Partners (Missing Scene from "Cat and Mouse")

By Loisarah

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, property of Pet Fly and Paramount, I am writing as a fan, for fans, and not for profit. No harm is intended with this work of fiction.

Summary: Missing scene type vignette for "Cat and Mouse" from Cole's POV

Spoilers: Major ones for "Cat and Mouse" and some mentions of "Wheelman"

Rating: PG

Cole was lying on his couch, the same place he'd been since he'd come home. His mind kept replaying the image of his partner being escorted through the Metro Federal Building, and being subjected to a line up. He'd watched her leave, knowing that if he had tried to talk to her, she wouldn't have responded.

A case of history repeating itself, unfortunately. Westlake was suspended without pay, with Catlett, being his usual less than charming self, trying to hang Sammy Travers' murder around her neck.

Westlake had to be thinking of her father, and Cole wanted to reach out to her, but knew she'd shut him out like she had the night before at the complex, after the phone call from Lena and the fake bomb.

He hated himself for not staying with her at the complex that night. She just had to tell him and Frankie to go home. Against his better judgement, he had. And she'd been framed for murder. Lena's campaign against Westlake was succeeding, so far. God help her if Cole ever got a hold of Lena. And god help Catlett if he ever made this case stick against Westlake. Cole would make sure Sherman Catlett got what was coming to him. He couldn't believe Catlett would persecute Westlake the way he was after she'd saved his life.

Before the line up, he'd stopped to tell her to hang in there, and when she responded bitterly, with, "Do I have a choice?" she wouldn't even look at him.

Sammy Travers' drunk girlfriend had identified her in the line up, but he knew Westlake was innocent. There was no way she'd just walk up to someone and pull the trigger, no matter what this guy had done to her father.

His phone rang, interrupting his thoughts, and he jumped up, answering it on the first ring. Before he could even say hello, Westlake started talking.

"Cole, she just called. The alley at 934 Horizon. Five minutes." She hung up, and he immediately dropped the phone. He jumped up, picked up his keys, and ran out of his apartment as fast as he could.

He sped through the streets to meet Lena's deadline, hoping to get there before Westlake did. He wanted Lena. As his foot pushed down the gas pedal and he dodged traffic, something Westlake said to him months ago stuck in his head, "I expect you keep it under 90 in town." Not tonight.

He pulled into the alley, only to find it empty. He turned off the Viper's headlights, waiting. Five minutes passed and nothing. Nothing, no Westlake, and no Lena. Trying to not think the worst, he opened the phone line on the Viper's computer, trying to reach Westlake.

He tried her cell phone first, but she didn't answer. He tried her home line, and still she didn't answer.

"Dammit." He morphed the car and sped out of the alley, racing to Westlake's house, heart pounding. And again, still not keeping it under 90 mph the whole way.

He pulled to a stop in front of her house, next to her Jeep. He could see her inside, and she wasn't moving. He jumped out of the Defender and ran up to her jeep.

"Cameron!" he yelled, reaching for the door. He was relieved when her eyes opened. He slowly opened the door, and looked at her. A wire garrote was around her neck, a little slack, but he was assuming it must have been tighter at one point. That looked to be the only thing wrong, he was relieved to see.

"I tried to unwind it, but I can't untwist it," she said softly, and closed her eyes again. He could tell she was angry and frustrated that Lena had gotten the better of her, again.

He opened the passenger door behind her, and untwisted the garrote, handing each end over the front seat to Westlake, so she could pull it off her neck. She got out of her jeep and slammed the door shut. She stood outside the jeep, leaning on the door, breathing in gasps, like she was trying not to cry, holding tightly onto the garrote.

Cole got out of the backseat and shut the door, standing beside her. "Are you okay? Westlake?"

"Yeah," she replied, finally. "Nothing hurt but my pride, I guess."

"What happened?" Cole asked, looking at his partner with concern.

"I fell into her trap, again," she said, then fell silent, staring at the street, one hand on her neck, the other still holding onto the garrote, too tightly.

"What happened?" he asked again, trying to get her to talk to him. He reached down and slowly held her other hand until she let go of the garrote and he could take it from her.

"She was waiting for me... as soon as I got into my car she... she put that around my neck... she pulled it... was talking about... how since I am suspended I wouldn't get an honor guard at my funeral... she's going to... she wants to kill me, Cole. Payback for Emil."

"Where did she go?"

"She ran off, she's long gone by now. You can look for her if you want, but you won't find her."

He looked down at his partner, unsure of how she wanted him to treat her, but deciding that tonight he wasn't going to let her be alone.

"She's not going to do it, you know."

"What?"

"Kill you... you know Frankie and I won't let that happen. And you... you don't give up that easy, Cameron."

"Right." She responded, and he couldn't tell if she were serious, or sarcastic. "I was so angry... I told her that if she didn't kill me now I was going to take her down... that's when she tied the garrote onto the seat and told me to come and get her."

Unsure of how to respond to her comments, he simply said, "C'mon, let's get some stuff for you and you can come stay at my apartment."

"I don't need to do that... she's made my life hell enough for me tonight, she won't be back. I'm fine, Cole," she said, still leaning against her Jeep for support.

"Westlake... you don't know that for sure, and I'd feel a lot better if you were with me tonight, you can stay in my guest room."

She looked at him, finally, and the look in her eyes told him she didn't want to go with him.

"Look, I know you don't want to feel like she's diving you out of your home, but you're my partner... if I were in this position, you'd be telling me to not be alone... we have to look out for each other, Cameron. Remember, I don't want to have to train a replacement," he tried, thinking of the first time he'd told her that, after she'd been shot. This time, it didn't make her smile.

"I'm not leaving my house, Cole. I'm fine," she insisted, tensing up and holding her breath slightly, like she always did when she was upset.

"Cameron, you're not fine. It's either my place or Frankie's... and I'm thinking I know which you'd prefer."

"I suppose..." she began, then stopped, and stood up straight, no longer leaning on her Jeep. "I guess I'd better go get some clothes..."

Relieved that she decided to come with him, he asked, "Do you want me to come inside with you, or wait out here?"

"You can come inside, I guess... it won't take me long..." she trailed off, as she walked slowly to the stairs leading to her front door. Cole followed behind her, taking note of how tense she was, and how she kept one of her hands on her neck.

"Cameron, stop... you'd better let me look at your neck..."

"I'm fine." She kept walking.

"Westlake..." he caught up to her, and put his hand on her shoulder, making her stop. He turned her around and slowly reached up to take her hand off her neck, and she was again avoiding eye contact.

There was a line on her neck, it was turning pretty red, but not as bad as he thought it would be. Lena didn't pull hard enough to cut into the skin much, but he was betting she'd had a hard time breathing for a few moments.

"You should be okay, but..."

"I told you I'm fine," she said quickly, then turned and walked up into the house leaving him standing at the foot of her steps.

He sighed before pulling out his keychain, pushing the button to morph the Defender back into the Viper before following her into the house.

She'd left the front door open for him, but was already upstairs in her bedroom by the time he walked inside, so he decided to wait downstairs for her.

He walked around the living room, checking out her little knick-knacks and pictures. He was surprised to see a piano on the wall. He decided he'd have to ask her if he could hear her play sometime.

One wall was a picture wall... with lots of black and white photos. Mostly older pictures, but some newer ones also. Her brothers, and a few family portraits were also there, but the picture that caught his eye was a framed color print... of what he assumed had to be a very young Westlake in her father's arms. He looked very strong and confident, in his Metropol uniform... and it was evident from their faces in the picture they adored each other. "Daddy's little girl," he thought... feeling even worse for his partner, not only because of what she was going through now, but for having to live with the idea that her father might have been a corrupt cop. It'd been nearly fifteen years, and Metropol still didn't know who had killed her father.

He wondered what this man had been like, for his daughter to be so trusting, to have such faith in him. She was so defensive against any evidence or accusation against him. He wondered what it was like to have a parent who was a cop, and then lose that parent... and then become a cop yourself... there was definitely a lot more to this woman than he thought.

What exactly had Lena said about him to Westlake? Metropol's record department had finally determined the only two files copied when Lena broke in was Westlake's personnel file and her father's Internal Affairs file. Cole wasn't sure, but he suspected the reason Westlake didn't want either him or Frankie to stay with her at the Complex that night was because she didn't want them to see her hacking into her father's Internal Affairs file herself.

Because she was being so evasive in her responses about what Lena said to her in their encounters, but he was sure that the way Lena was getting the drop on his partner was to use her father against her.

Westlake slowly came downstairs carrying her purse and an overnight bag. She stopped at the bottom stair when she saw Cole holding the picture of her and her father.

"Is this your dad?" he asked, hoping to get her to talk to him, finally, about what was going on.

"Yeah. That's him." She said, walking by Cole and to the front door, waiting for him on the porch.

Cole put the picture back where he found it, and walked out to join Westlake on the porch, hoping to pry some answers out of her.

"What was he like?"

"What?"

"Your father... what was he like?"

"Are you investigating him now, too?" she asked, testily.

"No... Westlake... I'm just trying to figure out how to help you..."

"Let's just get out of here," she said, walking down the stairs.

"Listen to me... please," he asked her, and she stopped and turned around.

"If you're going to beat this woman, you've got to stop losing your cool anytime someone mentions your father."

He could see her tense up again, and he continued before she had a chance to speak again.

"Whether he was guilty or not, I know this is painful for you, but let me give you some advice you gave me... with Lennox. You can't let her make you angry, because then she has the advantage. She's out for revenge, You need to be focused, just doing your job, capturing an escaped prisoner."

"My advice back at me, huh?"

"Yeah."

"I can't do my job, Cole, she had that taken away from me."

"We're working on that... don't you worry, Westlake, you'll be back in no time, and she'll be behind bars again."

"And what if they arrest me? Cole..."

"Don't," he said, interrupting her. "She's not going to get away with this."

"Catlett seems to think..."

Cole interrupted her again, "Catlett is an idiot."

She smiled, finally, relaxing a bit. "Yes, he is."

"Westlake..." he started, a grin on his face, happy to see her seem to relax a bit. "C'mon, let's get in the car and get to my place... get some sleep."

(c) 2000-2004 by Loisarah