Did it or didn't it happen? The debate rages. With "Sunday," a gentle day -- and evening -- out turns into a much more complex intertwining of emotions for Jack McCoy and Claire Kincaid...

By Sam Lopez /Jackluster

The sun was shining full in her eyes when Jack gently brushed her hair out of Claire's face. She watched him with far more feeling for him she ever thought she would have. A small smile touched her lips and she leaned closer to him, holding on to his belt loops as she raised herself on her toes.
"What are you waiting for?" Jack smiled down at her, his arms around her waist, drawing her in close. Around them, Central Park spun and hummed with its usual activity -- but it was all silence to them.
Jack was slightly amazed, in the far reaches of his otherwise occupied mind, to realize he was holding Claire Kincaid next to him. His smile broadened and a small laugh escaped his lips. "I'm sorry, Claire. I'm not laughing at you."
Claire was amused, and also, surprising herself as well, aroused by the feel of Jack's body close to hers. "Good." Claire sighed very softly, and leaned into Jack, pressing him back against the tree behind him.
The closeness and pressure of her body on his brought a deep sense of satisfaction and excitement to Jack. Claire moved her hands around his waist and they stood silently for a moment, watching each other intently, wanting to memorize every detail of the moment. "Claire, I --" Jack began, and stopped, shaking his head -- it wasn't often that Jack McCoy felt his words were inadequate.
"Yes?" Claire asked, the excitement running through Jack communicating itself through his body and into her own highly aware one.
"I -- sorry. I guess for once I can't think of something witty." Jack shrugged and Claire smiled. Beautiful, beautiful, McCoy thought and laughed. Her happy, thrilling laughter made McCoy's heart pound, and he pulled her closer.
"Now, Jack, that IS a first. And WHY is it?"
Jack felt himself begin to blush, to his extreme embarrassment. He tried to cover by grinning and pulling Claire closer to him. "Ah, you know. Lots on my mind..."
Claire frowned just the merest bit. "Bullshit, Jack."
McCoy's eyebrows flew up. "What? Why?"
"Stop being a pain. I feel kind of awkward myself... I think."
"So you explain. I mean -- Claire, I feel more like a stupid kid -- first date jitters, even --"
"So you pack your breath mints?" Claire asked with an enigmatic smile.
Jack's grin grew. "Why do you ask--" he started, and Claire shut him up with a kiss. Jack felt her arms go tight around him -- his initial pleasant surprise wore off almost instantly and he closed his eyes, wrapping his arms around Claire, his hands in her hair. They lingered over the kiss, both indulging in the moment of their first kiss -- more meaningful, for Jack, than his first one ever.
Claire was amazed at the depth of feeling sweeping through her body at that moment. Every nerve seemed to be charged, perceiving everything all at once--Jack, the feel of his body, lean and tall under his shirt, the gentle touch of his hands on her, his intensity--even the feel of the wind on her skin was hyper-real, matching the overwhelming, almost primal pleasure she found in Jack's arms. For that lingering moment, their breath was suspended, each so intent on the kiss and the feel of their bodies together that instinct was halted.
Jack's head began to feel light, his mind spinning slowly as he kissed Claire deeply, the sensation of her smooth hair under his hands so new and exciting to him.
Claire was astonished by her own nearly unconscious surrender to her desire for Jack...but it transcended physical desire, even emotional desire. Claire realized, as her mind swooped and spun with the long-awaited feel of Jack's lips on hers, that he was the one she wanted to grow old with.
Jack wrapped his arms closer around Claire, his whole being involved in this kiss, mind, body, and what he had begun to believe was a dead soul. He knew, as he took life and love from the wonderful, beautiful woman in his arms, body so responsive, that she would allow him to live. Not just live, Jack's mind told him, but live well and happily. That fantastic, overwhelming happiness finally burst free and Jack broke the kiss with a short, affectionate laugh, eyes smiling tenderly on Claire.
Claire reached up and gently stroked Jack's hair, smiling at his evident happiness. "Something funny?" she asked quietly, her own body completely charged by the kiss and her mind reeling slightly with the joy she felt at being with Jack McCoy.
"No. No, nothing...I'm happy. Just -- happy." Jack shook his head and laughed again -- Claire could feel his body move with his laughter, and joined in. "I've -- I've never laughed at a time like this," McCoy said genially, stroking her hair as she had touched his. It was a fine brown, shiny and soft, and Jack felt a gentle stirring deep inside.
Claire's grin widened, and she stepped back from him, holding onto his belt and looking at him fully, standing with the sun shining on his face. He is really, really something, Claire. Way to go, kid! she thought to herself. "Neither have I, Jack. Still.." she moved back in but turned around and as he wrapped his arms around her she moved hers behind him and settled them on his thighs. They were half hidden by the tree.
Claire could feel Jack's chest rising and falling with his soft breaths, and the security she felt being so close to him, wrapped in his long arms, the faint clean smell of him happily familiar now -- that security was something she hadn't felt in quite a while. She closed her eyes, delving into herself and trying to memorize all the input her senses were giving her.
Jack tilted his head down enough to inhale the clean, somewhat fresh scent of Claire's hair, pulling her closer to him as he let out a long sigh. "Oh Claire," Jack whispered, closing his eyes as well and resting his cheek on Claire's hair. The sun shone down, filtering through the leaves above them to scatter in patterns on their bodies. Jack and Claire were content to stand enfolded in each other, the warmth of the sun making them sleepy and lethargic.
It was a few minutes of enjoying each other's presence before either spoke. Jack lifted his head and smiled. "Claire. I -- this has been a wonderful day. Thank you," he said softly, bringing one of her hands up in his large one to kiss. She smiled broadly at that and turned to face him, leaning into him again as he smiled down at her. He gently stroked her face and felt a thrill rush through his body as he felt her hands slide up his back, slowly moving up and down.
"I enjoyed it, Jack. Thanks for the dinner, drinks- everything. It was very special." With a brief sigh, Claire rested her head on Jack's chest and finally felt the kind of peace and security she had been looking for.
Jack felt his heart nearly skip, and brought a hand up to smooth her hair. He felt like crying, laughing, singing--anything to relieve the immense pressure from the happiness he felt. Anything, but God, please let it be Claire who rescues me, he thought dizzily.
Jack hugged Claire tightly to him, then tilted her face to his and looked closely at her, taking in every delicate detail of her face and eyes...he felt like he could drown in her eyes. Hesitantly, still not quite believing what had happened, he leaned down slightly, trying to gauge her reactions for a kiss--and was pleasantly surprised to see her stretch up to kiss him, bringing her hands up around his neck and holding on tight as the kiss lengthened into something passionate and whirling. Jack began to smile as they kissed and lifted her up off the ground, stepping away from the tree and spinning around once, twice, enjoying the happy laughter that escaped Claire Kincaid. Jack laughed out loud and stopped turning, still holding Claire off the ground. He grinned and kissed her again, gently, before setting her down. Jack mock groaned and sat on the grass, Claire collapsing beside him. He stroked her hair as she settled her head on his lap and closed her eyes.
Jack thought Claire had fallen asleep and stopped moving his hand on her hair when she spoke: "Don't stop, Jack."
"Oh, sorry...it's really a nice day, huh?"
Claire opened one eye and grinned up at him. "It turned into one hell of a nice one, that's for sure....Jack. Jack -- I wonder -- well, I wonder what we do with this now. With us."
Jack squinted down at her, the sun setting and shining in his eyes. "Us? I -- I don't know, Claire. I hope -- well -- "
"I mean -- what are we gonna do?" Claire asked, stroking Jack's face and lightly kissing his hand. Jack shuddered and pulled Claire up, staring intently in her eyes. He kissed her quickly, hard -- then smiled broadly.
"More. I hope."


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