Sara, Ian, Vodka, and Handcuffs

Summary: Sara, Ian, vodka, and handcuffs... and still it manages to stay PG-13. Come on, you KNOW you're curious now...

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own them; I just enjoy getting in their heads from time to time (and, in this case, messing with their heads).

Feedback: Pretty please? Feed me, feed me!!!

Sara, Ian, Vodka, and Handcuffs

"You ever have one of those days?" Sara asked the bartender. Actually, her voice was so slurred that it was hard to tell what she was saying.

The bartender, a man who had spent enough years at the job to have heard that phrase garbled in every possible way, nodded sagely. "All the time, miss."

Sara looked at her empty shot-glass, then glanced plaintively up at the bartender, who refilled it with a shrug. "Lousy day..." she explained, downing the shot. "Dante was on my ass all morning, then I spent all afternoon in court getting grilled by some wannabe Perry Mason, and the visions... They so should not be allowed to happen when I'm on the witness stand..."

"I would say that she's had enough..." a gentle male voice said from over her left shoulder. A gloved hand reached around her and dropped several bills on the bar.

The bartender glanced at the man with wide eyes, nodding. His expression clearly stated that he was not a guy to be messed with, and if he said that the lady had had enough, then she had had enough. Besides, visions? He had been ready to cut her off himself. He hastily took the money and started fumbling to make change.

"Keep it..." the man said in a low, threatening voice.

The bartender quickly nodded and found someplace else to be. Sara slowly turned around to glance at the man, her sullen face breaking into a wide smile.

"Nottingham!" she slurred cheerfully, smacking him on the shoulder. "How's my favorite stalker?"

Ian ignored the enthusiastic greeting. "Let's get you home, my Lady..." he muttered, placing one gloved hand around her elbow.

"Oh, but the night is young!" Sara protested.

Ian, who knew exactly what a horrible day she had suffered through, just smiled at her. The fact that a defense attorney now lay dead in a ditch probably would not have cheered her greatly, so he just smiled. The return smile from Sara was reward enough.

"You should do that more often..." she muttered, awed. "You look so hot..."

Ian blinked in mild surprised before composing himself. "Let's get you home, my Lady..." he repeated gently, tugging her to her feet.

"Okay." Sara shrugged. "You wouldn't be planning on taking advantage of me, would you?" she asked, trying to look severe.

Ian bowed his head, not recognizing it as a joke. "I would never dream of such a thing, my Lady."

Sara looked disappointed. "Bummer..."

Ian blinked again, then bundled her from the bar before someone recognized her. It would never do for her friends or coworkers to see her in such a state. He helped her into the passenger seat of an unmarked Vorschlag Industries jeep and drove to her apartment. Once there, it quickly became apparent that she was never going to make it up the stairs and into bed unaided, so Ian supported her up the stairs and into her bedroom.

Once there, he hesitated. He did not want to let her go to sleep clothed, but she was unlikely to be able to undress herself in her current condition. With a muttered 'forgive me', he dropped her onto her bed and began pulling her shoes off. For months now, he had wanted very badly to undress her, but doing so while she was drunk and helpless had not been part of the fantasy. Still, caring for her while she was sick was one of his duties, and he supposed that her current state qualified, at least in some way.

Sara seemed to regain at least some of her senses as he pulled her shirt off. "Nottingham... I had no idea..." she giggled.

Ian flushed and bowed his head. "You need to rest. It had occurred to me that you would be more comfortable without your street-clothes."

"Sure..." Sara replied, laughing. She leaned forward, resting her hands on Ian's shoulders. "You know, if you wanted to see me naked, all you had to do is ask..."

Ian sighed, wishing that were truly the case. "You are drunk, my Lady."

"Am not."

"Yes, you are." He unsnapped her belt and slid it off. "Lean back, I'll take your jeans off."

Sara smiled and flopped back onto the bed. "You know what your problem is, Nottingham?"

"You are my only problem, Sara..." he assured her gently, pulling her jeans off. "Now get some sleep."

Sara rolled onto her stomach and came face to face with Ian. "Maybe I don't want to..." she said in a playful voice. "Maybe I don't want to waste such... good company." She smiled at him, tracing his cheek with one finger.

Ian swallowed hard. "You should... rest now..." he told her in a halting voice.

Sara rolled onto her back and reached into the drawer of her nightstand. "You know you want to..." she purred.

Ian stared, wide-eyed. She was more drunk than he had credited her with being. What was she reaching for? His eyes widened as she dangled a pair of handcuffs in front of his face.

"You know you want to..." she repeated, winking at him. "Come on, Notti. I know  that you're into this kind of thing. Got to be to work for a guy like Irons." Her hand slid from his face to his chest, absently unbuttoning a few buttons and absently tracing patterns on his skin as she stared into his eyes.

He swallowed hard, reaching slowly for the handcuffs. "It is... tempting..." he admitted haltingly.

"I knew it!" Sara said triumphantly. She laughed and leaned closer to Ian. "You like it kinky, huh?" she asked, grinning and pulling him onto the bed with her... and then on top of her. At his startled exclamation, she rolled with him, placing him underneath her. She dangled the handcuffs over his face again. "Interested?" she whispered, her other hand doing very persuasive and distracting things.

Ian nodded weakly, reaching slowly towards the handcuffs. It was, as he has said, a very tempting offer. The knowledge that she would hate him in the morning (even worse than she normally did) restrained him, though. That and his absolute respect for her as the Wielder. Taking advantage of her in this weakened state would be unforgivable of him and he knew it. How then, to react to her increasingly insistent overtures?

Smiling, he slowly closed his hands around the cuffs and flipped her onto her back, pinning her on the bed. "Is this what you had in mind?" he breathed in her ear. His heart was racing, his head spinning.

"Better..." She nodded approvingly as Ian forced one of her hands over her head and cuffed it to the nightstand.

"Good." Ian kissed her gently on the forehead and rolled off of the half-dressed Detective. "Sleep well, Sara." Shaking, he retreated into her living-room.

"Nottingham, you son of a bitch!" Sara shouted after him as he started to leave the bedroom.

He paused at the threshold, staring back at her. "Forgive me for my deception..." he whispered. "In the morning, you will thank me." Bowing, he left.

Sara screamed in frustration, struggling against the cuffs for a few more minutes before passing out. As soon as the sounds of her struggling had ceased, Ian returned to the bedroom with a damp washcloth and a basin of cool water in his hand. He gently sponged her forehead and exposed arms. He was still shaking slightly. He had wanted so badly to give in to her offers, to kiss those beautifully inviting lips, to hold that wonderful body against his own...

Still, he knew that he had done the right thing in tricking her, as angry as she had been. It was not, after all, the first time that she had called him names. He was growing used to it and it did nothing to decrease his love or respect for her. She did not understand him, or why he did the things he did. She could hardly be expected to. He simply had to accept that.

Smoothing the damp cloth over her face, throat, and arms, Ian sighed in the darkness. There were times that he wished very badly that, rather than being the Wielder's guardian and protector that he could be simply a man, accepted by her as such. Watching her sleep, the only time that she truly looked at peace, was one of those times. It would never happen, though, he knew. He would have to content himself with serving and watching over her.

Once he had seen to her and was sure that her sleep would be peaceful, Ian settled down himself, sleeping on the floor next to her bed, the way the wolfhounds often slept on the floor next to his. There were worse places to sleep.

***

Sara awoke with a groan, her head killing her. She tried to sit up, but found the action prevented by the fact that she was handcuffed to her headboard.

"What the hell..." she muttered, struggling to remember. Nottingham... "Oh, my God..." Sara groaned, wondering what she had done.

Ian sat up immediately at the sound of her voice and wordlessly un-cuffed her and helped her to her feet. She was grateful for that since she was far too shaky to get up herself. As Ian supported her into the bathroom and held her hair as she emptied her stomach, the events of the previous evening began to come back to her. She accepted the glass of water that he offered her with a grateful nod and rinsed her mouth.

"Drink that..." Ian told her gently, as she went to dump the water. "You're dehydrated now. It's why you feel so bad. I'll make you some toast to settle your stomach, and then we'll talk about getting you a real breakfast."

Sara stared hazily at him, embarrassed and in pain. "Don't you have somewhere to be?" she asked hoarsely.

He shook his head solemnly. Lightly touching his gloved fingers to her forehead, he rose from the bathroom floor and left her. Shaking her head, Sara rose and brushed her teeth. When she stumbled into the kitchen, not bothering to dress, Ian was waiting for her. He was swiftly at her side, helping her into a chair and offering her a plate of cinnamon toast, along with another glass of water.

"Coffee?" she groaned weakly.

He shook his head gravely. "Not this morning. It will make your hangover worse." His voice was gentle and caring.

Sara nodded weakly, surprised by his compassionate tone. "Thanks..." she muttered softly.

"My pleasure..." he murmured, glancing up at her.

"Nottingham, do me a favor, would you?" Sara asked softly as she slowly ate the toast and drank her water.

"Anything, Lady Sara."

"Smile."

He glanced up at her, startled.

"You smiled at me last night. You have a really nice smile, Nottingham. Could you smile for me?"

"Could you call me Ian?" he ventured cautiously.

Sara smiled. She was suddenly feeling much more herself. "Could you smile for me, Ian?" she asked gently.

Startled, he flashed her one of his heart-melting grins. "Thank you..." he whispered. Just hearing her speak his first name made their relationship seem almost normal.

"Thank you, Ian..." Sara replied, smiling at him. She glanced at the wall-clock. "Damn... I'm going to be late for work."

He shook his head. "Saturday..." he reminded her.

"Oh." She nodded. "Thanks."

He smiled again, shyly, and nodded. "You should get some more rest, Sara."

She nodded. She had slept soundly, but not refreshingly. "Yeah... You're right. Thanks, Ian."

He smiled and nodded, walking her as far as her bed. "Sleep well, Sara. If you require anything, I am but a phone-call away."

Sara nodded. "Hey, thanks for being a gentleman..."

He bowed his head. "It is what I was trained to be."

Sara grinned and nodded. It felt odd, talking to him here, half-dressed. "Well... thanks anyway, you know." Quickly, impulsively, she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

Ian stared, stunned. "Thank you, Sara..." he whispered weakly.

As Sara climbed into her bed, she asked, "Hey, you doing anything tonight?"

He stared, uncomprehendingly.

"I was figuring I'd order a pizza, rent a movie... Thought you might want to join me instead of watching the movie from my fire-escape. You know... sound and everything." She smiled hopefully.

Ian grinned and bowed his head. "I would enjoy that immensely, Sara."

She grinned. "Cool."

Smiling, Ian picked up the blanket and tucked Sara in. "Sleep well."

Sara grinned. "Yeah. You have a nice day... Ian." She sat up abruptly and planted a quick kiss on his mouth.

He stared at her, stunned and grinning goofily. "Now... I am certain that I shall." Shaking his head, he turned and vanished from the bedroom.

"See you tonight!" Sara called after him by way of a reminder. Smiling, she lay back. He was an interesting guy, she decided. Definitely worth getting to know better. Starting tonight.

From his perch on the rooftop opposite her building, Ian watched her sleep until he was satisfied that her repose would be a restful one. He smiled faintly and brushed ungloved fingers over his lips. He had received a greater reward for his chivalry than he could have expected. Perhaps this evening, watching a movie with her, he might receive some even greater reward?

The smile that Sara enjoyed so much reappeared on the man's lips, lighting his entire face. This weekend was turning out to be quite a wonderful one indeed.

The End