Knowing that someone was after them wasn't new, but the fact that Jack had been taken and the captors indicated Ellie was next had him shaken to his core. He was glad Gibbs ordered them to stick together for the time being, it made it easier to keep an eye on her without anyone getting suspicious.
When Gibbs first brought up them going undercover, Nick was ecstatic. It had been way too long since he got to use his undercover skills, especially with Ellie, and he was ready to do it again, especially if it included another cover kiss. His hopes were crushed when Gibbs announced Ellie would be going undercover alone to try to draw out their suspect with Nick not far away for backup. Frustrated, Nick followed Ellie into the wardrobe room, slamming the door behind him.
“Woah there! What’s up with that?” Muttering something in Spanish, Nick paced the room before turning to face Ellie.
“Gibbs is sending you in alone.”
“Gibbs is sending you in alone Ellie! To catch this guy that has Sloane and clearly started he would come after you next! That’s insane!” Walking up to him she laid a hand on his arm and watched as he instantly relaxed.
“Nick, Gibbs isn’t sending me in alone. You’ll be there. And you have my back, you always have. I trust you. ” Sighing, Nick rolled his head around before looking down at her, giving her a soft smile.
“Always El. And you know I trust that you can do your job I just, I really wish I could be right there with you.”
“I know. I do too. But you’ll be close. And you’ll be ready to step in if I need you.”
“Hell yeah I will.” That made Ellie laugh and she pulled Nick into a quick hug.
“Now go. I need to get changed.” Smirking, Ellie mentally cursed herself.
“I could help you with that.” Nick winked making her blush slightly before grabbing the first shirt she could find and throwing it at him. Grabbing the shirt Nick laughed, throwing it back at her and backing out of the room. “Alright, alright. I’m going.” Laughing as he walked out the door, Ellie shook her head before going into the back and finding clothes suitable for the beach. When she walked out of the room she wasn’t surprised to find Nick waiting for her outside but she was surprised by his reaction.
Eyes raking over Ellie, Nick let out a low whistle. A blush filled Ellie’s cheeks as she saw his eyes darken and she swatted his chest. “Oh come one Nick, you've seen me in shorts before.”
“Well yeah but never at work. And never this short.” Walking away, she felt Nick’s eyes on her backside as he followed. Wishing they were longer, she went to pull down the legs but instead decided to play it up and put a little extra sway to her hips.
“Yeah well, there’s not exactly a reason to wear shorts this short at work.” Turning around, she had to brace herself when Nick ran right into her, his eyes jerking up to meet her face. Letting out a laugh she patted his chest and spun back around. “Now. Let’s go get this guy.”
"That's a good job Babe." He watched from the side as Ellie slapped the cuffs on the suspect. It was taking everything in him not to step forward and take control but he knew she had this. Especially after watching her kick the man’s legs out from under him. He would be lying if he said he wasn’t still reeling from seeing that.
"Don't. Call me Babe." Nick smirked tilting his head as he looked her over.
"Babe." Ellie resisted the urge to stick her tongue out of him as she mumbled a 'Babe' under her breath, leading the suspect away with Nick right behind her.
Back at headquarters, Ellie was getting changed before interrogating the suspect when Nick came in and leaned against the wall. “So. Don’t call you babe huh?” Rolling her eyes, Ellie pulled her tank top on and walked around the screen, pulling her shirt over her head as she went.
“You know I love it when you call me Babe.” Stepping into him she placed her hands on his chest as his came around her waist. “Just, not so much at work. I don’t want anyone to see our relationship and be able to use it against us. Plus I really want to tell Gibbs on our own time, because we want to and not because we were forced to.”
“I get it. I promise I do. And I promise not to call you Babe outside of when it’s just us.”
“Thank you Baby.” Leaning up, Ellie kissed him lightly. “Now. Let’s go get Jack.”
A long drive and difficult interrogation later they finally had Jack home safe and their kidnapper in custody. Packing up their bags, Ellie glanced up to see Jack coming down the stairs from Vance’s office, blanket still around her shoulders that Gibbs had placed there earlier when she was found. As soon as she rounded the corner Gibbs stood and met her at the edge of the bullpen, a hand going around her back.
“Um, thank you guys. I had no doubt you would find me.” Ellie watched as Gibbs tightened his arm around her side. “I’m just uh… really grateful.” She rubbed under her eye and Ellie felt a pang go through her heart at what her friend went through. Dropping her stuff on her desk Ellie walked up to Jack.
“I’m so glad you’re home.” Ellie pulled the older woman into a hug.
“I’m glad to be home.” When Ellie pulled back Nick was standing there, pulling Jack into another hug. They held on tightly, both knowing how it felt to be held captive, not knowing if you were going to be rescued or not. Thankfully this time Jack was only gone for less than a day but Nick knew any amount of time in captivity could bring back unwanted flashbacks.
“If you need anything Jack you let me know okay.” He felt her nod against his shoulder but when he pulled back he knew it wouldn’t come to that. It was clear Gibbs would be taking care of her. Once McGee welcomed her back, Gibbs’ arm came back around her shoulder.
“Good work. Go home. Take tomorrow off. You’ve earned it.” Leading Jack out of the bullpen and into the elevator, McGee, Nick and Ellie watched on in shock. It was clear in his words that Gibbs was more shaken about Jack missing than he let on.
As soon as they got on the elevator, McGee grabbed his bag. “You heard him guys, let’s go home. I can finally see Delilah and call her parents to bring the twins back home.”
“Oh yeah, they’ve been with their grandparents since the threat popped up.” Nick said as he grabbed his backpack, holding out his hand to let Ellie walk in front of him to the elevator as they followed McGee
“Yeah McGee. You must be missing them like crazy.” Stepping into the back of the elevator, Nick’s hand came to rest on the small of Ellie’s back.
“Oh yeah, it’s been almost a week since they’ve been home. It’s been nice spending a couple quiet evenings with Delilah but we both miss them. I bet you two will be glad to get back to your own homes. Having to spend a week living with your partner must be rough.” Just then the elevator dinged, signalling their arrival to the garage. “Well, have a good night guys. See you in a couple days." He waved over his shoulder as he walked to his car, the others throwing "bite McGee's" his way. Walking to Nick's Jeep that they carpooled in this morning, Ellie paused at the passenger door and looked up at Nick.
"I uh, I really don't wanna go home yet Nick."
"Good. Cause uh, I don't really want you to go home yet." Nodding in finality, Ellie turned back to the Jeep, getting inside and letting Nick close the door behind her. The drive to his place was silent but as soon as they got in the door and laid their bags down Ellie spoke up.
"I wanna tell them Nick." Shocked he looked at her.
"Are you sure El?" Nodding she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his neck as his came around her waist.
"I'm sure. After today I just, I want them to know we're together. To see how happy we are. Is that okay?" A smile started to form on Nick's face and Ellie didn't have to wait long for his response.
"Does this mean I get to call you Babe in front of them?" It was silent for a moment before Ellie threw her head back in laughter.
"Yes. You can call me Babe."
"Good. Then let's do it. Babe."
"Great. Bab-" before she could finish she was cut off by Nick's lips on hers, pouring all of his heart into the kiss and it didn't take long for him to pick her up and carry her to what was becoming their bedroom where they celebrated being together for the rest of the night.