Category: H/R - Some fans and I created an H/R Shipper Club, as it seemed appropriate that with this sweet couple, simplicity works best.
Dedicated to: Lu, my EHSM, who makes my day brighter just by knowing her and the "brain" behind this story; Nikki, our amazing computer Geek and science whiz, and Queen of Planet Hood; Famke, who gives me everything I need including, most importantly, her friendship; Rue, who sets me straight and keeps me focused, yet is able to make me laugh uncontrollably a second later; Sarah, who provides me with continuing inspiration from all her wonderful stories; Kalli, resident sweetheart and "Clip Master", taking our Campaign to the masses via YT; and, as always, my Mom, who is also my best friend.
To all you Eleventh Hour fans, please come out and help us with the ELEVENTH HOUR RESURRECTION CAMPAIGN. EH is a series that belongs on the air, always teaching, always entertaining, always contributing. We are going to convince another network to pick this show up and we need all EH fans to unite and help us in this endeavor. Come over to Planet Hood and check it out:
planet-hood dot net/campaign
She slapped his hand away. He had been getting on her nerves, and it had only been a matter of time until she hit him. Frankly, he was lucky that she didn't just cuff him to something in the room and leave.
He rubbed his red index finger but continued to badger her. "You weren't even supposed to be driving at all, nevertheless long distances. And now I can tell that you are in pain. Why won't you just let me help?"
It had been like this for the last couple of months. She had recovered rather quickly from the bolt's injuries and found her apartment to be a less than desirable place to spend any substantial amount of time. Somehow she had begged her way back into the field early. While Hood was more than relieved to have her back, he was also a nightmare to be around. She had to wonder more than not who was protecting who. He hovered over her constantly, asking if she was comfortable and if she needed anything.
She let him go for the first few days, somewhat proud in her ability to tolerate someone else looking after her. It was not something that she was able to do lightly. But enough was enough.
As his question hung in the air, she sat back in her chair and replayed the last few hours over in her mind. They had just finished an exceedingly long case when Hood had insisted they get back to the hotel so that she could rest. He had Felix tie up any remaining loose ends, and practically pushed Rachel towards their car. She fought him just enough to snatch back the keys from his thieving hands, and climbed into the driver's seat. He was less than thrilled, but seemed content to settle with a partial victory. But as they drove back to the hotel, she realized that the throbbing in her leg was getting worse and worse. She had forgotten how far away they had had to travel to catch up with that creep. Her head became fuzzy amidst the burning ache in her thigh, and it was all she could do to concentrate on the road. She had to bite her lower lip just to help her focus. It did not go unnoticed. After a 15 minute argument consisting of many "pull overs" and "leave me alones", she pulled into the hotel parking lot.
He had effectively jumped from the car before she had even had it in park, and was over by her door in a flash. She glared at him through the window, but let him help her down from the seat nonetheless. She wasn't sure how bad the cramping would be once she began using her leg again and felt it would look far worse if she were to just tumble unceremoniously from the car onto the lot. Once she felt steady, however, she shrugged him off and set out towards the entrance.
She did fine until she came to the curb. She wasn't sure if it was the slight lifting motion or what, but her thigh began to shake as soon as her foot touched back down. It seemed to steady for a moment; then the cramp suddenly swept through her leg like a raging fire and she braced herself for the fall she knew was coming.
His arms were there, gently lowering her down to the sidewalk, and she opened her eyes in time to see him drop down next to her. He shook his head as he whispered her name but seemed to sense that that was all he would safely get away with for now.
A minute passed and he dared to look over at her again. His eyes asked hers if she was okay, as his mouth remained cautiously silent, and she nodded her head to confirm. Without a word, he helped her back up and into the hotel.
Their room was on the first floor so they reached it within a few minutes. In fact, they were always on the first floor now. Hood has seen to it that they would not stay at any hotels that did not have a first floor room available to them. He had even refused to get out of the car once when she had explained the hotel had no such rooms free. He eventually relented, as it was late and he knew that the last thing she needed was to continue driving, searching for another hotel. Since then, he had taken it upon himself to begin booking the rooms for them.
He helped her into her room and reluctantly left as she batted him away. All she wanted in this world was a long shower and something with sugar in it. Twenty wonderful minutes later, as the warm water had chased away most of her tension and pain, she exited the bathroom only to stop dead in her tracks. There, propped up against her computer, was a box of her favorite licorice. She smiled and shook her head, truly touched by his thoughtfulness. It was one of those times when the FBI agent fell away and the woman in her desired nothing more than to settle into his arms the very next time she saw him. She shook her head a second time, attempting to clear away any such thoughts in order to reassert the persona that she must always maintain. The one that kept him safe.
There was a soft knock at their adjoining door and she called for him to come in. He appeared in the doorway with a smile and 2 coffees. She inadvertently beamed at the sight of him but tried to turn away quickly so he would not see. She was rewarded for her cowardice with a twinge in her thigh that made her wince. He was next to her in an instant as he helped her slide into her chair. She overlooked his doting and opened up her laptop.
He sat down next to her and handed her one of the coffees. She flashed him a half-smile and tried her best not to grimace as her thigh continued to pound incessantly.
"Thank you, Hood." She picked up the candy and shook the box. "For this too."
He smiled warmly and pointed towards her computer. "I thought maybe we could do this report together? Get it done quicker and we could both get some rest."
She had to admit that plan sounded great. She had resigned herself to this tedious chore, but was more than happy to accept any and all help with it.
"Okay, that sounds great."
After about 40 minutes, she found that the discomfort in her leg was getting increasingly harder to ignore. She began subtly shifting around in her chair, hoping he was too intent on the report to notice. She casually glanced over at him only to find him staring right back at her.
"Let's take a break, Rachel. Maybe go for a walk?"
"Hood, it is almost midnight. I am not going for a walk."
"Just around the hotel. It won't take long and might loosen you up a bit." He had already gotten out of his chair and was ready to help her up.
She held her ground as he stood over her, arms obliviously stretched towards her.
"Seriously, Hood....I am not going anywhere. I just want to finish up this report and go to bed."
He slid his hands into his pockets, but did not sit back down.
"We still have a ways to go with this report, Rachel. Why don't we leave it for the morning?"
As tempting as that was, she knew that she would never sleep with it unfinished. That was just not how she worked. And he must have known that, too, because she saw him already forming his next plan of attack. She didn't even need to say a word.
He suddenly yanked his hands from his pockets, dropped back down into his chair and scooted it as close to hers as he could. He looked at her leg and then patted his own. "Here."
Her eyes widened as she realized what he wanted. She stared at him as he reached down to capture her foot and her reflexes took over.
And that was why he currently had a sore, stinging hand.
As bothered as she was by his constant attentiveness, she felt bad as well because she understood that he too was frustrated. She realized that he still felt extremely guilty over what had happened to her and mistakenly responsible for her injury. She was acutely aware, as he had just mentioned, that he was only trying to help.
But it was more to it than that. Something changed between them that fateful day, and they had both been struggling with it since. They formed an intimacy between them that neither had fully acknowledged or understood. Each one had cracked a window of their heart open just enough for the other to climb in. And as much as they both liked being in there, they were afraid of all the implications that kind of closeness implied.
She sat up in her chair and noticed that he had slumped back in his, lost in thought. Neither had spoken in several minutes, and any residual anger slipped away as she saw the hurt in his downcast eyes.
She recalled the way that he held her close, rubbing her arm to help her stay conscious while he desperately tried to reason his way into saving her life. She could still feel the way he shuddered with her as the bolt was ripped from her leg, and the panic in his voice as he looked for a way to stop the bleeding. But mainly she remembered how she felt safe in his arms when he carried her from the truck even as she fell away into nothingness.
She slowly lifted her thigh and gingerly placed it onto his. She felt the warmth of his leg instantly bathe hers. Their shoulders brushed as he silently bent over to begin manipulating it. Neither spoke, but she saw his eyes flash hers a smile and knew that they were okay.
His hands were amazing. They seemed to seek out any raw nerve or lingering pain and completely wipe it away. She leaned her head back on the chair and closed her eyes. She could not help it. It felt that good.
As he continued to knead the muscles in her thigh, she realized that the warmth that was spreading throughout her leg started to travel to all the other parts of her body. She began to feel giddy with the heat and recognized with a start that she was becoming aroused. His hands were triggering all her senses one by one. She felt her body tense instantly at this realization, and knew that he would most certainly feel the change in her leg.
He stopped rubbing and she felt him look over at her. A silent question hung in the air, and she was unsure of what to do. She inadvertently squeezed her eyes tighter in fear of seeing his. They always attempted to rob her of her power to resist him, and she could not afford that right now.
But she soon realized that she had no choice. She had to open her eyes. And so she did.
The sight, quite literally, took her breath away. He had such a look of concern on his face that she was ashamed and scared all at the same time. Something else was there too, hidden in those green orbs.
Fear. Of her? No. She knew that, while he respected her, he certainly did not fear her. Of what then?
And as she continued to look into his eyes, she was suddenly struck dumb by the thought that he wanted her. It was there in his eyes. The want. And the need. The fear must have taken hold of him when he himself had discovered it. Perhaps he hadn't stopped because he felt her thigh stiffen. Maybe he had stopped when he'd realized his own feelings.
She was not sure how long they stared at one another, but she knew that she had to stop. She had to get up and get away. She tore her eyes from his and felt a chill the instant she did. But she had no choice.
She pushed herself up from the chair as his hands slid off her thigh. To her relief, her leg seemed to be cooperating. She began to step away when she felt his hands on her again, this time settling just above her hips. She barely heard his whispered, "Rachel....wait...." as he pulled her down slowly onto his lap.
She shivered as his breath tickled the back of her neck and felt his heart beat wildly against her shoulder blade. She noted the firmness pressing against the small of her back, confirming her earlier suspicions about his feelings towards her. She clumsily shifted her position yet couldn't help the tiny giggle that escaped her. It had been a long day and she was so tired of fighting. The bad guys. The pain. The situation. And now him.
Why was she resisting him so much? He only wanted what was best for her.
It suddenly dawned on her that she had a choice. She had made the decision to always be there for him. Why not let him be there for her? Wasn't that balance the very definition of partnership? And they were partners, in spite of any of their initial misgivings and her futile denials. She had unwittingly found a companion at long last.
With these soothing thoughts, her back unconsciously melted into his chest. She desperately needed the comfort he so easily provided and she found that it just felt right. He drew her in tight and the heat between them sent a jolt throughout her body. He moved his head right next to hers and placed a soft kiss near her temple. Their cheeks found each other and snuggled close.
His hand sought its way back down to her thigh, and resumed the earlier bliss it had begun. Her head fell back lazily onto his shoulder. After several heavenly minutes, his fingers began to drift further and further upward and his lips brushed the side of her neck. His thumb made careless circles from her outer thigh up to her hip over to her inner thigh and back again. He slowly made the circles tighter and tighter until all she could make out was the fevered skin under his hand and her own labored breathing. It matched his own.
In a hoarse whisper, he asked "Rachel----?"
"Yes." she gasp, trembling, as thoughts of his body moving beneath hers rushed rapidly through her mind.
When he heard the slight tremor in her voice his body impulsively arched up into hers and he moaned into her neck. She felt as though she were going to burst.
All resistance gone, she rolled over to face him. His mouth was inches from hers and his eyes were on fire. Her eyes drifted shut and her mind ruptured when his lips touched hers, pieces falling away freeing any remaining shred of reason or consequence. It was just him and her.
He lay further back in the chair as he pulled her completely on top of him. He was mindful of her thigh as he pressed his entire length up into hers. She gasped as their centers touched and she thrust her hands in his hair just to hold on. He was rough and gentle, all at the same time, and she felt as though she were on a ride that she had once feared only to find in it the thrill of a lifetime. It was absolute ecstasy to touch and taste and kiss him. She absently wondered how she had ever gone without it.
The ache between her legs grew far worse than any pain she might be feeling in her thigh and she yanked on his hair to pull him closer. He pulled her tighter to him as she deepened their kiss. Her hands snaked down his sides to his hips, pulling them up into hers as he moaned again.
Hearing his smoky voice say her name like that almost tipped her over the edge, but soon his lips were on hers again and she enjoyed getting lost in him. He was a sweet abyss where she was safe and warm and any worries were infinitely far away. She found little escape growing up in a very large shadow and it was liberating to have a man in her life that did not judge her. She noticed herself opening up to him like no one else before. And this discovery both excited and scared her.
They continued to get tangled up in one another when their movements became more insistent. Kisses became more demanding while fingers seized flesh with more urgency.
She became overwhelmingly dizzy as she felt his hands on her ass. In that moment, she felt her hard exterior utterly melt away and her moans involuntarily turned into sobs. The last few months all crashed down around her and the tears she had held throughout refused to be contained any longer.
His hands were on her cheeks at once, and he spoke to her with a searching concern she had heard only one other time.
"Rachel. Oh, Rachel, I am so sorry. I never should have....this is my fault. Are you ok? Did I hurt you?"
She laid her forehead on his chest and let him stroke her hair as she cried. Somewhere deep inside a voice cried out in embarrassment and shame. But the overwhelming feelings of doubt and pain that she had repressed consumed her now and it was easily silenced.
He continued to berate himself. "You came back too early and I...well, I let you because I selfishly wanted you back." He put the side of his face on hers and whispered "You can't always be the strong one, Rachel. Sometimes it's okay to accept some help. Especially from me."
He knew that the last few weeks had been hard on her. And he realized that, despite his intentions, he had only made things worse. She had tried to come back too soon and they both knew it. And, while they weathered the situation as they always did, he could not help but be protective. It was in his nature. He couldn't stop that anymore than he could stop the thoughts that constantly assaulted his mind. The ones that led him to this place and time. That led him to her. And losing her now was not an option.
He held her tight and whispered into her ear. "I promise. Tomorrow you can go back to kicking everyone's ass." She chuckled softly and drew herself even closer to him. "But now you need to rest."
With that, he scooped her up and placed her on the bed. Grabbing the blanket, he went to cover her and was startled when her hand reached out for his and tugged him downward. He slipped beside her and she rested her upper body on his. He knew that he had not felt contentment like this for a very long time and let the moment fill him up.
He waited for her to fall asleep, and then gently maneuvered from under her and lifted himself off of the bed. He knew that she would want to wake up alone. And, while he hoped that she would have no regrets about this passed evening, he knew that she would subtly retreat back within herself for a period of time and he respected that.
He reluctantly walked over to the adjoining door and turned back. As he stood there, watching her sleep, he whispered to himself, "here I go again."