Disclaimer: The Closer and its characters are the property of their respective creators and owners, James Duff, Warner Bros. and TNT. No copyright infringement is intended.

Spoilers: Heavy for episode 503 "Red Tape".

Author's Note: This is my first time writing The Closer even though I've been playing with the idea for some time now. The main reason I started Laws of Attraction was that I needed a break from the epic CSI fic I'm currently writing. I thought that I needed something short, something different to get my juices flowing again but here I am once again, dealing with epic proportions. Old habits die hard.

Well. On to the first chapter…

Laws of Attraction

Chapter One:

Red Tape

Have you ever met someone you were utterly attracted to from the very moment you first laid eyes on them?

Someone whose presence made you feel weak, feverish and dizzy.

Someone you could barely look at without feeling your heart pounding within your chest and your hands shaking because your blood was boiling and pulsing in your veins.

Have you ever met someone you desired so much that being around them almost had you falling apart?

Brenda had.

"Captain Raydor."

It was then when her eyes were trapped in a brief yet intense connection with alert, green ones, when she caught her first close-up glimpse, the very first whiff of the woman's scent, heard her clear, concise speech in that controlled, deliberate tone of voice, was able to appraise her posture and take in the energy Captain Sharon Raydor exuded that Brenda felt breathless.

Raydor was 'the other one', the only other woman running a division within the LAPD and she must know who Brenda was, there was no doubt in her mind but still she had been ignored. It was right down to business, the Captain made that very clear and Brenda felt irritated at being overlooked so purposefully.

But Raydor was a woman and Brenda hoped, suspected, that she might still be met with the solidarity of a fellow female officer.

She was sorely disappointed.

Raydor was hard, accustomed to the male world she had decided to earn her living in and she dared trying to establish her own superiority over Brenda, her dominance, tried to rip control over this situation right out of Brenda's hands and claim this investigation, Sergeant Gabriel, that very room, everything, as her own.

She damn near succeeded, Brenda had to give her that, yet her subconscious chose the very unfortunate tactic that most men, who had ever felt intimidated or threatened by her, had chosen to reestablish their superiority with.

Brenda pulled rank.

She instantly knew that she had lost this round and not with her dignity intact.

And that woman didn't even seem fazed.

It was early the next day that Brenda pulled a black blazer from her closet; she hadn't worn it in a long time because she thought it made her look stern and unapproachable which wasn't often useful when interrogating certain personages. She also pulled her hair up, thinking of that woman…Captain Raydor, and immediately her stomach was up in knots.

She had dared schedule a meeting with Pope to which Brenda had only been invited that morning, almost as an afterthought.

She wasn't surprised to find Raydor already waiting for them casually leaning against the wall next to Pope's office. Brenda felt her blood simmering beneath her skin as she spotted her, as Raydor looked at her with that barely-there smirk.

Some people smiled as a defense mechanism but Brenda wasn't sure about Raydor – did she do it to mask her own feelings of inadequacy, her fear of being looked at and actually seen or was she just plain good at reading Brenda and had realized early on how much it irritated the blonde?

"After you, Captain," Brenda said brightly and caught yet another faint whiff of the woman, it made her falter for a moment and forget about what an awful person to deal with she was…

…until Raydor delivered her report on last night's events and the subsequent deception by none other than Commander Taylor himself.

She had to hand it to him though, Taylor didn't mind implying that he had been drunk – confess to a smaller crime and it might cover up the much bigger one you committed.

Brenda's eyes traveled back to Raydor; no glasses today and she wore a skirt, of course she did, that woman. She should've worn a skirt, Brenda thought, not the dress because that blazer did not make her look stern and unapproachable enough considering with whom she had to deal with.

Brenda stared at Raydor again, it wasn't something she could help – like some people couldn't stop looking at the train wreck, it was the same thing, just that Brenda felt more anger than shock and devastation; though she did feel a sense of morbid fascination.

How could that woman be so calm? Brenda stared at her lips as they moved and formed words with undoubtedly careful consideration.

She had to stop! "Well, regardless, Eric Whitner is in stable condition. Sergeant Gabriel has met with his counsel and given a statement. The only thing outstandin' is the homicide of a newspaper vendor which no one is allowed to investigate."

"Chief." Raydor turned to Pope again. "I have spent the night familiarizing myself with Major Crimes-really, really impressive-I find no instance in which they've investigated the murder of a newspaper vendor, whereas the shooting of an unarmed civilian by an LAPD officer incurs serious liability-"

Brenda felt red, hot anger slowly boiling its way to the surface but the prep-talk she had given herself that morning, that she would not lose control when faced with Raydor again because she could ill afford it, kept her from exploding. "Well, it can't take priority over a homicide." She was right, Brenda knew that, Taylor knew that, Pope had to know that, everyone, except that woman who was actually convinced that she was right.

"And perhaps Captain Raydor would like to tell Mr. Parsall's family that-"

"Chief Johnson is trying to combine my officer involved shooting with her investigation to-"

"I'm sorry. Captain? Are you interrupting me?" She was pushing the woman's buttons. It had taken Brenda some time to figure it out but there was something rather intentional about Raydor's calm way of speaking; perhaps she didn't want to be the hysterical woman, perhaps she just despised having to raise her voice but it was pretty clear to the blonde that Raydor needed her time to speak, needed to be heard and when that did not happen, Raydor seemed to lose control over things rather quickly.

Brenda felt exhilaration sweep over her, she felt as if the fire within herself was about to be extinguished, a moment of satisfaction approaching. "Are you interrupting me?"

"I must go first!" Raydor exploded. "My investigation must go first!"

So there, thought Brenda, the feelings were mutual after all then.

There was her satisfaction.

Raydor pulled herself together, unfazed by her own outburst, and narrowed her eyes almost imperceptibly at Brenda. "These attempts to pull rank are embarrassing, unacceptable and potentially an obstruction of justice. I have a federally mandated responsibility to determine why an LAPD officer discharged his weapon which supersedes Chief Johnson's objections as well as yours…sir…if it comes to that."

"It won't." Pope said.

"Thank you."

Brenda rolled her eyes inwardly. There she was, winning again. That woman, that woman, that horrible, terrible woman!

"Clearly Chief Johnson wants to combine her murder with my investigation in order to protect a well-liked member of her division." Raydor had that smile on her face again and Brenda was pretty sure that the woman knew what an effect it had on the Deputy Chief; Raydor just managed to shake her confidence like that.

"…I…will not allow to have my professional conduct questioned like that, especially when all I asked Captain Raydor to do was to move her red tape just a few feet to the left so I can properly begin searchin' for a murderer."

In the end, it was all just a pissing contest, wasn't it?

"Chief Johnson, you and Captain Raydor will share the crime scene and the witnesses…"

Brenda felt her heart beating its way out of her chest. Work with the woman? A heat-wave seemed to roll right over her – all she wanted was to get as far away from her as possible. She wouldn't get anything done like this.

And then, after all the animosity they had inspired in each other in just a couple hours' time, Raydor had the nerve to offer the solidarity Brenda had anticipated but not gotten in the very beginning.

"Chief Johnson, wait." Even when she was calling out to people Raydor barely raised her voice. "I understand the urge to protect the people you work with and I respect it. But I'm obligated to investigate this shooting as if it were a criminal act."

That was the very thing Brenda had a problem with.

"And I would ask that you do nothing to jeopardize the success of my inquiry, that's all."

Well. Maybe she should give that woman a taste of her own medicine – right down to business. "You stay out of my way, Captain and I stay out of yours."

Raydor straightened and pulled on her blazer. "I tried," she said as if she had just thrown herself into the sword like a martyr and walked away, right past Brenda who felt something bubbling up within herself.

Even the way she walked! Mechanically somehow. Brenda's eyes trailed lower.

At least her hips moved.

"…she can carry a grudge."

Brenda caught the last part of Taylor's sentence. "Well, then she better get ready for some heavy liftin'."

For some reason Brenda couldn't entirely explain her reaction; it wasn't like she hadn't had to work with people whom she couldn't stand before. It was just something about Raydor that made Brenda want to turn around and avoid at all costs.

It was almost as bad as thinking about Kitty, her poor, poor Kitty.

It was over now and Brenda, even though she hated to admit it, couldn't be more relieved to finally be rid of Raydor.

On the other hand she felt a twinge of disappointment. Finally somebody she didn't really have to be nice to; polite, yes. Nice? Not so much.

Finally somebody who prompted her to feel…to feel…

What exactly? Brenda wasn't sure. The woman irritated her, that much was obvious. She was also the cause of the huge, gigantic, buildup of frustration Brenda felt like a white, hot ball of fury threatening to implode and suck everyone and everything in her vicinity into its vortex.

Yet she couldn't help taking another jab at Raydor who would fire back, Brenda had no doubt about that.

"I do wanna express my appreciation for the insight you've given me into how FID functions. I've learned a great deal from your…single-minded approach."

There was her moment of satisfaction.

"And I've learned a great deal about your investigative technique as well, especially as it regards the LAPD's struggle to gain autonomy over its own affairs and I'll be including all of that in my final report…Chief."

"Oh, I can't wait to read that, Captain."

And the fire kept on burning.


Thanks for reading!