Set during season 2 when everything was so tense between Elizabeth and Henry about Dmitri.


The lights were all off when Henry got home, and something in him was grateful. He wouldn't have to explain his late arrival to the kids, at least, just Elizabeth. He would tell her that work had kept him late, and it would be the truth, sort of, and she would believe him, sort of. He was late, and he had been at work. But a few months ago, he would have brought work home or put it off to the next day. These days, when José wanted him to stay and get a head start on the next project, or there was a bit more paperwork to fill out before the end of the day, Henry tended to lean toward staying. It was easier than coming home to the woman he loved and seeing the pain in her eyes, knowing he put it there.

It's just a rough patch, he told himself. He was angry with her, with himself, with the country, maybe. But the anger would pass, and they would be okay again, and all of this would be a distant memory. He didn't know what to do with all of his guilt and grief, but he was sure that if he held on long enough, it would get better. It had to.

When he came into their room, he found her asleep. A few months ago, she would have waited up for him. He undressed as quietly as he could, glancing over at his wife as he took off his tie. Even in sleep, she looked exhausted. She'd left the bedside lamp on, and in the dim yellowish light he could see the circles under her eyes. Her face did not look relaxed; it carried a feeling of anguish, as if even as she slept she was hurting from the wounds he'd inflicted. He finished dressing, forcing his gaze away from her weary face, and made his way to the ensuite bathroom.

When he returned, ready to finally attempt sleep, he found her even more restless. It seemed she couldn't keep still—her fingers grasped weakly at her covers, her torso slowly twisted to the side, and he could see the sliding movements of her legs under the covers.

He slowly rounded the bed, wondering if he should wake her. He'd seen this before, during the more stressful periods of her life. Finals week. 9/11. Iran. He tried to tell himself that it could be something at work that was stressing her, but that train of thought only served to remind him that she hadn't talked to him about work in weeks. He'd stopped being a comfort to her. He'd failed her.

Would it help, if he woke her up? Could he do anything to help her now? Would his face be a welcome sight when he was the one causing her all this pain?

He climbed lightly into bed, sliding under the covers, and as he listened her breathing became more laboured. Then he heard her speak.

"Please, don't leave."

He froze, half under the covers, and looked at her face, which was filled with sorrow. For a moment, he could almost convince himself he'd misheard her, but the quiet murmur repeated itself, leaving no doubt as to the source of her pain.

"Please, don't leave. Henry, please."

He could no more resist reaching out to her than he could resist the next beat of his heart. For weeks, they'd slept silently in this bed together, and he hadn't reached for her, hadn't known if she even wanted him to. Now, he didn't think before his hands were on her shoulders, rolling her gently toward him and onto her back. With one hand he cupped the side of her face as with the other he shook her awake.

"Elizabeth," he said softly. "Elizabeth, wake up, babe."

Babe. He couldn't remember the last time he'd called her that.

All of a sudden she was awake, almost knocking heads with him as she sat straight up, looking around for a moment before her eyes fell on him. To his horror, she moved away from him, a subtle slide of her hips and shift of her torso like she didn't even know she was doing it. Like it was instinctive.

"Henry," she said breathlessly, her expression wary.

"Are you okay?" he asked gently, resting a hand on her shoulder.

She tensed up under his touch, but she didn't move away. "I'm fine," she said. "Sorry if I disturbed you." She lay down on her side then, facing away from him, and his hand fell lightly to the bed. It seemed the conversation was over. But Henry knew it wasn't. He lay down as well, the foot of distance between them feeling like a mile.

"You were talking in your sleep," he said. "I, uh...I could hear you."

She spoke no words, but her soft gasp said plenty.

"Elizabeth, you said 'please, don't leave.' You said my...you were talking to me."

"It was just a dream," she said, her voice tight in the way it was when she was trying to project strength in the absence of it.

"I want to believe that's true. I want to believe that you know I would never leave you."

She turned over abruptly and he found her suddenly very close to him. She took a deep, shaky breath, like she was gathering up every ounce of courage in her. Maybe she was. "Lately, I haven't been so sure," she admitted.

"Then let me make you sure." He lifted a hand to her face, brushing back a piece of hair that had fallen over her cheek. "Elizabeth, I will never leave you. Never."

The look of relief on her face and the tears shining in her eyes were more than he could bear. He couldn't wait another second before he leaned forward and captured her lips with his.

He kissed her like he was trying to prove something. He kissed her like he hadn't in weeks, relearning the feel of her hair between his fingers, her hand on the back of his neck, the soft moan that left her as she responded to this unexpected action.

In a moment, he pulled back from her just barely, just enough to speak. "I love you so much. I'm sorry I've been so…" What was the word? How did he sum up everything that was wrong between them, everything that was his fault?

"I love you too," she whispered, sparing him from finding the right thing to say.

"I think you were right," he said. If he couldn't even give her a proper apology, then surely she was right. "I think we should go see Dr. Sherman together."

She sighed in relief. "Thank you."

In response he pulled her close to him, and for the first time in far too long, fell asleep with the love of his life in his arms.