“Hey Ellie, it’ll be fine. I promise.” Ellie sighed, running a hand over her hair in frustration.
“But Nick I can’t dance. And we’re supposed to be going undercover as a professional dance team.” Nick stepped closer to her, cupping her elbow in one hand.
“You’ll do great B.” She started to cut in when the hand on her elbow ran up her arm, squeezing lightly. “You will. I’ll even give you dance lessons.” That caused Ellie to laugh, a smile gracing Nick’s face at the sound.
“You realize we have a week right?” Nick playfully rolled his eyes.
“I’ve had harder assignments before.” He winked, making Ellie smack him lightly in the chest. Her responding retort was stopped by McGee rounding the corner telling them it was time for the debrief.
Saturday morning Ellie had just gotten out of the shower and was pouring her coffee when Nick’s familiar knock sounded on her door. Not thinking, she threw out a ‘come in’ over her shoulder, grabbing a second mug from the cabinet and pouring him a cup.
“Hey B, I hope you’re ready for a day of dan-” She had turned around then, going to hand him his coffee when he stopped talking. Her eyebrows scrunched together in confusion at his wide eyes and silence until his eyes trailed down her body, quickly flicking back up to her eyes. With her arm outstretched with his coffee she froze, looking down. In her still tired state she had never bothered to get dressed after her shower and was just wearing a light purple thin robe that barely reached mid-thigh and was tied haphazardly causing a deep v in the front. Nick’s eyes flicked down to her cleavage once more before he blinked and finally accepted the coffee from her hand. At the loss of the cup Ellie blushed and shook her head.
“I’m just gonna go and… yeah.” She mumbled the last word, walking past Nick, her sleeve brushing against his wrist causing his breath to hitch. Her steps faltered at the sound but she didn’t bother holding back the smirk that crossed her face.
Ten minutes later she came out of her bedroom dressed in yoga pants and a flowing tank carrying a bag with the heels she would be dancing in. “Alright. All ready to go now.”
“Yeah let’s uh, let’s go.” Nick grabbed her bag from her, holding his hand and motioning for her to lead the way. It was a short, quiet drive that Ellie spent glancing over at Nick. He was wearing his usual black pants but instead of a t-shirt he donned a black tank top that she had seen him wear to the gym many times. Her eyes involuntarily trailed over his arms, admiring his muscles in a way she didn’t normally get to do. Before she knew it they were pulling up to what looked like an abandoned factory.
“Umm Nick, why are we here?” Getting out, he walked around to her side to open her door and grabbed their bags out of the back.
“It may look abandoned B but this is really the best dance studio in DC. And it’s ours for the day.” Tilting her head, she looked between him and the building skeptically.
“If you say so.” Looking over the building once more she followed behind him as he led them inside. Despite its appearance, the interior had actually been remodeled and held a large open room with mirrors and balance bars all around. Expecting Nick to put their bags down, she was surprised when instead he led her to a staircase on the opposite end of the room that led up to a smaller space with windows on two sides, a single mirror, and a small partition in the corner where he finally sat their bags down.
“Alright B, Let’s dance.” she took his outstretched hand and shrieked when he spun her around and pulled her into him.
“Ugh! I’m never gonna get this down! Gibbs and Vance should’ve just picked another agent for this job.” Frustrated, Ellie started to step away from where she was in Nick’s arms when he grabbed her hand and pulled her back to him.
“Hey, hey. You’re fine. Here, feel the beat.” Nick pulled her hand up over his heart and laid his over it. “Just feel the beat and watch me.” Ellie looked up from his feet into his eyes and felt a calm wash over her. Staring into his eyes, feeling the strong beat of his heart under her palm, she took a deep breath and nodded once signaling she was ready. Nick moved one foot back and she followed his lead, moving one foot forward, eyes locked the entire time.
It took some practice, sweat and a lot of Nick's toes getting stepped on when they finally had the routine down.
“Okay B, I think it’s time for a break.” Leaning over with her hands on her knees, Ellie tried to catch her breath as Nick went to the cooler, grabbing them both bottles of water and tossing one to her as she stood up. Catching it, she took a long drink of water, watching as Nick did the same before ripping off his shirt and using it to wipe the sweat from his brow. Seeing his muscles move with the action she gulped, turning around and trying to catch her breath for another reason. Finishing her water, she threw it off to the side and turned around finding Nick right behind her. “Ready to keep going?”
“Yeah, just a sec.” Wiping the sweat off her brow with the back of her hand, Ellie groaned when she pinched her shirt and pulled it away from her sweaty skin. Glancing first at Nick then down at herself, she made her decision quickly and yanked the tank top over her head, tossing it to the side and revealing a white sports bra. “Okay, now I’m ready.” Speechless for the second time that day Nick gulped and stepped closer to her.
“Let’s um, let’s go over what we’ve already practiced.” Ellie just nodded and placed one hand in his and the other on his shoulder while he placed a hand on her hip. Her skin was on fire where his hand touched bare flesh and she tried hard to keep her thoughts on just dancing.
As soon as Nick placed his hand on Ellie’s hip, feeling her skin underneath his fingertips, he knew this was going to be a rough day. He had already been distracted this morning seeing her in her robe and now she was standing in front of him in just a sports bra and yoga pants, her hand burning a hole where it rested on his shoulder. Taking a deep breath he counted out the steps, only noticing he missed the mark when Ellie stepped on his toe.
“Oh my gosh I’m so sorry! I promise I know it.” Shaking his head he squeezed her hip lightly in reassurance.
“No B, I’m sorry. I was uh, distracted and missed the mark.”
“So I actually got it right that time?” A smile lit up her face and he smiled back.
“You got it right. You’ll be a professional dancer in no time.” A blush filled her cheeks and she looked down in embarrassment. “Ready to try again?”
“Yep! Let’s do this.” Smiling again at her enthusiasm Nick counted out the steps again, their feet and bodies moving together seamlessly. When they got to the end, Ellie stepped back and pumped her fist in the air in excitement.
“Not to burst your bubble B but uh, that’s only one of the dances.”
“What? We have to do more than one?” Her hands were fisted and placed on her hips as she tried to catch her breath.
“Afraid so, but this is the fun one. Come here.” He crooked his finger at her in a come hither motion and her mind suddenly went to him doing that motion in a completely different scenario before shaking her head and stepping closer. “Okay now this one is a little more difficult than the last dance and I’ve never actually done it before but it’ll be great.”
“If you say so.” She mumbled under her breath but their proximity meant he heard it. Deciding to ignore her comment he walked around her, bringing her into the new pose. He was now behind her and to her left, bringing her left arm up to wrap around his neck. Ellie stood completely still as half of his body was flush against her back. His right hand gripped her right hip and his left came up to cover hers that was behind his head.
“Now, I’m gonna trail my hand down your side and when I get to your ribs you’ll slowly bring your left arm down and grab my hand on your hip, okay.” Ellie gulped at the explanation, trying to remember his instructions when all she could think of was his abs against her back and his hand gripping her hip.
“Oh-okay.” Ellie held her breath as Nick started trailing his fingertips down the underside of her arm. Everything was going well until he reached her underarms and she squirmed, letting out a loud laugh. “Sorry. Sorry. It just tickled.” Stepping back into him she put her arm around his neck and got into position. “ I’m good now.”
“Ready?” She nodded so he moved his hands back into position and tried again.
Five minutes later, Ellie was trying to hold back a giggle as Nick sighed again in annoyance.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’ll get it eventually. It just really tickles!” Running a hand through his hair, Nick walked in a circle before coming back behind Ellie “I promise I’ll try not to laugh this time.”
“Okay. Okay.” Taking a deep breath, he resumed position for the eighteenth time. As soon as her arm was behind his neck he started running his fingers down her arm and side, pleasantly surprised when she didn’t start laughing this time. Remembering what he told her earlier, Ellie slowly brought her hand down and grabbed his that was on her hip, letting out a little squeak when he suddenly spun her out and back in, clasping their other hands together and starting to move. The steps to this dance were similar to the other one, letting her keep up easier this time.
They were standing by the window eating lunch after nailing the first part of their newest dance when Nick spoke up.
“So uh, the next part is a little bit trickier and we may wanna go somewhere else to practice it.”
“Oh?” Tilting her head, Ellie thought about what they could possibly have to train elsewhere for. “What uh, what do we need to work on that we can’t do here?” She popped another chip in her mouth, waiting for his response.
“Just uh, you know, a lift.” The last part was said under his breath and it took Ellie a minute to decipher just what he said.
“Wait, a lift?”
“Umm yeah. Figured we could go to like a field or, ya know, a lake or something to practice.” Nick took another bite of his sandwich and Ellie thought back to this afternoon and the second dance they were working on when it hit her.
“Hey uh, Nick?”
“Are you teaching me the dance from Dirty Dancing ?” A sheepish smile crossed his face and he sat down his sandwich before rubbing the back of his neck.
“Um yeah. I uh, I figured if we were gonna practice dancing I may as well teach you the dance to your favorite movie.”
“H-how did you know it was my favorite? And how did you even know the dance?”
“Well B, you have like, every DVD release of it. And uh, I may have watched it a few times when I found out we were gonna be doing this assignment.” Her mouth dropped open and she stared at him.
“We found out about this assignment like, three days ago! Wait! Is that why you cancelled out normal movie night last night?”
“Um, maybe. I kinda watched it back to back, especially the dance scenes.” Ellie’s heart swelled at his action and couldn’t hold back as she wrapped her arms around him, not caring how sweaty he was as she kissed him passionately. Nick’s arms immediately wrapped around her, automatically supporting her as she jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist. When they pulled away for air Nick smirked. “It’s not the lift but I kinda like this better.” Ellie let out a laugh before narrowing her eyes at him.
“But you’re still gonna teach me the lift right?”
“Well it wouldn’t be the dance without now would it?” Smiling, Ellie leaned in, kissing him deeply.
Before they could get too carried away, Ellie pulled back and looked at him. “So. Can we do the rest of the dance?”
“Whatever you want Baby. Whatever you want.”