Title: Baby, It's Cold Outside
Archive: If you want it, ask please!
Disclaimer: Oh the things I would change if I owned them…but for now, I must be content with borrowing…don't own the song either…
Spoilers: vague references to end of season six on, nothing specific.
A/N: My mojo has been drifting in and out lately, but she finally sat down long enough to let me finish this piece. Maybe because it's freezing cold right now. Dedicated to Julie and Claire for listening to my ramblings, and to Jackie (CSIFan4Life) for always leaving such nice reviews
"So, why exactly did I agree to this?"
Sara grinned at Nick's slight groan as she passed by him, out of the unusually chilly Las Vegas air, and into the living room of his house. "Think Nick, it's for the kids."
"I still think there's another way I can help out, no reason to torture a room full of people in the name of charity," Nick grumbled, shutting his door to the fading light of early evening and joining Sara in the living room.
Ecklie had decided that it would be a good idea for the Las Vegas Crime Lab to give back a little to the community, and had organized a Talent Night, with proceeds benefiting a local children's home; at least, he had appointed Catherine to organize the event, who promptly informed the night shift that they would all be participating. Everyone had agreed for the most part, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Warrick would be playing a piece on the piano, Greg wanted to perform a magic act, even Hodges was getting into it with a stand up routine that promised to be amusing, if not actually funny.
Sara, knowing that Catherine was not going to let them out of it, had asked Nick if he wanted to sing something with her. He had often told her she had a pretty good singing voice, and Sara wasn't sure where Nick got the idea that he couldn't carry a tune; he'd never been particularly shy about singing along with the radio, and she'd heard about Mandy making him sing for his lab results.
"Come on Nick, you don't mind going up for karaoke with me and Greg. Besides, it's not like you're gonna be up there by yourself."
Sara had to bite her lip to keep the smile at bay; Nick flopped down on the couch, and she had to admit that even pouting, he was pretty damn cute. She decided to tease him a little. "Unless of course you think you might embarrass yourself in front of the new receptionist." The perky, twenty-something blond who had been following Nick around like a puppy since she started a month earlier.
Nick rolled his eyes. "First, with karaoke, Greg is usually drunk and embarrassing himself far more than I ever could. Second, the only reason I agreed to do it in the first place was because you're doing it with me, and third, are you serious?" He leveled a glare at Sara that implied she was crazy for thinking that he would be interested in Heidi. Not that it should matter to Sara. It's not like she had agreed to do this with Nick to spend more time with him, or anything like that. And it's not like it took her a minute to actually notice the glare on his face because she had been slightly distracted by exactly how good he looked in that shirt and then tried to remember the last time he had worn it. No, she wasn't secretly pleased by the fact that he had agreed to participate because of her, and that he seemed to have no interest in the new receptionist.
"I don't know what you're worried about Nick, you're gonna be fine. We'll be great."
Nick still looked slightly skeptical, but a smile played at his lips. "Just promise me you'll wear a dress, maybe that'll distract the guys enough to keep their comments to themselves." And then, with a full on smile, he added, "Or me enough to forget what I agreed to do."
Sara rolled her eyes and elbowed him in the gut as she reached into her bag and pulled out the CD she had brought with her. Still, another wave of satisfaction washed over her as she pushed the case towards Nick, tapping it against his abdomen.
"Here, I thought we could listen to the song a couple times, get the timing down, and then try…"
Sara trailed off as she noticed Nick's raised eyebrows. "You've done this before."
Sara shrugged with a slight smile. "Hey, I needed more than good grades on my college applications. I joined choir to get some extracurriculars on there." Satisfied with her answer, Nick headed over to his stereo system, coming back to the couch where Sara had sat down, remote in hand.
She laid her head back on the couch, closing her eyes as the music started. Nick's shoulder rested against hers as he settled next to her, and Sara was pleased by the close proximity.
I really can't stay - Baby, it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby, it's cold out there
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
The second time through, Sara started to hum along softly, peeking out the corner of her eye at Nick. She noticed the look of concentration on his face as he followed along with the words in his head, and she couldn't help but think again how adorable he looked. Of course, letting her eyes drift a little further, to take in his physique, she realized that adorable might not be quite the word she was looking for. Sara divided her attention between the song and Nick until she noticed that he was now looking back at her. She closed her eyes for the remainder of the song, hoping that the pinkish hue her cheeks took on didn't reveal too much.
By the time the song ended, most of Sara's composure had returned. "Okay, you ready to try this?"
"Sure." The way Nick said it completely contradicted his affirmative answer.
"Come on, just pretend we're singing along with the radio in the car…we do that all the time."
The music started again once Nick hit the button on the remote, and Sara gave him a reassuring smile during the intro. He really didn't have anything to worry about. They were doing this for a good cause, they were going into it together, and Sara figured that most of their colleagues would take advantage of the open bar, so if Nick really had a problem with doing this, she'd ask Catherine to put them at the end, where most people wouldn't really remember who sounded like what.
They made it through the first few lines easily enough, Nick watching Sara and taking her lead. But then Nick did something completely surprising, though not unwelcome in the least. Just as the first verse was ending, Sara felt his fingers, slowly but surely slide into hers.
Sara looked down at their now entwined hands, trailing off mid lyric as she wondered what was going on.
"Aren't you supposed to get in character for something like this?" Nick offered in the way of an explanation, blushing slightly even as he brushed his thumb across her knuckles. "People are supposed to buy that the guy singing the song is trying to keep her from leaving. And your hands are kinda cold." Nick squeezed her hand once for emphasis, and Sara could feel the heat rising to her cheeks.
Her stomach flipped as she wondered exactly what else Nick would be inspired to do by listening to the lyrics of the song. The line, Gosh, your lips are delicious sprang to mind, but Sara quickly pushed it out, not wanting to get ahead of herself. It took her a minute to find her voice, still acutely aware of Nick's thumb traveling lightly over her skin. "I think that's a good idea, to get into character I mean. Whatever helps." To herself she added, definitely not cold anymore…
"It's a pretty straightforward story. I mean, you've got this guy, and he's got this beautiful woman in his house, he's turning on the charm, anything to keep her there…"
Sara wondered if anything included agreeing to participate in a charity thing that he didn't really want to do.
The earnest gaze in Nick's eyes told her that he was talking about more than the song at this point, and she felt a breath hitch in her chest. While Nick had been talking, Sara had turned in towards him, their still entwined hands drifting to rest on the top of his thigh.
Sara wasn't sure how exactly to respond to his observations, but she didn't want Nick to think she was unreceptive, so she tilted her head and smiled softly, urging him to continue. Nick chuckled, ducking his head for a moment before returning his focus to her. "She's got a million reasons why it's a bad idea to stay, but she's still there…maybe she doesn't really want to leave?"
If this was the way they were going to do this, Sara would follow along. She'd been attracted to Nick for years, but other than their flirtatious banter, she'd figured it was yet another one of her infamous one-sided attractions. She wasn't averse to dating a coworker, even if that had ended with disastrous results with Grissom almost a year prior, but she was averse to going into a relationship where the magnitude of feelings were unequal. That was a lesson she had learned last time. She wasn't out to ruin one of the best friendships she had, so instead she'd kept quiet, happy to have Nick in her life any way she could. But here Nick was, basically telling her that things weren't quite as one-sided as she thought. And if he needed to hide behind the song for now, she'd play along for awhile, if it meant that things might head into a new direction for them. "Maybe she doesn't think it's a bad idea. Maybe in the past, she wasn't sure if it was a friend asking another friend to stay, or if it was something more…"
Apparently Nick heard what he wanted to in her voice, because the next thing Sara knew, she was being cut off by Nick's lips descending on hers. Up to this point, things had been soft and tentative, but the minute their lips met, soft and tentative flew out the window, replaced by a passion that Sara hadn't felt in years. Nick leaned into her, wrapping one arm around her waist as the other became quickly tangled in her hair. Sara's arms snaked around his neck, allowing him to deepen the kiss as she sank further back into the couch.
She wasn't sure how much time passed before she was aware of anything else but Nick's lips on her own, or their roaming hands exploring uncharted territory, but eventually Nick pulled back momentarily to catch his breath. Disappointed by the loss of contact, it took Sara a minute to realize all that had happened while they were making out. They'd ended up half lying down, half wedged in the corner of the couch, not that Sara minded being pinned down by Nick's weight. His shirt had become unbuttoned, giving Sara a nice view of the muscular planes of his chest. She'd had a hard time keeping her hands from wandering over his abdomen and pectorals; even now she couldn't help but run her hands around to his back. His hands hadn't exactly stayed idle either; her unclasped bra, and the way that her top barely covered what little of her bra was still clinging to her body was a testament to that fact.
It took Sara's clouded mind a few extra seconds to process Nick's question. "Well, I was doing a little better about two minutes ago…"
"I meant, is this okay?"
She had to bite her lip to keep from smiling; it had taken her years to end up in this position, and she wasn't going to mess it up and have Nick think that she was making fun of him. Despite the fact that she had constantly teased Nick about his chivalrous nature, she found it incredibly sweet, though slightly annoying, that he would stop to make sure she was okay with what was happening.
"Nick, do you really think that I'd still be here if I wasn't okay with this?" She raised an eyebrow as she drew her hands back around to his chest and then up over his shoulders, hoping that he would get the idea that she was in no way opposed to her current position. In fact, she knew that if Nick stopped and thought about it for a moment, then he would realize that Sara would have no problem kicking his ass and leaving him behind if he had done anything she didn't want to do. Of course, she also enjoyed the fact that he seemed too distracted to think clearly, so she'd let it slide. "Anything else you want to check?"
Nick searched her eyes again, using the hand not supporting most of his weight to squeeze her side. "Sara…Grissom?"
Crap, she'd walked herself right into that one. She knew that rumors had circled about her and Grissom for years, and since their relationship had run it's course without anyone ever officially knowing about it, the rumors had never really been put to rest. Hoping he could see the sincerity in her eyes, she answered, "Over," before anticipating his next question and adding, "for quite awhile, and no rebounds here."
Nick studied her for a moment while a small smile crossed his face. "I was hoping for rumor, but I guess that works too. And it's good to know." The last part of his statement was nearly lost as he captured Sara's lips again, his hand inching down dangerously close to the zipper of Sara's jeans.
Awhile later, Sara was curled up against Nick underneath the throw from the back of his couch, her head on his bare chest. She liked the feeling of his slow and steady heartbeat underneath her cheek as she absently rubbed circles across his abdomen. With a wicked smile, she recalled how they had spent the past few hours making their hearts race, and she wondered how long it would be before he'd be up for round three. With the way that he had his arm wrapped around her, running his palm up and down her bare hip, she was thinking that it wasn't going to be long. She let out a tiny sigh of satisfaction, feeling Nick's chuckle reverberating through his chest.
"What do you say we head into the bedroom?" Sara could see the mischief dancing in his eyes as she looked up at him; he was definitely ready.
"I don't know, I'm kinda enjoying the mood music." Sometime during their activities, one of them had ended up on the stereo remote, causing the song to get stuck on repeat. "Besides, we do eventually have to work on the song…"
"Not if I distract you first," Nick murmured before trailing his lips from her cheek down her throat.
Sara giggled, enjoying the feel of Nick's lips on her skin. "Oh, you can distract me all you want, but you're still not getting out of the charity event."
"Mmm, I think I can be pretty effective." Sara had no doubt that his statement was true, but she wasn't going to give in.
"And I think I can make it worth your while."
Nick paused a moment from his ministrations. "Sounds like a challenge to me." He planted a few soft kisses against her lips as he eased her back into the couch, slowly peeling the blanket away from their bodies and shocking Sara with the chilly air in Nick's living room.
Nick smirked down at her. "Wont' be when I'm done with you."