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Relaxation Techniques

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You knew you were in for a world of hurt when you fell off a small ledge halfway through your mission and landed strangely on your shoulder. Nothing was broken, you didn't think (it would probably be fairly obvious), but you weren't exactly having a lot of fun right now. Still, you powered on; the last thing you wanted was for your mission partner to think you were weak over a sore shoulder.

No, you definitely didn't want 76 to think you were weak at all. You... you cared about his opinion, more than you would have liked to admit. Honestly, you didn't even know what it was; you'd never seen the guy's face or learned a name for him beyond '76', but for some reason, you liked him a lot. Maybe it was the way his voice sounded, or how underneath all those layers of grump, he did genuinely care for you and the rest of your teammates... Hell, maybe it was because he was the one that trained you and you just wanted to impress him.

You were pretty sure it was rather unprofessional to have a crush on your commanding officer, though. So you did your best to ignore it, focusing on the day to day duties as a recruit instead. It just so happened that this mission paired just you and 76. You supposed it might have been a test in some way, but you weren't sure. What you were sure of, however, was that everything went pretty well.

Okay, maybe you shouldn't have tested the waters by throwing a punch at that last guy; you were pretty sure you'd pulled something in your shoulder. Each time you moved your arm, it twinged in pain and you winced. You were just glad you were walking behind 76 instead of in front of him; at least he didn't have to see you like this.

The sight of the dropship that had come to take you and 76 back to the base was, right now, perhaps the most beautiful thing you'd ever seen in your life. You practically sprinted up the ramp after 76 entered the access code. Ah, ship sweet ship. You could feel 76 watching you curiously as you made your way inside, and you hoped it didn't look like you were dying to get away from him or something.

You tossed your pack onto the table and let out a yelp when the action irritated your already hurting shoulder. So much for not showing weakness in front of 76.

“You okay, agent?” 76 asked, coming up the ramp behind you and pushing a button to shut it.

“Peachy,” you responded, rotating your shoulder and wincing at how that felt.

76 came over to you. “Was it when you fell off that ledge?”

You nodded. “Yeah. But I still made it through, didn't I?” You were determined that he not catch on to how bad you were hurting.

“Yeah,” he said. “Good work, agent.”

76 turned and walked up the ramp to the control panel to start the autopilot on the course back to the base. You couldn't help but smile; he had complimented you. The thought brought a sort of warm fuzzy feeling to your chest, and you blushed. You quashed the feeling as 76 turned back to you; no sense in letting him see you get all sentimental on him.

The ship whirred to life and you strapped yourself in for the takeoff phase. The buckles on the seats dug into your shoulder, and you bit your lip to keep from whining in pain. 76 gave you a curious look; he probably knew something was up by now.

When you had finally reached cruising altitude, you wasted no time in getting out of that infernal contraption. But you also succeeded in catching 76's attention, apparently.

“Okay, something's bothering you, agent,” 76 said. “You mind tellin' me what the problem is?”

“Me?” you asked, doing an admittedly poor job at feigning innocence. “I've got no idea what you're talking about.”

76 sighed. “Right... You've been itching to go home ever since we finished this mission, and you've been favoring your non-dominant side... You've been injured.”

You shrugged and immediately regretted doing so when the action just made you hurt worse. “So? Everyone gets injured, sir. I'm not about to let something silly like that stop me.”

“All you're gonna do is make it worse,” he replied.

“I'm fine!” you exclaimed.

76 just looked at you for a moment, as if trying to figure out what to do next. “Agent...”

You crossed your arms and turned away from him. “I-it's okay. I'm not gonna let a dumb injury slow me down. Y-you'll see. I-I'm not weak.”

“It's not about weakness, agent!” he exclaimed back, running a hand through his white hair and growling in frustration. “... At least promise me you'll let Angela take a look at it when we get back to the base?”

“Fine,” you said, turning back to look at him. 76 nodded in acknowledgment and you went and sat at the booth in the corner of the ship, determined to avoid him.

Only a moment had passed before 76 joined you, however. “What's this all about, agent?” he asked, voice softer than it usually was.

You looked away, red staining your cheeks. “I-I...” you sighed. “I just don't want you to think I'm some baby who's going to get upset over a sore shoulder.”

76 chuckled softly, and the sound brought heat to your face; oh, that sounded nice... You wanted to hear him laugh over and over again. “You tryin' to impress me?” he asked, amused.

“I-I... uh, is it working?” you replied, not able to think of much else to say.

“You don't have to push yourself that hard. We already know you're a capable recruit. I wouldn't have let you get past the training program if you weren't,” 76 said, placing a gentle hand on your not-injured shoulder.

You looked at him and smiled. “W-well, in that case,” you replied. “Yeah, I messed up my shoulder trying to stick that landing. And, uh, that punch probably didn't help.”

“I was wondering,” he said. “Don't think I didn't see the expression you made when you got up off the ground.”

Whoops, you'd been caught. “Well, sir, I don't know what you see with that thing on.”

“More than most people think,” he replied smoothly, as if this was a criticism he was used to. “... If you want, I can take a look at your shoulder. I'm no Angela, but I do know a thing or two after all my years in the military.”

You blushed at the thought; he was already way too close to you to begin with. At this point, all you could hope for was that he thought your flushed face was due to dealing with the pain. “Sure,” you said without thinking. You had already gone this far, so what was wrong with indulging a little? Doing your best not to irritate your shoulder, you slipped out of your uniform jacket, leaving only the regulation shirt and your undergarments on underneath. If this bothered 76, he didn't say anything about it.

“Okay, can you turn around for me, sit facing outward from the end?” he requested. You did as you were told, trying not to think about how you'd do just about anything for him. “There we go...” he muttered. He paused for a moment to take off his gloves. You jumped as you felt his large hands on your back, warm and solid. “You okay?” he asked, taking his hands away immediately.

You frowned at the loss of contact. “I'm great,” you said. “You just startled me is all.”

76 nodded. “Okay. Tell me if anything gets uncomfortable, agent. I don't want you to do something you don't want to do out of obligation's sake.”

But nothing would be out of obligation, you thought. You then quashed the thought; the last thing you needed was to get all flustered with him this close to you. “Okay,” you finally said.

He put his hands back on you, gentler this time. They roamed up to your shoulder, straight to business, feeling for any obvious fractions or dislocations. You winced when he pressed up against a sore spot.

“Right there?” he asked, taking his hands away.

You nodded. “Yeah,” you hissed.

He experimentally felt around the painful region. “Well, I don't think you broke or dislocated anything. But shit, you have a lot of knots.”

“I have terrible posture,” you admitted. This was true; more often then not, you slouched. You knew it was bad for your back, and yet you still did it. And here you were. Go figure.

“How do you go around like this?” he asked, genuinely confused.

You shrugged your good shoulder. “I'm used to it?” you offered.

76 winced in sympathy pain. “Well, I guess I get it. I'm not a young man anymore, that's for sure. My back's... definitely felt better. But agent, you should have at least 20 more years before you have to worry about something like that!”

“I'll be fine,” you said.

76 sighed. He was quiet for a few moments, as if contemplating something. “You, uh... you want me to see if I can do something about that while we're stuck here?”

“L-like what?” you asked nervously.

“Let's see what knots I can get out before we make it back to base.”

He wanted to... massage you? You blushed at the implications. “U-uh...”

“It's a simple relaxation exercise, agent. Don't make it inappropriate. It'll stop your shoulder from getting any worse.”

You nodded numbly. Honestly the thought sounded... nice. He was right about the knots, too; you could feel how tense your back and shoulders were. “If you think it'll help,” you said, turning away from him so he couldn't see you blushing.

“Tell me if anything hurts too much,” he requested. One of his hands made its way to the back of your neck, and you felt goosebumps raise on your skin. His hands were warm and rough to the touch, and you couldn't help but wonder how they would feel on your- wait. No. Stop. You couldn't afford to think about that when he was literally inches away from you.

He gently felt for a knot in your neck, and when he found one, he started to massage it out, touches firm but precise. You wondered where he had learned something like this.

Oh, you could feel the tension flowing out of your neck; this felt so nice. “Where on earth did you learn how to do this, sir?”

76 chuckled. “You can't travel the world without learning a thing or two, agent.”

“Makes sense,” you said, not able to think of much else to say. 76 finished with your neck and moved down to your uninjured shoulder. You had a bad tendency to slouch, so you already knew your back and shoulders would be riddled with knots.

“Geez, agent,” 76 hissed. “How long have you been letting this go for?”

You would have shrugged if 76's hands weren't on you. “Dunno. Always been this way, I guess.”

Out of the corner of your eye, you saw 76 shake his head in disbelief. “Well, hopefully this helps, and then Angela can take care of your other shoulder.”

“Thank you, 76 sir,” you said, turning just enough so that he could see you smile at him.

76's thumb made its way onto a particularly tense knot, and you let out a squeak. He took his hands off you immediately, and you whined at the loss of contact. “Did I hurt you?” he asked, voice laced with concern.

You shook your head. “No, I'm fine. You found a big knot.”

“I can see that...” 76 muttered, returning his hands to where they had been. He worked at the knot, and each press of his thumb sent a jolt of that strange pleasure-pain through you, the kind you really only experienced with a massage. He finally got the knot to loosen, and you couldn't help but moan as relief flooded through you.

76 stopped for a moment, and you thought you felt his hands tense up on you for a split second. “Nnn,” you murmured. “Keep going.”

“That didn't hurt?” he asked. He sounded a little strained himself.

“Nope. Felt nice. You're good at this, sir.”

He slid his hands a little further down your back, and you couldn't help but shiver at the sensation. Oh, he was good with his hands. You figured this was a given, though, considering he had spent most of his life shooting guns. Right now, you were glad you were mostly turned away from him, as you were pretty sure you must have been blushing something fierce by now. You had always thought of a few situations where 76 would have his hands all over you; you never figured a completely innocent massage would be one of them, but you weren't about to complain. After all, it actually was helping a lot. How much tension had you been carrying? Holy shit.

76's hands were down near your shoulder blades now. You supposed this would be a lot easier if you weren't wearing a bra, but oh goodness, you weren't about to try to take that off with 76 here; you'd never hear the end of it from him if you did. Geez, you could almost hear it now: “highly inappropriate” this and “breach of protocol” that...

His hands brushed up against a sensitive spot, and you gasped and arched your back.

“Did I hurt you, agent?” 76 asked.

“N-no,” you replied, a little flustered at how you'd just reacted; you'd always been a little... vocal when it came to getting massaged. Maybe it hadn't been such a good idea to let him do this... Well, it was too late now, and all you wanted was for him to work out the rest of your knots. Now that he'd drawn attention to them, you really could feel them.

76 found a particularly nasty knot right under your shoulder blade and set to work on getting rid of it. Every brush of his hand and touch of his fingers made your skin tingle. You were embarrassed to admit it, but you were enjoying this in more than just one way. Already, you could feel the telltale dampness between your thighs that signified that you were really liking this. Ah well, at least this gave you something to think about later while you... took care of that.

“How's this?” 76 asked. There was something strange in his voice, a tone you couldn't quite name. But you liked it; you'd always liked the sound of his voice, but this was something else entirely. He pressed down harder with his thumb, upping his pace just a little.

“I-it's – ah! - It's great, sir,” you said, pausing to gasp as he finally managed to get the knot to loosen. “Nnn, 7-76...”

You could feel 76 stiffen behind you. Were you being too vocal? You hoped he didn't figure out exactly how much you were enjoying this; you'd never be able to look at him again if he did. “What is it, agent? Is something getting uncomfortable for you?”

Oh, something was getting uncomfortable alright, but not what 76 was probably thinking of. “Nah. Keep it up,” you said, trying to keep your tone even but engaged. You didn't want him thinking you were bored either. But it was hard to keep the tone of breathlessness out of your voice, and you felt like he might have caught on to something.

“Okay...” 76 replied, sounding uncertain. He moved onto the next knot, a little further down your back. This time, he wasted no time in getting right into it, digging both thumbs into the muscle as he shifted to get a better angle on you. You let out a yelp as the pleasure-pain flowed through you, and you arched your back towards him to try and get more of his hands on you.

“Y-Yes,” you groaned. “Ohh, just like that.” This was... getting sort of dirty. But you didn't care; it felt too nice to stop.

You could hear 76's breath hitching in his throat. Oh yes, he'd definitely caught on to something. “Agent...” There it was again, that odd tone in his voice. “Agent, are you going to be okay?”

“I-I think so?” you replied, arousal now creeping into your voice.

“I feel like I'm hurting you.”

Shaking your head, you took a deep breath to steady yourself. “No, sir. You're not... you're not hurting me, per se, it's... uh...”

His hands were off you immediately. This... was not the response you were hoping for. “Shit, agent...” he muttered. “I'm sorry. Why didn't you say anything?” He definitely got it now; 76, the epitome of protocol, was shutting this down before it had even started.

“Because, uh...” You paused for a moment to organize your thoughts. “I... didn't want you to stop,” you finally admitted.

“A-agent!” 76 barked. You could practically hear the blush in his voice, and you were sure if you turned around, you would see that his forehead and ears were red. “Th-this is-”

You sighed. “'Highly inappropriate', I know,” you said before he could finish. “I-I know it is. But, I-I... I want you to...”

“You know this is against protocol,” he replied. That tone was back in his voice with a vengeance, and it was only now that you realized it was arousal that could easily rival yours.

“I don't care,” you breathed. “Please, sir?” It had gotten to the point where you needed his hands on you, or you would probably implode from the frustration.

76 was practically panting now; there was no way this wasn't affecting him too. “I- this is so wrong. I shouldn't even be considering this,” he muttered. “My subordinate, half my age... The hell is wrong with me?”

Please,” you pleaded.

“You're sure this is something you want?” he asked. You nodded. 76 took a deep, sighing breath. “I shouldn't be doing this. But what the hell.” His hands slid down your waist and pulled you back so that you were up against his chest. You could feel his heart pounding, as well as a certain hardness digging into you from behind.

You turned your head around and looked down, eyes widening a little bit. “Oh, that's...” So he really did want to do this, but he had been trying so hard to hold back for propriety's sake; the thought was actually sort of endearing.

“I-I-” 76 stammered, forehead and ears going red. “Y-you in my lap, making those noises...” He paused a moment to swallow heavily. “I-I-”

Giggling, you leaned back and pressed a soft kiss to his visor, metal cold under your heated lips. “I'm flattered,” you said.

The visor kiss seemed to have temporarily short-circuited 76. “I-I, uh... why'd you do that?”

“Because you're sweet,” you teased, settling yourself into his lap properly. “Y'know... my front could probably use some massaging too...” Your tone was playful, and you hoped he got what you were alluding to.

“Is that so?” 76 asked, voice taking on a sort of husky tone that you loved. He snaked his hands up your waist and around your front to your breasts, cupping them gently through your shirt. “How's this?”

You moaned softly; even though some layers of clothing separated you and 76, the feeling of his hands on you was still lovely. “Perfect,” you purred, head lolling back to rest on his shoulder as his large hands massaged your breasts. You weren't exactly lacking in the chest department, but 76's palms almost cupped you entirely. He rubbed his thumbs over about where your nipples were under your shirt and you gasped softly.

Seeing the opportunity, you leaned up and planted another kiss on his visor, about where his cheek was. He grunted softly. “Quit it...” he muttered, sounding more bashful than annoyed. You just giggled again in response. 76 reached up and fiddled with something on the side of his visor. With a hissing noise, the faceplate separated from the rest of the mask and 76 placed it down on the table next to you.

You couldn't resist the opportunity to see the man behind the mask. All the younger recruits wondered what was under that impassive visor of his; he literally never took it off. Sometimes you wondered if he even had a face under there.

Oh, he had a face, alright, and a rather nice one too. Long scars made their way up his face in thick slashes, and you couldn't help but reach out and brush your thumb over the one bisecting his lip. He was ruggedly handsome; his lined face betrayed years of experience and his eyes were a deep blue that seemed to pierce your very soul. You could see the blush rising on his face. “A-agent...” he muttered.

You looked away for a moment, then back at him. “Kiss me?” you asked nervously. Your heart was pounding in your ears, and you were worried that this would be the moment he decided not to do this after all.

76 leaned towards you, and your foreheads touched. You were still sitting in his lap, facing outwards, so it was a little awkward to turn around. You didn't care, though; if you got to kiss him, you didn't care if you had to bend over backwards to do it.

A moment passed, then two. You could see yourself reflected in his eyes, and you were sure he could see the same in yours. He reached a hand up and cupped your face. You nearly trembled under his soft touch; the thought that a man so strong could be so deliberately gentle... oh goodness. Slowly, carefully, he brought his lips to yours. Your eyes fluttered shut and you reached a hand back to tangle through his soft white hair.

This was... this was nice. His lips were surprisingly soft for an older man, and you wondered why on earth you hadn't done this earlier. The hand that wasn't cupping your face looped around your side and pulled you close to him. You sank into his chest as 76 softly broke the liplock and tucked a strand of hair behind your ear.

You were at a loss for words. Your heart was racing and it honestly felt like a moment out of some cheesy romantic comedy. How long had you wanted to kiss 76 for? Sure, those had mostly been idle thoughts when you were bored, nothing you tore your hair out over, but still. Goodness.

“Wow...” you finally said. You immediately felt like kicking yourself; your commanding officer had just kissed you and all you could muster was 'wow'? Wait, shit, he was still your commanding officer. God, this was going to be so awkward when it was all said and done. Maybe the protocol existed for a good reason, after all...

76 chucked in response to your elegant statement. “I guess I've still got it,” he said, chuckling. He placed his lips on your jaw and slowly started trailing kisses down to your neck. You turned so that you were facing forward again, giving him full access to the sides of your neck. He slid his hands down your waist and underneath your shirt. Oh, he was so warm to the touch, and the feeling of his rough skin sliding up your stomach and to your chest made you cry out.

He gripped your breasts again, sensation more intense with only a single layer between you and his hands. “76, s-sir,” you moaned as he began massaging them softly. He certainly seemed to like the softer bits of you... This was an idea you'd have to explore in detail later.

“Hmm?” he asked, right up against your ear. Shit, did he know what his voice did to you? He must have, because this was straight-up torture to you, especially now that he wasn't slightly muffled by that damn visor. “What is it, sweetheart?” Oh no, now he was even using terms of endearment; you were going to be dead and gone by the time he was finished, you were sure.

“I-I-” you stammered. Was he really going to make you ask for it? Your face flushed with a mixture of arousal and embarrassment. “L-lower, please.”

76 chuckled, sliding his hands down the curves of your torso to the waistband of your regulation uniform pants. “Is this okay?” he asked, rubbing his thumbs over your hipbones.

Your head fell back against his shoulder; the anticipation was nearly making you throb with need. “Yes, please,” you whined. “Please, just touch me already!

He wasted little time, slipping his dominant hand down under your pants and teasing you gently through your panties. It was only now that you realized how wet you were; he certainly knew how to work someone up, that was for sure.

“Shit, you're definitely raring to go already,” he murmured, sounding surprised but overall quite pleased. His nimble fingers found your clit over the layer of fabric and rubbed in slow circles. You closed your eyes and leaned back against his chest, your head falling back as you gasped out in pleasure.

76 took the opportunity to plant kisses along the front of your exposed neck, pausing to nip at the sensitive skin along your pulse line. You were panting now, and he'd barely even started.

Then, all at once, he pulled his hands back. You whimpered at the loss of sensation all over; that had just been mean. Before you could question what he was doing, however, he'd somehow made his way in front of you. He took a moment to sweep his eyes up and down your form, admiring the pleasure-flushed tint to your skin as well as the way your chest rose and fell with each breath you took.

He knelt in front of you. “Is it okay if I take these off?” he asked, gesturing to your pants. You nodded, not being able to think of a proper verbal response in the wake of your realization that this was real, that this was actually happening. It wasn't a dream (or at least you hoped it wasn't) or a trick or anything of the sort. Not in a million years did you ever think your casual idle fantasies about 76 would ever be fulfilled.

76 swiftly undid your pants and pulled them down, taking your panties with them. He trailed his rough hands up your now-bared legs, savoring the enthusiastic way you shivered in response to his touch. Gently, he pushed your thighs apart. You felt a little self-conscious, being so bare under his gaze like this, but he didn't really seem to care about what you looked like.

“Lemme know if anything gets uncomfortable, okay?” he murmured. “This is for you, after all.” You nodded, wondering what he meant before you got your answer in the form of his tongue sweeping across your folds, pausing to swirl around your clit before he pulled away to nip at your thighs.

“7-76!” you gasped as he left love bite after love bite on your thighs. You wanted his mouth back on you, between your legs. Leaning forward, you threaded your fingers through his hair. “P-please, sir,” you whimpered.

The sound of 76's amused chuckle filled your ears and went right down your spine as he pulled back slightly once more. “Please what, sweetheart?” he purred. His breath fanned over you and you almost arched your hips up into his mouth. But you had to be patient, you knew this.

You took a deep breath, trying to steady your racing thoughts. “Please... please put your mouth back!” you exclaimed.

Apparently, you didn't have to ask twice. 76 returned to his previous position between your legs, lapping you up eagerly as you tugged at his white hair. He grunted after a particularly sharp tug, and you glanced down to notice that he had himself in his hand, stroking in rhythm to the sweeps of his tongue. The thought that he himself was getting pleasure out of pleasing you sent a bolt of arousal down your spine, and your thighs squeezed down on his head lightly.

He took the hand that wasn't attending to himself and used it to drape your thighs over his shoulders. You locked your ankles together behind his head and moaned as he doubled his pace on you, seemingly not intent on giving up any time soon.

His own ministrations on himself caused him to gasp out in pleasure every so often, the vibrations of his breath only serving to make things more intense for you. Your fingers tightened in his hair, and for a moment you were worried you might have hurt him when you saw him stiffen up. The subsequent shudder of pleasure he gave, however, made you realize that he actually enjoyed having his hair pulled like that.

76's tongue swept up inside you, just barely managing to graze one of your sweet spots before withdrawing completely. You gave a needy whine; he was just teasing you at this point. He rewarded your patience, however, when he returned his attention to your clit. The stubble on his face scratched at your thighs, and the sensation over your freshly blooming love bites was unlike anything you'd ever felt before in your life. This was not a man who was new to something like this. No, he clearly had experience with pleasuring others, and you couldn't help but wonder exactly how many others he had tended to this way before in his life. Well, that didn't really matter right now, you supposed; all that mattered was his hands and mouth on you, slowly driving you closer to that peak you craved.

He brought his free hand up behind you, giving your rear an appreciative squeeze before taking it in his palm and lifting you up ever so slightly. The change in angle provided a burst of new sensations, and you moaned out his codename mixed in with a couple of expletives as his tongue somehow managed to make its way deeper inside of you. Even in an awkward position like this, it was just so easy for him to lift you... The thought made you throw your head back as you moaned, gripping onto his hair for leverage as your legs started to shake.

You were getting close, and it looked like both of you knew it. Glancing down, you could see that he was probably pretty close too, if the uneven strokes and desperate pants of breath were anything to go off of.

76,” you gasped. “76, I'm gonna-”

You didn't even have the time to finish that thought. The second the words fell from your lips, he tripled his efforts, tongue darting back and forth from your clit to inside you, the warm wet sensation entirely welcome as you felt yourself getting close to the edge. You leaned forward, anchoring his head between your legs with more sharp tugs at his hair as your thighs clamped down on him, locking him into place. He seemed to enjoy this, because almost right away, he shuddered and let out a breathy moan, reaching his own peak as he spilled himself over his hand and onto the ground.

The vibrations of his voice were what did you in. You tipped over the edge, shouting a mix of gibberish and expletives and praise as you rode out your climax, bucking your hips up to get more of his mouth on you. He eagerly lapped up your release as the pleasure slowly ebbed. When it finally got to be too much on your now oversensitive skin, you tugged back on his hair before loosening the leglock you had on him. He pulled back, giving each of your thighs one last nip as he licked his lips clean of you.

With a content sigh, you flopped back onto the booth. That... that had probably been the best orgasm you'd had in quite a while.

76 was damn good at this.

You suddenly became aware of just how relaxed you felt; you supposed that massage hadn't been for nothing, after all. You could still feel a few knots tangled in your lower back, but you hoped he’d be eager to take care of those a little later.

Dizzy, you lifted your head to see the man in question rummaging around the shelves. He'd already cleaned off and zipped himself back up, and now it seemed like he was looking for something specific.

After a moment, he turned around and walked back towards you, a pillow and a blanket now in his grasp. Now that the heat of the encounter was dissipating, you could feel the artificially chilled air of the ship wrapping itself all around you.

You pulled your legs up into the booth as he gently draped the blanket over you. “Thanks,” you murmured, placing the pillow behind you as you leaned over the booth to retrieve your pants, which you put back on.

“How was that?” he asked, and you were struck by how casual he sounded, like he was showing you paint swatches, or something. “Do you feel more relaxed now?”

“Uh, definitely,” you said, blushing a bit. “Wasn't, um... wasn't expecting that, but it definitely...definitely helped. Thanks, 76.”

The corners of his mouth twitched into a smile. “Of course, sweetheart. But... I'll admit, that hadn't been my first plan.”

(Was he blushing, too?)

You giggled. “Wasn't mine either. But I'm glad it happened.”

Keeping your eyes on him, you scooted back a little on the booth and patted the space next to you. To your surprise, he actually took you up on the offer. He didn't even seem to mind you laying against him, either.

“This goes against protocol, you know...” 76 muttered.

“I don’t see you complaining,” you teased, flicking your eyes up at him and flashing him a smile.

76 sighed, running one of his hands through your hair softly. “I'd be lying if I said I'd never thought of this before. But I didn't expect you to actually...” he trailed off, looking for the words.

“You kidding?” you asked, grinning. “I, uh... this wouldn't be the first time I thought about you like that, either, I just... I figured I'd get in trouble if I came on to my commanding officer.”

“I guess in most places you would,” 76 quipped, chuckling. “But this isn't most places.”

You nodded, laying your head against his shoulder. The leather of his jacket was worn and soft, providing a somewhat comfortable spot for your head. “Guess not,” you said. “Hey, do you have a name other than '76'?”

76 was quiet for a moment, as if deciding what to say next to you. Finally, he nodded. “Jack,” he answered.

“Jack...” you murmured, trying out the name. “I like it. I think it suits you.”

“Thanks,” 76 – Jack said, smiling down at you. “You gonna fall asleep there?”

You leaned up against his arm. “Maybe,” you murmured, burying your face in his shoulder and breathing in the scent of leather and pulse munitions that always hung around him. Of course, you knew this whole discussion was far from over. There would eventually be the awkward question of 'what are we?' that you and 76 would have to figure out. But right now, all you wanted to do was sleep. Those difficult questions could wait until after you two made it back to the base, after the mission report was delivered, after you got some rest.

Jack lifted his arm up, and for a second you were worried he was going to shoo you off of him. Instead, he wrapped his arm around you and pulled you close to him. You snuggled into his chest and sighed, content. Yes, the world could wait until later.

For now, it was time to relax.