DISCLAIMER: Nikki & Nora are the property of Nancylee Myatt and Warner Bros. Television. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

New Beginnings - Dan's POV
By Ann


Dan signed the last report and happily placed it in his outbox. The knock on his door made him smile. Finally, he would have some human contact after being holed up in his office for the past hour.

A beautiful, tall brunette entered the room and stepped towards his desk. "Hello, I'm Nikki Beaumont." Reaching into her purse, she pulled out several documents. "Here are my transfer papers. I think you'll find everything in order."

The chief of detectives smiled and motioned for Nikki to take a seat. "Nice to meet you, Nikki. We don't stand on ceremony around here; you can call me, Dan."

The female detective took a seat, gracefully crossing her legs and offering a warm smile. She seemed pleased at the initial meeting, and Dan patted himself on the back for successfully handling his first true order of business as chief.

Not wasting time on idle chitchat, Dan immediately got down to business. "Everyone pulls their own weight in this precinct, and assignments are pretty much handed out as they come in. I'd only make a change if a particular case needed delicate handling; I like to use my resources as best I can."

Nikki grinned. "So, in other words, if my former debutante status were needed, you wouldn't hesitate switching me over to the case."

Chuckling, Dan replied, "Oh, you're quick. But, in answer to your question, if your special skills were needed to smooth feathers before they even began to ruffle, I'd put you in charge in a heartbeat; however, the converse is also true. I'm in a unique position; I have detectives from all walks of life at my disposal, each with his or her area of expertise, and, if the situation called for it, I wouldn't hesitate to remove you and put one of them in your place. It wouldn't be anything personal; I'd just want the best person for the job."

The smile that graced Nikki's face lit up the room. It was obvious to the chief that his new detective hadn't been expecting to be treated as an equal so soon, and Dan knew he'd handled this first interview perfectly. He only hoped that his decision to pair Nikki with Nora wouldn't backfire. Reaching for the phone, he requested the presence of his ex-partner.

Dan continued to fill Nikki in on departmental policies and even a little precinct gossip. The chief figured that she was going to hear about certain tidbits anyway, so he may as well be the one to tell her. They continued their conversation while waiting for Nora's arrival, and Dan couldn't wait to see the look on the detective's face when she saw who he'd partnered her with. Glancing at the calendar, he noted the date, the 21st; ironically, the same date he'd teamed up with Nora for the first time, different month, but the same date.

A knock on the door had both he and Nikki turning to greet the visitor. Nora immediately stepped into view. "Hey, Dan. You needed to see me?

Dan watched as Nikki stood gracefully and smiled at his ex-partner. The look on Nora's face was not exactly what the chief had been expecting. She'd faltered in her usual steady gait and had just stared at Nikki.

"Nora, this is Nikki Beaumont. She's going to be your new partner."

Nikki extended her hand, and Nora reached out with her own as if she couldn't help herself; it was as if she was drawn to the other woman. Confused, Dan titled his head as he watched the events fold out in front of him. Both women gripped the other's hand in a familiar fashion and, if he didn't know better, he'd think the two had known each other their entire lives. An aura surrounded the two detectives, and it appeared that the chill of the air conditioned room had caused each woman to shiver slightly.

"Today, I'd just like for you to show Nikki her new desk and acquaint her with your current cases. Tomorrow, you two can go out and nab the bad guys."

Dan's voice seemed to snap Nora out of some kind of trance, and she released Nikki's hand, replying simply, "Um, okay."

The chief stood stunned. He'd expected Nora to object to having to show her new partner around instead of jumping headfirst into a case. Instead, he watched as she motioned for the brunette to exit the room, and she actually turned and winked at Dan as she stepped through the door, following Nikki into the corridor. His view was cut off as Nora led her new partner to her desk.

Later that evening, Dan sat at a local sports bar, drinking a beer and watching a college basketball game on ESPN. He kept replaying his meeting with Nikki and Nora over and over again in his head. Something was bothering him about the way the two acted around each other, but he just couldn't put his finger on it.

After consuming another beer, he finally decided that perhaps the feeling stemmed from knowing Nora finally had a new partner. He smiled at the thought that at least she'd be paired with a female, ensuring that she wouldn't fall for the other detective. Maybe, he still had a shot at her after all. A change in lead of the underdog team garnered his attention, and he moved closer to the television.

Returning to his apartment, Dan headed straight for bed. The game had gone into triple overtime, and he'd stayed out later than he intended. With a full agenda scheduled for the next day, he crawled under the covers.

An image formed in his mind, and Dan smiled. He'd noticed the new tattoo Nora now sported when she'd turned to leave his office today. The shorter top and lower cut jeans she'd worn displayed the ink proudly. He'd wondered about the significance of the Phoenix and why Nora had chosen it.

Turning on his side, Dan closed his eyes. He briefly remembered some mythology, or perhaps, he was recalling some mumbo jumbo his grandmother used to spout. Regardless, his recollection was that the Phoenix was a mythical bird that died in flames and was reborn from its ashes. Today, he could've sworn he'd seen the tattoo glow a little more brightly when Nora had followed Nikki out into the corridor.

Sighing, he drifted off to sleep. He'd just have to ask Nora about it the next day.

The End

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