A missing scene / AU from issue #23. A look into what could have happened between Sara and Ian while he was staying at her apartment and if he had actually spent the night. A sort of sequel to Stolen Season.


Body Language

I have lost myself again

Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,

Yeah I think that I might break

Lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend

Hold me, wrap me up

Unfold me

I am small

I'm needy

Warm me up

And breathe me

- Sia, Breathe Me

Sara knows that she should have headed back to the station hours ago. She should be researching that button or doing inquires at the Church of Holy Prosperity. For a murder detective sipping the now warm beer and watching the weather channel on mute isn't really the most productive way of spending the evening. But it's not the weather channel that keeps her from leaving. Ian Nottingham is sleeping ten feet behind her and if she really strains her hearing she thinks she can hear him breath. She refuses to think about Rio and forces her mind more to the events at the natural history museum. She really wants to blame Nottingham for it. He took the blade and kept it, but part of Sara won't let her suspend reality like that. In the end it was her choice. She didn't want it anymore and the blade knew it. And she really doesn't want to think about the Cornea and how his hands felt on her face when she was tied to that pipe. What she wants to think is the girl, Setsuke, and how she isn't supposed to be jealous. It's not like her and Nottingham have some kind of relationship. It was just that one time and Sara can't help thinking about if he has had others since Rio.

She jumps when someone suddenly bangs on the door. She considers ignoring it. The day had wierded her out badly and Sara thinks that no one at the door can have anything positive to say. Plus in her bedroom an internationally wanted assassin is sleeping off wounds inflicted by an ancient weapon which he stole from her only few weeks ago. So house guests would be unwelcome. The banging gets louder and Sara huffs and gets up. She holds firmly on to the door as she opens it. She feels her heart sink as she recognises the earnest blue eyes and the mop of blond hair. Jake smile widens by a mile.

"Hey, Pez."

Sara gives him half a smile, but grips the door more firmly. She feels horrible, but she can't help her reservation.

"I was wondering if you'd wanna go out for a beer. The game is on."

Jake rarely tries her anymore, but with the situation with Cynthia and Julie, he must be in need of some company. She should feel sorry and compassionate, instead Sara just feels annoyed. She just wants to go back to her couch and think about Nottingham some more. She wonders when she turned into such a cold bitch.

Ian had been barely standing when they had gotten to her apartment. The blade had been furious for some reason and Sara had felt it in the air around him. She had commanded it to be good and to stop, but it had stopped listening around the time they had reached her building. She had herself been on edge and Nottingham had been silent. She had pulled him by the kitchen and wrapped herself around him and bit him on the shoulder and told the blade to be still now. Ian had stiffened, but the blade had finally obeyed. Then she had told it to be good while he slept. She had pushed him into her bed and he hadn't object at all. The blade had obviously been wearing him down for days. She had corked the final beer in her fridge and sunk into the sofa. And now Jake was harassing her about baseball.

"Look, Jake…"

"Oh, no it's always bad when you start like that."

He manages to sound playful, but Sara doesn't feel like humouring him today, even though she should.

"It really isn't a good time."

"You got a hot date?"

Jake manages a leer, but still sounds so damn innocent. Sara grimaces and he throws his hands in the air.

"Okay, okay I get it. You need some time."

"Yeah, I'll see you back at work."

She firmly closes the door to his face. Jake's always been so damn earnest; ever since the first day and she can't deal with him right now. Sara could never really see him as a cop, especially in homicide where everyone is hardboiled and the hooker outfits don't shock anyone. But Jake has always been different. He wants to see her as the good girl, the nice girl she never is. It is the badass part of her he can never really understand, he thinks it's a façade and if he could only get underneath that she would be all soft and nice. A good girl. But Sara has never been the one for earnest men. Yee was the closes she ever came to a nice guy, but he was married so that figured.

She turns away from the door, walking around the breakfast bar to the fridge. She has no food in. A jug of Tropicana and a mouldy piece of cheese right in the back. She doesn't really know what to offer Ian. Should she order take out to the guy who tried to kill her and stole something from her, which she never considered to be so valuable to her? Well not that he really stole it. At that point in the museum she didn't want it anymore. The life with the blade had been so fucking hard, but now she misses its presence; in her body and in her mind. Sara shakes her head and picks up the phone dialling the local Chinese around the corner. Their Beijing duck sucks, but she doesn't have the patience to wait anything to be delivered from farther away.

She sits out in the fire escape and tries to sort out the mess of today in her head. In the past few days she has felt freer that in a long time, but it has also been so damn lonely and normal. Sara thinks that the blade has ruined her for any kind of normalcy. She thinks it's also funny that before she used to think: superhero. She caught the bad guys with her .357 and some kick ass outfits, but suddenly it was so very real. A superhero, well, at least for a while; and they never tell you that in the movies; it's strangely addictive, being a hero. Part of her wants it back; the power and the high and the crap that came with it.

The buzzer hails the arrival of the food and Sara runs downstairs to pay the delivery guy. Her bedroom is dark and she doesn't bother to turn on the light. The bag of food crinkles in her hand and it smells of grease. She wonders if smell alone can wake him up. The blade slides around the covers, it's restless, but Ian seems to be fast asleep. The blade was always interested in him, ever since Liberty Island, and especially since Rio. It got a taste of him and it wanted more. Sara sits on the side of the bed and leans towards Ian's sleeping face. She can truly understand the attraction. Sara slides her fingers on his open palm, waking him up slowly. He jumps awake like someone had electrocuted him, and the blade screeches. She gentles his hand and the strings wrap around her fingers. His breathing returns to normal and he sits up against the headboard. She lifts the bag to the bed.

"I ordered some food. I didn't really know what you eat, so…"

Suddenly Sara remembers that he worked for Irons International and that he gets paid more in a day than she does in a year, and that he probably doesn't even know what bad Chinese tastes like.

"No, this is fine."

But then again he has lived in places like the Cornea, where there is no Chinese food. He seems as uncomfortable as she is as he begins to lift the boxes from the bag and opening them. The suddenly he stills and

"Can I eat here?"

He motions the bed and Sara cracks a smile and nods. This is mostly where she ever eats. Good God, she doesn't even have a dining table. She picks at her dumplings, watching him eat from the corner of her eye. He smells the carton and then fishes out a noodle with a chopstick. She can't help but grin at his grimace. She guesses he must have felt her stare, and moves to eat more, nodding.

"This is very good."

He doesn't even sound sincere. Sara shakes her head, trying to suppress her laughter.

"Nope, it really isn't."

And then she is laughing, rolling on the bed laughing, bad dumplings forgotten on the floor. Tears stream from her eyes and she can hear him chuckle, and assassins should always have a serious chuckle, but he doesn't. He sounds like a fat man laughing and it just sets her off even more. She is curled on her side holding her stomach, trying to stop laughing, but his smiling face won't let the giggles stop. And she thinks how undignified this is, but she doesn't care. His big hand rubs her calf slowly and she manages to slow it to a few breathless giggles.

"Sorry about the food."

Ian just shakes his head and smiles. It's much like déjà vu, but so much slower this time around. Sara crawls over him, straddling him on the bed. His lips taste of the bad noodles and she doesn't care. He kisses so slowly, and she feels like they have forever. Sara told herself that Rio was a fluke, that it was the drugs, and the heat, sometimes she even blamed the fruits. But his big hands are sliding underneath her t-shirt and she doesn't feel like blaming anything anymore.

She can still sort of feel the witchblade. It vibrates and slides beneath Ian's skin as if reaching out for her. She feels mean and continues to ignore it in favour of exploring the dip around Ian's hipbone.

"I don't think it likes to be ignored."

There is catch to his voice and Sara feels victorious, she slides her fingers lower and is rewarded with a gasp.

"Well I guess its going to have to get used to it."

She smiles wickedly and slides her tongue up the underside of his cock. Part of her thinks about the last time, and how she felt so useless. She wanted him to take control and allow everything to make sense again. Now Ian's eyes are cloudy and the witchblade is scaly and ugly on his arm. It's so easy to slide up and push herself onto him. She rides him, leaning backwards and supporting her hands behind her on the bed. Ian just lies back and takes all of her. The chords of his neck straining; stark and white against his skin. Sara clenches down and he growls, but she can feel the tension thrumming in his body. All of his self control and discipline means crap right now. Sara slows her movements, swaying against his pelvis and his shoulders look like they're gonna pop any minute. She tries to calm her own breathing and leans over him supporting one of her hands on the headboard. Her other hand reaches for his face, gentling his cheek and the straining muscles of his neck.

"Ian… Ian…"

Her voice is roughened by her arousal and she can't help but move against him, just a little bit. He is breathing hard through his nose, grey eyes somewhere else.

"You need to let go now."

He shakes his head in denial and Sara can see the witchblade building up against his forearm. She grabs a hold of his writs and forces them against headboard, pressing her thumb against where she knows from memory the connection point of the bracelet to be. The blade slithers back, and Sara knows it's bowing its submission to her. Ian is shaking with the strain and she leans into him bringing their bodies into as much contact as possible.

"It's okay. Trust me."

She is slicked with sweat; she can feel it gathering between her shoulder blades. Sara moves again, slowly fucking him into her body. The spikes of pleasure driving into her with every move make it hard to concentrate on anything beyond herself. Finally she can feel Ian moving with her and his fingers wrapping themselves around hers and she lets out a whine that has been building up all this time. It's slow and gradual and she rocks into it. She lets her legs slide apart even more, pushing him deeper into her body. Her orgasm is slow building and she feels like she is climbing, climbing and her legs shake with the effort. She keeps thinking now and nothing. And then Ian drives into her hard and she is crying and gasping like a drowning woman. And she thinks she can feel him tremble beneath her.

Sara lies with sweat cooling in the hollow of her spine. Ian's head is resting against the crook of her shoulder his fingers slowly travelling on her shoulder blade, up and down. She feels the blade now, slowly starting to burrow itself into her skin and Ian grabs a hold of her hand. She doesn't want to fight it anymore and suddenly the blade feels right for her. The first time had been violent; blood and fire and she had felt so drained afterwards. It's leaving had been like bleeding dry, but not dying. Now it feels good and languine and she hoists her leg higher around Ian's body, wanting as much skin contact as possible. He hums against her neck, but stays silent as the witchblade attaches itself to Sara once more.

Afterwards she lies in bed listening Ian rummage in her kitchen. She doesn't know what he's looking for and silently wishes him good luck. The witchblade slithers around her body and then back again. It's been doing that for a while now and Sara doesn't really know what it's looking for. She can hear the water running now, and thinks about the absurdity of this situation. An assassin who has killed people, including several attempts at her own life, is in her kitchen, naked, trying to find something to eat. This could be a normal night in a normal apartment with normal people, but the witchblade twitches and curls back into a bracelet.

"Did you know? That it could swap like this?"

There is a long silence from the kitchen and Sara thinks that he might not answer. She hears the hob being turned on and the clang of a kettle. Suddenly he is in the doorway.

"No. I don't think anyone ever even though to test it like this."

Sara rolls on to her back and laughs.

"All that hand chopping and the only thing it wanted was to get laid. Figures."

Smiling he disappears back to the kitchen. It's like the witchblade has suddenly amplified up all of her senses. She thinks she can hear police sirens from the other side of Manhattan, the crease on the sheets feel like stones against her back and she can smell the tea leaves in the air, which in turn makes her think of tea houses. Her flanks are still warm from his touch, but Sara can't stop her mind from returning to that restaurant and to the ferociousness of the other girl. Ian returns from the kitchen with two steaming mugs, but Sara feels cold. She pulls on a t-shirt from the hamper and walks to the other side of the room. She tries to pull the fabric over her knees as she sits in the creaky armchair she got from Salvation Army when she was still at the academy, but the shirt has shrunk in the wash. Damn Laundromat. Maybe Ian can sense her mood, because he sits up straighter, looking at her warily over the rim of his own cup.

"I want to know what the deal at the restaurant was?"

Sara wonders herself why she chooses to start with that at all. It's not even important, really. But it is the witchblade whispers and Sara tells it to shut up.

"I needed to take care of something."

"Take care of what? The girl?"

Sara can see where this is going, but can't stop herself. She needs to know.

"Yes, it was about her. I needed to get her out of that place and away from those people."

She can see the hardness in Ian's eyes, warding her off from the subject, but Sara can't just drop it.

"Well she didn't seem to be too much in a hurry to get out."

"What is this about, really?"

He sounds annoyed now and Sara refuses to meet his gaze again, finding the contents of her teacup and the torn wallpaper much more interesting. He is silent for a while and then:

"Sara… Are you jealous?"

"No!"

Okay that was a bit defensive. And he just gives her this look; like he knows she's lying, and that he really wants to call her on it.

"Okay, okay, maybe I was, but that has nothing to do with this!"

In her own ears she can hear her voice rising, but she can't seem to do anything to control it. Ian doesn't say anything, just looks at her soothingly from the bed. Sara feels herself relax and hates herself for it. Why couldn't it be some guy down from the precinct? Why did it had to be a cold blooded hit man who finally understood how to handle her, how to make her calm. Sara grips the Starbucks mug

"Sara…"

Again with the soothing purr and she can't not be affected by it. He has said her name that way in places she has never let anybody into before.

"Setsuke is a family friend of mine, a family to which I owed a great deal to. She needed to be rescued. And that is all."

He looks straight at her, and Sara feels stilled. When did this stop being a one time thing?

"And Sara, there hasn't been anybody else since Rio."

Somehow he knows exactly she needs to hear and again Sara must wonder why it couldn't be a nice guy, maybe Jake. But that though dies of its own impossibility. She is not the nice girl and maybe she needs this, needs him.

"Me too."

Her own voice feels rough and unused. Ian just nods sliding down into the pillows and Sara turns her attention back to the cooled tea. The witchblade has spread out over the mug and some of the strands are dripping into the liquid. Sara makes a face, but caresses the strands lovingly anyway. She has missed it in its absence.

"You know, it never wanted to work against you."

He turns his head towards her on the bed.

"That time in Central Park. I swore up a storm, but it just sat there, all smug and silent."

Unconsciously she slides her fingers over the red jewel, not looking at him.

"And then in Rio the same thing. I should have figured it was you back there. I just never really made the connection before. The thing is…"

He turns towards her and the sheet slips even lower and Sara gives him a leer.

"It's fickle, like women usually are. Nice piece of flesh comes running by and it loses all sense of reason."

"You are very hard on your own sex, Sara."

She crunches up her nose at that, which Ian thinks is very attractive, but he isn't going to tell her that.

"Well yeah, it's not like I've exhibited the greatest sense in the world when it comes to men."

He seems to consider that and Sara adds.

"No, not really men. You, when it comes to you. Maybe that's why it chose me. We are so similar that it didn't need to adapt to a new thing. It could just be it. You know."

To that he smiles again and Sara downs the rest of her tea.

"Are you comparing yourself to an ancient weapon of supreme power?"

Sara can hear the laughter in his voice and she moves back to the bed, sliding next to him.

"Maybe."

She throws the t-shirt aside and wiggles closer, burying her face and hands to his chest. His palms instinctively move to cover her back and he pulls the duvet around them both. Sara can actually feel him think.

"If you're gonna say this is stolen season, I'm going to beat you very hard."

She can feel the laughter rumble in his chest and she smiles against his skin.

"Allright, but it is."

She slips her leg around his hip, effectively trapping him.

"Are you gonna say that every time we do this?"

The movement of his hands is soothing on her hand and Sara feels instantly comforted.

"Probably."

It's so easy to let herself fall back into it. Ian's hands move down her back and cover he ass. He lifts her up and slides into her easily. She grips his shoulder blade and the pillow fiercely. He hums softly against her neck and Sara closes her eyes, letting his body set the pace. She can feel the witchblade going wild, but she tells it to calm the bloody down. She can feel Ian smile.

"Damn woman, how do you make it so well behaved?"

Sara grins and squeezes her leg tighter around him, pulling him in deeper and his voice catches.

It's silent and lovely and Sara wants to stay here forever. She wants Ian to be this person he is here with her in the outside world. She doesn't want to be nasty to him and she doesn't want him to hurt her ever again. She wants to go to the movies with him, to the park. She wants certainties, which Ian can never give her.

"I dreamt about this, you know."

"About what?"

Sara motions towards their tangled legs.

"Us, this. You had the blade and we slept together. Well before that you jumped from Iron's tower and pulled me with you. We fell down and then I woke up here. With you. You spoke to me how I was so strong and that I should trust to have the blade again. And then you gave the blade to Irons."

The words are all squished together and breathless and for a moment Sara fears that they won't come out at all. Ian doesn't say anything for a long time. His hands keep a steady rhythm on her stomach and Sara is grateful she doesn't have to look him into the eyes.

"Maybe it was trying to tell you something. No matter even if it wasn't with you anymore it had a connection with you."

His hands turn her around even if Sara fights the motion, but his grey eyes are open, slightly desperate.

"All the time I wore it I couldn't stop thinking about you."

"And you think it's the blade."

She is still pushing against him, but his hands won't let her go. They're soothing against her skin.

"Maybe, or maybe not. But what I want to say is that the blade wants you. It understands that you are strong enough. The only one worthy of its power. I need you to understand that. Maybe you cannot control it all the time, but isn't it enough that you can most of the time?"

Her throat feels closed and she swallows hard, fighting the need to cry. Sara knows that come morning she will have to go to work and live with the knowledge that Ian is out there doing his job. But for now she chooses to ignore all that. She can't have normalcy or a steady boyfriend, but she can have this. And for now it's enough.