This is random and unnecessary, but it is a story that I started to write long ago, and the recent developments actually gave me a push to finish and publish. Sort of a different way to look at episode 3X04 with the developments in 4X07. I really hope I got those episode numbers right...

Besides, we all need a little something to get us through the hiatus, right?


Parker had been through a mix of emotions ever since Auggie left for work. She was trying to sort them all out. She alternated between pacing around the apartment and writing in her journal.

She decided to make lists to sort out her thoughts. She started with a shopping list. Groceries were a good start. She knew enough about Auggie that she could make a grocery list and go out later that day, fulfilling her role as the naive Washington housewife.

This line of thought wasn't heading anywhere productive. Parker realized that she had never even been grocery shopping with Auggie. Did Auggie grocery shop on his own? She was fairly certain he didn't cook. He probably had a grocery delivery service or something.

She put this on a new list under the heading "Questions to ask Auggie that he may actually answer."

So far, grocery shopping was the only thing she could put on that list.

After a day of random lists, thoughts, and doodles, Parker's trusty pen ran out of ink. She knew it was a silly attachment, but this pen had gone with her to Eritrea and had helped her sort her thoughts after Auggie's first visit. It was helping her figure out what she wanted in life now. She didn't have a backup pen, and really wanted to add "Do you own an ink pen?" to her list of questions Auggie could answer.

It was a very serious question for Parker at the moment. Did Auggie have a pen somewhere that she could use?

She started her search in the top drawer of the credenza, which appeared to be the most likely place for a pad and pen to be stored. Her guess was close, as the drawer was neatly filled with thick paper, a Braille slate, stylus, and label maker. Parker pushed the items around, hoping there might be a pen in the back, but found nothing.

She opened the next drawer and it was far less organized. The contents hardly seemed to belong to the same person. On top of everything was a strength grip tool, and a few tactile puzzles. Parker dug deeper and noticed a thick paper envelope that definitely seemed out of place.

She pulled out the envelope of pictures and hesitated. She didn't want to invade Auggie's privacy, but she was feeling as though she knew so little about him at that moment. Perhaps some embarrassing photos from his youth would change the way she felt.

She slipped the pictures out of the envelope and looked at the brunette staring back. She was cute, standing in a foreign plaza smiling for the camera. Parker flipped to the next photo and was momentarily startled by the view of Auggie with his arm around the woman. He was younger and carefree, but there was the same large smile Parker had seen on his face many times before. She stared at the picture, wondering about the man Auggie used to be.

Then she noticed the hand that wasn't wrapped around the mystery woman, and the simple gold band that it wore.

Parker collapsed on the floor with the pictures in her hands. Just when she thought Auggie couldn't shock her any more, here was something new that she didn't know about him, and this new detail was huge.

She looked through the other pictures in the stack. Auggie and the mystery woman were definitely wearing wedding rings, and it was obvious that they truly loved each other.

There was nothing in the stack of photos to tell Parker what happened. All she had were some images from a time before 2007 of her fiancé married to a woman, traveling in Rome, and happy. She now had more questions than answers.

If Auggie had walked in the door at that moment, Parker would have demanded answers. She would have told him that she found the pictures, and demanded that he explain.

But he didn't come home at that moment, and she found a pen to make more lists. She started a new list. "Things I know about my fiancé."

The list was very short.

If Auggie had come home while Parker stared at the half sheet of paper full of everything she knew about him, she may have asked for more details about his life. She may have learned how he loved to be at work on holidays, and preferred eating cereal for dinner.

But he didn't come home then.

Parker had time to realize that she didn't want answers to all of the questions. Auggie was from, and currently lived in, a completely different world than her. It had nothing to do with his vision. She was more than ready to accept his limitations. But she wasn't ready to change who she was in order to be a part of whatever life he actually lived. She wanted a partner in life. Auggie was a mystery that she hadn't signed up for.

She knew that the man she loved was a good person. But that didn't mean he was the man she could continue to love. She was feeling less comfortable about the idea of being with him in every moment that passed.

She was in a fog as she packed up her suitcase. It was over. She couldn't live like this, always wondering what the next secret would be. He would come home, she would tell him goodbye, and she would go to her parent's house.

The plan was so much harder to follow once she saw his face. He was tired, but making such an effort to have energy for her. He offered to make food, even though it was far too late to eat. She was second guessing her decision when he ran into the suitcase.

The devastation on his face as he realized what was happening broke her heart. As he begged for her to stay, she wondered if the answers were more simple than she thought. Perhaps she could handle the secrets. Perhaps Auggie was worth it.

That night she tried to sleep in his arms, but there was no escape. She couldn't put aside the thoughts of the day. She wondered about the other woman that those arms held. She wondered about the work he had been doing just hours earlier. She wondered if she could call a cab without waking him up.