Disclamer: I don't own Cold Case.
The sound of the rain outside comforted Lilly, as she lay awake on her living room couch. It was 2am and she just couldn't sleep. The images played over and over in her troubled mind, like a disjointed horror film. This had been her routine for a while now, ever since the shooting. She had her eyes closed and was just concentrating the sound of the thunderstorm outside and on her breathing to help her relax when she heard a knock at the door. Startled, she quietly made her way to the window and peeped through the curtains to see who was calling so late. Then she heard a voice say her name from the other side, "Lil?" a male voice called, not too loudly so as to disturb the neighbours, but loud enough for her to hear. She instantly recognised it as the voice of her partner Scotty Valens. Lilly was momentarily stunned, thinking she must be dreaming. What was he doing here at this time? She wondered and slowly opened the door. "Scotty? Are you alright? What are you doing here?" she could tell by his bloodshot eyes that he hadn't had any sleep either.
"I...I've been drivin' around, couldn't sleep." He replied.
"So you came here?"
Scotty paused before saying, "didn't know where else to go. I needed to see you, to talk."
Lilly looked at him, the expression in his eyes made her realise he had something heavy on his mind. She let him in. "Thanks Lil." He told her grateful that she hadn't turned him away.
She closed the door and they both sat down on her couch. "Do you want something to drink?" she asked him taking his coat which was wet from the rain and then turned on a lamp; its subtle glow illuminating the otherwise darkened room.
"Nah I'm good thanks."
"So..what's up?" she asked him seriously.
"I can't stop thinking about what boss did for me. Took my suspension, knowing it will leave a mark on his career. He's taking the hit for me, Lil, and it just ain't sittin' right, you know?"
Lilly nodded in understanding.
"And no matter what I do, I just don't know how I'm ever gonna be able to thank him." He paused, "it should have been me."
Lilly could see the pain and guilt in his eyes.
"Scotty," she began, "you didn't do anything wrong. We all know that. "
Scotty was silent, eyes fixed on the floor.
"Scotty," Lilly reached across to him, placing her hand on his arm, "is there something else?"
He looked up at her, intensity in his dark brown eyes. "I… I just feel like I messed up. Like I should have done something…more." He ran his hand through his hair and then stood up and started pacing. It was only when he got round to the back of the couch that he realised that there was a blanket and a pillow there. He stopped and then looked at Lilly. "Lil, are you sleeping on the couch?" he asked her.
Now it was Lilly's turn to pace. She stood up and walked towards the window, the thunderstorm was gathering momentum, the rain crashed down harder on her window pane while the occasional flash of lightning lit up the night sky. "I ….can't sleep in my bed."
"Why not?" Scotty's voice softened with concern.
"Cos every time I try I can't…" she hesitated, wondering whether or not to tell him. She inhaled deeply, a subconscious action at the thought of what she was about to say. "I can't breathe." She almost whispered.
Scotty slowly walked over to her, her words having left him dazed. "Lil," he breathed, wanting to hold her, but keeping his arms by his side. "How long?" Lilly didn't reply, eyes filling with tears and silently thankful to the sound of the rain for masking her quivering breaths. Scotty cautiously took another step closer to her, realising he was probably too close. He could smell the final fading notes of the perfume she had put on that morning. "Lil," he asked again, although he already knew the answer.
Lilly didn't dare turn around. She kept her eyes focused on the grey storm clouds in the sky. "Since I got back from the hospital." Her voice had grown quiet now.
"Oh Lil," he started to say something but just couldn't find the words. A few seconds of silence followed, punctuated by another flash of lightning.
"It's okay Scotty," Lilly reassured him, finally turning around and walking towards her couch again. She sat down.
The guilt began to eat away at him again. "I'm sorry Lil, I shouldn't have bothered you." He paused, "I should go."
"No, stay." She blurted out before she could stop herself, "please?" Scotty sat down on the couch again, closer to her this time.
"If you wanna talk about it…"
"I don't know Scotty." She told him, "I don't know how to begin. Boss wants me to see a counsellor but…how do tell someone about how I feel when I don't even know how I feel?" Lilly thought for a few seconds. "no, I do know how I feel, but none of it makes sense."
Scotty watched as she tried to articulate her thoughts. He could see pain in her eyes and the internal struggle that was taking place. He felt his own mind echo a similar scenario inside him and realised then that they were both thinking about the same thing. The shooting. That one pivotal moment that had both saved her life and had taken a piece of his. He would never be able to forget the image of her against the wall, bleeding from the shoulder wound that bastard had inflicted upon her. He would always remember how soft her voice had sounded, much like it did now. So quiet and afraid, so un-Lilly like and that thought scared him. He would lay awake at night while she was in the hospital, beating himself up for not getting there sooner, for not saving her when he should have done.
He looked at her again and he knew the pain he saw on her face was his fault. He wondered then, as he did now, if there was anything he could do to get his partner back. "No," Scotty began, "none of it makes sense."
Lilly looked at her partner again and could see he was hurting. His eyes towards the ground, lost in some unknown train of thought. She had never seen him this way before, the way he sat; it was as if all the fight had gone out of him. She felt a tinge of sadness wash over her, fearing that she had helped to put him in this mood and she reached out to touch the side of his face. Scotty looked up instantly at her touch, his eyes locking with hers and in that one instant they had communicated so much to each other. More than words would ever be capable of doing. In that one instant they knew that they were feeling the same thing. Each looking at their partner and wanting to do anything they could to make the other's pain go away.
"Lil," Scotty began hesitantly, "I'm here for you, whenever you need me. You know that, right?" He then gently took her hand that was caressing his face and held it in both of his.
Lilly's smile was warm when she told him softly, "I know Scotty."
"But we're partners, we can't…" Scotty paused, suddenly overcome with emotion. Lilly shifted closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder. He raised her hand up to his mouth and kissed it softly then brought his head close to hers.
"We can't." Lilly whispered in agreement but was taken aback when she felt his lips on hers, warm, comforting.
Scotty gently pulled back and rested his forehead against hers and they both closed their eyes. "A relationship, it's just.."
"Not in the cards for us." Lilly finished for him. Scotty nodded. Lilly wrapped her arms around his neck. "but we have tonight?"
"We have tonight." Scotty smiled and kissed her again, Lilly pulled his head closer to her and deepened the kiss. Scotty held her tightly, pushing her down onto the couch. "Just tonight." He said between kisses.
"Just tonight." Lilly whispered as she pulled his shirt out from his pants and ran her hands over his back. He undid the buttons on her pyjama top, exposing her bare breasts. Lilly snuggled further back into the sofa as she felt his hands leave a trail of lust filled warmth over her nipples. She hurriedly unbuttoned his shirt and threw it on the floor, eager to touch his skin. They lay together, hands exploring each other, clothes being shed, both partners becoming lost inside the other, skin on skin, mouths, tongues on skin. There was a hunger, an urgent need to be close to the only other person in the world who understood what they each were going through. They both knew that they could only give each other one night but at that moment, this one night was all that mattered. And just as it was one night that had caused them so much pain, they wanted to make sure that this one night would start the healing process.
When it was over, they each lay naked in the other's arms, covered by the blanket. Neither of them spoke a word, the sound of their breathing and the quietening thunderstorm outside the only sounds to be heard. They didn't know it but the same thing was going through each of their minds. They both wished that they could have something more but knew that reality wouldn't allow that to happen. But what they shared had made them closer. It would be morning soon and another day at the office, and though neither of them wanted this moment to end; there was one thought that reassured them through this bitter sweet moment. They would be there for each other, no matter what life threw at them. They were Rush and Valens. They were partners. Always.