[identity profile] afteriwake.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] demonicforensics
Title: At The Diner
Author/Artist: Ragna ([livejournal.com profile] goddess_loki)
Claim: Nick Stokes/Faith Lehane
Theme: #5 (Tackle)
Theme Set: #5 (Crack)
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I wish I did, but I don't. Jerry Bruckheimer, Anthony Zuicker, et. al. own the CSIverse characters and Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, et. al. own the Buffyverse characters.
Authors Notes: This is part of an ongoing series, "Demonic Forensics" (found at [livejournal.com profile] sunnydalelainlv.

---

"You aren't serious." Nick looked across the table towards her, taking in the outfit she was wearing.

"Yeah, I am," Faith said with a nod. "Trust me, I used to wear a lot less clothing. There was times I'd have fit in perfectly with the hookers on the Strip."

"Did you do this for work, or..." He left it hanging

Faith looked at him and laughed. "I liked the look. Plus I fit in better. Nowadays, I'm all about tight pants."

Nick grinned at her, leaning back and picking up his coffee, taking a sip. She looked normal right now...T-shirt, those tight jeans she liked, boots...he couldn't believe it when she said she'd looked the way she'd looked. Or maybe he could. He was still getting to know her, though he doubted he would ever really get to know her.

"So what about you? Any fashion choices that embarassed the hell out of you?"

"Not that I can think of. I'm pretty much a T-shirt and jeans guy."

"And you look good in those jeans." She waited a minute before continuing. "Sorry about that."

Nick shrugged slightly. "I was told by Wesley that I shouldn't sleep with you. He said nothing about flirting."

"You know, Nick, I kind of like you," she said with a grin. "You're different."

"How so?"

"Most guys only want one thing. And I'll be honest, I like that one thing, too. You don't seem to just want that one thing."

"I don't sleep with a woman until I actually know her well enough to figure out if it's going to bite me in the ass later," he said, his grin dropping a little.

"Something happen that brought about that state of mind?" Faith asked, suddenly intently curious.

"I slept with a woman once. She had been a hooker, said she wanted out of the game. I'd helped her a few times and then one night..." He looked down at his coffee. "She got killed by her pimp that evening. I was accused of her murder."

Faith didn't say anything. She'd had her fair share of messed up relationships, but she'd never been accused of murdering someone she'd slept with. And in his line of work that was a pretty bad thing, she guessed.

"Kind of a conversation stopper, isn't it?" Nick said.

"Kind of," she said honestly.

"Then let's change the topic. How exactly does Rupert think Greg and I can help?"

"You know, everyone else calls him Giles. Don't you call your boss Grissom?"

"Touche," he said with a grin. "All right. How does Giles think we can help?"

"Easy. You're smart. I mean, Willow's smart, but she's dealing with the magic angle more than anything else. Takes up a lot of her time and energy, you know? Having two guys who understand the flip side, the science stuff...it can't hurt." She paused. "There's another guy helping out, in New York. Buffy's dealing with him."

"He a CSI, too?"

"Apparently, he's a CSI and detective. Turns out the coroner's in on it, too. Old friend of Giles."

"You've got quite a network going."

"Yeah." She played with the rim of her coffee cup. This was kind of new for her. Yeah, she and Robin had talked, but she'd slept with him before that, and there was always this undercurrent of him maybe wanting more, and it had freaked her out. Knowing Nick wouldn't try anything...it made the talking easier. This was new territory, and she's wasn't quite sure how to deal with it.

"What if I said no?"

Her head snapped up. "What the hell do you mean?"

"I mean, what if I realize that knowing isn't what I want? Any way you can make me forget?"

"Yeah, probably. But Greg's still going to know. Could make things awkward."

He nodded. "Just checking."

She eyed him. "You're really on the fence here, aren't you?"

"Leaning more to the 'wanting to help' side, though."

"Well, keep leaning that way until you fall off the fence, okay?"

Nick took a last sip of his coffee. "Maybe we should call it a night."

"Yeah, maybe. I need some sleep soon."

"Thought Slayers ran on adrenaline."

"Think again. There's been more than a few times I've crashed after a few patrols that went from dusk to dawn."

He grinned at her again. "I know the feeling."

She got up and pulled some money from her jeans. "Here. This covers my food."

"No," he said shaking his head. "I got it."

She stared at him. "If you say so."

"Are we cool?" he asked.

She nodded slowly. "Five by five."

He reached for his own wallet and put some money on the table. "At least let me give you a ride to your hotel."

"Beats walking," she said with a slight shrug as he got out of his seat. He followed her out the exit. "Where are you parked?"

"Over there," he said, pointing to the darkest part of the parking lot.

"You would have to park where someone could sneak up on you," she said, shaking her head.

"Wasn't my fault. When we got here, that was the only open spot." They started heading in that direction when a guy rushed at them. Before Nick could do anything Faith shoved him out of the way and reached for her side.

"Vamp!" she yelled, pulling out her stake. The vampire tackled her to the ground and she dropped the stake. She kept struggling until suddenly the vampire exploded into dust. Nick was standing over her, stake in hand.

"Did I just do that?" he asked, dropping the stake and offering her his hand.

"Yes," she said as she got up. When she was standing again she brushed the dust off of her. "You okay with that?"

He nodded, very slowly. "Guess I am."

"Good." She stopped looking downa t her clothes and looked at him. "Next time, park in the light."

"Yes, ma'am," he said seriously.

"Hey, I was born to do that. You want to live, follow my rules," she said, her voice softening slightly. "Where do you live?"

"Couple miles east of here," he replied.

"Get in the car, drive home and don't stop for anyone except a cop," she said, bending down to pick up her stake. "And even then, be careful."

"Got it."

"Tomorrow...we'll all meet up. Start with some training. I'll get Wesley to tell Fred and she can tell you and Greg."

"Got it," he said again, this time with a nod.

"Get some sleep. You're gonna need it," she said as she started to walk off towards her motel.

"Guess so," he said more to himself as he watched her walk away. Then he shook his head again and climbed into his truck, staring out the windshield for a moment before starting up the truck and heading home, wondering what was going to happen next.
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