Title: 'untitled'
Author: Tristian Makhai
Feedback address: tristianmakhai (at) gmail.com
Date in Calendar:
Fandom: Nikki & Nora
Pairing: Nikki/Nora
Rating: MA to R/NC-17
Word Count: 6230
Summary: One interpretation of a moment referenced in the pilot.
Warnings or Spoilers: Watch the pilot and there's nothing to be spoiled.
Archiving: Ask and ye shall receive
Feedback: Always appreciated.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW09

Disclaimer: Nikki & Nora are the property of Nancylee Myatt and Warner Bros. Television. No infringement intended. All subsequent character backgrounds and or imagine personalities the product of a deranged mind.

Author's Notes: A massive shout of thanks goes out to AJ who was so very patient with me as I rewrite and edited this damn thing within an inch of my life. This has actually been in my wip folder for roughly a couple years and only decided to be finished for the calendar. Also, unbeta'd, edited solely by myself, and thus, I split my infinitives, let my sentences end with prepositions, and thus am responsible for the goofs. Thank you for reading.

Just how and when exactly they'd ended up upside down in bed, neither occupant was particularly sure nor truly concerned with, especially not with the tangle of limbs and curving stroke of a tongue. Nikki's fingernails lightly scraped along her side, and caused the blonde to arch and purr her approval of her partner's wandering hands. Deft fingers skimmed up her stomach, teasing along her ribs and the swell of her breast, until finally a palm pressed wicked torment to her body. Her purr was low and roughened with thick arousal, as a finger and thumb singled out a sensitive nipple, the sound vibrated against Nikki's mouth and around her tongue, igniting yet another flare of bone-deep need in the brunette.

Although she was not quite known for a particularly loquacious nature, Nora Delaney was rarely silent, especially not when with her partner. Not simply was it with her hands and body that she spoke, but the blonde proved very vocal with every hummed approval and murmured request of wordless want against her skin. A singular grunt or murmur meant any number of a response in the wordless vocabulary Nora seemed so utterly unconscious of even as Nikki rapidly found herself fluent. She knew each and all, and the rumble of a possessive growl deep in her gorgeous lover's throat drove Nikki wild and left her throbbing with its layered implications.

Her body was draped lazily over Nikki's, deceptive in its appearance of relaxation even as the younger woman felt every trace of tension and tremor threatening Nora's fierce control. Stretched out against her lover, the blonde gave a sound of approval in the back of her throat. There were few words to aptly describe the feel of Nikki's body, all sleek muscle and subtle definition wrapped in the sinfully silky smooth skin. Even fewer were adequate enough to explain the rising swell of complicated emotion and response provoked by the press of bodies.

At once, Nora felt strong, powerful, and all together devastatingly weak. She could feel the rising wave of possessive, fierce protective compulsion for the woman in her arms even as the instinctive urge half terrified her and left the woman ill equipped to fight against the almost overwhelming need to take. It alarmed her with the ease that such a seemingly fragile form held such sway over her, how close to the edge of lust and complete devotion Nikki inspired. Though she felt strong, Nora was terrifyingly helpless to protect Nikki from herself. What scared the detective the most was just how effortlessly she seemed to spin out of the comfort of control, and how easily the temptation to give in and let go arose.

Desperate for the refuge of reserve, needing the safety of distance and deliberate action, Nora pulled her mouth away from the madness of Nikki's. Even as the physical distance drove a sharp blade of loss through her chest, Nora fought to concentrate on the skin beneath her fingers, focusing turbulent viridian on the contrast between the golden burnish of her hand and her lover's paler skin. The touch began at Nikki's shoulder, a fingertip lightly trailing over the swell of the joint and down to trace the pronounced line of her collarbone, where an index finger joined the first to curve into the dip created with her clavicle until a corded tendon interrupted their path. This too was mapped, green eyes rapt as Nora curled her fingers so that her knuckles stroked up the soft skin stretched tight over the strong, arched throat. The pulse of blood and heartbeat thrummed beneath her fingertips, and as she shifted her touch again, the sensitive pads of her fingers felt the rhythmic beat.

The rush beneath her fingers was quick, erratic as the chest and throat beneath her touch hitched on the jagged edge of a sharply withdrawn breath. Taking in the vulnerable and exposed skin of her partner's neck, jade darkened with want and need as a laboured breath escaped from the parted, full lips, her gaze lingering on the wet flesh as the desire to taste and take clenched deep within her body, barely and tightly reigned in. Desperation drove her to lift her eyes, even as she found damnation in Nikki's impossibly dark gaze, warm brown nearly eclipsed in the wake of arousal, tease, and unfulfilled promise.

With that single look, Nora came undone; any control banished as her body surged of its own accord and sought the velvet press of naked skin. The fingers resting on Nikki's neck shifted to cup her jaw as Nora surrendered to the kiss, her tongue drawing upon Nikki's, a moan rising rapidly. Her partner's mouth was hot and wet, dizzying with intoxication as Nikki arched aggressively and met her in the kiss, teeth nipping wickedly at Nora's bottom lip as she pulled back with a grin. The groan torn from the blonde's throat emerged as a growl and morphed into a hiss as Nikki's blunt nails raked a blaze of arousal down the slope of her back. Her lips pressed another kiss to her lover's mouth as she smoothed her palm over the contours of Nora's rear, fingers flexing in their grip before continuing in their teasing descent. As her finger curled to tuck in along the satin texturing of a supple, flexing hamstring, Nikki gave a quick tug. The inside of her thigh brushed against Nora's hip as she pulled her partner in snug against her body, the same patch of skin rubbing against Nora's own as she stretched beneath the other woman.

"Nikki-" Her voice broke on her partner's name, breath and body hitching in time as she found herself torn between the sinful press of Nikki's body beneath her own and the trail of heat and damning need her partner's touch ignited. Her head dropped to press her forehead into Nikki's sweat moistened shoulder, able to do little more than give into the impulses of her body. The detective had scant control left to prevent the instinctive roll of her hips and as the brunette slid a hand beneath the crush of their bodies, a shuddering groan escaped. Nikki's touch did little to ease the ache, instead inflaming her body even more as she pressed a kiss to Nora's temple and released a low, smug chortle as her fingers teased and slid beyond wiry curls to seek and trace heat-soaked flesh.

Beneath the glorious, pressing sprawl of Nora's body, Nikki grinned, her fingers sliding through the slick velvet. Her other hand quickly made the journey to tangle in the feathered texture of the pale hair, pressing Nora closer as her chin lifted. With a herald of rasping lips, the younger detective felt the stroke of a wet tongue dipping to taste the salty accents given to her skin. Her hum of approval quickly shifted to a groaned curse as Nora's sharp teeth found the delicate, exposed flesh of her neck and promptly delivered a sharp nip. "Fuck," Nikki hissed and reflexively extricated her hand, returning it to her lover's hip to press her partner's pelvis to her as the woman's tongue washed over the mark, doing absolutely nothing to ease the rush of desire. She sought relief from the eruption of fire in under her skin and shifted, needing to touch and feel the tight press of taut muscles and a precise thrust.

As she moved, her bent knee parted Nora's to press a tensed thigh against the wet need as Nora's want painted her skin, her hand splayed over the ink decorating the blonde's lower back. Her fingers left a damp trail as her hand slid tighter around Nora's lower back to hold her firmly against her slender frame and as Nora's head snapped up to tear away with a gasp at the contact against her groin, Nikki pressed her advantage. Liquid arousal coiled tighter in the blonde's stomach with the distinct sensation of Nikki settling atop her body as she reversed their positions in a single move, thigh never letting up on the pressure. "Nik-" The blonde panted with need, her pelvis tilting against Nikki's to seek more of the deliriously agonising friction.

"Shh," her partner soothed, a wicked grin against her neck as the brunette's mouth found her skin, pristine white teeth nipping sharply at the taut, corded muscles of Nora neck, causing her chin to lift and further expose her throat in mimicry of Nikki's earlier reaction. The prompt acquiescence and trust intrinsic in the gesture ignited something in Nikki's blood and she paused for the barest of moments, her breathing heavy and hard, as her darkened eyes remained rapt upon the flushed features of her partner. "I love you," she exhaled, breathless and taken, her words not by design, but simple, honest expression. Blonde hair splayed out beneath her, skin flushed, and her eyes lit with joy, Nora had never been more beautiful and as she gave the briefest of laughs born of pure elation, Nikki found her breath and heart stolen all over again.

Reaching up to tangle her fingers in Nikki's dark hair, she pulled her partner's mouth back to her own, pressing a sweet kiss to the wet lips, speaking the words she found so hard to articulate. Nikki's longer body draped elegantly over her own as Nora let her tongue form and say her heart's desires. Words had never come easily to the detective, not when it came to the tight constriction of muscle in her chest, locking the emotion in a prison of helpless mute. Her heart swelled in frustration, fit to burst if not finally allowed to speak. For the briefest of agonisingly long moments, she couldn't breathe, couldn't think, and her heart froze in her chest.

Pressing her forehead against her partner's -her lover's- Nora struggled, fighting to break the habits of a lifetime. She fought to let go, to trust and love and finally give her closely guarded heart to whom it truly belonged. The taste of Nikki on her tongue, the press of her body and the silken heat of her passion, all ensured Nora could barely breathe, let alone think. The instinctive reflexive roll of Nikki's hips into hers set an eruption of sensation bubbling into a half-whimpered gasp. When she finally opened her eyes, Nora met Nikki with a clear gaze, a half smile curling at the corners of her lips, the shield of caution and distance she habitually built absent. "I love you too," she exhaled with a truly delighted expression over taking her features. "I love you, Nikki Beaumont," she repeated.

"Well, that certainly does make things easier," Nikki quipped, unable to resist the smart-Alec answer even as her heart swelled and threatened to burst from the strength of welling emotion. Then, the mischief dimmed as what Nora could only call adoration took its place in Nikki's eyes and accented her gorgeous features. She'd witnessed so many sides to her mercurial partner, but this was something rare and a gift Nora truly cherished. "I never expected you," she whispered. "Never expected this. Hell, I'd forgotten what it was to feel, but you, you brought me back to life," Nikki quietly confessed, dark eyes shining.

"No," Nora shook her head. "We brought each other back," she corrected, reaching up to tuck the damp, silky brown hair back, a gentle smile softening her features.

"I haven't loved someone in a long time, and I'm bad at this," the brunette confessed with a self-depreciative smile and a one-shouldered shrug. "I forget things like birthdays and anniversaries; I get caught up in my job, and flirt outrageously. I fuck up relationships when things get serious, and I'm still not completely back together." Her last words were quiet, and bore the weight of too many years sacrificed for the sake of a job and duty.

Nora's chuckle was soft and warm as she leaned up to press a kiss to the corner of her partner's mouth, understanding the burdened tone. "Darlin, that's nothin' new, and doesn't change a thing. I haven't exactly won any awards for Girlfriend of the Year," she added with a smirk and wicked gleam to her green eyes before her expression sobered. "It's too late to warn me anyway, Nik. I fell in love with you a long time ago, and nothing's going to change that."

"You did?" The sweet, quiet vulnerability was something new, fledgling and an exposure of the real Nikki beneath everything else. Nikki seduced; she acted and flirted. She was bold and alluring in all her magnetic, sensual grace. She was in possession of charisma the likes of which Nora had never witnessed or experienced, but this shy woman buried deep was something new, something real.

"Oh yeah. Somewhere between the 'who the fuck are you?' and exploding yacht," the fair detective grinned, tucking the glimpse of what an untainted Nikki could've been had life not chosen to beat her down with every stroke into her heart. There would be time to later draw upon that guarded woman.

Unable to control the laugh that bubbled up from her chest and burst out, Nikki hung her head for a moment, resting her forehead against her lover's chest. "God, I was *not* at my best, either day," she grinned against the hot skin.

"Oh, hon, neither of us were," Nora snickered as she lifted a hand to slide through the dark strands of curled, brunette silk as Nikki's hair fell forward to cover the other woman's warm and mischievous features. "We've had some pretty bad days, you and me," she allowed, stroking over the curve of her partner's head, smiling softly down at the half-oblivious woman.

"Mmm," Nikki hummed in agreement, pressing a kiss to the damp skin beneath her mouth, savouring the salty tang to Nora's skin. "Had some damn good ones too." The comment drew a laugh that shook the chest she lay upon as her mouth meandered and she nuzzled the soft flesh. A moment later, Nora's chest rose again, this time, her breath catching as Nikki's tongue sought and claimed the same breast her fingers had tormented before. Grinning against the soft flesh, her tongue flattened to cover the turgid nipple, the dexterous surface of her tongue laving over the firm peak before her teeth nipped playfully.

Groaning softly, the emission broke free from the blonde's throat as her fingers gripped convulsively at her partner's side and head, both pulling and pressing her closer as she released a breathless laugh. "Nik," Nora exhaled in another breath. "You're killing me here," she confessed as her dominant hand reached up to join its mate in the dark tresses before she used the tips of her fingers to part and brush aside Nikki's hair and expose the shining dark brown eyes that glittered wickedly at her. "And that's probably exactly what you planned," she added with half a smirk.

Nikki's particular response was to grin and suck hard on the flesh in her mouth before releasing it to press another wet, open-mouthed kiss on the blonde's sternum. "Only a little," she murmured, returning her mouth to Nora's warm skin, tongue lapping at the salty flesh as she let her mouth lay a path of worship between the blonde's breasts. Nipping softly -playfully- at the bottom edge of Nora's rib cage, Nikki grinned at the groan of not-quite protest the bite incurred. Then, she nuzzled at the underside of Nora's neglected breast, drawing the peak into the heat of her mouth firmly, causing Nora to arch involuntarily, pressing into Nikki's tongue and the wet suction with a whimper her breath caught upon.

As she flattened her palms on the mattress beside her partner, Nikki tensed her shoulders, taking the weight of her torso as she prepared to move. One of Nora's hands left her hair to slide along the surface of her shoulders, fingers digging in with the sharp pull on sensitive flesh. Nikki left a wet path, releasing the teased flesh to descend, nudging a part tense, toned thighs as she resettled her body and hummed against her partner's skin. She placed open-mouthed kisses to the flat stomach she savoured, letting her tongue stroke along the subtle, firm abdominals lurking beneath the silken tawny skin.

Her teeth worried at her bottom lip as the brunette rest her chin on the tense, quivering surface to keep the impish grin from curving over her mouth. "What d'you need, darlin?" Nikki drawled, tilting her head up enough to meet the clouded jade gaze of her lover.

The grin Nora bestowed upon her was almost lazy in its pleasure as she brushed the dark fringe from Nikki's eyes. "Just you," Nora replied.

She couldn't control the reflex to return the grin, or her chuckle as she gave an easy response. "I can deal with that."

Despite the clear struggle to maintain the arch expression, a slender eyebrow rose and Nora returned in an almost bland tone, "You can, can you?"

"Oh, I most definitely can," the brunette grinned, returning her mouth to press a kiss to the other woman's stomach.

"Well, that's a good thing." Her expression changed then, shifting from the open, delirious happiness that seemed to pervade their private moments and threatened to destroy her 'tough-cop' reputation to something subtle but no less profound. Letting her fingers trace the beloved features, Nora brushed the sensitive pad of her thumb across plump, kiss-wet lips. "Because I definitely need you," the words were a soft admission, spoken with that quiet, burning intensity Nora carried within.

With five words, Nikki found her heart reforged in the heat of Nora's love burning away the rough, shattered edges of her soul. Recast, the fragments of who she'd had to become finally settled into place, soothed and healing simply for this woman. Her breath shook as she exhaled, over-taken by a powerful desire, a need rooted so deeply within her own body Nikki was helpless to deny the compulsion. Swiftly, she ascended Nora's body, sliding in tight to press deep against the apex of her thighs, tasting deeply from her mouth as she breathed Nora in. "I love you," she uttered between kisses, barely able to articulate the words for her tongue's need to speak its own language.

Nora's primary response was to tighten her arms around the woman she loved and curl a toned leg around Nikki's, in a move that left her exposed. It was an invitation and plea Nikki could never refuse as she slid her hand down Nora's still slick stomach to cup the arousal soaked curls and sex. A moan pulled from her throat, Nora tore her mouth from Nikki's to pant, her forehead pressed against her lover's as she blinked back the overwhelming crush of desire and want.

Nikki withdrew her hand for a moment, offering a reassuring smile to her partner as she shifted, holding the naked green gaze for a long, breathless heartbeat. Then, unable to resist the draw of Nora's body, her fingers returned, this time sliding in amongst the velvet clinch unhindered with a firm, deep stroke.  A groan of approval broke free as Nora tipped her head back and pressed against Nikki's fingers. The sound echoed in the brunette's chest as her eyes slid shut and her world contracted to the wet, silken crush gripping her fingers.

Then, with a fierce determination, Nikki tensed her shoulder and withdrew, eliciting a mewled protest. "Shh," she quieted, pressing an almost chaste kiss to Nora's swollen lips. With the weight of her body lent to the thrust, she returned to Nora's body, sliding in deep and tight. The smile she offered was almost shaky as she paused, savouring the exquisite reality of being inside the woman who so very rapidly had become essential to her very life, sanity, and joy. Gradually, the initial overwhelming awe almost debilitating in its intensity ebbed into the flash-fire of desire to take, have, claim, worship, possess, and set free. It was a thousand compulsions all at once and each made an extension of the flesh, with true liquid release demanded in its wake. Nikki's reverence eased as Nora's heart rate rose, her hips meeting each thrust more eager and firmly with each stroke until they strained together, as separate parts of an entirely new soul.

Nora's head tipped back as her shoulders rose off the bed, her back arching sharply, to cause Nikki to press in tight and deep as the loud cry finally broke free as Nora's release swept through them both. "Nikki!"

When she collapsed, her strength fleeing in the wake of the almighty contractions, Nora tugged Nikki's head up, raising her shoulders off the bed to crush her mouth against her lover's in a desperate, hungry kiss. There where many things Nora Delaney couldn't put into words, but thankfully, she'd finally found a way to speak them as she let the love, adoration, desire, and heat flood into Nikki's mouth with each brush and curl of her tongue. Her body shuddered still, her release terrifying in the surrender it demanded, but even in the wake of trepidation, Nora found herself whole before an unexpected voice shattered any sense of safety she'd discovered.

"Uh...oh boy."

The words tore through both women as Nikki's head snapped up and her instincts clawed through her body, making a singular demand. Before the brunette could move though, and as her head fell back to stare at the open door, Nora's arm tightened around her partner's shoulders to stop Nikki's withdraw and reflexive dive for her gun, reading the tensing of muscles before either woman truly had time to think. Both recognised the young man immediately, though neither relaxed as all three stared at each other for several long moments. Briefly, Nikki wondered how much hell Nora would give her if she still went for her Glock and shot the blonde's youngest brother.

"Fuck!" Both siblings finally blurted out before the wide-eyed Bobby slammed the door shut.

"I saw nothing!" he exclaimed. "I swear to god, nothing. I'm just...gonna...uh-"

"Wait in the living room!" Nora snapped out, closing her eyes firmly. "Fuck," she swore again, withdrawing a hand from where it had remained buried in Nikki's thick hair to pinch the bridge of her nose and ward off the brewing headache even as she kept a cautious hand still resting on her lover's shoulder. "Oh, dear god in heaven," came the heavy exhale.

"Not sure he's listening, hon," Nikki replied softly, her dark gaze finally shifting from the closed door to the partner she'd frozen against. Her mouth was still wet from Nora's fierce kiss, her fingers remained buried, and her entire body throbbed with need and arousal for this woman -no amount of surprise could truly wash that away, and in a moment of absurdity, Nikki found herself at an utter loss. "And your brother has shit timing," she finally blurted out, frazzled brain spitting out the first thing that crystallised into coherency.

Evidently, it was a pretty damn perfect thing as a burst of laughter broke out from the blonde, her hand curving to cover her eyes as her body shook. "God, tell me about." When her partner's hand fell away, Nora stared up at her partner with softening gaze as a warm smile overtook her lips. The expression, filled with the adoration and affection that suffused her, rivalled any sultry look she'd given for the reaction it incited. For several long moments, Nora regarded her partner and lover, drawing strength and peace from the other woman to gather herself for the coming confrontation. "I love you," Nora finally whispered, leaning up in a move reminiscent of moments before to press her mouth to Nikki's. "I guess I'd better go deal with him," she added when they parted, sharing a long glance, loaded with a myriad of emotion.


Although she was quite prone to avoidance and denial regarding issues she'd rather not acknowledge, Nora Delaney was not a coward. When push came to shove and she found herself confronted, she did not run away and barely gave a flinch. Not even as a child growing up with four brothers, did Nora flee from conflict and when time came for her to face her music, the detective squared her shoulders and calmly faced whatever reaction or fallout there was. For as long as she could remember, this was how she'd always been. Hell, her mother still told stories of her little girl's unwavering maturity, even the times she'd beat the stuffing out of her older brother William and bloodied his nose all over the front room.

So, when she quietly emerged from her bedroom, sheet wrapped around her shoulders, Bobby was not surprised in the slightest at her composure. If anything, it reassured him this was his big sister, the same as she'd always been, despite this startling and unexpected look into her private life. Of course, he knew it was stupid to think this simple, yet horribly complex detail would change anything really, but he worried that maybe, she'd forget that.

As much as he wanted to bolt out the door and avoid the approaching conversation, Bobby knew it was not any sort of an option. Not only would it send his only sister the wrong message, but he'd also destroy what might be the sole opportunity to finally break through that reserve and distance she'd built between herself and the family. No, as horribly mortifying as the discussion might be -or lethal, judging from the look in Nikki's dark eyes as she'd reared up and tensed to lunge for what was undoubtedly her gun- it was one the youngest Delaney wasn't going to flee from for he was no more a coward then his sister.

In many ways, Bobby was not surprised to find what he had; mind, he never quite expected to see his sister quite like that. And maybe he was going to hell for thinking it, but as she arched hard beneath her partner's body, flushed and completely taken in ecstasy, Nora had never been more beautiful. As her body bowed and Nikki's name torn from her throat, the younger Delaney finally understood the intensity to his sister, the passion she harboured and fought to contain. In that single moment of abandon, he learnt the depth of emotion she possessed beneath the icy bitch of a mask she used. They'd mistaken fierce control and a steely need for reserve as for apathy -if not outright disregard; something no one in the family had been able to understand, not with the fiercely passionate girl Nora had been. Maybe it was a revelation of sorts, or just another way he could torment his sister, but before she could speak -her mouth half opening to do so, he held up his hands and smiled with the gentle maturity he was teased for. "Wait."

Emotion flickered across her normally schooled features, a few damned near breaking his heart at the sight of; she -his big sister and childhood hero- was scared of him. This was the same woman who stupidly charged into burning buildings, faced armed criminals as a matter of her *job,* was instrumental in apprehending the bloodiest thieves in the last few decades of the city, and even took on a gator just to save him. Never mind that it was a lil'un and probably just as scared as he, but she hadn't even thought before jumping between Bobby and the large reptile. It hurt to see, but he understood its presence; people were stupid assholes and this was the last thing Nora needed to have used against her.

It was in that moment Bobby swore to himself that it was time he stepped up to the plate and guard Nora for once. Oh, he knew Nikki had her back, not just as her partner, but that the slim brunette would single-handedly take apart anyone aiming to hurt his sister. This was different however, and he'd be damned if anyone tried to use Nikki as a vulnerability in Nora's armour; it was his turn to protect his family and if this was what she wanted, then by god, he'd take out anyone looking to give her hell for it.

Carefully, deliberately, he walked too her, reaching out to place both hands on her bare shoulders, seeing the flinch she almost fully contained. Bobby reached up with his left hand, cupping her cheek as his dark eyes met and held her lighter gaze before he smiled softly and leaned forward to gently kiss her cheek. "You're happy, right?"

The blonde stared at him for several seconds, clearly trying to process her younger brother's seemingly unfathomable actions before she gave a half stilted nod. Her brain refused to aptly comprehend this strange turn of events, especially not after the jarringly abrupt shift from release to such absolute exposure. Hell, her body was still trying to come down from its high, and that was more than enough to wreak havoc with her senses and equilibrium alone.

Bobby's head tilted to the side as he gave a soft, silly smile. "She makes you happy?"

At the question, the detective's eyes fell shut and she fought for composure, to not blush as badly as she knew she was, and sure enough, the moment she peeked from behind her disarrayed hair, Nora felt the heat of an aggressive blush.

The sight drew a laugh from her brother and he gave another of his familiar grins that went a long way to settling her nerves. "Never mind, that's all I really need to know," he rescued her from stammering a response. Leaning forward, Bobby give her an affectionate, brotherly kiss on her forehead and pulled her into a hug and though it took a long moment, she sank into the embrace and sighed as the majority of the tension left her shoulders.

A soft sound from the door Nora had pulled shut behind her drew his attention, and he smiled warmly over his sister's head to her partner and lover. From Nikki too, he witnessed the same drain of anxiety and replacement of relief, though in the brunette he saw a gratitude he responded to with a curious glance. While he and the detective managed to be quite friendly enough with each other, different social circles and demands of the job limited their interaction. In addition, there was a wryly protective accent to her interaction with Nora, almost as though she were on a constant vigil even as she was politely friendly.

"I'm real sorry, Nikki," he spoke over his sister's shoulder. "Momma was always on us boys case about knocking on doors and such, and sometimes, I just completely forget. Momma always said I'd get an eyeful one of these days."

His laughing comment earned him a hard shove in the chest and, as he glanced down, was met with a hard glare. The blush Nora sported was an incongruous a sight as he'd ever witnessed, seeing his sister as a flustered, exposed human being instead of the stoic, self-possessed woman he knew. "That eyeful, mister, was my ass!"

"Actually, honey, it was something else," Nikki drawled from the door-frame she leant against, an amused smirk on her still swollen lips, as she crossed her arms over her chest, sleeves of the button up shirt she'd donned pushed up to expose her forearms in deference to the seemingly ever-present heat.

Her green eyes wide, Nora stared over her shoulder at the effortlessly relaxed posture of her lover. "Not helping!" she admonished in exclamation. As the shock of Bobby walking in began to wear off, bone deep mortification that she'd been seen -by her *brother* no less- in such a compromising position, sank in.

Reaching up, the young man wiped his hand over his face, physically trying to remove the answering grin. He gained no help from Nikki, whose dark eyes were bright with unbridled mischief and he realised then that he'd been right all along. The darker woman was going to be very good for his sister -that she already had been- so long as Nora didn't do something stupid like get scared.

Tugging the sheet up and tighter, the detective refused to look at the other two in the room, grumbling and fighting the still fierce blush. "Not one word to anyone in the family," she firmly growled out, eyes flicking up to Bobby's. "I'll tell them when the time's right, but don't you go blurting *anything* out. And I know how you get when Momma gets to probing, so don't you dare crack!"

The young man held up both hands and backed up a step. "You know I can't promise that, but I swear I'll do everything to avoid it happening." His sister continued to glare at him for another few long moments before finally relenting with a half nod, much to his relief. He did mean his words, though, their mother was going to have to be damned and determined to get the information out of her son, and Bobby would do what he could to avoid the chance of it even cropping up.

Nora sighed deeply, her shoulders dropping slightly as she nodded softly again knowing Bobby's promise really was the best he could do. Pulling the sheet tighter around her shoulders, Nora could feel the silence settling in, uncomfortable and awkward as the siblings refused to look directly at each other for more than a moment.

From where she stood, shoulder still propped against the doorway, Nikki cleared her throat to draw the attention of both Delaney children. Despite the fact she wore little more than a hastily donned long and half-buttoned shirt, the younger woman was by far at the most ease as the pair turned to her. "Bobby, did you need somethin', or was this a social call?" she drawled casually.

"Uh," the youngest Delaney floundered for a moment before giving a very sheepish shrug. "I actually kinda forgot," he admitted, gesturing between the detectives. "With all of...everything." The patrolman glanced towards the door before looking back at the darker woman. She gave the slightest of nods, barely noticeable if he'd not been looking for some gesture. "I'm gonna go, and when I remember, I'll call you instead, okay?"

Nikki gave an easy grin. "Sounds like a good plan." The tall woman pushed away from the doorway to walk towards her partner. "Maybe come over later in the week for dinner, if we can all sit at the same table and not blush our ears off."

Giving a bark of laughter, Bobby nodded and made to turn for the doorway before he turned back to his sister and reached out. When she looked up at him, he gave as reassuring a smile as he could form, his fingers touching her cheek in an affectionate gesture. "You know I'm in your corner, right?"

The green of Nora's eyes may've been impenetrable, but her gaze was no less intense for it as she held her brother's darker coloured eyes for a very long moment. It took everything in his will and control to not squirm as Nora visibly searched him, waiting for any sign of deception or lurking dissent, but when she found neither, her smile was genuine and warm. "Thank you." Shifting her grip on the sheet to a single hand, she reached out and grasped Bobby's hand, giving it a firm squeeze. "It honestly means more than I can say," Nora admitted softly.

"I'll always have your back, Nora," Bobby responded, tightening his own fingers briefly but no less sincerely. "Always." Then, his almost-grey eyes shifted over to Nikki and he offered up a smile. "Both of y'all."

The detective returned the gesture and nodded, letting her hand come to rest around her partner's waist. "Thank you," she echoed the blonde's words.

Ducking his head, Bobby resisted the urge to offer any parting shot as he beat a hasty but dignified retreat and headed towards the door to let himself out. He paused and turned back for a moment to find his sister in her partner's arms, head nestled into the crook of Nikki's shoulder and neck as she wrapped her own arms and the sheet she still wore around the slim brunette. The younger detective murmured something to Nora as a smile curved at her lips before she bestowed a kiss to the golden crown her chin rested against. When her dark eyes finally shifted over to Bobby took in his presence with little more than another slight nod before returning her full attention to the woman in her arms.

When he pulled the door shut, Bobby Delaney exhaled heavily and began to descend the steps to the private courtyard of the townhouse. His mouth lifted in a smile as he whistled softly to himself before letting the full-fledged grin take its place. While the object of her affections was a little unexpected, it was about damn time for Nora to finally fall head over heels. Then again, in typical Nora fashion, when his sister went and did something, she did it big, and Bobby couldn't really think of anything bigger than going and falling in love with the most popular city councilman's daughter.

Yeah, that was about right for Nora.