Just some thoughts on something I figure MUST have happened, that we never get to see. David E. Kelley is the genius here... I just borrow the folks...

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She took deep breaths as the elevator made its way up through the building, trying to stem the panic rising in her chest. She couldn't believe the night she'd had—certain that she was going to have a good night's sleep, she was surprised to find herself so wide awake, and absolutely terrified. She'd tossed and turned, and if she did fall asleep, which upon occasion she thought she had, she would wake up suddenly, startled, thinking that she could hear him pounding on the door, rattling the handles, trying to break his way through the glass.

Of course, she was wrong. That was impossible. But she kept hearing it all the same.

Finally, there was nothing to be done but get out of bed and go to work. And so she dressed hastily, pulled her hair back into a sloppy pony tail, threw on her makeup, and practically ran to the subway station. She rode for awhile, transferred over to the Green Line and then hopped off at the Boylston Street Station, and grabbed a cup of brew from Dunkin' Donuts, chugging it without giving it time to really cool off—she needed to be awake… now.

Although what had made her think she wasn't already awake enough was beyond her. She would probably have benefited more from the cup of java later; now, she realized as she impatiently watched the building floor numbers change far too slowly in the elevator, it had only added to her awareness of her frazzled nerves.

Fourteenth floor. Finally. She launched out of the elevator car and reminded herself not to run down the hall of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. There were a few people around; she tried to smile at them but she was searching all the while for only one person, which made everyone else fade into the background.

Her first stop was, of course, his office. She dropped her things on her desk and barged in to his room, thinking only once she'd walked in that perhaps she should have knocked, in case he was there. There were no lights on—maybe he was asleep? She could only hope. But no, he was nowhere, and she let out a breath of disappointment as her fears returned.

It's early, she tried to remind herself as she made her way to his next likely location. He often stays very late, so I hear. Still, she just hoped upon hope as she reached Denny Crane's office. The door was wide open; the room was empty.

One more place, she thought, making sure to poke her head into every open door on the way to the lunch room. But only Denise Bauer was there, making a cup of tea. "Good morning," Denise said. "You're early."

She nodded and smiled, thought about how she'd delivered such devastating news to him in this very room yesterday, and how completely unaffected he had tried to seem about it. He had been so very kind, even thanking her for what she had already done. But there was something false in his light tone; she had sensed that he was hiding just how scared he was. Why shouldn't he be scared? What she'd witnessed was truly terrifying, and it wasn't even happening to her. But she had done what she had to do. So she thought.

And now she was probably just as scared as he was. Even more so, because if anything happened to him, she'd feel totally to blame. And she would be, wouldn't she? She'd abandoned him. Told him in his most vulnerable moment that she couldn't face that responsibility any more. And he'd accepted it without question. "Okay," he said. Brightly. Cheerfully. Like he completely understood it. And expected it! And he probably did.

But he was human, wasn't he? So why didn't he say to her, "But I'm frightened—can't you please stay with me?"

Because he didn't want her to feel that obligation, she decided. "Oh, my God," she moaned aloud, thinking of the look on his face, the way he kissed her cheek in thanks, the way he smiled reassuringly as she threw him to the wolves.

"What is it?" Denise asked.

But she was already gone, heading back to her desk. She sat down heavily and buried her face in her hands. She briefly considered calling him, then tossed that idea aside. What would she say when he answered?

Because he would answer, she declared to herself. He would. Because he was fine. He was fine.

Wasn't he?

"Oh, God," she moaned again, and she had just picked up the receiver when a voice made her nearly jump out of her seat and drop it with a clatter to the desk.

"Good morning, Melissa."

"Alan!" Melissa Hughes practically wept with relief. Here he was, Alan Shore, in the flesh. In one piece. Looking terribly, terribly tired, but clearly, definitely, alive, and not splattered all over Copley Square after plunging several floors from his balcony while running desperately to escape the voices of his night terrors.

Alan offered her a small, bewildered smile. "Are you all right?" he asked.

"What?" she asked, still marveling that he was standing three feet in front of her.

Alan furrowed his brow curiously. "Are you—?"

"Oh—I'm fine. I'm fine," Melissa recovered. She hastily picked up the telephone receiver and fumbled it back onto the cradle. "You're here!"

Alan looked bemused. "I work here," he offered.

"Of course you do," she replied with an embarrassed laugh.

"You're early," he observed.

"Uh—caught the early train," she explained needlessly. "I just wanted to check—uh…" She kept her wide eyes on his face, realized she couldn't tell him what had driven her to come in at this hour, then shrugged.

Alan simply nodded, then slipped past her and into his office. In spite of herself, she followed him in and watched him as he put his briefcase down on his desk and started to take off his coat. She felt the inexplicable need to make small talk. "Sleep well?" she asked without meaning to.

She cringed the second the words came out of her mouth. For his part, Alan merely paused, then finished taking off his coat and turned to hang it up.

"Sorry," she said, biting her lip in embarrassment.

"It's all right," Alan said cheerfully, smoothing his tie.

There's that tone of voice again, Melissa realized. The one that's hiding something. Alan looked at her expectantly. "Alan, are you… okay?"

"I'm fine, Melissa. Thank you for asking."

"Alan, I'm really sorry I couldn't…" she began, feeling awkward. She stopped as he continued just looking at her. "Did you get any sleep at all last night?"

"Sleep is overrated," Alan replied flippantly. He came to Melissa and took her hands in his. She found herself momentarily breathless. "Melissa, don't… apologize for not being able to handle my… weirdness. It wasn't fair of me to ask it of you. I'll find another way."

Melissa looked up into Alan's blue eyes and this time found sincerity, and a bit of sadness. "Are you sure?" she asked quietly.

Alan nodded. "I'm sure." He squeezed her hands gently before releasing them, then turned to head to his chair. "Do I have any appointments this morning?" he asked, suddenly all business.

Melissa tried to think. She hadn't even turned on her computer yet. "Uh—no. No."

"Good. Please keep it that way. And no calls."

"Right," she answered. She turned and walked out of his office, breathing out a massive sigh of relief when she reached her desk. She sat down and let the tension fall from her shoulders, when Alan's hopeful, almost timid voice startled her.

"Melissa, just… one favor?"

She prepared herself mentally to look into those breathtaking, intense blue eyes, then turned around and smiled. "Sure."

"If you're at your desk this morning, and I happen to come… charging past you without… acknowledging your presence…"

Melissa's eyes widened. "I'll stop you, Alan," she promised. He nodded, offered a tiny smile of thanks, and went into his office.

She turned back to her desk as he shut the door. Then she closed her eyes and shook her head. She'd wait for this first "good morning" every single day now, she realized. Once she'd seen what the night terrors did to him, and how very close he had come…

Now, whether she was sleeping next to him or not, they were in it together.