One Way Or Another

Chapter 45

08/30/2005 Same Day Same Time

Chapter Forty-Five

Brass and Warrick both came up behind Reilly at the same moment Ally had fired and that was enough to keep Reilly standing when Nick slammed back into her from the force of the bullet striking him. Her arms automatically went out and around him to hold onto him as both her and Warrick were thrown backwards from Nick's weight. The both of them were falling with Nick as Warrick tried desperately to protect Reilly from any injury caused by the impact of Nick's body.

"Nick!" Reilly screamed as all three of them sank to the floor.

Warrick had managed to twist Reilly to the side of Nick enough so that when they fell Nick's weight was all on her legs.

Reilly was abnormally aware of the smell of gunpowder that hung in the air of the small room. Oh God! Nick! Nick was shot! All she could think of was the fact that Nick was down and she hadn't really saved him; he had saved her.

She grabbed a hold of him and tried to keep him in her arms, on her lap; anything to hold onto him, but Brass was pulling him off her and laying Nick flat on the floor. Her gaze was immediately drawn to the red stain that was rapidly growing near the center of Nick's chest.

"Nick!" She yelled again as she watched that stain spread across the front of the light colored shirt he was wearing.

Brass whipped off his jacket and folded it a couple times then placed it over the wound in Nick's chest and then he grabbed Reilly's hands to have her push down on it over the wound. As she did that, Nick let out a painful grunt.

"Get the EMTs in here now!" Brass yelled into his radio. "Vega! Call for the medevac – we need that chopper!" He was thankful that they'd called and had the chopper on standby before they'd headed out to find Reilly and the others.

Reilly felt hot all over and weighted down. Things were moving too slowly; she felt like she was trudging through water here; she was trying to move quickly, but was being held back by the weight of the water. She pushed down on the fabric of Jim's jacket while Nick was looking up at her. She could see he was trying to ground her; help her to remain calm.

She looked around and saw both John and Alley were down. Good, she thought; I'm glad they're dead. She didn't feel bad for feeling that way either. Those two had taken Nick from her and now here they were; Nick shot and herself terrified of the outcome to all of this.

She scanned the room quickly looking for Catherine, but she couldn't find her anywhere. She started to worry, was she hurt too? Then suddenly Catherine's there by Reilly's side.

Finally things; details are starting to penetrate her brain. She heard the sound of pounding feet; running; the chaos was beginning to take over the scene. Reilly could feel Catherine helping her to hold pressure to Nick's chest, her hands covering Reilly's to keep constant pressure.

Reilly could hear Brass yelling; he was doing a lot of yelling. She could see Warrick gripping Nick's shoulders as people were rushing into the cabin. But most of all she could see Nick as he locked eyes with her. He was trying to touch her; his right hand fumbling around until he locked onto her left wrist.

She could hear someone crying; she tried to tune them out, but she couldn't. The sobs were echoing in her head; the noise was the worst of all the sounds in the room. Will someone stop that crying! Please! She wanted to scream those words out loud, but she couldn't break eye contact with Nick.

Then she could see something drip and land onto Catherine's hands that covered her own and that's when she realized; it was her. She was the one crying; it was her tears falling on Nick's shirt, her sounds of sobbing that Reilly could hear… and yet knowing this didn't stop her as the tears just kept falling. She tried to stop, really she did, but she just couldn't. And worst, Nick could see she's the one crying. He slowly let go of her wrist to reach up and touch her face.

Reilly can see the pain in his eyes, his deep brown eyes as he wiped the tears from her face. That's it, she thought. I lost it the minute I looked into this man's eyes. Forget his southern upbringing, his good looks or even his charm. No, Nick Stokes had had her the moment he had focused those damned impossible emotion filled eyes on her.

Nick's hand dropped from her face to grip at her vest; she could feel the panic in his hand. She could feel him trying to pull at her vest and suddenly she knew what he was trying to do. She needed to get the vest off; he needed to touch her before his panic increased.

She pulled her hands out from under Catherine's and clumsily tore at the straps of the vest. "Help me! I need to get this off now!" She yelled for somebody to help her.

Warrick got what Reilly was trying to do for Nick and he quickly slid over to grab at the Velcro straps and helped her get the vest off. Finally it was off and Reilly grabbed Nick's hand and moved it to cover her stomach; then she returned her hands to continue applying pressure to his chest.

Reilly could feel the baby moving and knew that Nick could too now, because his panic was instantly averted. He had needed to touch her, to feel their child and know that they were both safe. Warrick covered Nick's hand with his own to keep it in place; to keep Nick calm.

Nick suddenly started gasping with each breath he tried to take and Reilly could feel his warm blood seeping through the material of Brass' jacket as it started running through her and Catherine's fingers. Both of her hands as well as Catherine's were covered in Nick's blood. He was bleeding too much too fast. He was dying and Reilly could feel that he was being taken from her.

"No! Damnit God, no!" She yelled at no one as fresh tears began to fall onto Nick again. "Nick… hang on… Please!"

She knew she sounded like a blithering idiot; crying and screaming, but she couldn't help it. Everything she has ever known, everything she has ever done to save the people she has searched for has never felt like this. This was the worst feeling of helplessness she had ever experienced. She was losing Nick and she was coming unhinged.

She pressed down harder on Nick's wound trying to stop the blood that kept flowing through her fingers. She winced when Nick jerked under the pressure. "I'm sorry Nick. Oh God, I'm so sorry." Now she knew just how useless Nick had felt every time he'd said those same words to her. "Please Nick… stay with me." She cried.

Nic was trying to say something, but she couldn't make it out. He was not getting enough air in to speak. Reilly watched as a thin stream of foamy blood started to ooze out the corner of his mouth; his mouth still moving, still trying to form words; but no sound coming out. Reilly bent down closer to his Nick's mouth.

She wasn't sure if Nick was actually able to speak the words or if she just instinctively knew what he was trying to say, but she pulled back from him and said, "I love you too Nick. But you better listen to me and listen good, science guy. You cannot leave me! Don't you fucking dare leave me!" She sniffed as she kept her eyes locked with his. "I need you, Mr. Texas – so you gotta man up here, because we need you! Twins Nick; two babies, one girl and one boy. So I need you to stay with me 'cause I cannot do this alone!"

Reilly thought she saw a ghost of a smile on Nick's lips as she felt his touch on her stomach weakening. She watched as Nick slowly closed his eyes; he was slipping away from her. She bent down again and this time she whispered something to Nick meant only for him to hear.

Something inside Nick felt Reilly's words and his eyes opened slightly as he smiled and mouthed the word 'yes.' Then his eyes dropped closed again as the EMTs moved in to start working on him. Warrick gathered Reilly up and backed her away so the medics could lift Nick off the floor and put him on the gurney to rush out the cabin's front door.

AN: Don't forget those reviews. I live for them! And only 4 or 5 more chapters left. Promise to get it completed by Monday. Have a great weekend.

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