A/N: I have returned, and with me I have brought Andie and Matt. Don't know if anyone really much cares, but I feel compelled to continue the story anyway.
Hey, look, it's an actual chapter this time!
'Lunch time again…' Andie mused, watching the last few seconds before noon tick by. It was an even-numbered day – the tenth – and even-numbered days meant it was Andie's turn to choose where she and Matt went for lunch.
Matt looked up from cleaning out his desk, mumbled something about having errands to run, and told Andie he'd catch up with her in twenty minutes.
"Whatever, Matt. See ya at the Lakeview." Andie called over her shoulder as she walked out the door.
The Lakeview was a little diner located a couple miles from the precinct, out of the city enviornment and back in the woods a bit. It was run by a man named Mike and his wife Gabby. It was Andie's favorite place for lunch, and Gabby was a good friend who was way ahead of the local gossip game and almost always had something interesting to talk about.
Gabby was cleaning a recently-vacated table when she heard the telltale rumble of Andie's Ninja. She glanced at the clock on the wall and noted Andie was right on time, just like always. She also picked up on the fact she didn't hear Matt's car pull into the lot… When the bell above the door jingled and she heard Andie enter the diner, the first words out of her mouth were, "You haven't shown up here alone in ages, Andie. Where's Matt?"
"He said he had errands to run, but he should show up in a little while."
"Ah. Should I just have his usual lunch sent over, then, so it'll be ready when he gets here?"
"Yeah. Don't think he'd mind."
"And, as always, you want a burger. Am I right?"
"You know me too well, Gabby." Andie laughed.
"You make it easy - your choice never really vaires much, does it?" Gabby joked, poking fun at the fact Andie had always been a creature of habit.
"Not often, Gab, but it will tomorrow."
Gabby feigned shock. "Oh, no, change from the routine? Whatever shall we do?" She placed a hand to her forehead and pretended to feel faint. Then, after her little dash of drama, she went back to being her normal self and asked, "So, what, did Matt find somewhere new for lunch?"
"Bigger change. Transferring to New York City."
Gabby's eyes went wide, this time with real shock. "Really? By choice, right?"
"Yeah, I just needed to get out of here."
"You could've just taken an extended vacation…" Gabby muttered. "Taking your rookie, too, I assume?" she asked.
"Yeah," Andie answered, adding "but that wasn't exactly my choice..." under her breath.
"I knew it. He wouldn't have let you leave him behind anyway."
"I'm gonna miss you and your uncanny knack for predicting things." Andie said, thinking back to all the advice Gabby had given her over the past few years. Most of it had been offered before Andie even needed it.
"Just be sure to stop by for a visit every now and then, okay?"
"Are you kidding? You couldn't keep me outta here with an electrified fence, Gab. You guys have the best hamburgers ever."
Gabby just laughed as she went to hand the order that never changed to the cook.
Matt's car puled into the parking lot just as the plates of food were dropped on the table. He walked in and said, "Look at this – lunch is already waiting for me when I arrive. How cool is that?"
"Gabby knows the routine," Andie said without looking up from her food.
"The worst part of transferring, aside from packing everything up for he move, is having to leave so many good restaurants behind," Matt commented, settling into his seat and picking up his sandwitch.
"Yeah, we're gonna miss the Lakeview and Johnny G's…"
"And Martell's, too," Matt added, tacking their favorite bar onto the list.
"Oh, hell. I nearly forgot about Martell's," Andie mumbled.
"Ah, cheer up. NYC is huge - gotta be at least a couple good places to eat… Hey, why'd you decide to transfer, anyway?" he asked, changing the subject.
"I just needed to get out of here. I figured a fresh start in a new city was the best way to go." She took a bite of her hamburger. "So where were you earlier?" she asked him, changing the subject just as he had.
"Told ya, I had some errands to run."
"Fine, don't tell me." She was trying to tweak him into at least giving her a hint.
"All right, if you really have to know, I was giving my cat to my neighbor."
Andie paused with her hand over the pile of french fries on her plate and looked at Matt quizically. "You have a cat? I never thought you were a cat person. Actually, I never had you pegged as the kind of guy who would keep any pets…"
"Correction, had a cat. Duke's living with Mrs. Hunt now. The building I'm moving into has this strict no-pets rule. They don't even like the tenants to keep fish, apparently."
"I can't believe this is our last day here…" Andie sighed as she looked out the front window of the diner.
"You have any plans for tonight?" Matt mumbled around a mouthful of his turkey and bacon sandwitch.
"Actually, yeah. I have shopping to do."
"You?" Matt looked surprised. "A girly activity like shopping… I never would have guessed."
"Shut up. My wardrobe's trashed, and I doubt it'd make a good first impression to show up at a new precinct in shredded jeans and a bleach-stained Whitesnake shirt," she commented, pulling a few loose threads from a rip in the jeans she was wearing.
Matt laughed openly. "I didn't think you realized it looked like there was some kind of creature living in your closet and eating your clothes…" he managed to choke out between giggles.
"Aw, come on. It's not that bad. …Is it?" Andie asked, half-standing to get a better look at what she was wearing. The bleach stain on the shirt wasn't really all thjat big, and there were only about eight rips in the jeans…
"It is definitely time for some new clothes. Wish I could tag along on this rare opportunity to see you actually acting like a chick, but I have major packing to do."
"Ha. I'm done packing."
"Army brat, remember?"
"Damn. Come help me out with my stuff then."
"After I'm done shopping."
"So it's a date, then?"
"Don't say date. Don't." She pointed at him for emphasis, but more than a little of the effect was lost due to the fact she was still holding her hamburger in that hand.
'Jeez, touchy today, aren't we? I didn't mean it like that…' he thought. All he said was, "Whatever you say, boss."
Jake and Sara had gone their separate ways for lunch and met up again in their shared office a little while later. Sara was in a particularly good mood, having gone one entire lunch break without having to talk, cryptic or otherwise, to her ever-present human shadow. Therefore, she immediately perked up when Jake walked in carrying what looked like a high school yearbook.
"Is that what I think it is?" she asked, curious.
He tapped the spine of the green and black hardbound book. It read PTHS in large letters. "It doesn't take much in the way of detective work to figure out it's a high school yearbook, Pez."
"Aw, can it, Rookie, and lemme see your picture."
"'Fraid I can't, Pez, considering I don't have one."
"Whattaya mean, you don't have one?" she demanded impatiently.
"As in, I was absent the day they took the photos and I never made it up."
"No, I'm not." He flipped to the back of the book and found the 'no photo available' list for the senior class. Sara stared angrily at the page as she noticed 'McCarty, Jacob' near the end of the list.
"Damn." 'Maybe Twitchy here might be able to help me out…?' she pondered as she watched Jake flip through the book. "What are you looking for anyway?"
"Not what, whom. By the way, you really shouldn't end sentences in prepositions."
Sara nearly fell out of her chair, astonished at Jake's display of proper grammar. "Okay, I'll stop ending my sentences in prepositions if you'll tell me why you dragged out your yearbook."
"I'm looking for Andie. I nearly drove myself crazy trying to remember her last name, so I figured I'd dig out the yearbook and try to find her. I wanna be ready if your new partner is the same chick I knew in high school."
"What, planning to impress?" she teased.
"No, wondering if I'll need to seek refuge for a few days…"
"Scared of her?"
"Scared of what you two would do if you didn't get along." He paused for a second. "Dante said the name was O'Rourke, right?"
"Then I think I'd better start lookin' for a place to hide. This place isn't going to stand up to it if you two clash."
A/N: I realize this chapter was probably way more original character-centric than it should have been, but I needed to add to Andie and Matt's characters… So, tell me what you think, huh?
(P.S. Just in case anyone cares: I've decided to go back and edit my older chapters, considering how poor they really appear. I figure I'll fix the typos and the spacing, and maybe add a little here and there.)