She appeared suddenly in the door, quick and bright, lighting up the room, like a bolt of lightening. Daniel jumped, startled, and looked up at the girl with a quizzical expression.
"Kate?" he asked. "Is there a case- is everything okay?" he added, noticing the look on her face- a mixture of confusion and dread.
Shaking her head, Kate said, "No! Nothing- nothing like that... May I come in?" she asked.
"Uh, of course," Daniel said. "Here, have a seat." He shuffled a pile of term papers off of the nearest chair.
Kate walked into the office, seemingly bracing herself. "Thanks. I, um, I think I'll stand." She stood in front of Daniel, took a deep breath and opened her mouth to speak. Immediately, she closed it again. Kate gazed at Dr. Pierce for a long moment, searching his face for some clue as to how to begin. Abruptly, she began to pace the room and started to babble, gesticulating wildly.
"For weeks and weeks I have been wracking my brain, trying to find some kind of- some kind of explanation as to why I couldn't be with Michael."
Daniel stood and leaned against the front of his desk, arms crossed, listening intently to Agent Moretti.
"I couldn't understand why I pushed this guy away, you know? He's great! So great... And I just had to figure out why I couldn't see myself with him, or with any guy, why I push them away..." Kate stopped in front of Daniel, eyes wild, standing stock still.
"And I finally realized. I finally know why I couldn't get close to Michael, and I think... I think you know why, too." And with that, she crossed the room in two strides, took Daniel's face in her hands, and pulled his lips to hers.
Daniel didn't move, arms straight down at his sides, body tense, unyielding, shocked as Kate kissed him.
Daniel's intricate mind was screaming, hallucinations appearing, telling him what to do, telling him to go, telling him to stop. Daniel grasped Kate's wrists and pushed her away, gasping. "Stop," he whispered. "Stop."
"Oh God no, Daniel please," Kate gasped, fighting against his restraining hands. Her eyes were still closed, expression desperate, begging blindly. She tried to lean towards him again, but he held her firmly.
"Kate-" Daniel began. Kate pulled her hands away and stepped back. Her eyes were wide and full of tears, tears that spilled over and ran down her face.
"I-I'm sorry," she said, a look of horror on her face. "I am so sorry." Kate turned on her heel and ran from the room.
Daniel watched Kate go, staring after her forlornly. The hallucinations had left with her, so he was alone with his thoughts, until, a moment later, Lewicki came into the office, wearing a confused expression and looking over her shoulder.
"Uh, Doc?" I just saw Agent Moretti... She seemed upset... Did something happen? Is she okay?"
"Go, Lewicki," Daniel said, massaging his temples.
"Go!" Daniel snapped, glaring at Max.
"Okay, okay!" Lewicki raised his hands in surrender. "Sorry Doc, I'll see you at home..."
Again, Daniel was alone. Until:
"Oh, don't look at me like that." He had turned to find Natalie sitting cross-legged on his desk, clearly judging him.
"Why?" she asked simply.
"It's complicated!" Daniel exclaimed. "You know it's complicated..." He sat down next to Nat, head in hands.
"What could possibly be so complicated?" Natalie asked, rubbing Daniel's back.
"What kind of relationship can I expect to have with her when I'm constantly talking to walls and floors and doors?" Daniel's chest was heavy, eyes full of sadness. "She deserves someone... someone whole. I'm... broken."
"She wants you," Natalie sighed. "She has seen you talk to walls and floors and doors, and she wants you. And you know how much she means to you as well."
Daniel considered this, and, for the first time, allowed himself to imagine what a future with Kate might be like. And what he saw...
"What would I do without you?" he asked Natalie with an exuberant laugh.
Nat shrugged. "You know. Perish."
Daniel stared off into the distance with smile as Natalie looked on fondly.
A few days had gone by with no word from Kate. Dr. Pierce decided to pay her a visit.
He stood outside her door early on a Saturday morning. Taking a deep breath, he knocked once, twice, three times.
After just a moment, Kate appeared at the door, her hair in a bun and wearing nothing but a long button down shirt.
"Daniel!" Kate blurted. "Uh, Daniel. Um. Hi. Come in." She stepped back and allowed Daniel to cross the threshold. She glanced down at herself and winced. "Uh, excuse my appearance. Listen, Daniel... I am so sorry. I shouldn't have thrown myself at you like that, I was out of line, I had no right to-"
"Kate," Daniel murmured, cutting off Moretti's agitated rant.
Kate sighed. "Yes?" she replied, apprehensively awaiting his next words.
Slowly, Daniel reached out and smoothed the frown lines from Kate's perfect face. He placed his hand on her neck and gazed, searching, into her eyes. She looked up at him, dazed, as if she couldn't quite imagine what was unfolding before her.
Gently but haltingly, Daniel closed the gap between him and Kate. She drew in a sharp breath as Daniel leaned in, and, just like that, kissed her. He pulled back and opened his eyes to find Kate with tears once again cascading down her face. This time, however, Daniel knew she wouldn't be running away.
Kate was grinning as she wrapped her arms around Daniel's neck. Just before he closed his eyes, Daniel noticed a figure in the corner of the room. A beaming Natalie was quickly fading from sight; Daniel's greatest case was finally solved.