He catches her as she's walking out of the hospital reception, using the pretence of getting a snack to hide her ridiculous tears and the terrifying real reason she passed out in the delivery room.


She considers ignoring him – not sure if she can take another of his stupid, and even more stupidly painful, fears about Quinn – but, as she glances back, his face is soft and kind. It's far more comforting than it has any right to be towards her. So she stops and listens.

"Are you ok?"

The false assurances that she would have told Ted or Marshall or Lily die on her lips as she looks at him, the memory of his hand warm on her back as they were introduced to Marvin still lingering.

"No, not really."

He smiles at her sadly as he moves towards her, that true, honest, kind expression on his face – the one that few ever get to see and only she has been stupid enough to throw away.

"What's the matter?"

She shouldn't tell him. She doesn't deserve to. Why should she burden him with this when she was too cowardly to ever have a conversation with him when they still had a chance together? But when he's like this it's disarming and she's kept this secret for far, far, too long.

"It's just… it's just… in a few months this could have been us," she blinks back a stray tear, hating the way he instantly puts his arm around her shoulders and the way she sinks into him. She hates even more the memories that this simple action brings back. This is stupid, stupid, she had her chance and now he's with Quinn. Anyway, she didn't even want this – not any of it – not even him, they didn't make sense, they still don't – not really – not even now, especially not now.

The words roll out of her anyway, "And I didn't even want a child, not ever, so I don't know why I am being like this. I should be fine, I should be happy, it's just…" she trails off.

"It's just you can't help wondering," he finishes. She looks up at him, at the understanding in his eyes and suddenly she realises the reason for that soft, warm hand on her back in the hospital room, for the way he followed her out just when she needed him and for his kind comforting words – hell even the reason for his crazy antics earlier – she's not the only who's been thinking about this. She's not the only one who has been hurting.

She wants to return the favour, to say something comforting back – to tell him that she understands – but communication has never been their forte and especially not hers. Instead she just nods, gives up any false attempt to hide those stupid tears and lets him pull her into a full embrace.

She closes her eyes as she lets the feel of him, of the memories of the brief time that they were together, of all the times he was, and damn it still is, there for her envelop her and, for a moment, she wants to tell him everything. She wants to tell him that staying with Kevin in November was a mistake, that Doctor Sonya told her that she could never have children – whether she wants them or not – that… that she loves him – that she never stopped – not really. Most of all she wants to tell him about the two children – about the suited up blond boy and the girl with the long brown hair – that she had seen, so vividly, in the imaginary room with the Stormtrooper. The family that cannot exist for so many reasons, that didn't seem so bad on that cold December day.

But she doesn't – because she owes him that much – she's already caused him so much hurt, she doesn't need to burden him with this. Or maybe it's just because, even after all this, confessing everything – admitting to all those feelings she'd never been sure even existed – only to face his inevitable rejection is still far too scary.

So she lets the moment slip through her fingers. Any second now he'll let go of her and walk away. He'll return home to Quinn – who will take him back (because what sane person – or at least a sane person who really knows him – wouldn't?) – and he'll, once again, be lost to her.

But for this moment, this second, with his strong, comforting arms around her, it's enough.

She hopes he never lets go.