I'm like the worst writer ever omg guys I'm so sorry. I get your e-mails and notifications all the time. I've been working on this for a short while. I know how you guys hate how short my posts usually are. So this was an attempt to fix that problem. I also wanted to bring you better content than I had before. I always felt that the first chapter is the best and everything else was just junk I slapped together to keep the story going. I think I actually took some time and care with this one. -sigh- I'm sorry I kept you waiting so long. I keep worrying that the next review I get will say something like "No update in over a year? What is this? Sherlock?" Not that my writing will ever hold a candle to the brilliant minds behind that masterpiece of a show. Anyway. I so appreciate that so many of you like what I've done. The kind words mean more than I could ever say, and the criticism is taken to heart. (As long as you are actually trying to critique to be helpful as opposed to critiquing to be an asshole.) Try not to hold it against me that I update infrequently. If you do, I understand.

Also, I'm changing the rating on this. I was going to write a super sexy chapter about their night together, but I couldn't bring myself to do so. As much as I love me a good sexy fanfic, I'm shit at writing them without feeling awkward and making it sound horribly awkward.

I want to finish this up soon soon soon. I have a few other ideas for Ib fanfics and I have recently found myself getting involved in new fandoms. I just might decide to start writing some Sherlock or Doctor Who stuff. No matter what I decide, whatever comes after this is going to be wacky, silly and more than a little insane. I just feel the need to write something goofy next.

So here we go. I'm done talking at you now. Go. Read. Be free. Be happy. And please don't hate me for the cliffhanger.

Something felt wrong. Ib couldn't tell exactly what it was, but it hurt somewhere deep inside her chest. But what on earth could be so wrong? In her dream like state, she listed everything she had to be happy for. She had a home, a promising future, and she had Garry. And hell, she was also getting married... Yes... She was getting married... But not to Garry. If she wasn't marrying Garry, who did she think she was spending the rest of her life with?

Reality sank in. Her eyes flew open. And suddenly, that pain in her chest became real. It became crippling, and she suddenly recognized the feeling as shame. Shame fused with an ungodly amount of guilt. Ib pressed her palms over her mouth. Whether it was to prevent herself from vomiting or crying out-loud, she didn't know. Darren. Oh god, Darren. How could she have done this to him? As she tried to process the full extent of what she had done, Ib became aware of the warm presence beside her. Garry shifted in his sleep and lay his arm around her waist, pulling her close to him.

Despite her sickening shame, Ib could not deny how good it felt to lay there with him. Warm and close in the pale glow of early morning. Flesh against flesh. The passion from the night before was something she had no idea could exist in real life. It was always so accurately described in the erotic novels she had hidden under her mattress as a teenager. Making love with Garry was so unlike being with Darren. She had never felt so alive. Every touch, every kiss, every moment sent something electric through her body. Ib shivered involuntarily and Garry stirred behind her. She bit her lip and lay as still as possible in the hopes he would go back to sleep. She wasn't so lucky.

"Mmm... Good morning..." There was a seductive purr in Garry's voice. He kissed from her shoulder, along her neck, and up to her ear. As he buried his head into the crook of her neck, she felt him stretch his back out. The bed creaked quietly as he maneuvered onto his elbow so he could gaze at her properly. Ib blushed. She didn't remember the bed making any noise before.

"Um... Morning... Can't say its good. But its morning." Ib avoided Garry's gaze. Suddenly very aware of her nakedness, she rolled over to the edge of the bed and began feeling around for her shirt and maybe, if she was lucky, she could find her underpants as well.

Garry raised his eyebrows at her back. "You can't? Well can you at least admit we had a good night?" He pushed himself into an upright position and watched Ib search for her clothes. The sheet had come down and he could just barely see the upper half of a very round, absolutely perfect bottom. Deciding against reaching over, he simply admired until she rolled back over, pulling his shirt over the top of her head as she did.

The fit was a little awkward, as Ib had grown into a rather curvaceous woman. Garry had maintained his slim and straight body type, and thus his shirt squeezed and clung to her in a slightly uncomfortable way. On the very edges of her peripheral vision, Ib could see Garry eyeing her hungrily. Images of their long night passed through her thoughts. Her face burned under his gaze.

She didn't know what to do, nor did she have any idea as to how she would handle this situation. Garry seemed to think things had changed although they hadn't. Or at least she hoped they hadn't. Try as she might, Ib couldn't honestly convince herself that things would be the same. What this might do to Darren... She could not bear to think.

It was time to get up. Get out of here. Ib needed to be alone. Needed to think. Sort out how she felt. What she was going to do. She felt Garry's eyes on her back as she slid off the edge of the bed. There was another flare of intense embarrassment when she discovered half of her clothing beside the bedroom door. Ib gathered her clothes as she made her way out of the room and into the bathroom down the hall.

The harsh yellow light caused her to blink rapidly after she flipped the light switch. Dropping her clothes back onto the ground, Ib turned to the mirror. The reflection that stared back was so unfamiliar. It frightened her. It was what she had been afraid of. Although she knew she was inspecting her own face, she recognized nothing about it. Whoever was staring back at her was a stranger. The woman in that mirror was a sick, awful person. She was the kind of woman who ruined people. Broke their hearts. Lead them on and left them hanging. These thoughts brought tears to her eyes. The part that hurt most was the fact that she had no idea who's heart she was going to break. She had promised herself to Darren. But Garry would be the man she loved for the rest of her life. The very thought of hurting another person appalled her. The thought of hurting someone she cared about nearly killed her.

Ib let the tears spill over. As silently as she could, Ib mourned. She lamented her choices, regretted so many things. Her remorse over not telling Garry how she felt made her stomach turn. She felt acute self loathing for the night before. What it would do to Darren. He loved her. Wiping her eyes with her palms, she inhaled deeply. The longer she lingered in here, the more likely Garry was to come looking for her. If he saw her in this state he would press her on why she was so upset. If there was anything that was truly hard for Ib, it would be talking out her feelings. The only way it ever happened was when she was good and ready and after she had had a good long time to think and get the words just right.

After a brief struggle getting out of Garry's ill-fitting t-shirt, Ib dressed in her own clothes. As she dug around the drawers for a brush or comb of some kind, she could smell coffee. And cooking. Knitting her brows together, Ib opened the bathroom door and took a peek out into the kitchen/ dinging room area. Garry was standing over the stove with a pan of eggs in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. The sight nearly made her laugh out loud. Garry never cooked. Half the reason he was so skinny was merely because he was lazy and didn't care enough to cook for himself. Shutting the door again, she opened one last drawer and found what she was looking for. A small comb with a few broken teeth. No wonder Garry's hair was always such a mess. He clearly had no idea how to take proper care of himself. He needed Ib more than she thought. She smiled at the thought, but it faded quickly. It was amazing how conflicted she felt. Part of her felt a bit of joy now that her feelings were in the open. The other part was going to spend many sleepless nights condemning her for not being more discreet about it.

Suddenly, a very uncomfortable thought struck her. Just because she had slept with him did not mean that he was aware of how she felt. Ib combed through her hair with sharp, jerking motions as she considered this. Her stomach began to sink. She had to tell him. Garry was not an idiot. But she still couldn't just leave it for him to assume how she felt. Now that she had so thoroughly fumbled the entire situation anyway, there wasn't really any room left to let things be guessed at. Taking a deep breath, she prepared herself for what might be the second dumbest thing she had done in the last twenty-four hours. But probably the most necessary action she had ever taken in her life.

Throwing the bathroom door open, Ib marched into the hallway with determination written all over her face. And doubt and uncertainty all over her heart. Garry looked at her in surprise. He opened his mouth to say something, but Ib lifted her finger to silence him. "No. You be quiet. I have a lot to say and I need to say it while I'm still sure its a good idea." Ib settled her hands on her hips and took a few breaths hoping to calm her nerves.

"I love you. I have always loved you. Since I was a child. It started as an admiration for someone who had shared a traumatizing experience with me. As time wore on it grew into a love for the best friend I have ever had. Someone who has always been there for me. And in recent years that love has changed and evolved once again. To something passionate. Poorly contained. Romantic." While she paused to take a breath, she saw how Garry's mouth hung open. His silence was fairly satisfying. But she wasn't done. Not quite yet.

"I might have loved other men, but it always comes back to you. They are never good enough because they are never you." Ib reached up and caressed his face while she spoke. Her eyes began to soften as she gave herself over to these feelings she had closed off for so long. "Its not just about that night in the museum any more. The fact that we shared that was what brought us together. But what kept us together? I don't know. Nothing about those memories is easy. I'm glad we have each-other for that. More than that, though. I'm glad I have you. Forget what happened when I was a child. I love the man you are. The person you are. I have never known anyone more passionate or creative or kind or wonderful. You lead a simple life but you are a complex person and everything I have ever dreamed of... Everything that has ever made me happy is right here in this apartment. Garry. I love you. More than anything in this world. And I needed you to know that."

Ib smiled, a weight lifted from her. She waited for Garry to respond but the longer the silence went on the more worried she became. His mouth was opening and closing, but no words made it out. There was a look of concern in his eyes that she couldn't understand. "Ib... I-" was all he could manage before another voice rang out and every ounce of happiness seemed to fly from Ib's mind.

"Well... This is awkward." Ib could see Darren rising from the couch in the living room through the walkway from the dinging area into the living room. All of her heart break came flooding back and the guilt knocked the wind from her lungs.

"Oh my god... Darren... I'm so sorry..."