Okay…just another little one chapter thing I wrote because I'm stuck on my other story. I adore Shipwreck – he's my favourite in the cartoons. And I do have a thing for sailors, anyway…

Disclaimer: Alas, G.I Joe does not belong to me.

Jeckle's mine, though :D

Hope the start doesn't put anyone off too much :P

"Haaah…oh, yeah…oh, Holly, sweetheart…" Hector 'Shipwreck' Delgado pressed his head back into the pillow, moaning lustily as the woman on top of him moved in a way he definitely hadn't expected.

Holly Walker - otherwise known as Jeckle - grinned cheekily at him and planted her hands beside his head. Her lean, lithe body rocked against his, her knees braced wide on either side of his hips; Shipwreck didn't know how much more he could take. "Ah…dammit, girl, slow down or I'm gonna -"

Too late. Shipwreck's eyes half-closed as Jeckle brought him to his climax; his hands slipped to her ass and pulled her hard onto him, hoping that maybe he could bring her before he was done. He raised his hips, thrusting into her, watching in satisfaction as she threw her head back and squeezed her eyes shut. Her breathy moans kept him going just long enough.

"Ahhh…'Wreck, yes…that's it…"

Shipwreck raised himself on his elbows to crush his lips to hers, capturing her gratified cries, then he wrapped his arms around her and fell back onto the sheets. Jeckle giggled, trying to wriggle free; Shipwreck held her tighter. God, she felt so good…she was warm, firm and muscular from intense training sessions. Her pale skin was covered with a sheen of sweat. He ran his hands over the shifting muscles of her back, tangling his fingers in her short, shaggy red hair.

"Mm…sailor boy, you're gonna break my ribs."

He chuckled. "Oh, yeah? Payback for you almost breakin' somethin' o' mine."

Jeckle rolled her eyes. "Fuck off -"

He smirked. "Just did."

"- you loved it."

Shipwreck closed his eyes as Jeckle's nails lightly scratched circles on his chest. "Mm…ya got me, there. Hol…you're incredible."

She sniggered. "I am, aren't I? You're not too shabby yourself, sailor boy."

Jeckle's hand went still. For a moment, Shipwreck thought - with a fair amount of delight - that she'd started again already, kissing his chest, her mouth working towards his nipple. He let out a low moan and lowered his hands to her hips.

His fingertips sank into her soft skin - too far. Shipwreck opened his eyes in alarm. "What the -"

Jeckle leaned over him, her hand still on his chest - but it wasn't a hand anymore. It was a blob of greyish ooze, dripping on him, spreading over his bare skin.

She was…melting.

"No!" Shipwreck cried. "No, no!"

He wanted to move. He wanted to get away from her - it. But he couldn't. He couldn't move.

Jeckle - the thing that had been Jeckle - looked down at him worriedly. Shipwreck watched, horrified, as her left eyeball plopped from her oozing face, landing on the pillow right beside his head. He was still inside her - with a detached sense of terror, he felt her melting around him.

Shipwreck tried to scream, but he was paralysed with fear.

This couldn't be happening. Not again…not again!

"What's wrong, 'Wreck? Don't you want me?" Jeckle's voice was no longer bright and playful - it was distorted and warped, almost like it was an old tape being played in slow motion. "I thought you loved me."

Shipwreck found his voice. "N-no…not her, too! Y-you're not - you're not Holly!"

The…thing…shifted disgustingly. "But Shipwreck…I want you. Please."

"No - no! Get away from -"

The oozing thing leaned forward, the other eye falling from the melting socket, and as Shipwreck stared into the dark vacant space left behind -

Shipwreck's eyes snapped open at the same time as he pushed himself onto his elbows, glancing around wildly. It took a moment for his heart to stop pounding and his breathing to slow, but at least he managed to stifle his cry of alarm.

The only light in the room came from the illuminated red numbers of the clock on the bedside table. With a sigh of relief, Shipwreck flung himself back on the bed. He winced as a wet patch of the sheet clung to him - well, at least he knew one part of the dream had been real.

Shipwreck pressed the heels of his palms to his eyes, dragging his fingers down over his face. "Aaah…god damn it."

Man…it'd been a long time since he'd had a nightmare like that. He'd thought he was over it. It had been a few years, now - a few years since Mara.

Mara…his mermaid.

But…hell, there was no polite way to say it: he'd slept with plenty of women since then; mostly one night stands, maybe a week-long whirlwind romance when he was on leave. None of those had ever given him nightmares.

Shipwreck rolled onto his side, fixing his dark eyes on the woman lying curled up beside him. Jeckle was snoring quietly, her hair messy and falling over her eyes. He reached out to brush the strands away - and then, hesitating slightly, he prodded her bare shoulder. His finger met with muscle and bone

Shipwreck let out a breath he hadn't realised he was holding. She wasn't going to melt away.

Jeckle stirred. One green eye opened slightly, and she planted a hand on Shipwreck's face. "Not now, 'Wreck…lemme sleep s'more…"

He stroked her chin gently. "No…it's not that. Go back to sleep, honey."

She mumbled something that sounded very much like 'damn horny sailor', and settled down again. She was snoring again in seconds.

Shipwreck couldn't help himself - he laughed quietly, trying to not to disturb the bed too much. Even when she was half-asleep, Jeckle said exactly what was on her mind.

He threw the covers back and swung his legs out of bed, sitting with his head in his hands.

Up until now, the night had been…well, as he'd said in his dream, incredible. Jeckle was a little firecracker. This was hardly his first night with her - no, that night she'd taken him completely by surprise.

Hell, sometimes she still did that.

Shipwreck turned, studying the sleeping woman. She didn't know about Mara - didn't know about what had happened that time when Cobra had captured him. He'd never told her; he didn't like to talk about it. And Jeckle herself had said, grinning that cheeky grin of hers, that she knew better than to ask about Shipwreck's previous relationships.

But Mara…Mara had been different.

He'd first seen the exotic, dark-haired beauty from the deck of the USS Trogon as he and some of the other Joes searched for a captured Navy submarine. She'd been struggling against the strong ocean current, splashing wildly, just barely keeping her head above the surface. The Joes had been in the midst of a fierce battle with Cobra, but as soon as he'd seen her, Shipwreck reacted automatically - he jumped overboard and swam hard, trying to reach the woman before she went under. He'd only just made it in time.

Mara had been wearing a Cobra wetsuit - she'd escaped from a nearby Cobra base. She'd been ready to swim until she couldn't swim anymore, rather than stay with the terrorist organisation.

When he thought about it, maybe that was why he'd been attracted to her.

Mara was, in all but the literal sense of the word, a mermaid. Cobra operated under their own jurisdiction and had no qualms about human experimentation…and with people like Destro and Dr. Mindbender working for Cobra Commander (more or less), their technology was often better than you could find in some of the most modern, up-to-date labs. With the number - and the type - of people Cobra recruited, there was never any shortage of guinea pigs to play with.

Mara herself admitted to volunteering for the experiment - she was to be the first of an amphibious commando unit; a unit who could breathe both air and water. Shipwreck hadn't understood half of what she told Doc when he asked about the process, wondering if it might be reversible. Something about changing the molecular structure of certain cells…anyway, what he did know was that something had gone wrong with the procedure and Mara had ended up only able to survive out of water for short periods of time. Thanks to a separate operation before the actual experiment, she had an actual, functioning set of gills on her neck, beneath her ears. It grew painful for her if her skin dried.

The Cobra doctors had promised to reverse the process - but they'd lied. Mara had been left to deal with her condition herself. In the end, she'd realised that Cobra didn't care - and so she'd escaped.

Shipwreck was the only one who'd believed in her from the start, the only one who'd bothered to actually get to know her.

Long story short, the two had had to go their separate ways. Shipwreck remembered that day on Konatonga Island, the night after Mara had helped the Joes find the captured submarine and rescue the crew. He'd tried to tell her that Doc and the Joe science fobbits - the best in the business - would find a way to reverse the process…but he knew it was a lie. So did she. Not only did the Joes not have the equipment Cobra had, but any procedure Mara would have to go through would technically be deemed 'experimental', and, unlike Cobra, the Joes had to abide by the rules.

It could take years to get the go ahead. Damned red tape.

In the end, Mara had said it herself; there was no other choice. Konatonga would become her new home.

So Shipwreck had kissed her fiercely, one last time…and then his mermaid had dived beneath the waves. He'd waited, watching for her to surface and maybe…he didn't know…maybe look back at him, or wave, or…something.

But Mara had learned the hard way that you had to look after yourself, because nobody else would. Shipwreck hadn't seen her again.


Shipwreck shook his head. Why was he thinking about this? He was over it; he'd been through it all with Psyche Out. He'd dealt with it, dammit.

But he couldn't help wondering…why the dream? Why now; why with Jeckle?

Ah, who was he kidding? Shipwreck knew why. It was because…the way he felt about Jeckle…it was the same way he'd felt about Mara.

…And that little girl.

The memories of Mara were tucked away safely. Shipwreck would never forget her, unlike so many of the women he'd had. Mara was special, and always would be.

About a year later, he and Lady Jaye had been on a mission to rescue a scientist - Professor Mulaney - who'd been kidnapped by Cobra and forced to work on a highly volatile explosive formula. The honchos back at the Pentagon wanted that formula; Shipwreck and Lady Jaye - and Polly, the USS Flagg's parrot mascot, who'd taken a liking to Shipwreck for some reason and abandoned ship to tag along - were to get the Professor safely home so he could give it to them.

Mulaney had managed to escape before giving Cobra the final component in the formula. Shipwreck and Jaye found him after he'd been wandering around for days, lost.

Crazy old man hadn't done a bad job, evading Cobra for that long. He was hungry and tired, but still alive. And - even better - he hadn't given Cobra the final component of the formula. He started raving on about how it was still in his head…until Cobra caught up to them.

Mulaney's eyes had gone wide and even more crazy-looking than they already were, which Shipwreck hadn't thought possible. Then, the old man lunged forward, slapping something to Shipwreck's head.

It'd hurt like a bitch. It felt like a thousand volts had just been shot into Shipwreck's head, and then, as suddenly as it had started, it was gone. Shipwreck was left sitting on a rock in his wetsuit, a little dazed and more than a little confused.

In short, the good doctor had used the small device to plant the explosive formula in Shipwreck's subconscious (Lady Jaye had promptly questioned that decision, the little smartass), in case the scientist himself didn't survive. When Shipwreck heard the right codeword, he'd 'remember' the formula - but only when he heard the exact word.

As Lady Jaye leaned close for Mulaney to whisper the codeword to her, Polly the parrot flapped down and landed on her shoulder.

On the way back to the S.H.A.R.C, Shipwreck and Jaye lost Mulaney after taking missile fire from a Cobra Firebat. Jaye made a command decision - they needed to get Shipwreck, and the formula in his noggin, back to the Joes. Once he'd offloaded the formula, they could go back to find the scientist.

They'd almost made it. They were so close, almost safely back on the Flagg, the Joe aircraft carrier, when Cobra had shot the flying submarine down.

He'd made sure Lady Jaye got out first - hell, he would've carried her up the rope ladder Roadblock threw over the side for them if he'd had time. But just then, another round of sizzling fire had thrown the water up in mini-geysers around him. The damaged S.H.A.R.C rocked, and even Shipwreck, seasoned sailor that he was, fell flat on his ass. The sub's hatch snapped shut - and jammed.

Shipwreck was trapped inside the sub as it filled astonishingly quickly with water. The last thing he'd seen was the sheer side of the Flagg, Lady Jaye, Roadblock and Torpedo staring wide-eyed down at him, distorted by the waves - and then the Flagg had erupted in flames.

Shipwreck shuddered as he remembered the tight, dark cockpit of the S.H.A.R.C filling up with water. He'd always loved the ocean, had wanted to be a sailor ever since he was a kid. But right then - damn, he'd been scared. He'd pounded his fists on the hatch as hard as he could, but it was stuck fast. He'd been sure he was going to drown.

He still dreamed about it sometimes. Not often, tilting his head right back to take one last deep breath before the sub filled completely with water…his chest burning…the coldness in his lungs as eventually he couldn't help himself and inhaled salty water.

And then…black.

He'd fallen off a ladder, trying to fix the satellite dish on his roof. That was the story the nurse had given him when he woke up.

Shipwreck had just stared at her, confused as all hell. He didn't remember that…he remembered being trapped in the S.H.A.R.C…

But then he'd completely forgot all about that as - of all the goddamn crazy things - Mara had burst into the room. Mara, his mermaid, followed by…a little girl.

A little girl who'd shouted, "Daddy!" and jumped on the hospital bed, throwing her arms tightly around his neck.

His daughter.

His daughter.


Shipwreck had flipped. He'd jumped out of bed, only to catch sight of himself in the mirror, with a bandage wrapped tightly around his head. His beard was grey.

Sinking onto a chair, he'd gazed questioningly at Mara. She told him what had happened: it had been six years since the Flagg had been destroyed. She was now a rusting hulk on the seabed.

Shipwreck had felt a pang of sadness on hearing that - the Flagg had been his second home. The big ship had a character all of her own, and she was gone.

Fortunately, most of the greenshirts and the Joes on board had survived. Below the waves, Shipwreck managed to pop the S.H.A.R.C's hatch just before he blacked out; he floated to the surface, where the lifeboats had picked him up.

When he got back to the Pit, the Joes made good use of the information Professor Mulaney had planted in his subconscious. Shipwreck himself had been in on the mission that had finally seen Cobra Commander captured.

Since then, the Joes had been disbanded, but not before Doc had finally worked out how to reverse Mara's condition.

Shipwreck, though he was still reeling, had been allowed home that same day.

Home. He had a house: Number Six, Village Drive. Not an underground army base with a shared room and communal everything else. His home, where he lived with his family.

And Polly the parrot. Apparently, he'd got stuck with the damn bird when the Joes went their separate ways.

…Although, honestly, he didn't really mind Polly all that much…

At some point, he'd fallen asleep on the couch, and he'd had the worst nightmare he'd ever had. It had been so vivid, so damn real…he'd woken up when he fell off the couch, screaming. Mara had run in, concern all over her face. Glancing past her, Shipwreck had seen Althea staring at him with fear in her big, innocent eyes.

The way those two looked at him, he felt something that he'd never really felt before; and it'd been kind of…nice.

It had happened again later that night, after dinner, almost the same. In a hidden room beneath a carwash, of all places (dreams…who knew?), Cobra Commander threatened to take away everything - his wife, his daughter, everything that made him happy - if Shipwreck didn't tell him what Professor Mulaney had said.

Mara had shaken him awake, scared by his screams. She'd comforted him, held him, and then they'd made love. He'd needed the distraction - he'd wanted to forget.

Shipwreck shuddered just thinking about it. He felt dirty. He'd slept with that…thing. If he'd had any idea…

And yet, it had all felt so real. Would he feel the same if he hadn't actually seen what she - it - really was? What if it'd been someone else, not…not her…would he feel any different?

He didn't think so…but he was pretty sure Cobra had chosen Mara for exactly that reason, hoping that if they couldn't force him to talk, maybe Mara could get it out of him using more pleasant ways.

What had Psyche Out said? That it was 'tantamount to rape', or something like that.

Shipwreck rubbed a hand over his beard, sighing and glancing over his shoulder to check that Jeckle was still asleep. She was, although she'd twisted herself into an uncomfortable looking position. Shipwreck smiled to himself; the woman was flexible. It was great.

He reached over and pulled the covers over her bare shoulders, resisting the urge to touch her again.

Things had got worse the next day when Shipwreck went to work - it turned out that he, Torpedo and Deep Six ran a business at the local marina.

That day he'd also found out - painfully, thanks to a few wrong words (yeah, so he probably could have been a little more tactful) and a besuited Flint's fist - that Lady Jaye had died on the Flagg. The look in Flint's eyes when he'd said that - Shipwreck hadn't thought he'd ever see that look on that man's face. Flint was, just as his name suggested, hard as stone - but everyone knew Jaye was his weakness.

The news had hit hard. Shipwreck took the rest of the day off.

And that was when things really went to hell in a handbasket.

Walking home, Shipwreck had seen the carwash from his dream. It was exactly the same in his dream - which was weird, considering he couldn't remember ever seeing that carwash before. He'd run over to investigate - and Roadblock had driven right by him without even so much as a nod. And then, before Shipwreck's eyes, the heavy gunner had just…melted.

Shipwreck tried to get into the car, trying to help his old friend - but someone got the wrong idea. He'd ended up in jail - and then he'd had another nightmare, only this time it was Scarlett, and Flint, and Torpedo and the other guys, and they'd all melted, merging together into one big blob of greyish matter that engulfed him, screaming and flailing -

And then he'd woken up on the front lawn of his house. Like it had never happened - like he'd just gone to sleep, lying in the sun, and the whole thing had just been one big, crazy dream.

Yeah. Crazy.

Shipwreck couldn't tell what was real anymore. The dreams blended reality and imagination - and he'd been terrified he really was going crazy. He'd had no choice - he'd ordered Mara to call Doc. He had to go back to the hospital, or he might hurt somebody.

The look of fear in Althea's eyes as Mara pushed her inside the house almost killed him.

Only, when he'd got there, the hospital wasn't the hospital. He was only vaguely aware of it - he was out of it, drugged up and strapped down. Somebody had been asking questions about his past; about the Chula Vista navy yard, where as a kid he'd loved watching the big ships and the sailors working on them; the day he'd joined the Navy; fighting off river pirates in South East Asia and smugglers on the Florida coast; the day he'd joined G.I Joe…and the mission with Mulaney.

It had hurt so much. By the end, he'd been shouting, screaming; he would've told them what Mulaney said if he could've - but only Lady Jaye knew the codeword, and she was dead.

And then everything went black.

He knew now that it was some variation of the brainwave scanner. Cobra had been trying to extract the explosive formula from him, but it was buried too deeply in his subconscious.

He woken up some time later, rolling wearily out of his hospital bed to go and splash water on his face. And then he'd noticed - his beard wasn't entirely grey anymore. There were patches of black in it; when he looked closely, his hair was the same. It was like when Lady Jaye or Covergirl had to go undercover and when they got back they didn't keep up dying their hair. Shipwreck had regrowth. His hair and beard were still black.

For a moment, he'd just stared at his reflection, uncomprehending, until the nurse had come in with a glass of milk. Something clicked - why would she be bringing him milk when he hadn't asked for it, and she hadn't brought any meds for him to take?

And how had she known he'd be awake?

Unless…somebody was watching him…

Naturally, his first thought had been Cobra. He'd acted instinctively, grabbing the nurse and forcing the milk down her throat. It hadn't been nice, hearing her splutter and gurgle - in fact, he'd felt downright disgusted - but if he was right…

His suspicions were confirmed when she crumpled to the floor, out cold.

So that was why he kept blacking out and having the nightmares - somebody was drugging him. But why?

As if he needed to ask. He already knew.

What he didn't know was what was real and what wasn't. Had the Flagg really sunk? Was Lady Jaye really dead?

And…whose side was Mara really on?

If she was Cobra…then she'd betrayed him. Mara, his mermaid…no. She couldn't. She wouldn't.

Would she?

He'd been ready to get the hell out of there when Polly had flown in and started swooping at him, claws out, trying to rake Shipwreck's face. He'd tried to swat the damned bird away - and then another parrot flew in. Something clutched in its talons flashed - and the first Polly fell to the floor with a wet splat, some kind of grey ooze splashing everywhere.

He didn't want to think about it any more. Dragging up these memories wouldn't do any good; and Jeckle didn't deserve to have this all flung at her. Maybe one day, if she hung around long enough - but not now.


Shipwreck stumbled through the car wash, Polly – the real Polly – flapping along beside him. Opening one door, he'd seen Zartan and a group of people - Zartan seemed to be giving a brief on the several pulsing, greyish masses in tubes lined up along the wall. As Shipwreck watched in horror, several of the masses in the tubes began to…transform…and as he stared wide-eyed, the grey ooze - 'pseudoplasm', apparently - formed several familiar figures.

All Joes.

Zartan called them 'Synthoids' - replicas undistinguishable from the real thing.

Shipwreck had staggered backwards, putting as much distance as he could between that awful room and himself.

And then he'd found the lab. It was sterile - this was where Cobra was working on the explosive formula.

If only he knew the codeword -

"Awk! Codeword: 'frogs in winter', 'frogs in winter'!" Polly squawked.

Of course – the damned bird had fluttered onto Jaye's shoulder just as Mulaney had whispered the codeword!

Shipwreck had snapped to attention, rattling off several long words that he'd never even heard of: the components of the formula. And better still, he knew the final component - and the quantity required.

What more could he have asked for?

He'd added the final component to the mixture - but before he could do anything else, a large group of Cobra troops stormed the room. Shipwreck did the first thing he could think of - he tipped the formula down the drain and struck a match. Once the formula was in the pipes…well, hopefully there'd be a big kaboom if things didn't go his way.

Unfortunately, as Destro explained, the formula could only be ignited by a triggered explosion. The match didn't work. Shipwreck, backed into a corner and ready to do anything to keep the formula out of Cobra's hands – and maybe get a little payback for the last few days - had tried it anyway, but the arms dealer hadn't been bluffing.

It had been a good thing the Dreadnoks were part of the group – the morons were too stupid to realise that trying to riddle Shipwreck with bullets was just the trigger explosion the formula needed.

Shipwreck had been thrown clear by the blast. He was lucky to make it out of there with only a few scrapes and bruises – the whole base had gone up.

It had been close, closer than he liked…but he'd survived.

He'd clambered up through the lab's new skylight just in time to see three Skystrikers thunder by overhead.

So the Joes hadn't been disbanded.

Good. Yo Joe.

He'd taken off running; not toward the beach, but toward his 'home'. He had to get Mara and Althea out of there.

The house had been in flames in fact, the whole town was in flames, the fire leaping from one building to the next quicker than Flint on Jaye when she got back from a mission. Shipwreck burst through the door, shouting Mara's name, racing through the house desperately toward the sound of her voice as she answered.

They'd been in the living room. Mara was holding a gun - as, unnervingly, was Althea. Both were pointed right at him.

He could hardly understand it - he couldn't believe it. "But…but why? I - I thought you loved me."

Mara tightened her finger on the trigger - and then Polly flew in, the lens clamped in his claws flashing again. Both Mara and Althea - his wife and daughter - melted away before his eyes into puddles of greyish pseusodplasm.

Everything inside Shipwreck hurt. He'd thought -

For the second time in five minutes, he was tossed through the air by another blast. He staggered to his feet just as Lady Jaye and Flint skidded to a stop beside him. Jaye threw her arms around his neck - for once, Shipwreck didn't make a smart-assed comment, and it wasn't just because Flint was there.

He was hurting too much, watching sadly as his 'home' - and what was left of his 'family' - burned to the ground.

"Shipwreck? What happened?" Lady Jaye asked, concern in her voice. "Was there something important in that house?"

He'd paused for a moment, then shook his head. "Nah…nothin' important. Just a dream or two."

God…Mara and that little girl…

For a short time, he'd had a family. Even if was only a few days, he'd had something he never thought he'd ever want. But Mara and Althea…they'd been all his.

And he'd kinda liked it.

Shipwreck knew it was stupid. Althea had never existed. But it made him sad that he'd never see her again, never see her grow up…

He'd loved them both.

Man, was he getting sappy, or what?

With a sigh, the sailor stood, found his shorts (across the other side of the room where Jeckle had thrown them), and pulled them on before stepping into the small bathroom. He leaned on the sink, glancing at himself in the mirrored cabinet. He ducked his head and splashed water over his face.


He straightened quickly, startled, his eyes snapping to the mirror. Over his shoulder, he saw Jeckle standing just inside the bathroom door, his shirt clutched around her. He felt his expression soften - it was adorable, really, the shirt was way too big for her. He turned. "Ah…shit, Holly, I didn't mean to wake ya."

"You didn't," she answered, flashing him a brief grin. "Well, I mean, you did, poking me in the shoulder and all, but I really only got up because I got cold. You were sitting there for a long time, 'Wreck. You okay?"

"Yeah." He turned away. "Go back to bed. I'll be there in a minute."

He heard the small woman pad closer, and then she was at his side, peering up at him with her eyes narrowed. "Okay," she said firmly, "now I know something's wrong, because you didn't make a crack about warming me up again. Come on, Delgado, spill it."

Dammit - he knew he should've said it. "Nah. It's nuthin', Hol -"

Jeckle bumped him with her shoulder. "Don't make me threaten you with no sex, sailor boy." Her grin faded, and for a moment - a very rare moment - she got serious. "Come on, Hector. You know you can tell me anything, right?"

Shipwreck looked down at her. She hardly ever called him Hector; it was always 'Wreck, or sailor boy. Hell, even when he made love to her, she cried out his Joe codename.

Not that he minded - sometimes even he forgot that Shipwreck wasn't his real name. It was just that when she called him Hector, he knew she was serious.

…Well, most of the time. Sometimes, she was just making fun of him. Or she was annoyed with him…or -

She was still looking at him, concern in those pretty eyes of hers. He'd always been a sucker for pretty eyes. "Aw…Jeck…"

The damn girl knew it, too. She fluttered her eyelashes, smiling far too sweetly.

What the hell.

Standing there in the bathroom, he told her the whole story, from start to finish.

Shipwreck fell silent, glancing at Jeckle, waiting for her to say something. She was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, still wrapped tightly in his shirt. It was odd to see the sadness on her face - he'd only seen her upset once, at a funeral. It hurt to think he'd made her sad.

He swore. "I shouldn'ta said anythin' - "

Jeckle stood up quickly and crossed to him. Shipwreck covered her hands with his own as she wrapped her arms around him and leaned against his back. "I'm glad you did," she said softly.

"Thanks for listenin'," he said.

"Hey, I'm a good listener," she answered. "People just don't realise it coz I talk so much."

He chuckled. "You got that right."

"Shut up."

He turned around as she let go of him. She backed up the few steps to the bathroom door and then let his shirt slip from her shoulders. It slithered to the floor by her feet - Shipwreck's breath caught in his throat as his eyes roamed over her small, lithe body. "Thought ya said ya wanted more sleep."

"Well…" She grinned her cheeky grin at him. "I'm willing to sacrifice three minutes of sleep if it'll make you feel better."

Oh, that little…Shipwreck grabbed Jeckle and literally threw her back onto the bed. "You're gonna regret that, woman."

"Oh, alright, then. Five minutes."

He chuckled and leaned over her.

Yeah, Shipwreck thought. He might just be falling in love again.