And I found a back up plan
I'm grateful that I didn't have to use it
But it's made of real good friends
Isn't it nice to know
That the lining is silver
Isn't it nice to know
That we're golden – "The Lining is Silver" – Reliant K
Nick woke with a start, a clatter somewhere beyond the bedroom shaking him out of what he had a vague feeling had been a good dream. He scrubbed a hand across his face lazily and then sat up, again with a start, his mind finally catching up with the fact that the bed was empty beside him. Panic rose, and he forced it down to a manageable level as he scrambled for a clean pair of pants and a t-shirt, pulling on both and tucking his pistol in the waistband of his pants and then heading to the door.
Another clatter echoed, but this time it was accompanied with the faint sound of laughter, and he felt something inside him ease as he recognized the joyful voice. It had been a long time since he'd heard Cassie laugh like that.
Nick smothered a laugh of his own as he passed one of the other bedrooms and through the open door saw the Division stowaway Mike passed out on the bed, limbs spread like a damned starfish. He was also snoring loud enough Nick was surprised it was the laughter and not the bullfrog that had woken him. He debated on waking the Stitch, but thought better of it. He had to admit Mike had earned the extra sleep with the mass healing he'd done on damn near every member of their merry band of fools. Besides, if Nick woke him, he'd have to deal with the man talking his ear off. He'd had enough of that for now, thanks.
He left the hallway and nodded to Bryce and Hook who were settled in a pair of armchairs in the living room. Bryce ignored him as always, but his cousin nodded wearily, tired and battered but smiling through it. And not quite as battered as he had been – cocky asshole though the Stitch might have been, clearly he knew his craft. Hook would survive, and that was what mattered.
Matt was sprawled on the floor with his back against the couch, his laptop open in front of him, and his face expressionless. Nick changed course to pat the Tech on the shoulder, and was rewarded with a shocked little smile. He smiled back and left Matt to whatever task he'd assigned himself. Nick wouldn't be surprised if the Tech was still working on covering their tracks. He hoped one of the women would be able to calm the younger man down eventually. He was working hard, but he'd burn out quick if he wasn't careful. Nick wondered if it would be cruel to ask Cassie to do it.
Then he'd reached the kitchen and breakfast nook and the scene there had Matt pushed firmly from his mind. The girls, his girls, were all there. Emily and Lex had possession of the big table, cups of tea and coffee in front of them respectively, and from the laughter and smirks, Nick could only imagine the bawdy conversation Lex had likely started. The Spark in question shot him a wink and nodded to the kitchen proper.
Nick turned to look and leaned against the doorway, vaguely aware he was rocking a dopey grin on his face, but really not giving a shit. Cassie and her mom were at the stove, making what looked to be a really sad set of pancakes judging from the scent of burning and the flour liberally dusted across both women's faces and arms and hair. But they were smiling at it, giggles sending both tripping over themselves and each other and likely causing the culinary disaster in the first place. Cassie tried to focus on the pancakes again, shooting a laughing glare at her mother when she tried to distract her daughter yet again.
Over the top of the blonde mop of curls beside her, Anna looked up to see him and for a moment her eyes seemed to fill with tears. She mouthed "Thank you" over Cassie's head, and Nick had to glance away or risk his own eyes filling. And fuck if their audience would ever let him live that one down.
With his emotions somewhat under control, he allowed himself to look back at the sight of his lover at the stove. Cassie seemed to feel his eyes this time, and she glanced over and raised an eyebrow at him. He could practically hear the snarky crack she must be thinking and he laughed to himself. Then Nick pushed off from the wall and walked over slowly, loving the way she tried to fight the smile as he approached. He reached her and wrapped his arms around her, dropping a kiss against her temple and relishing in the way she leaned herself back against him. They sighed in tandem, then he very deliberately reached out and pulled her hands away from the pan and spatula then gently shoved her away from the stove.
He surveyed the disaster in front of him and shook his head.
"Well, this was a waste." He shot mock glares at the pair of Holmes women, who, of course, just giggled at him madly. "If you actually want to eat breakfast, sit down and stay out of my way, huh?"
He didn't bother to check if they followed his order, but another set of feminine laughter and the screech of chairs against the floor told him they'd joined the other pair at the breakfast table. Nick smiled to himself and went about the task of making something that might actually be edible for breakfast for his crew that was gathered around him.
He watched the women out of the corner of his eye and listened to their laughter and the conversation out in the living room and the clacking of fingers on a keyboard and the snoring that echoed faintly down the hallway.
Not just a crew, his family, he amended silently. Fucked up and crazier than any might have guessed. But his. He just wished he'd get to keep them longer. Nick knew all too well that this many psychics in one place would be a bad idea in the long run. Even with Bryce's Shadowing prowess and Matt's Tech genius, Division would catch up to them before too long. And Kira would be even more driven to get them back after they'd escaped her grasp this time.
But for now, at least they were his, and he'd cherish that as long as he could. He caught Anna's eye again and she nodded at him, approval in her eyes. Beside her was Cassie, smiling at Emily as she fiddled with the lily pendant around her neck.
She was his, too. Nick smiled to himself and went back to making breakfast.
Welp that's it! I hope you all enjoyed!