Author: The Indie Flash PM
Set after Reset. Claudia, Pete, and Artie are left to deal with Myka's abandonment while someone from Claudia's past poses a serious threat to the warehouse. Can the team handle it?Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Drama - Claudia D. & Artie N. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 19,724 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 33 - Updated: 01-09-11 - Published: 10-08-10 - id: 6383930
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Glad to see you finally up." Leena said as she set three plates on the table. Claudia pulled both her hands over her face, then through her hair before responding. Leena's cheeriness slightly irked her, especially considering recent events.
"Need. Caffeine." Claudia mumbled as she reached the last stair and made her way to the table. She pulled out her usual chair, trying not to think about the voids in the seating arrangement.
Leena was worried by how hopeless Claudia seemed. This was the girl who had her parents taken away from her, then her brother, and she still kept fighting. It was unsettling to see the girl giving up so easily.
"I made your favorite, strawberry waffles with whipped cream!" Leena said, trying to will some sort of positive emotion from Claudia. No luck.
"I'm not really feeling waffles right now, could I just grab a cup of coffee?" The teen asked sounding drained. Leena bit her lip and looked down to her for a moment.
"Perhaps some herbal tea might be better…?" Leena began to suggest, but was quickly shot down by a hardened glare. She set the plate of waffles on the table before speed walking back to the small kitchen. Luckily, Leena had already made the coffee, and was back quickly with a plain white mug. Claudia took it, barely acknowledging her. She really wasn't in the mood right now.
"Claudia would you mind talking a few waffles up to Pete? He needs to eat eventually." Leena's voice was very calming all of the suddenly. Claudia stood up immediately, sliding three waffles onto the plate that was poignantly placed in Myka's usual spot.
"No prob." She murmured as before galumphing up the stairs. She took a sip of the coffee before rapping lightly on Pete's closed door. No response.
"Pete, dude, can I come in?" She groaned the words with a certain pain behind them. She realized that she really didn't want to be the first person to see Pete like this. There was nothing right about a sad and non-goofy Pete. She got no response from the man, but did hear some movement. Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door with her shoulder.
The sight inside was depressing to say the least. Pete was sitting on his bed; wrapped completely in covers with the T.V. they had bought him on. The empty expression across his face made it obvious that he wasn't all too concerned with the ridiculous B-movie playing on the screen. It was just so… uncharacteristic of him. When he turned to Claudia she could clearly see the dark circles under his eyes.
"Can I sit?" The redhead asked, taking a few steps into the room.
"Go for it." He mumbled monotonously in reply. She sat next to Pete on the bed, cross-legged, and leaned her head against his shoulder.
"Do you want to talk?" She asked as she passed the waffles to the melancholy man. She was trying to be the older one, even though she was probably as heart-broken as him. She wanted to be strong for him, for the warehouse.
"Do you want to talk?" Pete replied, trying to gain his usual comforting brother persona. He realized he should be the one taking care of Claudia, not the other way around. It hit suddenly, and made him feel guilty for the last two days of solitude. He wasn't the only one who felt abandoned. He dug into the waffles ferociously with this epiphany. Moping around wouldn't help anything. It couldn't bring Myka or Kelly back. His time to grieve needed to end. Now was the time to rebuild.
Claudia paused before answering Pete. She gained a little hope as she watched Pete suddenly fill up with life. It felt like there was suddenly a chance to fix everything. She was relieved she wouldn't have to play therapist with Pete anymore. A small piece of her shattered heart was glued back together.
"She'll come back, right?" Claudia asked Pete in a tone that was somewhere between fear and the innocent hope. Pete reached out from under the blanket to put a strong arm around her. He pulled her close enough to feel his warmth.
"We'll get her back. I promise." Pete said with conviction. A silence engulfed the room, but it was the good kind, the kind where more than words are exchanged between two people.
Security footage, which has been mysteriously deleted from the police computer database, revealed that a robbery of 20 personal computers, 15 laptops, 18 hard drives, 10 wireless routers, and 5 TV monitors from a Best Buy electronics store in San Francisco was executed in 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Most of the products in the store looked as though they had been dragged to the front of the store surround a large pool of human sweat. DNA tests revealed that the sweat belonged to 19-year-old MACKENZIE RUSH. The footage revealed that she had ONE MALE accomplice. They are both suspected to still be in the area, though there are no assurances.
"Are you two up for some snagging, bagging, and tagging?" Artie asked. The two agents gave each other a quick glace and sighed. They really didn't have much of a choice.
"Sure." Pete said as they both turned to the Farnsworth again. Artie attempted an understanding smile.
"Be here in 15 minutes and I'll brief you both on the case." Artie closed the device as soon as he said this to give them time to prepare. He knew it wouldn't be the same without Myka on the job with them, but they all had to deal. As soon as Artie hung up on them, Claudia stood and stretched.
"Meet you downstairs in five?" She asked Pete on her way to the door. He simply nodded and stood in reply. Then, in about five minutes, they were both dressed and walking to the driveway. They hopped into Pete's car and were on their way to the warehouse. They didn't speak much, so the silence was filled with a mix of White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys, and other awesome bands Claudia had stocked onto her iPod. Pete was focusing on driving as quickly as possibly so they wouldn't be late and have to face Artie's wrath. Claudia was just zoning out. Then, about 15 minutes later, they pulled up to the giant building that looked about a century old. Hustling inside, they found Artie sitting in his office, eyes glued to the computer screen.
"Oh good you're here. You two are going to San Francisco." Artie said barely peeling his gaze from the monitor.
"Sweet! I've always wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge." Pete said trying not to think about the absence of Myka. It was just so strange, like a giant hole had been ripped in the warehouse, even though everything seemed to be in place.
"What's the deal-eo?" Claudia asked trying to peek over Artie's shoulder. He opened the ping again.
"We've got two teenagers who robbed a Best Buy of almost every computer and television in eight minutes. Everything else in the store had been dragged to the front around a giant pile of sweat. Now…"
"So some sort of magnetic artifact?" Claudia suggested, cutting Artie off. The older man glared at her for a split-second.
"Maybe, but that doesn't explain the sweat. Only one of the kids has been identified. 19-year-old MIT dropout, Mackenzie Rush. Here's her picture…" Artie trailed off as he noticed Claudia staring intensely at the photo he had just printed.
"Earth to Claud. What's up?" Pete asked waving a hand in front of her face obnoxiously.
"I think I know this chick." The girl said, bringing her widened eyes up to the other two.
"She was my best friend."