Title: Look After You
Author: Cassandra Mulder
Rating: PG
Classification: The Lake House; Kate/Alex; romance
Disclaimer: I do not own The Lake House or its characters. I'm just prolonging the joy here. Don't sue! Though I would like to lock Sandy and Keanu up together until they resolve their, ahem, issues.
Written: August 11 - 22, 2006
Word Count: 865
Summary: He feels like he's waited forever for this.
A/N: There's no real explanation for this. I'm just trying to exorcise what's left of the writer's block. This could also be a I sort of /I companion piece to "No Two Hearts", since it's from Alex's POV and dealing with his insecurities. Since we already got Kate's out of the way and all. ;) It started as one thing and ended up something almost completely different, but it's all pure mush. I hope you enjoy. ;)
Dedicated to: Katie, who continues to Lake House fangirl with me, even when everyone else is begging me to get help. hee! Sandy and Keanu 4ever, girl! ;)

It's always have and never hold
But you've begun to feel like home
What's mine is yours to leave or take
What's mine is yours to make your own
- Look After You - The Fray

Alex thought watching her sleep might be the closest thing to heaven he would ever experience on earth. Thanks to her, he was unable to say just what heaven was really like for the forseeable future. Her breathing was deep and even as she laid on her stomach, her face turned toward his shoulder.

He wanted nothing more than to pull her into his arms, but he hated to disturb her rest. She had had a traumatic day in many ways, and even though things were finally all right, he knew all too well how it could have gone.

Waiting for Kate had been both the hardest and easiest thing he had ever done. The hardest because there had been days when he had wanted to seek her out so badly he couldn't stand it, and the easiest because he had known that everything would be worth it in the end. She had been waiting for him, and now they had a chance at a life together. A life of which he had dreamed for the last four years.

He knew if he didn't sleep, it would only be because he was afraid that when he woke up she would be gone. It had happened before, too many times to count. Disappointment had been the result of his dreams more often than not in the time he had waited for her, and the last thing he needed was another one of those nights.

He brushed a lock of hair out of her face. He had always imagined her with long hair, flowing over her shoulders and down her back, like it had been the night they danced. The shorter style worked, too, but he knew she would be beautiful to him no matter what.

She was everything to him. He would do anything for her; take care of her in every way possible. She was the only one that had ever been able to make what had been a house of nothing but sadness a home. She was all that mattered now, and he hoped she would always know it.

Alex ran a hand over the smooth skin of her back, and she shifted slightly. Her eyes opened and she smiled at him.

"What are you doing still awake?" Kate asked, peering up at him through half-closed eyes. She turned over, pulling the sheet with her, and propped herself up next to him. "Is everything okay?"

He smiled slightly and nodded. He was going to have to get more used to the doctor side of her that was always worried about how he was feeling.

"Everything's perfect," he reassured her. "I just..." It was easy enough to think something, but it was harder to actually say it out loud. He didn't really even know how to put into words what he was feeling. "I can't sleep. I've waited a long time for this, and I'm afraid if I fall asleep you'll be gone when I wake up." She wasn't laughing at him, but he still felt strange admitting it. "That sounds really stupid."

She put her hand on his forearm. "No, Alex, there's nothing stupid about it." She turned a little more, the sheet wrapping around her more tightly. "I'm not going anywhere," she smiled gently. "But I know how you feel."

"You do?" he asked, surprised.

"I had nights like the ones you must have had, where I would dream of you. I would wake up and you would be gone, and it was the worst feeling. I probably wouldn't have fallen asleep at all, except it's been kind of an exhausting day, and..."

He thought he saw a blush creeping across her cheeks, which he wouldn't have believed possible before tonight.

"You kinda wore me out," she finished comically.

Alex burst out laughing, officially breaking any tension in the room. "I'm sorry," he said with a grin.

"Oh, don't apologize," she said with a laugh, followed by a roll of her eyes. She leaned forward and pulled him into her arms. "I'm not leaving you. Never again," she whispered into his ear.

"I know," he said, tightening his arms around her and practically tugging her into his lap.

They held each other for a few moments; the only sound in the room their breathing and the muted rhthym of their hearts.

When Kate finally leaned back, he ran a hand beneath her hair and kissed her softly. Her hands cradled his face as his free hand trailed down to her waist.

She broke the kiss and laughed lightly. "You should really get some rest, Alex."

He was stroking the curve of her hip beneath the sheet. "I want to make love to you," he said, kissing her deeply.

"You're a difficult man to resist," she sighed against his lips.

"God, I hope so," he all but growled as he guided her back on the bed. He didn't think he could ever get enough of kissing her, touching her, holding her.

Kate grabbed his upper arms. "Promise me something?"

"Anything," he said with conviction.

"You'll sleep after?" she laughed.

"As long as you're here, I can do anything."