Jordan hated shopping. Hated it with a passion.
Especially when she was looking for something specific, like she was today. A dress. She had to have a dress. And not just any old dress....a party dress...a dancing dress...a dress for the Fire and Ice Ball that was given every year by the Boston PD and other associated agencies – which included the morgue.
She had always found a way to get out of attending this function. Somehow or another she found a way out. She'd fake the flu, offer to work, leave town....but this year was different. This year she wanted to go. The chance of seeing Woody in a tux was too much to pass up. The chance to dance with him until the wee hours of the morning and have no one think anything about it was even better.
So she was on the quest for her holy grail....a dress. And she was having little luck. Finally admitting defeat, she gave up and headed back to the morgue.
"Hey, Jordan," greeted Nigel. "Any luck with the dress?"
"Not a damn thing to be found."
"Have you tried..."
"I've been everywhere..."
"Jordan, you're needed in autopsy one," Garrett said, stepping out of his office. "How's the dress search coming?"
"Does everyone know my business around here? And not a thing...either it's not my color, not my size, or makes me look like I'm going to the prom."
Garrett sighed. "Well, just as soon as you're finished in autopsy one, you can leave and finish looking for the dress."
Jordan nodded and hurried into the locker room to change into her scrubs.
As it often happened in the ME's office, one thing led to another. First there was trace, then there was the autopsy. Then the generator went down in the crypt. Now reports had to be filed. "The evening is never going to end," thought Jordan, as she faxed her reports over to the evil DA Walcott. "And now the stores are closed and I have to find a dress by tomorrow night."
Exhausted, she sat down in her desk chair. "All Garrett wants me to do is work....work...work... Where was Lily when all this was going on? No, she gets to leave at five. Where is Walcott? I bet she's at home enjoying a hot meal...or at least a hot TV dinner. And here I am, in this damned morgue. With no dress........." Her head began to nod, and soon she was asleep.
"CinderJordan, CinderJordan, where are you?" screamed a voice that sounded amazingly like.....Garrett's? And who in the hell was CinderJordan?
"There you are," said Garrett. "Where have you been hiding, CinderJordan?"
Jordan looked at Garrett like he was truly looney.... "I'm not CinderJordan."
Garrett sneered at her. "Oh yes, you are. Just look at your dress."
Jordan looked down. Her jeans and shirt were gone. In it's place was a very dirty, very ragged, dress. "Oh my," she thought. "This is so not real .. and so not my style...or my color."
"See I told you that you were CinderJordan. Now get in that autopsy room and autopsy that body. And do it quick."
CinderJordan stood up. "If you don't mind me asking, who are you?"
Garrett looked at her, shocked. "How can you even ask that question? I'm the very reason you're here. Without me you'd have no morgue to cut in. Who am I? Why I'm your evil step-employer." And he turned around with a huff. "And hurry up. Your step co-workers are waiting on the results. Lily needs to notify the family and Rene' needs to press charges. And when you're done with that, you can fix the generator and clean the trace room. And make sure you have it all done before you go home, CinderJordan."
"But wait a minute, evil step-employer, I need to go look for my dress."
"You know, the dress I need to wear to the Fire and Ice Ball."
"You can't really think you're going to that?"
"Well, Woody invited me..."
"Prince Woody has invited all the lovely maidens from all the divisions of law enforcement. Including your two evil step co-workers. Okay, one evil step co-worker and one not-so-evil-step co-worker. So what makes you think you're so special?"
"Well, we did kiss out there in the California dessert...."
"Ha! And you've done nothing but tease him ever since. No wonder he's looking for a new girlfriend. But I'll make a deal with you, after you've done all that work, then you can go look for a dress."
"But that will take hours, and the stores will be closed."
"Not my problem. Get to work!"
With a sigh, CinderJordan set out to do the autopsy. She then cleaned the trace room, and started taking apart the generator, only to realize that she knew nothing about them. She sat down and put her hands over her face. "I'll never get out of this damn morgue!" she cried. "I'll never find my dress, and I'll never get to go to the ball. Oh, hell, wait a minute..what is that?" She noticed a glowing light in the corner of the room. Gradually it came closer and closer and got bigger and bigger. Finally it stopped right in front of her and transformed into a tall English man dressed in a ....a fluffy, pink tutu with wings and a wand? "This is getting more bizarre by the minute," thought CinderJordan.
"Why hello love, whatever is the matter?"
"Nigel, is that you?" CinderJordan was having a hard time keeping a straight face.
"Aep, not Nigel tonight. I'm your fairy godmoth...father."
"I don't know about that," said CinderJordan. "Have you noticed what you're wearing? You look like someone's mother, anyway."
"I'm merely playing a small part in the complicated role of your life, CinderJordan. For that, you should be thankful, or I will not help you out on your computer searches any longer," Nigel sniffed and began to walk off.
"Oh, please stop fairy godmoth...father. You look lovely. And I am truly sorry."
"That's better. Now tell me why you are crying?"
"Because I can't go to the Fire and Ice Ball with Wo...Prince Woody."
"Because my evil step-employer made me stay late and do all this work. Now all the stores are closed and I can't go shopping for my dress."
"Hmmmm. Is that so? Well, even if you had a dress, how would you get to the ball?"
"The morgue SUV?"
"No can do. Your evil step co-workers took it tonight."
CinderJordan completely broke down at this point. No dress, no car, no Woody.
"There, there love. Your fairy godmoth...father will have all this taken care of in a minute. Follow me to the garage."
CinderJordan walked out into the parking garage with her fairy godmoth...father. "But there's nothing here but a broken down, old hearse," she said.
"That's what you think," said Nigel. And with a wave of his wand, the hearse transformed itself into a 1959 Cadillac.
"Man, what do you have in that thing?" asked CinderJordan, pointing to the magic wand.
"You know that laser kit that Macy didn't want me ordering from MIT?"
"Well, I ordered it anyway. Okay, now that the ride is taken care of, what about your dress?"
"I don't have one. I could never get away to shop."
"Sweet Nancy, do I have to do everything?" Nigel walked over to the car and opened the trunk. He pulled out a shopping bag. "Just a little something I picked up on the way into work tonight."
CinderJordan pulled the dress from the bag. It was a red, spaghetti strap dress, low-cut with a slit up the side. "I think I've seen this somewhere before," she said, thinking back to the SickBoy23 case she and Woody worked on a long time ago.
"Maybe...but trust me, Prince Woody loves it. Now the devil is in the details, what about accessories?"
"Haven't shopped for them either. Anything else in the trunk?"
Nigel rooted around for a while. "Oh yes, here they are." He pulled out a diamond necklace and earrings and a pair of killer stiletto red heels. "Now hold all this stuff," he put the dress, necklace, earrings, and shoes in her arms, "and spin around slowly."
CinderJorden slowly turned around and her fairy godmoth...father waved his magic wand. Poof! She was dressed perfectly.
"Let me look at you, love," Nigel said, holding her hand and looking at her from all angles. "Beautiful, if I do say so myself. Here are the keys to the Caddie."
CinderJordan climbed in the car and started it up.
"There are a few rules for tonight," said Nigel. "First, have a good time. Second, let Prince Woody steal a kiss or two. He deserves that after the way you've teased him for so long. And third....this is the most important, CinderJordan....you must be home by midnight or the Caddie turns back into a hearse and your beautiful outfit back into rags. Understand?"
CinderJordan nodded and drove off into the night.
"Too easy," Nigel muttered, as he walked back into the morgue to fix the generator with his magic wand.
CinderJordan arrived to the ball just as it was getting started. Everything was so wonderful. She waited in line to be announced to the prince. Finally, a short man with brown eyes took her hand and asked "Who are you?"
"Bug?" CinderJordan thought. She cleared her throat. "I am Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh."
"Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh," announced Sir Bug.
Jordan went forward to meet Prince Woody. He was impeccably dressed in a black tux. His blue eyes lit up when he saw CinderJordan. "May I have this dance?" he asked.
And so CinderJordan and Prince Woody danced the night away, much to the discomfort of her evil step-employer and evil step co-workers. "I love your dress," he said, "I think I've seen it somewhere before..."
CinderJordan remembered what her fairy godmoth....father told her. She had a good time, she let Prince Woody steal a kiss or two. But the midnight thing slipped her mind. It was only as the clock was sounding midnight that she remembered. "I must go," she said, and ran from the ball, going quickly down the steps to where her 1959 Caddie was parked.
"No, wait..I don't even have your cell phone number," said Prince Woody, following after her. She was gone, but he noticed something shiny on the steps. It was a scalpel.
"Sir Bug, we must find who this scalpel belongs to," said Prince Woody, "I must find that woman!"
So the two began to look all through all the different law division in the city of Boston. They asked everyone if the scalpel belonged to them. Finally they got to the morgue, where CinderJordan's two evil step-co-workers were talking to the evil step-employer. "Is this your scalpel?" asked Prince Woody. They examined it carefully.
"I think it's mine," said Lily.
"Don't be ridiculous," said Sir Bug. "You are a grief counselor. What would you be doing with this?"
"Then it's mine," said Rene'
"No, it's not," said Prince Woody. "You're the DA. DA's don't use scalpels. They hire other people to slit their victim's throat."
"Bug, how are we ever going to find who this scalpel belongs to?" asked Prince Woody. There are thousands of women who work here."
"Never fear," said Bug, as he took the scalpel and ran to trace. "Let's dust it for prints and see if the prints match any in our data base."
So the scalpel was dusted for prints and wa-laaa a match was made.
"CinderJordan?" asked the evil step employer Garrett. "How did she find time to get a dress and go to the ball?"
"She had a little help," said Nigel, stepping out from behind his computer, still wearing the pink tutu.
"Nigel?" everyone asked, in unison.
"This may seem strange in your little white bread world..."
"Stop," said Prince Woody. "Where's CinderJordan.?"
"She's in autopsy two," said Garrett.
Prince Woody ran into autopsy two. There was CinderJordan, working with a body.
"CinderJordan, I have found your scalpel..."
"Good. I wondered where I left the damn thing..."
"Yeah, you dropped it on the steps coming out of the ball....I've been looking everywhere for you."
"Well, now that you've found me, can I have it back? I need to finish this autopsy and then do trace."
"But...now that I've given you your scalpel back, doesn't that mean we're supposed to live happily ever after?"
Prince Woody scratched his head... "Well, yeah, that's how all the fairy tales end.."
"Look, I am the most singularly unhappy person you're ever gonna meet. How about if we just kiss right now and then I'll buy you a beer at the Pogue tonight?"
"Jordan....Jordan....wake up..." Garrett said, gently shaking her awake. "Have you been here all night?"
Jordan sat up straight and shook her head. "Guess I must have dozed off and didn't wake up until just now. Man, what weird dreams I was having...."
"Well, now you need to get up and find that dress you need for tonight. Take off...I'll see you later," Garrett said.
"Gee, Garret, you're not such an evil step employer after all."
"What are you talking...."
Just then Nigel burst into Jordan's office. "Say love, stopped by Norstrams on the way into work. Found a lovely little red number that is just your size," he said, pulling the dress from a bag. "Shoes, too."
Jordan looked at him for a beat. "Say, Nige, have you ever had the urge to wear a pink tutu...."