DISCLAIMER: Dark Angel borrowed, no profits realized.
A/N: A slice of life between "Red" and "Art Attack."
Someone to Watch Over Me
Logan drew a long, deep breath as he started rousing, the heavy fabric of the couch cushions on his cheek reminding him where he was, and that he'd only stretched out for a short nap, catching up on just a little sleep to let him get back at it. Before he opened his eyes he felt the gentle weight against his nose reminding him he'd not even pulled off his glasses, and a small crick in his neck told him he'd left several cushions under his shoulders, propping him against the couch's arm as he slept. Stretching his neck and back gingerly, he entertained his usual skeptical thought that a nap like this did more harm than good for his concentration... After a moment, he let out his breath slowly, as Bling had shown him, and opened his eyes blearily...
...to find Max on her knees beside the couch, leaning into him, curled at his side, cheek resting on his thigh, her eyes open but her face tipped away, even as he stirred. He frowned, surprised. "Hey..." he tried, and when she lifted her face to look into his eyes Logan felt his chest tug at the aching sadness he saw there. Frown deepening in concern, he asked, "Max, what is it? Are you okay?" She wavered, and when she didn't speak right away, Logan prompted again, "Max?"
She finally shook her head and shrugged, her eyes glittering with the moisture of tears that wanted to form. "I'm okay, Logan... I.." How could she put all of it into words? "I just ... needed to see a friendly face ... someone who knew all my secrets..."
His worry eased slightly but the concern did not. "Something happen?' he asked, softly.
She shook her head, unable to explain at the moment... and, Logan, thinking only of how he wanted to ease the pain he saw in her eyes, moved to stroke her hair gently, much as he had when she lay there herself, trembling with seizures. "You should have awakened me."
She shook her head, eyes cast away, unable to make eye contact at the moment... but not moving from his side... or his caress. "Nah... you needed the sleep, and... Just having you nearby was good..."
He sighed for her, knowing she hurt, knowing the hell she'd been through in recent weeks and suspecting if he knew that much, that there was twice as much that he didn't know, keenly aware how hard it was for her to trust even this much, to admit to what it all was doing to her. He wouldn't push for more or expect anything else; he would simply be there and do anything in his power she might finally ask of him. Until then ... he would tread gently ... softly ... and keep hope alive that her trust in him would continue to grow. "Got my nap for the night. I'll be good for another several hours now." He lay back, making no effort to get up, waiting for her to make the first move away from him. His fingers still gently played with her hair, in slow, soothing movements...
Her sad eyes softened for his patient attention to her. "I think you're too sleep-deprived to remember which one of us has shark in her cocktail." He smiled in a silent nod to her jest, and she leaned her cheek back onto his thigh, eyes not leaving his. "You're working too hard."
His mouth pulled into a smirk as he shrugged. "Not yet ... I'm still taking the occasional nap..." He watched as she capitulated, knowing it was a lost argument before it even started – and probably not wanting to remind either of them the subject of so much of his recent work. "You just come from Crash?"
"Mmmm... no, I... was out for a ride..." Not quite true, but not as deceptive as saying she was at Crash with the others would have been. Logan nodded, accepting the statement for what it was. "I saw your lights, and figured you'd still be at it."
"Not a good night to be alone with your thoughts?" he asked gently. When she dropped her gaze, without speaking, he knew. "Stay here tonight. The guest room is made up, if you're sleepy... or just want some privacy... Or we could try a game of chess, if you're wanting to reduce me to rubble yet again." He was gratified to see her turn her eyes back up to his, with a little smile. "Or, I have a little more work I can do, nothing pressing ... but you could stay out here with the computer or TV if you'd rather, while I get a few more things done. And there's always hot water..."
At that moment, she wanted nothing more than to let him hold her, let him protect her and chase away all the ghosts of the past, all the demons of the present. Even soldiers get tired, she admitted to herself ... and now that she knew what it was to have someone to hold her up when she was weak, to help her think when she was exhausted, she knew that sometimes, just a few sometimes ... she needed to have his arms around her to keep her strong...
"...maybe... in a few minutes?" she asked, closing her eyes and nestling closer to the couch.
"As long as you like," Logan murmured, gently trailing his fingertips in their soothing dance along her temple, whispering along her cheek. "I'm not going anywhere..."
a somebody I'm longing to see
I hope that he turns out to be
Someone to watch over me
a little lamb who's lost in a wood
I know I could always be good
To one who'll watch over me
to Watch Over Me
George & Ira Gershwin, 1926
A/N: I found two other stories with this title in Dark Angel here on FFN; there must be tons in other fandoms. I tried to use a different title, but couldn't: the story started as a stray thought that led immediately to this song, which planted itself solidly in my head. Every time I pull this story out, it plays. So there ya go. Maybe as the story unfolds, if you know the song, you'll hear it too...