Can’t Look Away

09: You Didn’t Hear The Way She Said It

Closing the chart that she had been filling out, Sasha slipped it into holder before she looked up, catching the eye of the woman who sat in the bed, cradling her newborn. Quirking a small smile, she wandered around to the side of the bed before she spoke. “My shift is over” she said gently “But if you need anything, use the call button and they’ll send someone to check on you. You and baby need one last check over, but I think you should be discharged around lunch time. It was a pretty smooth delivery” she added.

The woman smiled. “Thank you” she mused “You’ve been really wonderful” she added.

Sasha ducked her head bashfully before she shook it. “I’m happy I was helpful” she mused “Congratulations, again. She’s beautiful” she added.

The woman beamed proudly, fussing over the newborn, before Sasha offered her a little wave and back out of the room. Being careful to close the door softly, she turned and walked up the corridor towards the staff room before she ducked inside, padding over towards her locker. Stretching slightly, she swung the door open and picked her phone up, letting out a soft sigh when she saw the two names on the screen. She had been avoiding them both. After Leila had figured out that it was Lionel that Sasha was seeing, Sasha had been slightly knocked off balance, and in addition to not wanting to talk to her sister about the fact that she was seeing a man she had been with, she had started to avoid Lionel, not wanting to get in too deep if things were going to falter.

She knew that Leila hadn’t said anything negative. When Sasha had confirmed that it was Lionel, Leila had smiled and told her how nice a man he was, but there had been something about the reaction that had put Sasha on guard, something that made her hesitant about trying to move the relationship forwards. She wanted it to move forwards. As hesitant as she had been to begin with, she liked Lionel and was cautiously hopeful that they could be good together, but the prospect of there being something unfinished between him and her sister worried her. He had never given the suggestion that there was anything. He had always made clear that what had happened between him and Leila had been brief and had been over before real feelings could develop, but Leila’s reaction had concerned her.

Staring at the phone, she swiped the texts away before it started to vibrate in her hand, Lionel’s name filling the screen. Biting down on her lip, she watched it for a second, debating rejecting the call, before she accepted it. “Leo” she greeted softly.

“I caught you” Lionel’s voice was warm “I didn’t know if I would. I know you had an overnight shift” he added.

Sasha couldn’t stop the soft smile from overtaking her face. She couldn’t quite believe that he’d remembered. “I did” she confirmed “I’ve just finished, actually” she added.

“You’re probably tired, then” Lionel mused “I won’t keep you long” he added.

“What do you need, Leo?” Sasha asked as she got her bag together and placed it onto her shoulder.

“I am free tonight” Lionel replied “I was hoping you were too. We could grab dinner again, or do something else. Mostly, I just want to see you again” he admitted, letting out a slightly bashful laugh.

Sasha smiled at the sound, even despite the twist in her stomach. Shaking her head, she sat down on a nearby chair, her fingers nervously fiddling with the zip of her bag.

“That was too much, wasn’t it?” Lionel prodded.

“No” Sasha replied quickly “It wasn’t. It was sweet. I’m just a little distracted” she admitted.

“What’s bothering you?” Lionel prodded gently.

“It’s nothing” Sasha replied “Not really anyway, it’s probably just me being me” she added.

Lionel was quiet for a moment, something which caused Sasha to shift in her seat before she switched the phone from one hand to the other, allowing her to pull her knees up towards her chest “I spoke to Leila” she admitted “She and Olivier got back from honeymoon a couple of days ago and I was their ride home from the airport. She was...probing for information. She’d caught me smiling at one of your texts and she guessed there was a guy. I didn’t exactly want to tell her that it was you, but she got it out of me anyway” she added.

“And?” Lionel asked.

“She told me that you were nice” Sasha replied “That I could do worse” she added.

“That doesn’t sound bad, Sasha” Lionel said softly. There was something he was missing, and his tone was asking Sasha to tell him what it was.

“You didn’t hear the way she said it” Sasha retorted, fiddling with her shoelace “I don’t know what it was, but there was something about it and it...I don’t know, it sort of knocked me a little. I am not looking for complicated, Leo” she protested softly.

Lionel’s sigh carried down the line, causing Sasha to curl in on herself a little more. She didn’t want to hurt him. He was sweet, and warm, and Sasha liked him a lot, but she was also wary, something which meant whenever things started to get a little complicated, her first, and often only, instinct was to run. “Leo...”

“Let me take you to dinner tonight” Lionel interrupted “Please. We can talk then” he added.

Sasha rested her chin on her knees, thinking over the offer. “OK” she said quietly.

“OK?” Lionel prodded.

“Yeah” Sasha replied “I’ve got the night off and I am not due back in work until tomorrow afternoon. I can meet you for dinner” she added.

“I’m glad” Lionel mused “I’ll make a reservation and text you the information later” he added.

“Alright” Sasha mused “I’ll see you later” she added.

“We’re not complicated, Sasha” Lionel’s reply came after a couple of seconds of silence, and it was soft and warm “I know that you think we are, but we’re not” he added.

Sasha twisted her shoelace around her finger, trying, and failing, to stifle her hopeful smile against her knees. “I will see you tonight, Leo” she mumbled.

“You will” Lionel confirmed “I can’t wait” he added.

Sasha let out a little laugh before the line went quiet, allowing her to pull the phone away from her ear. Staring at the empty screen, she shook her head slightly before she stuffed it into her pocket and climbed back to her feet, wondering where the night ahead of her would leave things.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)