The New Kids in the Squad Room

Part 11

Disclaimer: Not mine. Well except for Sophia and Jeffrey of course ;)

A/N: It been a while but here it is. Hope you enjoy. If you like it please review

Back at the station house Cragen was once again on the phone with the US Marshals.

"Yes I said Vermont!" Cragen repeated for what seemed like the millionth time "I need to know if Andy Eckerson owns any land in Vermont!"

"I'm sorry but I can't find anything in Vermont," the woman on the other end answered.

'So much for complete and total cooperation' Cragen thought "Listen to me very carefully," Cragen began, being sure to annunciate every syllable very slowly "I… need… to… know… if… An-dy Eck-er-son… owns… any… pro-per-ty… in… Ver-mont. Can… you… check… again?"

"Are you that NYPD Captain from New York?" the woman asked.

'Oh what kind of genius did they stick me with' Cragen wondered. He was unaware of the US Marshals instigating a high school intern program "Yes," Cragen responded.

"I'm not supposed to be giving out that information to you," the ditz informed him.

"Says who?" Cragen asked. He was hoping that this air head would be dumb enough to spill the beans.

"Oh please," the far too annoying to be human individual responded, her voice full of sarcasm "What kind of idiot do you take me for?"

'Do you really want me to answer that?' Cragen mused as he bit back a small but very un-captain-like giggle.

Far away from the frustrations of this particular phone call, four detectives sat at a booth in a small diner in southern Vermont. They had decided to set up "base camp" as it were there because it would be undoubtedly closer to where ever Eckerson was keeping Olivia than the station house would be.

Sophia returned to the table after a brief trip to the ladies room and ordered what seemed like her twentieth cup of coffee. She took in the expressions on the men around her and for a moment she wondered how Olivia handled being the only female detective on the team.

"What are you looking at?" she asked a snickering Munch.

Munch simply pointed to Sophia's right foot. Sophia looked down to see a piece of toilet paper about eighteen inches long trailing from her shoe. 'Oh Dam' she thought as she kicked the piece of paper off and under the table.

The waitress returned with a large pot of coffee and refreshed the cups of all the detectives. Sophia smiled and thanked her as she left.

Fin and Jeffrey had began a battle for the last packet of Equal.

"Give it here," Jeffrey wined.

"No way man," Fin protested "I've got seniority. Remember?"

"Not when it comes to artificial sweeteners," Jeffrey protested reaching across the table and attempting to snatch the packet away from Fin.

The Equal packet broke and the contents ended up in Fin's coffee. Munch and Sophia laughed.

"Victory!" Fin exclaimed with a triumphant grin on his face.

"Lucky," Jeffrey grumbled as he reached for a Sweet'n'low packet of which there were plenty.

Sophia also reached for a Sweet'n'low packet and smiled at her partner "Don't be a sore loser," she broke into a small fit of giggles before she added "You know? It wasn't really a fair fight, both sides weren't Equal."

Everyone groaned at her attempt at a joke.

Munch eyed the Sweet'n'low packets carefully before selecting a regular sugar packet "You know artificial sweeteners are all just a front," he began.

Fin rolled his eyes "Here we go."

"The tiny crystals," Munch continued seemingly unaware of his partner's comment "Actually contain tiny robots. If the Government ever needs emergency soldiers, all they do is…"

"Oh enough already!" Fin surprised even himself with the volume of his voice.

Munch fell silent but shot his partner a very angry look.

Sophia quickly changed the subject "So does the Captain know where we are?"

Munch nodded somberly. The mention of the Captain had brought his mind back to the case and the case worried him deeply. He tried not to let it show though "We're supposed to wait here until he calls and tells us where to go next."

"Its been a long time," Jeffrey mused aloud "You'd think that he would have found the information by now?"

"What do you mean?" Fin asked suspiciously. Fin did not like Jeffrey's tone at all.

"I mean," Jeffrey began "Maybe she doesn't want to be found."

"You idiot!" Fin shouted, attempting to jump up and reach across the table to strangle Jeffrey.

Munch quickly pulled his partner back down "Take it easy Fin. We're all on the same side here."

"No we're not!" Fin fumed "One of us is a dirty liar."

Munch nodded in understanding. It seemed that Jeffrey wasn't all that smart.

Sophia just stared at her partner with growing contempt "Of course she wants to be found stupid," she growled "Its him that doesn't want anyone to find her."

Realization dawned on Jeffrey and he attempted to hide his face.

Sophia decided to try changing the subject again. It was 2:00am and she didn't feel like getting into a heated argument with anyone.

"So Jeffrey," she began "Whose watching your kids while we sit up here in this twenty four hour diner?"

"They're staying with my baby sitter and her mom until I get back," he answered confused at the sudden change in topic "She'll drop them off at school tomorrow."

Suddenly Munch slid out of his side of the booth and began pacing the length of the near empty restaurant.

"What's up John?" Sophia asked but not before taking the opportunity to sneak a packet of Sweet'N'Low into his coffee.

"It shouldn't take this long," Munch muttered "Eckerson must have help on the inside."

"A bad egg in the Marshals?" Jeffrey asked.

Sophia rolled her eyes when she heard her partner use the term 'bad egg' but nodded just the same "Its possible," she commented "Or the property he owns in Vermont is just under a different name."

Something clicked in Munch's brain "Or he rents from someone," he snapped his fingers "No deed, no paper trail."

"There would be a paper trail," Jeffrey jumped in eager to redeem himself "Invoices to whom ever he rented from."

Simultaneously all four detectives pulled out their phones. After a very brief argument it was decided that Sophia would make the call to Cragen, after a remark about women's writes to equal representation in the work place. Sophia quickly dialed Cragen's office.

In his office, Captain Cragen had given up on the frustrations of dealing with the annoying woman when he heard his phone ring.

"Cragen," he answered sounding exhausted.

"Captain," came Sophia's voice through the receiver. Cragen could tell that she was excited about something.

"What is it Parker?" he asked in an urgent tone. Something about the excitement in her voice had given him hope.

"Do we have Eckerson's finacials?" she asked him.

"Yeah, why?" he responded sounding a bit confused.

He heard hushed conversation in the background then Sophia's voice returned with a question "Could you fax them to this number?" she gave Cragen a number that he didn't recognize.

"Sure," he said, still mystified "but why?"

"A hunch," she answered. Although Sophia thought that it was a pretty good chance, she didn't want the Captain to stop trying to get the information from the Marshals.

Thanking the Captain, Sophia quickly hung up the phone and followed the waitress to the night managers office where she waited for the fax.

When the paperwork came through she glanced through it quickly and then rushed back out to the others.

"I think this is what we're looking for!" she said excitedly waving a section of the papers in the air.

"Calm down girl," Fin said taking the papers from her to see what she was so excited about.

Munch peered over his partner's shoulder "Checks made out to both a Mrs. Allen and a Mrs. Pittman. What's the big deal?"

"The big deal is," Sophia began, slightly out of breath from jumping in the air when she had first discovered this information "That both these checks were made out just this afternoon and both women own property here in Vermont."

"That isn't much help," Jeffrey said, getting up from his seat to join the others.

"It narrows it down," Sophia told him "Both these places are around here."


Hahaha I know its been a while but I just wanted to make sure ya'll are still paying attention. Review please.