A/N: This is just a little collection of Taylor Swift songfics, as I've fallen in love with her songs all over again.

This one is set months after the debacle concerning James Larson in series 8, so this is set sometime during series 9.

The song is "Begin Again" from Taylor Swift's new album "Red," which is a pretty awesome one. And the other very good song mentioned later is "All I Need" by Mat Kearney.

Sarah x

Took a deep breath in the mirror
He didn't like it when I wore high heels, but I do
Turned the lock and put my headphones on
He always said he didn't get this song but I do, I do

Getting ready for work, she slipped her heels on. The plain black shoes she liked to wear for work. The ones she hadn't worn in months. Ever since James...ugh. She hated even thinking of him. He didn't like her wearing them; they made her taller than him. She thought that was why, at least.

She looked in her tall mirror at herself. She hadn't dressed this way in months. She'd stuck to boots and jeans. Usually black. Today she wore a bright blue-green shirt and plain dark blue skinny jeans. She'd reserved herself for a long time. But that had to end. She had to live her life in the way she wanted, and not James Larson, who eventually got lifted by her anyway. Why, why did she pick the horrible ones?

She picked up her bag and left her house, locking the door behind her. She put her earphones in, and played her favourite song. A song she'd loved for years. "Wasted" by Carrie Underwood. He had said to her that he didn't understand why a girl would write a song about not drinking. But Sandra didn't see it as just a song about staying away from drink. She held it dear as a song of how not to spend her life. Of how she had to cherish every moment and not waste away on her own.

She set of to meet Gerry for breakfast before work. He knew what James had been like before she did. Jack had told her that Gerry had been worried about her. That he thought she'd lost her mind to go there again. And he'd been right, hadn't he?

Walked in expecting you'd be late
But you got here early
And you stand and wait
And I walk to you
You pulled my chair out and helped me
And you don't know how nice that is
But I do

She didn't expect to see him sitting with a coffee and bacon roll ready for her when she arrived. She'd assumed he'd be late and not keep to his promise of meeting her at eight o'clock. She expected him to wander in absent-mindedly at half-past after leaving her looking like an idiot. But there he sat, with a patient smile.

He got up and pulled her chair out for her so she could sit down. He didn't realise the significance of that. Her last man had been almost ignorant. If it hadn't been for his trap of a false charm, she wouldn't have gone near him with a barge pole. But that one gentlemanly action meant the world to her. That he had that thought in his head that she was actually a woman, that she actually liked the little things...that meant so much more than she could tell him.

He even remembered she liked brown sauce on her bacon roll. Exactly how much milk she took in her coffee. That she didn't like muffins but she did like chocolate chip cookies. "How are you this morning?" he asked her. A perfectly innocent question. And yet he didn't realise the totally different feel he'd just put on her day. How she'd worn heels and bright clothes for him. Because she definitely hadn't been very bright in these few months.

She felt something comfortingly genuine in him.

"I'm fine," she smiled. "How are you? Apart from a cheeky old sod," she smirked into her coffee mug.

And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid
I think it's strange that you think I'm funny 'cause he never did
I've been spending the last 8 months thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a café I watched it begin again

Gerry just laughed at her comment, and she found herself wondering what was so hilarious. Than she realised he was chuckling at her attempt at humour. How odd. If she'd said that to James, he wouldn't have laughed. He may have even glared at her. But he definitely wouldn't have found it amusing.

She'd been wary of falling in love since then. She thought it was dangerous. Reckless. Not a wise plan. But she could see she was mistaken. James was a bad experience. Two bad experiences, actually. But Gerry wasn't James. Gerry made her smile daily, even if he never got to see it. Gerry actually cared about her enough to worry.

"Yeah, I'm good," he replied. "Had a good night with Caitlin and Amelia. Went to see a movie," he smiled. "What did you get up to last night?"

And it was then, when he showed an interest in her, that she felt it. The trust surfacing, that tight bond showing itself again. This was different. This was real.

"Wine. Music. The usual," she shrugged, as if her lack of a life was nothing. But Gerry didn't criticise her. Because he knew she didn't need it; they both knew how miserable her life had become recently. She hardly ever even accompanied her boys to the pub anymore. She'd made no effort to get to know Steve when he'd arrived. Not made any proper emotional display about Jack after he left. Nothing.

You said you never met one girl
Who has as many James Taylor records as you
But I do
We tell stories and you don't know why I'm coming off a little shy
But I do

"You're the only person I know who owns as many CDs and records as I do," he grinned. "You must have hundreds in that house of yours. And that was, what, four years ago? It must've at least doubled by now," he smirked. It reminded her how little people visited her. How solitary her life had become over the years.

"Very funny," she made a face at him, and he almost choked on his coffee. She ate in silence for a few minutes, and found she was perfectly comfortable. They didn't even need to talk, really.

"I remember when Jayne chucked me out, she threw the records like frisbees at me," he revealed, and Sandra actually laughed at the thought. "They ain't as innocent as they appear."

And she knew he wasn't just talking about the records. He was talking about people. About Jayne. About James. And she ignored that comment, because there was nothing she could say, really. "I grew up with music. I can't imagine life without it," she admitted quietly. She wasn't confident about opening herself up anymore. It always ended in tears.

"Who do you listen to?" he asked interestedly.

But you throw your head back laughing like a little kid
I think it's strange that you think I'm funny 'cause he never did
I've been spending the last 8 months thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a café I watched it begin again

"Carrie Underwood, Jessie J, Taylor Swift, Mat Kearney..." she trailed off, and he chuckled at her choice in music. He had a point, of course. His daughters were more likely to listen to them than she was. But it didn't change anything.

"Who was that last one?" he demanded, so she unwrapped her earphones from around her iPod and played a Mat Kearney song as they listened to the man's soft voice...I'm holdin' on to you holdin' on to me, maybe it's all we've got but it's all I need...you're all I need...

"Calming, isn't it?" she said.

"What's it about?" he asked her curiously. Another thing that took her by surprise. Actually wanting a conversation about something she liked. She was accustomed to having her views and ideas pushed to one side, left thinking they were worthless.

"Hurricane Katrina," she answered. "It's about a man and his partner trying to survive the storm. It's about how, even if they lose everything else, all they'll ever really need is each other. It's sort of comforting to me, actually."

"That's a lovely concept," he agreed. "I'd like to think that no matter what, we'd have each other," he said. What did that mean? That he really felt something for her? Like she did for him? Something that wasn't toxic? That she could sustain?

She finished her cookie and coffee and looked at her watch. They had to get going if they intended to be in for nine. He read her mind almost and stood up.

And we walk down the block to my car
And I almost brought him up
But you start to talk about the movies
That your family watches every single Christmas
And I won't talk about that
For the first time, what's past is past

He took her hand and helped her to her feet. He held her coat as she got into it. And they walked out into the chilly air. She felt like she had to say something about how great he'd been. About how much better than James he was. How he was the first man she'd even looked the road of since that mess James had left her in.

He seemed to sense it coming, and he seemed to clock the fact she hated talking about what James had put her through, lying to her the way he did. Letting her find out from the police and having to investigate him herself. "Only eight weeks until Christmas," he reminded her out of the blue. "Of course, that means I have to sit through Shrek and Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean with Gerry Jr. again," he joked.

"They're not that bad," Sandra laughed. And he'd done it. He'd managed to make her let it go. To make her come out of her shell again. "I actually happen to like Shrek. He reminds me of you," she laughed.

"Oi!" he shouted in mock insult. "What do you mean I remind you of Shrek?!"

"I meant that you pretend to be hard but actually you're incredibly soft-hearted," she said bluntly. There. That shut him up, didn't it? And now, for the first time in a long time, the past was just that: the past. Gone. Never to happen again. Because Gerry wouldn't do that to her. Because Gerry was a good man.

He opened her car door for her once she unlocked it, but she didn't get in.

'Cause you throw your head back laughing like a little kid
I think it's strange that you think I'm funny 'cause he never did
I've been spending the last 8 months thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
Then on a Wednesday in a café I watched it begin again
Then on a Wednesday in a café I watched it begin again

In her heels, she was taller than him. She was quite tall without them anyway, but definitely taller than Gerry with them on. And he didn't seem to mind. He looked into her eyes, and she said, "You're not such a grumpy old man."

He looked at for a moment, and then started to laugh at her. "I should hope not!" he retorted. She went to get in her car but he caught her wrist. She spun to face him, and his eyes were soft. Mellow. "I won't hurt you, Sandra," he reminded her. "Always remember that."

She kissed his cheek gently. It was a start. She wasn't able to let herself go completely, but she could see right now that this was different. This was something real; it had grown from tension to reluctant tolerance to friendship to whatever this was. Funny to think that nine years ago, she couldn't stand the sight of him. That she'd warned Jack to reign him in before he ended up on the floor with a broken nose.

Who knew? Maybe they would even end up together for Christmas, watching those movies together. She certainly hoped so.

Hope this is OK!
Please leave a review and tell me what you think!
Sarah x