No one writes for this fandom!
How sad. :(
I've become obsessed with it recently. Imho there is not enough Tom/Erica fic, so here goes. This is a re-do of the first season final.
She always thought his office was sexy.
Dark wood, tinted windows, rows of strange knick-knacks from even stranger lands. It screamed magic. So different from Ethan or Ryan or anyone else that she had ever known or even thought to associate with in her life.
She never thought it could feel scary, but as she's stolen from time, reeling form the loss of her brother-again-the darkness suddenly seems omnious. It doesn't help that for the first time, she can't see him in all the sandalwood shadows. She wouldn't even know that he's there, except for she can hear his breath, slow and even.
Too even. Even more unnaturally stoic than usual.
It would set Erica on edge, but with today's session Erica has been pushed over the edge and is falling, falling. Scrambling at the rocky cliffside, fingernails screaming against rock as she searches for some kind of purchase, some kind of reality.
"What the fuck?"
"Language," he admonishes tightly. Still hidden in the darkness. Like this is some kind of punishment.
Well if he won't come out, she'll find him. Even if though she's not completely sure she wants to see him. And if there's one thing this whole shitstorm has taught her, it's the difference between want to and have to.
She steps near the desk. "Did you do this, did you kill my brother again?"
All she can see of him is the golden cast of his eyes, gleaming, still.
"Don't you dare send me back there." She slams her fist on the table, but all she gets are bruised knuckles.
"Why?" he asks, and she can hear the holes in his voice, as if he has smoked a thousand cigarettes since he greeted her.
And he steps into the light.
He's dressed in a suit, a tuxedo even, and his hair is slicked back.
It's a lie though.
His eyes are a thousand-times over disheveled and his posture is looser than she's ever seen it.
"Don't you want to enjoy the reality you created. Sam's not with Josh, you're a successful editor and not working some," he pauses and looks straight at her with such venom that it hurts, "pathetic job, with some pathetic love life.
She can't stop the sob that comes choking out of her. "Leo is dead. Don't you get it? Nothing else matters without him."
This relaxes him."Yes, he is."
Erica wants to murder him.
But then of course she realizes the Truth.
Because that's what therapy's for, and maybe she realizes it a little too late, but she's realized.
"He's always going to be dead. I can't save him."
"No, you can't" he says, empty as a glass, not half-full, not even a little bit full, but completely void of water. Which is why it is a suprise when he moves around the desk towards her with such a forceful, masculine step. "You couldn't ever and you broke your commitment to therapy, to me in order to try"
"I'll go back. Let me fix this. I have to fix this." Erica's got that light in her eyes, the one that gets her through making Julliane's lattes, and flashbacks and flashforwards and wanting Ethan and not having him and wanting other things and not having them either.
"You're not even sorry, are you?" His upper-lip curls in disdain, but Erica's not noticing that. He's gotten far too close to her for her to be noticing things like facial expression. Instead, her eyes are drawn to the line of his jaw, hidden in parts by his beard. She has never felt a beard with her finger-tips before. "You broke your promise," he spits out," and you're not even sorry."
When he speaks next she can feel his breath on the side of her neck, warm and smelling slightly of wood-varnish, or is that a very strong scotch.
"How was I supposed to learn this lesson without experiencing it," she whispers, because he is too close, and her stomach is feeling strange, not just because of the obscene amount of stress she has been under in the last twenty four hours. "Anyway, this isn't about you, I don't get why-"
He turns away from her, and she doesn't know what she expects. More coldness, a quote maybe, but certainly not for him to start screaming.
"This has everything to do with me!"
He charges at her from behind the desk, one arm out stretched, and grabs her arm. It hurts and Erica winces, but she also doesn't yell, because this is the closest he's ever been to her. One of the few times he's ever touched her, and even if it hurts a little she's not going to let that go. That's how therapy works. It always hurts a little.
Instead she says, "I never wanted to hurt you, Tom."
He loosens his grip on her arm, but doesn't let go.
"Please," Erica whispers, ragged.
But this time she's asking something else.
"Why did you call me, Tom," he asks, his face as if he's been stung by a jellyfish, paralyzed and bemused somehow.
Erica almost asks again.
But then she remembers she's done asking for things.
So instead she presses her lips up to his.
Dr. Tom is even more startled when he finds himself kissing her back.
Some feeling, that he's sure is regret, blooms in his chest, like an eclipse, and he tears his lips from her.
"Just, go," he says, so defeated.
It get's Erica out of his door a thousand times quicker than anger.
It's not until many past-trips later and past-lives discoveries.
That Tom scartchs the kiss off from his list of regrets and understands his Truth.
That at the end of the day
regret isn't the most powerful emotion.