DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Not honestly certain I want them right now.
NOTES: This story is actually told backwards. It contains fifth season finale spoilers and plot twists that arose from suggestions made on various message boards. The ultimate twist is entirely unlikely, but hey, denial can be a beautiful thing.
NOTES2: The chapter titles refer to dicing (as in with six-sided cubes, not as in chopping things up really finely). "The Venus Throw" was a particularly lucky throw in dice games in Ancient Rome; "Let the dice fly" is what Julius Caesar said upon crossing the Rubicon (according to Plutarch). All chapters are actually contained in this post.
RATED for a few swear words.
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL
The Venus Throw
Her head lay on his chest, his fingers stroking through her dark curls. She smiled happily and snuggled up against him, sliding one very unclad leg over his equally unclad form. The hand lying idly on her shoulder tightened, drawing her closer. He dropped a light kiss on her forehead and tugged the quilt higher up to ward off the slight chill.
"Do you ever miss him?" He asked, a note of uncertainty in his voice.
She looked up at him, her dark eyes briefly shadowed by old griefs, caught for just a moment in the old habits of the moth to the flame. She wetted her lower lip with the tip of her tongue before shaking her head.
"You sure?" His voice was quiet and gentle, the balm her wounded soul needed.
"Yeah," she answered.
He grinned, neither in malice, nor in triumph, though maybe in some relief. "Never?"
She sighed. "I miss… how it used to be. But… it hadn't been like that in a long time."
He twirled a lock of her hair around his fingers. "So… are we 'in sync?'"
She answered him by straddling him. He groaned her name as her weight settled lightly against him, as she began kissing her way down his jaw, over his collarbone and further. Smiling wickedly against his abdomen, her words floated to him. "Let's make sure."
Let it Ride
Jordan took a deep breath, steadying herself, readying herself for the moment when the waters of her new life would wash over her, sweeping her along in their ebb and flow until the instant she learned how to swim with the tide. She exhaled, looking around her office. Outside the rain poured down steadily. A summer rain storm to wash the city clean. There was something right about leaving this way. Funny. The way things fall apart.
She closed her eyes briefly. And how that's okay.
No doubt Father Paul would have quoted something Biblical to her. Ecclesiastes. A time to everything. She kept thinking of Yeats though. The center does not hold.
No, it really doesn't.
She looked up at the soft call and could find no expression for her face except the awkward smile of an ex… ex-something. She pushed down the tears blossoming in her eyes, closing her throat. She was done crying for the past. "Hey."
Woody shifted from one foot to the other. "You're – Uh – It's a leave of absence, right?"
For a moment she felt the old synchronicity again as his eyes pleaded with her to say what he wanted to hear. Grief tugged at her. Moments. Flashes. You can't make a life out of them. In her own way, she'd tried. She shook her head slowly.
He looked as if he'd been slapped.
Any further response from her was destined to remain forever mute. A new figure appeared in the doorway. "Ready?"
Jordan nodded, taking a moment to make the introductions. "Drew Haley, this is Detective Woody Hoyt, Boston P.D." She gestured uselessly. "Woody, Haley's with the FBI."
"The – What? Why?"
Jordan and Drew exchanged looks. Haley spoke. "Witness protection."
"But-" He looked from one to the other and back again, his blue eyes ablaze with disbelief. "Jordan, you don't have to-"
"Woody, I helped bring down Blackie Conroy's top lieutenants." She gave him a wry shrug. "Not to mention a few of Boston's Finest's top brass. It doesn't mean it's over though."
"You didn't do anything. You used the notes Pollack had written. Why would they go after you?"
Haley rolled her eyes. This guy's a cop? Boston's in deep shit.
"Woody," her voice was soft, insistent. "Don't be naïve. You haven't been that Wisconsin Farm Boy in a good long while. You know it's not safe for me here."
The detective turned to Haley. "I'm a cop. I can keep her safe."
"How?" Haley smirked. "Lock her up at home? Never let her leave her apartment? Besides… I don't get the impression she was asking you to keep her safe."
Angry and scared, Woody glared at the profiler before turning back to Jordan. "Jo, come on. This can't be real."
She reached out a hand, drawing her fingers down his cheek. "It's real, Woody."
He grabbed her fingers. "Fine. I'll go with you." He squeezed her hand. "Anything, Jordan. Anything. You were right. About us. Me. You. Us!"
She snorted. "That's a first."
"What you said," he rushed on. "About not being in sync, about – about you growing up." He bit his lower lip. "And about me not."
Gently she replied, "I didn't say that."
He shook his head. "You didn't have to. The message made it through my thick skull. Finally."
He tugged her toward him. "You can't do this. I'm not ready. I don't want you to do this!"
Haley stepped closer to the detective and wordlessly detached Jordan's hand from Woody's grasp. "This isn't about you, Hoyt. It isn't about what you want or what you're ready for. And again – I didn't hear her asking for your help."
Woody almost swung on the older man. "Who the hell are you? Did she ask for your help?"
"Actually, yeah, she did," Haley informed him in his matter-of-fact tone. "When this began, she asked for my help."
"When what began?" Woody looked from one to the other again.
"Jordan." Haley's voice was more urgent now.
She nodded curtly. Leaning back in, she kissed Woody lightly on the mouth. If she'd expected a spark, an ember to catch in her heart, she was disappointed. But the truth was she hadn't expected that. Whatever used to be there was ash now. Ash from the fires of her obsession with her mother's death, with her fear of being hurt, from his secretive involvement with Lu Simmons.
"Jordan, what's he talking about? When what began?" Though he wanted to savor the light touch of her mouth on his, she was slipping away so fast. He had to stop her and he didn't know how. He used to know how. "When what began?"
She backed away, toward Haley. "Ask Lois Carver. Or Renee Walcott." She swallowed. "Or Garret." She turned, let Drew usher her out and started toward the elevator.
Woody watched her, too confused and hurt to move for a moment. The ding of the elevator recalled him to his senses and he charged out of her office. He watched the door slide open and took in the genuinely happy smile of the man waiting in the elevator car. What in the hell…? He's… dead.
Let the Dice Fly
"Ready?" Walcott's voice had its usual sardonic tone, but rang with a note of compassion.
Jordan looked up, still surprised to find herself here. She nodded. This had to be a dream she'd wake up from any minute now. Walcott being nice to her? Helping her? Really, that was the biggest shock of the whole thing.
Kim voiced her objection to the whole plan. Again. "I'm not ready." She stood in front of Jordan. "Jor, this is – this is crazy. They want to use you – as bait!" Kim threw a cold look at the D.A. "And if it doesn't work out, she'll have you right back in here."
"No. She won't," Jordan responded quietly. "She won't have to."
"What?" Kim shook her head in disbelief. "You'll – what – turn yourself in?"
The M.E. shook her head. "If this doesn't work, I'll be dead."
The lawyer blanched. "You can't – You don't have to do this! The evidence is circumstantial." She nodded in concession to the unspoken argument. "Strong circumstantial evidence, yeah, but you had no motive. Besides everyone at – at the morgue… they'll find the evidence to clear you."
Jordan and Renee exchanged looks that perplexed Kim, who looked to Detective Lois Carver for help. Carver shrugged and shook her head.
Jordan reached out for her friend's hand. "Kim, it's okay. I want to do this. If I do this, the people who killed my mother will finally be exposed."
"And that's worth your life?"
Tears welled up in Jordan's amber eyes. "Mine and – and Pollack's, apparently."
"Oh, for Christ's sake! You didn't ask him to snoop around your mom's death."
"No." She shook her head. "But he did. And – Well… you heard what happened."
"That's not your fault. You don't owe him anything."
The M.E. closed her eyes briefly, sighing from deep within her core. "I owe him what I owe anyone else in this situation. Justice. It's what I do, Kim. Speak for those who can't."
"Then give the papers his notes. Give the eleven o'clock news the scoop."
"It doesn't work that way." Jordan squeezed Kim's hand. "All the evidence is…" she smiled at the irony. "… circumstantial. This is the only way to get these people."
Kim gave up. "Fine," she growled. "Let's get this over with then. I'm not used to helping my clients pin targets on their backs." She shook her head, frustrated and frightened for her childhood friend. She hadn't even been able to get Walcott to sign any sort of bargaining agreement and Jordan had said she wouldn't sign one anyway.
Lois Carver moved to escort Jordan through the inevitable gaggle of media and curious citizenry that would press in on them once they left the D.A.'s office. Renee glanced at the defense attorney. Softly, Walcott said, "Don't worry."
"Easy for you to say," Kim muttered.
Renee glanced down at her shoes for a moment and then back at the other woman. "I know she's innocent."
Their little group was met by Matt Seely. He gave Jordan a tight smile and nodded to the others.
"Think I'll try to make a break for it, Seely?" Jordan teased.
He shook his head. "Nah. Just – uh – Lily thought – and me, too – maybe you could use a little more – cover. You know?"
She nodded. "Thanks."
The crowd surged in when they appeared. Jordan, in typical Cavanaugh fashion, refused to hide her face. In fact, she asked the photographers to make sure they got her best side. Carver and Seely kept a very close eye on the crowd as they moved toward a sedan that would have been nondescript if not for the black tinted windows.
Kim looked at the D.A. one last time. "How do you know she's innocent?"
Renee smiled. "Get in the car."
Kim slid in next to Jordan to find the M.E. thanking a man with a dark head of hair and worry lines around his mouth. Winking at him, she turned to Kim to introduce them. "Kim, this is Special Agent Drew Haley. He's a profiler with the FBI."
Haley smiled over Jordan's head.
This day was getting more and more surreal. "No offense, Agent Haley, but what's all this to you?"
"Oh," he smirked. "The FBI is quite interested in this Irish 'mob.' Even with Conroy gone, it's a strong organization. We've been close to nailing them before, but never this close." His eyes twinkled. "And I never could resist a damsel in distress."
Jordan glared at him. "Right. Damsel in distress my ass!" She laughed however.
"You could get her killed! Making her do this-"
"Hold on! This was her idea. She can back out any time-"
"Right. And get tossed back in jail for murdering J.D. Pollack!"
"Oh, luv, no worries about that," came a voice from the front passenger seat.
Jordan feigned a gasp of surprise. "Kim! Did I forget to introduce you to the late, great J.D. Pollack?"
Kim gasped. "But you're – you're dead!"
He smiled at her, adding, "Don't believe everything you read. Some reporters'll print anything for a story." He chuckled at the way Jordan rolled her eyes and gladly grasped the hand she slid between the two seats.
Kim's eyes roved between the three of them. Her mouth opened and closed like a goldfish's in its bowl. "I – uh – I…." She took a deep breath and narrowed her eyes at Jordan. "This has been a set-up from the start, hasn't it?"
Jordan nodded. "Sorry I couldn't tell you."
"The fewer people who know," Haley supplied.
The lawyer nodded. "So, Walcott, Carver… Garret?"
"Yeah," her friend admitted. "And now you."
"And you're – you're really going to do this? Play bait? Jordan, you made a statement on live TV practically challenging these people to come and get you – and Pollack's notes." She threw a glare at Pollack. "Are those real at all?"
The Aussie nodded. "All too real, luv."
"They tried to kill him in D.C., Kim," Jordan told her.
Still angry and scared for her friend, Kim lashed out again at Pollack. "And you just had to run to your ex-girlfriend for help?"
"Kim!" Jordan shook her friend lightly. "No! Actually I didn't know until a friend of J.D.'s let it slip when I ran into him at a scene. I called him and found out what was going on." She lowered her voice. "I found out it tied in to my mom's death."
"That's when she called me," the agent added.
"And you're really okay with this?" Kim shot murderous looks first at Pollack and then at Haley. "You're so close to bringing down the bad guys you don't care who gets hurt, huh?" Her dark eyes stabbed at Haley.
"She'll be wired the whole time and wearing protective gear," the G-man assured Kim. "We'll insist the hand-over of Pollack's notes in a very public place."
"And if they figure out she's recording them? If they shoot for the head? What if they never demand a hand-over? What if they decide it's easier to let Jordan go to jail for a crime she didn't commit? A crime that didn't happen!"
"We're going to give it some time," the M.E. said as soothingly as she could. "If we have to, I'll make a few more public statements. Believe me, the people involved in this won't want to take any chances. If it doesn't work, J.D. will come out of hiding."
Refusing to be mollified, Kim shook her head. "You're nuts, Jor. If this doesn't work, Pollack admits he's alive and probably gets some seven figure book deal. Haley vanishes back into the shadows where games like this are the norm. But you? You could end up on the run. You could end up dead! You're the only one risking anything!"
"Walcott." Jordan's voice was quiet and grave.
"Walcott. If the truth comes out, she'll lose her job. Garret, too, probably. And don't forget Carver. I'm not in this alone, Kim."
It was Pollack's comment that finally stoppered the lawyer's indignation. "She's really not." He squeezed Jordan's hand and, with eyes only for her, added, "I'm risking the only woman I've ever loved."
Picking up the Bones
"Why the hell didn't you tell me?"
"Hello to you, too, Cavanaugh. Welcome to D.C." Pollack arched his brows at her, smirking lightly though, in truth, his heart leapt to see her on his doorstep, even if she was furious with him. "Tell you what?"
She stormed past him and turned, hands on hips, eyes raging, breathing fast. "That someone tried to kill you. Because of me! Because of my mother!"
He dropped his gaze. "Dammit," he muttered. "God damn, Spencer."
"Didn't you think I needed to know?"
"Wasn't certain you'd care," he spit back at her.
"Oh, come on, Pollack! That's bullshit and you know it!"
How was it possible that she was even more beautiful when she was like this? "Because it has to do with your mum's murder?"
"Because someone tried to kill you!"
"So you left the Farmboy at home and trotted off down here to check on me, eh?"
"Woody doesn't know I'm here!" Impossibly, her ire increased.
"No? Too busy keeping Boston's streets safe I suppose." Damn it, this really wasn't the conversation he wanted to have with her.
"Too busy screwing his former shrink actually!" Her voice rose, cracking on the last note. The blood drained from her face. She'd done a good job until that moment of burying her anger under long hours and the façade of the "new" Jordan. Her jaw snapped shut. She felt the tremors rising within her, her hands beginning to shake, her shoulders trembling. She bit her lip, grappling with the feelings within her. So much more anger than anything else, but the sharp, long stripe of pain where she felt like she'd been laid open was there, too. She wouldn't let herself cry in front of Pollack though. In front of anyone. Not over Woody. Not over the condescending, smug blonde he'd taken up with.
Whether it was her words or the depth of pain in her dark eyes, Pollack's anger vanished as quickly as it had come on. She was here. She was worried about him. She'd been hurt. By someone who was getting far too good at in, in his opinion. He let out the pent up breath he'd been holding. "Something to drink?"
Not trusting her voice, she nodded.
Pollack checked his watch, trying to grin at her. "It's after five in London. What do you say to a beer?"
She nodded again. She sat on the couch while he went to the kitchen and back. As he handed her the cold bottle, she murmured her thanks.
"Cheers," he said, tilting the bottle toward her. He watched as she downed a long sip of the beverage. He barely wet his own palate. "Well, Cavanaugh…. What say we start this visit over?"
She looked up at him, her mouth thin, her eyes still aching. Another deep swig of beer. "I can do that."
"Good." He cocked his head to one side. "So, what brings you to D.C.?"
She laughed harshly at his valiant attempt at redirecting their conversation. Then she smiled and made the same effort. "I heard a fr-… someone I care a lot about was in danger." She reached for his hand. "I wanted to make sure you were okay."
He rubbed her fingers. "And maybe… possibly… you heard part of that danger related to a decades old murder case in Boston?" He grinned slyly at her.
She blushed. "Maybe." She took another drink.
He shook his head. "Go on, Cavanaugh. Ask away."
By the time he'd finished his tale of the Irish mob, corrupt police officers and an unstable woman caught in the middle years before, Jordan felt chills running up and down her spine. He got them each another beer as she flipped through the copious notes he'd made. He watched her read, switching on the light as darkness descended. When she was done, she looked over at him. "Oh, my God," she whispered. "Oh, my God."
"I can't prove any of it, Cavanaugh. I'm on to something – obviously if the attempt on my life means anything - but I don't have any hard evidence."
Tears trickled down her face. She nodded.
"And honestly, I don't know how to get more." He waggled his brows. "Without dying, that is. I can't really say I fancy that option."
"No," she agreed softly. She looked again at the papers now in her hands. The words began to jump in front of her. "Tell me one thing."
She let her glance drift sideways to take him in. "Is this all about the story?"
Pollack bit his lip. "Started out that way, yeah. I mean, I overheard a conversation I really wasn't supposed to hear. Got me going."
He gave her a little shrug. "I came across your mum's name. I knew – I know what it's done to you."
She brushed at the tears still coursing silently down her face. "Thanks." She snorted. "God, that – that sounds so – so… inadequate."
"No." He wrapped an arm around her. "I wish it did more good."
For a long time, they sat together, legs touching, his hand on her shoulder, rubbing absently. She rested her head in the curve of his neck. Almost without thinking, he kissed her forehead. She looked up at him. "Sorry," he murmured.
"Don't be," she replied, bringing her mouth to his for a soft, lingering kiss. "I think I know of a way we could get the proof."
He arched a brow.
Her subsequent phone call led to a meeting in one of D.C.'s nicer restaurants. After seeing Pollack's research and hearing Jordan's plan, Special Agent Drew Haley expressed his doubts, but ultimately agreed. He returned to Boston with Jordan and enlisted Walcott, Carver and Macy in their deception.
Eight days later, he stood in Jordan's apartment, gazing solemnly at her and Pollack. "Ready, kids?"
They both nodded.
He grinned wryly. "Then let the dice fly."