"Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again."

Mary Oliver, "Wild Geese"

When Damian says he can't go, Amanda nearly calls the whole trip off.

"What?" Robin says. It's 4:56am and they're both in make-up. He'll be done in ten minutes and she'll still be sitting there in half an hour. Her hair is in hot curlers, though, and she's pleasantly warm from the heat on her head and the heat from her coffee mug. Sweat pants, slippers, and a gray hoodie zipped up past her breasts. She must look like someone's scary aunt but Robin never says anything about it. He never has. Chris Judge used to scream every time she walked into the make-up trailer with damp hair, a scrubbed face, and worn-out clothes.

But no, she looks down into the phone sitting in her lap and sighs.

"Well, it's hardly worth the effort," she says. "Martin can't come because he's directing and now Damian can't come because of re-writes and everyone is on set that day and we'd have to come back like, the next morning, early, and then come right to set and it just sounds…" She pulls a face in the big, well lit mirror.

"I'm not on set that day and neither are you," he says. "That's the point. So we could go to Comic Con."

"Two people isn't a panel," she says.

"We're not…" He sputters for a moment. "Amanda! We are not two people! We're the leads of the damn show!"

She feels her chair swivel and then there's a sponge full of foundation being patted onto her face. Her poor, tired face. They're quiet for a moment until she can talk again.

"You think people would come just to see you and me?" she asks.

"I don't think people give a rat's ass about me," he says. "But you're gonna fill the room every time."

"Suck up," she says. "It's just…"

"Please?" he whines. "Please, please, please? It's California, it'll be nice and sunny and warm and we'll get drunk on the plane and we'll go to parties and people will worship us and we'll get so much free stuff and have our pictures taken, please, please, please?"

"Fine," she says. "God, stop it, you're worse than my child."

"Who do you think taught me how to get you to say yes to stuff?" he says with a grin. She rolls her eyes which earns her a sharp glare from her make-up artist. "How is Princess Olivia?" Robin asks.

"Grounded," Amanda mutters.

But she picks up her phone and texts Damian back.

Tell them yes.


Ryan is actually pretty jealous, which makes her feel better. He wants to go so badly, but there's no way.

"Blame Damian," Amanda says, perched on Helen's desk while they reset for another take. "He wrote you a Henry episode. Actually, you requested it, so this is your fault."

"What? No," Ryan says.

"Reap what you sow, man," Robin says from the couch. He's flipping through his script, memorizing his re-writes. It's a lot of psycho-babble today and she doesn't envy him. She lets her shoes dangle from her toes as she flexes her arches.

"Why can't Magnus be sitting in this scene?" she calls to Martin. She can hear the whine in her own voice.

"Because I said so," Martin calls back.


"New rule," Martin says. "Anyone who is spending this weekend in California can't complain about anything."

Robin looks up, indignant.

"Hey, what did I do?" he asks.

"Heh," Ryan says. "I'm totally tweeting this."

"I'm gonna tweet about how you can kiss my ass," Robin says.

"I'm going to tweet about how you can eat a dick," Ryan says back.

"I'm gonna tweet about how much you like having my balls in your mouth," Robin grins.

"I'm going to tweet about how you're both fired," Amanda says, and they settle down. "Thank you, gentlemen." This time, in Helen's lilting accent which always, oddly, seems to make them behave. "Also, Robin, that last one was unbelievably gay."

"Ha!" Ryan says, victorious. "I win."

"Winners get to go to Comic Con," Robin says and Ryan's face falls all over again.

Amanda sighs.


Robin's already in the town car when it stops outside of her house. It's early, the dawn light still gray and cloudy and heavy with dew. She kisses Olivia who is still asleep in her bed and the girl doesn't even wake up. She's used to her mother's crazy hours, used to her being gone in the mornings, being gone at dinner, but around, inexplicably to pick her up from school, to make her a Halloween costume, to take her to the dentist on a weekday.

Alan carries her suitcase to the car and lets the driver put it in the trunk. He leans over and waves to Robin who doesn't get out.

"I won't be gone long," Amanda says.

"I know," he replies, sleepy. He's in jeans and a flannel shirt, the uniform of the Vancouver working man. His stomach has filled out a little in the last two years, ever since the show started doing well enough that they weren't terrified about money anymore. Weren't terrified about the second house, the new cars, the private school tuition, the lifestyle of the successful television actress they'd grown so accustomed to in the Stargate days.

"Call me, at bed time, okay? I'll want to say goodnight," she says.

"Honey," he says. "Just get in the car." They both know the routine.

"Okay," she says. He leans in; she lets him give her a peck on the mouth.

In the car, Robin hands her a latte wordlessly.

"Quite the romantic departure," he says.

She sips that first, heavenly mouthful of foam.

"We've been married twenty years," she says. "We don't even say goodbye anymore."

"That's… sorry," he says, like he's nervous he's overstepped some invisible bound.

"Nothing to be sorry about," she says. "It's just what happens. You build a solid life together, something you can both live with for the long haul."

"That's a very zen attitude," he says. He's wearing sunglasses and a ball cap and is scruffy enough that he almost doesn't look like him self.

"Did you sleep at all?" she asks.

"I'll sleep when I'm dead," he says. That's a no.

"We can sleep on the plane," she says, decisively. She never sleeps on planes, but she thinks he'll be more agreeable if it seems like she'll participate. That's how Robin is - he likes to do things together. He doesn't like to feel alone.

"Deal," he says, slouching lower in their seat. She's slumps a little too, the coffee warm where it rests on her leg.

"Thanks for the coffee," she says.

"Anything for you, baby," he says and it's a little smarmy because she knows he was going for smarmy, but there's this underlying tone in his voice that makes it sound like, "Anything for you, Amanda."

She worries about that tone.


They sit on the runway for, like, ever. Finally when the plane evens out in the sky, Robin seems to have gotten his second wind. He's chattering excitedly about warm weather and fandom and how much beer he can drink in one night.

"First of all, this is a no barfing trip, so please hold your liquor accordingly," she says.

"We'll see," he says.

"Secondly," she says. "It's only half a weekend."

"Two nights," he interjects.

"Right, like, barely though."

"Plenty of time to find trouble," he grins.

"I don't want trouble!" she whines. "This is a work trip. I want to promote the show and get out of Dodge."

"Look at you," he says. "Look at your face. You are trouble."

"Out of Dodge!" she says, smacking him.

"Boss, listen," he says. "We're gonna do everything we're supposed to do. We're going to do our panel and walk our press line and go to the party and fly on home."

"Okay…" she says, waiting for the catch.

"And as long as we have all the big things covered, who cares what happens with the details?"

She groans. He seems like he's snuggling down for a nap but instead he's just fishing in his pocket for his phone.

"Let's take a picture," he says. "Commemorating the weekend we got to go to Comic Con and no one else did. Robin and Man Tapp, 2011, come on, let's do it."

She sighs.

"Fine," she says. "But we're using my phone. It takes better pictures."

He grins and pulls his sunglasses from the neck of his shirt and sets them on her face. "That's the spirit!"


"Think of it this way," she says soothingly. "San Francisco is in California. So in that way, we've been successful."

He drops his head to her shoulder and sighs.

"Can we just be there now, please?"

She reaches up a hand and pats his face and lets him stay right where he is. They're in the first class lounge and everyone with him seems engrossed in their laptops and their smart phones and don't care about the two of them hiding out in the corner. The middle aged guy by the desk had given her a double take but she thinks maybe it wasn't because he recognized her after all. He'd just been looking.


"Yes, darling," she says. She doesn't even bother to scold him for the pet name. No one is around to hear them anyhow.

"We're going to miss the fun Friday night stuff, aren't we?"

"It appears that way," she says. "As long as we get there in time for the panel, we'll be fine."

"I guess I don't really even care about seeing people," he says. "Anyone we really care about will be at the Syfy thing, yes?"

"Yes," she says.

"Maybe we just go to the hotel and crash tonight then."

"You really didn't sleep," she scolds.

"I slept in the cab on the way home from the bar," he says.

"Oh God, I can hardly remember being that young," she says. She realizes she's still petting his cheek with her hand. She realizes this because he nuzzles into her palm with his face and his stubble feels nice against her skin. She scratches at it with her nails and he hums a little.

"You smell amazing," he says.


"No, I'm serious," he says.

"Well, when you shower instead of going from set to bar to set, you get to smell nice," she says.

"Hint received." He lifts his head to sniff at himself and then shrugs and puts his head right back onto her shoulder. "A little ripe."

"A little," she says, her hand safely back in her lap. Her phone buzzes and she looks at it. A text message. She smirks. "Damian says to tell you that he doesn't miss you at all."

"That bastard," Robin says.

"He knows we're stuck in San Francisco, he saw the tweet," she says.

"I'd still rather be here than there," he says, looking at her.

Oh gosh. There's that tone again.


Robin looks a lot fresher the next morning with sleep and a shower under his belt. She's not even dressed when he comes knocking at her hotel room, but she lets him in anyway, well covered in her robe and her face half made up.

"I'm wearing white," she says. "Rather bravely, I think."

"Yes, so hard to decide what to look hot in from the day to day," he says, eyeing the dress where it's hanging from the back of a door. "Woe is you."

"Not gonna shave, huh?"

"I'm on vacation," he says, flopping onto her bed. It's unmade but she must not really care because he's on the sheets and she says nothing about it.

"You are not on vacation, this is work," she reminds him, but her heart isn't in that, either.

He watches her put make-up on for a minute and then plays on his phone for a while and then abruptly gets up and snatches her key from the nightstand.

"I'm bored," he says, and walks out.

Okay then.

She still puts on her dress in the bathroom. It wouldn't do for him to walk in to see her in nothing but her underwear. It isn't that he's never seen her in a less than appropriate state - filming an action show strips away those barriers rather quickly, but there's a difference when it's the real world. When she's made up and wearing nice lingerie and being herself instead of playing a part. Just because Robin can't keep his pants on.

And she's right to do so, because as soon as she steps into the garment, she hears the lock activate and the door open.

"You decent?" he calls.

"Enough," she says, and steps out. "You're in time to zip me up."

"Believe me when I say it's my pleasure," he says.

Flat footed, they're around the same height. She gathers up her hair and pulls it over her shoulder. Robin's been married, he dates around. This isn't an unreasonable task or something he cannot manage. He doesn't linger, just pulls the zipper up and then, after just a moment, smoothes his hands across her shoulder blades.

"Are you ready?" she asks.

"Are you?"

"They're supposed to call when the car is here, I just need to put on shoes."

She turns around and they are face to face. He glances at her mouth and she raises an eyebrow.

"What?" he says. "Look at you."

"Are you going to behave?"

"I'm just enjoying my weekend," he says. "I don't usually get you all to myself."

She rolls her eyes but has to bite back a smile. It's true. They don't usually get the two of them without Damian or Martin or both. Or the cast, or they both are scheduled for interviews but not together.

She steps into her shoes just as her phone beeps.

"Let's tell them about the musical episode," she says on a whim.

"Uh, seriously?" he asks, his face already bright with a smile.

"Yeah, let's do it."

"I'm pretty sure Damian said under no circumstances. I think I had to sign a paper. In blood," he says.

"Oh well," she says, ushering him out of the room.

"Like, he was pretty clear," Robin says.

"What's he going to do, fire me?" she asks.

In the limo, he puts his hand on her bare knee, ignoring the staffer sent to brief them on the day.

"You're my favorite boss ever," he says seriously. "For the record."

"I know." She pats his hand.


Robin is a little drunk on adoration after the panel. They go to dinner with a bunch of the Syfy execs and some other VIPs. He knows how to behave and be professional, but she can see him glowing and the glow increases any time a fan stops them to gush. It doesn't seem to matter if they gush over her or him, he just loves the attention.

"I love you, Amanda!" One girl screams as they're hightailing it out of the hotel.

"I know, right?" Robin yells back. "Isn't she gorgeous?"

"Stop it," she hisses but he just slides an arm around her waist. She pushes him away. "Behave."

"Okay, okay," he says. "If I'm good for dinner, you have to cut loose tonight, okay?"

"Robin," she says.

"Come onnnnn."

"Fine, fine," she says.

They have dinner at an Irish pub and it isn't her idea to have beer, but the man paying the check insists and so Robin gets a Guinness and orders something light for her when she's in the restroom. She's sips on it but they don't have more than one apiece. Robin is actually quite charming and she begins to relax just a little. It never leaves her mind that this is work, that they are working, but there might be a possibility that it wouldn't kill her to have some fun. After all the panel is over, it went well, and the executives dining with her seemed pleased. Whatever test they had in their minds, she seems to have passed it.

When the dinner bill is mysteriously settled without Amanda ever having seen a check, everyone rises and says their goodbyes. And when the suits are gone, Robin grins at her.

"Was I a good boy?" he asks.

"You were my good boy," she says, patting his face affectionately.

"Excellent," he says and walks up to the bar. When he comes back, he has two shots in each hand.

"Now, wait," she says.

"Promise is a promise," he says and extends one hand. She takes the shots carefully and sets each down on the table.

"Robin, I said at the party…"

"This is just a little pre-game," he says. "We can have a nap and then be all loose and limber for tonight."

She sighs, picks up one of the shots. He grins at her and she watches him throw both of his back in quick succession. The bang, bang of both glasses hitting the wooden table makes her jump. His eyes are clear enough as he leans into her, grinning. She can smell it on him. Jameson.

She must make a choice. Hold him back all night or just go with it and let him have his fun.

The first one burns going down.

The second is much easier.


Alan has to call for Olivia three times before she comes to the phone. Amanda can hear her feet on the stairs and then the breathless, "Mom?"

"Olly Olly Oxen Free," Amanda says into her phone. Olivia giggles.

"Here I am!" she responds. "Where are you?"

"San Diego, California," she says.

"Where is that?" Olivia asks. "America?"

"Yep," she says. "Have daddy show you on the globe."

"Okay," she says. "You didn't talk to me last night."

"No," Amanda sighs. "When I called you were already asleep. Robin and I had a long flight and then we were tired."

"Are you coming home?" Olivia asks.

"Tomorrow but I have to go to work," Amanda says.

"Like always."

"Hey," she says, the pang of guilt washing away any warm buzz left from those shots. "I'll be there when you wake up and I'll make you breakfast." When Olivia says nothing, she presses. "Tell me what you did today."

She stretches out on the bed while Olivia talks. Olivia is a talker, can go on forever and Amanda is content to listen. She has to get ready for the party, but there is time enough for that still. She's still going when there's a light knock on the door and then the door opens before she has a chance to get up and open it herself.

Robin pokes his head in. Apparently he'd kept that key. It's not unusual for him to waltz into her trailer unannounced - trailers are never very private. He's walked in on her in a slip before, has seen her buttoning up blouses and stepping into heels. Now she is in a bathrobe - a soft relief from the binding white dress of earlier.

Robin always knocks at her office door, however. It seems like he feels he's on this trip with Amanda the actress not Amanda the producer. Interesting.

He comes all the way in and closes the door. She waves him in.

He points to his own ear questioningly.

"Liv," she says. He smiles and somehow knowing the voice on the other end of the line is harmless, he climbs onto the bed next to her and stretches out.


"Sorry baby," she says, focusing back on her daughter. "Robin just walked in."

"Oh," says Olivia.

"Tell her hi," Robin says.

"He says hello," Amanda dutifully conveys. "We have to get ready to go, okay?"

"Okay," she says. "Do you want daddy again?"

"Tell him I'll call him later," Amanda says. "I love you, Liv."

"Love you too," she says. "Bye!"

She's a good natured girl and is used to saying goodnight over the phone.

"Little Olivia," Robin says dreamily. She rolls onto her side to look at him but his eyes are closed. "Tiny beauty queen."

"Not so tiny any more," Amanda says wistfully, though her cheeks warm at Robin's praise of Olivia, as if he giving her the compliment somehow.

"She's so pretty, though," Robin says. "I mean, she's smart and that kid is hilarious and blah, blah, blah but she looks just like you."

"Yeah," she says. "Makes me miss the blonde hair."

He opens his eyes and reaches out, touching a dark lock by her shoulder.

"Either way," he says softly. "It's nice."

She inhales sharply, her hair dark against his pale finger. His face is close enough that she can see how tired he is. They're all tired, they've all been working themselves ragged trying to make season four good. Trying to make it good enough to warrant a season five. And while no one has said anything about it to her directly, she knows her little band of actors are scared that they won't be able to find the money to keep doing the show. She's scared too.

"I'm glad we came," she tells him. He lights up at this and gives her hair one last tug.

"Are you gonna wear something pretty for the party?"

"I'm going to wear something comfortable," she says. "You'll have to draw your own conclusions for the rest."

"Can we obnoxiously tweet pictures of us having a blast all night to torture Damian?" he asks, blinking slowly at her.

"Yes," she says. "We most certainly can."

"I want to get drunk," he says. "I want you to get drunk with me and have fun and forget to worry."

"Maybe I'm too old for that," she says, but she's already smiling.

"Come on," he says, sitting up and pulling her with him. "You don't age."

"That's Helen."

"Yeah, well," he says, hopping to his feet and heading for the door. "I keep saying you two have way more in common than you realize."

The door shuts behind him.


Inside the party, after the press line is finished, is a lot calmer than she thought it would be. The music is loud and it's dark and crowded, but the frantic feeling of people always trying to get at her has faded into something more manageable. She sees a lot of familiar faces - a couple people wave - but no one gets in her face, no one shoves a marker in her one hand and a glossy picture of Samantha Carter in the other.

"Do you want to mingle?" Robin asks. She makes a face.

"I want to sit," she says.

"Ah," he nods. "You want to hold court."

She gets tired of people calling her Queen of this, Queen Amanda, Sci-Fi Queen. This honor was not bestowed upon her, she's worked for it. But there is something to be said about reaping the benefits of what you have worked so hard for. She does want to sit, wants people to come to her, wants drinks pressed into her hands without much thought to where they came from or what is in them to make her head feel so swimming. (to make her head swim? can a head feel swimming.)

She is not a party girl. Those days are long gone. She's a mom, and a wife, and an executive producer and many other things but a dance all night, drunk party girl is just not one of them. So she lets Robin take the lead, lets him lead her to a booth and leave her there with a bubbling, tipsy Josh. Lets him come back and press wine into her hand and slide in next to her, so close that their thighs touch. So close that there isn't space between them and he has to drape an arm across her just to have somewhere to put it. She is happy to lean into him, warm and laughing. Josh takes their picture all night. Robin looks at them and decides if they're good enough for twitter, if he looks handsome enough.

She's pretty drunk when he leans in to kiss her and she puckers back and she sends it out into the universe without even thinking about it.

"You are trouble," she tells him, but he just makes the kissy face again and so she leans in again and kisses him for real. It's fast, just lips against lips and she makes herself pull away with a loud "Mwah!" but she feels a little off-kilter and Robin looks at her for just a few seconds longer than usual. Something coils low in her gut.

The body wants what it wants, after all.


He's sopping wet and teetering and he leans against her, his shoes squishing through the hotel lobby. He's moving quickly through giggly well his way to tired. They have left Josh behind. Their driver had offered to help her help him, but she'd happily declined.

"You stink," she tells him affectionately. He has dried out a little, but there is still water soaking into her side.

"Like beer," he says cheerfully.

"Like chlorine," she corrects. "You'll have to shower."

"As long as it's a sitting down shower," he says, his arm snug around her waist. It's hard enough to navigate in these shoes without most of Robin's weight upon her.

He doesn't exactly make it easy. He giggles for the entire elevator ride and then when he finally manages to fish his key card out of his pocket, it's wet and she has to rub the magnetic strip with the hem of her dress to get it dry enough to open the door.

"This is your room," he points out.

"I know."

"I had your key," Robin says.

"Yes, you took it," she says. She has one too somewhere in her clutch but those things tend to sink to the bottom and are impossible to find when needed.

"You let me," he counters. She pushes the door open and the cool air hits them. Robin shivers.

"Shower," she says. "Then you can go to sleep."

"Here?" he asks. She rolls her eyes and navigates them into the bathroom. He sets down on the closed toilet with a wet thwap. She leans over to take off one shoe and then the other and stands on the tile in bare feet and sighs.

"Better," she says.

"You're so pretty," he says.

"Robin," she says, warningly.

"Do you get tired of people telling you that?" he asks.

"Yes and no," she says, honestly. Her sweater is damp so she peels that off too and tosses it through the bathroom door toward the bed. "I appreciate it but I hope that isn't the only thing people care about."

"I get surprised by it," Robin says, his words coming out a little sharper now that he's seated. She pulls back the curtain and studies the faucet. She's still a little drunk too and she has to make herself focus enough to get the water to come on and to figure out how to make it hot.

"Surprised at my advanced age?" she jokes, letting the cool water run over her fingertips. It's hard to tell if it's getting hot or not.

"No I mean, mostly you're just Amanda," he says. "And then sometimes I look at you and it... it hurts a little. Your face is just... and that body and those shoes and fucking Christ, how are we all supposed to do this every day and not want you?"

She looks up at him sharply. Gone is the giggling boy. Instead he looks frustrated and a little scared, looks older and dejected and worn down, slumped in a wet suit and ruined shoes in a hotel bathroom.

"That's not fair," she says softly. "That's not fair to me."

"I know," he sighs, and rubs his hair and his face and smooths his slacks across his thighs. "You don't deserve it."

He smiles softly at her, sweet once more.

"Are you going to make it through a shower?" she asks. He nods and stands up and sways a little, reaching out for the counter to steady himself. "You need to get those clothes off."

His fingers fumble and he huffs out a sigh and can't quite get his tie off and when he looks up at her, she's grinning again, the tense moment behind them. She helps him, pushing the jacket off and onto the floor. No sense in trying to preserve it now. And as she undoes his buttons, she thinks of Alan, how he always flicks open the buttons at his cuffs in just the same way. She thinks of Olivia, her long arms lifting so Amanda can pull her shirt off for her bath - the static cling of her flyaway blonde hair.

Robin is like one of her own, in a way. Damian and Martin aren't family but they may as well be and some how Robin has sneaked up into the ranks of people she loves like her own.

She has to pull up on the shirt to untuck it and finish undoing the buttons. She helps him out of it and and it falls wetly to the floor.

She reaches for his belt buckle and he tenses, steps back.

"I can do that," he says. His fingers tremble a little as he slides the leather away from the buckle.

"Shoes first," she says. He puts a hand on her shoulder to balance as toes out of one. He loses his balance on the second shoe. There's still a fair amount of water in them and his socks are all wet and slippery against the time and at first they are just struggling against one another, laughing helplessly, and then he is pulling her against him, his arm around her waist and then, she feels his nose against his.

She kisses him.

She doesn't do it on purpose, it just happens. His laughing face, so close to hers, it feels natural to tilt her head and catch his lips with her own. They are warm and tipsy, they are shedding clothes, they are alone in the small steamy bathroom.

Her lips leave his with a pop and he stares at her, his eyes a little red and unfocused.

She steps away, turns her back on him, tugs on the lever to make the shower start. She yanks the shower curtain closed.

"Robin," she says, and is that thready sounding thing really her own voice? "Are you going to be able to do this?" she asks.

"I don't know," he says and she hears his belt buckle go, the zipper of his trousers and the rustle of his pants dropping. When she turns around to face him, she can see he's aroused and she has to take a deep breath, the humid air of the room doing little to clear her head.

"Are you going to fall?" she asks.

He smiles, a little dreamily.

"Most definitely," he says.


Damp and slippery, they dodge shoes and bags and make it, finally, to the bed. His hands are everywhere and she can't help of think of Will, of the single-minded focus he appears to have on her body. Her skin seems to ripple every place he touches her and when his fingers dance over her hip, she throbs.

What must she look like in this moment? Wet, stringy hair, make-up pooling under her eyes, gangly and desperate as she crawls onto the bed. The world seems wobbly; she's still quite drunk, but when she gets onto her back, everything spins only until he crawls over her. His body anchors hers and then, magically, everything is very still. He leans down to kiss her again and as their lips touch, his fingers finally reach their goal. She gasps and he swallows the noise up.

It's been a long time since she's had a first time with someone, but it still makes her feel just a little unsure. She has to force her legs open and remind herself there is nothing to be embarrassed about. As her thighs spread, Robin smiles a little - she can feel it - and his fingers stop exploring and start moving with a purpose. It burns just a touch as he eases the tip of one finger inside of her but then it slides right in and her whole body arches up.

"That's it," Robin says. "Shhh."

"More," she begs.

The sheets under her are cool and damp, but her body feels dry now and when her spine settles back against the mattress, he moves down her and drags his scruffy chin across her belly. His finger works in and out, maybe two now, and then she feels his nose against her pubic hair.

"Oh," she says. She has realized what's about to happen and then it is happening, and she feels his tongue, warm and insistent, against her clitoris.

She has to close her eyes against the sight. He's too beautiful, this is too surreal, the pleasure is simply too much. The orgasm sneaks up on her. She's just lying there, enjoying the rhythmic feeling of his tongue lapping at her and then her body is a step ahead of her brain and his fingers are twisting inside of her and she cries out, louder than maybe she ever has before. It burns, it's so good, and it just keeps going and she can't breathe and she thinks maybe she might pass out and he just keeps pushing those fingers deeper and deeper and finally, finally it's like gravity wins and she flops back against the mattress.

He's still licking her, but it's slow and intentional and she carefully lifts one hand, surprised her arm responds at all. His hair is still damp and when she touches him, he lifts his head and looks at her. His mouth is gleaming and she just wants so much.

"Kiss me," she says. He does, he slides up her all heavy-limbed and thick and and collapses next to her. They both turn their heads and kiss, slow and deep and opened-mouthed. Everything is hot and wet and she gets a little lost in it. They kiss for so long that she almost forgets the score is uneven.

"Tell me what you want," she says.

"Mmm," is all he can manage. "Just stay close to me."

He's tired and she is too. He tucks into her and his breath evens out and so she closes her eyes too and lets her body, boneless and sated, drift away.


She feels his lips on the back of her neck and his hand on her stomach.

Her body shifts, instinctively, accommodatingly, and she feels him nudge against her. He uses his hands to shift her hips, changing the angle slightly, and then he pushes in.

She opens her eyes to the sound of her own gasp.

She pushes her hips back and he slides even deeper and oh. She feels tired and dizzy and a little confused, but then she feels him sigh harshly against the back of her neck and she remembers every moment leading up to this. Every one from meeting him for the first time, to calling him to tell him he was hired, to the first time he draped his arm across her shoulders, to the first kiss, to now.

He pulls out so slowly and she digs her nails into his forearm where it is wrapped around her, holding her in place.

He'd been too drunk, earlier, but now he is hard and insistent and she arches her back a little when he thrusts back in.

He cups her breast and kisses her shoulder.

She bites her lip and tries so hard not to think about how they shouldn't be doing this.


She's sitting up in the bed when he wakes up. Her back against the headboard, the sheet tucked under her arms. It's early - she couldn't sleep well and had only dozed off and on, listening to Robin snore beside her. They have a fairly early flight and she wishes they had a couple hours to lounge, to eat breakfast, to figure out a way to make this unimportant in the scheme of things.

"Hey," he says. "You okay?"

"I'm not certain," she says. "How do you feel?"

"Like I got drunk and fell in a pool," he says.

"You jumped in the pool," she says. "Intentionally."

"Semantics," he says, closing his eyes again.

She stays quiet, tucking her hair behind her ears.

"Amanda," he says. "Look..."

"You don't have to apologize," she says.

"I should, though. I mean, I can't say I'm very sorry, but I know I should be," he sighs, rolling onto his back and stretching a little.

"It's all right," she says.

"We were both... I just mean, had I been sober, my self-control might have been a little more..."

"Yeah," she says.

He watches her for a bit and she gives him a small smile.

"I've never actually done this before," she says.

"Really?" he asks. She doesn't take offense. He doesn't mean to imply anything about her and she knows exactly how Hollywood works. How actors and actresses spend more hours on set than at home, how things happen in the heat of a moment. How everyone piles fake emotions and stories and lives onto one another and how easy it is to get all tangled up in that.

"Really," she says. "I mean, it's not like... Michael and Chris were like brothers and with... with Rick I was always so careful, so, so careful because I didn't want to be just... I didn't want to be that woman, you know?"

"I know," he says.

"Plus I love Alan. He's my husband and I love him. And then Olivia happened and we didn't think it would and I felt so lucky and I've never needed anything else and I just... I can't believe after all this time..."

"I am sorry," he says. "Fuck, I am sorry. I didn't meant to ruin anything for you."

"No, no, no," she says hurriedly. "You haven't."

He looks unconvinced. She reaches out and touches his shoulder.

"I'm mad at me, not you," she assures him. "Nothing is ruined."

"Are you sure?" he asks. She nods.

"Unless you..." she says hesitantly. "I don't want this to affect the work."

"I'm good," he promises. "Are you... going to tell Alan?"

"When I got Stargate, one of the auditions was with Rick," she says, drawing her knees up to her chest. "And basically, all I had to do was stand next to him. They wanted to make sure we were going to look good together."

"You did," he says.

"I remember I came home and I told Alan about how they had to make sure I was pretty enough for MacGyver," she says with a snort. "And Rick is a total charmer. He likes to touch and flirt and I was all starry-eyed and Alan got this weird... weird expression I hadn't seen before. We hadn't been married all that long yet and he told me that I should do whatever I felt I needed to do to succeed."

"Whoa," Robin says.

"Right?" she says. "It was a total whoa-moment! I remember exactly what he said. He said, "Honey, I don't care what you do as long as you always come home to me.""

She curls her toes into the mattress and watches the sheet ripple with the movement.

"I will always go home to him, do you understand?" Amanda says, looking at Robin intently.

He nods. "Yeah," he says. "I do. I really do."


She sleeps with her head on his shoulder on the plane.

Their plane is late, of course, and so the limo is waiting for them at the terminal. Robin carries her bag and lets her slide in first. They're both wrung out and hungover and sick of traveling. Robin gets to go home to a quiet space and his own bed, but she'll have to go home to a bouncing six-year-old and an exhausted spouse and probably about fourteen messages from Damian about how he's never writing another script again.

Robin pulls her leg over his and taps his thumb against her thigh.

"This isn't San Diego," she says.

"So instead of acting like nothing happened, I'm supposed to be weird and distant?" he asks.

That's a pretty fair point.

He gets dropped off first. They share a sleepy smile and before he opens the door, he leans in a little.

"I'm gonna kiss you," he says. "Then it's back to normal."

"Okay," she says. It's a soft kiss, not slow but definitely easy. She opens her mouth for just a taste and he obliges her and their tongues touch for a moment.

He pulls back and his smile is a bit more strained.

"See you tomorrow, boss," he says.

"Goodbye," she says.

He hefts his bag onto his shoulder. She watches him for as long as she can, twisting her body to look behind her as the car moves on down the road.

Olivia is in the yard when they pull up to the house. She shrieks at the sight of the long black car stopping.

"She's home!"

Olivia's voice pierces through the closed windows and doors. Amanda doesn't wait for the driver, just pushes the door open and gets onto the sidewalk, just barely upright and steady before Olivia is in her arms, hugging her fiercely.

"Hi, Mom," she says.

"Hi, daughter," Amanda replies. "I missed you."

"Did you bring me presents?" Olivia demands and Amanda grins, crouches and lifts Olivia into her arms. She is getting too old for this, and her feet dangle practically to Amanda's knees.

"I did," she says, sticking her nose into Olivia's neck and sniffing, kissing her cheek. She sets her down when she starts to squirm and when Amanda looks up, Alan is on the porch watching them. The driver sets her bag on the curb.

"Thanks," she says and a few moments later, the limo is gone. Olivia pulls the handle of the suitcase up and struggles to get it onto the wheels. She grunts as she tugs it toward the house.

Alan winks at her, a dishtowel in his hands.

"Hi there," he says, finally. He helps Olivia get the suitcase up onto the porch and over the threshold and into the house. She disappears down the hall toward the master bedroom. Amanda follows suit, up the steps and onto the porch. Alan doesn't move, just reaches a hand out to touch her waist.

"Welcome home," he says quietly.

She releases a breath she didn't realize she was holding and steps into his embrace.