So, a long while a go, I wrote a thing. Today, I found that thing.

This is that thing.

I don't own these characters or the show; just the idea.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

It was almost eight o'clock. Dana Fairbanks was a blur rushing about the apartment looking for something to wear to dinner. Earlier that day, she was pleasantly surprised to see her ex, Lara Perkins, at the Planet. It seemed like it had been ages since they last saw each other and she was eager to catch up.

Alice Pieszecki on the other hand was a little wary of the sudden reunion, but really, who can blame her? Generally speaking, when one's girlfriend is so anxious to have dinner with an ex, the effect it has on nerves isn't exactly soothing.

"Remind me again why you're doing this?"

"Because, Al, we haven't seen each other in forever. Besides, there wasn't really any closure with her," Dana said as she rummaged through the closet for something suitable.

Meanwhile, Alice pulled out her computer, moved onto the bed, and half-heartedly browsed her website.

"Alice, what time is it?" At this point, Dana already pulled on some dark wash jeans and a turquoise V-neck blouse and was applying the final touches of her make-up.

"It's 7:46."

"Shit! I was supposed to meet Lara fifteen minutes ago! I gotta go," Dana managed to say as she hopped, trying to put her shoes on.

Alice had to push down the laughter that was threatening to bubble forth, but couldn't completely erase the grin from her face. But then she remembered what was making Dana so energized. That sobered her pretty quickly. "Alright, well I'll be here. Have fun," she said, wearing a faded smile that didn't quite reach her eyes in an attempt to keep the renewed worry from showing. "I love you."

Dana stopped her flailing and turned to face Alice. "I love you too."

For a moment, their eyes locked on each other and neither woman could move. Without breaking the connection, Dana crossed the room and her lips met Alice's in a short kiss. The act itself was nothing new to either of them, but even given its brevity, it released the emotions coursing through their minds and hearts. Somehow, in a matter of two seconds, Dana detected Alice's insecurity. The brunette didn't realize that she was almost testing the kiss until it was over. She began to feel a little guilty at the realization, but swallowed it down before it could settle in.

Get yourself together; nothing is going to happen tonight.

Oddly enough, that thought belonged to both of them.

The brunette mustered every ounce of conviction she could find and put it all behind a very simple phrase: "I'll see you soon."

The strength and honesty supporting this was not lost on Alice, and it meant the world to her. It provided the reassurance that she needed to get through the next hour or so. She didn't say this though; the only word that spilled from her lips was, "Okay."

With a second kiss and a goodbye, the door clicked shut behind Dana and Alice was left sitting in silence. Time went by as she focused on the screen in front of her before she decided she wasn't in the mood to deal with connections between lovers new and old. It only reminded her of her theory that Lara was trying to win Dana back at that very moment. The blonde slammed the laptop shut in frustration when she couldn't successfully change her train of thought.

"Fuck," Alice groaned as she flopped backwards to stretch out on her bed. And so she lay unmoving, staring emptily at the ceiling for an undeterminable amount of time. Thoughts revolving around Dana swirled through her head. A flicker of a store lined with glass display cases appeared in her mind's eye and reminded the blonde of what she had stowed away in the nightstand drawer. Without another thought, Alice swung her legs over the edge of the bed, sat up and reached for the drawer.

It took a couple seconds to find what she was looking for: a small, black velvet box.

Some Time Later...

"Alright, alright! I already said you could take the fucking shrine! Just give me a minute to sort of… say 'bye.' Please."

Helena was quickly growing tired of Alice's antics and gave her an exasperated glare. "Fine. One minute." And with that, she left the room.

Once Alice was alone, she returned her attention to the massive collection of photos of Dana that clung to the wall and stood in frames on the small table below. Other miscellaneous objects like candles, incense, and even a couple tennis balls were neatly scattered on the tabletop, but one small object won her attention.

It was that same small, black velvet box from so long ago.

As Alice opened it, tears began to bead together at the corners of her eyes. She had been afraid to open it at all during the ages that had gone by since she and Dana were happily in love. Why? For the simple reason that even she wasn't that big of a masochist. She didn't want to be reminded of her biggest regret: being too cowardly to ask Dana that one tiny question.

In some ways, it amazed her that the ring could still be as shiny as ever. To her, it was a promise of so many things. It was a promise that needed to be made. It was a promise that left Alice itching with hope and desire and love.

It was a promise that was shattered before it even had a chance to be sworn to.

Not for the first time, Alice wondered what her life would have been like if only Dana didn't meet with Lara that fateful day. Perhaps the couple would have survived. Perhaps they would be nearing their wedding day. Or perhaps they would have at least returned to friendship on their own terms. Anything would have been better than being forced apart by having their love cut down in swift, powerful blows.

The blonde was torn from her musings at the sound of a throat being cleared. She turned on the spot and Helena stood in the doorway, not saying a word.

Alice didn't notice the tears silently streaking down her face until she reached up to move a piece of hair from her eyes. The blonde spun back to face the shrine and hastily wiped them away.

Unable to bear the awkward silence anymore, Helena decided to break it. "What've you got there?" she said, gesturing to the box in Alice's hand.

"Nothing. It's nothing."

I am so sorry for the feels.

Review and let me know what you think? Please?