Disclaimer: I own neither 'New Tricks' nor 'Waking the Dead'; the BBC has that honour. I'm just taking the characters out for a little spin around the block ;)
Pairings: Sandra/Gerry, Boyd/Grace (established)
Content: Crossover, Drama, Romance
Rating: T/M for language, adult themes
Spoilers: Nothing specific. I imagine this is probably set around S8 for WTD and anywhere up to S9 for NT.
A/N: So this is my first foray back into fanfic since the birth of my daughter 6 months ago – and my first ever attempt at writing in the 'New Tricks' fandom! I thought I'd combine it with my other great TV love, 'Waking the Dead', and see where it takes me. Please let me know what you think – I'm kinda outside of my comfort zone so not quite sure how successful it'll be but hey, ho!
For those unfamiliar with WtD, the premise is a Cold Case Unit (CCU), similar to UCOS, which is comprised of three serving police officers, a forensic pathologist and a psychological profiler - the main characters are as follows: Peter Boyd (Detective Superintendent), Dr Grace Foley (profiler), Spencer Jordan (DI), Katrina Howard (DC) and Dr Eve Lockhart (pathologist).
For those unfamiliar with NT, the premise is a cold case unit, similar to the CCU, termed the Unsolved Crime and Open case Squad (UCOS) which is comprised of one serving and three retired police officers - the main four characters are as follows: Sandra Pullman (Detective Superintendent), Gerry Standing (ex-DS), Brian Lane (ex-DI) and Jack Halford (ex-Det. Chief Supt.).
Hope you enjoy! I can't promise how quick my updates will be (with a 3.5 year old and a 6 month old, I get very little time for writing!) but I'll do my best - thanks for reading :)
Grace Foley replaced the telephone handset gently into its cradle and sank slowly back in her chair, her eyebrows knitting together in a bemused frown as she collected her thoughts. The call had been completely unexpected, seemingly apropos of nothing, the caller himself explaining in clipped tones his proposition before ringing off to give her due time for consideration. Grace drew a breath deep into her lungs before releasing it, her mind tumbling backwards over their conversation as she tried to assess the potential logistics of such a premise whilst simultaneously trying to quell a surge of curiosity as it flickered in her gut. Momentarily she pushed herself to standing, wincing in irritation at the twinge in her spine and silently bemoaning the ravages of her advancing years before walking towards the glass door of the opposite office and leaning against the jamb.
"Got a minute?" she asked the office's sole occupant, her lips quirking into a smile as he grunted his assent without glancing up from the scattered papers on his desk.
"Just about a minute." Peter Boyd's baritone was characteristically gruff as he sat back in his chair and folded his arms, regarding her across the top of his reading glasses. "That arsehole barrister wants me in court in an hour."
Grace raised her wrist to glance at her watch. "You're pushing it, then."
His smile was wolfish, dark eyes glinting in the glare of his desk lamp. "What d'you want?"
She stepped swiftly across the threshold and took a seat on the couch, crossing one slim leg across the other and settling her hands into her lap. "I've just come off the phone with Rob Strickland…."
Boyd gave a loud snort of derision. "Talking of arseholes…."
"…and he's proposed something…interesting."
He grinned slowly, suggestively. "Has he indeed?"
Grace's sapphire eyes were shining as she held his gaze. "Something he wants me to consider."
"Fifty-five minutes, Grace, and I'm centre stage at the Old Bailey; could you please just for once get to the point?"
"Alright." The psychologist gave a serene smile, completely unfazed by his characteristically gruff impatience. "He wants me to consult on a case for his unit."
"Over the phone?"
She looked at him scathingly, ignoring the irritation in his tone. "He can't officially second me, Boyd…."
"Over the phone it is, then."
"…but he made it quite clear that he'd like me there full-time; or as near as can be, depending on our current case-load."
Boyd gestured dismissively. "Not going to happen."
"Are you going to tell him, then?" Grace was clearly amused. "We are talking about the DAC, Boyd…."
"Yeah, well, he can piss off. He can't just snap his fingers and poach my staff whenever the mood takes him."
The profiler rolled her eyes. "Don't tell me it still bothers you that UCOS even exists in the first place."
"It's surplus to requirements; they must know by now they're only there to pick up the cases we don't have the manpower for."
"What's wrong with that? Their clear-up rate is beyond exceptional and by all accounts Sandra Pullman…."
"Makes me look like a pussy cat?"
Grace grinned and quirked an eyebrow. "Not quite the term I'd use."
"Go on, then."
"Piss off." He groaned loudly at her throaty chuckle and blew out his breath as he felt himself sober once more. "The bottom line is…."
"The bottom line is, I'm going, Boyd." She leant forward earnestly, sincerity etched into every contour of her slender frame. "It's a double child murder…."
"…and they need my expertise."
His eyes held hers for a long moment, intense waves of silent communication flowing effortlessly, meaningfully between them, before he gave a heavy sigh. "The proviso being that if something comes up here I want you straight back."
Grace raised her palms. "That's between you and the DAC."
"You're strictly on loan, Grace. It's not bloody try-before-you-buy."
She smiled, her expression softening. "Relax. I'm not going anywhere…at least not permanently."
"Good." His reply was brusque, which made her smile maddeningly wider. "Now, get out, will you? I should have left ten minutes ago."
Grace pressed her hands to her thighs and pushed herself assuredly to standing, glancing back at him as she reached the door. "Good luck, then."
He exhaled derisively. "Piece of piss."
"Just don't forget your Shakespeare if the cross examination gets a bit heated."
"Off you go, Grace." He was unable to prevent a fond smile as he watched her slink from the room, her delicate shoulders shaking with laughter, and he raised his voice to call after her. "I'll pick up a takeaway on the way home, alright?"
Her head appeared back around the door frame, her eyebrows raised hopefully. "Chinese?"
"If you like. Though I'm not setting foot in that shit-hole you normally make me go to."
She shrugged, her expressive eyes twinkling. "Suit yourself."
"Don't I always?"
Her laughter was warm and infectious, her heart swelling pleasantly in her chest. "See you later."
"Save me some wine, will you?"
"If you're quick."
She ducked theatrically as he launched his newspaper in her direction, chuckling gently as she stepped back into her own office, determined to avoid all chilling thoughts of the impending case as her eyes fell upon the scribbled notes she had taken during DAC Strickland's call. With a steadfast sigh she reached for the raspberry check of her woollen coat and strode back into the darkened gloom of the bullpen.
Sandra Pullman pushed open the double doors, the well-manicured fingers of one hand gripping tightly about a drab manila folder as she manoeuvred her way into the office, the other hand curled gratefully about a cardboard cup. With a practised flick of her wrist, the file landed squarely atop the cushions of the couch and she took a large swallow of coffee, shrugging out of her coat before heading towards her inner sanctum and sinking into the comforting leather of her chair. She took a deep breath, her fingers flying across her keyboard as she attended to the pedestrian tasks of the early morning, savouring the tranquil few minutes of quiet before her team arrived for the day. She had yet to more than glance at the file DAC Strickland had left for her with his secretary, his instructions clear that the case should be made an immediate priority, and she frowned slightly into the silence, her natural curiosity more than a little piqued.
"Morning." The familiar baritone was that of Jack Halford and she raised a hand in greeting, watching in accustomed amusement as the older man divested himself of his jacket before heading straight towards the kettle. "Brew?"
Sandra drained the remainder of her coffee and launched its receptacle cleanly into the wastepaper basket, briefly debating the wisdom of more caffeine before dismissing the notion just as readily. "Please, yeah."
Moments later she had joined him in the outer office, gladly accepting the proffered mug of tea before settling herself onto the couch, appraising her colleague as he tended to two further steaming mugs. "Strickland's all worked up about a case he wants us to queue-jump," she opened, reaching for the file and turning back the cover.
Jack raised his eyebrows and took a seat beside her. "He's keen, then. It's only just gone half-past."
"I didn't even speak to him actually. He left strict instructions with his secretary."
Sandra snorted and rolled her eyes as a third recognisable voice chimed in, the door swinging closed behind its owner as he entered the fray. "Morning, Gerry."
"Morning, guv'nor." The former Sergeant was distinctly chipper as he shrugged out of his dark plum overcoat, nodding his thanks towards Jack as the latter pressed a mug into his hands. "Go on, then: whose secretary?"
"Strickland's. He left our latest case file with her this morning."
"She's new, isn't she? Worth going up the stairs for, if you ask me."
"Which I didn't, as it happens."
He grinned at the mildly acidic edge to her tone. "Very tasty bit of skirt. Think old Strickers selected her himself?"
Sandra's expression moulded easily into one of disgust. "Christ, Gerry, it's eight-thirty in the morning; think you could keep your pubescent mumblings to yourself? At least for half an hour?"
"She's also probably young enough to be your daughter." Jack interjected, his pale eyes twinkling. "Maybe even your granddaughter…."
"Since when has that ever stopped him?" Sandra added teasingly, smiling widely as Gerry took a seat beside her.
"Look, there's nothing wrong with appreciating the female form…."
"As you've said. About a million times before."
"Especially when said female form is dressed in a skirt that means my imagination doesn't have to work very hard…."
Her ice blue eyes were piercing. "Not that I don't find this endlessly fascinating, but we do actually have a case to be familiarising ourselves with."
The former Sergeant shrugged and took a long satisfying gulp of tea. "Can't start without Brian, though, can we? Plenty of time for me to wax lyrical on my favourite topic while he winds his merry way through the rush-hour traffic."
"Not enough time in the world, Gerry; trust me."
Gerry's smile was wolfish. "There's always time, guv'nor. It's what makes life worth living."
Sandra rolled her eyes anew, though there was no malice in her tone as she shot back, "Adolescent tosser."
"Oi!" He feigned an expression of hurt and tutted loudly. "It's a bit early in the day to be calling me a 'tosser', isn't it?"
She grinned and raised her mug towards him in a mock salute. "Oh, no. Not even slightly."
"Yeah, well….I think we should bring back the swear-box."
"'Tosser' isn't a swear word, you pillock."
"It bloody is when you say it."
"Go on, then; you've just lost yourself a pound if we're going to re-instate the…."
Sandra pulled a face. "You are such a child."
"What d'you reckon, Jack?"
The former Chief Superintendent raised a palm. "I've got no interest in being your mediator…or in losing any more money in that damn-fool swear box, for that matter."
"Right," Sandra said with a decisive smugness. "You're out-voted two-to-one, Gerry. I've got free reign to call you a 'tosser' without losing a single penny."
Gerry exhaled forcefully though his eyes were shining. "Whatever."
She laughed boisterously. "Oh, you are so down with the kids, Grandad."
He snorted loudly. "Where the hell's Brian, anyway? I've got a sudden and unusual hankering to do some work."
Sandra's eyebrows almost reached her hairline. "Bloody hell."
Jack's eyes flickered towards the door and he grinned, even as Gerry took a breath to retort. "Ah; speak of the devil and he shall appear."
"Brian," Sandra greeted the ex-DI as he clattered unceremoniously into the bullpen with his bicycle, helmet still firmly attached beneath his chin. "Hurry up and get over here before my tea mysteriously ends up all over Gerry's head."
"Sorry," the Lancastrian muttered slightly breathlessly. "Roads were bloody murder this morning."
"I thought being on a bike made you immune to all that?" Jack asked as he handed the younger man a now mildly tepid mug of tea.
"Yeah," Gerry chimed in. "All that smug ducking and weaving between the traffic…."
Brian's expression was scathing. "Do I look like Mark sodding Cavendish?"
Jack pretended to regard his colleague. "I don't know; put you in Lycra…."
"…and you could be twins." Gerry finished with a flourish, chuckling wickedly as he clinked his mug against Jack's in a conspiratorial toast, Sandra immediately joining them in amused laughter as Brian chuntered beneath his breath in response.
"Ha bloody ha; you're all hilarious," he muttered, pointedly ignoring the rest of the group as he removed his helmet and headed towards the couches. "Have we got a new case, then, or what?"
Sandra was the first to recover, her laughter gradually subsiding as she reached once more for the file atop her knees, raising it towards Brian. "Strickland's made it a top priority."
"Did he say why?"
She shrugged, opening the file anew and skimming the first page, her expression growing increasingly sober as her sharp mind rapidly absorbed the detailed summary of the case, her keen eyes skimming across the neatly typed prose as her heart twisted painfully in her chest. Oh, Jesus Christ….
She blinked at Gerry's momentary prompting, catching the concern edging his tone, the frown creasing his forehead, and she rose slowly to her feet and crossed to the blank white board before turning back to face her team. "It's the Epping Forest case from Nineteen-Ninety," she opened quietly, watching their reactions as the significance of her statement began to sink in.
"Shit," Gerry breathed eventually, vehemently. "Shit."
"The unidentified siblings," Brian stated flatly. "Ages five and three, throats slit with calculated precision…."
"I take it there's been a development?" Jack asked softly, his gaze tracking her movements as she gave a slow nod in reply.
"Yeah," she answered gravely. "A DNA hit. It seems like we might finally be able to get an identification."
"Good." Gerry's voice was gruff. "Step one in finding the lunatic who murdered the poor little blighters."
"Yeah, well, don't get your hopes up for a happy ending; the DNA's the mother's."
"Go on, Sandra," Jack broke in gently. "Let's have it."
Taking a deep, centring breath, Sandra uncapped the white board marker and began to speak.