This was supposed to be a one shot... I got slightly carried away... it is now a 2 maybe 3 shot... and FYI I don't want to talk about last nights episode - I am still crying. Reviews will cheer me slightly ;)
Missing the Moon
There had been something so poignant in that hug. It had been completely unplanned and caught him off guard as much as it did her but when he had wrapped her in his arms it felt so...right.
He couldn't explain it but all of a sudden he had an undeniable need to go after her.
She had been very vocal about her distaste of his relationship with Elisabetta. At first he had gone into defensive mode and assumed that she was judging him like the rest of the lab but as the day had progressed he had begun to form another opinion.
She was jealous.
It became apparent after his phone call with his lawyer. Some of the things she had said pulled at his heart-strings like nothing ever had. He wasn't used to hearing positives about himself, more often than not any compliments he received were cloaked in sarcasm but he knew that when it came from Morgan it was the truth. She had never lied to him, her honesty was one of her most endearing features.
In fact Morgan had a long list of endearing feature's. He had been somewhat blinded to them recently, he was so lost in Elisabetta and while he couldn't deny he had enjoyed Morgan's company increasingly more as time wore on he had not looked at her in the way he probably should have.
She was a very attractive young woman, one who made him smile on a daily basis, who challenged him intellectually and who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. There was something special about Morgan Brody, something he just couldn't put his finger on and while he had agreed to never speak of it again he could still remember just how sweet her lips had tasted against his.
Of course Elisabetta was a beautiful woman too and they had shared a glorious week together in Italy. She was so full of life and passion he had simply been caught up in her whirlwind. Every time he saw her he seemed to lose the ability to say anything negative to her. His arguments and protests fell silent on his lips as he looked into her wide dark eyes.
His feet moved of their own accord, taking him along the corridor and out into the parking lot. He could see her golden hair bouncing as she walked to her car, it shone like sunshine pulling his attention towards her involuntarily.
"Morgan!" He cried, his voice echoing dramatically around the space.
He wasn't even sure what he was doing, his voice appeared out of nowhere and forced him into an action he wasn't prepared for. He stood on the steps watching as she turned on her heel and met his eye from across the tarmac.
He realised he had to do something now. He had made his presence known and she would want to know why. He took off at a jog to catch up to her outside her car, she simply stood there watching his every move and clutching her door like a shield.
"Hey, are you ok?" He muttered.
As he got closer he noticed that the shimmer of moisture in her eyes was much more than her usual sparkle. She had been crying and it broke his heart to think it had been his doing. He never intended to hurt her, he loved nothing more in this world than the sound of her beautiful laugh and the way her eyes lit up when she smiled.
Involuntarily he reached out a hand and brushed a shimmering tear from her soft skin. She pressed her eyes together and breathed a sigh into the air as his hand lingered on her cheek before she suddenly took a step back, retreating from him.
"I'm fine" She whispered, clearing her throat and averting her eyes uncomfortably. "What...what do you want?"
She looked so defeated he wanted to wrap her in his arms and never let her go but he knew that wouldn't solve anything.
"About...Elisabetta..." He stumbled, searching his palms for inspiration as to exactly what he wanted to say.
"Look, you don't need to explain anything to me" Morgan soothed, her hand resting on his arm spreading heat all over his entire body until she hastily removed it. He wondered if that was how it was always going to always be from now on, if they were always going to be over-thinking every gesture and every touch just because Elisabetta was on the scene. He hadn't imagined she could have caused so much instability in his other relationships.
"Lets...have dinner" He had said the words before he was fully aware of them and suddenly found his mind reeling desperately reaching for a way to level the playing field. "You, Me...Elisabetta..."
Morgan's eyes shot to his, holding his gaze as she tried to form an answer herself and a tiny frown furrowed on her delicate brow. He could almost see her brain trying to analyze his invitation.
"I...don't think that's a good idea" She muttered, stepping back out of his aura until she collided with the frame of the car.
"Come on..." He pleaded "For me? You might even like her"
Morgan drew breath and opened her mouth about to stage her protest but he widened his eyes and tilted his head. She never could resist his puppy dog eyes and sure enough her shoulders slumped and she sighed.
"Fine" She relented, ducking into the car as he stepped forward and held onto the door. She sat heavily on the seat wondering exactly what she had agreed to before blurting out "But I'm bringing a date"
She wasn't sure where the idea had come from or where she was going to find a date but something inside her seemed to feel the need to appear to be ok with this when in actual fact it was tearing her up inside.
If someone had told her a year ago that she could fall for someone like David Hodges she would have laughed in their face and now she found herself in a situation where he had taken over almost all of her life. He was her best friend, her confidante, her colleague and the last thought that crossed her mind every night before she went to sleep.
She hated the way she had fallen for him, she hated the way her heart raced whenever he smiled at her and the way she went out of her way to indulge in ridiculously childish arguments with him just for fun. She hated how he could look right into her soul with his eyes but most of all she hated knowing it had all been a lie.
She had fallen for a man who didn't belong to her, and if he married Elisabetta; he never would.
But that was something she had no control over and she owed it to him as a friend to at least pretend to accept his relationship. Her heart might be slowly breaking into a million pieces every time he heard her say her name but he couldn't possibly know that. She would make sure of it.
Hodges agreed to their double date with some reluctance and she drove home scanning her memory banks for someone suitable. Her dating life had come to a standstill recently, not least because of Mr Hodges monopolizing a lot of her time. They had fallen into a routine of midweek dinners and movie nights. Morgan wasn't sure she even remembered how to date anymore, it had been a long time since she had tried to.
Stepping inside her home she suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of emptiness. There were times when this place had been so full of laughter and joy and now it seemed sterile and empty.
With a sigh she threw down her purse and pressed her answer machine, listening to messages from her mother and her best friend back in LA. She missed her a lot more than she had realised, there was nothing better than curling up with a good girl friend and a tub of ice cream and gossiping until the wee hours of the morning.
Morgan fished out her address book and began flipping through the pages. Out of the few men she had met in Vegas there were only a handful she would even consider calling for this date. When she eventually narrowed it down to 3 she felt dismayed when she hung up the phone having bombed out with each of them.
For a fleeting moment she considered inviting Greg. He was a good friend and they had a lot in common but she soon brushed the idea aside realising she'd rather go alone than bear the brunt of that round of gossip in the lab. They had enough people questioning their love lives without fuelling the fire.
Grumbling under her breath she tossed the book aside and marched into the bedroom. All her clothes suddenly seemed so plain and boring compared to the glamour that was Elisabetta. She didn't know how she could possibly compete with the Italian beauty. Her pale skin looked positively ghostly beside her and she was certain that she would understand very little of what she said. Her Italian was patchy to say the least and shamefully what she did know she had been taught by none other than Hodges himself.
Throwing dress after dress onto the bed she began to get increasingly irate. Nothing seemed good enough and that alone annoyed her more than she would like to admit. Tonight was not going to go her way, she could feel it already and if their introduction at the lab had been anything to go by she was going to have to endure an entire meal of over-exagerrated public displays of affection.
Morgan eventually settled on a red dress, it was one she normally felt confident and attractive in but standing in front of the mirror at that moment she felt positively frumpy.
Hodges was messaging her, wondering where she was so she rushed out, tossing her purse over her shoulder she hurried outside trying to tell herself not to think about what lay ahead. She almost collided with Henry as she stepped out of her cab and glanced up at the restaurant Hodges had picked out. They had ate there before, on a few occasions when they wanted somewhere special. It had never seemed so terrifying.
"Morgan...you... you look great" Henry stumbled, looking her up and down with an air if nervousness around him.
"Henry? What are you doing here?" She questioned, even although the boxes of take-away in his hands told her everything she needed to know.
"Oh I'm not really here...if you know what I mean. I was just grabbing some food. Best Cannelloni in Vegas" He shrugged, waving the box around as though to emphasise the fact. "Where are you going?"
Morgan took a deep breath "I'm having dinner with Hodges... and his fiancée"
She placed a lot more emphasis on the word fiancée than she should have and the eye roll simply could not be supressed. Henry smiled his lopsided smile and shuffled on his feet, she could tell he was unsure what to say next.
"Do you have plans?" She asked him, the beginning of a plan blossoming in her mind.
"Just feeding my fish... you know, the exciting things in life" He smiled.
Morgan drew her teeth over her bottom lip, her mind whirring a mile a minute as she debated whether her idea was a good one or not.
"Would you like to take me to dinner?" She smiled.
It occurred to her that there was really no-one better to take on this ill-fated double date. Hodges already had this strange rivalry with Henry and while he was not the best person in pressure situations she was absolutely certain that he would enjoy sharing a meal with the charismatic Italian beauty they would be dining with.
"What's the catch?" He muttered, suspicious of her motives.
"No Catch" Morgan defended "I said I'd bring a date, you'd be saving me from the humiliation of showing up alone"
"But I'd have to eat with Hodges..." He protested, sticking out his bottom lip.
"We can make him pay..." She offered, stopping short of begging him to accompany her.
With a sigh Henry tossed his takeaway containers in the trash and offered her his arm. Morgan felt a huge moment of relief, slipping her hand through his arm and mouthing a 'thank you' in his direction as they stepped inside the restaurant.
She spotted them straight away, seated at a table in the centre of the room. Elisabetta was feeding Hodges breadstick's and pawing at his face just as she had expected. Henry's tightened his grip around her arm and he patted her hand gently. A gesture of solidarity and companionship that she appreciated more than she would let him know. The truth was, she was terrified of what would occur tonight.
"Do I have to be nice to him?" Henry grumbled, his eyes fixed on the same table hers were with a similar look of distaste on his face.
"Not at all" She smiled as they followed the waiter to their seats.
She had to admit that the look of surprise on his face when he saw them arriving was worth her pathetic show of weakness with Henry and she took great joy in smiling brightly and greeting Elisabetta like a true professional despite the burning sensation in her throat as she growled the words 'nice to meet you'.
Hodges swallowed the lump in his throat as he pulled out her seat for her and the scent of her light perfume filled his system. Henry had surprised him and he squirmed in his seat under Hodges scrutiny. He had never saw Henry as a real threat, even way back when she had been brand new and enjoyed playing them off one another he had known that he could monopolise her attention much better than Henry could yet now she seemed to cling to him. Her hand never left his leg, a fact he noticed when he raised the bottle of wine and filled their glasses. It struck him as strange, that he hadn't really noticed this blossoming relationship.
"Elisabetta picked out the wine" Hodges informed them, his bride to be beaming with pride on the other side of the table. Morgan couldn't seem to help but narrow her eyes in her direction, a gesture that certainly didn't go unnoticed by Hodges. He threw her a questioning glance before she diverted her eyes quickly and took a sip of the wine she had already decided would taste offensive.
"Is this from your region?" Henry questioned, keen to make sociable conversation to distill the palpable tension that had settled over their table.
Elisabetta nodded enthusiastically. "Direct from Tuscany!" She declared "Bellissimo!"
Morgan rolled her eyes again, taking a long sip of the wine and deciding that the only way she would survive tonight was to consume a lot of alcohol. Hodges was desperately seeking out her eye contact and she made a great deal of effort ignoring him. The last thing she needed right now was for him to do something sweet and break through her carefully constructed defences.
"Tuscany is a beautiful region" Henry gushed as Hodges glared at him clearly not appreciating his attempt to converse with his woman. Morgan began to realise her decision to bring Henry had been a very good one after all.
"I went to Tuscany with my grandmother when I was 10" Henry continued "... She's Sicilian...doesn't really like Italian's though..."
"Ahhh Ginzo!" Elisabetta cried, Henry and Morgan exchanged confused glances as Hodges quickly silenced his fiancée and muttered indistinguishable words in Italian into her ear.
It obviously worked though because she settled back in her chair with a scowl and her arms crossed and refused to indulge in any more conversation. An uncomfortable silence settled over their table and the waiter took their orders with a frown. Elisabetta stood from the table dramatically after he left and sashayed her way outside, closely followed by one very nervy David Hodges muttering his apologies as he did so.
"Did you hear what she called me?" Henry asked, his eyebrows high on his face.
"I know! This really isn't going well is it?" She couldn't help the smile that broke out on her face as she saw Elisabetta and Hodges argue in the smoking area outside. It was becoming evident just how dysfunctional their relationship was and it was apparently no secret that she was enjoying it.
"You're loving this aren't you? What is this, some kind of double date wrecking ball?" He muttered, the realisation dawning on him that he was right. Morgan simply shrugged, her eyes returning to Hodges and Elisabetta who were now in the middle of a make-out session that turned her stomach.
"Is it really that obvious?" She whispered, turning back to her wine.
"Pretty much" He sighed.
Morgan tapped her nails on the side of her wine glass and shrugged "Wanna have some fun?"
Henry eyed her and drew his eyes to the window, a grin breaking out on his face as he nodded "What did you have in mind?"
Morgan raised an eyebrow and looked around the restaurant before whispering "Sabotage"