They had just returned from a difficult mission, and she was exhausted both emotionally and physically. While she was curled up in bed, half asleep, she heard the front door open and could make out the sound of footsteps coming down the hall. Positive she had locked the door, she listened a moment, then relaxed. She lived alone, but these footfalls did not worry her, she would have recognized the sound of his step anywhere. She did not even bother to look when the door to her bedroom creaked open and the man entered.

He paused a moment before continuing on his path towards her bed. His steps stopped at the sound of a noisy floorboard. She finally rolled over and looked at him. He was still in his dress blues with his ribbons and medals hanging from his chest; a single gold star was shining on each shoulder. His shoes were polished to a high shine and there wasn't a single thread out of place.

"Hi," she mumbled sleepily.

"Hey," he responded softly. "It's late, go to sleep."

"'kay," she turned to face the wall and settled under the comforter. As he turned to leave, she reached one arm behind her and grabbed his hand. "Stay," was all she said.

He stood there for a moment before kissing her knuckles and walking to the side of the room. She listened as he removed his uniform and placed it on a spare hanger in the closet. The next sound was that of a drawer opening; she smiled slightly. There was always an extra large t-shirt in the bottom drawer of her dresser – just in case.

He padded over the bed, his bare feet landing softly on the floor as he walked, and pulled back the covers enough to get under but not so much that she lost the warmth of her cocoon. The bed dipped as he snuggled in behind her.

By the time he was situated, she was fully asleep, a content smile on her face. When presented with her sleeping form, all he could do was sigh and brush the hair from her forehead.

We worked so hard and gave up so much over the past eight years. Why couldn't we have the one thing that would make us most happy in the world?

AN: Okay, to those who are reading my other story, sorry! I know I should be working on that, but I had this little plotlet floating around in my head for a few days and it was begging to get out. To those who've never read my work before, I hope you like it. This is really just a snippit that I was thinking about one night when I couldn't sleep, so I figured I would put it down on paper (er, well, you know what I mean). Please leave a review (I won't beg, but one of the reasons I post here is to work on my writing skills, so I'd like to hear what you think and any constructive criticism is welcome)