Please take a minute to review your thoughts on the story so far when you are done. Feedback is always deeply appreciated and, let's not kid ourselves (Gail Peck wouldn't), highly motivating!

Holly yanks open her door, climbs into the car and slams the door shut behind her. She stares into the darkness of the underground parking lot for a minute and then slaps her hands on the steering wheel in frustration.

She shouldn't have done that. She really, really shouldn't have done that.

She leans forward and rests her chin on the steering wheel, watching a woman loaded with shopping bags run with her child to the exit of the parking lot and out into the brittle cold.

Holly is not usually a selfish person. In fact, she has gotten herself into trouble in relationships before by not being selfish enough. But what she did just now, visiting Gail at the station again, was selfish. And stupid.

She had tried to convince to herself that going down to the station was something she was doing for Gail, Gail who hung up on her when she was so clearly confused and scared and not okay. But Holly knows now she had really gone down there because she needed to see Gail for herself, to reassure herself before Gail went out and did whatever she had to do at work tonight.

If Holly had given herself a minute before making that decision to pick up her keys and drive down to the station - a minute to clearly and carefully think about everything she knew about Gail Peck - she would have waited it out at home until she heard something. Even if it was excruciating to do nothing but sit and pretend to work and worry, that's what she should have done.

What she can't forgive herself for is for forgetting two simple things already she knows about Gail, things that should have informed how she'd behaved just now.

First, she knows this thing is still fragile, but she went ahead and pushed at it anyway. She knew already that there is every chance Gail could still back away from this - whatever it is – that they have turned their relationship into today. She should have known not to pressure Gail. Even if it was Gail that had initiated the kiss, and Gail who called her to express her confusion and her desire, she should have known to give Gail time and the space to decide when and how this should all happen.

And she should have known Gail well enough to know that when Gail bared her feelings to Holly, she was baring them to Holly and Holly only. It didn't take a genius to figure out Gail is not exactly the most demonstrative person, and that she seemed to think showing the world she was a human being with feelings was some egregious display of weakness.

At first, at the station, when Gail had shaken her head at Holly, eyes wide in a vehement no, Holly had thought Gail was being weird about being touched by a woman in public. But now, as she sits in the car, she realises that a girl like Gail would have been weird with anyone who marched into her work in front of everyone and expect her to lay her vulnerabilities open to those around her, man or woman.

Holly sighs, closing her eyes and burying her face in her arms on the steering wheel.

And given that Holly is a smart lady and she should have know these things, she had no right to be snippy with Gail for not responding to her affections. And now it is Holly's fault she is sitting here feeling like a giant, awkward, asshole, knowing, she needs to let Gail come to her, let her get used to the fact that Holly will be there for her any time, but particularly whenever this shittiest of shitty days ends.

And how Holly wishes it would end.

She stares out through the windscreen into the night. She doesn't want to go home, even though it is getting late. She decides she will go back to work. The lab is always open and she can get to those head wounds she didn't get to today.

Yep, she will go back to the lab and do what she should have done in the first place: put her head down, wait it out, and let Gail reach out for her. If Gail still will, that is.

She reaches into her bag for her keys, digs them out, starts the car and reverses out of the parking lot.

Please take a minute to review your thoughts on the story so far when you are done. Feedback is always deeply appreciated and, let's not kid ourselves (Gail Peck wouldn't), highly motivating!