Julia offered to take the night shift with gentle words and a small smile, grief curling at the edges as she rested a palm over his, wrapped around the armrest of the straight backed chair that had been his bed for nights now, both his neck and Nell paying the price of listening to his whimpers of exhaustion and complaints over the sharp pains running through his neck and spine, truthfully, he might never recover.
Technically a night shift was already provided by way of the nurses who sat just ten feet away.
Technically he wasn’t even allowed by her bedside throughout the night, only Granger’s grumpy loyalty and an abuse of his badge keeping him in that chair, a risky move from the assistant director with the agency already under scrutiny and Hetty back in Washington; a move that earned him a glass of scotch, when Deeks actually had five minutes of free time to pay for it.
Truthfully he couldn’t separate himself from the bedside of Kensi Blye if he tried. Seeing blood smeared on her skin after the crash, seeing her eyes shut, every instinct screamed for him to see them reopen.
A cup of hot coffee in one hand, delivered by Nell just before she drove away from the hospital with a quip intended to bring a smirk to his lips. The other gripped by Julia, more for her support than his, eyes gleaming under the dimmed lights of the ICU.
“You need a proper night’s rest, Marty. You can’t go out again on an hour and a half, not unless you want to end up in the bed next to hers.”
“I can’t exactly tell her that I let you work yourself to death when she wakes up and asks for you, can I?” Julia sniffed, rubbing a finger delicately under one eye to catch a tear that drifted free.
Quirking his lips into an exhausted half smile and sliding his hand out from beneath hers to wrap it around Kensi’s forearm, skin soft and chilly under his touch, he brought his eyes from Julia’s to her daughter’s still features, so lacking her beautiful smile or feisty smirk.
“I’ll sleep when she wakes up.”
“That would be the sleep deprivation talking,” Julia murmured, word choice oozing exasperation and eyes muddled with affection. “I’ll get you a pillow from the nurse’s station.”
A few light footsteps carried her away from him, headed away for that unnecessary pillow and hopefully a decent cup of coffee for herself, circles under her eyes certainly not imaginary, leaving him alone with the woman who just a few days before had been rolling her eyes at his remarks over Sam and Callen sharing a bottom bunk, anything to avoid the dreaded top, simple moments before the panic and blaring noise, moments before he woke half blind, blood dripping into his eyes and apparent concussion twisting every thought but the heaviness that tore at his gut, pulling him apart with the certainly that she must be gone when he first couldn’t find her body in the wreckage, though the scarlet marking her when he was finally able to lay his eyes on her again did nothing to ease that heaviness.
And it still hadn’t completely drifted away, wouldn’t until her fingers moved against his tight hold on them, wouldn’t until those mismatched eyes opened, wouldn’t until she was cackling at some godawful joke she’d created, sitting at her desk across from his.
Pad of his thumb sliding over the knuckle of the fourth finger of her left hand, he settled back against the thin padding of the chair, the heaviness of fear far worse than the heaviness of exhaustion. He’d wait.