|Subject: Chapter 233 - Part 2 (16 and above) (end of chapter 233)
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Date Posted: Monday, April 03, 07:08:11am
In reply to:
's message, "Dreams in the Dark (chapters 221--?)" on Monday, February 13, 07:24:07am
The terrors, the self-doubts, had been growing, the more dependent she was forced to become. He saw--and hated--it, never blaming her for a thing; he tried to address them, before she even began. "I love you, Nikita." She smiled, the words unknowingly echoing Andrew's own insights, and his hand rubbed lightly over her arm--his touch comforting. "There's not a damn thing on earth I wouldn't do for you." He drew her closer, kissing her temple, before distancing himself a little, letting her take in the cold air she needed. "I just want to see you happy and well."
She knew this, of course, closing her eyes--hating that the fears still lingered. "I don't want you to have to take care of me, Michael." She bit her lip, more from her anxieties than her sickness this time. "I don't want to become a child."
Lord. His own eyes closed, head shaking, at the insanity of her fear. When his gaze met hers, only a moment later, the look was strong. "My feelings for you are anything but paternal, my love." He saw her smile, before it faded, and his gaze grew concerned. "What are you frightened of now?"
Just the wording of this question deepened her hurt--although he hadn't meant it in anything like the way she took it, never saw her as dependent. He waited for her answer--hating it, once he understood her fears. "I can't sleep with you tonight, though. I feel way too sick to be your lover." He just nodded, whatever doubts she had incomprehensible to him without further explanation; her look wandered, the terror so evident there. "I don't want you to feel like you've made a bad bargain with me."
This idea alone nearly made him start screaming, the rage of it surging through him--but he managed to take a very deep breath, holding the feeling somewhere within his soul; it was mostly the slitted glint of his eyes which showed how angry the suggestion had made him--that and his blunt words. "D'you think I married you just to fuck you?" She gazed back to him, her eyes widening--and he started to comprehend a little more of her worries, the fury slackening just slightly. "Do you think I'll want you less, once you're a mother to our child?"
This, of course, was *exactly* what she feared; she bit her lip, afraid to death, from his current look, that she had gotten it just right. The anger only went deeper there, making him stand up, pacing away. It took him a second to respond, torn that she could ever think this--for even a second. To believe that he only wanted her as some sort of possession . . .
Still, whatever his rage at the very thought, he got his feelings under control a moment later--remembered the truth. She had long been tortured, had never been exposed, in any real sense, to any decent examples of either pregnancy or motherhood. Certainly, she had rarely, if ever, seen a father who still cared for the mother of his child, one who had ever looked at her as anything more than a toy. The breath which escaped him was long. He had to make himself understand the pain she had been through; his heart began to sink. That was the only way he could forgive himself for making her think this for even an instant.
He turned back to her after a long moment--her fear having grown exponentially with each passing breath. That the terrors were based on no part of her experience with him--were supported by nothing she knew of him or their life together--meant little. They existed. And every fear could turn deadly in silence.
She was nearly holding her breath, as she waited for his answer--was surprised by the way in which it came. He returned to her, his look so deep, before kneeling at her feet--gaze almost on level with hers on the bed, making his truth so clear. "I want *you*, Nikita." He sighed quietly. "I want this child, because it's yours. Even if someone else were the father, I would still treasure it, because you're its mother." His head shook once. "Nothing will ever change that."
Oh--she loved him for this, loved him for everything he was, but she couldn't help doubting. "I've been so weak this last month or so." She shrugged. "I'm weepy nearly all the time." She was certain it was more the still-too-recent attack than the presence of their child within her--but the reaction was there, nonetheless. Her head shook, the fear so clear. "I don't want you to have to have a partner you have to coddle and take care of." The shake of the head returned, the horror so evident. "I don't want you to have to take care of two children soon."
Lord--when would she learn? He sighed deeply, wishing he could make her see. "You'll never be a child, Nikita. You're not weak, and you never will be." He went on addressing her doubts, before she could interrupt. "The last few weeks have been difficult and painful for both of us." The look moved in, so adoring. "Why would you ever believe that I wouldn't want to be there for you?"
She understood, really--but his words only deepened her fears, making her plead. "Listen to yourself, Michael. They've been difficult *for both of us*." She sighed, wondering when he would finally see what a burden she was. "What have I done to ever help *you* through?"
Christ--it was impossible to believe that she didn't get it. "You're by my side and breathing, Nikita." The look pierced her. "*That's* what I need to live." His hand caressed her face, his gaze adoring. "The fact that you love--and *need*--me just gives me the desire to go on." It, clearly, was the only definition of self he would ever really want.
Oh, she loved him for this--but feared for them both, not wanting to pull him into her own weakness. Still, he just shook his head, trying to explain. "Maybe it's foolish, my love. Maybe it's meaningless." His thumb stroked along her cheek. "But protecting you, making you feel comfortable, safe, and happy, gives me all the consolation for the pain of my life I'll ever need." He shook his head, not certain even he understood. "Maybe it's just being a man, but I need to look after you. I want to." It was far more comfortable, after all, than the reverse.
Oh. She could see this now, loving him--whatever she might think of his reasoning; he had pulled her softly forward, her head propped under his chin--the comfort of it too great to want to pull away. But she did smile there, her voice ironic. "That *is* stupid, Michael."
He laughed, adoring her teasing--knowing he probably deserved it. "I said 'foolish,' my love." She leaned in, kissing the patch of skin his parted collar revealed, and he sighed happily, closing his eyes. Yes. Her devotion was all he ever needed to exist.
They were like that for sometime, their arms around each other--both so comforted by the truth of their devotion. When his words finally came, they were a soft breath in her hair--reassuring her further. "When you're well, and you feel like it, I'll make love to you--only to you. Because you're the one person in the world I want." His soft kiss touched her soul. "Once our child's born, once you're ready, I'll go back to making love to you like the world is going to end." His head shook there. Both of them might be ignoring when he might ever return, refusing to acknowledge any, more painful, possibilities, but neither of them cared, just now. "*Nothing* is ever going to make me want or love you less."
This was a beautiful declaration--one she had always understood, deep down--but it was so easy to forget, through her fears, at times. She sighed, loving him. But still she teased, pulling back to find his gaze. "What if I want you to make love to me like that *before* our baby's born?"
Ah. Her eyes were aglow, even if her still slightly-greenish tint told him that she wasn't up to such activities just now. It would make three nights in a row that they hadn't made love--a sadness for them both. Still, he returned her knowing smile, both hands on her face. "That," he kissed her lips softly, "can definitely be arranged."
Mm. She loved him for this, loved him for everything, as he rose and helped her up, setting down her drink temporarily--helping her change. But the feeling of his hands on her, encouraging her unveiling, seemed anything but a distant sort of comfort. "Michael?" she wondered.
He smiled behind her, lovely months of practice allowing him to strip her naked in only a very few seconds, when needed. He now slipped her nightgown over her head, pulling out the clips which held the long strands of her silken hair back a moment later. "You need sleep, 'Kita." There was a long sort of sigh, as his arms went around her--his hands covetous on her lower stomach. "There *will be* other nights."
She smiled as well, loving him, but had to pull away after a moment--the heat from his body making her feel unwell yet again; she sighed, looking toward the window, as he changed behind her. "Do you want me to shut that?" she offered.
He shook his head, even if she didn't see. "No, you need it." And he would be certain to help her keep a good balance between getting enough cool air to stave off her nausea and enough warmth to stave off anything else.
She felt this, loved him for it, but certainly didn't want him to suffer. She turned back to him, half-relieved and half-disappointed to see that he was already in his pajamas--knowing she probably wasn't well enough for any sight so arousing as her naked husband; she managed to pull her mind back to the question at hand. "You'll freeze."
His smile lingered, pointing toward the bed. "I have you. I'll stay warm."
Mm. This was a lovely thought--at least, most of the time; she burped quietly and sighed, seeing his plan to share the same bunk with her and appreciating it--generally. "Maybe I should sleep on the outside." However they arranged it, it was going to be a tight fit.
He did nod, but there was a sadness to his eyes, hating himself for the suffering he was putting her through. She had never experienced train-sickness before him.
She saw his doubt, as he got into bed first, sighing over the fears each of them dealt with. "I love you," she assured him, her gaze tender, and he smiled, holding up the covers for her. Maybe that alone was answer enough, for now.
He seemed to agree, both of them lying there quietly--Nikita trying to let the rhythm of the rails drift her off to sleep, rather than make her feel queasy again. She was sick to death of being sick. Still, in trying to distract herself, her mind did wander, speaking again. "Why didn't you order any drinks for yourself today?" It wasn't like she didn't appreciate his concern for her, his focus mostly on her needs--and it certainly wasn't as though he were a drunk--but he did tend to enjoy a glass of wine or an occasional cocktail. The curiosity of their absence struck her only now.
Lord. He sighed, never having tried to win her attention with the lapse. "I didn't want the smell to annoy you." And he also hadn't wanted to repulse her, if she kissed him. Ill as she had been, the scent or taste of alcohol was something she simply didn't need.
She knew this as well, smiling adoringly, even if he couldn't see--the two of them lying spoon-fashion in the bunk. She changed the subject as a reward. "How will you make love to me, once I'm further along, Michael?" She felt a certain part of him jump slightly and had to repress her laugh. "I'll be as big as a house by then." Even if she was barely showing at all at the moment.
His hand landed on her hip for a second, and she nearly felt his smile, as his hips--and another, certain body part, came closer. "I have my ways, my love."
She laughed, adoring him, and felt the poor tortured part jump slightly again. "Sorry," she smiled--and she meant it. Just sleeping with him was only half of her joy in their shared bed.
He knew, his hand running lightly over her hair--feeling the dampness closer to her scalp, knowing how hard she was having to fight her own illness; his sigh was inaudible. "Quiet," he whispered, loving her. "Get some rest." Tomorrow, after all, was another, long day on the train--and he greatly feared that a combination of carbonation and citrus wouldn't get her through for long.
She didn't think about this, sighing happily in his presence--knowing, for now, at least, that he wanted no one but her. That--and their shared bed--were enough. They did love, and they were together; her eyes closed. Tomorrow, she could worry about anything which came later.
He agreed, following her into sleep, adoring her far more than words could ever have captured. But tomorrow would be another, long day; he sighed, fingers still wrapped softly in the silk of her hair. And they would face whatever would come together then.
[End of Part 233]
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