AN: I'm not altogether sure about this one. A bit wafty and vague, sure, but I'll admit I need the practise. Maybe a filler for the space between One Flash of Light and Remake the World. Quote from "Not a Dry Eye in the House", BlueBohemian.

"Everyone saw it differently; the most commonly held belief was that she'd given up, hadn't dreamed enough, hadn't wanted it enough. Hadn't wanted it at all."

When it happened, he was the least surprised. It was a well-known fact that his ability to deal with pressure was severely lacking. It was a fact shared between the two of them that hers was even worse.

To have your life changed as the result of one three-minute chemical reaction was bad. He knew, she had told him. It was with a shy smile and soft words that she had told him her news; the two of them had lain curled up on the hospital bed and whispered secrets to one another. A moment of silence passed before she suddenly looked up at him, dark eyes wide with sincerity, and told him that it wasn't just about them anymore.

He remembered everything after that. Every hour of the next three weeks he had made sure to look out for her. Ridiculous, he remembered thinking, that this new situation had made her seem more vulnerable to him - especially when the hormones only scared most of the others away more effectively than before.

He remembered that night as well. The fact they'd been talking through the door, when she was suddenly silent. Seconds passed before he realised what could have happened, and he was up on his feet, hammering at the door. She'd locked it, of course. It wasn't until hours must have passed, and he'd whispered that he was going to bed, that she finally emerged. Her eyes were wide once more; wide with the expression he'd come to realise she showed in times of irreconcilable change.

That night, they had lain together for the last time. Her tears, falling onto the pillow like the softest steps of the tiniest feet, had left splatters of melted eyeliner on their pillows. He had held her close; even as the space between them was as little as they could make it, he had felt her slipping away from him.

He wasn't surprised, the next morning, to wake up to an empty bed, and a tearstained note screwed up into one of his boots.

The bohemians, faithful to him to the end, came together with expressions and oaths of fury, painting over any slivers of sadness with thick layers of anger. He'd anticipated the offers of company from several of the younger girls, and rejected them with a small smile and a suggestion that he probably wouldn't be as worthwhile as they wished. The older ones, however, knew him better; had seen his highest moments and those of utter meltdown. Meat, Bob, Prince, Macca – each offered him slight words of comfort: perhaps she'd be back within the week, the month, the year.

He knew they all talked about him behind his back. He kept going, steadfastly ignoring the digs he heard behind whispered hands, the pitying looks, the gentle encouragement (mostly by Meatloaf) that he really should find someone to distract him. He gathered, from the little smiles and winks she offered, that she was suggesting herself as a suitable distraction. Hearing the rows between her and Khashoggi through the walls at night, Galileo declined.

Within a week, he'd stopped counting the hours. Within a month, he'd stopped counting the days.

He knew her, everyone knew that. And he knew that if this was what she wanted, then she wouldn't – couldn't – be sidetracked. All he could do was wait until – just maybe – she returned. And then he would be whole once more.