Heya! Here's the first part of a Valentine's Day fic I've been planning for a while. I say planning, because I haven't had much time for actual writing in recent weeks. I'm hoping to have the rest done and posted by tomorrow, but there may be a few days wait depending on time constraints. I figure hey— it still counts as a holiday fic so long as I get part of it up before the actual holiday. ;D

Some mature content, but likely nothing beyond a T rating. Hope you all enjoy, and have a happy Valentine's Day!

xxxxx

The Heart of the Matter
Part I

"What am I supposed to do with these?"

"Uhh, wear them?"

"Wear them where?"

"Well, genius, they're boxer shorts. So I would suggest you wear them inside your jeans rather than the other way around, or I might have to arrest you for indecent exposure." Pausing, she appraised him, considering. "Not that I would mind…"

She winked at him and left, office door clicking shut in her wake.

Walt found himself a bit dumbfounded, sitting behind his desk with what could only be described as joke underwear in his hand. He glanced at the offending garment, using both hands to hold the waistband taut. At least they were boxer shorts and not… some other kind of undies that really weren't on his radar.

They were made of some sort of slinky midnight blue material, and they had little hearts and sheriff badges printed all over them. The only thing Walt could seem to wonder was, who makes this stuff? Is this the type of thing people buy on the internet? Furthermore, did Vic really expect him to put these on his body? And then what?

Vic and Walt had been on a few dates recently. Things had almost spiraled out of control on the night when they'd finally discovered how they felt about each other, a revelation that had happened entirely by accident at the climax of possibly the worst argument they'd ever had.

He'd been angry at her for being reckless on a call, going in guns blazing before backup arrived and nearly getting herself shot by the robbery suspect she'd eventually wrangled into handcuffs. Walt's deputy had not been the least bit hesitant to label him as a hypocrite and remind him of the numerous times that he himself had run headlong into danger on his own with no regard for the fraught, panicked emotions of those who cared about him.

It was right about that time that the two of them both read between the proverbial lines to get at the heart of the matter— the crippling fear that each of them had felt at the thought of losing the other. After the shouting had ceased, labored breathing and smoldering eye contact had persisted for a long and soundless moment. Then Vic's bottom lip had twitched in just a certain way and Walt had completely lost it, hauling her into his arms and finally kissing her the way he'd imagined in his waking dreams for months.

Through the frenzy of grasping hands and mating tongues Walt could have sworn he felt a shiver run up Vic's spine and right through his palm as he embraced her, enthralled by the press of her body against his own. She made a small, eager sound as her fingers scraped over his stubbled jaw and back to the nape of his neck, adding more credence to the accumulation of clues which led Walt to believe she'd been aching for this just as long as he had.

Soon just kissing didn't seem to be enough, not nearly enough. Walt had backed Vic up against the desk, lifting her onto the edge of it. They began tugging at each other's clothing, and in retrospect Walt was smart enough to thank Mother Nature for the brisk Wyoming winter. If Vic's fingers had grazed the bare skin of his chest instead of just his undershirt as she wrestled with his snaps he might have shot off even through two layers of clothing like an over-adrenalized teenager. The way she had bitten his lip and arched against him had made things hard enough— difficult enough— to keep in check.

His hand had somehow found its way up the back of both her shirts, stroking the smooth skin and trailing along the bottom edge of her ribcage. Their lips had broken apart, eyes locking as one of Vic's booted feet wound around the back of Walt's leg to pull his lower body into the cradle of her thighs. His free hand caressed the side of her face, thumb brushing over her cheek.

She said his name once, nearly inaudible. "Walt." Her hands moved restlessly over his shoulders, blazing a haphazard trail down his chest and torso. Their foreheads pressed together and she said it again, "God, Walt—" Pitched slightly higher, breath hot against his mouth. Their lips touched, featherlight, and he had been so ready to surrender to that seductive pull. Her fingers went to his belt buckle and he couldn't stop it, didn't want to, eyes drifting shut as his lips fell onto hers and then—

"Hey Walt? Have you seen what Vic did with the evidence bag from the George Crazymule case? Mathias called and asked for— Oh, HOLY CRAP."

Walt had frozen, entirely thrown by the intrusion, almost unable to wrap his head around the mere existence of Ferg's voice.

"Sorry, I… I'm gonna, uhhh… go and, umm, look for it myself."

Swiftly disengaging from the embrace, Walt turned just in time to see the younger deputy's back retreat through the inconceivably open office door. Everything had happened so fast; it could hardly have been five minutes between the pinnacle of his and Vic's spontaneous argument and the complete and total meltdown of restraint and professionalism that had just occurred in this room. How the hell could they have forgotten that Ferg was on duty and the door was wide open for anyone to walk in?

Vic had looked at him with wide, sparkling eyes, breathing heavily. She was slumped against the desk then, uniform shirt half unbuttoned and gaping crookedly at the neckline with her undershirt rucked up beneath. Her fingers had drifted up to trace across her kiss-swollen lips, eyes flickering briefly down to his mouth as if she was remembering how it had felt on hers.

After a few long moments of awkward intensity, Vic had straightened herself up and cleared her throat. "I better… yeah. I'll help Ferg look for that evidence."

Walt might have thought he'd imagined the entire thing if she hadn't reached out and fleetingly traced her fingertips over the inside of his wrist and the side of his palm as she stalked past and slammed her way into the reading room to gather herself together and get back to her duties.

That had been three weeks ago. Walt had apologized to Ferg, who had shocked him by raising an eyebrow and more or less assuring him that once the initial mortification had worn off the implications of the scene hadn't surprised him in the least. Walt found himself thinking that it might be time to further develop Deputy Ferguson's blossoming investigative skills, because it seemed the younger man had assembled the puzzle before Walt even had all the pieces.

In classic form, Vic and Walt hadn't discussed the incident, but there was a silent acknowledgement that things had changed between them. They had quietly started dating, if you could really call it that. It was more like one of them would say "So… what are you doing after work?" And they'd go somewhere together. Sometimes they'd head out and eat a meal, sitting close and having most of their dinner conversation without words.

Other times they'd end up at one of their houses, pretending they were going to watch a movie or the football game and proceeding to go at it hot and heavy on the sofa for an hour or two instead. They hadn't taken it all the way yet, which seemed to be frazzling both their nerves to some degree, but Walt wanted to do this right and that initial close call at the office had thrown him for a bit of a loop.

It wasn't that he had any desire or intention of concealing how he felt or hiding their growing relationship, but the incident had forced him to give careful consideration to his position as an authority figure, the delicate balance of his work relationship with Vic, and the implications of the out of control raging desire he felt almost every time he looked at her. It was enough to give him pause, to make his racing thoughts flash back to Ferg's interruption each time Vic reached down and tried to breach that familiar barrier at his waistline.

Vaguely wondering what a psychiatrist would make out of the fact that he seemingly thought about Ferg every time Vic tried to unbutton his pants, Walt sighed and shook his head. The underwear Vic had just casually given him were a fairly blatant reminder that Valentine's Day was tomorrow, and Walt was fairly certain she was trying to tell him something. Probably something about wanting to get far enough to actually see these shorts after she removed the rest of what he was wearing.

And he wanted that, oh, did he ever. He had plans, of the "doing things the right way" variety. Give her flowers, take her out to dinner somewhere other than the Red Pony, maybe even open his damn mouth and tell her with words how she made him feel. Then he would take her home and show her… and if these slinky, slightly ridiculous underwear were part of the bargain? He would dutifully wear them.

Mind made up, Walt proceeded through the outer office and bid a slightly early goodnight to his deputies, nodding to Ferg and allowing his eyes to linger on Vic's before giving her a wink- just like the one she had flashed to him earlier- and departing. She was on duty tonight, so there was no danger of jumping the gun and ending up in yet another delightfully compromising situation. Walt could feel her gaze following his form as he exited, anticipation for the most romantic day of the year beginning to bubble in the pit of his stomach…

xxxxx

So, what do you guys think? Will Walt's Valentine's Day go as planned? Will he wear the joke boxers? Will Vic get to have her way with him? We'll check in with Vic in the second half to discover how things pan out…

Reviews will be rewarded with heart-shaped chocolate boxes and bubbly! :D