Disclaimer: I don't own ER or CSI. I do, however, own Alexandra Dupree. She's mine, mine, mine, all mine!
Rating: R for some violence, but mostly language.
Content: f/f relationships, but only a tiny smidge of sexiness.
This story is not beta-read. All mistakes and mispelled words are my fault.
Author's Note: No one asked for this, but here it is. It's essentially a look into Alex Dupree's life a year after the events of 'Violated'. I never planned to write it, but the characters insisted. The idea for this came from a conversation about Julianna Marguilies and her work on ER. My brain took that conversation to some weird places. Another part of this story is Alex dealing with being in the Witness Protection Program, which I based off of In Plain Sight. In the end, though, it's all Jorja Fox's fault.
I actually forgot how much I adore writing Alex Dupree. She's got such a great thought process and big dirty mouth. She's still one of my favorite characters.
Stitches and Secret Identities
An ER-CSI Crossover Story
Nobody, the blonde huffed, looked sexy in a fucking parka. Not even her, and that was saying something. Her blonde hair, lush and curly, was hidden underneath a knit wool cap and every few moments she tugged the edges back down over her frozen ears. Her uber kissable lips, Vogues words not hers, and perfect, no surgery necessary, nose were hidden behind a scarf and despite the barrier her lungs were damn near frozen. Chicago, there were thousands of cities in fifty damn states and they had relocated her to Hell's frozen lakeside resort. US Marshal bastards.
She had left her family's farm in Sioux Falls for the balmy California temperatures and the bright spotlight. She was a creature drawn to fun in the sun and sin in the moonlight. She didn't do sub artic gigs. Christ, the Playboy Swimsuit Edition shoots had been downright tropical compared to this gray, gang ridden, and God forsaken tundra. The last time she'd been here she'd stared down at the city from a plush and luxurious suite and had lunch with Oprah and Gail. Alexandra Dupree had been an A List Superstar that Chicago had welcomed with open arms. That woman was dead and gone and the same city hadn't even bothered to offer a luke warm reception for Alex Scott.
She wished she could say that she resented losing everything she'd worked for. All thing considered, though, she was lucky to have left Las Vegas with her life. Despite what others thought of her, she wasn't untouched by what had happened, or irreverent. Hell, who could have ignored the gory mess of murder and mayhem that had surrounded her? If it hadn't been for Sara- Alex paused to pull her cap back down over her ears and then shoved her gloved hands back into her pockets. Thinking about her past, and about everything and everyone related to who she had been, was counter-productive.
Her name was Alex Scott now and she, among other things, worked at a women's shelter. Her shelter was one of the cornerstones of the ragged remains of a once nicer neighborhood nestled snugly between two gang war zones. Her US Marshal handler did not like her job. He, in fact, hated that she came down the 'hood every day to work at St. Margaret's. She'd never been particularly good with authority figures or boundaries and doubted a name change would change that.
She finally reached the entrance to the shelter and hurried inside. Warm air hit her face and she could breathe again. Alex began peeling off layers of clothes, starting with her hat, scarf and gloves.
"It warm enough out there for ya, Blondie?"
"My nipples are hard enough to cut glass," Alex deadpanned and gave the other woman a good natured grin.
Clarice Milholland had been a fixture at St. Marg's for years. She had manned the front desk long before Alex had arrived and would continue to long after Alex left. Her words dripped with equal parts wisdom and scathing sarcasm. No one was allowed to speculate on her age and if anyone in the entire city could help you, it was Clarice. She wouldn't have made it through the year without Clarice.
She hung her coat in the closet and ran her still stiff fingers through her thick ponytail. "How does it look this morning?"
Clarice shrugged, "The same as it always does, Scott. There are too many women here and not enough of us to help them."
Alex picked up the stack of files Clarice had set aside for her and headed towards the small kitchenette where she knew a pot of coffee was waiting on her. It was going to be a good day.
Three hours later she had spent two and a half hours attempting to convince a woman to press charges against her husband. She had to take a break now, for Advil and breathing space. What Anne Roberts did with her own life was her problem, but she was dragging her two children down with her and that just wasn't acceptable. This was the third non consecutive night they had fled here for safety. The first two times Anne had been the only one who showed signs of abuse. This time though, her six year old son, Micah, had large finger sized bruises from his shoulder to his wrist. She didn't have enough evidence to call the police, but she was definitely going to call her contact at the Department of Children and Families.
Clarice was bustling around in the kitchenette, making sandwiches for the three women and their children who were currently staying at the small shelter. Alex smiled at her and helped herself to more coffee and looked around for the industrial sized bottle of Advil they kept around.
"It's in my desk, top drawer."
Alex smiled at Clarice, as she headed towards the front office. She seriously thought about buying the woman flowers when she found the Advil in the drawer, exactly where Clarice said it would be. Her headache was quickly turning nasty. She sat in the old office chair and threw back three Advil, chased them with hot coffee and prayed for them to work fast. God if her old friends could see her now. The great and proud Alex Dupree dressed in no name slacks and an off-the-rack cotton-poly blouse and a pair of Uggs knock offs. Sitting in a dim and dingy shelter in Chicago, they wouldn't know weather to laugh or pray for forgiveness in the face of the coming Apocalypse.
She could hardly believe it herself. She had donated money to causes like this, done the paperwork and publicity, but she had never worked in the trenches. It was a definite trip.
The front door opened and she looked up, "Hi, welcome to St. Margaret's. I'm Alex, how can I help you?" She spoke automatically, the words came without thought. The man pushed his hoodie down and Alex immediately felt uncomfortable. His eyes were bloodshot, from either alcohol or drugs, and they were a little on the wild side. Her hand went to the edge of the desk and she hit the button that had been screwed to the underside of Clarice's desk. It rang a buzzer in back that would, hopefully, alert Jamie that she needed to get her ass out front before things got ugly. St. Margaret's mainly served abused women and children and large men who looked like they'd just come off a bender generally lead to trouble. Jamie and a few other off-duty officers with the CPD did rotations at the shelter for just this sort of situation.
"Someone told me that my wife, Dana, is here. Tell her Tony's here."
Oh yes, this was definitely going to be a problem. Dana Wilkins was twenty-five and a victim of repeated physical and sexual assault. Tony was her asshole abuser husband who didn't know what the hell "no" meant. She grit her teeth, locked her anger in her chest and spoke in slow, calculated words.
"I'm sorry I can't release any information on the women who come to this shelter."
Slimy son of a bitch, she stared him down with her best fuck you glare and hoped he took a hint.
"Look, I know she's here and I'm here to take her home so just go get her."
She stood up to her full height, "Let me say this again. I don't give out information."
"Listen here, bitch."
She jabbed the buzzer two more times and narrowed her eyes. "You can either leave now or be escorted out."
Where the fuck was Jamie?
He moved towards her and she knew she was in trouble. The door to the rest of the shelter was shut and locked, for security, and her keys were in her pocket. He moved faster then she did and was quickly in her personal space. He was bigger and stronger then her. He was two-hundred and fifty pounds if he was an ounce and over six feet tall.
The soft metallic snick made her look down. A cold surge of fear went down her spine and pooled in her gut, he had a knife. He had the knife only inches away from her stomach.
"Now get me Dana before I have to rough up that pretty face of yours."
Her heart thundered in her chest and ears and her thoughts raced. Alex had been in this sort of situation before and had hated it then. Which was why she had attended the self-defense courses Sara had recommended all those years before. She had never wanted to be scared like this again.
The moves that she hadn't practiced in years, rushed back to her along with Sara's voice walking her through them.
"Go for the weak spots." She swung her arm at his throat and jumped back and out of his grasp when he doubled over, gasping for breathe.
"When you have enough space, run. If you can't run, put him on the ground however you can." She linked her fingers together and swung her connected hands over her head and brought them down like a hammer on his back. She heard the switchblade hit the ground and kicked it away with her boot.
He came towards her, low and ready for the tackle. She dodged to the side as best as she could but he still hit her hard enough to knock them both to the floor.
"If you're on the ground, get up as fast as you can. Kick, bite, go for his groin, do whatever you have to." They were on the floor and she kicked out as hard as she could. She moved backwards, and tried to get back to her feet.
She was in deep shit. "Oh hell."
"I'll kill you, bitch!"
While she'd been trying to get away from him, he'd got the knife back. Fuck.
It was do or die time. She lowered her head, hoped playing football with her brothers in the yard somehow amounted to something, and ran at him. They hit the wall hard, she was pretty sure she heard drywall and brick crack. There was a red hot slash of pain on her arm, but she didn't stop. She brought her knee up hard and fast between his legs three times and scratched at his face with her nails. If he got away she was damn sure that Jamie and the cops would be able to ID his ass.
"Jesus Christ!" She heard Jamie, and then saw the other woman running into the room, gun drawn.
Another set of hands pulled her away from him, but she'd already stopped hitting him. Clarice pulled her into a hug. The other woman was a mixed bag of steel gray hair, White Diamonds perfume and a mother bear protecting her cub.
"Oh God, Alex, honey, are you okay?" She was sat down in the office chair like a five year old. "You're bleeding!" She was watching Jamie and the beaten man while simultaneously hovering over Alex. "You're going to need stitches, honey. Oh my God, are you okay? What on earth happened?"
She looked down at her right arm and was surprised to see a long, wide gash that was pouring blood.
"Shit." She looked up at Clarice, "I just bought this shirt."
There was a flurry of activity, that included Clarice wrapping a clean white towel around her arm while she watched Jamie arrest the man who'd cut her. He could barely walk strait. He wouldn't be raping anyone anytime soon. He'd still ruined her shirt, the bastard. Lucky for her, she'd dressed in layers so the ruined shirt could go with Jamie as evidence.
"You're going to have to go to a hospital."
Alex focused in on Clarice. If she went to a hospital her US Marshal handler, Mike, would lose his mind. He would, at the very least, make her quit working at the shelter.
"It's nothing. I can throw some gauze on it and I'll be good to go."
Clarice looked at her and grumbled under her breathe for a moment. "Fine, you don't have to go to the hospital, but you are going over to the clinic for stitches."
Alex opened her mouth to argue, but quickly decided that this compromise was a close to victory as she was going to come with this argument.
The clinic, like the shelter, was small but resilient. It, too, had seen the rise and fall of the neighborhood and stayed open in spite, or perhaps to spite, those who would see it close. It was a free clinic, run mostly by volunteers and charity donations, but the Seventh Street Free Clinic had a solid reputation. She still didn't like doctors, and if Clarice hadn't insisted she would have patched herself up. It wasn't like a counselor had to worry about scars. It hurt like a bitch, though, so she wasn't going to protest a nice little prescription for the pain.
She sat on a rolling stool and scowled at the paper covered examination table. The towel she had wrapped around her forearm had gone from white to rusty red. She knew it was a free clinic but the doc needed to hurry before she got blood all over his ugly linoleum floor. Alex wrinkled her nose; the décor was offensive to her fashion sense. Hell, her blood would probably improve the place. A man had to have laid this place out. The colors were harsh, cold and didn't make her feel very welcome. It was worse then an ER waiting room. Well what could one expect? The volunteer doctors were all here to ease their guilt before jetting off to do yet another liposuction on Oprah Winfrey's ever expanding ass. She bet the Doc was fifty-eight, fat and had clammy hands. God, she hated doctors. He was probably going to make some lame excuse about being caught up in surgery. She had dated a couple of doctors and that was always the excuse.
She heard the door handle turn and prepared herself for a leering doctor.
"Sorry about the wait, I was stuck-"
"In surgery?" Alex interrupted.
The doctor stepped all the way into the room and Alex was pleasantly surprised. She was about Alex's age, slender, and brunette.
"No, traffic actually, though I am a trauma fellow over at Lutheran General."
Alex looked the woman up and down, from the well-worn athletic shoes, faded and slightly distressed blue jeans that clung to a very tight ass, up to a maroon scrub top. Her dark curly hair was in a high pony tail "Sorry to pull you away for your important work. Clarice just over reacted a little bit."
The doctor finished washing her hands and snapped on latex gloves. "I really doubt it. I've known Clarice my whole life and I've never seen her overreact. She called me at the hospital ranting and raving. I can count the times I've heard her rant and or rave on one hand and have fingers left over. She must think very highly of you Ms. Scott."
"Oh. Well, I uh- thank you Doctor-"
She turned around, "Doyle, Maggie Doyle."
She could have said her name was Cher because all Alex saw, and could think about, was that the doctor was a dead ringer for Sara Sidle. It was a head-spinning, jaw dropping, seriously fuck you over, deja-vu punch to the face.
"So they've got the suture kit set up for me. Why don't you jump up on the table and let me take a look at your arm."
She was a little off-balcence, but she obeyed and sat on the bench. She crossed her legs and tilted her head to her better side out of sheer habit, not just to impress the Doc.
"So it was a knife-wound?" Dr. Doyle peeled the towel off of her arm and her thin eyebrows winged up, "A very nasty knife wound."
Though she hadn't felt woozy before, seeing the wound again, caked in dried blood, made her feel a little light headed. She fought it, just like she had every time she'd been dehydrated, hungry and in the seventh hour of a photo-shoot, with sarcasm.
"You should see the other g-" The room tilted to right and started to spin. She really hated blood.
She felt a steadying hand on her shoulder, and saw big brown eyes examining her from head to toe.
"I thought Big Momma Clarise said you were a tough girl. Take a couple of deep breathes, Princess."
Though the sarcasm sounded familiar, the voice was all new. It positivly reeked of Chicago and not California. It had been almost a year since she'd abandoned her life. It had been far longer since she and Sara had broken up. The doctor cleaned the gash on her arm, the long bleeding gash, with soft hands. The buzzing in her ears, the one warning her she was a few missed breathes away from passing out, started to wane and a single thought crystalized in her mind. It was long past the time she stopped looking at the similarities and look for the difrinces. Her old life, the one she had been with Sara during, was over. She was Alex Scott now, and this was her new life. Then the princess comment broke through her thoughts. "I am not a princess." Not anymore at least, she added silently.
"Sorry, it's just that you look like you stepped out of a-"
If she said fashion magaizine, Alex was going to scream.
"-Story book. I mean, the blonde curls and big blue eyes. I guess you're not a damsel in distress, after all. Big Momma said you put the guy on his ass and he was crying like a baby when the cops got there."
She rolled away for a moment and pulled a metal tray over. "You're going to need stitches, but I'm known all over the South Side for my small, even stitches. There might not even be extensive scaring." She held up a needle, "I'm going to numb the area, Princess, and you can tell me where you learned how to put a two-hundred pound man on his ass."
Alex smiled and didn't even flinch when the needle pinched into her skin. "It was another life, really. My ex talked me into these self defence classes."
She'd put a blue paper sheet over most of her arm so that only the gash and the skin directly around it could be seen. The doctor's hands moved with skill and ease, pulling the needle through her numbed skin and twisting the thread into tiny knots, "Cop?"
Alex smirked, "A crime scene investigator, science cop." She grinned, "How did you guess?"
Doctor Doyle looked up from her arm, "That's a long story that ends in me having an aversion to women in blue for life." She pulled the needle and thread through Alex's skin again. "I'm going to write you a prescription for a mild pain killer, are you allergic to anything? Penicillan?"
Alex cocked a brow, "No, but last time I checked penicilan did nothing for pain."
Doctor Doyle chuckled, "True, but I'm also going to give you a standard round of antibiotics for safety. Amoxicillian should do the trick nicely." She tied off the last of the seventeen stitches, and paused to admire her work. Alex, too, looked at her arm as the doctor pulled the blue sheet off of it. The wound most of her forearm was still numb, but the skin of her arm felt tight and a little itchy. The stitches, though, were small and close together, just as the doctor promised, and the gash was now an almost strait line down her forearm. It didn't look half as bad as it had before. The Doc had great hands.
"You've got some talented hands there, Doc."
She smirked when the other woman's cheeks turned pink. It was good to know that she hadn't lost her touch.
"You can call me Maggie, if you'd like."
Oh yes, she had her on the hook. Absence definitly made the heart fonder and it had been a while since she'd flirted with a beutiful woman. She hadn't even been interested in sex since she'd been swept away from Vegas. Dating had seemed like way more then she could handle when she could barely remember what her name was supposed to be. Then again, she looked at Maggie Doyle, maybe it was a good time to start dating again. It wasn't like a girl got in a knife fight everyday.
"So when was the last time you had a tetanus booster?"
The question cut into her thoughts like another switch-blade. The last time Alex Dupree had been given a tetanus booster was when she and Angelina had been doing some volunteer work in Africa and she'd cut herself on a rusty hoe. Alex Scott had never left the continuous forty-eight United States. She stumbled a minuite, and then decided to go with the easiest, most obvious answer.
"I can't remember."
She smiled and that made a couple of butterflies uncurl in Alex's stomach. She had a great smile.
"That's fine, I'll go get you a booster shot, just in case. We don't know where that thug's been or what he's been doing with that blade. After the shot I'll wrap that arm so the stitches don't get wet or dirty.
Alex watched Doctor Maggie, and especially her ass, walk out of the examination room and then dropped her head into her good hand. A quick, brackish wave of guit washed over her and proceded to shit all over the butterflies. The first few words out of her mouth upon meeting this woman had been lies. It could never work, no matter how school-girl giddy and gooey she got over her.
The woman that was making a monopoly of her thoughts was back in the room far too quickly. Maggie came right to her side, into her personal space. She felt the cold of alcohol being rubbed onto her arm and prepared for the bitchy sting of the shot.
"So you can't take your medication on an empty stomach, have you eaten lunch yet?"
Alex shook her head, "I was starting to get hungry, but then-"
Beside her Maggie chuckled, "So I heard. Listen, you're my last patient of the day, would you like to go get something to eat?"
The butterflies were back, but Alex refused to let the anticipation, and little fluttering flame of lust, show on her face. "Do you ask all of your patients out on dates, Doctor?"
The doctor smiled, and Alex was momentarily caught up in the potent, sexy, melted chocolate of her eyes. "Only the beutiful ones."
It was a line, a cheap one at that, but it did the trick. Alex barely noticed the pinch and burn of the shot.
"What did you have in mind, Maggie?"
The brunette pulled the needle out and quickly disposed of it in the bio-hazard drop box mounted on the wall.
"I know this little Asian Fusion place a few blocks over that will knock your socks off."
Alex seriously doubted it. Nothing really knocked your socks off quite like having Wolfgang Puck pesonally prepare you a meal, but she couldn't say that. Wherever this would go, she would always have to hold herself back. Could a date, or even dare she think it, a relationship, work if it's beginings were rooted in stitches and lies?"
Maggie Doyle, a woman who looked close, but not identical to her ex. She had patched her up without batting an eye, and flirted while she'd done so. She had a tight ass, a gorgeus smile and eyes that could stop traffic. Alex wasn't a model anymore, she was a conselor and part time social-worker. Whatever this was, it wouldn't be sensationalized or reported on. No one, save for herself and Maggie, would care what happened. No one, save Clarice, would really talk about it. The only roadblock was Alex's baggage.
Then Maggie smiled again, and that settled that.
"I'm sure Clarice can hold down the fort for a little while longer."
She was Alex Scott, this was her life now and she was going to spend the afternoon with a beutiful woman. Maybe Chicago wasn't so bad afterall.