Cagney and Lacey Fan Fiction. Based on characters created by Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday. Let me know what you think: siderius@netidea.com

1997

At Number One Police Plaza - the conference room in Major Cases Squad

Lieutenant Christine Cagney is speaking before a large white presentation board. A street map and building plan are displayed on the board. Cagney has marked red location X's and paths of entry arrows on the map. Several detectives and uniformed officers are taking notes and asking questions. Among those present are Sergeant Mary Beth Lacey and Lieutenant Lliam Donnelly.

CAGNEY

That is the general plan for sting: operation powder. All units will meet at 0400 hours tomorrow in this parking lot. (pointing to the location on the map) Teams will then move to their designated locations; co-ordinate by radio at 0430. Be ready to move at 0500 precisely. Is everyone clear on these two details? (waits) Fine. Here are the team and location assignments. (Chris flips over a large display sheet of paper to reveal two lists of names.) You will now review location and duty assignments with your team leader. I will be leading this team (pointing to the first list): the team that enters from the front of the building. Sergeant Lacey will be leading the outside team. The outside team will be responsible for covering all outside entrances. Both teams will remain in radio contact. Remember: Lacey's outside team waits outside to apprehend anyone running from the building entrances or roof. My inside team are the only police to enter the building. No one from the outside team leaves their position unless I give express orders to do so. Everyone clear so far?

DONNELLY

Lieutenant, what exactly is my role on the outside team?

Cagney has been anticipating trouble from Donnelly, so her answer is more terse than the question seems to merit.

CAGNEY

Your role, Lieutenant, is to accompany team leader Sergeant Lacey as an observer.

(Donnelly makes no attempt to hide his look of disgust.)

Donnelly is a very handsome young man in his late twenties. A graduate degree in forensics, extreme confidence in his own abilities and his relationship to his uncle, Inspector O'Brien, have all contributed to his rapid promotion to Lieutenant in Major Cases Squad. Donnelly has spent more time behind a computer, however, than he has apprehending felons. His relationship with Lieutenant, Cagney, second in command to Captain Hong, is hostile. She stands in his way to promotion; he merely gets in her way. Cagney's style of command definitely rubs Donnelly the wrong way: a man not accustomed to taking orders from women. Cagney seldom resorted to appeasement when a direct order sufficed. Donnelly didn't expect to be in major cases squad for long, however. He had grander plans.

CAGNEY

Perhaps we can discuss your assignment later, Lieutenant. If there are no other questions, we will now discuss the details of tomorrow's assignments.

**

Captain Hong's office.

Captain Hong heads up the Major Cases Squad. She is in her early 40's, extremely ambitious and an astute commander. She is sitting and listening patiently to Lieutenant Donnelly.

DONNELLY

(Sitting in a chair in front of the desk, one leg over his knee, leaning back in the chair with his hands behind his head.) .a complete waste of my time and skills Captain I feel that I should be given more responsibility in this case. Perhaps as leader of the outside team. My rank would certainly warrant such an assignment, Captain.

HONG

Lieutenant Cagney is in charge of this operation. She has assigned duties. I have no intention of going over her head. Have you spoken to her about your concerns, Lieutenant Donnelly?

DONNELLY

No, Captain but.

HONG

Cagney and I reviewed the assignments. I fully support her decisions. You are being given an excellent opportunity to learn a great deal about field operations from an experienced and skilled detective, Lieutenant. I highly recommend that you participate in this operation, Donnelly - as an observer and Lacey's partner.

Hong returns to her work, ignoring Donnelly. She eventually looks up, shows surprise that he is still there and says

Is there anything else, Lieutenant?

DONNELLY

No, Captain. (just short of slamming the door as he leaves).

** Later the same afternoon in Hong's office

HONG

Cagney, listen to what I am saying. I am not criticizing your duty assignments. I support you fully in your management of this operation. I am merely suggesting, Lieutenant, that had you pulled Donnelly aside before the project briefing, and perhaps given him prior notice of his observer status (hand up as Cagney is about to interrupt) before letting him learn about his assignment as an observer in front of the rest of the squad, that there would be more.cohesion in your team.

CAGNEY

With respect, Captain, I don't believe it is necessary to cater to Donnelly's over inflated ego to make this operation effective. If anything, his inexperience is a detriment to the operation. And -his attempt to go over my head and to undermine Lacey's assignment as team leader is only an indication of his inability - or unwillingness- to work as a team member, Captain. It is my opinion that his behaviour has warranted his removal from the project.

HONG

Your opinion, is it Lieutenant? I still run the squad, Cagney. Donnelly stays on the project - as an observer. Difficult personnel are part of the job. Work it out, Lieutenant, you are the superior officer.

** 4:45 next morning. Mary Beth Lacey is ready. She checks the chambers in her gun one more time. Her team is in place. She and Donnelly are waiting outside the west side entrance. All radios are functioning. All that remains is the wait. She keeps her hands warm under her arms, and watches her breath come out as a cloud in the dark. Honestly, if anyone had told her how many early mornings and nights she would spend trying to stay awake and warm, she would never have become a cop. And Donnelly. Not a word the whole morning. Just standing by and watching with that superior look of his. Just like a sulky kid. She hoped he behaved. 4:50. Not much longer to wait.

**

4:55. Chris checks her gun again. Her team - both crews, is ready. All indications are that the raid will be a success. The trucks had arrived two nights ago. The interior of the building is fully lit and she can see people moving around preparing to ship the newly refined powder. Almost time. She loves this moment. Everything is ready and it's all about to go down. She rarely feels as alive as she does now: the risk, the danger - the adrenaline rush. Only a moment to savour the moment, then she moves to the locked entrance of the building. Two uniformed officers move with her carrying two sledge hammers. Cagney stands ready, gun in hand and signals to the officers. On 5:00 precisely they break the door down and Chris bursts into the building followed by a swarm of detectives and uniformed officers.

Police - get down on the floor! Now!

**

It's going down. Lacey and her team have every exit covered. No one who makes it out of the raid inside will get past her team.

The radio crackles:

CAGNEY

Lacey - anyone get outside?

LACEY

Negative, Lieutenant, no one has left any of the covered exits.

CAGNEY

Roger. We have everyone we apprehended in custody. Smithers is missing. Keep your people in place. We'll start a search in the building. Lacey - Do you copy?

LACEY

Roger, I copy Cagney. (Switching channels): Outside team: maintain your positions. I repeat, maintain positions. Keep your eyes open.

Smithers was the head of the drug refining operation and his apprehension was one of the main objectives of the raid. He always supervised lab operations himself, according to informants. Chances were Smithers was still in the building.

A truck engine roars in the loading dock. Lacey had a clear view of the loading dock but she couldn't see the cab of the truck that had been started up. Damn. She had people at the loading dock. Someone had either slipped by, or had been in the sleeping compartment of the transport cab. That made no sense - unless something had tipped him off at the last minute.

LACEY on the radio to her team

Maintain positions! I repeat - maintain positions - Get the plate number and id of that truck.

RADIO

The license plate number and number on the side of the cab come over the radio.

LACEY

Switching channels: all band alert - be on the look out for a Mac transport truck number 94 - Kwik Haul Shipping- license number, apple john temple four seven seven - do you copy central?

RADIO

Copy Sgt Lacey - apple john temple four seven seven - Kwik Haul 94 - all units alert.

Maybe Donnelly saw an opportunity to be a hero and make the big collar of the operation; maybe he thought direct action was preferable to the certain - and safe - apprehension of an armed fugitive; or maybe he acted out of frustration and a need to be the main player on the stage. Whatever his reasons, he bolted from Lacey's side without a word. He stood directly in the path of the huge truck as it swung fully into view around the other parked trucks. His legs were planted as he pointed his gun at the cab of the truck.

DONNELLY

Stop! Police!

He unloaded the rounds in his automatic directly at the driver. The driver ducked his head and headed directly for the cop blocking his only route out. One of Donnelly's bullets hit home, just before the truck went out of control. Sergeant Lacey wrenched the door of the cab open and hauled the driver out, falling with him to the pavement as the cab kept moving. Among the other things no one will ever know is whether Donnelly felt the impact as his head hit the grill on the truck- just before the truck came to a stop against a pile of crates.

** Lacey was shocked. What on earth did he think he was doing?

LACEY

Donnelly, get back here!

The idiot! He didn't know how many fugitives there were, or whether they were armed. All they had to do was wait. The local precinct units would pick the truck up in a matter of minutes.

Donnelly!

Mary Beth realized with horror that Donnelly expected the truck to stop - even if he shot and killed the driver. Oh my God. Lacey acted in the only way she could - she acted to help Donnelly out before he was killed. She sprinted the distance to the truck as the driver was hit by Donnelly's bullet. She had the driver on the ground and cuffed before the truck stopped. She had no idea where Donnelly was.

Sergeant Wentworth watched Donnelly rush out like a madman and saw Lacey's attempt to save the young detective. Wentworth was at Donnelly's side as Lacey handed Smithers over to waiting officers and came over to check on Donnelly. Wentworth shook his head at Lacey as he called in the 10-13.

**

Christine Cagney is co-ordinating a room by room, crate by crate search for Smithers. Suspects are being loaded into waiting vehicles making more officers available to aid in the search.

RADIO

Voice of Sergeant Wentworth -

10-13 - officer down. Suspect wounded. Medical assistance needed. - Location- operation powder.

Christine Cagney's stomach tightens.

CAGNEY

Into her radio "Lacey! Sergeant Lacey! Do you copy?"

LACEY

I copy. Donnelly is down. Dead. Smithers is wounded - under custody.

Cagney

Cagney felt that an eternity had gone by before she heard Lacey's voice. Thank God. She instantly felt guilt. Donnelly was - had been -a jerk - and a liability, but he didn't deserve to die. Still, Chris felt relief when she realized it wasn't Lacey in trouble. Cagney pushed her feelings aside. She was heading outside.

CAGNEY

I'll be right there Sergeant. (Switches channels.): Inside team: Search over. Outside team: operation over. All uniformed officers and detectives report to Sergeant McIlvey.

**

Cagney runs to the back of the building. Mary Beth Lacey is crouched beside Donnelly. His body is covered with a jacket. Several officers and detectives are giving statements to Sergeant Wentworth who has anticipated Cagney's orders to take their statements. Cagney places her hand on Lacey's shoulder and starts to speak as Lacey looks up. Cagney hesitates when she sees the grief in Lacey's face. The ambulance and Incident Investigation Unit arrive and the moment passes. Lacey stands up as the paramedics start to examine the body. Cagney tightens her grip briefly on Lacey's shoulder as the departmental investigation unit descends upon the officers.

**

That night in an interview room at Internal Affairs. Sergeant Lacey is seated in front of a tape recorder with Lieutenant Rendall, a special incident investigator. RENDALL

Yes, Detective, I do need to ask you again. And again if necessary. So, one more time. Did you order Lieutenant Donnelly to apprehend the fugitive, Sergeant Lacey?

LACEY

No. No, I did not. Lieutenant Donnelly acted directly against my orders and against the very clear orders of Lieutenant Cagney. He was there as an observer. He chose to charge the truck. He gave no prior warning that he was going to rush out into the path of the truck. I most definitely did not order him to take the action he took, sir.

RENDALL

You do agree, however, Sergeant, that had Donnelly had appropriate backup, his actions would have resulted in the immediate apprehension of an unarmed fugitive?

LACEY

I cannot answer that, Lieutenant. We didn't know whether the fugitive was armed. We didn't know how many fugitives there were. Donnelly had no back up because his actions were totally unexpected and directly against orders. Sir.

Mary Beth is exhausted. Trying to explain her actions is like treading water and barely keeping afloat. No matter how often she repeats the facts, this man keeps trying to trip her up. There seemed no end to the nightmare.

RENDALL

Tell me again why you chose to let the truck go, Sergeant, making no attempt to apprehend the fugitive.

LACEY (carefully and slowly)

All units in the area were on alert. I knew that a bulletin giving info identifying the truck would result in the apprehension of the suspects without danger to the members of my team. The mobile units were much better equipped to apprehend a truck, - and an armed fugitive, Lieutenant

RENDALL

This fugitive got past your team, Lacey. How do you explain that?

LACEY

I can't explain it, Lieutenant. Maybe the fugitive was in the truck when our raid started, and he stayed there - maybe he thought he'd been found. I don't know sir. I do know that the people in my unit did their jobs, and did them well.

RENDALL

How do you answer charges that your actions in removing the driver caused the truck to go out of control and kill Donnelly?

LACEY

The driver lost control when Donnelly shot him. I chose to remove the driver to give Donnelly the opportunity to get out of the way. He didn't. Maybe he slipped. I don't know.

RENDALL

In your opinion, Sergeant, was Lieutenant Cagney clear in her orders to the members of the operation?

LACEY

Very clear, sir. Both in the briefing room and in the field. The other officers will verify all of this, sir.

RENDALL

Did you get along with Donnelly?

LACEY

He had been with the squad for only 2 months. We didn't work together often, but our professional relationship was effective, sir.

RENDALL

How about Donnelly and Cagney? Was there any conflict in their relationship, Sergeant?

LACEY

I saw no reason to question the professionalism of either detective's work, sir.

RENDALL

He reaches over and snaps off the recorder.

We will finish interviewing tomorrow. I will file my report by Monday, Sergeant. I'll make sure Captain Hong gets a copy.

**

The same night in a different interview room. Cagney too faces a tape recorder - and a Captain Gomez.

GOMEZ

Again, Lieutenant Cagney. Why did you place Sergeant Lacey in charge and relegate Lieutenant Donnelly to observer status on this raid?

CAGNEY

Sergeant Lacey is a very experienced officer. Her participation in raids and in commanding teams far exceeded that of Donnelly's. He was assigned observer status so that he could learn from Sergeant Lacey.

GOMEZ

Describe your relationship to Donnelly.

CAGNEY

As I've said. We were colleagues. I was his superior officer. What else do you want to know?

GOMEZ

Was there a history of conflict between you and Lieutenant Donnelly?

CAGNEY

I knew the man for 2 months. Hardly enough time for a history of conflict, Captain.

GOMEZ

And your relationship to Sergeant Lacey? How long have you two been partners, Lieutenant?

CAGNEY

My partnership with Sergeant Lacey has been extremely successful. She is a very reliable and talented cop. I would trust her with my life - and have, for eighteen years, Captain.

GOMEZ

So, there was no favoritism in your assignment of Sergeant Lacey as team leader and Donnelly as a mere observer?

CAGNEY

None, Captain.

If anything, Cagney had felt guilty assigning Donnelly to Lacey. It made sense to assign a troublesome hotshot to an experienced, steady detective, but Cagney had known she was asking a lot of Lacey, maybe even putting her partner in danger. She voiced none of these concerns now.

**

Much later that night, back at major cases squad room, Cagney rests her head on her desk. A check of the time told her it was too late to call Lacey. Besides, she had already tried to phone: the Lacey machine and the phone were turned off. Chris had had no opportunity to talk to Lacey after the incident. Lacey had left Internal Affairs before Chris had been finished and since then, Chris had been here in the squad room, briefing Hong and fielding phone calls. Chris never found it easy to talk about her feelings, but this talk with Lacey was going to be very difficult. She was very worried about how Lacey was feeling. But Cagney was also feeling tremendous guilt. Not for putting Lacey in charge, but for feeling such satisfaction in making Donnelly realize he wasn't considered up to the job of team leader; guilt for assigning Donnelly to Lacey rather than baby- sitting him herself; guilt for putting her partner in a dangerous position - and guilt for feeling such relief when she heard that Donnelly had been killed and not Lacey. Worse: she felt sick knowing that, given the opportunity to change things, she would still make the same decisions.

**

The Laceys were in bed. Harvey was holding Mary Beth tight enough to make her feel safe.

LACEY

He wasn't much older than Harvey Jr. Young and cocky, sure he knew everything there was to know. He wouldn't listen to anyone, Harv. Certainly not to me. Just ran right out there, in front of that truck, shooting like he was in some damned Clint Eastwood movie.

HARVEY

Harvey nods and kisses her on the head.

I know Babe. It's Ok, Babe. Give it a rest now.

LACEY

And then I grab the driver, Harv, trying to give Lliam a chance to get out of the way, ya know. I don't know what happened. He was just lying there. No real marks on him, but as dead as if the truck had run right over him. Hit his head hard enough to kill him. All he had to do was wait - we'd of got the guy! No one would have gotten hurt. All he had to do was wait Harv. Why didn't he wait?

HARVEY

We'll never know, Mary Beth. But it's not your fault, Babe. You did what you could to keep everyone safe.

LACEY

I was in charge, Harv.

She is sobbing now.

HARVEY

Mary Beth! You didn't let anyone down. You made a decision with no time to think - a good decision. You couldn't predict that Donnelly would pull a crazy stunt like that. Give it a rest, Babe, please. Just go to sleep for a while. I'm right here.

Harvey bends down to kiss her on the forehead and gently rocks her back and forth as she sobs.

** Saturday, major cases squad room.

Christine Cagney has been at work all day. The incident has created major paper work and major reports to various departments. She has been to see Donnelly's family to pay her respects and she dealt with his effects in the squad room. She picks up the phone, starts to dial, then puts the phone down again. She has phoned Mary Beth several times, sometimes leaving a message, sometimes hanging up before the machine picks up. She's worried about Mary Beth. She wants very much to talk to her, but is very reluctant to actually speak with her. Chris picks up the phone. She puts it down again. She'd see Mary Beth tomorrow. Cagney turns back to her paperwork, but her mind isn't fully on her work.

**

4 AM Sunday

DAVID

Sleepily from under his pillow

I don't understand. At all.

CAGNEY

Pulling on a sweater and reaching for her keys on the counter.

You don't have to.

Chris leans over, pulls the pillow from over his head, kisses him, and drops the pillow on his head again.

See ya later.

**

She loved this time to herself. The nets were set up; the pylons were on the ice; and the girls were in the change room getting ready. She had the ice to herself for another fifteen or twenty minutes. She felt the cold air bite at her lungs as she skated and she could see her breath as she wheeled by the net at the far end. She let loose and skated hard. The puck danced at the end of her stick and her skate edges bit the ice as she lengthened her stride and sped around the rink. She could imagine herself a kid again, with Charlie up in the stands cheering as she put the puck in the upper corner. She still felt joy when she remembered his pride.

Chris had always loved skating. She could share that joy with these girls. She couldn't commit the time needed to be a coach, but she could spend Sunday morning practices with them as assistant coach. Chris could show them it was great to play hockey. It was great to sweat, and grunt and yell and to play a sport seriously - that it was great to have fun.

**

Mary Beth hated Sunday morning practices, but Alice Christine loved playing hockey. Harvey and Mary Beth had been reluctant to involve their kid in organized hockey, but had reluctantly agreed to let Alice play if Chris was involved. They had to drive the kids in one week out of four. Other parents shared the driving other weeks. Harvey had been so tired from working and from running his campaign for school trustee, however, that she had gotten up without waking him. She also came because she needed a break from her own thoughts.

LACEY

Go on ahead, honey. See you when you're done.

Lacey gave Alice a kiss and sent her on her way to the change room. Mary Beth climbed into the stands and settled down with her thermos of coffee.

Mary Beth watched Chris out on the ice. Chris had such style - she could have been born on skates. Lacey seldom saw her partner like this. Chris was flushed and her eyes sparkled.

Chris looks up, suddenly aware that someone is watching.

CAGNEY

Mary Beth!

Chris skates up to the glass in front of Mary Beth with a wide grin on her face. She was very glad to see her partner. The girls - the early dressers - were coming out onto the ice.

Want to go out for brunch after practice?

LACEY

Oh, Chris, I can't. Louise needs to get right back - her father is meeting her at her mother's after the practice.

CAGNEY

Right, I forgot, the carpooling thing. Enjoy your coffee! Gotta go.

This as a group of girls pile on top of another girl - to much giggling and shrieking.

LACEY

Chris! What are you doing this afternoon?

CAGNEY

David and I are ordering in and watching old movies.

Chris turns and waves at Mary Beth as she heads over to retrieve order from chaos.

Mary Beth regrets losing the opportunity to talk to Chris, but in truth, isn't sure she's ready to talk. She hasn't sorted out all her feelings. She isn't sure she can face Cagney. A man had died. Mary Beth felt her failure and the guilt keenly. At one level she knew Cagney wasn't blaming her, but on another level, Lacey was blaming herself. She settled down with her coffee to watch her daughter practice and she tried to enjoy the moment.

** Next morning in the squad room after Donnelly's funeral.

HONG (to all the detectives and uniformed officers)

I have been informed that Lieutenant Donnelly will be awarded the police medal of honour for courage under fire posthumously for his bravery. I am sure you all join me in expressing our sorrow to his family, and our pride in his bravery. I have also received the report from the Internal Affairs Special Incident Investigation Team. No one in this or any squad was found to be responsible for Lieutenant Donnelly's death. As your commander, I wish to express my respect for the professionalism and dedication shown by the members of this squad. We will all miss Lt. Lliam Donnelly.

Hong turns to go to her office. Inspector O'Brien has been observing, unnoticed at the rear of the squad room. He follows her into her office.

O'BRIEN

A moment of your time, Captain.

HONG (stands up to shake his hand)

Of course, Inspector. May I again express my deep sorrow at your loss. Lliam was a bright young man with a promising future.

O'BRIEN

Thank you Captain. I appreciate your condolences. However, I came to speak to you about the Inspection team's findings. I don't agree that there was no culpability in Lliam's death. In fact, upon my review of the facts, I cannot imagine how the investigators could have missed the unsuitability of Sergeant Lacey to the task of team leader and the bias of Lieutenant Cagney in placing her there. It is obvious to me that Lliam died pulling together an operation that went dreadfully wrong. Am I not right, Captain?

HONG

I strongly disagree, Inspector. I reviewed the operation plans and verified Sergeant Lacey's leadership role. The sting was well-planned and well executed. Lieutenant Donnelly died because he didn't follow orders. (O'Brien attempts to interrupt, but Hong is very good at holding the floor with a mere look). That is the truth, Inspector. I believe the testimony of detectives Cagney and Lacey and of the other members of the team. Donnelly was a bright young man, Inspector, but he never learned to work well as a team member. Forgive my bluntness, Inspector, but I will not allow two of the finest officers under my command to be maligned with charges of negligence.

O'BRIEN

You have made up your mind, Captain? You are ambitious, eh, Captain? - as are. certain of your detectives. I have a long memory, Captain Hong. I won't forget this incident.

HONG (deliberately misinterpreting his threat)

As it shouldn't be Inspector. We can all learn a lesson from this tragedy.

Someone is going to break the glass in that door someday, Hong thought to herself as O'Brien stormed from her office.

Inspector O'Brien glares at both Cagney and Lacey as he ploughs his way through the crowded squad room. Hong appears in her office door.

HONG

Cagney, I'd like to see you in my office, please.

Cagney saves the work on her computer, looks at Lacey and turns to go into Hong's office. Lacey watches her walk away, wishing she had time to talk to Cagney. Promising herself it would be this afternoon.

CAGNEY (shutting the door behind her)

Yes, Captain.

HONG looks at Cagney and chooses her words carefully.

Inspector O'Brien was not happy with the findings of the Inspection Team's Investigation. He prefers to see his nephew as the hero in a botched operation. An operation Donnelly managed to salvage despite his death. It appears O'Brien may have a long memory.

CAGNEY

Meaning what?

HONG

I want you to know I support you and Lacey fully. I have expressed my support to the appropriate channels and made sure my support is documented clearly in your jackets. If any difficulty results from this incident in the future, you and Lacey can count on my testimonial, Lieutenant.

CAGNEY

Captain, I have never doubted your support. Why are suggesting that we're going to need it?

HONG

Come on Cagney. You are no stranger to departmental politics. I giving you a heads up to who your friends are. and aren't. Now, have you had a chance to talk to Lacey yet about the incident?

CAGNEY

No, Captain. I have tried, but I think she needed some time on her own. (Cagney feels this explanation is lame, but at least partly true).

HONG looks at Cagney and waits. Cagney has nothing more to say, apparently.

Cagney, how are you feeling? Any guilt or regret?

CAGNEY

Cagney hates feeling ambushed. She clears her throat.

I, well, I regret Donnelly's death, of course. Guilt? Maybe if I had kept him up front with me he'd be alive, but I felt he could learn more with Lacey, this time around. No. My decisions would be the same Captain.

HONG

I didn't ask if you made the right decisions, Lieutenant I asked how you felt. You made the decisions and someone died. You will have to make decisions again. How do you feel?

CAGNEY

Cagney's eyes reflect her pain as she looks at Hong and gives it up.

I wish I could find a way to step back from the pain, Captain. - a way to clean my hands. (quietly) Isn't that how you feel?

HONG

Yes. (also softly, looking down at her hands and then up again)

The pain doesn't go away, you know. It just hides in places where you don't always expect to find it. But you do. find it again.

Hong breaks her train of thought and regards Cagney solemnly.

You could have lost your partner. You need to talk to her Cagney. Today. (As Cagney gets up to leave.)

Send Lacey in here first, Lieutenant

CAGNEY

Thank you, Captain.

HONG

(lightly) Any time, Cagney..and Cagney? (Chris turns and looks at her) Let me know if you ever find a way to clean your hands.

Cagney smiles wryly and leaves the room.

**

HONG

Sergeant This is the first opportunity I have had to tell you how impressed I was with your conduct during both the sting operation and during the emergency circumstances within that operation. You showed true leadership and courage. As your commanding officer, I am proud of you. I have clearly expressed my pride in your file, Sergeant. (Hong holds out her hand) Good job, Lacey.

LACEY

Genuinely honoured and almost in tears.

Thank you, Captain. I don't know what to say.

HONG

How are you feeling? Sometimes officers feel a need to take time off after a death in their command, Sergeant. I will support any request for time off if you feel the need.

LACEY

I may consider that, Captain. I am not sure how I feel, ma'am.

HONG

If I can be of help, Sergeant, let me know. The death of a fellow cop is never easy to deal with, but it is almost unbearable when you are the one in charge.

LACEY

Yes. Ma'am. Thank you.

HONG (sensing the awkwardness and wanting to end the interview painlessly for Lacey)

Again - Good job, Sergeant!

**

Cagney grabs Mary Beth as she comes out of Hong's office. Both detectives are in the car and Chris is driving.

CAGNEY

Yes, now, Mary Beth. While it is still light!

LACEY

But I don't have skates!

CAGNEY

Yes you do. Happy Birthday! I want to give them to you now!

LACEY

Folding her hands on her chest.

I don't want to learn to skate.

CAGNEY

Sure you do, Mary Beth. You'll have a ball. Trust me!

Mary Beth sits back for the ride. That's usually the option when Chris is this enthusiastic. But she is far from confident that she will have a ball.

** The outdoor rink is a riot of colourful scarves, hats, hockey jerseys and winter jackets. Musak is being pouring from overhead speakers. A sign (dented by many pucks) reading "no hockey sticks or pucks allowed' is displayed prominently by the entrance. Chris already had her skates laced and was helping Mary Beth lace hers, chatting happily about how to properly choose, lace and care for skates. Mary Beth just wanted this to be over. She just knew she was going to fall and break. everything. Fifty years old was too old to learn to skate -far too young to die.

CAGNEY

Take the skate guards off first. There you go. (as Mary Beth makes her wobbly way from the bench to the ice) That's it! Now, wait for me! Just wait for me. OK, now take my hand.

They both step onto the ice, Mary Beth holding Chris's hand in a death grip. Despite all her fears of doom, Mary Beth isn't ready for her skates to shoot out from under her. Mary Beth pulls Chris down with her as she falls.

LACEY

Whoaoaa!

CAGNEY

She is laughing, brushing the snow from her cloths and pulling Mary Beth back up onto her feet.

Com'on Mary Beth. Slowly (as Mary Beth stands up - grabbing Chris and pulling herself up bit by bit by adjusting her death grip on her partner), that's it. Now take both my hands. Good. I'm not going to let you fall. There we go. (Chris and Mary Beth are now standing, facing each other holding hands). Now, I am going to skate backwards while you skate towards me - NOT YET! Just wait. I want you to push outwards with your right skate - good! Do that a few times. Great! Now the left foot. Again. See how that feels? That's how it feels to skate!

LACEY

Starting to panic again.

Where are the picks? How do I stop? There are no picks, Chris!

CAGNEY

No problem! Picks just get in the way. Trust me! Just head towards something soft when you want to stop. Warn me first.

Mary Beth pushes out her right foot, then her left foot and quickly starts careening out of control as she loses her balance. Chris keeps up with her, holding her steady until Chris bumps backwards into two kids playing tag among the adults.

CAGNEY

Ohhh. Hold on!

This time Mary Beth lands on top of Chris. Among the tangled legs, scarves and skates both women are seized by laughter.

LACEY

Chris, are you sure you want to do this? Really?

CAGNEY

(effusively and gesturing dramatically) Of course! Never let a few bruises stand in the way of true accomplishment and great fun, Mary Beth! Up! Onward Mary Beth!

By the end of an hour, Mary Beth is skating around the rink, one hand holding on to Chris' hand - the other holding onto the rink boards. Both women are flushed with cold and exertion and smiling broadly. They are also laughing very loudly.

CAGNEY

Wow, Mary Beth! That's great! You're skating!

LACEY

Almost Chris. Oh, I'm going to be stiff tomorrow! I didn't think I could still bend in that many directions!

CHRIS

Let's go out for Italian, Mary Beth - my treat. Just you and me. Harvey can join us later. What do you say?

LACEY

Sure. Good idea, Chris. Just help me off this rink and out of these skates. Oh, my lord, don't these kids know how easy it is to break when you're my age? Hey you! Kid! Slow down!

**

Over dessert.

CAGNEY

So. Mary Beth. You've been avoiding talking to me (catches Lacey's raised eyebrows and pointed look). OK we've been avoiding talking about Donnelly's death. After a pause. OK. I'll go first. (clears her throat). Mary Beth. I have been feeling guilty. Guilty that Donnelly died. Guilty that my decisions could have gotten you killed. Guilty that I was so relieved when I heard that it was Donnelly and not you who was killed. But you know the hardest thing Mary Beth? I would make all the same decisions again.

Chris pauses to drink her soda water. Mary Beth is watching her intently.

You're more than my partner, you're my friend. As partners, we can look out for each other. As your superior officer, I may be the one who asks you - orders you to risk your life. That's a very hard thing. I've been ..reluctant to talk to you. I need you to understand.maybe forgive me.for making decisions that put you at risk. (puts her head down before looking up at Mary Beth) I don't know how much I can forgive myself, yet.

Chris pauses. Her eyes are full of tears.

LACEY

Oh, Chris. You've felt guilty? Smithers could have escaped. Donnelly did die. I still see him running out in front of that truck. In my dreams I reach out for him and just miss catching him as that enormous truck runs him down. I know I have no reason to feel guilty. Like you I made decisions. Like you I would make same decision again. But I am still haunted. What would have happened if I had made a different choice? (after a pause) I couldn't talk to you either. My feelings were so confused. And, I guess, because I was afraid you'd blame me too.

CAGNEY

Blame you! Mary Beth, you were amazing out there! You made a critical decision when there was no time to think and you acted with incredible bravery to save that fool! It's you who deserves that medal of honour, not Donnelly.

Cagney reaches over the table and touches Mary Beth's hand.

I am so grateful you weren't killed.

LACEY

Chris. You have tough decisions to make as a boss. So do I, sometimes. We can't forget that I are cops, and that we signed up knowing the risks. We've worked together for eighteen years. I still trust your judgment.

There's another pause as both women think their own thoughts. Mary Beth looks up at her partner first.

As long as we keep talking, partner.

CAGNEY (nodding).

Yeah, as long as we keep talking.

LACEY

It's tough, eh, this making decisions that affect other people's lives. Did you ever dream it was this tough for Samuels when we were back at the 14th?

CAGNEY

Sometimes. Like when Newman died. Or when one of us was shot. You forget when you're charging out there that your actions have an impact on other people. You learn soon enough that you owe it to your partner to be responsible, and she owes the same to you. But I never thought about how tough it would be to be the boss. I guess I wasn't very sympathetic when Samuels put a muzzle or a leash on me.

LACEY

Wasn't very sympathetic?

CAGNEY

Ignores Lacey's editorial comment.

I never saw it might be for my own good. (musing as she toys with her cheesecake). I should give him a call and thank him. You know, for looking out for me.

LACEY

Yeah. He was a good cop and a great boss. I wonder if he was happy retiring as a Lieutenant after all those years on the force. I can't see him being happy making those political decisions the higher-ups make. He was at home heading up a squad of detectives. I think he was smart enough to know when he was happy.

CAGNEY

Hm. You're probably right. I should ask him if he ever learned how to get his hands clean.

LACEY

What?

Cagney's explanation is cut short by Harvey's arrival. He kisses Chris on the cheek and plants a big kiss on Mary Beth's lips. Chris will explain her cryptic comment to Mary Beth some other day. Maybe when they are out skating. Chris smiles and offers to share her cheesecake with Harvey, over Mary Beth's mock objections.

The scene ends with the three friends eating cheesecake - Harvey happily eating his own slice.