In which Jess is leaning against the back wall of the club, watching Cece and her cousins dance away the night before the wedding, when Nick comes up and stands next to her, close enough she can feel the heat from his body against her bare arm. It's too loud to talk, so she gives him a lopsided smile and he gives her his 'I can't believe this is happening, but what are you going to do?' shrug and then at some point after that the back of his hand brushes against hers and at some point quite soon after that he's slid his hand into hers and laced their fingers together between them, and when she looks up at him he's still watching the dance floor, like nothing's even happening.
She doesn't pull away.
Later, crammed in the backseat of the car of whichever cousin agreed to drive them home, she's sitting bitch, as usual, and they're pressed up together, his side to her side, close enough for her to smell his aftershave and the whiskey on his breath. When he catches her looking at him, she looks away fast. The car makes a turn and she lurches against him -- he's so solid -- and looks resolutely at her knees.
Act the First
In which it's the morning of the wedding and she's rushing around half dressed since as the maid of honor she probably shouldn't be late to all the Get Cece Fancified festivities that will be taking up most of the day. She dashes into the laundry room to grab a pair of clean panties from the dryer and almost bumps smack into Nick when she whirls around to dash back out. The laundry room door is swinging shut behind him and he grabs her to steady her, one hand on her elbow and another on her waist and she yelps a little in surprise, then freezes.
"What are you doing??" he says, frowning at her and she holds up the panties crumpled in her hand without thinking.
"I was getting some, um." His eyes go to her hand and then back to her face, eyebrows raised.
"Underwear?" she finishes and watches as Nick swallows hard. His eyes flick down to what she's wearing -- her bridesmaid dress, with the twirly skirt that hits above her knees -- and Jess can feel her face going red. Neither of them says anything and she's all of a sudden having some trouble breathing and oh my god, what is happening.
Because before she can think of anything else to say, Nick's hands are tightening where they're still holding her and he's backing her up until her shoulders bump up against the laundry room wall. He's looming over her, standing so close that she thinks he's going to kiss her (again!), oh god, her lips are tingling and her heart is pounding, but instead he keeps his left hand on her waist and lets the other drop from her elbow to skim the skin on the front of her thigh with his fingertips just where the hem of her skirt is. It's just firm enough not to tickle and she can feel the edge of his nails scrape against her skin and holy schnike this is suddenly the hottest thing that's ever happened to her in her whole life. She breathes in sharply and her skin is tingling everywhere, but very especially between her legs.
Nick's still watching her and she can't break eye contact and it's like he knows it because he licks his lower lip and slides his thumb under the hem of her skirt, and then the rest of his hand, halfway up her thigh and this time when her breath catches something almost like a whimper slips out. Nick's eyes go darker and like it's given him permission he slides his hand the rest of the way up the outside of her leg 'til his hand is splayed across her hip, where the side of her underwear would very definitely be. If she were wearing any.
Nick's eyes flash like he won something and Jess's stomach twists and oh god, she can *feel* herself getting wet.
"Pretty risky," he says, his voice all gravelly and low, and she didn't realize 'til now that he hadn't said anything this whole time. "You live with a bunch of men, Jessica."
The way he says her name sends a frisson of electricity up her spine. His thumb is on her hipbone and his fingers are splayed across her waist all the way around to where it starts to turn into her butt and she looks down because it doesn't even seem real but yeah, there's Nick Miller's hand disappearing under her dress, the skirt pooling over his wrist where he has it pushed up so that most of her leg is out in the open.
Jess swallows hard and lifts her chin.
"Really, Miller? Don't you freeball like half the time?"
She's not sure what she was expecting, but it wasn't this: Nick gives her this infuriatingly cocky grin and says, "Try me."
But he doesn't seem to mean right now because he's sliding his hand back down her leg and she thinks he's going to step away, but no, it's only so he can slide it toward her inner thigh and oh god, brush his knuckles against her there, right between her legs. Thank god he's still got a hand on her waist because her knees almost give out and she lets out a noise that this time is *definitely* a whimper.
And yeah, okay, so they've made out more than once, and she definitely looks at him sometimes across the living room and thinks about the fact that she knows what his tongue feels like in her mouth, or (worse) how easily he lifted her onto the table and how her legs wrapped around him automatically and what it felt like to have him between them, his jeans and his, um, junk pressed all up against her through her tights.
But nobody's *clothes* had ever come off, or anything, and while her clothes (most of them) are still on, this. This is a very new level of everything.
And Nick does it again, his knuckles stroking against her, light and intentional and his eyes are all *over* her face like he's trying to find the answer to some really important question there. And then he presses his knuckle up, right against her, where she's wet and slippery and now it's his turn to breath in sharply, like he just found out something amazing.
"Nick," she says, and she can't tell if it's a question or a plea for reassurance or a demand to touch her more.
He strokes his fingers up and over her one more time, bringing her slick wetness over her clit, and then -- his jaw clenches and he juts his chin forward like he's deciding something -- and he slides a finger into her, sure and slow and she almost comes right then and there.
Her mouth drops open and she sucks in a stuttering lungful of air, and it's all she can do to keep even a little quiet and oh my god, he's doing it again, a little more quickly and then, fuck, he's slipping two fingers inside her and she can barely keep herself standing upright and oh god, his fingers are so big. She never realized. He's barely even touched her clit -- they haven't even kissed! -- and she's already way more than halfway to coming, oh god, how does he do this to her?!
Nick's leaning even closer over her, so close she can feel his breath on her face, and he does something with his fingers, twists them and --
"Hey, who's designated driver tonight? Not it!" Schmidt yells from somewhere down the hall and Nick slides his fingers out of her quick as anything and takes a quick step backward away from her.
"Not it either," Winston shouts from the direction of his bedroom and Nick clears his throat and hollers, "Not happening!" without taking his eyes off her.
He takes another step back and turns away, just as Schmidt pushes the door open.
"Jeeeeess," Schmidt grins, leaning against the doorjamb. "Our lovely, sober chauffeur."
"Um, I'm a bridesmaid, I'm *definitely* exempt from being DD," she says, hoping she sounds less shaky than she feels. Nick is rummaging in the hamper in the corner while Schmidt cocks an eyebrow at her.
"If that's true, then I hope you understand your sacred responsibility -- as a drunk bridesmaid -- to get drunk and morose enough to hook up with some random guy you meet in the buffet line."
Over his shoulder she can see Nick look up at her and his face is all unreadable and she can't even deal with any of this.
"Schmidt," she shrieks. "Oh my god!" She pushes out the door past him, underwear still balled up in her hand.
"What?!" Schmidt hollers after her. "It was a joke! Kind of."
And then: "Oh my god, Nicholas, please tell me you're not going to wear an undershirt you just took out of the dirty laundry."
"It's my only white v-neck!" she hears Nick say defensively and she slams her bedroom door on the sound of their arguing and collapses backwards onto her bed.
It's a long time before she can get her breathing to even out, let alone regain enough motor control to actually put on the stupid underwear and sit up and try to be a person again.