It was a new year; that meant new possibilities, so David knew he had to do this no matter what. He was not a wimp. He raised his hand towards the doorbell, inches away he let it drop, for the fifth time.
Inside Nick laughed, having spotted Hodges from the window on the first try, and opened the door. "Hodges! What can I do for you?"
David, for the first time in a long time, didn't have an answer straight off.
"Hodges?" Nick waved a hand in front of his face.
David shook his head, "Sorry, Stokes, it... it doesn't matter."
David turned to leave, when Nick's voice stopped him.
"You stand at my door for ten minutes trying to get the guts to knock and it doesn't matter?"
"I didn't knock."
"Would you like me to shut the door so that you can?"
David did the only thing he could think of, he nodded. The door almost slammed in his face. This time he really had to do it. He knocked. The door opened, again, and Nick smiled at him - one of those smiles he'd always wanted from Nick. He'd stared too long, Nick was waving a hand in front of his face again. He was not going to blush. He wasn't. Damnit! He had.
Nick smirked, "Come on in David."
And with that Hodges entered a world he never wanted to leave, a world in which Nick Stokes called him by his first name and put an arm around his shoulders.