She told herself she just didn't want to leave him alone in a hospital bed. She told herself that she would do this for anyone.
Kate got up and started pacing the waiting room. Who was she kidding? She certainly wouldn't have dropped everything for anyone else other than family. Even Niko, she dropped like a hot potato when the going got tough.
So what made Richard Parks so different? Was it the way he just kept showing up in her life with no prior warning? No, because if it was, she would react this way to all her regular passengers.
Was it the way he was able to make things happen, like when he got the Haitian girl into the country without even arguing all that much? Or when he scolded her for smuggling Anke out of Berlin without actually being upset? Or what about when he threatened her job to get her to accomplish a mission?
Or was it the way he always reassured her when she was worried about something going wrong? He was probably the only person who could have had a prayer of calming her after the incident when she was told to break up with Niko.
Or is it how he looks at her? He always seems to look straight into her eyes, as though he can see her heart and soul. Before flying to Paris, when he spun her back by her forearm and said "Au Revoir," there was something there, something she wasn't able to place yet. Before going to Moscow, when he picked the lock and invited himself in to startle her, she wasn't scared, she was nervous, but excited.
And now, with him showing up on her doorstep, bleeding from a gunshot wound? She'd never known such fear, not even when Laura and Bridget were arrested in Moscow. What is it about him that evoked these mixed feelings?
A sudden voice brings her out of her conflicted thoughts. "Miss Cameron?"
Kate looks up and sees the nurse. "Yes?"
"You asked me to let you know when Mr. Parks was being moved? He's on his way to a room now. I can show you."
"Thank you, yes." Kate reaches down to pick her purse off the floor before following the nurse down the hall to a room at the end.
"Here we are. Visiting hours are over, but stay as long as you like."
"Thank you." Pushing open the door, Kate steps inside. Richard is sleeping in the bed.
Setting down her purse, Kate studies him. He looks so peaceful, as though the weight of the world isn't resting on his shoulders.
She doesn't have the heart to wake him when he's been through such a trying day, so Kate settles into the chair. Without meaning to, she dozes off.
Kate begins to stir, feeling as though she is being watched.
A drowsy voice breaks through the fog of sleep. "What are you doing here? It's New Year's Eve. Don't you have a party to run off to?"
Kate stretches a bit, trying to wake up and work out the kink in her neck. "I do. I couldn't leave you here all alone."
"For people in our business, alone is our natural state." Kate's glad to see a little spark back in his eyes, and his sarcasm coming back. As she sits up fully, she catches a smile on his face as he adds, "You have come a long way from that stewardess who didn't think she could switch a passport."
A smile creeps across her face at the memory. "It was a lifetime ago. My biggest problem was my sister on the cover of a magazine. My parents were the enemy," she pauses to take a deep breath, "and this country was Camelot."
"The world has changed." She can hear the truth in his words. "It's getting more dangerous every day. That's why we need people like you."
Kate looks at him confused not just over his words, but over the feelings still running through her. "You have me."
Richard continues as though she'd never spoken. "Right now, like most women who work for us, you're just an asset. But that is about to change. We want you to become a real agent, Kate. You'll have to go through training at Langley. A new class starts next month."
Kate knows she's interested, but she has a question to ask. "What about Pan Am?"
"Life - is all about making choices." With those words, both Richard and Kate know they've left the decision up to her.
Kate looks down, and realizes she's been holding his hand all this time. Smiling slightly, she finally realizes what she's feeling. Giving his hand a squeeze, she takes her leave. "Happy New Year Richard."
As Kate walks out the hospital door, she finally admits it to herself. She's in love with Richard Parks.
This is the first time I've tried to write anything for Pan Am. The characters aren't mine, but I can't help putting Richard and Kate together. I think they complement each other, and they look great together too. Please let me know what you think. If you like it, I'll try writing something from Richard's perspective too.