As it turned out, Sal's least sexy nightie was nothing close to not being sexy. Nick was facing trouble. And what had made it worse, was that Sal had turned the light on before going into the bathroom, so Nick's first glance of her when she came out had been well lit. First of all the nightie was short, and goodness knows what she had, or didn't have on, underneath it. Or was that just wishful thinking on his part? It was also low cut, with tiny straps...one of which had slipped down off her shoulder as she'd emerged from out of the bathroom. Oh boy. He couldn't imagine what one of her 'most sexy' nighties was like! This one, however, was a black satiny kind of wispy thing with lacy edgings. Its only saving grace was that Nick wasn't actually able to see through it! But what he could tell as she moved towards the bed was...oh god, don't look there again...it appeared that she might not have a bra on!

After Sal had disappeared into the bathroom, Nick had jumped into action, dived into his back pack and pulled out a pair of loose, grey shorts, which he had packed for modesty's sake; he rarely wore any clothes in bed. Pulling on the shorts, he'd proceeded to strip off his t shirt, but paused with the t shirt half way over his head. Maybe he should keep it on? He pulled it back down. But then again, it was quite hot that night. Maybe he should take it off after all? Hold on, right, if he took it off there would be more chance of him and Sal making skin to skin contact, which was not good, but kinda good. Was it good or not? A loud crashing sound came from the bathroom. Nick nearly jumped out of his skin, still desperately trying to figure out... t shirt on, or t shit off? Something was moving against the bathroom door. Sal was coming out, and Nick was standing in the middle of the room in a mild panic. Ok, think. Right, Sal was eyeing him up earlier when he'd stripped his top off, which must mean that she liked his body, sooo, therefore, he couldn't possibly put her through such temptation. For Jen's sake, he'd made a decision. Good.

The door handle began to turn. At the last minute, Nick yanked the t shirt over his head, threw it on top of his backpack and dived onto the bed, leaning against the headboard and pulling the sheet over him. Sal was struggling with the door handle. Nick eyed the sheet and thought for a moment. Sheet on, or off? The door was opening. Nick threw the sheet back, hitched his leg up and rested an elbow casually on his knee. Oops, perhaps he should be doing something; he grabbed the nearest object he could get his hands on, the remote control for the television, and studied it.

Sal emerged.

"Sorry, it's a bit small in that bathroom..." she began to natter on nervously as she slowly shuffled towards the bed. He registered the shuffling and briefly flicked his eyes from the remote control to Sal and back, anxious about getting too much of a first glimpse of Sal in her nightie, should it be sexier than she'd suggested. He only experienced a fleeting glance of her but clearly registered the slipping of one strap over her shoulder and the tell tale 'jiggle' of breasts, covered only by a thin layer of black satin. Something began to stir underneath Nick's sheet. Oh hell! The shuffling was obviously Sal's way of not showing too much while she held her arms rigidly in front of her, grasping onto the hem of the nightie as she moved. Of course, the shuffling and hem holding simply drew attention to the fact that the nightie showed far too much for a 'least sexy' variety. She stopped when she reached the bedside, which Nick sensed in his peripheral vision, having resumed his scrutiny of the remote control. He was now studying it in minute detail, half dreading, half unable to wait, for the time when he'd have to return his eyes to Sal. "... I knocked over my perfume. it's okay though; I rescued it in time," she said. He should reply... look at her now... but he was still trying to cope with the excitement that just a few milliseconds of seeing Sal in that 'least sexy nightie' was doing to him. "Do you want to watch TV?" she asked suddenly and a little incredulously, considering that it had to be close to four o clock in the morning!

Oh hell. His eyes were burning through the buttons on the remote control.

"Err, no," he replied, frowning at it, "I was just..." He was just getting hot and very flustered and needed to get a grip! He would have to keep his gaze upwards. He turned his head to her, gluing his eyes to her face.

"It doesn't matter Sal. Bit late for TV now."

She stood, completely motionless, staring disconcertingly at Nick for what seemed like an eternity. Nick's heart thudded. What now?

She bit her lip nervously and glanced downwards.

Don't look down, don't look down! Nick told his eyes.

"What's wrong Sal?" he heard himself say.

"Err," she looked sheepish. "I'd forgotten. I didn't have very long to pack Nick," she said, defensively. "This isn't my least sexy nightie," she admitted, "But it kind of looks a bit like it. Must have picked up the wrong one."

she waited for him to respond, or suggest what to do. His eyes searched hers, moving over her face so that they didn't move downwards.

"Nick?" she prompted when the silence began to stretch on.

He ran a hand through his hair. "Ah, well okay...urm...what's wrong with it?" His mind was now only half functioning and what came out of his mouth did so without his full control.

She looked down again. He gritted his teeth and tensed with the effort it took him not to look down with her.

"There's a bit of a slit in it," she said, "Well, quite a lot of one actually," she said, biting her lip again as a definite pink glow spread across her face. God, he'd love to make her blush all night long. She lifted her eyes to him once more.

"Nick, why are you staring at me like that?" she asked, with a slight frown.

Staring at her; who gave a damn? His eyes were still on her face. It was a bloody miracle! Okay, this was getting stupid. He had to come clean; Sal would be okay about it.

He sighed and let out a laugh at the same time. "I've been trying incredibly hard not to look down Sal." There, he'd said it.

She laughed out loud and put her hands over her face for a moment.

"This is ridiculous," she replied, finally dropping her hands. "Look, it's not that bad..."

Yeah, but Sal's not that bad was most probably not that good either.

"... It kind of falls open at the side, but it's not transparent and i'm wearing french nickers underneath...but they are lacy, so if you just avoid them, we will be okay?" she said, jumping onto the bed suddenly.

Woooh, Yep, the split was huge and Nick got a glimpse of Sal's stomach and hip when the nightie fell open as she moved onto the bed and wriggled under the sheet beside him. Well, okay, at least she was covered now.

Simultaneously, they both slowly turned their heads towards each other. What the hell were they doing? They were in bed together. It was weird, she hadn't seen him for months and they were only casual friends before; now he was in bed beside her. It was odd, he'd dreamed so many times of being in bed with Sal, but the dreams had always involved a lot more thrashing around and moaning and groaning. Still, she was actually in bed with him, and in a sexy nightie too!

He sighed and ran another frustrated hand through his hair, leaning his head back against the headboard.

Sal watched him with concern, placing a hand over his, which was resting on the mattress beside her.

"Nick, are you okay?" she asked.

He turned his attention back to her.

"Yeah, sure."

"No, I mean earlier. The whole," she hesitated, unsure of whether to proceed. "Your father thing," she finished.

His eyes wandered over her face for a moment before he answered. "Yeah, of course," he said dismissively. "I guess, well, it has been a long day, and we had quite a few drinks. Things just got on top of me Sal. I'm not normally like that," he said, by way of an explanation.

"I know that, but you're dealing with an awful lot; you have to talk to someone about it. You need an outlet Nick or you'll...you'll...explode," she laughed, trying not to sound too serious —anything too serious made Nick nervous— whilst at the same time, needing to get her point across.

"I know," he smiled. But Sal wasn't sure if he was just saying that to appease her.

"You can talk to me about absolutely anything...that is, if you want to," she added. "I don't judge people. I mean, come on, who am I to judge? My life is a complete disaster."

"Hmm," Nick thought about that. "Not a disaster Sal, more like a soap opera," he laughed.

She slapped him on the arm playfully and began to fiddle with a ribbon on the front of her nightie. His eyes automatically moved to where her fingers were for a moment before he checked himself and stared straight ahead at the wall. Unfortunately, the wall ahead of them had a mirror hanging from it. The room was conspiring to make his life difficult! He watched Sal's reflection mulling something over in its mind. It had a slight pout on its lips, as if not entirely happy about something.

"Of course, I know you talk to Ruth about stuff," she said suddenly.

What had that got to do with anything?

"Hmm?" Nick was finding it hard to follow Sal's thought pattern.

Men! Did she have to spell it out to him?

"You obviously find it easier to talk to her."

"Sometimes I guess," he replied, clueless.

Sal pouted even more.

What was wrong with her?

"She's obviously a better friend than I am then," she said grumpily, unable to stop herself.

The penny dropped.

"No, no she's not Sal. I didn't mean that, I just, she's..."

Hmm, Nick thought he was the only one who could do puppy dog eyes to make everyone melt. Clearly he was wrong.

"Come here, silly," he said, putting an arm around her shoulder and pulling her towards him. She didn't resist but kept the pout as she turned around, rested her head on his chest and looked pitifully up at him. Nick hadn't foreseen that move and the feeling of her bare leg brushing his, and her soft curves pressed to him, made him freeze, trying desperately to ignore the heat rising in him.

Just keep talking.

"You are my best friend, you know that. I didn't invite Ruth on a quest did I?" he reminded her.

She smiled. "No, I guess not."

He was on a roll.

"And I haven't taken Ruth for a ride on my new bike, have I?"

Her smile widened. "No again."

"See," he said, tapping her on the nose. "So, no getting jealous of Ruth, silly."

She giggled. "Okay."

"Now, if we want to see any of tomorrow, we really must get some sleep Sal," he said, tightening his hold on her suddenly for fear that she might move away. Oh what was the point in willpower? He wanted her close.

She nodded.

"I know," she replied, resting her cheek against his chest. He reached over to the light switch above the bed and turned off the light before beginning to run his fingers absentmindedly through her hair again. He had so many thoughts in his mind.

She yawned. "It's a good job I didn't bring my most sexy nightie," she said sleepily, settling against him and closing her eyes.

Oh God, don't start thinking about that again or he'd never get to sleep! Nevertheless, the thought had been planted again in his mind. How could a nighty be THAT sexy anyway? Hmm, he tried his hardest to conjure an image up in his head. No, it wasn't working. He'd have to ask her or stay awake all night wondering.

"Sal," he began, looking down at her. Oh God no! She'd fallen asleep. He'd ask her tomorrow, he thought to himself, as he closed his eyes and settled down to a long, and very frustrating, nights sleep.