*A/N - So sorry this took such a long time to complete, real life just took over! I hope you enjoy, and thank you so much for reading!*

...

Jess nuzzled her face further into Nick's chest, stretching her leg a little as her left thigh nestled comfortably between his. A sleepy smile spread across her face as she marvelled at how perfectly their bodies fit together. Nick started to stir, a small grumble reverberating against her ear as it rested just above his heart, and she felt his hand land firmly in the dip at the base of her spine. His fingers flexed as he pushed his body even closer to hers, cocooning her in his heat, his smell as beautifully raw and powerful as the first night they made love.

There was barely an inch of space on her skin that wasn't pressed to his - so much so that in her sleepy haze and the orange half light of sunrise, Jess struggled to remember where she ended and Nick began. Eyelids still feeling too heavy to win the battle to wake up, she let the steady rhythm of his heartbeat soothe her back off to sleep for just a little longer.

...

Butterfly kisses tickled her nose, and Jess could sense Nick smiling at her even with her eyes still closed. His hand stroked up her arm, lightly grazing her skin and rousing Jess gently until she took a deep breath in, filling her lungs with oxygen and groaning loudly while stretching out under the sheets.

"Morning..."

"Good morning, sleepyhead." Nick chuckled, laying a chaste peck on her forehead.

"Mmm, I love you..." She whispered, walking her fingers up the warm skin of his chest and playing with the beard scruff on his cheeks.

"I love you, too."

Jess sat up on her elbow and looked down at him, a very serious expression appearing on her face.

"And I'm not just saying that because of...you know..." she nodded to the bed with sly grin and raised her brows

"I'm glad to hear it." Laughed Nick.

A rapid knock on the door of their suite had Nick leaping out of bed like it was on fire, grabbing a clean t-shirt and throwing it over his head in one fluid movement as he hurried out of the room with an excited squeal.

"Breakfast is served!"

Jess watched him prance through the doorway and slid back down under the sheets, realising with a wide-eyed grin that she never even bothered to put her underwear back on last night...

...

As she finished running the brush through her damp hair and walked towards the balcony, Jess could see Nick sat reading the sports pages of the paper. He'd arranged a late check out for them, which meant they'd been able to enjoy the laziest breakfast in bed ever before taking a shower to freshen up.

He was wearing a plain white t shirt and a pair of boxers - with a tuft of messy hair thrown in for good measure - and Jess honestly didn't think he could look any sexier if he tried. Nick was one of those people who could really pull off the scruffy 'I-haven't-shaved-in-four-days' look...which was a good job, really.

Stepping up behind him, Jess slid her arms around his neck and let them rest on his chest as her lips brushed lightly against the corner of his mouth.

"Hey good lookin'..." she purred, feeling Nick's lips curl into a smile as his right arm came up to tangle itself in her hair.

"Hey..."

He reached for her and gently tugged Jess around his chair where she saw his gaze sweep appreciatively over the floaty blue sundress she was wearing. It was strapless and finished mid-thigh - exactly the spot Nick was currently staring at extremely eagerly.

Jess grinned as she removed the sports pages from his grasp and dropped it beside the chair, lowering herself down over his lap, hovering by his mouth before kissing him so soft and slow that his fingers started to dig into the back of her thighs in frustration.

"Kiss me like you mean it, Jessica!" He grumbled against her mouth with a false air of irritation, finding himself suddenly silenced by her tongue as she leaned her full body weight against him.

He could still taste her minty fresh toothpaste - and it was oddly arousing.

Jess sat up and smiled at him, the back of Nick's hand stroking slowly down her face, his knuckles caressing the line of her cheekbone as delicately as if she were made of glass. There was always something so incredibly sexy about the way he made her feel when he did that. Like he was afraid she'd break under the power of his touch.

"Do you think you've got one more round in you before we check out, Miller?" She whispered.

"Mmm, I don't know. I'm still pretty exhausted after last night, you know?"

"Oh, sure...of course." Jess leaned back a little, face failing to hide her slight disappointment, until Nick smirked and nipped her on the waist with his fingers.

"I'm kidding, Jess! You really think I'd pass up the opportunity to rip that pretty little dress right off ya?" He laughed mischievously, but Nick's face was soft and open, sunlight streaming on to the balcony and making the amber flecks in his brown eyes more noticeable than usual.

"You're a jerk!" Jess frowned, gripping a fistful of his t-shirt and tugging him forward, kissing Nick so hard it took his breath away.

She felt him grin beneath her lips as her hips bore down against his groin, feeling his erection straining within the confines of his boxers while his hands spanned her back, drawing her closer still as he rocked up against her.

Slipping his fingers under the hem of her dress, Nick traced up the back of her thighs before stopping still, drawing his face back to look her in the eye.

"Uh, Ms Day...?"

"Yes...?" She asked, biting her lip coyly, knowing exactly what was coming.

"...it would appear you have misplaced your undergarments..."

"Oh, would you look at that? So I have. How careless of me..."

...

The buildings passed in a haze of colour and shape, as if someone had licked their thumb and smudged it across the horizon.

Jess sat feeling the thrum of the car engine buzz through her as she lost herself in a tapestry of memories from their weekend.

She couldn't help but feel a pulse between her legs as she remembered the way Nick had grabbed her thighs and stood from his seat on the balcony a few hours ago, pinning her to the glass doors as he kissed her with so much heat she thought she would combust.

The unmistakable coiling in her stomach as she recalled his fingers sliding inside her out there in the open air, stroking her quickly and rhythmically - bringing her to one of the most intense climaxes she'd ever experienced, or so she'd thought, until he carried her back through to the bedroom. She'd pulled him down after her on the mattress, removed his boxers and flipped them over to straddle his waist, groaning out loud as she lowered on to him - hearing Nick hiss 'holy shit...' out loud as she rode him like her life depended on it and her limbs started to fizz with pleasure.

Just when she'd been reaching the point of no return, he grabbed her under the arms to still her movements and sat them up, kissing her neck sloppily and letting his tongue stroke over hers before guiding Jess on to her front as he entered her from behind, making her see stars as he drove into her and sucked on her neck and...and...and just the mere thought was making her tingle all over again...

As they stopped at the third set of red lights in a row, Nick glanced across at Jess and smiled to himself. She was doing that thing she often did as the passenger on a long car journey - staring out of the window, eyes glazed over and appearing to focus on nothing in particular.

The corner of his mouth quirked upwards as he noticed Jess's teeth sinking hard into her bottom lip, a slight pink tinge to her cheeks.

Her head snapped to the side as Nick cleared his throat loudly to gain her attention.

"Huh?"

"I never said anything..." he chuckled.

"Oh..." Jess used both hands to tuck her hair behind her ears with a slightly embarrassed giggle.

"You okay there, Day? You're looking a little...flushed."

"What? No, I...Shut up!"

"Hey, I get it..." Nick shrugged, hands stroking down from the steering wheel to rest on his thighs "...it was that good. You're allowed to enjoy thinking about it."

"Nick!"

"Tell me I'm wrong." He challenged, arching his brow.

Jess covered her face with her hands and laughed as she peeked through her fingers at him, so perfectly illuminated by the sun streaming in through the car window it was as if he was glowing.

Nick winked, and she felt a ripple of warmth spread through her entire body as she beamed back at him.

An irritated blare of the horn belonging to the car behind them forced Nick to shift his vehicle quickly in to gear as he realised the lights had changed to green. Waving his hand in the rear view mirror by way of apology, they giggled like a pair of naughty teenagers and continued their drive home - Jess's hand tenderly resting on his knee the whole way back, ensuring the smile remained plastered across Nick's face for the rest of the journey.

...

Jess leant against the wall as she fished in her bag for the keys to the loft, while Nick followed behind having insisted on carrying all of their bags - a choice he soon regretted upon discovering the elevator was being serviced, and they'd have to walk the four flights of stairs to the apartment.

Giving him a rueful, closed mouth smile with a heavy sigh, she jangled the keys and tilted her head as he approached.

"You ready to come back down to reality with a bump?"

"Sure...had to happen sometime, right?" He shrugged, bending awkwardly to juggle the luggage and still be able to plant a kiss on her temple.

"There's still time to head back to Mexico..." Jess mused, only half joking.

Nick's mind jumped to images of her waiting for him on a beach in the sunshine. Paradise Nick and Paradise Jess, getting wed barefoot in the sand. The sun would make her bronzed skin glow, and her hair would billow in the breeze while he watched her walk slowly towards him as he waited under a canopy of exotic flowers.

It wasn't like the thought hadn't crossed his mind before.

It had, on several occasions - most often after an excruciatingly long shift at the bar where he'd roll into the loft in the early hours of the morning and silently slide himself under Jess's covers so as not to disturb her. Resting a hand gently on her waist, he'd breathe in her scent and feel himself relax instantly, as if the merest hint of her had magical powers over his body.

In a way, he guessed that had always been true...

She'd be asleep, but sense his presence behind her regardless, fingers drifting up and gripping his with a squeeze, letting out a sigh of contentment.

The little noise, from deep in her soul, that let him know she was glad he was there.

That was always the moment when Nick would decide he never wanted to share his dreams with anyone else but her.

It just wasn't something he was ready to commit to asking her yet.

He loved Jess; that was never in question. But part of him still worried he would do something to let her down. A little portion of his brain carried the very deep rooted fear that he couldn't escape the shadow of his Dad's behaviour and that, somehow, he was never meant to be able to hold on to someone like Jessica Day.

He'd always been his worst enemy in that respect.

But Nick was determined it wouldn't always be that way. Not any more. He would figure out a way to bury his demons.

He'd work on it.

For her.

He'd do anything for her.

For now, he'd enjoy the little moments that meant so much: the way Jess smiled at him when he called her his girlfriend, the sparkle in her eyes when he tugged her close to him spontaneously in the kitchen, the undeniable truth in her words when she whispered 'I love you.'

"Nick?"

Jolted from his thoughts by her voice, he shook his head a little and looked down at her.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah...well, I was just wondering how easily I could carry this luggage back downstairs so we could hop in the car..." he smirked "...but in all seriousness, whilst that is a very tempting suggestion, I'm pretty sure I'm about to lose circulation in both my arms if I don't put these bags down within the next five seconds."

"Oh, shoot...sorry!"

Jess hurried to turn the key, throwing the door open so Nick could dump their luggage unceremoniously just inside the threshold. He groaned in relief, shaking the ache from his arms and kicking off his shoes with a delighted moan before stretching his back with a satisfying crack. Jess looked on, amused. Sometimes he really did seem like an 80 year old man, but boy was it mighty cute.

Jess let herself wonder for a moment what Nick would actually be like as an octogenarian. Would he get deep frown lines on his forehead, and wrinkles round his eyes? Would his hair go white, or disappear altogether? Would he still wear flannel shirts? Would he smell like Old Spice?

She hoped to be able to still be the one standing next to him to find out first hand.

Hearing a loud tut from behind them, Jess turned and waved to their roommate who was sat eating lunch in their freshly cleaned kitchen.

"Hey, Schmidt!"

"Oh, you're back...I thought that was a heard of elephants charging their way into the loft." He scowled pointedly at Nick, who merely sneered back.

"C'mon man, just admit you missed me and get it over with. I can't say the feeling was mutual of course, but then again I did have amazing company to spend my weekend with."

Nick winked at Jess causing Schmidt to grimace in disgust.

"Well, it's safe to say you both look suitably exhausted...Mazel, I guess."

"Thanks, Schmidt." Grinned Jess sarcastically "You're correct. There was a lot of sex!"

"A lot." Confirmed Nick, proudly.

"So much..."

"Ugh. Stop. I get it." Schmidt held his hand aloft and walked over to the sink with his plate before begrudgingly joining them near the hall "I guess I'll have to get used to sleeping in my noise cancelling headphones again."

"Hey, you didn't think twice about the rest of us when you and Cece were bumping uglies. Like a couple of damn alleycats all through the night..." Nick curled his lip at the memory.

"Fine. Whatever...just keep it out of the bathroom. Communal rooms should be off limits for the sake of common decency."

"I can make no such promises." Jess teased, giving Nick a nudge to the ribs.

"Well can you at least clean up this offensive sight?" Schmidt begged, gesturing to their feet and the myriad of bags strewn across the floor.

"Sure thing, bud." Nick laughed as Schmidt turned on his heel and stomped away from them.

"I don't know how to thank you for the most amazing birthday weekend." Jess whispered to Nick as she moved in close, stretching up on her tiptoes to link her fingers behind his neck and kissing him tenderly.

"Well, I can think of several different and interesting ways for you to show your gratitude, Jessica." He raised his brows, hands sliding down from her waist to rest on her bottom, making her lean in to kiss him again with a little more fervour.

"Oh good god..." Schmidt cried in disdain "...I can still hear you! I just ate lunch, and I have no desire to see it in reverse. The sight of you two fornicating all over each other is enough to make anyone barf. Would you just get a room already?"

"Gladly." Mumbled Nick against Jess's lips, hoisting her into his arms with a squeal as he walked them both towards his bedroom.

"What about your mess?!" Yelled Schmidt as Nick kicked the door closed behind him with a bang "Nick? Nicholas?! Oh, don't mind me, I'll just be here trying not to trip over your luggage and break my neck!"

He huffed, returning to his spot at the kitchen counter with their laughter ringing out loudly around the loft.

A few moments later, Nick burst out of his room with his shirt half unbuttoned and tufts of hair sticking up at different angles - presumably a result of Jess's handiwork. Grabbing a couple of the nearest bags, he grinned over at Schmidt.

"I'll come back for the rest later, I promise!" With a smirk, Nick was quickly shuffling backwards up the hall to his door.

"Aaaand, normal service has resumed in Apartment 4D..." Schmidt shook his head and chuckled despite himself.

...

...

*FIN*