Very short MM from TCOT Sleepwalker's Niece. Reviews greatly appreciated. This is the first time anyone is reading anything I have ever written. Feel free to be as tough as you think is warranted. Standard legal disclaimer applies. All characters belong to ESG, CBS, etc.

Was that a knock at the door? Della Street had just dozed off when she heard the noise. Was it real or a dream? She lay still listening for a second knock and debating whether to investigate. It had been a long day, and she was bone weary. She didn't feel much like dealing with anything else. Besides, the knock was light; were it real, it wouldn't be an emergency. Annoyed by her own curiosity, she got out of bed. Looking out the peephole, she saw Perry Mason turning to walk away from the door. She opened it.

"Hello," she said, with a smile.

"Hi. I thought you must be asleep. I was going to let you be," he said turning around to face her.

"I was asleep…. Well, almost. That wasn't much of a knock. It took a minute for it to register."

"I know how soundly you sleep. I figured if you didn't answer, well, then…." He trailed off.

She motioned him into the apartment, and closed the door. He pulled her into his arms, as she turned back toward the room.

"Thank you, Della," he whispered into the top of her head.

"You're welcome. For what?" She stared up at him. He looked exhausted. She imagined that she didn't look much better.

"Earlier, at the office, when I got back from Las Vegas, I said that I thought you'd have left, and you said…."

"'Did you really.'"

"Yes." He steered her toward the sofa.

"And you said, 'No, not really.' What about it, Perry?" They settled next to one another.

"Thank you, for waiting for me. And thank you, for answering your door in the middle of the night. I just ran out of the office without a word, but you let me in-with a smile, no less."

She moved away from him. "Well, I was angry earlier, but I'm too tired to hold a grudge. Besides, I assumed that you were here because of work."

"Oh." He knew she meant it to sting, and it did.

"Do you want a drink?"


"Good. Fix me one, as well, please," she said, fiddling with the lacy collar of her silk bathrobe.

He smiled, as he got up to mix the drinks. She wouldn't make this too easy. "You know, I'm not just grateful. I'm sorry, as well. Sorry for running out. Sorry for not checking in later." He handed her a glass, and sat down again-closer this time.

She gave him a long sideways stare. "Apology accepted."

"Thank you."

"But if you came here thinking that I would just fall into bed with you…" She looked at him straight on now.

"No. I did not think that. Not for a second." A twinkle could be seen in his tired eyes. "I will admit that I thought about that. I always think about that. Twenty, 30 times a day I think about that, but I discounted the notion."

"Did you?"

"I did. I came here strictly to express my gratitude and apologize," he said, and took a sip from the glass. "I'll finish my drink and go."

"You look tired."

"I am. I'm dead on my feet." He yawned widely.

"Stay." She said it quietly.


"Yes, stay. Get some rest. Sleep."

"Are you certain, Della? I honestly just came here to tell you…" she interrupted.

"I know. I know you did, and I appreciate that. But you were in no shape to drive home before you began that drink. Stay."

"Thank you."

"On the couch." She swallowed the last of her own drink.

"The couch."

"Yep." She stood.

"Thank you."

She took his glass and her own to the kitchen, and handed him the wool blanket folded over the back of a chair before starting toward the bedroom.

"Good night," she said, standing in the doorway.

"Good night." He attempted to settle himself on the couch.

She folded her arms across her chest, and watched for a long moment. "Well, are you coming to bed, Mr. Mason?"

He looked at her, puzzled. "You said...Why, yes, Miss Street, I'll be right there."