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Within Her Reach

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"JOHN!" She screamed and reached for him.

He reached for her immediately, pulling her into his arms and soothing away whatever haunted her dreams. He knew that he should hold her through the night. He wanted to press her body to his until there was no space left between them, but the shadow of wrongness lingered over him. It was his sister. His sweet Sam. He shouldn't be in her bed to begin with. He tried to maintain some distance, tried to keep to his side of the bed they shared, but it was impossible. Her nightmares would come and he'd instinctively close the space between them. He pulled her into the safety of his arms and quietly soothed her and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

Her hand came up, feeling along his jawline. She cupped his cheek and pressed her lips to his. He quashed down the groan that tried to rise from his throat. It was such torture. Her lips moved desperately against his, but he held back. Just as he kept to the other side of the bed, he held himself still against her kisses. It took all of his strength to refrain, but it was always useless in the end. He could feel her need through the connection they'd always shared. He could feel her ache for him. He couldn't stand to feel her hurt in any way, even if it was just longing, so he gave in.

He kissed her gently. He calmed the frenzy of her movements with his lips. Stroking her back, he held her close and let his kiss tell her how precious she was to him. How much he loved her. It was impossible not to love her. He'd been born to love her. Despite the way he'd run from her. Despite the anger, fear and loss he'd gone through when she went to Mars. Despite the resentment that had built between them. He loved her. Once they were together again, everything else washed away and things were once again how they were meant to be. Her with him. Him with her. This was how it was meant to be.

Her eyes sought his in the dark, even though she couldn't see him. Her instinct was true as he stared into her eyes, caught in them. "I love you," she whispered and pressed her forehead to his.

He nodded. The words always shook him. He tried not to show it, but they always rocked his core. She loved him. Not the same love they had as children when they were young and innocent and love was just a happy thing. She loved him and the man that he'd become, with all the sins and baggage he brought along with him. She loved him in the bittersweet way that adults realized was the true face of love. She love him not as a child, not as a sibling, but as a woman. And he loved her as a man.

His voice was hoarse when he replied. "I love you too, Sam." He slid his hand down her back, resting it low as he pulled her closer. She needed him closer and he needed the same from her. He rested his head on her shoulder and buried his face in her hair. He loved the scent of her. It was sweet, familiar and comforting. She filled his senses. Touch, taste, scent, and more. Her legs tangled with his as they pressed close. "I love you too."

The remains of tension fled her body, leaving her lax in his arms. "Don't leave me," she pleaded softly.

His heart ached as he tightened his hold on her. "I'm not going anywhere," he promised. His voice was rough with the emotions welling inside of him. Nothing would drag her away from him again. Not his fear. Not his pride. Not any force on Earth or Mars or anywhere else. He'd gone through hell with her. He'd fought off death for her. He wasn't going anywhere without her. More than his sister, she was his soul. As long as he had her, everything else could go to hell. He was where he belonged now. Beside her, around her, always within her reach.