A/N: Not a clue how I came up with this, but I hope you all like it.
"Ms. Campbell, I'd rather like a word if you have-" he began at her office door, but stopped short when the smell of alcohol hit his senses. "Ah."
Well, there was no point in talking to her once she had a drink in her – she was stubborn enough at the best of times. What did bother him was that it was past seven o'clock, over an hour after she was meant to leave, and yet here she sat drinking in the AAU consultants' office. He knew she was still here, but he thought she was finishing paperwork.
"What do you want?" she snapped, knocking back the last of a glass of whisky. He forgave her her tone of voice, as it was abundantly obvious that she'd had more than one drink. Many more, going by the state of her.
"I was going to talk to you about the reports you're writing up, but clearly you are past the stage of discussing your work," he said calmly, reminding himself that there was a reason she was so drunk and had opted to stay here rather than go home. He then realised that, as much as she had made his life difficult, he couldn't just leave her here to attempt to drive home drunk. His conscience wouldn't permit it.
He found her coat, her bag and her mobile phone and took them in his hands. "What are you doing?" she demanded, her speech slightly slurred.
"I am taking you home," he answered her, forcing his tone to remain calm while hers became more and more agitated. Serena Campbell, ever the professional, did not sit in her office and get drunk. Normally.
"I'm perfectly capable-"
"No, Serena, you're not," he cut across her, using her first name to try and convince her he was doing this out of kindness and concern for her safety, and not because he didn't particularly wish one of his consultants to remain in the hospital when they were like this. "Come on," he ordered her, helping her to her feet. She was unsteady, so he held her by the top of her arm.
This was the first crack he'd ever seen in her, and it alarmed him to discover that this was what happened when Serena Campbell cracked. She'd always seemed composed, even when she found herself up to her neck in political mess, and her colleagues, thanks to her, in the same situation or worse. Only something deeply personal would have driven her to do this in such a public place, especially when she was so well known for her strangely endearing personality and humour, not to mention her ruthless business head.
He managed to safely get her into his car; she protested all the way across the car park and, of course, he completely disregarded her objections. "Don't you dare!" she warned him when he gently pushed her head down so she wouldn't hit it off the door frame. The fresh air had hit her and she was evidently succumbing to the full volume of alcohol taking over her body and mind.
He rolled his eyes and replied, "Oh, please do be quiet."
With that, he got in and started the engine, pulling up the map on his phone. "What's your address?" he sighed. She said nothing so he repeated more firmly, "Your address, Ms. Campbell?!"
She mumbled a number and a street he only just heard and entered it into his phone, and it plotted a course for her home. What on Earth possessed her to do that? She was normally logical and rational, not reckless and moronic. He kept driving in silence, not wishing to talk to someone who probably didn't realise she was speaking out of place. He followed the instructions given to him by his mobile and parked outside what he presumed was her home.
He collected her belongings, and went around to open her door. He took her by the arm and pulled her to her feet; she immediately lost her balance and fell forward. He caught her, surprised by the warmth of her body. To his slight astonishment, he found the fact she had let herself come to pieces, and the news that she actually didn't have a heart of stone, quite endearing. Because to hurt enough to turn to drink unexpectedly, she had to have a heart to hurt.
Upon entering her home, he saw a photo of Serena and a teenage girl he assumed was her daughter. But by the silence, he also assumed she was not home. "I think..." she said, and she started to gag, and he realised she was going to throw up. He let her guide him to the bathroom while he held her upright, and he helped her to the floor. He winced as she was sick, and he wondered once more why she'd got herself this drunk.
He surprised himself again by stroking her hair gently, pulling any stray strands away from her face, even though they were short. He left her to get her a drink of water, and when he returned, she was leaning against the wall, tears in her eyes. He would've asked her what was wrong had he thought he'd have received a coherent answer, so instead, he lifted her to her feet. They climbed the stairs one by one, very carefully; Henrik was aware he was crossing every line and boundary known to him, but his first concern was her safety, and that of her daughter if she ever decided to return home.
They entered her bedroom and it was the perfect representation of her – neat, but full of little bits and pieces on dressers and the window sill. He pulled back the covers and sat her down on the bed, completely convinced at this point that she was past knowing what was happening around her. He pulled off her boots and helped her lie down, pulling the covers back over her. As soon as he head hit the pillow, her eyes closed and she began to drift into what he feared would be an uneasy sleep.
Once Henrik was back downstairs, in the living room, he wondered what course of action he should take. He didn't want to leave Serena here on her own in case she hurt herself, and he didn't want to leave her here for her daughter to discover passed out. He never thought he'd ever have been so concern for her, and he didn't think he'd have been so conflicted, but still here he was. He'd already crossed a line by taking her here. What was the harm in waiting for her daughter to arrive home?
He removed his shoes – unaware of whether or not Serena permitted them to be worn in her house – and sat down on the sofa, looking around her. It was a lovely house, but it also genuinely felt like a home for her. Pictures, ornaments, the coffee table was covered in teen magazines, bottles of loudly coloured nail polish, television remote discarded casually...something told him this was where Serena's daughter spent most of her time.
He felt himself relax which, especially since he was in someone else's home, was unusual for him. Maybe because the past six or seven months had drained him completely, but he was suddenly accepting that he was going to end up falling asleep here. He laid his head back and closed his eyes, and it wasn't long before he fell asleep...
He woke suddenly when he heard a call of, "Sorry I'm late, Mum! Jennifer's mum insisted on driving me home and then she hit black ice and did a three-sixty. After I got over the shock, it was quite exhilarating," she added with a laugh. She entered the living room, and her eyes fell on Hanssen. "Who are you, what are you doing in my house and where the hell is my mum?" she demanded calmly.
"My name is Henrik Hanssen, your mother's boss," he answered her first question. "I took your mother home as she was drunk and I didn't deem it wise to leave her here alone in that state," he continued. "And lastly, Your mother is sleeping upstairs."
The girl assessed him and, upon deciding he meant no harm, "I'm her daughter. Eleanor," she introduced herself, and Henrik held out a hand for her to shake. "Cup of coffee?" she offered.
"That would lovely, thank you," he replied. He followed her to the kitchen, realising this girl had been expecting this to happen today. Perhaps that was why she stayed at her friend's house for so long. "Aren't you worried about your mother?"
"Of course I am," she replied. "But I expected it today. It's two years today since my gran died. Needless to say, Mum didn't take it very well," she explained. Hanssen gave her a questioning look. She sighed and continued, "It was all very sudden. She'd been ill for months but didn't say anything. We didn't find out until she was hours away from dying. She died before we could get to the hospital, so Mum never got the chance to say goodbye."
"I'm sorry," he said sincerely.
"Yeah," she agreed. "Me too."
Hope this is alright!
Please feel free to review and tell me what you thought!