As soon as my apartment door closes behind us, the adrenaline from the fight begins to wear off. Juliette and I have just returned from an Optimus mission that went a little south as soon as the second batch of Optimus agents arrived. Our muscles are sore from the fight and exhaustion is beginning to take hold.
“That was really bad,” I wince as I toss the bag of my Monarch gear on the couch. Robin isn’t home tonight and I am glad. I’m too tired to explain to them why I am lugging around a bag of weird costume pieces all the while covered in bruises.
Juliette gives her own wince as she stretches her neck from side to side. Even inches from her, I can hear the tiny pop her head gives. Her hand goes to the back of her head and she bites her cheek.
“That last guard hit my helmet good. I felt the thing slam into my skull,” she prods at her head and sucks her teeth, “How about you?”
I move my hand in a ‘so, so’ motion and stretch my back. There’s definitely quite a few sore spots on my body but I don’t want to worry her.
In truth, the fight tonight was a disaster. The intel we had gathered had been a little outdated. What should have been an easy mission had turned into a brawl when security had steamed in. Although the Syndicate had managed to pull through, we had all suffered some bad injuries.
“I’m fine, but I worry about Duke. He had that bruise on his cheek and he has a magazine photo shoot tomorrow,” I plop down on the couch and set my head on my arm.
Juliette pads over to my fridge and searches around for a snack.
“Eh, a little concealer works wonders,” she shrugs.
I hear the microwave come on moments later and she returns with two glasses of warm milk and honey. I give her a grateful nod as she hands me one. My body is sore and every muscle screams in agony. Getting up tomorrow will be torture.
Juliette takes the other end of the couch and puts her legs to one side of mine. Her skin brushes past a particular bruise and my breath hitches. She stops with worry and her lips press together.
“Did that hurt?” Her hand ghosts to my thigh where it skims the painful bruise.
I stare down at my leg where the skin is becoming discolored from the injury. Tomorrow I will wake up blue and purple all over.
“A guard may have kicked me,” I murmur.
Juliette’s features pinch in a frown. She sits up a little and examines my legs. Her fingers go about gently trying to soothe my skin with light strokes.
I try and suppress the pleased shudder that passes through me as her hands work. I’m too tired to let my train of thought drift into any gutters tonight.
My hands reach out and I grab Juliette’s wrist. I intertwine our fingers together and offer her my best attempt at a reassuring smile. “I’m fine really. You?”
I peer at her closer in the dark lamplight. I can’t see any true bruises on her body now, perhaps hidden underneath her clothing, but there is a scratch at the bottom of her neck.
My fingers tilt her head to the side and I inch closer to take a look at it. It doesn’t look bad, but I still feel annoyance at the thought that someone hurt her. Juliette had spent all afternoon defending me and I couldn’t stop her from being hurt.
“Nothing cuddling with my girlfriend and a good nap can’t fix,” Juliette chirps. Even tired, she puts effort into appearing lively.
A smile tugs on my lips and I extend my arm to her. She settles into me and puts her head on my shoulder. Her perfume, something floral and sweet, warms me more than the milk I just drank.
“I could get you some ice?” I use one hand to stroke her hair. Her blonde hair is always soft to the touch and I envy how it stays perfectly in place despite just fighting an entire squad of goons. Some day, I’ll have to steal her haircare routine.
Juliette makes a refusal sound at the back of her throat. She snags the TV remote from the coffee table and turns it on to some space drama where a shy engineer and a hot but grouchy pilot are making out.
“Nah. I just want my girlfriend here,” she smiles. Her lips brush my cheek and I feel color bloom across my face.
She’s so cute it isn’t fair. I bite back the pleased sigh at the back of my throat and inch closer into her.
There’s something so peaceful about being able to settle with my hacker girlfriend after a long fight. Her scent, her touch, her taste, everything about her puts me at ease. In the few minutes I’ve been able to hold her, some of the pain from the fight has begun to wash away.
I move my head enough to where I can press a chaste kiss to her lips. She smiles into it and leans forward. One hand comes to rest on the side of my cheek as we draw away. She tastes like something sweet.
“I like spending time with you,” I murmur.
I lean back into my seat and keep an arm loosely draped around her. Her presence is so relaxing that I am beginning to drift off to sleep. The fight has exhausted me in more ways than I can count. Now, I want nothing more than a quick nap cuddled up to the woman I love.
Juliette leans over so that her head is in my lap. She moves her legs so that they sling off the sofa ams and her eyes close. A content smile spreads from her lips and she offers a shy peck to my hand. It seems she echoes my sentiment.
“I like spending time with you too,” she replies.
My own smile intensified and I lean my head back into the sofa back.
If I wanted to, I could move us to my room. My room is feet away and I know I left my bed unmade this morning, so we could easily slip in and rest. Still, to move from this position is torture. Although the couch isn’t the most comfortable place, I can manage if Juliette can.
“Are you cold?” I open my eyes just long enough to ask her.
She’s already drifting off to sleep, tired enough to not mind having to awkwardly position herself in a tiny couch, but her lips quirk up in an affectionate smile. Her fingers still holding my hand give a light squeeze in reassurance.
“Nope. You’re warm,” she angles her head to give my fingers another light peck.
I giggle lightly, the feeling of her breath on my skin tickles, and begin to fully slink back into rest. Sleep is just inches away. Right before falling into its welcome embrace, I manage out a last parting sentence.
“I love you, Juliette. Goodnight.”
Juliette is already halfway to sleep, yet her own reply sounds out seconds later without hesitation. Although groggy, her voice carries out strong and true and her fingers give mine a last affectionate squeeze.
“I love you too. Goodnight.”