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Hicks had thought he’d seen everything to Ripley during their time on LV-426. But now that they were back on Earth, it was clear that she was still full of surprises. Not that it was bad, of course. In fact, Hicks liked uncovering these new sides of the woman that was Ellen Ripley.

After the disastrous mission, which ended up with only himself, Ripley, Newt, and Bishop surviving, they’d woken up from stasis on Gateway Station and had been in quarantine for fourteen days. During that time, Ripley and Hicks had given their accounts of the events on LV-426 to various representatives of Weyland-Yutani, who had decided to settle in order to keep them quiet. In fact, they’d given Ripley enough money to buy herself a larger house on Earth for the four of them. Not to mention, she’d been reinstated as a pilot, and currently worked for a small company contracted with the Marines. As for Hicks, he’d been given leave for a month and a half to recuperate, and he made sure to spend every moment he could with his new family.

Newt had become quite dear to him in this past while. From the moment he’d found her as a silent, malnutritioned survivor on that colony, he’d grown rather attached to her. She brought out a much gentler side to him, she made him feel important whenever he felt her little hand holding his own. Yes, Newt had become so important to him, the little girl he never knew he wanted before now, and Hicks couldn’t imagine life without her.

But Ripley… he’d really grown to love her during their time in the colony.

The first time he saw her when they’d woken up from cryo, he thought she was quite elegant. Ripley had a no-nonsense kind of air about her, which he honestly liked, and she seemed like a strong woman. But at the same time, she had been vulnerable. Whatever she’d been through had been tough, for sure, yet it hadn’t broken her completely.

Her abilities with the power loader had surprised and pleased him, for sure. And after that, she just kept on surprising him.

She was more than capable of handling herself. Yet even so, there was still a part of him that instinctively wanted to protect her. From the APC to the drop ship crash to the Facehuggers being unleashed, he’d moved to protect her no matter what. He needed her to be alive, he wouldn’t live with himself if she’d gotten hurt.

And she’d surprised him by accepting it. Whether her acceptance was unconscious or not, Ripley had clearly needed a bit of support and comfort, and he couldn’t blame her. He’d listened to her report before the mission had started and she’d obviously seen and been through a lot of shit. She’d been trying to stay strong throughout, yet she still needed reassurance and support. And Hicks was all too happy to give her the support she needed.

Yet the surprises never stopped coming.

When they’d gotten back to Earth, Ripley had asked him out on a date. And Hicks hadn’t really expected it because he’d also been planning on asking her out too, but he sure as hell wasn’t complaining.

It had gone a lot better than expected. Just dinner and a walk through the streets of San Diego, where Hicks was stationed, hence where they lived now. They’d gotten to know each other a little bit, their hands had brushed against each other’s, they’d smiled when they thought neither of them were looking, and they’d both felt a certain peace that neither of them had felt in a long time now.

In the end, they both decided that whatever this was, it wouldn’t hurt to go out together a bit more.

And now, after a while of dating and helping each other and Newt through PTSD and nightmares, they were now taking this new relationship a step further into a much more… intimate realm. Newt, Jonesy, and Bishop had gone to bed now, so they had no interruptions to worry about.

Ripley was the one to initiate this step, as she kissed him with an unmistakable passion when they’d entered the bedroom after tonight’s date. Hicks responded in the same manner, holding Ripley close to him before he found himself pulled down on top of her as she lay back on the bed.

Hicks pulled away, looking into her eyes. “You sure about this?” he asked, his voice breathless.

“Yes,” Ripley whispered before pulling him back down for a kiss.

He wanted this just as much as she did. Any nervousness he may have felt about it had vanished when he looked into Ripley’s eyes. It wasn’t that he hadn’t been with a woman before, but it had been a while since he’d last been intimate, and he figured that it was the same for Ripley as well. Whatever experience he had in the past had been flings, mainly with ‘juicy colonist daughters’, as Apone was fond of saying. Hicks hadn’t been in a steady relationship in a while, and he was determined not to ruin this for Ripley.

Somehow, between their kisses and touches, they both had removed each other’s clothes until nothing else kept their bare skin from touching each other. But Hicks wasn’t complaining. And neither was Ripley, so all was good.

Her body was warm, so warm. Hicks kissed down her body, his lips kissing every inch of skin he could reach. Ripley’s reactions were quiet, but she was definitely enjoying herself. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted as she sighed in pleasure.

Oh, seeing her like this was beautiful. Sure, she may not look like a centerfold poster girl, but she was beautiful in her own way.

When Ripley opened her eyes, Hicks could see it all: the need, the pleasure, every single emotion that she was feeling right now was clear as day. She whispered his name over and over as he moved his lips down her body and slid his hands up the sides of her chest.

Hearing his name spill from her lips, and in such a passionate, almost reverent voice, as if he was her everything, it was a surprise. He hadn’t heard Ripley speak in such a voice, yet hearing her whispering his name like this made him lose all ability to think straight. Hicks was slowly losing himself to passion, especially with the way she looked at him.

Ripley looked at him as if he was a ray of light in a dark, cruel world, and Hicks felt privileged to be able to see such sheer emotion in her eyes.

“Ellen…” he sighed.

She looked surprised for a moment, but it quickly faded away into bliss as Hicks began kissing up her left leg before easing her legs apart and getting down to it. He was pleased to hear a strangled gasp spill from Ripley and feel her fingers curl into his hair while gently rubbing the back of his neck as he teased her clit with his mouth. He could feel it. She was writhing underneath him, trying to hold out, feel a little more pleasure as she got closer and closer, and then he felt her body tensing as she came.

Hicks pulled away as Ripley closed her eyes, relaxed back against the mattress, and tried to catch her breath.

“That’s a nice look,” Hicks said, his voice lowered to a soft, almost predatory whisper as he moved to cover her body with his. “You look like you want more.”

A small thrill ran down Ripley’s spine at the almost-seductive purr in Hicks’s voice. “You’re damn right I want more, Dwayne,” she told him, holding him close.

“No need to ask me twice.” With that, Hicks thrust into her, a soft sigh escaping his lips as he felt her all around him.

Ripley moaned softly at the feeling, and she let her head fall back as Hicks began to pound into her with slow, deep thrusts.

More than the warmth, what Hicks loved the most was the way Ripley held him, the way her legs wrapped around him as they both slowly lost themselves to passion, to lust. A soft sob of pleasure escaped Ripley’s lips, which momentarily caught Hicks by surprise. He hadn’t heard her cry before, yet right now, she looked so tender that it made his heart beat a little faster. He paused his thrusts and looked at her with slight concern.

“You okay… Ellen?”

However, Ripley just gave him a shaky smile. “I’m fine…” she said, her voice trembling ever-so-slightly. “Keep going, Dwayne.”

The way she looked at him right now, her eyes were filled with love and gentle emotions as she smiled, he could also feel himself becoming overwhelmed with tender affection.

So Hicks made sure to take his time, allow her to savour this moment. It was all he could do to show her how much he loved her, how much she meant to him. He needed her in his life, and he’d fight through anything that life threw at him, whether it be Xenomorphs, war, no matter what, to keep her.

This moment… it was amazing. Their bodies moving together, pulling away only to pull close again, the gentle sighs and whispers of each other’s names filling the room, the growing need in Ripley’s voice, Hicks’s name on her lips like he was her whole world, the sensation of Ripley’s nails digging into Hicks’s back as he moved his face into the crook of her neck and kissed it repeatedly. It was all only about Ripley, only about Hicks. Nothing else mattered right now.

They were pretty quiet when they reached their climax. Ripley gasped out his name hoarsely as she came, holding him close, and Hicks whispered her name repeatedly, closing his eyes, and when he unloaded, he smothered her lips with his own and kissed her as if he couldn’t get enough of her.

When Hicks pulled away from the kiss and slid out of her, he gently rested his head upon her breasts to catch his breath, and closed his eyes when he felt Ripley’s arms hold him close. He was content to just lie there and listen to her steady heartbeat as she tried to catch her breath when he felt her shaking slightly. Something of a sob shook her frame.

Opening his eyes, Hicks raised himself up slightly to look at her. Ripley wasn’t crying, but her eyes were a little teary, and her body trembled as her breath escaped her lungs in shaky sobs.

She looked so vulnerable right now. Hicks almost couldn’t believe it. He’d seen this woman strap into a power loader with pure confidence, he’d seen her fight Xenomorphs without so much as flinching, he’d seen her hold herself together in spite of the trauma she’d gone through. This was the first time he’d actually seen her cry.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Hicks asked, gently cupping her face.

Ripley just shook her head as she held him close. “Nothing. It was just… intense,” she said in an unusually small voice.

Right then, Hicks understood. And he felt grateful. Ripley wasn’t really one to show her emotions so openly unless the situation was truly dire, like the disastrous mission on LV-426. And even then, she’d been calm and level-headed for the most part.

But right now, she’d let herself be overcome with raw emotion. Because she trusted Hicks. No, she loved him. That much was more than clear. And for that, he was grateful that she trusted him enough to open herself up like this.

Hicks chose to say nothing more, and gave Ripley a soft smile. Moving off her, he lay down beside her and pulled her close so that her head rested on his shoulder, and she let him hold her as she closed her eyes. And before Hicks himself fell asleep, he gently pressed his lips against her forehead.

“I love you,” he whispered as he closed his eyes. Whether she heard or not, he didn’t care. He needed to say it.

Unknown to him, the softest of smiles crossed Ripley’s sleeping face before she fully succumbed to sleep.