Tendrils of rain slowly make their way down the giant window. White walls illuminated with shadows from the moon. The soft whirring of machines is the first thing nick recognised when he wakes up. That and a heavy weight, trapping his left arm to the scratchy sheets beneath his body.
A moan escapes his mouth and he realised how dry his throat is. He opens his eyes only to be met with plain white walls. As he tries to move the weight on his arm begins to stir. Slowly, as not to provoke the oncoming headache, he turns his head to the left. Only to be met with big brown eyes. Red rimmed and glossy.
Nick attempts a smile and caused the smallest curve to brace her lips. When he finally find the strength he begins to talk in a croaky voice.
“What, what happened?”
“You. Trying to be hero”
Ellie looked at him with her annoyed face, but her voice was laced with concern.
That’s when he remembers. A gun. Pointed in Ellie’s direction. He recalls hearing the faint sound of a trigger being pressed. His automatic response was the sheilds Ellie’s body with his. Now that he thinks about it, he doesn’t know why. I mean sure he knows that she’s his partner and it’s his job to watch her back. But he doesn’t know why it was such an unconscious thought. There was no thinking involved in the process of becoming Ellie’s person shield.
It’s then when he realises that it’s just like driving a car, or riding a bike - automatic.
To what extent his feelings must go for his body to be so sure of something, he doesn’t know.
What he does know is he couldn’t have Ellie die. He knows he cares about her too much for that. Which is an unnatural concept for Nick. And if not for the obvious progress he has made with emotions in team Gibbs, that would almost shock him.
“Oh yeah about that— “Nick starts but is quickly interrupted by a ranting Ellie. Clearly, she feels more confident being angry with him now that she knows he’s fine.
“No Nick. I don’t want your excuses. Don’t you understand that you can’t just go around shielding people from gunshots. I would have been fine, I was wearing my vest. One more inch nick one more— “
Her voice catches in her throat and she is silenced by a delicate finger to her lips.
“I’m fine Ellie, look at me.”
There’s a smirk on his face, more refined that his usual one but still there nonetheless.
He moves his hand away from her mouth to grasp at her much smaller hand. Intertwining their fingers and bringing them both up to his mouth to place a kiss on to her, unsurprisingly, soft skin.
“Why can’t you go one day without dying?” She’s asks him, humour slightly evident in her voice.
“Where would the fun in that be?” He questions.
“Besides,” he continues “you’re too beautiful to die.”
“Brownie points will get you nowhere Nick.”
They both have mirroring smirks marking their features
There’s been something different in the air between them lately. Flirting more, but never acting on it. Maybe this is the wake-up call they needed.