So a few weeks ago, Kyra won a Nick/Jess New Girl fic by me in the Help Syria fandom auction, and gave me an absolutely killer prompt, which I then sort of twisted sideways. (In other words, if this is absolutely not what you wanted, I apologize and I'll hope to do better on the next one.) It's set roughly from 2x01 to 2x15 and is possibly AU, though possibly not (Nick and Jess were really weird with each other throughout those episodes). I hope you enjoy it!
Fantastic beta services by the awesome htbthomas. Title taken from Romeo and Juliet, actually, after Googling quotations and lyrics about hair-pulling got me nowhere.
"Teach Me How I Should Forget To Think"
Of course it would have to be the cabinet where she kept her tea and mugs that had the door that kept getting stuck, so she had to tug at it, sometimes two-handed, which was just embarrassing, so she tried not to do it when the guys were around. Who kept shutting it all the way, anyway? She'd been pretty careful to not let it click closed.
She braced her foot against the baseboard and got a good grip on the handle. She was ready to pull when there was a wall of heat at her back and she knew from the knot in her belly that it was Nick, who'd padded up behind her on quiet feet that didn't make even a ripple in the waves of early-morning silence in the loft.
Her hand slipped down to touch her throat, startled, and his - big and dark - replaced it on the handle; he pulled the cabinet open easily and she could feel, underneath her displaced fingertips, the pulse at her throat kick up a notch. His bicep was kissing her cheek, the soft green of his t-shirt just catching her peripheral vision, and he reached for his favorite of her mugs, the oversized one she'd bought in a museum gift shop because she liked the Van Gogh painting wrapped around it.
"Mornin'," he mumbled into her hair as he snagged the mug and set it down on the counter in front of her. His hand moved back to the cabinet handle, clearly waiting for her to get what she needed so he could close it.
Or maybe not, because he wasn't nudging her or sighing impatiently. She felt slow and heavy, like the whole morning had been drenched in honey, and it took her longer than it should have to realize that he'd been breathing on her neck all this time, the cinnamon of their toothpaste giving the air between them a spicy bite. His arm dropped down and his hand was at her waist, fingers just starting to catch at the hem of her pajama top. They were in that pose he'd ranted about when he was trying to convince her that Remy had ulterior motives.
"What are you gonna teach me now?" she asked, turning her head so that the tips of their noses nearly touched, expecting to see his mock-serious expression as he said something like Cabinets 101 or Opening Cabinets for Dummies.
But his dark eyes were serious, intent, predatory, and the growl that left his throat resolved itself into words a beat later. "How to fuck," he said, one hand covering hers at her throat and the other snaking up her skin underneath her top. "Yeah?" he asked, pressing his hips into her backside, insistent, and how had she never realized how strong he was, how much power there was coiled in those hips and thighs?
"Yes," she said, and he bit at her mouth. Her pulse was kicking frenetically and she couldn't even summon up enough breath to pant and her skin felt tight and she was getting wet and his hands -
Her alarm went off and she slapped it off. Fuck.
Sam was devouring her mouth and squeezing her breast and she was . . . not bored, exactly, but not really engaged. Wow, kissing someone that tall was really not the best idea unless it made up for the crick in her neck.
"Hey, Sam, wait," she said, and uncertainty flickered across his face.
"What - oh, I got you," he said, and hauled her up, pressing her back against the wall. Her legs went around his waist automatically but she didn't feel better for being so much closer; what she needed was a little space to think.
"Can you just hold me?" she whispered.
"Uh, yeah," he said, being nice and pretending that was all he'd wanted. He really should be someone's boyfriend, not her strings-free stud. Maybe - no, wait, she needed to think about that dream and what she was even doing in bed with a guy who called her "babe" like he couldn't remember her name half the time. His hand was back on her breast, kneading it like a ball of pizza dough.
Nick's hand in the dream had cupped that same breast, thumb dragging slow and deliberate over her nipple, and she'd wanted him. But wanting wasn't proof of a good idea, and Nick was Nick - messy, lazy, stubborn. Nick was a terrible romantic prospect, with a heart like a porcupine, all quilled and defensive. Not that she blamed him for that, what with the way Caroline and Julia and had cut and run.
Nick had a thousand and one annoying habits. It had to be better to be with Sam, who kept his personality out of her bedroom, than with Nick, who spread his all through the loft so that she could never escape him. It had just been one dream, and it probably just meant she needed to up her iron intake. Or to get that damn cabinet door fixed.
It had to be Nick who came through for their loft date, and he had to be all Nickish during it, funny and goofy and easy to laugh with.
And . . . more than Nickish, too, considering the banked fire in those dark eyes and the way he'd let his appreciation of the way she looked show on his face. It wasn't the chili oil in the soup that had her gulping down ice and draining her glass of water. Why'd he have to do that? She wasn't wearing the red dress that had lived at the back of her closet for him. Sam would - well, Sam would probably tear it off without a word. So maybe it was for herself that she'd gotten all fancy. Nick didn't need to say anything about it.
She walked out of the restaurant a little weak-kneed, and Sam was pounding into her twenty minutes later. Her legs were just not going to hold her up after that second round, and she carefully unzipped the red dress that had been pushed up to her waist, brushing off the dust her dresser had kicked up as it collapsed. She stepped out of it and Sam's long fingers stroked up her body. "Hey, where'd you go?" he asked.
She opened her mouth to answer, then realized she didn't know what to say. She wasn't really thinking about anything in particular, but the red dress was in her hands, soft and dusty, and she made a mental note that she really needed to haul ass to IKEA to get a new dresser so that she wouldn't have to squirrel her clothes away like Nick -
Sam tugged at her hair then. Hard. Pulling her head back and baring her throat to him, and she felt a shiver go through her whole body as all thoughts were chased out of her head and she could barely see, through the tears in her eyes, Sam's long and lean form in front of her. "There you are," he said, satisfied, and she wound her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
"But you need me to have sex," Nick said with a kind of sour triumph, and what knocked the breath from her chest was not the statement - ridiculous - but that it was the first time he'd been an asshole to her without implicitly apologizing for it by pointing out his own meanness. Usually he backed off with a "no, I was just teasing" or a little smile that told her how little attention to pay to what he was saying. But this was dark eyes gone flat and hard, an obscure hurt flashing across his face at the thought that she'd said no to them before he'd even asked. It wasn't like he wanted her anyway, and one dream was no reason to throw away - whatever it was she had with Sam.
Nick was a child and Sam was an adult; wasn't that what she'd decided? But Nick looked like a man now, age written in every line of him - the solidity of his body and the complexity of his face.
Why was he making everything so complicated?
She cranked the Sexy Mix up so that Nick would hear it, and Sam manhandled her around the bed, pinning her wrists and ankles and pulling her hair, until she couldn't think, could only feel the rhythms of the music pounding into her body.
She was still sore from the night before, and Sam pressed ruthlessly on all of the tender spots like he'd memorized her anatomy, like he wanted to hurt her until she was out of her mind with it.
It was enough to douse her mind like a candle, so she went with it and let his weight pin her to the bed as "You Can Call Me Al" blared out around her.
In the morning, she walked into the kitchen to find Nick drinking his coffee out of her Van Gogh mug, defiant eyes meeting hers over its lip.
She was going to go out of her goddamned mind.
Nick kept wearing that green shirt. Up until he bought a new one to impress that girl he'd apparently worshipped in college. Amelia, that was her name, and man, Nick certainly didn't aim low; Amelia was gorgeous. Not to mention charmed by him and willing to stake her claim in front of witnesses, and all she could do as she watched Amelia draw Nick's head down was feel the pulse of electricity that went through her as she saw Nick's jaw catch as his mouth met Amelia's. He bent his head just so, gathered Amelia close with sure hands, and latched on confidently. Goddamn Nick Miller had no business advertising his kissing skills in the hallway right outside her bedroom - the hallway between their two bedrooms, where he'd just high-fived her instead of grabbing her and kissing her.
But it was all in her head, apparently, because when Sam walked away, Nick held ice to her face and didn't let his tongue anywhere near her. Yeah, he gave her pep talks and ran off with a stripper whose last boyfriend had been married and that had to be a sign that Nick had moved on.
She baked the brownies he'd really liked and sat near him when he played one of his dumb videogames, crocheting some three-sleeved thing in yarn that got kinked from the number of times she unwound her stitches. Close enough to him that she could see the hickeys Angie had left on his neck and wonder what marks his clothes were covering. She couldn't smell his skin because the aroma of chocolate was overwhelming, but she still caught her breath when he leaned close to hear what she was singing. "You Can Call Me Al," she realized half a second after he did, and tried not to blush guiltily.
Nick shifted away from her when he caught the words - "Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly" - and killed the zombies dead, or fully dead, or whatever, his score in the corner of the screen increasing too fast to keep track.
It would have been playing with fire to pack the Sexy Mix for the cabin trip. She brought Boggle instead, because she and Sam were grown-ups, who'd decided to try a new kind of relationship that didn't involve tearing each other's clothes off at every opportunity. It was nice. They were on their way to a perfect weekend.
And then Nick, who'd had the nerve to suggest that she sounded like a back-alley bumfight when Sam was rocking her world, disappeared upstairs with Angie and screamed like a little girl while the bedframe squeaked in an insistent rhythm she felt in her bones. He sounded exhilarated and wild and like he didn't even need a CD he'd made a hundred and ten years ago to generate instant chemistry with a girl who was clearly crazy and uninhibited and everything she wasn't.
Some of the noises he was making - she wondered if Angie was pulling his hair to get his mind to go blank.
She wondered what it would do to her if she had him in her bed when her mind was already consumed by him.
The acoustics of the cabin were crazy. She heard Nick's long, drawn-out moan as clearly as if he were right behind her, his breath tickling her skin, and she slapped the lid on the Boggle grid and shook it loud enough to wake the dead.
It looked like she'd made the right call, guilty as she felt for even thinking it - Nick was a mess from the ground up, his dad's shoddy parenting setting him on a road she'd never imagined before meeting him. Sam was a tall and handsome doctor; Nick was a drifter's son with an anger problem. But Nick was also hurting, and convinced he was broken, and she had to do something.
This wasn't the time to fold him in her arms and share warmth. His defenses were up and he'd take physical contact as a sign she thought of him as weak. She had to let him know she saw strength when she looked at him.
It didn't look like he believed her when she told him he was good.
And of course that - when he'd been making headway with a hot girl turned on by his "brokenness" and she was settling into a good groove with Sam - was when he laid an amazing kiss on her that bent space and time and made her head go all Fantasia, dancing hippos and everything. And then followed it up with sweet, swift, plaintive kisses that said he'd staked everything on this moment, and all she could think was that she should have known it would be like this between them, volcanic and sincere all at once, and she watched him turn and walk away once he'd had his say.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.
This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/431165.html.