After over two years, they are finally together again. When he sees her face and she smiles that hesitant, beautiful smile at him, a nagging voice in the back of his mind tells him that this is too good to be true. He watched her die, he held her in the back of a speeding cab, whispering that she would be okay even as her eyes were fluttering shut for the last time. She should be dead. But she's not. At long last, Renee is alive and warm in his arms. He tells the voice in his head to shut up and kisses her. Her hand reaches up, brushing through his hair, bringing him closer. In two years of running, he's recalled so many times the particular smell of her hair, the way she fit perfectly with him, but memory has never done this exact moment justice.
A bitter taste in Jack's mouth causes him to break the kiss and open his eyes. Scarlet blood trickles from her lips and panic washes her face pale. He looks down and (of course, he should have expected nothing else) a large dark stain is spreading across the front of her shirt, her life pouring from a tiny hole in her abdomen.
"Jack-" She gasps, just like she did that morning. And, before he can do anything, she falls. He is left alone with her limp, cold form. As he was that morning. As he has been every night since.
Renee wakes to the sound of her name. She rolls over, and he's still asleep, tossing and turning and mumbling garbled apologies. Over his shoulder, the alarm clock reads half past two in the morning. In some obscure corner of her mind, she wonders if there's ever going to be a night when they both sleep undisturbed by night terrors. Judging by the way things are now, she kind of doubts it.
"Hey. Jack. Wake up." She whispers. He doesn't respond. She reaches out, touches his cheek.
"Jack. You're dreaming. It's okay." She says, a little louder.
His eyelids snap open, registering panic and confusion until they meet hers. Relief washes his face. It's like this almost every night. Early on after their reunion, it took him much longer to convince himself that she was real. Lately, though, he seems more willing to accept it.
"You okay?" She asks.
"Yeah." His voice is close to breaking. Every night, waking up to some nightmare or another, it feels like some kind of insane miracle that she's here, that he wasn't too late to save her. He draws her closer, banishing thoughts of hospitals and taxi cabs. She kisses his shoulder, once, and her own re-occurring nightmares, still-frames of dark warehouses drenched in the bitter reek of vodka, slip away.
Eventually, he stops shaking. She matches her breathing to his: slow and even, drifting into dreamless sleep.