Trick or Treat by DD Agent
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, settings etc of The Closer, I'm just playing with them!
It was an annual LAPD tradition, one that Will had done every year since he had been Chief of Police. The Halloween party, held at the Chief's house for the dedicated members of the police force, was a special date on the calendar for all those invited. Fancy dress was required, a strong stomach for Zombie cocktails and peeled grapes was essential.
However, every year there was one department that never dressed up, and sometimes didn't even turn up. Commander Taylor made sure ever year that one of his lieutenants was in charge of Robbery/Homicide on Halloween so he could attend the party and mingle with the other members of the department. It was a bonding exercise. That could not be said for Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. In the five years since she had been in LA, there had always been an emergency on Halloween, whether it be family or a dead body had turned up somewhere. Even so, Will was tired of excuses, and tired of Gabriel being the single person from the department at the party.
He told Brenda so on the Monday before Halloween, much to her dismay.
"But…Will! What if there's a murder?"
He rolled his eyes. "Then Robbery Homicide can deal with it. This is an essential part of LAPD life, and you may be able to get on better with some of the other departments if you got to know them socially. You can bring Fritz."
He could see her hand straying to her candy drawer, and he knew he had her on the run. If he could just push a little further then she would attend. "It's not just you who I'm making go, it's your entire department I want there. In fancy dress."
"But…Will! I cannot tell my squad to go to a Halloween party in fancy dress! I will not force them to do something they don't want to do. Unless I want them to do it."
"You will or I will fire one of your team. You may not have heard, but we're currently going through an economic crisis, and budget cuts are still my main focus."
Her eyes grew darker, but Will stood firm, not breaking. "That threat is getting really old."
"And it will continue to work until you lose a member of your squad or you actually start doing what I say. Either way, Saturday, 7 o'clock at the Chief's house. Your entire squad please, and everyone in fancy dress. Even Provenza."
Leaving Brenda speechless behind him, Will left her office and walked down the corridor. It was going to be a long week, he could just feel it. The run up to Halloween was always horrible, lots of incidents whether that be murders or fires. All Hallows Eve seemed to give every hooligan and lunatic in the city an excuse to cause damage. He was lost in his own thoughts, which was why he ran into Sharon Raydor in the corridor. He hadn't told Brenda that the attractive head of FID would be attending the Halloween party. Well, after he had had a small word with her, for FID too never attended apart from one sole member.
"Captain, sorry I didn't see you."
She smiled. "That's fine Chief, you looked lost in thought."
He nodded. Looking at the Captain, he could see she looked a little different from the last time he had spoken to her, the officer involved shooting where her and Brenda had come to blows several times. Her hair was a little lighter, a little redder then when he had seen her last, and she had gained a little weight too, filling out her assets quite nicely. She looked good, and Will couldn't stop smiling at her. "I was actually on my way to FID headquarters to talk to you. Everything all right?"
Her eyes had shot up in alarm when he had mentioned going down to FID, and she plastered on a smile. "Yes, its fine. Two of my officers have decided to decorate the office for Halloween, so it's full of plastic spiders and skeletons. And candy, actually. It's a good thing that Chief Johnson doesn't like me or I'd worry she'd been done there all the time."
Will laughed for a little longer than he should have done, until he cleared his throat and adopted a male posture. "Captain last year you didn't attend the Fancy Dress Halloween party. I expect this year for you to attend, I'm making the whole of Major Crimes go, I expect the same of FID, we clear?"
To her credit she just nodded. "I'll be there, don't you worry about me Chief. I read your speech online, the one you gave at the Mayor's press conference? I really enjoyed it, I thought it was very eloquent and explains exactly what we are trying to do."
"Well thank you Captain."
"No problem Chief. Talk to you soon." With a bob of her head she walked in the direction of FID, and he just stood there rooted to the spot. When she was half way down the corridor, she turned back and smiled at him.
"Cat woman okay, Chief?"
He ignored the image of the long legged FID head in tight material and kept walking on, a smile on his face all afternoon.
As Brenda expected, her team were less than impressed that they had to attend the LAPD party. Tao was supposed to be taking his kids out trick or treating, Provenza had a date with Lauren, Sanchez had to get up early the next day for All Saints Day Mass and Gabriel was just happy he wasn't the only one being made to go for the first time since Chief Johnson has been in LA. Flynn was strangely quiet, and Brenda noticed the toothpick in his mouth again.
"Lieutenant Flynn are you okay?" He looked up at the sound of her face, and Brenda was overcome by how much he looked like the man he had been when he was Taylor's mole. Toothpick in his mouth, a dark smugness over the creases in his face. Moving to Priority Homicide was the best thing he had ever done, and not just for his friendship with Provenza. Maybe that was what was getting him down, the fact that his friendship with Provenza was no longer certain and that Lauren was occupying his thoughts.
"Yeah, I'm fine Chief, thanks for asking."
"Okay, well it's got to be fancy dress. I know it's only on Saturday, but can we please dress up? It'll be fun, you know like a group bonding thing," Brenda smiled, but her cynical detectives just looked at her like she had gone crazy.
Provenza had that look of a man that just had a light bulb go off, and he stood up and addressed his colleagues. "I have a wonderful idea for fancy dress Chief. We could go as…Police officers. Thank yew, thank yew!"
His remark made Flynn laugh, and Brenda felt herself fixed at his expression. It was a totally unguarded moment, and he looked so handsome sharing a joke with his friend. He had seemed to change since Joey O, and Brenda wondered whether his toothpick chewing was because of the shift in justice they now inhabited, hunting down criminals instead of finding justice for victims.
After the team fell back into discussing costume ideas and the latest case they were working on, she decided to go back to her office. Have a nice sit down, take a bite of chocolate, calm her nerves and try to figure out what she was going to dress as for the party. She could feel someone's eyes on the back of her as she walked away, and as she got to her door she caught Flynn's eyes staring at her.
As his gaze shifted back to his work, he could see Provenza staring at him from his chair. "What's the matter with you Flynn?"
"Nothing, I'm fine."
He sneered. "How can you tell?"
"Because I'm a brilliant police officer. What is up Flynn?"
"Nothing I can deal with."
And that was the rest of the conversation.
When Sharon entered the FID offices, she did notice there was something different about the place. She wasn't sure whether it was the hanging skeletons, the flying bats, the bowls of candy or the suspicious looking punch all over desks that had been there for over a week already. Maybe it was the fact that Claudia was wearing a witch's hat that she was sleeping under or that Jimmy was pale white with a gaping hole in his neck that was peeling. Tony was sitting in the corner, properly dressed in a suit and trying to work his way out of cobwebs, the only one who seemed to disregard the Halloween spirit, thankfully.
Something grazed her neck and she yelled. Turning around she saw Simon in full vampire costume, a cape with plastic teeth and his badge on a chain around his neck.
He removed the fangs from his mouth and looked at her like a small child. "I'm sorry Captain; I'm just getting into the Halloween spirit."
"Well you soon will be, Chief Pope is making us all attend the LAPD Halloween party on Sunday. I'm sure you know all the details, you go every year."
Simon looked excited; he was like a small child with a gun that not for the first time Sharon was worried about. Jimmy grinned; he was still young so a party would seem like a good idea. Tony was muttering at the back, and Claudia didn't seem to be awake until a sentence erupted from her mouth.
"I ain't dressing up."
Sharon grimaced. "It is a fancy dress party Claudia and that part is mandatory."
Simon and Jimmy highfived and Tony grumbled louder. Leaving her team to their own devices, she went to her office. With no active cases they mingled around the other departments. Claudia was known for spending most of her time in the Cold Case division, Jimmy did research on serial killers and psychology, Tony helped out occasionally in the Gang Unit and it seemed that Simon just decorated the office. He must have been banned from the Cold Case offices. Again.
As she sat in her chair, Sharon thought to the party. She had an old costume in the back from when Simon had done his own Halloween party. However, knowing that Chief Johnson was going to be there made going by herself a daunting task. Smiling, Sharon dialled a number from heart and pressed the receiver to her ear. If she had to go to the damn party, then she may as well go with a date. "John?"
She could hear noise in the background; she had obviously caught him at a bad moment. "Hey Sharon, how are you?" His voice was like liquid chocolate, it caught her unawares every time she heard him speak.
"Just got out of court, I think it's going okay." John Hammond was a lawyer with the DA, that's how they had met. They had gone on a few dates, and were on the verge of classifying their relationship in labels which was something Sharon was a little apprehensive about. But he was handsome, had a bright smile and Sharon enjoyed his company.
"Good to hear. Listen, would you be up for coming with me to a Halloween party on Saturday?" She asked, and he could hear a soft chuckling on the other end of the phone.
"I would be honoured. Fancy dress?"
"Mmmm…I'm going as Cat woman I think."
There was a pause before John came back on the phone. "Wow…I so did not need that image in a crowded restaurant. It's the annual LAPD party right? How bout I pick you up at six?"
"That sounds absolutely perfect. I guess I'll see you then."
Sharon grinned as he said goodbye. Putting the phone back in its cradle, she sat back on her chair and thought about the Halloween party, and not at all tall police officers with bright blue eyes.
"What is the matter with you?" Provenza asked Flynn as they got to the stairs. "You've been off for days, what is it?"
Andy Flynn looked at his friend, who despite being Provenza, actually looked worried for him. He tilted his head in the direction of the empty stairwell, and they stood out of the way of the other officers as they went home after a busy Monday at work. Once they were alone, he looked up at the other detective, his tongue running over the small surface of the toothpick.
"I had a dream last week, and it got me thinking about how true it was."
Provenza looked at him sceptically. "Why don't I like the sound of this? You didn't dream that I die did you?"
Andy chuckled. "I'm not Agent Howard's sister Provenza; it was…I had a dream about Chief Johnson."
"I'm sure you've had a few dreams about Chief Johnson, the way you stare at her legs all the time."
But Provenza could see that he couldn't joke his friend into a better mood so he stopped talking.
"The dream was that we were married, we lived in a nice suburban house with her cat and a budgie." He suddenly grew wistful. "There was a room where we solved crimes, with a big white board. It was nice. No kids, no arguments, just a nice life taking down criminals together."
Provenza looked at him with a curious expression and Flynn grew a little angry. "Don't look at me like that, with you fawning over Lauren every three seconds. When I woke up I realised I kinda liked that life, realised I kinda liked the Chief. Liked the Chief."
"That's some big epiphany."
"Yeah, it is. And it's driving me insane. The other day I wanted a drink when I saw Fritz pick her up, the way she looked at him. That's why I got back on the old toothpicks."
Provenza squeezed his shoulder in sympathy as the two men stood in the stairwell. "I would suggest going for a drink, but with you that isn't a very good idea. How about, on Saturday we go and steal children's candy."
"The Chief likes Candy."
Provenza slapped him round the back of the head. "Don't be an idiot Flynn, be a man! I'll meet you at your house mid afternoon. We can do some trick or treating, have a look at the local talent and then head to this party where we will find you some cute young thing that you can date and get your mind off of the Chief."
"Whatever you say Provenza, I'll see you tomorrow."
The ageing detective watched his best friend push open the door and walk down the hall, a defeated man.
Saturday had rolled around quicker than anyone had expected, and Andy Flynn was still struggling with his secret feelings for his boss. He had seen her looking at him several times, and he knew she would work it out sooner or later - she was a great detective. He wasn't looking forward to the party that evening, seeing her and Fritz together would be unbearable.
There was a knock on the door, and from his position on the sofa with a flannel over his head, Andy cried out, "Come in!"
The door slammed behind the person, and the voice of Provenza echoed in his house. "What if I had been a burglar Flynn?"
"I have no crap worth stealing and it wasn't, it was just an asshole."
He looked up and saw that Provenza had not bothered to dress up at all, the only difference being he had his badge prominently placed on the front of him to show that he was a police officer. He had decided to go as Phillip Marlowe, and was wearing an old suit of his, a trench coat and a fedora. A toothpick was in his mouth.
"You ready to go trick or treating? Get some lovely single mothers phone numbers, collect enough candy that you won't need those anymore because you won't have any teeth left?"
Flynn shifted up, his face curled into a snarl. "Boy Lauren is a lucky girl."
After another slap to the head, the two of them got in Flynn's new car, still crappy but less crappy than the one before. Lauren had dropped Provenza off before going to get a manicure; she was going as a nurse to the party. They drove four blocks and parked up in a suburban neighbourhood where they could see children in a variety of costumes on the pavement. Provenza got out of the car and Flynn followed, not sure what they were going to do to collect this wonderful bounty that his friend spoke of.
"Provenza, how are we going to do this?"
"Watch and learn my friend, watch and learn. You got your badge?"
Flynn nodded and got the two black bin bags from the back seat. He followed the older detective up to the pathway of the first house and watched as he knocked on the door. A soccer mom answered, complete with witches hat and big bowl of candy. Her face faltered when she saw two men instead of the children she had been expecting.
"Ma'am? My name is Lieutenant Tao, this is Sergeant Gabriel, we're with the LAPD." Next to him, Flynn tried to not roll his eyes. "Last year seventeen children were injured due to candy tainting, either from the citizens who handed them out or from the manufacturers. This year, we're not taking any chances."
As Flynn stood there with his mouth agape, watching Provenza rattle off this urban legend, the housewife lapped it up. "Our job is to collect a sample of candy from every household, which will be run through an x ray and also chemical testing so we can get accurate evidence of who may be deliberately harming trick or treaters. Now I can see ma'am that you would never deliberately poison a child, and you are free to continue handing out your candy, we just need a sample to check."
It was like literally taking candy from a baby as the woman rattled on about how she bought the candy every year at Wal-Mart and how she was happy to help the police in any way she could. As they moved onto the next house, Flynn looked at his friend and dug into the bag, pulling out a caramel chocolate bar.
"You, my friend, are a genius."
"Thank yew very much."
They continued on their candy hunt for a while, getting enough to fill the two black bags and the two spare ones that had Provenza had brought along just in case. It was an hour before the party was due to take place, and they were hitting their last house. The woman there had been more than happy to hand over her candy, and talk at length with Provenza about political matters, rubbing her hand up and down his arm. Flynn, the single one, stood holding the candy bag, his fedora making his hair stick up at random angles.
The woman's hand immediately dropped and the two detectives saw a linebacker sized man come up the driveway. "What's going on?"
"The police want candy to check," the woman announced nervously, and Provenza noticed for the first time a few faint bruises on her upper arm.
"Yeah I bet they do. Let me see your badges."
Provenza went into aggressive mood. "I don't have to show you anything."
The woman's husband moved right into his personal space, and Flynn decided to stay out of trouble. This was what happened when you got involved with women, only trouble. The husband muttered something more about badges, but Provenza said something a step too far so before Flynn could realise, the two men were pushing each other. Unluckily for Provenza, he pushed him a bit too hard and the man went sprawling down the steps, his ankle twisting and the audible sound of it breaking could be heard in the twilight air.
The man reached down to look at his ankle and howled in pain. "Son of a bitch! Marie, get the phone I'm calling the cops!"
"We are the cops! Provenza!" Flynn exclaimed to his friend, who just shrugged. He hated wife beaters.
After the husband had made the phone call, he looked to them smugly. Flynn had never gone for other people being smug, and was kinda happy that it didn't last too long with the pain he was in. "They're sending someone down in case you are cops. FID ring any bells?"
Provenza and Flynn looked at each other and groaned. "Raydor."
John was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, wearing a Batman outfit he had rented. He looked up just as Sharon descended, his mouth gaping at the sight of her. Black knee high boots, a black PVC outfit with her hair tired back, a considerable amount of eyeliner and whiskers on her cheeks.
"Wow. You look…amazing," he announced and the Captain walked down the rest of the stairs and into his arms for a quick kiss. Their outfits matched, and as he held her hand, Sharon was glad they did.
They were outside waiting to get into his car when her work phone rang. Answering it, she was shortly informed by a duty officer that she was needed to deal with a PF incident. Sharon knew immediately what he meant, and she cursed Flynn and Provenza as she turned to John. "Just give me a minute to call Tony and then we can be on our way." Out of all her team, he would be the least disappointed to get the phone call.
As she pulled out her phone, her personal phone started to ring. Pulling it out of her purse, she saw a name she had considered deleting several times, but had never worked up the guts. Flicking open the phone, she pressed it to her ear. "Andy, what's up?"
"I take it you've heard by now that Provenza and I are in trouble?"
"I have," she admitted.
"I need it to be you, no one else. Please, Sharon, help us out here on All Hallows Eve"
He just had to use her name like they were still friends. She wouldn't break, she would send Tony. She would go the party on John's arm and have a good time. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
Having to explain to John was tough, but she had been through a lot with Andy Flynn, so she would go when he asked her to. And he had called her Sharon - that was enough for her.
There were paramedics at the scene when she had arrived, and as she rushed out of the squad car with her LAPD windbreaker and badge she could see Provenza as Provenza and Flynn as Phillip Marlowe on the steps of a house talking to a man with a broken ankle. She quickened her pace and saw a pretty housewife caught in the middle between her husband and the two detectives.
"Lieutenants, what did you do now?" she asked the two of them.
"They really are cops?" said the strangled voice of the man with the ankle, and Sharon explained to them that they were indeed cops, albeit troublesome ones. She even made his wife ring in her badge number to make doubly sure she was telling the truth. Once the man had left in the ambulance, Sharon stood looking at the two of them.
"Why, of all the stupid things you could do, do you get into a fight with a man while trick or treating? Why were you even trick or treating in the first place?" Sharon asked, and Flynn flinched. She could shout just as bad as the Chief could, he had forgotten that.
"I thought we could use someone who understood what it was like to go crazy on Halloween Sharon."
Provenza gave him a look, as right he should. Flynn thought that he should explain. "Captain Raydor and I used to be friends; one Halloween we egged a couple of criminals' houses that got off on charges."
Instead of the horrified look that Flynn expected and had received from other people, he got a look of envy and wonder, the sort of look that said, "Why didn't I think of that?"
"You guys go to the party; I will finish some sort of preliminary report and head there. You are so lucky you are both off duty, otherwise I would pack you straight off to Parker Centre where Chief Johnson could collect you."
The two men nodded and headed to Flynn's car. They looked back on Sharon Raydor, who yelled at a couple of boys who nearly ran her down on their bikes. The two youths were not best impressed with her yelling and took out the concealed eggs they had hidden and threw them at her. The police officer in the front of the car grabbed one of the boys by the ear, slamming him down onto the bonnet of her car. Flynn jogged over and grabbed the other one and hauled him over to the car. Provenza just stood there watching the scene with mild interest.
But it was too late for Captain Raydor, who had taken her windbreaker off just before she was hit and thus her rather attractive outfit was covered in yolk.
Flynn and Provenza were sitting on two of Captain Raydor's chairs as she changed her outfit upstairs. The two boys had been delivered to their parents with a stern warning, and Raydor had filled in her report with the two men present. Provenza had tried every trick in his book to persuade her not to hold the candy they had collected for evidence, and he had succeeded. However, both of them had been put off duty for two days until her report could be filled in, they had to tell Chief Johnson what they had done, and half the candy they had collected had to be hand delivered to a children's charity.
"How long does it take that woman to get ready?" Provenza bitched, fidgeting in his seat. "I've got to pick up Lauren in ten minutes." Raydor wanted them with her when she presented the naughty school pupils to their teacher for a telling off.
"I don't know, she's a woman isn't she?"
Provenza put his shoes up on the glass table and Flynn rolled his eyes. "So you and Raydor? You do anything nasty on that rigid FID desk of hers?"
His remark was rewarded with the middle finger. "We were partners for a while; we went to a couple of ball games. She was always really private - I thought she was just quiet I didn't realise it was because she was a frosty bitch."
"Who just saved your asses from the Chief, thank you Flynn!" Sharon yelled down and both men gave a jolt. Woman had ears like a bat.
Someone knocked on the door, and seeing as there was no life from upstairs and Provenza wasn't moving, Flynn got up and opened the door to see who it was. He thought it was Chief Pope on the doorstep, but the thick glasses and the Superman t-shirt under the suit made him think differently.
"What did you two do this time?"
Provenza stood up from his chair and went to see the Chief in his fancy dress outfit. "We went trick or treating, got into a fight with a very angry husband who thought Flynn was hitting on his wife. He tripped and broke his ankle."
His face didn't seem to say that he believed him. "Really, because the husband, who is suing us by the way, says that you pushed him after hitting on his wife."
"Did I hear someone at the door?"
All three men turned to look at the stairs, and Flynn and Provenza watched as Chief Pope's face transformed - his eyes grew bright and his smile widened as he took in Captain Raydor descend the stairs. She had had to go for a DIY fancy dress outfit. She was wearing trainers, bare long legs, black shorts a superman t-shirt scrunched into those, a red cape and her hair in bunches. Flynn also saw the way she looked when she took in Chief Pope's presence and the smile that was not for him or Provenza.
"Chief Pope, or should I say Clark Kent. What are you doing here?"
The Chief adjusted his glasses and looked at her. "I heard from one of the officers that FID had been called out for something to do with Major Crimes. Naturally I went to Parker Centre to find out only to been told you had come back here so you could change ready for the party."
"That's true, and now I am very late to meet John."
His hands stilled. "John…Hammond? I heard he was seeing a cop."
She grinned, although it wasn't as bright as the one as she had given him just a few moments before. "Guilty as charged."
They continued smiling at each other for a moment before they remembered the party and they all exited Sharon's house to move to the event. Flynn and Provenza left in his car to go pick up Lauren, but Sharon needed a lift from Pope - her car was in the shop and her bike was not the right transportation for the autumn weather, especially in shorts. He gladly gave her the lift, trying not to stare at how little those shorts covered.
The party was at the Chief's house and he greeted them as Dracula. Flynn and Provenza were still carrying their bags of candy, although one of his hands was within Lauren's, much to Flynn's disgust. Pope had his hand on the small of Raydor's back like this was a date. Flynn wrinkled his nose, he wasn't sure about what was going on between the two of them, he didn't really want to know.
"Lieutenants Flynn and Provenza, what have you done now?"
They looked to the top of the stairs to see Little Red Riding Hood accompanied by a cowboy. Chief Johnson, despite the basket in her hand filled with pastry did not look happy, and Agent Howard just looked bored. As they descended the stairs, they turned to Chief Pope. "Was I not to tell Chief Johnson?"
To the side they could see James Bond, Inspector Gadget and Zorro laughing at the yelling they were about to endure. Provenza just glared at Gabriel, Tao and Sanchez, but they didn't move. They wanted to watch Chief Johnson blow her top, it would be entertaining.
With her hands on her waist, she looked damned scary. Provenza pushed Flynn in front of her, and he straightened his fedora while he looked at her. She looked so damn beautiful, pale pink lipstick and sun brushed hair. "Well, Chief, if we have to be honest…We went trick or treating."
Brenda looked down at the two black bags filled with candy and looked back up at Flynn. "I can see that Lieutenant, what I want to know is why you were trick or treating?"
"Well, Chief, you've had such a hard time of it lately, with the Stroh case and everything, so we thought you could do with some sugar."
Her face went from being stern to soft as she looked at the candy that the two detectives had 'brought' her. Her husband gave them a look, but instead of something just rested his hand on her waist as she rummaged through the bag. Flynn looked at the embrace and joined Bond, Gadget and Zorro. Provenza gave a nod to Pope and Raydor and took Lauren to go find some punch and some food.
"I'm going to find my team. Chief Johnson, I will have to talk to you Monday about those two, but for tonight, Happy Halloween."
"Happy Halloween Captain, don't trip on your broomstick now!"
She found her team in the Vampire room, there were fake coffins instead of chairs, and there was blood red punch floating around. Simon was dancing in the middle of the room, his hair up on end and bolts in his neck. He had decided to go as Frankenstein. Jimmy was with him, in full Power Ranger uniform with his helmet by his feet. Tony had a drink in his hand, and cereal boxes all over him. Claudia was sitting on one of the coffins reading a magazine with her badge around her neck and a bored expression. She, like Provenza, had gone as a police officer.
"Hey Captain! Thought you were going as Cat Woman?" Tony asked as he made his way over, passing her a glass of the sickly punch.
"I got egged while dealing with Flynn and Provenza. What are you?"
She danced a little with her team, and even encouraged Claudia to get up and do a few moves. As much as she missed the crime solving aspect of Robbery/Homicide, she wouldn't trade those four in for anything, they were like her extended family. Sharon felt an arm go around her waist, and she turned to see John standing behind her.
"Hey, what happened to Cat woman?"
She giggled. "I killed her and decided to go to the party to meet a handsome lawyer."
Simon grinned at the two of them as they kissed, Tony went back to his drink and Claudia went back to her magazine. Jimmy frowned at the two of them and picked up his helmet on his way to get a glass of punch.
"I do prefer Super Girl better, has to be said."
They continued to kiss until someone cleared their throat. They broke apart and Sharon grinned as she saw Will Pope as Clark Kent standing there. "Captain, Mister Hammond. Do you mind if I steal your date away for a dance?"
John faltered. Being a lawyer, he knew how to play people and how people played. He could see the tiny flickers of human emotion and thought. There was a saying around cops that Lawyers were police officers who didn't know where their loyalties lied. When you saw the woman instead of the officer, Sharon Raydor was incredibly attractive and he wanted to further things. He could see in Chief Pope's face his interest in his date, and John was reluctant to let her go.
"Sure. Better bring her back though!"
"Don't worry, I will. I'm the caped crusader remember?"
The song on the jukebox was Whitney Houston, a song that Sharon remembered when it had first come out. It always seemed to be played at parties, and she enjoyed the feeling of the music and Will Pope's hands on hers.
"You having fun?"
"Yes sir." He twirled her around into his arms, and dipped her down to the floor. When she was righted, he halted, adjusting his glasses to look at her properly. Her hands were pressed against his chest, his very firm chest by all accounts. The music swelled and Sharon felt her pulse race. This wasn't how she was supposed to be feeling, especially about her boss.
The moment was ruined when Chief Johnson bumped into them as she rushed off into the other direction, followed by her husband Fritz who pulsed with anger.
Brenda was in tears as she sat on the back stairs in the Chief's house. Fritz soon joined her, pulling off his hat and reaching for his wife's hand. However, she pulled away from his touch and rested her head against the banister.
"Brenda, I'm sorry, that didn't come out right."
"Well at least I know how you really feel now. Having a psycho for a wife."
Fritz growled in his throat and turned to his wife. "I never said you were a psycho, I just said you were obsessed. Sometimes I don't feel like we're in a marriage, Brenda, because the job always comes first. Stroh always comes first. I've never seen so many rape files in my entire life, and the spare room has been taken completely over. How are we supposed to raise a child…"
"How many times do I have to tell you I don't want kids!"
She would have done less damage if she had slapped him, it was the first time she had ever admitted her feelings in that regard, and it was Fritz' turn to back away from her. "I thought that having Charlie during the summer made you want…"
Brenda turned to look at him, and she saw that something in him had died. A hope, a dream of playing baseball with his son, of taking his daughter to the Prom.
"You don't want kids; you don't want a husband, Brenda. You want Stroh and you want him in jail because he is the criminal that got away. You're never going to be ready for a marriage or a family until you let him go or you catch him. And if you catch him I'm not sure you'll be ready then. Because there will always be a Stroh to hold your attention."
Fritz stepped away from the stairs and walked away from his wife.
"Fritz, where are you goin'?"
His eyes were dark, and his cowboy hat hid his face in shadow so any tears that were falling did not show. "I'm going home Brenda. Join me if you want, or don't, it really doesn't matter anymore."
On the stairs, all alone, Brenda cried.
"I need to go, the DA needs me to be the legal angel of this kid. Can you catch a ride with someone? Tony or Simon?" John asked, gathering his coat and Sharon into his arms. He brushed his thumb across her lips, reluctant to let her go but he was needed.
"I can. You go help this kid, I'll call you later," she kissed him, and he left with a peck to her cheek. When he was by the door, he gave her a wide grin and blew her a kiss.
Half an hour went by after John had left, and it was getting quite late. Simon had already had to been dragged home by Tony and Claudia, and Jimmy had left with some girl from administration. She looked around for possibly Flynn to beg for a lift; after all they seemed to be having a truce of wanting to yell at each other. But he seemed to have disappeared.
"Need a ride?"
Turning round Sharon saw Will with his jacket over his arm, and she nodded. "John had to be representation for this kid, and I can't find Flynn, so a ride would be more than fantastic."
"Well I did give you a lift in, so it's the least I can do. You cold?" She nodded as they went outside, and Will slipped off his own coat to put around her shoulders. The cape she had on didn't really keep her very warm.
They drove in silence for a bit until Will turned off the road and switched off the engine. They were at a park, the autumn trees had nearly shed their leaves, and the wind in the air swirled them around. They weren't at the park near her house however, they were a couple of blocks out.
"What are we doing here?"
"I fancied looking up at the moon, hope you don't mind."
They got out of the car and stared at the glowing orb in the sky. She was still wearing his jacket, her hair in the pigtails she was before. Will stood next to her, cold but warmer than Sharon would be without his jacket. They looked up at the moon and the stars as the clock tower nearby chimed midnight.
Will turned to her and she grinned at him. "You look so beautiful in the moonlight."
Sharon didn't know what to say, his words had caught her off guard. But they excited her too, and as Will removed his glasses to look at her, her pulse quickened. "Are you trying to seduce me Mister Kent?"
"Yes ma'am I do believe I am."
The wind picked up and leaves danced around their feet. Will covered Sharon's mouth with his, enjoying the feeling of her soft lips under his. She felt so warm, tasted like rich chocolate and he couldn't help himself. She moaned under his touch before deepening the kiss, and he moved the jacket to cover both of them as they broke the kiss and felt the magic stir.
She was still on the stairs when Flynn found her an hour later. "You okay Chief? I saw Agent Howard leave."
She tried to nod, but she couldn't move. The detective sat next to her and rested his hand atop hers. She looked at him, and he pulled out the handkerchief in his suit pocket to dry her tears. "Thank you Lieutenant, for everything."
"No problem. It was Stroh, wasn't it?"
"It's always about Stroh, no getting away from it. I can't get away from it."
Flynn nodded, and Brenda took his shoulder to rest her head against. He let her cry there for a moment until he spoke up. "There was this guy, this teacher who was killing girls at UCLA. Me and Raydor back when she worked Homicide tried to prove it, but there was no evidence. He taught forensic science, he knew all the tricks. No evidence, no confession. They weren't even girls in his class. But we knew. Me and Raydor, we tried to track him down after he left LA, but we never did. In the end she left to go to FID and I gave up."
Brenda sat up and gave him a week smile, and Flynn wanted so much to kiss her right then, wipe the tears away and just hold her, tell her it would be different and she would catch Stroh and things would be alright. But he knew it wouldn't be, that wasn't how the world worked. When she was ready, Flynn offered to give her a ride home as Fritz had already left and Provenza had caught a taxi home with a very tipsy Lauren.
The directions she gave weren't to her house, but to the house that Flynn recognised as Stroh's. It was abandoned, the rent was paid until the end of the year, and the landlord couldn't rent it out until the lease ended. Brenda got out of the car and stood, watching the house. Andy joined her, noticing that she didn't flinch despite the cold wind.
"You know, some days after work I come back here, and I just wait for him to return with some evidence on him, blood or semen or some carpet fibres under his fingernails. Anything so I can arrest him and put it all behind me."
He reached for her hand, and she took it eagerly. "I know what you need. We requisitioned these off two kids who were stupid enough to egg Raydor."
Brenda looked down to see an egg box, and memories of the neighbourhood boys being chased down by her Daddy after they had egged his car came to mind. Smiling at Flynn, Brenda took an egg in hand and threw it at Stroh's windows, watching the egg crack and yolk drip down the pane. She threw another egg, getting more violent in her throws until she collapsed against Flynn, her body shaking.
"It's okay Brenda, its okay. Everything will be okay. We'll catch him, I promise you."
He didn't expect her lips to press against his own, but he supposed that in that moment she needed some comfort, and he was more than willing to give it to her. He kissed her softly, taking her bottom lip between his own and holding her as gently as he could. When sobs overtook her body, they sat on the cold road with Andy holding Brenda as they heard the clock chime midnight; and a new day began.