Author's Notes: I recently rented the first movie and I was struck by how much Alex and Lara actually love each other without being really obvious about it. Of course, you don't really find out until the end when he freaks when she disappears into the Sun and when she turns back time just to save him. That's very telling. Anyway, she kisses him, saves his life, lets her kick Powell's ass by herself and that's the very last you see of him. And I wondered, what if he showed up in her house (manor!) about four or five months after "Cradle of Life"? I wrote this in less than an hour, so it may be a bit rough, but I think I got my point across. Reviews are appreciated!

Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters contained herein belong to Paramount Studios and Eidos Interactive. I just took them out to play for a bit...


I'll Think About It… (1/1)

Lara ignored the towel Hillary offered her and left Bryce to his moaning over her destruction of SIMON's latest incarnation. She could almost hear Hillary's smirk as she stalked up the stairs to wash the dust and sweat off.

One shower and Hillary-lecture later, Lara, clad in her favourite black jazz pants and soft cotton tank top, padded bare-foot into her study. Her intent was to curl up in front of the fireplace with a book that pertained to a possible future adventure. At least, it was, until she spied the thoroughly annoying blond man sitting in her chair, with his feet propped up on her desk, grinning at her as if there was absolutely nothing wrong!

"Nice digs, Croft," he greeted.

"Alex, you have precisely two minutes to explain what you're doing in my study."

Alex West, fellow Tomb Raider, and the one man she trusted with her life besides Hillary and Bryce (not that she would ever admit it), rose and moved to sit in of the chairs facing her desk. He waited until she'd seated herself before he spoke. "I heard about Sheridan, Lara; I'm sorry."

Her snort of disbelief told him exactly what she thought of that. "You're sorry? You hated him!"

Alex briefly considered that. "True," he conceded with a nod. "But I know that you cared about him, and because of that, I'm sorry."

The corners of her lips curled up and her eyes had softened at the edges.

"Besides," Alex continued, "it's been getting mighty boring what with not having to constantly look over my shoulder to make sure your sticky fingers aren't anywhere nearby."

That got the response he'd been looking for. "My sticky fingers? What about yours? I still haven't forgiven you for those prayer wheels, don't forget."

"How can I when you bring it up every time I see you?"

"Get them back?"

"Fat chance," he muttered. "Anyway, Hillary says you've been doing nothing but mope around since you got back from Africa." Instantly, Alex knew he'd said the wrong thing and implicated his co-conspirator despite swearing not to not half an hour earlier.

"Hillary has a big mouth," she grumbled. "And he will pay."

Alex made a quick decision that he wasn't going to let loyal, old Hillary take the whole blame. "Don't forget Bryce. It was his idea to bring me in." Not a complete lie, but not the whole truth, either.

Lara looked almost thunderous and Alex figured she was deciding how to torture them painfully without maiming them. Well, without maiming Hillary and Bryce. He was expendable, after all. "Note to self: Kill Hillary and Bryce at earliest convenience," Lara murmured.

"You wouldn't actually kill them, would you, Lara?" When she merely cocked her eyebrow at him in that infuriating manner, Alex almost forgot he was on a goodwill mission. "Duh, of course not."

She laughed at him.

"Anyway, we all think it's about time you got back into the game. And it just so happens that I'm leaving next week for South America; looking for Incan treasures. Maybe I'll see you there."

"Maybe," she replied noncommittally. "Maybe sooner than you think," she added with a roguish smile.

His answering smile mirrored hers. "I'm counting on it."

"Alex?"

"Yeah?"

"Can I ask you something?"

"Anything."

"You've heard of Pandora's Box, yes?"

The look he gave her said, "Gee, what do you think?"

"Just checking. What would you do if you found it? Would you sell it to the highest bidder? Or would you leave it where it belongs; where what's inside couldn't hurt anyone?"

His eyes lit with sudden understanding. "This is about Sheridan, isn't it?"

"Answer the question."

"I'd like to think that I could contain my curiosity enough to leave it behind. Considering what it could unleash on the world, I'd have to upgrade my answer to "Yes, I'd leave it behind." Just like you would," he added. His eyes met hers and the swirling green depths reassured him. They were just this side of grey, but her eyes always turned grey when she was anxious about something. Just like when they went blue when she was sad, and slate when she was angry. He wanted to know what colour her eyes turned when she climaxed, he thought idly. "Just like you did."

"Hillary told you, then?"

"As much as he knew."

"Which wasn't much," she finished.

"But enough. Knowing you as I do, I was able to fill in the blank spots by myself."

Lara stood and sauntered around the desk, all womanly curves and sleek muscles and all he really wanted to do was throw her down on that desk and show exactly how he felt about her… "Thank you, Alex," she said softly, coming to a halt beside his chair.

He blinked up at her and stood as well, suddenly a few inches taller than her now that she wasn't wearing her combat boots. "Hey, what are friends for? So, I'll see you in Peru next week?"

She shrugged one shoulder. "I'll think about it."

He grinned. "See you there." He stooped a bit and brushed a kiss across her cheek (Soft, so soft…) and then turned to leave.

"Oh, Alex?" When he turned back around she pressed those fabulous lips of hers against his in the type of kiss that he only dreamed about. It was all soft lips and tongues and Alex had to grab hold of the chair back to keep himself from wrapping his arms around her waist and showing her how he really wanted to kiss her. When they separated, it was mutual and they simply stood close together for several seconds before Lara drew back and brushed a kiss across his cheek.

Alex had to clear his throat to allow him time to shake off the haze of utter want that had shot through him. "Be seein' you." She gave him a smile, one that was blinding in its genuine sincerity. It was the first one she'd ever actually aimed at him and it took his breath away. Her eyes had changed colours again; from grey-green to a moss green, a shade that he assumed signalled contentment.

"See you in Peru." The husky tone of her voice almost undid him and it wasn't until he'd climbed into his car and headed down the drive that he realized she'd said she'd see him in Peru!

Now all he had to do was try to get those damned prayer wheels back in less than a week.

FIN