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squeaking in just under the wire!

it is still April for another ten minutes! have a fic!

sing, muse, of the passion of the pistol

"I can't believe you still have your academy uniform," Flavia said. Her Beretta was perfectly steady, as was the switchblade Francesca had pressed against her throat.

"I look amazing in this suit and it's fucking tailored Armani, like I was going to just leave it behind," Francesca scoffed. "I did get new guns, though," she added. "Have they seriously not upgraded yours yet?"

"Fuck you, I like my Beretta," Flavia snapped. "We don't all need the newest shiniest toy to get the job done. Also, I can't believe you didn't tell me you were in town."

Francesca actually looked guilty at that. "I was going to! Just, you know. After we wrapped up the job."

"We? Is Roby here too? You are so -- " Flavia's earpiece crackled, cutting her off. "What?"

"Hey, it's me," Sara said, her voice only a little staticky. "Let Fran take the diamond and Roby'll let me get the ambassador to the safehouse, okay?"

"I was the one who got the short straw last time!" Flavia realized a moment too late that her voice had risen to a whine. "C'mon, management's going to -- "

"You want me to let Roby kill the target so you can hang onto a lump of pressurized carbon?" Sara demanded. Flavia scowled. "Management knows you're just back from that wrist injury, it's more believable that Fran would take you down. They're not going to get suspicious. I'll take the hit next two times, I swear. Deal?"

"Ugh, fine," Flavia said, and the radio channel clicked off. She lowered her gun and stepped away from Francesca's knife. "Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! Steal yourself a diamond!"

Francesca raised an eyebrow. "Are you going to tell me where it is?"

Flavia flopped down on the queen-sized bed behind her with a contemptuous grace that had taken three years of specialized classes to acquire and closed her eyes. "I said I'd let you steal the damn thing, not that I'd make it easy for you."

"Fair enough," Francesca said after a long pause. Flavia heard the sound of the switchblade being folded back up, and then Francesca beginning the long process of tossing the hotel room. "When did hurt your wrist?" she asked, a few minutes later. From the clack of wood on wood, she was still going through the dresser drawers.

"Did you hack our private radio channel? No, never mind, of course you did." It was hard for Flavia to work up too much outrage at this point. "Yeah, last year. Repetitive stress injury. Needed surgery and a ton of rehab."

"You should take better care of yourself." There was a disapproving note in Francesca's voice. "And that partner of yours should be keeping an eye on you if you're just back in the field. Where is she, anyway? I wasn't expecting you to be working with Sara again."

"Gisela's out of the business now," Flavia said tersely. It was something of a sore subject. "She's having a baby."

"Oh." The sound of Francesca tapping the walls to check for a hidden safe stopped. "And you're, you know. Okay with that?"

"Why don't you just steal the goddamned diamond and get out of my hair," Flavia suggested, voice cold. She opened her eyes again and realized that Francesca wasn't even pretending to keep up her search; instead she was staring at Flavia, head tilted to the side like she was trying to figure out what she was looking at. Since Francesca actually figuring out what she was looking at was rock bottom on the list of things Flavia wanted to happen, she decided to take the evening's program of events into her own hands. "Or at least take a picture, it'll last longer," she said, and started to take off her clothes.

Francesca hesitated for only a few seconds before grinning at Flavia, wide enough to light up her entire face. "Just like old times," she said.

"No roommates, no curfew," Flavia pointed out. She didn't bother to fold her pants, just threw them on the floor and reached back to unhook her bra.

"Even better." Francesca didn't even glance around the room she was supposed to be searching before she pounced.


Round three was rudely interrupted by Roberta calling to warn Francesca that security was on the way, and then there was a frantic rush to throw their clothes back on before anyone tried to knock down the door looking for one of them. "Aren't you coming?" Flavia asked. She had to stick her head back inside first; she was already halfway out the window.

"You go ahead," Francesca replied, distracted. "I'll catch up with you once I've got the diamond to our contact, so give me a day or two, all right?"

"Fran." Flavia waited until Francesca was looking at her to pull the diamond out of her pocket, so she could savor the outrage dawning on her face. "Maybe you'd better catch up with me first."

She was out the window between one breath and the next, and running to her rendezvous with Sara as soon as she hit the ground. The sooner she handed off the diamond, the sooner she could let Francesca catch her again.

ps: it's not like I didn't threaten to write this before or anything.



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