Emily laid still, allowing her heart to slow down, and her labored breathing to ease. Matt was laying half on top of her, his face oddly buried in her shoulder. She raised that arm, curling it around his head, and let her fingers tangle in his soft, messy hair. But his heartbeat wasn't slowing down, and his breathing was still as ragged as it had been at climax. Emily tried to remain calm, to wait patiently, and not overreact.
Something was wrong.
She shook his shoulder, and moved her other hand from his hair to his back, rubbing it softly. He raised his hand, and felt around for hers, giving it a squeezed when he found it. Not quite satisfied with his response, she slowly drew letters on his arm.
R U OK?
"Um fine," Matt slurred. His head flew up at his own words, but he quickly ducked again as the light hit his sensitive eyes.
Emily flew up with him, staring in wonder, afraid to believe that he'd actually spoken. She'd seen him duck from the light, and unsure what it meant, she began rubbing his back again. His face was buried under the pillow behind her now, and one hand fished around for hers until it he found it.
"Matt?" Emily asked in a quiet, unsure voice.
"Yeah?" He grunted, barely distinguishable from underneath the pillow.
Emily's hand flew over her mouth, and tears pricked her eyes. Just like that, he could hear, see, and speak again, even if it was a little garbled. But the sudden light was searing his unaccustomed eyes, which meant his ears were probably overly-sensitive as well. Emily drew up the sheet and comforter, and laying back down beside Matt, pulled the bedding over their heads, creating a dark, quiet cocoon.
"It's okay, Matt. The light's gone," she spoke just above a whisper.
He slowly pulled his head out from the pillow, and faced her voice. It was so dark under the sheets all he could make out was her form lying beside his, but that was good, his eyes were much happier.
"You can hear, and see, and speak...it all just happened?"
"Uh huh...talk not so good." His words came out sort of strained, as if it was difficult to find them and form them.
"Oh my god." Emily reached out and brushed her hands over his face, holding it between her palms. She placed a gentle kiss to his lips, and brought her face back to just look into his eyes. Eyes that had life in them for the first time in nearly two weeks.
"Missed your face, your voice." Matt took her hands in his, and brought them to his mouth, kissing them.
"I missed your voice too...we need to take you to the doctor so he can look at you."
"We should go tonight, Matt. He'll want to know."
"May not last long. I want to be with you while it does," Matt said. He'd managed a phrase and a whole sentence, as he spoke, his speech was improving. Definitely a good thing.
"You'll be with me, I won't leave your side," Emily insisted. She was afraid to be too excited, she wanted the doctor to look at him, and say he was cured, that it would last forever.
"Not the same. I want to lay here, look at your face, and memorize it," he stopped briefly to swallow and think. "I want to listen to you talk to me, and memorize your voice." He stopped again, struggled a moment, and continued. "I may only have a little while to make memories to last a lifetime."
She stared at him a long while, tears shining off the whites of her eyes. Then she nodded, and kissed him, savoring the taste and feel of his soft lips pressing into hers.
They began to talk, slowly, a little awkwardly at first, but then it changed. As they felt like themselves again, the conversation became fast and eager, almost excited. They're conversation had been restrained the last few months, and now they were able to talk without writing anything on white board, or carefully drawing on skin. It was freeing.
After a while the comforter came off, so Matt's eyes could adjust to a greater volume of light, and the couple could get a little air. There was enough light under that sheet that he could begin to make out her features, and by the time they tossed off the sheet, it was night. The moonlight and streetlights combined to generate a comfortable level of light for Matt. He was able to take in the beauty of his nude girlfriend by that soft, bluish light.
They laid naked together talking, and flirting well into the night, happier than they'd been in months. Emily fell asleep just before four a.m., but Matt stayed awake, just watching her sleep.
He was genuinely afraid that if he went to sleep, if he closed his eyes on the world, when he woke-up, it would be gone. That would be it. He would be back to not seeing, hearing, or speaking. So tonight, he was going to stay awake as long as possible, and enjoy the best part of that world. Just after seven, Matt finally gave in, wrapped his body around hers, and drifted off to sleep.
"Whoa, that's going to traumatize," Frank cracked, covering his eyes. He, Cheryl, Duff, and Lia had taken a break from work to join Matt and Emily at the hospital after the latter of the pair had called them.
They'd walked into the room Matt's neurologist had put him in for the exam, and found him sitting on the exam bed, like a good patient. Except instead of actually being a good patient, Emily sat beside him, facing him, their lips joined in a kiss that was maybe a little to hot for their current setting.
"You'll get over it," Emily said sarcastically, pulling away from Matt.
"I don't know, I see a lot of therapy down the road," he teased.
"Well, then make sure the Bureau pays for it." Matt's voice managed to stun his friends into silence. They knew what Emily said, that he was better, but still, it was a shock.
"Jesus, stop looking at me like that," Matt asked uncomfortably. "I feel like I just laughed at my own funeral."
"Sorry Matt, it's just...you're really okay. We were all afraid you'd never talk again." Cheryl went to the side opposite Emily, and squeezed his hand.
"Yeah, me too," he said.
"So, what did the doc say? This isn't temporary, right?" Frank studied his friend, seriously.
"He's studying the MRI now. EKG looks normal though."
"So everything just came back, just like that?" Duff wondered, perplexed.
"Yeah, just kind of hit me. Talking was a little hard at first, and the light killed my eyes, but it got better."
"Oh, please tell me you were slurring like a drunk man, and Emily recorded it," Frank laughed.
"No, I wasn't slurring. Was I?" Matt looked over at Emily.
"No, it was more like difficulty stringing words together, getting your mouth around them. It didn't last long though." Emily spoke to their friends, but still held one of Matt's hands in both of her own.
"Knock, knock," the doctor entered smiling at his patient, and crowd of friends. "I had a chance to look at your MRI Matt, and the swelling is completely gone now. I can't promise you that this is permanent, but I feel confident enough to say that I believe it is."
Matt's shoulders slumped just the teeniest bit, relief easing away the tension he hadn't even realized was there.
"Now, I'm not sure if this will be diagnostically relevant, but I'm still curious, for something to suggest to future patients, what were you doing when everything came back?" He'd love to see if whatever he'd been doing might work for future patients; if it did it could make a fascinating article for a medical journal.
Matt swallowed and went completely still, while Emily bit her lip and looked at her lap. Both the doctor, and their longtime friends noticed the change.
"Why are you both suddenly quiet?" Lia asked before anyone else got up the nerve.
"Because, we were...we were uh, having sex when everything came back," Matt confessed. Emily's head shot up and she gave him a look. Matt just shrugged, what else were they supposed to say?
"Oh...well, it was certainly a happy moment then...I'll go get your release forms." The doctor scurried out, looking distinctly uncomfortable. It might come off as inappropriate if he suggested that to future patients.
Six very quiet FBI employees sat in awkward silence for no less then ten minutes. Then Duff couldn't stand it anymore, he had to say what he was thinking, so he blurted it out, and not very tactfully.
"That must have been one hell of a roll in the sack."
Lia lightly smacked his chest, and gave him a stern look.
"What?" He held up his hands. "They hit the sheets once, and suddenly he's cured. That's like, like, like faith healing with sex!"
Lia rolled her eyes at him, and Frank began to chuckle. Matt and Emily tried to sink into the ground.
"Lehman's a faith healer..." Frank trailed off giggling, while Emily colored a bright pink.
"Somehow, I don't think the church would approve of her methods," Cheryl commented, arching an eyebrow at the embarrassed couple.
"I say we shoot Flannery in the leg, and test this theory, see if she can heal him," Frank suggested, still laughing to himself.
"Very funny, but I'd rather not," Matt frowned at him.
"Alright, alright, time to lay off them," Cheryl ended the jokes, feeling a little bad for her friends. "Let's just be happy Matt's better now, regardless of how it happened."
She tried not to smile at the thought, but it was just too funny. Duff and Frank were trying and failing to stop laughing, and Lia was struggling not to be amused. Matt and Emily exchanged a look, and Matt took on a self-deprecating grin; Emily shook her head and laughed silently.
They were just relieved he was alright.
"I thought I'd never hear this sound again," Matt said quietly.
They were walking along the beach, toes digging into the coarse, wet sand, sea-scented breeze blowing over their faces and through their hair. He had an arm wrapped around Emily's shoulders, and her head resting on his shoulder, her arm around his waist. It was a little overcast, but that just meant that the sun wasn't beating down on them.
The ocean waves were rushing up fiercely, and smacking the shoreline, threatening to wash over their feet. It was coming further inland as they walked, and the first time it hit, Matt started and jumped. Emily had giggled at him, before also jumping as the cold water hit her feet. It was colder than it should have been for November, but it had been unseasonably cold for months.
Even with the cool breeze, and colder water, they were both enjoying themselves. Matt was just happy to hear the thick smack of the water as it landed on the sand, and musical rush as it returned to the sea. It was brilliant blue waves rushing toward them, and a thick white foam as it slid back for another round. It was seagulls squawking and flying around, and defunct sandcastles that the ocean washed over the previous night. It was one of Matt's favorite places, with sounds and sights he'd thought he'd only ever find again in his dreams.
"Me too...I'm so happy that it's over. I love you." She spoke without missing a beat.
"I love you too," he spoke softly, suddenly turning to face her, hands on lightly holding her hips. He moved one hand to lightly brush her face, his breath quivering in his throat.
Emily pressed a chaste kiss to his lips, unsure what was going on. He was staring at her so intensely, like he was trying to see into her soul--no more like he was giving her a chance to see into his soul.
"You didn't leave," he suddenly blurted. That hadn't been what Matt wanted to start with, but it was on the tip of his mind. Emily looked clearly startled.
"You could have left, Em. You could have said it was too much, and walked away, but you didn't. You stayed with me the whole time, no matter how hard it got. You didn't have to, I mean we aren't married or even engaged..." he faltered and trailed off, before trying again. "I don't, uh don't really know how to stay what I want here. I just...I needed you so badly, and you were there, and god knows, I still need you..."
He was rushing through his thoughts, trying to figure out what he was trying to say. Emily had seen it before, and still thought it was completely adorable. Cute as it was, she decided to silence him the same way she had the first time hyper-explanatory mode. Then he'd been talking about commanders and negotiators, the objectivity, and why they shouldn't be sleeping together.
"Thank you," he blurted when they finally broke for air. "Thank you for staying."
"If you leave when it gets hard, you don't deserve to be there when it's easy," she told him, kissing him again.
When they broke again, Matt pulled her against his body, holding her as close as possible without hurting her. He stood there holding her, watching a seagull swoop for a fish, and listening to the waves crash against the shore.
"Hey, it's getting late, you want to get something to eat?" Emily titled her head slightly, so she was speaking softly against his neck.
"What are you in the mood for?" They were still holding each other as they spoke, both reveling in the comfort of touch that they'd grown so accustomed too over the last couple weeks.
"Besides you?" Matt couldn't resist.
"How about something more...nutritional?" She suggested.
"I don't know, according to our friends, your body healed mine. That's more than broccoli or bananas ever did for me." He'd bent his head, and begun kissing her neck as he spoke.
"I think you overestimate my talents," Emily grinned.
"Maybe you underestimate yourself. I'm thinking if one time cures me of deafness and blindness, two might turn me into superman."
She stopped mid eye-roll when his warm, soft lips hit her collarbone. Not really appropriate beach behavior, but it was November, and chilly, so the place was deserted.
"So, what do you want to eat superman?" She asked with an amused smile. She pulled away, taking his hand and leading them off the beach.
"No finger food, no fries, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, pita bread things, or burritos. I want something I have to eat with fork and knife, real food." In the midst of all the learning he had to do, asking him to relearn to use a knife and fork was too much, so he'd relied on things he could eat with his hands.
"There's a nice Italian restaurant a few blocks from where we parked, how's that?"
"Good, they should even have some good desserts."
"Oh, I already know what I want for dessert." He chose that moment to pull her back into his arms. Matt was in a very good mood, and a mood that good usually made him frisky.
Emily giggled, "You just behave yourself in the restaurant."
"Always..." Matt grinned, inhaling the scent of coconut, dove soap, and lilies—the scent of home.
This story is officially over, but will be cleaning my hard drive, so major updates this week! Thank you to all the people that reviewed, and thanks for reading!