Love was a happy feeling but also sad. Joyful but also heartbreaking. Warm but also cold. It could lift you up but also bring you to your knees. Sometimes it was like fire, burning and spreading uncontrollably while you were left struggling to breathe from the smoke, grasping for that small bit of breathe.
Until it just ends.
She had experienced it all.
Ellie had felt plenty of the good when it came to love and those moments where her heart was full, she'd cherish them always.
But she had felt a lot of the bad too.
Brad, her first boyfriend.
"This isn't working."
Ellie took a step back at his words, her heart sinking. "W-What?"
"This-" He gestured between them. "It's not working."
"I don't understand-" Ellie said, voice cracking. "We were perfectly fine-"
"No..we weren't." Brad sighed. "Look Ellie..you're an amazing girl and brilliant..but that's the problem, it kind of makes me look pathetic when my girlfriend is so much smarter than me."
Danny, her first friend at the NSA and confident.
She found herself frozen, the words sounding like a terrible nightmare.
"I'm sorry, Bishop."
Ellie turned and stumbled away hiding behind one of the tents as she cried into her hands.
She and Danny had been partnered up for the assignment in Afghanistan, they worked well together and things had been looking up. Information had come in about a man living in the nearby village having information on Parsa, and so they decided one of them should stay at camp just in case while the other went with some of the troops they were working with.
She had went while Danny stayed.
It was all just a ruse to make it easier for an attack on the camp. Ellie came back to a disaster and wounded..and to Danny being missing until the commander of the camp walked over to her with a grave face.
Danny was killed.
Jake, the first one to really understand her and eventually her ex-husband.
Ellie refused to look at him sitting across from her at the long table, instead keeping her gaze on the papers in front of her while the divorce lawyer rambled on.
She could feel his eyes practically burning holes in her skin but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction. He would see the sleeplessness written all over her face and the pain in her eyes. Ellie didn't want him to see how his actions affected her. She was strong, she'd get through it..she had to.
Seconds later she picked up the pen, dragging it across the paper leaving her signature in its wake.
When the lawyer said they were all set for now, she stood quickly, making her exit before Jake could even process.
Ellie's heart broke in two once more when she got outside and breathed in the air. Soon she'd be divorced, the ex-wife who was cheated on..how typical.
Qasim, her could-have-been fiancè and the man who put her broken pieces back together.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, it felt like the weight of the world was on her heart. Tears slid down her face freely, just narrowly missing the card in her hand.
Ellie sobbed seeing the 'yes' on the card.
She had been so afraid of saying yes, afraid that once again she'd be left broken with a second failed marriage, just so afraid. But it was Qasim, and Ellie loved him..probably more than she had loved Jake once upon a time.
So she was going to say yes..only now she'd never get the chance and he would never hear it. She'd never see his large happy grin in response, his laugh..
Letting the card slip from her fingers and onto the floor, she buried her face in her hands and cried.
Clay, her best friend and brother.
Ellie sat on the table in Abby's..or what used to be Abby's lab, her legs curled up under her.
Her eyes were red and puffy from crying, sniffling coming from her every few seconds.
She looked up, giving Nick just a tiny twitch of her lips. He said nothing as he hopped up on the table next to her, legs dangling off.
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a pack of tissues. Ellie mumbled a croaked out 'thanks', taking them from his hands.
They sat in silence, and she figured her tears had finally stopped..only to be proven wrong seconds later as a gasp a breath left her and more fell.
Nick said nothing but reached over and gently grabbed her hand, letting his fingers slip through hers. Ellie wiped her nose with a tissue then grasped his hand tightly back, leaning against him.
There were no words to be said as they remembered their friend.
But none of it..none of it compared to this.
Her past heartbreak seemed to blend into one large gaping hole in her chest only making her feel so much worse.
In the middle of her living room she fell to her knees, hands placed flat on the carpet as her tears fell down onto it.
It hurt oh god did it hurt so much.
Ellie's body shook almost violently as she sobbed hard, gasping for air she didn't even want.
He was gone. Nick was gone.
Her best friend, fiancè, the man who taught her what real honest and true love was, the man she knew was her other half, the one who filled all her missing pieces like a puzzle making them fit together so perfectly.
Using all her strength, Ellie stood up on shaking legs having to grab the couch for support. Grabbing the two envelopes with letters stuffed inside, she placed them on the kitchen table. She swallowed the lump in her throat, a cry falling from her lips as her fingertips tracing over the words Family on one envelope and Team on the other.
"I'm sorry." She whispered, sounding strained and painful as if she hadn't talked in months.
Ellie turned to the bedroom, crawling into the middle with heavy limbs. Her head felt fuzzy and cloudy, her eyelids becoming heavier with each second that passed. Ellie forced her muscles as she curled into herself, her eyes barely focusing directly on the picture of them on the nightstand, a memory so clear even in her cloudy mind.
She stopped short, only a few feet from their building. "Nick it's pouring!"
He grinned, grabbing her hands and pulling her to him. Rain fell hard, easily soaking them both but he didn't have a care in the world about it.
"It's just water."
"We'll get sick!"
"Well-" Nick's grin softened into a smile. "I'm hoping this will be worth it."
"What?" Ellie's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"Ellie Bishop." Nick said softly, looking deep into her eyes. Ellie's heart started to race, was he- "Marry me."
She gasped. Rain, soaked clothes and sickness all forgotten.
"I'd uh give you a ring but I don't have one yet, and you know I'm no good with mushy feelings so I don't have a speech-"
"Yes." Ellie whispered, the simple short word with so much weight cutting through.
Nick's eyes widened as so did the smile on his face.
Ellie giggled, leaning into him with her own grin. "Yes..a hundred times yes."
A loud shocked laugh left her, ringing out in the empty street as Nick grabbed her, lifting her and spinning them. Her arms wrapped around his neck, their lips meeting in the pouring rain.
A ghost of a smile was on her lips before her eyes slid shut slowly. She could barely register it get harder to breathe but she didn't panic, instead she welcomed it as if it were an old friend.
A gust of wind came through the open window, causing the turned over empty pill bottle to roll off the nightstand.
Love was life..but also death.
Ellie opened her eyes to white.
Standing at the other end was him, a beautiful smile on his lips. She walked forward without thinking, practically throwing herself at him when she was close enough.
Nick's arms wrapped around her tightly and he pressed a kiss to the side of her head.
She was home once more.