Title – Touch Needed
Author – Moonbeam
Summary – The events of 'The Cat' after Grace tells Luke – Grace POV
Rating – PG
Spoilers – I've only seen the first ten episodes but I downloaded this scene from NeiAS so if it doesn't seem right let me know.
Disclaimer – Not mine if it was Glynis would not have happened, Grace would snog Luke like she did in 'Wealth of Nations' more regularly, Adam and Jane would be all sweet and stuff. Friedman would be castrated, Kevin would get more sibling time, he's such a sweetie and Helen would get a really good answer to one of her questions by that priest.
Author's Note – I think I may be performing blasphemy. Blame my ankle. If hadn't torn a ligament I'd have been at work, I would have had time to download every video at NeiAS and I would have been inspired to butcher a fantabulous scene. If this completely sucks let me know, I'll burn the paper, bury it and then salt the Earth.
AN2 – Thanks to youcrazything for tell me to post this and for enlightening me about that scene.

Touch Needed
by Moonbeam

When he told me I could tell him all I wanted to do was admit the truth, but I couldn't. I can't let him any further in than he already is. He got past every defence I have. He didn't even seem to be trying to break me down and he did - more effectively than anyone else had. Even his sister wasn't able to get to me and she's definitely the one people would have bet on.

What scared me more than anything that Luke has been able to do is the fact he makes me feel safe. Like I could tell him all the scary things I can't tell people and he'd still just accept me for who I am. He always has. He's always just accepted that I won't be able to do those girlie things like giggle and act like his attention is the highlight of my day.

He makes me feel like I can let my guard down. But I can't. Not ever.

I don't know why I did it. What made me write those words? My whole life, every reason behind everything I hide behind is tied up in those words.

"My Mother drinks"

I felt the need to erase them from his computer and mind the second I wrote them.

I felt freer; someone else knows what I had to deal with. I couldn't erase it, all I could do was disconnect. Not allow him to tell me anything. I wish he didn't have to have this knowledge; that I didn't have to tell me. His life shouldn't be affected by this, anymore than mine should. But I know that I had to tell him.

I hear movement down the hall and suddenly the need to run swamps me. I need to get away from this place, run as far and as fast as I can. I grabbed my bag and almost sprinted down the hall, down the stairs and out the door. When I got to the corner I stopped and caught my breath. I checked my watch and noticed that it was still way too early for me to arrive at school. Normally I'd walk and think but in that second all I wanted to do was shut my brain off. I knew I could do that by seeing Luke but I just couldn't do that, not now. So I went to the park near school and sat on one of the swings. I tried to lose myself in the rocking but I couldn't do it. I just couldn't shut my brain off.

Finally, I pulled myself out of the swing and reluctantly made my way to school, and Luke, and comfort.

He wasn't waiting at my locker when I got there and I hoped that it wasn't disappointment that flashed through me at that knowledge. I knew he would appear soon so I busied myself putting my bag away. I had just opened the locker when I felt eyes on me – his eyes. I looked over and there he was. He fought his way through what little crowd there was and each step he took made my stomach tighten in panic. I had to get out of there, away from the halls and those eyes. I turned and managed not to run, I couldn't run that would be too much. But he reached me before I got to safety. He turned me, showing more strength and kindness in his touch than I thought possible. When I met his eyes mine began to prickle and my mouth filled with the sour taste that always precedes the tears.

His eyes always managed to look like they were reading my soul but as he looked at me then it was like he was trying to wrap me up in his arms and hold me without even touching me. And I felt my resolve, my brick wall slipping, and I just had to pull away from him. Not before my eyes were drawn back to him trying to tell him that I needed to move; leave the hall. My instinctive responses took flight and I ran to the nearest classroom, I hoped that it would be empty.

I avoided the need to block the door behind me and keep him away, keep the ability to keep the world, him, out of my heart, my soul – my pain. And yet I kept checking he was following me. I knew I'd never be able to actually keep him away. I had fought him so hard and for so long and he never once left, I knew he wouldn't be able to leave now. And that voice that I try to ignore, the one that told me to just kiss him when he was dating Glynis and kept telling me to rip the contract up and sometimes when his hand drifts under my shirt, it tells me to let him keep going. That little voice was telling me that this is why I told him; so that he'd hold me and maybe make me feel normal and like everything could be okay for just a few minutes.

I couldn't keep walking away anymore, now that no one was around, now that is was only Luke and his eyes. I turned around and the sensation in my eyes only got worse. My nostrils began to tingle. I was going to breakdown and I knew it. I couldn't stop myself and that loss of power worried me. I'd been able to control the emotions people could see for so long and I couldn't keep this inside any longer; and that made me angry. At myself for being weak. At him for making me weak, for making me feel like weakness wasn't the end of the world even though I knew it was.

Staring at his shirt, knowing that if I just let go that he would hold me made me angrier, I should not need him. Not like this, just a convenient boy around to make out with. I shouldn't have let it get this far. I should have just stopped myself from having exactly what I wanted. But I did want this and that thought made my anger evaporate. I wanted this and loving him didn't make me weak, not really, besides he was still a little afraid of me. Loving him couldn't make me weak; the thought of him, the memory of our 'five minutes' had made my life easier. It was just the tiniest bit possible that loving this geek had made me a little more like the girl I pretended to be, a little tougher.

I looked up then, feeling a little more prepared to look at him; allow herself to see what he was thinking, feeling, through his eyes. But I wasn't prepared to see love in his eyes, to feel it wash over me the second our eyes connected. I also saw the worry, the compassion, the need to help but no pity, just sympathy, empathy. The willingness to listen to anything I wanted to tell him.

I couldn't talk. If I started now I'd never stop and I couldn't handle another brick falling away forever. This one had been big enough for a long time. I tried to tell him that; let my eyes be as expressive as his. I don't know if he can read me like I can read him. A part of me hopes not. A part of me knows he can. He understands and that makes the tears come more easily. My heart is screaming out for him to hold me but I'm scared to make that move.

He must have felt it, read it. He's reaching out to me and he's moving so slow, too slow. But he's testing the waters, making sure I'm not going to run away or push him away.

Then before I even know it, before I realise his hand is on my shoulder and it's a solid weight. And it's a connection and I'm holding onto my composure with everything I've got and he's breaking it down. He sees it and his hand is between my shoulder blades and a part of me wishes that I wasn't wearing the thick leather jacket but I know it is my last defence against his touch.

I feel myself moving closer and I'm not sure if that's him or me. He smells of soap and fresh air and the tiniest hint of cinnamon, which I will never understand, but thankfully no cologne. I don't mind it in small doses but I just want to smell him at the moment.

His arm is completely wrapped around my shoulders and I move my head so that I can rest it against him; so I'm even closer to his body. So his heat sinks into my bones and his smell envelopes me. His other hand curls around my waist and I can feel him gently stroking the skin he finds between my jacket and my jeans. Sometimes I'm so thankful that he's tall.

I just want to hold on so tight and I feel my fingers clench around his jumper as the tears finally fall beneath my closed eyes.

As that final barrier falls my hands try to touch more of him as I beg him to hold me tighter by pulling him closer. He does just as I feel the sobs begin to affect my skin. I know I'm shaking, almost convulsing against him. He just holds me tighter and his fingers move in soothing patterns against my skin. And finally my mind is free and clear.

When my sobs stopped. When my tears stoped, I pulled away from him. I leant up and kissed him, told him the only way I could how much I needed this. How much it meant to me. Things I could never say. I still couldn't talk to him but he just smiled at me and wiped the tear tracks from my cheeks. Telling me silently he loved me.

That was why I told him. Because I love him. I needed him and that touch, that contact. The hope that he gave me that maybe things would get better. That with his help they could and would.

The End