Five Kisses of Andy and Brenda by DD Agent
Disclaimer: I do not own The Closer or any of its characters, or its settings.
Four times Andy Flynn kissed Brenda Leigh Johnson, and the first time she kissed him.
Ever since he had seen Miss Atlanta, he hadn't liked her. She was hot, in that annoying way that women who would never sleep with you in a million years were, but that was it. The city of Los Angeles was filled with women who would sooner sleep with someone who would get them ahead in life to those who would spread their legs between acting roles. Instead, Miss Atlanta was full of surprises, dating an FBI Agent and moving into an ex prostitutes house. He didn't know how to describe her, she was certainly unique.
But with that uniqueness went a superiority that could wipe the face off of Taylors. He'd had enough of her smart mouth, the southern accent that was coming out of her lips making burnt out bodies sound like a picnic. He'd had enough of her animal print outfits and headbands and bad shoes. She wasn't as posed and as polished like the usual girls of LA. Instead she was rough, mutton dressed up like lamb and she couldn't play with anyone nicely. And yet…she had helped him, stopped him from getting thrown out of the LAPD. She had stuck by him, despite everything he had done to her.
Everyone had gone home - Provenza went to a bar, Tao went to one of his kid's recitals, Gabriel went on a date, Sanchez went home and Daniel's had a family reunion to get to. Sharon had even stopped by to check on him, she knew how much the Kroelick case had affected him. They had exchanged a few words, a hug, but then she had left. Their relationship had never really recovered after the UCLA killer, and sometimes he found he missed her. So, in the murder room it was just him and the Chief. She was perched over her desk, looking for a chocolate bar.
He went inside and stood awkwardly at the door. He didn't know what to say to her, so he just decided to thank her. She waved him away, wanting to get him out of her office. Their relationship was poor, and he guessed she was a little worried about his permanent transfer to her squad, even though she had saved his arse. But he stayed, wanting to make sure she knew his thanks, he didn't want to have to owe her anything. She still wouldn't look at him, just said some sort of generic platitude and continued to search for a chocolate bar.
So he decided to reach for her, jerk her out of her reverie and make her realise that he was serious. He reached for her hand and pulled her backwards, pushing her against the wall of her office. She was startled, but at least she could see him now. The words of thanks died on his tongue, and he just pressed his mouth to hers roughly, jerking his tongue between her lips. She followed suit, gripping the back of his neck so tight he was likely to have bruises for weeks, her tongue duelling with his for control.
Eventually the kiss broke, both of them gasping for air, not sure what had happened. She looked him dead in the eye, and whispered, "You're welcome." He left the office with her taste still on his tongue.
He had missed her, there was no denying that. A mere year ago, he had hated her, loathed her, wanted her out of his damn department. But over the year she had respected him, trusted his judgement most of the time and while he was still emotional, they worked well. He had followed her path as she had become more settled in her relationship with the LAPD, albeit not with the FBI agent. The thought of their kiss a year ago still stung him sometimes, but he decided it was just pure tension unwrapping itself. Still, when Provenza suggested on her birthday that her wish was to get rid of him, his heart fell.
Taylor was nowhere near the detective Brenda Leigh Johnson was, he could see that now. She was a genius when it came to things, and although her personal skills weren't up to much, she truly cared about her team. So when he had got the call from Provenza to help her out, he had jumped at the chance. If only to be once included in a team again. He was now torn between two sides - he adored Priority Homicide and his betrayal of Taylor meant he was no longer welcome in Robbery/Homicide. Gabriel was still the golden boy, he was the invisible man.
She had made the prostitutes house a home, and was apparently sharing that home with mister FBI. While they worked on the case and ate pizza and Provenza cleared off the little piece of the Chief's dining room table that he had commandeered, it almost felt like being back. He didn't care what case they were working on, didn't know why the CIA had asked Chief Johnson to investigate for them but he didn't mind. He was glad to be back with them.
He even didn't mind getting a copy of the murder book to her; if it would help her case then he would do anything she wished. She smiled at the door when he mentioned about missing the word 'please', who would even think that they would be getting along so well? As everything wound down, he kissed her gently on the cheek, but half on the lips. She started to blush immediately when he pulled back, and realised that that was probably the wrong thing to do, especially with her boyfriend a few feet away. He started to mutter an apology, but she just showed him out of the door.
When Sanchez, Provenza and the Chief returned and Priority Homicide was put back together again, they never mentioned it; they just carried on as usual. He was grateful for that.
They were now Major Crimes, and they were losing more than they were winning. She was getting married in a couple of weeks to FBI guy, so maybe she was overly distracted with the wedding. Maybe it was the higher ups that were driving her to distraction and wanting to make deals with criminals rather than pushing for confessions, especially after that idiot Ramos had published that story in the Times about Priority Homicide. Either way, the Brenda Leigh Johnson that he had met four years ago ate Deputy District Attorney's for breakfast.
Now, Philip Stroh, the man they believed raped six women and murdered one was free on the streets because the evidence was tainted and Stroh was too good of a lawyer to let anything come out in confession. He watched her as she watched Stroh walk away, the look on her face was pure hate, pure fury. She knew that he was responsible, and something inside her was dying. The idea that she could get justice for her victim and close her case.
She hadn't taken a lift home, she had just decided to stay and go over the case file and see if there was anything they could have done differently. Not tell Philip Stroh that they had no evidence on him was probably the biggest fault in the case. Garnett had been told to go to the DA's office with Chief Pope and the Chief - there would be an investigation into this for sure. The rest of the team apart from Daniels, who couldn't be around Gabriel anymore, had gone to a bar, where he didn't feel he belonged.
He had seen the face many a time, where your chief suspect who you knew in your gut was responsible for the atrocities had walked out. He had seen it reflected in the mirror too many times it was practically his true reflection. He walked into the office, and saw her just stare out of the windows, utterly defeated. Sitting on the edge of her desk, he offered her his hand. It was only a little something, but it was enough comfort to give someone lost in the wildness. She took it, and gripped it back.
He didn't know what to say that hadn't been said a million times before. Telling her that everything was going to be okay was just condescending, and he didn't think she would appreciate that. So he did what felt right, what had always helped him when it looked like the world was ending. He kissed her, softly on the mouth. She responded, gently moving her lips over his. She pulled back, and he grinned, winking at her.
"Just remember, we're here for you Chief. Don't get lost."
She seemed to understand what he meant, which was good as he didn't. All he could focus on was the fact that his heart was beating wildly, and that this was the third time he had kissed his Chief. No good could from that, he was sure.
Stroh had changed the landscape of everything, had made him re-evaluate his own cases and wonder whether with every open case he was leading down a lonely road. He could see it in his Chief, could see the case files stacked up, had seen the spare bedroom that had its own murder board filled with rape victims when he had gone for their wedding. It had been a nice occasion, and he had cheered them on. If anyone deserved happiness, it was her.
He was her second now; he was the one who she shared things with. Interviewing suspects, looking over case files. He helped her with the Stroh case sometimes, even though Provenza had took them all aside and asked unless the Chief made a request to get files, no one was to help her. She had to go down that road alone. But Andy knew that was a long road to trek, and it was always easier when you had company.
Now, he could see why Provenza had asked them not to help, seeing Joey O and what he had done to solve an old case. He was an evil son of a bitch and deserved everything that had happened to him, but not by a cop, not by a friend of Andy's. It had been Joey's determined nature to get to the truth, to get justice for his victim that he had admired, modelled himself on. It was all lies, in the end all you had was bitterness.
Everyone had gone home, even the Chief. He had opened his desk drawer, looking at the tape there. He felt sick just looking at it, but he knew if he was going to get it out of his system that it had to be done. He got out a tape player from Tao's desk and pressed play, hearing a scream immediately start. He pulled the rubbish bin closer, knowing that it was likely he was going to throw up. Out of his desk drawer he pulled out the list he had, the list that Brenda had wondered if Joey would work through before he eventually passed on. Eleven names on his list, a couple crossed off as the cases had been solved over the past years. But there were still too many unsolved ones for his liking.
As more screams and crying came out of the tape, he looked over the names. Suddenly it all stopped, and he looked up to see the Chief with her finger on the button. She frowned at him, the Stroh file under her arm, not wanting to listen to the tape anymore, and urging him not to either. It would do neither of them any good, when all they needed was one thing, and listening to the confession of a dying man was not it. He left the list on the desk, pulled his chair back and pushed the Chief up against the wall, forcing his mouth over hers. She kissed back, tangling her hands in his shirt collar as she pulled him closer. Her file dropped to the floor and papers spread out as his hands gripped her hips.
They bumped against the stereo and the screaming started again. The kiss ended, the tape was taken out and put into an evidence bag. They left each other, both with the evidence of the true darkness of human nature carried with them, and the evidence of true admiration in their swollen lips.
Provenza had told everyone that he didn't want them to ask about her becoming Chief, much like he had yelled at everyone after Estelle Pope had come storming in, yelling about her affair with Chief Pope. So as much as he had wanted to talk to her about it, he hadn't had a chance to. As the weeks had rolled on, they had got more and more into it with interviews and people being nice to her and indeed them, hoping to get favour if she did indeed become Chief.
When the shortlist was announced, he was hoping that she wasn't on it. He didn't want her to become Chief, didn't want her to leave Major Crimes. He didn't want her to leave him. But, she was on the shortlist and everyone was happy that she was on there - she was mellower then Pope, she liked officers and treated them with respect. Now it just got worse, with Sharon trying to give some sort of Interview for Chief 101 course. He overheard her saying that she didn't want the job, but she didn't drop out, went for the interview anyway. Everyone just held their breath, hoping.
He had a birthday a week before the Chief job was going to be announced. No one had celebrated his birthday before - they did it with everyone apart from Provenza, who just liked a book of crossword puzzles. He didn't particularly like birthdays, there always seemed to be a murder with a young woman brutally hacked up every year on the date. Plus, the easiest gifts to give were socks and alcohol, one boring and the other inappropriate. But this year, Tao surprised him with a big birthday cake and everyone had collaborated to give him season tickets for the Dodgers games. As he blew out his candles he wished that she wouldn't go.
His wish had come true, and the job had gone to Tommy Delk. He was grateful, now his Chief could stay and they could return to normal without any of the big changes that were resting on them. The case had been a particularly stressful one, and Pope had offered to buy everyone a round of drinks as a commiseration. But she hadn't gone, she was just sitting there.
When Flynn came in, she wasn't sure what to say to him. Part of her had wanted the job, the part that hated failure. But in the end she was relieved that she didn't have the pressure of an entire department on her back, that was one level of change she wasn't ready for. She ate another chocolate bar, not sure whether she was relieved or disappointed. She knew everyone else was sad, they had wanted someone they had liked or tolerated as Chief, and now they had Delk. They had backed the wrong horse - she wasn't a political animal. Just a Detective.
"Hey Lieutenant," she said, leaning back on her chair. He sat on the edge of her desk, like he had done before. Their relationship was complicated - it had started out something obviously hate and had moved through the stages until they were so like each other it was sometimes impossible to distinguish one from the other. They disagreed on occasion, and she knew that Flynn had a lot more years working on these sorts of cases than her and sometimes he just got tired of all the blood. But through it all their relationship remained one where they could rely on the other.
"Hey Chief. I'm sorry you didn't get the job."
He then started to shake his head. "Actually, I'm not sorry. I didn't want you to get the job. You belong here, with us, not in some fancy big office. You are good at seeing the big picture and the small picture, but there are so many people in this building that only see one, not the victims. I didn't want to lose you Chief. Brenda."
She looked up at him, and watched the traces of a smile. She grabbed his hand and moved to her feet. "You know, you are the only person who understands that. You're the only person who wanted me to stay."
Flynn grinned and stood up. She reached for his tie and yanked him towards her, pulling him into a kiss. His lips sucked on her bottom one, and she gripped him so tight like he was the only one who could anchor her to the real world. It didn't matter what was going on, what was happening in the future, as long as Flynn supported her and was by her side, everything was going to be alright.
They hugged, Flynn kissing her neck before leaning against her. She had wondered what had been occurring with Flynn all these years, the need to be with him, the need to be accepted by him and have his support. It finally struck her.
"I think I love you," Brenda whispered in his ear, and he chuckled.
"You not sure? That's okay; I think we can wait another six years. I love you too, Brenda. Loved you ever since you told Pope you didn't want to send me to Internal Affairs."
She smiled and rested on his shoulder, enjoying the warmth of everything. "What do we do now? I mean…I've never actually broken a marriage before. I never got this far with Will; he broke up with me before it happened."
Andy chuckled and clasped her face. She could feel the cold metal of his AA band on her cheek. "We'll do whatever, it's taken us this long to realise we need each other. I need you, I don't want to end up like Joey O, and just the thought of you keeps me sane."
They kissed again, and she beamed. "You get my wall, I like that. We're partners."
"Partners, I like that." Flynn grinned. "Whatever we'll do, we'll do it together."
They always did.