Those Hot Summer Nights

A/N: I know, the title sucks. If you have a better suggestion, feel free! :) This is just one of those drabbles that got stuck in my head and wouldn't leave.
Anyway, this is AU, takes place before she meets Conchobar; as far as I'm concerned, he doesn't exist. Buuuut I don't own anything, so I can only pout and write what should've happened. ;) Read on.

Sara felt it instantly when he materialized outside her apartment on a hot summer's night, and it wasn't thanks to the Witchblade. She simply knew he was there. She held her breath for a moment, wondering if he was there to tell her something, or simply there to watch. When several minutes had passed and he still hadn't entered, she relaxed again. Looks like he was on stalker duty tonight.

Irked at the dreams which had been haunting her lately, for what felt like the past two weeks, she glared at the bracelet on her wrist. After she'd woken to find herself tangled in her sheets instead of his arms, her mouth inexplicably swollen from kisses that still tasted of him, she'd growled in frustration and tried to take it off. But it hadn't allowed her, and instead had taken to sending her flashes during her waking moments instead of restricting them to her dreams. Vindictive creature.

Determined to ignore both the man and the monster on her wrist, she focused on the television with all her energy. Never mind that she couldn't have cared less about the animal documentary that was playing. She refused to give neither him nor it the satisfaction of her attention.

After her neck prickled for the fifth time, she sighed and muted the television, got up and went to the kitchen. She pulled down a glass, and filled it with ice water, muttering the whole while. Stomping over to the window by the fire escape, she jerked it open and stuck her head out. "Nottingham, get your stalker ass in here before I change my mind and push you off the damn stairs." There. Good. Keep him at a distance.

The man in black perched on her fire escape ducked his head, then hopped down from the edge and climbed in the window, careful to refrain from making eye contact with her. As he passed her, a subtle undertone of awareness shivered through her again, and she bit back a frustrated growl.

She held up the drink, and said simply, "I'm not turning on the AC just for your man-in-black fetish."

He took the proffered glass wordlessly, bowing slightly in thanks, and began to drink.

She found herself watching him, captivated by the workings of his throat as he swallowed, allowing herself to indulge in staring at him for a change. His beard and mustache were always so neatly kept, his hair tucked carefully beneath the ever-present ski cap. She found herself absently wondering whether his hair was as silky as it had looked, the few times she'd seen it loose.

She was abruptly jerked back into the present as she realized he'd finished drinking, having drained the glass. He was now happily crunching on an ice cube. She frowned slightly, taken aback. He'd never allowed himself to be this comfortable in her presence before. What had changed? She thought back over the days before, but couldn't pinpoint any particular shift. Perhaps he was simply off-duty and felt more relaxed than usual.

"So, has Irons let you out for the night, to roam the city as you please? I'm surprised he can get along without you for more than a few hours. The man can't seem to wipe his ass without you there to hand him a towel." His lips twitched in amusement, but he still didn't look at her, choosing to glance about the apartment to note the few changes she'd made.

For some reason, that annoyed her. He was on her turf; he'd been outside her window, for crying out loud. The least he could do was make eye contact.

"Nottingham, if you can't bring yourself to look at me even now then get out. I happen to know that I'm not hideous or painful to behold, so I think you can stand to relax whatever crazy rules Irons imposes when you're with him. Look at me for once." Her tone seemed too sharp, and she flinched inwardly as her words echoed back to her. She tried to lighten up the moment with a verbal offering. "Besides. I like your eyes. They're…" she floundered for the right adjective, "…intense." Like the rest of you, she finished internally.

With that, his attention snapped to her, ensnaring her gaze with his. The undeniable heat in his eyes made her swallow and take an involuntary step back. When she'd said intense, she hadn't meant that way, although there was no denying his expression. In that moment, the Witchblade cycled through her memories, showing her countless times of his gaze locked with hers through time.

Was it true? Had they been lovers throughout the centuries? It would certainly help to explain the instant connection she felt with him, the undeniable way her body felt comfortable with him near, even when she had thought him to be out to kill her.

Even now, she felt herself drawn to him, and she wondered absently if he could read her mind. He was certainly trying, given the way his eyes were searching hers. Suddenly, the room seemed too small, and her cheeks felt hot. As she stared up at him, she was seized by a mad desire, and decided to follow through before she chickened out.

"Hold on, there's something I've always wanted to do." The unspoken before it's too late hung in the air.

She stepped closer, breathing in. His cologne was subtle, a strong undertone of masculinity. He stood motionless, just watching her with an unreadable expression. Surely he could sense her intentions. He'd back away if he wasn't interested, if he wasn't as curious as she.

Holding her breath, she lifted her hands up to his neck, slowly, so slowly. Still he didn't move, his gaze heavy-lidded.

"I, uh, hope you don't mind." Because it's kept me awake at night, and I hope to God that you've been wondering, too.

Raising her mouth to his, she pressed her lips against his softly, savoring each sensation. His mouth was cold from the drink, but his skin was warm, and his facial hair tickled her face. Goosebumps shivered up her arm. His arms hung loosely by his side, but did he tilt his head ever-so-slightly to help the angle?

Fueled by her mad dash off the cliff, her new mantra cycling through her head, now or never, she opened her lips slightly and slipped her tongue through.

Suddenly, he was pushing her against the wall, kissing her back so hard that she couldn't breathe. His arms were tight around her, pulling her into him and his body was hard against hers, pressing her through the wall, as she met him kiss-for-kiss. His tongue was cold at first from the ice cube he'd been crunching, but his mouth was hot against hers as he stole her breath and her train of thought. Feeling playful, she spun them so that he was the one pushed against the wall, and she was falling into him, and he laughed before he fused her mouth to his once more. He stole her breath and her train of thought, his mouth and body the sole focus of her being, tasting, teasing, exploring. He seemed at once new and familiar, and she ached to get closer, wanted to wrap herself in him, never wanted to let go.

A loud crack outside and resulting laughter suddenly brought them back to the present, and they eased apart slowly. She took a shaky breath, her hand against his chest, forehead pressed against his cheek. She touched his shoulder, lightly, with her fingers.

"Well. Now I know."

She nodded once, then stepped slightly, reluctantly, away from him.

He followed her ever so slightly with his body, head still quite close to hers, his breathing just as unsteady. He swallowed hard, then: "Sara." He was the only one who could say her name like that, the tone of his voice almost reverent, yet forceful and commanding. "Don't go." The only words he'd spoken sincehe'd stepped into the room. His voice was low, gravely, and her body sang in response.

Unable to resist, she allowed him to catch her mouth again, kissing him until she couldn't remember her name. He bit her lip gently and she shuddered, letting out a nearly inaudible moan. His hands stroked down her back and she melted against him helplessly.

As she dragged him into her bedroom, his mouth somehow fused to her neck as they stumbled along, she found that she didn't care what Irons would think. This is what she'd been waiting for. Her soul had shivered to life.

Can open.

Worms everywhere.

Screw Irons.