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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:56 pm 
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“That's if I remember, right?” he tried to joke, really he did, the smile was there, the tone was light, but as soon as the words had left his mouth he could feel himself wince at them. Maybe it was too soon to be joking around with that kind of stuff, but he appreciated the sentiment either way and yes there was a small flutter of stirrings in his stomach at the prospect and being able to hold Claire to that.

It was probably the one thing he hadn't actually come to expect with the relationship with Claire, when they had first took that giant leap into being more than just brilliant friends, was that promises like that were always full filled, that the teasing would always lead to laughter and better times. It had been a bit of learning curve for himself as well, and now it seemed or rather it felt like that he was back on that learning curve, sussing himself out after everything and not knowing where to put his foot and frustrating himself. He was sure he would find his footing again soon....he hoped.

It felt to him that then next few minutes seemed to go into an almost clinical sort of moment, as Claire helped him push himself round onto the bed, helped him to settle back against the pillows – he really was going to have to thank whoever it was that brought such comfortable pillows with them, they were brilliant – but there was also that intimate thing in the help as well.

Caleb knew even with his eyes closed from time to time, that he was sort of half smiling at Claire and knew that if he looked at her, she would be ready with a smile for him. Even in their very exhausted state.

Once he was comfortable, settled, and had made his comment to her, he couldn't help the heat that crossed his face as she all but stripped for him, his eyes never left her as her hands seemed to almost slowly – too slowly for his liking – pulled the top up, revealing every inch of perfect skin underneath the worn t-shirt (it also hadn't really escaped his notice that Claire was wearing one of his t-shirts).

It felt like time seemed to stand still as Claire got the top towards her chest and he found himself holding his breath not daring to ask for more, wanting to reach out but knowing that if he moved the moment would be broken, the wounds would make themselves known. This was most definitely the warmest he had felt in a long time, and as Claire discarded the top, he couldn't help letting his eyes roam across her body, her very naked body – she was picking up bad habits from him – as she moved around the bed and crawled in next to him.

Caleb found himself reaching out a hand to touch the skin, to remind himself this was actually real, this was the here and now, this wasn't some dream that was going to be snatched away at any moment. It wasn't that he could even do anything about any 'problems' that might arise in that moment, but damn if it didn't feel right to just have her next to him. To be able to reach out a hand and trace along the arm and yes the angle was odd because he quite literally could not roll onto to his side, but he could touch her, feel her, and as she cuddle into his side – he didn't care that she was leaning on a bruise or two – he could feel her heat.

“Gorgeous,” he whispered looking at her, seeing her for what felt like the first time since he'd woken up, feeling like his normal self.

He couldn't help smiling slightly as she asked him to get the lights, “You want me to turn the lights out? Now?” he asked almost a playful tone to his voice, before adding with a mock pout, “but then I don't get to look.”

Damn he wasn't sure where this was coming from, why he felt so like himself in that moment, but he wasn't going to push it away at the moment, he was sit and revel in it, let it soak into his skin because he had a feeling that he was going to need to try to remember this feeling tomorrow. At the stray thought of tomorrow, his smile soon slipped from his face, he wasn't looking forward to having more pain inflicted on him – Beckett had told him the procedure wasn't going to be pain free - and he found himself tracing small circles on Claire's arm as he nodded his head.

The one good thing about having the Ancient Gene, was that he never had to get out of bed again to switch another table lamp off, as the room was slowly dipped into darkness, he felt his breath catch for a moment before he told himself he was still with Claire. He was in their quarters, it was safe here, after he had repeated that a couple of times he found himself starting to relax and the more he relaxed the more tired he felt.

Letting out a quiet breath he said, “You know...” he was falling to sleep between words now, “The gene....is what landed me...in this trouble...in the first place.” Before he completely passed out.

* * *

Caleb heard the gun shot before he realised what had happened, he was trying to run, his legs feeling like lead. His head was swimming and all he could hear was shouts around him, people co-ordinating some kind of attack and all Caleb could do was keep moving, he was sure there was meant to be other members of his team with him....no that wasn't right, he was on his own, he had sent his team home.

Why had he done that?

Why did he want to be on this planet on his own?

He stumbled on a patch of wet grass, or it looked like wet grass, it felt like wet grass, he looked down, confused as to why the wet grass was a black colour and just why was he not wearing any shoes? He had, had boots on when he started the mission where had they gone?

Caleb in the next second felt his knees give out and he was crashing to the floor, but it wasn't grass any more it was concrete and now, now he couldn't move his arms and just why where they above his head? He looked around to see two Genii soldiers muttering quietly to themselves, probably deciding what to do with him next? When one of them approached him.

“Tell us how to make this work?” one of them demanded, holding one of the Ancient scanners in front of Caleb's face.

Caleb shook his head, “Nope, I don't know.”

“Liar!”

Before the scanner was swiped across his face, he found his head rocking to the side, damn he was lucky it hadn't broken the skin but he was going to have one hell of a bruise there in the morning when he woke up. If he woke up? At that thought a picture of Claire surfaced in his mind and he began repeating her name over and over in his head.....


Not realising that he was actually uttering her name out loud, as he moved around in the bed next to her, not really coming awake at all, still stuck in the nightmare that seemed to be a memory, sweat coating his whole body as he moved in ways he really shouldn't be doing just yet.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Claire's heart lurched at Caleb's attempted joke. She smiled softly, letting him appreciate the fact that he was trying on humour for size once more, even if it as ill-timed. "You'll remember," came her gentle reply, letting Caleb decide exactly what she was referring to. She wasn't going to take away from what might feel like a small victory to him.

Even in the heart of these dark times, Claire loved that Caleb still felt able to try to make light of things. There had always been an underlying humour, a blatant tease, to their relationship, right from the moment they had met. Since Caleb's return from the Genii, there had been moments when Claire had feared that they might never recover what they had. However, those thoughts were dispelled now. It might take time, and it would take a lot of work on both their parts, but she was no longer in any doubt that they would be able to work their way through things.

Making sure that Caleb got settled, Claire watched him for a few moments, sure that he had drifted off, only for his eyes to flicker open, and for him to blatantly flirt with her, the way he always had done. It was something that was very welcome, something that was normal and familiar, and, despite their circumstances, it was every bit as natural for her to respond in kind.

Claire didn't know what she expected as she peeled the t-shirt over her head, her eyes only losing contact with his as the fabric obscured her face. For a moment, she wondered whether she was being cruel, whether she was pushing Caleb too far when he wouldn't be able to reciprocate, but the expression on his face told her otherwise.

Caleb was watching her intently, his eyes never leaving her, taking in her near naked body, and, for a moment, Claire toyed with the idea of taking her panties down, but decided that would be a little too much. It would be an invitation to more, an invitation that she would love to give, and to be accepted, but Caleb simply wasn't up to any physical activity at the moment. He had barely made it to their quarters, and it would take a good night's sleep for him to recover fully from that little jaunt. Allowing him to sleep without potential distraction was the best thing Claire could do for him at the moment.

She tucked herself into bed beside him, almost close enough to touch, and a shiver raced through her as Caleb reached out, the backs of his fingers tracing down her side. His fingers were cool to the touch, a touch that Claire hadn't felt for days, and she smiled at him, allowing her hand to rest lightly on his stomach, one of the few places with no visible bruising.

Her breath hitched in her throat as Caleb spoke, just one quiet word in the dim light in their bedroom, and Claire almost came undone. For the first time since his return, she actually felt like his wife again, felt complete. She had moved to another galaxy to be with him, and, until the last few days, had never doubted her decision. Now, any doubts that had dared to make themselves known were dispelled once more.

Claire lazily trailed her fingers through the light dusting of hair on Caleb's stomach. "Right back at you," she murmured, her eyes never leaving his face. A deep sense of peace settled over her as they lay there together, and she laughed as Caleb said he wouldn't be able to watch if the lights were out. "So touch instead," she said simply, smiling into the darkness as the room darkened.

She almost sat up in surprise, though, as Caleb muttered on his way to slumber, something about the Ancient gene bring responsible for everything. However, her own sleep was ready to claim her, and, curled up with Caleb, Claire finally allowed herself to rest.

********

Claire's sleep was deep and dreamless. After all the upheaval of the last few days, her body had needed rest, and she had all but crashed out. It was still dark outside, and she would probably have slept for several more hours, too, had it not been for the noise and movement beside her. Opening gritty, scratchy eyes, she was disoriented for a moment, before she remembered that Caleb had come home, and was in bed beside her.

In bed beside her, calling her name, sweat sheening his brow, and moving around far more than was good for him. "Caleb," she said, her voice soft and concerned, even as she raised herself up on an elbow, and placed a gentle hand on his face, careful to avoid the worst of the bruising. "Caleb, e ipo, it's okay. You're home. You're safe. I'm right here, e taku tahu. It's okay."


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Another hit landed on him, this time to his back, it didn't feel like a person it felt more like something metal this time and he couldn't help crying out. He might have been trained to with stand a lot of things, but this, this torture right here, as blood dripped onto the floor, that 'tap tap' sound almost deafening as it hit the hard floor, but he hadn't expected this.

Another vision of Claire came to him as the Genii asked him another question, something he couldn't remember this time, as he looked into the smiling face of his wife, he wouldn't give up, not ever. Caleb lowered his head, murmured his apologise to ghost Claire, and steadily watched the pool of blood become bigger beneath his feet, in fact the longer he stared at it the more he found the surroundings disappear, the memory fading as quickly as he tried to hold onto it as a warm feeling started to spread across his face....


Caleb opened his eyes and for a split moment all he could see was the stone shed that he had been held in, smell the dampness of the place and hear the cruel words of the Genii as pain raced up his side. The warmth on his face was a hand, but the Genii had not been that nice to him, hadn't just rested their hands on him in comfort and he had to bring his own hand up to take hold of the hand touching his face.

It was only as he made contact with the hand on his face that he realised where he was, who was next to him and just exactly what he had done the previous night. He smiled tightly before removing the hand and pushing himself as upright as he could get, trying his hardest not to let the pain from all the jostling around he did overwhelm him. He definitely wasn't going to be getting any more sleep that night, or morning, what ever time of day it was at the moment, he hadn't checked the watch yet.

The longer he looked at Claire, the more he realised that she hadn't actually put a top on yet, the nightmare still lingering, he wanted something normal, wanted to be himself again, and he let his eyes look over Claire before leaning forwards and capturing her mouth in a harsh kiss.

He didn't have words for her, didn't have any explanation over what he had dreamt but he wanted to forget the nightmare, wanted to forget that every inch of him was aching, that his mind was partially broken, that he could barely move two steps without needing to take a breather.

It didn't matter that his body would take longer to catch up, at that moment he needed to taste her, to feel Claire against his body once more. Damn that nightmare for bringing forwards the memories, he didn't want to remember the fact his blood had soaked through every piece of clothing he had been wearing before dripping onto the stone floor. He didn't want to remember that each new bruise that was added to his collection felt worse than the previous one.

Caleb also didn't care in that moment in time that he hadn't even uttered any words to Claire as he moved from her mouth to her neck, ignoring the pain that made him bite at the junction between shoulder and neck a little bit harsher than he normally would as he reared himself up. There was definitely a flicker of something starting to be ignited in him, but not much else, even as he continued to kiss her, open mouth kisses, kisses that lingered in one spot as he caught his breath, yet not once had he actually looked at her, or spoken to her.

He just wanted his nightmare to go away, to feel like he use to, even though his body refused to go along with the plan and refused to let him get hard, it didn't matter he could just keep kissing her until he did, that would be his plan anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:19 pm 
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For a moment, Claire wondered whether she would be able to rouse Caleb from what was clearly an intense nightmare. His skin was clammy with sweat, his hair damp, and his face creased with whatever his mind was torturing him with. In a way, she hoped he was remembering, and that he could carry those memories over into the daylight, work through them, and perhaps begin to move on.

She couldn't think about that for too long, though. Right now, she either needed to get Caleb settled again, or to wake him enough to snap him out of whatever was going through his head. The soft fingers on his cheek would just be the beginning, and, after her mutterings in English, Claire began murmuring softly in Māori, hoping that it would help to bring Caleb back to the here and now, wrestle him from the grip of whatever hell he was going through in his sleep.

Caleb's eyes were unfocused as they opened, and Claire could see that he was a million miles away, no doubt trapped in what had happened to him at the hands of the Genii. "Hey you," she murmured, even as his hand reached up to cover hers. The panic he was feeling was palpable, and, her eyes full of concern, she tried to make out his expression in the darkness, but all she caught was glints from his chocolate brown eyes.

"It's okay, e te tau," she soothed, her voice warm and soft, even as Caleb brought their hands down from his face, his action almost rough. She wondered whether he was properly awake, and decided that he most likely was still caught in the final vestiges of his nightmare. "You're okay, you're safe, you're at home. You've been here all night, and nothing's happened to you, okay?"

Claire was lost for words for a moment, as Caleb stilled and she could make out the shadows on his face in the darkness. "Are you okay, e ipo?" Her voice was little more than a whisper, as worried as it was compassionate, as scared as it was loving. Her initial reservations about him coming home had dispelled, and she had slept better for the last few hours than she had done since Caleb had gone offworld. It had been bliss to have him next to her again, and she had fallen asleep almost as soon as her head had hit the pillow, sleeping like a baby. She had hoped for the same for Caleb, but, unfortunately, the darkness had overwhelmed him again.

Caleb didn't say a word. Instead, he leaned forwards, his lips taking hers, demanding, deeply kissing. It was a rough kiss, a kiss of possession, one that took Claire by surprise. What took her even more by surprise, though, was the fact that she responded to the kiss with fervour. It was only a split second between the initial clash of lips, teeth and tongues and Claire moaning softly, relishing the taste of her husband.

In the back of her mind, she knew she ought to back Caleb off, slow him down, settle him down to try to sleep once more. However, her body was betraying her, her nipples tightening, and her hand came up, unbidden, to tangle in Caleb's hair. The alarm bells got louder, but Claire tuned them out, enjoying just being with her husband at the moment, letting him take some pleasure for the first time since his return.

She knew it couldn't go on much longer, though, even though she was responding to his touch, even though the kiss was far rougher than usual. Claire gasped as Caleb's lips and teeth started to trace down her neck, and she cocked her head in the opposite direction, allowing him better access. "Caleb," she murmured, frowning as his nipped at the sensitive flesh at the crook of her neck.

Caleb continued his wordless assault, seemingly intent on taking things further, even though he wasn't up to it, even though it could jeopardise his recovery. Claire's protestations were non-existent, and she bit down on her bottom lip, her eyes closed tight, letting him have his way.

"Ouch," she yelped, as Caleb's teeth bit too hard, and Claire flinched backwards, a hand coming up to rub at her neck. "Caleb, e taku tahu, are you okay," she asked, her voice pained as she reached for the light switch. She brought her fingers down from her neck, and was relieved to see that she wasn't bleeding. "Slow down, e ipo, slow down..."


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:24 pm 
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The words, them soft comforting words that Claire spoke to him seemed to spark even more heat in his stomach, even as he found himself wincing into the kisses that he was planting on her. Knowing he was safe, knowing that he had been with her all night was kind of intoxicating in that moment, to know that he wasn't back in the Genii stone shed, that there wasn't going to be another punch landing on his body any time soon, to know that he was home, he didn't find it in himself to stop kissing her.

The nightmare that lingered in his mind was too overpowering, even as he trailed kisses along the top of her shoulder, kissing back over the spot he had bitten a bit too hard, he wanted to loose himself in the feel of just kissing Claire. Wanted to chase that nightmare away for good, because as much as he wanted to remember, he also found it terrifying to remember and there was no way that what he had dreamt wasn't real, that is what happened to him and he found himself unsure of wanting to remember.

Actually it took a moment for Claire's words telling him to slow done, to stop to actually penetrate what he was doing to her and the fog that he had been in was almost immediately lifted and he all but jumped away from her, cursing under his breath as he caught one of the bruises at the wrong angle and as his side pulled.

“Damn it!” he said, letting himself fall back onto the pillows (the bed a lot softer in their quarters than in the infirmary) hand running across his face, tiredness replacing the spark of normalcy from a moment ago.

If he was fit enough he knew things would have progressed further, if this was any other morning they would have been half way through something by now or in fits of laughter at each other. But there was no laughter wanting to spring forth from him in that moment, he kind of felt like he had messed everything up, he never wanted Claire to have to tell him to stop for any reason. But damn if he didn't want her as close to him as he could get, and yet even as he shifted around in the bed a bit he knew he wasn't hard, wasn't even close to it and that just frustrated him.

The whole time he'd been in the infirmary people had told him that the sooner he got back to doing normal things the quicker he would heal, how in the hell was he meant to do normal things when one of them normal things was having sex with Claire and he couldn't even do that!?

Caleb felt like he had something caught in his throat as he said, “So much for trying to be back to normal, eh?” the frustration loud and clear for anyone to hear. His whole body curled tight like a coil ready to go off at any moment, it was not exactly how he wanted to wake up if he was being honest with himself. He wondered how Claire put up with him? Why should Claire put up with him?

“I can't even...” he gestured between himself and Claire, words failing him over the matter, for someone who could talk and charm his way through most things, he was kind of failing at actually forming words that morning, “This damn advanced healing thing better work, Claire, because....”

Because what he didn't know, he didn't know what he'd do if it didn't work, damn he didn't know what he was going to do if it did work. How was he even meant to think over something like that when he didn't know himself, didn't have an answer no matter how much he demanded people give him one.

He took one last look at Claire an apology clear as day on his face, as he swallowed the words down, pushed himself slowly up right, moved his body round, letting out a hiss of pain as he twisted his body and sat on the edge of the bed. He felt disgusting from the sweat that had collected between his shoulders, felt like he hadn't showered in over a week, which actually he probably figured he hadn't, as he ran a hand through his greased locked hair, even with it being short it still felt disgusting to him.

“Sorry,” he whispered, staring straight ahead to the opposite wall, his back to Claire so she couldn't see his face, “I can't do anything, Claire,” apologising for starting something he had no right to be starting at the moment, apologising for not following through, for giving her everything he could. “The neck ok?”


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:00 pm 
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Despite her pleas, Caleb didn't slow down. He feverishly kissed along her shoulder, and, despite the pleasurable ripples that emanated from each kiss, the tingling pain from the bite that Caleb had inflicted on her neck kept bringing her back to the moment, bringing her back to the fact that Caleb would only be hurting himself if they carried on.

When she had asked him to slow down, she hadn't meant him to stop, though, and Claire felt guilty as Caleb all but jumped away. Wincing as he swore, venting his frustration, a small part of her wished that she had allowed him to carry on uninterrupted, even as she knew that slowing down - even stopping - was the right thing to do. She would never forgive herself if Caleb hurt himself further.

The dim light from the lamp washed over the bed, and Claire's face was etched with concern as Caleb fell back into the pillows. Once more, he made a remark that seemed to blame himself once again, blame himself for trying to get back to normal. "Caleb, e te tau..." Her words petered out as she scooted closer, her fingers light as she brushed damp, greasy hair back from Caleb's forehead. All the bed baths in the world hadn't persuaded him to let her wash his hair in the infirmary.

"You don't have to put yourself under so much pressure," she said, her voice quiet but firm. "Just to have you home at the moment is perfect, it's normal. So what if all we can do is sleep, or cuddle, or kiss? So what if we have to wait for another few days? What's important is that you're here, you're at home, you're safe, and we're together."

Claire knew that her words would likely fall on deaf ears, though. Caleb wasn't exactly the patient type, and he was desperate to move on from what had happened to him, despite the fact that he wasn't allowing himself the time to heal, either physically or mentally. Sure, they would be able to expediate the healing of the physical effects of his ordeal, but the mental scars would take much longer for him to deal with.

Claire could feel the despair in Caleb's voice, and she scooted closer again, cuddling close, sharing her warmth with him. Why did he always feel so chilled at the moment? Her hand rested on his thigh, and she caught his haunted gaze. "It'll work on your physical wounds, yes," she said, her voice quiet as she dropped her eyes. "But you know you need to be patient about recovering your memories. There's no timescale for that."

She paused for a moment, leaning in and softly kissing Caleb's lips. "How about we go and see Kate together," Claire suggested. "I know she thinks you're making good progress, but maybe if we go together, it might help more?" She was clutching at straws at the moment, desperate to give Caleb a new path to consider, something else to try. If she didn't at least try, it would feel as though she was giving up on him, and that was something she would never do.

Caleb's face was stained with apology, his voice coloured with regret as he turned away from her, sitting on the edge of the bed, isolating himself once more. "My neck is fine," she reassured him. Claire didn't even have to think twice as she moved across the bed, sitting beside Caleb for a moment, before squatting in front of him, between his knees, taking his hands in hers, raising them to her lips, and kissing softly.

"You don't have to do anything," she murmured, dropping onto her knees, leaning forward, and placing the gentlest of kisses onto a bruise on his chest. "You don't have to prove anything." Another bruise, another kiss, her fingers dancing like butterflies across his traumatised skin. "You don't have to pretend." Another kiss, before she paused and looked up at him from underneath her eyelashes. "I love you, and I will wait as long as it takes until you're ready."

Her hands moved to either side of his face, cupping his cheeks, and Claire locked her gaze with his. "No matter what, you are my husband, and you are enough, you hear me?" Slowly, giving him the chance to move away if he wanted, Claire moved to kiss him with infinite tenderness.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:21 pm 
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Caleb didn't know what to think as Claire laid everything out in front of him, her words causing a tangle of emotion to twist in his stomach, damn he wanted to believe every word she said, wanted to trust himself enough to reply to half of what she said. But as the kisses began to be placed on what felt like every bruise he had, he found himself swallowing the words back down, stamping down on the urge to push Claire away.

It wasn't that he didn't want her this close to him, to be able to see him at what felt like the weakest moment of the whole ordeal, it was that it felt like the kisses were taking away some of the frustration he was desperately holding onto. Almost as though Claire was taking away the one thing that felt like he was being held together by and he was terrified that if she did that, if she took away his anger at what had happened there wasn't going to be anything left of him.

Caleb was already struggling with marrying the past Caleb with this seemingly new, broken version of himself, he wanted to know what happened to him, why it had happened, yet he wanted to be exactly the same person as he was before anything had happened. It was like he was walking on the edge of the cliff and he didn't know which way he was going to fall yet and all that seemed to be tethering him to the normalcy that he desperately wanted was Claire, she was his guiding hand back to how he use to be.

Yet then he disliked the fact she was doing that for him, that he had to lean on her so much, he didn't mind a small amount of leaning on her, but this, this seemed so much bigger than he had anticipated it would be and being as independent as he had been he found himself retreating back behind a wall. A wall that had been in place for so many years that it was like falling back into a pair of comfortable, well worn, pair of trainers, he knew what was expected of him behind that wall, knew what people would see. What he wanted them to see.

It took him a moment to realise that Claire had asked him question, was looking at him for answer, “Doesn't Kate tell you everything anyway?” he asked quietly, “I told her she could tell you anything I told her.”

Which is he was being honest with himself the only thing he had told Kate Heightmeyer was the fact that he desperately wanted his memories back and no he wouldn't be willing to share his past with her. It had surprised him actually that she had asked him more about his relationship with Claire and before he came to the Stargate programme than she had about what had happened, which confused him. He had been sure that Kate would have badgered him into talking as much as possible about what happened, the small flashes he got of what had happened, but he only told her what he'd told everybody else, that all he remembered was making his way to the Stargate, that he'd done more damage to himself by doing that. Nothing exciting if he was being honest and that had been that.

Caleb wasn't sure if he did want Claire going to Kate with him, didn't know if he himself wanted to go to Kate either, it was one giant mess in his head and in the early morning pre-dawn he didn't have an answer to that question. Did he want Claire going with him? Or did he want her as far away from his damnable memories as possible?

The hands on his face were warm, grounding as he looked at Claire, saw what he had put her through these last couple of days, saw the tiredness that they were probably both trying to hide and he felt a wash of guilt go through him. His own chilled hands resting on top of hers as Claire kissed him tenderly, his breath catching in his throat, it was completely different to what he had just tried with her. The heat in his stomach trying to ignite once more, even as his left hand drew tiny patterns on the back of hers.

“Am not pretending,” he whispered almost inaudibly as he broke away from the kiss, he was breathing heavily as a flush started to make its appearance on his chest.

You shouldn't have to wait for me though, shouldn't have to do this for me, he thought as he looked at her, there was a lot of things in that sentence that he didn't think Claire should have to do for him, waiting was one of them, him being enough because he knew he could be better, could be the bloke he once was for her.

“I hear you,” he said, although deep down he believed every word she had just said, he didn't bring that to the front, didn't let himself believe it for a moment.

He tried smiling at her, as he added, “Not exactly the wake up call you wanted right?” he was going for a little light banter, try to shift the mood, even if that meant he didn't face everything that had been spoken to him. This was the wall that he was crawling back behind, the one that was all joking and flirting, the one that he knew no one would see behind and no one could get behind to hurt him.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:49 pm 
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The night air in their bedroom was cool on Claire's skin. As she knelt in front of Caleb, her fingers gentle on his skin, she wondered whether she was getting through to him. The biggest barrier to Caleb's recovery would be his own stubbornness, his own unwillingness to accept help, or do what he needed to in order to get well.

All she could do was to be there for him, as he needed her. Claire knew that, sometimes, she would have to carry him emotionally, even if he didn't realise he wanted or needed it. Sometimes, she would need to dry his tears, other times she would need to just laugh with him. Caleb's recovery would likely take everything they were able to throw at it, and more. She just hoped they were strong enough to get through it.

Despite how close and solid they were, they had still only been together for around six months as a couple. However, they had a strong foundation of friendship - the best possible friendship - upon which their love was built, and, if she was honest with herself, Claire believed that their friendship would allow them to withstand anything, no matter how hard things got.

She cocked her head for a moment, as Caleb asked her whether Kate hadn't already told her everything. "No," she admitted. The truth was that she hadn't been to see Kate to ask. "I'm sure she'll tell me if she thinks there's something I need to know, though." Caleb deserved to be able to tell her things at his own pace. Claire wasn't going to push. Not yet, at least, not until it became detrimental for her not to know.

As she dusted Caleb's bruised chest with gentle, tender kisses, Claire hoped she wasn't overstepping the mark. Over the last couple of days, he had vacillated between needing her touch, and shying away from it. Still, he had come home, clearly seeking something akin to normality. And touching and being touched was the most normal thing that Claire could think of at the moment.

At least Caleb wasn't backing away from her. He let her kiss, and touch, and reassure, seemingly listening as she reminded him that he didn't have to put so much pressure on himself. However, he didn't return the kiss, despite not backing away, despite his cold fingers tracing patterns on the back of her hand, and Claire's eyes dropped as Caleb finally pulled away, feeling a little foolish. Too much too soon, perhaps.

Claire considered replying to Caleb's protestation that he wasn't pretending, but she knew that would go nowhere. He wanted to believe that she couldn't see behind the walls he had put up, but, just this once, she decided to let him lie to himself. There was nothing to be gained from causing a potential argument.

"You hear me," repeated Claire, daring to look up at Caleb. "But you don't believe me, right?" She bit back on a sigh, resisted the urge to run a frustrated hand through her hair. No matter what she was doing, she didn't seem to be making an impact on Caleb or his state of mind.

Claire returned his smile, though, albeit more quietly, and shook her head. "Not exactly," she admitted, her voice soft. However, some of the usual sparkle returned to her eyes, and she quirked an eyebrow upwards at Caleb. "So... seeing as it doesn't look like either of us will be getting back to sleep anytime soon..." She paused, cocking her head to one side. "Shower with me?"


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:03 pm 
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Caleb just sat on the edge of the bed in the cool morning, honestly he wondered if there was any kind of heating on Atlantis in that moment he didn't seem to be able to get warm and stay warm. Which meant that at the moment he hands were once again chilled, he wondered if he would actually ever feel warm again.

He let Claire continue dusting kisses on his body, as much as he wanted to return them he didn't, the performance from earlier, the fact he'd inadvertently been a bit too rough was not something he wanted to repeat. Damn it if he just wanted a normal morning with her, he wanted to have been able to wake up and feel like his normal self, it was one of the reasons why he had gone and escaped from the infirmary.

Being back in familiar surroundings, knowing that he was safe, he had hoped to feel less conflicted, less frustrated at himself, but all it seemed to have done was exacerbate an already fraught atmosphere and he felt that wall of his add an extra layer. Almost as though he was protecting himself against everything and everyone, which in the back of his mind he knew wasn't healthy, stamping down on what he wanted to say, what he wanted to scream about, and even as he thought it felt couldn't help running a hand at the back of his head.

How was it that although he had been awake less than an hour already he felt like he could go straight back to sleep? Not that he wanted to, the thought of having a mixture of memory and nightmares was not the most appealing thing to him at the moment, he'd sooner stay awake and suffer a little sleep deprivation.

At Claire's answer that Kate hadn't spoken with her he couldn't help the look of surprise, he remembered telling the doctor she could tell Claire anything she wanted, it wasn't like he had secrets from Claire, he just was actually failing at putting what had happened to him into words. It was the reason he had actually taken the initiative and asked to see Kate all them days ago – which if he was honest with himself it felt like weeks ago now – because he wasn't going to be able to say anything, not yet.

Caleb didn't really reply to her comment about Kate, he let her kiss him though, not responding, as much as he wanted to, he just, he didn't know, it wasn't that he didn't want Claire. He wanted her more than anything else in the damn galaxy at the moment, but he couldn't quite bring himself to participate so soon after the disaster of awake up call, he might be glutton for punishment at times, but not when he was in a state of such embarrassment, although he knew Claire wouldn't call him on it. It didn't stop him from thinking that he hadn't been able to deliver through with what he had started, which was something that hadn't happened at all since they'd gotten together really.

At Claire's next words though he felt the irritation rise in his stomach, he wanted to snap back at her, tell her it wasn't his damn fault that the Genii saw fit to torture him to within an inch of his life, that it wasn't his fault that he couldn't remember anything that had happened. But he didn't, he bit down on his tongue, clenched his hand into a fist on the top of her leg, nails digging into the palm of his hand, his fingers turning a red colour at the pressure, before he released his hands.

Now wasn't the time to be getting angry, he still had a whole day ahead of him to do that, not that he had plans to let the anger eat at him, he'd tell Claire, he would just not now, not yet, it was too early to be doing them kind of serious talks.

Besides in the next breath she asked if he wanted to shower with her, which completely threw him through a loop, it wasn't the question he had been expecting, wasn't the thing he had been expecting her to ask, but damn if the thought of a shower wasn't the best thing in the world right then. He felt his hand unclench at the prospect of hot water running over his body, there was only so many bed baths a person could endure before you just needed to feel clean and if he was honest with himself to be able to wash his hair would be brilliant, he dread to think which way it was currently sticking up.

He could feel a flush heat up his face at the prospect of sharing a shower with Claire again, something they most definitely hadn't done in a while, and besides it always lead to a good time, whether they ended up having shower sex or just exchanging heated kisses, or even in one case exchanging the most weirdest ideas they could come up with. Of course they had both been sleep deprived at that point and could do nothing more than shower, but it had been entertaining.

“I'd love to shower with you,” he answered, smiling, the most certainty he'd had in his voice in a long time, “Not sure how long am going to be able to stand though and what about this?” he gestured to his side where the wounds were, “They okay to get wet now?”


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Claire's ministrations and words seemed to be falling on deaf ears, as Caleb seemed to pull further and further away from her. He might be physically present, but she could feel him withdrawing even more. She would have given anything for some form of reciprocation, anything but this quiet, passive acceptable of what she was doing.

One thing that Caleb had never been in their relationship was passive, and it broke Claire's heart that he seemed incapable - or perhaps unwilling - to respond to her words and her touch at the moment. She knew that what he had been though must have been horrific, and it had clearly left a deep and scarring impression on his mind, as well as his body.

Her thoughts traced over whatever it was that had woken Caleb, whatever had made him repeat her name, and she wondered whether or not it was just a nightmare or memories of what had happened to him. In a way, Claire hoped it was the latter. Perhaps, once her started getting his memories back, Caleb would feel better equipped to begin to move on, to process what had happened at the hands of the Genii.

She blinked, wincing slightly, as Caleb tensed when she suggested he might not believe her. Perhaps her choice of words had been wrong, but Claire had felt the need for a moment of openness, of complete honesty, and to have to rebuffed again stung. She was waiting for him to blow up again, to explode at her, but that moment never came.

Instead, she headed it off by asking whether he wanted to shower with her, and Claire almost sighed in relief as a warm, genuine smile crossed Caleb's lips, his reply coming with certainty and - if she wasn't mistaken - a hint of excitement that matched the flush colouring his face and neck.

Claire returned the smile, her eyes dancing with warmth and love, as Caleb explained his worries. "Don't worry e ipo," she said, pushing herself to stand. "I can bring a chair or stool in, if you need it. And your wounds should be fine to get wet. I'll re-dress them afterwards and make sure they're dry."

She looked down at Caleb for a moment, her eyes sparkling in the dim light from the lamp. "Let's get to it, then," she murmured, hooking her thumbs into the waistband of her panties, and pushing them to the floor, casually kicking them out of the way. A lopsided smile firmly in place, Claire reached out a hand to Caleb. "You coming?"


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