They finally make it to the hospital and miraculously most of their injuries are minor and will heal with rest. The worst being that Lucy needs her cheek closed up with stitches, the gash being just a bit too deep for a butterfly stitch. So now Tim sits with her, after having been checked out himself, while she waits for them to come take care of her injury.

"Maybe I did need some protecting after all," Lucy jokes softly, looking down at her hands, but after the seriousness of the entire situation the words fall a little flatter than she'd imagined in her head.

Tim scoffs. "Maybe we both did."

She smiles at that, and feels a burn through her cheek as the muscles move. "That was… I don't think…" she sighs, realizing just how close they had come to disaster today, "I don't think if we had been with anyone else that we would've gotten out of there."

He understands. They know each other inside and out. It's come from their history, all the time they've spent together on the job, the fact that he trained her. He coached her through every interaction, every physical altercation in the early days. Keep your hands up, Chen. Don't let him get on top of you, he'd yelled even as he stood back and kept his distance. He knows her techniques, how she works, and she knows the same for him. They'd spent years riding together - first with him as her training officer and then her as his sergeant's aide. No longer training her then, he mostly let her make her own calls but he always noticed his training imprinted into the kind of officer she is. He knows her intentions well, what decisions she might make, because deep to the core a lot of them are his, too. And now in the past few months as a couple they've developed their shorthand and their understanding of one another even more deeply. He knows with anyone else they would've never been able to devise, comprehend, implement and execute a fairly successful attack plan in mere seconds with a mob coming at them.

"I wasn't trying to protect you," he notes, not wanting her to think he's following her around because he thinks she can't take care of herself. He knows she can. He's always the first to tell others so. But no cop is invincible, everyone needs back up, and the situation today wasn't a usual day on the job. If anyone was going to be her backup today, he figured it may as well be him.

"You were, a little," she teases, small smile playing at her lips to protect her muscles. "Would you have jumped at the chance to go with Nolan if it'd been him instead of me?"

He ignores her words and shrugs and she just chuckles, knowing she has her answer.

Her entire career he'd been there, for the most part, to watch over her, guide her, make sure she was safe. Once she'd was no longer a rookie, he had to take solace that he'd trained her the best he could and that she'd be okay out there without him. But then she'd reappeared by his side as his aide and suddenly they were together again. Now that they're together they're hardly ever together on calls and it's even harder now, not to be there just to make sure she's okay, to have her back in case something goes wrong, to be a second pair of eyes, ones who actually care to keep her out of danger.

"Sue me. I love you. Deal with it."

She chuckles and says, "I know you do. You were about to take on an entire mob of assailants on your own so I could get away."

He lets out of a huff that's not quite a denial and not quite an admission and lets a hand brush over her good cheek gently. "You feel okay?"

She groans. "Everything hurts. You?" she asks, eyes wide and focused on the bruise on his neck that had been a bright, angry red, but she can already tell will be a nasty shade of purple soon.

"Like we just fought off a dozen masked men coming at us with riot shields."

She laughs and then groans, holding her side where her ribs are sore. "Don't make me laugh," she chides playfully.

A moment passes before he speaks again.

"I will always worry about you. On patrol, undercover, at the grocery store," she lets out a small chuckle of understanding at that. "The same way you worry about me. I know you wait up for me when I'm out late with Metro." She blushes a little, as if she really believed her excuses like I couldn't sleep or I was reading and I just got up to get water had really fooled him. "But I know you can take care of yourself."

"Usually," she whispers softly. But the truth of the matter was, today, she had gotten to the point where she couldn't. Had he not been there to push the last guy off her, to pull her up when she was dizzy and struggling to breathe, this day could have ended a lot differently.

And she will never really hold it against him for worrying because truth is, being the partner of a police officer is a scary role for anyone, and being a police officer yourself doesn't make it any easier.

"You kicked ass today, baby."

"So did you," she recalls.

"Well. You're only as good as your partner."

She snorts. "All these years, a relationship between us, and this is what it takes?" He smiles as they sit in companionable silence for a moment.

It's not lost on her how he helped her up, guided her to safety, held her up with both his hands while they were still under attack with multiple imminent threats coming their way - the same man who yelled at her more than once about keeping things out of her gun hand.

"Officer Chen," a nurse appears suddenly, tray full of tools in her hand. "Let's get you stitched up, huh?" Lucy nods. "This part's going to hurt," she warns as she prepares the needle with the anesthetic. Tim takes her hand, holding it tightly as she winces with the burn of the injection. He continues to hold her hand as the nurse sews her up. She pays special attention to how he lightly traces patterns over her fingers, uses his other hand to cover hers and brush fingers over her knuckles, finally lifting it to his lips and placing a soft kiss on it once she's done.

It's been a lot for them lately.

Tim being involved in a fatal shooting while on duty.

Isabel coming back and stirring up all kinds of emotions - for both of them - about Lucy's undercover career.

Lucy going undercover, and they both almost died.

Now these masked assailants attacking all of Mid-Wilshire, Aaron clinging for life, and the two of them fighting off a small army, only one wrong move away from certain disaster.

If only there could be some calm for all of them after this, a little time to recover and regroup.

(It becomes clear all too soon that's not in the cards.)