A/N: This literally popped into my head late last night and begged to be wrote. Femslash, obviously, and a testament to my new Nikki/Di obsession.
It wasn't how she'd anticipated their next rendezvous taking place. What had she planned? A nice candlelit meal for two back at her place. Or maybe a stroll in the park, after dark of course. In no way, shape or form had she imagined having to support Nikki at the funeral of PC Billy Rowan.
Then again, quite a few things had changed about their relationship in the last two weeks. For starters, she was no longer referring to what they had as a fling, not since Nikki had turned up on her doorstep in tears the night of Billy Rowan's death. It had been a bit of a wake-up call; to be cradling her sergeant in the brief time she had between leaving the station and spending the night at her husband's bedside. Diane hadn't wanted her to leave, and that's when she knew. She'd gone and fallen in love with her sergeant, hadn't she?
That was why she was here; sat at the back of a church full of mourners, clenching Nikki's hand under the pew. Her lover was having difficulty coping with the situation, she knew. There was nothing she could do about it, except offer her any support she could muster.
As the congregation stood to sing the final hymn, Diane whispered, 'Are you okay?'
Nikki nodded, though the slight tremble of her lip suggested otherwise.
The service was over fairly quickly after that. The standing, the singing, that kind of mourning Diane could handle; it was what came afterwards that always got to her, and that was the main reason she had refrained from going to any funerals since her teenage cousin's. It was that part of the grief, the part that forced the family to stand at the church doors and profess thanks, that somehow affected her the most. In truth, she would've given anything not to be here, watching that spectacle and, worse still, taking part in it, but Nikki had asked. And she was quickly learning that, for Nikki, she'd do anything.
When they'd bypassed that hurdle- Nikki offering silent apologies to anyone she came into contact with- Diane ushered her into the car around the corner, but refrained from turning on the engine. 'Do you feel any better?'
'No,' the blonde sergeant admitted with a wry smile. 'You were right.'
'Course I was.'
'But I had to do it.'
'I know,' Diane replied, leaning back in her seat before asking the next question. 'You want me to take you home?'
There was a sigh. 'No.'
'Let me rephrase that- should I take you home?'
Nikki reached over and took her hand. 'Can we go back to your place?'
She held back her smile, only just though. 'Yeah, course.'
Twenty minutes later they were resting on her sofa, Nikki sipping a glass of wine. Diane herself was mindful of the fact she would need to drive her sergeant home, probably sooner rather than later, so she was holding an untouched glass of water.
They'd been quiet for a while before Diane realised Nikki was silently crying. 'Oh…' Putting their glasses down quietly, she enveloped her in a hug. 'Come here.'
Nikki shook her head. 'I'm sorry.'
'For what? Nikki,' she said, pulling back to look her straight in the eye. 'I didn't expect anything. I… I just wanna be here for you. That's all.'
'Thanks.' Nikki took a deep breath. 'I'll be okay.'
'No.' Leaning into her embrace again, Nikki stayed like that for some time. It was the humming of her mobile phone that brought her back. She picked it up, Diane didn't really need the words to tell her who it was, the pained expression was enough. 'It's Doug.'
Suddenly, she was business-like, as much as it irritated her to be so. 'Come on, I'll give you a lift.'
'Nikki, come on. It's better you go now.'
Suddenly, Nikki answered the phone to her husband, something she always refrained from doing in front of her lover. 'Hiya… I know, I know… Well, the thing is, me and my friend have got a lot of catching up to do, long time since college… You don't? Thank you… Yeah, alright, see you tomorrow.'
Diane watched with a mixture of amazement and barely masked delight as the blonde put the phone back on the table. 'You shouldn't have done that.'
Nikki shrugged and picked up her wine glass. 'I want to spend the night with you.'
It was something they'd never done. There had always been a schedule to stick to, a certain time they had to separate before, it hadn't bothered Diane too much until recently. But she had found herself thinking… Wouldn't it be nice? The smile flickered at the corner of her lips as she lifted a hand to gently stroke Nikki's cheek. 'Could be nice, I suppose.'
Turning her head slightly, Nikki kissed her softly. 'You only suppose?'
'Well, don't wanna come off as too desperate do I?' Diane quipped before whispering, 'Thank you.'
'I'm the one should be thanking you.'
'For letting you stay? Because it's such a hardship!'
'Not for that,' Nikki said quietly. 'Thanks for coming with me today. I couldn't have done it on my own and I didn't want to ask…'
Silently, Diane absorbed the fact that she'd been first choice. 'Happy I could help.'
'It meant a lot to me.'
'Anytime,' she answered with an unhindered smile. 'So, erm… Shall I put the telly on?'
Nikki shook her head. 'No.'
If she wasn't completely mistaken, her left hand was trembling at the thought. Diane cleared her throat. 'Right. Okay.'