look at the way her eyebrows rest peacefully

Plangst day 5

Injury / Sacrifice

This is sort of a continuation of a previous fic, Favor.

Katie was exhausted. That bone-weary, feet-dragging, barely-keeping-her-eyes-open exhausted. As soon as she got a chance, she made a beeline for her bed, and was halfway to being out like a light when she heard a knock at her door. A knock she almost dismissed. If it was anything important, they’d knock again. Or just barge in. Probably that.

They didn’t knock again, but she got the feeling somehow that that person was still out there, waiting. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep until she checked.

With a groan, Katie dragged herself out of bed and opened the door.

“Lance? Did you need something?”

Lance fidgeted with the hem of his shirt. “Well,” he said, sounding hesitant, “remember when I asked you about… um…”

For heaven’s sake.

She sighed. “What is it, Lance?”

“We talked about… sleeping together, sometimes, when I can’t sleep. Because of my sister.”

Lovely. Of course he wanted to cash that favor in right now, when all Katie’d been thinking about all day was sleep. Then she took a good look at Lance, and her heart ached for him. His own exhaustion and anxiety were obvious in his body language. He hadn’t stopped with the shirt, like he was nervous. And his eyes…

Oh Lance.

He looked so unsure, like he was ready for rejection at any moment. Like he was expecting her to slam the door and leave him in the cold, dark hall, after he came to her for help. She looked at him and realized she couldn’t not sacrifice a little sleep to make sure he was okay.

Katie stood aside and gestured Lance in. “Make yourself at home.”

Lance slept on the far side of the bed. At least, she assumed he slept. What else could he do for forty-five minutes? Maybe lay awake and worry, like she was. Hm.

Lance shifted, and Katie pushed up on her elbows to look at him better. “Lance? Are you awake?” She whispered.

He turned towards her and gave her what looked like a sad smile. “Guess I still can’t really sleep.”

That did it. Katie laid back down and reached out towards him. “Come here.”

Lance cocked an eyebrow. “What are you doing?”

“I’m… I’m going to hold you.”

Lance didn’t need to be told twice. He scooted closer, and wrapped his arms tight around her waist, head resting on her shoulder. Katie’s arms circled his shoulders, and she gently rubbed the back of his neck in a way she knew relaxed him.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

He shook his head and snuggled closer.

They both slept peacefully that night.

Better late than never, yes?