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Only A Little Damaged

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Things hadn't gone so well for Frank Lundy after his shooting. He'd gone on leave for a while, because of course he needed the rest and recuperation, and had ended up staying in Miami for the duration. He could've just as easily gone home -- once he was stable enough to do so, of course -- but he'd stayed, and had made his stay permanent, for one important reason.

Debra Morgan.

Deb, she of the spitfire personality and dirty mouth. Deb, who was so much younger than him and had so rarely seemed to give a flying fuck about it. Who was damaged goods and yet still appealed to the broken places in him.

Deb, who was letting herself into his apartment and looking rather frantic in the process. She shut the door behind her and kicked her shoes off, all the while muttering under her breath in a string of profanity-laced frustration that he couldn't hear but could at least vaguely follow.

Lundy pushed himself up into a sitting position on the couch -- he'd sprawled out dozing -- and looked at her in concern. "Deb? What's wrong?"

"They want to make me lieutenant!" Deb looked at him, vaguely wild-eyed. "I mean, seriously. Me. Debra fuckin' Morgan. How fucked up is that?"

Ah, there was the mouth. He'd noticed that it got worse -- well, worse than it already was -- whenever she was stressed or panicky, and at the moment she was very much both.

"Deb, listen to me," he said gently. "Take a deep breath and breathe, for one thing. I'm not gonna get the whole story out of you if you hyperventilate and pass out on me, now, am I?"

She managed a shaky smile and took a deep breath. "They want to make me lieutenant, Frank. They want to promote me." There was disbelief in her voice, but also something a little bit like fear.

"Why not?" He looked at her curiously. "I mean, you're saying it like it's a bad thing. What's so wrong with them wanting to promote you?"

"Yeah, but to lieutenant?" Deb spun away, raking her fingers through her hair. "This is me we're talking about here, Frank. I don't play nice with others most of the time and I'm certainly shit at playing by the rules."

"Maybe that's what they need," Lundy pointed out gently. "LaGuerta certainly plays by the rules, so maybe they're tired of that."

Deb frowned thoughtfully as she turned back to face him. "Makes sense," she said, moving back towards him. "I mean, not like they want me to flat out break the rules or anything, but... maybe they want someone with a fresh way of looking at things."

And her way of looking at things certainly was fresh, Lundy noted as he suppressed a smile. "So...?" he prompted gently.

"So maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to take the promotion," Deb said, rolling her eyes at him. "I know that's where you're going with this. And I guess I agree, it's just... Fuck. It's scary. Me, in a position of authority."

"Oh, no," Lundy deadpanned. "However will the world cope?"

Deb reached out and smacked him on the arm. "You jerk!"

"Love me for it and you know it."

"Yeah, yeah," Deb muttered, rolling her eyes at him again. "I repeat. Jerk."

"And I repeat, love me for it and you know it." He just smiled mildly at her.

"Yeah, yeah," Deb muttered. "I guess."

But she loved him and they both knew it. She couldn't pinpoint when exactly she'd fallen in love with him -- and she'd tried -- but that didn't matter. What mattered was that they were in love and that they were damn good for each other. She'd helped him relax a little, to feel more at ease with a joke other than his usual wry quip, to be a little less driven by and focused on his work; he'd helped her stop being so high strung -- well most of the time -- and had helped her develop more of a solid confidence in herself. It wasn't perfect, not by any means, but it worked for them and that was what counted.

Smiling, Deb wrapped her arms around Lundy's neck and drew his head down for a kiss. "I tell you lately just how fuckin' much I love you?" she asked, smiling against his lips.

He pretended to think about it for a second. " You know, I don't believe you have," he finally answered.

"You are the most amazing man I know," she said, her expression light but her voice solemn as she pulled back slightly, just enough to look him in the eye. "You put up with all my shit and you seem like you want to put up with it."

Lundy knew that wasn't actually the doubt it sounded like; at least, not in any hurtful way. "That's because I do," he said gently. "I wouldn't have shifted my life and transferred here if I didn't want you, quirks and all."

And that was the heart of it. He'd moved out there because he'd wanted to, because he loved her that damn much, and getting shot and nearly dying had told him that if he didn't wise up and make some kind of a move, she might not always be in his life for him to make a move towards.

"I know," she said, nodding slightly. "I know. It just... it kind of amazes me sometimes, okay? I'm not exactly the greatest person sometimes. I'm obnoxious and foul-mouthed and okay, sometimes I'm kind of neurotic."

More than kind of, but there were things she couldn't even consciously admit to herself, much less say out loud even to Lundy.

He nodded slightly. "But you know something? None of that matters. You're mine and I love you."

If she were a girlier type of person, Deb would've melted at that. But she wasn't, so all she did was kiss him fiercely. "Come here and let me show you how much I love you."

And he let her.