Fic: This Is the Time (CJ, Jordan/Woody)

She thought she’d wrung out all the tears she had to cry in the crypt, staring down at Elaine’s body and struggling to apologize for her angry words. She of all people should’ve known better than to mistake compassion for cowardice. So she’d sobbed and begged forgiveness alone in the presence of the woman who could have been her friend if she’d been able to look beyond her own prejudice. And when her eyes burned dry because they didn’t even have enough tears left to moisten them, she collected herself and went back out to be the stoic stone of help for her grieving co-workers.

She thought she was done crying then.

But when the snow stopped sifting down from the angry gray clouds, when the roads were clear enough for her to fight her way home, she found herself turning instead down a street she knew but that wasn’t her own. And when Woody opened the door and she realized where it was that she’d gone…the tears started falling again.

“Jordan?” He was through the door in a flash, pulling her into his arms and guiding her into the welcoming warmth of his living room. “My God…Jordan, what’s wrong?”

She beat at him, fighting the comfort of his embrace even as she buried her face in the soft cotton of his shirt. “Elaine…oh, God, Woody…I told her–I accused her…”

She choked on the knot in her throat, unable to force anything more through her larynx than an incoherent, wailing sob. For several ragged breaths she kept fighting to speak, to vocalize the regret, the feeling of failure, and the fear for Garrett and Winslow who were still fighting for their lives somewhere between here and Baltimore. Finally, she gave up and collapsed against Woody’s side, limply clinging to his solid form as he carried her gently and sank down with her on the couch.

He didn’t ask what had happened, just held on. This wasn’t the time for questions or explanations or even words of comfort. It was time to grieve, time to let herself feel everything she’d fought all through the snowfall to postpone.

Time to just let Woody hold her until the storm had passed.

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