So I've been writing fic for a few years now, but I just started watching Chicago PD about three days ago, and I'm already halfway through the second season. I immediately fell in love with Ruzek (like, he is a precious cinnamon roll that needs to be protected at all costs), and I absolutely adore him with Burgess.
I'm already super frustrated with the lack of Burgess/Ruzek scenes, and the ones that we do get hardly go in depth. I just got finished watch 2x15, and I'm going to take a crack at writing my new favorite couple. There were so many missed opportunities between Burgess and Ruzek in that episode, and instead it had way too much Roman in it (PS, I don't like him).
I'm rating this as M for sexual situations, so just a head's up. Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. Please enjoy, and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. The story title comes from the song "Innocent" by Taylor Swift.
The hazy, purple light of early dawn filtered in through the window of Adam's apartment. Kim stared up at the ceiling instead of out the window and tried to focus on the warm weight of Adam's body next to her. His arm was wrapped around her shoulders, holding her tightly to him, even in sleep.
Try as she might, Kim hadn't been able to get a single minute of sleep. She had laid there for hours, even as Adam had stroked her hair and his fingers up and down her back. Normally, soothing touches like that would have put her to sleep in minutes, but there was too much on her mind.
Way too much.
Unable to relax, Kim closed her eyes and exhaled slowly. She felt Adam shift next to her and she stilled immediately, keeping her eyes closed. Adam stopped moving and a long, silent moment passed. Kim thought she was in the clear, and figured that she had at least another hour or two before he woke up.
Then she felt Adam's lips on her forehead, and Kim kept her eyes closed. Maybe she could pretend that she was asleep, and Adam would go back to sleep as well. Then she could have a couple more hours to figure out how she was going to pretend that she was completely alright.
"I know you're awake," Adam murmured. His hand smoothed over her hair, tangling in the soft strands. "Did you get any sleep at all?"
Kim opened her eyes and slowly tilted her head to look at him. The sore muscles in her neck and back pulled with just that slight movement, and she knew that she would be feeling the aches from this latest fight for at least a week, if not longer.
There was just something about looking into those imploring, kind brown eyes of his. Kim would never be able to lie to him, and she certainly wasn't going to start now—not after he had held while she sobbed in the locker room for a good twenty minutes before she could finally calm down. Then there was the way he had stayed close to her all night, always touching her, as if he knew that she needed him to anchor her. He made sure that she ate and took a shower, and then he tucked her into bed.
Kim appreciated Adam taking control for the night. After her crying jag, she had simply gone on autopilot, just going through the motions until Adam had finally fallen asleep.
And then she stared at the ceiling.
Sleep had eluded her, even to the point where she was so tired that her body just should have shut down anyway. Every time she thought that she might drift off, the aches and pains in her body drew her attention, and she would think about what she had been through that day.
In a way, Kim was almost glad that she hadn't fallen asleep. She knew that the nightmares would come, and a part of her desperately wanted to avoid that. Eventually, she would fall asleep, and then the nightmares would come, and it would get bad.
Ever since she had joined the twenty-first, Kim had been through a lot. Even when she had gotten shot, she never felt this bad. There was just something about what had happened today—her decision to go in without backup, the way Roman was attacked, trying to help Aubrey—that had really gotten to her.
"I'm going to take that as a no," Adam finally said. His fingers ghosted over the bruises on her left cheekbone. His touch was feather-light, so gentle that she could really only feel the warmth radiating off of him.
Kim slid her fingers up until they wrapped around Adam's wrist. She held on to him, inhaling deeply as his scent surrounded her. Kim pressed her fingers into his skin and focused on the throbbing of his pulse underneath her fingertips. The steady beat was a comfort to her.
"You need some more ice," Adam murmured.
Tightening her grip on his wrist, Kim didn't let go. Casting a questioning look her way, Adam didn't climb out of bed and instead settled back down next to her. He stroked his hand along her jaw as he watched her, giving her the time she needed to speak.
Kim licked her lips and took a deep, shuddering breath. "Don't leave. Not yet."
Adam watched her for another long moment. His eyes were full of concern, and she knew that he wanted to say something. A beat of silence passed, and then he leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers.
The kiss was so tender and gentle that tears sprang to Kim's eyes. But she held them back.
Staring at the front desk, Kim tucked her hands into her pockets and took a deep breath.
They wanted her to take another few days off to recover, but Kim had insisted that she was well enough to return to work. Roman was still in the hospital, recovering from his own injuries, which meant she was out a partner for the next few weeks. Given her own injuries, Kim knew that she would be stuck at a desk for the next few days anyway.
Kim was, admittedly, going stir crazy. She had spent the last four days at home, under the watchful eyes of Adam and Atwater. It was a little annoying how they barely let her lift a finger, but she was more amused by it than anything else.
Adam and Atwater hardly shut up when they were apart, let alone when they were together. They had kept a constant stream of chatter going, and now, standing at the front desk, Kim could barley believe that she actually missed it—not that she would ever admit it to them out loud.
"Burgess!" Platt's voice still carried over the hustle and bustle of the lobby of the precinct, so of course she couldn't pretend like she didn't hear it. Sighing, Kim crossed the lobby and stopped in front of the desk.
"Sergeant," Kim greeted.
Platt stared at Kim for a long moment, as if she was sizing her up. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Um, thanks," Kim muttered as she looked down at the surface of the desk. "It's good to see you too, Serge."
"Don't get your panties in a twist, Burgess. You know I didn't mean it like that." She reached across the desk and put her hand on her shoulder. "It's good to see you up and about."
Kim resisted the urge to retreat. She knew that she had a lot to be proud of, bringing down that whole ring the way that she did. Something nagged at her though, and she didn't feel comfortable with the way that everyone was looking at her with sympathy in their eyes.
It was one thing to get shot and have people like at her like that. She understood it. Hell, Kim knew that she had given that look to other officers who had been injured in the line of duty. This was just… different.
It felt like people were congratulating her because she got lucky. Kim honestly had no idea how she felt about that.
"Thank you," Kim finally said.
Of course, it was then that she heard Adam and Atwater's voices behind her. A small smile lifted up the corner of Kim's lips, and she looked over her shoulder at Adam just as he stopped at the desk next to her. Atwater came up on her either side, squeezing her shoulder gently before teasing Platt about something.
Reaching down, Adam squeezed Kim's hand and then kissed her temple. Kim lost some of the tension that had taken up residence in her shoulders, and she pressed herself just a little further into Adam's side.
"So what's the deal with my girl?" Atwater asked. "She on desk duty?"
"Of course she is," Platt snapped. "Like I would let her do anything else? Just looking at her makes me sore."
Kim's eyes narrowed. "Wow, thanks, Serge. I'm really feeling the love here."
Amusement was dancing in Platt's eyes, and it was obvious that she was trying not to smile. Clearly, she had intended to push Kim's buttons. Admittedly, Kim was a bit quicker to get to her annoyance than she usually was, especially given everything she had just gone through.
It was a bit of normalcy, though. How many times had Kim stood here, being annoyed with Platt even though she tried her very hardest not to show it? The scene now was the same as it had always been in the past: Platt had stopped trying to hide her satisfied smirk, Kim's eyes were practically twitching with the effort not to glare, and she had pasted a sunny smile on her face.
The only difference now was that she could feel Adam shaking with silent laughter next to her. He had practically glued himself to her side, and it didn't seem like it was going to be any different now that they were at the station.
"Let's go get some coffee," Adam suggested. He wrapped his arm around Kim's shoulders, stroking his fingers over where he knew a bruise was. Even though Kim wasn't fond of such blatant displays of affection while at work, she couldn't deny that she took great comfort in having Adam touch her now.
When Kim looked over her shoulder, back towards the front desk, she saw that Platt was smiling.
Shrugging her jacket off, Kim draped it over the arm of the couch and collapsed onto the cushion next to it. She covered her face with her hands and took a deep, shuddering breath.
For once, she didn't feel like crying, which was a welcome relief. Instead of feeling anything else, though, Kim just felt… nothing.
She wasn't sure what scared her more: feeling too much of everything, or absolutely nothing.
She had no idea how much time had passed before she shifted on the couch and curled up into a little ball. Her knees were pulled up to her chest and she had her arms wrapped around her legs. She was vaguely aware of feeling hungry, and Kim desperately wanted to take a shower. She couldn't bring herself to move, no matter how much she tried to internally convince herself.
Kim had decided to spend some of her forced-upon time off visiting her partner. The crack on Roman's head had been nasty, and they had kept in the hospital for days to let his body rest and recover. He was being released in two days, but he still had a few weeks of medical leave ahead of him.
The words between them had been stilted and awkward, and not just because Roman sucked as a conversationalist. Even Roman didn't seem to be that upset with the way that Kim had gone off, half-cocked, and run into that building without any backup.
Wasn't someone angry with her? Or was everyone else going to continue telling her that she did a good job? Kim had appreciated the way everyone had applauded for her when she had first walked back into the precinct. It had helped her feel validated, like she had done her job and done it well.
Inevitably, the regrets and doubts had surfaced not long after that. What if she had waited for backup? What if she hadn't aggravated that guy at the warehouse? What if, after Roman had been taken in and injured, she had made the appropriate calls?
There were so many things that Kim wished she had done differently. She wouldn't forget Aubrey, or the way that gun had been held in front of her face on numerous occasions. It was infinitely different than when she had been shot. On that night, she had no idea that there was a gun behind the door that would go off. While she was in that warehouse, that gun had been held directly in front of her face more than once. Looking down the barrel of a gun was incredibly sobering, and it was something that she didn't want to experience ever again.
Continuing on this career path, Kim knew that she would eventually be in a similar situation again. It was something that she was going to have to come to terms with, especially if she wanted to be in Intelligence.
Shit. She was certainly going to need those therapy sessions her department had recommended to her.
Kim closed her eyes and curled further into the corner of the couch. She had spent half an hour in the hospital with Roman, and it was only towards the end did he say something that resonated with her.
He had stared at her as she slipped her jacket on and picked up her purse. "I hope you feel better soon, Roman," Kim had said. "I'll bring everyone around once you get settled on leave."
Kim had stopped and turned around, her gaze immediately going to the thick, white bandage that was wrapped around his head. She took a deep breath in through her nose and forced herself to look at him, instead of the bandages and the ugly bruising on his face.
"Remember what you said to me, after you got shot?" Roman asked. When Kim nodded her head, Roman continued. "The same applies to you, you know. I'm okay. I'll recover. And I'll need you to watch my back when I get back out there."
Kim had left after that, and had gone directly home instead of going to Molly's, like she had originally planned. She had sent off a quick text to Atwater, letting him know that she wouldn't be there because she was tired. She knew that Atwater wouldn't press her or try to talk her into coming, which she appreciated.
For the first time since the whole debacle at the warehouse, Kim wanted to be alone. There were too many doubts bouncing around inside her head, too many feelings of failure as she remembered how lucky she had gotten by making the right choices in the end. Still, the whole situation could have been avoided if she had just followed protocol, and those reminders continued to eat away at her.
Against her better judgment, Kim reached for her purse and dug through it until she pulled out her phone. She hit the home button and saw that she had three missed calls from Adam, along with eight text messages. She unlocked the phone and scrolled through the text messages, her heart tightening in her chest as she read each one.
The first few were asking if she was alright since she had bailed on coming to Molly's, and if she needed him to come over. He had also asked how her visit with Roman had gone. The next few were saying that he had spoken to Atwater, and he understood that she wanted to call it an early night. He told her to let him know if she needed anything. The two messages after that held more concern, because she hadn't responded to any of his previous calls or text messages.
Finally, his last message had been a simple, "I love you."
Tossing her phone aside, Kim closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the couch.
Adam had found it endlessly amusing that Kim was such a dead to the world sleeper. He had teased her about it more than once. How was it that someone who was such an amazing police officer and had such killer instincts could fail to be woken up by a raging storm or by Adam knocking over something in the bedroom?
Kim would be the first to admit that it took her at least three alarms set in the morning to properly wake up, and she made no apologies for it. Sure, she tended to have a sunny disposition, but that normally came after several cups of coffee. It took her a good hour to become a functioning human in the morning, and she was the exact opposite of a morning person.
Adam, on the other hand, was almost annoyingly chipper in the morning—at all times, really. There was never a moment that he was too tired, whether it was at six o'clock in the morning, or midnight. Kim was barely capable of grunts, let alone full sentences early in the morning, whereas Adam could chatter away. Kim would never admit that she actually found it endearing, just as Adam thought her aversions to early mornings was adorable.
So when Adam walked into her apartment the next day, he was appropriately armed with coffee and breakfast sandwiches. It was well after nine o'clock in the morning, but he could never be too sure with Kim. The first hour after she woke up always required a lot of coffee and early morning kisses from him.
He hadn't expected to find her passed out on the couch, still wearing her clothes from the day before, however.
It was obvious that she had fallen asleep early the night before and her body had just shut down, refusing to be woken for anything other than necessity. She was curled up in a small ball in the corner of the couch with a blanket half-draped over her lap. Her brow was furrowed, and though she had been asleep for well over twelve hours, she looked the exact opposite of rested.
Adam had known that Kim needed some time to herself. After the breakdown in the locker room, he had been waiting for her to hit a wall. She would eventually, and Adam wanted to be there when it happened. It appeared that she had hit that wall and had just shut the whole world out. Adam had been willing to give her the night, just so she could get the time she needed on her own. That would be the last time he left her alone, however.
Despite her tense sleep, Kim still hadn't woken up, even after Adam had shut the door to her apartment behind him. She curled further into herself, and Adam's heart broke a little in his chest. She had been trying so hard to hide her pain, but it was apparent now that she was asleep: her tense shoulders, the dark circles under her eyes, the way her hands were clenched into fists under her chin.
Adam set the breakfast and coffee in the kitchen and then headed over to the couch. He sat next to Kim and reached out, stroking his hand over her hair. As his fingers passed the end of the silky strands and continued down and over her shoulders, he felt her body relax ever so slightly. He continued to stroke her hair, passing his hand over her shoulders and down her spine until she had relaxed entirely.
Kim's body uncurled from the tight ball it had been in, and her face lost some of its tension. Finally, as she always did when he touched her, she rolled towards him.
It was something that Adam had discovered when they first started sleeping together—the realization had come even before he had realized that he was hopelessly in love with her. They would be laying in bed after a particularly intense round of sex, and Kim would be lying on her stomach or her back, fast asleep. Adam would stroke his fingers over whatever part of her body that he could reach. He was absolutely fascinated with her, and he was even more intrigued with the fact that she would always—always—roll towards him when he touched her.
It might have taken a few tries, and sometimes Adam had to touch her in just the right way; most nights, it was the way that he stroked his fingers down her spine that would get her to move towards him. Other times, it would be his calloused fingers over her pulse point at her wrist, or tracing the curve of her breast. No matter what, she would always roll towards him, and into his arms.
Adam didn't think that Kim knew about her reaction to his touch while she was sleeping. It had been one night, not long before she had gotten shot, that Adam had realized he loved her. Adam's fingers had been moving over the curve of her hip when she shifted towards him, throwing one of her legs over his and sighing contentedly in her sleep. In that moment, Adam had realized that he had completely and totally fallen in love with Kim Burgess.
This time, when she rolled towards him, her hand reached out, almost as if she knew he was there. Adam shifted closer, so that her hand fell onto his thigh, and he threaded the fingers of one hand into her hair while he stroked her cheek with his other hand. It took a few moments, but Kim's eyes eventually fluttered open.
"Adam," she whispered. Her voice was rough with sleep and confusion as she glanced around, taking in her surroundings. He saw her realize the moment she was in the living room, passed out on the couch.
"Hey, darlin'," Adam murmured. He cupped her cheek in his hand, stroking his thumb under her eye. Her gaze was still foggy, but her fingers pressed just a little bit harder into his thigh, as if she was making sure that he was really sitting next to her.
Kim cleared her throat. "What time is it?"
"Almost nine-thirty in the morning."
Her eyes closed briefly, and she sucked in a deep breath. Her eyes opened, and she gazed at him for a long moment before speaking. "What are you doing here?"
Adam jerked his head towards the kitchen. "I brought breakfast. And I was worried about you."
"You don't need to be worried about me."
Her response was automatic, and she pulled away from him and stood up. It seemed that she had finally realized she was still wearing her clothes from the day before, and she frowned down at herself as she tugged on her wrinkled shirt. She shifted, clearly uncomfortable after having slept in jeans.
"Kim." Reaching up, Adam caught her hand in his and laced their fingers together. "Just because I don't have to be worried about you, doesn't mean that I won't be." His thumb found her pulse point, and he held on to the steady beat. "Why don't you take a shower, and then we'll eat breakfast?"
Kim squeezed his hand and gave him a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. "I'm not that hungry."
"You have to eat," Adam told her. He was well aware that he was in overly-protective boyfriend mode, but here was no way that he was going to let Kim neglect her needs just because of the confusion she was feeling. She was going to need to keep her strength up, especially if she was going to fully recover from the beating her body had taken in that warehouse.
Kim squeezed his fingers again before she slipped her hand from his and headed towards her bathroom. Adam sighed before he straightened the living room and then headed into the kitchen. He attempted to busy himself by setting the oven to a low heat and putting the breakfast sandwiches in there so they wouldn't get soggy, but he couldn't stop himself from wanting to check on Kim.
When he slipped into the bathroom, Adam was relieved that he had decided to check in on her. Kim's clothes had been haphazardly thrown on the floor, and the hot water in the shower had been cranked all the way up, causing the small room to be filled with steam.
Surely, Kim had heard the bathroom door open, so Adam felt no need to announce his presence as he pulled the shower curtain back. When he saw her huddled against the wall of the shower, away from the overly-hot beat of the water, he knew he had done the right thing in checking on her.
Kim didn't even have the energy to glance his way, and Adam sighed. He began to strip off his clothes, leaving them in a pile on the floor of the bathroom. He slipped into the shower and turned down the temperature of the water slightly, just enough so that it wouldn't be scalding.
Without a word, he drew her into his arms, her back to his front. His arms wrapped around her, his face pressed into her neck as he held her to him. Kim was still for a long moment before she slowly raised her arms, wrapping her hands around his forearms to hold on to him. Adam felt her take a deep, shuddering breath, and then she relaxed completely against him.
Adam held her to him as the water beat down over their heads. The steam was still heavy in the room, and Adam knew that he only had maybe ten more minutes before the hot water ran out entirely. Even though he didn't want to, he pulled back from Kim enough to slip a wash cloth lathered with soap between their bodies.
With her back still to him, Kim said nothing as Adam ran the wash cloth over her body. She easily moved with him as he lifted her arms and washed first her left side and then her right. Holding her hand in his, he slowly turned her to face him, and the soapy wash cloth traced over the scars from where she had been shot.
Adam lingered there for a long moment before he moved the wash cloth down between her breasts, and then over her stomach. He knelt at her feet to soap her legs, and Kim rested her hands on his shoulders.
She didn't think that she would ever be able to explain what she was feeling in that moment.
As Adam ran the wash cloth over her feet, he tenderly kissed her stomach. He set the cloth aside and reached for her shampoo, pouring a generous amount into his palm. Instead of insisting that she could do it herself, Kim tilted her head back, allowing Adam to lather her hair with the coconut-scented shampoo.
They only had a few minutes of hot water left, so Adam guided her back under the spray and gently rinsed the shampoo from her hair. The last of the suds disappeared just as the water turned cool and hit Adam's back. Before it could reach Kim, he reached behind him and turned the water off.
Standing naked before him, Kim stared up at Adam. There were so many things that she wanted to say in that moment, but she couldn't make her mouth move. She couldn't make the connection between her brain and her mouth, couldn't string together all the words and feelings that were floating around in her head.
Still, Kim opened her mouth, trying her hardest to tell Adam just how much she loved him. How much her heart hurt with the love she felt for him, how she wanted to wrap her arms around him and never let go. But nothing came out.
Adam had always had a knack for knowing what she was thinking, and he didn't disappoint this time. He touched his fingers to her cheek, and a small smile played on his lips before he pulled the shower curtain back.
Kim reached for her towel and wrapped it around her body before she found an extra for Adam and handed it to him. He ran it over his hair before he loosely tucked it around his waist. Despite her tumultuous emotions, Kim found that she couldn't tear her eyes away from his bare, glistening chest.
Taking her hand in his, Adam pulled her towards the bedroom. Kim allowed him to guide her to the bed before she reached up and took his face between her hands. She stared at him for a long moment, taking in the way his brown eyes shown with concern and love, the determined set of his jaw, and the way his pulse jumped in his neck. Then she kissed him.
Adam responded to the kiss desperately. He wrapped his fingers around her wrists and pulled them away from his face, but only so he could guide her back onto the bed and pin her hands on either side of her head as he kissed her deeply. The towel that had been loosely wrapped around him had already fallen away due to his movements, leaving him bare to her, with his desire evident. Kim's towel was still draped over her body, albeit a bit loose.
Releasing her left wrist, Adam reached down to pull the towel from her body entirely. He wanted nothing to separate them any longer. When Kim grasped his wrist, however, he froze. He zeroed in on her face, taking in the panic in her doe-colored eyes.
"I'm… the bruises are still there," Kim whispered. She had taken quite the beating in the stairwells of the warehouse, and her body showed it. She was basically one giant, walking bruise, and she knew that it was less than attractive. She knew that he had seen them in the shower, but it was different now that they were about to make love. "They're bad."
Adam exhaled slowly and lifted her hand to his lips, kissing her palm. "Oh, Kim."
Kim had realized a long time ago that Adam was a man of action.
He wasn't much for sentimental, flowery words, and that was something that Kim had long since accepted. Sure, he was charming and incredibly flirty, but he was hardly every outright and forthcoming verbally with his emotions.
Kim had learned to recognize the signs of his feelings for her through his actions: the way he held her, as if she would disappear any second and he had to take in every moment. The tender way he would press his lips to her temple whenever he was saying hello or goodbye. How his fingers would brush hers while they were standing at the front desk in the precinct; sure everyone knew they were together, but he still had fun sneaking little touches and kisses with her here and there. The way he would whisper "be safe" to her whenever she left on patrol, especially when it involved a case that Intelligence was working.
Adam had always been one to show how and what he was feeling, as opposed to talking about it. Kim understood it, even though she was a self-proclaimed talker and always wanted to discuss her current state of emotions. Even if Adam never vocally gave her insight, he always listened to her, and Kim learned to watch for the signs of how he was feeling. It was her own way of listening.
As Adam pulled the towel away from her body, she knew that this was going to be another one of those moments.
She was covered in bruises, and now that they weren't in the shower, Adam was really able to see just how bad they were. Dark purple and blue marks blossomed across her ribs and down to her hip. The one on her thigh was already yellowing around the edges, and there were still shadows of fingerprints on her upper arms, where she had been grabbed.
Adam pressed his lips to her ribs, and Kim inhaled sharply. Her hands fell to his hair, her fingers tangling in the strands as his lips moved over her body. When he reached the one on her thigh, he lingered there for a moment as his other hand slipped between her legs.
She was ready for him, and Adam lifted himself back up and covered her body with his. He kissed her again, this time tenderly. Kim parted her legs and let him settle against her. Taking her hand in his, he slid into her body. Kim laced their fingers together as she moved with him.
Kim fell even more in love with Adam in that moment. The way he slowly and tenderly loved her, giving her exactly what she needed. When they finished together, Kim wrapped her arms around Adam and held his body to hers. She didn't want to lose the warmth or the comfort provided by the feel of him pressed against her.
"Kim, baby." Adam chuckled into her neck after he caught his breath. "I need to move. I'm crushing you."
Tightening her arms around him, Kim wrapped her legs around his waist as well and hung on. "No. I like you here."
Adam let her hold him for another moment before he rolled over, taking her with him. He settled her against his chest, spreading his hands over her bare back. He pressed his lips to her temple as she closed her eyes and breathed in deeply.
"I love you," Adam murmured. His voice rumbled in his chest underneath her ear, and she smiled.
"I love you, too."
Sliding her vest over her shoulders, Kim stared at her reflection in the small mirror of her locker.
The bruises had mostly faded by now, but there was just the slightest shadow of a faded, yellow mark across her cheekbone. The other bruises have disappeared, the soreness is gone, and the nightmares have subsided—for the most part. She has been healing, at least physically.
Kim hated that those doubts and worries still bounced around in her mind, especially since she was starting back on patrol today. It was light duty, of course, since Roman was going to be out for at least another week. She was stuck with crossing guard duty over at the elementary school, but she wasn't too bothered by it.
What really got to her was how relieved she was by her assignment for the day. Kim had known what she was singing up for when she became a police officer, and she was proud to be one. There was no such thing as an easy day when you were an officer, and Kim knew that she would face even harder times than what she had experienced in the warehouse. She wanted to be fully ready and prepared and confident in her abilities once again, and she only had a week to sort herself out before she was back on patrol.
Kim refused to be at anything other than her best. She wouldn't put other's lives at stake, not like she had in the warehouse.
With a sigh, Kim shut the door to her locker and then rested her head against it. The noise of her locker door closing covered up the sound of approaching footsteps, and when Kim pulled herself away from her locker, she found Erin standing behind her.
"Hey, Burgess," Erin said with a kind smile. "Ready for your first day back?"
How had Erin known what she had been thinking? "As ready as I'll ever be," she admitted.
Erin crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the row of lockers. "It's going to be okay, you know."
"How do you know that?" Kim's voice was quiet, careful. Was she so obvious that everyone knew how reluctant she was?
"Because I've been there," Erin said. "I know what it's like when you come back from something that's affected you deeply. It takes some time to adjust, Kim, but you're going to get there."
"I don't want anyone to doubt me."
Reaching out, Erin squeezed Kim's shoulder comfortingly. "None of us doubt you." She peered at Kim, her eyes knowing. "But you doubt yourself."
"It's hard not to," Kim whispered. "There were so many things that I could have done differently..."
"You did the best with the situation you were in. That's all anyone could ask for. You got yourself and your partner out of there… more or less unharmed." They both smiled at Erin's little joke. "That's all anyone can ask for, in the end."
Kim took a deep, slow breath before she managed a small smile. She felt a little better, surprisingly enough. "Thanks, Erin," she said.
Erin smiled in return and hugged her.
Adam entered his apartment and wasn't surprised to find Kim curled up on his couch, watching a movie. A smile played on his lips when he saw that she was wearing one his shirts and a pair of sleep shorts. She looked adorable, and he liked that he could find her in his apartment, wearing his clothes.
"Hey," Adam greeted. He leaned over the back of the couch and pressed his lips to the top of Kim's head, before tilting her chin up to kiss her lips. "I ordered some Chinese food. It should be here in about twenty minutes."
Kim smiled up at him. "Sounds good."
"How was your first day back?" His hands fell to her shoulders, kneading away the sudden tension he felt in there. He had figured that this was going to be a touchy subject, but he knew she needed to talk about this. Kim was the kind of person who had to talk about what was going on in her head—it was one of the reasons that he loved her so much.
She made him want to be more like her in that respect. He knew he had issues talking about how he was feeling, and he was aware that it was going to take him some time to change that. In the meantime, he could start by helping Kim talk about how she was feeling.
"It was okay," Kim said carefully. "Nothing to report. It was a pretty slow day."
"That's not necessarily a bad thing," Adam hedged. When Kim didn't say anything else, Adam added, "Erin told me she talked to you today."
Kim pulled a blanket off the back of the couch and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling it snugly around her body. "She did. It was a good talk."
"I just…" She looked up at Adam, taking in the kind, loving way he was gazing at her. "It's hard not to have doubts, okay? What I did was so stupid—"
"What was stupid?" Adam interrupted. "You busted a smuggling ring and saved you and your partner's life."
"But I went in without backup, Adam! I knew what was supposed to do, and I did the exact opposite. All because I wanted to be tough." Tears suddenly burned in Kim's eyes once again, a sob hiccupped out of her lips. "I wanted to prove that I could dig myself out of the rut I had decided I was in. It was selfish."
The response she got from Adam wasn't what she had expected: he laughed.
"Why the hell are you laughing?" Kim demanded as she angrily wiped tears from her eyes. "It's not funny!"
"I'm sorry, darlin'." Adam climbed over the back of the couch and settled next to her. He took her hands and didn't let go when she tried to pull away from him. "That came out wrong. I didn't mean it like that."
"Oh yeah? Then how did you mean it?"
Adam lifted Kim's hands to his mouth and pressed his lips to them. "Kim, you're one of the least selfish people I know. Wanting to do something to advance your career or make a difference doesn't make you a selfish person. It just means that you're human. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that."
Kim opened her mouth to protest, but Adam pressed his fingers to her lips. She gave an annoyed little huff, but that only made Adam's smile widen. It was god to see Kim going back to her old self.
"I know that Erin told you that you did the best you could with the situation you were in. Did you make the best choice in the beginning? No, but you already knew that. So in the end, you did everything you could. And you did something amazing." He stroked his fingers along the curve of her cheek. "You're amazing. And you will get through this."
Kim exhaled slowly and felt some of the pressure leave her chest. "I love you, you know that?" she told him.
Adam's smile was bright and full. "I love you, too."
As Adam pulled Kim into his arms and slanted his mouth over hers in a deep kiss, Kim knew that she was going to be alright. She still had a ways to go, but with her friends and Adam by her side, she knew that things were going to be just fine.
So this kind of get away from me a little bit, but I had a lot of fun writing this. Since starting this story, I've made it all the way to season four. Needless to say, I'm still holding out hope for Burzek. I love the two of them together, and I hope the show gives them another (better) chance. Thanks for reading!