I just started watching the first season reruns on A&E, which is the only season I haven't seen, and this story just kind of came to me. Sorry it's a bit depressing, but consider it my homage to a wonderfully crafted character, and very under-rated show.
WARNING!! Character Death.
Claire Malone could never understand why her boss got so worked up when she tagged along with the cops on her cases. Garrett Macy was a very cool guy most of the time, a little withdrawn maybe, but definitely one of the best bosses she'd ever had. But sweet Jesus, when he caught her playing cop on a case, he flipped his proverbial top. Several times he'd dragged her into his office, or her own, and screamed at her louder than she ever thought a anyone could, about the dangers of investigating with Detective Haggerty. He even screamed at her in the hallways a few times, too angry at her, to both dragging her in an office for some privacy. Hell, the man had even yelled at Chris, aka Detective Haggerty for letting her, not that the poor bastard had a choice. She was very persuasive. This is was she was slinking back into her office this particular Friday afternoon, sure Macy would have heard about the assistance she offered Chris on her last case.
But, what Claire didn't know, and couldn't hope to understand was that Garrett Macy had a good reason for raising his voice to her so often. Her name was Jordan, and Claire was so much like her, it scared the piss out of him. Ten years younger, with long, curly blazing red hair, and dangerous blue eyes, Claire was Jordan Cavanaugh in everything but looks. Garrett hadn't realized this when he first hired the eager young woman, because had he, he never would have welcomed her to the Boston Morgue. However, it became evident very quickly that Claire was as reckless and determined as Jordan.
He told himself to fire her so many times, to protect her from herself. At first, he told himself he was still protecting her this way, because she could get a job at another morgue, with no one to keep an eye out for her. Later he realized it was because, she wasn't only just like Jordan in her cases, but in personality also. She was as lively and free as the brunette, and possessed the same ability to wind people around her little finger, namely Bug and Nigel. For the three men, and Lily (no longer Lebowski, but Vijay), it was like having Jordan back. She had the same playful attitude, the same drive for justice, and the same infectious energy that never seemed to quit.
The only person who didn't seem to be affected by this was Woody, who avoided all contact with Claire. Likely he noticed it, and chose to stay away from that reason. The young man had withdrawn from them all, remaining quiet and dedicated to his work, but void of social needs or desires. He still visited the morgue though, mostly after it had gotten late, and most people had left for the evening. Woody would come in and wander around for a while, before coming to join Garrett in his office. They would sit together and discuss cases, or if they were both feeling up to it the woman they had in common. But mostly, the detective kept his distance from everyone, except the dead. His determination to solve his cases increased tenfold, as his interest in the living plummeted.
Garrett expected him to show up later this Friday evening, but right now the Chief Medical Examiner had more pressing issues. Claire had just tried to sneak into her office undetected, but he saw her, and he wasn't happy. He'd heard about her escapades earlier today with Chris, tracking a suspect to a biker bar and flirting with him, while she tried to get information out of him. She had come close to a confession according to Captain Pierce in Homicide, but not before he suspected her, and tried to attack her. Now Garrett had to figure out how to give her the proverbial kick in the ass she so desperately needed. He knew what he was going to do, he just wasn't sure if he was ready to go there. With a resigned sigh, Garrett rose from his desk, a 5x7 photograph in his hand, and headed to Claire's office.
He didn't knock, just pushed the door open, and shot her an icy stare.
"I guess you heard then, huh?" She grimaced at him. "Look Dr. Macy, I know it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but now we know he's the guy, Chris just has to sweat it out of him."
"I really don't care Claire. You could have been killed, do you realize that?" He tried to keep his voice steady.
"Don't you think you're being a little melodramatic?"
"Damn it, no!" He was getting angry, and couldn't hide it any longer.
"Look, I'm sorry okay? Won't happen again." She looked worriedly at him, as she offered her hollow promise.
"You're right Claire it won't. I need you to do something for me, I need you to look at this photograph, and tell me what you see." He passed her the 5x7.
"Uh, brunette, brown eyes…she's pretty. What am I supposed to be seeing here?" She asked, still holding the photograph of a woman she didn't recognize.
"Her name is Jordan, Jordan Cavanaugh. She was an M.E. in this office up until a little over two years ago." He breathed in, trying to steal himself against the emotion threatening to consume him.
"Okay, what about her?" Claire just didn't get it.
"She looks happy, alive in that photo, doesn't she?" It was a favorite of his. Jordan was at the Pogue, laughing at something, her hands in the air seemingly ready to clap at whatever she was seeing. He could almost see her living in his mind when he looked at that photo.
"Actually, yeah she does. I'd love to know what she's looking at."
"Nigel was doing something stupid, you know, just being Nigel. I don't really remember."
"Okay…what's this about Dr. Macy?"
"Keep looking at that photo and follow me." He walked from her office, not looking back, trusting her to follow him to the file storage room. He meandered through the cabinets until he found 'C', and Cavanaugh wasn't that far back. Garrett took a deep breath before pulling the file open, and flipping through it until he got to a pile of crime scene photos.
He pulled them out, and laid them on top of the filing cabinets side by side so she could see. When he heard her gasp, he knew he at least made some impact.
"August 3, 2007 at five p.m. Jordan went out to follow a lead in a gang-related death. August 4, 2007, 9:28 p.m., two patrol cops find her body in warehouse after we'd been searching all night and day. These photos are of what they found." He gestured to the pile that showed a woman laying dead from various angles. She was laying slightly turned over on her side, arms lying limply above her head, dark curls covering the black eye and ligature around her neck, described in the M.E's report. There were visible ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, and deep purple bruising was the only covering on her naked body.
"Oh god. Dr. Macy, why are you showing me this?" Claire looked very frightened by the photos, and though part of him felt guilty, Garrett was relieved.
"Because she was only dead for five hours when they found her. The men she was investigating in that case attacked and restrained her, and then proceeded to beat and rape her for nearly twenty-four hours." He paused letting the information sink in. "Do you want to die like that Claire?"
"No, but just because she did…I'm careful…I'll be fine."
"Before this Jordan survived getting buried alive, drugged, and held hostage, the most fucked-up family history you could imagine, a brain tumor, and a plane crash. But, her own reckless behavior on these cases finally caught up to her."
"Hell of a life she had." Claire's eyes were darting around nervously, wanting to be anywhere, but there.
"Tell me about it. Claire, she was my best friend, and I loved her like a sister. For the first few months after her death, I'd have these nightmares, horror movies that my subconscious constructed from everything I knew about her case. I'd wake up sweating like I'd just run a marathon, and begging them to stop hurting her, to let her go. They never do, in case you're wondering." It was taking every ounce of self-control Garrett had in his body to keep his voice from cracking and eyes from watering.
"I'm sorry Dr. Macy, I had no idea. Nobody has ever really mentioned her."
"Because it hurts like hell when we do Claire. We saw the crime scene photos, her body was right in this morgue, autopsied in Bay 2, by an loaner ME of course. I nearly threw up, when I saw them wheel in the black bag that held her body."
"I, I don't really know what you want me to say."
"Just listen a while longer. You know Detective Hoyt?" He wasn't letting her go, until he was finished describing the damage Jordan's death caused.
"Yeah, cute, but really quiet and kind of creepy."
Garrett pursed his lips at the description. "He was dating her at the time, took them a while to get where they were, but they were in love, we all knew that. Now he barely says a word to anyone, and spends his nights either working cases on the clock or off, or wandering around in here, because still place still is still saturated by her memory."
"I'm not done. You're a lot like her Claire, you've got her spirit, but god help you, if you aren't careful, you'll have her fate too. Do you understand this now?" He didn't have to clarify what he meant by 'this'.
"Yes, I understand." Her heart was pounding, and she desperately wanted to flee. This was too much.
"Good, you can go now." He could see in her eyes that he'd gotten through, finally.
"Thanks, uh here." She held out the 5x7 for him to take back.
"No, keep it as a reminder. I have a copy." She nodded quickly, and practically ran out of the storage room. Garrett sighed heavily, and allowed his eyes to wander to the crime scene photos, which he hadn't allowed himself to look at earlier. He stomach began to ache, and threatened to turn over and make him sick. He began collecting them when a shadow went by the door, and backtracked. Woody came in, and stopped dead at the sight of the photos.
"What's going on Dr. M?" Close as they had become, Woody still referred to him by the nickname, and probably always wood.
"Just trying to scare Claire away from playing cop with Detective Haggerty."
Woody was silent a moment. "Did it work?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"Too bad you didn't have something like that to use on Jordan."
"Yeah, too bad."
"Does having Claire around make you miss Jordan less?" It was something Woody had been wondering about the group, seeing the time that spent with the young woman.
"Not even a little bit." He paused and looked closely at Woody. "You did notice the similarities then."
"That's why I'm staying away Dr. M. If she's like Jordan, she's just as intoxicating."
"She's like Jordan, but she isn't Jordan. She's a little infectious maybe, but she's nothing compared to Jordan." He answered, stowing the folder back in it's slot, and heading toward the door, Woody walking beside him.
"No one is Dr. M. No one."