Mp3 File

An Alphas Fanfic by SJO

Note: Alphas is owned by SyFy Channel, not me. I know this is a little out of place since the last couple of episodes, and it might be a little outside Gary's character, but there was something that was bugging me that the show should've done in "When Push Comes to Shove" that I thought I'd try out here.

"One small hot chocolate, please, with extra whipped topping and a hint of cinnamon," Nina asked the barista. He nodded and punched in her order into the cash register. She picked a business card out of a jar on the counter and added while looking deep into his eyes, "And this is a gift card. It should cover the purchase."

He nodded and took it from her. "Coming right up, ma'am."

"NINA!" a familiar voice cried from the other side of the café. She turned around and saw a young man with dark hair seated on a sofa and waving at her. She couldn't believe it. She forgot about the drink and walked toward him.

"Gary, what are you doing here?"

"I knew I'd find you. You need to charge your phone, though. The signal's getting weak. The battery needs to be charged regularly if you want your phone to work."

"Yeah, I'm not worried about that now," she said as she sat down. "How did you get here?"

"I walked."

"You walked the whole way?"

"No, I took a cab part of the way until the driver yelled at me to get out. That was mean. Nina, you need to come back. We really need–"

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, I get it. Rosen sent you."

"No! No, I came all by myself. I just told you; you weren't listening."

"How do you expect me to believe you?"

"I never lied to you before."

"But you said that you've been practicing lying, and there's a first time for everything."

"I'm not lying to you. I came by myself to talk to you."

"Does look kinda suspicious, don't you think? The one person I can't push shows up trying to convince me to come back."

"No it isn't!"

"Then why did you–?"

"BECAUSE I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU!" He said that a lot louder than he meant to. Everybody stared at him, and the café went quiet. "That's why," he added more quietly.

The barista gave Nina her drink, but she set it aside. Nina stared at Gary for a moment like everyone else did. Then she burst out laughing.

"No, it's not funny! Why are you laughing? You think I can't fall in love with someone because I'm autistic? You need to watch some movies, like Adam or Mozart and the Whale or My Name is Khan. They actually get married in that one."

"Gary, that's not it," she said as she calmed down. "I think you can fall in love, but with me? I mean, when I think about how you feel about me, love doesn't come to mind."

"Well, it's true!"

"Why do you say that? Why do you think you love me?"

"Well, you're pretty. I always thought you were pretty. And you're nice. You say good things about me and what I can do, and you explain things that I don't understand, like that time you told me what Dr. Rosen meant when he said 'real eyes.' No one else on the team's like that. Bill's funnier than you, but he can be mean sometimes. Dr. Rosen nice and explains things, but he's old. And Hicks and Rachel have never been really close."

"I didn't know you felt that way."

"Yeah, and I know that Hicks is really mad at you because you pushed him, but you can't push me. So I'll never get mad at you for that. It's like we were made for each other."

Nina laughed again and shook her head. "Gary, I don't think you know what you're saying."

"I know what I'm saying! I rehearsed it over and over."

"But a romantic relationship involves things you won't like, things like eye contact and invading your personal space and touching."

Gary seemed a little put off by that, but he meekly replied, "I can learn. That's what people do, they learn." He took her hand. "Please, come back, Nina."

Now, she was starting to think he was serious, or at least he thought he was. "Why . . . haven't you told me this before? If this is really how you feel, why did you wait to tell me until now?"

He looked away. "Remember that morning when Mom dropped me off at the office early because she had a dentist appointment, and I found that Mp3 file, and then you came in and saw me dancing?"

Nina smiled. "Yeah, I remember. You looked like a marionette."

"Yeah, and I saw you staring and laughing and I told you that was mean, and then you danced with me. You took my hands and danced with me."

"Because you asked me. Yeah, that was fun."

"Yeah, it was. It was a good time." Gary's looked down, and his tone turned sad. "I heard that song this morning. It came on my Pandora station. And it made me sad. It always made me happy, even before you danced with me, but it made me sad because it made me think of you because Dr. Rosen said yesterday that you were gone and you weren't coming back because you didn't want to come back. That's why you need to come back, because if you stay away, I'll still be sad."

Nina started to understand. "Gary, you're not in love with me. You think you are, but you don't know what you're feeling."

"Well, what else could it be?"

"You miss me. And you know what? I'll tell you a secret. I miss you, too. You're such a cute boy," she said grinning and nudging his shoulder.

"Stop it. I'm not a boy," he muttered.

"I know. But it's not the same, Gary. I mean, I remember when you worked with Anna, how your face lit up and your smiled. There was a tone in your voice I never heard from you before or since. That's . . . closer to love. That was for her, not for me."

"So . . . the person I'm in love with is dead. That only makes me sadder."

"Don't feel sad, Gary. It's like you said earlier, you can fall in love. Think of the hope that you may one day find someone else like Anna, and you can love her."

"I probably won't."

"You don't know that. Gary, I can't come back, not now. Cameron made me very angry. I just can't face him. But I want you to know that I know how you feel. I used to be happy, and . . ."

"How can we be happy again?"

"I don't know."

Gary looked up and found the café's music feed. He thumbed through the music choices and saw that the next song was by the same artist as the group in that Mp3 file. "I think that I might know something that could help," he said as the song came on.

"What's that?"

He stood up. "Dance with me again? It's not the same song, but it's close enough."

She smiled. "I think I'd like that."

So they got up and danced. It was mostly just moving with the music, no form to it. They held hands and spun around a few times. Again, everyone in the café stared at them, but they didn't notice. When the song was over, they sat back down.

"I do feel a little better," Nina said.

"Me too," Gary nodded.

"Well, you probably should go. I'll pay a cab for you."

"You're not coming back?"

"I told you I couldn't."

"But I'll still miss you!"

"Yeah, and I'll miss you, but don't worry, Gary. I'm probably not going to be gone forever. I'll come back when I'm ready. But don't tell anyone that you found me, and don't go looking for me. I'm not going to charge my phone. I just want to go off on my own, so I don't want anyone to know where I am. I'm going off the grid."

"What will you do?"

"I haven't decided yet. I'll figure out on the way." She dug out of her pocket some money, and as she gave it to Gary, she kissed his cheek. "Thank you, Gary. It was good to see you."

"Yeah," he answered slightly bobbing his head. He got up and left, a little more confused than he felt before he came but feeling a little better. Nina smiled and sipped on her hot chocolate, even though it was cold. She felt satisfied that she could manipulate someone without pushing him.