"What?" She just chewed him out for something he didn't even do. Why is he so happy? Why is he still here?
"Honey, you yelled. You stood up for yourself. You didn't back down. I'm so proud of you baby." He doesn't mention what else he's overjoyed at. James knows Idina wouldn't take kindly to knowing how much of herself she showed him, how much more he understands her now. At least not in this moment. Maybe in time to come, but the time will present itself when and if it arrives.
"I...what? I did? Oh my gosh. I did!" Idina runs and wraps her arms around James' neck, a strange rush of confidence filling her being. "I'm so sorry though. I hope you understand none of that was directed towards you." Idina leans back and fixes James's shirt collar, for the first time that evening taking in his appearance. "You look so nice."
"I don't hold a candle to you, Dee." Idina blushes and looks down at her hands.
"I still don't believe you, but maybe someday." She raises her head and straightens her back, calmly meeting James gaze with more confidence than he's seen in...well, ever. "Someday I will believe you. I want to. I want to promise you, but I don't want to end up breaking my promise. I couldn't hurt you like that. Knowingly at least."
"I know, hon. And you will. Someday you'll see how incredible you are." James smiles at Idina and she returns a small smile. Idina looks around the kitchen, searching for something to fill the akward silence.
"I wish I had something to offer you to eat, but it's pretty much coffee and other bits here and there." Idina turns back to face James, her eyes squinting at the mischievously thrilled look on his face.
"Well, I was hoping you'd let me take you out somewhere. It's the middle of the night, so not many other people will be anywhere. It could still be an adventure though. I'll keep you safe. What do you say?" Idina pretends to think about it as a mischievous glint of adventure sneaks back into her eyes after months of absence.
"I suppose I could be persuaded. Where to?" Idina doesn't really care where they go, as long as she can treasure this brief moment of hope and safety. Who knows how long it will last, or when she'll get another chance? Some may say things are different from normal, but who defines what normal is? Life isn't perfect, but life wasn't made to be perfect. It was made to be lived.