But He Always Comes Back

By Kermtzu <whoziswhatzis@hotmail.com>

Rated: PG

Submitted: January 2008

Summary: His constant running off and disappearances are a danger to their relationship; can't he just stick around?

His constant running off and disappearances are a danger to their relationship; can't he just stick around?

Author's notes: Words in *asterisks* denote emphasis. Feedback is very welcome!

Many thanks to Janet, for assistance above and beyond. Her GE skills saved the day!


He'd done it again. They had been discussing what to do for the weekend when he'd remembered something he'd forgotten to do earlier in the day, and it *had* to be done now. So out the door he went. This was the second time this week, and who knew how many times in the last month alone.

It wasn't so much that he was busy and had things to do, but the abrupt departures and flimsy excuses were beginning to wear thin. And it wasn't fair. They were a team, among the best in their profession. Sometimes unorthodox in their approach, but they got results and were well-respected by their peers. What he seemed to ignore was that teams didn't work separately at the whim of one partner, and then only as a pair when it was amenable to his schedule.

Didn't he know how much it hurt her to have him absent so often, and have these departures come up at such odd times? Couldn't he simply use a planner and follow a schedule? That way he could at least let her know when he'd be absent, not just moments before he left. It didn't matter if it were the afternoon or evening, he'd just up and leave.

Just as aggravating were the times when she couldn't find him at all for hours. As a couple, they made plans for meals and outings, and to have him miss one without a word, simply by not being there, with only a 'Sorry' as an excuse, was rude and inconsiderate. Where was he at these times, and what was he doing? Surely he could share that information with her, but he would always mumble some excuse that didn't ring true when she asked.

She had her suspicions, but she didn't really believe them for a second. The patterns fit, as did his actions, but it was impossible that he would lie to her about this. There had to be some reasonable and normal explanation for his behavior. He was someone she respected and trusted -- he was her best friend. He wouldn't lie to her, she just knew it. Just *what* that secret of his was, she didn't know, but she was determined to find out, with or without his cooperation.

It never stopped being painful, though. If she didn't love him so much, she would have ended things long ago, no matter how great a void it would have left in her life.

She looked into the next room. Lois had her calabash pipe and wore her cape and adorable deerstalker, while Lucy was prone, wearing fuzzy slippers not only on her feet but her hands as well. Apparently, Lois had convinced Lucy to play the hound of the Baskervilles, while Lois was Holmes, as always.

She sighed, and reached for the bottle she kept in the cupboard, hidden behind the baking supplies. She needed something to relax. With a practiced motion, Ellen Lane poured herself a drink.