Disclaimer: I do not own the main characters; they are the property of Wolf Films, the lucky dogs. Please do not sue. I'm practically broke in comparison to you guys, anyway.

Author's Initial Notes: This was written some time ago - back when Abbie Carmichael was the ADA. I never originally intended to put this up anywhere, but here I am . Evan, if you are reading this, I hereby command you, GO! Leave this fic in peace. ^^x It is too crazy for you.

And so, without further ado .

* * *

Ransond Hotel, 10th floor, 2:22 p.m.

"Oh, crap." Rey Curtis, a good-looking Hispanic detective from the 2-7, shook his head at the nearly-decapitated body on the bed. Blood was everywhere. "What happened here?"

A forensics member grabbed his arm and dragged him closer. "A lot of shooting, that's what. This guy took it 4 times: in the head, neck, and twice in the chest. Pretty disgusting. He was most likely sleeping, and the guy that did it probably just stood about here" - the man stood at the end of the bed and, straightening his arm in the direction of the body, made a pistol shape with his hand - "and shot like this. Nice, fast, and bloody, but the guy's been bleeding it out for about 30 minutes now. We picked up some cartridges here." He pointed to the ground where little white marks had been made in the carpet to mark the location of the cartridges. "Definitely a .22, but if you ever get us the gun that shot 'im, I'll bet we're in business. I gotta few things to do. Excuse me." The forensics guy left as fast as he came, pointing out shot points for the photographer to work on.

Curtis lingered at the body for a little longer. The victim had been an obese Caucasian, he saw, with a relatively young, healthy-looking body. 'Relatively young' fit the description in the papers he held, which told him the man had been thirty. Suddenly a hand dropped on his shoulder. "Hey, Rey, what's cookin'?" Detective Leonard Briscoe, who went by Lennie, stepped up behind Curtis from among the swarming forensics team that had saturated the room. He was noticeably the senior officer on the scene, but he and the much younger Rey were good partners. Lennie glanced at the body. "Yuck. I assume this is the deceased."

"Unless we're the dead ones, Lennie." Rey quickly filled in his partner on the forensics man's summary. "He got shot up real good."

"Somebody must really hate him."

"No kidding. By the way, here's the guy's name, home, and everything else you could want on him to start with." Rey handed Lennie the papers he held.

Briscoe lifted one of them in puzzled curiosity. "Germany??"

"Yep. You guess how the name's pronounced."

"Harold Schleissmann." Lennie put the emphasis on the "Shliss" and pronounced the 'I' long. "Only a guess."

"Better than me."

"Yeah, but what's in a name? You get the left side of the hall." Lennie strolled out the door towards the other hotel rooms, pulling out a notepad. Rey sighed and did the same. It was time to take statements from the other hotel occupants.

"You sure you didn't hear anything?" Lennie asked again.

The man he was questioning, Timothy Marks, had been friendly enough to start with, but now he seemed agitated, casting his eyes everywhere except towards Briscoe. He was the fourth person Lennie had asked, and so far all the answers had been the same: Yes, they heard shots, about four of them, they had been scared and called the police, and no, they had not seen anything suspicious. However, this guy was scared. "Yep, I'm sure. Musta been asleep when it happened."

"A guy was shot across the hall, and you slept through it? Not likely."

"Look, I don't remember what I was doing exactly! Maybe I was shopping. I don't know. Now, I have things to do. Please leave." Marks shut the door in Lennie's face.

"Well, nice guy." Lennie moved on to the next room.

Rey knocked on the door down the hall. A woman answered, opening the door a crack and looking Curtis up and down. "Well?"

Curtis held up his police badge. "We're investigating the shooting down the hall, and I was wondering if you heard or saw anything suspicious."

She eyed Rey again. "For you, I might have heard something."

Rey looked at her. "For my wife I'd hear anything."

The woman took a step back, then recovered and opened the door a bit further. "Yeah, I heard the shots. About four or five, I guess, but after the first one I was on the phone dialing 911. Scared the hell out of me. Oh." The woman's eyes lit up as she remembered something. "Which room was the shooting in?"


"Yeah? Well, I saw a guy go in there about 15 minutes before the shooting. I thought he was just a new occupant. . . was he the killer?"

"Can't say I know. You get a good look at him?"

"All I really remember was his green eyes. . . they were really intense. And cute."

"Thanks. Here, if you remember anything else, call me." Rey handed her his card.

"Will do." The woman smiled sweetly and shut the door. Curtis stuffed his notebook back in his pocket and made his way down the now-busy hallway to Briscoe.

Lennie was shaking his head as he glanced over his notes. "You get anything of interest?" he asked without looking up.

"Yeah, actually." Rey filled Lennie in on the mysterious man with cute green eyes. "And you?"

"Well, I now know there is a man who is scared out of his wits in 36J." Lennie smirked. "I think he was getting himself in a bit of Atrouble" with the missus a half hour ago, between you and me."

"That's just plain stupid," Rey remarked with a frown.

"Yep, that's you, faithful to the end," Lennie replied sarcastically. His tone clearly indicated he was thinking back to a year ago when Rey had gone to bed once - and only once - with a college girl instead of his wife. Rey hadn't crossed the line since.

"Lay off, Lennie. I swore off all girls but my wife a while ago."

"Okay, okay." Briscoe held up his hands with a no-offense look. "Back to the case. I think we'd better contact the German Embassy about Harold. Oh, and check his business papers. Maybe the deceased had some post-mortem dates."

"I'm on it."

27th Precinct, Lieutenant Van Buren's office, 3:12 p.m.

"So, how's the case going?" Anita asked as Briscoe and Curtis walked in. Van Buren was not one for small talk when it came to business.

The detectives filled her in on the hotel occupants' statements. "We'll know more when the German Embassy gets back to us. Oh, and did I tell you our dear Harold had a date with the governor's aide at four?" asked Curtis.

"Jim Dawson? Why?" Van Buren looked puzzled.

"Beats us. I think we should meet him as substitutes for Harold. How bout you, Rey?" Lennie remarked, looking at his partner.

"Sounds good."

"Go for it," replied Van Buren. "But be sure he knows who you are, though. We just went through a bit of hoo-rah because some detectives asked questions without telling the person they were police officers. I don't need that biting us in the rear again."

"Right. You're driving, Rey. I don't want to think through the traffic."

"Whatever." The two detectives walked out the door.

Office of Jim Dawson, Aide to the Governor, 4:02 p.m.

"Harold Schl. . .Schl. . . Schleissmann?" said the secretary. Seeing a man nod at her from his chair, she continued, "You may go in to see Mr. Dawson now."

"Thanks." The man stood up along with a younger looking guy and made his way into the office.

"Well, Mr. Schleissmann, how nice to meet you," Jim Dawson said as the man entered with his partner. He extended his hand.

The man declined it, and instead held out a badge. "Actually, the name's Lennie Briscoe, and this is Rey Curtis," he replied. "We're detectives from the NYPD, and we're here to talk to you about Mr. Schleissmann."

"Police? What happened?" inquired an apparently startled Dawson.

"He was brutally shot three hours ago," replied Curtis. "And we know he had an appointment with you for right about now. So we were wondering what connection Mr. Schleissmann has with you."

"Shot?!" exclaimed the aide. "Well, our connection was this meeting and nothing more. I never heard of him before a week ago when he called to schedule an appointment."

"You must have a busy schedule to be called week in advance to make an appointment," remarked Lennie. "What made Mr. Schleissmann important enough to squeeze in?"

"He told me he was a reporter," Dawson answered. "You don't turn reporters down or they think you have something to hide."

"A reporter, huh? Why not just tell him to ask at the next press conference so everyone could hear?" asked Lennie. "Then you'd do a better job of convincing me you really do have nothing to hide." Meanwhile Curtis scribbled the new bit of information in his notebook.

"I. . .wanted to see what he had to say right then. He said it would be printed in two weeks whether he spoke with me or not."

"I know that's plenty of time for a press conference. For you politicians they're all the rage." Lennie poked a little too hard.

"Detective, If you're suggesting I had Mr. Schleissmann killed because I was afraid he might start a scandal print, I suggest you think again. There are no scandals in this office. Besides, don't you think that would be a little brash? If I killed everyone who thought they had something on me, the equivalent of half of New York City's population would be dead. And through all of those claims I've come out squeaky clean, haven't I? I'm not that stupid anyhow, Detectives. Now, I do have another appointment in ten minutes. Please go harass someone else with your - your irritable questions." Dawson turned and looked out his floor-to-ceiling windows. Taking the hint, Briscoe and Curtis turned and left, walking to the elevator.

"I think you pushed a bit too hard, Lennie." Rey frowned.

"Hey, you can never push a dirt bag like him too hard - you can just force im back into the slime pool he came from." Lennie grinned at his younger partner. "Come on, Rey, he's a politician. They all come from slime pools." He pressed the button to the ground floor as they moved into the elevator. "Let's catch a burger down the street, then head to the 2-7 and look for the German Embassy report."

27th Precinct, Briscoe's Desk, 4:50 p.m.

"Poor guy, had a wife and kids." Curtis shook his head at the Embassy report. "That's gotta hurt."

"Yeah, yeah," agreed Briscoe. "The guy was a reporter, for what it's worth."

"That's what it says. And he had a friend, Alando Schuster, here in good old New York, New York. How about we go meet him?"

"Let's. But tomorrow. The five o'clock news is calling me," said Lennie. "Catch you later."

Mr. Alando Schuster's home, 10:05 a.m.

Lennie knocked on the door, and a thin, unshaven man opened it. "Yes? May I help you?" he asked pleasantly with a heavy German accent.

"Uh, we're the NYPD," explained Briscoe, holding out his badge. "We have some bad news." Quickly Briscoe told Schuster about his friend's violent death. "We're very sorry."

Schuster opened his mouth to speak, then shut it without saying a word. He gasped, then slowly drew himself into a straighter posture. "Thank you, for coming in person and telling me," he whispered. In a louder voice he continued, "I suppose you want to speak to me about Harold's affairs before they killed him." He moved aside and ushered the detectives in.

"We have to ask: did Harold have any enemies, anyone that would want to kill him?" inquired Curtis.

"No, not here in America. He is - um, was - a very kind person." Alando's voice cracked on the last few words.

"We're sorry about your loss," repeated Briscoe, Abut this is the only way to get to the bottom of the murder." Lennie made an effort to tread lightly. "Did he have any - uh, did he know anyone who hated him in Germany?"

"Perhaps a few, but they would not come here to kill him. They were not that angry with him. Many of them were politicians that have proclaimed false messages or evil ones. Harold made it his business to expose the truth about politicians. He was good at it." Schuster frowned. "He was also a good friend."

The two detectives looked at each other, and Curtis took the initiative this time. "Um, he exposed politicians? Did you know he had a meeting with Jim Dawson, the governor's aide, scheduled for yesterday?"

Schuster brightened slightly. "Yes. Harold had said he was going to expose Dawson for the evil man he was. Harold even waved his notes in my face and said he was going to prove Dawson was a sneak, but how he knew I do not know. I do not know what Harold discovered, either. But he said he was going to expose Dawson." He smiled. "I always knew that man was evil."

Briscoe thanked Schuster for the help. "I would like to ask you to call Harold's family. It might be easier for them to find out from a family friend." He and Curtis left quietly, leaving the man to deal with his grief in peace.

27th Precinct, Briscoe's Desk, 11:00 a.m.

"Did you see anything like a report or notes about Dawson in Harold's stuff?" Briscoe asked around his morning doughnut.

"If there was any, I didn't see them, but they'd make the case against Dawson stronger," replied Curtis. "You think that maybe the killer took them?"

"Maybe. We'll have to check that angle," Lennie agreed. Just then the phone rang, and Rey shot out a hand to pick it up.

"Yes? Oh, no, we're just starting the investigation. These things take time. . . Let us handle it. It hasn't even been 24 hours since the shooting. Give us some credit. Sorry, of course we'll keep you updated. Thank you for the call." Rey hung up. "That was the German Embassy. They say that the family has been notified and they wanted to know if we had a good idea of who the killer might be. Yeah, I wish we could find a killer in" - Curtis checked his watch - Aabout 20 hours. That'd make an awful lot of people happier."

"Yeah. . ." Lennie replied absently. "Hey, let's go bug Dawson again. I'm almost sure he knows more than he says."

"Are you accusing the great Jim Dawson of murder?" gasped Rey. "Remember, don't be too hard on him. You might actually ruffle his feathers."

"Heaven forbid!" The two detectives made their way to the door.

27th Precinct, Interrogation Room, 11:42 a.m.

"What exactly are you getting at?" Dawson was not a happy man, and he was making it abundantly clear. He had been dragged out of his office and to the station for questioning, not technically against his will, but it was as close to that as possible.

"We are getting at' the possibility you had Mr. Schleissmann killed because he was damaging your reputation!" snapped Briscoe.

"I told you before and I'm telling you now, I'm not that stupid!"

"Oh? Then please, explain to me why his damaging papers' against you just disappeared from his hotel room."

"Maybe they flew away. I never heard of these so-called damaging papers."

"And why should I believe you?" Lennie bit off the words.

"Why should you believe some guy from Germany?" Dawson shot back.

"He seems to be a lot more honorable than you are."

"That's it!" Dawson jumped from his chair. "I've had enough. I want my lawyer."

Briscoe and Curtis looked at each other, than silently walked out of the interrogation room door. Lieutenant Van Buren was on the other side. "Well, that's that," sighed Rey. "Wanna hang onto him until his lawyer comes?"

"Forget it. We won't get anywhere with his lawyer on the scene," sighed Van Buren. "Tell him he can go and attack this case from the other end."

"How about I talk with that spooked guy, Marks, in the hotel again?" suggested Lennie. "Maybe he was getting in trouble with more than the missus during the shooting."

"Sounds good. Get to it."

Ransond Hotel, Room 36J, 12:24 p.m.

"I don't want to talk to you." Marks stood in quiet defiance in his hotel door. "You are a couple of pains in the butt, you know that?"

"All too well," replied Lennie without missing a beat. "Now, let's get the story straight this time, and I want a real answer: What were you doing during the shooting?"

"I don't remember! I have no clue!" Marks nearly shouted.

"Oh, yeah, I'm sure." Lennie's voice was laced with sarcasm. "What is it, something you were doing yesterday that's keeping you from telling? Just having a good time - in bed?"

"Yeah, sure. I'm not that stupid."

"Look, buster, I've heard that one too many times today. Now cut the crap, or perhaps we can continue this at the 2-7."

"I don't have to talk to you!"

Rey shifted on his feet. "Hey, Lennie, maybe we're going at this the wrong way. Maybe we oughta reconsider who murdered the guy." He looked pointedly at Marks.

"Hey, you accusing me of murder?!" The man suddenly looked panicked.

"You don't remember' what you were doing during the shots. Maybe that lapse of memory involves a .22 in your hand." Rey pointed out, too calmly.

"I didn't kill him!"

"Then what's your alibi?!" Lennie barked.

"I - I - I called the guy who killed him." Marks looked at the ground.

"And? Name, maybe?" Rey promoted, startled by the response.

"I don't know who he was."

"You called someone you don't know." It was a flat remark.

"No! I mean, yes. Um, I heard from him before - he had a raspy voice. I could I.D. it if that would help. He called this room and asked who I was, and how long was I staying. I said for two weeks - it was the truth, and I thought he might be just calling from the front desk because of a room mixup. Then he said to call a number when the guy across the hall fell asleep in two days, whether or not it was day or night. Then he said he had lotsa money in it for me." Marks gave the detectives a look of ultimate shame. "I agreed. It sounded easy enough. But I didn't think he would kill him! I never guessed it!"

Rey and Lennie's eyes met, and they were in full agreement. "We'll have to take you down to the station to take your statement officially," Briscoe quietly informed Marks. "We'll talk to the DA about pressing charges."

Marks calmly walked out of his hotel room between the detectives, looking down at the floor the whole time, his whole countenance shouting his shame over his actions to the world.

Tamica Offices, 4:12 p.m.

"Well, this looks like a respectable place," Rey remarked as he stared at the high, beautiful ceiling over their heads in the open lobby. The ceiling had a mosaic on it, and nice, comfortable couches to sit in while waiting. "Hardly the place for a murderer to reside at."

"No kidding, but stranger things have happened, and we've both seen it. You sure this is where the phone records indicated Marks called?"

"Sure. And this is where the phone call to him came from, too."

"I sure hope the guys who own this place are clueless so we can just snag the guy who made the call and get out of here."

"Fat chance, Lennie. He'll be screamin' lawyer before we even drag him out the door."

"Sirs? Mr. Brodebacker is ready to see you," the secretary practically whispered. Curtis and Briscoe rose to their feet and walked calmly into the office where the phone call was made from.

"Come in, come in," exclaimed Brodebacker in a clear, almost overjoyed voice. "It's nice you meet you, detectives." He didn't seem to be at all concerned about the police's visit. Briscoe and Curtis ate it up, then dug in.

"Mr. Brodebacker, we are here about a call made from this office." Curtis informed him.

"Well lots of calls are made from this office. What exactly is it?"

"Three days ago a call was made from here to a room in the Ransond Hotel. The call is involved in the murder of a young man."

"What!" If the man was only acting horrified, he was good. "I made no such call!"

"Oh? The phone records say differently," answered Lennie.

"I'll get a copy and see for myself!"

"Here, have one." Lennie threw it on the desk; the important calls were circled. Brodebacker stared at it.

Mr. Brodebacker was not pleased. He glared at his desk, then the ceiling. Finally he turned back to the detectives. "I don't believe this." He glared at the ceiling again. "Do you think an employee made the call from this office?"

"We can't say we know," answered Curtis. "What do you think?"

"I don't know what to think." Brodebacker looked at the records again, then suddenly pushed it aside and pulled a planner out of his desk. He sat there and scanned through the pages before crying, "Aha!" and placing the planner on the desk so the detectives could read it. "I was out at a client's site when the call was made. See? 1:42 was when the call was made." He gave them the name of the client so Curtis and Briscoe could verify it. "My secretary was out for lunch. Anyone could have gotten in. . . no, that's not right. I lock the door when I leave." Brodebacker frowned. "I'm not sure how the call was made." Then he turned back to the records. "And the return call was made while I was in here! I never got a call."

The detectives glanced at each other. "Okay. . ." remarked Rey tentatively.

"I didn't!"

Rey frowned. "That would mean there is a bypass on your phone, like a stolen cellular frequency. Maybe your phone is cellular. . .no? Then how do they make the pass over the line without detection? I'm not sure how we can trace that." Briscoe gave his partner an I'm-lost-please-explain look. "Later, Lennie. Thanks, and I'd like to know if we can borrow your phone."

"Certainly, if you think it will help." Mr. Brodebacker unhooked the phone from his wall and handed it to Curtis. Pressing a button on his intercom, he said, "Betty, get me a phone from Neil's office." He looked up at the detectives. "Hope you catch the scum who's using my phone."

"No sweat," answered Rey. "Let's head out."

27th Precinct, Lieutenant Van Buren's office, 10:23 a.m.

"How goeth the technology search?" asked Briscoe.

"Cool, that's why we're in here." Rey looked pleased with himself. He addressed both Van Buren and Briscoe. "Found a bugging piece in the phone. It traces calls according to numbers, and from a few select numbers it diverts the call to a different location."

"Huh. Never heard of one of those." Anita looked a bit lost.

"Hey, I think it's a new concept, but you can never be sure. However, got the calls all traced to and from the bug - the number is to a perfume shop on 32nd, owned by John Waters."

"A perfume shop?" Van Buren nearly laughed.

"Whatever the tech man says," Lennie smiled. "Guess we'd better cover it, huh?"

"Go get this bastard," directed Anita.

Perfumes of the World, 11:03 a.m.

"Hey, Rey, try this scent for your wife: Hope," Lennie read off the bottle. "Smells sweet."

Rey sniffed the scent. "I already got her a birthday present, and it smells better than that."

"Sorry. Never claimed to be an expert."

"May I help you?" asked a slim Hispanic woman from behind the counter - apparently the cashier. She crudely chewed something - the detectives hoped it was gum.

"Uh, yeah. The guy who owns this shop is a friend of my buddy here," Lennie explained, motioning to Curtis, who gave him a look of semi-disgust. "Where is he, exactly?"

The young girl nodded toward the back door. "In there. You can go on in."

"Thanks." The two detectives moved into the back through the door, and found a healthy-looking Caucasian man of about 35 years. His red hair shone against his bright green eyes. The man jumped to his feet. "Hello?" he asked, his voice rasping as though he had a cold. "Who sent you back here?"

"Your cashier," answered Briscoe coolly, holding up his badge. Skipping formalities, he jumped right in. "We were wondering, have you ever met a Harold Schleissmann?"

"Huh? Schli-what? Never heard of him, and what on earth is this about?"

"A few questions, is all," Curtis replied. "Mr. Schleissmann was murdered two days ago. Your name?"

"John Waters. . . um, mind explaining a bit more of what this has to do with me?"

"Mr. Waters, we will ask the questions for the time being," said Briscoe. "So, you ever meet a Mr. Brodebacker?"

"No, but I don't understand -"

"Just answer, please," sighed Rey. "Have you ever met Timothy Marks?"

"No! Who is he?"

"Some guy who you happened to call, is all." Lennie was not exactly a happy camper. "You sure you never met him?"

"Um, is this a joke? I never called a Timothy Marks." Waters was incredulous.

"Hey, Lennie, check it out, he has green eyes!" Curtis announced.

"And a raspy voice." Lennie smiled slightly.

"Yes. So?"

"So now we have an eyewitness that puts you at the scene of the murder when the murder occurred, and a certain Timothy Marks who can identify your voice. Oops."

"Let's finish this down at the precinct, shall we?" asked Rey coolly.

"What is going on here?" Waters moved out the door in front of the two detectives.

"We'll explain once we're there," Lennie replied quickly. "Let's move."