A/N - It's been eight years since this show met an untimely cancellation, but even so, after popping in the DVD recently, I still found myself drawn into its grasp. It was truly ahead of its time, and with the internet outlets we have today, I'm fairly certain The Black Donnellys would've found life elsewhere. So I suppose this is my own brand of closure.
Disclaimer - my OC is Elisha Ahern, I take sole credit for her and the lousy detectives grilling her.
This story will jump from third-person pov, to first person-pov when talking about the past.
Elisha Ahern's pale, pristine fingertips tap impatiently against the indented tabletop she's seated at, her hazel eyes staring unflinchingly at her reflection in the double-panned window. Although her dark hair, slung over one shoulder was slightly disheveled, Elisha made no effort to fix it. "If you donut-mongels make me wait any longer, I'm phoning my lawyer." she called out irately, a slight Irish drawl betraying her heritage.
As if on cue, the door to her left swung open, and two plain-faced detectives lumbered in. Their suits were wrinkled, and the ties they wore were dull.
"Lemme guess, this is 'bout Joey Ice Cream..." Elisha continued, as the two detective situated themselves in front of her. The thinner one chose to stand, while the thicker one sat down opposite her. "I gotta ask, which one of you is the guy who smacks him 'round?" Elisha wondered, her pointer finger bobbing between the two of them. The thicker detective grunted slightly, and casted a weary glance at the camera tucked into a corner of the ceiling. Elisha noticed, and smiled accordingly. "You then." Elisha reached across the table and clasped her palm around his knuckles. "Thank you, truly. Joey looks better with a couple bruises. Manlier ya know...?" Elisha jeered, unfazed as the detective slid his hand free of hers.
The thin detective, lurking behind his partner with his arms crossed, spoke first. "Then I'll make you a deal Miss Ahern, you cooperate, and maybe we'll see about getting you a conjugal visit."
Elisha's shoulders rose amid an intense giggle, bordering on a snort, which extended for several seconds. When the detectives exchanged a glance, the humor drained from her face almost instantly. "Oh. You were serious." Elisha noted soberly. "Um thanks, but no thanks. Joey's cute and all, but..."
Elisha was interrupted by the detective sitting across from her. "You expect us to believe you aren't in a romantic entanglement with him?"
Elisha's eyebrow perked in amusement. "Because I send him letters and visit him around holidays?" she scoffed.
"Then why don't you enlighten us - what exactly is your relation to Joey and the Donnelly brothers?" asked the detective nearest Elisha.
"Oh I'm not related to any of them." Elisha retorted shortly.
"Miss Ahern." grumbled the thinner detective, beginning to pace around her. "Your college records indicate you're a fairly smart girl, don't play stupid with us."
Elisha shifted her weight in the uncomfortable steel chair she was seated in. "You oafs must be getting truly desperate to be digging into my background."
"Allow me to remind you we can hold you for 48 hours on suspicion of..." the thicker detective began.
Elisha interrupted, her voice growing deep and studious as she mockingly finished his sentence. "'Withholding information on our investigation'...what exactly is it do you think I'm withholding? If I've ever slept with any of them? Ladies don't kiss and tell."
The thicker detective reclined in his chair, crossing his arms. "We have photographic proof of you conversing with Jimmy Donnelly, Miss Ahern." he baited.
A sneer curled on Elisha's mouth. "You know what Jimmy used to call me? Not Ellie like Kevin and Sean did...or El, Tommy liked to call me El...no, Jimmy had to be different, Jimmy had to be the douche he's always been and nickname me Leash. Anytime I came anywhere near him or his brothers - 'well if it ain't Leash, come to put a collar on us?'...'hey Leash, why dontcha fetch me a beer?'...'Leash loosen up will ya?'..." Elisha rambled bitterly.
"So you do in fact, know the Donnellys well." the thinner detective noted. "Well enough to maybe give them shelter after the fallout with Dokey?"
"Don't know what tales Joey's been telling you, but I do know, that i know nothing about a bloke named Donkey." Elisha responded.
"Dokey." corrected the thin detective.
"My mistake, that's much more sophisticated." Elisha snickered, reaching for the inner lining of her pocket. She withdrew a pack of cigarettes, with a zippo lighter clenched beneath her thumb.
"You can't smoke in here Miss Ahern." the thicker detective snarled.
"Then let me go." Elisha replied unfazed, as she plucked a cig between her lips. She waited a few seconds for a response, during which, the thinner detective reached around her and snatched away her lighter. "I don't get any more pleasant without a smoke break fellas." she warned. The thinner detective merely eyed her and continued pacing. Elisha grumbled quietly, and moved the cigarette from her lips, to behind her ear. "You say you got proof of me talking to Jimmy - where is it? You think I was helping him with something? Him, outta all the Donnelly brothers? You're grasping at straws, it'd be entertaining if it weren't so transparent. Yes I know them, and yes Joey is a dear friend too..and now that you know a little sliver of my social circle, am I free to go?"
"You're admitting you're a known associate of the Donnellys...and you think we're just going to let you go?" the thicker detective inquired.
Elisha broke eye-contact momentarily, to flip open the box of her cigarettes and begin shuffling around the contents inside. "The way I understand it, you don't have shit on the Donnellys. That's why you've been harassing Joey. That's why you've dragged me in here on a whim."
The thinner detective finally caved. "We brought you in, because we've hit a stonewall with Joey. He claimed he wouldn't breathe another word until we spoke to you."
"Gerald." complained the thicker detective.
The thinner detective, evidently named Gerald, defended himself. "What Chris, did you really want to keep dancing circles with this broad all day? Isn't it bad enough we go through that with Ice Cream boy?"
Chris, aka the thicker detective, merely shook his balding head, and fixed Elisha with a hard stare. "What was the nature of your meeting with Jimmy Donnelly?" he pressed.
Elisha smirked slightly. "You tell me, best guess. You think I'm hot and heavy with Joey, so..."
Gerald interrupted. "Exactly. You were speaking to JImmy about annulling the contract on Joey Ice Cream, weren't you?"
"Someone put a hit out on Joey? How horrible." Elisha murmured, returning her downcast eyes to the tabletop.
"You knew." Chris stated, drawing her attention onto his thick form. "All your recent letters to him start with 'Dear Joey, hope you aren't dead'..."
Elisha set down her pack of cigs, withdrawing the cigarette from behind her ear and easing it into the cartridge. "Joey seem like he's cut out for prison to you? He's lanky but short. Not exactly fighter material, doesn't have the heart for it. He's not a Donnelly, much as he may wish he was one." Elisha closed the lid of her cigarette pack and neatly tucked it back into her inner jacket pocket. "So Joey told you to take a look at me, as if you hadn't previously when you decided I wasn't worth pursuing." Elisha sighed wearily. "What exactly is it I supposedly know?" Elisha asked.
"What happened after Helen Donnelly was shot." Gerald answered pointedly.
Elisha's hazel eyes at glazed over in a sheathe of sadness, her voice softened when she spoke. "Joey didn't want to talk about that huh? Didn't wanna appear too emotional so he passed the torch to me...not that surprising..."
Chris sat forward again, interlocking his hands. "Are you ready to cooperate?"
It was past midnight when I awoke to rapid knocking on my front door. Naturally I was pissed at the intrusion, I stomped out of my bedroom ready to rain hell down on whoever it was, that was disturbing me so late. The minute I saw Tommy Donnelly on my doorstep, I forgot how to be angry. His hands were in his pockets, his blue eyes reddened and watery. Tommy tried to smile, when he spoke. "El...sorry to disturb you, but we need your help. Think you could open your garage for us, please?"
I knew something horrible had happened, so I complied instantly. I hurried through my home, and activated the garage switch. I stood by the door while Tommy directed the van into my garage. Its back end was riddled with bullet-holes, and one of the rear windows had been fractured by a single shot. I could glimpse the other Donnellys situated in the van, and a woman I didn't know. Joey was in the driver's seat. Once the engine was off, and Tommy had manually closed the garage door, he approached me with his hands still in his pockets. "I'm sorry about this El, we didn't have anywhere else to go."
Before I could say a word, Kevin opened the side-door of the van. Jimmy hopped out of the passenger seat, and climbed into the back. The girl, Jodi, crumbled into his embrace crying, but Jimmy wasn't looking at her. His gaze, just like all his brothers, was frozen on the very back of the van, staring at someone or something I couldn't see. I glanced at Tommy. Tommy didn't meet my gaze when he emotionlessly explained. "Ma's dead."
"H-How?" I stammered.
Jimmy snapped out of his revere to glare at me. "How?! Ain't it obvious Leash? A plane didn't fall outta the sky and land on 'er! She was shot! Dokey did 'er in, but I shot the bastard I'm sure of it."
Kevin dejectedly argued. "No I shot him."
Jimmy challenged Kevin, and in a true brotherly fashion they argued back and forth a little. I didn't really pay attention to them. Instead, I asked Tommy. "Dokey? Huey's brother?"
"There's alot you don't know," Tommy told me. "And alot more you're better off not knowing."
"Doesn't have to be now, but you will tell me something about all this." I waited until Tommy nodded, then I said. "Come inside, all of you. I've got plenty of alcohol."
"We can't just leave her." Sean mumbled.
"I'll stay with her." Joey volunteered, his voice faint from the driver's seat.
"Joey, turn the engine on and use the AC, keep it going no matter how cold you get." Tommy instructed.
"I'll be fine." Joey replied.
The brothers ushered Jodi out of the car, then pulled Helen's body closer to the front of the van. She had been shot in the heart. I knew they weren't happy about leaving Helen in the van, but Tommy convinced them it'd be best.
Once we were all inside, the brothers each took a bottle from my liquor cabinet, twisted the caps off and drank until they couldn't stand anymore. Except for Tommy, he used a all settled into the living room, Jodi and Jimmy sat in the middle of the couch, flanked by Sean and Kevin on either side. Tommy sat across from me in the arm chair, and told me everything I needed to know. By the time he was finished, Kevin, Sean and Jodi had fallen asleep. Jimmy too, although he had finished his first bottle, and was mid-way through the second before he had passed out.
Tommy grimly rubbed his face. "Gotta figure out what to do with the body.."
I was reluctant to say anything, but I knew it'd bother me if I kept quiet. "I might know someone who could help...he could dig up your father's plot, help us place Helen on top of his casket maybe...I know it's not a perfect solution but.."
"No that'd be great El. We can't give her a proper burial with Dokey's men after us." Tommy replied.
Gerald rudely interrupted Elisha. "Wait wait, did you just admit to defiling a grave?"
Elisha rolled her hazel eyes irately. "All I said, was I knew a guy who could." she corrected.
Chris glanced briefly at his partner. "So if we exhume Bobby Donnelly's grave, you're telling us we'll find Helen Donnelly's rotting corpse?"
Elisha's jaw tightened into a grimace. "...No...this was years ago, and as you pigs well know, the Donnelly fortune has changed considerably. Helen was reburied beside her husband in a proper plot." she said through clenched teeth. "Can I continue?"
Gerald perched on a corner of the table. "By all means Miss Ahern."
Tommy asked if he could ransack my freezer - we had to keep Helen's body fresh as long as possible. Luckily I had frozen veggies and a few other things. We loaded up our arms and went to the garage. Joey had gotten out of the van was resting his weight against the vehicle. Joey was alarmed to see us, but once Tommy barked at him to open the back door, he caught on. The three of us situated the frozen foods around Helen, then slammed the door shut.
"Tommy, do me a favor. " I said, clapping my hand on his stiff shoulder. "Go inside and get some sleep. If you don't, I'll knock your lights out myself I swear." I threatened. Tommy smiled, actually smiled. "There's sleeping pills in my upstairs bathroom." I added.
"Nah that won't be necessary...Thanks El." Tommy told me. That man had the weight of the world on his back, it was disheartening.
When I faced Joey again, he kissed me. "Sorry, told myself I'd do that, next time I saw ya." he explained sheepishly.
"I wrapped my arms around him and..." Elisha trailed off as the detectives exchanged a smug look between each other. "Let's get something straight - HE kissed ME. Never happened before or since, alright?" Elisha announced haughtily, her pale skin flaring pink.
"Yet you felt the need to mention it." Chris accused.
"Well I thought you guys might get testy if I skipped the fine details. But hey, what do I care if you want the overview? Roughly half a day later, the Donnellys took off and I didn't see them ever again. The end." Elisha rambled, her chair scraping against the floor as she sprang to her feet
"Sit down Miss Ahern." Gerald warned sternly, pacing past her. Elisha sank back into her chair with a scowl. "Continue, we won't interrupt anymore."
"I don't believe you." Elisha said, crossing her arms tightly.
"And we don't believe that you 'never ever saw them again'..." Chris jeered. "Now keep going..what happened after the you and Joey shared a bed?"
"What?" Elisha gawked. "We never..."
"No?" Gerald interrupted yet again, his voice carrying over from a corner of the room.
Elisha turned in her seat, and saw Gerald switch on a small tv situated on top of a shelf with wheels. The screen flicked to life, displaying Joey, dressed in his orange jumpsuit. "No it's like I told ya before, you want more details, talk to Elisha Ahern. She helped us out after the fallout with Dokey. Elisha might not wanna remember that night, I know I don't...but we shared a bed together, that's not something she's liable to forget." Joey told the cameraman.
Gerald clicked off the tv, studying Elisha expectantly. Elisha slunk slightly into her chair, as she turned her back on him. "He's a dirty liar." she mumbled crossly.
"We're not here to play he-said she-said, Miss Ahern. We're here to learn about the Donnellys." Gerald instructed.
"Well I don't know what else to tell you." Elisha growled.
"Tell us what happened the following morning." Chris persisted.
"Then I'm free to go?" Elisha demanded. The detectives shared a quiet look. "If you say 'no', then I'm going to phone my attorney." Elisha warned.
"Fine, fine. Tell us about the next morning, and you can go." Gerald said.
Jimmy awoke with a bone to pick. He decided if Dokey was unreachable, the next best target was someone named Dickie.
"Well the rocket launcher mighta worked, we'll never know." Kevin said, in Dickie's defense.
"Kevin." Tommy said shortly.
"Nah Kev, Dickie set us up." Jimmy argued.
Sean agreed. "It does kinda look that way."
"See Sean gets what I'm sayin'!" Jimmy said, roping Sean in a one-armed hug. "If Dickie and his brother hadn't given us those dud grenades, Dokey would've been blown to shit, and Ma would still be here!"
"No Ma would still be here, if we hadn't had to backtrack and haul your stubborn ass outta town!" Tommy snapped.
"What'd you just say to me?" Jimmy demanded, his temper rising higher.
"Jimmy.." Jodi muttered trying to coax him to sit down. Jimmy shrugged free of her, his eyes locked with Tommy.
"You heard me Jimmy." Tommy replied.
Jimmy lunged at Tommy, and the two started throwing punches. Needless to say, my living room quickly became destroyed before Kevin and Sean managed to pull them apart.
"To hell with you Tommy! I ain't letting Dickie get away with this!" Jimmy roared.
"Not saying we should!" Tommy snapped back, before he regained his composure. "But we have to deal with Ma first."
"Yeah," Kevin said. "Besides, we shouldn't involve Ellie anymore than we already have."
"Leash? You're worried about Leash, Kev?! Leash why don't you do us a favor, and go tie yourself around a tree somewhere?" Jimmy rambled.
"This is my goddamn house Jimmy!" I spat.
"Not anymore it ain't. Not until we say otherwise." Jimmy retorted.
"Jimmy that isn't right!" Jodi screeched.
"Yeah Jimmy.." Joey mumbled.
"You two stay outta this!" JImmy warned them.
"ENOUGH, alright?" Tommy said. "We take Ma to the cemetery, we figure out what to do after El's friend helps us bury her."
Elisha's face was immobile as she finished her recap. "Then we said our goodbyes, and that was that. I didn't go to the cemetery with them. I never saw what became of Dickie. As fun as this has been, I'm going home now." Elisha announced, getting to her feet a second time. "Unless you're planning on making that alleged photo of me and Jimmy magically appear...do ya? No? Alright..."
"There's one more thing Miss Ahern." Chris said, freezing a groaning Elisha in her tracks. "Part of Joey's demand, was a brief visit without a pane of glass separating the two of you."
Elisha chuckled darkly, shaking her head and mumbling incoherently to herself. "He's refused to cooperate, but you think to reward him for his incompetence?" she asked dubiously.
"Who knows, maybe Joey Ice Cream just needs a little sugar to soften him up." Gerald responded with a devious smile. Elisha's eyes narrowed into a leer, prompting him to snicker. "Follow me Miss Ahern."
"You say another thing like that, so help me I will press sexual harassment charges." Elisha told him.
Thankfully, Elisha didn't have to walk far to get to the visitor center. Joey was seated at a table, his wrists and ankles shackled together. He stood up the instant he saw her. "Oh my god Elisha!" he greeted hungrily.
"I really oughta smack you Joey." Elisha responded coldly, stopping a foot away from him.
Joey feigned looking hurt, as he stepped closer. "Smack me? Like I don't get that enough? No you really oughta kiss me, matter of fact..." Joey interrupted himself, swiftly clasping his hands on either side of her jaw and merging his tongue with hers.
"Hey-hey!" growled the correctional officer, jabbing his baton in Joey's rib.
"What can ya blame me?!" Joey retorted.
Lowering her head so it was alined with his ear, Elisha meekly pushing a palm against Joey's chest while whispering. "All is forgiven."
Joey peered at her sideways as the correctional officer grabbed him by the elbow and hauled him away. "But you're gonna still visit me right? Elisha? Babe?! C'mooonn.."
Smirking, Elisha merely wagged her fingers in farewell. However, despite Elisha's best effort, Gerald had seen Elisha's mouth move when she whispered something to Joey. "What did you say to him?" he asked.
"I said 'happy thanksgiving.'..." Elisha readily replied.
Rubbing his chin longingly, Joey was placed in front of Chris and Gerald. "You know guys, gotta say I'm impressed. I really didn't think you'd nab Elisha for a private chat." Joey began. "So where'd we leave off, I'mma open book..."
"What did Miss Ahern say to you after you kissed her?" Gerald asked, earning a surprised glance from his partner.
Joey stared at the man briefly, a smile tugging onto his lips. "She said 'Love you Joey'..."
"Not 'happy thanksgiving'?" Gerald challenged.
"That too, that was it actually, she said 'happy thanksgiving' but the subtext was 'I love you Joey'. Tellin' ya fellas, I'm gonna marry that girl, you wait and see.." Joey responded heartily.
"You're facing the death penalty. At the very least you'll get life in prison." Chris said placidly.
"Oh but true love is a life sentence in of itself...that's a poem or somethin' I think...damn I have got to tell that to 'er the next time she visits." Joey responded, breaking eye-contact.
"Might not be 'til Christmas." Gerald jeered.
"She'll be back before then, soon as she forgets about meeting you jugheads." Joey replied cockily.
Chris reached across the table and popped Joey in the nose.
Elisha perched behind the couch, resting her chin on her hand. "Virtual poker Kev? Really?" she sighed.
"Ellie happy to see you and all, but I get enough grief from the Mrs, I don't need you doubting me too." Kevin responded with a backward glance at Elisha.
"Touchy-touchy. Where's Tommy?" Elisha asked.
"Playing pool with Sean. You shoulda called!" Kevin said, rising his voice as Elisha walked off.
Elisha decided to save her breath, and not explain the likelihood of her phone still being bugged. The hallway she strolled down opened into a recreation room. As advertised Tommy and Sean where playing pool, Jimmy was at the bar nearby, mixing drinks.
"Well if it ain't Leash, come to put a collar on us?" Jimmy chortled. "Oh I forgot, you already tried."
"Never gets old Jimmy..." Elisha grumbled, resisting a sigh.
Tommy rested his palm on the pool cue he was wielding as if it were a cane. "Well?" he greeted.
"The investigators still dunno shit..." Elisha said pointedly. "Joey's dragging them along like you wouldn't believe."
"You tell Joey he's in the clear?" Tommy added. Elisha nodded.
"How is Joey?" Sean asked.
"Yeah Leash, did Joey Ice Cream slip ya the tongue?" Jimmy added. Elisha automatically glared at the eldest Donnelly. "He did, didn't he?" Jimmy beamed. "Sean you owe me 30! Better pay up now, before I ring your neck."
Groaning, Sean abandoned the pool table, fishing his wallet out of his jean pants. Tommy meanwhile, set aside his pool cue and approached Elisha. "You did good El. Bet they never suspected a thing...You tell Joey next time you see him, he did good too." Tommy paused, in the midst of resetting the pool table. "You are going to see him again, aren't you El? You know he's crazy about you." Tommy prodded.
Jimmy responded before Elisha could. "Course she knows - d'ya think E-LEASH-AH would've chewed my ass out so badly about the hit we put on him otherwise? I mostly called it off to shut her the hell up."
"I swear Jimmy, you are lucky I like Jodi so much otherwise I turn her into a widow in a heartbeat!" Elisha glowered, pointing at him agitatedly.
"Try me Leash, I will hang you up to dry..." Jimmy encouraged, flexing his fingers at himself in an effort to egg her on.
A/N- Bias ftw. Sometimes I don't realize until I write something. No mention of Jenny because I honestly don't know if she'd end up with Tommy or not. (Or if I even want that for him.)