Spoilers: Season 1 only.
Summary: Diana thinks upon what's holding her back from starting anything. Diana/Marco.
A/N: Betaread by Fanwoman.
She remembers when she first met him. He had the biggest grin on his face as she showed him around the facility; it never even faltered when he found out she wouldn't be working with him much at all. It's the never-ending optimism that gets to her; it's infectious. He makes her smile back if she's around him more than a few minutes. She never stays longer than she has to, because she's got a job to do and because, sometimes, she just can't take the lack of control he seems to illicit in her. She likes certainty, facts and figures, mysteries to figure out; she has to get to the end, to solve the puzzle, however slowly it unfolds.
Marco is the one thing she doesn't want to explore, or rather won’t let herself. She gets the feeling she'll never quite know why he affects her as he does, and she can't open that Pandora's box with him because, if there's one thing she's sure of, its that there will be no closing the lid when it suits her. She can't help but smile back, watching his face light up as they realize the missing link to yet another ripple. Yet she leaves because she has to, not just to carry on with her work but because she can't risk staying in his company – and it's a choice she has. She can still walk away without looking back, close the door and leave him be. Regardless, he's always happy when she sees him, always there, ready for her, ready to do anything she asks.
Sometimes, she wishes he wasn't like that, but then she also wishes sometimes she could let herself show care enough to glance back, allowing herself one more glimpse and a chance to smile again. Because she knows he watches far longer than he should, waiting for a small sign, a peek into the box – even just a tilt of the lid to latch onto and open her up a little further. He’s always waiting for some indication that he should keep going, though he seems perfectly able to keeping trying as it is. Maybe he won't wait forever, though she almost wants him to carry on that bit longer, as a means of proving something. What that might be, she hasn’t figured out.
Time is running out, but it's never been the right time, yet. Marco is a man of numbers; he deals with statistics. Maybe he's just depending on the fact that, if he carries on, one day the odds are she'll stay with him and let him in more than she’s dared so far. She doesn't feel comfortable doing that at the moment; she keeps her time with him to a healthy minimum, not enough to seem terse but not too much, either. Besides, she feels like they're slowing moving in that direction anyway, like a current carrying them toward something that's ultimately inevitable. She can't deny that she likes the idea that she'll find out someday what she yearns to know. Looking at him, as a smile spreads on his face from putting a lid on yet another case, she realises maybe she shouldn't underrate the appeal of mystery. After all, it keeps bringing them back to each other, wanting more.