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Story Notes:
For challenge #15 on the David Hodges Fan Community!
It was a new year; that meant new possibilities, so David knew he had to do this no matter what. It could very easily go horribly, horribly wrong, he could end up with a black eye at best and a sexual harassment claim at... well actually David wasn't even sure that was the worst thing that could happen, but it was the worst thing he could currently think of, so he went with it.

He went with it all the way to his lab, all through his shift and the inane banter Greg insisted he participate in, he went with it through his break, running trace samples on clothes that went out of fashion before he'd been *born* and all the way back to the locker room at the end of shift. In fact the thought followed him everywhere, all day, everywhere he went there it was, jumping up to scare him, but David was resolute... he wouldn't back down, not this time.

After he'd finally argued himself out of his lab coat and into his jacket, he stalked, glaring at anyone who *dared* to even *think* of stopping him, until he was outside, out under the bright Las Vegas Sunlight that say 'hello, mornings here'. David didn't like mornings normally, actually he had nothing particular against the time of day but it just seemed to him that bad things always seemed to happen in the morning... or maybe that was only to him, no one else seemed to dread morning. It was why he worked nights, to sleep away the morning and avoid as much of it as possible… but not this morning, this morning he had a mission.

He knew where he was heading, knew exactly what route he had to take and roughly how long it would take him to get there, but he was pleasantly surprised and terrified, by getting their ten minutes ahead of his schedule, still, there was no backing down, not when he'd come this far. Swallowing the nausea, David got out of his car, locked it and walked towards the dinner he'd chosen.

It was out of the way, not very busy, but it was nice and the staff were friendly and best of all, they weren't nosy, if you wanted to be left alone, they'd leave you alone.

When he'd made the invite, he'd done it fully aware that his 'date' might not show up, after all slipping an anonymous letter into his locker wasn't exactly a foolproof way of getting him here, but he'd taken the chance, he had to take the chance. After... well after everything that had happened and really, it was the start of a new year what better time… so even if he ended up eating breakfast alone, he wouldn't regret the attempt.

"So it was you. Guess that mean's I own Greg twenty bucks." David jumped at the voice behind him, spinning around and coming face to face with the object of his affections.

"Greg had prior knowledge, it was hardly a fair bet, I say, don't pay him." David said, proud of how normal he sounded.

"Seems like a plan. So... exactly how long have you..."

"Been attracted to you?" David asked, pride swelling, because hell he should be getting ready to lose the breakfast he hadn't even eaten yet but he feel shockingly calm.

His date... well okay they hadn't actually confirmed this *was* a date yet but... well whatever... blushed, but nodded.

"A while. I'm afraid I can't be more specific." David told him.

"But you don't even *like* me."

"If I didn't like you, I assure you I wouldn't have wasted all this time getting us both out here. It's quite clear I like you, if I were anymore obvious… well we're in public so I really can't be… now are we going to have breakfast or what?" David asked.

"Uh... I... yeah I guess... well we're here so... yeah."

"Good." David nodded and pushed open the dinner door, keeping it open for... yes... his *date* this definitely not officially counted as a date... with Nick Stokes... the puffing pride went the way of thin air as all the calm he'd been feeling before vanished. Oh God... he was going to be sick.

They took seats near the back, Nick with his back to the wall with a good view of everyone. David wondered if he'd always done that, or if it was just a post 'grave' habit. While David was trying to work up the will to speak again, Nick's phone vibrated.

"Stokes... No, it's fine... Yes, I'm staying... No you aren't getting the 20bucks, you cheated... Goodbye Greg!"

David couldn't help a short half laugh half... bark... it was funny. In a surreal sort of way. Actually it wasn't really funny, but it was surreal and David couldn't believe he'd gotten himself into this situation.

"What's so funny?" Nick asked.

"This. I'm... I don't... do this." David tried to explain, still chuckling a little.

"Have breakfast?" Nick asked, somewhere between perplexed and amused.

David shook his head. "Have dates. Especially not... I don't normally instigate them, which is actually probably why I don't have them."

"Well you instigated this one quite nicely." Nick said.

"I was clearly having a moment of insanity." David told him.

"Do you wish you hadn't? Asked me out I mean?" Nick asked.

"No. I'm... I... really suck at this... look, I already told you I liked you. You really have no business being insecure, I mean really, stick a pair of Calvin Klines on you and take some pictures and you’re a model." David said.

Nick frowned. "Sure, I'll make a real pretty trophy wife."

David frowned as well, that seemed wrong. Oh God, this was a terrible idea, he'd already managed to offend Nick, this was an unmitigated disaster.

"Excuse me gentlemen, breakfast is served." The waitress interrupted them. Before David could argue, protest that they hadn't ordered yet, Nick's face lit up in a smile.

"My favorite! You pre-ordered this stuff without evening knowing if I'd come? How did you even know?" Nick asked.

David blinked, nodding although he wasn't quiet sure why and started eating that food on his plate, because speaking was clearly going to be impossible for the next few minutes at least. He didn't even know what he was eating, until he took the time to look. Blueberry pancakes with syrup and butter and a side of bacon. Well at least there was a chance he might die of a heart attack before he died of embarrassment.

Somehow, David presumed Nick started it because he didn't; they ended up talking, having an actual conversation, with words and everything. David was actually beginning to feel quiet impressed with himself again, he was eating and talking, not throwing up and not doing or saying anything otherwise embarrassing, in fact, by the end of breakfast he was definitely willing to call the morning a success.

"So..." Nick and David both started after they'd paid the bill... going Dutch of course... and were standing outside on the street trying not to look too inconspicuous.

"We could..." Nick started.

"Yeah, we... we could." David added.

"Good." Nick said smiling brightly and David had to return the smile, because hey he'd just scored a second date with Nick Stokes and as new years went, this one was looking pretty damn good.


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