Nikki Heat


"You didn't."

"I didn't what?" A pause, wide eyes, his coffee not quite to his lips.

She huffs. "You know."

He sets down his coffee, shoulders come down. "She kissed me."

"I didn't hiss you didn't. I stated a slightly surprised fact."

He blinks. "I'm a little lost?"

"Is that a question?"

"No?" He's still blinking. The coffee foam is beginning to fall.

She takes a breath. She's about to say it. She will say it.

She doesn't say it.

He sighs. "It's too meta," he mumbles, shrugging his shoulders and picking up his coffee again.

"You said that," she says slowly. He did say that, while they were hiding out and watching creepy Rhodes-Beckett. "I don't know what that means."

"Meta. Self-referential. A creative work which refers-"

"I know what the word means." She flicks a packet of sweetener his direction and he fails to catch it. "What did you mean when you said it?"

"I meant what it means," he whines, collecting the errant packet. "Self-referential."

"Oh, come on. Too self-referential to have sex? It's not like we don't all ma-" She catches the word in her throat before she can say it, but she knows it's on her face, that it nearly tripped out of her mouth, and that he knows it too.

Both of his eyebrows are climbing his forehead.

She spins on her heel to leave, but he clears his throat and says suddenly, "We all grow up, though."

Beckett pauses at the door, he heart pounding a little too much, her mouth dry. "We all grow up?" she asks, even though she really shouldn't. She turns to look at him. She really shouldn't do that either.

He nods gravely, both hands cupped around the half-failed espresso she interrupted. "We figure out it doesn't do the job, this, ahem, only caring for yourself."

She slides a step closer, oh, she really shouldn't, but she stands at the the edge of the cafe table across from him. "Or. You get exactly what you need without someone else's messy... issues cramping your style. Holding you back."

He cracks up. His laughter is long and it's loud and he's making his coffee slosh all over the table. She sighs and turns to leave, not willing to do this with him right now, not willing to do it at all. She said too much anyway, and now-

"Wait, no, sorry. I'm not laughing at you. It's just-"

She doesn't wait, because that's not an apology, and he's always laughing at her.

He catches her wrist and gentles at her sharp look, lets go of her. "It's only that it's so you, Beckett. The meta you. It's exactly what I might have written Nikki to say."

"Nikki. Of course. And as you said, you don't want to have sex with meta-me."

His jaw drops.

She leaves the break room with a win.

It doesn't feel like one though.