Chap 4

They stepped into the darkroom, Sarah first followed by Hank. Hank was suddenly very aware that less than 24 hours ago he kissed Sarah in this very room. He tried to push that to the back of his mind of focus on the task at hand.

"So what photo do you want to develop first?"

"The self-portrait I took." Sarah gave him this 'duh' expression. Hank should have known better, of course she would want to develop that one first.

"Well the negatives are right next to the first enlarger, don't forget to do the test trip first. All of the test strips are in the drawer right below the enlarger." Hank easily slipped into the teacher role. He was about to walk down to where his other photos were so he could take a look at them.

"Aren't you going to supervise me?" Sarah asked. It's hard to read facial expressions in a darkroom, but Hank could tell she was a little nervous.

"How about I do to test strip, then you go do the actual photo," Hank suggested. He knew Sarah could be stubborn and liked to do things on her own, but he wanted to help her without being overbearing.

Sarah agreed and he walked over to where she was standing. He pulled out a test strip, set it underneath a pane of glass, found the right negative and placed it in the enlarger. He set the timer for 5 seconds and grabbed the small piece of mat board. He turned the developer on and it automatically shut off in 5 seconds. He moved the mat board uncovering another part of the white test strip. He repeated the process 3 more times. He walked over to the first tub with developer in it and gently placed the strip in. Not too long after an image appeared on the test strip. Once Hank was satisfied with what he saw he placed it in the next tub. After the whole process was complete he placed the test strip in a small tub and he turned to Sarah and said, "Ok let's go back out and get a better look at it." Sarah looked slightly confused, "why can't we just stay in here. I can see the strip." Hank explained, "because it's just red light in here, this strip appears darker than it actually is, so we have to go back into the studio to see it better." Sarah nodded and they headed out into the studio. When they stepped out Sarah could clearly see what Hank was talking about.

"Test strips are important to find out just how much light you need on the paper and what length time you need to set the enlarger. If you notice the square that had 15 seconds of light looked too dark when we were in the darkroom, but now it looks just about right, what do you think?"

Hank wasn't sure, but for a second he thought he caught Sarah staring at him. "Sarah?"

"Oh right, 15 seconds, yeah that seems about right."

"Ok well lets go back in and you can do it."

They stepped back in the darkroom and Sarah stood directly in front of the enlarger and Hank stood dangerously close to her. He couldn't help notice how intoxicating she smelt. He knew he should take a step back but he wasn't about to. She placed the paper in the frame and was about to set the timer when her phone went off. She was about to pull her phone out of her pocket when Hank grabbed her arm and yelled, "No!"

Slightly startled Sarah said, "What?! You can't be serious, since when is there a 'no cell phone policy?!" As she said this she noticed that Hank's hand was still resting on her wrist.

Hank slowly pulled his hand back and tried his hardest not to get to upset, "you CANNOT have light hitting a photo that isn't developed, you'll ruin the paper."

"You can't be serious. The light from my phone will ruin the paper? That seems a bit drastic."

"Ok fine, you don't believe me?" And before she could say anything, he pulled his phone at and shined it by the paper, only for a second or two. He then walked it over to the developer bath and put it in. Sarah was stunned when she saw a huge black spot appear on the paper. Hank looked over his shoulder and said, "There is a reason it's called the darkroom. If you want to check your phone, do it out in the studio."

"Wow, ok. I'm sorry, it won't happen again." Hank just stared at her.

"What? I said I was sorry."

"Don't you want to go check your message?" Hank asked, slightly irritated, not by what had just happened but from assuming who the text was from.

"I'll be right back." Sarah quietly excused herself. Hank took the wasted paper and threw it away and got the next paper set up. Sarah walked in and came back to the enlarger.

"Everything ok?" Hank asked.

"Oh yeah, Mark just confirmed the time he's bring the U-Haul over on Saturday."

Hank tried very hard not to seem confused and disheartened. "U-Haul?" He was suddenly praying that Mark was moving somewhere far away.

"Yeah, Drew and I are moving in with him this weekend." Hank thought to himself, 'now THAT seems drastic.'

"Oh, is Drew ok with that?"

"Well yeah, I mean he's a teenager he doesn't exactly tell me what he's thinking all the time."

"I know it's none of my business, but it just seems like a bad time to be moving, for Drew's sake anyway."

Sarah was trying not to get to defensive, but her mom side started to show. "Drew is my son, I think I know what's best for him."

Hank knew it was best not to argue with this woman, especially when it came to her children.

"I hope this isn't because of what happened yesterday."

Sarah just sighed and shook her head no. She looked at Hank wanting to change the topic and asked, "Are there any more rules I should know?"

"Yeah, there's no crying…oh wait, that's baseball. There's no crying in baseball." Hank tried to make a joke and lighten the mood a bit. Sarah slightly chuckled and hit the timer on the enlarger. They both walked back over to the developer tub and placed the paper in there. Hank hadn't had his photo taken in a while. The last time was when he was interviewed with a local magazine on some of his work. He had a feeling he was going to like this photo much better. Hank couldn't help but look at Sarah instead of the soon to be developing photo. He loved the look on her face. That excited, 'can't wait to see how this is going to look' face. For the second time that day he caught himself smiling because of this woman. "Look, look" she exclaimed. Sure enough the photo paper had come to life and he couldn't help but smile. "Well I'll be damned, that's not half bad." He tried to pretend he was surprised. Sarah smacked him in the arm, "I told you it would be good."

"Well I guess I should develop the one I took and we can compare." Hank stated, he wasn't about to lose this bet. "I'll start on that, you can develop some of the others that you took." He was about to put his headphones in his ears when Sarah stopped him. "What are you doing?" Hank looked completely confused, "um…listening to music and developing this photo…."

"I want to listen to music."

"Did you bring your iPod?"


Hank sighed, "Well I've got speakers for this by the drying rack, I'll go put it in." He walked back and plugged his iPod in. Before he could hit play, Sarah asked, "can I make a request?" Hank replied, "Rule 2, my darkroom, my music." He chose the NEEDTOBREATHE playlist and hit play.

Even in the darkroom, Hank knew Sarah was rolling her eyes.

'A Place Only You Can Go'

Oh I know this song won't do
Enough to prove my love to you
In my heart you'll always know
There is a place only love can go
There is a place only you can go


I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update this. Also, I'm sorry for any spelling mistakes. I've been up since 4:30am and I'm quite tired but I wanted to update this tonight! I hope you enjoy it. I know in the show Hank seems much crankier and I'm sure this story he seems less cranky. Well I think he's a little softer around Sarah and he still has his moments! Let me know what you think! Who is ready for some NEW Parenthood?!

The song is called "A Place Only You Can Go" by NEEDTOBREATHE. Great band, check them out!

I don't OWN anything :)

Thanks to those who started following the story and for the reviews I've gotten. They really do mean the world to me!