WARNINGS: season six spoilers through 6.04 The Tyrant; sex
Chase is still wide awake when the sun rises. He can't remember the last time he's had time to watch the dawn, and it feels somehow more surreal than everything else in the past twenty four hours. The dark was at once a relief and a terrible burden, concealing the vile parts he's found within himself this night. Watching the sky turn pink as the sun peeks between buildings, it seems unbelievable that the world should continue unchanged when everything feels to him irrevocably altered.
"Babe?" Cameron breathes next to him, and he can tell she's still half asleep. His entire being aches from lying next to her, terrified equally of her judgment and her forgiveness. At the heart of this thing is the necessity of her protection, and Chase is sickened at the thought that for this he must betray her trust.
"Hey," Chase murmurs, fighting to keep his voice calm. The tension has been building unbearably all night as he lay in the stillness and waited for sirens or a message from Foreman. "Go back to sleep." There's still more than an hour before their alarm will go off, though Chase is already wondering how he can possibly face this day.
"When did you get home?" asks Cameron, ignoring him and switching on the light. "You're still dressed?"
Chase shrugs. "Got back late. Didn't want to wake you."
"Did you sleep at all? You look awful."
Chase swallows. "I'm fine. Really, go back to sleep. You look tired, too."
Cameron sighs, sitting up. "I'm awake now. And I'm worried about you. Did something happen?"
Chase scrubs his hands over his face, trying to hide the emotions her concern stirs in him. Never before has he had anyone care the way Cameron does, and never again will he truly be able to accept it, he already knows. It's seemed a miracle, waking up next to her every day for the past few months, and now he knows those days must be numbered. He'd thought of all of this before making his decision, had somehow come to terms with it, yet now it seems infinitely more painful.
"Robert," says Cameron pointedly, and he realizes he's lost track of the time it's taken him to answer.
"Just paperwork," Chase says quickly. "Gave me a headache."
Cameron looks unconvinced, but she doesn't say anything further, pressing her palm to his forehead. Chase takes a breath, leaning into her hand. It's hugely tempting to give in, to tell her and be done with it. He isn't deluded enough to think that she won't find out eventually no matter what he does. His only hope now is that he can keep the truth from her long enough to preserve her innocence if he is caught. Still, now that he's in it, the waiting is a greater torture than the swift condemnation he knows is coming the second she learns the truth.
"I don't like this working together thing," Cameron says after a moment, evidently having firmly rejected the idea of going back to sleep.
"Why?" Chase sits up beside her, unable to lie still any longer. His entire body feels wooden with exhaustion, and at the same time much too tight. "Thought you missed being on the team."
"I missed the cases, not the team," she answers stubbornly, having decided not to interrogate him any further at the moment. Chase tries to breathe a sigh of relief but it sticks in his throat. "And I miss us getting home early more." She raises her eyebrows suggestively, blissfully oblivious to the true seriousness of his world this morning, and Chase can see instantly where this is headed.
He clears his throat and returns her look. "Oh, yeah?" It's a welcome distraction, and one in which Chase finds he still feels comfortable. Anything to banish the images of Dibala—choking on his own blood in those last moments—from the backs of his eyelids.
"You know what I mean," Cameron answers, the barest hint of challenge in her voice.
Chase forces a grin, gratefully slipping into this role that is usually so familiar. "Well, we're both here now. We have an hour until we have to get up, at least. And, as you pointed out, we're both awake. Might as well take advantage of it."
Cameron lunges to kiss him barely the moment he's finished speaking, and Chase grunts in response, hands going to her waist as he falls back against the pillows. He runs his fingers over her stomach, pushing her tanktop up until she leans back and helps him get it the rest of the way over her head.
"You're wearing too many clothes," she breathes against his ear, and Chase sits up, stripping quickly down to his jeans in response. Cameron pins him again in an instant, and Chase thinks that if he didn't know better, he would wonder whether Dibala's death had upset her as well.
But then her lips are on his neck again, teeth grazing his clavicle in just the right way to draw a groan from his throat, and he can't seem to focus on anything else. Chase traces the line of her ribs up until he finds the swell of her breast, stroking his thumb over the silky skin of her nipple and trying to lose himself in the sounds she's making.
Cameron is wearing a pair of pink pajama pants he remembers buying with her on a trip shopping for decidedly less modest sleepwear, and as he pushes them down her hips, Chase can't stop himself wondering if they will ever be that happy again. It seems terribly far away now.
Cameron gets his jeans undone, then pauses, looking up at him. "Are you sure you're okay?" She shakes her head a little. "You seem really—I don't know. Weird."
"I'm just tired," Chase soothes, running a hand through her hair and along the curve of her back.
Cameron frowns, obviously concerned, though she's already flushed and breathing hard. Chase feels a wave of love for her, which breaks into cold grief turning his stomach at the knowledge that this decision he's made to protect the lives of others will inevitably hurt her.
"Would you rather try to sleep?" Cameron asks softly. "It's okay if that's what you want."
Chase swallows hard, struggling to keep his face impassive. "I'm fine. And I always want you." He pushes his jeans and boxers off and onto the floor, hoping this will prove his point.
Cameron kisses him again, roughly, then rolls away, stretching out on her back in the middle of the bed and looking up at him expectantly. "If you're not too tired..."
Chase growls in response, already desperate in anticipation of physical relief at least. He has the sudden unbearable need for release in any form safety will afford him. "Definitely not too tired."
Shifting onto his stomach, Chase trails a series of light kisses down her abdomen, curling his tongue into the crease where her hip meets her thigh and watching her grasp handfuls of the sheets. Chase presses a kiss to her inner thigh, then ghosts his fingers over her labia, teasing for only a moment before stroking deftly. Cameron moans low in her throat, and the sound seems to tug at the barely-concealed grief deep in the pit of Chase's stomach.
"Come on," she breathes, already impatient.
Chase crawls up her body, kissing her deeply and trying to memorize the way she feels pressed beneath him. Finding her eyes at last, he slips inside of her with a soft groan.
"Love you," Cameron mouths as he starts to move, and Chase kisses her again to hide the fact that his throat is too tight for words.
She lays her hand against the side of his face, stroking his cheek with the pad of her thumb, and Chase drives his hips harder and faster, willing his body, for once, to overtake his mind. Everything seems to swim before him, the room and the bed and the sound of Cameron's breathing all blurring into one as he finally allows himself to let go even a fraction of an inch.
He's vaguely aware of her voice, and her hands in his hair as he speeds up nearly to the breaking point, hanging on the verge and scarcely able to control himself. He hardly notices when Cameron reaches her climax, but the sensation of her nails digging into his shoulders pulls him over the edge with her, and he comes with a long, choking moan. Cameron's arms wrap around him a second later as he collapses against her, and for a long time it's all he can manage to hide his face against her neck and draw in long, sobbing breaths.
"You okay?" Chase asks when he can speak again, worried by the tens in her face. The horror he's discovered within himself seems determined to reach through his best intentions, to outrun every justification and poison all the good in his life.
Cameron nods slowly. "I know you're upset. Whatever it is—it's okay. I just hope you'll tell me when you're ready."
Chase takes a long, stuttering breath, trying to calm his voice. "Shower with me? We'll have to leave soon." And the moment is shattered, tipped by his decision to resume a mask of normalcy and face this day as though nothing has happened. And yet, still ever-present at the back of his mind is the knowledge that this morning, tomorrow, five minutes from now could all be the last moment before everything comes tumbling down.
"Are you coming?" Cameron asks, already in the bathroom doorway.
"I love you," Chase says simply in reply.
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