Hello all! Is twenty-four hours a quick enough turn around to posting a new story? Hopefully those that have read my other stories have decided to check this one out and if you haven't read my stuff before, welcome! Obviously, this is another FlackOC story. I hope you all like it, and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with CSI: NY.
After six months with the NYPD, Detective Jolene James had settled in nicely. Thankfully, she had made quick friends of her co-workers; however, her relationship with fellow scientist/detective Lindsey Monroe was a little closer than the others. They both were country girls, Lindsey from a ranch in Montana and Jolene from a family of peanut farmers in Georgia. Jolene's soft southern twang made her the more obvious import, but the two young women got along amazingly well. It was a rare night when the two of them actually finished work at the same time; so, the two women found themselves at Sullivan's dinks in hand as they sat in the bar and talked about life rather than the newest case.
"So, what's going on with you and Danny?" Jolene asked, making Lindsey choke a bit on her beer as she took a drink.
"What?" the light brown haired woman asked as she turned her brown eyes to Jolene's blue and the darker haired woman smiled.
"He flies off to Montana two weeks ago to be with you while you testify, and I'm left to wonder what exactly is going on," Jolene said before she took a long drink of the dark beer she had come to love after being introduced to it by another co-worker.
"Nothing is going on," Lindsey said, clearly lying since she was looking at everything but Jolene.
"Honey, you don't have to lie to me," Jolene said and Lindsey finally looked at her. "As odd of a pairing you two make, you're good together." Lindsey laughed while Jolene took another drink of her beer.
"What does that mean?" she asked and Jolene shrugged as she lowered her glass from her lips and smiled.
"I really don't know," she admitted, which made Lindsey laugh again as she shook her head.
"There's something there, but I don't know where it's going to go yet," Lindsey said and Jolene's smile only grew.
"Care to make a wager?" Jolene asked and Lindsey furrowed her brow as she looked at Jolene.
"On the future of your and Danny's relationship," Jolene said simply and Lindsey's eyebrows nearly rose to her hairline. "I bet you a hundred dollars that within four years ya'll will be happily married with at least one child," Jolene continued and Lindsey laughed so hard her face was read, but Jolene simply continued to smile as she let Lindsey laugh. "I'll have you know I'm very good a predicting relationships," she said when Lindsey finally stopped laughing.
"Oh really?" Lindsey asked and Jolene nodded taking another drink from her glass. "How so?"
"When my sister started dating her now husband, I told her that within seven months he was going to ask her to marry him. She thought I was crazy, but sure enough five months in and on Thanksgiving when our whole family was there, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him."
"That was a lucky guess," Lindsey said and Jolene shook her head.
"It's a gift," Jolene said as she tapped her right temple and Lindsey scoffed.
"You should look into matchmaking then," Lindsey said through a teasing grin, which made Jolene laugh quietly.
"My Gran was a matchmaker of sorts," Jolene said and once again Lindsey raised her eyebrows. "She said I had her eye when I was ten and helped me 'hone' my abilities. Sadly, I'm always wrong when it comes to predicting my own relationships." Jolene's perturbed face made Lindsey laugh and Jolene smiled at her friend.
"So, you can tell that a guy is going to propose to a girl within a certain time frame after their first date, but you can't tell when a guy is interested in you?" Lindsey asked.
"Oh, I can tell when they're interested. I'm not completely naïve, but when I think they're going to last they fizzle quicker than a sparkler on the Fourth of July." The two women shared another laugh before Jolene ordered another round. They both started shift at nine-thirty the following morning, and it was nearly midnight but neither woman really cared. They deserved to have a little fun.
"Flack," Jolene greeted the detective as she walked under the crime tape and onto the scene she had been called out to the following morning and pushed her sunglasses up into her long dark hair that she had kept down that morning. She narrowed her eyes as the sunlight made her head throb slightly and she cursed herself for drinking a little too much the night before. Don Flack looked at Jolene with a grin as he excused himself from the uniform he was talking to and walked along with her towards the body that Stella was already starting to process.
"Why do you look like you had a little too much fun last night?" Don asked her quietly and she looked up at him with a smile.
"Probably because my body is making me pay for the six beers and two whiskey shots I consumed last night," she said just as quietly and Don laughed as they drew nearer the scene. "What do we got?"
"Male vic, no ID, looks like a gunshot wound to the chest and possible robbery," he said. "Damien Marcos found him when he was taking out his trash this morning around ten."
"Perfect," she said quietly be before she greeted Stella Bonasera with a smile as the slightly older woman looked up at them.
"Hey Jo," Stella said, calling Jolene by her nickname that she instructed everyone to call her by. Only her mother really called her Jolene. "I'm just about done with the body, if you wouldn't mind taking the perimeter."
"When you say 'perimeter' does that include the oh so sanitary looking dumpsters behind you?" Jolene asked although she already knew the answer. Stella sent her a grin, which made Jolene sigh and Don chuckle. "Okay," she breathed. "I'll check the alley first before I suit up for my dumpster excursions."
Three hours later Jolene was suited up in a NYPD crime lab jumpsuit sorting through the second of the trash filled dumpsters for anything that could have possibly been linked to their victim. Blowing the dark strands of hair that escaped from her half-hazardly thrown up bun from her face, she spotted a brown paper bag. She carefully picked up the bag with her gloved hands and opened it. Her dark blue eyes widened and she smiled when she saw a wallet, watch, and a gold ring inside the paper bag. Looking up she found that she was alone in the alley save for the two uniforms posted at the end to keep the public out of their crime scene.
Stella had gone to the lab with the body and the rest of the evidence she and Jolene had gathered before Jolene made her dumpster dive. Don was probably somewhere close finishing up his canvas of the block to see if anyone recognized the victim from the photo he took with his phone of the man's face, so, she was basically on her own in trying to escape the dumpster's confines. It wouldn't be easy given she was vertically challenged at five foot three inches. With evidence in hand she carefully climbed out of the dumpster only to land very ungracefully onto the pavement when her footing slipped on the outside of the dumpster. Thankfully, she kept the evidence high as she fell on her back and backside so it didn't get contaminated by her fall.
"Ow," she groaned before she heard a slightly worried shout.
"Jo!" It was Don and she heard him running, so, she didn't hurry to get up figuring he could help her. "What happened? You okay?" he asked quickly as he helped her sit up and she laughed, mildly embarrassed because of the situation.
"I'm fine, I just lost my footing when I was climbing out," she said, a light blush to her pale cheeks. "I think I'm going to have a beautiful bruise on my ass by the end of the day," she added, which made Don laugh as he helped her from the ground by grasping her wrists and pulling her up. "I think I might have an ID for our vic."
"You're kidding me?" Don asked as he looked at the paper sack in her hands and she shook her head. "It can't be that easy," he said and she shrugged as she started to log everything. She carefully pulled out the wallet and opened it only to find the face of their vic staring back at her from the photo of his New Jersey driver's license.
"Henry Donaldson, he's from New Jersey. Cash and credit cards were untouched, so, we can rule out robbery," she said and Don took out his notepad to right down the victim's information after he asked Jolene for it. She closed the wallet and bagged it before she pulled out the other items. "I think whoever killed Mr. Donaldson tossed his things in the dumpster to make it look like a robbery," she mused before she bagged them and the paper bag. "You heading back to the lab?" she asked when she was done and looked up at Don.
"Yeah, I was coming to see if you were finished and if you wanted a lift since Stella took your ride," he said and she nodded.
"I'm done for now," she said. "I've got to call for a flatbed to bring in the dumpster. If our killer didn't leave any prints on the wallet, he might have left them on the dumpster because this was pretty much on the floor of it and it was nearly full."
"I'll call for it," Don said as he took out his phone. "You finish packing up and you're takin' that off before you get in my car," he continued as he pressed the phone to his ear and gestured to her suit that was stained with various liquids and questionable solids from the dumpster with his free hand.
"Without dinner first? You flatter yourself, Flack," she said as she stood with a grin and pulled off her gloves. Don smiled and gave her a wink before he turned away to order the flatbed, however, his slight blush didn't go unnoticed by the smiling CSI as she packed up her things.
The large punching bag in the weight room of the 24 hour gym down the block from Jolene's apartment was getting the brunt of her anger and frustration. She was wailing at it so hard that she was pretty sure she scared away several of the men that had came in to use the weights. With a final right hook to the bag, she let out a frustrated growl and rested her wrapped knuckles against it before she rested her head against it, breathing heavily, and dripping with sweat.
"I really don't want to know what that bag did to you to piss you off do I?" came a familiar voice from behind her and she sighed as she lifted her head to look over her shoulder. Still dressed in his suit slacks, button up, and suit coat, but sans tie, stood the last man she ever expected to see at her gym.
"Don," she breathed before she stood straight and turned to face him. She looked a mess in the dark red sports top and black yoga pants she had pulled on before throwing on her jacket and storming out of her apartment and down the street to the gym. Her long hair was messily up and strands were sticking to her sweat soaked skin, not exactly the image she wanted him to have of her. "What are you doing here?"
"Lindsey told me where I could probably find you," he said. She knew that meant he wanted to check up on her after she stormed out of interrogation when he arrested Donaldson's murderer. "You okay?"
"Yeah, just peachy," she said dryly before she started to unwrap her hands and turned away from him. After the interrogation and confession of their suspect in the Donaldson case, she couldn't get her head around it and needed to take her anger out the most constructive way she knew how.
"Jo," he started and she sighed.
"Fine, I'm not okay," she said as she tossed her wrappings onto the chair that held her towel, jacket, and the bottle of water she bought. "How could a woman kill her father for no reason other than he didn't like the man she was living with and came to talk to her about him? What kind of crazy is that?"
"Coming from Atlanta, I thought you'd be used to crazy," he said and she gave off a bitter laugh.
"Yeah, but I still don't understand it," she said as she wiped at her forehead and smoothed her hand over her hair.
"Sometimes, we're never meant to," he said and she nodded before she turned and grabbed her towel wiping away the sweat from her face and neck. "Want to grab a drink?"
"Looking like this?" she asked and he laughed.
"I know you don't live far," he said. "I'll walk you and wait." Jolene smiled as he looked at her with that dimpled grin. He was so hard to resist with that grin, and she had a feeling that he knew that all too well. Jolene couldn't deny the fact that she was highly attracted to him, but she had dated a co-worker once before and when the relationship ended their professional relationship suffered for it.
"One drink," she said. "I don't want another hangover." He laughed again while she turned, grabbed her jacket, wrappings, and her water bottle. She put her towel on her shoulder and her jacket on her bent left arm and started to walk out of the gym.
"You're not going to put your jacket on?" he asked and Jolene shook her head before she took a deep drink of her water.
"I'm sweating bullets, Flack," she said as the left the gym and she signed in contentment as the evening air cooled off her heated body. "By the time I feel the chill, we'll already be inside my building." They started walking down the street and Don smiled as he followed her for a brief moment before he fell in line next to her. "So, how do you know where I live? I don't think you've ever been over. In fact, I know that only Lindsey and Stella have been over."
"I'm a cop," he said. "I have my sources." Jolene laughed loudly, which made Don smile. She had a deep laugh that made a smile come to anyone's face that was within hearing vicinity and as he expected the people that passed them smiled as they glanced at her and continued on their way.
"So am I, but I don't go pulling up your information," she said and Don grinned. "I'll forgive you, if you throw in a burger and fries to go with that drink."
"You're going to throw away all that hard work tonight with a burger and fries?" he asked as they waited at the crosswalk, her building resting just on the other side of the street.
"I really don't care right now," she said and he raised his eyebrows. Most women he knew were a little more conscious about their weight, and he had to admit the fact that it was Jolene that was saying it surprised him. The woman may not have been extremely thin, but she was mostly muscle and rather petite. "I've got a pretty good metabolism, and it's been a long day. Plus, I'm starving," she added and the crosswalk light changed. The pair started to cross the street.
"You got a deal," he said. "I know a place not far, just around the corner; greasy bar food with a pretty good tap selection."
"Sounds good," she said as she pulled her keys from the pocket of her jacket. She trusted Don, so, she knew she could shower with him in her apartment and not worry about anything. She guided him upstairs to her fourth floor apartment and she heard him sigh as they started up the last flight of stairs.
"You don't have an elevator in this place?" he asked and she grinned as she looked over her shoulder and at him as he trudged up behind her.
"It's only six stories high, Don, and it's a renovated building," she said as she turned her eyes ahead and started towards her door. "I'll let them know they should have put an elevator in."
"You do that," Don huffed behind her and she rolled her eyes with a grin as she unlocked her door and guided him inside.
"You run up and down stairs all the time," she said. "It's not like you're that out of shape," she continued teasing him and he grinned as he looked at her after she turned on the light.
"How would you know?" he asked and she raised an eyebrow. "Have you been checking me out, Jo?" he asked and for the first time since he met her, he saw a faint pink appear on her cheeks and he found himself smiling.
"Like I said earlier," she said before she stepped closer to him and he turned his head down so he was looking into her dark blue eyes. "You flatter yourself," she whispered before turning away from him and walking down the short hall to what he assumed was her bedroom. "Make yourself at home. I shouldn't be more than an hour," she said, not looking at him and Don smiled before he chuckled and shook his head. It was definitely going to be an interesting evening.