She was shaking, small, slender frame trembling in his embrace, and the oversized couch beside the bullpen an open place for such affection, but God, he needed the warmth in his arms to reassure himself that she was here, alive, nearly as much as she needed the safety, vulnerability; she saved herself, pulled herself from that chair, but the exhaustion was wearing through.
The reality of how close she’d come to losing herself again seeping through.
And with Detective Whiting healing in a hospital bed, the truth in her head, this reality could still be ripped away as easily as every other time, the thought forcing her to reflexively grip Deeks’ arm, fingers tightening around his forearm, a strong hold that had him pulling her closer.
“I-“ Deeks shrugged behind her, shifting slightly. “The retirement went through, I don’t know.”
Nodding, she held back the persuasion of sliding her eyes shut, at least for a few more moments, the fresh pain of their loss hitting her again, for as surely as Whiting was in a hospital bed, slowly recovering, they lost a teammate there, Granger slipping away just today, the loss tingeing every victory they’d accomplished during this mission that was thrust upon them.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, voice quivering. “If things were different, if I’d been there.”
“Things could be different if I had just told the truth.”
“Maybe you’d be in a cell right now, Deeks,” her eyes slid shut, voice quiet, tame despite the venom in her words, blunt yet soft. “Everything happened, I just want it to be over.”
Just needed her life back on track, needed go find that groove she was so happily nestled into last September, falling asleep beside the man she loves each night, working a job that placed a confidence in her that she felt with nothing else, a fire that was just beginning to burn again now, one she prayed wouldn’t be snuffed out, not again.
Just as she prayed the nightmares wouldn’t begin anew, for either of them, that curse plaguing them for far too long, filling so many nights with screams and one cradling the other, willing the demons away, a crutch she’d thought perhaps was behind them, pushed away by newfound happiness, trust, intimacy.
But the demons had a way of fighting back.
Even now, as she forced her eyes open, terrified of what would find her in sleep, stricken by the grief of their loss, she stilled only when he smoothed a palm over her hair, willing her to sleep with a few words, a small promise to be holding her when she awoke.