Title: Cataloging Hurt
Spoilers: Journey's End
Prompt: I'd rather be lonely, I'd rather be free, I'm as sure as the moon rolls around the sea, but I like watching you undress.
Author's Note: Prompt and beta by Sinecure
"I've seen things," she whispered, raising her gaze to his.
In her eyes he saw the terror of things past, of things never spoken of until now. And when she told him what she'd seen, the atrocities that man could commit, both to other worlds and in her own backyard, her voice remained steady but her body trembled.
He did the only thing he could do, he held her, tighter than he'd ever held her before, and listened to her tales of the other universe.
"I've done things," she confessed, gaze sliding past his to focus on a spot on the floor.
When she wouldn't look him in the eyes he knew it must be bad. And when she refused to elaborate, he didn't push, didn't dare for fear he'd break her.
It seemed that, though she'd been gone for years on her end, she still remembered old habits and old routines. Avoidance had become her art; and he knew he'd taught her well.
"I missed you so much," she moaned, voice rising and falling in old, familiar patterns that made his hearts ache and liquid fire shoot through his veins like lightning.
When she quietly asked if they could make love in the dark, he feared knowing the reason why. When he hesitated, she asked again, and the uncertainty in her voice nearly brought him to his knees.
He didn't refuse her, never could, but later, when her breathing fell into the steady rhythm of deep sleep, he let his hands do the seeing for him, cataloging each hurt, each scar that represented one more reason he should've never left her behind.