Disclaimer: Yeah, I don't own them, but that doesn't mean I can't play with them!
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, /
The girl playing the piano was just right, Bobby had decided, after his third scotch. She was a fairly talented jazz improviser, a small brunette. Her fingers moved lightly across the keys, small oval nails filed down. Her face looked far away, concentrating on some distant point in her memory. Shades of Charlie Parker in the chord changes. Yes, she was perfect. All he wanted, after all, was to get laid. Outside the window of the small, dark club the neon lights painted the fallen snow bright against the street at night.
After her set, some time later, she came and leaned against the bar, next to him. He was on his fifth scotch by then, and a good ways towards being drunk. It took a lot for him to get drunk, given his size, but he was getting there. As she waited for her drink, her fingers tapped on the counter. Even, odd, even. Like morse code. She shot him a quick sideways glance and he reciprocated, giving her a small half smile. Sometimes it seemed too easy for him, his quick behavioral analysis affording him deep insight into whomever he had his sights on. With girls, it was just a matter of sizing them up and morphing himself into exactly what they wanted.
This girl, he noticed, had a slight facial tick. It seemed important, at the time. They talked smoothly, about art, about movies, and music. She was a good conversationalist. Educated. And those hands. He imagined what she could do with those well-trained hands.
Around midnight, and she was pushing him against the wall outside of the club, running her fingers down the front of his suit, unbuttoning him. He was achingly hard, kissing her neck, her jawline, her pelvis grinding into his.
They entered her apartment in a jumble. She was laughing because he had hit his head on her doorframe, had to duck to get into her bedroom, her entire apartment built to accommodate someone smaller, more compact. Then her hands were on him again, pushing him down against the bed, and he rolled over on top of her, careful about distributing his weight, not wanting to hurt her, but at the same time, maybe wanting to hurt her just a little. She was so small.
Awhile later, he came, moaning against her neck, and she squeezed herself against him. Her name was…what…Annie? No, Ashley.
They find her halfway inside the vestibule of her apartment. She looks pale, unnaturally thin. Even in death she looks sick, like she is still suffering.
Alex Eames watches her partner in mild consternation as he hunches over the body, his eyes wandering over her with that complete focus that he has while he's working. His body is contorted, knees jutting out, doubled up in that familiar way that she finds oddly endearing, comforting. But something has been different about him, this morning. No, she is lying to herself. Ever since his suspension, that terrible time he spent in the psych ward, he has been distant, withdrawing silently into himself, pushing her away.
He sniffs at the woman's hands.
"Uh…that smell. Resin." He says, looking up at her. "And these calluses. This woman was a musician. A…violinist." He gestures at her wasted body. "She had a disease, probably cancer. Her hair is thin, falling out." He stands up, unfolding his long body with causual grace, and moves over to the kitchen counter. He pulls three prescription bottles out of the cabinet.
"Doxorubicin. Temoxifien. Hydromorphone. Breast cancer medications."
Eames bends down. "She's had breast surgery," he says, not looking at her. "Double mastectomy. Look at the concentration of the knife wounds."
The wounds are clustered around her chest, forming a rough double helix. The edges are ragged, the blood pooling on her left side, staining her white blouse. Eames nudges her shirt aside a little, and shudders, biting her lip. Her empathy comes suddenly in a strong wave. Who would kill a woman who was already dying? She watches Bobby move around the crime scene, gently touching the photographs on the fridge door.
"Eames," he says "look at this." He points to one of the photographs. The woman is smiling. Looks healthy—glowing, even. There is a man beside her—tall, bearded, holding her hand. They are both laughing into the camera. They look happy. Bobby flips over the photo. "Nantucket, 1999. G."
"G" she says. "this woman's name was Zoey Mitchell."
"This G," he says "a boyfriend."
"No," she says, pointing to his hand in the photo. "Fiancee?" The ring is there, the sun glinting off it. Her hand is hidden in his.
He finds her address book on the kitchen table. "G.." he mutters softly to himself. "Gordon, Dennis." He taps the book with one finger. "his name has been crossed out. Only a phone number, no address." He looks around the apartment, eyes slightly narrowed. Alex knows what's bothering him.
"There's no evidence of a man ever living here," she says. "No extra toothbrush in the bathroom, twin bed, not big enough for two…" her voice trails off as she catches her partner's eyes. He is angry. His mouth is set in a grim line. He moves swiftly, and is outside the apartment before she can take a step.
"Lets go find this 'G'" he calls, already on his way to the elevator.
She has to run to catch up with him.
Bobby Goren has been feeling uneasy all day. He watches his partner when he's sure she's not looking. Sometimes he can't stand looking at her, it's too much for him. He's been fighting with himself for a long time, not willing to admit how he feels about her. Her jawline, the swing of her hips as she walks. He yearns for her. He makes himself be cool, professional around her, and when she says something that makes him laugh, his heart beats too fast, and the smile on his face feels like a wound.
The phone company turned up an address for Dennis Gordon. SoHo.
As they knock on the door, the hear scrambling from somewhere inside, and the unmistakeable muffled sound of a window sliding open.
"He's running," shouts Goren, as they draw their guns. They break the door down, and see the back of the man's shirt as he struggles out the window. It takes Goren only a few strides to get to the window, and he grabs the man's arm, dragging him back into the room, and slamming him facedown on the coffee table. The man is easily as tall as him, and outweighs him by at least twenty pounds, but Goren handles him as if he were a straw doll. Eames feels a sudden, unexpected rush of desire for him, for his easy strength. She feels a flush rise on her cheeks.
"What..what did I do?" stammers the man, face still pressed against the table. "I didn't do nothin"
"Then why did you run?" Eames asks, as Goren snaps on the cuffs. Once upright, they can see his face,. He's sweating, and his pupils are the size of quarters, glassy and flickering from side to side.
"Hey, now," she says, "Looks like somebody's been having a party in here." The man looks at her sullenly, his lip twitching. "So what's your poison, Dennis, huh? Crack? Meth?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, dollface," he spits. She sees Goren tense up.
"That's detective Eames, Dennis" he says softy into the man's ear, getting close. The man shifts uncomfortably under his intensity.
"Ok, ok, detective Eames," he says, "look, I dunno why you guys are here but I keep telling you, I didn't do shit. Plus, my name's not Dennis."
The partners exchange a glance.
"His name is Chuck Worster,"
They are standing on the other side of the interrogation mirror with Deakins and Carver, watching the man fidget. Deakins shakes his head.
"So you went after this guy and all he's guilty of is criminal trespass."
"He was living at the suspect's house, and we found a pill bottle in his posession belonging to Zoey Mitchell. Dilaudid. We found the same prescription in her apartment." Goren is pacing back and forth restlessly. He pauses and rubs the back of his neck. "When we asked him where he'd gotten it he said he'd found it in the apartment, but the only prints on it were his…his and hers."
Carver frowns. "It's not enough to hold him. I can charge him with the trespass, but he'll post bail by tonight. If you want to keep him, you need to find me something, but quick."
Goren turns back to look through the mirror. Eames joins him, looking up at him, waiting.
"Maybe…" he says, shifting his weight, "maybe he isn't just a random squatter."
"You think he knows Dennis?"
"I think maybe he knows more than he's letting on."
"That wouldn't be too hard," Eames says, shaking her head.
"Look," Chuck Worster says impatiently, "I already told ya. I found the door open and a pile of mail a foot high. This guy's flown the coop, right? So I decided to make myself at home. No harm, no foul."
"No harm," Goren murmers, fixing the guy with his eyes. He abruptly stands up. "How did you happen to be in the apartment building in the first place, Chuck?" He says, "a guy like you…" his voice trails off.
"A guy like me what?" Chuck shifts around in his chair angrily, trying to track Goren's movements. "I gotta right to be in nice places. I'm no bum."
"No bum. Just a junkie. Your file has at least eight priors for…" Goren flips through a file, "assault. Posession. Posession. Attempted rape…posession," He drags a chair around next to Chuck. "Not exactly the million-dollar penthouse pedigree."
"So I've had some problems. But I know what a million bucks looks like. Probably better than either of you."
"I'm sure you do, Chuck," Goren says, resting his chin on his arms. "We looked up your parents. Susan and Richard Worster of….Fifth ave…St Moritz, Monaco…"
Chuck looks sullen again. "Yeah, so? I got rich parents. Is that a crime now?"
"No, no" Eames puts in, "but Susan Worster just happens to have a sister. Bethany Worster. Or, that was her maiden name. Do you know what her name is now, Chuck?"
He looks down at the floor.
"Bethany Gordon." She continues, "wife of two kids. Lily and Dennis. Isn't that quite the coincidence? That you would stumble into your cousin's apartment without knowing it?"
Chuck grits his teeth. "Look, I'm not saying any more until I get a lawyer," he says, and then clams up.
Chapter 2 coming soon!