So, today’s Nickoreads post. Yes, I know most of you are distracted by the prospects of Kelly reading the sex scene with Nick. ::snaps fingers:: Focus now. Because there are some serious Eli feels in that post too. Eli meant so much to them and it destroyed a part of them forever to have him gone.
(Ty has to be in a fugue state at this
point, not acknowledging that Sanchez went and fucking got himself dead
on us, because I cried every fucking night for a month at this point and
he’s poker-facing the hell out of this)
Nick cried. For a month. Nick O’Flaherty. Nick who endured so much for all his life, been a rock to so many, was torn apart at Eli’s death. After all, it was Ty and Eli who Nick clicked with at first. Nick’s first deep friends. No, Nick fully mourned Eli’s loss. Nick still mourns his loss. Does it sound like he has completed the five stages of mourning here? No, Nick still feels the hole in his heart that Eli once filled.
(he needs to see the blood stain on the floor before it’s real. I know I did.)
“I’d just like to see it,” he answered distantly, his voice suddenly softer and almost sad.(oh no. oh no I’m not okay)
They both wouldn’t believe someone could kill Eli until they each saw it with their own eyes. They saw how durable and resilient Eli was. They are recon marines, and they all survived to be honorably discharged. Survived Afghanistan. Survived tour after tour there. Trusting each other and trusting their skills. They are so formidable. And some piss ant civilian came and just shot their friend one day.
Oh, but Eli had been shot before. No way a gun can bring him down, especially a gun shot by someone barely trained. This must be some mistake. So, Nick and Ty had to go see it for themselves. See their friend’s blood to make it real. To know one of their oldest friends was truly dead.
(oh no. no he was our brother. he called every week to talk for an hour. he called Mara mama andhe
sent me texts every night with those stupid cat pictures in them. when
he didn’t call that sunday night I knew he was dead. I knew it in the
pit of my stomach and I’ve been sick ever since. when I got the call
because I was his emergency contact, I thought it was him calling from
some hospital to tell me he’d been shot again and I was so fucking
relieved I was smiling when I answered it…… ‘pretty close’ doesn’t begin to cover it.)
Because it is hard for us who are not marines to understand how much they were bonded to each other. As Nick said,
We did three tours in Hell, and that kind of thing bonds you to a person for life. - Armed & Dangerous (Kindle Location 4624).
They didn’t just go home and go their separate ways. They checked up on each other. Supported each other. Worried about each other. This isn’t “we-were-friends-once” support, this is “I-cant-turn-off-my-need-to-check-on-you” support. They have to reach out and hear that echo back. To feel the heartbeat next to them, because they grounded each other for so long. It is almost spousal. Zane did marry all of them.
So Nick knew when the phone didn’t ring, something was wrong. Something major. He hoped it was shot in icu, but Nick doesn’t rely on hope. He hoped all his childhood and that came to nothing.
(guarantee he’s thinking about me calling to tell him Sanchez was
dead. guarantee it. I broke down on the phone, couldn’t say the words.
but he knew without me saying it.)
I doubt Ty ever has ever seen Nick this affected. Ty picked up the phone, learned it was Nick, and then heard Nick break down. I imagine Ty spun his head thinking what could cause Nick to breakdown, and Ty knew it could only be one thing. Because Eli meant that much. More than Nick’s family. More than anyone else to this point in Nick’s life outside of Ty. Only one other person could hit Nick that deeply. And, he was now dead.