green bic lighter

A Fish Tale

by: mldrgrl
Rating: PG
Summary: Hank has a visitor as he prepares for the nuptials

It was times like these that Hank wished he’d still smoked.  He’d drummed his fingers on top of the desk in Karen’s office so much that he’d even annoyed himself and he had to stop.  The piece of paper in front of him was still blank after almost an hour of trying to fill it.

He thought it would be easy to write his vows.  Well, not his vows, per se, but whatever one would call that part of the ceremony where the bride and groom might want to say something about each other.  He had so many things he wanted to say, but they just wouldn’t come out.  Part of the problem might be that for one of the first times in his life, he held what he felt for Stella as something sacred and something private.  God knows when it came to the other women in his life, especially Karen, he was known to overshare.

Maybe the difference was how reserved Stella was to begin with.  He had coaxed her out of her shell through the years, but she had also taught him the benefits of privacy.  There were things that only the two of them knew, things that he didn’t even tell Karen about, and he was known to tell Karen everything, and that made him feel more bonded with her than anyone else.  Still, he felt compelled, and the empty piece of paper mocked him.

Desperate for a diversion, he searched Karen’s desk for something to toy with.  He found a neon green Bic lighter at the bottom of one of the drawers and his spirits brightened in the hopes he might find a loose cigarette to go with it.  No such luck.  Even the lighter was old and useless, barely giving off a few sparks when he tried to fire it up.  The impatience of it all sort of made him wish he’d invited Charlie after all.  Charlie could always come up with a distraction, though their influence on each other was the very reason he didn’t want his little folically challenged friend around today.

There was a knock on the frame of the open door behind him and Hank spun around in his chair to see Fish wearing a wide grin and a hideous red and white Hawaiian shirt.  The Trout was probably the last person in the house he wanted to see, but he still welcomed the distraction.

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