Choir by DD Agent
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, settings etc of The Closer, I'm just playing with them!
Brenda Leigh Johnson needed to find Andy Flynn. There was a lead on the Stroh case, a minor one, nothing too huge. But she needed someone to go with her, she didn't trust herself if she just went on her own. Her first choice was usually Gabriel, but with something like that he would go rushing to Will, and she didn't need him poking his nose into business that didn't concern him. Her second in command, Provenza, would be an excellent choice, but he was busy visiting his old partner. So that led her to the emotional Andy Flynn. The Joey case seemed to have made them reach an understanding, and Brenda knew that he understood her obsession with catching Stroh better than anyone else.
"Buzz? You haven't seen Lieutenant Flynn have you?"
She had ignored the sign on the door, and Buzz gave her a pained look. She looked at the single screen that was showing the interrogation rooms, and she could see Flynn inside, and the sound from the room was bizarre. The Detective seemed to be singing.
She had put the technician in a dangerous predicament, but to his credit he explained to her why one of the manliest detectives on her squad, Provenza's partner for Christ's sake, was singing!
"Chief, Lieutenant Flynn does a choir with some of his AA buddies; he practises every year in the room so I can check his levels. I used to be a technician at a theatre school to pay my way through college."
Brenda nodded, and just listened to Flynn sing a couple of bars of a Christmas song, whacking the beat on his legs. She smiled at the sight of him, every year she got to know the detective just a little bit better, no matter how much he tried to push the rest of the team away, keep himself all business. He had a beautiful voice too, and Brenda wished for a moment that her mother was there to listen to him; she would certainly appreciate his voice more than she would.
Leaving Buzz alone, Brenda knocked on the interview room door, and entered. She could see Flynn trying to act nonchalant, but it just didn't work. He wouldn't meet her gaze.
"Well I guess you might have to change your surname to Williams, Detective. You've got quite a good voice there."
Flynn sat on the edge of the desk, and looked at her. "Thanks Chief. I guess you've uncovered my deep dark secret, you're quite a cop." He rolled his eyes and grinned, before turning serious. "Can you…can you not tell Provenza about this? I mean, I know I give him some stick now that I know his name, but honestly, if he found out I was in a choir I would never hear the end of it."
Brenda joined him on the desk, and patted his hand. "Of course Lieutenant, your secret is safe with me. On one condition mind - you come with me to track down a lead on Stroh."
Andy bobbed his head and grinned at her, smiling at the idea of tracking down Stroh. "Of course Chief, you didn't have to ask. I'm very glad to be your third choice."
In the car she retaliated and started teasing him about singing. Flynn kept quiet most of the journey after that.
The lead had been a bust, it turned out to be another dead end, he had passed through the town, scared one young girl and that had been that. As much as Flynn had tried to make things better, he said they were one step closer, Brenda couldn't help but feel further from anything in her life. When she got home, it was incredibly late, and Fritz was sitting in front of the television, watching an old baseball game.
"How was your day?"
He looked up from the game and stared at her, usually she talked nineteen to the dozen about work, but she couldn't. She kept seeing Stroh's face in her mind, his features as he had walked out of her grasp, and she just couldn't deal with it. She skipped dinner and a shower, and just jumped straight into bed, pulling the sheets close to her chest and crying herself to some semblance of sleep.
The next morning she skipped out on breakfast, not that Fritz was there to notice. She wondered if he had even come to their bed last night, she certainly hadn't felt him join her under the covers. As she got into Parker Centre and her office, she noticed a flyer had been shoved underneath the door. There was a post it on top, and Brenda recognised Flynn's handwriting. It was an advertisement for a choir performance, his choir performance. It was for tomorrow night, and Brenda remembered that she was supposed to be attending an FBI Christmas Party with her husband, although he had only mentioned it the once.
"Hey Chief. You okay?"
She turned to face Flynn, who looked like he had had more sleep than she had received. She smiled weakly; it was all the strength she could muster. "Good morning Lieutenant, I'm fine."
He knew she was lying, but Brenda could not struggle to act like she was okay, when everything was breaking her head into tiny pieces.
"Okay Chief. I thought you might like to see us perform, we're not amazing, but I…I've never had anyone from the LAPD come before."
She was touched at his words, and she really wanted to go, but she had promised Fritz to go to his work party. She told Flynn so, and he seemed to understand, although Brenda could see that his eyes had dropped, and his smile was not as bright as it had been before.
"That's fine Chief, I completely understand. You have a great time at the party, just relax and celebrate the Christmas spirit. Don't think about Stroh."
It was funny that a man she used to dislike immensely, and had become a rather pleasant addition to her team, was the person who understood her better than Fritz did, than Will did. He had only seen her at work, never in her personal life apart from the odd occasion that he got embroiled in her family. But, maybe it was because work was her entire life that he seemed to know her more than anyone else.
"When does the party start, Fritzy?" Brenda asked, and her husband looked at her from the door like she was crazy.
"The party? The FBI Christmas party?"
Brenda fixed one of her earrings and nodded. "That's the one."
Fritz sneered and took a gulp of his drink. "You mean the one that was the day before yesterday? That you missed and when I called, your phone was switched off, and your office had no idea where you were?"
She froze, and placed both arms by her side. Fritz was livid, and she expected that. He looked at her angrily, and just waited for an explanation that was two days late.
"I had a lead on the Stroh case, so me and Lieutenant Flynn…"
That was all Fritz needed to hear before he turned around, grabbed his coat and slammed the front door behind him. Brenda winced at the sound, and sat on her bed, not sure what to do. She knew that she should wait for him, wait for him to cool down and then apologise. But she saw the flyer on her dressing table, and she knew that being in the house later on would not improve things, and giving Flynn a little support would make all the world of difference to him.
As she pulled on her jacket and locked up the house, she knew she had made a choice, however small and insignificant in the future, that her team would overcome all in her mind. The case always had to come first. As she started her car, she didn't see anything wrong with that.
It was a small venue, and she managed to find a seat at the front without having to show her badge. There were quite a few other people milling around, and once the house lights had dipped, they took their seats and the show began. The choir was both male and female, and they opened with an Andy Williams song.
There were group numbers, duets and solos. Brenda had never felt as proud as she did when Andy Flynn took the stage and belted out his version of Home on Christmas Day. As the music trailed off, his eyes found hers on the front row, and she had never seen him smile so brightly before.
When the show had ended, Flynn reached her, and they shared a smile.
"Well Lieutenant, you have very good hidden depths indeed!"
He chuckled. "Well thank you Chief. Want me to give you a ride home?"
She took his arm, and they walked to the entrance, with Andy nodding and shaking hands as they went. "I brought my own car thank you Lieutenant, but would you like to go get a drink or maybe a late night snack? I think you deserve a little sugar after that performance, and I have a craving for chocolate cake."
"Chief with all due respect, you always have a craving for chocolate cake."
"Even more reason why we should go get some."
As Andy opened the door for her, he placed his hand on her arm and looked at her. "How are you Chief?"
She looked down at his shoes, and then back up at his eyes. "I'm breaking Lieutenant, and it's breaking up everything around me."
Flynn nodded, and as she looked into his eyes she could see the ice there, but it seemed to be melting ever so slightly. "Speaking from someone who is already broken, Chief, let's go get some cake."
She kissed him on the cheek as he escorted her out of the hall and down to their cars. Back in the hall, Fritz sighed, not sure of what to do. He had wanted to go to the Choir performance, but he had forgotten to mention it to Brenda, it had been driven out of his mind when she had forgotten his party. Obviously Brenda had no problems showing up to her detective's events, when she forgot about his. Should he let whatever continue between those two - they obviously had some sort of connection, or should he make things right with his wife, the woman who promised to love and cherish him above all others, except her case files?
Outside in the cold, he watched as his wife and Detective Flynn talked for a moment, before driving off separately. He needed a drink.