Author's note: Hi there! I'm sorry it took me so long to update... The holidays were busy busy this year! Anyway, here's the next chapter, I hope you all like it. I'm going to write the last chapter soon, and hopefully, you'll all be happy with it!

Don't forget to review everyone! :)

Chapter 16: Le calme après la tempête

"So, how is she?"

The doctor smiled and nodded her head. "Well, aside from a dislocated shoulder, a large bump at the back of her head and a split lip, she should be fine!" she answered him.

Ryan raised his eyebrows, grinning. "See? You're fine!"

"Says the guy who can't stop whining that he won't ever be able to use his left hand again." Mani shot back, giving him a sideways grin.

Ryan rolled his eyes at her and stood from the chair. "Let's go, princess."

"DON'T call me that." She mumbled, standing up from the bed. She touched her bright blue shoulder sling with her right hand, not sure if she would get used to using only one of her hands for a few days. She thanked the doctor and followed Ryan out of the room.

"Did you talk to Horatio?" she asked him as they slowly made their way towards their cabin. She lost her balance slightly, Ryan's hand shooting to her good arm to support her. "You ok?" He asked her, his voice filled with concern.

Mani snorted and nodded her head. "Yeah, I think the painkillers aren't only numbing my shoulder." She told him, grinning.

Ryan smiled back at her but didn't let go of her arm. "I did. I called him while you were getting checked out by the doctor. He says he's going to be waiting for us in Miami." He answered.

She wrinkled her nose. "I almost forgot I had to go back there."

"Come on, Mani, stop complaining. See it as… vacation time. Now that we got the bad guys, you don't have to work anymore."

"We got only one 'bad guy'." She reminded him.

He nodded his head slowly. "And the other one will never hurt anyone again." He told her, his voice confident.

The brunette glanced at him and gave him a small grin. After they'd both found their breath again, they'd dragged Kim to the security agents and turned her in. They'd explained what they were doing on the ship and what had taken place, and then had locked the murderer in a small room, where she'd spend the rest of the trip back to Boston. Then Ryan had taken Mani to the infirmary and had called Horatio while she was being taken care of.

Ryan smiled back at her and put his arm around her shoulder and brought her closer to him. "You did good back there."

She looked down, her smile growing bigger. "I know." She chuckled with him, and looked up at him again. "You did good too."

"We make a good team."

Mani rolled her eyes at him. "Come on, we haven't been able to stop fighting the whole time we've been here!"

"Maybe. But we got the job done."

"We did."

"And we're not fighting now!" He added, giving her a cheeky grin and making her chuckle.

They finally reached their cabin. Ryan unlocked the door and held it open for her, letting her walk in first. The room was just as he'd left it when he had gone looking for her. It almost seemed like a decade ago he'd been struggling not to choke Jason as he was making him wait in the room for the two women to join them.

"Wow, it's almost four in the morning." Mani said, bringing him out of his thoughts. "I think we both deserve a good night sleep."

"Yep, and tomorrow, we go back to reality."

"Yeah." She grabbed the tank top she slept in and looked down at herself. She knew she needed a shower, but she was just too tired. She'd probably fall asleep in the tub. It could wait till the next morning. "I'm gonna go get changed." She announced, already making her way to the bathroom. She closed the door behind her and slowly took off the sling. She'd been given painkillers, which she'd swallowed eagerly, but it only numbed the pain in her shoulder. She tried lifting her arm to take off her tank top and groaning, finding herself unable to complete the task.

She threw her head back and let out an exasperate sigh. She wouldn't be able to do it herself. She looked at her reflection in the mirror and grimaced. She looked absolutely horrifying. She quickly tried to straighten her hair and washed her face, before brushing her teeth. When she was done, she lifted her chin up and opened the door.

She found Ryan sitting on his side of the bed, clad in his boxers and light blue t-shirt. "I need your help."

Ryan frowned in concern and stood from the bed. "What is it?"

She pointed at her dirty green tank top and winced. "I can't lift my arm, so I can't get out of my clothes." Shetold him, her face growing warmer. "Can you… I mean, could you…"

He grinned and nodded his head. "Of course, I will." He got closer to her and lifted his hands up to the hem of her green top. He helped her pull the tank over her uninjured arm, over her head, and then slowly down her injured arm. "There." He murmured.

Mani gave him a shy, unable to look him in the eyes as shivers ran down her spine. "I think I could've done that myself. I'm tired I guess." She said, ignoring her body's reaction.

"You're exhausted." Without asking her if she still needed him, he helped her put her pajama top on.

She let him do it, watching his face as he carefully worked. He moved slowly, careful not to hurt her already painful shoulder. He settled his warm hazel eyes on hers when he was done, giving her a small crooked smile. "Do you need help with the bottom?"

Mani's face grew even warmer and shook her head. "No thanks, I think I got it." She'd never seen him acting so… charming. 'Must've bumped my head harder than I thought.'

Ryan nodded his head, still smiling. "I'll be in the bathroom. Call me if you need me." He told her, before walking around her to go in the bathroom.

Once he shut the door, Mani finally let out a long shaky breath and sat on the bed. She slowly pulled her previously white pants down her legs and threw them in a corner, before getting to work on pulling her pajama pants up with only one hand. It took a lot longer than it usually did, but at least she was done before Ryan came back.

He turned off the bathroom light and walked back into the room, giving her one of these smiles that made her heart beat faster. "What are you still doing up?" He asked her, noticing the pair of shorts she'd thrown on the floor. Without a word, he went over to it, picked it up and laid it over the back of a chair as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Mani watched him silently, still sitting at the end of the bed.

Ryan turned around and chuckled when he saw her staring at him. "Come on, let's get you to bed." He told her, coming to stand in front of her. He offered her his hand and helped her stand up. However, she still didn't move a muscle. Ryan grinned at her. "I feel like I'm talking to a zombie." He teased, looking into her warm brown eyes.

Mani stayed completely quiet as she let him pull her towards her side of the bed. He let go of her hand and lifted the covers for her, before guiding her to lie down. She hid her feet under the covers and laid her head on the soft pillow, letting him tuck her in. Her eyes started closing against her will, slowly falling asleep. Right before she lost consciousness, she swore she felt Ryan's warm hand on her cheek.


When Mani woke up from a dreamless sleep, the first thing that came to her mind was the fact that the only thing she could feel was the unbearable pain coming from her shoulder. The painkillers she'd swallowed before going to bed had stopped working. She whimpered as she tried to move, holding her breath as she waited for the pain to subside.

Somewhere in the cloud of pain filling her brain, she felt someone touching her hand. "Mani, are you ok?" Ryan whispered in her ear, sounding concerned.

Mani let out a long shaky breath and shook her head, grimacing in pain.

"I'll go get your meds." He told her before climbing out of the bed. He was back before she even realized he was gone, sitting next to her. "Come on, help me out a little." He told her, lifting her head to help her swallow the pill.

Mani sipped on the water and laid her head back on the pillow, grimacing. "How long is it supposed to hurt like this?" She moaned, cracking her eyes open to look at him.

Ryan gave her an encouraging smile. "A couple of days, more or less." He lifted a hand up to her forehead and brushed a strand of hair away. "Try to relax, let the meds kick in. I'll take a quick shower." He told her, letting his hand slide down to her cheek.

The brunette gave him a weak smile and closed her eyes, trying to focus on anything else BUT the pain.

She must've passed out again, since when she opened her eyes again, Ryan was back sitting next to her, touching her head. "Hey." He whispered, his grin widening when he saw her open her eyes. "You're back."

She grinned and nodded her head slowly. "I think so." She slowly sat up, wincing slightly at the numb pain she felt. "Now this feels a lot better." She told him, reaching up to test her shoulder.

"Well we still have about four hours before we reach port. What do you say we take this time to check on our prisoner and then, enjoy the rest of the trip like real vacationers?"

"This actually sounds tempting." She touched her hair and grimaced. "Right now, the only I want to do is take a shower. I feel like I slept in a dumpster. I must look like the creature from the black lagoon."

"Well if that's what the creature from the black lagoon looks like, I definitely want to meet it!" Ryan joked, giving her a small wink.

Mani rolled her eyes at him, still unable to keep herself from blushing. "You have horrible taste, Wolfe." She told him, hitting his shoulder with her good arm. "Now out of my way so I can grab that shower."

Ryan chuckled but humored her, standing up from the bed. Mani followed his move, slowly climbing out from under the covers.

"Taking a shower with only one hand." She mumbled, slowly padding towards the bathroom. "That's gonna be one frustrating experience."

"I could always help you, Mani. It could be my last duty as your husband." Ryan offered, giving her one of his most charming smiles.

Mani rolled her eyes again. "You wish." She grumbled just as she shut the bathroom door.

Ryan let out a long sigh. 'You have NO idea.' He thought, sitting back on the unmade bed.

Soooo? Simple, but I thought it was cute. :)

Still one chapter left!

Don't forget to review!