"Too Close For Comfort?"
Author: Pia Pedersen

Rating: PG at the most, I'd think.

Author's note: This is me working through some stuff, so please bear with
me. It's just another one of these shorties that I can't decide whether to
classify as Imzadi. But this time the term is actually in there, and when
I reread I thought that it could possible have been set sometime during
Season One prior to that famous speech of Deanna's. If this, coupled with
the use of the term Imzadi, is enough to warrant a disclaimer, then here
it is. I can't afford to get sued. :-)

This is for Sam … because I write better than I speak.

Feedback is very welcome. Just bear in mind that I wrote it in a very
short time, and it has not been beta'd. Errors are mine, as always.


It's a difficult line to draw, the one between friendship and love. Love
isn't rational, it cannot be dictated, and once it develops it is hard to
push aside and ignore. Nevertheless, sometimes lines are necessary. They
can protect and keep at bay emotions that may threaten a sometimes already
fragile relationship.

This is why she knows she has to say it. It isn't easy at all. Of course
it isn't. She wishes no lines would ever have to exist between them, that
they could just relax and enjoy this special connection between them. She
wishes she couldn't already see his surprised, slightly hurt look and hear
his objections to her decision.

She wishes a lot of things, as she makes her way down the corridor, but
her concern for the future of their working-relationship wins out over any
personal wants and needs she has. They have to be able to make this work,
and in order to do so they must agree to not let their professional and
personal lives become too closely connected. No matter what special
circumstances they find themselves in, and no matter how much she would
like to give in to the impulse.


He is happy to see her. She doesn't need her empathy to sense that. It's
all over his face, and her eyes fix on his. Thy are still as blue as she

"Hey," he says, a familiarity in his voice that seems just slightly out of
place. They haven't seen each other in a long time, after all, haven't
talked, and with thought to the way they parted ways, she can't help
taking not of it. But, on the other hand, she is relieved. Maybe it will
not be so hard, maybe the worries she has nurtured since she had first
come face to face with him again, would prove to be unfounded. Maybe.

"Hi." She smiles a little, returning his and steps through the door. His
eyes follow her as she takes a seat on the couch, sitting on the edge
somewhat uncomfortably. What is it about him that his mere presence makes
it harder for her to focus and center herself? She is instantly reminded
why she is here in the first place. Paradoxically, that this man is at the
same time her greatest source of calm and a person, whose passion can
shake her to her core. He moves her, touches a very intimate chord in her.
It's the way it is, and the way it will always be. No matter where they go
from here. There is no way around it, and she isn't looking for one. Not

But the line must be drawn even so. They have work to do, and to let their
personal lives get in the way of this could have potentially devastating
consequences for them both.


"I know," he only says, but she needs only to see the play of emotion in
his eyes to know that he is surprised – just as she had anticipated – and
stunned. Is it really possible that he hasn't acknowledged the sensitivity
of the situation, hasn't realized the possible repercussions of an
intimate relationship on their professional lives? Of course it is. She
smiles a little. He doesn't analyze like she does, doesn't anticipate
trouble. He just acts; lives – and she meets his persistent gaze with just
a twinge of envy. "We could make it work," he maintains, and she nods. She
doesn't disagree, and she doesn't want to be here saying these things,
asking him, basically, not to care about her. "I will always care," he
tells her, making her realize that she must have said the words out loud.
It makes her want to look away, but she resists the urge. "We are

"Are we?" She can't help asking. It seems their relationship have been
defined from the first day without her truly knowing its nature, and,
truly, some relationships defy definition all together. She smiles a
little at the thought, finding that she likes it. Imzadi. It is so many
things. It has so many facets and so many levels, she remembers, and that
fact is suddenly very comforting.

"Maybe not. But I would like us to be." He reaches out, his hand warm
around hers. "Do you think that's possible?"

It's a rhetorical question, and she knows that she doesn't have to answer
him. "Yes," she says, "I think so."

He smiles at that, and instead of getting up to leave, as she knows she
should, she decides to stays a little longer.

There will be times when the lines will be blurry, and perhaps their
personal and professional lives will, from time to time, become too close
for comfort. But they will deal with it whenever it happens. And it will
be worth it to be able to feel this unique connection blossom between
them. It will all be worth it.