Work Header

Chapter Text

Samantha carefully ran her fingers over her tie, stopping to linger over the simple pin--a gift from Taylor and Abbie—she wore in it. She felt less tension in the air than the first time she and Taylor had had such a meeting, less tension than the last, if she were to admit it. Taylor did not wilt under her scrutiny, and while it was clear that she still neither appreciated nor enjoyed it: she simply accepted it. "I'm glad you could see me."

"Of course." Taylor shook Sam's hand before she took a seat on the other side of her desk. It was becoming more and more rare that she would have a free weekend at home, but this meeting, at least, wouldn't be particularly long and that was something that she had come to appreciate about Sam. She almost always got straight to the point and she never wasted Taylor's time. "Though you're lucky that Abbie got too busy for us to sneak away this weekend."

"You'll have to remind me to thank her." Samantha shifted in her chair easily, making herself more comfortable. She let a short silence fall again as she stroked her chin thoughtfully. "I won't take much of your time, and I think we both know why I'm here. It would not be easy to lend my support to another candidate after you've only just begun."

"You're assuming that I plan on running again." Taylor crossed her legs and leaned back. It wasn't something that she had made her mind up about yet, particularly after she had seen how spectacularly everything had fallen apart for Cammie. Drew was still showing up to work with unusually dark circles under her eyes and attacking everything with almost manic intent.

"And I hope I am not assuming incorrectly." The year had brought challenges, both expected and unexpected, for Taylor and Abbie as well as for herself and Selena, but she would not let Taylor so easily let go of what she had begun to build. "You've no doubt your pick of employment as does Abbie at this point, but there will be so much unfinished here."

Taylor shifted, letting just a bit of her discomfort show. "I haven't made up my mind yet." She looked down at her Academy ring and twisted it on her finger. There were so many days when they got so little accomplished, that it didn't feel as if she was doing much good. Perhaps there was someone else more capable... She pulled her minds away from those thought and her eyes back up to Sam. "There's always going to be something left unfinished, and the things that I did accomplish don't seem to mean much." Todd was still dead, Cammie's life was still in shambles.

"Is that so different from what you were doing before," Samantha said softly as she leaned forward, bright eyes trained on the blonde. She suspected that it wasn't. She also suspected that Taylor was still hurting; she was still hurting, herself. There had been a time when she would have insisted, when she would have pushed, but her approach to Taylor had been softened somewhat. "I need to know that you won't dismiss any serious thought of running again, Taylor. This...does not need to end so quickly."

"I meant it when I said I hadn't decided yet. I haven't dismissed the idea and I am giving it serious thought." Taylor straightened her shoulders and met Sam's eyes, seeing some of her own pain reflected there. She didn't particularly like spending time with Sam, but she thought that they might actually be something resembling friends now. She felt like she could be honest with Sam in a way that she couldn't with anyone else.

For a moment, Samantha's face softened, and she seemed to be looking both at Taylor and beyond her. One corner of her lips quirked up in a soft, half smile. "Selena is expecting," she said softly. Her tone was hushed, almost wistful as she thought of her parents, of her own childhood and how the world had changed. They were simple memories with very complicated musings pushing them to the forefront of her mind. "We haven't made an announcement yet, but we're very pleased." She focused on Taylor again.

"Congratulations." Taylor was taken aback by sudden openness in Sam's face, and she had a feeling that she was getting to see something that very few people ever did. She supposed that the same could be said of her, though. "You must be thrilled."

"Yes, very." Sam shifted again, fingering her tie, but she smiled more openly. "And even now I want to begin giving our child the things that take time to build." She had no desire to control Taylor; she had no desire to make some semblance of perfection through her money.

"I can understand that." Taylor sighed deeply and stood, walking over the windows and their view of the city. She rested her hands on the sill, rubbing her thumbs over the rough brick. It left faint scratches against her skin. They would be easily soothed away by a quick brush against her pants. "I just don't know if I'm the right person to help you do that. Todd..." His death had hit her hard, had affected her in ways that she hadn't even realized at the time. "We went to lunch right before his last deployment."

"I know," she said quietly as she rose from her seat and went to the window beside Taylor. "He called before he left. I..." She shook her head and looked out to the city before turning herself fully to Taylor. "If you didn't have doubts, you wouldn't be right for this job. Go home, Taylor, talk to Abbie...really consider it."

"Yeah." Taylor nodded and finally let go of the windowsill. "I appreciate your support." She tried to smile, but it wasn't entirely genuine, but she offered Sam her hand. "And I'll let you know what I decide."

Samantha straightened as she offered Taylor her hand, shaking firmly. "Give Abbie my best, of course."

"I will. Congratulate Selena for me." She pulled away, letting Sam show her out of her office. She and Abbie were getting out the city the next weekend. They could talk about it then.