A/N: This came to me while in the car back from Montrose, and it's set after yesterday's episode "Good Day For Bad News." The song is "Forgive Me" by Missy Higgins.

Sarah x

Oh, my son, look at what I've done
But I am learning still
Learning still
Know that I am learning still

"I'm so sorry, Ellie!" Edward said for what felt to him to be the millionth time, over a credit card that hadn't worked at the one moment it was vital. "I thought there was more in it than there was."

"Yeah, no joke," she sighed. "It's fine. Mum's dealt with it. You really are some pair. You're a moron and she's a hard arse," she joked. Edward didn't berate her for it; she was right. He had screwed up. Again. And Serena had sorted it out. Again.

"I know, I know," he sighed. "I'm sorry. Not just for today," he found himself saying. "For everything. For what I did to your mother, how difficult I made life for all of us." She remained silent but he knew she was still on the other end of the line. "You never stop learning. You only stop learning when you die. It just so happens some of us learn faster than others."

"Dad, it's-"

"It's not fine, Ellie. I've made a mess and I have to clear it up. Fifteen years too late, but it's still needing cleared up." It was rare for him to apologise, or to go in such depth about his own failings, but Mindy divorcing him had woke him up a bit. He looked behind him with a clear view now and all he saw was the epic trail of destruction he had left.

"It's not me you need to clear things up with," Eleanor reminded him. "Anyway, I'd better go before I run up a phone bill Mum will slaughter me for."

"Yeah. Night, Ellie. Love you."

"Love you too, Dad."

And, oh, my wife, you are my life
And I am burning still
Burning still
Know that I am burning for you still

"All sorted?" he heard the familiar drawl of his ex-wife behind him.

"Yeah." She sat at her desk and went in the drawer for her paperwork. A sudden thought crossed his mind. "How long were you standing there?"

"Long enough," she smirked darkly. "I nearly died from shock. Edward Campbell actually apologised." He sighed a half-laugh at her sarcasm. "Did you mean it?" He nodded silently. He had been given plenty to think about. He was now wifeless, moneyless and felt pretty brainless too. His mind kept going back to thinking that, had he not cheated on Serena all those years ago, things would have been very different.

"You know," he spoke carefully, "I don't think I ever loved her. Mindy, I mean. Not really."

"Then why marry the child bride?" she pointed out sourly, and he admitted she had a point. He realised with a pang of regret that it wasn't Mindy he was missing – it was Serena. It had always been Serena.

"Because I missed you," he confessed quietly. "Because when I lost you I stupidly thought you were replaceable. But you're not." She seemed rather surprised by his answer; what had she been expecting him to say? "And I know, I know what you're about to say. I know it was my own fault." She abandoned her paperwork and turned to face him. He should have done this sooner. Why had he not done this sooner?

She sighed and ran her hands through her hair. He had confused her. "So what are you saying?"

Now it was Edward's turn to feel confused, and yet again he had done it to himself.

And all, all, all of my light is for you
And home, home's anywhere you are too
So take this one fallen man on his knees
Saying, "Please, forgive me."

"I don't know," he groaned. "I made a right mess all those years ago and now I see how much I hurt you."

Serena laughed, and he heard the bitterness dripping from the sweet noise. "Don't think I'm letting you move in with me just because you're struggling to pay the rent," she shook her head at him. But that wasn't what he was after. He wasn't looking to get back with her – it would never happen in a million years and he knew it – but he wanted her to know that he really was sorry for hurting her.

"Don't be silly," he replied. "That's not what I'm after!"

That bitter, sarcastic laugh returned. "Oh, I'm being silly, am I?" Edward massaged his forehead with his fingers. He should have known she would not hand it to him willingly. "So what are you after?" she asked, the suspicion gleaming in her dark eyes. She never trusted him and, really, who could blame her?

"I'm looking for..." he began, trying to work out how to word it. "I'm looking for you to some how understand...why. Why I did what I did. Why I was so bloody stupid."

"You mean forgiveness, don't you?" she drawled, and he heard instantly from her tone that it would be nothing short of a miracle if she gave him anything resembling forgiveness.

Oh, my God, how you make it hard
Not to pick the apple
Pick the apple
And, Lord, I long to give it back
And I was on shaky land
Lost and unsure I opened my hand
And she held it like sinking sand

"I want you to let me explain!" he retorted. "In fifteen years you've never actually let me try and explain!"

"Yeah, I don't think finding you and Milly Molly Mandy in the store cupboard takes much explaining." Edward involuntarily shuddered at the memory and the look of betrayed horror on Serena's young face. "OK. Let me some it up for you: you shagged the child bride, then I kicked you out, then I divorced you and now here you are making life ever so fun again."

"I guess I deserved that," he admitted.

"Too bloody right."

Edward sighed and sat on the corner of her desk. She glared at him for sitting beside her. "We were falling apart, Serena. You were miserable. I was miserable. So I did the stupidest thing I could and thought I could get what I wanted, what I needed, from someone else."

He watched her close her eyes and knew she was trying to make some sense and logic out of what he had told her. To be fair, there was probably very logic in it, especially to the woman who never ran away from hard work. That was where they diverged; he got out of everything as quickly and as easily as possible while she worked until she found an answer that would ensure as few casualties as possible. It was the point at which they were no longer well-matched, because for it to work they both had to make the effort, a prospect he had always been rather lazy and slightly frightened when face with.

He decided to continue while she was, for once, silent. "I was uncertain and confused and there she was, and all she did was pull me down with her until I left my family in ruins. I was selfish. And believe me, if I could change it, I would in a heartbeat."

And all, all, all of my light is for you
And home, home's anywhere you are too
So take this one fallen man on his knees
Saying, "Please..."

She sighed at his explanation again. "Edward, what do you gain from all this? From telling me all this?"

"Peace of mind," he confessed, his voice barely above a whisper.

"Nothing to do with me letting you stay here then?" she demanded. Her suspicions, of course, were half-right. He very much would have liked for her to allow him to stay, and that was again him being selfish. But he couldn't help it. He should have known better than to let himself so near Serena again; he was attached to her again.

"Just a little bit."

"Knew it."

"But," he rushed to defend himself, "that doesn't make anything I've just said any less true!" He practically watched the cogs in her mind working tirelessly, trying to find away to make it to her advantage. "Look, Serena, it doesn't matter. If you can't forgive me, I understand."

"Why should I forgive you?" she demanded. "Really? Give me a reason why I should forgive you for cheating on me and destroying our family!" she shouted at him. He'd broken her temper, and now she was sounding off, standing up and facing him with her considerable height.

He stood up straight and stared her in the face. The pain that had been there years ago suddenly returned and he instantly felt terrible for hurting her all over again. "Because I'm sorry. Because I hate that I hurt you." Her dark eyes scrutinised him. "But I understand. If you can't forgive me, I'll go home and pack."

And all, all, all of my light is for you
And home, home's anywhere you are too
So take this one fallen man on his knees
Saying, "Please, forgive me."
Forgive me
Forgive me

He turned and headed for the door but he didn't get to leave. "No, Edward, wait," he heard her say to him. He turned to face her. "Stay. You need a job and Ric needs you to help him with his PD stuff. Stay."

Edward smiled slightly at her, and he could have sworn she returned the favour. "Thank you." He turned and left her in her office, knowing he had given her something to think about.

Hope this is alright!
Please feel free to leave me a review and tell me your thoughts!
Sarah x