A probably overlong A/N to begin:
I must be mad. I must be crazy. I don't know what has possessed me to start a multi-chap a week out from the end of NaNoWriMo. But here it is. Another idea, another fandom. I don't know what's wrong with me that I can't seem to stick to one fandom. God knows I never make things easy for myself.
Anyway, this is my first CSI:NY fic. I hope it's okay. It's a little experimental. Each chapter will be named for a colour and include one abstract connotation of that colour and one tangible, real-world instance of that colour. Some will be more obscure than others – prizes for the first to guess the right connotation! I'm thinking they'll be in the style of one-shots but will all fit together to form a larger story; I'll probably play around with point of view and that sort of thing too, knowing me.
I hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think!
P.S. Oh yeah, I'm in New Zealand, and the fifth season hasn't started here. So, for me, that Angell/Flack kiss does not exist. And I'll be sticking to that.
It wasn't that Angell disliked CSI's. First of all, it would be completely prejudiced of her to suppose that all CSI's were alike to be disliked as one entity. And secondly, she really didn't dislike them. She worked with them just fine, and they were invaluable in homicide cases. She even managed to hold a friendly conversation with most of them most of the time. It was just the way the entire PD seemed to think they belonged on a pedestal equal to Olympus that really grated on her; the way people parted like the Red Sea when they arrived at a scene, the way they made their own rules and everyone allowed it, the way she was made to feel expendable around them. Angell hated being overshadowed, and she hated that on the job, they could do practically everything she could do. She wouldn't have a clue where to start in their magic lab, and she didn't want to, but she hated that she felt shut out of the place where all the answers they needed seemed to come from.
She hated the way she had to look after a scene until they got there, like she was some goddamn babysitter. She hated that she had to step back when they arrived, let them do their oh-so-important jobs. She hated that everyone in the force, including her own partner, who had worked with them forever, considered their friendship as some sort of privilege. She hated the way her partner got angry about cop-killings, but it was something personal if one of them got hurt.
It wasn't as if Angell was losing any sleep over this, mind you. It was just a little bother about a job that she otherwise enjoyed – every job had them. Well, every job didn't have CSI's, but she knew how impossible it would be to solve cases without them. She didn't dislike them. Really.
This is what she reminded herself of whenever she was called to a scene. They weren't always there, but when they were, she rattled off what she knew while they knelt beside, looked up at, peered down upon the body. Then they would lift their precious camera to their eye and she would make herself scarce, interviewing witnesses. She hated the way they made her feel like a witness herself sometimes.
"Who found the body?"
"Who's the victim?"
"Do we have a murder weapon?"
"Do we have a COD?"
Now that one was just patronising. Like they wanted her to make a stupid assumption and then prove her wrong and act all 'it's okay, you didn't know.' When they asked that, she felt like saying, 'You tell me, that's your job isn't it?'
That would go down a treat. Apparently they had quite the temper on them. Not that Angell never got angry; she did, especially with bone-headed suspects. But, well, she didn't have any complaints on her record, put it that way. Still, even that wouldn't knock them down a peg. No, she had to out-tough them now as well as outsmart and out-beautify them. Because right now, she could flirt all she wanted and still be invisible when they turned up on the scene. She had a shadow to step out of, and she really hated that. Flack telling her she looked good in a vest just wasn't going to cut it, either. Close, but 'Angell, you are the best detective I've ever met,' would be better. Or, 'No woman's ever looked better in a vest.'
Well, for now she'd take what she could get, and do what she could. After all, he had never told them they looked good in a vest.
Angell had yet to meet a cop who didn't appreciate a cup of joe at the start of their day, and on a summer day such as this, she felt an iced coffee or two wouldn't go amiss. There happened to be a Starbucks conveniently between her and the crime scene, and if she had to slightly abuse her parking privileges, she figured she had enough good karma stacked up from catching murderers for the universe to let it slide.
She pulled up perpendicular to the crime scene – another alleyway, surprise, surprise. So many people got killed in alleyways; they should just be abolished. Angell would certainly never be caught dead in one.
Don saw her approach and waved her over, his face splitting into that devastating grin when he saw the two iced frappes in her hands.
"Angell, will you marry me?"
She grinned back, handing one over. That was more like it.
"Don't flatter yourself, Flack."
He led her to the body, and Angell's throat clenched.
"He's just a kid."
Flack nodded once, looking as angry as Angell felt.
"His backpack was lyin' a few feet from the body. It's full of junk; a few empty jars, a bike horn, a bent fork, a radio with no batteries – no ID."
"Don't suppose anyone saw anything."
"We should be so lucky. We're just waitin' for CSI to come and work their magic, tell us who this kid is."
She nodded stiffly.
"I guess there's not much I can do here, then."
"We're pretty secure," he conceded. "Sorry you got dragged out."
"Well," she shrugged. "I might check out the neighbours. Anyway, I doubt you could've stayed on without your morning coffee."
He grinned, his eyes drifting around the alley. "It's true."
His focus left her abruptly, and she followed his gaze, already knowing what she would find.
They got out of their shiny black SUV, magician's kit in hand. They were wearing green. She hated when they wore green. They saw Flack and nodded to him, making their way over. Flack nodded back.
"Hey guys," they said. "What've we got?"
"This ain't gonna be easy," Flack warned. "He's just a kid, maybe fourteen, and no ID, no witnesses."
Their face tightened. "Runaway?"
"I'm guessin' street kid. There was a backpack full of junk with the body, looks like his."
They clenched their jaw as they approached the body, shaking their head ever so slightly. Flack followed them, and Angell felt awkwardly like she was interrupting something.
They stood there for a moment, their green eyes sparkling. Flack was watching them, his face drawn with concern. He laid a gentle hand on their shoulder.
"Hey, you okay?"
His voice was so soft Angell could hardly bear it.
They seemed to come back to themself and gave him a shaky but determined smile.
"I'm fine, Flack. Just let this kid tell me who he is and I'll be fine."
He smiled back, not removing his hand from their shoulder, and they didn't move away.
Because she didn't think she could stand much more of this deep-eye-gazing, Angell started backing out of the alley.
"I'm going to check out the surrounding buildings," she said. "See if I can get any security camera footage of the alley."
"There's a couple at the entrance," they said, nodding. "If you can find out who they belong to, we might be able to see if someone accompanied our vic down here."
Flack nodded too, but his eyes were on them, as they would be until they both left the crime scene. They crouched down beside the body.
"Fibres in the wounds on the face, and some sort of brown trace."
Resigned, Angell walked out of the alley.
Mostly, she really hated the way they wore green tops that made their eyes dance and their skin glow and their hair come to life like the freaking Medusa. That was when Flack couldn't keep his eyes off them. Maybe hate was a strong word; she didn't dislike them. Really. But Angell didn't wear green well. She never had. And it seemed she'd have no choice but to wear it a lot more if she couldn't find another way to step out of their shadow.