Erica had gone to the gate before Derek. She wanted to use the bathroom before they boarded, and felt like she needed to call her friends back home that she would be arriving a little later than scheduled.
She screed through her contacts until she found the one she was looking for, and hit dial, sighing as it went to VoiceMail.
“Hey Is, it’s me. I’ll be at LAX a little later than planned. Shit happened and I’m on another flight. But oh my God, you won’t believe this guy that helped me out. He’s completely gorgeous, and its just ridiculous! Anyway, gotta go. See you soon!”
She ended the call and hoisted her bag over her shoulder, turning around to see Derek standing behind her, and it caused her cheeks to flare up.
“No, you don’t,” Theresia muttered, trying not to let any of the pain show on her features. Really, she had not expected nor wanted to let anyone, particularly someone she knew see her in such a humiliating state, but Gilen of all people? “They are only bruises, it is nothing, really.”
Sam gave Natasha a tired, yet withering look as he shuffled into his kitchen. “Are you going to sit like that on my counter all day?”
She put her mug of almost-melted strawberry cheesecake ice cream down on the counter and raised her eyebrow. “Malinovka, I told you, if you needed anything you could just call me.”
“The surgery was a day and a half ago,” he reminded her, reaching over her head to snatch of mug of his own from the cabinet. “The anesthesia’s worn off. I think I’ll be fine.”
As he lifted his arm, the hem of his shirt rose just enough that she could see the faintly rust-stained bandages plastered over the right side of his midsection. “Well, you can think all you want, I’m not leaving until I’m completely sure.”
She saw him pause mid-reach, then sigh. His right arm dropped to his side, then he lightly squeezed her forearms. “Doesn’t the Black Widow has more important things to do than to look after a guy that got his appendix out?” There was a smile in his voice.
“Too bad,” she murmured, threading her fingers through his. “You’re important, too.”