Damage Control

A smiling, content Nell Jones rested her shoulder against the bathroom doorframe as she watched her boyfriend of a year fix the malfunctioning toilet. A shrill noise originating from her back right jean pocket interrupted the silent bliss. Quickly, in order to silent the atrocious tone, she grabbed her phone and answered.

"Hey, Eric," She greeted warmly. "No, we haven't left yet."

Curious, Callen looked up from his task. They were not due at Eric's house for another two hours. Why was Eric calling?

"What?" She asked shocked as her eyes widened to emphasis that shock. "No way! She's gonna kill him!"

Amused, Callen quirked an eyebrow. He would never begrudge her, her friendship with Eric, but when the two started talking, especially on the phone, it was hard to follow what they said. Sometimes, like this, it was amusing, other times, most time it was downright annoying.

"What?" Nell shrieked through laughter. "Oh my," She paused and shook her head affirmatively. "Yes, I totally and completely understand."

Callen finished the last bit of the task, and stood from the crouching position on the cold tiled floor. He placed the wrench on the sink top before washing his hands. He shook his head while he dried his hands as he listened to Nell alternate between; what, really, no way, nu-huh, he is so dead. He walked up to her as she continued to chat. Their eyes met and she smiled. As she leaned against the doorframe, her tank top had slightly ridden up, exposing an inch and half of her pale skin. He placed one hand on her hip the other on her jaw line.

He quickly pecked her on the lips twice before moving the hand on her jawline, to caress reverently her slightly rounded stomach. He bent and quickly gave her four kisses on her baby bump. He would never forget finding that positive pregnancy test. Just as he would never forget how he and Nell had told the team that they were expecting; each member had received a sonogram photograph of the baby, it had been Nell's idea. Hetty though had already suspected and had pulled him to the side, before the official announcement. He would always remember that conversation; it had ended with Hetty half fainting into her chair.

As Nell continued to talk to Eric, she sighed and smiled before she lovingly trailed fingers down the side of his face. He smiled, stood, and pulled her tank top down covering her skin. He brought her into his arms and hugged her before placing loving short kisses down her jawline and unto her neck.

"Hey, Eric," She abruptly stated. She bit her lip as Callen paid special, sweet attention to the spot right under her ear. "I got to go, but I promise we'll be there as soon as possible to do some damage control."

As soon as she hit end on the touch screen phone, her lips were toe curling kissed. After he was satisfied, he pulled away, looked down at her, and smiled at the way her eyes had glossed over, and how she bit her bottom lip. "Stop that or there won't be any damage controlling anytime soon."

"Damage control?" She repeated confused. Satisfied that she had lost her train of thought, he quirked an eyebrow and smirked. She playfully swatted him once she realized what he was referring. "Oh, that was Eric; remember how Deeks and Kensi were so drunk last night?" He nodded. "Well, they spent the night at Eric's."

"Do I want to know where this is leading?" Callen interrupted her.

"G," She retorted firmly as she placed her hands on her hips. "I really don't think you're in the position," He quirked an eyebrow to say that he was. She continued undeterred, "Regardless of your position as SAC, to say anything to them about interoffice dating, if they are indeed dating."

"Nell," He sighed realizing what she meant. "Our relationship is different. We aren't dating."

"Really?" Her voice had a twinge of shrill, and he winced as soon as he detected it. "We aren't dating?" She asked sarcastically. "We are together, I am having your baby, we live together. How are we not dating?"

He would never get tired of hearing her say that she was having his baby, but he had to do his own damage control, now before it got out of hand. He hated her hormones and mood swings, but because his baby caused it, he would suffer happily through most of them, though not this one; this one could get dangerous quickly. "No, we are not dating. We are spending our lives together. We're starting a family; big difference between dating."

She sighed in surrender; he sighed in relief. She smiled as she placed her hands on either side of his face. "Okay, you're right, but promise me, if something were to happen between them, you'd give them benefit of the doubt right?"

"Nell," He stated firmly. Sometimes he hated how his job carried over into his relationship with her, other times he rejoiced, because if it were not for his job, either of their jobs, they would not have met. "You know, that I can't promise something like that. They are two different people in a different type of whatever type of relationship that they are in or dancing around. They are partners; they have to be on their game." He sighed as Nell's eyes hardened. "It's different when both are active agents in the field."

"No, well, yes," She fumbled over the words before finding what she wanted to say. "I agree to concede to a point, G, but you have to realize that even if I'm not in the field, our relationship effects how I work."

"No, it hasn't. You have continued to go above and beyond your job execution hasn't changed."

"I agree that it hasn't, but I fear that eventually it will. Each case, I wonder will this be the case that I freak? Freeze when I shouldn't? If I were to freeze a millisecond giving you or any of the others the correct information, one," She sniffed as she started crying. "Or all of you could get killed. I may not be in the physically in the field, but I am always in the field, in each one of your eyes and ears."

"Nell, I'm sorry." He apologized as he wrapped his arms around her comforting her. "I've never saw it that way, but you're right."

She sniffled as she swiped away tears while she took comfort in his arms. "I hate you, sometimes."

He knew that it was her hormones, but a part of him could not prevent from feeling hurt. "I love you, always."

"I love you, forever, but sometimes," She paused when she heard him begin to speak.

"You hate me. I know." He finished her sentence. He placed his chin on top of her head as he held her and caressed her back. "What damage control were you talking about? What have Deeks and Kensi done to Eric's house?"

"How did you know that they did something to his house?" She murmured against his chest.

He snorted as he replied. "It's Deeks and Kensi. Drunk. I wouldn't put anything past them."

"Well," She drawled, snuggling tighter into the embrace. "Apparently this morning, Eric found what he described as a battleground of pranks."

"What?" He questioned, the validity of what she claimed.

"Every door handle has dried peanut butter on it and…" She was prevented from continuing relaying what Eric had told her the inebriated partners had done.

"Peanut butter on the door handle?" He interrupted her, surprised at the level of immaturity that his drunken friends had displayed.

"It gets worse." Nell murmured.

Of course, it would, Callen humourlessly thought as he decided that in the future both Kensi and Deeks would have a drinking cap to prevent incidents such as what happened at Eric's.