Tree Tops and Trinkets
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
It started with a simple invitation to a Christmas party. Her friend was hosting a party at a club called 'Spy' and on the morning of Christmas Eve, when normal people with normal jobs had leisurely breakfasts with their families and proceeded to take on all the traditional celebration for this time of year, Danny was complaining to Aiden about his lack of family for the holidays.
"Aww, poor Danny, his parents are on a cruise and his sister is in Canada and he's alone in his bachelor pad, and will most likely celebrate by banging some hot chick to the theme of Jingle Bells and mistletoe." Aiden teased him ruthlessly.
Danny rolled his eyes and placed his t-shirt in his locker, "You think so lowly of me Aid, I'm surprised you haven't professed to all the world that I'm a hound dog and self proclaimed egoist." He ranted mean while Aiden stared at him with a blank expression on her face.
Stretching lazily, she countered, "It's way too early in the morning for me to take sides and make opinions on hound dogs and such, besides I'm willing to give you a chance since the new year's upon us."
Danny smiled, "So generous of you. Do I have to make any specific New Year's resolutions?" He asked, begging her to reply with something equally sarcastic.
It was Aiden's turn to roll her eyes, "You are much too smart for me to have to point out what resolutions to make, but I can make you a deal."
Danny's attention rose and he met her gaze, studying the chocolate stare with easiness, " Do tell."
"Since you are spending Christmas alone-…"
"Correction, in the arms of some hot chick-…" Danny winked and Aiden smirked,
"Shut up, I was actually painting a picture of your fantasy."
"Aww, you wound me." Danny pressed a hand against the breast pocket of his crisp white dress shirt.
"I better not kill you." Aiden replied, "At least not until after tonight."
Danny's attention returned to her earlier 'deal making', however he didn't encourage her to continue so Aiden took it upon herself to inform him of the plans.
"My friend is having a party at a club downtown tonight, I think you should get your sorry ass down there if you want to live to fulfill your ambiguous resolutions ok?" She said bluntly, however Danny wasn't fazed.
"And what happens if I don't?"
Aiden's expression changed to that one of mock terror, "Oh God forbid you don't show up." She dramatically pressed the back of her hand against her forehead and in her best Shakespearian rendition said, "I shall die a death of thousands if Lord Messer doesn't grace me with his presence tonight-…"
"Okay, okay, okay, I'll come." Danny placed his hands up in mock surrender.
Aiden returned to her usual 'no nonsense' expression, however some excitement was present in her eyes, "Good."
"Yeah." Danny closed his locker and they began walking out of the room; "I wouldn't want anyone to witness what your best effort at a mock faint to be like."
Aiden's cheeks heated at the mention of her performance and she swatted him on the arm, "You are so lucky I need a date tonight…"
"Ohh, so now it's a date. Whatever happened to me banging a hot chick?" Danny frowned and Aiden rolled her eyes, "It's no longer early enough for me to make an opinion of whether you're a hound dog or not."
Danny didn't remember the last time he was nervous but this would probably go down in history as one of the rare instances where he was. He had come home and showered, looking in the mirror he decided he wouldn't shave. With all the florescent lights and what not inside the club, no one would tell the difference. He was still a little tense when he heated up leftover takeout and even tenser when he turned off all the lights in his apartment and came out into the street.
The cab ride to 'Spy' was short which didn't suit Danny's anxiety at all, and when he came into the club, the real apprehension finally sank in. He realized this marked a milestone for his and Aiden's friendship. Neither had spent anything close to a night together outside of work.
And here she was inviting him to a club, with her friends, for Christmas Eve. He wasn't even aware that clubs were open tonight, however when he walked in, he noted that the club was transformed into a Christmas themed fairytale. Artificial snowflakes hung from the ceiling, light was nonexistent except for the garland lights strewn across the walls of the club.
On every table stood a sapling X-mass tree with a single ornament and a candle on the top. The music was loud and pulsating, people crowded the dance floor and the bar was in full swing on the right side of the club. The music proved to be too loud when Danny didn't hear Aiden call his name, until she placed a hand on his shoulder and he turned around.
To say the sight before him made his jaw drop was an understatement. He refused to give Aiden a once over, fearing it wouldn't be well taken by the beauty herself.
"Whatcha staring at?" She asked, a perfectly sculpted eyebrow arched, hands on her hips, a smile perched on her supple lips nonetheless. Luckily Danny proved quick on his feet,
"I can't stare at a beautiful woman?" He asked huskily, his voice completely different, mixed with remnants of gin and smoke. Aiden took a step back, and observed her friend as well, trying to deny the fact that her physical reaction to him was immediate and powerful, like a tidal wave threatening to drown her.
Aiden smiled at him instantly, and leaned in, "You can do more than just stare." And then turned around, walking toward her friends, leaving Danny no choice but to follow her.
On the eve of December 31st, Aiden stepped into the locker room and shed her overcoat. She opened her locker and surveyed her tired expression in the mirror. It'd been a hellish day, triple homicide at a local playground and still no leads. Frowning heavily into the mirror, she decided to pout no longer and go out for drinks with Stella and Mac.
She'd been surprised at how frequently she socialized with her coworkers as of late. The most recent development that she couldn't get over was the night of Christmas Eve at 'Spy'. Aiden honestly didn't know what professed her to invite Danny to the shindig, but she was glad that he came. After a few cocktails and a dozen dances, they left the club, sharing a cab. Her friends absolutely loved him, and he even got a few numbers from her girlfriends, however Aiden couldn't deny her feeling of triumph when he left the establishment with her.
It hadn't meant much, he had just taken her home and then took off himself, however for whatever reason she couldn't identify herself, Aiden loved the looks he gave her when they were talking to each other, and she loved the way his hands subtly brushed her hips to whatever beat they were dancing.
The next morning, when most families sat down for Christmas breakfast and little kids opened their much-anticipated presents, Aiden woke up with a hangover and sudden realization that she had a crush on her coworker.
Now, almost a week later, she was staring at her self in the mirror, trying to figure out how to best to get rid of the crease that formed in her forehead from the recent stress of working.
Just as her thoughts focused on a warm bubble bath and an I Love Lucy rerun, two hands slid onto her naked shoulders, avoiding the straps of her top, and in soft circles messaged all the knots out of her muscles; or at least tried to, because when Aiden noticed in the mirror a reflection of the blue eyed man behind her, she froze and her muscles tensed up again.
Danny hadn't realized his full impact on Aiden until he felt her shiver, and then let go, before goose bumps spread all over her body.
"You looked like you needed a hand." He tried to lighten the situation, but failed miserably.
Aiden's pained expression was a mixture of overwhelmed delight and stress. She seemed to be battling with which emotion to choose.
"Thanks." She said lamely and regretted it instantly. A slow pause breached their conversation.
"My friends absolutely loved you the other day." She said softly, studying her hands. Danny was trying to search her eyes, but she couldn't bare to look at him. It was all too much, the stupid case and the new realization, she should've seen coming.
"Yeah." He agreed, "A few of them left me messages with quiet colorful promises of a future night." His eyebrows rose but Aiden didn't need to see his goofy expression to laugh.
"Yeah, you should really think about calling one of them. They're great girls." She nodded, and prepared to search for something in her locker. Danny leaned against the row of lockers and shamelessly met her eyes. Aiden looked away. Danny was lost, she never acted so cowardly before, it was as if she was almost guilt ridden, and didn't want to look at him.
"I like how you say 'one of them', is that a warning of some sort?" He asked with an intention of joking, but Aiden took him seriously. She looked up and said, "Well we all know about your love escapades, now don't we?"
He wasn't sure if she was being sarcastic or not, because he wasn't sure if water cooler gossip in the lab concentrated on him much.
"Hey, I resent that, the grapevine is quite long in our place of work, and I refuse to fall victim to the receptionist's idea of a good joke." He pouted and Aiden's exterior melted away. Who could resist the self-deprecating charm of Danny Messer? Sadly, not anyone Aiden knew.
"I'm sure she was just jealous you never came on to her." Aiden closed her locker and leaned against it, finally facing Danny. And god, he looked good even this early in the morning.
"Oh, no, no, no, that would make 'me' a hound dog." He smiled, "Don't ya think?"
Aiden put her hand up in mock surrender, "I am not getting into this sparring match." She grinned, and then found a speck of dust interesting, on the floor.
"Hey, so any plans for tonight?" Danny caught her attention right back to him.
Aiden shrugged, "Nothing yet."
"You're boring." Danny declared, and folded his arms over his chest. Aiden rolled her eyes, "And you're Mr. Spontaneous."
" I could be." Danny murmured, flirtatious glint in his blue eyes.
"Oh yea?" Aiden raised an eyebrow. "Surprise me." She said.
Danny complied gladly, by placing a soft kiss on her lips, an overdue kiss in his opinion.
"Is that unpredictable enough for you?" He whispered against her lips.
Aiden laughed hoarsely, obviously affected by his action, "I've got a new year's resolution for you. Erase all those messages."
Danny's laugh echoed in the locker room…End