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Finders, Keepers

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Three months.

It’s been three months since she last saw him. Heard him. Felt him.

Three months that she’s missed him.

But he’s almost here.

Any minute now.

Judy bounces on her toes, pulling the jacket tighter against the chilly 3AM breeze. Don’s jacket. This ridiculous, blinding orange thing.

But it’s his, so she loves it. Like she loves—

The loud hiss and thunk! of the transport Jupiter’s ramp touching down draws her attention.

Any second now.

She bites her lip, bouncing again, and this time it’s not from the cold, and she reminds herself not to look for his old orange space suit.

The first few crewmen amble down the gangway, all looking tired yet happy to be on solid ground. But Judy doesn’t pay them much mind. She sees them long enough to know they aren’t Don, then they no longer exist to her.

Her heart is racing. Faster with each moment that she doesn’t see him. He was supposed to be on this transport, wasn’t he? He was. She’d checked the log multiple times. Had she missed him somehow? Couldn’t be. Her eyes hadn’t left the door. Had he been delayed by something up on the Solidarity? No, they would’ve updated the log if—

She sees it.

Peeking out from behind another group of crewmen exiting the Jupiter. The orange, right-side shoulder of a deep blue Maintenance Officers space suit. And it’s almost silly how the other crew members are moving off to the sides as they head to meet their own waiting parties; like curtains pulled to reveal her prize; a straight-shot view of him.

A straight-shot path to him.

He lifts an arm to shield his vision from the harsh floodlights as he scans across the scattered gathering, and her feet are moving before she realizes it. Quick, determined steps, laser-focused on him.

Don’s gaze finally lands on her, their eyes locking, and he smiles; softly at first. But then she’s running, and his smile is brilliant; bag swinging off his shoulder so he can catch her as she leaps into him, her arms going around his neck, his closing around her waist to lift her off the ground.

His soft laugh vibrates through her as they spin once, and the sound, the feel of it—of him—oh, it’s heaven.

“Hello.” His voice is low. Quiet. Only for her ears.

Even though she’s pressed to him fully, she tries to get closer, arms tightening over his shoulders as if that would let her phase through his stupid, obstructive suit, and she buries her face into his collar, fighting back the prickling in her eyes.

“Hello,” she whispers back.

“Did you miss me?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Ouch. Some other reason you’re here at—” Judy feels him shift to check his comm. “—three in the morning then?”

“Just happened to be out for a late-night run.”

Don chuckles and lowers her, toes touching the ground again, but he makes no move to let her go, only leans back to look down at her, a grin on his perfect lips.

“Is this my jacket?” he asks, lightly tugging at the fabric near her waist.

Judy shrugs, weaving her fingers at the base of his neck. “You left it on my couch. Finders, keepers.”

“Ah, is that how it works?”

“Mmhmm,” Judy hums cheerfully. “Besides, you’ve got all your fancy Officers’ jackets now; I didn’t think you’d miss this ratty old thing.”

Don studies her for a moment, his grin drifting to a softer expression and Judy’s heart thump-thumps behind her ribs. The same way it had three months ago, when they were wrapped close like this, and he was minutes away from boarding the transport Jupiter.

Would this moment pass as that one had, or...?

“So, Princess.”


“If I found something too...” His voice drops, face tilting. “Does that mean I can keep it?”

Judy shivers; another beat in her chest.

“Perhaps,” she whispers. “What have you found?”

His face is so close to hers now, and the last thing she sees before her lids flutter closed is the corner of his mouth twitching into a grin as he breathes, “You...”

Then his lips find hers.