DISCLAIMER: Karen Sisco and its all characters are property of Jersey Television. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first shot at a Karen Sisco fic. (And I won't even get started on the new style; it wanted to be written in the second person and that's that.) Three of the sections are directly from the show, with my own twist on them (for the sake of being interesting and I couldn't remember the scenes exactly). It's unbeta'd because my beta is currently jetsetting.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Five Things That Probably Never Happened Between
Karen Sisco and Marley Novak
(and Three That Definitely Did)
"So, Karen," she turns to you and looks you up and down so casually you can't possibly prepare yourself. "Are you, uh, seeing anyone at the moment?" You try to hide your knee-jerk reaction (shock), drawing upon years of training, because she's not so much asking if you're seeing anyone as asking if you'd like to see her. And not so much see her as date her; and potentially screw her.
You think she's attractive and terrifying (or is it the attraction that's terrifying?) and you grip your glass and try to look anywhere but at her mouth; at the bottom lip she's pulled between her teeth. Her brow arches up in invitation and you murmur in the affirmative; a male someone, you clarify, because she asks you to. She takes it all in stride; doesn't miss a beat and recovers so naturally that you wonder if it was just a question and she wasn't really hitting on you after all.
You talk shop because you can't help yourself and about the Marlins and what's good on the menu. Making a habit of this - this girls' night - is implied because you're two women in a predominantly male line of work and you can't remember the last time you went out with anyone who wasn't your dad. She touches your arm when she laughs and you feel something (you're not quite sure what); when you look back on this moment, when you're home alone and fingering yourself in the dark, you'll realize it was a mistake to lie to her.
You're only half paying attention, because you're digging your heel into the back of a bail jumper who's struggling against his restraints; you press down a little harder and as he's spitting out a mouthful of gravel, you switch the phone over to your other ear.
"Hey, it's Marley." You're glad you're wearing your sunglasses because the sound of her voice throws you off guard; you hate that. "This a bad time?"
"No," you recover quickly, "not at all."
"You sound a little out of breath," Marley says and you can practically hear the smirk forming on her face.
"I'm just wrapping things up," you tell her; the jumper squirms under your foot and you nearly lose your balance when Marley blurts out:
"Marshall called me."
"My dad?" Your voice croaks and you think you hear Marley laughing but she has the good sense to put her hand over the receiver to muffle most of it.
"He's the only Marshall I know," she explains lightly and then adds, "besides you."
"What did he want?"
"He invited me to your poker game. I didn't want to say yes until I talked to you." She waits a beat and then asks, "so, I should say yes?" You're still thinking and apparently you're taking too long because she's started talking again. "I should say no." It's kind of a question, from the tentative way she goes up at the end, but kind of not, from the defeated tone her voice takes on.
"Yes. I mean, say yes," you tell her, tripping over the words and you hear a snicker coming from the ground; the bastard's eavesdropping and you grind your heel between his shoulder blades until the chuckle turns into a groan. "You should say yes."
"Really?" She sounds floored and relieved and you're glad that she's still willing to come even though you're subconsciously (and maybe a little consciously) hellbent on making this as awkward as possible.
"Yeah," you nod, "it's okay." And she says bye, saying your name in that way she has, the hard K and soft everything else, and your stomach tightens and you vow to lay off anything resembling alcohol tonight.
"Hot date?" the jumper leers as you drag him to his feet.
"Shut up," is all you can say and as you shove him towards the car, you're smiling.
You're surprised by how easily Marley gets along with your dad and a bunch of ex-cons. She fits right in, swapping stories from her early years on the street and listening all too intently to your dad's (you feature prominently in them and they're, more often than not, embarrassing).
After losing your fourth hand in a row, you bow out graciously. You've got your hands full with empty plates and beer bottles and you glance over Marley's shoulder and see the pocket aces; you suppress a snort because payback's a bitch.
You're pouring yourself a glass of water when you see her, out of the corner of your eye.
"Did you clean them out?" you ask, tossing a smirk over your shoulder.
"I folded," she replies and when you look at her questioningly, she shrugs. "I figured it'd be bad manners my first time out." She brushes past you from behind and you tense so visibly that she makes a point of taking a step away from you.
"Sorry," she says and it's clipped and uncomfortable even though she manages to force a smile; you turn to her and your mouth is open but all that escapes is air before you feel your dad's hand on your shoulder, reaching between you for another bag of chips.
"Hey, sweetheart; Marley. Don't mind me." After he's gone, you figure the moment has passed and you decide not to say anything at all.
"Look," Marley lowers her voice, "I don't chase straight girls." The way she chuckles to herself makes you think she's been there, done that. "We're colleagues and we can be friends, honestly, and the touching -- " she breaks off and puts a hand on your shoulder; squeezes gently, companionably, and even when you stiffen, she doesn't pull back, "there's no hidden meaning in this."
Her eyes are on you now and they're a clear and striking blue; you shift your weight from one foot to the other because her gaze is so intrusive and then you nod dumbly because you can't seem to work your mouth.
Marley tells you it's just as well that you're straight because she wants kids and you don't have a way with them; you know it's true (you're quite terrible with them, all told), but you're too tired to take the jab good-naturedly. The way she says it annoys and infuriates you and instead of showing it, you shrug coolly.
"I can't cook, either."
You shoot off a few rounds in quick succession and you curse under your breath because your aim is off. You turn to Marley, crouched down next to you, as you fumble (only slightly) to reload your gun.
"A simple stakeout, huh?" Your teeth grit together and you exhale roughly as the sound of gunfire rings in your ears.
"At least we outnumber him." Marley's shoulder brushes against yours as she leans back.
"Son of a bitch," you hiss when the front tire of your car gets blown out. "There's so much less paperwork when the suspect goes quietly." It pisses you off and at least you can stop obsessing about Marley; you stop over-thinking and over-analyzing and you lower your gun and aim for a leg. He staggers and goes down like something out of a cartoon and you smile, satisfied, because hitting your mark always has that effect.
You walk down the hall shoulder to shoulder and you try not to think about the way your hips swing in tandem. She thrusts her hand out towards you, over-reaching and invading your personal space; after you shake it, she does that eyefuck thing and you have to resist the urge to fold your arms across your chest.
"We make good partners," Marley says and there's that word again; it's loaded and you're not quite sure how you want to respond, and then you're glad you don't have to because you're interrupted.
You hook your hip onto the edge of her desk and she looks up at you, all neat hair swept up in a twist and a coordinated suit; you're in a skirt and tank top, glasses perched atop your head in an effort to smooth back your windblown hair.
"I lied before."
"I'll bite." Marley sits back in her chair, head cocked curiously to the side. "What about?" You lean forward slightly, voice lowered conspiratorially even though the bullpen is empty.
"I'm not seeing anyone."
"I put you in an awkward situation," she shrugs easily. "You were sparing my feelings."
"No, I lied because -- " you stop and sigh and because it's easier than saying what you're thinking, you tell her, "I like to be in control."
"You're in the wrong line of work," you hear Marley snort and you have to roll your eyes.
"When I'm working, I have my gun; that's enough control."
"And you felt out of control when I asked if you were seeing anyone?" Marley asks, trying to follow your line of reasoning.
"You mean when you hit on me?" you correct with a laugh because it's funny now; it's funny when you're sober and she's not undressing you with her eyes.
"Can you blame me for trying?" Marley counters, entertained (if not a little puzzled) by your amusement. "But I shouldn't have assumed that -- " she waves her hand in the air, "you were, you know."
"Oh, I've slept with women before," you tell her and her reaction, somewhere between disbelief and arousal, makes you chuckle. "It was college," you shrug.
"So, what, I'm just not your type?" she asks, mild offence creeping into her voice. "You're gay but you prefer petite blondes?"
"I object to labels," you tell her; she makes a sound that you can't quite distinguish between a scoff and a laugh. "And," you continue with a crooked smile, "I actually prefer leggy redheads." You can tell she doesn't expect that because she sucks in a sharp breath; and then she does something you don't expect -- she laughs.
"Thank God. Because," she leans forward, brow raised delicately, "all that stuff about just being friends? I was totally lying."
You go out for a drink and she orders that blue thing again; you've learned that the colored drinks are always twice as strong as the straight stuff and you're happy with your bourbon even though she remarks that it's a man's drink.
"Better than burning the lining of my stomach away," you snort and she concedes with a shrug and another drink; then she turns to you with a lazy smile playing on her lips.
"Are we dating now?" she asks and then her brow arches. "Or is that another label you object to?"
"It's too soon to tell," you answer cryptically.
"Oh, I get it," she nods; she's not drunk but definitely on the right path. "You like to be in control. This is you being in charge." She pauses and angles her head to the side, sizing you up. "You're a top, aren't you?"
You laugh shortly and instead of responding, you swallow your answer with a mouthful of bourbon. Then, you say:
"Let's find out."
When you're back at your apartment, wedged between the door and her body, you can taste the turquoise concoction on her lips and it's so sweet you almost cringe. You blindly dig your keys out of your purse so that when you break apart for air (only after your lungs start to burn), you're ready; there's a short window and when you hear her ragged inhale, you turn around, struggling to get the key into the lock.
"In a hurry, are you?" she chuckles against your neck, distracting you further with her hands on your thighs; despite your squirming, she tries to hoist up your skirt in the middle of the hallway and you finally manage to get inside, Marley hot on your heels and half up your skirt.
You clash into the boxes you've never bothered to unpack, twisting around, tugging impatiently at her shirt. She yelps against your lips and you reach around her, applying pressure between her shoulder blades where the edge of a box marked "kitchen" dug in.
"Thanks," she says breathlessly; a hand squeezes between your bodies, up your shirt, groping and you bite back a moan. Her thigh slips between your legs and she's a few inches taller than you (even in your heels) and that forces you up onto the tips of your toes; then you're back against something solid and she presses against you, hips moving in a slow grind.
"I have a bed," you say, half-heartedly trying to push her away; when it doesn't work, you push harder (because you really don't want it to be this way) until your feet touch the ground again and then you fist your hand in the front of her shirt, pulling her with you. She lets you drag her; lets you shove her down onto the bed and there's no time for her to protest because you hike up your skirt and straddle her hips.
You lean forward, hands on either side of her head, hovering over her and before your lips descend on hers, you hear her comment lowly:
"Guess I have my answer."
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