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Road Trip Epilogue Part 2
damien listening guitar
rogoblue
Title: Road Trip Part 2/2
Rating: R (language and sexual situations)
Author: morgan72uk and rogoblue
Summary: About two years later.






She was certain that her reaction wasn’t what he’d been expecting, but then it hadn’t occurred to her that he would be the one taking Tate’s place and the revelation prompted mixed emotions. It was tempting to just be happy and relieved that he was finally ready to stay in one place – with her. But old doubts lingered and it wasn’t just her happiness and security that was at stake.

Her emotions ran peculiarly out of control, he’d brought tears to her eyes twice in a matter of minutes before they’d even got to this part of the conversation. The formidable poise and control that she’d relied upon had ceased to work some time ago when it came to Laurence. The vulnerability had its depths in what she felt for him, something her inherent caution precluded naming. But she couldn’t allow her weakness to be the reason for his decision.

“I don’t doubt your qualifications for the role,” she responded, touching her fingertips to his face in a gentle caress that was in marked contrast to the cool detachment of her words. “I’d be foolish to do that. But I do question your, willingness and your aptitude. You chose your peripatetic lifestyle for a reason Laurence, because it met your needs, fitted with the responsibilities and obligations you felt that you had incurred and because it offered a sense of identity that you lacked before. Are those things no longer necessary to you?”

Understanding the origins of this decision was a matter of sheer self-preservation and she couldn’t help but think that this was a conversation better conducted after some rest and when he wasn’t beating himself up over something he couldn’t possibly have predicted. But of course life didn’t work that way.

“I’m just trying to understand your rationale, to ensure that you aren’t doing this for someone else – for Tate, or for me. What happens if in one or two years you decide you’re bored, that you’re the one who needs to test their skills once more? What happens when you realise remaining here will mean giving up the boosters and the effect they have on you?” Every single word cost her and she hated the fact that she had to speak them. She missed him when he was away, she wanted him here with her – but they couldn’t afford for this to be a mistake.

If she’d revealed too much of her fears for him, of her loneliness even, then she would be careful not to repeat the error again. The solution was not his giving up something that was fundamental to him. She would never again ask that of another person – certainly not one who she cared about this much.

She half expected an angry response, but as she looked up at him his surprise gave way to tenderness, which if anything added to her worry that he was doing this for other people. “How is it possible for you to look so beautiful and so sad at the same time?”

* * *

Adelle looked away and Laurence Dominic sighed. Why can’t she just be relieved and pleased? Even annoyed that it’s taken me so long to come around to staying. I know she feels those things too, but I was hoping those emotions would predominate. Should’ve known better. She doesn’t put herself first these days. Ever. I’m not sure that’s strictly healthy, but that’s a topic for another day.

“First, I’m fully prepared to turn my boosters over to you for safekeeping and use only in case of emergency. Second, if you’re asking if I’m doing this for you, Tate, Bill, Madeline, her family, Tom, all of the kids, maybe even the damn dog, I am, in part. I won’t deny that. I like to think everyone feels at least a little safer when I’m here.” Chuckling, he said, “Even Tate.” Dominic gently tilted Adelle’s head up. “I know you feel more deeply and broadly and that you’d rather I stay. I just didn’t realize how invested you were in having my decision, and it was mine and not influenced in any way by anything that happened between us since I got back, be made for the right reasons.”

“This is something you’ve given a great deal of thought?” Adelle ventured, features impassive yet attentive.

Dominic risked a smile. “Over the last 48 to 72 hours, in particular, yes.”

“Why is it that you think you have decided to stay?”

“Are you insinuating I don’t know my own mind, Adelle?”

Eyes widening slightly at the edge in his tone, she said, “I’m suggesting that the events of the last few days might have skewed your judgment. An unexpected, nerve wracking experience, complete with a significant injury and a low grade fever resulting from a systemic infection do not a clear mind make.”

He ran his fingertips along her spine. “I might be swayed a bit by your argument if I hadn’t had amazing, mind clearing sex and a square meal behind me.” Smiling inwardly at Adelle’s soft sigh as he stroked the small of her back, he said, “I’ve moved around trying to help people, like I did in the Attic. As also happened in the Attic with Clyde, I’ve found people I care about. Or they found me. Whatever. That’s beside the point. The point is that the Attic was better, more bearable, maybe even a little enjoyable when I had someone who understood to experience it with. Losing Clyde was quite possibly the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me. When I was driving like a maniac away from here with butchers on my ass, the thought of losing you, losing this,” he gestured vaguely to encompass the bathtub as well as the vineyard at large, “felt just the same. A kind of … I don’t know … desperate despair, I guess.” Framing Adelle’s face with his hands, Dominic said, “It suddenly dawned on me that I had a lot to lose. After more years than I care to recall, I finally have a home. I think I should live there.”

“This isn’t just about staying in one place, is it?” Adelle ventured, her hands coming to rest on his waist.

“No, that’s the least of it, I think,” Dominic said. “I couldn’t help Clyde when Rossum killed him. I couldn’t get the mainframe offline in order to keep his technology from ending the world. To make amends, I went looking for other people to help. There’re plenty of them. There always will be in a world like this. I’ve helped as best as I could, but the work isn’t done. Far from it. But it doesn’t have to be me who does it. Daniels and Tate can do more than I could alone. So those people are actually better off.”

“But what of you?” Adelle asked, clear green eyes boring into his.

“You want to know about me? Well, here’s the deal. If I don’t help you, protect you, be with you, I’m only existing, not living.” Dominic paused, seeing the memory clearly. “That’s something Clyde warned me about near the end.” Shaking his head to dispel the image of Clyde in earnest advice giving mode, Dominic said, “Should something bad happen while I’m away, I’ll never forgive myself and I may not survive a loss that’s Clyde many times over. And I realized over the past few days how many regrets I’d die with if I couldn’t say goodbye to you.”

“You said goodbye before you left, quite eloquently as I recall,” Adelle whispered, turning her head, kissing the palm of Dominic’s right hand.

“That isn’t the same thing and you know it.”

“Might it not be better to have that kind of goodbye as the … the final memory?”

“Maybe I’m just selfish enough to want you to be holding my hand when I go.”

“You intend to stay here,” Adelle said, obviously flustered somewhat by the sentiment he’s expressed, “not just for a time but for the foreseeable future?”

“Yes,” Dominic nearly snarled, frustration welling within him at his apparent inability to convince her. “I’m in for the duration, Adelle. I love you too much not to be.” Dominic closed his eyes to the complicated expression appearing nearly instantaneously on Adelle’s face. “Just because I used that word doesn’t mean it’s your fault that I’m changing the way I live.”

* * *

“Look at me,” she whispered - willing him to open his eyes so he could see that his words had taken her by surprise, but that she wasn’t afraid of them. For all of the scheming and the manipulation that had characterised her life for so many years, here she was with no cards left to play - nothing remaining but the truth and the courage to claim what was hers. “I do want you here, I want to wake up with you every morning, go to bed with you at night. I want to talk about wine with you, take the dog for walks, be part of this community with you. I just never want our love to require such a sacrifice.” She stumbled over the word, its weight and gravity unfamiliar but the skies didn’t fall and the world didn’t end - although given what had already befallen the world perhaps that wasn’t so surprising.

Laurence’s eyes widened a little and then he smiled, “but what if it’s a sacrifice I’m more than willing to make, one I need to make? What then?”

What indeed? She leaned her head against his, letting their breath mingle - almost but not quite a kiss “Then come home Laurence.”

* * *

“I am home,” he whispered, just grazing her lips with his.

“Not quite,” Adelle said, smiling, handing him the somewhat harsh, heavy duty version of homemade soap guaranteed to take off a layer of skin along with the grime on his arms from working on the Jeep. Watching him closely, Adelle asked, “Are you sure you want to stay?”

“Yeah,” he replied, dividing his attention between getting clean and divining Adelle’s meaning. “Are you afraid we’ll get bored? Familiarity breeding contempt and all that.”

“I’m afraid you’ll get bored.”

Dominic laughed. “My needs are few.”

“They most certainly are not.”

“Why do I get the impression you’re laughing at me and not with me, Adelle?”

“Because I am a little.” She took the soap from him, traded it for a milder form and washed his back.

Leaning forward to allow her greater access, Dominic said, “I meant few in terms of … um … categories, not … frequency. You know, food, decent alcohol, sex, clothes.”

“You don’t need clothes,” Adelle said, suggestive tone creeping under Dominic’s skin. “I like looking at you without them. You don’t let me do that often enough.”

“I’ll rectify that immediately, ma’am.”

“Now who is laughing at whom?”

“Grammatically correct and everything. Bill’s right. I am a lucky bastard.”

Finished with his back, Adelle tossed the soap and wash cloth aside, leaned back and regarded Dominic critically. “Don’t you forget it,” she said.

Letting his eyes drop to her breasts, Dominic said, “I’m not likely to anytime soon.” He grinned. “If you suspect I’m getting bored, take off your shirt.”

“Or yours,” Adelle murmured, running her fingertips lightly along his abdomen.

“That works too,” Dominic said. “I’m very flexible when it comes to shirt removal.” To Adelle’s wry smile and perfectly arched eyebrow, he added, “Between you and me, I mean.” Her more full fledged smile jogged his memory. “What did you mean before when you said I wasn’t quite home?”

“In order for you to be officially home to stay, we need to have sex in our bed.” Adelle’s perfectly deadpan delivery somehow heightened the sensation of her hand sliding along Dominic’s inner thigh. “Unrushed, exceedingly tactile sex that makes us extremely late for dinner.” Her open mouthed kiss drew a low groan from him.

“In … in the bed?” he murmured, breathing a bit hard.

“Um hm.” Her fingers acted in a manner not completely in keeping with the unrushed part of Adelle’s program.

“We’re not in the bed.” Dominic felt this observation to be accurate, reasonable and necessary. Adelle merely laughed and agreed. “We need to get out of the tub, Adelle.”

“And put a bandage on your chest.”

“And climb into bed.” Dominic pulled Adelle into his arms. “That sounds like a lot of work. I didn’t realize being home to stay involved so many steps.”

“Having second thoughts?”

“None.”

* * *

She stood in front of the windows, looking out at the vineyard, which was now enveloped in darkness. The warm breeze was a pleasant accompaniment to her contemplative mood.

She turned her head, aware of the familiar presence a few feet away. Laurence watched her, smirking and though at first she had no idea at the cause of his amusement all at once she realised that she was standing in front of a window, one hand on her hip, with him just on the boundary of her personal space.

But this was not an office in LA, he was not exactly her head of security and instead of wearing a tight skirt and very high heels she was dressed only in his shirt, which she hadn't bothered to properly fasten. If the stance was the same, everything else was very different.

As if to reinforce the point Laurence closed the distance between them. His hand slipped between the open shirt buttons, fingertips lightly grazing her skin. It was impossible not to relax back into his embrace and the kiss he placed to the spot where her neck joined her shoulder was an invitation to greater intimacy from a man who knew her body almost as well as she did herself.

* * *

“I like being officially home to stay,” Laurence Dominic whispered, holding Adelle close, wondering if he’d ever get full custody of any of his shirts again. She looked great in them and Dominic didn’t particularly mind wearing only jeans, because he really enjoyed how Adelle looked at him when he did.

“It will take a little acclimation,” Adelle said, turning to face him.

“I could see if I can scare up a decent suit,” he offered, grinning at her moue of distaste. “You used to like the ones I wore. You know you did.”

“I much prefer the jeans only view,” Adelle said. A slight frown appeared. “These used to be tighter.”

“They generally are when I’m around you,” he murmured.

“I mean here,” Adelle said, swatting him lightly on the ass. “You’ve lost weight again.”

“You like looking at my ass,” he said, bending down to kiss her. “And here I thought you were admiring your handiwork.”

“My handiwork?” she asked. Dominic released her and turned around. Her eyes widened at the scratches she’d left on his back when he’d done well in the tactile category as they’d officially christened the bed in accordance with Adelle’s wishes.

When she quickly looked away, he said, “What?”

“I … I’m going to see those in my mind’s eye at dinner.”

“If they’re even still serving,” Dominic said, poking around in his closet for another shirt.

“You know Madeline is keeping something warm for us,” Adelle said. Finding a decent looking button down shirt, Dominic slipped it from the hanger. “Wear this?” Adelle suggested, holding up a black T-shirt.

“Where’d you get that?”

Adelle blushed slightly. “Daniels gave it to me when he returned from San Francisco last time,” she said. “He insinuated that I like them tight on you and that most of yours weren’t meeting that particular criterion of mine anymore.”

“I’ll need a little help putting it on.”

She closed her eyes. “Laurence, forgive me, I forgot about your injury.”

“Maybe the thought of you helping me dress does nice things for me, Adelle.” A knock sounded. “I’ll get it,” Dominic said. “You have too many buttons undone.” He imagined Adelle putting to rights the only item of clothing she was wearing as he crossed the room and opened the door to Bill and Madeline, he carrying a bottle of wine and two glasses, she a tray with two heaped plates and a basket of what Dominic sincerely hoped were the small rolls with jalopenos and cheddar cheese baked into them.

Bill met Dominic’s eyes. “You headed out real soon, Dom?” Bill asked.

“No, why?” Dominic replied.

“Well, ah …” Dominic smirked at Bill trying not to look at Adelle. “You two don’t usually fail to make an appearance at dinner unless you’re saying goodbye.”

“We were … um …”

“Saying hello?” Adelle offered when Dominic searched for words. “Or perhaps, welcome home?”

“Well, Your Majesty, you all aren’t typically so … eloquent with the helloing.”

“There has to be some benefit to staying put,” Dominic said. Winking at Adelle, he said, “Given the downside of seeing you every day, Bill.”

Madeline dropped the tray the last few inches onto the small table. “I’m sorry,” she murmured. “You … you’re staying.”

Adelle appeared at Dominic’s side and slid her arms around his waist. “He’s staying,” she said.

“You are not,” Bill said, putting the wine down a bit gentler. “You wander. That’s what you do, Dom. Hell, that’s who you are.”

“Not anymore.” Dominic sighed at the disbelief on Bill’s face, not wanting his skepticism to migrate to Adelle. Madeline, in sharp contrast, hugged Dominic for all she was worth, pushing herself away abruptly, as though just realizing he was shirtless and that his lover was most definitely present.

“Dom—.”

“Bill, the things I did, the life I led, that’s a younger man’s game.” He shifted his gaze to Adelle, letting what he felt for her show. “More to the point, I belong here.” Eyes locked with Adelle’s, he stroked her cheek with his fingertips. Dominic thought he heard the door closing, but all he could think of was the one that was wide open in the form of the woman next to him. “I need you,” he whispered.

Adelle smiled. "Thereby allowing me to fulfill a substantial part of my current purpose."

"Which is?" Dominic asked, expression wary and careful, knowing full well he'd just altered his own quite a bit.

"Giving you what you need, of course."

THE END



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Excellent epilogue. I am definitely sad to see this end.

I loved that Adelle has a thriving vineyard (complete with families and Bill), as well as Addie and Dom in the bath and the fact that he decided to stay and forgo wandering so he could stay with her. Plus, the last line was gold, loved the tie in to the series.

Thanks. We felt that folks deserved to see them at the vineyard, although we had no idea exactly how it was going to play out.

Baths kind of became a theme, as did Dom's scratched back (going back to the pheromonals).

Dom had to decide to stay (to my mind). It just took a while and a bit of a push.

It was a long road for both of them, but they satisfy each other's needs.

Thank you so much for sticking with us!

(Deleted comment)
It's interesting that everybody's commenting on the last line. We had a different one. Morgan72uk didn't like it, so I came up with something different. Good thing I did.

Thanks for the kind words and for sticking with us.

We felt this story wouldn't be complete without showing them with a winery. Glad it worked.

I miss them already.

Wonderfully written as always. I applaud you.

Thank you so much. It was fun and really enjoyable to write with someone else.

We're working on something original at the moment with some very familiar descriptions of the two main characters--go figure.

Thanks for reading!

I know how that is. I was writing one of my own originals and two of the minor characters began to take on familiar characteristics. Then I realized I was writing fanfic for Sam and Jack.

Who says fairytales are overrated?

I seriously can't think of a more suitable happy ending to this story.

Everything just came together seamlessly. Love wasn't just some lyric in a children's rhyme it had it's own weight, consequence and commitment. I'm also glad that self respect wasn't to far a step behind (if at all), these are two independent people that don't expect sacrifice from one another to make them happy. I respect that.

Thank you guys. I couldn't think of a better fic to leave this community with. You've both done an amazing job and I look forward to your future works.

Re: Who says fairytales are overrated?

We had beaten around the "love" bush for long enough. And I KNEW Dominic had to be the one to say it first. And immediately realize that he might have just made a mistake. But the whole story has been about moving on, moving forward, not really looking back and that's what he did at that moment too. I don't think you can have "true love" (whatever that is) without self respect.

Leave the community? Why? School going nuts? Tired of LJ?

One future work is going pretty darn well right now. Back to it!

Re: Who says fairytales are overrated?

When I read fanfiction it's often because I think the pairing in question was severely underused or not given enough room to grow.

After reading everyone's stories on here, it's amazing to see how many different versions of Dom/Adelle made for very interesting adventures. Everyone here is so talented and I didn't read one story where Dom/Adelle didn't stay consistent. That's very difficult to pull off in a community. So you guys rock!

I just feel like I've read all there is to read in regards to these two, so it's time for me to see other characters.


Aaaaaahhhh! It's done! My feelings are all squishy and satisfied and warm and fuzzy and mygosh, this was epically long!!! Now to continue on with the random quoting and squeeing!

“How is it possible for you to look so beautiful and so sad at the same time?” *wibbles* dlsakdls!!!

“It suddenly dawned on me that I had a lot to lose. After more years than I care to recall, I finally have a home. I think I should live there.” YES! Yes, you should! Yes, you should! You should stay there and stay warm and safe and doing adorable thing with your sigfic other.

“Might it not be better to have that kind of goodbye as the … the final memory?”

“Maybe I’m just selfish enough to want you to be holding my hand when I go.”
dflkjasdklfjkdasj!!!!!!!!!!!! DYING!!!

AND THEN THE ENDING!!!! And it all ties back to the frickin' Dollhouse!!! "We give people what they need." "Giving you what you need." dfljdlkfjasdlkjfdslakjfds!!!!!!!1 Madam Adelle DeWitt, you never change! And then Dominic is the head of security again! And it all comes full circle!!!! fkljdfladjfklajdflkajdkfdj!!!!!!!

Eeeeeeeee! I am soooooo glad you decided to end the fic this way. It prolly could've survived without it, but the added chapters of amazing are hitting all of my squee buttons!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

I am so pleased you enjoyed it.

Wibbles are good.

Dom is learning. Slowly. But he's starting to realize what he has and is amazed that he has it.

Holding my hand when I go was one of my fav lines that I wrote. I can see Dom wanting to be with Adelle when he goes (but that won't be for a long long time).

Full circle--that was the key. They are where they began but in such a much better way. They're equal and together together.

I wasn't sure how to end it, but when I thought about it--it was easy. Harkening back to Dom's snark in Epitaph 1.

Thanks so much for working through this with me!

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