DISCLAIMER: Nikki & Nora are the property of Nancylee Myatt and Warner Bros. Television. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A very special thanks to the wonderful mrswoman for not only the beta, but also for her constant support of my writing endeavors.
CHALLENGE: Written for dogged_by_muses' Fragments of Sappho 2007 Challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Nikki? Got a minute?" Dan called from the door of the squad room, attracting the attention of both Nikki and Nora. Nora immediately frowned at the realization that she hadn't been addressed, the change in facial expression not lost on Nikki who tilted her head and shrugged at her partner before turning her attention back to the doorway.
"Sure, Dan. Give me just a second, and I'll meet you in your office."
Dan just smiled and nodded as he turned to walk away. He'd barely moved out of view when Nora expressed her concern at being left out of the loop.
"Why does he want to see you? Why didn't he ask for both of us? We're partners, you know."
"I have no idea what Dan wants or why he didn't request to see you, too. Let me go meet with him, and then I'll let you know." Nikki winked and started for the door. Nora watched her lover walk away, and, frustrated, she plopped down in the chair, her mind working overtime trying to come up with a reason why Dan would want to see Nikki without her.
Nikki rapped sharply on the solid door facing and waited for Dan to acknowledge her before entering. The chief looked up from the stack of papers on his desk and motioned the detective inside.
"Come in, Nikki, and shut the door behind you, if you would."
Looking back over her shoulder, Nikki noted the empty hallway, but she closed the door anyway. Now, she was the one curious as to why Dan wanted to see her alone and in private. She couldn't remember a time when she'd ever been in a closed door session with Dan, never mind without Nora.
"Please, have a seat." Dan gestured to the chair in front of his desk and waited for Nikki to get comfortable before continuing.
"The 7th District's captain called me this morning, asking for some help. There's been evidence of several hate crimes committed in the past two weeks, and Captain Laviolette would like to set up a couple of undercover cops to try to catch the attention of the perpetrators. He's afraid his officers might be recognized so he's asked if I'd lend him a hand. We decided you and Georgia would be perfect."
"Me and Georgia?" asked Nikki incredulously.
Dan fidgeted in his chair. "Um, yeah, you see, this group preys not only on interracial couples but specifically on interracial same-sex couples. We, er, figured you and Georgia fit both profiles and would get their attention rather quickly."
Nikki sat back in her chair and crossed her legs. "Yeah, I can see that. What aren't you telling me?"
"Well," Dan sighed, "there's a small chance, a very small chance, mind you, that one or two of Laviolette's officers may be involved in the attacks; either directly or by covering up for the people responsible. Neither you, nor Georgia, have had any dealings with the 7th District so ..."
"We're the perfect choice all the way around," Nikki finished, already wondering how she'd explain the undercover assignment to Nora.
Dan nodded, relieved that Nikki understood. "Yes, and I'm sure you can understand the need to keep this quiet. I've already spoken to Georgia, and she's willing if you are. You'll still be able to perform your duties during the day, and I'll be sure not to assign you or Georgia to any cases that could possibly cross district jurisdictions. Then, the two of you can go undercover in the evenings. Captain Laviolette has given me a list of clubs for you and Georgia to um, well, visit."
"Okay, what exactly are we to do if we're approached?"
"Use whatever force is necessary to apprehend the person or persons. From the reports, there are never more than three individuals, but they each wear a ski mask, making identification virtually impossible. None of the victims have been able to give us any pertinent information except that their attackers are male."
"When do we start?" Nikki stood. She hoped she'd have at least one night to wine and dine Nora. It would be much easier to explain the undercover operation to Nora when she was lying in her arms. Nora was always very receptive to anything Nikki said after they'd made love.
Dan rose and walked around the desk, a sheet of paper in his hand. "Tonight; Captain Laviolette doesn't want any more civilians to suffer at the hands of these men." Offering the paper, he added, "Here're the addresses of different nightclubs in the east district. Georgia will meet you at the one listed first at eight tonight."
Nikki took the addresses and sighed. Maybe she could take Nora home for lunch and explain the situation. A quickie would have to do.
"Okay, I'll find Georgia sometime today and finalize our plans." Nikki slid the paper into her pocket and turned for the door.
Just as she made it to the threshold, Dan called out his last instruction. "Oh, and Nikki, you can't tell anyone about this, not even Nora. We can't afford to have a leak of any kind. Besides, it shouldn't be too difficult to keep it from her during your shift, and then you can go your separate ways after work. If she gets mad later, you can blame it on me for ordering you to keep the secret until after your undercover work is over."
Nikki nodded and stepped through the door. She couldn't very well explain to Dan that there was no 'going' separate ways for the two of them after shift, but she couldn't disobey a direct order either.
Nikki pulled out of her daddy's driveway and headed for the club on the east side of the city. She'd easily explained her morning meeting to Nora, citing that Dan had asked her to represent the 8th District at the planning meetings being held to organize the upcoming policeman's ball. Nora had no desire to accompany Nikki to the meetings nor did she wonder why the meetings had been set up in the evenings. She was just happy that she didn't have to get involved.
And so, at eight o'clock, Nikki had kissed her lover and told Nora not to wait up. She knew Nora slept like the dead and would have no idea what time she came home. Her only problem had come when she'd realized she'd couldn't leave the house dressed for the club scene, but she'd solved the situation by going to her daddy's to change.
Pulling into a space across the street from the club, Nikki spotted Georgia leaning against a streetlamp outside and keeping a close eye on the passersby. Exhaling a deep breath, Nikki climbed from the car and crossed the street. She was hoping she and Georgia would attract attention soon because she didn't think the 'planning for the ball' excuse would work too many times without arousing Nora's suspicions.
Georgia pushed off the post and walked towards her 'date.' She smiled at Nikki, extending her hand, and Nikki didn't hesitate to grab hold. Both the fit and the feeling it induced felt foreign to Nikki, but she never let on as she allowed Georgia to pull her towards the front doors of the club.
Three hours later, Nikki crept into her house, dead on her feet. She'd been pleasantly surprised to discover that Georgia was a fantastic dancer, but her hopes of an early end to their undercover operation had been doused when not a single soul seemed to pay them any attention, even when Georgia walked her to the car. It was at that moment that Nikki had realized she was glad no one seemed to be interested in them; there was no way she could've kissed Georgia. She already felt guilty enough as it was.
Tiptoeing into the shower, Nikki washed off the stench of stale smoke from her hair and the smell of Georgia's perfume from her skin. A tear formed in her eye, and she angrily wiped it away. Turning off the water, she quickly dried herself and hurried to bed. She needed to feel her lover next to her; she needed to feel grounded; she needed to feel like she hadn't betrayed the only woman she'd ever loved, but what she really needed was for this assignment to be over quickly.
Two Days Later
Nikki and Nora sat in a corner booth, laughing and sharing a plate of beignets. Bobby stood in the doorway, shifting nervously from foot to foot as he watched his sister interact with her lover. He'd never seen Nora so happy and carefree, but from the moment she'd started dating Nikki, it seemed as if she'd found the love and contentment she'd always been seeking. Sighing, he stepped into the restaurant and made his way towards the booth.
"Hey, Nora." He nodded towards both women. "Nikki."
"Oh hi, Bobby. Come join us." Nora slid across the seat, making room for her brother.
"I was hoping to talk to you about something." Bobby remained rooted to the spot as he looked at the floor. "Um, alone."
Not at all offended, Nikki smiled and pushed to her feet. "I need to talk to Dan about something anyway, so why don't the two of you enjoy a little breakfast. I'll meet you back at the station, Nora. Good to see you, Bobby."
Nora returned the smile and watched her lover leave before turning towards her brother.
"So, what's up?"
Bobby slid into the vacated seat. He didn't want to break his sister's heart, but if he was wrong, he didn't want anything of his own to be broken by his sister either.
"Um, how are things with you and Nikki?"
"Great, except for the past few nights. Dan's asked her to help organize the policeman's ball, and she's been to a meeting every night this week. I never thought I'd say this, especially about being involved in planning the policeman's ball, but I'm starting to feel left out."
Bobby squirmed in his seat. If Nikki hadn't been home last night, then his partner's story could indeed by true. Nora seemed oblivious to her brother's mental conflict, focusing instead on her lover's parting words.
"Huh? I wonder what Nikki has to talk to Dan about; I sure hope it's about all these damned meetings." Nora took a healthy bite of her beignet, washing it down with coffee. "So, what did you need to talk to me about?"
Bobby slid his hand behind his neck and rubbed vigorously. "Well, um, you see, Nora, Jerry was on the east side last night, and he saw the funniest thing." Bobby chuckled nervously. "He thought he saw Nikki and Georgia walking towards a gay club, laughing and holding hands."
Nora burst out in laughter. "What? You've got to be kidding."
"No, I'm not." Bobby smiled and grabbed for a beignet. "He said Nikki looked hot in a red silk shirt, tight black pants, and black high heeled boots. I should've known better than to believe him."
Nora's laughter immediately ground to a dead stop. Bobby had just described Nikki's favorite clubbing outfit. Nora leaned across the table.
"Tell me exactly where Jerry allegedly saw Nikki."
At exactly eight sharp, Nikki kissed Nora and left the house for yet another 'planning' meeting. Nora waited all of five minutes before she grabbed her coat and headed for the door. She'd owe Sergeant Simmons ten pounds of crawfish for the tracking device he'd leant her for the night.
Nora closed the door of her car and turned on the device, watching the tracing object moving further away, a frown forming when she noted that it'd stopped at a familiar location. Nikki had stopped at her daddy's house. Pulling from the curb, Nora started down the street, keeping one eye on the road and the other on the tracker.
Twenty minutes later, Nora turned into a parking lot a block from where the tracking object had become stationary. She snatched the binoculars from the seat and scanned the parked cars, finally spotting Nikki's car half a block away. Her breath caught when she spied Nikki climbing out of the vehicle; she'd changed into a black shirt and jeans. The binoculars almost fell from her grasp when she focused on Georgia walking across the street to meet her lover, and when the two women exchanged a kiss on the cheek, the lenses successfully slipped from her grip, landing on the floorboard of the car. Nora couldn't believe what she'd just witnessed.
Watching her lover and Georgia start across the street hand in hand, Nora's own hand reached for the door handle, but she immediately stilled when she noted movement in the far alley. Three hooded men, wearing ski masks, stepped into the open, moving directly for Nikki and Georgia. Nora instinctively threw the door open and grabbed for her pistol.
"Hey, you sick bitches! It's time someone showed you the light." The tallest of the three men lifted a baseball bat, preparing to take a free swing at the two women.
Nikki and Georgia smoothly reached towards their boots, each woman pulling their weapon free in a single motion.
"How about we show you the light instead?" Georgia smirked, pointing her gun at the man until he finally dropped the bat on the pavement, the loud sound making its way to Nora's ears. She relaxed and lowered her weapon, stopping in the middle of the street.
"Okay, guys, up against the wall." Nikki grabbed a pair of cuffs from her other boot and holstered her weapon as she started for the man nearest the alley. She never saw the fourth man step from the shadows or the bat heading towards her head, but Nora did. Her shout of warning more than likely kept Nikki from sustaining a serious injury.
"Nikki! Look out!"
Nikki turned towards the sound of her lover's voice just as the man swung the bat, her head receiving a glancing blow instead of a direct hit. Reflexively, she lifted her hand to feel wetness in her hair, slowly pulling away to discover the distinct color of blood coating her fingers and palm. The lights of the streets began to dim, and Nikki swayed unsteadily as she struggled mightily to come face to face with her attacker. The ski mask effectively denied the encounter she desperately sought; instead, she moved her gaze up his face and focused on the eyes, black sleep of night befalling her as she slumped to the ground, taking the memory of a pair of glazier blue eyes with her.
Nora raced the rest of the way across the street and slid to the ground next to her lover, but not before knocking 'batman' on his ass. Cradling Nikki close, she reached for her cell to call for help.
Georgia positioned herself between the two women and the attackers, tightening her grip on her pistol. "Okay, anybody else tries something like that, and I'm shooting first and asking questions later."
The first sensation Nikki became aware of was a dull pain in her head, and the second was the sound of whispered voices, very loud whispered voices.
"Nikki and I are partners, Dan. If one of us goes undercover, both of us do. You of all people should know how important it is for partners to stay together. Don't you ever pull something like this again!"
"Damn it, Nora, do you think I wanted Nikki to get hurt? There was already a problem in Laviolette's division; I couldn't take a chance of a leak."
"With me? After all the time we spent as partners, you're telling me that you don't trust me. That's bullshit, Dan. I can understand not telling the others, but me? There's no excuse."
Silence followed, and Nikki couldn't stand not knowing what was going on, although, she was fairly certain the two of them were engaged in a 'staredown.' Very slowly, she attempted to lift her eyelids, and after several seconds, she successfully managed to open both eyes. Pleased that the introduction of light hadn't added to her headache, Nikki turned her head towards the spot where she'd heard the voices. A smile slowly spread across her face.
Dan was standing in the doorway glaring at Nora, and Nora ... Nora stood with arms folded tightly over her chest, her head tilted at an angle, her face wearing the most pissed off expression Nikki had ever seen, and her green eyes bore holes into her ex-partner.
Nikki cleared her throat. "Could you two hold it down? Your staring match is disturbing my beauty sleep."
Nora started for the bed, a smile on her face and a tear in her eye, but halfway to her destination, she seemed to remember that the two of them weren't alone. She jammed her hands in her pocket and balled them into tight fists to keep from reaching out and touching her lover.
"Hey, how're you feeling?"
Nikki smiled at Nora. "Like I've been hit in the head by a Louisville slugger."
Dan made his way over, moving to the side opposite Nora. "Nikki, I'm so sorry you got hurt."
"It wasn't your fault, Dan. I should've been paying closer attention."
"Georgia didn't see him either. If Nora hadn't been there . . ."
Nikki glanced at her lover, expecting her to say something to help Dan out, or at least, make him feel less guilty. Instead, she noted the way Nora was clenching her jaw, a sure sign that she was about to lose it.
"I'm okay, and the attackers were found. Let's not second guess anything."
"Well, next time, I promise both of you will be involved in the entire operation." Dan glanced at his watch, avoiding eye contact with Nora. "I've got a meeting with the mayor in half an hour. You take care, Nikki. I've given both you and Nora the next few days off. Nora's volunteered to take care of you, so you behave."
Nikki glanced at Nora. "She did, huh? I guess I'm in good hands then."
"Yes, you are. The doctor said he's releasing you this afternoon. I'll give you a call later." Dan patted Nikki's hand and nodded across the bed at Nora. Nikki smiled as Nora grudgingly returned the nod. Without another word, Dan walked to the door and exited the room, closing the door behind him. Nora stared at the closed door, her fists still clenched in her pocket.
"Huh?" Nora kept her gaze on the exit.
"Come sit, please."
Nora turned back towards her lover. "Um, there's no chair."
Nikki chuckled and patted the bed.
Nora stared at Nikki's hand and slowly moved forward. Not removing her hands from her pockets, she sat gingerly on the edge of the bed.
"Nora, I'm sorry for not telling you about the undercover operation, but Dan ordered me not to. I wanted to tell you so badly."
Slowly removing her right hand from her pocket, Nora gently took Nikki's hand in her own. "I know. It was an impossible situation for you. I'm not mad at you, Nikki; I'm mad at Dan for putting you in the situation in the first place. He should never have asked you to withhold something from me."
Nikki threaded their fingers together. "You thought I'd cheated on you, didn't you?"
Nora squeezed her lover's hand. "I didn't know what to think. Deep down, I know you love me, but there's always that tiny little voice of doubt. It constantly asks why you'd want someone like me."
"Nora, look at me." Nikki patiently waited for green eyes to fasten on her dark ones. "I'd never, ever, cheat on you. I love you too much for that."
Nora glanced at the closed door and then back at Nikki. Smiling, she slowly leaned towards her lover until their lips met in a gentle, but reassuring, kiss. Nora reluctantly released the sweet lips, but she made sure to sweep her tongue across Nikki's lips as a promise of things to come.
"You know, Georgia feels horrible about you getting hurt." Nora pushed a loose strand from her lover's forehead.
"It wasn't her fault. She was on the other side of me, and I didn't see the guy. How'd she expect to see him?"
Nora shrugged. "She couldn't have. I promised to go back to the club with her next week and re-enact the scene."
"Um, did you and Georgia talk about anything else?"
"Yes." Nora answered simply.
"Yes? Just yes?"
"I asked her if she'd kissed you."
"What'd she say?" Nikki smiled, already knowing the answer.
"She said she didn't kiss you, but that you were one helluva dancer."
Nikki chuckled. "She's pretty good herself. Too bad she's not gay; I think it'd be fun to go out dancing with her and her 'significant other.'"
"Well, you know Wright in dispatch?"
Nikki's eyebrows scaled up to her hairline. "You're kidding?"
Nora stole another glance at the door. "Screw this. Slide over."
Nikki slid over as fast as her aching head would allow as Nora settled into her side and placed her arm securely around her lover, pulling her closer.
"Sleep, Nikki. I'll take you home later."
Smiling, Nikki closed her eyes and burrowed into Nora's side. A few minutes later, Nora joined her lover in slumber.
Neither woman saw the door slowly open and then gently close. For the first time since the attack on Nikki, Georgia found something to smile about.
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