Notice: This story has no value beyond the hopeful enjoyment of those who like this show (translation: Please do not sue I made no money off this.)
I started outlining this not long after the start of the series, I'm still revising the hell out of it daily, and have been dragging my feet on posting it, hoping to see reruns so I could be sure of my characterization.
I'm trying to concentrate on the interaction between the characters and the support rather than the crime.
Warning 1.) I need a beta and advice for this, but please be gentle I'm still new to letting anyone read my work.
Warning 2.) All I know about forensic art/reconstruction I learned from police procedural dramas and Court TV forensic documentaries like Forensic Files and Cold Case Files.
The room was relatively empty when Tyler announced he had finished the picture of their latest Doe, a child dubbed Mary Jane for the shoes she was wearing.
Lindsey quickly joined him, finding 'meeting' the victim one of the more exciting parts of the early investigation. The girl's eyes were what struck her the most and Tyler
watched her draw a breath as she stiffened. "What?"
"Double check your work."
"I always do. I may not have joined the network for entirely altruistic reasons, but I know the identification may depend on my interpretation being right."
"Humor me and triple check it then. If I'm right this will be the most important portrait of your career."
"I know Mary Jane's name."
"Tyler, this goes no further than you and I until you check everything again."
"I know those eyes. That's Lucile Donovan."
"Not a word. I don't doubt your ability Tyler, but we all knew the age and estimated time of death fit, and were hoping to finally have an answer for him, even if only subconsciously. Before we say anything to Alex I just want you to be sure you weren't projecting those hopes into your work."
Tyler only nodded remembering Alex's words to him after he joined, 'When you know, you can heal.' The pain and longing in them had always stayed with him, kept him focused on the importance of the drawings he did.
"Lindsey, a lot of my job is artistic license, but eye shape and size, as well as brow line, are determined by a Doe then I let science and math fill in the rest. I'll tell you now, that's Mary Jane, but I'll redo it tonight for good measure."
"I didn't mean you had to redo it Tyler."
"I really should."
"No, but we've never before presented a victim's family with a portrait that has my notes in the margins before and I don't want to start now, especially when said family member knows what my shorthand stands for." Lindsey realized she had been so focused on the face she hadn't even noticed the tissue depth calculations lightly penciled in around the sketch for easy reference.
"Okay. I'll call Russell in a few minutes and get her started on scientific proof."
How do we explain getting a sample from Alex?"
"He was a cop not all that long ago, they should have it sitting in a database. I'm kinda surprised they haven't asked us to volunteer ours yet, especially after the Bryant case."
Lindsey drew a silent breath as she saw Tyler's new picture. This time he had posed Mary Jane in a favorite pose of child photographers everywhere, elbows on a box before her and her clasped hands resting against her cheek.
Alex reluctantly looked at Tyler's portrait already knowing, from their secrecy, what he'd see and promptly stopped breathing as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. Like any good parent the worn leather parted straight to a picture of his daughter in an identical pose. "Two months before. Tyler, I know the answer, but I still have to ask, since they're so similar, this is the picture we used for her poster, did you get this drawing from that?"
No, Mary Jane…Lucy gave me everything."
The hair style?"
"Just an age appropriate style for the hair, popular at the time of her disappearance."
"Alex…" Alex hadn't noticed the woman until she spoke.
"I know Grace. If anyone else but Tyler drew that picture I would have needed the lab results I'm sure my team asked you for. You may not recognize Tyler as a forensic artist, but he knows his job and is good at it."
"Alex, we can tell Greta if you'd like." "Lindsey offered.
"No, I lost her, it's my responsibility to bring her home. I always knew the statistics were against us, but the proof is still hard to swallow. I wonder if I'll still wake up tomorrow and ask myself, 'Will this be the day I will hold my baby girl again?'"
Softly Walter ventured, "Alex, man, I don't know what you're going through and hope to God I never do, but I think that's a question that comes from the heart not the head."
Alex smiled wryly at the other man and clasped his shoulder, "Yeah W, I wasn't holding out much hope that a switch would be flipped inside, either. It would be nice though."
Tyler gathered his belongings to leave, but kept throwing glances at Alex as one by one the others bid them good night. "Something on your mind Tyler?"
"Yeah, I was wondering if you wanted some time alone or if you'd like some company."
"I think…company would be good. You know, you're the only one to ask and probably the only one to think of it."
"They probably think you need time to get use to the idea."
"I've had three years. With how deeply Walter and the girls bury themselves in a case it's so easy for me to forget you're probably the one who gets the most emotionally invested in a Doe."
"Why do you say that?"
"You're sometimes the only one to see our Doe as they are now and as our artist you are the one to bring them back to life."
"I wish I could."
"You do, they come back long enough to tell us their name and give us a few answers or tell us what questions we should be asking."