Title: The Case of Emily Neil
Pairing: Ali McCormick/Simon Ross
Disclaimer: I do not own Cold Squad and I make no money from this story.
Summary: COLD SQUAD. Ross assigns Ali a case she wouldn't normally get and as she soon finds out, there's much more to the victim than meets the eye. Post 02x14 "Gavin MacInnis".
Author's Note: This follows "The Case of William Black", but you could probably read this story without having read TCoWB. I'm sorry this has taken so long, but I'm back at school now and I've been very busy with my martial arts and of course my schoolwork, also, I was ill for a couple of weeks and I'm still not 100. This kind of feels like a short chapter, but the following ones will hopefully be longer, once the storyline really gets started and the squad starts investigating the case. Expect an update later on this week or next weekend.
Ali stopped walking and turned at the sound of her name. "Inspector." If she was going to be honest with herself, she'd hoped that she had arrived early enough that she could have avoided him, at least for the time being. And yet here he was, and she had only just walked into the building. "What can I do for you?"
"So, um, how about dinner tonight?" he asked, looking thoroughly adorable with his obvious awkwardness and his hands jammed into his pockets.
"Yeah, sure. If that's all inspector—" Since the MacInnis case, things had been a bit weird between them, and what she had hoped would clarify their relationship had ended up only making it more complicated for both of them, complicated and awkward. And deputy chief Malcolm wasn't helping matters any, even though she didn't really trust anyone who played politics like the deputy chief did, she couldn't quite silence that little voice in the back of her head that took Malcolm's words to heart.
"Not quite. I've got a case for you sergeant, the file's in my office."
They started walking again. "That was fast, I only just finished the paperwork on MacInnis."
"I'm getting pressure from my superiors," he explained, "they're worried about PR." Having arrived at his office, Ross gestured for her to precede him and closed the door behind them. He grabbed the file off his desk, "A seventeen year old girl disappeared a couple of months ago. The case went cold fast, but from everything the investigating officers could find, there was no way she just ran away."
"A couple of months ago? Is there a connection to an old case?"
"Nothing like that."
"Then why so soon?" Ali was puzzled as to why the cold squad was being handed such a fresh case, generally the 'real cops' liked to keep those, not that Ross thought as little as most when it came to the abilities of the cold squad, at least, not since he'd seen their work first hand.
"The parents are insistent and quite influential. My superiors believe it would look very bad if we stopped looking into this, but we can't afford to tie up those officers any longer, so I've been ordered to give you the case."
"Ah. Well, maybe with a fresh perspective I can find something new."
"That's the idea." Before she could turn and leave, he pulled her against him and brushed his lips gently against hers before pulling back, his forehead resting against hers for a moment, "I'll see you tonight then."
"Yeah, see you then."
"Hey, Logozzo!" Ali yelled, starting the detective, who had been leaning back in his chair with his feet propped up on his desk and nearly causing him to fall. He stopped himself, grabbing a hold of the desk and pulling himself forward, planting all four legs of his chair on the ground.
"What was that for McCormick?" He held up a folder, "Look, I've done my paperwork."
"Wow, miracles do happen. Good news, now you get to help me on a new case." She held up the folder Ross had given her.
"You found a new one already?" he asked.
"Actually, inspector Ross gave this one to me." Ali knew it was a mistake to mention her boss as soon as the words passed her lips; Logozzo seemed to the notion of a relationship between the two of them to be amusing.
"Really? Inspector Ross?" Tony raised his eyebrows and grinned at her, "So, how is it going with you two?"
"Shut up Tony, I mean it," she warned.
"Alright, I get it, Ross is off limits," he said, holding his hands up in mock surrender, "So, tell me about our new case."
"Nope, we wait until everyone's here."
"Then I'm going for a smoke." He stood, grabbing a pack of cigarettes, and strode past Ali, "Let me know when they get here."
Once Ali had left, Ross sunk into his chair, careful not to lean back too much. Though his bruises had had some time to heal, his back was still sore and vulnerable to pressure, and the doctors had taken him off the painkillers. Of course, for appearances sake, he behaved as if he was perfectly fine. He was getting rather tired of everyone asking him how he was feeling. And then there was Ali. Sometimes he could see the guilt in her eyes, as if she held herself responsible for the actions of the mentally disturbed woman. As with their relationship, they hadn't really talked about it.
Ali's behaviour had seemed a bit strange to him recently, to him, she seemed more hesitant than usual. Perhaps it was just the new level of awkwardness, but he had a feeling there was something more to it than that. He didn't know whether she regretted that night, only that he didn't. It may have been too much too soon in their relationship, but it wasn't regret that he felt. All he knew was that he cared for her a great deal and would do everything he could to make this work.