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I Could Never Hate You

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Beeping… Why was there beeping?
Why did it seem so far off?
Where was he? What had happened?
Why did his eyelids feel so heavy?

Since he couldn’t seem to open his eyes, Gil tried to clear the fog from his mind instead. It took a few moments. It came back in flashes.

Going to Endicott’s to bring Jessica home…
He...h-he’d been stabbed?!
Then he saw her. Jessica was at the top of the stairs, hand over her mouth, looking on in shock.then she was gone.
He was being dragged...put into a trunk

Then Jessica was there…..they’re driving… where did all those doctors come from?
All the fragments finally fit together at that point. He was in the hospital! Jessica saved him and took him to hospital. The last thing he remembered hearing before his memories went dark was Jessica’s breaking voice, 'Gil, please stay with me!Come back to me! Please!’ Gil’s eyes shot open. He needed to find her. What if Endicott sent his goons after her? Had they arrested Malcom? He needed to find them. But despite him being able to finally open his eyes, he was still too weak to move.

Gil blinked his eyes repeatedly, trying to become accustomed to the light and take in his surroundings. With the lights off the only illumination there was coming from the small window in the door. The room seemed almost blue in hue but hospitals tended to have that kind of poor lighting. The room seemed to have someone else in it though. Perched on a chair in the darkest corner opposite to the foot of the bed. The poor light made the figure almost opaque. The person’s frame was unusually built but seemed big enough to worry Gil in his already vulnerable state. The figure seemed not to notice that he was awake but he did not know how long that would last and he still felt numb all over. Escaping was ont an option, at least until he could press the Nurse alert button or feel his feet. Gil wasn't sure how to approach the situation.

The adrenaline drove up his heart rate enough to cause the beeping monitor to draw the attention of the shadow perched on the chair. It took a few seconds to srit but it quickly became aware of the sound. However, much to Gil’s relief, the previously ominous figure was simply Jessica Whitly draped in a rather large hospital blanket. She was by his side in an instant, sitting on the edge of the bed and leaning toward him, holding his hand with one hand and stroking his face with the other, ‘It’s okay. It's okay, Gil. Shhhh. Relax. I’m right here.’ Her face displayed so many emotions but relief was definitely at the forefront. He had so many questions but his throat felt dry and closed that nothing was coming out. Jessica clearly noticed this and soothingly ran a gentle thumb across his bottom lip, ‘Shhhh. I'll call the nurse. It’ll be okay in a minute.’

Gil nodded weakly, the sight and sound of her calming him immensely. When the nurse came in she told him about his injuries and recommended he drink some water to help with his throat. She informed him that the doctor had already made her rounds but could call the nurses station if he needed anything. After a few more sentences, all which Gil did not hear because he was too focused on Jessica’s thumb stroking his hand, squeezing his large hand in her delicate one. She listened intently, the concern plain on her face. He had started to regain some of the feelings in his arms once again. On her way out the nurse flipped the switch for the light. Both Gil and Jessica squinted in response, waiting for their to adjust once again. Once this happened, Jessica removed her touch and got him a bottle of water and a straw, ‘I'm gonna adjust the bed a little so you can be more upright. Is that okay?’

Gil simply nodded and felt the bed gently raise him up. He wasn't exactly sitting but he wasn't lying down either. The felt a slight prang of pain in his abdomen, he figured that was where the wound was and if she had sat him up anymore he’d be in some significant pain. Jessica sat at his side once again and brought the straw to his lips. The room temperature water went down smoothly, reviving his parched throat. He touched her lap gently when he had had enough. Jessica put the bottle back on the bedside table and took his hand again, this time however, she refused to meet his eyes, ‘Jessica, what’s going on? Where is Endicott? Malcolm? The team?’

‘I don't know where Nicholas is. I hit him really hard and then I ran out to try to help you. I rammed the car you were in and drove you here. Everyone waited till you were out of surgery to make sure you were okay. Last time I saw your team they had gotten a warrant for Nicholas’s home and office and I told them I'd testify. Malcolm ran off not long after that. That was about three hours ago.’ Jessica informed him, still not looking at anything but their joined hands in her lap. ‘Are you okay,Jess?’ Gil asked, squeezing her hand. Jessica remained silent. Gil tried again, ‘Jess, please, talk to me…’

‘I’m so sorry…’Jessica said almost inaudibly, followed by a one or two sniffles. ‘Jessica, wh-’ Gil tries to interject but the tears in her eyes as he finally looked up at him stopped him. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen her cry. She had closed herself to that particular act years ago, drowning herself in booze and pills to keep herself from feeling anything, managing to save just enough emotional availability for her children.

‘This is all my fault. You asked me to stay in the house. If I hadn't gone over there you wouldn’t even be here. I put you in danger. I'm so sorry. It's all my fault! You must hate me for-’, Jessica’s blurted confession was cut short by Gil placing both his hands on either side of her face, holding her almost exactly the way he did when he told her the ‘Girl in the Box’ was real while in his office, gentle yet firm. ‘I could never hate you, Jessica! None of this is your fault. You could never have known that Endicott would do this. And had you come down the stairs when it happened he would definitely have hurt you too. I couldn't bear the thought of that. I owe you my life. I don't blame you and I could never hate you, Jess. Never! Please don't ever think that’,Gil responded impassioned, looking into her beautiful blue eyes to ensure the point was driven home. He needed to be sure that she understood. He could see in her eyes that his words had little to absolve her of the new cross she had placed on her back.

‘How can you say that? You could have died tonight. Because of me! Because you were trying to keep me safe There was so much blood… I thought I had lost you.. I almost got you killed-’Jessica began again, her almost hysteric spiral picking up where it left off moments ago. Gil could see he was losing her. She had convinced herself fully that she was to blame. He couldn't see another way to calm her down, so he utilized the only method he had left. Gil met her lips with hers for a soft kiss. Thankfully Jessica did not pull away, instead, after a moment of cognitive processing, she melted into the kiss. Their lips molded sweetly together, as though they had done it a million times before. Gil could feel the tension in her relax, he could even swear he had swallowed a small whimper. Jessica shifted upward on the bed and closer to him so that they were almost parallel. Gil angled his head and so did Jessica, the kiss still sweet but now with added depth.

When they both registered the increased beeping pattern of the heart monitor did they pull back. ‘I almost lost you today, Gil’, Jessica said with slight dejection in her tone. Gil simply stole another kiss from her supple lips, ‘But you didn't, Jess! I’m here. And I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I will always be there for you’ Jessica let out a sight, her breath a soft puff over his face. ‘Lay down with me, Jessica’, Gil said in what could be considered a whisper, as it was for her ears only. Jessica looked at him hesitantly for a moment but the plea written on his face made it impossible for her to say no.

Quietly she fixed her position until she was snuggled against him. Gil pulled her as close as he could, Jessica placing her hand below his wound and rested her head on his shoulder. Even in trying to ensure they didn't cause him any pain, they still fit together like pieces of a puzzle. They settled into a content silence. Gil pressed a kiss to the top of her head. ‘You came back to me’, Jessica mumbled into the crook of his neck. ‘And I always will’, Gil softly responded against her soft, brown, vanilla scented locks, ‘I always will’

Jessica thought it was as good a time as ever so to confess, ' I wrecked you new car...'

'What?!'