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It's about comfort.

There are reasons to move slowly: the wounds on his chest, the bruises on his face, the tenuous state of their partnership. But this is about mourning and aching and reaffirming that whatever else goes to shit around them, there is always one whole, unbroken spark that lingers between them.

She sinks back down over his cock and his fingers curl into her thighs, his head arching just a bit, and she hears him exhale hard and slow. He holds her there for a long moment, with him all the way inside of her. She watches as he stares at the ceiling and his chest expands as he breathes, and his hands stay tight around her thighs.

The slashes on his chest are angry and red but sealed with stitches and glue. There's gauze over the bigger wounds, and she treads carefully, but he ignores the pain.

He might even welcome it, she doesn't know. Physical pain has always been something different to him. Something he understands and manipulates.

She lifts against his hands, and his gaze shifts to hers. She needs to move. He feels good inside of her like this, even being still, but she needs to move and not give herself time to think. He loosens his hands, and she slides up again.

It's a slow, meandering pleasure, perfect to keep her mind—their minds—off death and anger and all the unexpected blows that came between them.

When she thinks of Ryan her eyes get wet.

Elliot slides one hand around her wrist and pulls her toward him, down to his mouth. She tries hazily to keep from lying on his chest, and he kisses her, wrapping one hand around her nape, his mouth wet and hot and very deliberate. It helps.

She knows how sex and mourning can get all mixed up. They've lost a lot over the years. When her mother had died and all those old feelings had been swirling inside of her, Elliot had been an immovable presence; his hand on her body all the time, his possessiveness clearly visible, even that early in their partnership. They hadn't been then like they are now, but she'd wanted to drag him from the cemetery and into her apartment and her bed and not let him go for a week.

She hadn't, because they'd still had some boundaries back then. Still had some hope.

Not like now.

He slides his hand to the small of her back, pushing her forward until she feels his lips graze her nipple. Then his mouth closes warmly over it, and she trembles a bit. He's into the tempo. He's licking at her slowly, sucking with a languid mouth as his breath hits her skin with heat and then shivers away.

She moves but only against the very tip of his cock, and it gets to him quickly. His mouth breaks away from her and he groans and his hands grab her hips and yank her off him.

"Olivia… Christ." He pants quietly.

It sends a stab of want deep into her belly and between her legs. She's watched him turn to stone so many times, that it's a heady feeling to know she can get to him.

She sits low on his hips, the hot, wet length of him resting against the back of her hip, and she leans down and kisses him gently. "Sorry."

She means it, but there's something else there all tied up in her words, and swirling between them. She's starting to realize that more often than not their games of tug-of-war end up with him letting go while she grabs the rope and runs.

And yet she still feels like she's losing.

He shakes his head slightly at her apology, but the furrow between his brows is deep and troubling. He pulls her up and pushes back up inside her, but after a few slow thrusts, he holds her down again, keeping himself seated deep. She can tell by the tightness of his jaw that he's having a hard time not coming, and she keeps still. He watches her though, and his fingers drift over her hip and low on her belly until they slide between her legs.

Her own breath gets stuck in her throat as he slips two fingers against her clit. She's already stretched out over his hips, with him hard and full inside her, and the feeling is intense. She wants to move, but he digs his fingers into her hip, reminding her, and so she doesn't. He strokes and watches and she can't stop the sharp breaths she's expelling as the pleasure builds. His jaw clenches and gives way as she tightens around him, but he doesn't stop watching her, and she wonders if maybe this is what he needs. She needed the slow, beautiful distraction. He needs to feel her in some way she can't quite understand.

She bites her lip, exhales, moves finally, restlessly above him, and he says, "It's okay," softly and breathlessly, and that does it. She closes her eyes and her whole body tightens, and then she hears her own muffled moan as she comes, and she grinds down on him, and he starts breathing hard and he arches up a bit.

His fingers keep her going until she reaches down and grabs his hand. He rubs at her thighs as she catches her breath and her aching muscles drown in relief.

The exhaustion seeps quietly into her body, and the sadness comes back, and she opens her eyes and looks down at him and she moves a bit. He's still rock hard inside of her. His eyes slip half-closed and she watches his jaw tense. She can see how close he is, how vulnerable, and he'll never know how he makes her ache when he's like this.

She moves deliberately, once, twice, and then he's making that sound in his throat that always sounds like anger, but she knows better. His hands grab her hips, pulling her down tightly on him and she rocks a bit as he comes, his hips pressing up against hers, his hard breaths rhythmic and loud.

It takes him a long time. His hands keep her hips moving just that little bit, and his eyes are closed, and she thinks that maybe she won't get much sleep tonight, but that's okay. Too tired to sleep is an idea she knows well. They both do.

He sleeps afterwards, his breath against her neck, and she wonders, like she does every time, how she's done this. How she's fought for his marriage, even when he couldn't be bothered to do it himself, only to give in at the end. Ten years gone, and maybe enough is enough, but she's not sure what context she means. She and Elliot share a connection that is unlike anything else, and that's worth something, but she's not fooling herself.

When it comes down to the last pitch, she'll be the one that takes the strike.

There are reasons they barely look at each other at work.