A/N: I'm slowly easing back into the writing thing, so work with me here! Dedicated to DarkDreamer56, just because she's lovely. :)
It was a rather mentally drained Nick Stokes that passed, slightly aimlessly, through the DNA lab on a quiet Monday evening. He'd been at work for over thirteen straight hours, and hadn't left the crime lab building once. Results from his current case were still pending, and, despite his regular check-ups, it seemed that constantly questioning the frazzled tech was not the way to hurry his current case lead along. Tired as he was, he wasn't really in the mood to go home and spend another night alone; after the events of the summer, he'd practically spent more hours napping in the break room than he had in his own bed.
This did not go unnoticed by his co-workers, but they didn't push him; when Nick wanted to open up, he would, and in the mean time, he seemed to be coping, so they let it go. As his therapy progressed, they were sure that he'd be okay eventually, and in the mean time, they were going to support him in whatever way they could.
Nick waltzed through the DNA lab and into A/V, where a cringingly perky Archie waved enthusiastically as he walked past. Making his way down to Ballistics, if only for something to do, his path crossed Warrick's, who smiled wearily at him.
Nick grinned good-naturedly. "Long day?"
"Just getting off a double, and, whoa, am I exhausted." He exhaled noisily. "Surprisingly quiet night, actually – Griss let Catherine off early, and I'm thinking I might stop off for dinner with Tina before I crash."
Nick nodded, glancing behind Warrick. "Anyone else around?" The hallways were, apart from the hum of electronics on either side, almost silent.
"Uh, Grissom's still in his office, doing one of his bug things for that Clayton guy from days… who's talking to Bobby, I think. Other than that, the place is pretty quiet. Oh, and I think Sara's here, taking a 'break', if I dare use the word in a sentence about her." The two exchanged a smirk. "Probably reviewing her case file."
A smile began to creep further across Nick's face, and he suddenly knew exactly where he was going. "Cool. A'ight, man, have a good night." He patted his friend on the shoulder as they went their separate ways.
Sara was deep in thought, her finger tapping her pen as she pored over her file, and didn't even look up from her pages of notes when she heard the break room door click open. She only finally managed to pry her eyes away from the case photo she'd been examining when a warmly familiar voice across the room addressed her.
"And hey to you, too, Sara." Even Nick's obvious fatigue couldn't mask the playful quality his voice always maintained.
She looked up, grinning sheepishly at him. "Oh, I'm sorry. Clayton has been in here at least half a dozen times tonight, asking me if I want coffee, or a soda, or dinner, and eventually I figured it most polite to ignore anyone who walked through the door." She paused, then smiled sweetly. "Hey."
Returning her grin, Nick moved around the bench top, making coffee for himself. "You're not on call tonight?"
"Nope. And, maxed out on overtime, so I thought I might as well put my time stuck in here to good use. My body clock is so messed up that I won't be able to sleep for at least another eight hours, anyway." She finally closed her case file, placing it on the table in front of her and smoothing out her hair. "What about you?"
"Very quiet night, actually. My overtime's pretty much up, too, and the only thing I can work on with my case involved a set of DNA results that, according to Mr. Happy at the lab, won't be done until morning."
Sara nodded understandingly. "So why don't you go home?" An awkward look spread across Nick's face, and she instantly wished she could take her question back. She forced a gentle smile instead. "Okay, that was really hypocritical of me."
Nick chuckled. "I wasn't gonna say anything, but…"
Scraping her chair back, Sara walked over to the fridge beside Nick, her brow furrowing as she studied its contents. "There is no food in here."
"What, maggots not your thing?"
She smirked, her head still poked inside. "I'm just grateful that you're kidding… this time." She sighed, pushing the door closed and crossing the room to the TV. "You wanna watch something?"
Nick followed her, sitting down on the couch beside her as she grabbed the remote. "I don't think there's much on. I skimmed the TV Guide earlier, and we don't get any decent channels here anyway."
"Yeah… we need to talk to Ecklie about that."
"Agreed." They sat in silence for a moment, as images flicked across the screen. "Do we get any movie channels here?"
"Just one, I think. There's not much on it tonight, though. Well, some movie, Scream, or something, is on at midnight, but that's about it."
"Hmmm. I could do Scream. I love that movie."
Sara's expression didn't change. "Never seen it." She only drew her eyes away from the TV when Nick nudged her knee with his, his eyes wide.
"You've never seen Scream?"
Nick's bewilderment was evident. "God, Sara, where have you been? It's the classic '90s horror movie!"
"Well, excuse me for not being up with all your media must-sees." She rolled her eyes jokingly at him, hiding a smile behind her hair.
Nick smirked at her. "That's it. We're watching Scream." He raised an eyebrow at Sara's facial expression. "What?"
"Uh, I'm really not that into the whole horror genre. Not a big scary-movie person, really. I saw The Exorcist at a sleepover when I was eleven, and… well, it pretty much put me off horror movies for life. Nightmares." She shrugged.
"Awww, Sara." Nick chuckled as put arm around her shoulder. "You can handle being a CSI, but you can't watch a scary movie?" He squeezed her a little as her face reddened.
She shrugged apologetically again. "Everybody has their something. It's just… I mean, I'm sure I'd be fine… it was years ago, but… y'know…" She drifted off, fiddling with the remote in her hand.
Nick smiled. "You'll be fine. If you don't like it, we'll switch it off, okay? And I'll be right here. A little sleepover of our own, to kick the old sleepover's ass." His face suddenly lit up more than Sara had seen it do for months. "You know what we should do? We should have a sleepover."
Sara burst out laughing. "What are we, in the fifth grade? Are there going to be cookies and pillow fights, too?"
Nick laughed too, shrugging. "Hey, I'm in if you are."
She looked at him disbelievingly. "You're serious?"
"Hell yeah!" He swung his arm up from around her and walked over into the kitchen area. "There's always microwave popcorn in these cupboards, and we have sodas…" He opened one cupboard, gasping dramatically as he turned around, brandishing a squishy plastic package. "And look what I found…"
She blinked and raised an eyebrow. "Marshmallows…?"
Nick groaned in exasperation. "S'mores, Sara!" He marvelled at her blank stare. "Did you never go camping as a kid?"
"Uh, no, not really."
"Oh, Sar, you haven't lived! If we can locate some graham crackers, and grab a candy bar or two from Greg's not-so-secret stash, we're golden."
A giggle longing to escape Sara danced in her eyes instead as she crossed the room, her voice half teasing Nick, half mocking him. "Well, guess what? I think I have a box of crackers in my locker." His joyous expression was enough to make her splutter with laughter. "Do you realise how pathetic this is?"
"Okay, try telling me it's pathetic after you've had s'mores." He shooed her out the door. "Now, go get your supplies. I'll sort everything out in here."
Sara burst back into the room a few minutes later, an embarrassinghint of a flushed excitement across her usually pallid complexion, and the small abundance of items in her arms a clear indicator that she'd come back with more than she'd intended to. "Okay, so,I was on my way back, when I realised that the sofa isn't exactly optimum comfort, and I remembered the sleeping bag Grissom shoved in the supplies closet a few summers ago. It looks okay." She placed all her newly found objects on the table as she spoke. "I also grabbed my camera, and a couple magazines I found in my locker, and a flashlight." She looked impressed with herself.
"Oooh, flashlight, huh? For telling spooky stories?" He narrowed his eyes at he accusingly. "You're even more into this than I am, aren't you?"
"Tell anyone, and you're dead."
"Well, that depends on who wins."
"Wins at what?"
"Twister, of course." She looked him in the eye, amused as he tried to hold a straight face, finally losing it and cracking up, leaning on the table. Sara sat down, giggling.
"I thought… you were serious." She gestured at the radio on the bench behind him. "By the way, the second you suggest a dance contest, I'm going home."
"Deal." He ripped open the bag of marshmallows he still held in his hand, and gestured for her to join him. "Now… let's get busy."
A/N: Stay tuned for part two, up as soon as I find a perfect procrastinatory moment when I really should be doing something else. :)