The weeks since Mitch's death had passed in a bit of a haze for everyone on Ward 17. Terri had taken extended leave which left Nelson in charge. For the most part they all tried to carry on as normal. The only worry for Nelson was Von. She had never been the kind of woman to confide in anyone about her problems and always bottled away her feelings. He knew just to look at her that she was struggling and that if she carried on the way she was going she'd end up falling apart.

Von was in the utility room cleaning out bed pans when Nelson came in and closed the door quietly behind him.

"Hey Von. You got a minute".

"I'm pretty busy Nelson as you can see".

"Yeah well listen. I think we need to talk so just stop doing that for a minute".

Von carried on regardless. Pretending not to listen when a strong hand grabbed her wrist.

"Von. Please".

The softness and the worry in his voice stopped her in her tracks. She slowly turned around to face him and saw deep concern etched on his face.

"I know you miss him Von".

"It's just so bloody unfair. It took them so long to get together and to have it taken away like that". She sniffed.

"At least they had the last few years. Some people don't even get that".

She smiled softly at him and looked down to see that he was still holding onto her.

"Your right, I guess. Look Nelson I'm sorry about before. I didn't mean to snap".

"It's fine. Your allowed to every now and then". He smiled.

For the first time in weeks he saw her laugh and hadn't realised how much he'd missed seeing it. Suddenly something in the air changed. He gave her a small smile and then leant in and kissed her gently on the lips. The moment his lips touched her's she felt a mixture of emotions running through her body.

"Nelson. Please don't".

"What's wrong".

"This isn't right".

"What. Me kissing you".

"Your not thinking clearly. You don't want me".

"Shouldn't I be the judge of that".

"We spend most of time arguing. We don't agree on anything. What do you see in me that I don't".

"Von Ryan. You are the biggest pain in the arse I've ever worked with. You know what though. I relish seeing you everyday. The age gap doesn't bother me. I'm attracted to you. Plain and simple". He smiled.

"Your attracted to me".

"Tell me you don't feel the same way".

He leaned into her and quietly whispered in her ear

"You relish our arguments as much as I do. You know you do".

Von couldn't help but smile as he said those last few words because she knew he was right. From the moment they'd first met, they'd argued. It was just their way and if she had to admit it ofcourse she relished it.

"Von. You okay".

"If we got together we'd be laughed at".

"Let them laugh Von. I like you".

"I like you too". She smiled.

"I'm glad and just aswell because I'm about to kiss you again". He said. Smiling.

He leaned in and kissed her for a second time and felt relief when he felt her respond to his kiss. All he could think about now was how crazy the gossip mill was going to be when they heard. Right now though he couldn't care less. He was happy and she was finally smiling again.

Fin xxx