I Miss You
A/N: I'm back! I am crazy-super-busy, but doing some work with this couple again has relaxed me majorly. I hope you enjoy this.
The warm water against his calves eased his muscles, his eyes fixating on the small figure frolicking in the spacious pool. Dim lights illuminated the patio, casting the young girl in an aural glow. Sean was used to the swelling in his chest now, even if the psychological response refused to dim with time. It was almost welcoming though, as he took a swig of his beer and braced himself on the stone ground. He stifled the urge to bite at the inside of his cheek, emotions too long withheld attempting to flare. The flesh was still growing back from last time.
"Papa, can I get some ice cream?"
His thoughts fled him as he took in his daughter, blue eyes gleaming as she leaned against his knees, beaming up at him.
"Ice cream? You were just having an awesome time swimming!" He exclaimed, leaning forward.
"Yeah I know, but I just really want ice cream. It's like the best food ever."
He chuckled, grabbing her under the arms and lifting her up out of the pool before climbing up himself. He grabbed her towel from the back of a chair and squatted down, wrapping it around her.
"Get dried off, then I'll fix your ice cream. You have to change after that, though; it's a big night, remember?"
She nodded, eager and anxious as she tried to dry herself off as quickly as possible. He wrapped the damp towel back around her and lifted her into a high seat at the outdoor bar.
"I'll be right back, baby girl." He said, swiping his feet on a mat before heading inside. After applying a generous amount of whipped cream to two scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream, he headed back outside to see her swiveling on the chair, waiting with all the patience as a six year-old could muster.
Sean set the bowl in front of her and grabbed his beer before taking a seat, leaning against the bar and watching the clock. It was past her bedtime, but tonight was special. There was no way she was falling asleep at this rate as it was.
"How's first grade treating you?" He asked, turning toward her as she made short work of the bowl's contents.
"It's good. I think I'm the smartest one in my class, because every time the teacher asks a math question and no one raises their hand, she always asks me what the answer is. I always get it right."
"Well, you didn't get that from me; I was always bad at math."
"Daddy says you weren't very good at school stuff." She said, seizing the final bite of her ice cream.
"Oh, he did?" Sean asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, but he said that you're the best football player in the world, so it evened out."
Sean grinned, taking the bowl and standing. "You should go get changed; it's about that time."
Sean took a seat comfortably on the couch, propping his feet up as the light of the kitchen filtered into the otherwise dark room. He tilted his head back, scratching at the scruff against his cheek and just thinking, impatience threatening to overwhelm him.
"Isabelle, what's taking you so long? I already had your clothes laid out, girl."
She came prancing in, dressed not in her pink pajamas but instead in an iCarly shirt and jeans designed by Selena Gomez. She smiled innocently, and any concern of cleaning the closet that surely now in shambles leaving his mind with it. She climbed up into his lap, and he held her against him, nuzzling her hair before she settled against his chest.
"Just a few more minutes, right?" She asked, looking up at him.
"Yeah, it should be soon baby girl." He replied, running a hand through the blond curls.
Time passed unbearably slowly, his pulsing slowing to an almost slumber-like rate. So when the scrape of a key turning in the lock of the front door sounded, his heart rate almost bottomed out, jumping so high so quickly as Isabelle lunged off of him and bounded toward the door. Sean stood, not wanting to run, yet feeling of equal excitement to his daughter as the door swung open.
The porch light doused Holden in angelic light, his eyes shadowed as he set his bags down just in time to catch Isabelle jumping at him. His hair was slightly unkempt, his tie swung over his shoulder while his jacket lay on top of one of his suitcases. Memory didn't do him justice.
"Hey beautiful! How have you been?" He asked, leaning down to get eye level with the girl who was clinging desperately to whatever part of her dad that she could reach.
"I missed you Daddy!" She exclaimed into his chest, and Sean just stood there, arms crossed over his chest. Holden picked Isabelle up, and Sean walked to close the door, locking it back as the other man carried the exuberant girl to the couch.
Sean moved Holden's bags out of the way of the door before walking back over toward the couch, taking a seat beside the two as Isabelle went on and on about the month that had passed since Holden had been home. He wore a bright smile more genuine than anything Sean had seen in a while, looking just like the little girl in his arms.
Holden reached out with his free hand, taking Sean's hand in his as he continued to listen to tales of lunchtime gossip and recess squabbles, catching Sean's eyes briefly. A simple glance, and it was enough for him.
"Isabelle had no shortage of life experience to share. That girl's a well of knowledge these days." Holden said, hanging up his tie and unbuttoning his shirt.
"Yeah, it's amazing what a six year-old learns in school that isn't actually academic. I'm just waiting for her to come home and say she's in love." Sean said, walking into the closet in his sweats, pulling the shirt from Holden's shoulders.
Holden pulled his hands free and turned to Sean, smiling wide.
"I missed you." He said, softer than was likely intended. Sean's heart thudded nonetheless, and he leaned forward, taking the man's lips in his. Lights jumped behind his closed lids, arms aflame where Holden's hands settled. He pulled away, only to hang up the shirt.
Holden wrapped his arms around Sean's torso, head against his shoulder.
"I love you." He said, words weighted with courage.
"Me too, babe." Sean said, taking Holden's hand and leading him back to their bedroom before kissing him again. Holden's hand came to his shoulder blade as the other rested on his hip, thumb moving past the fabric, heat building in Sean's chest, a craving that he had withheld for too long.
He didn't even remember lying down on the bed, but now Holden was straddling his hips, kissing down his neck as his hands held the other man's hips.
"I don't know…if I can handle you being gone so long again, babe." Sean muttered. Holden's hands pressed against his chest as he sat up. A smile graced his face, and Sean was overcome with urge to never let him go.
"Sean Jackson…you can just say what you're feeling for once, you know."
Sean bit as his lip before realizing better of it.
"I missed you…that's all."