Disclaimer: All characters are property of ABC/Disney. I'm just borrowing them for a little shelter in place love.

A/N: Searching through old documents and I found this. By reading it I would think it would take place in 2006 pre-tornado. Of course, fourteen years later I have no memories of ever writing this, but figured in these times a little extra reading never hurt anyone. Stay safe everyone. Until next time-PCGirl.

She was dreaming of the previous night—how John held her gently and touched her lovingly as they made love once again—the longing ache for each other from the past few months finally erased. They'd finally gotten to the same page at the same second and accepted their love wasn't just a fluke, and that John was truly sorry for his actions.

Natalie sighed softly as she felt his arm draped over her bare middle and opened her eyes to see him still sleeping—a peaceful look finally on his face.

She took note of their surroundings—the sheets tangled up between the two of them and most of the pillows now scattered on the floor along with their clothes and the bedspread. She then looked beyond the bedroom and for the first time noticed how disheveled the room was as a whole—beer bottles and take out boxes scattered on and beside the couch in the other room—his clothes thrown about and she laughed at seeing a tie thrown on the lever of the slot machine.

"What's so funny?" he asked sleepily, glad to hear her laugh as he was beginning to fear he was hallucinating and last night was nothing more than an erotic dream.

"You—you really were a mess without me, weren't you?" she said as she looked over at him.

"You have no clue sweetheart," he said as he pulled her tighter and got a mouthful of hair all of a sudden—not that he minded—the feel and smell of it was one of the things he missed.

"Last night was great, by the way," she sighed—knowing she'd have to get up for work soon.

He smiled at her words, "It wasn't just me—I think it was both of us."

"I guess you're right. Too bad both of us will need to be getting to work soon or all your visits with Dr Crosby won't help you keep your badge," she laughed as he let out a huge groan and rolled over on his back. "What's wrong John? He's not your best friend?" she teased as he got off the bed and went to the bathroom.

"No, and you aren't funny," he said seriously and then returned to see her leaning over the bed trying to reach her clothes that were just out of reach. The sheet was falling down and he could see the soft creamy white skin of her backside and wanted nothing more than to grab her and take her again like he had last night—just to remind himself this was real. "I love you," he said quietly and only for the twentieth time since last night.

The hairs on her back went up at hearing him say those words, "I love you too," she smiled as she saw something peeking out from under the bed and pulled at it, shocked at seeing the portrait of herself looking back at her. She laid it out on the bed, wrapping the sheet tighter around her as she studied it for a moment before looking at John—studying the lines in his face and watching them get deeper for a moment before she spoke, "Where'd you get this John?"

He felt like a guilty man again with her words, unsure of how to tell her what made him bring it back that day, "I found it—in the trashcan outside of Roarke's gym. I'm guessing Cris painted it and then tossed it out—it was the day he told me about the divorce. I just—I don't know why I wanted to keep it—I needed-," he sighed as he found the words. "I needed to have some part of you close to me. As crazy and psychotic as it sounds—I needed it to help me heal some. I'm—I'm sorry Natalie."

She realized then how alone he'd been these past months—how though her avoidance of him had helped her, in the end it'd caused him to be more withdrawn from his surroundings. "Don't be—I should be the one who is sorry. I did my hardest to avoid you—to show you I didn't want you in my life, when I was hurting you as bad as you hurt me."

Natalie studied the picture again before looking back at John, "It's interesting you'd try to hold onto this version of my life though. It's the one before you—before you came into my life and rearranged it. Not that I don't mind now," she smiled at him before getting out of the bed and taking both the portrait and bed sheet with her. She walked over to the wastebasket behind where John stood and rolled the portrait up before tossing it in and then turning to John, "There—that's done."

"What's done?" he asked, a smile creeping up his face.

"My life—or my old one. That whole portrait was of a life I'd built with Cris, but it's over. My life from last night and today and from now on—you are the foundation to it John. And I'm ready to start building on it—and see what takes shape," she said as she walked closer and put her hand on his face before stretching up to kiss him on the lips. As she pulled back she saw his blue eyes seemed to be misting over, "Are you ready for that?"

He nodded softly as his mouth went back down on hers—work would wait and Bo would understand if they were a couple hours late—they need these hours to make up for the thousands of ones they lost. And as he pinned her back against the mattress and removed the sheet from her body he knew he'd never let go of her—she was his foundation and anchored him to reality.