A/N: AU. When a specific day brings back old memories for Ryan, he decides to go out and reflect - for the better of himself. And someone checks up on him.
lDisclaimer: I don't own anything.
Story Notes: Set around Season 6.
He leaned against his Hummer, staring out at the sunset as the day slowly became night. Ryan was no longer dressed in his smart work clothes and instead a short sleeved, purple dress shirt and loose jeans. His hair was no longer combed over and was instead all over the place with such disorder. This was the Ryan Wolfe nobody ever saw at work. He wasn't as coldly sarcastic and serious as he seemed to be. It was just an exterior he had acquired over time as a result of all the things he'd been through since the earlier days. He walked over to the railing, sighing to himself.
At college back in Boston, there had been a fire on campus and Ryan had been the person that saved the people that were stuck in the lab when the fire took place. He'd been given the citizenship award and had even received a special thanks from the fire department and PD. There was one casualty, and it was the person who started the fire in the first place. One Sergeant had told Ryan that he was going to make a great patrol officer one day. His initiative to save the others instead of protecting himself had proved that he was worthy of the job any police officer could've had.
He was in his first year of college and still had been the only person to try and salvage the people who were trapped before they became casualties. That was when he first knew that he wanted to be in something to do with law enforcement. His family always thought he'd be a scientist or a federal agent. But Ryan, he started out in patrol and then made the switch to Crime Scene Investigation. Which made him still an officer, as well as a scientist. A forensics officer to be exact.
That's why he was who he was. It's why he didn't want death to be a first resort. It never had been. He'd always had to rely on himself and Ryan supposed that he still wasn't used to the idea of having friends to go to. Being so independent following on from college (that he'd put himself through), Wolfe never really learnt how to trust people. It was either he went with it or it just wasn't what he was here for.
He'd seen the world as it was before he grew out of that childhood naivety. His parents told him that he was thinking too much. But he'd only ever seen suffering growing up. That was truly all he knew. It was why he didn't let anyone get too close, in case they saw the side of him that nobody really ever saw. His trust issues were worrying to some people. Especially when it got him into a bit of trouble.
Calleigh had been walking back to her Hummer when she'd seen Ryan standing there at the rail, looking out towards the sky. She was captivated by his thoughtfulness. The blonde calmly made her way over, staying at a distance as she did so. She knew he was feeling a little bit emotional and didn't want to break the wrong barriers. "I read up on the fire." She said in her southern drawl, a little quieter though.
"I moved to Miami because I knew that if I stayed in Boston, things would never change for me.." He sighed.
Duquesne joined him at the rail, while still keeping her distance for now. "I know how you feel. Moving from New Orleans to here had been a big step for me, but I knew that Miami was the place I wanted to be." Ryan, feeling a little more at ease, let down his guarded position and shuffled closer to her.
Calleigh took that as permission for her to come within range. She moved up until their arms were barely brushing one another. "You did a great thing, and I know that everybody would say the same."
Ryan nodded. "I'd like to think I did the best I could."
They stood in meditative silence, which had been nonetheless triumphed by Ryan's guilt for their argument earlier. "Calleigh.. I wanted to apologise for earlier. I know I let my emotions get the best of me and I might've hurt you in the process.. I'm sorry. I know I crossed the line."
"I.. accept your apology. I'm sorry too."
Calleigh leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed. "For judging you too soon." He moved the curls loosely hanging on her shoulder over gently. "Don't be. If anything, I judged you too soon. You're not bitchy, inconsiderate, cold or rude like quite a few people I've met. You are someone I have grown to love for not only the joy and love you bring, but also that kindness and understanding you've given to me even when I wasn't the most responsive.."
'Someone I have grown to love.' She repeated to herself, blushing furiously.
"You struggle to trust people, don't you?"
Ryan merely leaned into her. "I do. But.. I've convinced myself I can trust the people I work with now.. especially you." He said the last bit to himself, but she heard it. If anything it had made her blush harder. "I'm glad you trust me.. because I've always trusted you. Even from the first day we met, I knew there was something special about you."
"Special, huh?" He raised an eyebrow in bewilderment.
The blonde smiled. "Very special.. I- I'm in love with you, Ryan." She lifted her head and looked up at him. "You're okay with that?" Ryan took a few minutes to process what she'd told him, but once he did, guessing what facial expression was going to appear on his face was still a matter of mystery.
He stared right back at her, the corners of his mouth curving to form a small smile. "Of course I am.. I'm in love with you too."
The newly arrived moonlight lit up the dark sky among many a star as the two stared at each other with shy smiles, blushing profusely. There had been barely any space between the two to begin with though. He put his arm around her and allowed her to lean into him, with his hand gently rubbing her arm.
It was like they'd found some kind comfort, within all the chaos going on in their lives, through one another. Neither knew what they would be in the future or how things would pan out, but for now.. this was ok. Looking out to the stars, together at peace.
"I love you." She whispered.
"I love you too, bullet girl." He replied, a smile still broad upon his face.
Ryan wasn't perfect. Calleigh knew that. And neither was she. They could get through their problems, confiding in one another.