A/N: This is the last one before 'How Does Bobby Afford All That Armani?' and I decided that THAT one takes place between 'Probablity' and 'Monster'. Enjoy! ... Oh, and Merry Christmas for those of you who celebrate it.

Summary: Lynne moves back from France after two years and four months, to find things much changed from when she'd left. She convinces the guys to go out to a bar with her when it's karaoke night. Enter: Eric. Eric Reasons.

---

"SARGE! Get back here right now!" the petite woman yelled at her large dog, hands on her hips in a move that reminded those who witnessed it of an irritated mother scolding her child.

Sarge stopped short of where she was about to pounce a large, burly man, before turning and slinking back to her owner like the good little doggie she was. She moaned when she saw the leash her owner had in her hands, but didn't try to evade it as it was clipped onto her collar. She knew better.

"I told you not to do that, Sarge," Lynne chastised her dog halfheartedly, "You knew that Bobby was coming this way anyway, you didn't have to go jump him halfway here. I told you that if you don't behave you're going to get the leash. Now we've gotta keep it on until we get back to our new house."

By the time her lecture ended, Bobby – the big man the dog had almost jumped – was standing in front of them with another four men. "You don't have to do that on my account, Lynne," he told the woman.

Lynne glared at him, "I didn't do it on your account, Bobby. Sarge and I had a deal and she broke it." The dog looked up mournfully at her human, sighing in a resigned air as she waited for them to get a move on. Sarge knew she had broken the rules, but she didn't have to like her punishment.

Sarge whined pitifully at her human before barking once, causing Lynne to nod, "Quite right, Sarge. Quite right." Turning her attention to the men she asked, "Now, my luggage was shipped as usual, so where are you taking us for lunch?"

Mitch furrowed his brow, "It's not even ten, yet. You're thinking about lunch?"

Lynne grinned at him patronizingly, "Time difference, darling. We're still on Paris time and it happens to be past lunch time there."

Bobby's mouth quirked into a small smile at the way Lynne handled Mitch and the other cops. Not very many women could so firmly insert themselves in a position of power among the NYPD … especially when she was not a cop herself.

"How 'bout the diner just one the border?" Jimmy Deakins suggested.

Lynne nodded, "Okay. Wait … is that the one that allows dogs inside?"

"I wouldn't have suggested it if it didn't," Jimmy assured her.

As the six of them walked out of Newark International Airport, Lynne stopped and turned to the men before her. "Before we start back to the city … I have something to tell you all," she said with barely contained excitement.

They stopped and turned to look at her expectantly as she looked down at the dog, "You know that I normally don't bring Sarge with me on my trips to New York because she doesn't like planes … I brought her this time because I've been transferred back to New York. Permanently."

The five men were silent for a moment too long before Howard said, "Well … I guess this calls for cake."

---

A few nights later, through some strike of luck, Lynne and all of her guys (not undercover on a sting in Narcotics) settled down in their favorite karaoke bar/diner for a celebratory dinner in her honor.

Apparently Bobby had just gotten through with a very difficult terrorism case, and Jimmy was using the night also as a way to get the big detective to wind down after the close call. Maybe too close a call.

"How's he been, Mitch?" Lynne asked as they sipped their drinks.

Mitch Stevens shrugged, "Hard to say. His partner, Alex Eames, is doing wonders for him professionally. They have the highest solve and conviction rate in the squad – not to mention the whole department – but otherwise … he's been going on a lot of dates with a lot of different women."

"Damn," Lynne muttered, one of her hands subconsciously traveling to rest atop her scarred abdomen. A thought came to her mind and she smirked, downing the rest of her martini to calm her nerves, "I'll be back."

"Where are you going?" Emil asked, having heard her comment and wondering what was going through her head.

Lynne grinned at him, "Just watch."

The two detectives watched as she approached the DJ who was in charge of the karaoke and spoke with him for a few minutes. At first he looked confused, then he started nodding and pointing out a song to her on the play list. Moments later she was standing on the stage, in front of the microphone.

"Before I start singing this … rather interesting song," Lynne said into the microphone, "I'd like to let you all know that the lyrics have been changed on purpose. Now … for the group of cops sitting right over there: thank you."

She nodded to the disk jockey and he pressed play on the song she had selected. Soon the opening notes of My Guy filled the air.

"Nothing you could say
Can tear me away from my guys
Nothing you could do
Cause I'm stuck like glue to my guys

I'm stickin' to my guys like a stamp to a letter
Like birds of a feather
We... stick together
I will tell you from the start
I can't be torn apart from my guys."

Nothing could remove the grin on her face as she sang the slightly changed lyrics to the group of cops in the corner. She could see half of them laughing like idiots while the other half grinned like fools. Even Bobby got into the spirit of her performance and for the first time since Nicole Wallace his smile reached his eyes.

As she continued to sing, Lynne removed the microphone from the stand and started walking off stage, toward the group she had come with. When she reached them, she started singing directly to them, seeming to forget the other men in the room besides the group of twenty – her guys.

"As a matter of opinion
I think they're tops..
My opinion is they're the cream of the crop
As a matter of taste to be exact
They're my ideal as a matter of fact..

No muscle bound man could take my hand from my guys
No handsome face could ever take the place of my guys
They may not be movie stars
But when it comes to be happy we are...
There's not a man today who could take me away
from my guys
No muscle bound man could take my hand
from my guys
No handsome face could ever take the place
of my guys

They may not be movie stars
But when it comes to be happy we are..
There's not a man today who could take me away
from my guys
There's not a man today who could take me away
from my guys."

She ran back to the stage to put the microphone back as everyone clapped heartily and laughed their asses off: she had ended the song sitting firmly in Bobby's lap and pressed a chaste kiss to his stubble covered cheek.

"That was quite a performance, Lynne," Jimmy said when she walked calmly back to the tables the group was sitting at. "I think you nearly gave a few of the other patrons a heart attack when you started walking off the stage."

She smirked again, "A girl's gotta have some fun."

Bobby was about to comment on her performance when a waiter came up and said, "Miss? This is from the gentleman at the bar," pointing to one of the other patrons.

Lynne, along with all of the cops she was with, looked first at the green apple martini the mystery man had sent over, then at the mystery man himself. "Well," Lynne said, her eyebrows raised as she took the drink, "You can thank him for me … and ask him how he's so sure of himself that I'm not dating one of men I came with."

The waiter smiled slightly, being very familiar with the technical of this particular group of cops and the woman who had them all so firmly wrapped around her finger. He nodded before tucking the empty tray under his arm and heading back to the bar to inform the mystery man of her answer.

"Lynne, you're a cruel woman," Lennie said with a small smile.

She just shrugged, taking a sip of the martini, "I'm all for not paying for my drinks … but he's just being presumptuous."

The waiter came back, "Miss? He told me to give you this," he handed Lynne the mystery man's business card. "And he also said that if you are dating one of the gentlemen you came with, he's very sorry for interrupting your evening."

"Thanks," Lynne said, taking the business card, glancing at it, and passing it to Jimmy. "Can we get another round, please?"

"Same as before?" he asked in reference to the three club sodas that would come with the beers most of the men were partaking in.

Lynne looked at the men, who all nodded. "Yep. Stick it on my tab."

He nodded, "Sure. Have a good night, ma'am, detectives."

"Okay, Jimmy," Lynne said, turning her attention to the older man, "Any idea who Mr. Mystery Man is?"

He shook his head, "This thing says he's a stock broker, but I've never heard of him."

"What's his name?" Lennie asked while the other men leaned in to hear over the din in the background.

"This says he's Eric Reasons," Jimmy responded. Lynne smiled slightly as she sat down, silently laughing at the way Jimmy had phrased his statement.

"So … Lynne, are you gonna call him?" Howard asked curiously.

She looked at him with an amused face, "You mean before or after one of you runs a background check on him?"

"That's not fair," Bobby protested.

She looked at him, "But it's entirely true."

"That's beside the point," Mitch insisted. "We'd never actually tell you if we ran a background check on him."

She nodded, "That's true, you haven't in the past … but if there was even so much as a speeding ticket on him you'd make sure he somehow … magically disappeared into the framework of Manhattan."

---

Later that night, when Jimmy was dropping Lynne off at her new penthouse, she turned to him and asked, "So you'll let me know if there's anything to worry about by tomorrow night, right?"

He nodded, "Yep. I'm just going to check and make sure he's not some sociopath on the run for killing his ex-wife, okay?"

She smiled warmly, "Thanks, Jimmy. Goodnight."

"Night."

---

Two weeks later Lynne let Eric take her out to dinner at a nice French restaurant of his choosing. He seemed nice enough, steady job, no criminal record, an only child of two very devoted parents still living in upstate New York. He seemed a nice catch.

Eric was … of average height (such a change after dating Bobby); light brown hair; blue eyes; tan skin … he was a pretty boy. A rich pretty boy.

"Hi," he said when he met Lynne at the restaurant. "I'm actually surprised you agreed to this, Mary Lynne."

"It's just Lynne," she told him as they were led to their table, "And I can't imagine why that would be, Eric. You seem like the type of man who's not used to being told 'no' by a woman."

He shrugged with a small smiled, "I can't very well deny that … but that was some group of men with you the other night."

"What can I say?" she said dryly, "I simply adore police officers."

Eric raised an eyebrow flawlessly, "All of them were police officers?"

She nodded, motioning for their waiter, "Of course."

"Mademoiselle?" the waiter inquired politely with a French accent, "Are you and Monsieur ready to order?"

"Oui, si vous plaît," Lynne responded, her accent perfect. As she ordered a glass of Chardonnay and something to start out with, Eric watched her with awe and fascination.

"Monsieur?" the waiter asked, turning his attention to the businessman.

"Umm, the same," he said, having not a clue what he had just agreed to pay for, let alone eat. The waiter nodded and left, leaving Eric and Lynne alone. "So … any other hidden talents of yours I get to know about?"

Lynne smirked slightly, "Oh, I don't know. What would you like to know?"

"Where'd you learn to speak French like that?"

"In Paris. I just got back from two years working at the Paris branch of Armani."

"You're a designer?"

"Business suits," she nodded. "It's how I met my … friendly detectives."

"Well then," Eric said, cocking his head to one side, "Now I know where to go when I need to get a new suit for a business function."

Lynne smiled politely as she wondered if Mr. Eric Reasons had a real personality hiding behind the cocky bastard act he was putting on.

"Eric," she said suddenly, cutting him off in the middle of a story about his days studying at Harvard.

"What?" he asked, wondering if it was possible he had said something wrong already.

"Stop trying to impress me," she said, her face deadly serious. "I'm not that shallow."

He laughed slightly, "Of course you're not. You're friends with over two dozen cops – how could you be?"

"Thirty-five," she responded, her eyes going cold at the insinuation he made about her friends, "The Chief of Detectives and a Commissioner included among that number. Now, if you have nothing better to say than to insult my friends then I'm just going to leave now."

"No, wait," he said, "I didn't mean it like that. Really, I'm not this shallow normally, either. It's just … I like you. A lot. And I don't want to screw this up."

She reclaimed her seat and fiddled with her fork for a second before saying, "Just be yourself … I'll tell you after we eat if you screwed it up."

He laughed heartily at that, taking the bait and just acting like himself for the rest of the evening … well, as much himself as he could be in an up class French restaurant. After they ate, she informed him that he didn't screw it up and that he could have the honor of accompanying her to a benefit she had to attend the following week.


A/N: How's this? Any good? Please review. Oh, and in 'How Does Bobby...' I changed it so that Eric and Lynne are still just dating.

Yay! The prequel is done! I'm going to put all the ones after 'How Does Bobby' in a seperate story ... but it may be a while before that gets put up because I'm going out of town at the end of January for about three months.