I had a really interesting time writing this and couldn't have managed it without the wonderful some1foundme xxx
My hands are numb and they don't quite feel like my own as I zip up my jacket and brace myself for the brisk Chicago night. Molly's door falls shut behind me and I'm encased by the crisp night air. As I try to catch my breath, I feel tears on my cheeks that tingle as the chill in the air cools them on their descent. I close my eyes to blink them away and all I can see is Al's face as he entered the Bullpen earlier today, looking lost and broken, the death of his daughter too much for him to bear. I push back the sob in my throat. I will not succumb, I tell myself, I am stronger than this. I need to be strong for my partner. For Al. I solider on across the road to where I parked my car and as I navigate the icy road I remind myself that I knew working with Voight, working Intelligence wouldn't be easy and there would be days that were rough, but this, this I didn't see coming. All those young lives over long before their time, it's something that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
With my keys in my hand and my other resting on the roof of my car, I let out the sob I can no longer suppress. I use the car to balance myself and take my weight as I feel myself begin to drown in my emotion. I don't hear the door of Molly's open again and the raucous din that it exudes, and without warning I feel a presence behind me. The hand holding my keys fidgets so that two of the keys are sitting between my fingers fashioning an improvised weapon and swiftly I brace myself for an attack. I straighten myself as I turn to face the threat behind me but the 'Hey' of a familiar voice and the feel of a hand upon my hip has me pocketing my keys in flash and wiping the tears from my eyes.
When I turn around Adam's hand stretches up to caress my cheek as his eyes search mine for reassurance.
I nod rapidly, my head bobbing up and down in an attempt to prove that I'm fine, even though I'm not. I should know better where Adam is concerned, he immediately sees right though me and throws his arm around me before placing a kiss to my head.
"C'mere" he murmurs into my hair as I find myself basking in the woody scent of his aftershave. The feel of his body pressed against me as he changes his position sends sparks along my spine and I instinctively tuck my head against his shoulder. I'vemissed this, missed him and in spite of all the reasons I shouldn't open my heart to him again, I find myself letting my guard down. I shudder against him as he utters quiet words of reassurance against the shell of my ear, instinctively picking up on my concern for my partner.
"He'll be fine. Not today, tomorrow or even next month, but he will be okay. It won't be easy but over time he'll learn to deal with it. Al's one of the strongest guys I know plus he's got you"
Adam gently pulls away and looks me over, his thumb rubbing absently against my cheek as his hand rests against the side of my face and I find myself nodding again before whispering a 'Thank you'. He kisses my forehead in response and then takes a step backwards, reaching out his hand towards mine. I watch as his hand hovers, blinking up at him confused and all he says is, "Give me your keys"
I raise an eyebrow all the while reaching into my pocket and handing over my keys, unable to deny him anything he requests.
"Come on," He says squeezing my hand, "I'll drive you home"
"What about your car?" I ask pointing back in the direction of Molly's.
"I'll pick it up in the morning," he offers as he opens the passenger side for me to slide in. I hesitantly take up my place in the car, swallowing down the lump in my throat at the possible insinuation of his last words. When he sits beside me and thrusts the car into drive, he must notice the effect his words have had on me because he offers through the silence between us, "I'll get a cab back from your place tonight and maybe you could pick me up in the morning for work?"
"Oh, uh sure," I reply with a smile that is a little too enthusiastic and toothy than I intend, but the smile he returns makes it worthwhile.
As we drive the rest of the way back to my apartment I catch myself watching his profile beside me. I feel like I'm drowning in the contours of his masculine jaw and the depth of his dimple that stretches its way through his unshaven cheek. I inhale a deep breath pushing back the memory of his stubble across my cheek when he kissed me the other day, wishing against my better judgement to feel it once more.
As we pull up at a red light, Adam turns to me.
"So how have you been?"
"Mrs. Caracas from upstairs still giving you trouble?" he quips with a laugh remembering our run in with her last year. I bite my lip to hold back the laughter at the memory of her complaining about the thudding noise from my apartment, a wistful reminder of our incredible relationship. The laughter I am trying to suppress bubbles up within me, spilling over in a delightful giggle and Adam joins in, recalling between belly laughs the look on the old woman's face as he appeared in the doorway semi-naked causing her to swiftly realize the reason for the noise.
I missed this, him, the laughter and the good times, and I find myself wondering, not for the first time where it all went wrong, and wondering why we gave up so easily. I find myself yearning for him, desperate for the connection we once shared and so easily lost. I suddenly feel the heat of his gaze on me and I feel my cheeks reddening at the attention. To try to break the tension I ask him about his undercover operation and his time away. He is evasive, as I knew he would be; it's mostly confidential, but I feel my heart soar when he offers me what he can.
"It was tough, lonely but I feel like I did some real good, you know?"
I tilt my head in understanding, waiting to see if he'll continue.
"I did what we set out to do which was bring down the operation and in the process I we saved lives, I can't argue with that but some of things I saw, I did... It was..."
I find myself slipping my hand into his where it rests on the center console. He squeezes it gently and continues, "It made me realize a few things, made me reassess my life you know?"
"Mmhhmm" Is all I can manage over the crushing sensation in my chest, seeing exactly where this is going. I'm not sure I am ready and that I can trust him again, and somehow as a result of these insecurities I find myself pulling my hand away and it doesn't go unnoticed as he silently, seemingly begrudgingly, raises his hand back to the wheel. I turn toward the window, watching the city go by, trying to calm my racing heart that beats ferociously in my chest. My mind wanders back to the kiss we shared the other night and how I remember that it was everything I'd been missing and everything I wanted. Now Adam is really trying and he's offering me the very thing I've wanted for so long and I'm not letting him in. I can't.
It is the dulcet sound of his deep baritone voice that brings me from my thoughts and when I gaze up at him from under my lashes, he'snervous, really nervous, as he tells me he's sorry. For everything. My hand ventures over towards him and I take his hand from the wheel against my better judgement, squeezing it gently to let him know its ok, and we sit the rest of the drive to my apartment in silence.
A sudden jolt, followed by the slamming a door, wakes me from my slumber. I try to pull myself from the haze between sleepiness and being awake, unsettled by my sweaty palms and shallow breathing. My short-lived anxiety leaves me the minute I hear Adam gently tell me that I am home, his warm breath tickling the shell of my ear. As I attempt to blink the sleep from my eyes, he slips one arm around my shoulders and under my left arm, while his other under my legs picking me up and carrying me bridal style into my building. I try to resist, mumbling incoherently that I can walk but he smirks and ignores me, taking me into my building. When we get to the elevator, the jostling of havingbeen carried, rouses me further into consciousness and I insist on being lowered to the ground. Despite standing on my own two feet, I still lean heavily on him and he slips his arm around my waist pulling me flush against him before giving me a light squeeze and a kiss to my temple. I rest my head on his shoulder and breathe him in, the scent of sandalwood and leather is overwhelming and for the first time in over a year I feel like I am finally home and it terrifies me.
When we reach my abode, Adam pulls my keys from his pocket and unlocks the door, his natural police instincts kicking in as he surveys the empty apartment, not looking for anything in particular, he just can't seem to turn off that part of him. It's endearing. I try to stifle a yawn but it's futile and the gesture has Adam taking my hand in his.
"Come on" he murmurs as leads me to my bedroom, his fingers absently playing with mine. He orders me to scoot under the covers, and when I have begrudgingly obliged he pulls the comforter over my tired body making sure I am comfortable. I watch with a sense of admiration as he takes about setting my gun on the nightstand just where I like it before pulling the drapes shut, blocking out the world, and suddenly Its just us.
He lowers himself to the edge of the bed and takes my hand in his. I inhale sharply at his touch that sends a bolt of electricity skittering along my nerves and I know by the way he kisses my hand that he felt it too. I watch his eyes boring into me, and just for a moment, I feel like I can see regret, love, and maybe a little hope. The way he gazes at me so adoringly has a lump forming in my throat, I try to swallow past it, but my mouth is dry, it's futile. Each beat of my racing heart seems to make it more intense and it is then that I realize despite myself, that I don't want him to leave.
I can feel tears welling up behind me eyes and when he kisses my forehead and bids his goodbye, I reach out, my hand curling around his neck, holding his head where it lingers above mine and I whisper for him to stay. Unashamedly, I plead with him to not go. But instead of peeling off his clothes and sliding under the covers as I expect, he gazes at me, moves a stray piece of hair behind my ear and with the softest voice tells me, "I can't"
It's like a knife to my heart. I feel my walls crumbling and before my tears reach the final hurdle and release themselves, his lips are on mine. It is soft and wanton, but before it gets too heated, he pulls away. His hand that is splayed on the back of my neck plays absently with my hair as the other caresses the outline of my face as if he's trying to memorize every contour, every freckle. I look up at him, feeling hurt, hopeful, and confused and his gaze moves to the ceiling, like he's considering what to say before resting his forehead on mine
"Kim, If I stay things will...well, I'll want to do things that will ruin whatever this is between us and I've already messed this up once. I can't risk doing that again. You mean too much to me to blow what looks to me like a second chance."
I cut him off with a needy kiss, pouring every ounce of love I feel for him into this one moment in an attempt to show him I understand, that I forgive him, that I want this as much as him. When he pulls away, using the pads of his thumbs he rubs away at the tear tracks on my cheeks, eyes searching mine for reassurance that I'm okay, that we're okay. The lump that has taken residence in my throat is making it difficult to speak so I kiss him in response, ever so softly brushing my lips across his. I'm elated by the raspy sigh it elicits from him, but this is its short lived when again he pulls away, bidding his goodbye one last time by placing the softest of kisses against my cheek and heading to the door
"Take my car and you can pick me up in the morning. Oh, and bring breakfast"
"G'night Kim," Adam laughs as he leaves my apartment, raising a smile from me, the first real one in days and I have to suppress it to stop my blushed cheeks from hurting.
I listen for the familiar sound of Adam turning the lock so I know the apartment is secure, and when I hear the soft click, I snuggle under the comforter, close my eyes and fall asleep to the promise of a second chance.