Summary: When Angela's career is on the line, she needs her partner more than ever.
Author's note: As I mentioned earlier, this story is somewhat out of date, occurring well before the advent of Da Vinci's City Hall. I tried to preserve elements of the episodes while also giving myself the freedom to rewrite history.
Thanks to everyone for your constructive reviews and have a very happy holiday season!
The drive seemed longer than usual. He couldn't stop thinking about Angela, the hostility in her voice, the pain in her eyes. He turned up the music until it pounded the car. He'd gone there to apologize to Angela and he'd backed down. He'd wanted to apologize for being a jerk, for being a bad partner. Now he was kicking himself for it. He was angry, at her and at himself. He didn't need this stress.
The music wasn't helping him forget, so he pulled out his phone.
"Hey," answered Suki brightly. He felt himself beginning to relax. A pause, then, "Where are you?" He turned down the music.
"I'm picking you up. Get your coat and meet me outside."
He pulled up to her walk-up and saw her standing in the orange glow of a streetlight. He cringed inwardly, seeing she had dressed up. She opened the passenger door and stepped in.
"Hey," he said, trying to sound excited, "You look nice." She beamed. She was so easy to please, Mick thought.
"Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise."
On the boat he poured two glasses of wine, knowing he'd need it.
Suki sat on the cushioned bench and took off her coat, revealing a small sleeveless black cocktail dress that showed off her toned arms. Mick passed her a glass then downed his in one gulp. Suki raised an eyebrow and smiled. He poured another glass, willing himself to concentrate, passing his gaze over Suki's bright eyes, shining hair, and creamy skin, but he felt nothing. He sat next to her and began to pull her mouth towards his for a kiss.
"Wait," she said playfully, putting a hand to his chest. "Don't you want to talk first?" He barely paused.
"I don't want to talk," he said, covering her mouth with his, placing a hand on the small of her back to draw her closer. She pulled back, a look of confusion and hurt on her face.
"Mick, what's going on? You're acting strange. I don't feel like we're alone here."
"What do you mean? We're alone," he said, running a reassuring hand down her arm. "I want to be with you, Suki."
"No you don't," she whispered. "There's someone else." Mick lowered his eyes, confirming it fo her. "Who is it?" she asked, "Sunny?" He shook his head.
"No, that's over, Suk."
"Angela," she stated and his look of surprise affirmed her guess. An expression of pain lingered on her face momentarily, disappearing as she took a deep breath.
"It's okay, Mick. It would have been fun." She noticed how he couldn't meet her eyes, how his haggard face showed dejection. "Do you want to talk now?" Waiting for him to respond, she pulled on her coat and wrapped it around her.
"No," he shook his head, then looked up at her. "Thanks. But I've got some thinking to do." He stood up. "I'll take you home."
Back on his boat, that night, Mick drank the rest of the wine and fell into a fitful sleep.
He woke up to his cell phone, head pounding. He looked at the caller ID: Kurtz. "Shit," he exclaimed, clearing his throat before answering. His tongue felt fuzzy and all his muscles had stiffened from sleeping on the cot where he had practically passed out the night before.
"Where are you? You were supposed to be here an hour ago for the division meeting." He looked at his watch, ten. He cringed.
"Oh," he replied, trying to feign surprise. "I was pursuing some leads and I must've got sidetracked."
"Well I need to talk to you. Where are you?" As usual, Kurtz's voice wasn't angry, but steely and calm.
"I just stopped for coffee on the Drive, so I'll be an hour," he lied, already pulling on his shoes and running a hand through his flattened hair, dreaming up leads he might've been pursuing that morning. He made it to HQ before eleven and as soon as he stepped in, Kurtz called him into her office.
"Sit down," she said, a frown etched on her face. "I need to talk with you." By the tone of her voice, he could tell the matter was serious. He sat in the grey chair across from Kurtz's massive desk. He leaned forward. "I asked you here because you're Angela's friend and her partner." Mick nodded, although he wasn't so sure of that. "They have proof that her informant, Sue, is guilty of the murder. They think Angela let her friendship with the informant get in the way of her objectivity."
"So what happens now? Will she be demoted? Suspended?" Mick asked, concerned.
"It's worse than that. Joe Tang says he has evidence she tampered with evidence that would incriminate Sue. Mick shook his head in disbelief. He could believe Angela had been attached to Sue, but she would never tamper with evidence.
"If she resigns, this could all go away. She could get a job somewhere else. Internal Affairs would drop it."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"She's a good cop. I need you to talk with her and ask her to resign. It's for her own good," Kurtz said gravely, as if she might not believe even herself.
"I can't do that. She didn't tamper with evidence. I know her. I won't ask her to give up her dreams, for what? To be a security guard at some bank?" He said, still stunned by Kurtz's request.
"I don't see what other choices we have," Kurtz said apologetically. Mick sighed, resting his head in his hands as resignation began to set in. Suddenly a thought occurred to him and he looked Kurtz in the eye.
"How long before this comes out?" He asked. She pulled out a police-issue case folder.
"I've asked Tang to let me review this evidence before we decide whether to lay charges. I can't stall longer than this week." Mick stood.
"Then we have a week to clear her." Kurtz looked grim.
"All right, but this has to be under the radar."
"I understand," Mick turned to leave. As he turned the doorknob, Kurtz said, "Detective, you're going to need this." She passed him the file folder.
"Thanks," he stated.
Hope to have more posted in the New Year!