She awoke and found herself still in his embrace.  He was asleep with his arms draped around her waist.  She was still in the lab.  Thoughts of Michael and his death came rushing back, and threatened to start tears again.  Mentally shaking herself, she decided she needed something else… more calming to think about. At least, for a little while.  Her thoughts turned to what she had just been dreaming about.  It was the only calm thought she could think of.   The dream was one of her favorite, and one she had been having a lot lately.  In her dream, she had been hurt and Adam was at her bedside begging her to fight; to live so he could tell her how much he loved her.

It seemed like she had always loved Adam.  Ever since the first time he stepped into that hotel doorway, told her the truth about what was happening to her, and invited her to come with him, she had been captivated.  He accepted her mutations, her emotional storms, and her… feral upheavals.  No matter what she said or did, he was there to listen, comfort, and provide guidance, if necessary.  It was such a comfort to her spirit to feel his chest rise, and fall against her cheek, and to hear his heart beating under her ear.

She wasn't sure when her love had gone beyond platonic.  It had come to a crossroad when they had followed Ashlocke back to 1978.  There she had met the young, naïve, 'save the world' Dr. Adam Kane.  He had flirted with her, and after she got over the shock of it, she had loved the fact that he found her attractive.  In that time, she was the 'older' woman.  'Wonder if he stills finds her attractive?' she questioned. 

It saddened her tremendously to think that she might have died without telling him how she really felt.  Worse yet, she wondered whether or not he loved her?  Now, she questioned if it was a dream, or… had she… they professed their love.  She decided she had to tell him, and she had to tell him, now. 

She tilted her head back until she could see his face.  This time she found him awake and watching her.  She watched the veil he used to cover his feelings fall firmly back in place, before he closed his eyes.  It broke her heart when he distanced himself from all of them, but especially when he distanced himself from her.  Quietly, she said, "Are you awake?"

He looked down at her and smile, "Yes, I'm awake, but why are you?" he teasingly scolded her.  "You need your rest."

"I couldn't get my brain to stay shutdown," she admitted.

"So what thoughts are running around in that pretty little head of yours?" he asked.  He could tell from the look on her face, she was just beginning to feel calmer.  Her eyes were clear.

"Well…" now that the moment had come, she lost all of her courage.  "I am awfully thirsty.  Could you reach me that glass?"  'So it wasn't the best save she ever did, but it was all best she could think of at the moment.' 

She took a large gulp and tried to moisten her suddenly parched throat.  She thought she saw disappoint flutter across his face.  It was so fleeting, she couldn't be sure if it had been there at all, or just her wishing it to be there.  It dawned on her that it would be just like him to not say anything for fear of destroying their friendship.  'But, dammit, I want more!'

 "I was thinking about a dream I had.  It was so real," she started as she gazed into his eyes trying to see what he was feeling.  She plunged on, "I dreamed that I had been hurt and was awaken by someone professing his love for me."  She watched his face, but it remained neutral.  'Dammit! He is not cracking,' she grumbled to herself.  "You wouldn't know anything about that would you?" she sweetly asked as she picked at imaginary lint from his shirt. 

He maintained his silence.  He knew if he spoke just one word, she would know his heart desire, and he didn't think emotionally she was ready to hear what he had to say. 

She decided to take the first step.  She reached up and slowly pulled his head towards her, and he didn't resist.  She brushed her lips against his.  Her eyes drifted closed as she drank deeply in his manly scent.  She had to taste him.  Parting her lips, she slid her tongue along his bottom lip.  He tasted so sweet.  She did notice he still had not made a move, nor had he responded to her kiss.  Maybe, she was wrong.  Uncertainty flooded her eyes as she dragged her lips away to get a look into his face.

Her kiss had stopped his brain from thinking.  That one kiss had fanned the flames of his desire, and bursts open the gates that had hidden his true feelings for her for so long.  It was then he noticed something was missing.  She wasn't kissing him anymore.  He moans the loss of her touch. 

He opened his eyes and he saw uncertainty, doubt, and pain looking back at him.  He realized he was the cause of that.  "My little minx, you always do like to jump without a net, don't you?"  He reached out and took her face into his hands.  "Shalimar, I love you!  I have loved you since I met you… at Breedlove's labs."  He saw her astonishment.  "I search for you for months after that chance encounter, but alas, I had to give up.  I had begun to convince myself that you were just a figment of my imagination.  I didn't even know you name… Your real name." He paused for her to understand.  "Needless to say the day I found you in that hotel room, I nearly passed out.  It was you, but a good deal younger version of you.  I had to wait." He pressed his lips to her forehead before continuing; "I wanted to let you decide in your own time if you want me, as much as I have wanted you."

She was so touched from his words.  'He loves me… HE REALLY LOVES ME!' echoed in her head.  Tears of joy welled in her eyes.  "My love… my foolish love, I have loved you since the first day I met you… in this timeline that is," she added with a sexy smile.

He reached for her and she willingly sank back against him.  Her lips felt like warm velvet beneath his.  'Shalimar is mine.'  It brought such peace to his world.  'Shalimar said she loves me.' 

At first his kiss was more like a butterfly caress to her lips, but she wanted more.  Playfully, she caught his bottom lip with her teeth and lightly nipped it. 

Adam seized the opening of her lips and plunged his tongue deep inside, and his tongue playfully bantered with hers. He drank in the taste that was Shalimar.  Just the touch of her against his chest had fueled the passion that coursed in his veins. Finally, the need for air forced them apart.  As he drew jagged breaths, Adam heard something that he didn't recognize, and then realized it was Shalimar.  She was… purring.  Opening his eyes, he found her staring at him.  Her eyes had darkened with her passion.  He rained small kisses along her jaw line, and then nibbled on her earlobe.  Her moan filled him with desire to give her more pleasure.  

She felt like she was on fire as passion coursed through her veins awaking every nerve ending she had.  She not only could feel every place his body touched her, but she could smell him, taste him, and hear his jagged intakes of breath.   Desire seated its self deep within her.  At first, it was just a tiny flame, but it rapidly grew to be as intense as a forest fire that was out of control.  Fleetingly, she wondered if it would consume her, but just as quickly realized she didn't care if it did.  She didn't ever want this feeling to go away.  No one had ever made her feel this way.  'Not even Richard,' she had to admit.  She heard someone moaning and realized it was she that was moaning.  She reached for his face, and pulled his mouth back to hers.  And kissed him thoroughly.

He was just as overwhelmed as he had been with the first kiss.  His heart nearly burst with his joy.  Unconsciously, he shifted their positions until she was nearly under him.  He stopped when he felt her tense.  His eyes snapped open.  He saw the pain she was trying to cover up.  It then dawned on him… she was still hurt.  How could he be so stupid! 

Quickly, he sat up.  "Shalimar, I am so sorr..." he attempted to apologize to her, but she silence him with just a touch.

"Adam, I fine.  Really, I am… It just…sore!" she grumbled. "Dammit, I'm sorry!" she said.  "Can we try again?" she pleaded.

He wiped his face, before looking at her again.  "We have all the time in the world, Shalimar.  And I want you to be one hundred percent when I make love to you, minx.  I promise I will make it worth the wait." He helped her to try to find a comfortable position.  But, he could tell she was just not finding one.  He leaned over, and kissed her cheek, before getting out of the bed, and going to the hypo-spray cabinet.  Momentarily, he was back walking around the bed to face her.

"I'm not taking 'no' for an answer," he said.  "It is not as strong as before, but it should take the edge off."

She knew not to argue.  She moved her hair out of the way, and she felt the cool hiss against her neck. 

"Where is everyone else?" she asked.

Adam sat in the chair and took her hand before speaking.  "They have been in and out to see how you are doing and to see if you were awake yet."  He tapped his com-link on and said, "Hey guys, Shalimar is awake."  He smiled at her; then started counting, "One…two…three…" Before he could say four, the lab door burst open and they all came rushing in. 

Emma came close and gave her a hug, and a kiss, "You really had me worried.  Promise me that you won't put me through that kind of torture again.  I need my best friend." Tears filled Emma's eyes and voice as she spoke.  She had to bat her eyes several times before she got her emotions under control. 

"I promise, Em, I promise," Shalimar replied and reassuringly squeezed Emma's hand.  She so touched by her friend's concern and love. 

Emma smiled, and squeezed Shalimar's hand in return before stepping back.

Jesse reached out and ruffled her hair, "How are you doing?" he asked.

She could see dark circles under Jesse's eyes.  She was so sorry she had worried the very people she was sworn to protect.  "I'm sore in a lot of places, but otherwise, I will recover."

Brennan quietly stood at the foot of the bed.  He cleared his throat before speaking.  "Shal… I'm sorry… I let you down."  He stared at the floor as he spoke.

Shalimar could tell he was blaming himself for what had happened.  Adam was right they all had too much guilt about the mission.  "Brennan, look at me." But, he shook his head.  Her look asked Adam to move, and he did.  "Brennan, please, come here."  She reached out her hand to him.   Slowly, he complied.  She took his hand and gently said, "Look at me!" and added, "Dammit!!" for good measure.

A smile tickled his lips, and he finally raised his gaze.  She saw such remorse in his eyes.  "Brennan, you are not at fault.  None of are.  The people to blame is Genomex for selling the ferals to Project 318, and the people who attempted to rewrite the ferals' DNA."  She could see a 'but' coming, and cut him off, "Adam found a cure, and I am going to be just fine."  She smiled at him and this time a small smiled flirted with his lips.  "Besides, if you feel really bad, you can go easy on me when I am able to work out.  Spot me a few bad guys, what do you say?"

"Yeah, right!" He chuckled and a genuine smile appeared.  "Not in this life time."  He now looked like the old Brennan.  That's whom she wanted to see.  'Now,' she thought 'they were going to be able to work through this.'  But, it would take all of them dealing with their feelings, but that's what a family's for- working together through the hard times, and rejoicing together in the successes.

She yawned.  She was tiring out, and that hypo Adam had given her really packed a punch after all.  Before she could stop it a second yawn escaped.

"Well, guys, let's let her get some more rest," Adam said as he motioned them to leave. 

"Party pooper," she growled at him.

"That's me, Dr. Party Pooper," Adam said with a grin. 

Brennan kissed her on the cheek, Jesse ruffled her hair, and Emma squeezed her hand.

"Emma, would you stay for a minute, please?" She called out. "Adam, could you give us a minute." 

He nodded, "Sure," he squeezed her shoulder reassuringly.   He looked at Emma, and instructed, "Not to long."

Emma stood at attention, and smartly saluted him, "Aye, Aye, Dr. Party Pooper!"

Shalimar chuckled and Adam blushed.  He kissed Shalimar's cheek before he left.  When the door swished closed, Shalimar said, "Em, I need a big favor."

"Sure, Shal, if I can," Emma replied.

"Do what ever it takes to make Adam get some sleep.  He looks like he is out on his feet," she implored.  "The caffeine is the only thing keeping him going at the moment."

"I'll suggest he go lay down and take a nap," Emma nodded in agreement.  "He will not want to leave you alone.  If it's okay with you, I'll take first watch."

"I would like that," she said.  "Just make him sleep."

"How are you really doing?" Emma quietly inquired.

Shalimar hesitated before answering, "It is going to take some time to sort this all out in my head.  I killed one of our own kind who was a victim not an enemy.  I killed him because he needed to be put out of his misery.  Adam, however, has made me realize that Michael didn't leave me any choice.  It is just going to take time for my heart to catch up my head.  But, I will get there," she said determinedly. 

Emma lightly touched Shalimar's mind and found she wasn't covering up.  "If I can be of any help, please, let me know.  I'm a pretty good listener."

"And an even better friend," she smile at Emma, as her eyelids began to droop. 

"Got to sleep, Shal," Emma said as she stroked Shalimar's hair out of her face, and squeezed her hand reassuringly, "… stop fighting the medication…  As soon as you are asleep, I will go talk to Adam.  Now close those eyes," Emma ordered. 

"Yes… ma…" she fell asleep in the middle of what she was saying.

Emma chuckled to herself.  After being mentally touching Shalimar's mind- to be sure she was truly asleep- she went in search of Adam.

My usual beta tester is moving and so forgives the typos…. Please let me know what you think…. Am I way off base and should I go running for the hills and forget this gig?????????????

I am thinking about ending here…. What do you guys think????

Is this story done????