Title: The Reason
Word Count: 1,737
Time Line: Set one month after 'Graduation'.
A/N: Not Beta'd – all mistakes are my own. This was just something that I needed to get out of my head so it may seem out of character but its fiction and I did it for fun. If people want I'm willing to make a follow up.
The song on the radio pulled him deeper into to his thoughts about her, how perfectly it portrayed how he had royally screwed up everything they had. One stupid kiss and he had lost her one stupid kiss. He wanted to tell her it meant nothing to him, that he hadn't wanted it to happen, but he knew she wouldn't listen to him, why would she.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. He really was a complete idiot, she was his reason, she changed him for the better. Well maybe not changed, more like made him grow up from the immature jerk that he used to be. How to explain to her that he was still that good person she had helped him to become, he just got lost. He liked the attention that Sophie gave him it made him feel something. Rikki was always so damn busy he thought dejectedly, with her mermaid problems he began to feel like she didn't want him or need him, she always went to Will and yeah to begin with that had been fine, but then he heard from Sophie that Will liked Rikki and well then he was just plain jealous because let's be honest the immature jerk was still in him buried deep inside. Sophie he thought glumly, she really was a trouble maker he could see that know. The café had gone downhill with her running things and he should have seen it earlier that what she really wanted was him and probably more so the café. Rikki's he thought with a small smile, it was their dream, well part of their dream that they had built together back when things had been great, they had dreamt of the café and marriage and children, they had wanted it all. It still was his dream and she was still part of it in a way, after all what better way to have even a small part of her back in his life than by giving her the role of manager back. It suited them both in all honesty, now that school was finished she needed cash for college and he wanted her back in any way possible a win- win situation.
He had really hurt her deeply, he could see it on her face every now and then. When they had a good day and the memories of how they would celebrate before would surface, it was brief but the flicker of pain was obvious to him, he knew her so well. He had to live with the pain he had caused her and the things he had done, but so did she and oh how he wished he could start over new with her and change those memories, blot them out with good ones instead.
She was his reason for living and being a better person without her his life was meaningless. Rikki Chadwick is his reason.
Zane stretched his back as he finished typing his thoughts on the screen, he had to get it out of his head needed to make sense of his thoughts in some way and maybe one day if, no when, they were together again he would show her the document and she could see his true feelings completely raw and unedited.
She entered the office to finish sorting the till for the day, she had closed up and was almost ready to go home for the day. She almost called out to him but stopped short when she saw he was asleep at his desk. Even now after all he had done to her all the pain he had caused her, she still loved him and she could see now where it had all gone wrong, she could see her role in it all she had ignored him, stopped seeing him and asking him for help, choosing instead to turn to Will and the girls. It had broken them piece by piece and then she had seen the kiss and it had shattered them. She had thought that they had been beyond repair at the time, but as her heart had healed piece by piece she had realised that they could never be beyond repair because it was them, they fought, they argued they hated then they kissed, made up and loved all over again and god help her but she loved him still, really loved him. The pain she felt around him these days was having him so close but not being able to show him her love. He had stopped seeing her now, she was too late, she could see it when he got so lost in his thoughts when he thought no-one was around, she knew that look because he had looked at her like once, she wondered if she had never said that she would never call him to go to Mako with her, would he have still chased her, she would never know now.
She walked over to the computer to save and close down whatever he was working on but stopped when she saw the contents. She shouldn't read it she knew that but she saw her name and couldn't stop. She started at the beginning and gasped quietly as she read, he still loved her he hadn't stopped like she had feared so many times. She read to the end of the page and the tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. She tried to get a hold on her emotions but it all came out all the tears she had help back, bottled up were like a dam breaking and try as she might she couldn't stop the flood. She didn't hear him call her name, she wasn't aware he was awake until he pulled her into his embrace and held her tight. He held her in his arms and held on tight, while whispering soothing words into her ear and kissing her head. She turned in his arms and held onto him, she never wanted to let him go, she couldn't because just like she was his reason, he was hers and he always would be.
As her tears slowed she raised her head and looked him in the eye, she had to tell him, she had to let him know that it didn't matter now he had broken past her walls and gotten under her skin so badly that she couldn't get him out even if she wanted to because she loved him so much it hurt. Pulling back she had an idea. She ran her hand down his arm and laced her fingers with his and turned back to the computer. Sitting in his chair she slowly typed on the screen with one hand: your my reason too, I still love you and I always will, I want to be with you.
She knew the minute he had finished reading, he grabbed her out of the chair and pulled her flush against him. No words were spoken, they weren't needed and as their lips met they both sighed, it felt right, it felt good and most of all it felt like home.
He awoke to the sound of someone crying, well it was more like sobbing and looked for the source, his broke as he saw Rikki hunched over the computer and he knew she had read it, he had made her cry and it killed him inside. He held her and comforted her, he was shocked by that he had thought she would push him away tell him to leave her the hell alone, to get over the idea of them because it was pointless, but she didn't she turned to him and held onto him tight and his heart soared with hope. Then she reached for his hand and good god she had to know what she was doing to him, she turned from him and reached sat in his chair, he felt comforted in the fact that she didn't let go of his hand, not once he knew she could have but she didn't and he loved it. He waited as she typed and once she had finished he started to read. His heart jumped in his chest and he pulled her out the chair and pulled her flush against him. His lips met hers and they sighed at the feel of their lips connecting once more, it had been too long, it felt right, it felt good and it felt so much like home.
They never stopped holding hands all the way back to his place, they both needed the contact. He knew without asking she would stay the night, they needed to stay close to convince each other that it wasn't a dream, that they hadn't imagined all of this. They made their way to the bedroom and he handed her his t-shirt the one he knew she loved, the one she always wore when she stayed at his for the night. Most nights it didn't stay on long but they both knew that it would stay on tonight, they both weren't ready tonight it would be too fast. She changed in front of him, modesty unnecessary, for he had already seen all of her, he knew her better than anybody. They climbed into bed wordlessly and she curled up in his arms, relishing the feeling of being so close to him. He ran his hand up and down her arm and felt her shiver at the contact. He smiled and pulled her even closer their clothes the only barrier between, no room left for air. She sighed contentedly and raised her head up to meet his lips. They pulled away gasping for breath and grinned at each other. She spoke then because the moment felt like it was needed. "I love you and I'm so sorry about everything that happened. I know now that it was partly my fault too."
Zane smiled at her "I love you too and don't worry, we both made mistakes, mine were far worse than yours" and with that said he kissed her deeply. She smiled as she rested her head back on his chest and fell asleep while he traced pictures on her arm.
They both slept well that night, the best they had slept in a long time, and they were content in the knowledge that all was great between them again.
A/N: I may make a sequel to this.