Disclaimer: I do not own Without A Trace or any of the characters from show. All original characters belong to me. This story is a FEMSLASH.
Chapter 1: The Shock
"Why are you breaking up with me?" Samantha followed Lisa into the kitchen area of the apartment. She ran her fingers through her blonde hair in frustration. Lisa began to absently put clean dishes away in an attempt to ease her own discomfort.
Lisa was exasperated, "I told you already-"
"You told me in an email!" Samantha exclaimed in angry disbelief.
"Why?" Samantha tried to keep the hurt out of her voice, but failed miserably as she became a torrent of emotion.
"Someone knows, Sam," Lisa said, her voice almost a whisper.
Samantha was tearing up, "I don't care who knows! So what if someone knows? Does this person have proof or is it just speculation?"
"They said they'd report me! I could lose my job and my license!" Lisa was crying now. "Samantha, I told you in the beginning what would happen if someone found out."
"But that was five months ago when we were just fuck buddies!" She took a step towards Lisa and softened her tone. "We've become so much more. Lisa, you can't just walk away from this...from me!"
"Sam, we can't," Lisa said as she placed her hand on her cheek in an attempt to placate her. Sam jerked away angrily in response.
"Is this," Sam struggled for the term, "'person' just some lame excuse to break up with me? Is that what this is?"
Lisa was now angry as well, "I didn't make this up Samantha! I don't really want to end it-"
"Then why are you trying to?" Samantha was as confused as she was frustrated. "You're just like Jack! You don't know what you want and I just end up getting burned in the process!"
"Bull shit! Don't project your failed relationships on me! This isn't some office gossip where the most you'll get is a slap on the wrist or at the worst- a transfer. I'm talking about my entire medical career! Does that mean anything to you?"
"Yes, it means a lot. It means you've just been using me!"
"Oh, we used each other. Don't try to make me look like the bad guy. You knew what you were getting into the moment you crawled into my bed!"
"Did you ever love me?" Lisa avoided eye contact and looked for something else to invest her anxiety in. Seeing that Lisa was about to reach for a bowl on the counter, Samantha grabbed it and tossed it angrily near Lisa's feet.
Lisa marched over to Sam and slapped her hard. "How dare you come in here and act this way!This is my home!"
"I'm sorry," she said sarcastically through unshed tears. "It used to be 'our' home." Then Sam felt something warm and moist dripping from her face. She realized that she was having a nosebleed. She wiped her nose and stormed out of Lisa's apartment.
Samantha Spade spent most of her drive to work mulling over the drama from the previous night. After she had arrived back at her apartment she called Lisa to apologize. She hated that she'd given in, especially since she had every intention of being mad at her, but as soon as she heard Lisa's voice she'd melted. 'Damn you for doing this to me.'
She couldn't stop herself from replaying Lisa's words in her mind. They had more or less made up, but there were still serious issues that needed to be addressed. All Lisa could offer her was a feeble "I'm sorry" for slapping her and an even more sorry attempt to calm her down. Sam was still fuming as she told Lisa that it was 'okay' and that she 'understood'. But what was there to understand? Lisa was panicking and as a result she was trying to dump her.
'This sucks,' she thought glumly as she sat at her desk and pretended to look busy. Lisa had weaseled her way out of the conversation by putting it off until tomorrow and Sam was even more furious for letting her get away with it. She remembered Lisa saying that she 'needed time to think'. 'What's there to think about? How dare she.' "Maybe I should tell my shrink about this- oh wait, she is my shrink," Samantha growled quietly under her breath. 'I thought men were frustrating!'
There hadn't been any major cases lately so her morning was mostly paperwork and filing reports. About an hour after Samantha had arrived Jack came over and announced that they had a new case. 'Finally, something else to think about.'
Sam headed towards the conference room along with her fellow agents in tow. They were engaged in friendly small talk as they walked into the room. Their conversations abruptly coming to an end as they all took a seat around a table, signally Jack that he should begin.
"Dr. Lisa Harris has just been reported missing." Jack announced to his team of agents. "She failed to show up for work this morning and no one has been able to reach her. It's unclear at this point as to whether or not she went missing last night or this morning, but current evidence points towards possible kidnapping." Jack placed a picture of her on the white dry erase board.
Samantha's Spade's eyes practically bulged out of her head with surprise. Several months prior, Samantha had been assigned to see a psychiatrist, that psychiatrist happened to be a certain beautiful brunette named Lisa Harris. Several months after their sessions began they formed a mutual attraction, one that eventually escalated into a full-blown love affair. They had managed to keep their relationship completely unknown to the people around them. They had to; not only was it unethical for Dr. Harris to be involved with one of her patients, but they were also colleagues as well.
Naturally everyone was surprised to discover that their latest case was someone whom they were all familiar with; however, for Samantha it was the most miserable situation she could possibly fathom. Not only was her lover missing, but she also had to decide whether to come forward about the nature of their relationship. Could she really do that? Not only could it jeopardize Lisa's career, but it would undoubtedly put her under scrutiny. Not to mention that her relationship with the victim would automatically get her booted from the case. This was bad.
Jack passed around a few files for everyone to look at, "Danny, I want you to check out Dr. Harris' office to see if we can find anything useful over there. And Martin, I want you to question her staff and see if you can find any patients that could be potential suspects. Elena, you check her phone records." Jack turned his attention to Vivian and Samantha, "I want you two to go check out her apartment. I need to stay here to make some phone calls."
Danny flipped through the file he'd been handed, "So who called it in? It hasn't been twenty four hours has it?"
"Her receptionist called it in. Said Lisa called her early this morning from her cellphone when she stopped talking mid sentence. She claims she heard muffled cries."
"Does she know where she was calling from?" Danny probed.
Jack noticed that at some point during his briefing he had managed to lose Agent Spade's attention. After he dismissed everyone and sent them off to their assigned tasks he turned his attention to Sam who sat glued to her seat and lost in thought. "Sam?" He said once they were alone. "You okay?" Sam came out of her reverie and looked at her boss.
"Oh yea. Sure..." For a moment she looked as though she wanted to say something.
Jack noticed her response and spoke up, "Sam, I know you probably knew her better than most of us-"
Samantha quickly cut him off, "No, I'm fine. I'm just really shocked. That's all."
Jack continued, "We all are, but since you've spent the most time with her and we have so little to go on, I was wondering if she might have mentioned something to you during one of your sessions?"
Samantha thought for a moment then carefully responded, "During our sessions I'm the one that does most of the talking." Suddenly the blonde was bombarded with steamy images of light touches and soft lips; a subtle blush crept up her neck. "But if I can think of anything I'll let you know. I can't imagine why anyone would want to hurt her."
"When was the last time you saw her?"
"My last session with her was on Tuesday."
Sam was cut off by the phone ringing, Jack apologized as he answered it. Sam saw this as an opportunity to escape her boss' scrutiny so she quickly stood up and headed off to her desk leaving a confused Jack looking after her retreating form. 'I wonder what that was about', he thought to himself.
Samantha went over to check in with the rest of her teammates. Sam tried to fight the urge to go into a panic as she realized that their relationship would inevitably be discovered. 'If I can just keep it secret long enough to find her.' Vivian walked over to Samantha, "You ready to head out?" Samantha nodded and grabbed her coat.
7 hours missing
Samantha and Vivian entered the opulent lobby of the apartment building. The pair took in their surroundings as they made their way to the elevator. "What was the number again?" Vivian asked.
"Its 309, I believe." Sam tried to remain calm. Then something suddenly occurred to Samantha: 'what about the message I left her the other day!?' Sam swore inwardly. How would she explain this to Vivian? The two agents took the elevator to the 3rd floor. Lisa's apartment wasn't far from the elevator. Vivian unlocked the door, noting that there did not appear to be any kind of forced entry. Once inside the apartment they scanned the general vicinity. The interior was spacious and well furnished, reflecting the same kind of luxury that the lobby had initially hinted at.
At that moment Vivian's cell phone beeped. She answered it and hovered in the living room while Agent Spade walked further into the apartment and began searching for signs that something was amiss. Since Samantha had spent so much time inside Lisa's apartment she made extra efforts to appear unfamiliar in her surroundings to avoid any suspicion. Vivian snapped her phone shut and walked over to Samantha who was now making her way towards the kitchen.
"Sam, that was Jack calling, he says that the people from forensics are on their way now. In the meantime I'm going to go speak to some of the neighbors," Samantha nodded, considering the danger that one of the neighbors might recognize her from moments were she and Lisa had been less than discreet about their relationship, she decided to avoid them at all costs.
"I'm going to stay here and check out the rest of the apartment."
"Alright," Vivian turned and walked out the door.
Sam now found herself alone in Lisa's apartment. 'This is my opportunity!' She made her way to the answering machine, she noticed there were three messages that had been recorded. She listened to the messages, the first two were telemarketers and the last one was from her. "Hey baby, its Sam, I just wanted to apologize for-" then there was a 'click' indicating that Lisa had answered the phone. Sam immediately deleted it because it would just lead the investigation in the wrong direction: her direction. Not to mention the explaining she would have to do later. With that taken care of, she then made her way into the bedroom, which looked untouched. As she scanned the apartment, nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. She made her way back into the living area as she felt a lump begin to form in the back of her throat. 'What if they never found her? Or what if she didn't survive?' Sam felt the tears coming, but as soon as they were about to fall she took a deep breath and tried her best to stop them.
*Crunch, crunch.* Samantha was jolted from her peaceful slumber by a rather obtrusive sound. Sam mumbled a little under her breath, still refusing to open her eyes. *CRUNCH* The blonde woman, realizing where she was, slowly opened her eyes. The first sight that greeted her was the extremely bright glow of the television, which was made brighter because the lights were off and it was sometime in the middle of the night. She recoiled a little and put her hand over her eyes.
Then she remembered snuggling up to Lisa on her living room couch. Lisa was laying on her back and Sam was lying on top of her face down- she had fallen asleep while watching TV. Her head was resting on the brunette's torso.
She realized that her tranquil stupor had been interrupted by Lisa who was now munching on, Sam lifted her head to investigate, onion rings. "Hey sleepyhead," Lisa noticed Sam was awake again. Sam pouted, which garnered her a loud guffaw from Lisa. "Onion ring?" She smiled broadly and moved the small bag in her direction.
Sam pouted even more and whined, "You're breath smells like onions."
Lisa laughed at her lover's state of grumpiness, she replied by blowing her breath in the blonde's pretty face. Samantha crinkled up her nose, which tickled Lisa even more, "Ew, no! No, stop." Samantha whined trying to push her away. Lisa took the opportunity to tickle Sam ruthlessly causing her to practically fall of the couch.
"Stop...or," Samantha spoke between laughs, "I'll pee!"
Lisa was laughing too, but made no effort to cease her assault, "Not on me you won't."
Sam let out a loud squeal, which only encouraged Lisa, "Please-"
Lisa managed to tickle Sam to the point where her face was bright red and she was beginning to cry. It was also getting harder for her to breath. Lisa eventually stopped her intense onslaught and sat up all the way on the couch. Sam quickly moved into a sitting position slightly out of Lisa's reach. Sam glared at her, "You," she said between breaths, "are evil!"
"Why Samantha, I had no idea that you were so ticklish," she said innocently with a devilish smirk on her face. "It appears that I have discovered one of your weaknesses."
Samantha smirked, "Do you want to know my other weakness?"
"I don't trust you. Promise you won't tickle me." Sam complained comically.
"Okay, okay, done with the tickling…for tonight." Samantha stuck out her tongue. "So tell me already."
Sam moved closer to Lisa and put her lips next to her ear, "Its you," she said seductively. The information hardly had time to register with Lisa because no sooner than she'd heard the words Samantha's lips where on hers. They explored each other's mouth passionately for a few moments. They finally pulled apart both needing air. Sam smiled coyly, "And did I mention that I love onion rings?"
Vivian decided to start with the apartments that were closest to the victim's. She walked over to 308 and knocked on the door. A short elderly woman answered the door. "Hello, can I help you?" She asked with genuine interest.
Vivian flashed her badge, "Hello, I'm Agent Vivian Johnson and I'm with the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. I would like to ask you a few questions about your neighbor."
The woman looked taken aback. "Oh my, has something happened?" Vivian was about to respond, but she continued speaking. "Is this about the shouting last night?"
Vivian was interested. "You heard shouting last night, Ma'am?"
"Yes it was coming from Lisa's place next door", she said conspiratorially and motioned in the direction of Lisa's apartment. "She's a very nice woman. She feeds my cats sometimes when I'm out of town. Has something happened to her?" She asked with genuine concern.
"We're trying to figure that out ma'am," Vivian continued, "Could you hear what was being said next door?"
"No, but it was two women having an argument- a very loud one at that. It woke my cats up."
"Did you see anyone entering or leaving your neighbors apartment last night?"
She thought for a moment. "Well I didn't see anyone go in, but I'm guessing it was that blonde lady that visits her sometimes...a friend I suppose, maybe a relative."
"Blond woman? Can you describe her please."
"Well she's about this tall and...well she has blonde hair. She's pretty. Other than that I can't say I know much about her. Around the same age as Lisa I guess."
Vivian jotted a few things down on her small note pad. "Do you know what time the argument took place or how long it lasted?
"I was already in bed when the voices woke me up so I'm not sure when the fight started and I'm not sure how long it went on either, but they woke me up around eleven."
Vivian thanked the woman for her time and went to the apartment on the other side of Lisa's. She knocked on the door and a gruff middle-aged man answered. He poked his head out the door, "Yea?"
"I'm Vivian Johnson and I'm with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me." The man immediately stiffened when she flashed him her badge.
"What about?" He asked looking uncomfortable.
"About your neighbor Lisa Harris- the woman from 309." The man relaxed immediately when he realized it wasn't about him.
He sounded bored, "Well what about her?"
"Did you hear any shouting last night around 11 pm?" Vivian readied her pen and note pad.
He thought for a moment. "Nah, I work pretty late and I usually get home around eleven thirty- sometimes after twelve."
"Did you see a blonde woman entering or leaving your neighbors apartment last night?" His eyes immediately lit up with recognition.
"Oh, I see blondie hangin' around all the time," he snorted with contempt. "I saw her last night as I was getting off the elevator and she looked mad as hell," he chuckled a little at that.
"Do you have any idea why she may have been upset?" The man only shrugged at that.
Vivian looked thoughtful for a moment. "So you've seen the blonde woman with Ms. Harris frequently?"
"Do you know her name or anything else about her?"
"Not really," he thought for a moment, "But if you ask me I'd guess they were more than friends."
'Suck it up Spade, this isn't the time to cry', she thought to herself with annoyance. That's when she noticed Lisa's laptop bag on a chair in her bedroom. She grabbed it and looked inside. "Bingo!" she mumbled to herself. Lisa's email might be able to tell them something about her whereabouts. 'Or it might tell them a little to much', Sam thought hesitantly. Knowing full well that they frequently communicated via email Samantha decided she would try to be the one to investigate her computer- that way she could look for suspicious email and delete herself from the laptop, essentially killing two birds with one stone. Samantha continued to search the bedroom for anything out of the ordinary.
Vivian decided to go back into the apartment to check in with Samantha- after all it looked like they may have found a potential suspect or at the very least a useful witness. As Vivian first entered the apartment she did not immediately see Samantha, but could hear some movement in the bedroom. She found the blonde agent very focused as she searched through a drawer, as though looking for something specific. She made a mental note that Samantha looked as though she may have been crying a few moments before.
"Find anything?" Samantha flinched, startled at the voice that came from behind her.
"Not much, but I found her laptop, we might be able to find something from her email account," Vivian nodded. "Anything from the neighbors?"
Vivian paused for a moment and watched Samantha carefully, "Not anyone on this floor, it doesn't seem as though they knew the doctor very well."
"Figures," Samantha mumbled. Vivian decided to check out the apartment as well. She headed off towards the kitchen realizing that an argument that could be heard through the wall had to have taken place somewhere on that side of the apartment. She immediately noticed that something seemed a bit off in the kitchen. She noticed that there was quite a bit of broken glass in the garbage can as well as a small drop of what appeared to be blood on the floor. Agent Johnson had never known Samantha to be anything less than thorough in her work, but this was definitely relevant. 'So why didn't Sam mention it?' Vivian took a sample of the ominous little red spot and sealed it up into a tiny plastic evidence bag for processing later. The forensics team could do the rest.