Episode #410

Previously ...
- Tim, Claire, and their lawyers met for the divorce mediation. All went well until the issue of Travis's custody arose--and then things got nasty between the exes.
- The elevator at Vision stalled, trapping Diane and Brian alone together. Despite Diane's efforts to avoid the subject, Brian pressed her to admit that she still thinks about the night they slept together.
- Jason left a message at Lauren's office for her to meet him if she wanted to work on their relationship. He waited at Windmills, but she never showed.
- Josh intercepted Jason's message and re-routed Lauren to 322, where Courtney spotted the pair together.


Diane Bishop stares straight ahead at the sealed elevator doors, as if willing them to part. Brian Hamilton looms over her shoulder and makes eye contact with her fuzzy reflection in the doors.

He leans in closer, so that his mouth is mere millimeters from her ear. "Tell me you don't ever think about it."

Diane's eyes narrow, a wordless dare for him to continue--if what he's after is a swift kick in the groin. But Brian doesn't back down.

"You don't have to say anything," he says. "I know you do."

"Don't flatter yourself."

"I don't have to. I can see it in the way you look at me--"

"I think you're mistaking annoyance for something else," Diane snaps.

Brian inhales deeply, savoring her scent and allowing it to take him back to that night they spent together. There are so many things that he thinks about when he recalls that night: guilt for having been unfaithful to Kelsey; regret over having ruined a potential future with her; disappointment and anger that Diane has shut down the possibility of it ever happening again.

But now, he is enjoying every moment of this, a confrontation that he feared might never come to pass.

"What would that something else be?" he asks, remaining in perilously close proximity to her. "Longing? Lust?"

Diane swivels around in one jerky movement. "You are really pushing your luck, you know that?"

Instinctively he takes a step backward. "Hey, I've got nothing to lose."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," Diane says, glancing toward his groin. "Is castration really the price you want to pay for a little bit of petty jealousy?"

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

"Most men wouldn't--"

"The jealousy." Her words have sparked something inside him, and now every emotion that he has wanted to proclaim for the last several months comes tumbling out with a passion that he was beginning to fear would forever be out of his grasp. "What is so wrong with me wanting you? With admitting it?"

He takes her by the shoulders, pulls her close to him. And in her eyes, he sees that same glimmer that he saw for a few hours one night last summer, a glimmer that he thought he might never see again.

He tries his best to subdue the trembling in his chest and in his breathing. "What would be so bad about admitting that you want me, too?"


Courtney Chase hikes up her purse higher on her shoulder and shivers against the cold. Although she has been coming to the rink for years and years, she has never quite adjusted to the rush of cold that hits her when she steps into the arena. Now she folds her arms over her body and scans the scene for Jason Fisher.

She sees him emerging from the coaches' room, pulling on a pair of gloves. She raises an arm to wave, and Jason spots her. He hurries around the rink toward her.

"Good timing," he says as he slips on his second glove. "My next lesson just called to cancel."

"So you have some time?" Courtney asks.

"Yeah. Why? What's up?"

Courtney leads him over to the bleachers, away from the flow of foot traffic entering and leaving the arena. They sit down under a heater.

"How are you?" she asks, already searching his face for some clue.

"I've been better," he says with a nonchalant shrug. "But it feels pretty damn good to know we passed that test, so I'm trying to stay focused on that."

"Good." She fiddles with the strap of her purse, uncertain of how to proceed. "Good... You were okay last night?"

Jason seems more resigned than upset as he says, "She didn't show."

"I know."

"What, have you been stalking me?" There is a dark undercurrent to Jason's jovial jab, and Courtney recognizes it as his way of dancing around something painful.

"That's the thing." Courtney knew when she called Jason, when she walked through the arena doors, that she would have to tell Jason the full truth. But now that they are sitting here, she finds it exceedingly difficult to heap any more pain on top of what he is already experiencing.

But it's best for him to know, she reasons, and so she gathers her breath and spits it out all at once:

"I saw Lauren last night, when you were waiting for her. And she was out with Josh."


Tim Fisher waits in the hallway outside the conference room where the divorce mediation is being held. He can hardly believe how ugly things got in there before the mediator called for a break. Heading into this, he was sure that he and Claire agreed on the terms of the divorce and would be able to do this smoothly. Now it seems that this process is bringing out the worst in them and their relationship.

Claire's words ring in his ears:

"She raped you, Tim! Just because you've forgiven her for that doesn't mean I have."

If he had been honest with himself, he might have expected Claire or her attorney to go there at some point during the proceedings. But Tim himself has been so intent on not facing the issue that he refused even to acknowledge the possibility of someone else doing so.

His attorney returns with two bottles of water and hands one to Tim.

"Don't worry about what Claire said about Diane," Eric Westin says. "I'll make sure that who you're seeing is not an issue in the terms of this settlement."

"Good," Tim says, though the reassurance does little to make him feel better.

They sip their water in silence for a moment before Eric speaks.

"I really do believe that Diane is sorry for what she did to you," he says, "even if she would never go so far as to say it."

Tim looks questioningly at him. He knows that Diane and Eric had a fling when he represented her in her suit for custody of Samantha, but to receive this level of insight into his own girlfriend from another man is distinctly weird.

Eric seems to sense this and hastens to add, "She expressed regrets about it when she was pursuing custody of your daughter from Claire. She knew that she had made an enormous mistake."

Tim considers this quietly. He hasn't dared to broach the subject with Diane; things have been too good, too normal, between them. He had hoped that it could be a thing of the past.

"I know it isn't any of my business," Eric says, "but she spoke so highly of you. When she called me to ask for my help with your divorce, I could hear in her voice how proud she was to be able to call on your behalf and to help you out in some way."

Tim cannot believe that they are having this conversation, but even moreso, he cannot believe his emotions--or lack thereof. He feels no anger toward Diane for taking advantage of him the way that she did. Maybe it's because the incident produced Samantha. Maybe it's because he very nearly lost everything that means anything to him, and now he is simply grateful to be alive. But those feelings of resentment and rage--they aren't there.

He caps his water. "Let's get back inside and sort this out," he says, full of a sudden resolve to end his marriage as neatly and as impersonally as possible.


Diane stares defiantly at Brian.

"Get your hands off me," she orders.

He doesn't hesitate. He lets go of her and backs away. If this is going to happen, it isn't going to be by force; it's going to be because they both finally admit that they want it.

But while Brian lets go of her physically, he can still feel the tension roping them together.

"I know you enjoyed it," he says. He stares, breathing hard, waiting for a response.

When it comes, its softness surprises him. Of course, it is still Diane, and there is still a rough edge to it, but there is something about her reply that surprises him.

"Why are you doing this?"

He stumbles over all the potential answers and finally lets out a disbelieving laugh. "Isn't it kind of obvious?"

"When did you turn into some kind of sex-crazed maniac?" she asks. Unlike most of Diane's questions, however, it isn't an accusation or a criticism; it sounds like a legitimate inquiry.

"Is that what you think this is about? Sex?" He laughs again, involuntarily. "That is the last thing this is about, Diane. But that night--it was the only time you ever gave me any indication, any hint, of how good we could be."

Her lips part, slowly, and Brian can feel that he is finally going to receive what he has waited for.

And then it happens.

It begins as a rumble, then shifts into a full-on earthquake. At least that's what it feels like. The elevator jolts back to life and into action.

Still waiting, Brian stares at Diane as the elevator settles at the tenth floor with its familiar end-of-trip thunk.

"I'm in a really good place with Tim," she says. She turns around just in time for the doors to open.

And with that, she steps back out into the everyday world of their work lives. A handful of maintenance men show their relief at the elevator's safe arrival, and as they evacuate Brian so that they can check things out, he staggers reluctantly onto Vision's floor. Back to work, back to the strain between him and Diane, back to the frustration that has haunted him for months.

Only now he has a fresh taste of what he's missing, just enough to make the loss all the more acute.


Courtney waits for some kind of reaction for Jason. For a long, static moment, he exhibits none at all; he stares straight ahead, at some indistinct spot on the ice, looking so unaffected that she wonders if he even heard her.

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised," he says at last.

"Still seemed pretty callous to be hanging out with him at the exact time that you'd asked her to meet you."

Jason shrugs again. It is a casual gesture, one that says that the situation is out of his hands.

"They were in the bar at 322," she explains. "She seemed a little embarrassed to be seen with him, but she probably didn't realize that I knew you'd asked her to meet you."

Jason stands up, looks at her, looks back at the ice.

"She's made her choice," he says. "That's what this was all about, right?"

"I guess."

His overly casual attitude seems off to her. This is too big, too important, for Jason to shrug it off and go about his day as though she just told him that she took the last piece of gum. She finds herself tugging on his arm, pulling him back down to the bench.

"Listen," she says. "You don't have to act like this isn't a big deal. Not with me." She slides an arm around his shoulders, and Jason doesn't resist.

Suddenly they are in a very familiar position, one that Courtney didn't ever expect to be in again.

"I don't even know how this got so screwed up," he says quietly.

"I think that's how it happens."

"It's kind of a relief," he says, looking over at her. "Just to know for sure."

"I bet."

Quiet falls over them, and Courtney isn't certain what to say next. Should she try to keep comforting him, or--

"I knew it was coming, anyway," Jason says, and in one swift move, he is on his feet.

Courtney remains where she is seated, trying to absorb the heater's warmth but somehow still feeling cold.

Jason starts to walk back to the coaches' room but stops and turns around. "Thanks for telling me," he says, letting a hint of a smile peek through. "At least someone is being straightforward with me."


Is Jason ready to move on from Lauren?
Is Diane's resolve as strong as she'd like Brian to think?
Can Tim finally leave his feelings for Claire in the past?
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