Author's Note: I think part of last episode needed some fixing, so... I took it upon myself and turned it into a little missing scene. Continuing with my theme of Lori McKenna lyrics as titles, apparently, so the title is from her "If You Ask."
Her hand hovers over the "decline" button for a few precious seconds, but in her sleepy haze she hits "accept." It's not a mistake, but poor judgment, rather. He's lucky she's exhausted, she thinks.
"What?" she groans into the phone as she quietly slips out of bed and into the bathroom, careful not to wake Teddy.
"Got into some trouble," he says, his voice muffled at the other end of the line. "Can you come get me, Ray?"
She sighs frustratedly and tries to rub some of the sleep out of her eyes. "Where are you?" she asks.
He tells her, and she says she'll be there soon. She dresses quietly - extra quietly - and debates waking up Teddy to let him know she's leaving. On one hand, she knows that this will be just another thing he can add to that seemingly endless list of things he'll inevitably use against her. And it's Deacon. Everything involving Deacon is automatically twice as bad. But on the other, if she doesn't tell him, she can probably make it back before he realizes she's gone. And Deacon doesn't really have anyone else. She knows it's probably not a good idea when her entire reasoning behind going is banking on Teddy not waking up, but she grabs her phone and walks out, sincerely hoping she doesn't regret this.
She's supposed to be letting go of him.
(She can't seem to.)
She won't say a word to him when she gets to the station. He doesn't know if she is going to let this go or if he should prepare himself for an explosion. He assumes the latter, because he's pretty sure this warrants it.
His hand finds a place on the small of her back at one point when he guides her through a doorway, and she doesn't flinch.
"Ray?" he tries at one point, but she just shakes her head to shush him. "You don't want an explanation?"
"I don't really care," she replies, probably more bitterly than she intended. Her tone stings, and he can feel the disappointment in her words. And then he feels bad, asking her to come here when he knows it'll only cause trouble.
He wishes he never would have called her, now. It's not fair to keep asking her to be at his beck and call, ready to catch him when he falls. He's not hers to call on anymore. She's not supposed to jump when he asks. He's not even really allowed to ask, anyway. Or at least he doesn't think he is.
He's not sure what they are, anymore, honestly.
He's supposed to be letting go of her.
(He can't seem to.)
When they climb into her car, he starts, "So I was at the Bluebird tonight and there was this-" but she cuts him off.
"I really don't care, Deacon," she says, sincerely and hopefully less bitterly than last time to show that it really doesn't bother her. He doesn't make another attempt to explain or justify, and she honestly doesn't care. It's trivial and irrelevant at this point.
She wants to tell him that he should've found someone else, shouldn't keep asking her for things like this - especially when he knows how her husband feels about their relationship - but she can't. Because she let him. She was the one who accepted his call, and drove to get him at some ungodly hour when she could've easily let him spend the night in jail. She can't really blame him when she was the one that said "okay."
So she doesn't say anything.
"I'm sorry," he quietly confesses, sensing her irritation and frustration.
When she speaks, her voice is low and laced with raw honesty. "We're never going to be able to let go of each other, are we?"
His silence is enough of an admission.
He apologizes three more before they arrive at his house, and each time she knows he feels just a little bit worse about it. When she drops him off, he presses a kiss to her cheek before slipping out. The sun is just coming up over the horizon as she pulls out of his driveway. She breathes a sigh of relief, having gotten him home and safe and feeling better about her decision to come to him. Maybe there wouldn't be consequences, this time. Maybe this was what she was supposed to do.
She's rounding the corner on her street when Teddy's face shows up on her phone screen.