Title: More Than Shapes
Author: aredburn
Summary: "Take away the collar, Jack." And for one night, he did.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author's note: IDK. The last episode was a ship fest really. I mean, they just touch without any reservations, without even thinking about it. Me loves it.

It's a simple one shot post episode, tag to take away the collar, father. It was supposed to be a little more sexy, a little more smut, but I decided to end it there instead of going beyond. I don't know, more to the imagination?

in this heap of half broken things.

It had started as it always did with them: an innocent touch of hands, his fingers curling around hers because something inside him always cracked when she was in pain, because he couldn't see her in despair without wishing (praying) he could take it all away. She always felt soft and warm and strong no matter how much she fought the tears and from the first moment he met her it had struck how different she was; her strength and faith (as different from his as it was) were unbreakable and contagious.

Her warm breath fanned over his face and he could smell the rich scent of red wine, her eyes usually so blue were darker with a hint of lust and her hand opened as she slid her fingers between his, and he knew that later that night he'd have to kneel beside his bed and ask God for forgiveness for the thoughts in his head and the rush of blood in his veins.

He had had his collar for quite a while but no other woman had been able to make him question his choices like Erica Evans constantly did.

I wasn't born a Priest, he had told her once and maybe he was just looking for excuses, to somehow alert her to the fact the collar hadn't taken away his human weakness; he could fall in love like any other mortal, and there was no cure for it, no shield against it, and not enough prayers to protect his heart.

She squeezed his hand tightly and her eyes focused on his; dark irises intense and slightly inebriated but she seemed to be in control of her actions and words enough not to worry him. He covered her hand with his, creating a warm cocoon and brought it to his lips, kissing her knuckles gently and innocently.

"I don't know what I'd do without you," the words were out before she could stop them, but they were true and she felt good saying them, "You're the only one I can talk to."

Something tightened in his chest, and he tried to believe it was simply because he felt her pain, but he couldn't fool himself, couldn't push away and ignore his reaction to her; he'd always be there for her, but not the way he really wanted.

"Hey." He let go of her hand to brush his fingers against her check and she readily leaned into his palm, closing her eyes as his warmth enveloped her and he wished, not for the first time and certainly not the last, there was no guilt or sin in what he was doing. He was a priest, it was his job to give comfort and peace to those who sought it, but what he did to her it went beyond God's gift to him, and there was nothing he could do but ask for strength to refuse to temptation.

She leaned in into him, resting her head against his shoulder as his arm went around her in a half embrace, their free hands joining automatically in a gesture that was so natural and instinctive as if they had been together for years under the sacred bonds of matrimony; like two people who knew each other in a previous life.

Her couch was soft against his back and he tried not to feel guilty for feeling so good, for feeling like right here right now with her in his arms and her house sheltering them was just the place where he was supposed to be, just where he belonged.

"Tyler is blinded by them," he said, his thumb rubbing her hand in a soft caress, and he felt some of the tension ease away. "I don't blame him and I don't blame you. The Vs are the ones who did that."

"I want my son back but it feels like the more I try the more he slips away."

"He's young, easily swayed," he paused, studying his words and then there was a smile on his lips. "He reminds me a lot of his mother: strong minded, fight for real ideals with all she's got, won't back down."

She laughed, the shaking of her body vibrating against his chest and he laughed too because it was good to see her happy even if just for a moment, then she pulled away to look at him, her eyes intense and less dark and the lust that had hovered over them not gone but ebbed a little. "Are you trying to say something, Father?" Her voice strong and her words carried a subtle hint of an innuendo he tried to not dwell into. Instead he stared back at her, one hand still around her shoulders, the other still holding her fingers.

"I'm just saying it's not your fault. You're a great woman, you raised him well."

She pulled her hand away from his and he went still, wondering if he had said the wrong thing, if his words would make her turn away from him, move out of his arm and end this moment, wrong but so right, they had lost themselves in. But she brought her hand up and touched his cheek, his short stubble scratching her palm and the contact made him shiver. "How strong is your faith, Jack?"

The question caught him by surprise, not because he didn't often question it himself, but because coming from her it meant something different than it would had it been any other person.

I wasn't born a Priest. He didn't always believe in God, not as strongly. He didn't always need faith or anything to believe in but his own sense of survival. Trust was his belief until it wasn't enough. "Not as strong as I wish it was."

Her hand caressed down, her thumb suddenly pressing lightly against his bottom lip in a butterfly touch and if he hadn't been paying attention, if his body wasn't already so alert to her, he wouldn't have felt it. He could see her straining herself, holding herself back, but he couldn't move, he couldn't tell her they were headed into the wrong direction; he was a man of God and as such he shouldn't fall into temptation.

Her eyes fell to his lips half a second before she let her body lean forward, before he had time to think of what she was doing and stop her before it happened; her mouth was pressed against his, closed lips in a childish kiss, chaste and hesitant, as if she wasn't sure what she was doing, and she probably didn't.

Until she pressed harder and her hand fell to his chest, her hand splayed above his heart and his breath caught in his throat; and they were doing, it was wrong and a sin under the eyes of God, but strangely he didn't feel as guilt as he thought he would if such a situation ever came to happen, not enough to pull her away, to get up and leave before things got any more complicated.

His hand went to her waist, pulling her close, fingers skimming her hip and he could feel the heat emanating even through her shirt; she took the gesture as a positive sign because she angled her head better and let her tongue slip out, touching his lips. He moaned involuntarily and cursed his body reacting to her this was as his lips opened in full invitation.

The kiss wasn't gentle, it wasn't innocent or patient; it was needy and violent, teeth scraping and tongues sliding against each other and she pulled herself sitting on his lap, the hand on his chest curled in a fist around his shirt as she held on for dear as she grinded against him in an instinctive response of her body and felt his own body respond to hers in a way she never thought he would, kissing her back in a way she never expected him to; hands and lips grew bolder, more urgent. The spark of passion ignited quickly in his burning heart, spread like wildfire across his body, enlivening every nerve. For the first time in a long time he felt alive, the beat of his heart pounding through his body.

There was a buzzing between his ears, and it grew louder and louder, became a roar as a tsunami of raw need rushed over him, ripping through the last of inhibitions and barriers and leaving him quivering, panting and desperate for more.

She pulled away, her breath coming out in ragged puffs, her chest heaving violently. His hands rested against his hips, his lips still inches from hers, swollen and his face flushed and his eyes dark with lust and a look of sadness that threw her aback.

"I can't be with you this way," he whispered, not even bothering to hide the regret in his voice, the desire to change it but unable to. He tried to remain reasonable, but his mind conjured up the most inappropriate images: Erica in his arms, trailing kisses over his face, her breath caressing his skin; Erica under him as they moved as one.

She rested her forehead against his, both her hands against his neck, fingers caressing the skin and the hair on the back of his head; his hands had somehow found their way under her shirt and his fingers splayed against her back burned holes in her skin. "Take away the collar, Jack."

Her breath was fanning over his face again, the scent of wine still lingering, but the heat from her body coming off in waves towards him, soaking up his skin, his nerve endings pinpricked at the touch of her; he hadn't had a woman this close to him in years, and while he hadn't forgotten how it felt to be this close to someone, the way his body and mind was responding to her was simply because it was her, Erica Evans, and not just someone; had it been any other woman he would have gotten up and excused himself, praying to God all the way home.

With her, here he was, his faith and his needs, his head and his heart, fighting for control, trying both to do the right thing. He wanted her so much it hurt but the part of himself that had given itself to God and his faith kept telling him 'no'. He understood her request though; she wasn't asking him to give up the collar, but to take it away for her, for them, just this once.

Her breath was going back to normal, her chest moving in a more natural way, but she was still on his lap, her hands still caressing his neck, her eyes begging and the expression on her face questioning, waiting, hoping.

God forbid him, but he didn't have enough strength to move her, to get up from her couch and leave her house, leave her, not after what they had just done, not after knowing how it felt to have her lips against him, to have her move against him, to feel her naked skin against his palms. He needed more, he craved more, and the feelings she evoked in him caught him by surprise.

"Kiss me," she demanded in the greedy tone of a child, hoping it would help with his decision, hoping the result would be the one she wanted. She should feel guilty for tempting him, for making him question his faith, for asking him to choose, but she didn't; there was something inside of her that told her this was right, that this was it, that made her regret not knowing him before, meeting him before he had given himself to God and ending any kind of chance she might have had with him.

His hands left her back, sliding from under her shirt and all her resolve faltered, her hopes cracking as his hands moved away from her body and she was ready to move away from his lap when she felt his hands brush against her breasts as his fingers expertly started undoing the buttons of her white shirt; with a pounding heart her hands went to his belt buckle.

He leaned forward and laid siege upon her lips, his blood rushing in his veins and the buzzing back in his head. From the moment he had met her he knew his life would change. He had asked God for a sign and when He had put Erica in his way he knew that from then on he'd be constantly questioning his collar and his choices; he had known then that soon enough it'd come down to this.

Take away the collar, Jack. So at least for tonight, he would.