A few lovely souls on Tumblr asked for a follow up to my drabble Fright Night (Found in my The Barson Daily Prompts series). Took me a few weeks to find inspiration but here it is. I need a happy, lovely dovey Barson in my life for some reason.
The rain beat down outside as she stood there, arms wrapped around her waist, huddling into the warmest, softest sweatshirt he could find in his closet. The super had called on their way to his apartment – no damage to her apartment, but a distinct smoke smell was going to linger. Lots of laundry faced her in the days to come. She could get back in after 8 am.
A sad thought settled over her as she just stared at the rain out the window. One that had always lingered at the back of her brain, but one that she always ignored. Until tonight when she couldn't anymore.
"He's asleep again" she heard from behind her. She glanced over her shoulder and smiled at him. Noah had been mostly asleep till they got into his apartment. Then he was like a kid in a candy store. How he had finally gotten Noah settled on the pull-out couch in his home office, she would never know for sure. He must be magic.
"Kid almost killed my phone battery with all the stories I had to download to get him back to sleep, but after the 9th one, it finally worked." She could only muster up a sad smile, looking back to the window and the rain.
"You alright?" She barked out a laugh, knowing she wasn't. She felt his hands on her shoulders and she gave in, leaning back against him. He squeezed her shoulders and she sighed loudly, closing her eyes and just relishing in the feel of his breath on her cheek.
"Liv, what's wrong? Bad news from your super?"
"No. Apartment is fine. It's going to smell like smoke for the foreseeable future but no real damage. I can get back in tomorrow morning."
"What is it then?" he asked quietly, continuing to massage her shoulders lightly. A small part of her brain started to question what was happening, was this smart, what the hell was going on, but the rest of her brain shoved that asshole into a room and locked the door.
"I was standing there, no shoes, cold with my son, watching smoke come out of windows and I realized something. I had nowhere to go! Everyone around me were calling siblings or parents and I just stood there, completely alone. I didn't even have my wallet to go to a hotel. I was lost. I'm not sure I've ever felt that alone. And then…" she swallowed the lump in her throat, turning to face him, staying close, loving that he never once moved his hands off her shoulders. She rested her hands on his chest, noticing for the first time he had shed his tie and vest and suspenders.
His green eyes were full of questions and something else… hope and care and possibilities. She had no more fight. Not after Cassidy and Sheila and the awfulness of the last few months.
"You were there. I needed someone and I turned and you were literally there next to me. My life was actually on fire and you were there to help me."
"We're a team, Liv. Of course I'll help you. That's not even a question you ever have to ask. I'm here for you and for Noah. For whatever you need." The warmth of his voice was her undoing. The care of his words gave her the push she so desperately needed. She grabbed his hands, placing them on her waist. She ran her hands up his arms and around his shoulders, pulling him closer.
His eyes darted from her lips to her eyes, full of questions. "Liv?"
"I thought I needed you, Rafael. But that implies having to chase after something that isn't there. But you are here. You always have been. This strong, calming presence in my life. I didn't have that before you shook my hand that day in court. It's like you just always know what I need, when I need it." He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her flush against him. She bit her lip, stopping a moan from escaping at the feel of his strong arms and chest holding her close. "What I need to do is stop fighting."
He smiled. "If this is what you surrendering looks like, I'm all for it." She rolled her eyes at him, about to shoot back a witty comeback when his lips landed on hers. All thoughts flew out of her head at that point. She could only concentrate on three things – the feel of his lips against hers, how tightly he held her in his arms and how damn soft his hair felt against her fingers.
Thunder rolled softly outside when he pulled back, smiling. She knew she needed him – all of him, right then and probably forever. Without saying a word, she slid her hands around, quickly undoing the buttons of his shirt, letting it hang open as she ran her hands over his chest, feeling heady and powerful at the way his eyes darkened and his muscles contracted just by her touch.
"Liv" he growled out.
"I want you" she replied, scraping her nails against him. "The universe sent you to me tonight at the moment I needed you there. I would be a moron to ignore that. To not give in to everything I've been thinking about and feeling for… well, let's just say a really long time."
"How long?" he asked, smirking slightly as he walked her toward his couch. The large, lush couch that she just knew would be perfect for the two of them. He fell back, pulling her into his lap, straddling his hips.
"Years, I guess" she whispered, pulling his sweatshirt over his head, smiling brightly as his eyes widened.
"Even during…" she could see the hesitation on his face. He couldn't even say his name. That time, where they could barely talk, hardly look at each other. How distant he had been when she got back from Paris. She could see just by looking at him that he had been feeling the same way she had.
"Yes" she whispered, kissing him gently. Trying to convey how sorry she was for that time in their relationship. And he seemed to understand, falling backwards, pulling her on top of him.
She breathed him in, head resting on his chest. She smirked, knowing that her earlier assessment of his couch had been right.
"We may have a problem" she said, rolling her head up to look at him, smiling brightly at his mussed hair, glazed eyes, and the scratch marks she knew were on his back.
"No. No problems here. In fact, I would mind trying that thing again once I've caught my breath." She slapped him on the chest.
"Smartass. I think the problem is two-fold. One is me and Noah never wanting to leave this apartment. Seriously, this place is amazing."
"I'll call a mover when the sun comes up." She laughed, but knew deep down that a small part of him was very serious. And she was very seriously considering it.
"Well, let's table that for the moment. Two is keeping my hands off you now."
He winked at her. "I don't consider that a problem either. I have several fantasies that involve you and my office."
She rolled over on top of him, pulling the blanket over their heads. "Details. Be as graphic as possible."