Spoilers and Notes: General Season 1'ish, but nothing too specific. This is a little fill-in relating to an on-going S1 mystery. Obviously the characters and situations of the series Saving Grace don't belong to me, and no infringement is intended.

Rating: PG-13 for minor profanity


2:15 am

A large yawn and stubborn head shake failed to restore an acceptable level of consciousness. Coffee. Another cup of coffee might help.

The squad room was uncharacteristically dark and quiet. It was times like these, the rare moments in which the city slept and everyone was able to go home, in which the careful observer felt the simmering energy left behind by the detectives and staff. Even in the shadowy stillness, something of them remained.

The four desks in the center of the room pulled the most focus, just as they did when their occupants were present. Four very different energies, each of them vibrant and competing for attention, for dominance, weaving a complicated web of relationships that lingered in this space even now.

There was another squad of four detectives in the Major Crimes Division, but these four were the elite. It often happened that those who worked together so closely formed a synergy that made the whole greater than its composite parts. That had always been the best part of the job, the part that was missed the most these days. But witnessing it was almost the same, and for now that was good enough.

Bobby Stillwater's desk was the first in the row. Bobby was such a…sweet man. Usually that characteristic got in the way in a job like this, but he managed to make it work. The same devotion he showed his family was also focused on his cases, and in tense moments, his cool, shrewd head was an indispensable resource for the department, and particularly for the three hotheads assigned to his squad.

His partner Butch Ada was the perfect case in point. Butch was all cowboy swagger and blue-eyed charm. He had a huge heart and a short fuse, both of which he tried to hide…not always successfully. Butch acted on instinct, whereas Bobby let his intellect dictate his decisions. They counter-balanced each other well, and were the best-matched pair in the department, truth be told. Of all the detectives in the Major Crimes Division, Stillwater and Ada maintained the best compromise among their strengths and weaknesses. It was a delicate balance, and one that they consciously worked on. Time and again, though, the work paid off, and with each case, the two of them cemented their bond a little further. It was that bond that would keep them alive.

The other pair was cause for a bit more concern. Ham Dewey sat across the aisle from Butch. Ham's boyishness belied his experience. According to his personnel file, he had over fifteen years experience as a police officer, and almost seven years as a detective. Yet there was an impulsiveness about him that pointed more to inexperience than to wisdom. But then there were days when he earned his reputation as "Dewey the Solid." Ham was one of the very best to interview female witnesses, which was the genesis of his rep. He showed female victims a gentle compassion that enabled them to trust him enough to push for that one small detail which might make the difference between a winnable case and one thrown out on technicality. The story was somewhat different, however, when the suspect was a teenaged male.

Grace was better with the males, especially young ones. Perhaps it came from the fact that she was godmother to her sister's son, Clay, or perhaps it was the years she spent in Vice, but for whatever reason, Grace Hanadarko was hard to beat when it came to dealing with both witnesses and suspects. She knew instinctively when to play tough and when to be compassionate, and while she tended to let her intuition drive her actions, her intellect worked out the details in a way that lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of countless criminals.

Whereas Bobby and Butch tended to bring out the best in each other, Grace and Ham…well, it was six to one and pick 'em with those two. Some days they were in complete sync, and some days it seemed to be all they could to not to go at each other's throats. Something about the fearlessness Grace showed the world brought out Ham's protective side. The more he tried to watch out for her, the more she pushed him away. Grace had always been, and always would be, something of a lone wolf. There were always going to be times when she felt the need to strike out on her own. Ham didn't understand why she was that way, but he did understand that it made her a less-than-ideal partner. So far they had managed to keep it together. If it turned out that whatever was going on between them personally left either of them or other officers exposed, though, they'd be split up and reassigned faster than they could blink.

It might not be a bad idea to reassign them anyway. Something had changed in recent weeks. It almost seemed there was a triangle developing between Grace and Ham and Butch. Ham was the one that gave it away, in the way he tracked Butch's every move and seemed to covet every word Grace said to Butch.

Of course, there was a small chance that it didn't have anything to do with Grace at all. Doubtful, but possible. Maybe Ham was just as tired of Butch's cocky strut as others were. It really was amazing that no one had kicked Butch's ass yet. Maybe it was about time someone sent him a little message. The lone Longhorn fan in the building had no right being quite so sure of himself the week before the big head-to-head match-up.

Come to think of it? Why not right now? There was no time like the present, after all. The squad room was dark, and otherwise empty. This sort of juvenile prank really wasn't professional, but who could manage perfect professionalism all the time, right? It felt a little bit…no, a lot…delicious to give in to the urge as a quick survey of Butch's desk yielded so many tempting targets. An early start would be required to catch the look on his face, but it'd be well worth it.

It was so easy, so simple, to pick up the pen and inch the beloved Vince Young bobblehead ever closer to the desk's edge. A smile worked its way from corner to corner as the doll tipped past the point of no return, the head breaking into three pieces with a satisfying snap as it contacted the cold linoleum floor. Oh, but that was fun. Much more refreshing than another cup of coffee. Some times it felt so damn good to be a little bit bad.