Title: Out in the Open
Notes: God, I love this adorably dorktastic show. And here, then, is an incredibly dorktastic fic, featuring Nate and Sophie being giant dorks. New fandoms ftw!
Sophie is wearing a skirt today. This is something Nate noticed the moment she walked in this morning. But he is noticing it again, right now, with renewed interest, since she just came and seated herself on his desk.
She crosses her legs, perched there mere inches away, smiling easily down at him as he leans back in his chair and tries not to stare at her thighs. Not too much, anyway.
"Sophie Devereaux," he says, letting the mockery colour his tone, "nervous about a role?"
"Oh, I'm not talking about me," she quickly comes back with, "it's you I'm worried about."
"Hey, I've played a few parts now, I've heard no complaints."
"Nate," she gives him an indulgent look, "you do Obnoxious American, and hey, you do it well. Not something I'd want to question too closely, if I were you, why exactly that is, but anyway, this is going to be different."
Well okay, then. For a moment, he thinks about pointing out that, sometimes, he uses accents, too. Texas-obnoxious, and LA-obnoxious, for example? Completely different.
But Sophie is still talking. "A couple, Nate. A married couple. You don't see the problem?"
"We've done it before," he offers.
"Yeah, for thirty seconds, arguing the whole time, which is something we've already got well and covered. This is more complicated."
"I... Sophie? We're not strangers," he searches for what she wants to hear, unsuccessfully, judging by the impatience working it's way across her features.
"Body language," she stresses, going into the lecture mode he knows well by now. "Visual cues. People in a relationship for any length of time - they have their own language. It's all there in the eye contact, the intimacy, the way they anticipate each other. And we have to be convincing. You have to be."
"I know," he assures her, pointing out, "I've been married, remember."
"And no hesitation when you touch each other." She looks at him, expectantly, waiting for - something.
"Yeah," he looks up at her, gives an apologetic shrug, "still not getting it."
"Nate." She's looking at him like he's incredibly stupid now, which is always helpful. "I mean, honestly."
"Nate." More staring. "The sexual tension," she finishes finally.
His mouth opens, as he flounders for a moment in the wake of her statement. "Oh," he says. "The -"
"Sexual tension. Yeah. Between us."
He purses his lips, and thinks. Hard. Wishes she wasn't sitting like that on his desk and that he hadn't spent so long ruminating on her legs just now. Wants to know - why is she wearing a skirt like that today, anyway? "You think it will affect how we play a couple, this," he gestures vaguely, "the -"
"Stop saying it." He closes his eyes, which helps some. "Okay, I can see what you're getting at."
"I'm honestly not sure what to think that it didn't occur to you before."
"Right, what was I thinking."
"Sometimes with you I just don't know."
He opens his eyes to find her regarding him with that particular brand of exasperation she seems to reserve only for him. The feeling, he thinks, is mutual.
"So," he says, "what, you think we should... resolve it?"
He finds himself smirking, and she rolls her eyes. "No." She pauses, her eyes zeroing back on him, suddenly full of warmth and humour. "Well, I mean we probably wouldn't have time, anyway. Do you think?"
He takes a breath to reply - and lets it out, conceding defeat. "What then? Just... tell me."
"Well, you know, I was thinking we should do something - even just acknowledging it, having it out there in the open, it'll help. We can work around it as long as we're aware of it. And by we, I mean you."
He huffs. Him? He hadn't even considered it as being an issue until she suddenly showed up talking about 'tension'. "I'll try not to embarrass you."
"If you could just not blow it and get us all arrested, that would be fine."
"I seem to remember a certain someone breaking cover -"
"Then don't get shot! Think you can manage that?"
They're just bickering now, Sophie with her arms crossed over her chest, and both of them annoyed - it's a return to status quo and he welcomes it. This, he could do all day.
"Hey," he says, "no one is getting shot, it's not in the plan. And I'll be fine - we'll both be fine, I think if anyone can pull off a married couple, it's us."
"Mm," she makes a non-committal sound. "We'll see. Put your hand on my knee."
"Uh. What? Why?"
"Because you've done it a thousand times before, it's no big deal. You're my husband? It can't be awkward, like you've never laid a finger on me, before."
"Well," he reminds her, "I have done that."
"So? Then it shouldn't be a problem."
His eyes have, by now, been drawn back inevitably to those legs, the side of her calf resting against the arm of his chair, and above it, her knee and the thing is, unfortunately, or not so unfortunately from a certain point of view... she has a point. They do need to make it seem natural.
So he moves his hand and he - he hesitates. Doesn't touch her. Her look is triumphant as she catches it, the momentary pause, and then her hand grasps his, covers it and holds it flat against her leg. Her thigh, which, he notes, is warm and firm and smooth through her pantyhose. He moves his fingers experimentally, just a fraction, and her hand presses down, holding him still.
"And you can't look at me like that." Her voice is lower suddenly, quiet, intimate tones as she leans over him. "Not like that. Like you want more and don't know what to do about it." Her hand slides from his hand on her leg, along his arm. She's close, and he's frozen. "If we were married, you'd know. None of this would be new." Her hand pauses, her thumb rubbing lightly in the crease of his elbow. Her other hand comes up under his chin. "You cannot look at me like that."
"Oh, I'm trying." His voice comes out hoarse.
"Not very hard."
"No, not very hard." He smiles slightly.
She smiles back, still far too close for comfort. On the one hand, he's stopped staring at her legs - on the other, he can't take his eyes off her mouth. It's not the worst trade-off in the world.
"All right then," she murmurs, his eyes tracking the movement of her lips as she speaks. "Well I think we should, well, definitely, definitely try it. I mean we don't have hardly any time, but if we could just - because I just want to help, you know, and the others are relying on us and we need to get this right. And hey, I'm a professional, this is what I do but if you're just going to look at me like that, well, it just dredges up all these things, doesn't it, and can we really afford the risk? Can we? I mean this is a serious thing we're doing -"
"Sophie," he says. "I think it would be a good idea." He swallows. "Definitely."
"Oh good," she says, and closes the distance to kiss him.
It's not exactly a scenario he ever pictured, exactly, but it's Sophie, this woman he's always wanted, in one way or another, for as long as he's known her, and here she is, soft and warm when he puts his arms around her, and she's kissing him -
Suddenly, she's not anymore. "Mm, and I mean we really don't have time for this," she says rapidly, earnestly, her face still very close to his, "we have to be on that plane in a few hours. Hardison is going to be shooing us out the door soon."
With a hand at the back of her neck he pulls her back down to him because screw Hardison and his obsessive-compulsive scheduling; Sophie comes willingly, her mouth opening readily against his. It's deeper this time, wetter, and Sophie breathes against his mouth, making a noise at the back of her throat as her fingers slide into his hair and her tongue slides into his mouth and oh, yeah, this was so worth waiting for...
There's a knock at the door.
They jerk apart at once, like a pair of guilty teenagers.
"Uh," he tries to call out, "uh, not right now!"
"Fine," Eliot's voice comes back through the door. "But he's getting all antsy out here, I'm just saying."
"We're not even packed." Sophie, mouth hidden behind her hand, looking flushed and dishevelled, might be on the verge of laughter.
"Yeah, be there in a minute," Nate yells, never taking his eyes from her.
"We're done, anyway," she says, "right?" Her hand leaves her mouth, crosses the distance between them as she swipes a thumb under his lip.
He can only imagine what he looks like. Stunned. Barely conversant. Unbelievably turned on.
For now, he thinks, his brain only just catching up to her words - they are done for now, because they have a plane to catch, and a Hardison to talk down.
But in every other way, it seems, they are only just getting started.
"Well, this was good," Sophie says. "We've certainly got that out in the open. There, you see. Now," her hands travel over herself, straightening her blouse, smoothing her hair back, "well, it will be easy. Things won't be awkward at all, will they?"
He clears his throat. "Right, no," he agrees. And wishes dearly for a drink. He can raise a toast to Mr and Mrs whatever-surname-Hardison-comes-up-with.
Sophie slides off the desk, then, taking her legs with her. He'll try not to miss them too much.
She's smiling, bright and happy. "Excellent. And look, don't worry, I think you'll be great, I have a really good feeling about it."
He huffs out a laugh. "Yeah, me too."
She sashays around the desk and has the door open a moment later. "I think they're waiting for us," she says, and he motions for her to go ahead without him. "You okay?"
He tries to convey with a look that he is going to need a minute. To think, amongst other things.
With a smile full of knowing, she leaves him there.
Since she entered his life as a quarry, fascinating and infuriating, Nate has often pondered the source of Sophie's inarguable talent. Most days he is resigned to the fact that it is simply beyond him to comprehend, the way this woman works.
Today, right now, he thinks it all comes down to her seemingly unlimited capacity for self-delusion.
He watches her walk out the door, completely, utterly unable to pull his eyes away from her, and thinks that all there is left now is to wonder at his own.