While He Sleeps

She entered the apartment quietly, certain in the knowledge that he was sleeping. The brown paper bags in her hands contained enough food to make them a feast, had she been a good enough cook to make it. As it was, she could make a killer bacon sandwich and that was about it. She set the bags down on the table, and after kicking off her shoes, made her way into the bedroom. The wood floor was cool on her soles and she could feel herself starting to relax. Even after all she had been through, the apartment's atmosphere was guaranteed to make her feel better.

Sure enough, he was sleeping. He lay on his front, with an arm half tucked under a pillow. Sometime in the night, he'd been too warm and had kicked the top layer of blankets away, leaving himself covered by a thick cream sheet. The blush of colour on his cheeks was a new arrival, and one she was glad to see. Each breath was no longer a fight with his own body. Freed of the cancer, he was starting to look healthy again. She smiled. She had never seen him sleeping before and to see him so defenceless was an amazing thing. The think black hair was mussed at the back. His back was bare and she took in an assortment of scars covering his skin with something akin to sympathy.

Crossing the room, she went and sat next to him on the bed. The mattress was softer than she'd expected and she almost slipped off the edge. A warm hand grabbed her wrist, halting her progress. She met sleepy but amused eyes with an embarrassed look of her own. It was the first time she had seen him look happy. She tugged her hand back gently. He released it and sat up in one smooth motion, automatically reaching for the packet of cigarettes that had lived by his bed since he was fifteen. Of course, it wasn't there. His hand made contact bare wood and he slid his hand back onto the bed with a sigh.

"What time is it?" He asks, his voice still slightly rough. She passed him a bottle of water. He drinks half of it in one go and sets it on the floor by the bed. The closed blinds at the windows block out the light. Gently, she pushes on his shoulder, forcing him to lay down again. He did, reluctantly, tucking his hands under his head.

"Still early." She says with a smile. "Go back to sleep. God knows, you deserve it."

A half smile formed on his lips at the comment, but he closed his eyes anyway. "Okay." he said sleepily, still smiling slightly as he slips back into a dreamless sleep.