Author's note: So this is a simple (and short) retelling of the ending of the ORIGINAL Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars game. I am emphasizing on that because even though I likre the Director's Cut (really, I do!), there are some original details that were lost in the updated version.
I might add a tiny prompt (later on) that will focus on that last part of the game when we could hear George and Nico randomly talk about their "life together" but were not shown anything but a black screen.
But for now, I hope you'll enjoy your reading! =)
Also, can't wait for the 5th installment of the series! I will do my best to remain patient, but please be careful with it guys!
When Nico grabbed George's hand after having thrown Khan's literally explosive handbag into the powder where the torch that would perhaps save them was burning furiously, there was one thought and one thought only that hammered relentlessly in her mind: run away, and fast.
She took the time to take a look at George's face while they climbed up the stairs of the crypt as quickly as possible; his gaze was fixed on the entrance of the church and reflected a strange mixture of intense concentration, breathtaking fear and indescribable hope. She thought she probably wore the very same look on her own face for they both knew what was about to happen.
The church was going to blow up, regardless of what the Grand Master believed. Guido looked like he had come to the same conclusion since his first reaction had been to try extinguishing the fire. It was too late for him now, he wouldn't make it in time and neither would the Grand Master and his crazy followers.
Nico only hoped that maybe, just maybe, she and George would.
The first step they took outside the church of St Ninians felt like liberation; survival was there, just a few meters ahead of them. Nico felt her chest burn violently; she realized absent-mindedly that in the rush of it all, she had actually forgotten to breathe in and out for a moment.
Without her fully comprehending what she was doing, she started to slow down a little, only to feel George accelerate and dash in front of her, pulling her along rather roughly by the hand he was refusing to let go of.
She, too, picked up the pace.
When the main detonation resounded in her ears like a thousand rolls of thunder, Nico was certain she was going to die there and then. She felt herself being violently separated from George, the both of them blown off their feet as if they were no more than a pair of ancient rag dolls.
She must have blacked out for a millisecond, for the very next thing she knew was how awful the moist ground tasted in her slightly open mouth. In the short span of time that followed this rather odd observation, Nico noticed two important things. The first one was that even though she was technically alive, she was still in serious danger because of all the rocks that were falling haphazardly all around her. The second one, and certainly no less important to her, was that she couldn't see her American companion anywhere.
Propping herself up on her elbows, she looked around her, calling out his name twice.
She did not get any answer. A violent knot in her stomach forced her to acknowledge what she had known in her heart for a couple of days already but had conveniently chosen to ignore.
Suddenly, she felt two hands hoist her up by her waist and she looked up to meet the concerned face of George. She could see his lips move frantically. He was shouting something, something she guessed was probably along the lines of getting up, but she couldn't hear him clearly. The devastating noise of the explosion must have temporarily damaged her eardrums.
Still, in that single moment, she was sure she had never been happier to see him. His now dirty clothes were torn in some places, there was a nasty cut on the left side of his forehead, but he was there, alive and well – as well as he could be, given their current situation – alongside her.
Again, she grabbed his hand as they resumed running together.
They tried to dodge the continuous rain of rocks that did not appear like it would ever end and suddenly, without really understanding what exactly was happening, Nico felt herself being pushed against an imposing gravestone while George's arms found their way around her waist and held her against him as if he never wanted to let her go. Had the circumstances been any different, she would have laughed at his stereotypically masculine behavior; he was using his body as a shield to protect her own.
Instinctively, her arms came up to wrap around his shoulders, pulling him in an even tighter hug as she buried her face in the crook of his neck, clinging to him like he were the last milestone that separated her from death.
At the back of Nico's mind, a small voice was howling with laughter at the irony of it all. George and she were going to survive thanks to a gravestone.
Eventually, after what felt like an eternity but was in fact a couple of seconds, silence dawned on the graveyard and it resonated almost as loudly as the explosion it just replaced.
Nico could hear George breathe quietly in her ear, his body still incredibly tense. She could feel the bulging muscles of his shoulder blades through the fabric of his shirt and vest. Smiling against his shoulder, she allowed herself to relax and slowly released him from her crushing embrace.
It was over. The Neo-Templars did no longer exist.
George's eyes were still closed as Nico's hands gently cupped his face, but a smile was gracing his tired features. He looked like he was enjoying the moment and quite frankly, she could not blame him for that.
She felt him loosen his hold on her even though his hands did not leave her slim waist. He finally opened his eyes to look at her smiling face and instantly shot her the brightest grin he could manage in return.
The both of them were reluctant to move for a little while, exchanging looks that spoke louder than a billion words until George eventually rose to his feet, offering a hand to help Nico up. She took it without a second's hesitation and almost burst out laughing when they found themselves staring at each other insistently, both knowing perfectly well what they wanted but unwilling to make the first move.
Nico noticed the way George's eyes locked alternatively on her eyes and lips, signaling that this time, he was waiting for her permission. She smiled and brought up her left hand at the back of his neck, her fingers brushing softly against his blonde hair, and pulled him towards her.
Their lips met hungrily with a sense of paradoxical desperation. His arms wrapped possessively around her waist, up to the point where he was almost lifting her off her feet while she tangled her fingers in his hair and pressed her front into his own in order to be as close to him as she could be. Filled with a burning passion which itself was fuelled by the sheer and outstanding joy and relief of being still alive, that first real kiss Nico was sharing with George easily made its way to her own top three.
When they forced themselves to separate from one another, both panting ever so slightly, George's first reaction was to bend down to rub his nose against hers. She chuckled, grinning from ear to ear as he did the same before he looked up with a sense of unexpected worry.
" Qu'est-ce qui se passe?"
He kept staring at the church, his eyebrows furrowed, obviously trying to peer at something. She turned round, too, but could not see anything suspicious safe for the smoking remains of St Ninians.
"George, qu'est-ce qu'il y a?"
He blinked twice, looking apparently hesitant about what he was going to say. "I think I just saw someone go in there. A woman."
"In the church?"
"It's completely destroyed."
"I know, I know, but I could swear I-
"George?" Nico interrupted by pecking her companion's lips.
"It's all over here," she told him gently while resuming walking in the opposite direction, "Let's go back to Stirling."
George looked above his shoulder one last time to observe the remains of the religious building from which thick volutes of smoke were ascending into the morning sky and then shrugged, deciding that he had probably been imagining things.
He quickly caught up with Nico, snaking one arm around her shoulders and feeling her do the same with his waist. He grinned broadly, obviously fighting back a laugh.
He looked down at her, his eyes sparkling with that hint of mischief and sarcasm she was now perfectly familiar and comfortable with.
"Let's get one thing straight right now," he began to quote her in a high-pitched imitation of what she guessed was supposed to be her voice, "This is strictly business."
Nico frowned, trying to get angry at him for making fun of her the way he did, but failed miserably as she felt a small blush rise to her cheeks and ended up smiling in spite of herself.
"Oh, shut up."