Brush Marks

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Grace let Nathaniel lead her from the room and even though she didn't know what he wanted to talk about, she knew it was something important. She just couldn't focus on it past the hard pain in her gut over the thoguht of losing her aunt. Opi was just... she was the aunt that was more like an older sister than just an aunt. And since Grace had grown up without siblings (and the Vegas didn't count) it was like she really was losing her only sister. So even though she wanted to stop crying, was fighting to get the tears to ease their torrent down her face, they just kept spilling out. With anyone else around, this would mortify her, but Nate had seen Grace cry all throughout their childhoods and excessively in puberty. He'd also had the same technique for comforting her whether it be from the bullies in grade school to the erratic emotions of a teenager thinking she was in love for the first time and having her heart broken.

So it didn't surprise Grace at all when they reached her bedroom and Nate simply wrapped his arms around her in a comfortably tight hug. He maneuvered them to the bed, sat on it and pulled Grace onto his lap, all without ever taking his arms away from her. And despite what had happened just days ago, it wasn't the least bit sexual. Which was really nice. And when he started to sing a Spanish lullaby it was ridiculous and perfect.

 "Un elefantes se columpiaba, Sobre la tela de una araña. Y como vio que resistia, Fue a llamar otro elefante. Dos elefantes se columpiaba, Sobre la tela de una araña. Y como vieron que resistia, Fueron a llamar otro elefante. Tres elefantes...Cuatro elefantes...Cinco elefantes..." Nate's voice was as rich as his father's and the words of the song, as childish as they were helped comfort Grace. If a spider's web could hold innumberable elephants, she could hold through this grief. It was a stupid sentiment to cling to, she was smart enough to know no spider web could hold an elephant, but the song still helped ease that sharp pain in her gut.

"I've gone and left snot all over you're shirt." Grace said when Nate stopped singing more elephants into the song and had just kept humming the tune.

"Yeah, I figured as much. I don't care." Nate shrugged off the mucusy mess on his shirt with ease.

"You're a good man Nate." Grace mumbled against his shirt, not realizing that her words made his body stiffen up like he was uncomfortable.

"Not even close Graceless." Nate mumbled against her hair, hugging her tightly again for a moment. "I'm not even close to a good man. A good man doesn't keep important things to himself. He doesn't sleep around, lie and help..." he trailed off and Grace looked up at him, frowning.

"What are you talking about?" she demanded, knowing the part about him sleeping around. But lying? He tried not to lie to people, it was what got him into so many fights growing up. When someone asked for his opinion, he stated it, without ever trying to soften the blow. He only seemed to lie to people whenever Grace had a need for him to cover up something.

Nate sighed and thumped his head back against the wall. His eyes were closed and Grace took a moment to really look at her best friend. Normally his face was animated and alive, the lines around his eyes and mouth creased with smiles and laughter. But right now she noticed the bags under his eyes and the way stress pulled his lips tight. Some of it was due to Opi's tragic news, Grace knew that, but there was something else eating at her best friend and despite himself he needed Grace to tease lose what it was.

"If I need to bust out the bottle of Laphroig I will. It's the good scotch, that'll losen your tongue up." Grace only half joked.

She saw the corners of Nate's mouth twitch a little, though he still didn't look more relaxed and his eyes stayed closed. It made her wonder just when he was getting his sleep, and if there was enoguh sleep in the world to keep him from running himself so ragged.

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