The Last Worthless Evening

Written by Luna

Author's Note: NOTES: I plotted this out a long time ago, and never got around to actually writing it down. So here it is, in all its tiny little glory. I don't own the characters, Tom Fontana's a stallion among ponies (bwahaha), the title's from Don Henley, and please send feedback.


"Where the hell are my shoes?"

Kay raised herself up on one elbow and watched Ed pacing wildly around her room. "Calm down, huh?" He picked a shirt up off the floor, realized it was hers, and slammed it down on the bed. "Hey. Don't hurt yourself."

"I gotta go," he muttered, pulling his pants on.

She glanced at her alarm clock. "It's only nine. It's a Friday night. What's your hurry, huh?"

Ed scowled at her. "Look, I said I have to go, all right?"

"Whoa, excuse me." She adjusted her comforter and sat up. "You don't usually rush out of here like this for work. What, have you got a hot date?"

He found his undershirt on the floor and struggled into it. "Now that you mention it, yes."

Kay stared at him. "You're unbelievable!"

"I'm meeting someone for a drink."

"You're serious? Well, what'd you do, tell her you had to work late? Caught up in a case?" She giggled. "Typin' up your.... legal briefs?"

"I didn't tell her anything." Ed glared at his shirt as he tried to straighten and smooth it. "Look, I wasn't going to say anything about this--"

"You don't owe me an explanation," she assured him. "You're not my husband; you're not my kid. I don't talk to you about guys I go out with, and I don't ask questions."

"Maybe I should explain, though." He hesitated, then sat on the end of the bed and looked at her. "Kay, you're an incredible woman."


"And we have good sex," he added, frankly.

"There is that," she agreed.

Ed got to the point. "But we're not good together, and you're not in love with me."

She rested her chin on her hand and looked at him seriously. "No. Isn't that why we agreed to stop dating?"

"Yes." He frowned, thoughtfully. "Here's the problem. When we agreed that, I was in love with you."

She was taken aback. "You never said that."

"It wouldn't have made a difference if I had; you've never been -- we don't need the same things. We've had fun together." He looked down at the disarrayed tangle of clothes on the floor. "This stuff just isn't going anywhere."

"....Okay," she said. "Where is it supposed to go?"

"Nowhere. Not any more." He reached out and touched her hand. "It wasn't bad that we've kept sleeping together. But I used to kind of think eventually it would change how you felt, and it hasn't. And it won't."

"I do care about you, you know."

"Like a good friend should, Kay. That's all." A rueful smile crossed his face. "And I think you mostly enjoyed knowing that I loved you." He stood up, gathering the rest of his things off the floor.

Kay's eyes followed him. "And this woman you're meeting tonight? I don't want to pry, but...."

"I know her from work." Ed paused in Kay's doorway. "I think I'm going to be serious about her. You know, I'm not getting younger, and it's like I said. Screwing around is just screwing around."

She nodded slowly. "So, I'll see you."

"Around the job," he said pointedly. "Of course. 'Night."

She watched him walk out, and climbed out of bed with a sigh. It wasn't that he was wrong, exactly -- just that it seemed he'd left her out of his decision.

*Be fair,* she scolded herself. *You don't have any claim on him. You know you didn't love him. He's just better than being lonely.*

And all at once she was lonely, intensely so, in her empty apartment, feeling that something important and even special had just left her life. She took a breath and pulled herself together, knowing she could handle it, even if she couldn't pretend it didn't sting when he walked out.

She bent to pick up her clothes, stopped, and sat down on the bed, suddenly consumed by helpless and hilarious laughter.

He'd walked out wearing her tie.