Rating: PG-13
Characters: Shades of Freya/Brendan
Summary: He disapproves and she knows this even if he never says it. There's a lot of things like that between them.
Authors Note: For seramercury who wanted Freya and Brendan's first kiss.

It takes them two hours to find Freya buried under all the rubble but it feels like a lifetime to Brendan.

When they pull her out she's pale and shaken, skin coated with a thin sheen of dirt and grime. The cuts on her face are superficial but the sight of blood smeared across her skin stirs something in Brendan. He doesn't know the right words to say but he thinks, when he feels her relax beside him, that she's already plucked them from his head. He scoots closer to her and she accepts his awkward display with the natural grace he's come to expect.

"I thought I was going to die," she says quietly.

Brendan says nothing in return but his fingers curl a little tighter around her narrow shoulders.

"It's not your fault you know, what happened," she continues but all he can think is I should have been there.

"You're being ridiculous," she says, and it's a testament to how long he's known her that he's given up on pushing her out of his head, asking her to stop having conversations with him like this.

"Anyway, it doesn't matter. I got the information we needed. They're going to make the arrests tonight," she tells him and leans more of her weight against him, all proud weariness at what she's accomplished. He disapproves and she knows this even if he never says it. There's a lot of things like that between them.

"Let's get you home," he says.

He helps her to the car and into her apartment where he sits on her sofa with a beer while she takes a shower. There's a game on the tv that he stares at but doesn't really watch. He's waiting, in some strange sort of suspended animation until he hears the water stop and her bare feet on the wooden floor of the apartment.

She joins him on the couch, lowers herself carefully next to him. He can smell the shampoo she uses and see the arc of scars across her face and neck.

"Thanks for staying," she tells him and there's another uncomfortable moment between them again where Brendan knows he should be saying something. He can feel Freya looking at him but he keeps his attention on the tv, tries to think about the numbers of the game. After a moment she turns away and he relaxes, watches her pull her legs up beneath her and lean away. He feels a little like he's missed something important, like something has slipped between his fingers.

"Come here," he says after a moment when she shivers against the cold air of the apartment. There's a blanket behind them but he opens his side to her, pulls her in close and lets her head rest on his shoulder. There's a moment of discomfort for him and regret for what he's just initiated but when he looks down at her face, peaceful and relaxed, it falls away.

He stares at the rise and fall of her chest, and listens to her rhythmic breathing before he touches the largest cut across her brow with careful hands. He brushes away her damp hair and leans in, pressing his lips against the angry ridge of the scar before pulling away. She sighs a little in her sleep and Brendan understands then how the words that he lets come between them aren't always so important.