A/N: Last one, and it's another long one. I thought of breaking it up, maybe throwing in a cliff hanger. But I decided to play nice.
Nikki laid in bed staring at the ceiling as her fingers stroked through blond hair. Nora had fallen asleep with her head on Nikki's chest and her arm draped across her waist. Nikki hadn't allowed herself to sleep, instead keeping vigil just in case there were more nightmares and although she was tired she took great comfort in the fact that Nora had slept through the night.
When Nikki heard her cell phone ringing in the other room she glanced at the clock, a call before seven a.m. was never a good thing. She carefully extricated herself from the bed and rushed to answer the call. "Beaumont."
"Oh good, you're there. I was about to give up."
"Sorry Dan, just a bit early yet. So what's up?"
"I'd like you to come in this morning."
Nikki glanced back to the bedroom, "I don't know."
"I called Mrs. Delaney to check up on Nora and she told me that you were looking after her. I understand your not wanting to leave her alone but I don't now if I can trust anyone but you and Georgia."
"What is it Dan?" Nikki asked worriedly.
"Williams wants Nora questioned in Roussel's death."
"You can't be serious," Nikki exclaimed then immediately quieted, not wanting to wake Nora. "She has a pretty good alibi," she reminded him.
"We don't have a time of death yet."
"What is with him? Something isn't right."
"I know, that's why I want you. Especially after Landry's death and Nora getting attacked in jail and Jackson yesterday."
"Jackson? You don't think Verret killed him on purpose do you?"
"I don't know. But it does make me question who I can trust."
"Okay, I'll come in," Nikki agreed. She was reluctant to leave Nora but more than anything she wanted this whole mess put to rest before any more charges were filed, or attempts were made on Nora's life. "I'll try to set up a meeting between Nora and Jefferson for today so at least he will be with her in case anything happens."
"I'll meet you at the station."
"I"ll be there as soon as I can." Nikki hung up the phone and went into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee before heading off to shower.
After she was dressed she sat on the edge of the bed and brushed the hair off of Nora's face before leaning down to wake her with a kiss.
"Good morning to you too."
"I didn't want to wake you but I have to go meet Dan."
Nora propped herself up on her elbow. "What's going on?"
"Nothing for you to worry about. I'm going to call and set up a meeting with Jeff, I'll call you with the time. Until then I want you to stay home and relax, don't go out, don't answer the door or the phone, I'll call your cell so you know it's me."
Now worried Nora sat up, "okay. Tell me."
Nikki forced a smile and gave Nora what she hoped was a reassuring kiss. "Nothing. You know how I like to worry. Okay? Everything is fine, I promise." When Nikki stood up she realized that Nora looked more unconvinced than before her rambled promise.
Nora could tell that Nikki desperately needed for her to just comply without an argument. "I will sit and wait for your call," she pledged.
Nikki smiled shyly. "Thanks," she whispered.
After a silent moment Nikki turned to go to work.
Nikki entered the lieutenant's office to find Dan and Georgia already there. "So what are we going to do?" she asked as she closed the door behind her.
Dan motioned to an empty chair. "We are going to find out who is behind this before anything else happens to Nora," he declared.
"How do we prove Williams is behind this?" Nikki asked while she sat down.
Dan shook he head at her bluntness. "If we are going to accuse him then we have to figure it all out first. I've already talked to the superintendent and he will not move against Williams unless we have a tight, and I mean solid, case."
"So let's build it." Georgia remarked.
Dan nodded and looked to Nikki. "I've been working on this since you called me to tell me what Nora remembered. I called to get phone records for Landry's phone, also Roussel's and Jackson's to see if they were working with him. As for as Williams, I didn't want to tip anyone off that we were looking in house so I asked the superintendent to get me his phone records." Dan handed Nikki a file, "I haven't gotten Williams' yet but here are the others."
Nikki glanced at the lists. "Anything?"
"Quite a few between Landry and Roussel, but they did work together so it's hard to tell. Neither of their phone numbers comes up as the one that called Landry at the warehouse."
"Williams?" Nikki asked hopefully.
"Not his office number." Dan replied. "However the number that called Landry come up on Jackson's phone just before Verret went to arrest him."
"The same person tipped them both?" Nikki asked with confusion. She glance at Georgia, "what about Verret."
Georgia frowned. "He's young and overly eager." She looked at Nikki, "I know you don't like him for the way he went after Nora, and I let him have it after that, believe me. But I really don't see him being involved. I honestly think he believed he was doing the right thing by following the chief's orders, I don't think he went there to kill Jackson."
"Then Williams set him up," Nikki began. "Hoping he would kill Jackson."
"Or Jackson would kill him," Dan added. "Knowing that the department would go after him for killing a cop. Either way Jackson would be out of the picture."
Dan waved entrance to the officer he saw approaching his office. "Good morning sir." The officer said when he opened the door. He held out an envelop as he moved to the desk. "This is from Superintendent Riley."
Dan stood and accepted the information. "Thank you officer." The officer nodded and retreated back the way he came.
"Let's see what we have," Dan said as he opened the envelop. Nikki and Georgia waited anxiously as they watched him flip through the pages.
"Well?" Nikki exclaimed.
Dan smiled, "it pays to be the man in charge."
"What does that mean?" Nikki's patience was now at an all time low.
"We have phone records for Williams, his wife, his kids, any phone he might have access to."
"And he was dumb enough to use his private cell phone."
Nikki clapped her hands. "Then we've got him."
Dan looked up and grinned. "We've got him."
After thirty minutes of going over the phone records to find every connected phone call Dan took the information to meet with the superintendent. They still had no idea why Williams was connected to Landry, they just knew he was and Dan hoped that would be enough to at least get him off the street before he had the opportunity to do anything else.
Nikki looked at Georgia, "want to ride with me to fill Nora in on the good news?"
Nora was sitting in the courtyard with her coffee and newspaper when she heard someone approaching her. She was startled to find Chief Williams standing beside her, she stared at him for a second before snapping out of her confusion and stood to greet him. "Good morning sir."
"Detective Delaney," he returned.
"What can I do for you sir?"
"You know I've always like you Delaney. I've always thought you were a good cop and with your family history I thought you would advance far."
Puzzled by the statement Nora frowned slightly. "Thank you sir."
"That's why this mess with Ray's death is so troubling."
"I assure you, I did not kill him."
"Yes well that is irrelevant."
Nora looked at him and shook her head. "I think it is very relevant," she told him. This conversation was beginning to head in a direction that made the detective very nervous.
"Afraid not." Williams took a step back and pulled his weapon. "Get on your knees."
Nora put her hands up and took a few steps back. "Whoa, sir. What are you doing?"
"I really am sorry that it had to be you."
"What the hell does that mean?" Nora put her hands down and stepped toward him.
Williams raised his gun and steadied it with both hands. "Even though I'm not on the street anymore I do still have to qualify, I assure you I am a good shot. Now get down or I will shoot you."
Nora could see the desperation in the chief's eyes, it was a look she had seen a thousand times before but rarely on the face of another cop. "How are you going to justify this?" Unarmed and outweighed she quickly realized that she had no choice so she slowly lowered herself onto her knees.
"I told your lieutenant that I wanted you questioned in Roussel's death and he refused. He's too close to be objective so I had no choice but to come arrest you myself," he shrugged. Then he moved to stand behind her. "Now lie down and put your hands behind your back," he demanded as he pulled out his cuffs.
"You really think anyone is going to buy that." Nora tried to convince him as he placed his knee in the middle of her back and put the cuffs around her wrists.
"Who's going to say otherwise." He stood over her, "now get up."
Nora turned her head to see his gun pointing at her. "Me, for one." As she began to roll onto her side she realized the cuffs weren't secure. "What are you doing?" she asked, although she had a pretty good idea what his intentions were.
"Just get up," Williams demanded as he steadied his gun.
Nora rolled back over onto her stomach. "You want to shoot me you're going to have to do it in the back."
"I'm the district commander and you are a cop killing dirty cop, you think anyone is going to care where I shoot you." Williams proclaimed.
The chief's head spun to find Nikki standing behind him with her weapon trained on him.
"I just need to take her in for questioning," he claimed.
"Is that right?" Nikki asked skeptically. "Nora, you okay?"
"Just trying not to get killed thanks," Nora remarked as she looked over to her lover.
"Detective Beaumont you do not want to jeopardize your career here. Why don't you just put down your weapon."
"Sorry sir, but that is not going to happen. We've already tied you to Landry and Lieutenant Harney is on his way to speak with Superintendent Riley. So if you would just drop your gun..."
Williams looked between the two women before stepping closer to Nora. "How about you put away yours," he said as he pointed his gun at the back of Nora's head.
"And then what?" Nikki asked. "You going to kill both of us? How will you explain that?"
"Dirty cop, dirty partner. I'll say you jumped me while I was arresting her."
"You really think..." Nikki began before Nora cut her off.
"Just get out of here Nikki,"
"You move and I will kill her," Williams asserted.
"He's going to kill me anyway just go," Nora demanded.
"I'm not going anywhere and no one is getting killed," Nikki exclaimed to silence the other two. "Let's just everybody calm down."
Keeping his gun trained on Nora, Williams spoke to Nikki. "So it seems we have an old fashioned stand-off."
"Actually sir, you are surrounded." Nikki glanced to the other corner of the courtyard.
Williams followed her sight line to find Georgia standing next to the wall with her weapon out. "Good morning sir."
Nora glanced up and smiled. "Hey Georgia."
"I was beginning to wonder what was taking you two so long," Georgia informed them.
Defeat sinking in Williams lowered his gun and let it fall to the ground. Georgia moved forward and placed him under arrest as Nora got up off of the ground.
As Georgia led Williams away Nora held out her right hand for Nikki to remove the secured cuff. "He didn't secure them?" Nikki questioned.
"I think that was the point." Nora responded as she rubbed her wrists.
Nikki nodded, understanding that as soon as Nora stood up with unsecured cuffs Williams would have shot her and claimed self defense.
Nikki wrapped an arm around Nora's shoulders, "you okay?"
"I'm fine," Nora said as she put her arm around Nikki's waist. "Thanks for saving my life. Again."
"What are partners for?" Nikki quipped with a kiss to Nora's temple.
As the two began walking out of the courtyard Nora's knees buckled and she tightened her grip. Nikki dropped her hand from Nora's shoulder to under her arm and reached out with her free hand to keep her partner on her feet. "Whoa. You sure you're okay?"
Nora steadied herself. "Sorry."
Nikki moved to stand in front of her, reaching up to cup her face. "I guess three attempts in under three weeks can take a lot out of a girl."
Nora gave a half smile. "As long as they all fail I can't complain."
"No, me neither." Nikki agreed as she leaned in to, very thoroughly, kiss her.
When they finally parted Nora slowly opened her eyes. "You know that didn't really help my knees."
Nikki chuckled. "Come on. Georgia is probably waiting," she said as she led them to the car.
On the way to the station Nikki called Dan to let him know they were coming in, not giving too much information since Williams was in the car, he told her that he and the Superintendent would meet them in his office. Once they arrived Georgia led Williams to an interrogation room while Nikki and Nora went to Dan's office.
"Detective Delaney," Superintendent Riley greeted as they entered. "I wanted to offer my apologies for Chief Williams' actions."
Nora shook his hand. "Thank you sir."
"I also wanted to inform you that that I will be awarding you a commendation for bringing his illegal activities to light."
"I appreciate that sir but I really didn't do anything."
"You deserve it though for what you went through. I would also like your parents present at the press conference this afternoon when I award you."
Nora gave a reserved nod. "Thank you."
"I plan on announcing that this entire investigation of you was actually an operation to weed out the true guilty parties. I would appreciate your backing me up on this."
"I'm sure that would put my mother's mind at ease. Thank you sir."
The superintendent turned to Dan. "Lieutenant, I would like to sit in on the interrogation."
"Of course sir."
"Okay then, I will wait for you in the hall. I'll give you a moment with your detectives."
"Thank you sir."
As Riley turned to leave he paused and looked at Nikki. "Detective Beaumont, say hello to your father for me."
"Yes sir, I will." Nikki nodded with a smile. Knowing her father as well as she did Nikki immediately picked up on the reason for the mention.
Once he was gone Nora turned to Dan. "So I since I was apparently undercover this whole time I guess that means I can put in for overtime. I do have some legal bills to take care of."
Dan smiled, grateful that she was joking with him, even though he knew she had every right to punch him. Hell, he almost wished she would, it might help to alleviate some of his guilt. "I'll see what I can do," he promised. "Nora, I'm...
"Don't worry about it Dan," Nora let him off the hook. "Just make sure Williams spends a really long time in jail."
"Deal," he agreed. "You two want in on the interrogation?"
"I think I'll pass," Nora said.
"Okay. Why don't you take some time. Call me when you are ready to come back."
"Thanks, Lieutenant." Nora smiled.
Dan nodded and as he left Nora slumped into one of his guest chairs. Nikki closed the door behind him and sat down next to her, reaching over to take one of her hands. "You don't have any legal bills. We just owe Jeff and his wife a nice dinner."
Nora turned her hand up so she could link their fingers together, "I'm really sorry about what I said."
"The night Canter was killed."
"No, I am. If it wasn't for you I'd be sitting in prison right now. Or worse."
"It's okay. I knew you didn't mean it."
"You are the best thing to ever happen to me. I don't know what I would do..." Nora trailed off as her eyes welled with tears.
"Well lucky for you, you won't have to find out."
Nora smiled gratefully. "I love you."
"And I wish Dan had blinds on these windows," Nikki joked.
Nora laughed. "Maybe we should continue this conversation at home." As they stood up Nora released Nikki's hand and moved to open the door. "So am I going to owe your father now?"
"Just treat his little girl right." Nikki smirked as she brushed past.
"That won't be a problem." Nora whispered as she followed after her partner.
A/N: Thanks to those who read and reviewed. Hope the ending was satisfying.