Title: Chained Melody
Author: Janine
Fandom: Heroes
Pairing: Niki/Jessica
Rating: NC-17
Words: 3530
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, I'm just borrowing them for a little while.

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Jessica's fingers skimmed lightly across the ivory keys of the piano, the tips of her fingers just dusting the tops of the smooth keys before she drew her eyes away from her tapered fingers and focused her attention on the glaring face reflected back at her in the polished surface of the black piano.

Niki was mad at her. So mad she had even stopped cursing Jessica's existence and had retreated into a stony silence, moody glowering meeting all of Jessica's attempts to speak to her.

Jessica drew her eyes away from Niki, a scowl of her own on her features as she went back to playing with the piano keys. She didn't really know why Niki's silence bothered her, she should have been glad to have some peace and quiet instead of having the other woman nagging her like she usually did. It wasn't even like they usually had scintillating conversations or anything when they did talk, it was mostly just Niki telling her what a horrible person she was, and that she didn't need her, and not to do this or that because it was wrong or mean or whatever. Niki was actually kind of a drag, and Jessica should have been glad that the other woman had decided to just shut up for once and leave her alone.

But she wasn't the least bit happy. She didn't like having Niki mad at her, despite how it may have seemed, she didn't like constantly being treated like the embodiment of all fucking evil when she was just doing what Niki refused to do herself – what needed to be done to protect both of them, and she didn't like the silence because she had spent pretty much her entire existence trapped at the back of Niki's conscious mind … alone.

Jessica applied more pressure to the keys her fingers were running over, pushing hard enough this time to elicit a sound of the key, and then another and another as she continued to apply more force to her movements. Note after note rang out from the keys beneath her fingers, and then those notes began to string together until finally a discernable melody could be made out.

Jessica closed her eyes, sighing as her fingers continued to move over the smooth, polished ivory, the sounds from the piano crashing over her and calming nerves that were on edge from the silence that had been imposed upon her.

Tilting her head back, Jessica took a deep breath and continued to play, one song merging into another until she lost track of what she was doing, her fingers guiding her for the moment as her brain relaxed.

"You look almost peaceful."

Jessica's eyes lifted to the polished surface of the piano at the words, Niki's reflection staring back at her looking much less hostile than she had the last time Jessica had looked.

"You look almost friendly," Jessica responded drawing her fingers away from the keys to focus her attention on Niki now that the other woman seemed willing to talk.

Niki's eyes lost some of the softness that had returned to them when she first spoke to Jessica upon hearing the other woman's response and she lapsed into silence once more.

"So we're back to punishing me, great," Jessica muttered lifting her fingers to the keys of the piano once more.

"What do you want me to say?" Niki asked sounding slightly exasperated. "Good attempted murder today, maybe you'll get both of them next time?" she continued her voice dripping with disdain. "Thanks for taking me away from my son and husband so that you can live out some girl power version of 'Heat'?" she continued her voice rising as she went on. "Am I supposed to pat you on the back and offer to cook dinner for you? Tell you that you deserve a nice warm bubble bath after a hard day of slaughter and mayhem? Cause that's not going to happen Jessie. I don't want this, I might be trapped in the passenger seat but don't expect me to help navigate."

Jessica smiled at Niki after she spoke, and not one of her usual superior or condescending smirks, but an actual smile, which actually served to irritate Niki more than her usual arrogance did.

"You know what, fuck you," Niki muttered before angling her head away from Jessica and crossing her arms again.

"You called me Jessie," Jessica said ignoring Niki's last outburst, the genuinely pleased look still on her face. It wasn't much, but it was something.

"So?" Niki responded though her tone didn't come across nearly as apathetic as her words.

"That's almost as good as a bubble bath," Jessica responded, her fingers playing lightly with the piano keys again though her gaze was focused on Niki.

Niki held Jessica's gaze for a long moment after that. It was so much easier to be mad with the other woman, to label her as one thing and despise that, and usually Jessica was so helpful playing into that label. But every once in while, she would … soften, and she would speak to Niki softly and with affection instead of irritation and anger, she would look at her with warm, wide eyes instead of calculating slits and Niki could feel her, could see layers, and feelings, and three full dimensions to the woman staring back at her through her own face, and she would wish that they were fighting again because it was easier to think of Jessica as some diseased part of her mind, instead of as a living, feeling person who happened to co-own her body.

"I don't expect you to sound trumpets and thrown rose petals at my feet when we get home from work," Jessica began in the face of Niki's silence. "I know you don't want this, that you don't like it. That's why I'm here, so that you don't have to do it. And yeah, okay, I enjoy my work. I'm good at it, and I take pride in a job well done. Okay, fine, I'm not gonna be winning any humanitarian awards, or shiny co-operation buttons. But I'm not doing this because I get off on it," she continued staring at Niki's reflection, glad to see the other woman finally turn to face her once more. "I do it because it's necessary. So no, Niki I don't expect a goddamn bubble bath and an oil massage, but I'd appreciate it if you could work up the smallest fucking smidgen of appreciation for me cleaning up after you and D.L., again."

"If you hadn't framed D.L. …" Niki began.

"If I hadn't framed D.L. his crew would have gone through with the robbery, and Linderman would have come after all of us anyway, and we would have ended up buried somewhere in the desert right along with them," Jessica interjected holding up her hand to Niki's reflection somewhat irritably. "I know you don't want to hear this, but D.L.'s a fucking idiot. You don't rob Linderman, you don't even fucking plan it unless you want to be dead. Backing out at the last minute wouldn't have done anything but ensure that you couldn't run when hell came after you. I did what I had to do to save, you and Micah. Those guys were dead anyway, and at least in jail D.L would have still been alive."

"You can't be sure of all that," Niki said softly her voice firm though not holding the fire it had when she protested before. Knowing what she now knew of Linderman, she was sure that if he did know that D.L. was once part of a plan to rip him off that he wouldn't have taken that sitting down, even if D.L. had pulled out. But that didn't mean that Jessica's solution was the only one to the problem.

"Nothing's for sure," Jessica said her voice gentler than it had been before as she met Niki's gaze. "For you and our son any risk is too much. I did what I knew would work, not what would probably work. That's how I take care of my family."

Niki sighed, her previous ire with the other woman almost completely evaporated. She hated Jessica's methods, and still found them to be extreme, but she couldn't deny that the other woman's heart seemed to be in the right place. Jessica was no girl scout that was for sure, but as much as she would have liked to, Niki couldn't deny the fact that Jessica genuinely seemed to care for her and Micah, no matter how awkwardly and homicidally she showed it.

"I just," Niki began closing her eyes and shaking her head. "I just wish it didn't have to be this way. That we could just all be together, with no guns, and blood, and mutilated bodies."

"Yeah, that'd be real nice for you," Jessica muttered darkly, her lips curling slightly at the happy go lucky Jessica-free image Niki's words produced in her brain. "But that's not how it is. And now that we're consciously cohabitating, you're going to have to get on board with how things are, cause I can't sanitize it for you anymore."

Niki watched Jessica closely, noting the tense set of her back and the way the nail of her index finger was restlessly tapping against the ivory surface of one of the piano keys. She was agitated and upset, and Niki couldn't quite understand why Jessica was so upset at the moment after all that had been said earlier in the conversation. And then it hit her.

"When I said all of us, I meant all of us, like before," Niki said softly.

"Before?" Jessica asked snorting derisively. "There was no 'all of us' before. There was the three of you, and me lurking alone in the shadows at the back of your mind," Jessica continued. "Before was worse than death, or oblivion. It was nothing. I was nothing but a mood swing, or PMS. If there's you," she continued waving offhand to the side as if to indicate D.L somewhere in the distance, "then there's no us," she continued gesturing between herself and Niki's reflection. "You can't have us both," she finished pressing her palm down into the piano keys creating a loud, unpleasant mish-mash of noise.

"Why not?" Niki asked carefully. She understood that Jessica didn't want to go back to being her shadow-self, but honestly considering that Jessica had had her trapped in her mind for over a week she didn't think that that was really a concern any more - as her consciousness of Jessica had increased, so had Jessica's ability to take control of her body. Even if they were back home, Niki doubted there was much she could do to stop Jessica from coming out when Jessica wanted to come out.

"Because I'm tired of sharing you," Jessica responded pushing the bench back and standing up. "I don't want a fucking threesome," she continued running an agitated hand through their hair. "D.L. had you and he screwed up," Jessica went on turning to face Niki once more. "It's my turn now, and I know it's not perfect but I'm trying, Niki. We just need to pay back Linderman, and then … then we can leave the death behind," she continued her voice taking on a more beseeching tone. "You gave him nine years, give me a couple more weeks. A few more jobs and its over, one more after that and we have a nest egg. Then we can go to Mexico, or Canada, or Barbados or wherever … free; me, you and Micah in a cabin in the woods or a bungalow on the beach safe and secure."

"One big happy family?" Niki asked blinking, averting her eyes from Jessica's for a moment, surprised by the earnestness and nature of the other woman's speech. Somehow Jessica offering to retire and settle down wasn't at all something she had ever expected to hear.

"Why not?" Jessica asked, petulance and hopefulness mixed her tone. "I can take care of you, both of you," Jessica continued. "And I know you, I know you so much better than he does," she went on. "I love you, I …"

"Stop!" Niki said closing her eyes and shaking her head as if to ward off Jessica's words. "This is insane. It's insane," Niki repeated. "I am not in love with myself. I do not choose me."

"No, you're not in love with yourself. I'm in love with you," Jessica responded. "I don't want you to choose you, I want you to choose me. Or at least to give us a chance," Jessica continued reaching out her fingers brushing against Niki's reflected cheek gently.

"You can't even touch me," Niki whispered when Jessica pulled her fingers back. "What you want is impossible. I know, okay," she continued gently. "I know that you're not some undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, or crumb of cheese," she went on, her heart fluttering briefly when she saw Jessica's lips turn upwards slightly in a small smile. "But there are certain realities to our situation, and one of them is that close as we are, we can't …"

"We can," Jessica interrupted before Niki could finished. "I've been thinking about it, a lot, for a long time," she went on smirking momentarily before continuing. "And with some trust and co-operation we can … we can," Jessica finished her last words little more than a breathy whisper.

Niki breathed in deeply. She was not considering what Jessica had to say. She was absolutely not considering what Jessica had to say. Only she was considering what Jessica had to say. She didn't know if she was in love with Jessica, their relationship was so complex and screwed up, but she loved Jessica in a way. She loved her loyalty, and was drawn to her confidence, and melted in the face of her rare displays of tenderness. And despite their differences, Niki felt connected to Jessica in a way that she had never experienced before. They were one, and yet they were separate. She couldn't fully explain it, but it was powerful and she was considering exactly what that could mean.

"How?" Niki breathed out finally, the words coming out a little shaky as she exhaled.

Jessica smiled.

-----

"Can you feel that?" Jessica asked softly staring up at the mirror above the bed, a naked body that was both hers and not hers reflected back at her.

"Mm," Niki replied softly her voice cracking mid moan as Jessica's fingers trailed languidly up and down her – their – thigh.

Jessica had led them into the bedroom minutes before and slowly stripped them naked before moving onto the bed. She had then told Niki to concentrate on her body until she could sense it, until she could feel the sheets touching her thighs, and the mattress underneath her, but to not merge so much at that she could actually move their limbs.

"Do you like it?" Jessica asked smiling up at Niki's reflection watching as the other woman bit her lip before sighing softly as her hand moved to cup their breast, her thumb brushing teasingly over their nipple before she grasped it firmly between her thumb and forefinger and pinched.

She saw Niki's hips roll in the mirror and knew that she did even though the other woman's verbal response was nothing more than a soft grunt. Niki was definitely her better half, but Jessica knew that she wasn't exactly a good girl. D.L. had always treated her like she was made of glass, a lovely china doll that needed to be stroked softly and eased into while being whispered soothing words. And while Niki liked all those things far more than she did, Jessica also knew that sometimes Niki wanted more, wanted rough, wanted dirty. And Jessica would give her all of that, with a heart-felt 'I love you' at the end.

Jessica dragged her nails along their left thigh as her right hand continued to play with their breast, massaging and pinching, tugging until the nipple stiffened enough to be pleasurably painful when she continued to caress it.

"You have …" Jessica said softly, her eyes focused above on Niki's closed ones, "great tits," she continued seeing Niki's darkened eyes fluttered open to look down at her, staring at her for a long moment before her lips quirked slightly.

"We have great tits," Niki panted softly watching as Jessica grinned at her before her eyes fluttered closed once more, Jessica's hand moving from her thigh towards the fine, damp patch of hair at the apex of her thighs.

Jessica ran her fingers idly through the dampness she found between their legs, coating her fingers as she slowly coaxed more from between their legs as her other hand shifted its attention to their other breast, teasing and torturing it with the same loving attention she had given the first one.

Niki's breath came in sharp, quick pants, colours dancing behind her closed eyes as Jessica's hands worked her most sensitive flesh. With each light pass of Jessica's fingers over her clit, and rough pass over her nipples she could feel herself getting wetter and wetter, and could hardly believe the reaction her body was having to such relatively teasing touches, though she suspected that it had something to do with the fact that Jessica unerringly knew how to touch her to illicit the maximum effect, and the fact that it was Jessica who was touching her only made it that much more exciting.

"No … fu … don't stop," Niki gasped long moments later as she felt Jessica's fingers move from between her legs, her eyes opening as she gazed down at her body. However, as she felt damp fingers move to brush against her nipples, slick fingertips circling them and pinching at them, her complaints died on her lips.

Niki watched as Jessica's thighs parted exposing her completely, and then Jessica's fingers began to trail down her torso, still slightly damp though most of liquid that had slicked them before was coating her nipples, the musk of her desire maddeningly close to her nose, deepening her arousal even more.

"Jessie," Niki breathed out as she watched Jessica's fingers begin to caress in inner thighs.

"I know," Jessica whispered softly, her own voice raspy and breathy as she spoke, her ministrations affecting her as much as they were Niki.

Niki's hips bucked upwards and a long drawn out moan escaped from her throat as Jessica plunged two fingers inside of her up to her knuckles, holding them in placed until Niki's hips lowered back to the mattress, and then beginning to move them in and out, drawing her fingers out slowly, while plunging them back in hard, and deep.

Niki lost herself in the feel of Jessica's fingers inside of her, the room fading from around her, her senses completely focused on Jessica, the sound of her voice speaking to her though she was too far gone to make out her words, the sound of their harsh, ragged breaths commingling, Jessica's fingers in her pussy, and on her breasts, driving her closer and closer towards the edge.

"I'm gonna to …" Niki gasped, blinking rapidly as she stared down at Jessica, watching as her fingers moved in and out of herself, her fingers tugging at her nipples, her lip ensnared between her teeth as her hips rocked. "I'm gonna …"

Niki's hips bucked upwards one last time as her orgasm ripped through her body, her muscles tense as her body quaked and trembled, fingers still moving in and out of her, drawing out her pleasure as long as possible, until she was unable to do anything except collapse back against the mattress gasping for air.

-----

Niki awoke wrapped snuggled in a blanket, feeling delightfully sated but alone.

"Jessica?" she said quietly, looking around for a reflective surface needing to see the other woman before remembering to look up.

"Sleeping beauty awakens," Jessica responded meeting Niki's gaze, a soft smile on her face.

"I … I'm still not sure what to make of this," Niki said freeing herself from the cocoon she was in the stretching feeling a familiar tension in her muscles that usually made her want to pull her lover back into her body, and now made her uncomfortable because she still wanted to pull her lover back into her body, but couldn't since she was already there.

"You don't need to make anything out of it right now," Jessica responded, waiting for Niki to meet her eyes before continuing. "I'm not going anywhere," she continued, smiling softly as Niki smiled back acknowledging the truth of the statement. "We'll figure things out."

"Together?" Niki asked quirking an eyebrow, wondering if she was going to wake up on a beach somewhere or in a cabin in Canada with Jessica's reflection shrugging winsomely at her in the mirror.

"Together," Jessica confirmed, "you and me … together."

The End