Title: I Carry Your Heart
Pairing: Rachel & Carl Hutchins
Summary: Their lips met over and over in the darkness. Clothes became cumbersome, and they stripped one another bare. Flashes of memories came suddenly as he laid her down in their bed.
A/N: The title is from a poem by E. E. Cummings.
Rachel tucked Elizabeth into bed, pressing a kiss to her temple, and then her and Carl traded places as she did the same with Cory. She smiled down at her son as his eyes began to close, and he drifted off to sleep. She looked at Elizabeth and watched as her and her Daddy had a heart to heart. After a few moments, she realized that this could go on all night. "Alright, Ms. Elizabeth. Time to sleep. That goes for you, too, Daddy."
Carl nuzzled Elizabeth's nose, making her laugh sleepily. He kissed her cheeks. "Mommy's right, angel. Sweet dreams." His heart melted when her arms went around his neck in a tight hug. "Ni-ni, Daddy."
Rachel took his hand in hers, adjusting the night light that danced all around the room, and they left the twins' room. She turned just as he pulled the door closed. "It's so good to have you home, darling." She still had trouble believing it. Twice he had his memory taken, and twice he had forgotten all about her. And now he had been returned to her. Again. She couldn't help but wonder for how long this time.
He pulled her gently into his arms and held her close. "I knew something was missing from my life. I just never expected it was all this." He kissed her breathless. His hands moved up her back and over her shoulders and finally coming to rest against her soft cheeks.
She pulled back, eyes moving all over his face. Her voice barely a whisper, "Take me to bed."
Stepping into the bedroom, she immediately reached for the light and his hand slid up her arm, encircling her wrist. His lips pressed softly against her neck. "Not tonight, love. Tonight, I want to remember this all on my own. No cues from your eyes. I want to rediscover you. Rediscover us." He turned her slowly, his mouth found hers in the darkness.
Being with her, it brought back so many feelings, so many emotions, and he knew making love would sort it all out and make it right.
Their lips met over and over in the darkness. Clothes became cumbersome, and they stripped one another bare. Flashes of memories came suddenly as he laid her down in their bed. He cried softly into her mouth, "Rachel..."
She held on to him, terrified that it was dream. Her nails raked down his skin as he claimed her body and soul, and in that moment she knew that there was no longer any doubt for him. He was right where he was supposed to be.
The only light that illuminated their room was that of the moon. The balcony doors were opened to let in the cool night air. They were truly blessed to have found one another again.
She curled up against his chest, eyes closed as his fingers gently combed through her hair. Her lips quirked into a lazy smile. "Been a long time since I've felt so fulfilled, so happy."
He pressed a kiss to the top of her head, allowing his lips to linger. His eyes were closed as he whispered, "I know exactly what you mean, sweetheart." He eased his fingers under her chin and raised it so her lips could meet his.
Her hand moved slowly up his chest and tangled in his long tresses. His body half turned, lowering her back to the pillow. His lips found the hollow of her throat. They became one again. Sweat, kisses, limbs all tangling.
And when it was over, he fell into the deepest sleep he had had in as long as he could remember. It had been a long year of not knowing where he belonged or why he could only see her face. He had been drawn to places that meant the most to them.
Ryan, the twins, their life together had all been right beyond his fingertips. And because of her, he was whole again.
He woke the next morning to an empty bed, and a crushing thought rushed through him. His chest became tight, almost as if he couldn't breathe. It had all been a glorious dream. Then she stepped in through the balcony, dressed in a white satin robe. His heart skipped a beat. "You're a vision."
And somewhere in her memory, she remembered those very words uttered from their grandchildren at his encouragement. She smiled, brushing hair from her face. "And I thought you'd sleep the day away."
"Not a chance." He sat up, grabbing his robe and pulling it on to cover him before reaching for his pajama bottoms. He reached for her hand. "Shall we go wake the children?" He had missed them so terribly.
She laughed softly, and it floated to his ears like sweet music. "Of course, darling." She took his offered hand, and he pulled her into him. She was wrapped so tightly in his embrace that she had barely registered that the door opened until two sets of little arms were wrapped tightly around both of their legs.
He kissed her deeply, thanking her the only way he knew how for his life and theirs. He untangled himself and bent to pick up both children. "What do you say we take these two precious grubs on a picnic by the lake, Mommy?"
"I think that's a lovely idea, Daddy." Her hands smoothed down both heads of her bright eyed children. She kissed them each in turn and let out a soft laugh. "But first, we must get dressed. Want to help?" She searched Carl's eyes as she spoke.
"Oh yes..." He hugged them closer as Rachel reached to take Cory. He shook his head. "Let me? That way you can get yourself looking radiant. Not that you don't already, but I want some time with the children."
She smiled softly, tilting her head. "Well, you give a yell if you need me, okay?" She trusted him with her own life and theirs too. "I'll not be long. Promise." She moved toward her wardrobe.
He managed to grab her by the arm and stop her movement without dislodging Elizabeth from her perch in the crook of his arm. He met her eyes. "Take your time, love. I suppose we'll get distracted playing and forget all about clothes for a while. Don't want you to come in and rush us along. A nice long hot shower..." His lips curled. "Your usual beauty regimen. Then get dressed. We'll be alright. Won't we, grubs?"
He tickled them both in the sides, making them squirm and giggle. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" They both hugged his neck and held on tight.
She felt so fulfilled in that moment that she leaned in and hugged the three of them tight as she kissed him. "Alright, but don't make me have to get after all three of you to pick up whatever it is you got out."
He moved toward the door. "Wouldn't dream of it." And they disappeared through the door as he began to recite nursery rhymes to the children.
Rachel stepped into the nursery and immediately her heart melted. Their on the area rug before her was Carl on all fours with Cory barely hanging onto his back and starting to slide. "Thought I smelled trouble," she teased as she swooped in and snatched him up before he could fall.
Elizabeth immediately clamored onto his back, squealing and all grabby hands as she held onto his neck. "Daddy!" she squealed.
Carl began to prance around, eager to make the child happy. He was slightly winded as he pulled up short beside Rachel. He twisted slightly, managing to catch the girl and pull her around as he stood up with her in his arms. He promptly kissed his wife and shook his head. "No trouble. Just lots and lots of laughter." He tickled Rachel's side.
She squirmed. "Carl!" She hadn't ever seen this side of him, and she found she loved it most of all. Her laughter bubbled up inside her, filling the room with more happiness than she could ever remember. Her hands moved to his face, holding him still so she could render him speechless with her mouth.
He wrapped his arm around her waist. The kiss was continued for a moment, and he pulled away breathless. "I feel like a kid again, Rachel." His eyes danced. He kissed Elizabeth's and then Cory's cheeks.
"I want you to always be this happy, darling." Her hand against his chest as she laid her head against Cory's. "We've missed you so, so much."