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Bad Days and Good Solutions

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He opened the door to their apartment, dropped his shield on the chair and started taking his suit off. On days when the mission took everything out of him, the only thing left he could do was just... nothing. He headed straight to the shower, turned on the water as hot as he could take it and just stood under it. Letting the water flow over him.

He heard her step into the bathroom, and a few seconds later, into the shower with him. She knew, of course, that this was what he needed right now. That he needed her touch to slowly bring the life back to him.

Tiny hands circled his waist, as she pressed herself against his back, her cheek against his skin. She said to him softly, 'I'm here. I'm right here. You're okay. You're here. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be right here. I'm going to be right here with you.' She repeated it over and over to him. Her voice slowly bringing his consciousness back.

She felt him relax slightly, and took that as her cue that she could start to do what she called in her mind,' the cleansing routine'. This was the part that felt important to her - she took a washcloth and soaped it up. Carefully soaping his body. His arms, his legs. His chest, his stomach. At any other time, she'd be openly admiring his muscles and the hard planes of his body, but she knew the time for that wasn't now. Her act of washing him was her way of washing away whatever was haunting him.

He turned, head still down, as she slowly massaged the shampoo into his hair. Taking her time, slowly rubbing his scalp with her fingertips. She moved her hands to his neck and shoulders and massaged whatever knots she could get out. She put her hands against his cheeks and studied him. His eyes were still closed and he leaned into her hands, and let out a soft sigh.

He reached out to her and held her tight, their bodies pressed against each other. He needed to feel her, to tell himself that she was there, she was something that he could hold on to for the moment.

With her cheek pressed against his chest, she could hear his heart beating a steady drum beat. She rinsed him off, and got out to get their robes. She held his up for him, and he shrugged it on and helped her with hers. As she stood before him, he looked deep into her eyes and then leaned forward to put his forehead to hers, eyes closed again.

'Thank you.'

She smiled in response, kissed his cheek lightly, took his hand and led him to bed. She tucked his head onto her shoulder and ran her hand through his hair over and over. Listening as his breath slowly evened out.

Sometimes he would start recounting what had happened, maybe what had gone wrong. Some days he simply started talking about a memory from his childhood. And other days, like this, he just didn't want to talk at all. Felicity had learnt when he needed her babble to fill the silences, but there were times when he didn't need anything other than to be wrapped in her arms.

He thought to himself how lucky it was that he had her. It was only since she came into his life that he'd finally managed to find a way to deal with the bad days. It was only after her, that he finally managed to sleep after his missions, especially the bad ones. It was only after her, that he finally found something that he wanted to keep coming home for.