A/N: Stephen/Abby oneshot. Pre-series, set right before the when the show starts.


He took a sip of the hot cup of coffee in his hand and closed his eyes as he tasted the bitterness of it. It was late on a Tuesday evening and he was at work, like every other night. As he walked down the hall he could not help but send a thought to his girlfriend, as if thinking of her every once in a while would somehow make up for his absence.

"Abby?" he said, holding the other cup of coffee in front of him, the one he brought for her. Her desk was empty though and she was nowhere in sight. "Abby?" asked he again, exiting her office and staring down the corridor.

"She is here somewhere, I just spoke to her," smiled Quinn who was nearby, hands full of documents and newspapers. "Maybe she went to get coffee." Quinn's heels clicked against the floor as she hurried past him.

Stephen looked down at the two cups in his hand and frowned slightly. She was not getting coffee, he knew, she had asked him to get it for her. He walked about the many rooms and open spaces, drinking coffee from one cup while feeling the other cup growing colder. The office seemed calm, the coworkers busy doing their part on the case they were currently working on, and Stephen felt restless.

He was about to give up his search for the redhead who had very persistently stared him down until he had agreed to get her coffee (she was the only one who could do that), and get back to his work, when he passed the bathrooms and the door was slighly ajar. By the shallow breaths that could be heard, he quickly established that there was someone in there.

"Hello?" asked he, hestitant to enter.

The shallow breaths stopped for a second or two before continuing their now much softer and quieter pace, and Stephen realised that he had probably startled whoever was on the other side of the door.

"I didn't mean to startle you," apologised he and closed his distance to the door, peeking inside.

"Abby?"

He had never seen her look like this. She was seated on the floor, back pressed against the hard wall. Her feet were bare, the high (and probably expensive) heels lying lonely on the floor next to her. Her usually straight and shiny hair was slightly dishevelled and the small amount of make up she usually wore had been smudged around her eyes. She stared at him with alarmingly empty eyes.

He quickly crossed the room and bent down next to her.

"Abby?" his voice was soft and low.

She nodded, eyes empty, not seeing.

"Look at me."

Slowly did their eyes lock in a soft stare. When he could finally see straight into the depths of hers, he felt a pull in his stomach. The pain in them were blatant.

He pulled her into his arms and breathed in her scent. As she silently sobbed, head buried in the crook of his neck, he pondered what might be on her mind. Was it about her ex-husband? He had seen photos of her bruised face and body, the marks the man had left on her. The psysical wounds may be gone, he thought, but the ones on the inside would never heal. He did not know why, or what made him say it, but soon he heard the words 'you're safe here' leave his lips. He repeated the words again, and soon he was saying anything that came to his mind, the words simply leaving his lips before he could control them. All he wanted was to heal her.

"You're safe here... he can't hurt you here, Abby, you know that, he is gone, you'll never see him again... You're safe here. He didn't deserve you, you know that, you're better, you are the best. Abby, you're the best." Her sobs grew louder as he said this, her tears trickling down the front of his shirt, it was expensive, a gift from his girlfriend, but he did not care, not now, it was Abbyfor God's sake.

Slowly, the tears stopped falling and the sobs grew quiet until they did not exist. They were both silent and he could feel her breathe against him, but he did not dare say anything. His left hand was at her waist while the right hand had somehow found its way to hers, and he squeezed her fingers lightly. The silence was absolute but not uncomfortable and he realised it had been way too long since he had sat down to just be.

"I hate him." Abby suddenly whispered, a whisper light like the sound of a bird singing early in the silent morning.

"I know." he pulled her even closer, as if to assure her of it. There was another long silence in which they simply breathed long and slow breaths.

"I hate him, and I hate that I can't stop thinking of him," she began with a small voice that trembled slightly. "I know he's gone and I know he won't hurt me again, but he still won't leave my head and it stillhurts."

Stephen pulled away from her and put his hand under her chin, lifting it up for him to look into her eyes. They were shining, and she herself seemed to be on fire. A raging fire or a softly flickering candle, he did not know. Perhaps she was both.

"You still love him."

There was a flicker of pain in her eyes. "I don't know."

"He doesn't deserve you." said Stephen firmly, still looking right into the window of her soul.

"So I've been told."

"Do you think I'm wrong?"

"No."

"Abby-,"

"I know, Stephen, I know. He was an ass and he didn't deserve me, I know."

"Well, he didn't. Don't you ever doubt that." he put his hand on her chin and smiled at her softly. She swallowed loudly as her mind seemed to race, her eyes looking everywhere but into his. He would have given anything to know what she was thinking at that moment.

"Okay."

"Good," he slowly stood up to fetch her shoes. "Now let's get these ridiculously high heels onto your feet." he smiled as he gently slipped them onto her feet, as she sat paralysed. He looked up at her face. "What?"

She did not answer, but simply got to her feet.

"I need coffee." she groaned as she examined herself in the mirror and began digging through her purse for make up. Stephen looked at her with a worried glance and casually leant against the counter.

"You okay to go out there?" he nodded toward the door. She stopped applying lipstick and stared at him, frozen in her movements. His stare was firm, hers was vulnerable. Her hair was kind of dishevelled, and Stephen could not help to wonder if that was how it looked every morning when she woke up, before she got ready for the day.

She nodded and gave him a small smile. "Yeah."


So... yeah. Stephen and Abby are a mystery to me and I cannot wait to find out more about them. Scandal is awesome. Please review and tell me what you think!