He walks with a fluid grace, head held high, arms swinging at his sides. He moves easily through the thick air.

She watches him, hands clasped before her. So many times, she has waited here for him to return. And every time, he has returned. She cannot help but think that maybe one day he won't.

He catches sight of her and smiles, eyes lighting up like sparklers, teeth flashing white against the tan of his face.

She smiles back, bravely. Sometimes it is hard to smile. Sometimes she is weary with the waiting and the fear and the anxiety. But even when it is hard, his smile draws out her own, like strong fingers pulling loose thread.

"You made it." Her words are soft and hoarse as his arms come around her, warm and strong.

"Yes." He is still smiling as he pulls her close.

She closes her eyes for a moment, basking in his nearness. Her hands are still linked together, taut and anxious.

"It's okay." He gently pries her fingers apart, then tilts her chin upward.

She opens her eyes and looks at him. He is so beautiful. Her breath leaves, replaced by something heady and powerful. And suddenly, he's right. Everything is okay.

She reaches to touch his face, then to brush a short strand of hair back from his ear. "You're okay."

"You" is synonymous with "everything," she realizes suddenly.

He nods, a quick dip of his head, his eyes flashing with confidence, as if he is saying, "Of course."

She sighs, releasing the breath that finally came back, and leans into his warmth.

His arms tighten around her. "Everything is okay," he says again.

She nods into his chest as he runs a hand down through her hair. She draws back slightly from him, peering into his handsome face, searching for something; she's not sure what.

He frowns a bit, brows lowering, concern touching his long-lashed eyes. "Are you--?"

His caring for her washes over her, and she sighs with bliss before entangling her fingers in his short, thick hair and drawing his face close to hers. She cuts off his words by covering his mouth with her own, breathing his breath, savoring his taste.

He kisses her back, gently at first, then passionately. She loves this about him, his dual nature. He is fire and he is water.

Then he holds her quietly, and she is at peace.