He had no idea how they'd ended up the way they were.
He remembered that morning. How he and his ex-wife had arrived at her apartment shortly after 9am. How she had invited him inside, and he followed her into the small one-bedroom that was Michelle and not Michelle all at the same time. He still wasn't used to the idea of her living alone.
There was nothing left to say that hadn't been said over the course of that day, and none of it mattered anymore, anyway. They were together again; everything was right. Everything was new. That's what mattered. After everything they'd been through, the last thing either of them wanted was to rehash the events of the past fifteen months. Never mind the fact that they were both ready to pass out from exhaustion. So the silence that hung in the air was comfortable, nice even. Nice to just breathe and revel in the fact that they were both alive and relatively unscathed. The fact that that day gave them more than it almost cost them. That she had to lose him just to get him back, but he would never let that happen again.
After they had eaten what Michelle had managed to find in the fridge and she changed into a t-shirt and sweatpants, he casually mentioned driving home (though "home," he thought, was a funny way to put it; his home had always been wherever she was). Of course he didn't want to leave her, didn't want her out of his sight for as long as he lived, but he didn't want to be presumptuous. He wanted to respect whatever she wanted. If she wanted him to stay, he'd stay, but if she wasn't ready, he would go. He didn't know where to—he wasn't ready to face Jen yet—but if she needed time, he'd give her as long as she needed. He owed her that, and he knew better than anyone else that she was worth it.
"Don't be ridiculous, you can barely keep your eyes open."
He tried to hide his relief at her easy response and nodded curtly. "I'm good with the couch."
She had studied him for a beat, then offered her signature half-smile, shaking her head. "It's not comfortable. Besides, I don't have any extra blankets."
He didn't say anything, and something in her eyes before she turned away told him to follow her. So, albeit hesitantly, he did.
Adopting the same side of the bed she always had when she was with him, she fiddled with the sheets before settling on her side, facing him. The last thing he remembered was staring at her bedroom ceiling, listening to her breathe once she was asleep. He could always tell when she was.
But the scene he awoke to was different in every possible way, and he had to convince himself he wasn't only dreaming of the couple they were two, even three, years ago.
They were curled up together as close as they could possibly be, her back pressed against his torso. Her hand felt soft resting lightly over his, where his arm, parallel with hers, fell snugly around her waist, as if deciding it was never letting her go. His face was mostly buried in her shoulder, though he could still make out the scent of her smoother-than-normal hair, which was even more wonderful than he remembered despite its having been through pouring rain earlier that same day.
He had theories as to how it happened. Instinct. The natural way they had always fit together perfectly, like they were born to lie next to one another. Some subconscious longing to feel their bodies touch, sharing each other's warmth once again. She was cold, which wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. Whatever the reason, he was more than pleased to have her in his arms again.
She looked so peaceful with the orange glow of the setting sun on her face, her other arm strewn across her pillow, hand a few inches from her forehead. Her breathing was perfectly even, no fear, no anxiety, no frustration. Not a care in all the world, and he was grateful her body had allowed her a few hours of rest.
He lifted his head slowly, hand flexing subtly underneath hers in an effort to untangle himself without disturbing her. Hers followed suit in organic unison, her fingers toying with his as she danced the line between dreaming and cognizance. They traced the curve between his index and thumb before closing around the latter.
His breath caught a little and he lowered his lips to the back of her neck, moving to brush a feathery kiss over her skin when she suddenly turned her head to face him. He pulled back automatically, leaving still only a hairline of distance between his face and hers, noses nearly touching. Both of them seemed frozen where they were, eyes locked, an instant feeling like years as they contemplated where to go from there. In what amounted to all of four seconds, all attempts at calculation were halted by impulse as his hand reached for her face and then the back of her head abruptly, driving her deep into the pillow with his kisses as she embraced them. She kissed him back just as eagerly, tongue delving into his mouth as she gripped the back of his neck, his shoulders, his face. His arms circled around her waist as he rolled her on top of him, dragging her up with him as he felt her fingers venture into his dark hair. He caught her back as they tumbled down again onto the white sheets, other hand dipping down to her backside and her hair splaying out beneath them in auburn disarray.
He wasn't sure who pulled back first or if it was a mutual action, but they were both breathless by the time they tore apart. He gazed at her, soft panting shaking her small frame, and despite the subtle sting of anger at everything and everyone who had ever tried to take her away from him, he felt a small grin inch across his face.
His voice was only a whisper and she closed her eyes for a moment, stroking the light scruff on his cheek with her thumb before clutching at the black CTU t-shirt he was still wearing and pulling him close again. She tasted his lips for the thousandth time, reveling in the familiar brush of his nose against hers for a few more moments before succumbing to her fatigue and falling back into the pillow.
He rolled onto his back and looped his arm around her, and she happily cuddled into his side, just like she used to. He kissed her forehead and swept a few strands of hair from her face, like he used to, covered her forever chilly feet with his, like he used to, and wondered what in the world he had ever done to deserve her. Just like he used to.
It was then that he decided he'd be whatever she needed him to be from then on, no matter what. As far as he was concerned, there would be no more 'used to'.