A/N: Wrote this back when Lucy and Ian first announced they were doing a ustream, and it was originally intended to be in the afternoon. I still love it :).
Every Time You Go
Ian tossed a notebook down onto his desk as he walked through his sitting room and over to his couch. Lucy was due to show up any time because they had planned to do a ustream together. She'd flown to New York right after her trip out to Vegas with Chris, and he was dying to see her.
He looked up at the picture frame hanging in the middle of his wall above his flat screen. There were dozens surrounding it that held pictures of his parents, sister, and many of his friends, but the middle photo was from a picture someone had taken of them shortly before the holidays. They were standing back to back and both of them had been giggling.
He opened up his laptop and let it load as he walked back into the kitchen. He grabbed a glass from one of the cupboards and then walked over to the fridge and opened it up. He pulled out a bottle of sparkling cider and filled the glass and then replaced the bottle back into the fridge and walked back towards the sitting room.
He turned towards the door as there was a knock that distracted him. He walked over to it and opened it.
A smile covered his face as Lucy came into view. He stepped aside and opened his arm to offer her entrance. "Come in, gorgeous."
Lucy chuckled and walked in. She was dressed in tank top with a loose black cardigan, and dark blue skinny jeans, making Ian feel a little inadequate. He was in a pair of loose cargo pants and one of his Carnegie Mellon sweaters, and he hadn't done anything to his hair just yet.
"Did you just wake up?" She looked at the glass in his hand. "Or are you like half in the bottle?"
Ian laughed and offered her the glass. "Its cider. Want some?"
Lucy took the glass from him. "Sure. And maybe you should fix your hair, Harding."
He stuck his tongue out at her and then walked over to the kitchen and grabbed another glass. He grabbed the bottle of cider from the fridge and then poured himself another glass and settled it on the counter. Lucy removed her jacket and walked over to the bar and leaned against it. She set down the glass on the counter.
"So, how're you?" Her voice drawled as she ran her finger around the rim of her glass.
Ian shrugged, looking at himself in a mirror on his fridge. He pushed his hair around a bit. "I'm okay. How was your weekend?"
Lucy smiled. "It was really good. And just okay? You're not better than okay?"
Ian shrugged. He walked over to the bathroom across the walkway and turned the light on. He then turned the faucet on and grabbed a comb from the side of the vanity and wet the bristles before brushing it through his hair, trying to tame some of the curls. After he managed to get some of them tamed, he grabbed the hair gel and squirted a generous size into his hand and rubbed it into his hair.
"I don't know. I'm fighting a cold," he said honestly.
Lucy nodded. She could hear the congestion in his voice. "You seem upset, though."
Ian gave her a quizzical look as he washed his hands off and then walked out of the bathroom. He walked into his bedroom for a moment, and then walked back out a few moments later, shirtless and carrying a shirt and different sweater in his left hand. Lucy raised her eyebrows at him.
"Nice view," she teased. "What's that glop?"
"Vicks," he said before coughing to clear his throat. He pulled a crimson v-neck over his head and then pulled on the sweater as well. It was a slightly darker shade than his shirt, but loose enough to keep comfortable in and so that it wouldn't cling to him. He walked over to the counter and picked up his glass and then leaned against it.
He and Lucy stared at each other awkwardly for a few moments, both smiling at each other while conversation seemed to stagnate. Ian brushed his tongue against his top front teeth and Lucy chuckled, dropping her gaze to the counter. The silence fell away as he coughed wetly, clearing away phlegm in his throat.
"Why are you being so weird," she asked him.
Ian furrowed his brow and took a drink from his glass of cider. "I wasn't aware that I was being weird. I'm being weird?"
Lucy shrugged and took a drink from her cider. "You just… I mean is something bugging you? You seem like you don't really want me here."
Ian shook his head. "I didn't say that. If it seems that way, I'm sorry. That's not at all how I feel."
He walked around the side of the bar and then stopped, standing in front of her. He wanted badly to say something to her, but instead kept his mouth shut. He felt bad even thinking about saying anything that might hurt her in anyway.
Lucy reached out and grabbed his hand. "Ian, you and I have always been able to tell each other things. What's going on?"
"Nothing, goose. Really," he said. "I'm fine."
He brought his free arm up to cover his face and coughed. He clenched his eyes shut, and a tear dripped out from one of his eyes from the burning created in his throat by the harshness of the cough.
Lucy stood up from the barstool she was sitting on and hugged him, rubbing gentle circles in his back. "Just take deep breaths."
She listened as he started to take in a phlegm-filled breath and then broke into another coughing fit. One of his hands gripped the side of the bar, trying desperately to catch a breath. A few moments later, he stepped away and grabbed a tissue from the box resting on the bar. He coughed into it and then cleared his throat again, grimacing at the taste in his mouth. Lucy continue to rub circles on his back.
"Better?" She asked.
He nodded, turning and kissing her forehead. "Thanks. That helped, I think."
Ian stepped away from her to toss away the tissue and then walked over to his sink and grabbed the mouthwash from next to it. He filled the cap and then tossed it back into his mouth to get rid of the taste in his mouth. After a few seconds, he spit it out and recapped the mouthwash.
Lucy was turning her watch on her wrist. "11:30."
Ian nodded, picking up his glass again. "We said noon. Are you hungry in the meantime?"
Lucy shrugged. "Not really. You?"
Ian snubbed his nose a bit, shaking his head. "Haven't really liked the taste of anything for the last few days. Let's go sit on the couch, though."
Lucy grabbed her glass and followed Ian has he walked across the apartment and then dropped against his couch, making sure he had a good grip on his glass. She sat down next to him and he wrapped his arm around her and kissed her forehead.
"Sorry I didn't give you a proper hug before." He said.
Lucy sat up and looked at him. "There you go again. Seriously, Ian. What's wrong?"
He shook his head at her. "I really don't know what you mean."
She turned more towards him and rested her legs across his lap. "I mean that you never act like this. You're… I don't know! I don't know if you're upset, or if something's wrong, or what."
Ian gulped. He didn't know how to tell her that it hurt him that she was with another guy. He didn't know how to explain to her that he was in love with her, and had been for months. He didn't know who to explain that every minute since he'd last seen her, he'd ached for her.
Hell, he didn't know how to explain to her how it was killing him that she had feelings for another guy. Somehow the logic of them not being together had been so much easier to deal with before she was actually with someone else.
He opened his mouth, but no words came out. He looked down at her lips and then up at her eyes and closed his mouth and shook his head. He turned his line of vision to his computer.
Lucy grabbed his cheek and turned him to look back at her. "Stop! Tell me what's going on! You know better than to think that you can't tell me something!"
"I can't!" Ian yelled at her. He gulped as soon as the words had left his mouth. He hadn't intended to yell at her. He just didn't want her to keep pushing him. She was with someone else that she really seemed to have feelings for. He couldn't take that away from her.
Lucy's hand dropped from his face, and a look of hurt crossed her face. "Why not?"
Ian shook his head at her. There was a knot forming in his throat. This was too hard of a conversation to have with her. He knew that as soon as the words came out of his mouth, that she was going to tell him she didn't feel the same way, and he was going to be the one that was dealing with a broken heart. Going back to work wasn't going to be any easier either, because making out with the girl you're in love with when she doesn't love you doesn't do anything good for the heart.
She grabbed his hands and squeezed them tightly. "Something's upsetting you, Ian. And it's obviously something to do with me. So tell me. I don't care if it hurts me."
He shook his head, swallowing past the knot in his throat. The pain from the current conversation showed on his face. "It's not you that's going to be hurt."
"Then what?" She cried. "Why can't one of my best friends tell me why he's hurting?"
"Because I love you!" He blurted out. Sure, there was a different context that she could take that comment in, but Ian also knew that the context in which he said it was pretty clear.
He took several shaky breaths and shook his head, looking down at her legs resting in his lap. All at once, the guilt hit him. This wasn't fair. She was with someone else. She was probably in love, or at least a pretty deep like with Chris. It wasn't fair of him to ask her to do this.
Lucy made him look up at her anyway. "Ian…Talk to me."
"Lucy! C'mon…" His voice shook and faltered.
"You know you can talk to me, Ian," she said. "Is this something new?"
He laughed and shook his head, rolling his eyes as tears started to build up in them. "If new is two months ago."
He pushed her legs off of his lap and stood, walking across the room just to put some distance between them. He needed to be able to breathe, and being that close to her was only making him want to grab her and kiss her.
Lucy stood up from her spot but Ian turned towards her and pointed his index finger at her.
"Don't. Stay there," he insisted.
"Then talk to me," she cried. Tears were in her eyes now too.
"Don't cry," he begged her. "Please, don't cry. Not because of me."
"Then is that why you won't say anything to me? Because you want to be with me? Is this all because of Chris?" She asked.
Ian nodded. He stared down at his hands and picked at the dirt under one of his nails. He couldn't look up at her when he knew she was going to tell him that she didn't feel the same way.
"So why couldn't you just tell me?" She asked. "You and I are always honest with each other. We've never lied about anything to each other."
Ian looked up at her and his chest caved with a silent sob. Tears ran down his face. "Because I don't want to watch you be with someone else, and I know you don't feel the same way, Luce. Why tell you if you don't feel the same way. God knows I've just fucked everything up."
Lucy started to walk around the coffee table so she could go over to him, but Ian raised his hand back up to her.
"Stop. Don't come over here."
Lucy whimpered. "I can't watch you hurt like this, Ian. Let me hug you."
Ian shook his head, clenching his jaw as he tried to get a grasp on his emotions. "If you come over here, I won't… I can't handle…"
Lucy disobeyed his wishes and walked over to him. She pushed his hand away and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, pulling him against her in the tightest hug she could manage without cutting off his airways. Ian closed his eyes and hugged her back, burying his face in her neck. Lucy rubbed her hands up and down his back.
After a few minutes, he pulled away from her. They looked each other in the eyes for a few long moments and then Ian moved his hands to her face and pulled her up to him. He brushed his tongue along her bottom lip and the slipped it inside her mouth.
When she finally broke the kiss, Ian still felt like it was too soon. His hands dropped from her face and he looked down at the floor, clearing his throat.
"Why would you think you couldn't tell me that?" Lucy asked him.
Ian shook his head again, refusing to look up at her. "Because you don't feel the same way. I told you, I just ruined everything. Work-"
"Ian, stop." She grabbed his chin and made him look up at her. "No one ever said that you were the only one who felt like that. Why would you assume that?"
"Chris?" He said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Lucy shook her head. "So I met him and we flirted. Why does that mean anything more than I went out on a few dates with someone? I'm capable making decisions without having someone else tell me what to do."
Ian shook his head. "Now I'm confused. What are you saying?"
Lucy looped her hands loosely around his neck. "I'm saying that you're not the only one who feels that way." She moved one of her hands to his face and wiped away the tears still on his face. "If you had said something sooner, this could have been resolved a lot sooner."
Ian rolled his eyes and shook his head. He whimpered. "You're the one who's always saying that we should expand our horizons outside of work."
"Only because that's what I thought we both wanted," she said. "If I had known you didn't feel that way…"
"I love you, Lucy. More than I ever wanted to or planned to, but I don't want to be with anyone else. And I don't want you to be either." Ian confessed.
She smiled, brushing her thumb gently against his cheek. "I love you too, Ian. A lot."
She leaned up to kiss him, but at the last moment, Ian turned his head away, and began coughing. Lucy chuckled sadly and hugged him, patting his back to help break up the mucus. When he managed to stop, she rubbed his back.
"Okay?" She asked after a moment.
Ian nodded, leaning back up to look at her. "You don't want to kiss me and catch this."
Lucy rolled her eyes. She pulled him down to her and slipped her tongue into his mouth, teasing him back into her own mouth where they dueled each other for a moment. "Make me sick. What do I care? I get to be with the man I love and I don't have to lie about it anymore."
Ian chuckled softly. "You're sure about this? Absolutely sure. Even with Chris and everything?"
Lucy nodded. "I'm always sure when it comes to you. I love you, Ian." She kissed him chastely.
Ian leaned down and wrapped his arms under hers, hugging her tightly. He coughed once. "I love you, Karen Lucille Hale." He kissed her cheek.
Lucy hugged him back, and then her eyes grew wide as she looked at her watch. "Eleven fifty-five. We said we'd be online at noon."
Ian nodded. He turned to walk over to his computer, but Lucy grabbed his arm.
"What?" He asked.
She pointed to the side of his face next to his lips. "Might want to wipe that off. I should at least talk to Chris first. I'll get the ustream started."
Ian nodded. He walked off towards the bathroom and listened as Lucy got the computer loaded up and opened the page for the video stream. A few moments later, he could hear her talking.
"Is this thing on? Okay, good. Ian's coming along. He's got a cold, so he stepped away for a moment."
He looked out of the bathroom at her as he wiped a tissue on the side of his face.
"You coming?" She asked.
He nodded, turning back to the mirror to make sure the lipstick was gone from his face before tossing away the tissue, popping a cough drop in his mouth and then he walked over to the couch and sat down next to her.
"Hi, all. Ian here."