Heather invites Ulises to join her and Laurel for a day at he beach.
"You're really good with Laurel," Heather observes as he sits beside her, "You'll be a great father."
"I want to be," he says.
"I never had time to think about what I wanted," Heather says, "I was so young when I had Laurel, I barely made it through high school, and I've been on my own ever since."
"Is Laurel's father..."
"It was a teenage thing," Heather explains before he can finish the question, "His parents wouldn't let him near me after I got pregnant. Then he went off to college. He's never even seen Laurel."
Heather leans back against him as he wraps his arms around her. "I'm here for you, Heather, if you ever need anything," he says, "I know we've just started seeing each other, but I want you to know, I'm serious about this, about you, about the future."
"We feel really right together," Heather answers, "I haven't dated anyone since Laurel was born; I didn't want men coming and going through her life like that. I wouldn't let you around her if I didn't think this was serious."
Ulises smiles, kisses her cheek.
"It will be Laurel's nap time soon, I'll have to take her home," Heather says, "I was thinking, you could come to my place for dinner. And, if you wanted, you could stay the night."
Thus can't be real, Ulises thinks to himself, he's wanted this woman since he first saw her at the market, and suddenly she's his, and she's everything he'd ever dreamed of. It's just too good to be true.
"I'm sorry," Heather says with a blush when he doesn't respond to her invitation right away, "I'm moving too fast aren't I? You must think I'm desperate, or worse..."
Ulises squeezes her tighter, "I could never think that, Heather. Would it be to soon for me to tell you I love you?"
"We don't need to follow a timetable," she says with a smile, "I love you, too. When you came to my stall that first time, I knew I was going to fall in love with you."
So they part ways briefly; she takes Laurel home and he drops by his place to get his things and then drives out to her house in Topanga. She greets him at the door with a passionate kiss, and it feels like he's coming home rather than just visiting.
"I need a safe place to put my gun," he tells her.
Heather's jaw drops, "Your... gun? You want to bring a gun into my house?"
"It's not safe to leave it out in the car," he says, "It's locked in a case, but I'd prefer to stash it somewhere safe inside."
"Why do you even have a gun?"
"I'm a cop, Heather," he says, "I'll be going straight in to the station tomorrow from here, so I need to have my gun on me."
"You're a cop?" she breathes, and turn to sit down before her knees give out on her. She has a shed full of marijuana plants, and she's dating a cop...
Ulises sits beside her, wondering at her extreme reaction to his profession. From what she's told him about her parents' work, and the few opinions she's expressed about the world, he's gathered she's fairly liberal, and LAPD does have some image problems with the more left leaning types. "Listen, Heather, I know how LAPD looks when all you see are the stories about cops that abuse their power. But what you don't see in the news is the majority of us, we're just people doing our jobs, trying to help."
Heather says nothing, she just sits, staring.
"Heather, I'm the same guy I was five minutes ago, when you kissed me," he says gently, sliding closer to her, to put an arm around her.
"I'm sorry," she sighs, "Guns and violence just freak me out. I know you're a good man, and that would make you a good cop, too." And that's the problem, she thinks, he's a good cop, and I'm a criminal. A good criminal, but still...how is this going to work?
Selling her legal produce at farmer's markets just isn't enough income, it's the pot that pays the mortgage her mother left her. She can't give it up, but she's not going to lose Ulises over it. She'll figure something out, some way to make this work, because she has to.
"Then we're okay?" Ulises asks.
"Of course," Heather smiles, kissing him, "I was just a little startled. I don't like to think about you being in danger."
While Heather gets dinner going, Ulises plays with Laurel.
"Did you become a cop because of your parents?" Heather asks him over diner.
"Exactly," he nods, "What happened to them, getting caught in the crossfire of a gang war, that just shouldn't happen to innocent people. I wanted to do something to prevent it happening to anyone else." When he was a kid, recently orphaned, he wanted to be like his hero, Batman. Being a cop was as close as he could get to that dream while staying within the law himself.
"Have you ever...have you ever shot anyone?" she asks. Heather accepted his need to bring his gun into her house, but even locked away as it is, it still kind of freaks her out.
"I have," he answers, "One in the arm, to prevent a perp from discharging his firearm, and one in the leg, to stop him from getting away."
"You must be a good shot."
"I am. I practice a lot. It's a huge responsibility, having to decide when to use force. I never want to have to use my gun and accidentally kill anyone." With great power comes great responsibility, Ulises thinks. Perhaps he's read a few too many comic books.
Ulises insists on doing the dishes after their meal. "I'll get Laurel ready for bed," heather says, leaving him to it.
And then she leads him to her bed. Their relationship hit a snag, but they overcame it, Ulises thinks, and he's glad for it. This little bump on the road made what had seemed to perfect to be anything but a dream suddenly very real, and he no longer has to fear waking up and discovering it never happened.
Ulises sleeps peacefully, truly fulfilled. Heather has terrible dreams about being arrested and going to jail.
They have breakfast on the patio before Ulises has to go into the station.
"Are you going to get that?" he asks as her cell rings furiously.
"I'll deal with it later," she says, making a mental note to silence that thing when she's around Ulises. She's not going to be doing deals in front of him. "If you want, you can come back here after work."
He smiles and takes her hand, "I'd like that, Heather."
It's going to be a difficult road to make it work, she thinks while she tends her garden, but she'll make it work, somehow.