OK, since a lot of people have been pestering me with requests to continue this, I present you this:
Soul Mates: Anniversary
In the pale blue light that came in through the window from the city on the horizon, Samus sat on a chair by her bed. With a heavy heart she watched over the sleeping form resting within, wondering if this was reality or a dream. If she climbed back into bed would she be alone again when she woke up in the morning? She wasn't sure why it bothered her so much; she'd been alone her whole life, so it shouldn't be any big deal. But the loneliness she had experienced after knowing what it was like to be with someone was far worse. It was a crushing, inescapable feeling.
She remembered the day that feeling began like it was yesterday even though it was six months prior. She had come home, not from a long job, but from a twenty-minuet run to get some food, only to find her tiny house suddenly felt much larger. Now empty, this hovel of a home was far too big for her alone, she felt almost lost in it. Nicole was no longer there.
The only evidence she'd ever been there was the note left on her pillow. "I'm sorry" was all it said. And even though it hurt like nothing else she ever experienced, Samus wasn't surprised. Things weren't as simple as just declaring their love for each other. Managing a relationship turned out to be a difficult thing, which neither was prepared for. They certainly had their fair share of problems. Things were complicated by that fact that neither of them were home much; bounty hunting took up long stretches of time, especially for Samus.
Nicole's initial concern turned out to be well founded; the type of people they were, while very compatible with each other, simply weren't compatible to living like that. Though they lasted a lot longer than either expected, Nicole had stuck around for five months after they first met, two months after they realized they loved each other. That was a generous period of time, Samus thought. She should feel lucky they had that much at least.
Samus took a deep breath, and sighed out slowly. If this was a dream she didn't want to wake. She reached down and ran her hand through the sleeping woman's shoulder length, light-brown hair.
"You really came back to me," she whispered, half asking, half making a statement. Of course there was no response.
Nicole had come back into her life just as suddenly and in a similar fashion to how she had left. Earlier that day, Samus headed out to restock on food. When she opened the front door Nicole was there again. Just like that.
She stood there facing Samus, not two feet away, looking exactly the same as the day she left, exactly how Samus remembered her. She wouldn't look Samus in the eye though. And it seemed like an eternity before either of them spoke.
"How long have you been there?" Samus asked finally.
"A while..." Nicole sounded sad. "I couldn't bring myself to knock," she said, and the silence continued for a second eternity as Samus just stared at her blankly. Why wouldn't she say anything?
Nicole bit her lower lip and looked contemplatively at Samus. Why did she come back? What was she thinking? This was probably a mistake. Nicole could feel her eyes moisten... no! She wouldn't cry! She was a SPARTAN, she was stronger than that.
"I'm sorry," she choked out finally.
Samus winced, then hung her head and turned around, heading back inside. "You said that already."
This was definitely a mistake. Nicole had to fight not to completely break down.
"Well... come in already," Samus said flatly.
"Uh, r-right... okay." Nicole swallowed the lump in her throat and walked back through the door she'd walked out of six months ago.
"Want something to drink?"
"Thanks..." Nicole said. Samus had never heard her sound so disheartened before.
She got them a couple of drinks from the refrigerator and handed one to Nicole. "So... what have you been up to?" Samus said as she sat at the counter.
Nicole followed suit, sitting as well. "The same... hunting. You?"
"Same. You got yourself a place now?"
"Uh... well... it's mostly been motels. I move around a lot."
"Oh..." Samus responded and took another long pause. "Where's your armor?"
"Rented storage. It's cheaper, more secure than most places." Nicole said. The silence returned as Samus only stared at her again. Unable to take the silence she continued the meaningless conversation. "I've been modifying it. Making upgrades using federation technology. The shields are stronger now, and I improved the..." she trailed off, and sighed. "Samus, I--"
"I know why you left." Samus interrupted. "I might have too... This... domestic life just doesn't suit us."
"What?" Nicole talked on top of her.
"I'm sure you felt so confined here, held back, limited... maybe like you were dependent on me." Samus continued.
"N-no... Samus... You're wrong, that wasn't it at all," Nicole said shaking her head. "Samus I... I worry about you. I know it's ridiculous but I do. I've lost people in combat before. It's terrible, but we all know the risks and accept it. But..." Nicole sighed and stared at her glass.
"I- I couldn't accept it if something happened to you," she said and glanced at Samus.
Samus still only stared blankly at her.
"What we do is dangerous... so dangerous. And I know you. You- well I know you're a better warrior than me... but... you're reckless... You take unnecessary risks and endanger yourself needlessly. Every time you went out on a job..."
She again looked to Samus to see if she would give any sign of what she was feeling. Nothing.
"Sometimes... sometimes I worry so much I make myself sick. Actually, physically sick. Waiting here at home for days, sometimes a week, not knowing if you'd ever come back. I couldn't take it. I'm used to doing something about things like that. But what could I do? I could never follow you; I could never keep up with you. I thought if I left, if I distanced myself from you..."
Nicole took a deep breath. Suddenly becoming aware of how dry her mouth was, she took a drink from her glass.
"I was okay for a while... but I... I ended up only worrying more in the end... and not just about you're safety but about... you. How you... felt about the whole thing... and... ugh..."
Samus still stared at her, with her typically impossible to read expression. At least she hadn't changed any.
"Stop saying that," Samus snapped.
Nicole recoiled a bit. She swallowed the lump in her throat. "You probably hate me now... I understand." She stood and sighed. Samus looked down at her glass and said nothing. Nodding, Nicole turned and walked away.
"I did... I did hate you..." Samus said softly "...for about an hour. Then... then I just missed you."
Nicole turned to face her again and Samus stood from the counter.
"I missed you so badly," she continued. "And I worried about you too. Every night I went to sleep and I couldn't hold you and know how you were doing, I'd worry too! I'd worry if you were taking care of yourself, did you have a place to sleep, were you earning enough to support yourself, were you...were you still alive... If something happened to you... I couldn't accept it either."
Nicole ran up to her but stopped short of trying to hug her like she desperately wanted to. She wasn't sure where things stood between them, but Samus answered that when she hugged Nicole first. The blond let out a single sob as she rested her head on the other woman's shoulder.
Nicole put her arms around the huntress and squeezed. "I'm sorry."
"Don't." Samus shook her head. "Don't say that to me."
"It's what you said...what you wrote that day," Samus mumbled into her shoulder. "I hate hearing those words now. It just reminds me of then."
"I... I won't then. Just... I never meant to hurt you."
"You did," Samus said sadly.
"I'm s-- I feel terrible about that."
"Why didn't you just tell me all this instead of running away?"
"Yeah right." Nicole huffed. "How could I? How could I possibly say something like that? How could I tell you, the Great Samus Aran, than I'm worried you aren't good enough and might screw up and get hurt? Who the hell am I to criticize you?"
"The Great Samus Aran?" Samus shook her head. "I'm not that person... not with you. I'm just Sammy... your Sammy."
"Samus..." Nicole hesitated. She wanted to apologize desperately, but knew she couldn't. "Where do we... where do we stand? I mean, are you and I--"
"Why did you come back?" Samus cut her off. "What are you expecting? Would you want me to change? To quit? To not be a hunter any more?"
"I wouldn't know what else to do with myself. This is all I know. And I can't change the way I fight. You say I'm reckless, but I only do what I think is best; what ever I think is the best course of action. I wouldn't even know how to begin to change that." She pulled back to look Nicole in the eyes. "Are you okay with all that?"
Nicole was silent for a moment before answering. "I... I am," she said hesitantly. "I wouldn't want you to change who you are."
"Then stay... Stay with me. Please."
"Mmm... " Nicole nodded. "If I'm close to you, if I can keep an eye on you... well then maybe I won't worry so much."
Samus wiped the tears from her eyes and took another long look at Nicole who was sleeping peacefully. She lay on her stomach with the sheets only half covering her. Samus observed the lines of her back change ever so slightly with the rise and fall of her lungs. Skin highlighted by the gentle blue glow form the city had an ethereal quality to it. She again ran her fingers through the other woman's hair. Enticed by the vision of beauty, she let her hand trail all the way down her back, enjoying once again the feel of warm skin instead of cold, empty bed sheets. She had missed this terribly.
Samus climbed back into bed and snuggled up against her lover, kissed Nicole on the forehead and put her arm around her bare shoulders. "You really did come back," she whispered again. This couldn't be a dream, her dreams were only ever nightmares, terrors from her past; she never had pleasant ones so this must be real.
The two picked up where they had left off and things returned to pretty much normal for them. However it was about a month later, when Samus came home from a short stint of hunting that something was unusual. She landed her ship and entered the house. Calling out to Nicole didn't get her an answer, and she though she mustn't be home. She went in to the bathroom for a shower, as was her custom after coming home from a job. She wanted to wash off the literal and figurative filth from her work.
When she entered the bathroom she was pounced on by Nicole, who wasted no time or words in making her intentions known. Their clothes hit the floor in a frenzy as they stumbled into the shower, limbs and tongues intertwined. It wasn't unusual for them to make love in the shower, however the level of enthusiasm and passion Nicole displayed was. She pinned Samus against the back wall of the shower and practically assaulted her with kisses and ministrations. When it was over she left the huntress a shaking wreck, slowly sliding down the wall until she was sitting, and left the room without a word having been spoken between them.
Normally they were equal partners, but this time it was apparently all about her. Samus wasn't selfish; Nicole simply never left her a chance to respond. The former solider had clearly won this round. She achieved her objective with professional level efficiency and escaped without the enemy having fired a shot.
When Samus got out of the shower Nicole was already dry and dressed, and had one of the huntress's outfits in hand. Nicole snatched the towel off of her, tossing it to the floor.
"Hurry and get dressed," she said and handed Samus half the articles of clothing, then started dressing her in the other half on her own.
"Why? What's going on?" Samus asked cautiously as Nicole fastened her bra for her.
"I have something I want to show you."
She had them board Samus' ship and take off. Nicole gave her a set of coordinates a few light-minuets away and they were off.
"Want to tell me where we're going?" Samus was now more than intrigued; Nicole wasn't usually one to play games like this.
"It's a surprise."
Nicole stood behind the pilot's seat, playing with Samus' hair and occasionally nibbling on her ear or neck. It only took them a few minuets to get where they were going, but when they approached their destination something suddenly blinded Samus. Nicole had wrapped a small cloth over her face so she couldn't see.
"Nicky! What are you doing!?" Samus said quite alarmed.
"Don't worry, I've got the controls. We won't crash." She slipped her hand into Samus' and squeezed. "You trust me, right?"
Of course she did; with her very life. It didn't need to be said; she only squeezed Nicole's hand back. She slouched in her chair as a wave relaxation washed over her. This was why she loved Nicole; no one else was capable of making her feel like this.
They set down somewhere and Samus heard the alarm that signaled external pressurization. They must have entered an air lock.
"Let's go." Nicole led her by the hand as they exited the ship through the top hatch. As they stood atop the ship Nicole suddenly grabbed Samus and lifted her up, catching her up from under her shoulders and beneath the knees. "It not safe to jump down if you can't see," she explained.
With her girlfriend cradled in her arms, Nicole leaped to the ground and started walking. Samus could hear a set of doors hiss and slide open.
"You can set me down, I can walk now," Samus complained, though she didn't mind it one bit.
"Hmm..." Nicole hummed and gave her a kiss on the cheek "I could... but I don't want to."
Nicole carried her a short distance more and eventually set her on her feet. "Sit down," she said.
Samus felt around behind her and found there was a solid object there. As she sat down she asked, "Can I take this off now?"
"In a while." Nicole said and sat beside her. Samus could feel her hair being played with. "First, can you guess what today is?"
"Guess again..." Nicole said softly, and Samus felt fingers run up the length of her arm.
"Sorry..." Nicole whispered in her ear, then there were lips on her neck.
Samus quivered, every touch was a surprise and the sensations were heightened in her sightless state.
"Is it your birthday?"
"That's not it."
Her face was caressed and a thumb ran delicately across her lips.
"Is it mine?" Samus asked, now completely at a loss.
"No, but I did get you a present."
"Well, I don't know then."
Nicole leaned up against Samus and put her head on her shoulder. "Exactly one year ago today..." she said as she began to remove the blindfold from Samus' eyes. "We met for the first time." Nicole drew her close as her eyes were uncovered. "And you kissed me... just... like... this," she said as their lips met in one of their softest kisses since that day; though this one lasted far longer.
Samus' eyes were wide with surprise as she realized; Nicole was reenacting their first time together. She quickly melted into the moment, wrapping her arms around her lover. This was almost perfect; now if only they were... wait a minuet... Samus' eyes darted from side to side, taking in her surroundings. Her mouth had forgotten to continue kissing.
Nicole couldn't help but grin as their lips parted, realizing what Samus had noticed. "Like it?"
"This place is..."
"Where we met." Nicole finished her sentence.
They were sitting on a bench is a small park under a glass dome roof with a view of the stars. "You... you recreated it... We're in a holo-room? I had no idea you could be so romantic."
"Well I'm not really. I saw it in a movie," Nicole admitted. "The blindfold, the reenactment, all of it. I just thought it would be a good idea to try. But this place isn't an illusion. Something much better..."
"What do you mean?"
"It's the real thing."
"Real? This is the actual module from that station? But how did..."
"It wasn't easy," Nicole explained, "but I eventually tracked it down. Once the Federation was done examining it they were just going to scrap it for materials. They were going to tear it apart! But I bought it... it's ours now. We can come here anytime we want."
"Bought it... How did you afford this... even if it was just going to be scrap?"
"You don't think I only lived out of motels these past months because that was all I could afford?" Nicole asked.
"You were saving for this? All that time?"
"I was saving, but I didn't expect to buy this. I just... I don't know... I couldn't bring myself to settle someplace else. My home was... even when we were apart, it was always with you."
"Oh... Nicole," Samus sighed. She laid her hand on Nicole's cheek and stared into her eyes with a soft smile. Their lips met once more, and Samus maneuvered Nicole on to her back so they were lying on the bench.
"We've come a long way since then, haven't we?" Samus asked, tucking a strand of Nicole's hair behind her ear.
"Mm-hmm," Nicole nodded. "This place sure brings back those times. Remember?"
"I can never forget."
"We were so timid and nervous with each other then," Nicole said, blushing as she remembered.
"That's not how I remember," Samus disputed. "I was nervous... you... you always seem so much more confident than me."
"I was nervous too... I guess I just suppress it better. In the military they teach you to hide your fear during basic." Nicole said, kissing Samus again briefly. "You never answered my question."
"Do you like it? Your present?"
Samus nodded, "I love it... I love you." She brought herself down on Nicole with renewed passion, and soon found her hands wandering of their own accord. Her touch was deceptively soft, Nicole never saw it coming when she...
"Samus!?" Nicole gasped.
The huntress smirked and let a small chuckle escape her throat. "You thought your little sneak attack in the shower would go unanswered? I have a score to settle." Nicole saw that warrior's instinct flash in her eyes; a look she infrequently saw, a look that even scared her a little. "You'd better be prepared; I won't be taken lightly."
Thanks to YuriFanGirl and arashi-enkou for all their input.
If you want to contact me do so here: G3Rain1 at Gmail com