Since the day 'Push' was released it's been one of my favorites and the chemistry and mad inappropriate tension between Nick and Cassie propelled them to the upper echelon of my favorite fandom pairings. Please enjoy and leave me a review. I own nothing and mean no harm.
There shouldn't have been any doubt.
There shouldn't have been any hesitation.
But he had doubted and he had hesitated and he had almost lost her.
Pushing that thought firmly from his mind he focused in on the room, the poorly positioned furniture, the warm food in front of him; latching onto any distracting object, anything to keep away the thoughts of what might have been.
It crept up on him too often, a warning, and a painful reminded that even with their determination and their abilities they were still mortal. He in no way appreciated his mind's attempt to remind him that he could lose Cassie; enough of that.
They had left the Far East continent behind; he wished it was as simple to leave the memories behind.
For six months they had wandered. After all options had been explored and more than one terrible fight they had decided to move.
Leaving Europe they had headed for North America, had checked out any and every lead pertaining to her Mother that they had stumbled across.
Nothing; a year of dead ends and they had just about exhausted every option.
"I don't get it," she was frustrated Cassie tonight. Her mood swings were as wild and varied as the shades in her hair; he studied her over the bowl of buttered noodles, as she paced the small space between bed and dresser.
Time and practice had left them both far more comfortable with their respective abilities. Absently he Moved the chair out of her way with a flick of his fingers as her footsteps carried her towards the window.
"Nothing, not one little piece of anything," he swallowed the mouth full of buttery goodness and turned in his seat, she was leaning against the glass, eyes looking out over the skyline, but he doubted if she could tell him if it was day or night.
After Carver had died and the power he had held dissipated they had thought it would be simple, naively they had assumed that Division would crumble without their all important syringe and their menacing leader.
Reality had been much more disappointing. Carver had been bad and no doubt his loss had been a hit, but no one had taken the bait, not one representative from Division had stepped up and agreed to make a trade.
"Cassie," he didn't know what he could say this time to make it any better, she turned towards him, eyes expectant. Clearly she wondered the same thing.
He sighed, Moving the chair back to the table, "come eat before the noodles get sticky."
Maybe it hadn't been what she was expecting, maybe she was hungry; either way her eyebrows rose, he counted to what he knew would be a long three, and smirked when she sat down with a huff.
The bowl slid to her new spot, "Thanks."
Kicking her under the table, getting no response, Nick kicked again, this time harder earning an eye roll, "what?"
He grinned around his chopsticks, never mind they were on a new continent, the only way to eat noodles was with sticks, "nothing."
Cassie's smile reached her eyes and he felt the tension leaving his shoulders. She worried too much, Watched too damn hard, and it was getting harder and harder to pull her back when she got close to that edge.
In the past year there had been a time or two he had caught her just before she had conned someone into buying her some Scotch. Those had been bad times, ugly words flying between them.
Cassie knew that bringing up Kira would get his temper going and he knew that mentioning anything to do with a lollipop would drive her nuts.
Popgirl was not to be mentioned around Cassie; not ever.
Nick was self-aware enough to know that he would only bring it up if she pushed him, if she went there first. Kira was harder to avoid, a topic they could tiptoe around and avoid catastrophe, but there were talks of her and then there were the talks.
He still didn't know what exactly had happened on the plane, Carver had died, that much he knew. Kira had taken a special delight in telling him that she had played with him a bit before making him pull the trigger, but he had stopped her before she could go any further.
The details were not something he wanted or needed to know, but the child that grieved at the loss of his Dad could appreciate the wicked smile she gave him, if the adult in him was equally repulsed.
Kira hadn't looked at him quite the same after that.
Admittedly Nick hadn't looked the same at her since that night on the roof when he had begged and pleaded for her to remember and she had stared at him blankly.
Carver's Push hadn't worked on him, he didn't know why, hadn't thought about asking Kira; but it had irked him that the Push had worked on her.
Cassie had told him not to hold it against Kira, advice he had taken with a surprised choke of tea; Cassie was in no way Kira's biggest fan. He had thanked her for the sentiment and didn't bother to look when Kira had flitted away after one of their blow-ups.
As much as Cassie had disliked Kira, Kira had absolutely hated Cassie.
Nothing that he had done or said had swayed her and that had just pissed him off.
Jealousy had been at the root of it. That had been unsolicited advice from Searle. Kira was blindly jealous of the connection between him and Cassie; a bond that had only gotten stronger and deeper.
'You're half in love with her already,' Ming had been quite pleased to throw that little tidbit in his face. Nick hadn't had the sense to deny it. It had to have been the shock of throwing him and love and a fifteen year old Cassie in the same sentence.
That was his story and he was sticking to it.
"What do you want to do tomorrow," tomorrow when they were not looking for Division or opportunities for revenge. Tomorrow was going to be a day just for them.
"I don't know," Cassie seemed far more interested in her bowl than in looking at him. Lying little blond, she had something on her mind, something she had Watched and was not sharing.
Dropping his sticks into his empty bowl Nick slid it across the table until it butted up against her bowl. Nothing; he Moved it a little harder.
"What the hell Nick," a splash of buttery goodness had snapped her blue eyes his way.
"Right back at ya Cass," she glared at him, he smirked right back at her, "you gonna share what popped into that pretty little head of yours?"
Her blush spread like wildfire up her neck, his smirk deepened, she was so busted. Did she really think she could pull one over on him after all this time?
Nick had made it his personal mission to know every possible angle of Cassie's lies, misdirection's, and most importantly evasions. When the Popgirl/Tiger story had spilled from her lips one night he had been livid. She could have died, would have had her Mom not interfered; and he had not been there, because she had held out on him.
"We don't hold out on each other remember," he tilted the chair back on two legs stretching his arms upward until a yawn tore through him.
"We're going to go play mini golf," Nick sat up watching her as she Watched tomorrow, "and eat hot dogs with too many toppings, and ride a roller coaster, and take pictures, lots of them," her voice had taken on a dreamy quality and he found his mouth stretching into a smile.
"We are going to have the best damn day ever," Cassie smiled, eyes closed and her sticks fell onto the table as her fingers drummed to a song that only she could hear.
He could maybe in that moment imagine why someone might fall half in love with her.
Blinking once he pushed the thought away ashamed he had gone there and cleared his throat viciously. Cassie jerked back to the present and their eyes met.
"Wanna explain why you were evading?" his fingers drummed anxiously on the Formica table top, her eyes slid to the movement and he saw the confusion and concern flicker across her face.
Another long moment of consideration passed between them. Cassie broke first, crossing her arms and giving him an exaggerated sigh, "sometimes it's just nice to be surprised."
Nick laughed, it was so Cassie, not happy when Watching failed and mad bitter when the Watching hit its mark.
"I'm sure we can spice it up Cass," he stood and grabbed the empty bowls tossing them into the trash; she played with her sticks, idly walking them between her fingers.
"Promise?" he didn't turn around, there might have been a second where he was frozen. Their room shrank in that instant and he was suddenly and acutely aware that there was only one bed.
Cassie had no right to ask him that had no right to put that inflection in her voice, his anger rose up swiftly and fiercely. Ten years, ten fucking years difference; it wasn't fair, he knew it, Searle and Ming knew it, and hell Kira had probably known it.
And if Cassie was starting to realize, well, it just wasn't fair, "Nick?" there was such confusion and longing in that one word, his name, on her tongue, he cursed his luck and hers.
But then he smiled and turned around, giving her his best grin, "Absolutely Cassie, we'll spice things up real good," she considered him, his words, and something must have convinced her of his sincerity because she smiled; heart-stopping and pure he got a good long look at what he shouldn't even be considering.
"Thanks Nick," his stomach knotted up, something was coming, was changing and she knew it and he was starting to know it too; but then it was Cassie, his Cassie and he could never say no to her.