GrinningRandomElf > Still Breathing

Still Breathing

It was the slight movement of the other body spooned up against her that woke her from her light slumber. Her eyelids fluttered open, and she held her breath, unsure whether he was awake. A frozen moment passed, then his arm tightened convulsively on her waist and he whispered her name urgently.


"What is it?"

He relaxed. "You stopped breathing."

She smiled in the darkness. "I thought you were asleep," she replied softly. "I was trying not to wake you."

He buried his face against her shoulder, breathing in the scent of her. "Don’t scare me like that."

"Sorry," she muttered sleepily, shifting to a more comfortable position. She felt his lips on the exposed skin at the place where her neck met her shoulder, and turned her face into the pillow to give him greater access. However, after a moment, he turned his head away and pulled her tight against him.

"I love you," he whispered fiercely, breath hot against her ear. "I love you. I love you."

She twisted in his arms, confused. Even in private, he was usually emotionally reserved. Desire, physical need, he had no problem with, often taking her breath away with his gently spontaneous displays of passion, but when it came to emotion, he preferred usually to let his actions speak for themselves, and she was happy to accept that.

"Neo? What’s wrong?"

He shook his head tightly. "Nothing. Nothing. Just a bad dream, is all. Go back to sleep."

She turned fully in his arms, wrapping her arms around him and throwing a leg over his hip. He buried his face against her shoulder, seeking comfort like a small child, and she gave it.

She remembered the nightmares she’d had after traumatic experiences in the past. Nobody was really immune from them. The weeks after she’d first killed a man had been particularly horrific - she’d slept in either Tank’s or Switch’s rooms most nights.

When she’d started losing count of the deaths, she’d stopped losing sleep over them. She wasn’t sure which disturbed her more.

"I love you," she whispered. "I’m here. It’s okay. Don’t be afraid."

He pulled back from her a little, and kissed her hard on the mouth, his hands suddenly fumbling at the hem of her nightshirt. She kissed him back, desperate to calm his fears. If that meant reassurance of her presence and aliveness, then so be it.

However, once his hands were under the cloth, he simply rested them there, one against her belly, the other sliding up to lie just beneath her left breast, where her heart was fluttering like a small bird. He broke the kiss and rolled them so she was beneath him, sliding down her body to lay his head against her chest.

She gently cradled him as his hand stroked across her abdomen. There was no lust in the gesture, she knew, no passion or desire, but simple pleasure in the feel of her skin beneath his hands. His breathing slowed, and he drifted back to sleep with her heart beating strongly in his ears and beneath his hand.


End of Transmission

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