Quite The Pessimist (1/1)

Disclaimer: Don't own anything.

Rating: PG (language, suggestive tone)

Content Warning: Aiden/Danny

Song: "Silver Bells"

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Christmas

She stood amidst crowds of people doing last minute shopping before the eve of Christmas closed all the stores down. She didn't notice anyone around her because her entire focus was on choosing the right color for the scarf she was holding.

Black or Red.

It was a present for her little sister, and normally Aiden wouldn't be so nervous about the perfect gift, but lately she hadn't been much of a homebody. Hiding out in her apartment in the Village instead of visiting with her parents in Brooklyn. Though she knew she was welcome home anytime, something kept her away, and now with the holiday season approaching steadfast she needed to make up for all the missed Sunday dinners.

Just as Aiden turned around, a red scarf in tow and ready to step into the foot traffic, she bumped into someone, and she wouldn't have given it a second thought after apologizing, if he hadn't called her name,

"Aiden?" She froze for a moment, disbelieving her own ears, and then slowly turned around to face none other than Danny Messer.

"Danny?" Her inquiry was rewarded with a small smile and blue eyes that combed over her features, leaving a heated trail of blush wherever they went. Her body seemed to hum from the attention Danny was giving her, and even if it were only a couple seconds of silence between them, to Aiden it seemed to last a lifetime.

"Fancy meeting you here." She added, and his grin widened, then he looked around at all the people rushing to the cashier, and the store clerks trying to maintain some sort of order.

"It's a madhouse here." He looked at her again, and Aiden returned his comment with a nod and smile.

Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on ev'ry street corner you'll hear

"So…" Her voice trailed off, as she realized that she shouldn't be the one to break the silence, otherwise he'd sense something was wrong, and though nothing was, she didn't want to give off the impression that she was nervous about their serendipitous meeting.

Danny studied her for a moment, a moment longer than he should have, but he ignored his rational side, and decided to ask her out for coffee.

Aiden wasn't quite expecting an invitation of that sort from him, but she hadn't the want to say no, "Sure let me just pay for this." She showed him the luxurious burgundy scarf, and he turned around looking at the mile long line of agitated shoppers at the cashier.

Aiden followed his gaze and laughed, "Half these people need Ritalin." Danny chuckled at her observation and moved toward the line, figuring they shouldn't waste any time.

Their mutual laughter subsided and they moved up in the line, "So who's the scarf for?"

"My sister." Aiden replied, for a second wondering about his opinion on the accessory, but quickly dismissing it.

"Well, I like it." Danny complimented, and Aiden let out a hoarse laugh, "You're just saying that."

"No, I actually like the color very much, if she has dark hair and brown eyes like you than it'll look stunning on her." Aiden didn't break eye contact with him, and Danny's eyes seemed like a ray of sunshine in the stuffy and overly bright store.

"Well thank you I'll take that as a compliment." She declared, and Danny nodded, "As you should."

They fell into a much more comfortable silence than before, after a few minutes Aiden asked, "So what are you doing here, last minute shopping?"

Danny looked surprised at her inquiry and replied vaguely, "Eh, it's a long story."

Aiden folded her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow, "Got invited to a Christmas party and don't want to come empty handed?"

Danny blinked, "Apparently not that long…"

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

Their coffee ended up being a near empty café about six blocks from the mall. Aiden had complained of a headache when they exited the store, and Danny agreed that staying in the mall any longer would exacerbate his hate of any song with reference to Christmas.

Aiden had to agree, and as they walked to the café, shopping bags in tow, their conversation changed to the Christmas Party being held at their office the following night.

"Last year's was so hilarious." Danny informed her.

"Oh yea? I didn't feel like going, besides I was new and the only one who ever talked to me was Mac. I was hiding out in my lab all day long." Aiden admitted, rambling more so from lack of things to say, than to exude pity.

Danny seemed taken aback by this information, because as far as he was concerned, Aiden had always been a social butterfly at CSI, granted not a self proclaimed one, but people seemed to warm up to her pretty quickly.

"Well, it was definitely my loss for not getting to know you right away."

Aiden looked at him with a sideways smile, albeit a suspicious one, "Flattery will get you nowhere Messer." But as soon as Danny was about to rebut she added, "However, honesty will."

Danny smirked and reached to open the door to the low-key coffee shop he preferred over the Starbuck's franchise.

"Hmm, and my mom tells me chivalry is dead." Aiden murmured under her breath, but Danny was close enough to hear her, yet the intimate proximity they were in didn't allow him to respond with equal sarcasm.

He remained quiet until they made it inside. The atmosphere was cozy and the help actually looked pleased to have customers. Though it wasn't crowded Aiden was looking for just the right table, and on impulse Danny's hand dropped to the small of her back, guiding her to the table of his choice.

Aiden felt goose bumps down her spine, and heat radiating from where he was touching her, even though three layers separated him from her skin.

"Today's case was horrible." Aiden took off her leather gloves, and studied her manicure for a moment. She felt so comfortable in the armchair, only a round table separating her from Danny.

His eyes should concern, and he pushed her to continue.

Eyebrows furrowed and her chocolate gaze intensified when the waitress walked up to them. They each ordered and Aiden leaned back against the chair, basking in the softness surrounding her.

Strings of streetlights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

" A crime of passion." She sighed, "According to Flack the husband must've been a lying, cheating, manipulative bastard of the worst degree." She paused, "There was blood everywhere."

"Flack is ever the feminist." Danny tried to lighten the mood, but to no avail, "What weapon did she use?"

"Oh, this one was handy." Aiden messaged her temples slightly, and then refocused her attention on retelling the rudiments of the case, "First she gets him in his study with his high school basketball trophy, he bleeds out from the wound at the back of his neck. He manages to crawl to the foyer, leaving bloody fingerprints in his wake. Then she stabs him with a fireplace poker, then cleans up, calls the police and gives Flack a bullshit story about coming home and seeing her husband passed out in the foyer, dead."

Danny was completely entranced by her story, he didn't even notice his coffee arrived until Aiden took a sip of hers, "How'd you get her?"

Aiden blinked and then smiled, "Pretty ironic. He was cheating on her with a 20 something waitress who worked across the street from his job, and when she was getting the poker next to the fire place, in her own negligence I assume, she didn't notice that her wedding band had chipped and the fragment ended up being one of the things I bagged."

"Good work." Danny complimented and Aiden nodded her thank you, yet she couldn't remain silent on the topic of the case, "It just unnerves me." She exclaimed, catching both participants off guard.

"What does?" Danny wondered, though he had a pretty good idea.

"The way people take each other for granted. I mean jeez, it's the holidays, shouldn't they make people realize how lucky they are?"

Aiden felt immature posing this question, however she couldn't comprehend what she had witnessed at work today. Danny stared at her long and hard, piercing blue eyes tracing a path over her eyes, to her nose and then to her lips. Lips that looked quite inviting at that moment. Danny wanted nothing better to do then kiss her frown away.

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids' bunch
This is Santa's big scene
And above all this bustle
You'll hear

Instead he settled to answering her best he could, "Usually people don't realize how lucky they are until it's too late."

Aiden let out a sigh, "You know for a blonde haired blue eyed heartbreaker you are quite the pessimist."

She swore she saw Danny blush, but he quickly retaliated, "I see you love your stereotypes Aiden."

She shrugged, "Can't help it."

"It's alright I forgive you." Danny waved her off and Aiden smiled, though slowly she came to terms with what she said to him before.

"Hey." She reached over, and tapped his hand, to get his attention, "I'm sorry I put a damper on your mood. This sort of stuff sometimes gets to me."

Danny looked at her for a moment and then smiled, "Don't worry you're only human."

Aiden hadn't replied to his comment, and looked passed him, a wide grin brightening up her face, "It's snowing."

Danny turned around, and confirmed it. Suddenly the beginning to 'Silver Bells' sounded through the stereo, and Aiden turned to Danny, expecting him to groan, however when their eyes connected his grin widened.

"Shouldn't you be frowning?" She hinted on the background music, as her hand pressed up against the cool glass, separating her from catching the snowflakes in her palm, like she used to when she was a kid.

Danny smiled, his voice taking on a suggestive tone, "It all doesn't matter if you're with the right company."

Aiden looked at him, refusing to falter at his flattering remark, however when his eyes darkened, from intense blue to opaque cerulean, an involuntary shiver ran through her body.

"I'll take that as a compliment." She echoed her previous words, and Danny leaned back, watching the snowfall, "As you should." He smiled at her, and she hadn't the want not to return it…

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day…