A/N: I'm doing something terrible here…its really mean but the idea came to me and I'm like noooo I can't kill him off! But it wouldn't let me rest until I wrote it…don't kill me! Ok well please review because I would just love that :D Thanks tonnes for even considering reading…if you got this far you're top stuff in my mind!
Disclaimer: Wow you know if I DID own the damn show I wouldn't have had to type this up FIVE FREAKIN' TIMES because my computer shut down! So obviously I don't…wouldn't it be great if one of us did though? sigh
It was as if the city was suspended in a block of ice. Nothing moved, except the odd raindrop that fell from a building high above, breaking on the stone below. The torrential downpour of rain that was so out of character for the city of Boston at that time of year had ceased, leaving its scent hanging thick in the air, clinging to everything it could get a hold on. Hardly a car was on the normally busy streets below, and those that must move did so slowly and with such lethargy that it barely looked out of place on this sleepiest of sleepy days. The atmosphere was thick, clinging to the people that had to be on the streets, due to one job or another, reminding them that there was something more to life than the train that was running late or the pay rise they would probably never get. Boston was suspended in time.
The inhabitants of the Chief Medical Examiners office in Massachusetts felt this too – the ones who weren't dead, that is. Those patiens were beyond caring if the rain had stopped or started, if their bodies were stretched out on cold tables and sliced into with unforgiving scalpels, wielded by equally unforgiving hands.
One pair of those unforgiving hands were scribbling away madly at the bidding of their owner, Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh, who was desperately trying to get the abominably large pile of paperwork in front of her finished, oblivious to the obvious atmosphere of lethargy that had consumed her colleagues.
Biting back a cry of triumph, knowing it would not be appreciated, she threw her pen down on top of the finished reports and leant back in her chair, silly smile on her face, pleased with her efforts. Rarely was she ever anything but unorganized when it came to the theoretical side of her job. Practical she loved…paperwork? Well who could even remotely enjoy the stuff?
Just as she was preparing to leave for the day – rather early, she knew, but there really was nothing more she could do – her office phone rang. Sighing heavily and picking it up, she barely contained her irritation, she almost barked into the phone.
"Dr Cavanaugh?" a thickly accented voice queried.
"Yes, who is speaking?"
"Doesn't matter," the voice said. Jordan was about to protest when he started talking again. "There's something down at the Old Boston Wharves that might interest you."
"Is it dead?" Jordan asked, irritably. "Because if its not…"
"Its dead," the man assured her."
"Well you should really be talking to the police."
"I don't think you understand," he said, accent waning slightly. "This will interest you…personally."
"I'm really not authorised to…" She stopped abruptly. What was she saying? "Why will it interest me?"
"Come and find out," the voice said, losing the accent entirely, and hung up. The voice sounded vaguely familiar, familiar enough for Jordan to recognise that it was familiar, but beyond that she didn't know. She cast it from her mind, deciding to follow the instruction. She picked up her jacket and started to leave the morgue.
"Leaving so soon?" Lily intercepted her as she stood waiting for the lift.
"I'm checking something out at the old wharves," she said, thinking it may be handy to have someone know where she was. She was learning.
"Avoiding paperwork again?" Lily said with a knowing smile. She herself had a few reports that neede to be done and would relish a distraction. Hence her third degree of her colleague.
"Uh, yeah," Jordan said as the lift blinked. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye!" Lily said, waving as the door of the lift closed.
It was starting to get dark by the time Jordan pulled up at the old wharves. She felt a twinge of discomfort at being out there alone at this time of night, with only one person knowing where she was, but she disregarded the thought almost as soon as it entered her mind. She was learning, but she still had a long way to go. Had that process been any more advanced, she would have done the sensible thing and called the police, possibly Woody, so she could stay relatively close to the case. But she hadn't, and there she was, poking around a bunch of old crates filled with foul-smelling God-knows-whats in search of something dead.
Luckily, or unluckily for her the object of her search presented itself within moments. She made haste towards the lump that was most definitely a dead body, of a mind to check for vitals. What she saw made her wish she had not.
As she went closer the light illuminated the face of the victim, and it was one that was painfully familiar… A feeling of dark horror swept over her leaving her feeling ill.
"No," she uttered, eyes transfixed on the body. "No, no, no…"
She stood, rooted to the spot, staring at the man. His eyes were open in a death stare, depicting the terror of his last moments. "No, no, no…"
The words took on a trance like feeling as she repeated the word over and over, as if somehow that would make it all better, as if somehow that would breath life into the body of the man in front of her, make him smile and laugh and talk again, tell her how much he loved her…
Garret sat back against his chair, revelling in its comfort after a long day on his feet slicing open numerous dead bodies that demanded his attention. Well, not literally, of course, he reasoned. How can the dead demand?
He shook his head, trying to rid himself of the erratic thoughts whirling around it – as they had a tendency to do on a Friday afternoon. Thinking it was too early to call it a day but knowing there was nothing useful he could commit to, he sat, trying to come to s decision on what he was going to do. Maybe he could walk around and see how everyone was going?
Just as he was about to stand, Woody and Lily came into sight, laughing at something, so Garret hailed them.
"What's got you down here, detective? Some juicy murder I don't know about?"
"Juicy?" Lily laughed, still in high spirits.
"Its been a long day," Garret defended his bad choice of words.
"I was looking for Jordan," Woody said. " I just had to pick up some paperwork on the Mitchell murder from yesterday."
"Not much chance of that," Garret said, smiling slightly, just as Woody's cell started to ring.
"Where is Jordan, anyway?" Garret queried of Lily, as Woody moved away to take the call.
Lily frowned. "I think she got a callout. She didn't tell you?"
"No," Garret said, not particularly fussed. She had probably just gone home for the day, he mused.
"Body down at the old wharves," Woody reported. "Want to come along, Doc? Saves dispatch calling you."
"The old wharves?" Lily said, frowning again. "That's where Jordan said she was going."
"Ah, scratch that then, Dr. Macy,"
"That was about half an hour ago," Lily added. Woody looked alarmed.
"But that's impossible. Who did she say called?"
"She didn't. Just that she was going to check something out."
Garret stood up. "We better go check it out," he said uncertainly, and shared a glance with the young detective. Images were flitting through both their minds, none of them good.
"You don't think…" Lily trailed off. Woody looked at her.
"We better go," he said. Garret grabbed his coat and they left hastily, both fearing the worst.
Once Jordan was able to move again, she backed slowly away from the body, still muttering 'No' under her breath. It was keeping her latched onto reality, the thin thread between this life, and the black hole she could see, was hurtling towards at breakneck pace. She had only seen this hole with such clarity once before, a long time ago, when she had come home from school to find her mother dead on the kitchen floor. Somehow, in some small way, this was worse. If anything could be worse.
Jordan was numb, couldn't feel anything except the rising panic in her throat. She wanted so badly to scream and yell and shake the man who was on the ground, shout at him to get up, to rise, to help her and be her strength like he had done countless times before. He was the only one who could possibly understand, the only one who shared her drive to find her mother's murderer, the only one she could count on beyond any single shadow of a doubt to help her.
Her father, lying slumped unceremoniously on the cold, wet ground of the wharves.
A clammy hand clamped around her mouth, not even fazing the distraught ME, who was still staring in a complete state of disbelief and shock at the body of her father.
"Don't say a word." The voice amazingly penetrated the numb haze Jordan was sinking into. He let her go and spun her around to face him. The face of her brother stared back at her, eerily illuminated by the street light that had come on about 10 metres away.
Her father. Smiling as she danced around the kitchen with her mother, clapping his hands and humming along to the well-known tune.
"James," she said automatically. Her brother's face looked neither gleeful or triumphant, as she would have expected had he killed her father. Instead there was a look of deep concern on his face, tempered with a definite sense of urgency.
Her father, smiling as she offered him a biscuit, taking it from her chubby four-year old hand, not caring where it had been.
Lying in a pool of his own blood, a gaping wound in his chest.
"We have to get out of here," James told her in a low voice.
"Yes," Jordan said calmly, not hearing, not comprehending anything.
Her father, holding her and sobbing with her as they watched Emily's body lowered into the ground, trying to accept that she was never coming back. That they would never again hear her voice, see her smile or laugh.
She couldn't do it again. Couldn't watch another coffin sink into the ground, couldn't stand knowing her father was in a box with velvet linings…when his life had been anything but velvet.
"I don't think you understand, Jordan. He will come back. He wants to finish us. You mustn't go after him, not yet."
Her father. Struggling to keep his teenage daughter in check. Loving her every step of the way. On her side the entire time.
"I didn't do this, Jordan," he said, willing her to believe him. When she didn't answer he grew frustrated.
"Jordan, are you listening to me?"
Her eyes swung around to James, as if only just spotting him.
"Aren't you supposed to be dead?" she asked calmly, as if asking for directions.
Her father. Keeping tabs on her when it all got too much. The thread holding her to reality. The pillar of strength she held onto when she was close to collapse.
"You don't understand. He killed them both and he wants you. Us. He wont stop until the whole…family is dead." He was very reluctant to use that word, this being only his third meeting with his sister.
"Family?" Jordan echoed.
James grabbed her shoulders. "You have to come with me, now!"
"But he's dead," she said slowly.
"I know," James said heavily. "We can't do anything."
"We could do CPR," she said almost brightly. "Come on…"
She tugged on his shirt and he was afraid she had lost it.
"He's dead, Jordan. Dead!" He leant in close. "We have to get out of here!" When again she didn't answer he began to pull her away, take her to safety. He was suddenly overcome with a sense of protection, and it scared him. But not enough to shirk from what he believed he had to do.
"I know where he is, Jordan. We'll hunt him down together."
Jordan surveyed him, eyes betraying nothing. She then turned, stared at her father's body, trying to quash the feeling of rising panic, betrayal and anger. A low moan escaped her. The sound was one of such misery and pain James felt like screaming himself. On impulse, he put his arms around the woman standing in front of him. His sister, he realised with a jolt. She fell into him, grabbing onto his shirt and shaking with grief. He extracted himself from her and looked her in the eye. She hardly even saw him, and would recall this incident later as if it were a dream.
"I have to go. If you wont come, have this." He handed her a small slip of paper. "Do not let anyone see it. Come when you can and we'll hunt the scum together, I promise."
James felt stupid making such weak promises. He only had a weak idea of who the man was.
What he had said finally penetrated her numbness.
"Why do you care?" she asked in a bluntness that only accompanies terribly grief. "He wasn't your father."
"No," he agreed. "But she was my mother." And you are my sister. He almost said it, but bit it back as the words formed on his tongue.
"He killed them both," Jordan said stonily.
"It's the only explanation," her brother replied. His head snapped around and he cocked his head to on side. The sound of a siren could be dimly heard, in the distance.
"Here's your ride. I gotta run." he said, casting the body of the man who was almost his father an apologetic glance, and squeezing Jordan's shoulder before running off into the night. Jordan watched him go, sensing keenly that she had just lost someone else. The flashing lights and siren suggested that her 'ride' as James had called it had indeed arrived, and she shielded her eyes in the face of the light. A single car screeched to a halt and two figures got out.
"Jordan!" a familiar voice called out, and made for her as he spotted her. "There were shots, someone saw a body…Lily told us where you went…we thought…" Woody trailed off as he saw the look on her face, a look of such bland calmness it could only contain the worst possible of storms. In her hand she clutched a piece of paper as if it meant her life. And it did.
Garret scanned the scene, as was his way, not an easy task when the light was so poor. Spotting a body on the ground he walked over to it, wondering why Jordan hadn't already done the honours. The answer to that question hit him like a tonne of bricks when he recognised the big man's face.
"God, no," he uttered. Woody had joined him, wondering what had gotten Garret so worked up, and also wished he hadn't. Jordan watched, detached, from a distance. Garret turned to her, still at a complete loss for words. Woody was still staring in horror at the body.
"God, Jordan," he said, looking up, also having no idea what to say.
Garret took a step towards her wanting to help her, comfort her. Putting a hand on her arm, he opened his mouth.
As if the touch had incited a great riot within her, she jerked her arm away eyes blazing. She shot the body another angry glance, as if reprimanding it for being dead, turned on her heel and walked away. She threw open the door of her car and sped away, leaving Garret and Woody staring hopelessly after her.
On her way to her apartment, not caring if she was pulled over for reckless driving, she drummed her fingers on the steering wheel, no doubt in her mind on what she must do.
Screeching to a halt outside her apartment block, she hastened up the stairs, pulling her keys out of her pocket. Grappling furiously with them, she shoved on into her lock and wrenched the heavy red door open, now practically blinded with anger.
How dare he, she screamed into her mind. How dare he! She didn't even know to whom she referred.
She rummaged around furiously in her drawers, throwing clothes out onto the floor, until she found what she was looking for. Checking that there were bullets in the gun, she shoved it into her pocket, thinking numbly that she would find a better place to house it later.
She had to move fast, or they would come. She had no doubt that they would follow her. She didn't want their glances, their knowing looks, their damn pity. Choking back the tears that threatened to spill forth she struggled to remain composed.
She was Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh, Medical Examiner for the Massachusetts State Office. She would not be weak; she would be strong, like her father always taught her to be…
God! Her father! Her throat constricted in grief and she rushed to the toilet, throwing up her lunch into the bowl. When she had finished, she wiped her mouth quickly with the back of her hand, threw some money and a key on the bench, and ran out of the door, not even bothering to close it behind her. She jumped into her car, thinking she would dump it somewhere on the way – she didn't want any chance to remain of her being followed – she sped off into the night, just as the sky began to rain its own sorrow onto the world, yet again.