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Runnin' Just in Case

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Walking in the door, Nick sighed and dropped his keys on the table. He hadn’t seen Ellie since this morning when he watched her walk up the steps to Jack’s office. She still hadn’t come down when Gibbs came in with the typical “grab your gear” and didn’t hear anything until later when Gibbs said something about Jack giving her the day off. 

As soon as he sat down his phone pinged with an incoming text message. 

“Sorry for being MIA, I had something I needed to do. Be home soon. ILY - El”

Frowning, he reread the text message. It sounded eerily similar to one he received almost two years ago, not long after they started dating - right after they had their first fight. 

 

Following right behind Ellie, he had to hold a hand out to stop the front door from slamming in his face. She was fuming and had been since he pushed her out of the way of a car while they were chasing a suspect, getting hit himself in the process. As soon as they were back in the office she pulled him into the bathroom, making sure everyone else was gone before locking the door and turning to face him. 

“Nick! What the hell was up with that?!” Her eyes were wild as she stared at him, one hand on her hip and the other running through her hair. 

"I was protecting you Ellie!" 

"Well news flash Nick, I'm a federal agent, I can protect myself!" 

"You're my girlfriend Ellie, it's my job to protect you!" She jumped back like she had been slapped. As soon as the words came out of his mouth he knew that was the absolute wrong thing to say. "Ellie, wait that's not what I meant." Reaching his arm out to cup her elbow he felt a pang go through his heart when she stepped back from him, holding up a hand to stop him from getting closer. 

"No. Just because we're dating now Nick doesn't mean you can do this. I uh… I need some time." Spinning around Ellie stormed out of the bathroom, briefly stopping by her desk to grab her bag and tell Gibbs she needed to take the afternoon. 

It took Nick a minute to break out of his daze but when he did he took off at a sprint. "Ellie!" He barely saw her blonde hair enter the elevator and leaned against his desk in defeat. Suddenly he felt a stinging against the back of his head and spun around, looking up in shock at Gibbs. 

"Ah hell Torres do I have to do everything here?" Staring at Gibbs Nick was speechless and the older man spoke again. "Well what are you waiting for, go after her." 

Not needing to be told twice, Nick ran down the stairs, hoping to catch Ellie in the parking lot but he was too late, her truck was already gone. Taking Gibbs words as permission he jumped in his Jeep and sped away, driving to the first place he thought she would go, the library. 

After driving around for three hours with no luck Nick sighed and dropped his head down on the steering wheel. This was the very reason he was afraid of getting into a real relationship - he always messes things up. In defeat he drove back to his apartment that was more like theirs since she had been living there for seven months now. 

They had only been dating for three months and he really didn't want things to end, especially this way. He wanted marriage, kids, everything with her. 

Walking in the front door he dropped his keys and bag in the hallway and made his way over to the couch. As soon as he dropped down onto his side, he couldn't bring himself to sit in her corner, he felt his phone buzz in his pocket with an incoming text. 

“Sorry for being MIA, I had something I needed to do. Be home soon. ILY - El”

Reading the last three letters he felt a smile cross his face. Ever since they said I love you they always ended their texts that way and she included it now which must mean everything's okay. 

 

He was broken out of his memories by the front door opening and he poked his head up over the couch to see her come in. 

“Hey Babe? Everything okay?” Walking around the side of the couch she dropped down next to him, curing into his side as his arm came around her shoulder. 

“Yeah. I uh, I talked to Jack and she said that I keep having these dreams because I never forgave Jake for what he did.”

“Ellie that’s ridiculous.”

“Actually it’s uh, not that ridiculous. I uh, may not have told you completely about my nightmare last night. You know how usually my dreams start out with Jake asking me to trust him?” Nick nodded, squeezing her shoulder lightly in support. “Well uh… this time it was uh, it was you. You were the one asking me to trust you because you were the one that cheated.” A look of horror crossed Nick’s face as he leaned back. 

“Ellie I promise, I swear to you I would never -” Turning to face him Ellie placed a hand over his. 

“I know Nick. I know. I have no doubt that you would never cheat on me. You’re a good man Nicholas Torres.” To drive home her point she leaned forward, kissing him gently. “And even though I know that the dream shook me more than I realized which is why I freaked out so much. And why I took Jack’s advice. I went to Jake’s office today and forgave him.”

“El.” 

“No it’s okay Nick. I’m okay.” Cupping his cheeks in her hand she made him focus on her. “I forgave him because I needed to for myself, but also because I realized if it wasn’t for him cheating we might still be married and that means I wouldn’t have this chance to be with you. Because I love you so much Nick and being with you, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.” 

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been too Ellie.” Not able to wait any longer Nick leaned forward, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her deeply. Her hands immediately started wandering under his shirt, tracing the tight muscles that she loved so much before finally sliding his shirt. She was just getting ready to start undoing his belt when he pulled back, drawing a pout from her. Nick stood up then, earning a whine from Ellie until he leaned down and picked her up. 

“Nick!” She let out a screech as he started carrying her bridal style into the bedroom where he laid her down gently on the bed, covering her body with his. Things quickly changed from fast and frenzied to sweet and slow when he placed soft kisses on her forehead, cheeks, and nose, before finally found her lips again.

“I love you so much Ellie.” She melted into him at the words. 

“I love you too Nick. SO much.” Leaning up she met his lips with hers, quickly getting lost in each other.