DISCLAIMER: Nikki & Nora are the property of Nancylee Myatt and Warner Bros. Television. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ann thanks very much for the beta. Tristianmakhai your idea sent my muse in the weirdest direction, but you'll find some food in there somewhere.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Nikki drifted awake and was surprised to find herself alone in bed. Well, alone apart from Reba who, she could feel, was curled up at the foot of the bed. Once she'd pummelled her pillows into a more comfortable arrangement and snuggled back down, Nikki considered the fact that when she'd been single she'd loved nothing better than a lazy Sunday morning lie in, but over the past 5 years she'd come to appreciate that unless a certain blonde was sharing in the activity, whether it be shopping for groceries, an all-night stakeout, or a quiet Sunday morning under the covers, it just wasn't the same.
The thought of snuggling with her wife drew an unconscious sigh from Nikki's lips, and she had just started to get up, determined to coax Nora back into bed and make the thought a reality, when she heard the muffled clink of china and cutlery. Hastily, she jumped back under the covers and resettled herself as she feigned sleep.
She heard Nora enter the room and the momentary pause her footsteps, as if she was surprised to find Nikki still asleep, before she resumed walking towards the bed.
Nikki appreciatively inhaled the enticing smell of coffee and entertained herself by envisaging her lover as she listened to Nora quietly place, what Nikki hoped would be, a tray containing a press pot of her favourite coffee on the cedar chest that was situated at the foot of their antique brass bed.
She stayed silent as the bed dipped, and she felt Nora make herself comfortable next to her, then a low voice said softly, "C'mon honey, time to wake up. I've got a surprise for you."
Patiently, Nikki waited, keeping her breathing regular and relaxed, as she received the anticipated light caress of warm fingertips across her forehead that reordered her bangs in preparation of the hoped for kisses, the first placed softly on her forehead and then a second that brushed fleetingly across her lips.
"I know you're awake," said Nora teasingly, "open your eyes, Baby." Then, when Nikki didn't stir, Nora's lips returned for a longer, more purposeful contact.
It took all of Nikki's considerable will power to continue the game and resist responding to the oh-so inviting touch; until, after what felt like an eternity, the tempting lips withdrew again.
After a couple of seconds, her tormentor's voice mused playfully, "Hmm, well either I'm losing my touch or you're out for the count. Still, I suppose I can always find something more creative to do with your breakfast."
All the will power in the world couldn't stop the unrestrained grin that spread across Nikki's face at that impish comment, as she recalled other mornings when that particular threat had been carried out in the most delicious of ways.
Unseen fingers gave her nose a gentle tweak and, to prevent further liberties being taken with her person, she finally opened her eyes to look up at the mischievous green eyes of her partner, friend, lover, and Nikki's heart still gave a happy skip every time she thought it, wife, who had made herself comfortable propped up on the pillows next to her, awaiting Nikki's response to the teasing.
As their eyes met, a matching grin crossed Nora's features, and Nikki untangled her hand from the sheets to caress Nora's face as she lifted her head from the pillow and indulged in a lingering series of kisses.
"Good morning, Beautiful," Nikki said eventually, breathing slightly more heavily.
Nora's dazed eyes opened slowly as she cleared her throat. "Oh yeah," she replied breathlessly, fanning herself with her hand and unconsciously squirming as if feeling slightly uncomfortable.
They gazed into each other's eyes for another long moment, and then Nikki lifted an eyebrow in question. "Breakfast?" she queried, her brown eyes sparkling, inwardly gleeful as she saw that Nora had to visibly collect herself.
"Don't worry, I've got it," Nikki said as she quickly scooted out of bed, startling Reba in the process, to collect the laden tray. Lifting it she cast her lover a scolding glance and received in return the expected tolerant eye roll as Nora, in a well-practiced manoeuvre, reorganised the pillows to act as their back rests.
Nikki carefully placed the tray in the centre of the bed and then eased back under the rumpled covers, straightening them as she did so.
"Umm, um, ummm," she hummed appreciatively, carefully inspecting the mouth-watering contents. Her face fell slightly as she studied the quantity of food on the tray. "Don't you want anything, Honey?" She glanced across at Nora who'd been watching her perusal of the tray indulgently.
"Nope, not this time, it's your treat," said Nora, reaching over and taking her mug from the tray.
Nikki's brow creased in worry, and she cast Nora an ill-concealed concerned glance. Several months earlier, Nora had succumbed to a nasty viral bug and had lost weight that she could ill-afford to lose. It had taken far too long, in Nikki's opinion, for Nora's appetite to recover to its normal level.
Nora, seeing Nikki's anxious look and knowing how worried her partner had been, responded evenly, "Don't worry, Sleepyhead, I had something earlier. Some of us have been up for hours, you know."
Nikki relented, knowing that she'd get nowhere if she continued to press the issue; Nora would just become obstinate. She'd learned whilst Nora had been ill that it was far easier to sweet-talk her, than to try and out stubborn her. So, she let her expression relax as though mollified by Nora's assurance and poured herself a mug of coffee taking a deep breath of the fragrant aroma. "Okay, well feel free to steal anything you fancy from my plate. I'm never going to manage to eat it all anyway."
Nora lips quirked into a grin that she carefully hid with the edge of her mug. God knew she loved Nikki, but having recently endured several months of Nikki's 'mother hen mode,' she could spot when she was being handled a mile away. Fortunately, she was now well enough that it just served to remind her how much her partner loved her, and she saw the extra coddling as sweet rather than irritating. So, she just nodded in acknowledgement of the offer and sipped her own drink.
"So then... ooh, where to begin?" Nikki asked rhetorically, sipping her coffee as she began to consider the possible combinations before her. She eventually decided to leave the sausages for the second waffle and carefully assembled the first, piling it high with scrambled eggs and crispy bacon, finally drizzling syrup over the whole concoction.
Nora watched in amusement, cradling her mug, as Nikki licked her lips and cautiously brought the first forkful to her mouth.
'Had it been a good choice to leave out the sausage?' Nikki questioned herself silently. The low moan of appreciation that escaped as the food hit her taste buds provided the answer. 'Yep ' she thought, 'the sausage would have been too much and would have upset the delicate balance of sweet and savoury, but this, this was a great combination'. Her eyes closed as she fully immersed herself in experiencing the different tastes.
As Nikki's eyes drifted shut, Nora's fingers tightened around her mug, and she bit her lip to stop a groan from emerging.
Nikki was over halfway through eating her first waffle when the idea that had been gradually percolating its way through her subconscious revealed itself. Breakfast in bed wasn't an unusual occurrence, but these particular ingredients were they were usually reserved for very special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries and the like. She pondered the situation as she continued to eat. It wasn't her birthday and, fortunately, she'd never had a problem remembering Nora's birthday, as it was just before hers, so it couldn't be that either. She was also sure that it wasn't their wedding anniversary she paused and, as always, a delighted grin appeared on her face as she remembered the highlights of their wedding ceremony in the quaint town hall of Orleans, Massachusetts and the celebration afterwards. She knew they had been incredibly lucky that all of their close family and friends had bee able to made the long journey, determined to see them - as Bobby had put it - 'tie the knot.' Their presence had made an incredibly special day even more so, but in her heart, Nikki knew that the minute their home state decreed same-sex marriage legal she and Nora would be tying that knot again.
So another anniversary then. Nikki knew that she still tended to forget some of the 'smaller' anniversaries that Nora liked to celebrate, which was precisely why she'd programmed them into her PDA. Nora had always told her that remembering the occasion didn't matter, but it mattered to Nikki. And, she acknowledged, it was also true that she loved the rewards that she always received whenever she 'remembered' a special occasion.
Nikki picked up her mug from the tray and took another mouthful of coffee, casually turning her head as she did so, to glance at the PDA that was resting on her bedside table. 'Damn,' she thought, looking at the device, 'no alerts, nothing .'
She sighed. It had been - she paused considering the matter - quite a while since she'd last had to put together clues to work out which event she'd missed. And every time she had, she'd always spend quite some time making it up to Nora for forgetting it in the first place. Hmm making up, Nikki brightened at the thought, that wasn't such a bad thing to have to contemplate once she got past the 'I'm an idiot, I forgot' stage.
After debating with herself about whether she should ask now or continue with her breakfast, Nikki decided that her curiosity needed to be satisfied. And, she reflected, if she cut to the chase, she'd be able to continue eating her breakfast before it grew cold.
Turning to face Nora, she asked simply, "Okay, you got me. What's the occasion?" She purposely tagged on a smile, that she knew Nora found hard to resist, to soften her request.
Of course, Nora had been aware of her lover's quandary all along. She'd watched Nikki's fruitless check of her PDA and the subsequent mental debate, and her lips twitched in amusement at the latest tactic her wife was employing: the direct approach, a very interesting change in tactics for Nikki, especially as she knew how much Nora loved the roguish grin that accompanied the question.
After the arrival of the PDA into their lives, the opportunities to tease Nikki about forgetting events had diminished considerably, and Nora had decided to wring every ounce of enjoyment she could from this rare opportunity. Something had awoken her a couple of hours ago and she had been able to spend some of the time since then deliberating the best way to spring the surprise on Nikki, so she put on her best poker face and said cryptically, "It's a special someone's birthday."
Nikki was completely flummoxed by the cryptic statement. 'Someone's birthday ! Birthday ?' That couldn't be right. Helplessly, she mentally double-checked dates, even going so far as to count the members of both sides of their families on her fingers as a triple-check to make sure she hadn't forgotten anyone. It just didn't make sense. What the hell was Nora playing at?
Nora snickered under her breath at the confused look that crossed Nikki's face as she tried to puzzle it out, and the part where she started counting on her fingers had Nora biting her lip to keep from laughing out loud, but then she noted a frown replacing her lover's confused expression.
'Oops,' Nora thought, she'd not anticipated that annoyance might be part of Nikki's reaction. She quickly interrupted her lover's train of thought before it could go too far, "Don't worry, you haven't met them," 'yet,' she finished under her breath.
"Oh...?" said Nikki, obviously still very confused "So why are we celebrating?"
"Well," answered Nora. "I thought you'd like to get some practice in. That way you won't forget it next year".
"Next year," repeated Nikki, now even more confused than ever. "Why would we be celebrating a birthday next ye.." she stopped abruptly as her brain connected the dots.
"You're not telling me ?" she said, grabbing the breakfast tray and moving it hurriedly out of her way as she rapidly shifted to kneel facing Nora. She reached out with a suddenly shaky hand to remove the mug from Nora's grasp and blindly placed it on the tray behind her, before intertwining their fingers together. Her eyes met Nora's, a question clear in their dark depths.
Nora met Nikki's hopeful eyes steadily, and she nodded. "Surprise!" she said tenderly, smiling. Then her smile faded, changing to a grimace of discomfort. This was the third contraction that she'd had since waking the 'sleeping' Nikki and Nora was very pleased that she no longer needed to try to conceal them. She guided Nikki's hand to the top of her swollen belly and watched Nikki's eyes widen when she felt the contractions rippling across its surface.
"What did you say to Bobby last week," Nora gave Nikki a nervous grin, "that I'd got a bun in the oven? Well, I'd say this bun's about done."
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