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Oblivious

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Joe knows he's sexy, that much is abundantly obvious to Nile. The way he holds himself, the way he dresses when they're not shooting at people or crawling through mud or waiting in a safe house to move on. It adds up to Joe knowing he could charm the birds from the sky if he wanted to. The fact he uses nearly all that charm on Nicky makes them even more adorable.

And Booker is the same. He might have been suffering from depression for most of the time Nile has known him, but the way he moves, the clothes he choses for other than practical purposes. Booker is aware of what makes him look good. He's been better since everything went down with Quynh and the whole exile thing had been thrown out the window. He even stands to his full height these days.

Quynh might have missed a lot of time, but she has style, a good eye, and even more self-confidence than Joe, PTSD aside. It doesn't hurt that she can go from I-will-rip-out-your-heart-and-eat-it to sweet-innocence-and-light at a moment's notice either. She could have any man or woman begging at her feet if she wanted and it shows.

When it comes to Andy, well Andy just is, and she is fundamentally superior to every other human being on the planet, so it's not even a question.

Which just leaves Nile with the conundrum that is Nicky.

As far as she can tell, Nicky moves through life as if he is totally unaware of just how hot he is. When Joe waxes lyrically about him, Nicky blushes and smiles fondly, and totally looks like he thinks Joe is just being romantic. And it's not that he doesn't know his own self-worth, Nile can see that. Nicky walks through everything with the confidence all his nine hundred plus years have given him. It's that she's only ever seen him in comfortable practical clothes with his hair however which way it wants to be, even during their down time. Basically Nicky dresses like her friends' dads used to.

That's why she almost chokes on her own spit when he walks down the stairs of their current safehouse in leather pants and a sinfully tight t-shirt with his hair styled and an earring in each ear. Piercings are problematic for them, but as long as they are solid they do stay in.

"Did you lose a bet?" she asks before she can help herself.

He makes a face.

"Yes."

She can't help but laugh, although part of her brain is trying to melt down. It's not like she wants to actually have sex with Nicky or Joe, they've become her big brothers, but her libido can appreaciate the view. And boy what a view it is.

"With Booker?" she asks.

"Si," Nicky replies, clearly somewhat annoyed, most likely with himself.

That must have been some bet, because Nile can't help noticing the leather pants fit Nicky like a glove. Booker had to have bought them specially.

"Do I want to know?" she asks.

"No," was his response and, of course, now she really does want to know, but he looks so put out she lets him off. "Have you seen Joe?" he adds.

"In the kitchen I think," Nile lets him know and gives him a sympathetic smile.

As Nicky walks off muttering under his breath in Italian about looking ridiculous, Nile spots Booker coming down the stairs. He has a very smug grin on his face.

"Impressive," Nile tells him.

"Mio amore," she hears from the direction of the kitchen before something of a strangled sound and lots of crashing.

Booker's grin becomes a full fledged smile.

"Joe can thank me later," he says and comes to sit next to Nile on the couch.

"He's going to have had a heart attack and we should probably go out for dinner," is Nile's opinion on the matter.

"We have reservations at Leo's," Booker says.

They had been in the safehouse a week already and the little restaurant down the road was absolutely wonderful.

"Convenient," Nile observes.

"Andy and Quynh are meeting us there after their shopping trip," Booker adds.

"Funny how that's worked out," Nile says. "You cheated didn't you?"

"Of course I did," Booker tells her and the smug grin is back.

"And Nicky thinks Joe is the romantic one," Nile tells him and rolls her eyes.

Nile's not an idiot, she has noticed the way Booker has gone out of his way over and over again since his return to do nice things for Nicky and Joe. He's rarely overt and even more rarely takes credit; Nile is sure he's not trying to buy his way back into their graces, it just seems to make him happy. She knows she's not the only one who's noticed. He does the same for her and Andy and in a different way Quynh, but especially their resident nine hundred plus year old couple. It's all kinds of sweet.

Of course they're probably going to have to bleach the kitchen, but that's a small price.

"Yusuf!" comes from that direction, before a very loud moan.

"Shall we?" Nile asks and indicates the front door.

"That would probably be for the best," Booker agrees with a nod.