Missing scene Cold Comfort:

Rating: T

Spoilers: well, Cold Comfort

Summary: this leads into the final scene with Tom and Marina at his fire

Disclaimer: not mine, don't sue

Author's note: I don't know why I keep doing to Tom and Marina, especially I've never heard of anyone remotely interested in this show, but I do

Tom was not surprised to see her drive up, though they hadn't planned to meet. She exited her car with a slam of the door and leaned against its hood, arms crossed, staring off in the distance with a determined look on her face. He knew she could see him, so he continued his task of chopping wood. He'd spent the day alternately sifting through garbage and recounting his tale to a half dozen suits from Internal Affairs, individually, in addition to Alexandra. He had showered as soon as he arrived home to wash off the effects of both, and it was looking like he'd need another to get rid of the sweat and the dirt.

Chopping done, he swung his axe to embed it in the stump. He gathered a few logs for the fire and kicked the rest into a semblance of a pile. Kneeling by the fire pit, he dropped them and reshaped the nest of hay and dried grass he'd placed in the center of the ring of stones. Removing a box of matches from his pocket he was dismayed to find there were only two left. He dropped the first one trying to strike it. It fell in the wet mud around the fire and so was rendered useless. He cursed. The second match caught, but the grass only smoked for a few moments before going out. This was the first time he'd felt comfortable making a fire since his little tete-a-tete with Peters and things weren't going well.

He stood and wiped his hands on his pants. He tried to make it clear he was headed toward his trailer, not her, but she didn't seem to notice his approach. "Hey," he said, one foot on the lowest step.

"I was at the gym," she said, still not looking at him. "But I, I couldn't concentrate, y'know?"

"No," he said quickly, then: "yes. Sort of." It was only when he said, "I'll be right back," that she dropped her arms and looked at him.

He tossed the empty box of matches on a counter and rummaged for another one. Pocketing it, he turned to the fridge and fished out two beers. Standing in front of her again, he handed her one. She accepted it without a word. "C'mon," he said with a nod in that direction, and set off toward the fire. She followed.

Tom placed his beer on a spot on the grass and she sat down close to it. He leaned on one knee and lit the fire in the falling twilight. "Marina," he said, arranging the firewood and taking a slight guess, "Alice Dominy is not your fault. You tried to help her, hell, you ran after her. Literally. You pursued her case when no one else thought it was worth it and then you… ran over some bikes."

She smiled slightly. "I did, didn't I?"

"How's your car by the way?"

"It'll be fine after some minor touching up." She took a sip. "How're you after all this?"

"Oh you know, any day spent with Internal is… horrible."

"Yeah." Then she looked at him.

He had said it'd been close, but he hadn't been able to say how close. How she'd saved him from death by close range gun shot, again, and how his gratitude was compounded by the fact that he'd had no rational expectation she'd be there. Had she hesitated, waited for back up, arrived ten seconds later, come in on foot…. The sound of that twisting metal had been an angelic choir. "I can't get that image of that gun out of my head."