Author's Note: Hello everyone! Welcome to my very first Danico fic! I have been a huge fan of these two crazy kids since day 1 and I am slightly sad to say that it took that beautifully frustrating kiss to push me to write. Anywho, this picks up right before the kiss and progresses from there. Enjoy!
The normally composed Dr. Danielle Santino sat with her head down crying over Little Dude's fishbowl, her tears making tiny splashes in the water. It occurred to her that she was being absolutely ridiculous for crying over a fish but if she was honest with herself, the fish was just the straw that broke the already overwhelmed camel's back. She was crying for her failed marriage, her kids growing up way too fast for her liking, her sometimes over bearing career, TK's drug problems, her break up with Matt, the violation of her client's privacy by Marshall Pittman…the list could go on forever. She allowed herself this brief moment to break down because she knew tomorrow she would have to be the strong woman everyone around her needed her to be.
Just as her sobs started to fade, she heard footsteps on the porch beside her and she jumped. She glanced to her left and saw the very distinctive form of Nico walking towards her, a small brown box in his hands. Dani still didn't know how she wasn't used to him sneaking up on her yet, but again with being honest with herself, she kind of liked the fact that he always surprised her. She watched him sit beside her, his black over coat unbuttoned over a black suit and tan undershirt. He never wore a tie. And she loved that about him. He looked down at the box in his hands and tilted it towards her.
"The package at the stadium…it was for you."
Dani's breath caught in her throat when she leaned forward and saw the hard plastic tapes catch the light from the porch.
"The tapes?" Her voice was soft and full of hope as she looked over at him surprised. He nodded his head at her and looked back down at the box before setting it at his feet. He glanced back over at her and looked down at the fishbowl in her lap, squinting to see the tiny blue beta floating belly up. His eyes went back to her face where he took in her red and puffy eyes. She still looked flawlessly gorgeous to him. But that still didn't quell the immense sadness that tore through his heart.
"You lost your friend." He tiltled his head towards the fishbowl in acknowledgement and then looked away. She watched him draw in a long breath and shake his head.
"So did I." He was quiet for a moment which wasn't unusual for him, but his words left her with a chill. "They found his body….Marshall's really dead." The weight of his words hit her like a sledge hammer over the head. Shock graced her features and she leaned forward to set the fishbowl on the ground. Before she made the conscious decision to hug him, her arms were around his neck, her fingers drawing small comforting circles in the base of his hair.
"I'm sorry. I am so sorry." She whispered to him, squeezing him tighter to her. Despite the reason for the embrace, a small part of her did a dance when he didn't hesitate to wrap his arm around her waist, resting the other on her knee. She reveled in the fact that he didn't tense up from the contact like she assumed he would. He took her in to his arms willingly and let her hold him while he held her back.
"He was the only one who knew me." His breath was soft in her hair, making yet another chill run down her spine. She closed her eyes and leaned against him, not anticipating that his next words would change everything. "Except you." He said it so softly she almost didn't hear it. But when her eyes shot open and the knot in her stomach tightened she knew that she had.
Dani leaned back, her arms falling in to his lap and she looked at him. The vulnerability that shown in his gorgeous hazel eyes brought tears to her own. But she was confused by him. He claimed that she knew him, which was a bold statement regardless of the fact that he also implied that now she was the only one in the world who truly did. She shook her head slightly.
"I don't...know you." Her voice was shaky at best. She watched in amazement as the tiniest of smiles played at the corner of his lips. Oh god those perfect lips. He nodded at her in reassurance.
"Yeah…you do." The sincerity in his voice was profound. It shook her body and soul, and in that moment she knew he was right. She did know him. Granted it wasn't nearly as well as she wanted to but over the last few months he had revealed tiny pieces of information about himself to her and she cherished every single one. And now was the moment she realized she was still staring at his lips, still slightly parted from his admission. Dani leaned forward at the same time he did, both stopping at the last second, silently giving each other a way out. But they couldn't hold back any longer. They had spent too long fighting this. And when their lips met, it was unlike anything she had ever felt.
She leaned in to him and brought her hands back around his shoulders and intertwined her fingers with his slicked back hair. She felt his hands run up her arms and caress either side of her face, holding her to him. He slowly started dominating the kiss, his tongue sweeping along her lips, begging entrance which she all too willingly gave. He pulled her in to him and almost had her in his lap when his phone rang out from its place in his breast pocket. They pulled back at the same time, foreheads resting on each other, breath coming in short gasps.
"Son of a bitch." He murmured, making a small laugh escape her throat. She watched him sit up reluctantly but felt the butterflies in her stomach go crazy when he grasped her hand in his. He took the offensive device out of his pocket and glanced down at the screen. The small smile he'd had on is face instantly fell away, replaced with a look of annoyance. He abruptly ignored the call and turned back to face her. Dani was in shock.
"Did I just see you ignore a phone call?" She asked incredulously. Nico grimaced and ran his thumb over the knuckles of her hand.
"You're more important right now." His voice was full of emotion that made her heart sing. But she was inquisitive by nature and when his phone dinged the notification of a new message she had to ask.
"Well who was it?" The annoyance on his face returned when he looked at the text message and she saw him visually restrain himself from throwing it across the yard when the ring tone went off again.
"Gabrielle." He growled out. Now it was Dani's turn to be annoyed, not with Nico, just at the general irony.
"Maybe you should get that." She said to him, watching his eyes flicker up at her in shock. He just shook his head at her, to which she held out her hand.
"Then may I?" Her face was set in determination and she couldn't help but smile at him when he handed her the phone.
"Be my guest." He said with a smirk on his face. Dani hit the send button and brought the phone to her ear, well aware of Nico's amused gaze on her face and his hand slightly squeezing hers.
"Hello?" Dani answered with an annoyed tone. She heard a sharp intake of breath on the other end.
"Who the fuck is this?" A shrill voice demanded. Dani squinted and pulled the phone away from her ear, tossing Nico a look that asked him how he ever dealt with that noise.
"This is Dani Santino. Who the fuck is this?" She had to bite down on her lip to keep from laughing when she saw Nico cough to fight off his own chuckle.
"Never mind who this is…where is Nico?" Gabrielle's demanding tone was starting to grate on Dani's nerves and she hadn't even been talking to her for 30 seconds.
"He's…busy at the moment. Can I take a message?" Dani tried to make her voice sound sweetly distracted which wasn't hard since Nico's fingers were still tracing a delicate pattern on the back of her hand. She was rewarded by a scoff in her ear.
"No." The click that signaled the call had been ended brought a smirk to Dani's face. She pulled the phone away from her ear and looked down at the darkening screen.
"Well that was a lot more satisfying then it should have been." She glanced playfully up at Nico who she found staring at her in amusement.
"Why would that be Doctor?" His tone was light, a glimmer in his eye. Dani had to remind herself to breathe. It was times like these, when Nico let down his guard and allowed her to see the real him, that she truly cherished. Dani cleared her throat and turned her palm up to grasp his hand properly. She looked him in the eyes.
"Because ever since you told me about her I've been resisting the urge to shove my fist through her teeth." If it weren't for the fierceness in her eyes and the severity of her tone, Nico would have thought she was joking. Instead he allowed his shock to show on his face and he brought a hand up to tuck a stray strand of her hair behind her ear.
"I never took you for a violent person Danielle." She shook her head at him.
"I'm usually not. But anyone who messes with the people I care about better watch their backs." She leaned in to his palm that came to rest on her cheek, her eyes closed in contentment. His touch felt so right and she chastised herself for denying that she had wanted it for so long. Nico leaned forward until she could feel his breath on her lips, his eyes burning with intensity.
"Are you saying that you care about me Danielle?" He tried to mask the slight pleading sound in his voice but wasn't entirely successful. He wanted her to care about him as much as he cared for her. He wanted her to need him, to want him, to never leave his side. And that scared the living hell out of him.
Dani gave him a soft reassuring smile and gently placed a short kiss to his lips.
"I wouldn't have kissed you if I didn't Nico. You've meant a lot more to me then I was willing to admit for a good while now." She brought her hand up to his cheek, mirroring his same position. Her heart swelled as she watched his eyes close and felt the pressure of him leaning in to her hand. They sat like that for what felt like forever, completely content with just being together. It was his dreaded phone that finally broke the silence with its incessant vibration. Nico let out a low growl as he looked down at the screen.
"Marshall's funeral is going to be tomorrow." Dani didn't even try to hide her shock.
"Why so soon?" Nico shrugged.
"Gabrielle probably just wants it over with." Dani was quiet for a moment, just watching the emotions play on Nico's face. It was an extremely rare thing to behold. In fact, this was the only time she had ever seen him show this much of himself; and she was filled with so much pride that he had chosen her to be the one to see it. She was drawn from her quiet admiration by Nico looking back up at her, his eyes full of sadness. He opened his mouth to say something and then closed it quickly, taking her totally off guard with the embarrassment that flashed across his handsome features. Dani leaned closer to him and squeezed his hand.
"I will be there with you Nico, every step of the way. I promise." His head snapped up to look at her in amazement.
"How did you-"She cut him off.
"If I told you, I'd have to kill you." She tossed his overly used phrase back at him, delighting when she saw his despair melt in to a grin. He leaned forward suddenly and kissed her hard, the passion and longing she felt left her breathless. When he finally pulled back again she couldn't help but smile. He rested his forehead on hers and drew in a deep breath.
"You know she's going to be there." Dani sat back and smacked him hard on his shoulder.
"First off, do not ever talk about her right after you kiss me like that again. Second, good. Maybe I can bribe one of the pallbearers to knock her out and bury her in an empty grave." Nico flashed her one of his rare full on smiles.
"So you're already planning on me kissing you again?" Dani rolled her eyes in exasperation.
"Of course that is what you took from that."
AN: Well loves, there is the first chap of my brand new baby! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing it! Next chap will be the funeral and the first meeting of Dani and Gabrielle, along with some potential smut and a rating boost…let me know what you guys want!
For updates and randomness, follow me on twitter NicAm13. See ya'll next chap!