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Piece of Paper

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                After leaving the garage, she had gone and done something she would have never believed herself capable of- she had talked with her father. Not in so many words, of course, their conversation had been more about body language and semi-uttered half-sentences than anything else, but, still, they had talked. And he had given her advice- of course, only after she had (sort  of) explained that no, it hadn’t been Toby’s fault, and no, there was no need for any of them to formulate some wacko plan to hide his body.

Her father had told her that she should have explained the situation to Toby. Tell him everything she had already said. That, had she decided to be honest- had she always been honest- there was a good chance that he was going to understand, and maybe, just maybe,  even forgive her. Neither of them had any doubts  that he would have pout and he would have remembered her of this tiny little  fact until the day they would be both dead, but still, they knew Tony, and how he felt about the girl of his dreams.

That was why she was at the garage, mere hours after she had escaped after his proposal, ripping his  headphones all the way out and demanding all his attention.

“The reason I can’t marry you? It’s not because I don’t want to be with you or because I fear you’ll abandon me like my father did- because trust me, I don’t – but because I’m already married, you moron!”

Toby looked at her with his mouth wide open for a  long, few seconds- seconds that, to Happy, felt like an eternity; from his expression, no one would have ever guessed (or even believed) that he was a genius, a Doctor, and that he had gone to the Harvard Medical School.

“Did you just say that you are already married?”  He asked, still sitting at his desk, looking with fear at Happy; when she nodded, oddly calm given the discussion they were having, he gulped down a mouthful of saliva. “Ok. And, don’t take it the wrong way- and trust me, I know how stupid I’m going to sound in a about two seconds, but- you are not married to me, right?  Because I can totally see myself having blackouts.”

Happy didn’t answer him. She simply glared.

“I’m not a behaviourist, but I think she means no?” Both Happy and Toby turned to look at Silvester. “Oh, dear. I said it out loud, didn’t I?” As Happy kept glaring at him, Silvester grabbed  a piece of  equipment and went to hide. Toby didn’t scare him- even if he could do without his cold-readings – but Happy did. A lot.

Happy bit her cheek, and started to play with his headphones; she took a big breath, and, without facing Toby, she started to talk. “Listen, I didn’t think that a piece of paper would be so important for you, all right?”

“YOU DIDN’T THINK THAT WITH THE LACK OF MORAL COMMITMENT I GOT FROM MY FATHER I WOULD HAVE CRAVED EMOTIONAL STABILITY MY WHOLE LIFE?!” Toby screamed as he jumped on his feet and stood right before Happy. He cleared his voice as he saw the surprise on her face- she wasn’t probably  expecting such a reaction from him- and recomposed himself. He had said his two cents. Now it was up to her.

“That’s exactly what I mean. The piece of paper isn’t what is important. It’s just that.  Black ink on white paper.” She got closer and closer to him, her voice lower and lower, as her eyes were. She was about the say something she didn’t like to share- something that, though, he already knew. And yet, it didn’t make it any easier. “There was a piece of paper that stated that I was my father’s daughter, and yet he went and abandoned me when things got hard, all rights? That’s why I know that’s all there is to it. They are just words, and alone they don’t mean anything.”

Tony leaned over her, gently cupping with both his hands the soft skin of her neck. “Hap, he was an alcoholic. He thought he was doing what was better for you.”

“Yeah, and look how things turned out…” She muttered between herself. “Listen Doc, I didn’t keep it from you because I wanted to hurt you, or because I don’t feel the same as you do. I really thought that we didn’t need a piece of paper to state what’s between us.” She pouted, plating with the buttons of his shirt. Toby wasn’t an idiot- he knew she was working on his weaknesses, exploiting them against him, but frankly, he didn’t care.  It was working and he wanted for it to be working.  Of course things weren’t going to get back to normal – to what they had been just twenty-four hours before- in the blink of an eye, but at least they were going to be on the same page. And honest. And mostly, together.

Toby sighed exaggeratedly. “Please, just, please, just tell me that he is an overweight stupid and lame comic book lover with a gaming addiction.”  Please, please, make it so he looks like Sylvester but with no brain at all, and not a genius extraordinaire with Walt’s physique..

Happy shrugged. “Oh, I have no idea. I’ve never met the guy. Walter sort of arranged the whole thing for us.”

“WALTER DID WHAT?!” Toby turned in direction of where Walt’s desk was, screaming like a banshee and ready to strangle his supposed best friend. The moron. The bloody, genial moron. He really, really needed Paige in his life. Because how could he have forgotten to mention something so vital? Oh, right, he isn’t here. Lucky for him, or I would have started telling him how much he loves Paige and what a moron he is for letting it go of her.

Toby sighed. “So, we were saying?”

Happy rolled her eyes. “There was this Indian scientist Walt knew. The guy needed to stay here, but couldn’t any longer, so in order to get him a green card Walt hacked some government server  and falsified a marriage license and another few things, making it look like we had been married for some time while it had been just minutes.” Happy sighed, taking Toby’s hands in her own ones. “I’m going to say something, and you’ll never talk about it, neither with me or others, all right?”

Toby nodded, way too enthusiastically. “Listen moron, I want to be happy,  and for some unknown reason, I am happy when you are. And if to make you happy I need to divorce, I’ll do it.”

Eventually.” He sighed, almost hissing the word between his teeth.

Happy looked at him pointedly. “It goes without saying. He needs a piece of paper more than we do.”

Toby pouted, hoping against all hope that she would take mercy on him, which, frankly, was quite stupid. Because it was Happy he was talking about, after all. “I do need a piece of paper, thought.”

Happy rolled her eyes. “Tobias.” She hissed; she opened her mouth as to say something more, but then she heard the phone ringing and forgot what she wanted to say- or maybe she just thought about it twice and decided to keep her trap shout.

“All right, all right, I’ll cut it. But.” He chuckled, looking like an idiot (stupidly, crazily in love) and pointed a ginger at her. “But only if you’ll admit that hadn’t you been in a scam marriage, you would have said yes.”

Happy didn’t even bothered with answering. She simply grabbed his hat and launched it as far away as possible, and then turned on her heels. “You should stop with the stupid hat, Doc. You hair is thinning!”

“My hair is perfect, thank you very much!” Toby screamed as he retrieved his hat; as Silvester approached him, he chuckled, way too proud for his own good. “You saw that? She would have definitely said yes to my proposal!” But Silvester didn’t say anything. “What? C’mon Big Guy, use your own words and tell uncle Toby what’s wrong…”

“I’ve got a good news and a bad news. Good news is, it was Paige. Walt got the girl…bad news is, he also got a broken nose in the process.”

Toby shook his head and patted his long-time friend on one shoulder. “Don’t worry Sly, chicks dig that.”