A/N: Muse has been in a funky mood and unwilling to work as of lately… hopefully this one-shot will aid her to get back on the writing track!


Nick sat down on his favorite sofa at home, allowing the shadows to slowly engulf him as he started his trip down memory lane…

He remembered the first time he'd seen her and how he had disliked the idea of HER messing around with his lab and his friends and his work…

He remembered the first time he had heard her laughter and thinking it was the most beautiful sound he had heard in his life…

He remembered the first case they worked together, and how he tried not to fumble too badly and not to screw up too noticeably and wondered how anyone was expected to get any kind of work done when you could so easily get lost in her eyes…

He remembered the first time they had shared breakfast together. How she had eyed the enormous plate of meat and bacon and fries and eggs and wrinkled her nose, delicately munching on her toast and stirring her tea… who drinks tea for breakfast, anyway? He had coaxed into eating something else; she had admonished him on keeping an eye on his cholesterol intake. They had reached middle ground and settled for oatmeal for her and him sending by the greasy fries and eating just two bacon strips.

He remembered the first time he'd actually asked her out. He chuckled at the memory of their non-traditional outing… in Vegas, baby, everyone assumed dates were all glitter and glamour. Instead, he had gotten her a free kendo lesson. He knew she'd like it; they had been discussing it a few weeks back, on an unusually quiet late shift, while watching "Kill Bill". Uma Thurman she wasn't, but she showed up to class wearing a black sweat suit with a yellow stripe running on the side. If he wasn't sure he was in love with her by then, he was certain just then.

He remembered the first time he'd kissed her. Another weird outing, a so-called "date-that-wasn't-a-date" where he'd taken her wall climbing. When they were back on solid ground he started fooling around, showing off. "Look at this" he had asked, as he dangled himself upside down. "I didn't know you were Peter Parker in a former life" she had said, big goofy smile, hair winning the battle to hair clip. And he did the only thing he could do, and tangled his hand in her hair and pulled her to him for a kiss. Right then and there he understood why so many women (his sisters AND mother included) considered the kiss under the rain in the "Spiderman" movie to be one of the most romantic ones in movie history…

He remembered the first time they had made out. It had been a perfect 4th of July, both of them on call but not been called in, both of them enjoying the weather and the picnics and the whole festive environment. Both of them huddled in the bed of his truck, watching the fireworks. He had looked down and seen the lights reflected in her eyes and leaned down to kiss her. She had kissed him back and soon their own fireworks were sparkling between them. He remembered his mouth on hers, his knee firmly resting between her legs, his hand edging underneath the cloth of her bra, testing, touching, kneading… needing. His pager and her beeper had put an end to their juvenile display of passion, but it had left a promise of things to come; a promise he intended to keep and fulfill.

He remembered the first time they had made love. It had been a lazy summer evening, and they were having a barbeque on his backyard. Thunderstorm rocked at a distance and before they had a chance to react, warm rain enveloped them. It had taken both of them three or four runs back and forth to get everything inside and by the time they were done they were drenched. Thunder rocked the house and the lights went out and his emergency system kicked in, surrounding them in warm lights and sensual shadows and they had stripped of their wet clothes. It was only natural then, or so it seemed, that their bodies would seek each other, and by the time he had slipped inside of her he knew this was where he wanted to be for the rest of his life.

He couldn't remember the first time he'd told her he loved her. He was almost certain that it had been over the phone, while saying their goodbyes and their usual "be carefuls", and he was certain that nothing special had happened that day to prompt him to do so. He had just felt like doing it, and did it. She hadn't seemed surprised, and she had said she loved him back. Ever since that day, it became a part of their everyday vocabulary and he'd never second guessed the feeling behind the words.

He remembered the first time he had called her his girlfriend in public. They had already decided to "go public" at the annual police vs. firefighter softball game, thinking it would be less awkward than walking into a meeting room and tell everyone they were officially a couple. Best laid plans, however, took a step back when he was injured in the line of duty. Her backup, a kid fresh form the Academy, had frozen for two seconds, enough time for their suspect to hold her at knifepoint and threaten to physically damage her if his demands were not met. Fortunately for everyone involved, the rookie's freezing had only been momentary, and less than a minute later the criminal was on the floor with a bullet wound and wondering what had gone wrong. Nick had gotten to the crime scene where an overly zealous EMT was not letting anyone through. His declaration of "that's my girlfriend there" allowed him enough room to barge in, and if the EMT, or everyone else around, for that matter, had any doubts about his claim, those were soon cleared up by the earth shattering kiss he gave her in plain view.

Night had come down on him, and the soft wind from the west gently shook the trees around his home. In the dim light coming through the windows he could make out the shape dangling from his key ring; a solid gold heart with a single letter engraved on it. Nick had lost count how many times he had followed the S shape with his finger, finding solace and comfort in such simple gesture.

He remembered the night she had told him she was leaving. She was burned out, and her mother was sick and she loved him too much to stay put and allow things to go to hell with them, too. So she'd gone west, and he had allowed her to do so, hanging on to the concepts of "temporary" for her absence, and "eternal" for their love, to keep him afloat.

He walks out to the small terrace in the home they had shared, remembering the nights they spent out there, cuddling, just talking about everything and nothing, and remembering what she told him about the zephyr winds, and how they blew from the West with promises of new things to come.

Tonight the zephyr wind has come visit him again, and to his heart and soul that means she's thinking of him and of them and of keeping her promise of coming back as soon as she could. The gentle breeze moving through the trees in his backyard reminds him of her voice and how she keeps saying "Soon, Nick, soon. I'll be back soon" and how he believes this with all his heart.

He feels the breeze caress his face and steal the words that bled from his heart and dripped from his lips and hopes it'll carry them to her, wherever she might be: "Soon, Sofia, my love."


A/N: A zephyr is a gentle wind that blows form the West. Sorry if I mislead you into thinking this was about Sara… didn't really mean to. Honest.