When I finally made it back to my room, I had gathered up all of my courage to sit down and have that talk with Sense. I needed him to know that it wasn't him that made me flinch, that it wasn't his feelings that did it. I needed to make him understand that it was simply an ingrained instinct now to flinch when someone reached for me or touched me. I wanted him to know that I wasn't weirded out by everything he had said and that I was grateful for everything he had done for me.

"Sense!" I said as I entered the room, but stopped, immediately realizing he wasn't there. What was there was the bag of clothes he had brought me from my house, sitting on the bed all packed and ready to go. I frowned. I knew this meant that I was being discharged, but I didn't know where I was going now. I stood there for the longest time, staring in despair at my bag, afraid that I had been too late to tell Sense everything that I had needed to say. I jolted forward as a hand came to rest on my good shoulder, scaring me half to death as I had been so lost in thought.

"I'm sorry," a hurt voice said behind me. I turned around to see a similarly hurt expression on Sense's face and almost immediately I felt tears begin to well in my eyes. I'd done it again. I'd hurt him again.

"No, I'm sorry," I whispered. "I was just zoned out and didn't realize anyone had come up behind me." My voice hadn't risen at all, but I knew he'd heard me as his expression softened. "I need to talk to you, though, Sense," I finally managed to get out.

"Are you going to say you don't want to live with me?" he asked, his voice becoming just as low as mine. I stared at him for a few moments, watching the fear that had invaded those normally clear blue eyes. I shook my head, taking a small step towards him. "Then can it wait 'til we get home? I just finished filling out your discharge papers and getting your prescriptions filled at the pharmacy downstairs." I nodded and felt a small smile creep onto my face as his lit up when I'd agreed to wait.

He picked my bag up off the bed and I followed him through the halls to the elevator and then out to his car. The ride to the house was uncomfortably silent as I stared at the buildings we drove past. More than anything, I wanted to get everything off my chest, but I had told him we could wait until we got home. Once we'd arrived at the house though, I could feel my stomach tighten in nervousness, all the courage I had mustered up earlier having fled when he wasn't in my hospital room. Still in silence, I followed him to a room where he set my bag down on the bed.

"My friend Piece set this up for you. She said if you were going to live with me, then it would help if it was similar to your own room at your old house," he said softly. I looked around the room and did notice that many of the things that had been in my old room had been moved here. But there were also a few new things, like a laptop sitting on the desk. "I'll leave you to get settled in." He turned and started out of the room, but again, I jolted forward, only this time it was towards him, my good hand shooting out and grabbing his arm.

"Wait, Sense," I whispered, my grip loosening so that my hand slid down his arm to his hand. He turned his head, looking at me with confusion. I took advantage of that confusion and pulled him roughly, pulling him off balance enough so that I could push him to sit on the bed. His eyes widened in surprise as he watched me. I took a deep breath and moved forward, until our faces were a mere hair's breath apart. "I need to tell you something, something very important. And I don't want to have to wait to say it any longer."

"What is it, Zeluzt?" he asked, breathless and nervous from how close I had gotten. I took another deep breath, to steady my racing heart before I continued.

"Firstly, I'm not upset about what you told me last week. It surprised me, yes, and I didn't know how to react to it." I saw a brief bit of relief flash in his eyes and I smiled. "I didn't respond because I... I don't know how to deal with people right now. Being touched, scares me. I instinctively flinch because I watched my father beat my mother for years before he began to beat me instead. Ever since my mother disappeared from my life, I haven't known what a tender or loving touch felt like, and my body reacts like all touches are going to hurt."

"Zeluzt, I'm-" Sense started but I quickly cut him off with a kiss. I didn't want him interrupting me until I had gotten everything off my chest. Just as his eyes started to fall shut, I pulled back, but kept our faces ever so close together.

"I want to try getting past the touching issue," I murmured, my lips brushing his as I spoke. "I want to try getting past it with you. But, I don't want to hurt you in the process. So I'm at a loss on what to do."

"You're already doing it, Zeluzt," he whispered, once more breathless. It was then that I became aware of his hands, resting just above my hips. My eyes went wide with surprise that I hadn't noticed when he'd touched me and a slow smile slid across his lips.

"When did you.." I murmured but my voice trailed off as that look he'd given me a week earlier flooded his expression again. While I couldn't figure out what it meant, I did k now that it made my heart skip a couple beats and took my breath away.

"When you cut me off a moment ago," he replied softly. I shuddered slightly as his hands began to rub my sides softly. "I'm more than happy to teach you what being loved feels like, Zeluzt. I want to teach you how to love. I want nothing more than to make you so happy that all the pain and sadness you ever felt will seem like nothing more than a bad dream. Will you let me teach you, Zeluzt?"

"I can't think of a better person for the job," I murmured, before pressing my lips to his again. This time though, I let my eyes fall closed and allowed the kiss to deepen. He let my tongue do the initial exploring, letting me get used to the feeling, before his own tongue joined in, moving along mine. I tensed for only a moment as he pulled me into his lap, his arms wrapping around me, loosely but securely.

As I let my senses drown in the feelings that Sense was showing me, I couldn't help but smile to myself. I had momentarily forgotten why I had been so afraid of being touched in the first place. The only thought I could think in that moment was that Sense was a damned good teacher and I couldn't wait for what he would teach me next.