Spoilers: 'In Between'
Author's Notes: Post-In Between. This is the only Season 3 episode I've watched and I'm sorry if I've got Lexa all OOC. I kind of learnt a lot about her from other people's stories and after watching her in 'In Between' I think I haven't done that much damage in this short fic. Enjoy, and please R&R!!!
Lexa Pierce idly played with the small figurine on her dresser. She stared at her reflection in the mirror, hardly registering the blank look on her face, she seemed to be doing that a lot lately; staring into space.
Her eyes flicked toward the clock on the wall. 2 a.m. Everybody was surely in bed already at this hour; especially after what happened the day before. Yesterday had been hard on all of them, emotionally and physically. Yesterday Jesse nearly died.
She would never know what Brennan did, and how he did it, but he managed to bring Jesse back. For that she knew she'd be eternally grateful to the Elemental. God forbid for her to even tell anybody about it, but she could have kissed Brennan, (if he had been there) when he told her he managed to get the bullet into the container in time.
She could still remember the rush of helpless panic surging through her body when Harrison activated the detonator in her face; the terror at the mere thought of Jesse with the bullet still inside him exploding into shards, killing him instantly.
Do I really care about him?
She raised her eyes and met her own gaze in the mirror. Do you really? She asked herself.
The Dominion had been right about one thing. Personal involvement in her line of work was the least thing she needed, but-Lexa gave herself a mental shake. Get a grip. Your mind is playing games on you. Jesse's fine. Everything's fine. He's a friend and you care about him. That is all. It was touch and go for a while, but he's safe now.
But why does it still bother me so? I can't even close my eyes without picturing him writhing and screaming in agony, begging to be released from the pain which he'd never thought he could ever experience, the pain from a bullet.
Lexa bit her lip doubtfully. Jesse's sensitive and caring nature had always made him appear more vulnerable than most people, something she thought was particularly endearing; someone with so much power and strength could be so gentle at times, but yesterday was. . .Jesse had always been untouchable. But yesterday made her realize that he was indeed, physically vulnerable as well. And that got her scared.
Jesse wasn't invincible after all. He was just like everyone else; a brush with bad luck now and then-
In a way, he's just like me. Is that what I'm afraid of? To know that now we have something in common, and there's nothing now that can stop this- feeling from-from-
Escalating into something else?
"You're the reason why I wanted to live. That is a big deal."
Jesse was looking at her the whole time. With that intense look on his face- he was, wasn't he? Were the words meant for her, and her only? Lexa didn't know. She was afraid to know.
But she had brushed that awkward feeling aside then, and had just lightly and jokingly threatened Jesse not to do that to them again, that nearly dying thing. She pretended not to get the hint.
What hint? Was there even a hint at anything?
Of course there was, you idiot. And you know what it is. You know what it is you're afraid of. You're afraid to admit to yourself that losing him so soon after you found him, after he came into your life all these years, would kill you inside.
Lexa abruptly rose, nearly knocking down her bottles of perfume off the dresser which she managed to save. She was restless. She doubted she could sleep now even if she tried.
She wanted to see him. Shalimar had been the one to help him in his room, helped him get into bed she supposed; it still hurt Jesse a lot to move without assistance. She winced as another pang of jealousy hit her in the gut.
Disconcerted, Lexa heaved a sigh of exasperation. She had never known a feeling like this; never even thought she was even capable of it. Jesse had saved her life more than once before. She didn't even need to question his faith in her. She could see it in his kind, honest eyes all the time.
Lexa hunched over her dressing table, drumming her fingers anxiously on the polished wooden panel.
It only took her ten seconds to decide. She grabbed her dressing robe off her bed and wrapped it around herself. She had somewhere to go.
She slid the door open quietly, not making a sound. Unlike her, he seldom locked his bedroom door.
Just one of the many, many differences between you and me, she said silently to the man she had come to see.
Jesse was lying on his back on the bed, his blanket pulled all the way up to his bare chest, which slowly rose and fell with every deep breath he took. His face was still much too pale for her liking but at least some color had returned to his cheeks and in his slumber, his face was serene and free of pain.
Which is good, I guess. Jesse not in pain. Hmm. I can live with that.
She walked slowly toward the bed, her bunny slippers sliding soundlessly across the carpeted floor.
For a second, she was tempted to go invisible for a while, just this time. What if Jesse wasn't really asleep? What if he was just dozing? What if he suddenly woke up and saw her in his room?
She narrowed her eyes and spied the bottle of painkillers on his dresser table. There was also a half-empty glass of water next to it. The deep incision must still be hurting him so. If he'd taken a couple of pills before bed, there was a good chance he would be knocked out for good till morning. Right? So there'd be absolutely no need for her to go all Hollow- Man on him. Right?
She sat down slowly, careful not to rock the bed. Jesse didn't stir.
Now what do I do?
Her sharp ice-blue eyes searched every inch of his face, boldly memorizing every line, every contour of his features; something she didn't quite dare do during the day.
What do I really feel for this man? What kind of affection do I hold for him in my heart? What is he to me? A brother? A comrade? A teammate? Or just a friend?
Her fingers brushed against the few stray strands of hair on his pillow. So soft; so fine.
Like a baby's hair.
She smiled. She'd never touched his hair before and she liked the feeling under her fingers, she was touching a piece of him.
Her eyes trailed down his blanket-covered torso. Lexa chewed on her lower lip, contemplating. Finally she reached for the soft, wool blanket and pulled it down gently, revealing his abdomen. She frowned at the almost- invisible spider-like squiggly marks marring his pale chest; like burn scars. Then she remembered. The electric jolts Brennan zapped into him in the effort to dismantle the electronic components of the bullet inside him. Which didn't work. She was happy she wasn't there to watch. She winced, resisting the urge to touch the marks.
Then she saw the large bandage taped to his lower side. The doctor must have stitched him up pretty good because the wound was no longer bleeding; no blood had seeped through the white gauze. But she remembered how long and deep the incision had been, just to get that damn bullet out, they had to cut him open.
She reached down to touch it. It was where the bullet had entered Jesse. Thank God. If it had been a little higher, if Jesse had been shot in the heart. . .
A slight moan caught her attention and in one lightning-quick movement, she pulled her hand back fearfully, her heart racing. Jesse moved his head slightly, his forehead wrinkled in a deep frown, but he didn't wake up. He grunted once, and then sighed softly, before giving in once again to his undisturbed slumber.
Lexa heaved a sigh of relief. She couldn't imagine what she'd do if he had woken up. She watched him for a couple more seconds, holding her breath but Jesse was fast asleep. If her touch had hurt him, he didn't show it.
Satisfied that Jesse was really alright, she decided it was now time to leave. After a while, she rose slowly, letting her fingers brush against his hand for one lingering second.
"So do you really care about him, or was that just for effect?" Shalimar's previous words rang in her ears.
What she said in reply was actually the truth. It really didn't matter if she cared about Jesse or not. The fear of losing everything she had held so dear after all these years. . .her credibility, her professionalism, her reputation, her state of being-It wouldn't make any difference. Jesse would still be Jesse, and she would still be the person she was, this cold, unfeeling, ruthless person she was. She had yet to see if caring for someone like Jesse could change all that. She was not even sure if she wanted to change.
She stood by his bedside just a little longer, savoring the moment. It was her moment. It may not be Jesse's, but it was definitely hers.
"Just came to check on you, Jesse," she whispered softly, smiling benignly at the sleeping figure of the man she'd come to love and care about so deeply.
After a moment's hesitation, awkwardly at first, Lexa leant down and pressed a gentle kiss on Jesse's forehead. It was just a quick, little kiss, but to Lexa, it meant so much.
"Be safe, Jesse," she murmured, brushing her lips tenderly against his ear.
She gave him one last look. And then she left.
What the future held for her, she didn't know. But she was willing to wait. Maybe, just maybe, she'd turn out to have a heart after all.
Author's Notes: My final exam ends on the 9th of June. I'll get down to finishing my other stories later. I promise. This short fic was written at a time when I felt my mind was about to burst due to sheer over-use. Now that I've got it written down I'm back to normal and am going to start hitting the books again. Adios, people! Please do review!