A/N: Hello! I'm very pleased to make a small addition to the "Interstellar" fic canon (we aren't many, but we are mighty!). This is by far my all-time favorite movie. And I, like many, loved the relationship between Cooper and Brand. I thought it was handled perfectly in the movie; they hinted at the possibility without losing focus on the Cooper/Murph story. But that's what's great about fan fiction; we can satisfy our appetites.
This was conceived as a one-shot. But if I end up feeling inspired, there's room for it to continue. Fair warning that this may qualify as fluff. Please leave a review and let me know what you think!
I Came for You
"I came for you."
She tried to brush it off, but his sincerity was breathtaking. His eyes narrowed with such focus, such unguarded feeling, that the mere memory would make her blush.
He held her against his shoulder, letting her sob like he had Doctor Mann. All the while, he whispered assurances that would have rang hollow from someone else. But Cooper kept his promises, no matter how implausible. So when he said it would be okay, she knew that it would be.
His first night there, she crept into his doorway every half-hour—just to prove he was real, that she hadn't gone mad. After the fifth visit, he stopped pretending to be asleep.
Cooper leaned on one elbow, swinging his legs off the bed. "You okay?" he asked gently.
Brand swallowed, forcing a neutral expression. "Yeah."
"Is that a 90 percent 'yeah' or a 10 percent 'yeah?'"
"I'm not sure," she said.
Cooper studied her face, but Brand's features were well schooled. That wall he'd been chipping at still had some layers yet. He gave a muted smile and patted the spot next to him. "I can't sleep either," he admitted. "You wanna sit for a while?"
She hesitated at first, staring at the floor. One foot moved backward before the remnants of pride faded. She sat down beside him.
Cooper regarded her in profile. There was a tinge of black beneath her eyes, but even that had its own beauty. He fought the urge to brush some hair from her face. It was a razor-thin line between comfort and exploitation.
Brand didn't notice. She was too busy trying to keep her breath even. She willed her intellect to defeat her instinct. It was only natural that she'd crave human intimacy after two months alone. CASE was kind and reliable but hardly a conversationalist. Cooper was a warm body, a real voice. Whatever she was feeling had nothing to do with him; any human being could have evoked the same response.
When she met his eyes, all her reasoning vanished. Her stomach tensed as he gave her a little smirk. "CASE been snorin'?" asked Cooper. "Doesn't look like you sleep much."
Brand glanced down with a wry smile. "CASE is great. But it's still hard to be alone."
She jumped slightly when his fingers grazed her arm. He gave a long caress, ending at the elbow, before drawing his hand back. He smiled reassuringly. "I'm real, Amelia. I exist."
Brand's mind screamed at her to run, but her body would not oblige. She lifted her head to meet his eyes. They were soft and calm but held a hint of uncertainty. And it was reassuring to know that Cooper, too, could be confused. Her mouth parted slightly.
Cooper leaned forward as Brand's chin tilted up. They perceived time as on Miller's planet.
Cooper recoiled, snapping his eyes to the doorway to find TARS. He heaved a sigh and thrust his tongue in his cheek. "Perfect timin', Slick," he hissed.
Brand raised a hand to her mouth, sucking in a breath. She rubbed one cheek.
"Is something wrong with your bed, Doctor Brand?" asked TARS. "Or were you—"
"We're just talkin'," Cooper answered for her.
"Is that a 90—"
"TARS, get the hell outta here," snapped Cooper.
The robot gave a hum of mock-offense. "Cooper, you're getting rude in your old age," TARS lamented, turning away. "I hope none of the colonists throw a baseball in your yard."
Cooper rolled his eyes.
Brand regained her composure, smiling slightly. "Goodnight, TARS."
"Goodnight, Doctor Brand."
When TARS' soft clop finally faded, Brand and Cooper exchanged an awkward smile. She stood up tentatively. "I should go. You must be tired."
Cooper scrutinized her. The dim bulb from the hallway bathed her face in light. She was pale and sad and beautiful. She glanced at the door but made no move toward it.
Cooper caught her small wrist. "Brand..." he breathed.
She blinked slowly. "What?"
He frowned at her exhaustion. If he let her leave, he knew she wouldn't sleep. Part of him hoped she needed to be close to him, but he knew deep down she just needed to be near someone.
"Why don't you sleep here?" he asked. When her eyebrow raised, he hastened to add: "Not like—I just meant in the same room. Be nice to have company. I can take the floor."
Brand fixed him with a fierce stare, daring him to reveal an ulterior motive. But he only looked back earnestly. How ridiculous, she thought to herself. He wasn't interested in her. And even if he were, he wouldn't abuse her trust with pretense.
"You should take the bed," she said kindly. "That ship you stole was small. Must've been hell on your back."
Cooper smirked. "What kinda man'd put his house guest on the floor? Nah, I'll be fine."
Brand's heart constricted. She quickly looked away. "Have it your way, Coop. Just remember: I don't do massages."
"That's fine. TARS' hands are pretty warm."
Brand chortled softly as Cooper slid to the floor. She climbed onto the bed, checking the two pillows. She gave Cooper the more comfortable one. He slipped it under his head, sighing slightly as fatigue asserted itself. Brand settled under the thin sheet, lying on her side.
She couldn't see him from where she was, but she could hear him exhale. Soon their breathing was in sync. Her eyes fluttered shut.
"You're cuter than Professor Brand."
A giddy grin spread across her face. "Shut up, Cooper."