Black Sunday by DD Agent
I do not own The Closer or any of its characters, or its settings
You've learned to hide your hurt, put a mask on your face and stay behind your words. Statistics, morals, taking a stand for the people you serve. It never once occurs to them that there is more to what you say, that you aren't just a bitch, that you have reasons and truth. That the emptiness in your eyes isn't due to you not having a soul, but because your heart has no warmth in it anymore.
Early morning shower, pounding hot water and your hair goes a little curly when it's dry. You put on CNN for background noise, to make your house seem a little less quiet. Bacon sandwich for breakfast, you can't stand sugary filled pastries or breakfast cereal, ever since you were a girl. Sharp suit, glasses, solid colours. Nothing fancy, nothing colourful. Fade into the background is more your style.
Car in the garage, you get in the drivers seat. Everything is immaculate, everything is clean. Just how you like it, although the smell of bleach makes you want to throw up to this day. It's black, sleek, emotionless. Matches your mood. Matches you. The motorbike stands in the corner, lost, dusty. You haven't ridden it in years, you should have got rid of it but it was a gift and it's the last piece of a full life.
Into work, huge labyrinth of a building. Everyone avoids your gaze; no one wants to look in the eyes of someone like you, someone who turns against their own officers. They don't understand you, they never will as your jacket is sealed on your request. Major Crimes, they bump into you, smack into your shoulder or just blank you. Once upon a time you would have loved to be there, sitting in the hallowed department and catching killers. But times change, and you are happy where you are.
Finally you come to the only place you feel at home, your department. FID. Simon and Tony, your two biggest detectives are at the back of the room, chewing on a cup of coffee and shooting the breeze. Claudia is somewhere, probably around the back of the building smoking a cigarette and checking her phone for any communication from last nights date. Jimmy, the sweet Californian kid who you suspect has a crush on you, passes you a cup of coffee and a smile.
Then it's just paperwork and a lot of waiting. Waiting for that call. And it comes, you dread when it does because it's the harbinger of another life ruined. However much you wish it not to, it comes all the same. Now for the hateful smiles, the whispers and your attempt to bring a little dignity back to the LAPD. Someone has to.
"Shooting…Sergeant Jake Webster allegedly shot a kid of nineteen outside a club," Simon explained as they went on their way out of the shiny streets of Hollywood and into the darker areas of the city. She used to play on those streets, jump rope with the girl next door and hopscotch until Daddy came home from his shift. Seemed an eternity ago now.
By the time they made it to the crime scene, Assistant Chief Pope was already there. Sharon gave him a brief nod; she never knew what to make of him. She had always dealt with the Chief concerning her career, so she had never really had much to do with Pope. Her last two dealings, however, had only confused her more. The first time he seemed to be on her side, helping her out with her investigation. But the second time, he was a bastard to her. She was used to it, but it still came out of left field.
"Captain Raydor." He nodded and she gave a weak smile. Thankfully Major Crimes wasn't there; this was just an FID case. With no interference from Chief Johnson, she could carry out her work in peace. Her and her team moved to the taped off crime scene, the ambulance speeding the kid away. Webster stood to the side off duty, a pretty blonde hanging on his arm with a vice like grip.
"Sergeant Webster - could you tell me what happened here?" Raydor asked, crossing her arms over herself, as she looked the young man up and down. Her team had been preparing to leave for the day when the call had come in. She didn't mind so much, but she knew that Tony had a family, and Claudia had another blind date. Why couldn't officers be considerate with the trouble they caused - or better yet, not do it at all?
"Guy came out of nowhere, pulling a piece, I warned him off, tried to talk him round, but in the end he shot at Chloe here…it was just a natural reaction."
Sometimes things happened, in the heat of the moment during a shoot out and Sharon had been in that situation long enough not to blame the officers. But with cases like these, with the officer drunk, Sharon couldn't help but do so. She sighed, nodding along like she believed him.
Jake Webster was one of those officers who had seemingly joined because with the army there was a greater chance of death, and working at his Daddy's shop was unappealing. Maybe he believed in justice, maybe he believed in America, but Sharon knew that his story sounded rehearsed. She had heard enough to know the difference. "Are you sure that's what happened?"
Her tone must have been sharper than she thought, because there was a sudden glint in his eye and his whole body language changed. "Should have known you wouldn't believe my story - fucking FID, always ready to send an officer down the river."
Sharon thanked God and Simon that Claudia was restrained, because there was no doubt in her mind that he would have ended up with a black eye or a bloody nose had Lieutenant Belluci got hold of him. Instead of shoving him up against the wall, Sharon merely met his gaze, looking deep into ice blue eyes, a frozen smile on her face. "Sergeant Webster, let me make this very clear. As of right now, you are under suspicion concerning the unlawful use of discharging your firearm while off duty. Your balls are literally in my hands. Don't push me."
She swept back from the Sergeant; ignoring the wave of nausea she felt just looking at him. She ordered Simon to check up on the man and get his statement, Claudia and Jimmy to collect the statements of everyone at the crime scene and Tony to go home to his family, he could check on the forensics first thing in the morning with Simon. She pushed past Pope, who was not amused by her actions.
"Kid saves the day and you throw him to the wolves?"
"You don't need to act like a heroic bastard, Chief, Johnson isn't here to watch."
She slid into her mustang, ignoring Pope's furious looks and driving away. Her team could deal with the scene, she needed to go back to the Station and read Webster's file. Something was not adding up, her Spidey sense was tingling.
Her office was simple, impersonal. On the wall behind her was the traditional 'To Protect and Serve', as well as newspaper clippings of convicted officers and lawsuits, what she tried to prevent. There was a window overlooking Los Angeles, and next to it was a large picture of the New York skyline - home. Other officers had pictures of family, friends - those that in doing their job they protected. On her desk, well she guessed a lot of people would think it empty.
But there was a photo of her family, her own family on her desk. It wasn't much of a family, but it was hers. Her and Ben in a rare snapshot of calm, her arms around his neck, his hands resting on the wheels of his chair. There was another photo on her desk too, her work family taken at Tony's wedding.
Sharon traced the edge of the two wooden frames, picking up the picture of her and Ben and smiling. A knock disturbed her reverie, and she placed the photo on the edge of her desk and opened the door. Will Pope was staring back at her, fury carved into his features like distorted marble.
"Chief Pope, can I help you with something?" She welcomed him into her office, and his eyes immediately turned to the newspaper clippings on the board. His gaze locked on her, his blue eyes staring at her intently.
"Respect, Captain Raydor, I expect it. What you said to me at the crime scene was not only disrespectful, but out of line. I will not tolerate it, understood?"
His words were calm and measured, but Sharon's were not. It had been a long day, and Webster's words were still getting to her. "You want to talk about respect, Chief? What about Webster's little anti FID speech? I didn't see you standing up for superior officer respect then."
Pope's mouth tightened into a grimace. "You do bring that on yourself."
"You're right, absolutely right. Why should policeman be treated like everyone else, obey the same rules? You know what else? Maybe I should start talking like a Southern Belle…maybe that would help?"
"Another thing. Your 'feud' with Chief Johnson must stop, its disrespectful…" Pope was about to start yelling at the Captain when he noticed her hands were shaking. In their little slinging match, one of her desk pictures had fallen off of the desk and the glass had smashed. Raydor had tried to pick it up and got cut, her fingers dripping blood. Pope had a quick choice to make, the sensible one being to leave her to clean her fingers up and continue their discussion the next day.
He didn't. Pope shut the door behind him as he searched for a first aid kit and proceeded to clean her fingers and bandage them up when he returned. They were still shaking and Pope turned his head to see her green eyes focussed on the blood on the antibacterial wipes. Reaching out to steady her, Pope entwined his fingers around hers, methodically stroking the tips to calm her.
He expected to have his head snapped off, a sharp comeback that rewound the change in her current attitude. Gone was the sharp, bitter gaze and harsh body language. There was just softness and silence as he held her hands steady.
"Are you afraid of blood?"
Sharon nodded, her face white as her eyes fixed on the maroon drops. "Stupid, huh? I can deal with bodies, just not live peoples blood." He chuckled as she laughed shakily in front of him, and he felt a rush of emotion for the Captain. "I'll go get you a cup of tea."
Ten minutes later, he returned with two cups of weak tea and a couple of chocolate bars he had stolen from Brenda's desk drawer. He entered Raydor's office to find the bandages cleaned away and Raydor gone. He left the chocolate anyway, and headed home.
A friend had introduced her to the principal of the hour of the wolf, the hour of early morning where you can't sleep, and all you can think about is your mistakes. Sharon didn't like to drink when she was alone; it was a bitter thing that she tried to avoid at all costs. So that was why she was currently on the sofa, watching an old horror movie on HBO with a huge bowl of Cookie Dough on her lap.
Once again her evening had been a complete confusion. Webster was an asshole; he was an officer that she never wanted to see again. Her team were hopefully home now, resting up for the big day they had ahead as they tried to figure out Webster's story. But Will Pope, what was he? One moment he was a bureaucratic idiot, determined to ridicule her and her department, and then he was holding her hands gently, coaxing her fear out of her with the strong, warm hands of his that could span over her body quite easily.
She took another spoonful of her ice cream, struggling to keep asleep. If she spent another night on the sofa, then her back would get done in. Thinking of a way to keep awake, she moved from the sofa and pulled on her dressing gown. Opening the door to the garage, she saw her bike there in all its dusty glory.
Sharon tied her hair back and slipped one leg over the cool metal of the bike. Her hands roamed over the sleek handles and broad frame. She missed her father, the man who had put his daughter on a motorbike long before she could ride a bicycle. She missed the simplicity of being thirteen, no idea of the problems they had left in Los Angeles, only aware of the bright future as they returned home to New York. The attention of boys with her long legs and bright smile at fifteen, the knowledge of a father and daughter garage when she finished school.
A car misfired a block away, and it started Sharon so much that she leapt off of the bike into the freezer behind her. She needed to get some sleep, not dwindle down memory lane. She locked the garage door behind her and spent the night on the sofa.
Her team was handpicked, much like Major Crimes in the fact that everyone was chosen for a reason. Claudia was good in the interrogation room; she had a tricky sensibility and was gifted at tripping people up on their words. Jimmy was young, he could relate to the other offices especially the cocky youngsters. Tony was hard headed and British, so he came from a strict system of police investigation committees, so the legal stuff came naturally to him. Simon could tell a lie at fifty paces, but his talents really lay in forensics, especially ballistics.
The Chief had specially picked her for the role, they hadn't worked together previously but he knew her file inside and out. She believed in justice, in wisdom and especially in the truth. She had seen what lawsuits did to families, saw the horror at an officer involved shooting, knew the pain in an officers eyes when their bullets had hurt a civilian…
"Watch where you're goin' Raydor!" announced Flynn. Sharon had been so caught up in her thoughts that she hadn't seen him. She smiled and took a stop forward, moving into his personal space. How transfers changed people, both her and Flynn. "You better move out of my way Lieutenant."
Sharon could see Provenza and Sanchez watching the exchange with some amusement out of the corner of her eye, but she didn't back down. Wouldn't. She had been on her way to see Pope, to find out about the investigation and had accidentally come into enemy territory. She could see Brenda Leigh Johnson observing out of her office, waiting for the right time to jump in.
"Should I? I know you're having a lot of problems, a lot of people in your way to being the biggest bitch in the world. Like Jake Webster -"
Sharon hadn't seen Claudia. If she had then she would have pushed her away or sent her to their offices. But instead what happened was the Orleans born detective launched herself at Flynn. It was a huge mess, with Simon and Sharon trying to hold back Claudia, and Provenza and Sanchez pulling back Flynn. A heated exchange began, and Johnson was charging towards them.
As quickly as it had started, it was over. Will Pope had swung his arm around Sharon's middle, pulling her out of the way of Flynn's fist. Chief Berrill was bracing his arms over Flynn's, stopping him from knocking ten shades into Belluci.
"Chief Johnson, I would like you and Major Crimes in my office in ten minutes." Brenda nodded; you didn't mess with Chief Wendell Berrill.
"Captain Raydor, my office?" She also nodded, trying to ignore the pressure of Pope's arm around her. She didn't really do personal contact, and the moment between Pope and her last night was playing like a cheap movie in her head. It made her skin itch.
Both departments went their separate ways, and Sharon sent hers back to work. They walked to Pope's office, and he opened the door for her. When they were both settled down, Pope asked after her fingers.
"They're fine, thank you. Thank you."
Pope waved her off, but gave her a small smile. "Don't worry about it; we're all afraid of something. I don't particular like spiders." He saw an amused smile crawl over her face. "You're not afraid of spiders?"
"I had a tarantula when I was a kid."
Pope shuffled his desk papers. "Okay then. I guess, Captain, that I owe you an apology."
Sharon was a little shocked and a little confused too. "Okay… how? And can I video this so I can put it up on you tube?"
Pope's smile widened before it fell again. "Have you got an update of the Webster investigation yet?"
"No I was on my way to talk to you about Webster's file when I bumped into Flintstone Flynn."
"The forensics says that Charlie Grundy wasn't carrying a gun, there was no GSR, no witnesses' say he was packing and the fact that we didn't find one suggests that he wasn't."
Sharon shifted closer on her seat, not liking where this was going at all. But at least her instincts were right about Webster; he was a nasty piece of work.
"When your officers talked to Grundy and Chloe, Webster's girlfriend, the truth came out. Grundy was hitting on the girlfriend; Webster wasn't very impressed and had a little to drink. There was a little bit of a fight, and Webster shot him. He's obviously stupid too, because some club goer filmed the whole thing."
Sharon was in a state of shock. She couldn't believe what Webster had done; she didn't think even Webster could be as stupid as that. She rested her head in her hands, not quite willing to believe what was going on.
"So I'm offering you an apology. Webster…doesn't even deserve to wear the uniform. Which is why I'm also giving you these."
Sharon looked up from her self-inserted gaze to look at Pope's sympathetic face. There was a pair of silver handcuffs on the desk. Loyalty amongst Police officers only when so far, and Webster's membership to the badge club was being rescinded. Permanently.
"Jake Webster, you are being arrested on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. You have the right to remain silent…"
Sharon Raydor read the former Sergeant his rights, the handcuffs digging into his skin. The truth of what had happened had circulated around the station, and some of the more mature officers watched as Sharon escorted Webster down his walk of shame to a lovely cell.
"You bitch, you fucking bitch - I should have known you'd sell me out!" Sharon tried to ignore his protests, but could not ignore when his hands slammed into his stomach, winding her.
It was Pope, who had been watching from the shadows, who pushed Webster to the wall, banging his head viciously against the plasterboard. One of the detectives from Vice helped Sharon up. Turning to Webster and Pope, she was surprised to see the hate in his eyes, the bitter disappointment swallowed by bright blue irises.
"Shut the hell up Webster. You disgrace the uniform, you disgrace those wearing it, you disgrace those who died wearing it."
Webster struggled against his grip, but it was like iron. "I believe in justice Chief, I believe in the system!"
"Pity you don't believe in doing the right thing."
Pope opened up the handcuffs to Sharon again, and they continued on their little 'walk' together. As they walked into the distance, Pope felt a heavy feeling in his heart. It burned him, made him feel horrible. He wanted the feeling of disappointment to leave. Today's events had soured justice for him.
Later that day, when everyone was going home, Will caught Brenda by the elevator, on her way to Fritz and their niece, her happy ever after. He was happy for her, happy that she had finally found her place. Will wouldn't deny that he was jealous, that he wished that they were going home together to their own house and family. But it was a fantasy, and instead he went home to a quiet house, two failed marriages and two, sometimes three, kids he never saw.
"Nice work on Webster. Shame that such a promising kid abused his responsibility and badge," Brenda stated as they waited for the elevator.
"All Raydor and her team. She knew that kid was trouble."
Brenda made some noncommittal noise as the elevator doors opened. Fritz was there, and immediately gave his wife a welcoming kiss. Will stood there, trying to ignore the pangs, and as such caught sight of someone waiting for the other elevator.
She was humming softly, taping her nails on her trousers as she waited for the elevator. He gave her a quick wave as they stood, and she nodded back. It seemed like a level of respect had been reached between them, and he was happy. Will watched her, watched a sense of loneliness creep into her face. It was quickly shattered when Lieutenants Stoker and Belluci joined her, slinging their arms around Sharon and leading her into the elevator for their own celebration of a case finishing.
But beneath the smile and Stoker dancing around, Will knew that it wasn't a victory, a celebration but a commiseration that one of the officers had been fed to the wolves for pulling his gun and shooting a member of the public. Even if he wasn't a decent officer anyway. It was how they coped; act like every other department when a case was closed, or you ended up like other Internal Affairs officers, swallowed up with hatred for the job, for other officers and yourself.
Will went home alone, with no husband or teammates, to a late dinner with his kids where he spent most of the night catching up on the day's Disney with his daughter.