Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words: Monday Flash Challenge: Crash and Burn
Word Count: 1,297
Date Written: 8 April 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to CBS, not the author, and are used without permission.
Toby pushed his sleeve up and looked again at his watch. He had tired long ago of asking Happy to come to bed. She wasn’t even talking to him now as she focused on her latest project. He knew his love liked to fix things with her hands, but he also knew that occupying her hands occupied her mind and kept it off of things she’d much rather not be thinking about, like her father’s upcoming sentencing. He was glad she’d finally forgiven Cabe for his part in arresting her father, but his heart hurt for her and hurt even more so from the knowledge that there was nothing they could do to help her kind, old man.
Happy grunted. Toby looked up immediately, barely resisting the urge to bounce back onto his feet. She still wasn’t looking at him, nor was she looking at the news coverage concerning her father and the trial of the man who was to blame for his prison sentence. She hadn’t looked at the TV in hours, and although she hadn’t protested when he’d turned the box off, she also hadn’t looked at him in hours. He longed to just get one look from those beautiful, almond eyes of hers, but he knew he just had to wait. This was a difficult time for his beloved, and he’d be there for her, whatever it took.
He flipped a page in the book he was reading and pretended to settle down. Every so often, he’d flip another page, but his eyes remained locked on Happy . . . until the lids started to droop closed. He’d fell asleep, catnapped for a while there on the couch they’d bought together, and snapped his eyes back open at the sound of a clatter. Happy grunted again, but this time, she wasn't conscious.
Toby sprang to his feet and hurried across the floor to his love’s working station. He picked up her favorite wrench and put it back on the desk within easy reach of her hands, but then he swooped Happy up into his arms and held her close to her chest. She murmured something, but the only word he could make out was, “Doc”. It was enough to make him grin as he turned and carried her to their bed.
He hadn’t planned on making Happy buy new furniture, but the bed she’d had when he’d moved in with her had left him very little room. His feet had hung off, and it had been awkward making love to her in such a cramped space. He hadn’t even known she’d been planning on buying a new one until he’d come home one day to find the old one was out. Cabe, Walter, and even Sly had known about the change and had helped her to move the old bed out and the new one in while never saying word to him. They had kept it as a secret to Toby, a secret which had delighted him, touched him, and eventually filled him with the thrill of christening their very first bed together with his new wife.
This bed, this room, held many happy memories for Toby. They all made him smile as he set his wife onto their bed and gently removed her work boots. He massaged her feet for a moment, knowing they must hurt from the weight of those boots alone on her tiny, precious tootsies, before climbing into the bed and settling down beside her.
Happy surprised him as he pulled her to him. “You’re so good to me,” she murmured. He knew she was talking in her sleep, but her version of an, “Atta boy,” still made him glow with pride and joy.
He stroked her hair and kissed the back of her head. “You’d better get used to it, Missus Curtis.”
Happy’s eyes opened just a crack where Toby couldn’t see her. She had truthfully fallen asleep earlier, but she’d awakened while he was carrying her to bed. She’d made very little notice of the fact that she no longer asleep, because she wanted to sleep. She needed to sleep, but a time like this before Toby in her life would have made her want to go insomniac to avoid the dreams that would fill her unconscious mind.
She was dreading the nightmares that would come again about her father. He was such a good man, and she loved him. Even more amazing was that he loved her as well. She hated to think about the things he’d be forced to endure in prison. She knew Cabe had friends amongst the guards and they’d do what they could to keep him safe, but no matter what jail he landed in, he’d still be forced to endure things she’d prefer her father didn’t even know about, let alone experience.
But she was tired, so very tired. Was it thirty six or forty eight hours she’d been up now? And that included two missions. It was a wonder her brain hadn’t simply switched itself off as it had been known to do in the past. Another twenty four, and perhaps it would have. But if her mind was completely off, she wouldn’t know what was happening around her. She would know how gently the Doc was caring for her, how tenderly and determinedly he was being there for her. She might not remember that, even though her father was behind bars now, she was still very, very much loved.
Happy was used to crashing and burning, but she was used to doing so, to doing everything, alone. She glanced up as Toby took her hand and squeezed it. Tears brimmed in her dark eyes as she remembered she didn’t have to do anything alone any longer, and not just because she was a valued member of a team that was far more the family she’d never had and always yearned for. She wasn’t alone. She was loved. She always would be, no matter how many times she pushed the good doctor away or tried to be her own woman. She wasn’t just her own woman any more. She would always be her own person, always be different, always ultimately make her own decisions, but she was also Toby’s woman now. She was Missus Curtis, and she’d never have to be alone, or endure anything else alone, ever again. Unseen by the world, including her husband, a lone tear of relief and happiness trickled down Happy’s cheek.
Toby sensed the tear fall and braced, expecting it to be the first of many to come. Happy was still feigning sleep, but she’d woken up at some point. When exactly, he wasn’t certain. Perhaps it had been when he’d been rubbing her feet or taking her boots off. Maybe it had been earlier, before he’d ever gotten her to the bed. But she was awake now and was starting to cry.
A second tear did not come. Happy relaxed in Toby’s arms, and to his surprise, he could feel the comfort and peace radiating from her. He smiled, realizing he’d done right and she’d allowed him to do so. He kissed the back of her head again and then nuzzled his nose into her hair, drawing her up as close to him as he could. His arms wrapped around her, a silent reminder that she wasn’t alone, and Happy slept at last, smiling as she drifted off to good dreams and not the nightmares she’d feared would be waiting for her. She no longer had to face anything alone, not even the nightmares; after all, her husband was there to give her plenty of reasons to dream good dreams of naked doctors, stupid hats that got lost, and a love that would never die.