A/N: Hudson/Vasquez = my current OTP. Yes, this exists in my world. Also, I call Vasquez Julia (HOO-lee-uh en espaƱol) because using the actor's name is just too weird for me.

Drabble. Takes place post-Aliens.


"...Julia? Julia, what's wrong?" Hudson finally decided he couldn't stand the sight of seeing this strong, fearless woman on the verge of tears.

"Ngh..." Vasquez sniffed, her whole body beginning to tremble as she tried to restrain her emotions. She turned away and wrapped her arms around herself in an effort to steady her shaking.

"Julia..." Hudson cautiously stepped behind her, slowly placing his hands on her arms.

She let out a wail. Hudson was caught off guard as the tears began to stream down the woman's face, which was now buried in the palms of her hands. She began sobbing incessantly.

Another first. So startled was he by the sudden outpouring of emotion that for all of a second, he was frozen, rooted to the spot. However, when Vasquez did the unthinkable and turned back around to lean into his chest, his arms immediately encased her, his thumbs rubbing her back in what he hoped was a soothing manner.

Hudson was not impatient in waiting for the Latina's whimpering to die down. Time felt practically irrelevant while he gently rocked her, feeling the warmth of her breath on his skin and the soft, agonized cries that, bit by bit, tore away at his heart.

When the only audible sound was her breathing, slow, measured, and exhausted, Hudson leaned his head down. Out of nowhere, it seemed, he had gathered enough courage to plant a light kiss on the top of her head.

She looked up. Her eyes were red and puffy, her eyeliner had trailed down her cheeks, and she still sniffled a bit. In Hudson's eyes, she was still beautiful.

"Is there anything I can do?" he asked softly.

Her lips quivered as they attempted to form a half smile. What came out was a cross between a sob and a short laugh. She finally shook her head.

"There's nothing you can do. It's over." Her eyes fell to the arms that held her, though she made no effort to move away from him.

"I know it's something you probably don't wanna hear, but just getting it out in the open... Sometimes that's the best way to deal with things."

The woman made no response.

"Even if you feel alone in this world, like you're being punished, and there's nothing you can do... Julia, you can talk to me. I was there with you, living the same hell, breathing the same smoke. Right now, if you were with someone who had no idea what you'd been through, then you'd be alone. But you're not. I promise you, you're not."

Vasquez slowly met his gaze once more, and his grip on her only tightened as he noticed the fresh tears that were threatening to fall.

"I'm not gonna let you live in misery for the rest of your life. I'm not gonna leave you like that, ya hear? Whatever it takes, we're gonna work through this. 'Cause you're important to me."

"I am?" Her voice was a whisper. So uncharacteristic of Vasquez. So human.

"Yes. You're one of my best friends. Maybe even..."

"Even what?" Glistening chocolate eyes searched light blue ones.

"Even..." Hudson's cheeks suddenly flushed, and Vasquez' mouth dropped open slightly. "Uh..."

He was saved when Vasquez placed a finger to his lips. The hint of a smile tugged at her mouth.

"Pendejo. Always speaking without thinking."

A blush crept over his pale features, and he absently scratched the back of his neck. "Well, I meant it. I'm making a promise to you that I don't intend to break. The question is..." He leaned forward ever so slightly. "Are you willing to trust me?"

Vasquez looked down for a moment before leveling her gaze on the man before her. His breathing was steady, and she willed her own to match his. For the moment, he was offering her strength. Hudson, of all people.

And with that came an inkling of hope.

She wiped her cheeks and, for once, allowed for a peculiar feeling to rise in her chest and spill over her, radiating in her wide smile. She had been a stranger to happiness for far too long.

She nodded.