Kate was going to spill her guts on how impossible he would be to live with, how grumpy he had been all day, and how ready she was to toss his butt out the window, when she noticed how pale he looked. It wasn't his normal color, but considering all he had been through, it was to be expected. Instead of being blunt about her day, she choose a different route. "It's physically exhausting, Nick."
"I am?" There was a certain amount of hurt in his voice.
Kate shook her head. "No. But looking at you, knowing I could have lost you, is."
Nick studied her face for a few moments. "I wouldn't have left you. You're the only thing that kept me here."
Kate looked back to him, suprised at his words. Misty-eyed and beyond a response, she laid her head on his good shoulder. "I'd put my arm around you, but I don't think my ribs would go along with that plan."
"Mmm." She hummed in agreement and understanding.
"I suppose my car's past repair."
Kate closed her eyes, resting them for a minute. "Yup." She took a breath in, realizing she could smell him. Her heart hurt, but not because she was sad. She was on emotional overload. Being that close to him after such a scare made her appreciate the smallest things about him. "Do you remember the accident?"
"Yeah. I had the green light, halfway through the intersection I saw the truck, too late." He felt Kate lean into him a little more, laying her arm on his chest. "I knew he was going to hit me, but I couldn't hit the brake in time. Heard this loud crash, realized it was my car." He laughed, but he wasn't really. Kate sat silently, listening to the story, feeling a tear fall even though she fought them. "I remember thinking, don't pass out...just stay awake. Wasn't sure where I was...I mean, I knew I was on that road, but I didn't know where I was in comparison to the car."
"You were thrown halfway out." Her voice cracked.
He lowered his bottom jaw on her head. It was the only way he could hold her. "Funny thing was, I was going to turn around at the next intersection and go back to your place." Nick looked down at her face as best he could and saw her brush her cheek with her fingers. He knew she was crying. "What did Page call you?"
"When they called him about the accident."
"No." Kate cleared her throat. "I called him. I was on my way to your place after we fought. I got there while you were still in the car." She put her arm back on his chest. "It was bad, Nick, really bad. They lost you twice in surgery."
"That's what the doctor said." Nick wanted to lighten the mood for Kate. "Besides, I remember."
Kate lifted her head from his shoulder. "Remember what?"
"Heaven." He said matter of factly. "I was standing there, they were fitting me for wings,"
Realizing he was messing with her, Kate scoffed at the "wings," comment.
"When it dawned on me. Kate's back down there. I can't leave her. Not without doing something first."
"Doing what first?"
Nick backed up against the couch so he could better see her face. "Telling you why we're still partners. That when Page was giving me names of all the guys he could pair you up with, something told me I was the only one you should work with. That I told him I wanted you for a partner, that I thought it could work out, as it has."
If Kate thought she was emotional before, she was near her breaking point now. Nick caught a few tears on her cheek before he continued.
"And I wanted to tell you that I love you, as a partner, as my best friend, as the most important person in my life."
Kate was afraid if she opened her mouth and told Nick she loved him as well, she would start bawling. So instead, she gave Nick the most passionate kiss he'd ever experienced in his life.
Halfway through this kiss, they both heard a very familiar non-comforting voice from the doorway.
"The door was halfway open, so I let myself in. I wanted to check on O'Malley before I went home, and I can plainly see for myself that you're doing just fine!" He snarled, looking at Nick. "Both of you, for that matter, seem to be just fine!" This time he turned his glare to Kate. Page felt the need to condem them both for crossing the line between work and pleasure. Instead he turned back to the door. "I'm going to pretend I didn't see any of this nonsense. I'll close the door on my way out! As you were, detectives." Before slamming the door, he added one more thing. "Next time I'll make sure to knock louder!" The Captain than stormed off to his car, promising himself to ban the image from his mind forever.
After the shock wore off, Nick and Kate both burst into a fit of laughter. They basically just got a blessing from their boss to move forward with their relationship, and that was more than fine with both of them. The fun stuff about moving forward though would have to wait until Nick recooped a little bit. But they both waited two years to see this come to them, they could wait a little bit more.