Author: Elliott Silver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Healing is coming home.
The stairs were his beanstalk.
Each step he took seemed only to shroud him further from his goal.
And he never knew when he was going to fall.
It was such a long way down.
His shoulders burned with an ache so deep he didnít know whether it could ever be exhumed. It was a pain so deep, so irrevocable.
His mind itching, his calves knotting, his spine seething.
And miles to go.
And miles to go.
His trenchcoat far too cumbersome, dragging him backwards for each step he took forward. Sweating in the thin chill of the stairwell, his shirt frosty with perspiration. His briefcase blistering the palms of his hands.
Tripping on the last step before his floor, nearly sprawling outward like a meteor through space. His body torn in opposing directions, muscles screeching, head throbbing, adrenaline and aftershocks of his caffeine overdose indistinguishable.
His breath retching his chest, his lungs mutilated. Stinging. Like acid.
Stumbling towards his door, the keys tangled between his fingers.
The fifth key finally gaining entrance.
And then he was in.
The apartment cold and dark, a little damp with the rain and open windows.
His briefcase abandoned, his coat flung aside. Rather cold, than bear its weight any longer.
Somehow falling into the recesses of the interior, its intestines, its heart.
And finding what he was searching for.
She turned from the open window, her eyes taking him in one long short glance.
He negotiated the distance between them, wrapped himself in her.
His breath deep with the luxurious scent of her. His head silent except for the beating of her chest against his, a melody. His body, healed.
She caught him, held him.
Reading his thoughts before they were even formed.
He never took her for granted.
He never let himself believe that she would always be there for him as she was now.
There were too many uncertainties.
But it made her every touch that much more to him.
Her cheek sliding along his before she rested her head against his shoulder. Her hands, one locked low in the small of his back, burrowed under his suit jacket, the other against his neck, her fingers on the nape where his hair met his neck, where the black pain had stabbed most viciously only moments ago.
Her body, relaxed into his.
That, the most special of all.
They had come far.
It wasnít an easy life.
But they had each other.
Her breathing even and smooth, their chests in synchrony.
She was his remedy, his cure. His faith.
He shifted his body, aligning their faces. Memorizing her expressions, downloading them intravenously.
Thinking of all the sacrifices, all her pain, and knowing it wasnít over.
His lips on her again, asking her to give him more than he was worth, asking her to love him. Browsing the corners of her mouth, strumming the tip of her tongue, and feeling her swell into him like a wave on a rocking-horse sea.
Stealing breath and time.
Her lips humid with his touch, her eyes saturated with that deep blue desire he always dreamed about.
"How do you do it?"
Her voice on his skin, her fingers on the ridges of his back, dousing the biting sparks of pain.
He didnít know how he found the strength to leave her, leave this.
But there was a world out there, and it did need him.
As much as he needed her.
He saw bad things, horrible things, felt pain no one should ever have to feel.
And he tried to alleviate it as she did to him.
Because he had her.
Because he had to believe in good.
Because he had to believe in love.
"Because I get to come home to you."
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Disclaimer: The characters of "The Pretender" are not mine; they rightfully belong to NBC, MTM, and Pretender Productions, as well as the actors and actresses who give paper and ink a life and a voice. I am making no profit from these writings; imitation is the highest form of flattery.