Written for kissbingo to fill 'face: chin'. Woot! It fills my last square on that! And then because I was scrolling through my cards and saw 'kissing it better' and was like "Yeah!" cause I'm still poking away at a few ideas on schmoop_bingo to fill amnesty prompts. Fail, no bingo there.

Nate remembered every bump, spill, tumble that Sam had. Every tear, bruise, "feel betters" kiss. They weren't burned in his mind; they were treasured, kept safe. He didn't let the drinking take them (but the drinking didn't take the worst memories it'd better damn leave the greatest ones alone.) Nate wasn't there for every one. When Sam was five he was trying to climb a tree with one of his cousins and fell. He broke his leg, sprained his wrist and had a nasty cut. But Nate was half-way around the world; he rushed through the job, almost lost the claim. Made it home to Sam in sixteen hours.

There were other times; Sam was four, mid-July. They were at a pool party at a co-worker's house, and Sam wanted to show off; he was just starting to swim a little bit on his own. He jumped into the pool as far as he could and then swam the short distance to Maggie, then back to the ladder to repeat. A few older kids were jumping into the deep end, turning in spirals as they did. Sam grinned and yelled for Nate, "Watch this, Daddy!"

He jumped, trying to twirl too. His little body didn't go out enough and his chin came cracking down on the edge of the pool. There was a rush as Nate hurried to the pool, Maggie swam. A few adults gathered around. They rushed Sam to the hospital and he was eerily quiet having only cried for a moment after it happen.

He did start crying. When the doctor stuck the needle through his skin and started stitching. Sam opened his mouth and wailed. "Help, Daddy!" and Nate just held him still like he'd been instructed after adamantly saying the he would be the one to do so. The doctor was quick and it was over in seconds, but to Sam it was still the end of the world and he shot into Nate's arms when everyone backed away and sobbed into his shoulder for a minute. Nate and Maggie soothed him and when he calmed down his eyes were watery and red.

Sam leaned back and carefully touched the stiff black strings in his chin. "I have chin hairs like you Daddy!" Maggie and Nate looked at each other and started laughing, and hugged Sam tightly.

"Sure do, Kiddo," Nate patted Sam's back. He kissed Sam's chin softly; it earned him two beaming smiles from Maggie and Sam.

Eliot sat there without flinching, actually he was still holding a conversation on with Hardison and Parker. Nate did it for him. There was a clean cut from the center of his chin up the jawline. It was deep enough, but not bleeding heavily. He kept thinking of those years ago when such hurts came along with tears; and it was a lot different without them. He tried not to let his mind wander far into thoughts of when those tears would have disappeared for Sam... Nate shut Eliot up by grabbing the undamaged side of his jaw.

"Ready when you are," he drawled. Eliot quieted down and let Nate get to work. He couldn't help wincing the first time he stuck the needle through flesh. Then the second time. Eliot chuckled, "Getting choked up, Nate?" he teased.

Nate glanced at Eliot, glaring, "It could have been worse." Eliot shrugged, his face moving slightly. "Hey, hey, hey," Nate dropped his hand quickly.

"Calm down, Nate," Sophie smiled softly, knowingly.

He went back to his task as the other two 'children' snickered. "Be more careful, Eliot." Eliot responded with a straighter back and gruff, "Sure, Nate."

He nodded, satisfied, and started the last stitch. Nate never told Sam to be more careful. Oh, they were more careful the next month or so while his chin healed but after a time Sam was back to running about and Maggie and him just smiled.

"There we go." Nate tied of the stitch. He was seven-some years in the past and every time one of his 'kids' got hurt he saw a little boy with brown hair and intelligent eyes. He ducked in, him and Eliot made closer to the same height so Nate could work easier, and pecked him on the side of the chin that wasn't damaged. He was already stepping away when Hardison snorted and laughed. Eliot looked perplexed and Sophie...she smiled softly. Parker, was grinning.

"Good job out there." Nate smiled and turned on his heel. Some things were still needed– even if there weren't any tears to stop.