One Minute More


lynette3_icon.gif mateo_icon.gif

Scene Title One Minute More
Synopsis Mateo and Lynette have a small heart-to-heart after thoroughly making up.
Date June 26, 2018

Benchmark: The Ruiz Apartment

This was not how it was meant to happen, but in the wake of their heated discussion, it was inevitable that they would turn to reaffirmation and reassurance. And with many things, they're better handled with actions than words. At least with these two.

Lynette's fingers toy lazily with Mateo's hair, her foot rubs against his leg, and her hand presses against his chest. Touching, but not clinging. Not holding. If he's feeling trapped, she doesn't want to extend that to bed. Or anywhere else really. She didn't mean to let it turn out that way, but as with many of her bad habits, it snuck up on her this past few months.

"I don't want to know what life is without you ever again," she says, suddenly. Words born out of thoughts he couldn't hear. "It's not an excuse for making you feel suffocated, I know." She's survived a lot of loss this far, but she's not sure she would survive that one. In fact, she's certain she wouldn't. "I'll be better," she adds, her fingers moving to brush against his jaw.

“I didn’t feel smothered by you,” Mateo feels the need to correct her on that as he lays there with his eyes closed, hand pressed against hers against his chest. He missed this more than he would admit. Her next to him. Her touch. The feel of her. All of it. Had he ever missed it. “I’m just tired of hiding.”

It was what was needed at the time. It had been acceptable. But they had agreed that he would take a Banshee if he went out, and he planned to.

“I still want to meet her, though. Even if we met as enemies in her world. Maybe especially because we met as enemies in her world.” He knew how that might sound, but it was true nonetheless.

Obviously, Lynette missed it, too. Her lips replace her fingers against his jaw as he talks, kissing a gentle line back toward his neck. But she is listening, because she leans back again to look at his face. "I won't ask you to hide. Just to be careful." She shifts, just enough to press a kiss against his forehead, as if she hasn't kissed him enough. And really, she hasn't. There was a whole week to make up for, in her opinion.

"If Eileen really is… staying back for now— " Lynette says, although she doesn't really seem to be comforted by the idea of this apparent truce. But, Odessa seems to scare her less than this reality-hopping conduit-carrying grudge-holding Eileen Ruskin. "Just let me come with you? Please. Just in case Richard read this wrong. I know you can protect yourself, if it comes to that, but I know you don't want to fight, especially not her. Let me be there to protect you."

A beat passes before she lets the heaviness drop in a sigh. "I promise I'll behave unless things go wrong," she adds in a more wry tone.

"I know you won't," Mateo whispers as he toys with her fingers with his own. He had actually fully intended to bring her along, until things started to look as if she would rather him not go in the first place. But since they had, rather fully, made up from that little spat, he would certainly not deny her something he'd intended her to have in the first place. The ability to be by his side while he talked to someone who could have, should have, maybe never really was but he didn't actually know for sure, might be family.

His fingers lift hers up and slide between them with his own as he continues, returning the wry grin, "Especially since it's not even her body. Nonlethal measures only." Soft zaps. Banshees. That sort of thing.

He fully intended to bring his. But he wasn't about to let a woman they were both at the least friends with get hurt too badly for something someone else did in their body.

With his fingers tangled with hers, Lynette gives his hand a squeeze and slides in closer to him. But she does give him a sidelong look at him stipulation. But, given how things went with Eileen… she seems to understand why he'd feel the need to spell it out. "I wouldn't do anything to hurt Des. I want her to be able to make it home."

And have a whole body to come back to.

Although, she thinks Des would understand, if it was a matter of saving his life. Lynette is putting a lot of stock in the connection between him and his sister, though, that she really will have come to realize that he wasn't an enemy. That he was family.

While his sister might understand, Mateo isn't really going to risk her even at his own possible cost, but he's not about to say that anymore than she is to say that Des would understand.

Even then, he feels the need to add, "I wouldn't have let her hurt me." Even if he would have gone by himself. "I couldn't disappoint the two wonderful ladies who I made a promise to." Some promises spoken, some unspoken. But either way he would not let his wife and daughter down by getting hurt again.

"I panicked," Lynette says, which is obvious to anyone, "when no one seemed at all worried about the fact that she murdered another you. All I can think is the angles. How this could go wrong. How much it looks like a trap. What I would do if I was part of a timeline-hopping troupe set out to murder one man. I know I should have waited and talked it out with you— I tried to walk away. But when it comes to you, I don't think I'm very reasonable, my darling."

And really, she doesn't mind being unreasonable about him. It isn't her worry she feels apologetic over, but how she handled it.

It isn't the first time she's panicked about this being the moment that she loses him. It isn't the first time she's worried that she got too lucky in finding him and that luck would turn on her one of these days. It isn't the first time she's tried to cling to something that felt like grasping onto water.

And it won't be the last.

"Yes, the rest of the Ruizes would not be happy if something happened to you, it's true. And we all know that's the worst thing," she says with a crooked smile. It isn't their fear or their worry she thinks needs to be avoided, of course.

"Oh, I was worried." Mateo responded, though he's not laughing. He realizes that he had seemed off the cuff about it because, well, he had to. It wasn't really him. In a way it was fascinating. To hear that another him had died and been killed by someone who had tried to save another version of him— who also died. Under different circumstances.

"But yes— you being hurt would be the worst thing." One of them. "So we'll avoid that— " Even if he still very much intends to meet the woman who possibly killed another him. Who may or may not have deserved it. It would be hard to know.

After all, he was Vanguard. Apparently in two worlds.

With a sigh, he looks up at the ceiling. "I guess you need to get back downstairs now." Back to therapy. "I won't go see her without you, I promise."

Lynette lets out a sigh, because it's true that she needs to go back downstairs and get back into her rehab for the day— maybe even more so after Richard's visit than before. But instead, she slides her arms around him and tucks herself up under his chin. Which is the opposite of going anywhere. "I missed you," she ends up saying, once she's settled against him. "Just one minute more?"

Just one. However long that minute happens to actually take.

"One minute more," Mateo responds simply, closing his eyes and wrapping his arm gently around her.

"One minute more."

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