Accidents on Purpose
Author's Notes: There's no real point to this story, so if you're looking for deeper meanings, this isn't the place for you. There is, however, lots of flirting between Sara and Nick, though I'm not sure if it's exactly over the line into ship, it's still probably as close as I'll ever get.
"Nothing like flirting over a D.B."
-- Nick Stokes, Bully for You.
Sara Sidle took a deep breath and entered the locker room. Nick was just pulling his shirt down over his head, and she leaned up against the locker with a smug grin, admiring the view.
Nick grinned too, as he smoothed the t-shirt down, without looking over at her. "Can I help you with something, or are you just here to enjoy the show?"
Her grin grew a bit wider. She loved playing this game. "I wanted to talk with you, actually." She paused. "The show's just a bonus."
He laughed and sat down on the bench, reaching down to tie his shoes. "You know, you always seem to show up when I've got my shirt off, but every time I walk in on you you're fully clothed."
She crossed her arms. "As it should be," she said, the smug grin returning.
"A double standard, Sara. I'd expect better from you." He started tying his other shoe."What did you want to talk to me about?"
"I went out with Hank," she said, and then winced. "It didn't go well."
"Hank the guy you were flirting with when we picked up liquid man?" Nick asked, pausing and then smiling over at her. "Good for you. I always thought crime scenes were the best place to pick people up."
Sara stepped forward and gave him a playful shove. "I'm trying to ask for help here."
He frowned and sat back up when he finished with his shoes. "Help with what? Trouble in paradise already?"
Sara winced again. "It was a disaster. I did everything wrong."
"Tell me you showered first," Nick said, hiding a grin. Sara resisted the temptation to shove him again.
"Yes, I showered first. I just kind of pushed him into the bushes when he went to kiss me goodnight."
Nick gave a startled laugh, nearly losing his balance and falling off the bench himself. "You did what?"
She glared at him. "This isn't funny, if all you're going to do is laugh--" Sara spun on her heel, but before she could storm out the door, he caught her wrist and pulled her back.
He flashed her his most sincere smile, and released her wrist as he got to his feet. "I'm sorry," he said. "I know, it isn't funny. It's just--how did that even happen?"
Sara bit her lip. "I just leaned forward…too quickly, I guess. And he lost his balance and fell off the porch." Nick looked dangerously close to laughing again, and Sara prepared to leave if he should lose the battle.
"Well, that could happen to anyone," he said. He meant it could only happen to her, but Sara was grateful he was trying.
"He's not going to call me, is he?" Sara asked tiredly.
Nick shook his head disbelievingly. "He'd be stupid not to." Sara beamed at him, warmed by the compliment, before Nick ruined it by continuing. "He should just bring a helmet next time."
Sara spun on her heel again, and Nick rolled his eyes and pulled her back. "Come on, Sara, where's your sense of humor? You have to laugh at yourself, or it will be over before it starts."
"I have no problem laughing at myself," Sara said primly. "I could do without you laughing at me."
Nick smiled beatifically. "Okay. Sorry. Are you sure you want my advice?"
Sara sighed. She wasn't good at taking criticism, but it was the only way to improve, so she pushed down her pride and nodded. "Yes."
Nick took a step closer. "You have to back off, don't be so forward. You can't let him know he's holding all the cards."
"I am not forward!" Sara hissed.
His grin turned lopsided. "Sara, ask anyone, they all know you got a thing for him. You can't be so obvious. You'll look desperate."
"Desperate! Oh, I should have known better than to--"
Nick cut her off, unconcerned by her ranting. "Look, you can't plan these things. They have to be natural, accidental, or at least look that way. You can't force it. Let me show you--" His eyes flickered towards a pen sitting on the bench beside them. "Hand me that pen."
"Why?" she demanded, suddenly suspicious.
He sighed impatiently and held out his hand. "The pen, Sara." She crossed her arms, trying to get him to give into her, but after a minute, she finally broke the staring contest and moved to reach for it, just as Nick gave up too, and went to reach for it himself.
They moved in at the same time, and when he bumped her she tipped off balance just as her fingers closed around the pen. If his hand hadn't shot out around her waist, she would have fallen. This close, she could smell his aftershave, and she felt suddenly out of breath.
"What did you want the pen for?" she whispered, her voice catching on the words.
He grinned at her and suddenly let go. She stumbled a little and her back hit the wall. He placed his hands on either side of her head, and leaned in. "If you don't know," he whispered. "I didn't do it right." Then he grinned at her, like nothing had just happened at all, and after pulling on his jacket he left the room.