Author Topic: Grimm Arrival  (Read 310 times)

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Grimm Arrival
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2013, 10:39:13 AM »
The Chief actually winced in the moment before Ailis threw up her hands, irritated beyond belief by John's insistence on misunderstanding her. "For God's sake, John, I'm not telling you to move out," she flared up, throwing the cloth accurately into the sink with a sharp movement. "Stop assuming the worst whenever I open my mouth, would you?" And there was the running away thing again - she stalked out of the kitchen and through the main room, her temper no doubt stoked by the low chuckle that issued from her father at the sight.

"John boy," the older soldier said, thumping John on the shoulder, "you've a lot to learn."

The look on John's face was somewhat akin to a deer in the headlights of an oncoming automobile. "What did I say?" he asked. All he'd done was tell her the truth, as far as he knew it. "I can't seem to say anything right where Ailis is concerned," he complained, more to himself than to her father. He wondered if it was that way with all women, but he and Sam got along fine, at least most of the time. But then he'd known Sam all his life and then some.

"Ah, it's not what you say," Chief chuckled, pulling the plug in the sink to let the water drain away. "It's what you seem to imply. You've an inscrutable way about you, John, Sunshine's not used to it. My guess'd be she took your meaning to be that you think she was telling you to abandon your sister. The pair of you need to learn to talk to each other, or your life's going to be one wild ride, lad."

"I talk," John replied, a little defensively, but mostly because he just had no clue what he'd done wrong. "She just doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying half the time." He picked up a towel with the intention of drying the dishes, still looking about as confused as ever. "I'm not abandoning anyone. I wish she'd stop thinking that." He remembered how she'd reacted when he'd told her to get dressed and come downstairs, misunderstanding him completely. He was a man of few words, not given to spelling things out, a thinker, not a relater.

The Chief reached out to grip his shoulder. "Think for a moment, John," he suggested. "Five people she's grown up with, lived with, worked with all her life are suddenly not there anymore. Wouldn't you be a bit wary of losing anyone else in her place?" He patted the younger man's shoulder hard. "I know my daughter. She thought you thought she was telling you to leave your sister be to work through her terrors on her own, which you and I both know she wasn't. She's not the best at talking herself, lad."

"I'm not sure I know how to make her understand," he frowned, glancing at the doorway again, the towel held in his hands, but not doing anything with it. At that moment, he was open to any advice the older man could give. "My parents..." He trailed off to correct himself.  "Our parents... They never argued." He wasn't sure why that was relevant, but he didn't know much about romantic relationships and had never been part of one before that was quite like this. The only women he'd ever really known very well, other than Ailis, were his sister and mother.

"They never argued where you could see or hear," Colm Warren corrected him mildly. "Show me a couple who never argue, and I'll show you a pair of liars. It's not the disagreements that count; it's the way you resolve them. Ailis is as Irish as I am, John - she comes with that temper, that passion inside her all the time. She'll flare up, she'll snap, she'll express herself, but she'll never hold an argument against you. Get used to the flare ups, and the making up that'll come after. And for God's sake, lad, teach her how to understand you better. It'll save a world of headaches."

John furrowed his brows, a little perplexed when it came to women - or at least, to Ailis. "I'm not sure how," he admitted after a moment. If anyone had ever told him he'd be asking Colm Warren for advice about his daughter, he'd have laughed and told them they were crazy, but that seemed to be exactly what he was doing. Con was gone; he couldn't ask his advice anymore, and truthfully, Con had never had any good advice where his sister was concerned anyway.

The Chief chuckled, taking the towel out of his hands. "No time like the present," he grinned, jerking his head toward the ceiling, a not-so-subtle hint as to where Ailis had gone, though her boots had been quiet on the stairs. "Making a good start does you the world of good."

"What about the dishes?" John asked, as if the dishes were important, but it was really only an excuse to keep him from facing the wrath of Ailis. At least, her father seemed to understand their relationship and approve of it and him. That was something anyway.

"Oh, I think I can handle a horde of undried dishes alone," Colm snorted with laughter, knowing the look on John's face better than most might think. He still remembered certain arguments with his own late wife that had taken most of his considerable courage to begin resolving. "The longer you leave her, the harder she'll be. She's like her mother."

John was hoping it would be the other way around - that she'd simmer down and cool off with time, but it seemed he'd been wrong even about that. The longer he waited, the harder it was going to be. Things had been awkward between them long enough. He wanted a fresh start; he wanted her to understand that he wasn't going anywhere. He frowned, but not because he was being kicked out of the kitchen. "Time to face the music, I suppose," he said, setting the towel on the counter and starting toward the door.

Watching him go, the Chief smirked to himself. It was always fun to cause a little mischief, especially where his children were concerned. Ailis would thank him another time, he was sure; it all depended on how John reacted to what he was going to find upstairs. Rory didn't even glance up as John came into view, only lowering his voice for Sam's ears only. "Bet you a kiss he won't know what to say when he gets up there."

"Is that the only way you know to get me to kiss you, Rory Warren?" Sam asked with a smirk, keeping her own voice low as she watched her brother sulk as he marched past on his way to the stairs. "And how are you going to prove it?" she continued in a hushed voice.

As for John, he heard them whispering to each other, but didn't know or care what it was about. He started back up the stairs, dragging his feet, one stair at a time. Thump, thump, thump.

As it turned out, Ailis met John on the landing. Coming out of the bathroom, wet body wrapped in a towel. She stopped dead for a moment, her eyes wide with unnecessary surprise, before she offered up a faint grin and half a shrug. "Wasn't expecting you to follow me," she admitted, proving her father right. She really didn't hold her flare ups against him.

"Wasn't expecting you to be in a towel," he replied, looking her over appreciatively, head to toe, enjoying the view. A shower actually sounded like a good idea, but she'd already beat him to it. What now? "I... uh... I didn't think you were telling me to move out," he tried to explain. "I just... It's just hard letting go, is all."  The truth was though he'd been forced to let go of his sister years ago, he still felt it was his brotherly duty to watch over her and it was hard letting someone else take his place.

Ailis sighed softly, leaning back against the bathroom door-frame, holding the towel tight about herself, almost shy of the appreciative gleam in his eyes as he looked at her. "You don't have to let go, John," she told him, shaking her head. "Just ease back a bit, that's all. You can't solve all her problems, and by trying to, you're just going to piss her off." She swallowed, glancing in through the door she stood against. "There are towels in there, if you want to use the shower. Only cold water right now, we haven't hooked up the boiler yet."
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Grimm Arrival
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2013, 10:40:06 AM »
"I'm not trying to solve her problems," he told her with a frown. Not exactly anyway. It was more a matter of just trying to protect her. "I know I have to let go a little. It's just she's the only family I have left and..." He trailed off, leaving the rest unsaid. He was preaching to the choir, after all. If anyone knew what it was like to lose a loved one, it was Ailis. "Anyway, I'm sorry." A cold shower didn't sound particularly inviting, but if they needed him to help out around the house, he was more than willing. "You want me to do it? Hook up the boiler, I mean."

"If you want to, although it can wait." Again, she shrugged one shoulder, this time pushing herself out of her lean, one hand self-consciously smoothing down the edge of the towel about herself as though making sure it hadn't decided to gape open. She wasn't sure why she was feeling shy all of a sudden; after all, she could be fairly certain that her physical form didn't repulse him after their hello. She pointed to the hatch in the ceiling above them. "The tank and piping is up there. We were going to reinforce the beams before setting to work, though."

"We can start to work on that tomorrow then," he said, glancing at the ceiling for a moment before looking back at her. He wasn't sure why he was feeling suddenly awkward when they'd spent part of their afternoon in each other's arms. "I should probably take a shower," he said, gesturing past her to the bathroom, almost wishing he'd caught her before she'd gotten out, but that would be embarrassing if her father or brother found out. He had to get past her to get to the bathroom, and that was going to be a little bit awkward.

She nodded, edging sideways to be out of the way, feeling just as awkward as he was. There was no hiding the flush that traveled over her chilled skin as she brushed past him, or the way her eyes failed to lock to his, distracted by lips or neck until she pulled herself together. "Do you need your pack?" she asked him, drawing in a deep breath as she prepared to back away once again.

"Um, yeah, well..." He trailed off, feeling awkward again. This was silly. They had to get past this awkwardness somehow. He sighed in a bit of frustration, more at himself than anything else. "Ailis, I..." He looked from the bedroom back to her. "Maybe we should talk in private." She was in a towel, after all.

It took a moment for her to focus on what he'd said, distracted by the closeness in the confines of the hallway. Drawing her eyes back to his, she bit her lip, glancing down at herself. "You're probably right." She huffed softly with laughter, bare feet backing her up a couple of steps before she turned to push open the door to the room she, and apparently he, had claimed as theirs.

He hoped she didn't mind that he was sharing a room, but he wasn't really sure. It was one of the many things they needed to discuss and neither seemed very good at that sort of thing. He followed her into the room she'd claimed as her own, reaching around behind him to pull the Berretta out of the back of his pants. He wasn't sure why he'd taken it to dinner with him, more out of habit than need, but better safe than sorry. He'd have to look into getting a holster.

It felt complicated, whatever was going on here, and complicated was something Ailis did not do very well. Still, she thought she might feel a little more confident if she had more than a towel on, pulling the first things to hand out of her own pack. "I can't promise not to yell at you if you're being a stubborn bastard," she told him, more to distract herself as she turned her back, stepping into fresh panties with a creative wriggle to keep her less modest flesh out of sight.

He tried not to watch as she wriggled into clothes, feeling his body reacting to her getting dressed, as much as it did when she was doing the opposite. What the hell was the matter with him? Here she was barely dressed in just a towel and he wanted to talk? He set the Berretta on the bedside table where he had before. It seemed the best place for it. It wasn't like any monsters were going to attack him here, just the monsters that wandered around in his head. "I can't promise not to get pissed if you do," he replied. "I know it's going to take some work. But I'm willing to try." Hell, he was willing to do a lot more than that.

"We can make it work." Admittedly, she sounded a lot more confident than she looked in that moment, given the speed with which she went from dropping the towel to pulling a tank on over her head to cover up. Anyone would think she was scared of him seeing her nude, when it couldn't be further from the truth. Still, satisfied that she was at least decent enough to be comfortable, she turned back to look at him. "There's a lot I don't know about you, John," she admitted quietly. "I don't know how to read you yet. And I have a really quick temper."

"Really?" he asked, a small teasing smirk on his as she turned to face him, his eyes moving appreciatively over her again. "I hadn't noticed." It was hard to keep a lid on the desire that was stirring inside him again, his body thinking for him. "Maybe we should just have sex and get over the awkwardness," he suggested, only half kidding.

"Oh, hadn't you?" Despite the vague aggression in her tone, her eyes were lit with amusement as her hands came to rest on her hips in the face of that tease. His suggestion, whether it was serious or not, brought a gentle ripple of palpable desire flooding through her under his gaze. She'd had it mostly under control during dinner; now they were alone, it was getting difficult to ignore again. "Maybe we should," she mused, paying him back for his teasing smirk with a sweep of her own gaze, hot and wanting, from tip to toe and back again, lingering playfully on his crotch just long enough for him to realize what she was looking at. "Of course, by that reasoning, every time we feel awkward, we should just get naked."

"So long as it's not in front of your father," he agreed with a smirk. Hell with it. They could talk later. She was too desirable to ignore, and he wanted her too much. He made his move, though it seemed a shame to strip her of the clothing she'd just gone to the trouble to put on. His hands came to rest on her waist, a smile on his face. If this was the only way for them to ease the awkwardness between them, so be it. It was tough to take, but he thought he could manage it. He lifted a hand to tip her chin up to meet the crushing kiss from his lips.

The thought of sending the Chief running for the nearest exit by stripping brought a delightfully feminine giggle to her lips, offering up a smile for him to smother with the kiss he crushed to her mouth. She rose up on bare toes, a little more confident this time to touch him as her fingers trailed up over the line of his arms, answering the heat in him with her own, feeling the sense of shyness, of awkwardness, burn away in a burst of breathless desire. Her lips parted from his to release two words that were pretty important at this point, needing to get them out there before she was completely steamrollered with want. "Door," she breathed against his lips, drawing her fingers through his hair, leaving him even more disheveled than she had the last time. "Lock."

He seared a kiss against her lips, his passion equaling hers. He was hoping to be a little quieter this time, but he was no more willing to chance an interruption than she was. The others in the house were going to have to learn to knock first. He kissed her again, as if for good measure, before moving to the door to lock it for the second time that day. "Locked," he confirmed, once he'd turned the lock, wasting no time as he turned back to her and lifted his arms to tug his shirt over his head and toss it aside.

She turned to watch him as he moved away, admiring not for the first time the predatory way he moved, the shift of muscle beneath his shirt as he turned back to her. There was no time wasted waiting for him to be ready for her, either - as his arms rose, she moved to him, her hands finding warm, ready skin as she followed the rise of his shirt with a hungry caress. Her lips touched the hollow of his throat, counting the beat of his pulse for a moment before biting gently, suckling his flesh with tender aggression as her hands swept up his back. That first time had been a consummation of years of longing; it was her turn to show him now what he'd been missing by holding off for so long.

He withheld the groan that was building inside him as her teeth grazed his flesh, hands sliding beneath her shirt and against her skin as he tugged it upwards and over her head, baring her to his touch and sight, arousal flaring. The first time had been quick, a frenzied coupling that barely scratched the surface. If he had anything to say about it, this time would be slow. He wanted to explore her, discover her, memorize every inch of her, slowly learn her so that he knew what made her gasp and groan and sigh, what made her ask for more or plead for release. Whatever she wanted, he'd give it to her and then some.
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Grimm Arrival
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2013, 10:41:09 AM »
Of course, he was going to have to convince her to stop what she was doing first. Ailis was no virgin, no shy lover; she knew what she could do to a man, and was determined to learn just how unique this man was. Despite the brief break to let him draw her shirt over her head, she returned to touch and kiss within a moment, memorizing the scent and taste of his skin, the way he felt beneath her hands, what he liked, what made him groan and stiffen and weaken to her touch. She gave him little quarter, hands on his hips drawing him to the bed, easing him down onto the edge to kneel between his knees as her caressing kisses traveled the length of his torso. With hands busy unlacing and removing his boots and socks, she somehow managed to undo his pants with her teeth, nuzzling her way to the more sensitive skin hidden beneath with purpose.

He was more than a little surprised by this unexpected turn of events. He was pretty sure she was no virgin, though he'd never asked about former lovers, and he knew she wasn't the passive type, but he wasn't really expecting her to take charge of him the way she did. If it had been anyone else, he might have taken control of the situation, but this was Ailis. This was the culmination of a long-held fantasy he was unwilling to admit to, even to her. He submitted himself eagerly to her attention, his body more than willing and able, letting her explore him as he'd explored her.

And that exploration was very thorough. In a matter of minutes she had him stripped of everything he wore, a scattered pile of clothing across the floor the only sign he'd been wearing anything at all when he stepped into the room in the first place. And she took her time. Agonizingly slowly, offering up the most exquisitely wonderful form of torture she could concoct, she started the process of imprinting herself so indelibly on his consciousness that he wouldn't be able to look at another woman the same way again. Hands and lips, teeth and tongue, she even used her hair as a sensual weapon against his defenses, utterly determined to have him melt under her ministrations before he was allowed to even think about returning the attention.

There was no resistance on his end, allowing her to do whatever she wanted without any interference from him, other than for the stifled groans and sighs of breath that indicated his pleasure and encouraged her to continue. She was like a siren in her seductions, not seducing him with her voice but with every taste and touch, even the tiniest of caresses. He was like putty in her hands as she slowly melted the barriers that protected his heart and claimed him for her own. When her ministrations at last took him to the peak of pleasure, he thought he would die from the intensity of it, years of loneliness melting away as he called out her name, more than once, her name like a prayer upon his lips.

Ailis' smile was like the sun rising when he finally gave in, the pale strands of her hair stroking over his skin as she crawled up over him, sweetly smug with triumph. "Say that again?" she asked playfully. "I don't think they heard you very clearly." But evidently they had, if the muffled sounds coming from downstairs were anything to go by. It sounded rather as though Rory was humping an unwilling elephant, but at least no one was knocking on the door to interrupt.

He grunted at the sounds coming from downstairs. He'd broken his own rule about silent sex, but he didn't really care. If they were going to live in the same house together, the rest of them were just going to have to get used to hearing the bedsprings creak from time to time. "Should I put on some loud music?" he asked, not skipping a beat. As soon as she crawled over him, he flipped her over onto her back, reaching for her hands and pinning them over her head. As they say, payback's a bitch, and he planned on paying her back tenfold, not to mention her nosy brother.

One thing guaranteed to shut Rory up would be the sound of his sister thoroughly enjoying herself. Ailis laughed as she was flipped over, the natural urge to fight as John pinned her own making it a struggle for dominance where the odds were stacked entirely in his favor. She arched beneath him, drawing her toes up along the back of his calf teasingly. "Maybe we should make soundproofing a priority."

"Maybe we should make them suffer and moan even louder." He was planning on making her moan anyway, whether they were listening or not. Tit for tat, he returned the favor she'd done for him, starting out in slow, easy exploration of her body. A kiss here, a caress there, lips and hands moving over her body starting with her mouth and moving ever downward. He eased the last covering of cloth from her both, fingers grazing her thighs and calves before his lips were trailing upwards until they reached the apex of her legs. A small smirk on his face was evident before he took the plunge, accepting the unspoken challenge to make her cry out his name as he'd done hers.

She didn't stand a chance against the sheer weight of purpose in his eyes, his touch. Despite being the first to admit to the softer side of her heart, there was still just a little resistance, smaller defenses that kept her from surrendering completely, muffling the sounds she gave him to shuddering sighs, groans of delight muffled as she bit down on her own hand. Just like before, he knew where to touch, where to tease, in a way she couldn't have predicted, picking the lock on her surrender rather than battering down the resistance that was there. If there was any awkwardness after this, they were both going to have to be to blame, so completely had she touched him and he, her. As tension bled through her form, arching her from the bed in a feline stretch that pointed her toes and clenched her fingers, he got what he was aiming for. His name, called aloud in a voice that was as husky as it was loud, jealously proud of the right to do just that in the grip of ecstasy.

He smiled as she surrendered to him, feeling his own resistance melting away, the fear of being abandoned or being hurt fleeing in the wake of this newfound hope. He wasn't sure if he was ready to call it love just yet, though they'd both admitted as much, even if the words had come out awkwardly or heatedly. Passion was passion, and the passion he felt for her burned deep. He longed to hear her say it again, to tell him she loved him, but he wouldn't ask for it. He felt the tension go out of her as she reached that same pinnacle he'd crested only moments before, but instead of letting that be the end of it, he suddenly moved over her and filled that empty space with himself, rocking his body against hers and quickly joining her in the grip of ecstasy.

He rendered her speechless, breathless, boneless, lolling in the throbbing aftermath of a climax that had not ended until he had found his own pleasure in her once again. As that throb eased away, Ailis gasped for breath, blinking her eyes wide in warm astonishment as she looked up at him, her hands unwilling to loosen the tight clutch of her fingers at his neck and back. She didn't know what to say, shy of admitting to her heart for the third time in a single day, dragging her hands over his shoulders, drawing him down into a deep kiss that burned as she shuddered one last time. "You were saying?"

He settled himself against her for a moment, finding refuge and comfort in that kiss, before rolling onto his side and taking her with him so that he wouldn't crush her with his weight. He exhaled a heavy sigh, feeling suddenly as lazy and content as a cat. "You want me to say it again?" he asked, mostly teasing. They were only words after all, but he wasn't the most vocal of lovers.

She laughed again, the intimate sound of it coming far more easily here in private than where others could see and hear her. "So ... is that going to happen every time we argue?" she asked, also teasing, settling on her side, tucked against him in the warmth they had created together. "I might have to find combats easier to get out of."

"If I say yes, will you argue with me just to hear me say it?" he countered, feeling more relaxed than he ever had in recent memory. He brushed his fingers against her cheek in a loving caress, letting his hand trail down against a bare shoulder, graze the soft curve of her breast, not looking to arouse her, but only wanting to touch her, to know that she was real. There was a smile on his face that softened his expression, made him look younger than his years, not as battle hardened, softer, more vulnerable.
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Grimm Arrival
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2013, 10:43:11 AM »
She playfully seemed to consider this for a moment, selfishly enjoying the gentle passage of his hand over her skin. She felt as though she'd earned the right to touch and be touched in this way, determined to enjoy it now it was theirs to share. "It's a possibility," she told him with a cheeky wriggle of her brows, her lips setting into an impish smile even as her palm smoothed over his chest. This felt comfortable, easy; it appeared that here would be where they could talk to one another, so long as neither held anything back. "Did the Chief tell you his plan?"

He wasn't sure why things had changed, but it seemed the tension had broken. They seemed as much at ease with each other as though they were old lovers. He wondered if it was only temporary or if they'd crossed a threshold. Whatever had happened, he felt more at ease with her in that moment than he had with anyone before, save his twin. Even so, he knew there were things he could tell Ailis that he'd never dare tell Samantha. "He told me a little," he admitted, feeling strangely lazy and even a little bit sleepy, though it was hardly time for bed. "Something about a merc team. He seems pretty adamant about staying here and not going back."

"Our bridges are burned there," she told him quietly. "Too many people know our faces, our tactics, and now we're reduced to three, we're an easy target for old enemies." Ailis stretched luxuriantly at his side, throwing her leg over his as her fingertips drew nonsensical patterns over his heart. "It isn't really choice, not for us. And if the Chief goes back into it, Rory will follow him." She sighed softly. "And I can't let them do that without me. They'd be dead within the year."

"Five," John corrected. He knew she was still grieving her brothers and truth be told, he hadn't even started, but there weren't only three of them. They had him and Sam now. That made five. He found her touch strangely comforting, even if it was just a random caress of fingertips, and he drew her closer, wanting to feel the warmth of her body against his, even if all they did was talk and lie close. "We don't have much choice either," he reminded her. He didn't really have to remind her that if anyone were to find out they were still alive, or even worse to find what he'd become, they'd never have any peace. "You're going to have to show us around, get us acclimated with this place."

She lifted her head, looking down at him with a faint frown of concern. "Don't make that decision without talking to Sam," she suggested gently. "She'll make life hard for all of us if she thinks the decision was made for her, just like any of us would." Her fingertips traced the line of his cheek as she spoke, brushing over his lips before she settled against him once more. "It doesn't take long to get used to Rhy'Din. It's the people it takes a while to grow accustomed to."

"I'm pretty sure Sam has already decided. Have you seen the way she looks at Rory?" John pointed out. He'd talk to Sam later, but he thought Sam was the least of his worries at this point. "I just want her to be safe and happy. That's all I want." Her touch comforted him a little, made him feel like someone cared. He wasn't really that concerned with the job. Jobs would always be there, though he had his scruples. He was a solider, not an assassin, and he wouldn't stoop to becoming a hired killer. What he wanted to really wanted to understand was what was happening between the two of them and how they were going to make it work.

"We can keep her safe," Ailis promised, and he knew better than most that it was no empty promise. Between the four of them, Sam was going to be one of the best protected scientists in a dozen universes. "And if she wants it badly enough, Rory will make her happy. What do you want for yourself, John? You can't spend your life looking to everyone else's happiness."

"Me?" he asked, arching a brow. No one had ever really asked him that before, not in so many words, anyway. "Are you happy you gave up your microscope for a sniper scope?" he heard his sister ask in his head, or something like that. He didn't really need to think about the question. He already knew what he wanted, and he practically had it. "All I want I've already got under this roof." It was true. All he really wanted was for Sam to be safe. It was all he'd wanted for a long time, until he'd met Ailis. Now, he'd added the love of a woman to that list of desires, but it seemed he finally had that, too.

Ailis echoed his expression with one brow arched, a querying smile on her lips as she watched him consider his answer and give it. It wasn't much of an answer, but she was beginning to learn when not to push it with John. If he wanted to tell her more, he would, and it wouldn't kill her to be patient for that offering, either. "Ah, so you're harboring a secret passion for the Chief," she teased, unable to help herself. "Got it."

"Right, that's exactly what it is," he smirked, the smile coming a little easier, at least for now. He sighed a little as he turned serious, trying to give her question an honest response. "Sam asked me that once. If I regretted joining the Marines. There was a time when I wanted to be a scientist, like her, but after Mom and Dad died..." He shrugged. "I wanted to get as far away from Olduvai as I could."

"But you never left Olduvai, did you?" she asked him quietly, rising up to prop herself on one elbow, sweeping her fingers against his temple. "You got stuck there, up here, and never really let it go. Not until now."

His eyes followed her face as she looked down on him, not really wanting to think about the accident that had taken his parents or the grief that had come after, the argument with Sam when he'd told her he was going to join the service, followed by her quiet acceptance. They were twins; they were supposed to stick together, but after what had happened, he didn't want to follow in his parents' footsteps anymore, and look what had happened? He'd ended up becoming a walking science experiment. "I'm not sure I can ever let it go," he admitted quietly, letting her see the conflict in him that he rarely showed anyone else.

"Wouldn't ask you to." She leaned down to kiss him once again, softer, gentler, coaxing affection over passion as her palm smoothed over his side once again. "I don't think I'm ever going to leave Nevada," she admitted in that low tone, her eyes shining for a moment with the tears only he had seen, the emotion brutally suppressed out of habit. "But ... well, it helps that you've got my back."

His grief was older than hers. He'd learned how to carry it, how to hide it, how to bury it deep inside so it didn't eat you alive. He saw a hint of tears in her eyes and he brushed a hand against her cheek as if to chase them away. "You asked what I want, Ailis," he said, his voice growing soft for a weathered soldier. "All I want I have right here, with you. I'm not going anywhere, so long as you want me here. I promise."

Her smile was a little watery, but sweetly genuine in answer to his promise, her hand rising to curl about his where it rested against her cheek. "You're all I've wanted for a very long time," she confessed in the quiet they had wrapped about themselves. "It's just ... it's hard to believe you're really here. I can be a nightmare to live with, I know that. But I'll try, John. I will try."

He returned her smile with one of his own, warm and hopeful and unexpectedly understanding. "That makes two of us," he said. He let her take his hand, linking his fingers with hers. "We're gonna be okay, Sunshine. Promise." He sealed his promise with a kiss that was as warm and loving as his words. He may not have repeated those three little words of love, but actions speak louder than words, and if his kiss was anything to go by, then she should feel confident that she held his heard in her hands. He knew he couldn't take the place of her brothers, but maybe he could at least give her a reason to go on. He didn't really know what the future held, but he knew that so long as they kept those promises, then maybe all their lonely nights were finally over. They were stronger together than apart, and if he had his way, they would never be apart again.

[size=9]((Phew! Loooooong scene with no natural breaks! Congratulations if you read it all the way through! Split effort with the NPCs and various, but it goes without saying that John's player is especially smoochable and awesome and fantabulous and ... yeah, I've run out of made up words. ;-) ))[/size]
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]