Heya. Another one-off from me (two in one day…actually I wrote them at different times, I'm just finally posting them here on one day…I'm rambling, on with the story then!)
Author: Me, Meggi
Summary: Post-ep of Malone vs Malone
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, just borrowing them.
Eventually, the New York Missing Person's team had managed to leave the realms of their office that Christmas Eve. As always, Danny and Vivian had somehow managed to steal everyone's cash, but Martin was too busy sending glances to Sam, inconspicuously, than focus too much on dealing, and the five cards in his own hands.
At Hop Lee, they gathered around a table, all feeling slightly awkward about how to talk to Jack and his father. Vivian was great for that though. She seemed to recognize the rest of the team's inhibition to approach the elder Malone and made her best efforts to be friendly. At one point she glanced at Jack who was watching her, his face showing the strains of the day's events, but also an appreciation for what she was doing.
The Malone men didn't stay too long, just had a main each, and then left promptly. Samantha watched Jack leave, and felt the guilt of their indiscretion fully. She made a silent promise to herself as she watched his retreating form that she would never permit herself to destroy another marriage; it was just too painful for all those involved.
She felt Martin's eyes on the back of her head, and watching Jack disappear, she bid her final goodbye. She turned to see Martin's curious eyes, and smiled at him weakly, before turning her attention to Danny who was now focusing his attention to Martin who was still wearing his Santa hat.
As he teased him, Sam knocked it playfully, giggling and removing it from his head and placing it on her own. Then, she found herself the butt of Danny's joke as she made mock poses, throwing it to Martin, who threw it back at her, not wanting to find himself as the centre of attention, although he was smiling, and Sam smiled looking at her plate.
She looked up again to see Vivian bidding her farewells, and shortly after, Danny downed the last few mouthfuls of his water and left the two together.
"So?" Sam smiled once Danny had left.
"So?" Martin repeated, scooting over so that he was sitting beside her. He picked up the Santa hat from her lap and placed it on his head again, knowing that she thought he looked cute in it.
He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close. "Do you want to get out of here?" He breathed.
She looked up at him, a dull shine in her eye he hadn't seen before. "You have no idea." She whispered standing.
Once outside, she pulled her jacket tight around her waist, before finding Martin's arm again wrapping around her shoulder and pulling her close as they walked off into the softly falling snow. Before she had realized it, her head was resting on his shoulder, breathing in his warmth and comfort. She knew his apartment was closer to hers, and she willfully allowed him to lead her in that direction, also for the warmth she knew his apartment always held, even when they weren't in bed.
They walked making small-talk, laughing and talking weakly about whatever came to mind, before something was said that made them both stop.
"Why?" He asked, in all seriousness.
She looked up at him, and instantly knew what he was asking about. "Martin, I" she began.
"I want to know, the truth. All I know about you and Jack is from hearing passing comments about the two of you, and most of those are heavily opinionated." She held up her hand to protest but he held up his. "I'm sorry, I just want to know, the truth, and from you."
She didn't realise they had stopped walking until she found herself facing him. She sighed, and then looked away. Then sighed again, looking at the pavement, then looked back at him.
"I'd been working Missing Person's here for almost three months. I'd always felt the looks Jack would give me, they were just like any other man's, and he wasn't afraid of showing them, especially when no-one was watching." She began, and soon enough she felt Martin's arm return, and their feet moving again.
"I knew he was married and I was simply not interested, but, one night we got a call about this woman who had gone missing. We learnt she had bipolar disorder and that she'd attempted suicide about six months earlier. I treated it like any other, but Jack, he, he was invested in it, forcing us to find leads, to know everything about her, what her favorite colour was in April when she was six for example. As Jack got more and more invested, under the pressure I found myself becoming more and more invested, especially because she worked two jobs, had a husband who beat her and a daughter addicted to Heroin." She looked up at the sky, searching for stars, but instead saw only falling flakes of white against a strange, blue-orange sky.
She was expecting him to say something, and was slightly thrown that he didn't, but also appreciating his silence, and not jumping to conclusions.
"We found her four days later. She'd driven her car into the Hudson after getting herself drunk. The doctors told us that with the amount of alcohol in her system she probably would have died in her sleep." Martin whistled. "Yeah."
"Jack and I found ourselves at this bar, I make a point of not going there anymore," she admitted weakly. "And before I knew it I was asking him things that I would ask a guy I didn't know when I was lonely." She sighed again, hating the next part. "About an hour later we were outside in an alley, me pinned against the wall. I don't know what happened to me after that. I showed up at work the next day and he asked me whether I would go to dinner with him. The next five months were much the same, him setting the meets, him determining the times."
She looked at him again; he was watching the pavement, nodding weakly.
"It was completely surreal. I had no friends, well few friends," she corrected herself, "and I wanted so desperately to have someone care and love me. I thought I found that in Jack." She said simply.
Martin glanced and looked at her.
"With him I felt like a dummy, folding to his every want and need; it was never about me always about him. But, a part of me was so desperate for male interaction that I forgot all about Maria and the kids.
"I remember seeing them at the Christmas Party that year, and suddenly I knew she knew. I could see it in the way she looked at me, the way she so evidently placed a fake smile on her face when we greeted, the way she was constantly holding his hand, or trying too.
"We met up a few nights later, it was raining and we didn't do much, just a crossword. It was then that I could feel that we were separating, I mean we didn't do much to begin with."
"Why were you so hurt by him?" He finally broke his silence. Sam this time consciously felt her feet stop, she sighed looking up at him.
"I really don't know. Maybe because I never was able to talk to anyone about him, about us, maybe that's why. I only had myself and my conscience to deal with. And because I was so desperate for male interaction, when he ended it, the way he ended it, and because I couldn't tell anyone about it, it hurt more than it would have otherwise. And I guess that's why I'm this way, crying about him leaving, and thinking of my guilt about his divorce."
She sighed, snuggling into Martin as they continued walking, feeling the paradox of the cold air and his warm body.
"Is there anything else?" He asked weakly as they found themselves approaching the steps of his apartment building.
She looked up at the building. "Take me up there," she pointed to his apartment window, "and make me forget everything that's happened today."
He smiled, kissing her gently. "That is far too easy." He smiled, leading her up the steps and into the warmth.