DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything, I'm just a fan borrowing the characters.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Takes place after S03 finale. Mostly Nikki's musings. For some odd reason "Perfect Moment" by Martine McCutcheon inspired this fic. Go figure.
SPOILERS: Some major spoilers, especially for season 03.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Perfect Moment
By lysachan

Nikki Wade slept peacefully, tightly clutching her pillow. The bright rays of the morning sun fell on her face. She stirred, slightly annoyed for being woken up by such brightness. Slowly she opened her eyes, trying to adjust to her surroundings. And like every morning, a sudden moment of panic passed through her until she remembered where she was. Home. She was home. Quietly she sat up and yawned.

The soft carpet felt nice under her bare feet. The mere thought of Larkhall's cold concrete floor still made her shiver in disgust. With light steps she walked to the window, rubbing her eyes in the process. Her bathrobe lay on the chair. She grabbed it and wrapped herself in it, in order to keep the creeping coldness away.

The weather was ideal: the sun was shining and it was warm, no clouds in sight. Nature seemed to be glowing. A faint smile appeared on her face as she closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the cool glass.

When in Larkhall, Nikki had dreamed about the feeling of waking up to a day like this. It was incredible how something as simple as waking up could feel so wonderful, so unique. Treasuring that feeling was her daily tradition: every morning she just stood there, looking out the window and reminding herself how lucky she was to be alive.

After a few minutes she slid the window open, the liberating breath of the morning air tickling her skin. It sent a shiver down her spine every time. She took a deep breath, her lungs filling with fresh air. At that moment she forgot all about Larkhall. She forgot Fenner and nagging old Bodybag. The bastard DC Gossard and the hellish years as an inmate faded away from her memories. She was truly free.

Outside the street was almost deserted. Children were playing hide and seek on the other side of the road with random shrieks of joy and excitement ringing out. The feeling of pure happiness, which filled Nikki as she curiously observed other people's ordinary lives, was absolute. Someone who hadn't lost their freedom couldn't even begin to understand it. The happiness was almost intoxicating. After such a long time, life was finally smiling at her.

All this was thanks to the woman Nikki loved more than anything in the entire world. The woman who made everything complete, the woman who had believed in her, even when she had messed up big time. Helen had made her wildest dreams come true. The brunette was still sleeping when Nikki glanced back to the bed.

She had turned Helen's life upside down, naturally, but as a human being Nikki had changed more during their slightly peculiar relationship. Her attitude towards other people, and most of all herself, had been so wrong to begin with. And Helen had helped her to change. Sometimes it'd been something concrete, like making her take English lessons, or smuggling in books for her. But most of the time it was something much more personal: lingering looks, subtle touches, radiating smiles.

A new emotion filled Nikki. Suddenly, all she wanted to do was shout her love for Helen to the whole world. The feeling was so incredibly deep, it was almost scary. Helen had showed her so much; new places, new feelings, things Nikki hadn't even known existed. And with every passing second, she loved Helen more.

Nikki kneeled down on the floor beside her sleeping girlfriend. She was so beautiful when she slept. Pure vulnerability and innocence surrounded her, which made Nikki shake her head in awe. Just watching Helen sleep was enough to make a goofy grin appear on Nikki's face.

What had she done to deserve a woman like Helen? In Nikki's own opinion, she had done everything wrong in her life before meeting the other woman: left home early, hung around here and there, and finally ended up in prison for killing a police officer. Not such a pretty picture. And once locked up, she had made sure she protested against every rule and person in Larkhall. That was until the new Wing Governor came around. All Helen needed to do was to look her way, and she was ready to do anything.

Nikki stroked Helen's hair gently, her smile still wide with love and pride.

"What are you smiling about?" Helen asked sleepily and yawned, her eyes still half closed. She stretched her arms, giving Nikki a loving look.

"Just wondering how lucky I am. The usual," Nikki answered, smiling, the warm and sexy Scottish accent once again making butterflies flutter in the pit of her stomach.

"Well, I'm not so sure about your luck right now, Miss Wade. You should know it's against the regulations to wake up a Lifer Governor before noon on Sundays," Helen said, trying to look serious.

"Is that so? Well you'll have to punish me then. Ma'am," Nikki said, wiggling her eyebrows mischievously, "What exactly is the punishment for that kind of crime?"

"Come here and I'll show you." Helen grinned and pulled her closer. She took Nikki's face between her hands, their lips meeting in a slow and sweet kiss.

"Interesting punishment, Miss Stewart," Nikki said, panting slightly when their lips finally parted. Realisation hit her: everything was clear, everything was like it was supposed to be, perfect. She was home, at last.

"I haven't even started yet."
Helen's voice was husky, her eyes sparkling. It wasn't long before Nikki's bathrobe was just a bundle on the floor.

"This is my moment
This is my perfect moment with you
This is what God meant
This is my perfect moment with you"

"I wish I could freeze this space in time
The way I feel for you inside

This is my moment
This is my perfect moment with you"

"Tell me you love me when you leave
You're more than a shadow, that's what I believe
You take me to the place I never dreamed I'd see
Minute by minute you are the world to me"

"And if tomorrow brings a lonely day
Here and now I know I haven't lived in vain
I'll cry my tears in the rain
And if love never comes again
I can always say I've been
To paradise skies in your eyes...in your eyes"

This is my moment
This is my perfect moment with you
This is my moment
This is my perfect moment
With you"

Martine McCutcheon - Perfect Moment

The End

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