So, here I thought that I'd be going to bed, but I decided to lie down and write fic!

This takes place in canon; approximately just before episode nine ends. I know that I've done this quite a few times, but I don't care.

I own nothing.

Gentle Kisses

Tenderness helped to heal what hurt deep inside. No matter what, it always meant something to know that someone knew you were hurting, because they felt the same exact way. Being tender could mean just using a soft voice, or maybe a gentle hug, maybe even a gentle kiss. It all, in the end, did its job. Being tender meant that you cared.

For Vince and Orwell, this tenderness brought up a whole new realm in their relationship.


"I got it, Orwell; the smokin' gun," Vince grinned rather proudly, despite the severe pain that he was in. "Orwell Is Watching is about to get the—" he listened into his partner, who was barely even breathing into the phone. She had been acting weird ever since he rescued her from the Lich, which really was beginning to bother him. "Orwell, are you alright?"

"Yes, Vince," the brunette began very quietly, the corners of her lips quirking into a tiny smile. "Everything's wonderful."

If there was anything that Vince knew, it was that everything was far was wonderful with his partner.

"Orwell, are you at home?" When he didn't hear an answer was when he made his final decision. "I'm coming to see you."

The hacker stared down at her cell phone as her partner ended their call. What was she going to do? She took in a shaky breath as she put the cell phone down on her bed. Any minute now, Vince would be barging into her home and asking her about… basically everything. He was so caring towards her, even though he had no reason to be. Sometimes… she just wished that he ignored her. It seemed that everything that he did for her only made her love him more.

As Orwell took a look around her hideout, she had no recollection of what happened. Up until her partner decided that he was coming over, she had blacked out. The walls were pure white, just like they were before the wallpaper was added to it when she first moved in. Most of the furnishings were still intact, but they were now in weird places. Like her bed, for instance, it was now in the middle of the floor. As she sat there, it was like she was getting a bird's eye view of all of the damage that was done to her hideout.

Whoever did this was proud and wanted to revel in the damage. Unfortunately, Orwell had a good guess at who was responsible for this. If that were the case, she would not be happy to see her.

Not even a minute later, the blogger was driven out of her reverie. Vince began calling his partner's name out. She just froze; his heavy footsteps grew heavier as he got closer and closer to her. What was she going to say to him? Oh hi, Vince. Don't mind the mess. My other personality thinks that it's time to redecorate!

The vigilante finally found his partner. His heart leapt just a bit as he caught sight of her from the corner of his eye. She was paler than usual and her hair was all frizzed up which, again, was unusual. Vince called her name again, this time it was more pleadingly than the others, as he rushed over to her side.

"Hi again," the brunette began with a tiny smile.

"Orwell… what's going on?" the Cape asked as he plopped down on the bed next to her. He motioned to the stripped walls and broken objects scattered about the room.

The brunette winced as she took in her partner's black eye and busted lip. "What happened to you?"

Vince flinched as she gently touched his black eye. At that moment, all he could think of was the time back at theater, and how gentle her touch was back then.

"That isn't important," he added as he took her hand in his own. "What is important is you," the vigilante laced their fingers together in a tight knot, not daring to lose eye contact with her.

Orwell shook her head, murmuring something inaudible under her breath. When she spoke again, it was still in a murmur, but much clearer, "You don't need to worry about what's wrong with me, Vince. It's just the paralytic wearing off."

"Then let me help you get through it! We're partners; it's kinda our job to look out for each other," Vince whispered down at her, his words gentle, "You worry me, Orwell. Especially when you zone out like you do."

"There's nothing that you can do to help me. I just have to get through the trauma on my own," the hacker replied slowly, hoping that it would sink in her partner's thick skull. The more he wanted to help her out, the more she wanted to let him. But he had a family to get back to, and she wouldn't be able to forgive herself if she stood in the way of that.

The framed cop knew that he could be oblivious from time to time, but right now, he wasn't. Everything was coming at him in a rush; his partner was fighting with herself for whatever reason. She didn't want his help, but yet her eyes were telling a completely different thing. He sat still as the brunette picked up her free hand and stroked the wound on his lip. Her touch was gentle, just as the one before was. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to cradle her body against his and tell her that he was there for her, and that she didn't need to keep anything else from him. Vince was in love with his partner and it had taken nothing more than a gentle touch for him to realize this.

"That's what I'm afraid of," Vince began again, strumming a thumb across the backside of her hand. "We all need someone when we're going through a traumatic experience. Even if it's just to say that everything's going to be okay, it still helps."

Orwell's lower lip began to quiver, just as her eyes began to well up with unshed tears. He had this affect on her and it annoyed her all to hell. But yet… it just made her love him more.

A sad frown tugged at the vigilante's lips as he saw the brunette before him break down in his arms. Vince began rubbing her back and whispering down to her, in hopes that it would help. In the end, though, a gentle kiss on her lips was all she needed.

So, what'd you think?