A/N: Having now finished "Something To Be Proud Of", I have returned to finishing another of my Grey's Anatomy stories before refocusing on my remaining CSI:NY stories...which, of course, is why my head is so full of wonderful Fiesta story ideas. To scratch that itch, so to speak, this little one-shot popped into my head this morning and worked its way out throughout the day. There's a hint of romance here, but mostly it's a little fluffy piece of fun.
In terms of timing, this could be anywhere from season 3 onward, with the possible exception of the second half of season 5 when Flack was with Angell.
Stella Bonasera sighed and took a final long sip from her nearly empty Styrofoam coffee cup before tossing it into the back of the SUV and leaning heavily against the back of the passenger seat. It was going on hour six of the stakeout without so much as a peep from their suspect, and she was starting to go a little stir crazy.
"Have I mentioned that I hate long stakeouts?" she muttered in annoyance.
"Only two or three times an hour since, oh…" Don Flack paused and looked down at his watch for dramatic effect. "…five hours ago."
"Well, just so long as you know that I do."
"If it makes you feel any better, another hour and we're off shift," Flack pointed out.
"That'll still be seven hours sitting outside this dump," Stella said. "I'm starting to think this whole thing is a waste of time. Maybe that witness wasn't so reliable with the tips after all."
"Nope, she was definitely telling the truth."
"Let me guess, you could see it in her eyes?" Stella asked skeptically.
"Don't question my detective gut," Flack said. "It's at least as good as that fancy-schmancy science of yours."
"Uh huh, I'm sure."
"We could always play a game to pass the time," Flack suggested.
"I am not playing twenty questions again, Don. Or that stupid 'I spy' thing you made me play last time."
"Hey, it got us through that stakeout, didn't it?" Flack withered just a bit under her glare in response. "Okay, fine, no 'I spy' or twenty questions. Don't matter, I was thinkin' we might need something a little more…mature."
"Mature?" Stella arched an eyebrow in his direction, not entirely sure she was following his intentions. "And just what did you have in mind?"
"This little game I made up with my brothers. Started out as a kids thing, but it's grown up with us, I guess."
"Does it have a name?"
"Nope, no name," Flack said. "We used to call it the fess up game, but not so much anymore. Didn't seem real mature as we got older."
"Alright, I'll bite," Stella said. "But only because I'm exhausted and bored out of my mind, so if I don't do something, I'll be falling asleep on the job soon. How does one play this no-name game?"
"Oh, it's real simple," Flack said with a quick grin, knowing that this would either turn out to be extremely embarrassing or extremely enlightening – perhaps even both. "I ask you a personal question, you answer it. Then you ask me a personal question and I answer it."
"That's not a game, Flack," Stella said. "What's the point? How do I win?"
"We go until one of us asks a question that the other refuses to answer," Flack said. "Not can't answer, this ain't trivia night at the pub. You're trying to come up with a question the other person will refuse to tell you the answer to. So, if you ask me a question I'm not willing to tell you the answer to, you win."
"I don't know, it sounds a little juvenile," Stella said.
"You hiding something, Bonasera?" Flack countered. "You afraid you can't win a game so simple an eleven year could make it up?"
"What would I win?" Stella asked. "If I'm telling you my secrets, you better make it worth my while."
"Winner does all the loser's paperwork for this stakeout," Flack suggested.
"Throw in dinner…and morning coffee for a month, and I'm in."
"A month?" Flack asked. "Alright, but I hope you know how I take mine."
"Yeah right," Stella scoffed. "Like you even stand a chance. What could you possibly ask me that I wouldn't tell you? My life is an open book."
"We'll just see about that," Flack smirked. "I'll even let you go first."
"No freaking way. I thought I was clear, you have to tell the truth, Stella," Flack said, staring at her completely dumbfounded by her response.
"I did tell the truth," Stella insisted.
"No way," Flack shook his head. "You did not say that to Chief Sinclair. Not possible."
"Well, he wasn't Chief Detective when I said it."
"Still…you seriously told him that?"
"Damn," Flack muttered. "No wonder he always looks like he wants to run away you're in the same room. I'd be afraid of you too if you'd told me that."
"It was a long time ago," Stella said. "Anyway, moving on, my turn to ask a question."
"We're an hour in, you haven't even shocked me yet, you want to just concede?"
"Not a chance, Flack, not a chance," Stella said. "I don't lose."
"Suit yourself," Flack shrugged.
Stella frowned and furrowed her brow in concentration, thinking long and hard about how to completely shut down her competition.
"Alright, I've got it. Most inappropriate person you've ever slept with."
"Embarrassed? Don't want to answer?" Stella asked.
"C'mon, give me a pass on this one," Flack said. "Ask me anything else, anything."
"Nope. They're your rules, Flack. Either fess up or start learning my coffee order. It's rather complicated."
"Okay, but it's not pretty," Flack said, hesitating again before continuing. "Don't say I didn't warn you."
"Oh come on, man up, Donnie," Stella teased. "It can't be that bad. What'd you do, sleep with Danny?"
"That's…that's…" Flack sputtered, bending over slightly as he coughed, nearly choking on his coffee. "That's so not even funny, Stel."
"No, but your reaction was priceless," Stella laughed. "So go on, answer the question."
"Remember Melanie Oliver?"
"Vaguely," Stella said. "DUI victim from a few years back, right?"
"Alright, well I know even you aren't kinky enough to sleep with a dead woman," Stella said. "So where are you going with this?"
"Melanie had a sister."
"A married sister."
"Who I slept with at the funeral."
"Good God, Don," Stella muttered.
"You wanted inappropriate," Flack reminded her. "It was nothing if not inappropriate."
"Tell me you at least didn't do it at the church."
"And on that note, now it's my turn," Flack said. "So, since you decided to go there, let's stay on the wrong side of a sexual harassment seminar, shall we? Same question back to you."
"That's not fair," Stella protested. "You have to come up with your own questions."
"Deflecting, interesting. Nope, you get to answer the same question. Especially now that you've told me how much you don't want me to know."
"Now hold it, I never said…" Stella paused, a flash of movement across the street catching her attention. "Damn it, he's moving, Don. Let's roll."
"This ain't over, Bonasera."
"Just shut up and drive, Flack."
"Have I mentioned that I really hate this stupid stakeout?" Stella grumbled, slamming the car door behind her as she slipped into the front seat and wiped the beads of sweat from her forehead, wincing as the salt trickled into the fresh cuts on her face.
"I think I'm with you on that right about now," Flack agreed, glancing over at Stella. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a handkerchief and leaned across the center console. Carefully, he wiped a mixture of dried blood and dirt from her cheek.
"Thanks," she said softly.
"You really shoulda let that EMT take a closer at those cuts," Flack said.
"I'm fine," Stella insisted. "Embarrassed, but fine."
"Nothing to be embarrassed about," Flack assured her. "You caught the guy, didn't you?"
"Should have done it before he slammed me into a wire fence," Stella said. "Would have at least saved me the tetanus shot at the ambulance."
"But you were just so cute when you were squirming at the sight of that needle," Flack teased.
"Shut up and drive me back to the precinct, would you?" Stella asked.
"I'll do you one better," Flack said, turning the key in the ignition and putting the SUV in reverse. "This chauffeur offers door-to-door service, m'lady."
"If I weren't so damn tired, I'm sure I'd have some witty comeback to that," Stella said, closing her eyes as she leaned back against the headrest.
"Just don't think you're getting off easy on that que…" Flack's last remark died on his lips when he turned his head and saw Stella fast asleep, her head resting against the window. "Alright, it'll wait."
Flack smiled as he tucked the comforter up around Stella's shoulders, brushing a few strands of hair out of her face and back onto the pillow under her head.
"Mmmm," she muttered, reaching out a hand and grabbing his wrist when he started to stand up. "Don? How the hell did you get into my apartment?"
Flack was relieved to not hear any anger in her voice – he'd known the moment he set foot in her home that he was taking his life in his hands.
"You were out cold. It was a long day, I didn't want to wake you up…not that I'm all that sure I could have if I'd wanted to, seeing as you didn't even flinch when I grabbed your keys from your pocket, or took your sidearm off…"
"My sidearm?" Stella's hand flew to her hip. "Where's my weapon, Don?"
"Relax, I put it in the drawer here, right next to your badge," Flack said, opening the drawer to point it out to her. "I figured you didn't need that poking you while you were asleep, but I didn't know the combo to your gun safe."
"Right," Stella nodded. "Why didn't you just take all my clothes off while you were at it? You managed to find my keys and my apartment, I'm sure you could have found my pajamas, too."
"I don't have a death wish, Stella."
"You know I have a no men rule for my apartment, don't you?"
Flack nodded, involuntarily remembering the horrible night she'd first shared that fact with him.
"Yeah, I know."
"And you do realize you're breaking that rule, right?" Stella asked, propping herself up on her elbows and watching him carefully.
"Yeah, I know."
"You sure about that death wish part, then?"
"I'm sure," Flack said. "I die and our little game doesn't get a winner."
"What?" Stella asked in confusion.
"You still owe me an answer," Flack reminded her. "If you kill me, that doesn't count as answering my question. And I know how much you hate to lose."
"This is all about the game?" Stella asked, a hint of disappointment in her voice.
"Don't worry, I know you're exhausted," Flack said, easing himself up off the bed and heading toward the door. "You can answer in the morning."
Stella smiled as she watched him retreat, a thought coming into her head as he paused for just a moment in the doorway.
"Hey Don?" she called out. "Adam Ross."
Flack's face twisted in confusion as he tried to figure out just what the awkward young lab tech had to do with anything they'd been talking about. When it finally started sinking in, his mouth opened and closed several times, no sound coming out as he struggled to process what she'd just told him.
"Don't forget to turn out the lights when you leave," Stella said, a self-satisfied smirk on her lips as she lay her head back on the pillow, leaving Don to stumble his way out of the apartment in stunned silence. "I'm so winning."