As Pete sat leant over the desk in his home office, Jackie walked up behind him, lightly ruffling his hair before slipping her arms around his neck and resting her chin on his shoulder. "What are you doing in here so late? It's the middle of the night, sweetheart."
"I know, Jacks." He raised his hands to rest his palms over her wrists. "You go back to bed."
"Not without you." She turned her head to kiss his cheek.
"Please, love." He turned his gaze to her, lifting his hand to her cheek as she loosened her hold on him and moved round to his side. "Get some sleep."
"I was until I woke up to find you'd gone. Come back to bed."
"You go, I'll be back soon."
She shook her head. "I've had more than enough sleepless nights as it is, and more than enough alone, without you."
"I know." He kissed her nose. "I love you, I'll be in soon, I've just gotta finish something here."
Arm loosely round his shoulders, she stroked his hair. "What is it? What's worrying you?" He slipped an arm round her waist, tugging her closer and she perched on the arm of his chair, leaning against him.
"Nothing's worrying me. I've just got work that needs finishing."
She got off the chair arm, swivelling him round to face her. "Remember I can read you like a book. I know something's wrong, let me help." She knelt down in front of him, resting her hands on his knees. "Let me help so you can come back to bed, you need some rest. Please, Pete."
"Nothing for you to worry about." He gently held her face in his hands. "Oh, Jacks, you have no idea how beautiful you are." He coaxed her closer with his fingertips until she stood, he placed his hands on her waist and pulled her into his lap. "Yesterday, well I suppose technically the day before, I was helping Rose with her project, and I told her I'd go away and do this calculation and I can't work it out."
"So you can't sleep."
"No, well maybe I can but I won't. I just can't do it, Jacks, but I promised her I would so I've got to. She needs it, she needs me to do it and she needs it soon; she needs me to do this so she can make it work and I'm failing her, Jacks, I'm failing her."
"No, no." She kissed his forehead. "Now that's something I know you will never do. You're doing so much for her and she loves you so much."
"I know she does, and I love her, that's why I can't let her down, I have to do this. I'm not gonna be the reason she doesn't get back to him."
"Oh, Pete." She softly kissed him. "You won't be. If anything you'll be part of the reason she makes it. But it's really late now, and you're tired, too tired to be working on something like this. So listen to me, I've got an idea, why don't you come back to bed? Relax, have a cuddle, get some sleep, and then in the morning, we can get up, get Tony up and ready, and he can play in here while I come and help you. I doubt I'll be much help but I can try. We'll work it out together, yeah?"