There was a long, painful silence. Daniel gripped the phone like it was the only thing keeping him from slipping away. It might have been. Then,

"Oh, Daniel! Daniel! How are you? Oh my god, I had no idea that I wouldn't be able to speak to you and, geez, Max is going mad not hearing from you, and I had half a mind to burst in there flashing my badge because I can't handle-"

"Kate, I am so sorry," Daniel cut her off.

Kate was taken aback. After a short pause, she said," What are you-?'

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry I lost it, I'm sorry I dragged you into this, I'm sorry for making your life more complicated than it already was, I'm sorry you walked into Neuroscience all those years ago and I'm sorry you never really walked out."

"I don't-"

Daniel wasn't finished. "And I'm sorry, I am so sorry, that I'm... I'm broken, and I'm sorry I love you, because oh god, I love you so much, Kate, Katie I love you and I'm sorry." He leaned against the wall of the booth and cried, hot tears searing his skin.

"Daniel, I..."

Daniel hated himself, wanted to end the call before he was forced to hear her next words.

He heard a sniffle from the other end. He shot up and pressed the phone to his ear. What...?

Kate was crying quietly into the phone.

"Oh my god, Daniel, if you don't know that... that I love you, then you are not the brilliant man I met in my freshman year." She laughed a soft, shaky laugh and began to speak faster, breaking into sobs. "Because how could I not? How could I not love you? That has been one simple fact of my life for, for years, that I love you. And I am not sorry. Daniel, how could I be sorry that I met you? That you came into my life? I will never be sorry. You are you, and I am me, and I love you and that will never change and I will never be sorry." That speech seemed to be all that Kate could handle. She broke down completely, crying, sobbing, whispering "I love you" again and again. Daniel was crying, pawing at the receiver, rocking in his chair, desperate to see her, to hold her.

The nurse rushed in and placed a calming hand on Daniel's shoulder. "That's enough," she said firmly.

"I love you, Daniel!" Kate shouted as the attendant moved to hang up the phone. "I'll be here when you come home, okay? I'll always be-!"