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A/n this takes place right after "Minimal Loss." Please enjoy.


Her right hand shook as she tried to open the door to her home. The key rattled around lock for several seconds until another hand reached out and covered her fingers. She looked up to see him there, without surprise. Somehow, she knew he would follow her here. She opened her mouth, but he shook his head firmly. His mesmerizing, golden brown eyes had lost the pleading, sorrowful look they'd had on the plane. Now they held only the quiet strength she'd come to depend upon in a way she didn't understand. He smiled and took her keys.

Moonlight streamed into the living area from the blinds when he opened the door and gestured for her to go in as though it were his home. She dropped her bag on the floor and trudged slowly to the living room. It smelled like her home, and made the tiny little sounds of her home, but something had changed in the last three days.

He slid onto the couch next to her and took her trembling right hand in his, squeezing it, the way she'd squeezed his hand on the plane. The warmth of his fingers on her skin and the gentleness of his touch righted her skewed world back to normalcy.

She glanced over at him. He'd never been so quiet before, unless he slept on the plane. He wasn't smiling at her anymore. The dark, and the white moonlight, threw his face in sharp relief as though some talented sculptor had carved it from marble.

His thumb began to massage the web between her thumb and first finger. Shivers danced up along her spine, and her hand stopped shaking. His lips pursed as she stared up at him as though he tried to find the right words, but couldn't pull them from his brain.

She turned her face back to the moonlight streaked room around them. All the color had washed out of everything, making everything equal somehow, and better.

She looked back at him as he sat as still as death. For the first time she couldn't begin to imagine what was going through his head. She licked her lips. He put an arm around her shoulders, transferring his warmth into her, a living statue with the face of an angel.

Do you understand why I had to save you from pain?

He reached up and touched her face with one long finger. He lightly traced over the bruises as tears glowed in his eyes, brightened by the light of the full moon hanging in the midnight black sky.

I can take it!

He shifted and pushed her down on the couch. He stood up, plucked the throw blanket off the back, and covered her as gently as a mother with a child. He pulled off her shoes. She couldn't make her mouth tell him to stop because tears were too close to the surface.

He curled up in the chair opposite the couch. The shimmer of moonlight encompassed him, caressing him like a lover. The silver-white light made him look like he belonged in the heavens with the stars.

Her eyes fluttered. Exhaustion claimed her, but she fought against the pull of sleep. If she closed her eyes, he'd disappear for sure. Her eyes closed and time stood still. He was still there when she opened her eyes to see that the moonlight had shifted behind him.

"Go to sleep." He said.

"Stay," she murmured sleepily.

"Sleep…" He repeated.

She let her eyes shut out the black and white world of moonlight and night sky.

"Thank you…" He said softly.

She felt her mouth turn up in a smile. The moonlight and her personal angel would hold the nightmare monsters at bay. She didn't have to be strong for just one night.