|The Dirty Mistresses Club
Author: Maipe PM
Jerry can't help but feel bad when he sees a broken Jo sitting at her desk after Luke has rejected her, so he offers her a shoulder to cry and a little advice.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - J. Barber & J. Rosati - Words: 4,525 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-21-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7311619
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I liked Detective Jo Rosati for awhile, and I thought she deserved better than slinking away in disgrace between "The One that Got Away" and "Monster" after Callaghan told her to disappear. So I left it to Jerry, her fellow dirty mistress to give her a proper send off. And yes to Grey's Anatomy fans, Dirty Mistresses is what Mark Sloane and Meridith refered to each other as.
Jerry grabbed his briefcase ready to head out the door. It had been a long night, but a good night for the 15th Division. With McNally's help, Callahan had finally gotten justice for Zoe Martinelli. Hell, McNally was the one who busted that case wide open, though she had nearly gotten herself added to the victims list in the process. Plus, Sophie Lewis' attacker was behind bars as well. The perp had caved pretty quickly during the interrogation. That was going to go down as one of the easiest confessions of his career Jerry thought. Yes, it had been a good night, professionally at least, personally? Well personally it was a pretty crappy night all around he figured.
There was no better mode of transmitting information than a police station grapevine. He figured that by now everyone had heard some version of the Callaghan/McNally "needing space" story. At least half of them, the ones close enough to the involved parties to bother to care, had a good idea of Rosati's role in it. What a mess.
He supposed he could look at the bright side; this new little drama certainly took people's mind off of his own personal soap opera that came to a head when he got punched in the middle of the station. If he had to hear one more crack about getting knocked on his ass… But that was now officially old news, currently the station was buzzing about Callaghan's trashed love life. Though right now he wasn't feeling particularly bad for Luke.
Thanks to Callahan's indiscretions McNally had found herself needing a place to stay, and of course Traci, being her best friend, had stepped up and taken her home hours ago. All of which translated into Jerry Barber going home alone, and that little turn of events was what made this a particularly crappy night. They had finally closed the case that had haunted Division 15 for the past three years, the murder of one of their own, and he couldn't even go home and celebrate with his woman. Callaghan really sucked.
He looked back towards the D's office and saw Jo sitting alone at her desk leaning back in her chair. Jerry wasn't sure what made him decide to stop and check on her. It might have been the way she just sat there, slumped over, looking defeated, like someone had just knocked all of the fight out of her.
"Detective Rosati, What are you still doing still here I thought you guys wrapped up awhile ago?"
She looked over at him. "Don't exactly know."
Jerry saw that her eyes were slightly swollen and red. So that's how it went down. He didn't need to be a Detective to figure out the score. McNally might have given Callaghan the boot, but it seemed like he wasn't planning on landing in Jo's lap, and she didn't seem to be taking it well. So much for being out the door. He stepped into the office and sat at the edge of her desk. "You guys closed a big case tonight. Made a lot of people around here happy. Zoe Martinelli is finally going to get justice."
"I would think you'd be happier."
She shrugged. "I'm out of here Jerry, left my request on Best's desk. Soon as my papers clear I'm a ghost."
Somehow he wasn't that surprised by the news. "A ghost huh, so you'll be a pale fiendish presence haunting us, rearranging paperwork and scaring the little rookies. What's the difference? It sounds about the same to me."
Jo narrowed her eyes at him. "You know what I mean."
Jerry laughed. "Yeah I know what you mean." He reached over and picked up the bag of chips that she had left unattended on her desk and started munching. "Lighten up Rosati it can't be that bad. You know Nash is going to miss you. You've been like a mentor to her, really took her under your wing and let her shine."
"Somehow I don't think that relationship was going to last. I like her though, lousy taste in men and even worse taste in friends, but she's a good cop."
Jerry smiled proudly. "She's a damn good cop, getting better everyday, and she has excellent taste in men if I do say so myself."
He took a quick look around the station; a few people kept sneaking glances in their direction. It was probably a good thing Rosati was transferring out. Even if she could deal with being around Callaghan and McNally it probably wouldn't be much fun for her to ride out the gossip wave. He looked back at her. God she really did look kind of pathetic. What the hell, he thought as he made a decision. I'll consider it my good deed for the week, money in the karma bank.
"Those were stale," he said as he tossed the now empty bag of chips into the garbage pail and jumped off the desk. "Come on. Let's get out of here and grab some breakfast. I'm starving. My treat. I'll even let you cry on my shoulder."
Hearing his invitation it hit her how desperate she had been for some company. She looked up at him both suspicion and hope in her expression "Seriously?"
"Eh why not, how much can you possibly eat?" Jerry reached into his jacket pocket for his phone and started typing in a text message. "Just be careful not to stain the fabric when you start sniveling, I like this suit. Fran's good for you?"
Jo finished clearing off her desk and stood up. "Fran's huh, you afraid to show up at the Penny with me?"
Jerry laughed. Smart girl. "You got it. I like having friends. Hanging out with you right about now is like 15th Division social suicide."
"Tell me about it." Jo said as she grabbed her jacket. She silently thanked God for Jerry's invitation, she had been dreading walking out of that door alone, humiliated.
Jo took a gulp of her coffee. She studied Jerry for a moment. They had pretty much both finished their meals, talking about mostly trivial work matters. It had been a welcome distraction, and though she appreciated it she found herself wondering about his motives. She had to figure that at the very least Nash knew the details about her and Luke. She wondered if Jerry knew that hanging out with her might be getting him in trouble with his girlfriend, after all, McNally was Nash's best friend. "Why are you being so nice me Barber?"
He shrugged carelessly. "Because I am a nice guy, and you looked like you could use a friend in there. Anyway I have no plans since my… well since Traci is home comforting her unexpected houseguest."
"Your girlfriend Jerry, you can say it, she's your girlfriend."
He laughed and nodded. "Yes she is, my girlfriend. Still getting used to being able to say that. God I feel like I'm in high school again. Girlfriend."
"So that was her you texted before we left?"
He grinned sheepishly. "Yup. Wanted to let her know I was grabbing a bite with you before the office grapevine twisted into something it isn't. No response though. I'm guessing she's asleep already. I'll talk to her in the morning." He glanced out the window and took in the lightening sky. "Or rather later in the morning. Sun's almost up."
Jo nodded. "You got a good thing going there Jerry, you and Nash. At least it got good once you stopped sneaking around and got serious."
Jerry sipped his coffee. "Sneaking around? What do you know about that? You've been walking around with tunnel vision since you got here, all eyes on the prize."
"I'm not blind Detective and it didn't take a visit to the station from her jealous boyfriend to clue me in. You two went from tension and awkward silences to meaningful glances and disappearing into interrogation rooms right after the Vestibule case. By the way, you never thanked me for suggesting she work the case with you. Guess all that hanging out in that van did the job."
Jerry grinned. "Didn't hurt. It's pretty hard to deny your feelings when you're thrown that close together with someone who gets under your skin. Old feelings get stirred up, the kind of feelings you might not be inclined to ignore," he look at her meaningfully. "Even if the other person isn't as available as you are."
Jo sighed. "I know what you mean."
"I guess you do. So yeah, after Vestibule I played the dirty mistress for a minute there. It wasn't my finest hour, but I did it," he paused and then figured why not just go for it, she probably needed to let it all out to someone. "So, who am I to judge you for what happened between you and Luke?"
"What makes you think anything happened between me and Luke?" Jo responded defensively.
Jerry rolled his eyes. "I'm not blind either detective. I was in the Parade Room before, remember, 'he made a move before he was ready and now he's taking some time'?"
"I was referring to the investigation."
"You were referring to a lot of different things. You and McNally were communicating on a whole different level in there, it was like the rest of use weren't even there at times. Anyone with a brain could see it, and sending her out for pizza like that. Not cool Jo."
Jo picked at her food for a moment debating whether or not to respond.
Jerry continued. "She was just trying to be a good cop in there, go with her gut, and usually you are too good a cop to just shoot someone down like that for going with their gut."
"So you're a member of the Andy McNally fan club too?" Jo asked sarcastically. "She was just parroting Callaghan, being the loyal little rookie girlfriend."
"We all were rookies once Jo. She just agreed with him. She had looked at the case with fresh eyes and still got the same vibe off of Nixon that Callaghan did. It says a lot that she didn't let any personal animosity she might be feeling towards him sway her opinion. And guess what, they were both right. Three years ago we all got that vibe off Nixon, but the evidence didn't line up, we hit a wall and moved on. She went with her gut and those fresh eyes kept digging, went after a new lead and got the evidence on her own, like a good cop would."
"But I was right that Nixon had nothing to do with the Sophie Lewis case, and she went off half cocked trying to prove something and nearly got herself killed. The girl is a train wreck. Since I've been here she's gotten shot in the vest, been involved in a shoot out at a club, gotten trapped in a burned out building, a stalker went after her and shot Luke instead and now she was taken hostage in a damn storage locker. She's had more incidents in her first year on the job than most cops have in a whole career."
Jerry cracked a smile. "Yeah well you should have been around for her first six months on the job. She does seem to find a way to be in the middle of the action, it must be a gift. I hear she was also been mistreated, abused, and unfairly belittled by a superior officer who carries a torch for her fiancé. Nobody likes a bully Jo."
She looked away embarrassed.
"Yeah, jealous shrew is not a good look on you. I'm not on the attack here, I'm worried about you. You've let all this Callaghan and McNally business change you. You've been unraveling since you got here kid. The person I've been seeing lately isn't the Jo I know, you've gone all psycho bitch from hell. Even Frank has noticed. I have to confess, we've been hiding the rabbits from you just in case you decided to go Glenn Close."
Jo looked at him angrily.
"Hey, I'm just trying to be honest with you. I'm being a friend here. I've always known you to be a damn good cop. You are intelligent, resourceful, and always professional. Okay, so maybe you're a bit overly intense and a real hard ass, but you are still a real pro. That isn't who I've been seeing recently."
She knew he was right, but she didn't want to talk about yet, so she changed the subject. "So you and Nash. What exactly was the story there? Since you want to share and everything."
"Fair enough. In a nutshell? We fooled around, then we dated, it started to get serious and then out of left field she walked away to get back together with her son's father."
"No warning? That must have hurt."
"It did. It was even harder because I still wanted to be with her, and she never said she stopped wanting to be with me, we just ended because she thought she was doing the right thing for her son, giving him a family."
"So you just waited for her to change her mind?"
Jerry laughed. "It's not like I sat around burning the eternal flame for her Jo. I wasn't interested in anyone else, she was the person I wanted. And it wasn't years, it was barely a few months. Besides, I'm a patient man, and she was worth the wait."
There was a long silence between them. Jo leaned backed and closed her eyes.
"You are a better person than I am Barber," she finally said softly. "I couldn't have done it. Squashed my feelings, sat around for months with a smile on my face watching the person I love play house with someone else without lashing out, trying to get him back."
"You don't think that it was hard? I missed her all the time, and then to top it off I had to work with her. It sucked, but she made a choice, and I just know her. I knew that if I pushed her too hard it would backfire on me. She needed space to work it all out herself. I had to trust that sooner or later she was going to get tired of fighting with herself and then maybe we'd have a chance."
Jo opened her eyes and sat up. "So, what would you have done if it didn't work out?"
"Honestly? I don't think I was really thinking about that, I just kept hoping it would."
"Wow, who would believe it? Jerry Barber, hopeless romantic."
"Hopeless romantic, lovesick pathetic idiot loser. It's a thin line Rosati, a very thin line. I tried really hard not to cross it. Then when I saw my chance, when she gave me an opening I took it, and didn't look back. So yeah, thank you Detective Rosati for suggesting that Officer Nash sit in for the Vestibule case, spending that time together helped get her back in my life."
"Glad it worked out for you, even if it meant playing dirty mistress for awhile."
"Yeah well I never thought of myself as someone who could be that guy. You know, the other man. Can't say we did the honorable thing, or handled it the right way, but I tell you something, I was never ashamed of being with Traci and she wasn't ashamed of being with me. The only thing that was shameful was lying about it, sneaking around. She should have just told him when she realized that the two of them weren't going to work. Maybe I should have just said we couldn't go any further until she broke it off with him."
"So why didn't you?"
Jerry smiled wryly. "Because it had been way too long and I wanted her too much. Because on some level I knew the more she was with me the harder it would be to keep up her charade with him. Maybe I figured if I gave her space again I would never get her back."
"Or you just knew what you wanted and the rules didn't matter?"
"They mattered, just not enough to stop me. Tell you one thing though, I was glad when Dex found out. It shouldn't have gone down the way it did, but at least then everything was out in the open. She had to make a choice, and she knew she wasn't going to choose to go back to living a lie. He didn't want it either. So there you have it."
"I thought that when Luke and I slept together it meant something, that he still wanted me, but after he went out of his way to avoid me. So I dismissed it as his feeling guilty, not wanting to hurt her. Then I just knew that when McNally found out about us Luke would come to me, that we would be together. I needed to believe that you know, but still he stayed away, and I couldn't accept it. I mean what we had back then was so good Jerry and I just walked away from it, but I knew that if I could get him to let me in I could get him back, just like you knew you could get Nash back. But Nash actually chose you. Luke chose her Jerry, he chose McNally," her voice broke as she finished.
Jerry sighed. "It didn't happen like that Jo. Traci didn't choose me over him, it wasn't a contest. She never wanted to be with him in the first place, not Dex the man. She wanted to want to be with her son's father and make a family for her son. Sooner or later it was bound to fall apart, even if I wasn't in the picture. She chose to leave what didn't make happy, that's all. Choosing to be with me? That was a separate decision." He took another sip of his coffee.
"So you think McNally makes Luke happy? Happier than I could?"
Jerry shrugged, "What do I know Jo? You broke his heart when you left. Anybody can see that, and he still hasn't forgiven you, that's obvious too. Traci and I were different. I never broke her heart or lost her trust. I never walked away, she did, but she did it because she was basically just trying to do the right thing, make everyone else happy. I got that about her because I get Traci, I mean I'm no expert on her, she still surprises me all the time, but basically I know who she is. She likes that about me, she needs that kind of understanding in her life."
"I get Luke! A hell of a lot better than McNally does."
"Maybe that's part of the problem, you know who he is. Maybe Luke doesn't like that, or want it. Maybe he wants someone who looks up to him instead of someone who really sees him good and bad, someone who sees his weaknesses, who broke his heart. I don't know, I'm a cop not a therapist. I can't tell you what he wants. I can tell you that nobody is worth twisting yourself into someone you don't want be and that's what you've been doing."
"I love him," she said softly, as she looked away so Jerry wouldn't see the tears starting to form in her eyes. "I put myself out there because I love him, and he knocked me on my ass."
"I know. You took a gamble and lost, I'm familiar with that situation. At least you went for it though." For a second Jerry thought about Sam. If Sam had of went after what he wanted maybe this whole situation would have gone down differently. But then who could even tell if Sam himself knew how crazy he was about McNally.
"You don't know how it is. He looks at me with contempt now, called sleeping with me the worse mistake of his life, he told me he wanted me gone."
"Now that had to hurt."
"Ya think?" Jo said with a harsh laugh.
"He's an ass. He's made much worse mistakes. Did you see his outfit the other day? That jacket with those pants, way worse mistake than sleeping with you, and don't get me started on his tie selections."
Jo shook her head. "Don't you dare try and make me laugh Jerry."
"No Rosati, seriously, that was being an ass. Callaghan is a friend, but I call it like I see it. There are a thousand better ways to say 'I regret what happened and it isn't happening again because I want to be with her'. Look I just said one. He's being an ass. Callaghan likes to think of himself as being one of the good guys, Division 15's very own Mr. Wonderful. Right now he's dealing with the fact that he did something not so wonderful. He's feeling like the bad guy, and he needs you to be the badder guy, if that makes any sense. That's not fair to you. He chose to cheat on his fiancé. You didn't force yourself on him, or drug or get him drunk to get him into bed. I mean did you?"
Jo looked at him offended. "Of course not."
"Well then, he did exactly what he wanted to do at the moment. It isn't right for him to cut you down like that. To treat you like dirt. He's in the wrong. Anyway, forget about Callaghan. You got a lot going on in there Jo. Don't settle for a guy who makes you feel this small or someone you have to chase this hard. It's not worth it Jo. There are a lot of guys out there who would appreciate you"
She smiled weakly at him.
Jerry looked over and signaled the waitress for the check. "So back to 27 huh? It's a good move for you. Get yourself back on track."
"That's the plan."
"Good. It's always better to run to something than away from something."
"When did you get so wise Jerry?"
"Me? I'm a genius at other people's lives, it's my own that I seem to screw up."
"You seem to doing okay for yourself."
"Maybe I'm inspired."
Jerry felt his phone vibrate and reached into his jacket pocket to take it out. As he read his text meassage he began to smile. Well, well, well, he said to himself. It is true, do a good deed and good things will come to you. He quickly typed a response and put his phone back still grinning broadly.
"Let me guess, Nash?"
"Wouldn't you like to know. I gotta go I'm expecting a coffee delivery."
At Jo's questioning look he responded. "Private joke. You ok to get home? Let me walk you out."
Jo waved him off. "No, I'm fine. I'm going to just sit for a few. Thanks. For the talk."
"You know me, Mr. Sensitive."
Jo laughed. "Seriously though Jerry, Nash is a lucky girl."
Jerry grinned as he stood up. "I tell her that every day, but could you leave her a note to that effect before you leave? I mean you know I'm going to screw it up at least 20 or 30 times before I hit my stride, so she's going to need some reference material when she wonders why she's with me." He dug in his pocket for his wallet and pulled out a few bills leaving them on the table. "This should cover it."
He pulled on his coat and then impulsively he leaned over and kissed the top of Jo's head and squeezed her shoulder. "It was a pleasure working with you detective, most of the time. Just don't forget to take your medication anymore." He stepped to the side as Jo swatted at him. "See you around."
"Not if I see you first."
Jo watched him leave. She felt a little better having talked to Jerry. A little less like, what had Jerry called it, the dirty mistress. Wow. How the hell did she get herself into this position? She had always sworn that she would never put a man before her career and that was exactly what she had done. She knew Jerry was right. She had acted unprofessionally. Treated McNally disrespectfully, made herself look like some sort of spiteful bitch. All because she wanted Luke and was jealous. What did that say about her?
She had worked too hard, for too long and given up too much to throw it all away for a man who didn't want her, or at least didn't want to want her. It was sick, toxic. She was going to get Best to push her paperwork through as fast as possible. She needed to get of 15 like yesterday. But at least now she didn't feel like she was running because Luke had ordered her gone. She needed a clean start. She was going to pick herself up from this whole fiasco and start fresh.
The sun was up and the morning crowd was already beginning to trickle into Fran's. The waitress came by to pick up the money that Jerry had left and asked if she wanted a refill on her coffee. Jo shook her head. She was tired. She wanted to go home, shower climb into bed and just sleep it all off. She'd feel much better after she had gotten some rest.
She was done, finished trying to recapture the past. Screw Luke Callaghan, if McNally was dumb enough to take him back she was welcome to him, recycled engagement ring and all.