There's a screen cap I saw this morning of Nico that one of my Tumblr buddies posted. Out of the context of the episode, he looks so sad, so hurt. The original posting of this story had a link, but it won't work, so look for the pic URL in my profile page. :) (thanks to AlleluiaElizabeth for the tip, I'm a newbie)

I'm taking a lot of artistic license here. Of course, we know nothing of Nico's wife, or what happened, but I have a feeling that Nico blames himself for their breakup, perhaps his crazy work schedule with Mr. Pittman? And I have no idea what Nico's real name is, but I know it's sometimes a Greek name, and it's also a nickname for Dominic. I've used that name before, and I just love it. :D And I don't know how old Nico is... Scott Cohen is 49, I believe, so Nico can't be too far off.

The song Nico is listening to here is "At Last" by Etta James.


That damn song.

Shaking his head, Nico switched off the radio as he sat in the dark. A heavy sigh escaped him as he clicked his Blackberry. Nothing new. No messages. No calls.

He was alone.

He'd found it easier to do his job in solitude. Having a marriage and working for Marshal Pittman hadn't been very easy. So many nights he'd left his wife to take care of this or that, and so many times it had just ended in arguments. Finally, she'd delivered him the ultimatum.

"It's me, or it's Marshal, Dominic."

He rubbed his temples. Oh, but his head ached. It ached just as badly as his heart. Just because it was easy to work alone didn't mean he enjoyed it. He remembered what Juliette had said to him the morning he'd dropped her off at the rehabilitation center.

"You'd have made a great dad."

He closed his eyes as regret twisted itself in his gut. As a member of a large Italian/Greek family, he had lots of relatives, and lots of nieces and nephews. Ten years ago, his youngest sister, Liza, had actually given her firstborn son the name 'Dominic' as his middle name, after her favorite big brother, she'd said. He still had the picture of his tiny nephew, snuggled in a soft blue blanket in his arms, the day he'd first met him. And Guiliano "Guy" Dominic DiPalma was still his favorite nephew.

But, at 47, he had no children of his own, a fact that his mother had finally learned to stop reminding him of. He sighed. He'd actually come to accept his solitude.

Until Dani had come along.

Cursing under his breath, he shook his head. She'd blown right into his life like a hurricane - spunky, fiesty, and tenacious, with even more brains than beauty. At first he'd thought her ridiculous. The more he pored into her life, the more he researched her, he realized she was the real deal. And watching her interact with TK... with Booze... with everyone... he'd been simply amazed.

He clicked through the photos on his Blackberry until he came to rest on one of her. She'd been distressed after a bad meeting, and had simply sat in Purnell's office, trying to gather herself. Nico had snapped the photo before he'd known he'd done it.

And he couldn't bring himself to delete it.

When he'd found out how she knew Matt, it didn't bother him. He knew nothing would ever happen between them, and it was just pure luck that brought them together that night. But when she'd met J.D...

Nico scowled. He hadn't liked the man. He was too cool, too smooth. He'd researched and researched, stayed up all hours of the night, trying to find anything at all that Dani needed protecting from. But he couldn't. If anything, it made him realize how attached he'd become to the beautiful doctor. He'd felt a little guilty for being so pleased when he heard J.D. had gone to the Congo without Dani. But his heart had hurt for her, too. He knew how she felt. He thought of the way her face lit up whenever J.D. had texted her, or whenever she'd thought of him.

To have her look at me like that...

He clicked off the photo and pinched the bridge of his nose.

It was going to be another long night.