Title: "Connection"

Author: Little Red

Rating: PG

Category: Sheppard/Weir FLUFF

Summary: He holds her tighter when he's sleeping.

Author's Note: Thanks to Tammy, who beta'd and came up with the title.


***


He holds her tighter when he's sleeping.

It drives her a bit nuts. It's not like it hurts her, but she feels too hot and pinned down, and half the time it wakes her up.

It's strange, she thinks, that someone who has spent at least most of his nights alone since she has known him would be so clingy in bed. He's admitted that he has never been one for being able to keep a girlfriend, something he blames on the military life. It took her years of long-term relationships to learn to sleep at all with another person's arm or leg in her personal space, so his physical comfort level surprises her.

It's sweet, actually. His breath on her neck is calm and rhythmic, almost gentle, and since that's not at all the way he is during the day, it makes her feel special and priviledged to know this other side of him. His arms and chest are strong and sturdy around her. She feels like she fits perfectly, like all the emotional hangups between them or their diametrically opposed professional viewpoints are made unimportant by the way she can lie against him like she has settled into a place created just for her.

The first time they had sex in a bed -- not, however, the first time they had sex -- and he pulled her to him afterwards, the unprecedented feeling of being snapped into place like a human puzzle piece freaked the hell out of her.

She loves it now. Needs it, even, after a hard day.

But when it's 0300 and she can't sleep, enough is enough.

"John." She has learned that squirming doesn't help and any sort of elbowing below a threshold that would cause actual damage only makes him hold tighter. "John, wake up."

There's snuffling, and then, "Hmm?"

"I can't breathe."

It's an exaggeration, of course, but I can't sleep is the phrase she uses when she wakes him up for sex, and she finds it best not to get her codes confused.

"Oh." The arms loosen a bit. "Sorry." John yawns and changes position, releasing her and shuffling away. He brushes one hand up and down her side, sleepily unwilling to lose contact entirely.

She has to smile. Definitely sweet.

She rolls over to look at him and takes his hand. "I'm not going to run away if you don't hold on all night, you know."

A clarity of consciousness comes into his eyes, and he frowns. "I know," he says, but she suspects he doesn't, really. She has never made promises. She isn't now, either, she tells herself to keep from bolting in unnecessary panic. But the truth is that she likes it here and is getting close to loving him, and that makes this worth all the trouble and grief he causes her in daylight. She isn't going anywhere.

"John..."

"I know. Really." It sounds a bit defensive, and that reminds her that he isn't always entirely comfortable with their unexpected commitment, either. Or, he is entirely comfortable until he remembers to think about it.

"Then why do you do it?" She asks, squeezing his hand the way he squeezes her.

"I'm sleeping," he points out, his words still a bit mumbled. "How'm I supposed to know?"

It's an answer, but she's smart enough, even at 3 in the morning, to know it isn't the real one. She squeezes his hand again.

To her surprise -- and she suspects that being half-asleep has a lot to do with it -- he actually tells her. "I just... feel better, knowing you're here. Being able to feel you. Not being alone." He rubs his free hand across his eyes and yawns. "I don't know."

She's the one who moves to hold him this time, who pulls him close and hugs him until he sighs with contentment and sleepiness, and she feels again that remarkable sensation of being in exactly the right place.

When it becomes apparent that she isn't planning to move away, he asks into her ear, "I thought you couldn't sleep like this."

"I'm okay," she promises. She'll learn how.

He's worth it to her.

He doesn't hold her quite as tightly this time. Though it still takes her a while to fall asleep, she's glad he doesn't let go.

*end*

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