Afterthoughts ~ Otherwise Engaged

Written by Isa

Set after "Otherwise Engaged" - A real end on the whole Sarah-leaves-Bailey-for-NYC-thing.

Bailey paced the living room, checking his watch every few minutes. It was eleven p.m. and he still hadn't heard a peep from Sarah. He racked his brain as to where she could be, but she hadn't told him she was going anywhere, and she always left him a note or a page when she was going out while he was at work, so he was leaning towards the something-horrible-happened theory. Claudia said she hadn't seen her all day and took the careful time to remind Bailey of their family history with bad luck before leaving for a sleepover. Bailey wasn't sorry to see her cheery personality go.

He was reaching for the phone when she came through the front door. He peeked out when he heard two voices. She was giggling, and so was the tall handsome guy she was with.

"No, no, no. If NSYNC took on the Spice Girls, they'd get their asses kicked. Girl Power remember?"

"Hi," Bailey walked into the foyer with his arms folded across his chest. "Where were you? I was worried."

"Carson and I were at that recital for music appreciation. I know I told you about it."

"No, you didn't."

Sarah shrugged. "Oh. Well anyway, that's where we were."

Carson put his hand out and Bailey shook it. "Carson Daly. Nice to meet you. Sarah talks about you all the time."

"Really. She's never mentioned you before."

"Carson's a music major too. He's a great help to me."

"I'll bet," Bailey said dryly.

"So, did you want something to drink?" Sarah asked.

"No, I need to get going. See you in class tomorrow." he opened the door to leave. "Bye."

"Bye," Sarah waved.

"Nice meeting you Bailey." Carson added.

Bailey slammed the door shut and stared at her. "Who is that guy?"

She went into the kitchen and he followed her. He waited for an answer while she opened the fridge, took out a Snapple and drank from it. "He's a friend from class, I told you."

"Yeah, five minutes ago."

"What, am I on trial here?"

"I just like to know where you are all the time."

"Okay Daddy. And if I'm really, really good, can I get an advance on my allowance?"

"Sarah, please, can't we just be serious for a moment? 'Cause I really wanna talk about this."

She plunked the bottle down on the counter. "I don't." She took off for the attic and Bailey sighed. He heard the door slam and knew he'd be sleeping on the couch that night.

"Carson's from New York City," Sarah went on. It was the next afternoon and she'd come by Salingers to spend her lunch break with Bay. He'd spent his cleaning glasses behind the counter and she spent hers talking about Carson between bites of her tossed salad. "He used to DJ down there, and he's already got an interview with MTV California this weekend."

"Nice." he commented without feeling.

"What's wrong?"


"What is it?"

"It's nothing, Sarah. Except for the fact that you haven't shut up about Carson since you got here and I know everything about the guy except his shoe size."

"Eleven and a half. He has big feet."

Bailey made a face.

"Why are you bothered by this? So I have a friend that's a guy. Big deal."

"Yes, it is a big deal."

"Why? I don't love him, I love you."

"You love me," Bailey put another glass on the shelf. "But not enough to marry me."

"That was wrong," she said quietly.

"It's true though."

"Bailey, let's not do this again, all right? We've been over this. I'm nineteen years old. I've got my whole life ahead of me. I'm not ready to be tied down."

"So you would feel restricted if you were married to me? I don't get that. I love you, Sarah."

"I know. I love you too. But I can't do this right now." she gathered her books and left. mumbling "Thanks for lunch," over her shoulder.

The semester ended and Sarah took a part time job at the coffeehouse/theatre where Carson worked to get "experience." She was spending more and more time with him, going to clubs and concerts, and the distance between her and Bailey was growing. Pretty soon, they weren't much more to each other than a "hello" in the morning and a "goodbye" at night.

"Bailey?" Owen asked as he brought the mail in. "What's NYU?"

"New York University, why?"

"Sarah got a package from them."

Bailey stopped going through Owen's review cards and grabbed the heavy envelope from Owen.

"Are you gonna open it?" he asked with wide, excited eyes.

"Of course not. It's not mine, it's Sarah's."

"What does it say?"

"I think it says that Sarah got into school there. In New York."

"Were you even gonna tell me?" he demanded. It was later that night and when Sarah had come home from work, Bailey cornered her. "You don't apply to transfer schools, you don't do something that major, without telling the person you're sleeping with."

"I never said I was going."

"You never said you weren't."

She sat down on the bed and sighed heavily. "I found something out around Christmas."


"That my birth father is in New York. I guess a part of me is hoping that if I did go, I might be able to find him. I might get an answer to one of my ten thousand questions."

"So you're going."

"I never said that."

He sat next to her and took her hands in his. He kissed them and she saw tears in his eyes. "You don't have to say it, I already know."

Hers welled up as well and she tried not to look at him. "I'm sorry."

He walked away from her and grabbed his keys. He needed to get away. "Me too."

The end of summer was spent pretty much the same way as the start. Two people living in the same house barely speaking. Bailey chose not to take Sarah to the airport because it would be too hard. He didn't want to be bawling uncontrollably in a public place, and he was pretty sure he couldn't handle it if Sarah wasn't as upset as he knew he was going to be. He'd kissed her while she was still sleeping and left her a note before leaving for work. It was easiest that way.

She entered the lobby for her gate and after she checked in, she plopped down in one of the uncomfortable chairs and started to weep. She waited for the boarding call and thought about Bailey. She thought about loving him and missing him and whether or not this was the right decision.


She glanced up. "Hey."

"Did you tell him about us?"

She shook her head. "It woulda been too hard. He's hurting enough right now."

He sat next to her. "Will you ever tell him?"

"I don't think so Carson."

"Why not?"

"I'm pretty sure he already knows."

Back to Afterthoughts index