A/N: This FF goes out to TL22, a very good friend of mine. He got me into this amazing show and I just fell in love with the characters. How could I not? Obviously I'm a Nina/Andy shipper. There's something about being friends first that pulls me in, like McLeod's Daughter's Stevie & Alex.
This is a one-shot. Set after Nina and Jake leave for Hawaii. Enjoy!
Andy groaned outwardly, as the coffee beans slipped out of his hand. "Damn it!" he cursed under his breath. He had been in a bad mood ever since Nina had left for Hawaii with Jake. Man, he hated that guy. Andy Brown wasn't the kind of man to hate easily, but he made an exception for Jake. He was a good man, and he treated Nina well, which bugged the crap out of him. He didn't seem to have a mean bone in his body. So how on earth was Nina supposed to find something that she hated about him, and realize that Andy was the one she was supposed to be with?
"Having another fight with the coffee maker?" Emphram asked with amusement, pulling up a stool at the breakfast bar.
"Did I wake you?" his father replied. It was the middle of the night. Andy had been tossing and turning for hours, trying to get some shut eye. Nothing seemed to work. He'd even tried the traditional warm milk.
"No, I was awake. Can't sleep, huh?"
Andy ran a hand through his hair. He had experienced sleepless nights. He was a doctor. A surgeon. He had once been awake for 86 straight hours. But this was different. He wasn't working on the human body. He wasn't replacing a heart or a liver. He was going absolutely crazy with the frustration that Nina Feeney hadn't called, when she said she would.
He knew he sounded like a love-struck teenager. Waiting by the phone. But he couldn't help it. This woman did things to him that he didn't even know existed. He had never been this insane over Julia. She had been easy to woo. She had reciprocated his feelings instantly. Nina. Now she was a different story. This woman was torn between him and Jake. Some stupid doctor that had come along and stolen Nina's heart when Andy hadn't been looking. If it wasn't for the little turd, he wouldn't even know that Nina had been in love with him, and maybe he would have been sleeping like a baby right now.
It was all Jake's fault. Andy wanted to hit something.
"Do you want me to make the coffee?" Emphram offered, climbing off the chair and coming around to the bench where his father stood.
Andy stepped aside, glad to let his son do it. He was getting too angry to do much of anything.
A moment later, Emphram had the coffee maker going.
"Thanks," he muttered.
"Why don't you call her?"
"Because I have my pride."
"Do you?" Emphram said, raising an eyebrow. From where he was sitting, his father had completely lost the plot. He was erratic. He was constantly snapping at him and Delia. He looked like he hadn't seen a bed in years. And if he got anymore frustrated, he was sure to start breaking down walls.
"Don't start," Andy warned.
Emphram chose not to take it personally. He had had a few bad moods in his time, especially regarding Amy. It was his turn to let the words roll off his back. Emphram turned to leave. "I'm going to try and sleep again. Listen, if she doesn't call then… maybe she's trying to tell you something."
"Yeah, thanks for that. I didn't think about it that way," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Emphram left the room.
A few minutes later, Andy poured himself a cup of coffee and sat up at the breakfast bar, picking at the fudge brownie obsession ice-cream he'd dished out for himself. Ice-cream always seemed to dim the problem. Except this time it didn't. Nina wasn't there to share it with him.
Maybe his son had a point. Maybe her not calling was her way of telling him that she had made a choice. It was a wrong one. But it was a choice, nonetheless.
Andy just about fell out of his chair when the phone rang.
He dived for it, afraid to miss it if it was Nina.
"H-lo!" he greeted, speaking too quickly. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Hello."
It was her. It was Nina. His stomach did a summersault as he gripped his free hand against the breakfast bar.
"Did I wake you?"
"No, I was… no."
"I can't sleep," she said.
"Me neither," he told her. There seemed to be no filter system to pick and choose his words before he said them. And frankly, he didn't care. "I haven't been able to sleep since you left."
"Oh, don't say that," she groaned in obvious frustration. "You're supposed to say something insensitive and annoying."
"Do you want me to?"
"Yes," she sighed.
"Why?" he pressed, smiling at the way she sounded so nervous. Maybe he did have more of an effect on her than he realized.
"So, I realize that you're just like any other man in my life. Jake is a good guy," she whispered, as if she were afraid he would hear her.
"Do we have to talk about him," he snapped.
"He's my boyfriend."
"He doesn't have to be," he said bluntly.
"Stop doing that!"
"Making it sound so easy."
"It is easy. Pick me."
"Isn't that why you called?"
"I don't know," she said. "I've been here and I see the way Jake is with Sam. Sam is attached to him, and- and I did that. I let him in and now how am I supposed to take Jake away from Sam."
"He'll have me. He'll have Delia and Emphram," Andy reasoned, trying to convince her that it really was simple.
"I know, I- Jake didn't do anything wrong. I promised to give him a second chance. You told me to talk to him and-"
"Well, now I'm changing my mind."
Andy sighed heavily. "Why did you call, Nina? To tell me that you were choosing Jake."
"That was my intention."
"Why now? Why so late at night? It's 2.30 in the morning."
There was a long pause.
"I can't sleep and I don't eat and… you cause that, Andy Brown. I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and hard place. I'm going to hurt someone… no matter what way I go, I'll hurt someone."
Andy nodded to himself. "I guess the question is, which choice can you live with? He's never going to love you the way that I do. He'll never understand you like I do. I'm your best friend, Nina."
"See," she sighed heavily. "That's the kind of jerk-ish thing I wanted you to say. What the hell do you know about what Jake feels for me. Or what I feel for him. Maybe he's not my best friend, but only because I haven't given him that chance."
"So, is this you telling me your choosing him?" Andy was sick of the run around. If he couldn't convince her, maybe it wouldn't work out after all. He just needed to know what she had decided, because he was going to cause himself an ulcer if he didn't stop obsessing over it.
"I don't know," she sounded deeply conflicted.
"I love you, Nina. You know that, but I need an answer. Who do you see yourself growing old with? Having more kids? Who's the man in the bed when you wake up in the morning? Who is the man in the rocking chair, holding your hand when your hair is grey and-"
"Stop it," she begged. "God, stop it. I don't know, Andy. I don't know."
"Then maybe you don't need to make a choice. Maybe you've already picked." Andy slammed down the phone then. He couldn't stand it anymore. He couldn't hear her angelic voice and not ache to touch her. Nina was with someone else. It wasn't him.
Now, he just had to accept it.
Andy crossed the room to the front door. He pulled it open to find Nina on the other side.
"What are you-"
"Shut up!" she ordered. "It's my turn to talk. You listen."
Andy took a step back, trying not to smile. He had always liked her strength. She was a woman who knew how to defend herself, but she had a kind of vulnerability that was evident in the way she talked. She had never looked more beautiful, standing on his doorstep in a white cotton dress.
"I don't know who the hell you think you are hanging up on me. It took me a lot of guts to call you in the first place. I had some things to say, and I-"
"You seemed to-"
"Shut up!" she repeated sternly. "I'm not done. You're a bastard, Andy Brown. You do all the right things and make me fall in love with you, and then you're too stupid to see how I feel about you. You pick all these women who aren't me. Then when I finally feel like I'm getting on with my life, you choose the most insane time to tell me you love me. You kiss me. You expect me to make a choice when you're ready. You're selfish and self-centred."
"I have a God-complex," he shrugged. "What can I say?"
Nina tried desperately not to smile, determined to say what she had come for. "I don't know why my heart wants you. I don't know why it's your face I see when I look over in the bed next to me. I don't know why my stomach fills with butterflies whenever you walk into a room. I don't know why I love you the way that I do… I don't know. But I choose you. Okay? I choose you. It was always you."
Andy smiled and reached out his arms, drawing her to him like a moth to a flame. He touched his finger to her lips, slowly, as if to give her time to change her mind. She fell against him, limp in his arms. Submissive. He shook his head, trying to make sense of it all.
Then he titled his head to meet her soft, warm lips. When she moaned beneath the gentle pressure of his lips and parted hers in invitation, he knew there was no other woman he ever wanted to kiss again, except her. Nina Feeney.
Andy grabbed Nina by the hand and dragged her out of the house. "Come with me!"
"Where are we going?"
"I want to ask you something!"
He led her out the front door and over to her front lawn. He looked down at her, a nervous smile etched across his face. "This is where we met. You were pregnant with another woman's baby, and I was fighting with my son. It wasn't a great beginning, but it was our beginning. You were working in the yard in this exact spot, which I thought was very odd because there was still a foot of snow on the ground."
"I remember," she laughed.
"The next time I saw you, you invited me into your house. We drank coffee and we talked, and I remember thinking when I left that it wasn't just a coincidence that I ended up buying that house. It was fate. Someone was trying to tell us something. You know how I feel about you, Nina. I'm in love with you. I have been for a long time. And I can't think of anyone else on earth I would rather spend the rest of my life with. Thank you for choosing me. I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you make me. You're the only one who could pull me back into the world from the dark place that I was in. Thank you for that. And so…"
He pulled out a small satin box from his shirt pocket, the kind of size that rings came in.
"When did you get that?"
"I've had it for a while..."
"Nina Fenney, will you marry me?"
Nina was shaking her head, and tears filled her eyes. "Yes, Andy Brown. Of course I'll marry you."
"I love you," Nina smiled, rolling over on her side to face the man in her bed.
"Yeah?" he grinned, looking like Delia when she finally got her horse. This was the happiest he'd been in twenty years. He was really beginning to enjoy life again. What was even better was that both of his children were supportive, and Nina's son was comfortable with it, too. Everyone was on board.
Nina nodded. "Yes."
He leant over and kissed her full on the mouth, his hands brushing against her smooth and silky skin. There was nothing he didn't like about this woman, expect maybe the fact that it had taken her longer for her to accept that he was better for her than Jake. He loved her more. He listened to what she had to say and tried really hard to take her feelings into account before doing anything. Like jumping out of a plane. He would have liked to try it but not at the expense of Nina. He didn't want to do anything to hurt her.
"Should we talk about the wedding?" he asked, wanting to marry her as soon as possible. There was nothing lingering about their relationship. They had always been quick to jump into the next phase of their relationship, though the middle part was slow.
"Sure," she smiled.
"Where do you want to have it?"
"Here," she said. "In Everwood. Everyone we love is here."
"Okay," he nodded. He leaned over and kissed her again. "I can't get enough of you."
Nina laughed. "It took us long enough to get here."
"Yeah, well, you took long to realize how good I am," he teased.
"Really?" she laughed.
He moved swiftly and pinned her to the bed, before making love to her all over again.
I don't know if you caught the fact that I hate Jake, but I do. I realise that he is a good guy, hence I made that reference. But the guy bugs me. No one is that nice or good a person. Surely, the writers could have given him SOME kind of flaw except for the drug habit. So, I hate him because he's perfect. I know it's not a good reason, and I realize that some people may not understand my hate… and some of you – Andy and Nina shippers – will. Sorry. I had to say that.
Ps. Sorry for the swear word, Tony, after giving you such a hard time about yours. But I did agonise over it too, and it seemed like something she would say if she was angry enough. *hangs head in shame*
I don't know how popular this category is, so I would greatly appreciate any reviews you throw my way. =)) Feel free to throw in your opinion, too. Even if you don't agree with me.