A/N Another fic I had to write.

Spoilers for the finale.

His Shoulders

I watch him, sleeping next to me in early the morning hours. Or at least I think it is early morning. The sun is beginning to stream through my window. Luckily for me, my curtains are enough of a filter as to not let the glaring Vegas sunlight into my private space.

The space that's occupied by us, he and I. A sight I haven't been comfortable with for a long time, a man in my bed. But not just any man, him.

I watch him take breaths, his big chest lifting up and down filling his lungs with the oxygen we need to live. The breaths that he exhales fill the space between us.

His lips slightly parted. The ones that greet me almost every time we meet. I can't help but run my finger along them. They are soft yet can knock me off my feet when they meet mine.

I run my fingers along his face, along his chiseled cheek bones. His skin is also soft but a bit rough in some spots. Not unlike his personality.

I admire the graying hair at his temples, and his soft tender ears that respond almost on their own as I finger them.

The small lines and blemishes around his eyes and face are not just a sign he is getting older, we both are getting older, but a sign that he is mature man. And the fact that he does nothing to cover it up, not necessarily a bad thing.

My fingers continue to map out his face. I run them along his jaw line. Now it's resting, sleeping. But it's been tense on more than one occasion, especially in his line of work.

I stop at his chin and press two of my fingers to his bottom lip. A small smile comes to his face. He knows I am touching him. I leave my fingers on his lips as his smile gets bigger.

I can't help but touch him. I touch him not like I think he will disappear because I know he won't. I want to touch him, feel him memorize him. Everything about him. Something I can keep to myself and treasure.

Like the way I feel when he touches me, my stomach bottoms out. I can't feel myself breathe, let alone think. It's all I can do to mutter anything coherent when his hands touch me, his strong capable hands.

And, I know he meant it, and still means it, when he muttered those words, those three words to me the second time we made love. His sincerity was more than evident. I saw it just in his eyes.

Those steely blue/gray orbs that make me melt every time they lock on me. Every time. The ones that hide the scars of a nasty divorce, the ones that looked upon his new son. And that hide every day the pain and suffering we witness in our line of work. The ones that can divulge his feelings almost better than his words.

Most of all it's his shoulders. Every time we make love, I cling to his shoulders. The ones that carried his young bride over the threshold to start their new life together. The one's that carried his little son in many playful exchanges and the ones that carries the weight of the world every time he puts on his shield.

His eyes now flick open, my fingers still resting on his lips.

He pulls them into another smile.

His hand finds my hair, tangling his long fingers around the strands easing my face gently closer to his.

My lips gently brush up against his in an almost kiss. He touches me, his fingers tracing the lines along my eyes. My stomach flips. I smile.

My hands find their way to his shoulders. I stroke my small hand along the breadth of them again taking in every thing about them. The way his skin feels underneath my hands, the way his breath hitches when I do.

Somehow they give me strength. I can't describe it, but touching him, his shoulders, they surround me, make me feel safe. Like I can see the good in things, the best out of not only our jobs, but in life.

The buzzing, the non-stop buzzing of my phone shatters my idyllic morning with him.

I turn slowly away from my perfect man, yes, he's not perfect but he's perfect for me.

With unsteady hands, I reach for my blinking phone to read the message blaring from the screen.

To: Catherine Willows

From: R. Langston

Haskell: ETA I hour

I close my eyes. I dread the idea of leaving, leaving him but he knows as well as I do that duty has to take precedence in our lives. Something I think both of wish wasn't the case.

Two hours later, I watch Ray with Haskell. A place I wish I wasn't.

I make my way to the break room.

Nick is sitting at the computer quickly looking up pieces of evidence.

He comes walking in and my heart stops. He is dressed in a suit, something that was a bit of a surprise to me. But what really draws me to him are his shoulders, his strong, steady shoulders ready to take on the world.

Now I know why you were up so early this morning.

I wish I'd stayed in bed.

Oh, me too.