A/N: Apparently I'm in a very romantic mood lately. I grew up writing poetry, and there's no better poetry than the classic love poems I read in high school. So I came up with a very fluffy SoNic story. Hope you like it! Leave me a little lovin' at the end if you do... and if you don't!
Disclaimer: Believe me, if I owned the show, Sofia would have never left, Nick would be at least be dating her, and Hodges would get up the courage to tell Wendy how he feels.
Sofia Curtis rolled over in bed, the sheets tangling around her slim frame. She groaned slightly when her eyes caught the alarm clock. 7 a.m. It seemed like her sleep lasted just a few minutes.
A slow grin spread across her face as her eyes fell on the sleeping frame next to her. His shorn head, with the stubble hair, rested on the pillow next to her. His muscular back faced her, nearly hidden by the same sheets that wrapped around her frame. The tanned skin glistened in the morning sunlight. His chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm.
She leaned her head on her elbow and watched Nick Stokes sleep soundly. They hadn't been together for very long, but it had been the best few weeks of her life. Nick was the best lover and friend a girl could ask for. Sofia considered herself lucky to have somehow snagged the man that every single female in the lab had a crush on at one point or another.
Her musing was interrupted by Nick's stirring. He rolled over, exposing his chiseled chest. Within minutes, his eyes slowly opened, and brown orbs met her blue ones. "Good morning," he mumbled sleepily.
"Good morning," she returned with a smile, reaching out with one hand to gently brush his cheek.
Nick pressed a kiss into her palm and returned his gaze to her eyes. "Were you watching me sleep?"
"Maybe." She grinned coyly. "I couldn't sleep."
"I'm sorry, babe," he drawled. Nick slowly stretched his long, muscular limbs and put his hands behind his head. "Any reason?"
Sofia shook her head. "Not really. Just thinking."
She suddenly grinned shyly. "You."
He cocked his head slightly to one side and smiled softly at her. "Good to know," he whispered. Suddenly he sat up and captured her lips with his own. Her lips parted, and Nick caught her lower lip between his own, gently sucking it.
Finally she pulled away and smiled at him, her baby blue eyes shining. "You should probably get ready," she whispered.
"For what?" he asked, grabbing her waist and pulling her down on top of him.
Sofia giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Court. You testify in two hours."
Nick shot her one of his trademark charming grins. "There's a lot we could do in two hours."
She returned the grin. "Not if you want breakfast." She leaned down and gently pecked him on the lips before rolling out of bed. "Grab your shower. I'll start breakfast." Sofia pulled on pair of sweatpants over her boxer shorts, straightened her tank top, and ignored Nick's complaining groan.
Sofia made her way down the hall of Nick's apartment to his living room. It was comfortable, just like him. A television sat in one corner, surrounded by his DVD's. She smiled as she remembered how surprised she was at his taste of movies. Everything from action (Rambo and Braveheart) to the old romance (Laura and To Catch a Thief). Most of their first dates consisted of curling up on the couch, her head resting on his shoulder and his arm around her waist, as they watched a movie. Nick was certainly old-fashioned when it came to that.
An open notebook on the table caught her eye as she heard the water in the bathroom turn on. It looked almost like a journal. Nick journaled? That thought had never actually crossed her mind. I probably shouldn't read it, she thought.
But the detective curiosity in her was too strong to ignore. Sofia picked up the book and turned to the front cover. "Classic Love Poems and Sonnets," she read aloud. Her brow furrowed. Nick read love poems? She knew he was a romantic, but this romantic?
She pulled her legs up to her chest and opened to a random page. A slow smile spread across her face as she read.
"Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again.
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.
"Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me.
"Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth
Come now and let me dream it in truth
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say My love! Why sufferest thou?
"Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day."
— "Longing", by Matthew Arnold.
Sofia's heart skipped a beat when she spotted Nick's scrawling handwriting next to the last stanza of the poem. "How I feel when you're not by my side, to hold me in the night." Could this really be about her?
She flipped over a couple more pages to another poem.
"If questioning would make us wise,
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes
If all our tale were told in speech
No mouths would wander each to each.
"Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And hearts not bound in flesh to flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.
"For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?
"Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give."
—"Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her" by Christopher Brennan
Next to the last two lines, Nick wrote, "Just so you'll never ask me why I chose you." Sofia's blue eyes began to well up with tears. She wasn't one to cry easily. She wasn't one to show emotions easily. And neither was Nick. To have him write these things to her… it took her breath away.
She willed herself to flip over a couple more pages, until she found another poem with Nick's handwriting next to it.
"And in life's noisiest hour,
There whispers the ceaseless love of thee
The heart's self-solace and soliloquy.
You mould my hopes, you fashion me within
And to the leading love-throb in the heart
Thro' all my being, thro' my pulse's beat
You lie in all my many thoughts, like light,
Like the fair light of dawn, or summer eve
On rippling stream, or cloud-reflecting lake.
And looking to the heaven, that bends above you,
How oft I bless the lot that made me love you!"
-- "Love" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Next to the poem, Nick had written, "You make me a better person. I bless the stars above that made me love you, and somehow made you love me."
"You found my present." A familiar voice startled Sofia, and she looked up to see Nick standing in the doorway to the hall, dressed in a T-shirt and athletic shorts. At first, she thought he was angry, until a wide smile broke out over his face.
"Oh, Nick," she whispered, a single tear making its way down her cheek.
He crossed the room and sat down next to her. She leaned on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arm around her waist. With the other hand, he gently took the book out of her hand and laid it on his lap. "I wanted to give it to you on our six-month anniversary."
"It's… it's…" Sofia struggled for the right words to say. When she couldn't come up with any, she buried her face in his neck just above his collarbone.
"Which one did you just finish reading?" He glanced down. "Oh. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This one's one of my favorites." Nick moved his arm from around her waist and placed his hand on her blonde tresses, gently brushing a couple of stray strands from her face. "You didn't make it to the best one, sweetie."
"There's a better one?" Sofia mumbled into his neck, not wanting him to see her cry.
"Oh yeah. Here." Nick flipped over a couple of pages. "This is arguably the best love poem ever written." He paused for a moment before tenderly placing two fingers under her chin and lifting her head from his shoulder, so he could see into her blue eyes shimmering with moisture. "I want to read it to you out loud. I want you to hear it from my own lips."
Sofia nodded slowly before taking his hand off her head and interlacing her fingers with his.
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach when feeling out of sight.
For the ends of being and ideal Grace
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose
I shall but love thee better after death."
Sofia nodded, her eyes welling up again. "Elizabeth Barrett Browning," she whispered. "We read it in college."
Nick grinned as he closed the book. "Did it make you cry then?"
She laughed despite herself. "Absolutely."
His smile faded, and he gently stroked her lips with his finger. "I meant every word, you know," he said seriously.
"Really?" Her eyebrows went up in surprise.
"I didn't want to tell you this soon, because I didn't want to scare you, but…" He paused and inhaled deeply. "I love you, Sofia."
Her eyebrows lifted even higher, and her jaw dropped open.
"I love you, Sofia. I love you with every fiber of my being. With all my strength, with all my heart, with all that I am." Now that he got started, he couldn't very well stop. "My heart sinks when you're not with me, and sometimes I think that it'll burst before I get to see you again. My heart soars when you are, when I can breathe in your scent and touch your hair. You drive me mad at night when you're not here, and I dream about your face and your touch and your kisses. You make me into a better man, a better lover, a better friend than I ever thought I could be." When he finally stopped, he looked at the woman sitting next to him.
Sofia couldn't believe it. She'd never thought he would actually feel this way… about her. A couple of tears escaped her control, and they slowly tracked down her cheeks. Could it really be true? Her best friend really loved her? It seemed too good, to right, to actually be happening.
For a second, Nick thought that was the end. She didn't love him, and he'd scared her off with his sudden confession. Sofia liked to take things slow; he knew that. She'd been burned too many times. Finally, after watching her for a couple of minutes, he had to know. "Please say something," he ventured.
She looked at him with those big, baby blue, shining eyes. Her lower lip quivered with emotion. "I'm such a hopeless romantic," she said with a laugh. She smiled as his face fell, and she reached out with her free hand and cupped his cheek. "I love you too, Nick," she whispered, her face a mere inches from his own. "I just… I never thought… you'd actually feel the same way."
He grinned at her happily. "Of course," he replied as he leaned forward to rest his forehead on hers. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
Sofia smiled and closed the distance between their lips. He wrapped his arms around her, trapping her thin frame against his muscular chest. Her mouth parted, and Nick's tongue darted in, tangling with her own in a passionate kiss. This was beyond physical longing. This was something deeper, something that went beyond flesh down to the heart and soul. Sofia wrapped her arms around his waist, trying to pull him even closer to her body.
After several minutes, Nick pulled away, gasping for oxygen. He smiled at Sofia. God, she was beautiful!
"So, what happens now?" she asked, giving him a sly grin.
"Well, I have to be in court at nine," he said, scratching his chin like he was thinking deeply. "That leaves us about an hour and a half. But if you were going to make breakfast…"
"Breakfast isn't that necessary," Sofia broke in quickly.
"True." Suddenly, Nick grabbed her under her knees and lifted her into his arms, smiling at her squeal of delight. The book of poetry fell to the floor in a heap. He maneuvered around the coffee table and toward the hallway. "Now, Ms. Curtis," he said in a low husky voice, "I'm going to demonstrate to you just how I love you."