AUTHOR: Sugah Sugah
SUMMARY: A copywriter goes missing, and the case has our team completely baffled. Motive? Suspects? They don't have a clue...but everything seems to lead back to the roommate.
SPOILERS: Through "Lone Star", takes place pre-"Transitions".
PAIRING: Danny/OC, some Martin/Sam
RATING: T -- some language, some suggestive dialogue, very mild sexual content. Parental discretion is advised.
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with CBS or Without a Trace, though it would be super cool if I were.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: My first WaT fanfic, so please be kind.
Kate Davidson staggered up the stairs, barely able to see through her rage. She fumbled with the keys to her apartment, finally managing to unlock the door, probably due to luck rather than accuracy. She threw open the door and walked into her empty apartment, then slammed the door behind her with such force the walls shook. Then she walked over to the bookshelves, grabbed a framed picture of her and her boyfriend, and hurled it against the wall with all the force she could muster in her current condition. The nearby books were her next victims; some of them were thrown so violently that the bindings ripped, but she didn't care. She continued to storm around the apartment, flinging objects this way and that, until the apartment was in shambles. Only then did she collapse against the wall in tears.
She looked up suddenly and found someone staring at her from the open door. She groped about the ground for something to throw, her fingers closing around the remote for the DVD player. She threw it at the intruder.
13 Hours Missing
It wasn't difficult to figure out which apartment Danny was supposed to be at, since it was the one blocked off by police tape and crawling with cops. He ducked under the tape and stepped into the room, immediately stepping on something. He crouched down to see what it was and his eyes fell on a broken picture frame. The glass had shattered, nearly shredding the picture inside, but it looked to be a picture of a pretty blonde girl with her arms around some guy – probably her boyfriend.
He whistled. He'd run into Martin and Sam downstairs, and they both had warned him that the place was a mess, but he hadn't expected this. It looked as though a bomb had gone off or a tornado had ripped through the room. He wondered if the entire apartment looked like this.
Jack was over near the kitchen area, talking to a very attractive redhead with dark green eyes. Jack was saying something, but Danny couldn't hear what, and the girl was shaking her head. Danny walked over to them.
"So let me get this straight," Jack was saying, "you came home from work to find the apartment like this," He gestured at the mess with a sweep of his arm, "and you didn't immediately call the police?"
The girl shrugged. "This isn't the first time I've come home to find the place like this."
"What do you mean?" Danny asked.
She looked at him, one eyebrow raised; the expression would have been cute if she hadn't looked so damn pissed. She turned her glare back to Jack. He nodded his head at Danny. "Miss Sheehan, this is Special Agent Taylor. Danny, this is Molly Sheehan. She's the vic's roommate."
"Could you not call her the vic?" Molly asked. "It's disturbing."
Danny smirked. "Well, a very disturbing thing has just happened. So what did you mean when you said this isn't the first – "
Molly cut him off with a groan and an eye roll. "It was about three months ago. I had to work late, and when I got home…"
Molly opened the door and found the apartment a wreck. Furniture had been upturned, pieces of glass lay all over the floor, and what remained of the CD player was in a far corner. She immediately panicked.
"Kate? Kate, are you here?"
She ran all through the apartment, but the mess was only contained in the living room. Her bedroom and Kate's bedroom were untouched, and it was only when she went back towards the living room that she noticed the liquor cabinet had been jimmied open. She went directly to the bathroom and found Kate passed out, hugging the toilet, an empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the floor beside her.
"Apparently," Molly said, "she caught her boyfriend with another woman. She was so upset that she came home, got drunk, trashed the apartment, and passed out."
"And this was out of character?" Jack asked, whipping out his little notebook and writing so fast that Danny was sure he'd never be able to read the words scrawled on the page.
Molly nodded. "Completely. Kate never gets mad. She gets frustrated, she gets ticked off, but she doesn't get mad. Not smash-everything-we-own kind of mad, anyway. So when I got home from work, I just assumed something like that had happened again."
"When did you suspect that it wasn't?" Danny asked.
Molly pursed her lips and pointed to the cabinet below the sink. "When I saw that the liquor cabinet was still locked."
Danny knelt down and grasped the handle of the cabinet, tugging firmly. The door was locked. He stood up. "Is it always locked?"
"Except when Kate's getting a drink, or we have friends over," Molly said. "She's got the only key to it; she keeps it on her key ring with all her other ones."
"What about you?" Jack asked.
Molly raised her eyebrows. "I don't drink." She offered no further explanation. "Anyway, the cabinet was still locked, so I thought maybe she'd gone somewhere else. You know, to cool off. I started calling around – bars she likes to go to, places she usually goes when she's upset. I called a couple of her coworkers to ask if anything had happened at the office – she works at a publishing company downtown – and then I called a couple of our sorority sisters who live on the island. No one had heard from her."
"Did you call anyone else?" asked Jack, who was still scribbling away.
"Her parents, her older brother, and her boyfriend. Her parents and her brother hadn't seen her; there was no answer at her boyfriend's place."
Jack looked up from his notepad and locked eyes with Danny for a brief moment, then turned back to Molly. "What's his name?"
"Steve Kaminski. His number's on the dry erase board over by the fridge." She stood on her toes, attempting to peer over Danny. "There was a picture of him on the bookshelf, but I'm guessing that was the first thing to go."
Danny guessed that he had stepped on that picture. The picture had been shredded, so it wouldn't be of any use to them. "Do you think that maybe something happened between them again?" he asked.
Molly shrugged. "This is the only room that's been touched, and nothing's missing. If it were a robbery, they would have taken something."
"You mean besides your roommate?" Jack said.
"What do you think?" Danny asked Jack, as they headed for the elevator. They were on their way to meet Martin and Sam, who had been interrogating the doorman and any of the building's residents who happened to be in the lobby at the time of Kate's disappearance. Sam had called up to say that the doorman didn't notice anyone suspicious, which led her and Martin to believe that Kate knew her abductor. "About the roommate?"
Jack shrugged and pushed the call button for the elevator. "She's hiding something." Danny privately agreed. She'd seemed far too calm for a woman whose roommate had just been kidnapped out of her own apartment.
The elevator appeared only seconds later, and the doors opened with a ding. "You stay here and see if you can get any more out of her," Jack said, stepping inside. "I'm going to check out the boyfriend."
Danny nodded, and the doors shut in his face. He turned around and made his way through the throng of cops back to the apartment.
It was a completely different scene. The mass of cops had disappeared, leaving only the redhead, who had crouched low to the floor and was sobbing quietly into her hands. She dug the heels of her hands into her eyes and set about picking the discarded objects off the floor, but when she reached for yet another broken picture frame, she burst into tears again.
"You know," Danny said loudly, causing Molly to jump, "I dated a sorority girl once. She dumped me."
Molly just stared at him, then knelt down and picked up the frame. "I'm sure you've been dumped by all manner of women, Agent Taylor."
Danny grinned. He looked about the apartment, which was still a complete mess. "You want some help cleaning up?"
She cocked an eyebrow, and he saw that her eyes were red and puffy, and her cheeks were tearstained. She didn't seem calm anymore. He wondered how she'd managed to hold it together while all the cops were swarming around her place. If it had been him, he would have lost it by now. He couldn't help but be impressed.
The sound of her voice brought him out of his reverie. "Am I a suspect or a potential victim?"
He furrowed his brow in confusion. "Excuse me?"
"Obviously Agent Malone asked you to stay," she said, bending down and carefully picking up the shards of broken glass, "so you either believe I had something to do with this or that I'll be the next victim." She stood, and her green eyes met his brown ones. "Which is it?"
Danny cleared his throat, suddenly uncomfortable. "Actually, Jack just wanted me to ask you a few more questions."
The hardness in her eyes softened slightly. "Anything that you think will help bring Kate back." She walked to the kitchen and dumped the handful of glass into the garbage can. "She's all I have left."
Danny picked his way through the living room, making sure to shut the door behind him. "Why's that?"
She shrugged nonchalantly, but he caught the quiver of her bottom lip. "My parents died almost four years ago, not long after Kate and I graduated from college. She took care of me. She's my sister, you know. She's the only family I have now."
The death of a parent was something Danny understood all too well. He knelt down and started gathering up the scattered books. "How did they die?"
Molly didn't meet his eye, instead concentrating on a spot of floor by his feet. "They were in the South Tower."
He had the sudden urge to comfort her, but refrained. He continued picking up books, hoping to keep his arms busy so they wouldn't wrap themselves around Molly of their own accord. "Does Kate have any enemies, anyone who would want to see her harmed?"
Molly shook her head vigorously. "No. She's one of the nicest people I've ever met."
"What about her boyfriend? You said they were having problems."
Molly crouched down beside him and began to help. "Not really. I mean, other than that one time she thought she caught him cheating. But ever since then, things have been pretty good between them. At least, she hasn't told me anything."
Danny stood up and set the pile of books on the kitchen counter. "What do you mean she thought she caught him cheating?"
"She saw him at a restaurant with another woman. That's when she came home and trashed the apartment. The next day she confronted him about it, and he said that she was an old friend who was only in town for the day and wanted to see him."
The tone of her voice suggested that she hadn't believed him. "But you don't think that's true."
She looked at him. "Agent Taylor, I was in a sorority with over a hundred girls. I've seen every type of relationship there is, and when a guy doesn't tell his girlfriend that he's meeting a female friend for dinner, it usually means there's something more to it than just two friends catching up."