Summary: What is Mandy short for? Mandy meets Nick at a bar after being ditched by an acquaintance. A Nick/Mandy one-shot.
Disclaimer: I don't own CSI.
What's in a Name?
"Hey, what's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"
Mandy smiled as she recognized the voice over her shoulder. She turned on the bar stool away from the bottle of beer she had been nursing. "Oh you know the old story: Girl goes out with friend. Friend meets boy. Friend gets laid. Girl gets ditched." She tried not to sound more breezy than bitter.
"Ouch, some friend." Nick gave a sympathetic smile as he sat on the stool next to her and ordered a beer for himself.
"Yeah, well she is more of a daughter of a friend of my mother who happens to be in Vegas this weekend and my mom said, 'Oh you just have to see Mandy while you're there' so she called and we spent all of twenty minutes together." She took a quick swig, "I've only met her once before."
"Well here's to meddling mothers." They clanged bottles and then each took a sip.
"So what are you doing here?"
He thought for a minute, "No, just long."
She nodded a couple times, "That's good. I mean that it wasn't bad."
He caught the smile she gave, and he quickly returned it.
They fell into casual conversation for a bit as they finished the original beers and then ordered another round.
"You know what's strange?"
"Lots of things," she deadpanned
"Funny. No seriously, we have worked together for how long?"
Mandy shook her head, "Uh…about eight years," she shrugged.
"Eight years and yet we know very little about each other."
Mandy took a long drag from the bottle, "Is there something you want to know?"
"I don't know. Is there anything about me that you want to know?"
"Uh-ah, this is your game you go first."
"Alright, where were you born?"
"Ann Arbor, Michigan."
"Is that where you grew up?"
"No, my dad was in med school at the University of Michigan, so we stayed until he finished his residency and then moved to Seattle, but we moved a lot when I was a kid. I didn't really grow up in one place. What about you?"
"Born and raised in Dallas."
"How boring. Is that why you came to Vegas, for a change?"
"No, I wanted to get away from my family's influence. Both my parents work in the system: Dad's a judge, Mom's a public defender."
"No pressure there."
"Exactly." He took a long swig, "I wanted to make my own way and not live in someone else's shadow."
"I can understand that."
"Like I said Dad's a doctor, and Mom's a teacher."
"So why did you move around so much?"
"My parents got bored with their surroundings easily, and when they did we packed up and moved to a new city. They weren't exactly conventional; just ask my sister Shilo or my brother Oslo." Nick squinted his eyes in a silent question. "Neil Diamond song and Norwegian city."
"Oh," he nodded in understanding. "How did you get away with Mandy? Oh wait you weren't named for Oh Mandy were you?" He didn't even try to cover the snicker.
"No," she rolled her eyes. "Mandy is short for something else."
He waited, but when she didn't continue he asked, "What?"
"You're not getting off that easy, what is Mandy short for?"
She just eyed him as she empted her bottle.
"We're not going there." Just then a man bumped into Mandy, spilling part of his drink down her back.
"Sorry," he laughed as Mandy didn't even try to hide her annoyance.
"It's getting crowded in here," Nick said as he finished his drink as well. "You wanna go for a walk?… It looks like you could use some air."
"Yes I could," she said as she glared at the klutz making his way across the room,
As they made their way out the door Nick's hand fell to the small of Mandy's back. He was slightly behind her, missing the bashful smile that graced her lips.
Once outside they walked towards the strip, "You know you're not off the hook, right Amanda?"
She shook her head with an innocent smile as they continued to walk. "I wouldn't even try, you'll never get it."
"What's in it for me?"
"Seriously, you're trying to figure out one of my secrets, what do I get?"
"I'll tell you my name."
"Thanks Nicholas," she said sarcastically.
"See you got it on the first guess!"
"Nice try, but no."
"Alright." He conceded before thinking for a second. "How about this: If I guess your name you buy me dinner, and if I don't guess it I buy you dinner."
"Winner chooses the place?"
"Deal." They shook hands and continued down the sidewalk.
"So how does this work? I mean you could drag this out for days," she mocked.
"Time limit. We walk and when he hit a certain point we stop."
"Paris, that's where we stop."
"Because I love La Creperie, and if you're buying…" She teased as she started walking.
He easily caught up, "Alright then I'm getting started, "Madelyn?"
"I'm sorry was that Madelyn or Madeline?"
Nick laughed, "You're not going to make this easy on me are you?"
Mandy pursed her lips and shook her head.
"You're running out of ideas aren't you?"
"Just a little hint?"
She stopped and turned to look at him, "Here's a hint: We're getting closer to Paris, and I'm getting hungry so I may need to walk a little faster."
She quickly turned to playfully escape him, but as she turned Nick grabbed her hand, "Wait a minute." He said as she rebounded right back to him.
Nick kept a hold of her hand as their faces were just inches apart, both waiting for the other to make the next move. When it didn't happen Mandy sucked her lips in and gently dampened them with her tongue and then smiled sweetly. "You uh gonna make another guess?"
They were still inches apart, their eyes not leaving the other's. "You already guessed that." Mandy spoke evenly and quietly.
"I did?" Nick's voice was just as gentle as he moved a little closer.
"Uh-huh." Mandy's voice was barely a whisper as she moved just a closer before Nick closed the distance.
Their mouths came together in a delicate kiss which grew as his arms pulled her waist closer to his body and her hands caressed the back of his neck. Their tongues had just begun a playful tango when a teenage boy passing by called out, "Get a room!"
They reluctantly pulled apart, and laughed a little, but Nick kept a hold of her hand.
"So uh Melinda?"
"Nope," Mandy said as they continued to walk.
"Just one hint?"
"That's cheating, and look," she pointed ahead of them, "I can see Paris, so you might want to keep guessing rather than begging for hints," she smirked.
He couldn't help but smile at her. "Alright, let me think."
He thought as they walked and finally came up with another guess, "Madison?"
"No," she shook her head. "Now we are down to about twenty feet, so last chance."
"He was too busy watching the smile play across her face to concentrate so he blurted out the first thing that came to mind, "Ma-ndor-rine?"
"She couldn't hold in the laugh, "Seriously?
He just shrugged.
"You owe me dinner," she reminded him as they entered Paris and headed for La Creperie.
Fifteen minutes later found them seated with their dinners and deep in casual conversation as they ate. "So are you going to tell me now?"
"Tell you what?"
"The deal was if you couldn't guess you bought me dinner; it did not include me telling."
"That is not fair," he teased.
"Alright, if you're going to get all whiney about it, think Italian instruments."
Nick thought for a minute, "What?"
Mandy just shrugged.
"Okay, Italian instruments…Let's see…I'm blank."
Mandy took a deep breath, "Alright, but you owe me. Think Italian guitar-like instruments."
Nick could only shake his head.
"My name was in the title of a Nicolas Cage movie from a few years ago." When Nick continued to look at her with a blank look on his face she chose to continue. "Captain Corelli's…"
After a few seconds realization flashed across his face, "Mandolin Webster it's nice to meet you."
She nodded politely back at him.
After a few minutes of concentrating on their meals Nick broke the silence, "So you were Shilo, Oslo, and Mandolin?"
"No we were Shy, Ozzie, and Mandy," she corrected, and he laughed with her.
After they finished dinner, they walked back to their cars. Mandy unlocked her door then turned to Nick, "Thanks for dinner."
"I always pay my debts, but you're welcome." She smiled at him as she opened her car door. "For what it's worth, I like the name Mandolin." He placed his hand on hers; his other hand found a resting place behind her neck and gently pulled her closer to him. This time the kiss lasted longer and became somewhat heated before they broke the contact.
Mandy licked her lips and said, "So, uh I'll see you tomorrow night?"
"Yeah," he turned to his car briefly then took a chance, "Do you want to get dinner before shift?"
Mandy nodded, "Sure, call me."