Author: Michmak

Summary: S/N friendship, G/S implied - some light swearing.

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine. We all know who owns them.

Part One - Mr. Freeze

"Hey Nicky!" Sara's bright voice, immediately to his left and in his ear, made him jump.

"Geez, Sara - sneak up on a guy much?" He discreetly tried to hide what he had been reading by sliding it under his leg, as he turned sideways in his chair to glance at her.

Sara grinned cheekily. "Too tempting. You were zoned, man. Watcha reading?"

Nick grimaced. "Nothing." He kept a wary eye on Sara, and groaned silently when he saw her eyes roll.

"Nothing? Than why are you hiding it, huh?" Sara lunged forward and tried to grab it out from underneath him.

"Sara, don't. Stop it - stop." Sara was tickling him, trying to get him to shift his weight so she could grab the magazine more firmly and pull it out. Nick didn't know whether to be angry with her or to laugh at her childlike attempts to get what she wanted. She was so exasperating at times, like a little sister can be, but Sara so rarely showed a playful side Nick didn't really want to burst her bubble. Instead, he started tickling her back.

Both were laughing so hard at Sara's attempts to see what he had been reading, neither heard footsteps until it was too late.

"Nick! Sara!" Grissom's voice was like a whip, colder than a bucket of ice water. They stopped laughing, and both turned shocked faces to stare at him. Nick's hands were on Sara's waist, against her skin just above the waistband of her jeans. Her shirt had ridden up during their fight, and a good portion of her back and midriff were exposed.

Sara was sprawled half across Nick, one arm draped around his neck, and the other firmly pinned under his butt.

"Hey Gris." Sara smiled weakly, "we were just..uh..just."

Gris' eyes were like ice as the flicked to Nick's hands, still at Sara's waist, and her arm, still pinned underneath him.

"I know what you were 'just'." Both Sara and Nick flinched from the fury in Grissom's voice. "Next time, save it for after hours. The office is no place for.this." And with that, he turned and stalked out of the room.

Sara blanched at Gris' words, and Nick could have sworn he saw tears in her eyes. Silently, he helped her extricate herself from her sprawl across his lap, and waited for her to say something. Nothing was forthcoming. Sara just sat on the floor, staring blankly at the door Gris had just stormed out of. She was shaking.

And that's when Nick knew. Swearing under his breath, he knelt down on the floor beside her and pulled her into his arms.

Sara leaned her head against his chest, and Nick rubbed her back gently. Finally, she pulled away and looked up at him.

"How long have you been in love with him, Sara?"

Her eyes shot to his face, and back down. Nick was looking at her with such compassion, the tears she had been holding back suddenly overflowed.

Nick cursed again, got up and went to the door, closing it and locking it firmly. Then he walked back to Sara, picked her up, and carried her over to the small vinyl loveseat. He held her loosely in his arms, murmuring soothingly until the storm had passed. When her silent sobs had turned to hiccups and the occasional weary sigh, he asked her gently, "Want to talk about it?"

Sara's eyes reminded him of bruised violets. "What's the use." She sounded weary and defeated. He hated hearing her like this. They sat in silence for a few more minutes, and just when Nick thought she would say nothing more, she began speaking.

"He's the reason I became a CSI. I signed up for his course because I thought it would be an interesting diversion from my other classes. I went to his lectures, and he was so passionate about his work - I remember thinking, 'I wish I was that passionate about what I'm doing'. So I changed fields. I stayed after classes to ask him questions. For whatever reasons, we became friends - he was my mentor, but.I always saw him as something more. I thought that, maybe, when he asked me to come to Las Vegas, he had finally stopped seeing me as is student, but he hasn't, has he? He treats me like a little kid."

She wiped her face with her hands. "I'm pathetic. Damn him!"

"Sara.his reaction was not the reaction of a man who is oblivious to you." Nick's voice was gentle and reassuring. When Sara looked up at him, questions in her eyes, he expounded.

"When he walked in here and saw my hands on your skin.and then saw your hand underneath my butt- I honestly was glad he doesn't carry a gun. I thought he was gonna kill me. His reaction was.too violent. I'd say he was jealous - he wants you feeling his ass, not mine." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively at Sara, garnering a small smile.

"Not possible." Sara shook her head.

Nick just grinned. "Totally possible. I was on the receiving end of that glare. He was like Mr. Freeze!" He leaned over, and grabbed what he had been reading, dropping it in her lap.

"Since you're sharing, I will too. He's the reason I became a CSI." He indicated the book in Sara's lap.