Toro was well over due for a vacation. If Bucky's "death," quickly followed by news of what had appeared to be another death for Jim, hadn't been cause enough for a vacation, the fact that neither death had stuck certainly gave him the right to take off and enjoy some time to himself.
Along the way, he figured he didn't really have the right to stay angry at Bucky for faking his death and not letting Toro know the truth as long as Toro himself kept the truth about his own miraculous resurrection from Ann.
So it appeared that in order to get on with his own life, he was going to have to square things away with Ann, first.
Which was how, two weeks into his vacation, Toro found himself sitting on a park bench with his ex-wife, having a conversation he'd put off for far longer than either of them deserved.
"Maybe it's for the best that you've moved on." It didn't hurt to say that as much as he thought it would, when he'd first came back.
Ann took a drink of bottled tea and moved her gaze from the man the two of them had been checking out only moments before. "Probably. We married in a different time, Tom. What mattered to us then ... doesn't matter anymore."
"And you never understood my kinks," he said softly. He didn't mean it to sound like he was blaming her. But it had been easier to talk to her, when he'd be a lovestruck fool.
With the haze wearing off, things were different.
"Didn't I?" Ann's forehead wrinkled slightly.
"It wasn't a way to deal with stress," he insisted. "It never was. It was just something I liked."
Ann patted his hand gently. "I hope you find someone who understands, then. You were a good man, Thomas. Just not the one for me."
"Finding someone to understand me? There's only about half a dozen who do, and they're all taken."
"Mm." Ann took another drink of her tea, then leaned over and whispered, "Last I heard, Jim Hammond was back. Is he taken?"
He wasn't the foolish teen he'd been, but the mere mention of Jim was enough to make Toro squirm and feel his face go involuntarily hot. "No, he's not, but ..."
"But what? He missed you, and I always thought he was quite the catch," Ann remarked. "And I'm not sure if I should tell you, but while you were gone, I took him for a bit of a test drive."
Part of Toro's brain exploded at that point, he was pretty sure.
"Oh, don't look like that, Thomas. You were dead, what were we supposed to do? Sit around and wait on you to come back to life?" Ann tsked at him. "Anyway, he wasn't what I needed, either, but I suspect you will be compatible together. He is quite handsome, you know."
"I always thought so," Toro murmured, a secret he'd only shared once before, and certainly not with his ex-wife, or to the man in question.
Bucky'd never told though; he was good that way.
"What?" Maybe Bucky did have loose lips after all...
"You used to talk in your sleep. Back when we shared a bed, I couldn't help but overhear."
"You never said anything. That seems like something a wife might have said to her husband."
"What should I have said? We'd promised 'til death us do part,' and here you were, in love with another man."
"I was in love with you, too."
"Hmm." The way Ann looked at him, before glancing back at the man they'd both been checking out, made it clear she didn't think so.
Part of him wanted to argue, because that part of his life had mattered, once ...
But the other part of him just wanted a drink. Something he wanted a lot, lately.
"Doesn't your new husband mind when you look at other men?" Toro finally asked.
"Do you care what my new husband cares about?"
"I want you to be happy - "
"Then know that I am. And so is my 'new' husband. And so are the many couples that fall in and out of our bed."
Toro ... really didn't know what to say about that. "I suppose it's only fair that I don't understand your kinks, either."
"Maybe. All the more reason you should go out and chase the man of your dreams." Ann finished off her bottle of tea and extended her hand. "I'll send you your things. They've been packed up a while, and there's no reason they shouldn't clutter up your home instead of mine these days."
A handshake. Such a platonic way to end what had once mattered so much.
But when Toro shook her hand, relief fell over him, not sadness.
She was right. He had a life to live, and maybe he'd put that off long enough.