Two weeks after Nate had been brought into the hospital they were all in the room with him when he finally opened his eyes. He had remained in ICU for two days and then had been moved to a private suite. He was healing well but had not woken up yet until then. Nate opened his eyes to see his wife leaning over him smiling down at him.
"Sophie…" He croaked out. His throat was sore and his mouth dry.
"Oh Nate welcome back my darling." She said leaning in to give him a sweet kiss.
Nate smiled up at her and then cast his eyes to his other side seeing Parker and Hardison smiling at him and then Eliot at the foot of the bed.
"Did we stop him?" Nate asked his Hitter.
"Yeah Nate we stopped him." Eliot told him.
"Good, good…" Then he looked back to Sophie taking her hand in his. "I am sorry." He said then he closed his eyes and fell back asleep.
"That's ok Nate, that's ok, you are back with me, with us, and that is all that matters." Sophie said to the sleeping man squeezing his hand gently.
Nate remained asleep for another day before waking. He found Sophie still beside him and the others spread out around the room, Eliot stood at the door his eyes firmly fixed on the Mastermind.
"Nate…" He heard Sophie say then felt her hand on his forehead.
"Sophie." He said looking up at her. "God I missed you." He said lifting his hand and cupping her cheek. "I love you Sophie Ford so very much."
"I love you Nate." She said leaning in and kissing him gently.
"We…don't ever do that again Nate." Hardison said standing next to the man. "I can't do that again."
"I am so sorry guys, but I had no choice."
"We know." Sophie said laying his mind at rest. They were not angry with him, they understood.
"Just don't ever leave us again." Parker said softly taking his hand in hers and squeezing it tightly. Nate just smiled up at her and nodded.
"Harold?" Nate asked looking at Eliot.
"In custody." Eliot told him.
"I need to speak to John Paton." Nate said and he could hear Sophie's snort at the mention of the name. "Please Sophie I need to see him."
Sophie looked at Nate and then at Eliot and nodded her consent. She for one did not want to see the man ever again but understood that Nate needed to see him. Eliot picked up his phone and dialled Paton's number informing him that Nate wanted to see him.
"He'll be here later this afternoon, he is still doing some clean up at the power plant." Eliot informed Nate.
"Thanks." Nate said his eyes hooded. He was still very weak and was tired. He felt the pull of sleep and heard Sophie telling him to rest and sleep that they would talk later.
Four hours later John Paton walked into the room to be met by a still obviously angry Sophie and the three other members of Nate's crew. Nate looked up from his bed and smiled as he saw the man.
"John." He said holding his hand out which John took.
"Nate, it is so good to see you alive and well." John said softly.
"Thomas and Sucas?"
"Thomas has his daughter back and Sucas his wife. You did it Nate, I don't exactly know how but you did." John said.
"What are they going to do with Harold?"
"I don't know, he is now in the custody of the Federal Government, what happens now is anybody's guess." John said but he and Nate knew that the man would never see the light of day again, not after what he had done.
"How did you know?" John asked curious as to how Nate had figured it out when he worked with the man for months and had no inkling that is was him behind everything. "Why did he want you involved anyway?"
"According to him he did not want any other government agency interfering so he convinced them that I was the only one who would be able to get to Thomas and get the information he needed to stop the threat, he needed somebody from the outside that could take the fall for not succeeding in stopping the attack, that way it also proved that the country did not have the resources is needed to stop future attacks. As for knowing it was him, well the signs where there and the timelines fit." Nate said looking at John and smiling. "I am just glad it is over."
John looked at him still not quite understanding how Nate had figured out it was Harold but also realising that that was all the man was going to say about it.
"Well then this is goodbye Nate." John said getting the feeling that he should leave.
"Yes John and thank you."
"For doing what you do, we need people like you to keep this country safe." Nate said holding out his hand again.
"If I need you again…"
"You will call and ask." Nate smiled at him feeling the eyes of all this people on him.
"Of course." John said then left them alone.
"So when do we go home?" Nate asked looking at Sophie.
"Not until the doctor says you can."
"Not a minute earlier. I lost you once Nate and I never…" She swallowed hard pushing the emotions back. "Never what to go through that again so you will stay here until the doctor says you can go home and then you will follow instructions to the letter, you will look after yourself."
Nate looked from her to the others seeing the same thing in all their eyes. They must have gone through hell he thought, and he owed them even if it was not his fault.
"Ok my darling, anything you say." He smiled at her pulling her to him for a kiss and then laying his head back again.
"Good, now you get some rest. You lost a lot of blood you need to get your strength back."
"Yes ma'am" He smiled then drifted off to sleep with Sophie holding his hand and his team surrounding him keeping him safe.
She watched him as he slept. Nate would have to slow down now, his heart remained weak and the embolism would have long term effects. He would be on medication for that from now on. She was not sure how they were going to make him take care of himself, but if anybody could they could, he would do anything to protect them, even if it was from himself, he had proved that on many occasions. She never wanted to lose him again and if he did not take care of himself he was in danger of sudden death and that she was going to prevent at all costs.
"We will make him take it easy Sophie, he will do it, for you, for us." Eliot said reading the woman's thoughts but even as he said it he knew it was not going to be that easy. This whole thing may still cost the man his life in the long run.
"We will try." Sophie said softly looking at the Hitter. "We will try."
Well that is the end of the story. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please let me know if you did, I love getting feedback from my readers.