Title: "Just a Hint of Cinnamon"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: SAC, Nik/Gia-ish, angsty foof.
Disclaimer: I have no idea who really owns them, but I consider them mine!
Summary: Nikolas wonders why the hell he puts up with the handful that is Gia Campbell.
When she moves towards him, challenge glinting sharp in her big hazel eyes, her hips sway to a perpetual R&B beat--half-love song and half-female anthem. Her skin feels smooth and warm, like a freshly brewed mocha latte with just a hint of cinnamon, and when she strokes him awake with her fingers, it's ten times the caffeine high.

He doesn't know why he has grown accustomed to hearing his door open in the middle of the night as she does one of three things: comes to him with some trumped up tenant's request...begins a would-be apology that quickly disintegrates into defensive accusations thrown as she struts around in deliciously indecent pajamas and plays, nervously, with her long, tightly knit hair...or she, simply, stares at him for a few long minutes--watches him sleep until whatever is on her mind eases, until she can go back across the hall to her room and pretend she isn't vulnerable, pretend she doesn't care about anything.

He doesn't know why he puts up with the ten tons of attitude, the huge chip on her shoulder, and all the shit she gives his friends...she's never going to like Elizabeth and Emily, never going to let Elizabeth and Emily like her.

He doesn't know why he looks forward to finding her vamping in front of the mirror in the living room when she thinks he's upstairs.

He doesn't know why he expects her to be there every time he turns around...to stay with him when they spend so much time fighting, to always come back home no matter how many times she threatens to move out, to never leave him even though they have made no promises to each other...even though he barely likes her most of the time and she can't seem to tolerate the people he *does* care about.

He doesn't know why he reaches for her when his heart hurts, and she lets him, no questions asked. He doesn't know why holding her tight against him always seems to make the ache go away...or why the ache goes away and one of two things takes it's place: laughter...or the hypnotic urge to lean down and kiss her.

It can't be love.

It isn't.

That's what he tells himself as he hugs a pillow to his bare chest, breathes in the smell of the fabric softener he never remembers to put in--she always does--and curls under the thick comforter. That's what he repeats to himself as he waits for the door to creak open. For her to watch him feign sleep.

Sometimes she brushes his hair back off his forehead. Sometimes she lightly touches his chest with the backs of her fingers. Sometimes, she pulls the blanket up to his chin and stands back...watching him in silence. The most silent he's ever known her to be.

It can't be love.

It isn't.

But when she moves towards him, challenge glinting sharp in her big hazel eyes, her hips sway to a perpetual R&B beat--half-love song and half-female anthem. And her skin feels smooth and warm, like a freshly brewed mocha latte with just a hint of cinnamon. When she strokes him awake with her fingers, it's ten times the caffeine high.

"Hey, Nikolas," she whispers, huskily, as his eyelashes flutter.

As he puts on a show of being disturbed from restful slumber.

"What? What d'you wan', Gia?" he growls in a mockery of sleep-slurring.

"To say 'goodnight', Your Highness," she snaps back tartly, leaning down in a flurry of golden curves spilling from the depths of practical pink flannel.

Her lips brush his...quickly, lightly.

Barely a kiss.

Then, she's gone...across the hall on light feet as his door clicks shut behind her. Leaving him wide awake, breathing hard, dizzy, wanting more.

It can't be love.

It isn't.

No, it *isn't*.

Really.

It can't be love.

Can it?

--end--

February 2001.



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