It was just before seven p.m. when the detectives pulled up out front of the Delaney home. As they made their way up the front walk Mrs. Delaney and Izzy stepped out onto the porch. When Nora reached the steps Izzy launched herself off of the top and into the blonde's arms. Luckily Nikki was right behind her and was able to help keep the pair upright.
"He won't hurt anyone ever again," Nora whispered.
"Everything go okay today?" Nikki asked Mrs. Delaney, a little surprised by the girl's reaction.
"Fine. She was just starting to get a little worried."
"Were you okay today?" Nora asked the girl quietly. She smiled when she felt a nod against her neck. "I told you didn't I?" After another nod she looked up at her mother. "Thank you, mama."
"We had a really fun day. Isabelle is welcome to visit anytime."
"Thanks," Nora said again as she turned and carried the child back to the car.
"So you caught the man who killed her mother?" Mrs. Delaney asked Nikki.
"Yes," Nikki answered as Mrs. Delaney descended the steps. "It actually turned out a little easier than we'd hoped. We really appreciate you watching Isabelle today. Nora really wanted to be there for the arrest."
"It was fine. I felt bad for the poor thing, she is so quiet but so sweet. Is she going to be okay?"
"Her grandmother is coming to take custody of her. She'll be fine."
"And the other one?"
Nikki studied the older woman for a few seconds. "She'll be fine too. I think she was caught a little of guard," she answered honestly. "I better get going," she said when she noticed Nora and Izzy were waiting in the back seat. "Thanks again."
The trio went home for another quiet evening. With the extra weight removed, though, there was a much lighter mood in the air.
"I am sorry for your loss, Mrs. Fernandez," Dan said to the woman sitting on the other side of his desk.
"Thank you, Lieutenant Harney. And I do appreciate you catching the man who killed her. Rosalie wasn't always a troubled girl."
"We treat every victim the same, Ma'am. No matter how she lived she didn't deserve to die that way."
"Thank you Lieutenant," Mrs. Fernandez said as she wiped her eyes.
Dan looked up as Nikki and Nora entered the station, Isabelle walking between them. "Your granddaughter is here," he announced as he stood and moved around the desk.
Mrs. Fernandez stood up nervously and looked out at the trio. "Thank you, too, for looking after her."
"My detectives did that," he said as he opened the door.
Izzy stopped and tugged on Nora's hand when she saw the two people exit the office. Nora turned and crouched down to her level. "Hey, don't you want to meet your grandma?" When the girl shook her head Nora went down on one knee and took both the girl's hands in her own. "Honey you don't have to be scared of her. She's your family and she is going to take care of you."
"I want to stay with you," the child whispered.
Nora looked up at her partner, "would you ask them to give us a minute." Nikki nodded and moved off toward the others. "You can't stay with me, sweetie," Nora said to Izzy as her eyes welled. "I have really enjoyed spending time with you but you remember yesterday when I had to work all day. That is how it is most of the time. I have other people that I have to help now. You have to go with your grandma so she can take care of you."
"But I love you."
"Oh, honey," Nora said as she pulled the child into an embrace. "I love you too. I promise you that if you ever need me I will be there for you. Okay? I'll give your grandma my phone number and you can call me anytime you want." Nora held the girl for a few seconds. "Are you ready?" she asked as she pulled back. When the girl glanced to the strange woman Nora could see the uncertainty in her eyes. "I'll tell you what," she said as she pulled her St. Christopher medal over her head. "You keep this and then it will be like I'm there watching over you." She slipped the medal over Izzy's head. "Okay?"
Izzy took the medal in her hand, then she looked up at Nora and smiled.
"Ready?" When the girl nodded Nora stood and walked her over to Mrs. Fernandez. She held out her hand to the older woman. "Mrs. Fernandez, this is Isabelle."
"Thank you, Detective, for taking such good care of my granddaughter."
"It was my pleasure ma'am."
Mrs. Fernandez crouched down to Isabelle's level. "I know that we don't know each other yet and that you are scared right now but I promise I'll do my best to take care of you." She reached out to take the girl's hand. "Did your mama tell you that Isabelle was the name of your great-grandmother." When the girl shook her head the woman continued. "But she grew up with all brothers and she thought her name wasn't tough enough so everyone called her Izzy."
"Me too," Isabelle smiled.
"Yeah?" Mrs Fernandez asked. "I guess your mama knew you were going to grow up to be a strong brave woman." When the girl smiled again Mrs. Fernandez stood back up. "Thanks again," she said as she shook everyone's hand. She took Isabelle's backpack from Nikki, reached down to take the girl's hand then led her granddaughter from the station. Just as they reached the doorway Izzy looked back over her shoulder and waved good-bye.
Nora waved with one hand and wiped her eyes with the other. Dan smiled when he saw the motion but thought better of commenting. "Nice job on this one ladies. Now lets see if we can expedite some of your other open cases as efficiently," he said as he moved back into his office.
Nikki glared at his back before she turned to her partner. "You okay?"
"Fine," Nora answered as she moved toward their desks.
"We could go out for a bit, take a break," Nikki suggested as they settled into their chairs.
Nora pulled a file from her pile. "Did we ever get Charlie's report for the Simpson file?" she asked, seeming to ignore Nikki's statement.
"I'm fine. Really." At Nikki's questioning stare Nora came up with a solution. "How about we quit a bit early so I can take you out to dinner? We can talk then."
Nikki gave a toothy grin as her answer. "Plus we'll have to do a little shopping," she added as she jingled the medal around her wrist.
Nora ducked her head. "Yeah, sorry that I..."
"Hey," Nikki cut her off. "It's fine. I think she needed it. Besides, I'm not going to pass up an excuse to go into a jewelry store."
Nora rolled her eyes, dramatically, at the thought of jewelry shopping but when landed on the look of concerned understanding staring back at her she smiled her consent. "So, the Simpson file," she stated as she went back to work.
A/N: First, Thanks to everyone who read.
Second: I wrote this whole story for the final scene, so I hope it was worth it.
and Third: There were a few scenes that I wanted to expand upon but I really needed to get this done and out of the way. Hopefully it felt full enough and it wasn't lacking.