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the heart will not retreat

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Hannah isn't sure how this is supposed to go, the morning after the PG-13 one-night stand. She wakes up before Bar Guy—Jacob—and reaches under the bed for last night's dress. As she gets up to put it on, she watches the morning light play over Bar Guy's face.

Fuck. It really isn't fair. Just like her, really, to go and fall for the random guy from the bar she had just wanted to bang. Fuck. Screw. Whatever. Wasn't that why she hadn't gone home with him in the first place, because she knew he would break her heart? But he had been so kind, so vulnerable and ridiculous and—Stop it.

But seriously, what is she supposed to do now? There's no script for this, no helpful set of guidelines. For a second she considers turning tail and running. Letting Bar Guy fade into a pleasant memory, something from another life, the kind of life responsible, mature Hannah could never dream of having. But it's only for a second. Hannah Weaver is not a coward, whatever else she is.

She decides the most reasonable thing to do at this point is to make breakfast. She grabs her bag and goes downstairs to find a gleaming, almost futuristic-looking kitchen, filled with the very best appliances, none of which looked like they had ever been used. Her suspicions are confirmed when she opens the fridge to find nothing but a half-empty bottle of vodka and a few round things that might have been lemons, once. It figured Bar Guy would have a fridge that was worse than a college freshman's.

Damnit, but she's hungry. A frantic perusal of the cupboards yields nothing except for a box of corn flakes that expired two years ago. She considers waking Bar Guy up and asking him how the fuck he hasn't heard of granola bars, for God's sake, when her phone rings. She reaches for it, expecting Liz, calling to ask her about the wonders of Bar Guy's miraculous cock. Hannah allows herself a slightly wicked grin as she thinks of Liz's face when she tells her that she's still there, and rather occupied at the moment, thank you very much.

It's her mother. Shit. Her finger presses the answer button without conscious thought.

Hi, sweetie! How did it go yesterday?”

For a second Hannah draws a blank. Yesterday? But that was a thousand years ago, surely... “Um, well...”

Well? Did he ask?”

Who? Oh. She must mean Richard. “Actually, we broke up. Listen, Mom, can I call--”

She is interrupted by Emily's whooshing sigh. “Oh. Thank. God.”

Hannah represses a stab of hurt. Her parents had always seemed to like Richard before. When had her family become like this, always hiding things from each other? Her parents' divorce had been just as out of the blue. “But I seemed so excited.”

Oh, Nana, sweetie. We were happy you were happy, but honestly, you could do so much better than him. He talks. Like this. Have you noticed? Like everything. He says. Is just. So important. It nearly. Drove. Your father and I. Mad.”

Hannah laughs in spite of herself, noticing how despite everything, Emily still refers to 'your father and I' as a unit. Not my business, she reminds herself, for the hundredth time since she found out. Not my business at all.

So what are your plans now?” her mother asks. “Have you thought about where you'll get a job?”

Oh, fuck, Richard's job offer. Hannah is fairly sure she would rather starve than ever speak to her ex again, but what are her other options? She will have to start thinking and planning again soon, she realizes. But not just now. “Mom, I really have to go, okay? Give my love to Robbie and Cutie. Bye, now.” She hangs up before her mother can respond.

Hannah looks up. So-much-better-than-Richard stands in the doorway, in the form of a still-shirtless Bar Guy—Jacob, damnit, Jacob. It really wan't fair, men should not be that attractive. His smile makes Hannah go weak at the knees, and she has to pretend sitting down was her own idea instead of a reaction to the sheer force of it. It is different than it was last night, neither the suave grin of the player or the slowly unfolding beam of the man she had slowly gotten to know over scotch at four am. Rather, it is uncertain. She wants to call it hopeful, but doesn't know if she's reading too much into it. She decides she must be. She's a lawyer, her entire job is to squeeze the meanings out of things, the meanings she wants. She is fairly sure there is no helpful precedent she can call on here.

Opposing counsel would argue that he is trying to figure out the best way of getting her out of his place. Hannah decides opposing counsel can go fuck itself. She has always been good at arguing her cases, as she'd bragged to Jacob last night. If the evidence isn't sufficient, at least it's there. He wants her.

Who were you talking to?” Jacob asks now.

Hannah shrugs. “Oh. Just my mom. It isn't important.” She feels vaguely embarrassed that she's the type of girl who talks to her mom on the phone every day.

She just called to see how you were doing, huh?” Jacob's smile grows wistful, and she remembers what he said about his own mother, about his sweet, clueless father, too good for the world. Rather like her dad, Hannah thinks, who had been utterly blindsided by the divorce while Hannah had been able to hear the strained unhappiness in her mom's voice for years.

What's she like?” Jacob asks now, and Hannah realizes she has no idea how to answer. She wonders whether Emily would, herself.

She settles on “Very warm. Brilliant. But...lost.”

Jacob nods sagely, as if he has any idea what she is talking about. “Looking for something, I guess. Love, maybe?”

Hannah leans back in her chair, surprised by how easily the confessional mood of the night before returns. “Maybe. I don't really know. She and Dad married so young, I don't think either of them knew who they were or who they could be.”

Jacob draws closer to her. “Does anyone, until they try and find out?”

Hannah's breath catches. She knows it's idiotic, but she wants to try and find out what she would be with this man. She stands up, tilts her head so she can reach his mouth. He tastes of last night's booze. She loves it.

The kiss leaves her dizzy. She wants to speak some words of appreciation or encouragement, but what comes out instead is, “Your fridge is pathetic.”

Jacob grins at her. “Ah, but I'm expert at ordering takeout. You should hear me, I'm really great at it.” He punctuates his remarks with kisses, making his voice into a soft, low growl. “Hello...I'd large pepperoni pizza...with mushrooms...please.”

She likes this much better than Richard's pauses. Not that she would tell Jacob that. “I'm fairly sure that would qualify as harrassment in several states,” she says, but her flushed breathlessness gives her away, and they don't come up for air for a while after that.

When they pause long enough, Hannah takes a deep breath. If she wants to start something new, she might as well do it now. “So, um...I know a place near here that does killer omelets.”

It might be her imagination, but she thinks she sees some of the tension leave Jacob's (ridiculously beautiful) shoulders. “Can I at least put a shirt on before I go?”

Hannah pretends to consider. “Oh, I guess. As long as you promise to take it off the second we get back.”

The smile Jacob gives her is yet another new one. The expression on his face is something that might just be joy. “I think I can manage,” he says, and Hannah is pretty sure opposing counsel has no leg to stand on.