15 - Exhausted

Cameron pulled a t-shirt over his head before scooping up the towel and heading back to the bathroom to hang it up. He'd not be taking his shower or hot water tank for granted for a very long time. He could feel the weight of sleep descending on him, the heat from the water had relaxed all of his muscles. His bed was going to feel so damn good.

The Colonel picked up his cell phone, checking the time on his way to the living room. It was after ten at night. He sat down on his couch and fiddled with his phone, finding Carolyn's number, he paused. It was Saturday night, a night most people stayed up a bit later than usual. So... was it too late to call her? He'd been so disappointed not to see Carolyn at the SGC. Talking to her on the phone wasn't the same as getting to see her, but he'd settle for hearing her voice.

Cameron kicked his feet up onto his coffee table and settled in to give Carolyn a call. A knock at his door interrupted his dialing, but figuring it was probably one of his team mates, it was probably better that he hadn't finished. The person on the other side of his door though was a complete surprise.

"Care?"

Carolyn just stared at Cameron, slowly taking inventory of all that she could see. Bruises littered his face and neck. He had two large, but not deep scratches on his face. The Colonel had lost some weight and was more tanned than he had been, but from what little she could see, he appeared to be in good shape.

"Care?" Cameron tried a little louder, still in disbelief that she was on his front porch, but he couldn't help the smirk he felt at her checking him out. Too bad it was the doctor side of her that was giving him the once over. "Would you like me to turn around slowly or let you take my temp?"

"Sorry," she quickly offered, allowing herself to relax now that she could see for herself that he was really back and okay. She took a deeper breath than she had in quite a while. She felt tears pool in her eyes and she struggled to hold on to some control as her emotions began to overwhelm her. "Sorry. I'm a little exhausted is all," she offered by way of explanation as she gritted her teeth and got a better hold of herself.

Cameron reached out and gently pulled her into his home and shut his door before turning back to her. "I was just sitting down to call you."

"I got a message or two that you were back. I'm so glad you came back." Her words sounded awkward even to her own ears. She was beginning to worry that coming over rather than phoning hadn't been the best choice.

Cameron stepped forward and slipped his arms around her, slowly tightening his hold as he hugged her. To her credit, he only felt her stiffen for the briefest of moments before she slid her arms around him. "I'm not saying it was a vacation or anything, but I'm okay, sweetheart," Mitchell assured her. "I'll even let you do your own physical on Monday if you want."

Carolyn pulled back and gave him a small smile. "I'm sure Dr. Brightman did a thorough job."

"Yes she did," Cameron agreed. She hadn't pulled out of his arms yet and he found himself searching her eyes, hoping for a hint of her thoughts. She seemed to be doing the same and when her eyes lingered on his lips he gave in to his desire to kiss her. He kept it very light and undemanding, not wanting the contact to end. He felt the slightest tightening in her arms still around him and he could feel the kiss getting away from him. With a sigh he pulled back and waited for her response.

The daze that had a hold of Carolyn slowly faded and embarrassment set in. "Okay… well, I'd better let you get some rest," she delivered while extricating herself from his hold.

"I'm glad you came by, Care."

"Me too."

She took a deep breath before looking him in the eye. "I'd like to go on a date."

Not what he was expecting, Cam took a moment to respond. "With me?"

She ducked her head, warmth flooding her cheeks. "Yes," she felt a bit bolder seeing his reaction. "Maybe one with menus and wait staff?"

"Linens and wine?" he teased back.

Carolyn rolled her eyes before nodding at him, but the smile never left her face.

"Tomorrow work for you?" he asked.

She nodded again, it was time to let go of her fear of history repeating itself. Working at the SGC had given her a different perspective on the reasons her father missed so many important parts of her life. She was sure some of it would repeat for her, but it didn't stop her from needing Cameron in her life and wanting to be in his.

"Knew it was just a matter of time before I won you over, sweetheart." Cam saw her objection, and cut her off, "No backing out now."

"I'm going to regret this, I just know it." Carolyn sighed heavily.

"Not a moment of it," Cam assured her before leaning in for another quick kiss.

"I better go. It's getting late and you need to get some sleep."

"How hard will it be to talk you into sleeping here tonight?"

"What?" Carolyn asked, confused. "Ah, no."

"I can't let you drive home alone. You look exhausted and I'd worry." Cam searched her face to see how she was responding to his explanation. "Or you could let me drive you home?"

She knew she was tired, but not too tired to drive home. "I'll be fine, but if it would make you feel better I could stay in the mountain tonight."

"Not exactly better," Cam chuckled before getting more serious. "I'd like that better than you driving all the way home. But what if I promise no funny business?" When she didn't immediately object, he took it as a positive sign. "I'm just not ready for you to leave yet, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just as exhausted."

"I would sleep on your couch," she reluctantly started. She didn't want to walk away from him yet either, but she knew they'd both be more tired the longer she stayed.

"I can live with that," he agreed. "How about I turn on a movie or the news, I'm a little behind. I can grab a couple of pillows and blankets. We can crash on the couch for a bit before I head to my own bed for the night?"

She shyly nodded her head. She could argue with him, but it actually sounded wonderful. A little bit of time snuggled up to the Colonel before drifting off to sleep.

Cameron made quick work of setting things up on his couch before dimming lights and motioning her over. Once he was settled, he pulled her to his side, turned the news on low and closed his eyes. He breathed the smell of her hair in deep and let the warmth of her body seep in, her breathing slowed almost immediately… contentment lulled him to sleep.


AN: Only one chapter left which I'll post tomorrow. Thank you all for reading!