Title: Coming Home

Author: Janine

Fandom: The Hollows

Pairing: Rachel/Ivy

Rating: PG, fluff

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Summary: Rachel comes home after an exhausting run and settles straight into Ivy's loving arms.

Note: Story takes place sometime after the seventh book. Rachel and Ivy are in an established relationship.

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I leaned heavily against the doorframe to the living room as I peered inside, my eyes immediately focusing on Ivy who was lounging on the couch in a casually sexy way that only someone with vampire DNA was capable of. There was a leather bound book lying face down on her stomach, and her eyes were closed. A strand of onyx hair fell gently across her cheek, and as I stared at her perfect and adored face I knew that I could watch her forever and never get bored.

She didn't move, not that my eyes could detect at least, but a minute after I took up watch of her something shifted in the air and I knew that Ivy had awoken. However, as I continued to regard her she remained still and her eyes stayed closed, and a small smile touched my lips.

"Don't bother," I drawled pushing away from the door frame, "I know you're awake."

Ivy's lips curved up and then her eyelids lifted to reveal beautiful cinnamon coloured eyes that shimmered in the late-afternoon sunlight that was streaming into the room.

"How can you always tell?" Ivy asked as she groggily watched my approach.

Her voice was rough with sleep and I could see her struggling to focus her gaze. Having just awoken combined with the sunlight blaring into the room was wreaking havoc on her eyes, but she didn't seem to mind as the soft, happy smile she had given me when she first opened her eyes was still firmly in place as I neared the couch.

"I know you," I murmured as I reached the side of the couch and bent slightly at the waist to pick up the book that was perched on Ivy's stomach.

I glanced down at the cover briefly, but it was some serious looking novel that I had never heard of.

I tossed the book on the floor and directed my attention back to Ivy.

"It's the book or me," I breathed out a second later, my eyes holding Ivy's warningly. She'd given a little huff when I tossed the book down, and I wanted her to know that she was going to have to pick a side.

"I didn't even like it that much. It put me to sleep," Ivy declared immediately, smirking at me just the tiniest bit in the way that always made my knees turn to jelly. And then she opened her arms and I very cheerfully slipped onto the couch and crawled into her arms.

"I didn't think you'd be back until sundown," Ivy murmured.

I could hear the pleased smile in her voice as I wiggled closer to her and wrapped my arms around her waist.

She was happy to have unexpected bonus Rachel-Time, and I was happy to be able to provide it.

I kissed her neck as I cocooned myself around her, and she sighed contentedly and flexed her arms around me, holding me tight.

"The target was stupider than I expected, and I'd categorized him somewhere in the drooling-kneepad-and-football-helmet wearing category," I mumbled, smiling a little when I felt Ivy's body shake with silent laughter against me. "He was, unfortunately, a lot faster than I gave him credit for. When I identified myself he took off at a full sprint – which honestly was pretty goddamn hilarious given his full figure," I continued, smiling fondly at the memory. However, my smile quickly turned upside down as I remembered what came next. "I had to chase the Were-bastard for ten blocks before I was able to drop him with my splat gun," I sighed, pointing my toes towards the end of the couch as I stretched long and luxuriously before settling against Ivy once more. "The guy is petty, criminal scum, but I've got to give him credit. He's got crazy good cardio. I'm bushed."

Ivy made a vague sort of "Hmm" sound, and then said, "I'm not. I've had a very relaxing afternoon. I've just been napping and … well, really just napping. That book really was boring and it's so comfortable and relaxing on the couch."

I narrowed my eyes in response to that and glared at the back of the couch, knowing that my crotchety expression would only amuse Ivy.

My partner, roommate and lover had offered to come with me on the run, but I'd gently turned down the offer. It was a relatively easy tag and I needed to go out and complete a run on my own for the sake of my ego. Ivy had had to step in and help me out on runs a lot more since my shunning, and I was grateful for the help. Still, despite how much I loved her, I didn't like having to depend on her so much.

Stupid? Hell yeah. But that's kind of my bag.

"I could have used some of that vamp speed," I admitted grudgingly, though I allowed my breath to caress Ivy's neck in a way I knew gave her butterflies to show her that I wasn't really upset. Honestly, I was used to Ivy being right about most things by this point in time.

"Anytime, just …"

"Say the word," I finished for Ivy already knowing exactly what was going to come out of her mouth. I angled my head up and kissed the bottom of her jaw. "I know," I know I breathed out pulling back, "Don't gloat. I've got war aches. You should be comforting me."

Ivy purred softly in response to that and ran her hand up my thigh suggesting the sort of activity that only led to more arches – though Ivy's way promised to be thoroughly enjoyable, unlike my adventures that afternoon.

I hummed softly and leaned into her touch, but my brain was more willing to engage in some more strenuous activity than my exhausted body was and Ivy – being able to read that in the feel my body and my scent – gentled her touch, shifting her focus to soothing and relaxing me instead of arousing my passions.

The sun hit me through the window, pleasantly warming my clothes and the world became hazy around me as my eyelids grew heavy and started to droop.

Ivy's fingers ran over my body lazily, gently stroking and caressing and I leaned more solidly on top of her as my body lost the last of its tension and sleep began to creep upon me.

I felt Ivy's lips press against the top my head just before I slipped off to dreamland and I sighed contently as my lips settled into a gentle smile.

Ivy had implied that it was foolish of me to go on the run alone a few minutes before, but as I drifted away in her strong, loving arms, I thought that maybe leaving her at home to come back to had been the smartest decision I'd made all day.

The End