DISCLAIMER: Nikki & Nora are the property of Nancylee Myatt and Warner Bros. Television. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A special thanks to Debbie for the quick beta and words of encouragement.
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Sting
By Ann


"Why do I have to be the waitress?" Nora tugged on her short skirt. There was barely enough material to cover her assets.

"I don't look good in a skirt." Dan grinned and then quickly schooled his expression when he caught the death glare being directed his way. "Besides, you can handle the drunks."

Nora turned on her heel and walked towards the door. "Admit it; you just like to look at my ass."

"Actually, it's our suspect who seems quite fond of your ass."

"What?" Nora's mouth dropped open. She turned to face Dan who just smiled and nodded.

"It's true; her eyes always stray your way whenever you pass by the bar. If some hot chick looked at me like that, I'd kick the undercover operation to the curb and go for it."

"Oh, c'mon, you're telling me you'd date a suspect?"

Dan grinned. "Who said anything about dating?"

"Jeez, Dan; grow up, would you?" Nora turned back towards the door.

"You're kidding, right? The only thing better than me being with her would be you hooking up with her. Two chicks getting it on, now that's something every man dreams of."

"There's a little problem with that." Nora looked back over her shoulder. "I'm not gay." Smiling, she walked from the room.

"Here you go." The bartender slid the drinks over to Nora and winked.

Nora faltered, smiling slightly as she placed the drinks on her tray. As she turned to walk away, she cringed, knowing the woman's eyes were glued to her ass. She was going to kill Dan for pointing out that little tidbit.

Ever the professional, she continued to her table, but not before she glanced at Dan's table and childishly stuck out her tongue. Dan raised his glass in salute and smiled. Teasing Nora about their female suspect had become his favorite pastime, and since they hadn't spotted any sign of a drug deal going down, it was keeping the undercover operation from becoming boring. He sat back in his chair and scanned the room.

The bartender was chatting with one of the patrons, but it was obvious her attention was on Nora. She'd kept her eyes on the waitress, specifically Nora's ass, from the moment Nora had left the bar. Dan was so intent on watching her watch Nora, he never noticed the man across the way give a subtle nod to the bartender, but Nora had.

Placing the drinks on the table, Nora glanced over her shoulder at the burly man, standing near the restrooms. He nodded at the bartender, and she'd smirked in reply. Nora turned back to her customers.

"Will there be anything else?"

"How about you climb over here and sit on my lap?" The tall cowboy slurred his reply, eliciting a round of laughter from his friends.

Nora focused on the man. "If I'm going to sit on an inanimate object, I'd rather it be a nice soft sofa."

The men roared at Nora's response, and the cowboy jumped to his feet, towering over the smaller woman. Nora widened her stance and readied herself to defend herself when a sultry voice spoke up next to her.

"Have a seat, Tex. We don't want any trouble."

The man's eyes widened and he took a step back. "Sorry, Ma'am; I didn't mean anything by it."

"Well, next time, just keep your seat."

The man nodded and plopped down in his chair. Nora turned towards her savior, catching the glint of an object being held in her hand. The bartender winked and slid the handgun into the waist of her pants before turning and walking away. Nora tracked her progress back to the bar, her eyes slowly venturing to the firm ass of the woman.

Catching herself, she swallowed hard and glanced over to see if Dan had witnessed the exchange. His big grin confirmed her fears.

"You want me to what?" Nora paced back and forth, running her hand through her hair. She'd actually entertained the same idea Dan had suggested, but she'd cast it aside at the butterflies that had formed just thinking about it.

"Flirt with her; it's obvious she's got a thing for you. Maybe she'll try to win you over with an offer of something."

Nora stopped her pacing. "I'm not sleeping with her!"

Dan chuckled. "I meant she'd offer you drugs, not sex, Nora."

"Oh, well that's different." Nora tried to slow her rapid heartbeat. The thought of Jane, the bartender, asking her out made her more nervous than disgusted, and that thought alone scared the hell out of the detective.

"You've had a few conversations with her, right?" Dan waited for Nora's nod of confirmation. "Just take it a little further."

"How?" Nora was serious. She knew how to get a man's attention, but she had no idea how to deal with a woman.

Dan shrugged. "I guess it'd be the same as flirting with a man. I mean, keep the same lines, just change the gender."

"Are you sure?"

"No, not really, but what have you got to lose, Nora? It's not like you're actually going to have to follow through or anything."

"Okay, I'll think about it." Nora moved to her chair and took a seat. This assignment was stirring up feelings she didn't understand. She looked out the window in thought.

Later that evening, Nora took a seat at the bar and waited for Jane to acknowledge her; she didn't have long to wait as dark eyes and a sexy smile turned to greet her.

"Hey, Jenny, taking a break?"

Nora smiled at the other woman. "Yeah, I'm dead on my feet tonight. I just can't seem to get any energy these days. I sure wish I had a nice pick me up."

Jane glanced over her shoulder. "Um, I might be able to help you with that."

"You're planning on taking my shift?" Nora teased, her pulse quickening. She wasn't sure if it was the possibility that Jane was offering her drugs or that Jane was just offering.

"Yeah, um, listen, I could get into trouble if I just helped you out though."

"What do you mean?" Nora played the innocent card.

Jane leaned in close, her breath hot against Nora's cheek. "I've got just the thing you need, but my supplier frowns on freebies."

Thoughts of Jane, catering to her needs, almost side-tracked Nora from the case at hand. The nearness of the woman was quickly taking Nora off her game. She pulled away to regain her senses.

"I understand. I recently lost my own supplier. I can pay top dollar if he's got what I want."

Jane smiled and called out over her shoulder. "John, I'm taking a break. Jenny, here, is feeling a little sick and needs some fresh air." Taking Nora's hand, Jane pulled her towards the back of the bar.

Dan waited until the women disappeared from view before he slid his walkie-talkie from his pocket. "It's going down. Get in position outside the alley." Standing quickly, he headed out the front doors and sprinted towards the back of the building. He just hoped Nora could stall the bartender long enough for him to get into position.

Nora stepped out the back door and shivered. It was an uncharacteristically cool evening, and the short skirt did little to cover her legs. She wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the chill. A long arm slung over her shoulder and pulled her against a warm body.

"Maybe we should go back inside; you're going to freeze to death."

Nora glanced back at the door, hoping to spot the supplier. "No, that's okay. This won't take long will it?" Nora unconsciously leaned into the warmth being provided.

"No, just a few minutes. My supplier's here now."

Nora almost jumped out of Jane's arms; she'd thought they were still alone. Turning, she spied the other bartender, John, walking their way. She'd have never suspected the quiet man.

"You got cash?" John stepped closer, and Nora reached for the purse she'd slung over her arm.

"Depends, what've you got?" Nora pretended to open her purse to retrieve her cash; she placed her hand on her gun instead.

"Anything you need." John opened a case, revealing a smörgåsbord of choices. Nora smiled and moved closer; Dan's shout from the end of the alley had her reaching for her gun.

"Freeze, NOPD. Put your hands in the air."

The next few minutes played out in slow motion as a swarm of officers moved into the alley with guns raised, the scene in front of them reminiscent of a classic standoff.

Nora and Jane had squared off against each other, guns raised and pointed towards the other's head. Beside the two women, John and Dan had mirrored the two women as they each stared down the barrel of the other's gun. What made the scene complete, however, was the two sets of officers also pointing guns at each other.

Two female voices chimed in with the same question. "What the hell is going on here?"

Dan stood off to the side with 'Jane' while Nora and 'John' took on the task of explaining the situation to their backup.

"You know, the commissioner really needs to rezone these areas. I hadn't realized there were still places where precinct jurisdiction overlapped." Dan watched Nora try to explain the situation to her brother.

Nikki shook her head. "The least precincts could do is inform the other of undercover operations so that situations like this don't happen again."

"Yeah, well, I'm up for promotion next month. If I get the job, I can promise you that I'll do everything I can to coordinate operations between precincts when it's called for."

Nikki smiled and gestured around the alley. "Oh, so you're going to leave all this to sit behind a desk?"

Dan laughed. "I can promise you that I won't miss this." He glanced over at his partner. "I'll definitely miss Nora though. She's one of a kind."

Nikki followed the detective's line of sight. "Yes, I just imagine she is."

"You know, you were pretty good playing the eye-roving bartender. You actually had me convinced that you had a thing for Nora."

"Well, Nora did a good job playing her role as well." Nikki smiled as she watched Nora pull on her short skirt. Dan grinned and nodded, never realizing that Nikki hadn't denied his accusation.

Exactly one month to the day, Dan sat behind his new shiny desk, staring across at his former partner. "Today's the day, Nora."

"Don't remind me." Nora grimaced. "Couldn't I just go solo for awhile?"

"No, departmental policy won't allow it." Dan smiled to ease his words.

"C'mon, Dan, can't you make an exception?" Nora wasn't too proud to beg. Her fears of teaming up with a slacker, or worse, a womanizer far outweighed her stubborn pride.

"Sorry, Nora, but at least, I did handpick my replacement. I think the two of you will get along just fine."

Nora closed her eyes and groaned. "Great; when do I meet him?"

A knock on the door halted Dan's reply. He looked up and smiled, motioning the visitor into his office. Nora peeled an eye open and turned in her seat. She almost slid from her chair and onto the floor.

"Nora, I'd like for you to meet your new partner, Nikki Beaumont."

The End

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