The woman Kim had known only as “Sifu” stepped out of the cab and stared up at the museum in front of her. It had been a long time since she'd looked at it, despite at one time visiting it quite often. The stone edifice looked the same… the banners and posters had changed.
“Hey… hey, lady!”
“Oh, yes. Sorry.” She turned around to pay the cabby, then started trotting up the steps. The museum would be almost deserted, she knew. It wasn't a big field trip day, nor a holiday or weekend, so there would probably be a few college students and bored people strolling the halls. And even fewer in the areas she'd be visiting. Not that she was worried about standing out, really… Go City was large enough that even her Chinese-style white shirt and pants wouldn't have gotten more than half a second glance.
Despite the ‘Employees Only’ warning on the door, the only thing that happened as she pushed it open and walked through was a short buzzing sound. She'd really have to talk to the curator about that. She paused to remember the way, then started trotting down the halls that lead to said curator's office.
She stopped as a tall, lanky man stepped out of one of the offices lining the hallway, staring at him as he fumbled with some file folders in his arms. Then he turned towards her and stopped, staring at her as well.
“… Hey, Mom.”
“Hello, Melvin.” She smiled a little, almost tentatively. “It's been a long time. It's… very good to see you again.”
“Uh. I… guess.” Melvin Go, aka Mego, looked like he couldn't decide whether to frown or just keep staring. “Is everything alright? I mean, you're… did something happen?”
“Something's always happening,” she teased gently. “So I suppose you could say yes. But no, nothing's wrong. I'm just back.”
“Oh.” Melvin shifted the files around, trying to get them all under one arm. “For how long?”
Melvin actually dropped the files, then scurried to pick them up. His mother squatted and picked up a few herself, then held them out once he'd gotten the rest.
“… Seriously?” he asked dubiously.
“Yes.” She stood as he did, then sighed. “Melvin, this is going to take a long time for me to fix, if it can be fixed. All I can start with is saying that I'm sorry, and be around to work on it… or ready if you ever decide you want to work on it, if you're not ready now.”
“I, uh…” Melvin shifted back and forth nervously, then let out a huff. “Well I -don't- think I'm ready to work on it, if you put it that way.”
She nodded slowly. “That's alright. I didn't expect you to be. But I will be here when you are. Well, I mean, not right here, but here in the city, close if I can, and… um…” She trailed off, then laughed nervously.
“So, will you be staying at… you know…?”
“I… don't know. If you're working here, I'll call you when I figure things out, I guess.”
They looked at each other for a moment, before Melvin awkwardly stepped by her and walked off down the hall. His mother looked after him for long moments, before sighing and continuing on her way. Arriving at the office door with ‘Curator’ written on it, she raised a hand, hesitating for a few seconds before knocking.
She opened the door and stepped inside, closing it after her. His head was bent, looking at whatever bit of paperwork he was laboring over at the moment. His hair was still close-cropped, still dark black and untouched by grey. It was still those same round wire-rimmed spectacles, the same immaculate black suit.
“Elliot,” she said softly.
His pen stopped on the paper, then he slowly set it down and looked up. Took in the sight of her, no particular expression seeming to cross his firm, handsome features. He stood up slowly to his full height, showing off that tall physique and the broad shoulders that had caught her notice as well as that of half the other girls in the city. (Well, those and his enormous wealth.)
“Hello, Sandra,” he said quietly, green eyes steady as they bored into her.
“It's been awhile.”
“Yes,” he agreed, voice slow and almost musing as he strode around the desk to stand in front of her. “It has.”
They looked at each other in silence for long moments, tension thick in the room.
Then he grabbed her and hauled her in, arms tight around her, lips pressing to hers hard and firm, demanding and powerful. She arched up against him, putting her hands on his chest, letting him crush her body against his. His lips just kept moving all over hers, his tongue spearing into her mouth and seeming to overpower her own.
His hands dropped down and grabbed her ass, hauling her up against him, and she willingly lifted her legs and wrapped them both around him as he thumped her back against the door. It shuddered briefly under the impact, but held as he continued kissing her, lips breaking from hers only enough to turn and press back in from another angle.
And finally he lowered her back to her feet and stepped away. The heat was tamped down under the emerald of his eyes, and he calmly adjusted his tie. She could feel the heat on her face and through the rest of her body, but she did her best to smooth out her shirt as much as she could.
“It's good to see you again,” Elliot said smoothly.
“Well that's obvious.” Sandra took a deep breath, then said, simply, “I'm sorry, Elliot. I… was hurt and confused, and I fled. I left you and the children on your own, and…”
“There's… time to work all that out,” he said evenly, putting a hand on her shoulder. “At least, I hope there is.”
“Yes. I'm back. For good this time.” She shook her head slowly. “No more months-long training trips. No more ventures across the world. I'm staying here to try and rebuild the bridges I've burned. I don't know, I… maybe I should find an apartment or-”
“No,” he cut in smoothly. “You're home, so you're coming home. That's the end of it.”
Smiling, she nodded. “Alright, then.”
“We have a lot to talk about, obviously, but that you're home is the important part.” Such confidence, such surety. He knew how he thought and he said so directly, treading the fine line of arrogance. It was something she'd always loved about him. “We'll go. Give me a moment.” He turned to pick up the phone.
Sandra watched him move, observing the lines of his body and biting her thumbnail gently. ‘Damn, he's still in fabulous shape. Thank God he's feeling forgiving, it would've been so uncomfortable to jump on his lap and ride him if he was pissed off.’
He took her hand and they walked out of the office together. He paused in front of an unmarked office. “This is actually where Melvin works now. I suppose we should-”
“I talked to him already. We… we'll work on it later, I think,” she said softly.
“Very well.” He nodded and moved off down the hall again. His hand squeezed hers, and she read the unspoken relief that they'd have some time to themselves.
He slid behind the wheel of the black sedan in the covered parking garage and she settled into the passenger seat. She grinned as his hand rested on her thigh and began gently rubbing it in between shifting gears.
“What prompted this?” he asked partway into the drive.
“Me coming back? Some talking with my last student, some personal revelations. I let my fear of getting hurt emotionally drive me away from the ones that could have hurt me most… and all I wound up doing was hurting myself anyway, as well as everyone I loved.”
“You made a mistake,” he said simply. “You're here to fix it, and you will.”
Sandra laughed a little. “I really missed that.”
“The way you're so sure of everything. Like how if you say it, it couldn't help but be so.”
She smiled, settling into the plush leather. But after a few moments, she rested her hand over his on her leg. “Has there… been anyone else?”
He hesitated for a moment, before answering, “Two. Brief things, one didn't last more than three days.”
“No. No one.”
They were both silent, before she squeezed his hand gently.
“It's fine, Elliot. I'd essentially left you without any word of when or if I was coming back. I'd have found it a little strange if you didn't find someone to help you. I'm… more surprised there wasn't anything serious.”
“And relieved?” he asked dryly.
“Like you wouldn't believe,” she replied, laughing nervously. “I'm still deeply, deeply in love with you, so that definitely would have made things awkward.”
Elliot turned his hand to take hers, lifting it to his lips to kiss. “I assure you, Sandra… the feeling is mutual.”
Her cheeks colored, and she turned her head to look out the window. Go City. At one time she was in line to essentially be the matriarch of the place. Sandra Dessard, the wildcat that the most eligible bachelor in the city had tamed with his charm and grace. The society pages had had a boner for the story since forever.
Ouch, there was a bad thought. Not only what the papers would say (she didn't care) but the rest of Elliot's family (she kind of did). Elliot's mother hadn't exactly been thrilled when he'd brought her home in the first place, and Sandra had somehow wound up taking the blame for Elliot's own occasional adventuresome ways. (Nevermind that they'd met in Cairo in the middle of a firefight… though she kind of doubted that Addie had ever heard the full story on that one.) She could only imagine what the woman would be like now.
“Yes, have everyone take the night off. Effective immediately.”
Pulled out of her worrying daze by Elliot's voice, Sandra looked over and saw him on the cell.
“Yes, exactly, I'd like the house to myself. Thank you.” Elliot ended the call and set the phone aside, all perfectly calm and casual.
Sandra didn't know whether to grin or go back to blushing her head off. ‘I can see I'm not going to get a shower first. In fact, I'd be pretty surprised if we make it upstairs.’
She didn't wind up being surprised.
In fact, the door had barely closed behind them when Elliot grabbed Sandra's arm and yanked her hard again, kissing her powerfully, tongue claiming her mouth with raw animal desire hidden by his calm exterior. She grabbed the sides of his shoulders, closing her eyes and moaning into his mouth as he kissed back, the sound catching as his hands covered her rear again and hauled her against him even closer by it, as if he were trying to pull her inside of him. Absentmindedly, she gave a few little squirms and kicks of her feet to get her slippers off… mustn't neglect the etiquette she established all those years ago, after all.
His hands moved down, briefly caressing her hips with a tenderness at odds with the kiss, before they were moving fast and insistent as well, sliding underneath the waistband of her pants and her panties as well, shoving them down, hands already kneading her buttocks. Then, rather than wait for her to step out of the fallen garments, he hauled her up and against him, her feet lifting off the floor and legs wrapping around his waist.
The kiss continued, hot and deep and rather rough as Elliot carried Sandra down the entryway. She bucked and twisted her hips, grinding herself lightly against his hard cock through the layers of cloth, smearing her arousal all over the front of his pants. He practically growled into her mouth, teeth raking her tongue lightly as it thrust past his lips.
Elliot dropped forward as he arrived in front of the fireplace, a fire springing up as if by magic. He caught himself on his hands just enough to take some of the shock off, but Sandra was still jarred, grunting softly and sagging under him for a moment, off-balance, unexpecting.
Somehow, despite all her training, despite all her reflexes and knowledge, that one moment was all he needed. But then he'd always slipped right past all her guards like that, gone right for the heart of things. Or other parts. In that one moment he opened his pants and he was inside her, a single thrust burying in her, her cry completely obliterating the whisper of the flames as she was spread open so wide and deep for the first time in a long time.
He held still for long moments, then -pressed- with his hips, as if making sure he couldn't get any deeper inside her, wringing another, much softer cry from her parted lips. Then, and only then, did he begin to thrust, slowly and steadily at first, even thrusts that could almost have come from a well-oiled machine.
Even as Elliot's thrusts began to make Sandra gasp, whimper, and moan, he kept his mind on the whole picture. Propping himself up on one strong arm, his other hand moved down, deftly undoing the clasps of her shirt, parting it, revealing the black lace of her bra against her milk-pale skin. As if it belonged to a separate man than the one thrusting into her pussy faster and faster, his hand slowly, delicately slid along her collarbone and down over the slope of one breast, before moving with that same sudden fierceness, yanking the cup of the bra down and filling his hand with the firm, yielding flesh.
Sandra couldn't even moan without it being interrupted by a hard intake of breath. At the same time, she couldn't think at all, and yet her thoughts were so clear. She forced her eyes open enough to look at his face, expression almost solemn, but eyes burning so hot. Intense. Everything about him was intense, the way he moved, the way he spoke, the way he made love, the way he -fucked-…
She clawed and grasped at the shoulders and chest of his jacket, soft mewls escaping between loud, passionate cries. The only one that could make her meow like a kitten, the only one that could make her roar like a tiger. The only one she was helpless before, because she wanted to be, because she loved him.
Sandra screamed, long and loud and from deep down inside her, legs tightening and hips thrusting upward, jamming herself up against him, forcing him as deep inside as she could get him. He seemed to get bigger inside her, start to throb, and then she felt those warm, wet rushes and the second one hit before she quite realized she'd had the first one, like the sound of an explosion following the burst of light.
She clutched to him, trembled, breathing hard. Then she felt him shift a little in place, and her eyes snapped wide open. Oh no. Oh no, she'd almost forgotten. He was going to do -that-. She had no clue where he'd picked it up, how he learned it or created it, but-
Then his hips were moving in a way she had never in all their years of marriage quite been able to follow, but it moved his still-hard cock around inside her, rolling it against her inner walls, as if he was stirring her. It was so wet and hot and hard and touching her -everywhere-, and she couldn't even scream. Her back arched, pressing her breasts against him, one rubbing against her bra and the other across his professionally-pressed shirt, her mouth open in a soundless scream, throat too tight to let it out.
Finally, she slumped underneath him, panting and gasping, him barely moving above her. When she finally managed to lift her head and look up at him, he leaned down and kissed the tip of her nose, as if they'd been out on a date in the park.
“I love you. I've missed you.”
“Oh baby,” Sandra groaned softly, wrapping her arms around him and pulling herself up, clinging to him and pressing her face to his shoulder. “I've missed you to.”
It defined so much of him. She wondered where she'd let her own get off to over the years. She thought this as she lay on her side in bed, naked above the tousled covers, watching him sleep. Even in sleep, his face was composed and solemn, as if about to discuss a delicate business matter rather than chasing dreams through the REM landscape. Intense even when he slept.
She'd been intense too, at one time, she knew that. In fact it was entirely possible she'd been too intense. They'd butted heads a lot early on, and they'd actually come to all-out fights at times over it. But she'd been drawn to his calm and even intensity, and he'd probably been drawn to her more blunt and outspoken intensity. So where had hers gone that she'd spent so many years waffling in her self-doubt?
The children, probably.
Maybe it had been a mistake to baby them so much. To shield Herman from some of the harsher realities of the world, because she loved his idealism too much to let it be tarnished. To make Melvin the center of her attention whenever she could, because he seemed to need it so badly. To blind herself to Shego's faults as a student because she needed to be closer to her as a daughter. Perhaps the only ones she hadn't let herself be soft on were the twins, but they'd always had each other.
But then, despite her mistakes, she knew she'd been closer with her children than Elliot seemed to know how to be. He was Father to them, stern and sensible as much as he was loving. She was Mom.
Perhaps she'd given up some of the intensity for them. But they seemed to have taken it and made it their own. Herman was intense about anything he felt strongly about, Melvin was intense in his individuality, and Shego…
Well, no question there.
“You're smiling,” he said quietly as he opened his eyes, instantly alert and awake.
“Mmm. Thinking of people I love.” She ran her hand slowly down his chest and stomach, eyes following the path of her fingers. “And other things?”
“Anything to share?” He caught her hand with one of his, drew it up to brush her fingertips across his lips.
“Well. Among other things, we haven't been using protection and I've lost count of how many rooms we've rechristened. You had any operations since I left?”
“A bit on a knee, but not the one you're hinting at, no.” He leaned up and scooted back, resting himself against the pillows and headboard. “Would that bother you? Do you think…” He trailed off, uncharacteristic for him.
“… Elliot, a lot of what was before isn't going to work. That's my fault, I've damaged things.” Sandra sat up as well, resting a hand on her chest. “But if it's to be made right, things have to change. I fell in love with you because of how intense you were. Are. But you have to be open with what you're thinking now. And not just with me.”
“… Could a new baby help heal this?” Elliot looked at her, those intense eyes uncertain and questioning for one of the few times she could remember. “Help bring this family together again?”
“No one can bring this family together again but this family.” She leaned in, brushing her lips across his cheek, letting them touch it still as she continued. “But another baby… now that would be something special.”
She pulled a robe around her and tied it as he went to the computer. Still some essential work to do, returned wife or not. Sandra brushed her fingers along the lapel of the robe. It was hers. All of her clothes were still in the closet. Her things were still in the bathroom. As if she'd just been out on a training trip again.
Sandra padded barefoot down the hall and the stairs, feeling again that odd duality, as if she'd been here only a week ago and as if she hadn't been in this house for decades. She crossed a few rooms and opened the door that led out to the pool area.
There was a soft breeze wafting through the air as she walked across the pebbled concrete, the air feeling a little damp and smelling faintly of chlorine. She opened the door of the pool house silently, feathering her steps as she made her way through the furnished little detached dwelling to peer in through a doorway.
They still shared a room. Beds at opposite corners, the boys sprawled across them, snoring in counterstep to each other. She smiled softly, just looking at them. Like she hadn't since they were small. Like she'd dreamed of doing so often in the years since, because she just wasn't brave enough.
They'd wake up tomorrow to find that Mom was no longer just something from childhood, nor just someone who wrote letters and loved them from afar. That she was right here, ready to hug and hold them again, if they would let her.
She slipped back out of the pool house and moved to stand at the edge of the pool itself, one hand moving to help hold her robe closed against a stronger breeze. The light of the pool reflected off the tile below, making the water seem to glow faintly green. She raised her head to look up at the sky, the brightest stars still visible despite the city's nearness. She raised a hand to brush her hair back from her eyes.
She still had a long way to go before it was all made right again.