the door to her new apartment. She was so tired. Tired of happy lights mixed with joyous carols. Tired of her editor who wanted to send her back to Paris after the new year. Tired of her now ex-husband who kept calling her, begging to know what had changed between them. And just so fucking tired of being alone.
She refused to repeat her mistakes, however. She wouldn't, couldn't, force a relationship with someone while she was still in love with Yves - when she still saw him in every guy who even approached her. She just wasn't ready to move on from him, and she'd already hurt one man to try and do it the first time.
Most of the time she felt confident in her decision not to force him to choose between her and his family. It had been the right thing to do; they'd had their chance (and a second that untarnished the first), but he needed to be there for his daughter now.
No, mostly she was fine. She blamed Christmas for her sudden onslaught of melancholy.
She just needed to distract herself, that was all there was to it. Picking up her mail, she immediately recycled all of the advertisements promising great gifts at low prices. Unfortunately, that left very little. A bill from PG&E, which she kept forgetting to switch to paperless, a Christmas card from an old friend who she hadn't actually spoken to in years, and three invitations to openings of new exhibits at various art galleries.
"Damn," Sofia muttered. There wasn't one truly distracting thing in the bunch.
Digging out her cell phone, she checked for any messages she may have missed between work and home.
"Sofia, it's David. Will you please return my call. I know you said it was better if we had a clean break, but I'm worried about you. It's like you came back from Paris a different person... Just-"
"Hey, girl! It's been forever. Are you going to Jimmy's Christmas party this year? You have to help me find a dress; Jimmy said I'm not allowed to wear the same one three years in a row. Asshole. Anyway, call me!"
"Hey, Sofia, it's Kim. I know you just left the office, but there was a guy here looking for you. He seemed pretty anxious, but I wanted to check with you before I gave him your new number. He said his name was Yves. Does that ring a bell? Let me know one way or the other. I should be here for a couple more hours."
The phone almost slipped out of her loosened grip before she reminded herself to breathe. She'd heard the message wrong, that had to be it. Her Christmas depression was worse than she'd thought and was now causing auditory delusions. Quickly, she replayed the message.
She hadn't misheard.
She shouldn't call back was the first thing that came to mind. She shouldn't see him. But Kim said he was anxious. If something was truly wrong and she'd ignored him... Who was she kidding?
"Hi, Kim. I'm glad I caught you..."
She spotted him the second she walked into the busy coffee shop. He was sitting with a far off look in his eyes, unaffected by the bustle around him, and twirling sunglasses he wouldn't need to wear for at least another four months.
Forcing her steps to remain slow and measured, she walked to him. When he looked up, she smiled the first smile she hadn't had to force in months.
Yves stood, and for just a moment Sofia thought he was going to round the table and pull her into his arms. Instead he just stared at her, making her feel both cherished and unsettled at the same time.
He blinked, as if coming out of a trance and gestured for her to sit down and reclaimed his own chair. "Shit," he muttered under his breath. Hiding a smile behind her hand, Sofia waited patiently. "I just - God, this is crazy, isn't it?"
His question may have been meant to be rhetorical, but she answered anyway. "I don't know yet. It depends on why you got in touch with me."
"I missed you," his answer was immediate and not altogether unexpected. They knew when they separated all those months ago that being apart wasn't going to be any easier this time around. He must have read all of that on her face. "I know, okay... I know. I tried so hard when I went home. To forget about you. To be there, really there... I just-"
Sofia's heart clenched. She didn't want this. She didn't want to see the pain and frustration etched into his face. Didn't want to hear about how he'd tried to excise her from his heart.
"Annabelle loved the dress."
The quick change of topic made her dizzy, but she managed to recover quickly. "I'm glad."
"She wants to meet you."
The gasp that escaped her stole so much of her breath that she barely managed to reply. "You- I don't- You told her about me?"
"Not directly, at first."
"What the fuck does that mean?" She was starting to remember some of the other ways this man drove her insane.
Yves winced, rubbing at one eye before answering. "Tara found your journal."
"Oh God..." She'd done exactly what she'd tried to avoid. By giving him that journal, her heart, she added bitterly to herself, she'd...
"Yeah, she was pissed. I managed to save it," he assured her, as if at this point she ever wanted to see the damn thing again. "But the argument we had was quite loud."
"And Annabelle heard," she finished. "No wonder she wants to meet me. She probably wants to kill me."
"No. Tara and I... We got a divorce. Anna was angry for awhile, but after awhile she started asking questions. About me and her mom. About me and you. She's not... she's still hasn't completely accepted it, but last week she told me that if I was really in love with you than I should find you. That I should be happy."
Tears were gathering in her eyes, but she didn't want to let them fall while sitting in the middle of a café. Yves reached across the table and for the first time in months his fingers brushed against the skin of her cheek. Without permission from her brain, she found herself nuzzling her face into his palm.
"I want to be happy again, Sofia. Don't you?"
She still had so many questions, but at the moment she was having a hard time processing how everything she'd been basing her life around had just been turned on its head.
His question, however, was easy to answer. "Yes. God, yes."
He smiled widely, causing the little crinkles around his eyes that she loved so much to appear. She couldn't help the laughter that bubbled out of her in response.
"Let's get out of here."
"What happens now?" she asked into his shoulder as they lay together in her bed. He'd almost dozed off, but she tugged lightly on his hair until his eyes cracked back open, despite his grumbling protests. "Yves?"
"What do you mean? We'll be together, just like we talked about originally."
She nodded, but he could tell that she was still over-thinking. "You need to spend Christmas with your daughter."
"I can spend it with both of you. I told you she wants to meet you."
"Not at Christmas. It's not fair to her. She should have your undivided attention this year; too many things in her life have changed without adding me into the mix."
She thought he might argue with her a little more before agreeing, but instead he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers in a sweet, reassuring kiss. "I love you."
"I love you, too." She lay her head back down and listened to the steady beat of his heart, feeling her own slow to match it. "I have to go to Paris after the first. You should come with me."
"That sounds perfect." He let out a sigh that told her he was quickly dozing off.
Sofia let her eyes slip shut, sleepy but no longer tired.