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Back to part 12 / Back to Masterpost

Lena glared at Jim from the bed as he meticulously draped a blanket over the couch. “You don’t have to sleep there, you know.”

“Sure I do,” he replied, entirely too reasonably for someone as unreasonable as he was being. “You’re sleeping on the bed.”

“You could always... oh, I don’t know... sleep with me,” she retorted.

Jim sighed. “Bones, we’ve been through this--”

“Don’t ‘Bones’ me,” Lena snarled. “We’ve already slept together before, in both senses of the word. Why is it so damned impossible to do it now?”

“That was different,” he managed.

“How so? Because I was some pretty anonymous face? Can’t bring yourself to fuck me now that it’s actually me?”

“That’s not what I said--”

“But it’s what you meant, isn’t it? I should’ve known. I fucking told you as much.”

“What in the hell are you going on about now?”

“I’m some kind of novelty to you!” she spat. “I’m a fucking novelty, and I’m sick and tired of it. Sure, you can look at me. Maybe you can even tease me with the possibility. But no, here I am, ready and willing, and you’re running away.”

Jim sighed. “Lena--”

“No! You’re going to tell me to be reasonable, I know it. Well, I’m sick and fucking tired of being reasonable about this. You’re driving me up the wall, completely bat shit insane, and I can’t take it anymore!” Lena knew exactly how overdramatic her exclamation sounded. She knew, and she was beyond caring. She’d had enough of this.

“And what exactly is it you want?” Jim demanded. “You want me to fuck you, so you can walk away knowing we at least had that? You’re going to demand that and then disappear again?”

“What?” Lena froze, shocked. “Of course not!”

“How the fuck am I supposed to know that?” Jim asked, voice and eyes hard. “You’ve already done it once, though admittedly we never got this far. How am I supposed to know you won’t cut and run again?”

“You think you’re the only one who can regret those years?” she demanded. “You think I don’t regret every damned moment of those three fucking years I spent away? Fuck, I don’t even remember most of it, but I came back and everything’s different and I’d hoped I could at least count on you to be all right with me being here with you. Guess not.”

Jim sighed. “Of course I’m fine with you here with me. It’s just... I don’t think this is something we should rush into, all right? We do that, and this is just one more thing to pile on top of the list of regrets we already have. I want to do this right.”

“Jim--”

“You’re not changing my mind on this. I love you, but I won’t do that. Not yet.”

Lena froze halfway through, not hearing anything after the three words she’d been longing to hear for so long. I love you. “I--” she struggled to respond, to let him know that she felt the same way about him, but her voice had caught in her throat and her eyes were burning suspiciously. Dammit. She was doing far too much crying on his shoulder lately.

“Hey, come here,” he said softly, beckoning her over. Within just a few short moments she was in his arms and his hands were gently stroking down her back. “Hey, it’ll be all right. You’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.”

“I know,” Lena managed, voice unsticking as the first tears fell. “I love you too.”

~*~

I love you too.

Jim couldn’t help the wide smile that spread across his face, feeling as if it might well be going from ear to ear and was threatening to quite literally rip his face in half. “You do, huh?”

“Yeah,” she whispered. “Figured you should know.”

Jim smiled, kissing her softly as his fingers tangled in her hair. She sighed happily as her hands found their way to his shoulders. Just the simplest of touches of their lips had Jim’s head spinning. He’d never felt like this from just a kiss before, and it was amazing. Finally, though, he had to pull back slightly. “Come on,” he murmured. “We both need to sleep. It’s been a long day. We’ve got a few more long days ahead of us, especially when we get back to Earth. No one’s going to have any clue what to do about you returning after so long, and it’ll mean sleepless nights for every single person involved.”

Lena sighed, curling into him. “At least sleep with me? Please?”

Jim sighed. With that tone of voice and those sleepy warm golden-brown eyes looking up at him, he was helpless to say no. “All right,” he finally said, and the smile that crossed Lena’s features was the greatest reward he could’ve imagined.

Lena slid into the bed, holding the sheets up for him as he slipped into it beside her. She squirmed, trying to find a comfortable position, clearly unused to sharing a bed with someone and trying to make it as comfortable on him as possible. “Hey,” he finally said, setting a hand on her waist to get her to stop.

“Sorry,” she muttered. “I know we... well, you... said we wouldn’t, not yet, and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“Just do what feels right,” he whispered. “Sleeping with someone really isn’t that difficult.”

After a moment, she sighed, pressing her back to his chest, hand traveling up to the hand he still had on her waist and tangling their fingers together with a content sigh. “Good night,” she mumbled, already half asleep.

“Good night, Lena-love,” he smiled into her hair. Within moments she was asleep, and he wasn’t far behind her.

~*~

Three Years Ago

“Who are you?” Lena demanded of the woman who was calmly standing in the center of the room. “Why are you here?”

“I am here because you are lost,” the woman calmly replied, her voice rather like the chiming of bells.

What?”

“You, Lena McCoy, are lost,” she repeated. “Come with me, and you will find your way again.”

Lena was instantly inclined to be distrustful. After all, she was a stranger and she was glowing. But she seemed so earnest, despite her calm, eager to help her… find her way? That was strange talk.

“Come with me,” the woman repeated. “You will be lost no longer.”

Well, it was something to do, and that had to be better than nothing, right? Lena took a step closer to her. “All right. Where are we going?”

There was a blinding flash of light, and then she knew no more.


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November 2011

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