DISCALIMER: Not mine. Willing to stage a coup though (as this story shows)
DEDICATION: Those who review, those who have said they're with me in the coup and anyone else frustrated – join us, the more the merrier!
A/N: This is broad humor. I generally suck at humor, so hopefully this turned out all right. Anyway, the intent here is to make people laugh (sometimes at themselves – myself included) not to offend. If any offense is taken, I apologize in advance.
A/N2: I've used a couple of my fellow fic writers handles in here. If you want me to remove it, please let me know and I will do so.
A/N3: Great minds either think alike or we're all feeling similar feelings… imagine my surprise and pleasure to find Nina's "Bring Me Another Drink" story posted this morning! I tell ya, this coup thing could work. Who's with me?
As always, reviews are treasured.
When Fans Attack – er – Unite
Jordan's door was flung open with rather more force than was required, but it certainly got her attention. She looked up from the path reports she was studying to find an unfamiliar figure standing in her doorway. "Can I help you?"
"Conference room. Now." Some trick of light made it impossible to make out any of the interlopers features.
"I don't think so! You can't-"
"Dr. Cavanaugh, your … your integrity, your maturity, even your very memories depends on this. I know all to well your stubborn personality, so I'm begging you – conference room. Now."
Glaring, but undeniably intrigued, Jordan nodded slowly. As soon as she'd done so, the figure marched off.
It took less than ten minutes for the conference room to fill with familiar faces. Perplexed expressions and confused questions seemed to fly around the room. The door all but slammed shut, silencing the rising babble of morgue and B.P.D. employees. "Have a seat." The voice belonged to the same person who had summoned Jordan. Oddly, no one seemed inclined to protest or grumble.
Jordan took a moment to inventory her compatriots. Her brows knit down. Trey. Hmmm, hadn't seen him in… wow… years? Where had he gone to? Weird. Oh, Peter! He… uh… okay, odd, too. Sydney! Where… oh, never mind. It's giving me a headache. Annie Capra. Lois Carver. Roz Framus. Santana. Hmmm… even Eddie Winslow. This gets weirder and weirder.
"Who are you?" Lily asked at last, prompting a general outburst from the now-seated occupants of the room.
"I'm Nynaeve." She waved her hand at the people assembled behind her. "I'm here with my – my group to save you all."
"Save us from what?" That was Garret.
The leader sighed heavily. "Not what so much as whom."
"All right," Garret replied slowly. "Save us from who?"
"Whom," the little martinet growled. Her expression changed to a smile and she spoke in cheery tones. "We've staged a little coup here."
"A coup?" That was Lu Simmons. She looked a little sulky.
"Why would you do that?" Detective Woody Hoyt asked, his deep blue eyes darting between Jordan and Lu. "And do you mind if I make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"
The woman sighed. "You see. This is why we're here."
"Aw," Lily interjected. "But it's cute!"
"Sure it is!" the leader agreed. "Of course, give him three scenes and he's likely to be trying to choke the peanut butter jar while telling it he's getting the toxins out of his system and then getting jealous when Jordan smiles at another jar of peanut butter only to jump into bed with the jelly jar if Jordan tells him she also likes sandwiches."
Silences greeted that rather lengthy statement.
"Uh, luv, that made no sense," Nigel tried to sound sympathetic.
"Sorry. That metaphor got away from me. But it proves my point! And it's why we're here. Our mission is to bring a sense of consistency to this place, to enable all of you to behave like the same person from week to week (or at the very least, we'll write in a shrink who's good at dealing with the apparent MPS going on around here) and to give the entire endeavor a giant shot of continuity."
Jordan's jaw dropped. "You're – You're FANS!"
"That's right," the leader smiled. "Fans who have had enough. Now this probably isn't going to be pretty, but if we all pitch in, the result could be something quite appealing. Who's with me?"
Matt Seeley raised a tentative hand.
"That was a rhetorical question!"
Matt's hand sunk down.
Nynaeve strode to the conference table, plunking down a laptop. Jordan peered at one edge. "Umm, is that… dented?"
"Probably." She looked up at Jordan. "Oh, don't worry. We didn't hit them very hard. Just enough to give us time to get up here and straighten you all out." She smiled. "We're pretty sure that once that happens, you all will keep the "Powers that Be" in line. Trust me, you're going to like yourselves a lot better."
Lily squeaked once and nearly ducked under the table, except for Bug's hand on her elbow supporting her. Nigel grinned and leaned back, ready to enjoy whatever this process was. Garret considered asking for a Scotch, then couldn't decide if getting one would be good or bad. Woody's eyes kept darting between Jordan and Lu. Lu sulked. The various BPD detectives eyed the newcomer with a mixture of wariness and enjoyment. Jordan watched the little band speculatively and finally sighed.
"Good. We'll start with the easy stuff… Trey."
"Right here. Although I do kinda have to be somewhere." The man checked his watch,
"Oh, I know," the woman smiled. "And I really want you to get back there. Our problem here is that one day you were at the morgue, the next you were gone and nothing was ever said. So – what would you like us to say. We're thinking… Christmas card, wedding announcement, something along those lines."
His handsome face brightened. "Uh, yeah. Okay. Christmas card. Seattle. Interesting job, kind of hush-hush. Just wanted to let everyone know I wasn't abducted by aliens."
The woman's eyebrow quirked up. "Not exactly aliens."
"Right," he smiled and then checked his watch again. "Can I…?"
"Sure." As Trey strode past her, she touched his arm. "Sorry about – your recent problems."
He nodded a thank you and was gone.
"Good. We'll make a note of that – shouldn't take more than about a minute of dialogue to work in." She scanned the assembled room. "Peter, you're next."
He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. "Uh… death announcement?"
"Really?" She pondered that, then pursed her lips in interest. "Accidental?"
He nodded. "Yeah. I – uh – I went to Hawaii and – uh – well, let's say I got swept away, drowned in some really bad stuff."
She grinned. "I think we can manage that. We'll have a touching thirty-second bit. Great!"
As Peter was leaving, Nyn's eyes turned to Sydney. "Ay, now, you're a bigger challenge. You helped Jordan on a case this year. I mean, we saw you. Since then… nada. If you were on another show, say a Joss Whedon show, I'd have thought you'd been ignored enough to turn invisible, but… well, that won't work here. Any thoughts?"
Poor Sydney looked lost, although he was appreciating the fact that the woman he was thinking of as "She Who Must Be Obeyed" didn't call him New Guy. "I could – I could be seen more."
"Sorry, no can do. We've got a budget here and, well, there's no way to work you in to the whole Jordan-Woody-Pollack-Lu fallout, so… you're not in the budget."
"But it's a crime show!" Sydney protested.
The leader shrugged. "We know that – believe me, we know that! But there's only so much we can do. We've got to be realistic. How about you get one more episode? You can win the lottery, lose the ticket somewhere in the morgue and the B storyline that week will be all about you finding it."
Sydney gaped at her. "That's lame."
"Don't look at me like that. Like I said, we can only do so much and you're a nice character and all, but… it's not you, okay? It's the show."
After a moment's consideration, the New Guy agreed to do it.
"Good! Go practice your lines."
"My… how do I know what they'll be?"
She turned to one of her cadre and whispered something. The other woman wrote a few things on a pad of paper. She tore off the sheet and gave it to Sydney. "Hey, guys! I won the lottery! I won! Wait, I lost the ticket! It's got to be here somewhere. It's got to be! Here it is!" He looked up. "Are you kidding?"
"There are stage directions as well. You searching for the ticket, jumping up and down… it'll be great. Really. Bye bye now."
Reciting, under his breath, "I won…," Sydney left.
"Right." The woman took a deep breath. "Now it's a little bit tougher. Our collection of erstwhile detectives. Well, Eddie, you're the easiest, if the truth be told. A number of fanfic writers have moved you to different various precincts, some even outside of Boston and have generally promoted you. We'd kind of like to keep you around. I mean… look at you. But…" she sighed sadly. "It's that budget thing again. And the fact that this is a bloodless coup but if the whole Jordan-Woody dynamic is threatened much more, the next group to get in here might not be so… restrained."
Eddie shrugged. "Hey, sounds good to me. Can I get going?"
"Yeah. Just check the archives before you leave. That way you can figure out which fate works best for you." She took in the dwindling group. "That was nice. Well, I think now is time for some good news. Well, good news for some."
"I think you're enjoying this," Bug interrupted.
"Of course I am! What self-respecting fan wouldn't?" She shook her head at him. "Matt Seeley… since we really don't need any extra reasons why we'll never see Jeffrey Brandau again – thank you for that, Miss Lebowski – we do have a bit of money in the budget. You're staying."
"Hey!" Bug again. "I just got the girl, you know! I don't want to have to deal with this ass."
"Sorry. You're going to have to. See, while there still are Bug and Lily fans, a lot of people feel like that ship sailed a while back. Now we're willing to see what happens, give it a go, but we'd like Matt here around just in case."
Matt Seeley grinned hugely. "Sweet!"
Nyn looked over. "Indeed." She took another deep breath. "All right. Annie – may I call you Annie? – Lois, Roz, Santana… you present a true challenge. All of you have your strong proponents. You all do fabulous work, but… well, there's that budget thing again. Would you be willing to appear in sort of a rotation? That way we'd get to see all of you a little bit and we could get back some credibility that BPD isn't running with just two detectives and, occasionally, Seeley."
Santana spoke first. "Actually, I've kind of got a new… thing."
"I heard about that. Yeah. When it doesn't work out, give us a call."
"You think it won't work out?"
A shrug. "Hoping, more. I don't want to be mean, but one of the girls you're working with there, well, I kind of don't want her to leave her current gig."
Santana nodded. "Um yeah. Well, if it goes south, I'll call you."
The woman, whom Jordan had been observing and had decided couldn't be more than five foot two and a hundred and ten pounds, turned her attention back to the three remaining detectives. Little Napoleon Jordan thought. Then again, Napoleon did a few good things.
The other detectives readily agreed to the rotation plan and traipsed out of the room.
The woman rubbed her hands together. "All right. Here we go. We've got those nagging little incidentals out of the way."
"Do they really matter?" Lu asked. Still sulking.
"To some people, no. Unfortunately, those people seem to be in charge. To many fans, yeah. It's called continuity and it's a big issue. So… let's see. Two of you are really easy to start with. Nigel."
"Hmm? Me? Good Lord. I hate being first."
"Ah, I think you'll like it." She smiled at him. "Tell us a bit about yourself."
The Brit stared at her. "Um… Well… My mum loved Elvis. She died not long after he did. My dad and I don't have the greatest relationship. I was in the Royal Navy and I have lots of arcane knowledge. I'm also a really great criminologist."
"No arguments there!" The woman smiled again. "What else?"
Silence. "I – I – I work well with Dr. Macy and Woody?"
"Right. But don't you think it's time we knew more about who Nigel Townsend is? Isn't it about time Nigel got a really good storyline? Maybe got the girl?"
Now the Brit was beaming, seeing where this group was going. "Yeah, yeah, I do!"
"Great! Go with Rin and prymtns over there. You'll be amazed at what they're going to do with you."
He arched a brow.
She blushed. "Sorry. That didn't quite come out right. Just… trust me."
"Oh, I do already," he all but crooned as he linked arms with the other two women.
"Now, Bug, I could go through the same routine with you, but repeating yourself gets a bit tedious. At least it does to me. I'd hate to cobble together a story for you that looked like we'd borrowed parts of old stories or just rewritten the names in new ones. So…."
"So?" Bug sounded nervous, thinking of those budget issues she kept harping on.
"We're going to make sure you get a few good stories, too. We'll pursue the Lily issue as long as it works, but like I said, it seems stale to a lot people and my little group… we're not going to be a dead horse. So no promises there." She stopped for a moment. "Oh, I also think maybe now is the time to mention there is a new moratorium on tragic backstories as a way of garnering sympathy with the audience. I realize it may be tough on some of you, but that's how it's going to be. If people identify with you, like you, it's going to have to be based on what you do and say and how you behave, not because you are pathetic. That's way too easy to write."
There was a moment of silence. "Who's next?" Garret, trying to reassert control over his morgue.
"How about you, Dr. Macy?"
"We're going to start with the news that Whiny – er - Abby is clean, back in college and responsible at long last and Clingy – oops – Maggie… shoot, did I get that backward? I never can remember… oh well, you get the idea… Maggie got remarried and everyone is just fine. We are having a slight disagreement amongst ourselves about having Renee Walcott be part of your life. I think that given many of us are a bit disenchanted that our medical show has become so relationship centered, you might not have any entanglements this year."
Garret gulped. "I – uh – That's not very nice. I mean, even TV show characters have… needs."
"Well, nothing's set in stone, as they say. But we'd really like to see you back in the autopsy rooms, back solving cases. More things like your dead biker last year. We wouldn't dare make you suddenly cheery and optimistic though. Don't worry."
"I need a drink," he muttered.
"Oh, I'm sure we can work that back in. It was pretty interesting actually. And we're prepared to call in Snarky if needed." She turned. "Lily."
Miss Lebowski squeaked again as Nyn fixed her with a very stern glare.
"You are going to get your head on straight this year. Granted, there are some who would argue it's never really been on straight to start with… but no more of these personality swings. One moment you're angry with Brandau for not sympathizing with the plight of an illegal immigrant, but then you go all kissy and huggy on him when he gets you paperwork to help her, even though it was Bug and Seeley who solved the murder of her husband. One moment you're criticizing people for being too ambitious and then you go off on Jordan for not understanding how important his job is to Jeffrey and how she's making it difficult. You turn Bug down again, but still confide your deepest concerns to him – while ruining his date, I might add – and then, somewhere on the way to the altar you realize that Bug's the one. I could keep going… quitting your job or saying you should an average of every third episode! Next year? You will be allowed the line "I just don't think I'm doing any good" or some variation thereof a maximum of three times. Per season. Not per episode. There will be no more squeeing over the fact a man had feta on his salad. Jordan deserves better as your friend. The fans deserve better. I think the feta deserves better. Got it?"
Her eyes wide, Lily nodded.
"Good. We'll work with you. You'll like the new you. She'll have a backbone."
The woman glanced around the table, depleted of its previous crowd. "Okay, everyone I've talked to. OUT!" Her tone of voice and the flash of her eyes brooked no dissent. They scrambled. Possibly even skedaddled.
Woody's eyes kept darting between Lu and Jordan.
Jordan… well, Jordan's face was remarkably impassive.
Nynaeve sighed heavily. "All right, all right. You… three. I hardly know where to begin. But I've got to start somewhere or I know where this is going to end – with my watching some God forsaken reality program Friday nights at 8 p.m.! Ugh! 8 p.m. What the hell were they thinking? You know, a nice delayed premiere, lots of promos during football… God! Are they morons? Do they pay attention to nothing? Like, oh, I don't know, things like the fifth season – fifth season! – ratings for "24" jumped fourteen percent!" Her eyes glazed over. After a moment, she shook her head. "Sorry. My rant of the week. Right. Where was I? Ah, yes. You three."
Woody had at last quit looking at Lu and Jordan and was now gaping at the fiery little redhead standing at the head of the conference table.
And Jordan, truth be told, was smiling just the slightest bit. This was a passion and dedication she recognized.
"Okay. Lu." The blond snapped to attention. And sulked. "First of all – oh, where to start!" Nyn took another deep, rueful breath. "First, you are never ever again – under any circumstances – to practice psychology. I know they call it 'practicing' when it comes to medicine, but they don't mean it literally. And anyway, from what we can tell, no amount of 'practice' is going to make you a competent therapist. Ever. So. No more. Got it?"
Gulping, the female detective nodded.
"As for police work… well, you have a contract so we have to keep you around, so… we've given you a subscription to Netflix and you are going to watch every single episode of Law and Order ever made. Twenty-four, seven if needed. Study Lennie Briscoe. Watch Ed Green. Drool over – uh – learn from Mike Logan. They're TV cops so they're not perfect, but I can't even begin to enumerate the ways in which they surpass you. Oh – and pet peeve – you will start looking into that car accident Pollack had in D.C. I mean, hello! The man is in a car accident and one week later is dead and that strikes you as a coincidence?" Nyn snorted. Then she glared at Lu again. "And quit sulking!"
"I can't help it," she whined.
"Well, that's true. We're going to fix that." She sighed again. "We have to. But believe me, if it were solely up to me? You'd be gone. I just don't see the possibilities other people do."
"Am I still going to get to date Woody?" She turned and batted her eye lashes at the aforementioned detective, who smiled and leaned closer to her.
"No! You're going to develop some self respect! And you're going to quit psychoanalyzing Jordan. You're going to become a competent detective. Once we get there, we'll see about a romance. Maybe."
Lu sniffed, but did stop sulking. "Can I go?"
"Yes. If you need a shoulder to cry on, try Garret's. There's a stirring of a fan base there."
Woody watched rather sadly as Lu departed. Of course, as soon as she was gone, he was making eyes at Jordan. Nyn shook her head in disgust. She all but growled at him to stop.
"What?" He went all wide-eyes innocence on her.
"Oh, that is so not gonna work on me. You're cute, but you've been such a mess this past season that you're losing your appeal. Fast."
He was aghast. "How is that possible?"
"Do you really want me to list the ways? Because, unfortunately for you, I can."
Woody went pale.
"Not that it's really your fault. We've seen a whole new definition of 'character assassination' I think. However… that's going to change. No more being angry with Jordan one week and then trying to rescue her the next. No more telling stray Aussie reporters that they should go for it with Jordan and then being jealous when she hooks up with him. No more thinking you're the rebound guy. No more falling for any pretty face with a syrupy, sad back-story that seems plucked out of some manual labeled TV Serial Writing for Dummies."
Woody perked up. "So… Jordan and I… you know?" He leered.
"Maybe. You have to redeem yourself first. Jordan grew up during season five. You didn't. Some of us would even argue you regressed. So, you're going to grow up. Don't worry, we'll keep the cute little quirks – like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – but you're going to start saying what you mean and – trite as it sounds – meaning what you say. It's going to be some hard work. And honestly, my little group and I are prepared to raise the anchor on this little ship if need be. We're in talks with Drew Haley and hey, who knows the fate of Las Vegas? Believe me, if that show goes under, we'll be wooing Danny McCoy in about two heartbeats. Unless you've made significant progress."
Jordan whistled softly, that soft smile playing on her lips growing bigger. "Drew Haley," she murmured. "Or Danny McCoy. You're right. I just might like this."
"Hey!" The detective protested.
"What? You don't think I'm entitled? You chase me for almost five years and then when you get me, you decide you're my rebound guy and you jump into bed with – withthat sulking excuse for a cop and I can't contemplate another guy or two?" Jordan's dander was definitely up.
"What about Pollack?"
"What about him?"
"You already had your little – fling!"
Jordan scowled at him. "And look how that turned out! No, I like what Nynaeve is saying. It's time to grow up, Farm Boy. If I could do it, then you sure as hell can. And if you can't… well, Haley was definitely a grown up. And Danny-"
"Vegas boy!" Woody spat.
Jordan arched a brow. "I'd say Vegas man. Wouldn't you?" She looked at Nyn, who nodded after very little consideration.
"Oh, yeah," the writer agreed heartily, emphasizing the nod. "So, Farm – uh – Detective Hoyt, are we clear here?"
"Grow up. Learn to communicate. Stop falling for girls who aren't Jordan."
"And then I get a shot with Jordan?"
Nyn sighed and ran her hands through her hair. "You know, technically, you had your shot with Jordan. And you seemed to have fired a blank."
"Metaphorically speaking," she soothed. "But yeah. We'll see."
"Um, aren't you worried?" Jordan interjected.
"You know, the whole Moonlighting thing."
"In a word? No. Contrary to the popular notion – promulgated, if you ask me, by lazy writers – that getting a couple together kills the interest, it doesn't have to. Sure, if the will they/won't they aspect of your plotline has become the entire focus of the show-"
"That could be a problem," Jordan interrupted.
"We are going to fix that. Trust me. We'll soon remind people this is a show about a medical examiner, forensics and solving crime."
The M.E. nodded appreciatively. "It does sometimes seem like a few people around here have forgotten that."
"No longer!" Nyn vowed.
Woody glanced up. "And you really think it won't kill the tension?"
Nyn shook her head. "We are really going to have to work on these consistency issues. One minute you're badgering about me getting together with Jordan and the next you're questioning the hook up…." She sighed yet again. "No. If – remember, it's an if – we get you and Jordan together, we'll bring in tension from within the relationship."
Woody shook his head in befuddlement. "And you can really do that?"
"Right," Nyn glared at him. "We'll get you Netflix, too. Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We'll get you some eps of Lost. Study Sun and Jin and Rose and Bernard. If we really need to, we'll get you a primer on Tom and B'Elanna from Voyager and the couples on The 4400. Okay?" She shook her head and muttered something dark under her breath. It might have been, "Why? Why? Why do I get in to these UST shows? I swore – swore! – after Files I was done. Eight years of watching Chris Carter jerk us around was more than enough, but noooo…. Of course I started watching Jordan for the crime aspects. Ugh!" That might have been what she said. Maybe. She took a moment and then heaved a deep sigh. "All right. That just about finishes us up."
Jordan looked stunned – and a little hurt. "What about me?"
Nyn turned toward her. "When's your birthday?"
"Your birthday? When is it?"
"Uhhhh… I always thought it was in September, but then a while ago-"
"Right. It is in September."
Jordan huffed out a sharp breath. "How are you going to fix – uh – help me?"
For the first time, Nynaeve smiled. "You, my dear Dr. Cavanaugh, really don't need any help. In an otherwise inconsistent, confusing, frustrating season, you have been a beacon. Oh, we'll get you out of the mess you're currently in. It shouldn't be too tough – we can always bring back your crazy brother, have him hold you hostage and then jump in the… oh, that has been done before, hasn't it? Sorry… with the whole "Jordan was drugged and framed for murder" thing, I do get a little – well, I'd love to say confused, but the real word is 'irritated.' Makes me a little bit sarcastic."
Jordan's eyebrow quirked up. "Just a little bit." She smiled. "Then again, think how I feel."
"Believe me, I've thought of that. It's why we're here." Nynaeve grinned at Jordan.
The M.E. returned the smile. "So, we're done?"
"Yep. We're done." She threw a glance at Woody, who was still looking slightly forlorn over the whole turn of events. "For now."
"Coffee?" Jordan offered.
"Oh! I'd love some!"
"Great. There's this little cart down the street…." They walked out of the conference room together, already laughing a bit. "By the way, how long are you guys planning on staying?"
Nyn gave Jordan another sigh. "Long enough, hopefully. Long enough."