Disclaimer: I own nothing
"Hello, Dr. Foster. How was lunch?" Heidi asked quickly shuffling through the mail, putting what she needed on the upper level of the reception desk.
"It was," Gillian paused, unsure of what to say. She'd been waiting down the street in a little corner café for an hour without as much as a peep from Cal. He'd said he'd catch up with her after his meeting, but the minutes had come and went with no word. Her calls were left unanswered. Granted, she didn't find it all that concerning, it was a rare day when he did answer. But she'd never known him to ignore her calls or even let three or four rings pass before quickly picking up. Worry twisted in her gut, churning her picked at lunch. Forcing a smile to her face, Gillian sighed, "It was fine. Have you seen Cal? He should be back by now."
Heidi shook her head, "I'm sorry, Dr. Foster. I haven't seen him since he left this morning."
Gillian nodded firmly, and set her bag down. Taking off her coat, she folded it over her arm then processed to pick her bag back up along with the mail that had been set out. "Thanks. If you see him, tell him I'm in his office."
The receptionist nodded, listening to her boss' heels tapping down the hall. Something had seemed off with her for the last few weeks. She couldn't quite put her finger on it though. Just something in the way she smiled nowadays, it seemed less real somehow, but Heidi didn't asked, and didn't plan to, it wasn't any of her business.
Gillian made it to Cal's office without running into anyone else, and she was grateful for it. She needed time to get her thoughts in order without any further distractions. Dropping her things on the couch, she threw the mail on one of the many small tables littering the room. Weaving through the rest of the furniture, she plopped down in his chair, and turned to face the window. Usually, she found it calming, watching the city bustle about was a reminder that, no matter how everything seemed, the world wasn't ending. But today her crowded thoughts raced with the traffic and the people. Sighing, Gillian closed her eyes, letting her head rest against the back of the chair. Hopefully, the day would end faster than it began.
She couldn't believe this was happening now, or that she was on the verge of a panic attack, after everything they'd been through. They'd finally made it to the same page, and life decided to start throwing curve balls. Though she knew she probably shouldn't be worried yet, disappearing for a few hours was the least of his offensives, but that didn't stop her heart from racing with all the possibilities. Turning to his desk, she rummaged through the drawers until her hand came back with a bottle of aspirin. Popping three into her mouth, she swallowed them dry.
She sat, forever, lost in her thoughts. Only when her cell began ringing did she realize hours had past. Snapping out of the seat, and nearly tripping over her discarded shoes, she quickly glossed over the last few hours to see if she could remember taking them off. Rushing to the couch, she fumbled through her bag until she found the ringing device. Blowing a stray hair from her face, Gillian nervously answered the unknown number. "Hello?"
"Gillian?" The voice was calm, a quiet panic hanging on the edge.
For a moment she couldn't tell who it was until she heard her name called again, and the voice finally registered. It was with tinge of fear. Emily. She wondered what phone Emily was calling from, it hadn't been her ring tone, and Gillian didn't recognize the number. Her stomach tightened into a hard knot, and she swallowed hard, pushing the lump in her throat down. "Emily, what's wrong?"
Commotion from the background filtered through to her ears, and she wished the girl would find somewhere quiet to talk, but she didn't say a thing, instead waited impatiently for a reply. In the deafeningly quiet moment, Gillian could feel her nerves inch closer to the edge, and her grip tighten around her cell.
"You need to get here. It's dad." Emily spoke in hushed tones, and Gillian could picture her curled in on herself, knees to chest, the phone clutched in both hands.
"The hospital." A soft cry escaped the teenager's throat.
The sound caused Gillian to freeze momentarily. She felt cold, her brain barely grasped the notion before throwing her into motion. Hurriedly, she began gathering her things, shoving everything into her bag in an unorganized heap. Words rushed over her tongue, nearly jumbled, but still firm. "Emily, what happened?"
Again the background noise became loud over the line, raised voices, and Gillian strained to make out the girl's words before the call went dead. Just hurry.
Stunned, she stood unmoving, her heart pounding a painful melody against her ribs while she stared at the phone in her hand. Hurry. Just hurry. She had to go, she needed to move, but her feet remain firmly in place. She found her breath was hard to reach, just out of her grasp.
Loker softly rapped on the open door before walking in. His head buried in a file, he missed Gillian jump, startled by his sudden appearance. "Hey, Boss Lady, where's the Boss Man? Cause I got a case here I think would be right up his ally." He waited, still reading over the details, and when he didn't receive an answer within a few moments he looked up. A look of fear was etched deep on her face, and it worried him. "Foster?"
Her eyes met his, and the brief contact started her movement again. "I've got to go." She ignored his presence as she went for her shoes. Managing to get them on the second time, without the back folding in, she hastily threw on her coat, grabbed her bag from the couch, and she went for the door.
"Wait…" His thought died before it made it to his lips though. She didn't stop, didn't look back. Tossing the file down, he followed her out into the hall running into Torres in the process.
Stepping back, she glared at him shaking coffee from her hand and trying to wipe it from her shirt. "What the hell?"
Ignoring her comment, he side stepped her and continued after Gillian. Torres hurried after him. Setting the crumpled cup on the reception desk, she looked around quickly before wiping her hand on her jeans. It could all be washed later. Catching up, she looked between the two. "What's going on?"
Loker didn't stop instead threw her a sideways glace. "No idea. She just said she had to go, and rushed out."
Torres rolled her eyes. Speeding ahead of him, she grabbed Gillian's arm sending the older woman to a jolting stop. Trying to break free, Gillian pulled hard on her arm, but knew it was useless, Ria's hold was too tight.
"Let go." It was an order, and Torres half expected to keel over dead with the look she was given. It was odd and scary, between the two of them, Foster was always the calm level-headed one. She didn't glare or yell or threaten in a low voice, but here she was acting slightly like her partner, and it was a little terrifying for the protégé. "I have to go."
Refusing to let go, Torres watched Gillian struggle to break free again. Suddenly, she stopped pulling, and dropped her head. Her shoulders heaved as she tried to steady her breathing. "You can't go anywhere like this you'll end up in a wreck. And then Lightman would kill us."
The affect the simple statement had threw the two employees.
Gillian stilled, her brain running in overdrive. The cryptic-ness of the call spun her head, throwing heart hammering possibilities into her mind. She felt her knees waver as she failed to hold back a sob then arms surrounded her, and she let herself go.
Torres looked horrified as she held Gillian up. Shooting Loker a questioning look, he answered with a shrug, equally unsure of what was happening. Clearing her throat, Ria attempted to fish the information from her. "Tell us what happened; where you need to go. We'll take you."
It took several moments before Gillian felt she'd found enough air to speak again. With unfocused eyes, she glanced around and in her daze muttered something.
They watched her not understanding. A few seconds passed she blinked out of it, and pulled herself from Ria's hold. Clearing her throat she repeated herself, "Hospital. Take me to the hospital. Please." She added the pleasantry as an afterthought, though not wanting to be rude.
Loker and Torres passed back knowing looks before ushering her to the car. They drove in silence, neither having words of comfort or a way to ease the tension sitting with them.
Gillian sat in the passenger seat, eyes staring unseeing out the window. Her mind wandered away from her, back to Christmas Day. Just a few months ago when everything had been alright, great even. Emily had left to spend the rest of the day with her mother. With the house quiet, they'd spent the day lazing about. Cheesy Lifetime movies, and an almost endless supply of sweets on hand.
The movie was only half way through when he shut the TV off, he heard her scoff as he rearranged himself on the couch to face her. Resting his temple on his fist, he watched her rolled her eyes and turn toward him.
"Is there a particular reason you shut the movie off?" she asked exasperated, yet amused at his antics. She was well beyond pleased he had managed to sit and watch the fluffy movies as long as he had. Between four sappy Christmas movies, and enough sugar to kill an elephant she figured he would have snapped hours ago.
"Well, course there is or I wouldn't have done it," he said throwing this hands around. Licking his lips, he scooted closer, and placed his arm around her, pulling her into him. "I got a question."
She shook her head, shocked for a moment, and poked him in the chest. "You're asking to ask me a question? Will I be allowed to answer myself or will you be looking at my facial twitches?" She gave him a skeptical look.
"Of course not, that's still a no-no." The corners of his mouth pulled down in a fake frown.
Widening her eyes, she looked up without lifting her head. "Oh my God, we're learning." Chuckling, she patted his chest.
Nodding in the affirmative, he muttered, "Course."
"Alright, ask away." She drug the words out, unsure if she was going to regret allowing.
He licked his lips again. "Have you ever thought of gettin remarried?"
The bluntness caught her off guard, that hadn't registered in her mind when he said he had a question. If she thought about it, it wasn't the bluntness so much, it was the group of words themselves. He was always blunt, and to the point. "I don't know. I guess I never thought about it." He frowned for a second before masking a small flicker of hurt. Seeing it, she quickly continued. "I guess it would depend on who was doing the asking."
She snuggled further into him. She thought was cute he was still so nervous about them even though it was official, and had been for almost a year. He smiled at her, a real genuine smile, and she laughed.
"What are you laughing at, might I ask?"
She put her hand on his chest, pushed herself back into a sitting position, and looked him in the eye. "That better not have been your proposal, Cal Lightman."
Pulling her back, he kissed the top of her head then rested his cheek there. "Course not, love.