Rating : G

Summary : Brennan and Shalimar fluff/thoughts after "Wages of Sin," the second episode of S3.  Warning: may contain spoilers!

Gender : General/Romance

Disclaimer : Not mine.

Shalimar closed her eyes briefly before rapping her knuckles lightly on the slightly ajar door to Brennan's bedroom.

"Brennan," She called softly, "May I come in?" 

He lifted his head from his pillow before letting it fall back down.  "Sure," he shrugged.

She entered, footsteps quiet but sure as she walked over to his bed and sat on the side.  He sighed and rolled over onto his side, facing her, head propped up by his hand. 

She waited for him to look at her, but he kept his eyes cast downward at his pillow, avoiding her gaze.  She lightly trapped his chin in her palm and tugged gently. 

"Bren, please," she paused, her voice shaking a bit, "look at me."

He resisted for a moment more before ruefully complying, giving her a small smile. 

"What's up?" He casually inquired.

"You tell me," she retorted, "You've been hiding out here ever since we got back from the casino.  I need you to talk to me, tell me what's bothering you.  After everything we've been through, I can't take this, not now, and not from you."  

He dropped his eyes again.  "Sorry," He muttered.  "I just, I just don't know what to think anymore.  First we lose Emma and Adam, then we learn nothing has been what it seemed, then Lexa waltzes in and just takes over, and again we have someone making demands of us without revealing why.  Shal, I, I just can't take it anymore.  I'm tired," he paused, his eyes revealing his pain, "I'm frustrated and just tired of it all.  I'm tired of risking our lives day in and day out, only to find out it's been all for nothing.  I'm tired of trusting people, and feeling betrayed.  I'm tired of just trying, of being used."  He hunched his shoulders, picking at imaginary lint on his bedspread.

Shalimar's heart constricted.  Brennan looked like a lost little boy.  She knew he had trouble trusting anyone, after his life on the streets.  Loyalty meant everything to him. 

"I'm still here.  Jess is still here.  We're not for nothing," she gently reminded him.  "I know you don't trust Lexa yet, maybe you never will, but I think she has the right intentions.  She may be a bit secretive, but she seems alright.  She did help us try to get Adam back from Eckhart, and she did help us escape the casino.  Believe me, I have my reservations, but she did save our lives."

Brennan grudgingly nodded as he sat up on the bed, dangling his legs over the side.  Shalimar turned and faced him, crossing her legs and leaning forward on her elbows.  They sat there in silence for a few minutes as she watched him open and close his hands, small tendrils of lightening flickering from his fingers. 

"She kissed me," he suddenly blurted out, glancing at Shalimar.

Her eyebrows shot up.  "She did what?"  She squeaked, even as she felt her eyes glow for a second, chasing away the small smile that played around his lips. 

"I think it was a challenge," he mused, "a fight for—for control."

 She watched his profile with narrowed eyes, hating the feeling that was rising in her.  "What?" she repeated thinly.

Brennan smiled, "Never mind," he mildly retorted.  "I have something else in mind.  Something else I want to focus on." 

Shalimar reluctantly pulled herself away from the image of a dead Lexa in her mind and looked up at him.  "And what would that be?"  She asked, still miffed.

His hand gently stroked her cheek, even as his deep chocolate eyes sparked a challenge at her.  "Teach me more about hunting."