Author's note: I, in fact, have not fallen off the face of the earth. I obey gravity. It's the law.
Anyway, I think this took me so long to get to/finish because it's so sappy, I may have vomited in my mouth a little whilst attempting to write it. That's probably a sign that I should've taken a different approach to this last installment (but it needed to be resolved in this manner, I think-or I'd be going on forever…) It could also just be the duality of my tendency to write fluff while my preference lies with violence/angst.
Oh, and, like with the first chapter, nothing really perspective specific (jumps from Sarah to Becker, hopefully with some sort of flow?).
Out of all the different ways he touched her, Sarah decided that this was her favourite caress. It was slow, meditative. His hand making gentle, concentric circles across her very round belly.
There was no demand in it, no lust-not that she did not enjoy that as well. It was pure adoration, a kind of love Sarah had honestly never received before. True, it was likely directed at the child growing inside of her, but when he looked up into her eyes, the same affection was translated to her person.
And it was one that didn't seek reciprocation.
It just was.
And that was enough.
That was why she favoured that caress above all others.
"Mm..." she moaned softly, as the soldier continued to run his strong hands over her body, tenderly working out the knots in the burdened muscles of her back, neck and shoulders. "That feels wonderful."
When she finally opened her eyes, she frowned, finding a contemplative sadness in her lover's face. She was so happy, it disturbed her to think him to feel any less.
"What is it?" she asked, placing her hand upon his face. He kissed her palm, pulled her closer and pressed his lips to her cheek, making her blush like a schoolgirl over the unexpected sweetness of the gesture.
When he pulled away to look into her eyes, there was an odd sort of smile on his face, sincere yet restrained, as if some concern were weighing down his thoughts.
"I..." he began hesitantly. This obviously had to do with feelings and Sarah, for it was the only topic that ever found the soldier in such a degree of uncertainty. "I haven't done the right thing here."
Panic momentarily overwhelmed her, until she realized that no one could look at her, touch her in that way, and not be entirely sincere. There was no doubt as to the nature of his feelings. So, then what was bothering him? Preventing him from touching her, kissing her, holding her close?
"I don't understand," she said softly, refusing to let him pull away from her. Whatever it was, apparently it made him feel guilty.
He fixed his eyes upon her, a determined look upon his face. Captain Becker had made a decision. And there would be no turning back now.
"I don't think I've ever told you how much you mean to me," he began.
"You didn't have to say it. I know," she reassured, leaning in to kiss him and end his emotional discomfort. He stopped her, continuing to stare intently into her eyes.
"And I never thought to ask you whether..." he swallowed hard, briefly looking away. "Whether you really wanted to have this baby."
The last bit was barely a whisper, but the anxiety and sorrow cut through her as harshly as any cry of alarm. Instinctively her hand went to her pregnant belly.
"How could you think that I..." Oh my god. She had never questioned. His reaction had been positive upon the revelation, in his own reserved way, but- she choked back tears. "You don't want her?"
"Of course I want her!" he exclaimed, obviously alarmed. "All I could think about since the moment I learned about the baby was meeting our child, holding her in my arms. I was rendered blind to anything else. It didn't even occur to me to consider your wishes."
They had never seemed to have a problem communicating their affection. In fact, words were rarely, if ever, required. And yet the lack of a simple, frank conversation had led to all.../this/… worry, and hurt.
Sarah threw her arms around his neck, and he finally let her pull him close, kissing his jaw, whispering in his ear. How did he not know she was mad about him? How did he not know she was full to burst with joy over their child?
"Did I ever give you any reason to doubt?"
"No," he responded, relieved that at least part of his anxiety and guilt had been for naught.
He sat her back down on the sofa, so he could pin her once more with his expressive, dark eyes.
"There's something else," she prompted.
"I should be your husband."
There was a silence that couldn't have lasted more than a minute, but felt like an eternity to the soldier who, unused to emotionally exposing himself, had never felt more vulnerable in his life.
"Are you asking me to marry you?"
Her expression was unreadable. His heart was a knot.
He swallowed hard, nodding slowly, saying nothing as he mistrusted his words. Instead, he poured everything into his gaze, into her dark eyes locked upon his.
A smile twitched the corner of her lips, but she remained silent. In classic 'Sarah' fashion, she wasn't going to let him get away with anything he didn't earn, despite how badly she wanted to relent.
He grinned broadly, for he knew what was in her heart.
"Will you marry me, Sarah Page?"
Her eyes twinkled, even though she adorned a mock serious face.
'Hmm..." she pondered facetiously. "I don't know..."
Careful of her large belly, he playfully wrestled her to lie supine on the couch beneath him.
His heart raced.
The longest relationship he had ever sustained, much longer than the couple weeks a girlfriend tended to last before she gave up or he lost interest, and Sarah still could make his heart pound like the first time she touched him.
Pinning her arms above her head, he hovered over her, his lips mere millimeters from hers. She squirmed when he refused to relinquish the kiss he knew she craved. The round bulk of her pregnant belly pressed against his stomach, her breasts periodically brushing against his chest as her breathing became heavy with the urgency of her desire for his lips.
He leaned in to whisper in her ear and she whimpered her displeasure at being refused her need to kiss the father of her unborn child.
"Tell me," he growled more with lust than with frustration. She gasped as his voice rumbled through her once more. "Tell me your answer."
Her stubborn streak snapped like a dry twig beneath a Tyrannosaur's foot when he nuzzled her neck and brushed his lips against her cheek.
"Yes," she confessed in a voice that was almost pleading. "Yes, I'll marry you."
She was rewarded with his lips, his mouth and hands, his body, the entirety of him, including his heart and soul. And she was just as much his, willingly, desperately, his.