This was such a beautiful scene, beautiful because it was just so real. From Elena’s little shift in the first gif to make Nate more comfortable, to her patting his hand in the sixth, this is how a wife comforts her husband. From the way his head just limply lays there when she shifts to the way he briefly touches her fingertip first before taking her whole hand, this is how a husband leans on his wife.
Nate has surely apologized to Elena before, but when he says “I’m sorry” here, it’s the first time he says it with the gravity of understanding; it’s the first time he means “I’m sorry I’m so broken inside, and that my ragged edges sliced you open.”
And when Elena says “I know”, what she really means is “I know you, Nate, and I accept it all, the good and the bad, all of it” and as anyone who never believed he deserved that kind of acceptance knows, those words are so much more powerful and comforting than a simple “I love you”.
This is how two people with so much history and love between them, and yet so much hurt too, come together once more—how two trajectories dovetail together not out of fate but out of choice and forgiveness—and when that happens, explanations don’t matter, because the body already knows. The words aren’t irrelevant, per se, but they aren’t the point of it, because two hearts already knew what the other always needed to hear.
This isn’t just the best-written game in the series. This is one of the best-written games of all time.