DISCLAIMER: Karen Sisco and its all characters are property of Jersey Television. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for newbie_2uís birthday. Hope you have a great day. Summary: Just a bit of fluff for the birthday girl. Special thanks to the lovely mrswoman for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A bead of perspiration clung to the loose strand of dark hair, the weight of the single drop winning its battle for freedom as it released its hold and slowly slid down the plane of a pale, smooth cheek. Her back flush against the wall, the US marshal kept her gun pointed toward the cracked sidewalk as she struggled to restore her normal breathing cadence. She'd chased the fugitive down a rickety fire escape from his fifth floor hotel room, and then once at street level, she'd covered six long blocks before he'd ducked around the corner, directly into a dead-end alley. Karen had him now.
"Police! Freeze and put down the weapon!" The resounding voice was decidedly male. A nearby patrolman had spotted the gun-wielding woman racing down the city streets and had given chase. Karen had had no idea that the cop was on her tail.
"US Marshall," Karen yelled back with authority, her eyes still glued to the alley's entrance. "I've got a fugitive trapped in the alley!"
"Show me your badge!" The rookie kept his gun aimed at the dark-haired woman. His seasoned partner had warned him, time and time again, not to be taken in by anything a suspect may say or do.
Karen maintained her focus on the alley's entrance and then spared a glance at the gun that was trained on her midline. Judging from the way the cop's hand was shaking, it was a definite possibility that she'd end up getting shot before it was all over. She eased her tone, attempting to diffuse the situation.
"My badge is on the third floor landing of The Chez Ritz fire escape. It fell off when I made my leap to the next landing."
"Yeah, right, tell me another one." The patrolman gripped his gun tightly. "Now, drop the gun!"
Having had enough of the stand-off, Karen slowly turned in the policeman's direction and raised a single hand in surrender, her other hand on the gun that was still clearly pointed at the ground. "Look, if you'll just call Detective. . ."
The explosion of gunfire echoed loudly outside the alley's entrance and its surrounding area, followed shortly thereafter by a deadly silence.
A tall redhead swept through the hospital's emergency room doors, stopping just inside the entrance to remove her sunglasses. A mix of determination and worry was etched on her face as she glanced around the crowded room, finally spying what she was searching for. Striding directly to the information desk, she flipped her shield in the direction of the receptionist and barked out her request.
"Karen Sisco. Where is she?"
"You'll have to wait . . ." The older woman stopped mid-sentence and swallowed her words when she looked up at the intimidating presence standing in front of her. She quickly changed her tune. "One moment, please." Hands flew across the keyboard as she searched for the answer and finally reported, "Exam Room A. If you'll just take a . . ." Glancing up from her computer screen, she spied the redhead already halfway across the ER; with a slight shrug, she returned to her previous task. There was no way she was going to try to stop the determined detective.
"I don't need a sling. It's just a scratch." Karen sat on the edge of the bed, eyeing the sleeve of her red shirt that had been cut away in order to treat her flesh wound. It had been her favorite shirt, too.
"Ms. Sisco . . ." the doctor started, only to be interrupted by a clearly unhappy Karen.
"Marshal Sisco." Her tone brooked no argument, and Marley, who'd just arrived, had to stifle a chuckle. Leave it to Karen to risk pissing off the one person who could cause her more pain. The tight band that had formed around Marley's chest when she'd heard that Karen had been shot eased considerably now that she'd both seen and heard that her lover was relatively okay.
"Marshal Sisco," said the doctor, his tone not a happy one, "you still risk the chance of an infection. The sling will keep your arm immobilized thus helping the wound heal more quickly. You only need to wear it for a day or two."
"I'll be just fine without it. See?" Karen attempted to raise her right arm above her head but halted only a quarter of the way up. Her face became instantly pale, and Marley moved further into the room.
"You know I had to wear a sling for weeks when I dislocated my shoulder. It really wasn't so bad." The lie flowed smoothly off Marley's tongue, and she was never so grateful that she hadn't met Karen when she'd been injured. Truth be told, she was an absolute bitch the entire time she'd had to wear the sling. She'd known it, and so had everyone else around her. Marley had made it a point to express her displeasure as loud and as often as possible.
Karen's head snapped up at the sound of her lover's voice. The sling and the pain took a back seat to her new focus: venting her anger on the one responsible for her current state. "One of Dade County's finest shot me, Marley."
"Actually, he isn't one of our finest, Karen. In fact, you'll be happy to know that he'll no longer be carrying a gun either. Instead, he'll carry a rather large stop sign. He's the new school-crossing guard." Marley closed the distance, and taking the sling in her hand, proceeded to fasten the strap around Karen's neck. "Jackson feels awful about you getting hurt. He'd been talking to a store owner and had missed Collins chasing after you. He came running the minute he heard the gunshot."
By the time Marley had finished her explanation of the events Karen was already painfully aware of, the sling was firmly in place. Marley straightened the strap and stepped back. The doctor smiled for the first time since the marshal had been brought into the emergency room.
"Here's a script for pain. You can fill it here or at your local drug store." Handing the paper to Marley, he turned on his heel and made a quick getaway, hoping he'd seen the last of his ornery patient.
Marley watched the doctor leave with a nurse in tow before she turned her attention to Karen. "Are you okay?"
Karen sighed tiredly. "Yes, at least Jackson collared the fugitive. I'd have never heard the end of it if the guy had gotten away on top of everything else that happened. And thank God Amos didn't send Phil to take the guy in." Karen worried with the sling's strap.
"Ready to go then?" Marley wanted nothing more than to grab hold of her lover and never let go, but she could tell that Karen's adrenaline was quickly wearing off as was her own. Her heart had stopped when she'd received the call from Jackson, and she'd raced to the scene just moments after Karen had already been taken to the emergency room. After a quick rundown of the events, she'd jumped in her car and headed straight for the hospital, keeping her mind occupied by calling the precinct commander to make certain Collins never had the opportunity to accidentally shoot anyone ever again.
"Yeah, I really hate hospitals." Karen hopped down from the bed, grateful that she'd reflexively held on to her sling, keeping the jarring motion from causing her any more pain. Stepping over the right sleeve of her shirt which still lay on the floor, she walked to the door, but couldn't stop the shiver that ran down her spine. She knew damned well that had the bullet been more to her left, she could be in real trouble right about now.
Marley waited for her lover to step into the corridor before she started after her. Her whispered reply stayed behind in Exam Room A. "Me too, especially when you're the one who's been hurt."
"Damn it!" Karen's voice traveled through the quiet house, her uttered expletive on the heels of a rather loud crashing noise. Both sounds had made their way into the bedroom, abruptly waking the sleeping detective.
Marley sat straight up in bed and squinted at the clock on the nightstand as bright red digits proudly proclaimed the time to be two a.m. Not fully awake, she turned her focus in the direction of where Karen's loud display of displeasure had come from, and with a soft groan, she swung her hips toward the bed's edge and placed her feet on the carpeted floor. Moments later, she found her lover in the kitchen, muttering curse after curse as she fiddled with something in the sink.
"Karen?" asked Marley, wondering what her lover had tried to do this time. She'd never met anyone so stubborn in her entire life, herself included. After they'd gotten home from the hospital, they'd clung to each other tightly, no words needing to be said; they both knew the risks of the job and were eternally thankful that this incident hadn't been more serious. However, after only an hour, Karen had seemed to forget how lucky she'd been and instead had focused on the inconvenience of her injury.
"What are you doing up?" Marley stood in the doorway and glanced around the room, not able to determine what had caused her lover's upset. Everything appeared to be in perfect order.
"I was trying to get a damned glass of water," said Karen, frustration just one emotion evident in her voice, sitting uncomfortably beside upset and outright anger. She slowly turned around to face her lover and gestured to her shirt. "This is ridiculous."
Marley shuffled further into the room and quickly stifled a chuckle before it could escape. For good measure, she moved her hand to her mouth and pretended to yawn, her palm covering the smile that had formed at the sight of her lover.
Karen was not at all amused by her current predicament, but Marley was quite certain her lover could easily make the finals of the world's wet t-shirt contest as Karen's white sleep shirt clung to her body tightly, clearly outlining one of Karen's two best features; the other one was safely hidden behind the sling.
"I didn't realize I hadn't centered the glass under the faucet when I turned in on. The stupid water splashed off the edge of the glass and tipped it over in my direction, throwing more water all over me. Then, I turned the controls the wrong way and . . . well, I think you can see the results. I hate this damned sling; I don't understand why I have to wear it 24/7."
"Because the doctor said so." Marley covered the rest of the distance and stood in front of her lover. "It's just a safety precaution." Dropping her hands to Karen's hips, she gazed down at her lover's chest and grinned. "But it appears that you've gone and gotten the sling all wet, so you probably should take it off for awhile and let it dry. After all, how could you possibly injure yourself in bed?"
Her anger still clouding her judgment, Karen completely missed the teasing intent in her lover's voice. "Yeah, I guess I need to take this shirt off, too. At least it only got wet and I didn't lose a sleeve this time."
Moving behind Karen, Marley reached around her lover and worked on the sling's straps, taking advantage of her strategic position to pepper light kisses on Karen's shoulder and neck. She then removed the sling and very gently lifted the shirt over her lover's head, taking care not to put any undue pressure on the stark white bandage that covered Karen's wound. The plopping sound of the wet shirt as it hit the floor barely reached the women's ears as Marley had eased a hand over a firm breast and continued nibbling on her lover's neck. Karen pushed into the touch and smiled.
"You know I can be very careful if I have to." She tilted her head to give Marley better access, a soft moan accompanying her words.
Marley smiled against the warm skin at the base of Karen's neck. "The doctor did say to take extra precautions with your injury. Maybe we better . . ."
"No way are we stopping!" Karen had had enough frustration for the day, any more and she'd likely implode.
"Who said anything about stopping? I was just going to suggest that we elevate your arm on a pillow."
Karen raised an eyebrow. "Do you seriously think I'm going to be able to keep it there?"
Taking her lover by the hand, Marley started toward the bedroom, both women stepping over the item that had instigated the current conversation, the soaked t-shirt. She glanced at Karen and grinned widely.
"You will if you're handcuffed to the bedpost."
Karen laughed aloud. She was about to get lucky for the second time in less than twenty four hours, but this particular brand of 'luck' was so much more preferable. Eagerly, she followed behind her lover.
"Lead on, Detective; lead on."
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