|kara lynn palamas knows who she is (myownmind) wrote in the100,|
@ 2016-01-03 19:09:00
Kara had tried not to dwell on how careless she had been in considering Grant when she’d spoken to Cassie about staying with them for a few days. She’d tried and failed. It was hard not to dwell on things like that when she’d caused the man she loved to deal with things from his past she knew he’d much rather not be reminded of. She’d gone out of her way to repair any damage she might have done there but without asking she wasn’t sure how bad it was and she was afraid to ask, so she didn’t.
She knew he’d probably picked up on how she’d been a bit more hesitant about things, it would have been impossible for him not to have done. She just wasn’t sure why he hadn’t talked to her about it yet. Maybe he’d stopped caring, maybe he’d finally decided she wasn’t worth the effort anymore. Those thoughts swirled around in her mind and caused her fears and doubts to grow again, things she constantly fought to suppress that never seemed to go far were back with renewed vigour and she knew she couldn’t see them off alone.
Ever since Grant had suggested going outside for a walk she’d been looking forward to it, even if outside wasn’t exactly a safe place to be. Just being able to be alone with Grant for a little while was enough to make the risk of going outside worthwhile, and if danger did come their way she trusted he’d deal with it. Kara was trying to focus on the fact they were finally able to spend some time together without others around but her doubts were trying to sour her mood.
“At least the weather seems to have settled for now,” Kara said, lightly picking at the edge of her jacket, her eyes downcast as she spoke, a clear sign of the fact she was struggling with things again.
She’d taken steps back. She’d been doing so well and then after everything with the girl, she’d stepped back, worried she’d hurt him. He’d in no uncertain terms told her no to having the girl stay with them but she’d had to have appreciated his reasoning there. She’d had to have to known how bad it would have been. But she was questioning herself again, second guessing. Worried every time she spoke that it might have been the wrong thing.
And he should have had it out with her when he’d started to notice. But things had been so mixed up after the Bloody Mary fight. Skye had been hurt. And he knew well she’d noticed he’d visited her, before and after she was awake. Skye would always be a worry for her, the woman she believed had his heart. Grant didn’t know what exactly to tell her about Skye, they’d both moved on after all. But he couldn’t deny he felt a pull to her, he always had done.
“Told you we’d find a good time to do this, and we’re not going overly far, we can stay within the radius and still get away from it all.” he told her, taking her hand as they walked off better walked a path and into some trees. He knew where they were and how to get back, woodland he understood well.
“Now come on.” he told her, pulling her across to a gap in the trees, a natural clearing, currently devoid of anything trying to kill them, staying inside the five miles did help with that considerably. “We need to talk Kara.” he told her softly, squeezing her hand in his. “I’m worried about you, things have gotten worse haven’t they?”
Kara hadn’t even stopped to consider how things with Cassie might have affected him, it was only when he’d told her no she’d realized just what she’d done, what she’d brought up for him and to say she hated herself for it would have been an understatement. She’d said she understood Grant and she thought she did but now she didn’t think she understood anything again. She was back to second guessing everything she did, agonising over every single decision like she had done when the brainwashing had originally fractured and loosened its hold on her.
Add to that the fact that Grant had visited Skye in medical and it just made her own fears and doubts so much worse. She knew he still cared for the other woman, she knew that there would always be part of him that belonged to Skye and she hated it. It tore at her insides and made her want to breakdown and cry because she’d never have him completely, it didn’t matter if Skye never said a nice word to him again and Kara knew it never would. She just wished the other woman was out of their lives forever.
When he spoke to her she just nodded, not really knowing what to say, what he wanted her to say. She let him take her hand and lead her down the path. She just wanted things to go back to how they’d been a few days ago, she wanted that certainty back again but even though he’d been trying to reassure her it wasn’t working like it usually did. For her part she’d been trying to make sure he was constantly reassured about how she felt about him. That had never been questioned though, she made no secret about how strongly she felt for him.
She followed as he pulled her through into a clearing, a clear sense of hesitation in her body language. “Okay,” Kara said softly, her eyes downcast as she heard his words, a sickening feeling resting in the pit of her stomach when he’d said they needed to talk. The squeeze of her hand chased it away a little, as did the fact he said he was worried but she still feared this was it, the end of them. “Yes, they have.” Still she didn’t look up at him, afraid of what she might see in his face. If he did end what they had then he might as well leave her out her to die because she didn’t want to face the idea of life without him.
And he knew they had. She had been doing so well and he couldn’t help but feel a little bit responsible. “Kara, mistakes happen. Okay? You shouldn’t have told Cassie before asking me, but that’s okay. If you do this every time you make a mistake, it's not progress at all. I used to be so scared of getting anything wrong around John because I knew he’d make me pay for it. But I’m never going to hurt you. You know that, so you take the mistake and you learn from it. You can’t get everything right all the time. No one can. If you think that makes me care about you any less, then that’s another mistake we learn from. Both of us.”
He knew she had issues with trust, thought he’d leave her. But it didn’t work like that. He really did want to help her find herself, and in that he’d grown to care about her. Love, he probably did. Much as saying it still escaped him. He wanted to. He knew she needed it, and he could so easily lie, say the words and she’d believe them. He knew that. But when he did say it one day, he planned to mean it.
“Tell me what’s causing this. Is it Cassie, is it Skye? We can fix it. Get past it, whatever it is. Skye, I just...I didn’t want to see her hurt is all. I know it's crazy. I do. But I want to make sure she’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m in love with her. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about you. Skye isn’t a threat to you? I promise”
It had all started to come undone the moment she’d branched out, it made her not want to try again. “I didn’t tell her, I said I’d ask. But I didn’t think it would be a problem and I should. How can I not be scared of upsetting you? I said I understood but I did that and I brought up things I know you don’t want to think about. I don’t think you’re going to hurt me but I hurt you and I hate myself for it. I’m not supposed to do things that hurt you. I shouldn’t do that. I don’t ever want to do that again.”
She thought if she did he would leave. Everyone in his life had either used or hurt him in one way or another and if she did it too then she wouldn’t blame her for walking away. It would destroy her but she would have deserved it. She loved him, completely and she did need to hear he felt the same, she needed it more than she needed anything else but she didn’t want him to lie to her. They didn’t lie to each other.
“It’s all of it,” she admitted, still not looking at him. I get she still means a lot to you, I do but you could have just asked someone if she was okay. You didn’t though, you went to see her and all I could think of was the way you looked at her in San Juan. I can’t help thinking that if things changed and she forgave you that you wouldn’t go back to her. She still has part of you and she always will. You’ll never be completely mine, I know that, I accept that but you went to see her, I’m falling apart again and you went to see the woman who shot you and left you for dead.” Kara hadn’t meant to say all that but once she’d started talking she’d been unable to stop, tears were welling in her eyes as she gave voice to her fears.
He couldn’t argue that. He absolutely had gone to see Skye, knowing that Kara needed him. But not out of cruelty, not to hurt Kara. But he’d known he had to see Skye, had to make sure she was going to be okay. It wasn’t fair to Kara and he knew how it must have made her feel, how the whole thing must have made her feel.
“I wish I could explain why she still matters. Honestly, I wish I could because then I’d know why and then maybe I could actually stop her mattering. But she does. And when she got hurt I needed to know she’d pull through. Nothing will happen there, too much has happened between us even without factoring in you or Lincoln. We both moved on Kara but I do still need to make sure she’s okay sometimes. And I know that hurts you and that’s the last thing I want to do.” He knew that it seemed insane, still caring about a woman who had shot him but he really had fallen for Skye in the worst way. Pinned so many of his hopes of redemption on her, and even as one by one they were shot down, those feelings took longer to fade. In a way, he wondered if it was how Kara now saw him. A saviour.
“You’re not going to lose me to Skye, you’re not going to lose me at all, and I don’t know how to prove that to you. I wish you’d just believe me.” On that much anyway he was being entirely genuine. Kara had been there for him through the worst times and she meant the world to him. He wished so badly he could love her the way she loved him, and he truly believed that day would come. But until then he would make sure he showed her every day how much she mattered. He leaned in toward her, wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Hey, you’re the one I’m with. You’re the one that I wake up beside every day. You saved my life, you were there while I recuperated. I learned about you, about Kara Palamas, not 33. I talked to your mother. I was there for the worst times and the best, and you’re worried I’ll leave you after one little argument? Come on baby, you know me better than that.”
She wanted to believe he hadn’t done it with the intention of hurting her but the truth was it had hurt her. It made her feel like she would never be enough for him that she was missing something that Skye had or that she didn’t make him happy enough. It brought all her fears screaming to the surface and they wouldn’t be easily quieted.
“You can’t explain it and she’d always going to matter to you, Grant. I know that. You didn’t have to go and see her though. I get you care about her but you could have asked anyone and they would have told you she was okay. But instead you went to see her. I’m not saying you can’t see her but I needed you and you weren’t there because you were with her.” She didn’t think it was insane, human emotions were messy and complicated. She got that and Grant had never had anyone care about him before the team, she understood that but it didn’t make it hurt any less that he’d gone to see Skye instead of just asking someone about her.
“You can’t say I’m not going to lose you, Grant, because you can’t promise something won’t happen. I want to believe you, I do but that attack just proves we’re not safe here.” Neither of them could promise that they would always be there, Kara knew that he was being genuine and she wished it was as simple as promising but it wasn’t. She knew he cared for her, she knew because he showed her but she needed to hear it as much as see it. She leaned into him when he wrapped his arms around her, wrapping her own arms around him.
“I’m worried I’m letting you down, that I’m too broken and eventually I’m going to do something that will make you leave. I love you, Grant, I love you so much it scares me and I know you care about me, I do but I need to hear it. I need you to tell me as much as you show me. I don’t want you to tell me what you think I want to hear but I want you to tell me.”
He wanted to tell her he’d do the same if it was Simmons, or maybe even Coulson. But the truth was he probably wouldn’t. He wouldn’t have cared so much and he wouldn’t have rushed to the medbay more than once looking for updates. He wouldn’t have visited. He could see how from her point of view it was unbearable that he go and see Skye. He didn’t know how he’d feel if their roles were reversed. Probably not great. But all the same. He couldn’t say he’d do differently.
“Then I’ll tell you. Okay? Every day if you need me to. But it's true even if you don’t hear it. Nothing will make me leave you. Understand?”
It worried him, how much she feared to lose him. How much she felt broken and lost and of course these were steps back. Things he’d caused to happen by being so fixed on Skye while she was injured. He’d done this. And he knew he’d done this.
“I’m sorry Kara. I am. I caused this and you deserve better from me. You’ve been there for me, asking nothing all along and I need to remember that more. So if you can forgive me, I promise that you’ll remain my first priority. And much as sometimes you don’t think that’s true. I can only promise you that it is. And find a way to make you believe me.”
She knew he couldn’t help the way he acted when it came to Skye, she knew it was something he didn’t understand but that didn’t mean she had to like it. If he hadn’t have gone rushing to see the other woman it might not have hurt her so much. She found herself wondering if he’d have been the same way if it had been her lying unconscious in the medbay, she wanted to ask him but she feared the answer as much as she needed to hear it.
“I do need you to, I wish I didn’t but I need to hear that you care for me even if you can’t say what I really want you to. I only want you to say that when you’re sure it is true. I just need to know you’re mine, that you’re not going anywhere.”
Deep down Kara knew her attachment to him wasn’t exactly healthy, she depended on him too much, pinned her hopes on him but she couldn’t help it. He was the only one to have had faith in her and she needed his strength to help her like he’d done before.
“I just want you to be there when I need you, I don’t want to find out you’ve gone running off to her because she’s hurt or something else like that. It’s hard to think I’m your first priority when you’ve gone to check on another woman, a woman I know you loved and probably always will in some way. I just wish she wasn’t here, I wish it was just the two of us. Like it was before. I forgive you, Grant, just next time try not to go running to her, please.”
He wasn’t sure he could promise her that. In so many ways he knew he could have made this easier. If he hadn’t been so fixated on ensuring Skye was safe. She had moved on. She had Lincoln. She loved him. He knew that. He wasn’t trying to get in the way of that, even. But when she’d been hurt, his only thought had been on ensuring she was safe. That she’d recover. He hoped he would think that if Kara was hurt too. He even believed he would. But he was supposed to with Kara. She was his girlfriend. She was the one who had seen him through the worst. The one who knew him better than anyone. But Skye had a stronger hold on him than he suspected she even knew.
He really wished that he could focus only on Kara. She deserved it. She deserved to be his sole worry. But Skye…
“So you’re worried, scared. You think you’re falling backward. So here’s where you tell me. Talk to me, tell me what’s worrying you aside from Skye, and I’ll help you work out how to fix it. I always help, don’t I? I always find a way to make it better.”
He led her across to a slightly less frost covered part of the glade and urged her to sit, before taking his own place next to her. “You’re struggling Kara. And I hate to see you like this.” Hands reached to her shoulders softly massaging, trying to ease tension he’d brought upon her. “Let me fix this.” he asked her, brushing a soft kiss against her neck as he spoke.
She knew she was asking a lot of him, probably something he would never actually be able to give her but she needed to ask because it was what she wanted. She needed him to know what she wanted from him because maybe there was a tiny possibility she would one day get it. Kara just needed to know she mattered to him, that she was the one he really wanted and she needed to have him tell her that as well as show her. If he did that enough then maybe she could ignore the fact that there was a part of him that still belonged to Skye.
It wouldn’t be easy, she knew it wouldn’t but if they both tried it might work.
“I’m worried you’re going to listen to them when they say we’re not good together. I’m worried that you’ll disappear and I’ll never get you back again. I don’t know if you can help with those things because one of them is beyond our control.”
She let him lead her and sat down, her eyes still shining with unshed tears as she watched him sit beside her. “I hate being like this,” she admitted, relaxing into his hands and closing her eyes to focus on the sensation of his touch. “Help me, Grant.” Her voice shaking slightly, a soft sigh slipped from her when she felt his lips against her skin.
He knew she was relaxing. Calming down. And he knew he probably shouldn’t be seducing her into compliance. But she was so anxious. So hurt. So here it was. Here she was. “Do you think I’d ever listen to them? Do I listen to people like that? People have been telling me what to do for so long Kara and I’m done with it. I’m with you because I chose to be. Because you trust me. You believe in me. You understand me.” Every phrase was punctuated with another kiss, another movement of his hands. Kara was stressed and he could feel it. She relaxed into him and he knew for a fact he’d never lose her.
But he needed to be more of the man she deserved.
“I can’t promise this place won’t send me away. But I’m going to help you be strong. Like you were before Hydra. Different of course. You know what SHIELD are now, and anyway, there’s no SHIELD here. But you can be Kara Palamas again. And I’ll help you find her. Don’t I always help you?”
The massage became more intense, working out the deepest knots, the kisses rougher.
“You have me. Not Skye. Even if she asked me to be with her, too much has happened with us. There’s too much history. Besides she didn’t let herself understand. She didn’t try even when I begged her to see something more in me, something worthwhile. You saw. You bothered to look, in spite of everything you went through. You didn’t care that I’d been Hydra. You bothered to find out why. Kara, you’re the woman I want to be with. Please believe that.”
Kara knew what he was doing and she was actually okay with it. It might have been wrong but she didn’t care, it felt good to let him seduce her like this, she felt wanted and loved which was what she needed. “When one of them is Skye, maybe. I want to say you wouldn’t but I’m scared that you might. I’m scared because you mean so much to me.” She whimpered softly when he moved his hands. It was almost scary how easily she gave herself over to him.
It would have been if she hadn’t have loved him so much.
“You do help me, Grant, you have from the moment I met you. I don’t want anything to do with SHIELD again, they left me to them but you didn’t. You helped me remember who I am again. I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for you.”
As the massage became more intense she moaned softly, relaxing under his hands and letting the tension leech out of her body.
“I love you because you went through all you did and even after that you were willing to help me. I think that’s why you helped me because you know what it’s like to only have the orders, you understood what I needed to help me through it. You don’t see the broken woman I am, you see what I could be. Grant, I want to be the woman you think I am, help me be that.”
Every noise she made, every sigh, and he just wanted her to believe him and trust him so they could make the most out of where they were. He’d started this seduction hoping to turn her thoughts away from her worries and now his thoughts were only of her.
“I can tell.” he replied. “What I mean to you, I can tell, can you tell what you mean to me?” he asked her softly, lifting one had to turn her face to him even as the other kept up the massage. “I don’t see anything broken when I look at you. I see strength. I see determination. I see potential. And yes, I see beauty. I saw it the first time I saw the real you. The first time you stopped hiding behind May, behind Skye. It’s in there, all you need to find who you could be. All I do is help you find her?”
He met her eyes. Hand still at her face. “So tell me, tell me you believe it’s you I want?”
The thing was she did trust him, she trusted him completely but it wasn’t always enough. She needed more but she didn’t always know how to say that or even if she had the right to. Her thoughts definitely were drifting away from her worries as he continued to massage her and kiss her.
“You mean everything to me,” she said softly. “I... I don’t know if I can.” Her eyes dropping when he turned her face to him. “I know you care about me but I’m never sure how much.” Kara looked up to meet his eyes then, looking a little ashamed. “I wish I saw all those things you see but I don’t. I just see the mess that HYDRA left behind. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have myself back at all, I wouldn’t have my own face back. If it wasn’t for you I’d be dead.”
She looked at him, almost pleading with him to tell her what to do. “I want to believe but it’s not always easy.”
Without another word he leaned back away from her, eyes still fixed on her. He was annoyed more than anything. He really wished he wasn’t, but he didn’t know what it would take.
“What do I have to do?” he asked her. “Do you want me to stop seeing her? I can’t promise that.” It was all he knew. He’d brought her to her knees, seduced her, and now, take the promise of all that away. He just wanted her to trust him again. To believe in him. But she couldn’t expect him to give up on Skye. To walk away from her forever.
“What will it take Kara. I’ve told you how I feel, I’ve shown you. I show you time and time again. You say I’m the reason you have yourself back. I’m the reason you’re alive? I’ve told you that you saved me. What more do I need to give you?”
Kara frowned when he leaned away from her, she knew she’d done something wrong. She’d messed it up again and she hadn’t meant to.
“What? I never said anything about not seeing her. I would never ask you to do that,” she said, tears once again stinging her eyes. She didn’t get why he was suddenly angry with her. He’d asked her if she could say what she meant to him and she had been honest and said she couldn’t. This didn’t make sense. She hadn’t mentioned Skye and yet he’d brought her up again.
“You do show me, you show me all the time but you don’t tell me enough. I need to hear it more and I’m sorry I can’t be the perfect woman for you. I can’t be her for you because clearly you can’t stop thinking about her. I never even mentioned her and you think I’m asking you to stop seeing her. I just want you, I want you to tell me you care for me more than anything but you can’t, can you? You can’t tell me you love me because you’re not there yet and maybe you’ll never be there and I accept that but just tell me you care without me having to ask you for it.”
“I don’t know what you want me to do, Grant.” Tears were now falling freely down her cheeks as she looked at him, pleaded with him to tell her what he needed from her because she clearly didn’t have a clue.
Well, that he hadn’t expected. Usually people would crack at that. Something they wanted was taken away and they wound up agreeing. He’d been taught that for as long as he could…
“Kara.” he said softly. “I just...I want you to trust that it's you I want. I’ll tell you more. Okay? I can do that. But this, the up and down, the confusion. I’m worried about you. And if there’s more I can do, then I need you to tell me.”
It was getting to him now. Had he really still followed what he’d been told by John to do in that situation. He’d heard so many stories of just that situation. And here he was following the playbook of a sociopath. But then he needed Kara. He needed her as much as she needed him.
“Come here.” he told her, pulling her back into his arms, the ground was cold but it didn’t matter.
“It's not that I don’t feel what you want me to feel. I never said that, not to anyone, not even...Not anyone. Because it’s not an easy word. I didn’t think I was capable of it. I’m not a good man. Never was, never will be. So, the fact I don't say it. It doesn’t mean I don’t. Okay?”
There was a part of her that knew what he was trying to do, that part of her that still remembered everything she’d learnt within SHIELD but she wasn’t thinking about it. When she reacted it was as a woman who was faced with losing what she needed most even if that wasn’t the case.
“I want to trust that, I do but it’s not easy when you don’t tell me. I don’t always trust myself so I can’t trust what I think others mean unless they tell me with words. I’m trying, Grant, I am but being here, everything that’s happened it’s made things worse and I just need to you to help me find my way back.”
Her own confusion over things wasn’t being helped by what he was doing. She didn’t always react like other people would because her own identity was sometimes in flux and her reactions were a mix of what the old Kara would do and the new. One thing she knew with absolute certainty though was she was never going to leave him.
She let him pull her into his arms, leaning against him and sighing heavily.
“I understand that but I never know how you feel about me because you don’t say anything. If you can’t say you love me that’s fine but tell me you care. Or find another word, one that works and use that but tell me. You are a good man, the man I know is a good man you just don’t let yourself see it.”
“Kara. I care. I do. I absolutely care. And if you need to hear it more. I’ll make a point to say it more. I guess I believe in actions more than words. Most of my life, lying has been all I’ve known. So what I hear, it doesn’t matter as much as what I see. And with you, I see someone who has been there for me through the worst. Who loves me in spite of what I’m capable of, what I’ve done. And someone who believes in me. As long as you give me that, then everything will be fine. Okay?”
The massaging returned. Not so much as seduction this time as just wanting her to be happy.
“I’m gonna say it again. No one can make me leave you. No one can convince me we’re wrong for each other. No one. And as long as we have each other, we’re going to be fine. Okay?”
He had brought her here to show her she mattered. To put her first, and it hadn’t gone great. But he had finally gotten there. If only she believed him now. He needed her to. “Kara, tell me you believe me?” he asked.
He kissed her neck again.
“You mean the world to me.”
“I do need to hear it more. I know you’re a man of action and I love that but I just need to hear it as well. I’m always going to be here for you, Grant. No matter what happens I’m going to be right beside you and try and be whatever you need. Because you’ve been there for me and I love you. I can’t imagine my life without you. I’ll always give you whatever you need.”
She began to relax when he started massaging her again, the contact going a long way to easing her fears that had stirred up again.
“You’re right, as long as we have each other we’re going to be okay.”
She hadn’t intended for all of that to come out when they’d come out here but it had needed to be said. Maybe now she could start to put some of her fears behind her. “I believe you, Grant.”
She made a small noise of appreciation, tilting her head to afford him better access to her neck if he wanted it.
“Tell me again, please.”
“You mean the world to me Kara. Losing you would destroy me. Being here, it means we can focus on us, on our relationship. On helping each other. But right now I want to focus on you. Look where we are, look at this place, broken, damaged, but it survives. It endures. And so will we.”