Title: Hands
Author: Walking Through The Rain
Summary: It's time to let go.
Spoilers: 1.07 Alesha
Pairings/Characters: James/Alesha hints

Author's Note: Set after Merrick's second trial. First fic -be gentle with me.

James finds her, as he often does, on the bridge near the courts. She stares outward onto the river.

The sun is slowly dimming in the sky, signalling the end of another day. No doubt the end of this day is a bittersweet relief for Alesha, James thinks as he slowly approaches. Merrick was finally and more than deservedly behind bars for his crimes, and would be for a good portion of the rest of his life. Despite this, James knows that the effects of his crimes were far from over. Not for Alesha.

As he gets closer, the first thing he takes note about her is her hands. They're tightly clenched around the metal bar connected to the stone bridge. The tendons under her smooth skin strain noticeably, and her fingers are curled into claws on the underside of the metal.

James finally gets a clearer look at the rest of her; and it would seem, to the average passer-by, that her hands are the only part of her that is visibly stressed. Alesha's pretty face is smooth, blank.

Only James isn't the average passer-by. Only James could tell you that when Alesha's pretty face seems untroubled is exactly when you should be worrying about her. She hurts most when her face is untroubled.

He reaches her finally, and stands beside her silently. She doesn't acknowledge his presence beyond a quick sidelong glance that doesn't meet his eyes. James wishes he could say something to her, he wishes he had the words. But he doesn't. He doesn't think she would be at all comforted by what he has to say anyway, so he stays silent.

He looks down at her clenched hands on the bar, and mutely covers one of her hands with his. Alesha looks down at their hands and up to him. He give her a small comforting smile, she doesn't smile back but he can plainly see the gratitude in her dark eyes.

They stand there together, his hand covering hers; for what feels like hours. People rushing home to their families at the end of the working day scurry around them endlessly, oblivious to the pair on the bridge.

The evening is darker now; the flood lights light up the river and James' hand is still on Alesha's. He notices her start to shiver in the cold air.

His fingers snake around hers, gently prying her fingers loose from the bar. He takes her hand in his. She looks up at him.

He waits until her other hand drops from the bar then leads her away.

Actions speak louder than words, as they say. It's time to let go.