If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world?
~ Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars”.
It was Sunday. Hands of newborn, yellow sunlight crept in through the one inch crack between the blind and the windowsill, playing their fingers over pillows and white sheets and the spread of blonde curls of the young woman. She had her eyes closed, a book (The Golden Girls of MGM) left to rest crookedly across the flat of her stomach where her shorts has slid down slightly to show the peaks of her hip-bones. The straps of her singlet-top – blue like the sky was becoming outside – had wriggled sideways down her shoulders and hung there on funny little angles, like quirked eyebrows.
The whole apartment smelt of warm hazelnut and brewing coffee and he guessed, from the book and the day clothes she was dressed in, and the hum of the coffee machine in the kitchen, that Maddie had woken early with the intention of greeting him, and then had fallen back to sleep.
Tony didn’t mind.
He walked back to the living room and shut the front door properly now with a quiet click, turned the machine off and poured himself a cup, and then, taking it in one hand, picked up his bag in the other and went and placed it in the bedroom by the door. He could unpack later.
Reaching a hand up at an awkward angle between the blind and the glass, he unlocked the bedroom window and opened it a little, letting in a breath of warm, dry air that smelt of asphalt and bread baking and life and summer. Then he took off his shoes and puffed up a pillow and sat himself down on the sheets beside the woman. The motion of his body on the bed made her mumble something incoherently, that sounded rather like his name, and he smiled to himself over his mug as she half moved to roll over and then, her brain awakening, she opened her eyes and sat up. The book slipped from her belly and then dropped off the edge of the bed to the floor with a flutter of pages and a dull slap as it landed awkwardly there like a half-broken bird of the paper persuasion, but neither of them had the time nor the presence of mind to register that because Maddie turned and stared at him and smiled and grinned and said his name and it was all that he could do to laugh and get his coffee to the safe haven of the bedside table before she launched herself at him with such enthusiasm that it knocked the air of out both of them.
‘Oh, I missed you!’ she informed him, when she’d gotten her breath back, with a laugh and a grin and a half dozen little kisses against his cheeks and his forehead.
He chuckled into her hair and pulled her closer and felt her, her, his, Maddie, his, warm and soft and his. Right here in his arms, and he realised, truly realised, that this was him now, what he’d always be, forever, him, and her in his arms, and his. This was home. ‘Missed you too,’ he murmured and she smiled up at him, her face softening and her grin sliding into the realms of a gentle smile. Her hair had tumbled all over her face when she’d thrown herself at him and now he kissed and whispered it back into place. Their wandering, comforting hands reminded the pair of them that they were alive and oh the joy of living, and they made love then, with the fingers of sunlight against them and the sheets and the muscles shifting in his back, and the slow glow of her hair like a corona
Afterwards, she rested her head against his shoulder and explained, ‘I got up early to wait for you.’
He smiled, said, ‘Yeah,’ and stroked her belly because his fingers needed her skin beneath them, and his brain had temporarily short circuited and deprived him of anything better to say than that. Then, ‘When did your shift end last night?’
He felt her shrug against him.
'Late. Or early, I suppose. They're working us like crazy at the moment. Outpatients is like a scene from M*A*S*H'
He chuckled. 'Well, so long as it doesn't turn into Re-Animator and you get stuck in the middle of that.'
‘Well, if I did, I hope you’d be a more effective Cain to my Meghan than what he was.’
He laughed. 'Obviously.' Then, ‘You know, that was a truly bad film. Did McGee make you watch it, or Abby?’
‘Both together. Very disturbing.’ Her laughter was warm at the memory.
After that, silence and sunshine wove circles around them in invisible, sweeping arcs of the simple emotion that is a lazy Sunday morning and nowhere to go and no-one to be.
‘What do you want to do today?’ she asked. ‘Does Gibbs expect you at work?’
He rolled over slightly, and kissed her nose. ‘No. So, just this, just – lay here. And nothing but us in the world.’
Maddie smiled. ‘I can do that.’