READ THIS FIRST!
Hi. I don't know if this will be more than a oneshot, but I'm pretty sure the finale will decide that for me.
I haven't been here in a while so I hope my portrayal of the characters is to your liking, I rather enjoyed myself.
Read and review or message me if you have any ideas, I'd love to get back into the swing of things.
Looking back through the window of her office, Nico refused the urge to walk back through the door to comfort Dani further. She had pushed away his reassurance that he'd stop at nothing to get the tapes back for her, but he still felt an odd feeling lingering around as he saw her shoulders slump. He could see the way this situation physically seemed to settle on her shoulders as well as her conscience, and that was what made him freeze on her back porch. It wasn't that he couldn't leave her there to collect herself; it was just the simple fact that he didn't want to. He was well aware that he considered her a friend, but the fact that even Vera was privy to that bit of information left him feeling exposed in a way he hasn't allowed himself in quite some time. He continued to watch her even as she got up and moved to what he was guessing was her kitchen from his view, sighing as he sat himself against the wall opposite her window. He sat gently with one leg on the step below him, the other stretching out in front of him as he tipped his head back to rest against the house. He was adamantly against groveling, but he felt that he owed Dani something. She was in this mess because of the team he was set to protect, and he felt responsible in some way. He took in a deep breath as he stared up at the mid afternoon sky, wondering what the hell possessed him to tell her that she wasn't alone in the first place. He'd leaned in and backed off, but he couldn't help the flash of anticipation he felt as he noticed the way her body leaned into him as he moved away. It was constantly a situation of what-ifs in their line of work, and this time he really had no idea where to go from here.
Sitting in the chair in her office, Dani couldn't help the immediate sense of anxiety and panic she felt despite the fact that she saw Nico take the bug out of her office. She felt violated and helpless, and she refused to lean on Nico for something so close to home. It wasn't just the breach of confidentiality that ate away at her, but also that someone had been in her office with the specific intention of inflicting emotional upset. It was so much more personal than she had let herself realize. She wasn't sure how she felt aside from the obvious, but the guilt was beginning to set in as the light from her window started to set an orangey glow over the room. She regretted the way she pushed Nico away, but what helped ease the guilt was the way he refused to leave when she'd demanded just that of him. He appeared to be the only one she could count on to be on her side lately, and that unsettled her more than it reassured her. It wasn't that Nico was untrustworthy, it was just that everyone one, especially Matt, seemed to be looking out for themselves and not giving a second thought to those they unintentionally stepped on. She could swear she could feel the shoe print in her forehead from Matt's lack of support for TK's dire need of rehab. Even though things between them were relatively stable, she still felt as if there was a part of him he was purposely keeping her away from. She could understand the need to retreat after their breakup situation, but she wasn't about to pretend that it didn't still sting a bit.
Slowly getting up from her office chair, Dani picked up her phone and stared at Nico's number as it taunted her. She pulled it up to call him and apologize, but the words were dying just as fast as they were coming to her. Her relationship with Nico had changed in the recent months, and it was something she hadn't given any significance until today. She refused to believe that she wasn't alone when all was said and done, but the conviction in his voice gave her pause. She was aware that she had leaned into him before he left, and she wasn't sure whether she was disappointed that she let herself get caught up in the moment, or that he pulled away from her. She shook her head, placing the corner of her phone against her chin before she decided to call him. Just as she was about to press his number, she froze, feeling watched and swiftly making her way out of her office, still unsettled by the bug that used to reside there. Shaking her head, she looked at the door he'd walked out of more than three hours ago and stiffened at the dark figure she could just make out behind the curtains of the door. She inched her way closer to the door, her heart pounding in her ears as she peeked through the material, the relief palpable at the person on her porch.
Sitting with both legs bent toward his chest, Nico sat on the phone, his head tilted back with his eyes closed as he smiled slightly. She unconsciously smiled as well, noticing the way his face seemed to be devoid of the stress and near panic she had seen some hours ago. She placed her ear against the glass, the darkened hallway hiding her shadow well enough as she shamelessly eavesdropped on his conversation.
"We've had this conversation before, I don't like letting people down" she heard, the irritation mixed with humor as he listened to the response to his comment.
"Vera, I've told you that twice already. Anymore and I'll begin to assume you're purposely trying to force pieces together"
Dani wasn't sure how she felt about the small detail that he was talking to a woman, but she quickly forgot that with his next words.
"We've talked this point to death. Dani is a friend that I don't want to let down. Anything beyond that isn't a topic of discussion. Isn't your flight in about," he looked down briefly at his watch, "three hours? You should pack, I'd hate for you to be late. Have a safe flight," he said, and she presumed that the woman was saying goodbye before he hung up. He held the phone to his ear a second longer as he smiled briefly, the lines around his mouth deepening as he blew out a light laugh as he hung up, looking down at the phone absently.
Dani backed away from the door a small step, leaning against the wall for support as she tried to process his entire conversation. This woman, one she didn't recognize by name, was able to get Nico to open up to her and Dani couldn't help the touch of envy that brought on. She shook her head at her thoughts, making her way back to look out the door at Nico, how still had his eyes shut as he sat on her porch. She typed out a short text and hit send, waiting for his reaction. If this woman seemed to think that Dani meant more to Nico than she thought, she had to figure it out herself. So far, he wasn't being overly forthcoming.
Hi - Dani
She watched as he looked down at his phone, the gentle smile that spread over his mouth flooring her when accompanied with the soft look his eyes held. It was as if she was seeing Nico for the first time, and what she was seeing was breathtakingly honest and adorable, not that she'd ever tell him that. Her phone buzzed in her hand and her eyes shot down, opening the message and reading it twice before biting her bottom lip to keep her smile from spreading.
Still mad at me? – Nico
She looked back out at the window and saw the way he was moving his phone in his hands as he awaited her reply. She chose rather to shove her phone in her pocket and open the door, leaning her body against the knob as she looked down at him. He looked up at her unflinchingly, his eyes softer as he held her stare. She stayed silent as she tilted her head slightly to signal him inside, watching him like a hawk as he got up and stretched. He could have sworn he saw her eyes linger on his chest as he made his way effortlessly towards her. She inhaled as he moved passed her, his cologne barely noticeable when mixed with the cooling air, but it still seemed to make her feel safe and protected. She shut the door quietly as she followed him into her kitchen, watching the way he sat on a stool with his back to her, his forearms resting on the island. She stepped up lightly behind him, their heights evened out due to him being seated and hunched over slightly in relaxation.
She stepped up to him and gently rested her forehead against his right shoulder, her left hand resting on the junction between his left shoulder and his neck, her thumb resting at the base of his neck as her right hand encircled his right bicep. Nico stiffened, but relaxed as he felt her take a deep breath, slowly releasing it against the fabric of his shirt as he felt the conflict and anxiety drain from them both. He placed his right hand over her left on his neck as he too took a deep breath, squeezing her hand as her thumb gently brushed the skin on the back of his neck.
"I'm sorry Nico, really I am," she mumbled into his shirt, the words muffled but in the quiet of the kitchen he heard her perfectly. He sucked in a breath as he ran his thumb over the back of her hand in soothing circles before he spoke.
"You have nothing to be sorry for Dani, I told you I don't intend to ever let you down" he murmured, feeling the way she leaned her entire body against his back as she nodded her head against his back. He felt her thumb rub similar circles on his bicep that he was doing on her hand and he smiled faintly.
"I believe you Nico, I hope you know that. I believe in you," she stressed, gripping him tightly before pulling her hands back to rest on his shoulders.
He missed the contact for a moment before she slid her hands from his shoulders down his collarbone, only to come around and hug him from behind. Her head rested just behind his ear, her breath coming in soft puffs across his right ear and cheek. He moved his arms so both of his hands rested on her forearms, keeping her anchored to him as he sat there, Dani content to hold him in companionable silence. The spell was broken when she heard her daughter slam her bedroom door, only to be followed by the slamming of what she presumed to be her bedroom door as well. Dani sighed as she tried to pull her arms away from Nico, but all he did was loosen her grip as he spun the stool so he was nose to nose with her. She smiled at him gently as he parted his knees, pulling her gently into his embrace.
Nico pulled her so they were chest to chest as his hands encircled her waist, mimicking the way her arms wound around his neck. He felt her bury her head in his neck, her arms pulling him tighter as her tears started to fall. There was a steady stream of silent tears until they heard Lindsay call Dani as she made her way down the stairs. That was the moment Dani took a labored breath and sobbed into his neck, his shirt beginning to stick to him as her tears flowed harder, her body shaking in his arms. He pulled her tighter to him, whispering words of comfort in her ear as his hands rubbed soothing circles on her lower back. He leant his temple against her head as she cried harder, but he applauded her ability to stay relatively quiet even as he heard her daughter approach.
"Mom-" Lindsay halted mid-demand as she saw the head of security holding her mom like the most fragile thing in the world as she cried on his shoulder. His eyes flew to Lindsay and held her stare as she covered her mouth in fear. Her eyes welled up with tears at the sobs Dani was trying her hardest to suppress. Lindsay pointed at the door and asked if she could leave with expressive eyes like her mothers. Nico wasn't sure whether or not to consent because he wasn't her father, but he nodded slightly as Lindsay bolted from the room. He continued to console Dani as Lindsay came back in, tip toeing up to him to press a post-it on the counter beside him before she gave him a timid wave, her gaze lingering on her mother as she left. Nico pulled a hand off Dani to grab the note, smiling somewhat at the note.
Call me on my cell if mom needs anything. And thanks…for being there – Linds
He stuck the note back to the counter as he hugged Dani again, feeling her calm down enough to pull away from him. Her eyes and her nose were red, but he still thought she was breathtaking as she took a moment to gather herself. She sniffled and dabbed at her eyes, running a hand through her hair as she settled her hands on his shoulders.
"I'm a wreck, and I don't know how to do this Nico" she murmured, playing with the collar of his shirt as she looked up at him through her lashes. He wasn't sure if it was the situation or them that she was referring to, so he decided to rely on being vague.
"Just take it one day at a time, we'll figure this out. I already promised that I'd never let you down, and I don't intend to start lying now," he promised, brushing a strand of hair out of her face.
"As long as you're in my corner, I think I'll be okay," she admitted, pulling him by his coat into another hug. This time, one hand was on his back while the other ran through the hair at the nape of his neck tenderly. He sighed into her as a finger from his right hand met skin where her shirt rode up. He stroked the skin affectionately as Dani pulled back to look him in the eye, her fingers never ceasing their gentle exploration of his hair. He sighed and pulled her back to him, her head resting on his shoulder as he kissed her hair delicately. Dani pulled away completely from Nico, but stayed within his personal space as she leaned over to retrieve the post-it.
"Was I really that bad?" she asked, worrying her bottom lip as she help the note in her hand. Nico looked over her vulnerable expression and tilted his head, amusement subdued by the irresistible feel to put her at ease.
"I think your daughter is more perceptive than she realizes or gets credit for when it matters. She was fine Dani, and she just wanted to make sure the same could be said for you" Nico said, shrugging one shoulder as she stared at him with a gentle look.
"You were here for me Nico, I don't think there is a safer place for me to be" Dani smiled at him deliberately, her eyes communicating her thanks more than her words ever could. Nico smiled back slowly, acknowledging her appreciation and refraining from making light of the situation and her feelings by brushing away her praise. Taking a quick look at his watch, Dani stepped back farther and made her way over to her coffee maker. She leaned up to root around in the cabinet for mugs as Nico leisurely watched the lines of her body, welcoming the sight. He checked his phone as she turned back to him, the expectant look in her eyes the nail in his coffin tonight.
"Coffee Nico? Or would you prefer something from my vast wine collection?" she asked, her eyes dimming as she saw him put his phone back in his pocket, anticipating his excuse to leave without talking about whatever it was that had transpired between them.
"Wine would be great, I don't have anywhere I have to be tonight," he stated, his stomach warming at the general happiness that she seemed to adopt at his reply. She turned back to put the mugs away and reach for a bottle of wine, smiling to herself before turning back towards him. She slid a wine class in front of him and before she was able to pull her fingers away, the tips of his fingers covered hers gently but securely. In that moment they knew this was them making the effort to mend as many things as possible, and give new things a chance to flourish.
Like it? I hope so. Don't be afraid to contact me honestly, I'm more than happy to get to know my reviewers. Thanks for reading, bye!