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How many times had she been there. It was hardest to wait in these early hours before the dawn. While the rest of the seven were busy on different missions or keeping up with the paperwork, they knew she would keep watch.

She wanted to scream. She wanted to pull her hair out. She wanted to take some form of action.

How many times had she been by his bedside? She longed for his arms around her. She remembered times while she lay beside him in the bed they shared.

She could not believe that she could fall for such a man. She could not count how many times he had gotten her out of danger at the risk of his own.

She understood the circumstances far too well. He was too much of a target. He had made too many enemies. There was no way he would risk putting her in danger just because he had finally admitted to loving her. He knew that loving her put her at risk because he was good at his work.

She had tried to convince him to live for the moment. Anything could happen that would jeopardize their lives. Taking a commercial flight to some exotic local would be just as hazardous as driving on the freeway.

Frustrated though she might be, the idea of him waking in pain scared her more than watching the monitors and praying that sleep would cure him and he would be lying next to her once more.

Her hand lightly touched his as she sat next to his bed. For the time being that had to be enough. Her eyelids drooped as the rhythm of the monitors lulled her to sleep.

She was caught up in a nightmare. The darkness was penetrated by a light in the distance. Her husband Steven was fighting to find her while bullet wounds penetrated his body. Chris came out of nowhere and pulled her back toward him. She tried to scream, but could not make a sound as she felt the blood pouring from his chest.

She was immobilized.

She could not bear the idea of losing both of the men she chose to love in her life. Her body tensed. She felt someone grasp her hand and was startled so much that she could not move.

"Mary, what happened?" Chris asked.

"Chris... Chris please tell me this nightmare is over. I can't lose both of you." she replied in a voice above a whisper.

"Mary you know - " Chris started to say but was interrupted.

"Chris all that matters is that you are breathing and we are together. You just can't ask me to constantly set a vigil for you. There are times when I wish it were me lying there instead of you."

Chris shook his head and knew that here in the darkness he could show her how deeply he felt. In the dimness of what light there was, he noticed she was wearing his trench coat complete with the frayed collar. He touched the sleeve and noticed that it was unbuttoned.

She smiled.

She stood up to to touch his face and leaned over him.

His skin touched hers and the bandages that hid the worst of his injuries.

He reached to feel what was beneath the coat and sighed.

She shivered with the want of him. She leaned over and felt him stroke her hip.

"Chris?"

"You wanted this and I know that you are the best medicine. Does Dr. McCoy know about this?" he asked.

"He knows of my nightly rituals. He suggested it. Do you approve?" she asked.

"Doctor's orders. I will never wear it the same way." he said as he slid over and she laid next to him. He knew now that he would get better and that sleeping next to her was the best medicine he could imagine.

Mary knew this was the best thing that she could do for the man who did so much for so many. He could deny it all he wanted, but actions said more than words.

 

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