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Save Tonight

He was leaving.

She was lying on her stomach, warm and still basking in that hazy afterglow, watching him get dressed, with her eyes half open.

Normal. Routine. A ritual they had done dozens of times before.

He finished pulling on his boots, turned back to her with a smile, one last kiss for the road…

Then his face fell.

“..Niini? Why are you crying?”

“What? I am no-”

She touched her cheek, stunned by the damp she felt there. When had…?

“I….I do not know. I just…I was thinking about you leaving, and the house being empty…and it was making me a little meloncholy, but I did not think it that bad…”

Her shoulders started shaking in spite of her words.

“I promised myself I….I would not do this, I am not going to make you stay just because I am a bit -lonely-….”

Slowly, she covered her face with her hands.

“I’m…sorry, I’m so sorry, Khela…..”

The bed shifted slightly, and she heard the soft ‘thunk’ of boots hitting the floor, before she was wrapped up in a warm embrace as Khela'li rolled back into bed beside her.

“…where I need to go isn’t important right now. But -you- are, Niini.”

It hurt. It always did, when he tried to make her feel important.

She buried her face in his chest, trying to stifle her sobs.

Maybe….one day….

She would feel like she deserved it.

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