Title: False Impressions

Disclaimer: Yeah, these guys don't belong to me either. But I still wanted to write this.

Author's Note: Post-ep for "In Extremis." Martin's point of view. Spoilers. Please r&r; constructive critcism, whatever. This is my first WaT fanfic piece and I've actually only seen like, three episodes. I'd love to know if I'm on the right track with Martin and Samantha's characterizations or not.

He had been walking as if in a daze back at the scene. He remembered thinking...wanting to do more to comfort Samir's girlfriend, but he knew Sam-- Samantha would do a better job at it then he ever could. When he got back to the office Viv offered to be a sound board should he need to talk.

He could tell she sympathized; he wondered though, if she understood.

He sank into his chair, staring at the blank computer monitor before him. He had no idea what to think. The fact that he was wrong bothered him; but that wasn't everything that was causing him to worry. It was his job to toss ideas, however awkward or insensitive they may be, out in the open. He didn't know what to think anymore.

Perhaps that was it. He'd always had to rely on himself in the past. He never wanted to ask for help. He was used to doing the work, present it, get a pat on the back, and go in for more. He realized that many people figured him as an eager rookie. In many ways he was: He was the newest, the freshest face in the crowd. The one that didn't quite fit in yet. He was well aware of those distinctions.

He may be the rookie in the crowd, but he had a brain. He used it. Perhaps he was naive sometimes. He hoped it wasn't naivete that lead him to think it was the wrong decision to give the green light to shoot down Samir. He knew that rationally, it was the right thing to do. They didn't have the same information he did. On the outside, he was a threat to himself and the others still in that building. But... Martin also had a heart. And twice during this investigation, it had been trampled. The first was by Samantha and her labeling him as betraying Malone. That trampling lead to some constructive thinking on his part, however painful, leading him to realize that although profiles were generally correct, they aren't set in stone; her profiling of him was wrong at that moment. Just like his initial profile on Samir was wrong. He just wished he'd seen it earlier. The second trample was by Malone himself. The one that left him stunned.

An innocent man died today... because Martin hadn't made himself trustworthy enough. Malone didn't think him good enough to be able to defuse the situation. Hence the death of an innocent man. Now that decision left Martin doubting himself. What could he have done differently? How could he have let himself fall so far as to let an innocent man die?

"Martin," came a soft voice from behind him. 'Samantha,' he realized silently. He closed his eyes, debating whether or not to pretend he hadn't heard her. He mentally shook himself. That wouldn't solve anything. He ran his hand over his face and swiveled his chair around to face her.

It was dark.

He stood.

The office was empty, the lights dimmed.

He looked back towards her, so many questions wanting to be voiced. Instead, she spoke.

"It's nine o'clock. You've been staring at the wall... for a while." Her voice was low... he had to strain to hear her. "The concensus was that you seemed like you needed the time to yourself." He leaned against his desk.

"But you're still here," he said, perhaps stating the obvious, but vocalizing something that needed to be said. She nodded, following his cue unconsciously, leaning against his cubicle wall.

"Yes. I'm still here." She took a breath, speaking at a normal tone. "I'm sorry for being so blunt with you earlier." He shook his head, cutting her off.

"You don't need to apologize, Samantha. I know I deserved it. Probably still do." The two stood in silence a few moments. In the past, the silence would have been highly uncomfortable. Now... it was companionable. Not much had been exchanged, but the bridge had been built. There was no longer a long river between the two. There was some newfound, if unvoiced, understanding. She cleared her throat softly, straightening up.

"You know... I'm here if you need to talk. No one should have to go through what happened today by themselves." He glanced up at her, almost instantly reading her expression.

She had been there. She saw his reaction after the sniper had shot down Samir. The soundless scream had been painful to watch. She knew then that the faceoff between the two had allowed Martin to come full circle in his thoughts. No longer was Samir a potential terrorist; he was a fellow human being.

She understood Martin completely at that exact moment.

They shared the same pain.

They both felt for the death of the innocent man.

He nodded. "Thanks." He was sincerely grateful. Maybe he wasn't as outcasted from them as he'd thought. But he needed more time to think by himself. He cleared his throat. "I guess I should be going." She nodded in agreement, recognizing the skirting of the issue for what it was.

"Have a good night, Martin."

"Good night Samantha." He heard her footsteps echo in the silence as he turned to pick up his jacket. He sighed as he slipped the jacket on.

Loneliness never felt so bad when one knew they weren't alone. He was glad he wasn't as alone in his thoughts as he felt. But he knew that tomorrow, he'd be going back to keeping up appearances. Trying to hide his idealism and hope with a rough, professional exterior. Maybe one day, he wouldn't have to hide himself completely.