In Kima’s mind she’s floating on her back in the water. The sky is bright and blue above her, no clouds to be seen. She’s naked, Allie has told her time and time again not to swim naked in the ocean because it’s too cold. But the water is warm around her, warmer than the ocean should be. But Kima pays it no mind, she’s at peace.
Her peace is quickly shattered by a desperate voice calling out. “Kima!” She’d know that voice anywhere.
Her eyes open instantly and she stops floating, treading water instead as she quickly scans the water. “Allie! Where are you?” Her voice cracks in desperation.
Allura calls back, just screaming for Kima over and over. But as much as Kima looks around, she can’t find Allura. Panic begins to build in her chest, Allie has never been a strong swimmer. So Kima needs to find her. Now.
“Allie!” Kima tries again. “Allie! Where-”
Kima is cut off by a strange sensation. There’s someone touching her cheek. The hand is warm and gentle.
Kima blinks and she’s no longer adrift in the ocean, she’s sitting in their bathtub, water up to her chest, a few bubbles around her. And Allura is kneeling beside the tub, her hand on Kima’s cheek. And she is looking down at her wife with an incredibly concerned expression, her brow furrowed. If Kima was in her right mind, she would reach up and rub the crease away.
“Allie?” Kima asks breathlessly, noticing for the first time that she can’t seem to catch her breath.
Allura nods and runs her thumb along Kima’s cheek, “I’m right here. We’re in our tower, remember?”
Kima nods, but she quickly shakes her head and says, “Allie, Allie, I can’t breathe.”
“I know, my love.” Allure assures her. “I’m going to get you out of the water and get you dry. That will help you calm down.”
Kima nods. She trusts Allie more than anything. That’s why she doesn’t protest as Allura scoops her out of the tub and wraps her in a bath towel. Normally being carried makes her feel like a child, but right now it just makes her feel safe and protected. Allura sits them down on the bed, cuddling Kima into her side.
“Just breathe, Kima,” Allura tells her, running one hand reassuringly along her spine. “We’re both alright. We’re out of the water.”
“I can’t lose you,” Kima says. “Allie, I-I can’t-”
“Shh…” Allura holds her closer. “You’re not going to lose me. I’m okay. Shh...I’m okay.”
Kima turns her face into Allura’s shoulder, hiding her eyes as tears begin to well in her eyes. Kima isn’t usually much of a crier, but Allura has always made her ridiculously emotional. That, plus the stress of reliving one of the worst moments of her life. Allura just slides Kima fully into her lap, not caring about Kima’s wet hair as she holds her wife tighter than Kima thought possible.
“Just keep breathing,” Allura reminds her. “We’re both okay. There’s no more water. We’re okay.
“Allie,” Kima digs her hands into the fabric of Allura’s dress, an embarrassing amount of tears pouring down her cheeks. She wants to get closer to Allura, even though they’re pressed together. She needs to know for sure that Allura’s alright. She’s come so close to losing Allie so many times, sometimes she can’t fathom that they made it out alive.
“What do you need?” Allura asks.
“I just need you,” Kima tells her quickly, burying her head against Allie’s chest.
“Looks like you just need my boobs,” Allura laughs, running her fingers through Kima’s hair.
“Always need them,” Kima mumbles, pressing a kiss to the hem of Allura’s dress, making Allura laugh. Kima lifts her head, avoiding Allura’s eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t need to be sorry,” Allura assures her. “You’ve helped me through worse than that. I’m just glad you’re alright.”
Kima shakes her head, “I’m supposed to be the strong one and-and-”
“And I’m the weak one?” Allura asks, hurt flashing across her face.
“No, no,” Kima says immediately. “That’s not what I meant, I’m sorry, Allie. Shit. I…” Kima drags a hand down her face and moves to get off of Allura’s lap. She intends to leave their bedroom and go down to the training room, punch something until her knuckles split open, but Allura stops her.
“I know that’s not what you meant,” Allura says gently. “Please don’t leave, I...I can’t leave you alone when you’re still…” Allura takes Kima’s hand in hers. It’s only then Kima realizes how bad her hands are shaking. She curls her hand into a fist. “We’ve both been through a lot, it’s not fair to pressure yourself into thinking you’re supposed to be just fine already.”
Kima leans into Allura, trusting her wife to support her weight. “I’m sorry.”
Allura laughs and takes Kima’s face in her hands, “Stop apologizing, my love. I’m your wife,” Kima preens at that, “and that means it’s my job to take care of you and worry about and tell you when you’re being completely unfair to yourself.” Allura caresses Kima’s cheek, right over her scar. “And it is also my job to comfort you when you need it.”
Kima smiles and leans into Allura’s hand, pressing a kiss to her palm. “Thank you. Can you hug me again?”
“Of course.” Allura gathers Kima back into her arms, squeezing her tight.