Authors Note: Another Necessary Roughness fic – this one is set in between episodes, wherever you want it to be. It's about Dani's day off...and Nico's attire. Comments and criticism are welcome and appreciated and please remember to Enjoy the Ride! Ckorkows.

It was a rare day off for Dani. Coach had called earlier to let her know she wasn't needed at the office. And TK was back on track with his 'healing' although she still suspected he was abusing his pain medications...but that was neither here nor there. What was here was a piping hot triple shot mocha latte, a very delicious blueberry scone, and...Nico?

Dani glanced up again from her book, squinting to see if it really was Nico. Same slicked back hair, same dark brooding eyes, same contented look. But instead of his usual dark suit he was in...well, she had to admit he was still wearing the dark button up with a professional jacket on top of them but those jeans...

She felt rather than heard the low hum of approval that rumbled in her throat at the sight of that tight blue denim stretched over his normally inconsequential derriere. She surprised herself at that...quickly darting her eyes back down into the book as he stood up with his coffee. When he turned around she chanced one last glance, closing her eyes in shock at the sight of his muscular thighs in those sinfully sexy Levis.

Dani groaned, banging her book against her head as she mentally scolded herself. This was Nico! Not Matt or some super enticing stranger she was ogling, but Nico – super scary security dude who may or may not have killed someone once.


If red had a picture definition it would be Dani's face as she looked up into Nico's all-knowing eyes. She gulped audibly, closed her eyes and practically whispered, "Nico."

He smiled. And sat down, "I didn't know you drank at Whisper's."

She shook her head, of course he would invite himself – this was Nico. She gave him her close-lipped smile, the one that she had crafted especially for him, "Only when I have some time to enjoy it."

If Nico got the hint he blatantly ignored it, "Have you tried their cranberry scones?"

"No. Blueberry is more my speed."

He smiled – she didn't want to give any today - and leaned back, taking a sip out of his to-go cup, "Is that the new Ken Follet?" he gestured to the book she had rested on the table.

"Yes. It is. 'Winter of The World'... it's good."

He smiles, "So far?"

Dani stopped him, putting her hand up in his face and glaring, "No. No no no no no Nico. You will not ruin this book for me."

He jerked back, surprise flitting across his eyes for a moment before he settled back into his usual contented state, "Danielle, I would never ruin a book for you...unless you asked me to. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're further along in it than I am so you're more likely to ruin it for me."

Dani shook her head. This conversation was surreal, just like most of her conversations with Nico were. But this one was lasting longer, and he hadn't checked his phone yet. The only thing that would stop him from constantly checking up on the Hawks was...

"Did you get fired?" She suddenly asked.

Nico raised an eyebrow, "From the Hawks? No."

Dani nodded, "Then why aren't you..."

"Fixing things? I do get days off too Danielle." He smirked at her, his eyes admiring the halo of hair around her face as she seemed to digest this new piece of information.

"Surely there will be a situation."

He shook his head, "No. Those usually pop up at odd hours of the night and require me to disturb the sleep of a certain doctor."

It was her turn to smile, meeting him eye to eye for perhaps the first time in their entire conversation. When did Nico become comfortable giving her information about himself? When did she become so excited to get his little breadcrumbs?

"So cranberry huh?"


Dani's eyebrow raised, "And your drink?"

Nico saw it as it was. A test. How much would he give away? So long as she kept to these small questions he would play her game... for now. "Costa Rican shade"

She nodded. Everyone in New York knew that Whisper's was the only place to get shade grown coffee. She just hadn't pictured Nico as one who cared about where the black caffeine he poured down his throat came from. As he took another sip she decided to just ask it. The question was going to bother her all week if she didn't.

"And the jeans?"

Nico looked down, barely noticing the difference between his jeans and the suits he usually wore. The image of her blushing and hiding behind her book came back to him and he was smacked with the reality of what she was really thinking about. His nostrils flared at the reality – Doctor Danielle Santino had been checking him out! Now what should he think about that?

He cocked his head to the side, his eyes not betraying his inner battle as he answered her question, "I do own more than just suits Dani."

She nodded, gulping down some of her latte to get rid of the frog in her throat. Did she really just ask him about his jeans?

"So what are you doing on your day off Doctor?" Nico asked, deciding to deflect the attention away from him and his...jeans.

Dani paused. Beyond her coffee she really hadn't made plans for today. She was so shocked when Coach had called her and told her to turn off her cellphone – no one would need her today, that she had just headed to her favorite coffee shop with a book to relax. It wasn't even nine yet.

She caught herself scanning Nico again. Running her eyes across the stubble on his jaw, tracing that line up to where it met his slicked back locks and then running into his bemused hazel orbs. She started when she found him staring at her – and the blush crept up her neck once again.

Since when did Nico cause her to blush? "Really I didn't know I was getting a day off. So, no plans."

Nico nodded, glancing at the door for a moment before deciding. This was a dangerous game, if the heat rising on Santino's face was any tell, but for once Nico decided he wanted to play with fire. "I was planning on heading into the country for a drive. Would you like to join me?"

It was Dani's turn to be surprised. A drive into the country with Nico could mean one of three things...and she really didn't think he wanted to kill her. But was she ready to learn more about this man of mystery? Or did she want to keep hiding behind professionalism and the term colleagues?

It was at that moment that Nico stood up and leaned across the table to pick up her scraps, he 'accidentally' bumped her arm with his when he grabbed her cup and leaned close to her ear to whisper, "I'll clean up while you decide."

As he walked away Dani's eyes followed the lines of that man in those jeans. Her teeth toyed with her bottom lip as the delicious site made her decision.