A/N: My first KUA fic! I thought of this a while ago, and just had to get it written down. Hope y'all like :-D
Disclaimer: I do not own Keeping Up Appearances or its characters, nor do I own Law & Order and its characters.
New York Scandal
NYPD, Manhattan County, 27th Precinct.
Lieutenant Van Buren watched sternly through the glass window of the interrogation room, as Detectives Lupo and Bernard continued to question their prime suspect. Attorneys Connie Rubirosa and Michael Cutter approached Van Buren from behind. After her thirty years on the job, she had to admit she had never encountered a suspect quit like this one.
"Morning counsellors," she greeted sardonically. "About time you were here to give the Queen Mother a good grilling."
A look of puzzlement spread across both their faces, the two prosecutors not understanding the Lieutenant's sharp comment.
Cutter slid his hands into his pants pockets. "So, who have we got, Lieutenant?" he inquired in his broad New England accent. He glanced over at the suspect, a brightly dressed woman on the other side of the glass. She was sitting next to a rather astute looking man, whom he recognised as defence attorney Marcus Woll, and who he assumed to be the lawyer acting as her defence counsel.
"A British woman by the name of Hyacinth Bucket," Van Buren replied. "She claims to be on vacation, or 'holiday', with her husband Richard, who we are in the process of contacting. She has had close association with the victim, Kendra Malone. Mrs Bucket reportedly purchased a set of fine-bone China mugs from her store located on the Upper East Side, and got angry with her over a wrong order. Witnesses reported Mrs Bucket near the Hudson River at 10:00pm, right after Ms Malone's body was dumped. Trust me Mr Cutter, this is our woman."
"So, you're telling us she murdered a small business owner over a set of crockery?" Cutter enquired in disbelief.
"That's right, Mr Cutter." Van Buren shrugged, not believing the absurdity of the whole situation herself. "Well, some tourists have been known to do the craziest things."
"We have motive, causation, and witnesses, what about a weapon?" he continued to question, assembling the facts of the case in his mind.
"She was arrested whilst shopping alone at a store on 5th Avenue. Detectives found an antique, Royal Dolton handled stake-knife, hidden in her girdle." she replied almost in a mocking tone, her voice elated in a posh English accent. "The knife was sent to forensics, where it was found that the blade contained traces of blood."
Rubirosa raised her perfectly shaped eyebrows, seeing the humour. "Hmm, classy," she shot back, equally amused.
"The blood on the knife tested positive for Ms Malone's DNA," Van Buren concluded. "This makes her our prime suspect."
"Hope she likes the accommodation at Riker's," Cutter commented.
Rubirosa stepped in front of her, cutting to the chase. "Can we speak with her?" she enquired, wanting to get the pre-arraignment procedurals over and done with.
Van Buren opened the door of the interrogation room.
"She's all yours, counsellors," she said, letting them through. "Brace yourselves."
Cutter and Rubirosa approached the metal table in the middle of the room, and took their seats opposite the accused. They noticed the contempt, and slight weariness, in both the detectives' expressions.
Bernard clapped Cutter on the shoulder as he headed towards the door. "We'll leave you to it, ma brother," he replied with a sigh of exasperation, Lupo following closely behind.
Both attorneys were startled by the detectives' eagerness to leave. Lupo and Bernard usually sat in on an interrogation of a suspect to coast their lawyer counterparts, but this time they seemingly couldn't be any more relieved to step out of the cold and dank green room.
Cutter exchanged an unyielding stare with the woman in front of him. "I'm Michael Cutter from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, and this is my assistant, Connie Rubirosa," he introduced. "Now, Mrs Bucket, Lieutenant Van Buren has told us that..."
"It's Bouquet," she sniped arrogantly, cutting him off mid -sentence, as she pushed her nose up into the air.
Cutter scowled in confusion. "Excuse me, what?" He looked up at Woll for a hint of clarity.
"My client prefers her name to be pronounced Bouquet," he replied.
He rolled his eyes. Dear god, up against a murder charge and you're worried about the pronunciation of your name? He stared down at the personal file he had opened in front of him, humouring the disgruntled florally-dressed woman. "Hyacinth Bucket," he read out loud. "It's written down here in black and white, B-U-C-K-E-T." He glanced back up at her from the vanilla file. "This is America, sweet-hawrt, and there's no other way of pronouncing a name spelled like that here."
"IT'S BOUQUET!" Hyacinth shrieked, fed up with having to correct these people at nauseum. First it was the receptionist at the hotel, then it was the cab driver, and now it was the sanctimonious bearcats of New York City law enforcement. Where do these people come from? Probably the same idiots who selfishly placed a fast-food restaurant at the end of my street back home in England.
Rubirosa folded her arms, her fiery brown eyes full of contempt for Hyacinth, almost glaring. "We know you murdered Ms Malone. Her blood was found on the blade of that Royal Dolton knife the detectives found on your person," she said in a threatening tone. "So I'd start explaining myself if I were you. I'm sure you're familiar with Midsummer Murders and The Bill, you know how these cases can go. It's up to you."
Hyacinth's mouth dropped in response to the young ADA's approach, staring her up and down as she did so. "How dare you people accuse me of such a terrible act, an impeccable woman of social standing in her local community, and of high moral rectitude, with a son at university who wears pure silk pyjamas," she retorted, almost indignantly. "If my Sheridan were here he'd be appalled, having such volatiles persecuting his mummy. That exceptional boy would be rushing onto a plane to my assistance had he not had exams to study for. Well, that's the penalty of having a son who is so academically gifted."
Woll put his hand in front of her to cease her ranting. "Let me handle this, Mrs Bouquet," he said to her carefully, mindful of pronouncing her name correctly. "That is what you are paying me for." He turned towards Cutter and Rubirosa. "Let's get on with this, okay guys."
"That is a good idea." Cutter nodded, referring to Hyacinth's personal file for further details of the case. "Now, Mrs Bucket, where were you at ten-pm on Tuesday night?" he asked. He glanced up at her, waiting for a response.
"I was in my hotel room with my husband, Richard, naturally," she replied, her voice starting to sway, now shaken by the confrontation. She stared down at the papers Cutter had spread out in front of him, her eyes avoidant.
"Really, is that a fact?" His voice had become deadpan. "Because we have witnesses who say otherwise. We have witnesses who claim they saw a middle-aged woman walking alongside the Hudson River late at night, just after a body wrapped in sheets was reportedly thrown into the river."
Hyacinth raised her eyebrows in frustration at Cutter's insinuation.
"That could have been anyone," Woll protested.
Cutter stared down at the Hyacinth's personal file once again. "Middle-aged Caucasian woman dressed in pink and blue floral dress, and blue hat," he read. What does this woman do all day? Go yachting with the Kennedy's? "This report here also states that the woman was muttering to herself in a distinctly British accent." He closed the file, and glanced back up at her. "I'd say that fits your description perfectly, Mrs Bucket."
"And, Mrs Bucket, how do you explain the possession of a knife covered in blood, matching the victim's DNA?" Rubirosa chimed in, equally pretentious. "I'd say that these factors are more than just a coincidence."
"I told you it's Bouquet!" she retorted, unable to restrain from lashing out in annoyance.
Woll rubbed her arm with concern, in attempt to calm her down. "Listen Mr Cutter, my client is a respectable woman." He glanced over at Cutter and Rubirosa.
"There is nothing respectable about committing murder," Cutter shot back at him quickly, his expression severe. "If the jury pleads guilty, it'll be a long time before Mrs Bucket waters her English garden again. Given the circumstances at this stage, she's looking at twenty-to-life."
"What? Twenty years?" Hyacinth shrieked in horror. "What about my poor dear Sheridan, a mother locked away in a foreign prison. Oh, and my friends Elizabeth and Emmett, how they'll miss me. "She turned towards her legal council. "This is absolutely scandalous. These lower-class civil servants have no right in prosecuting me in this way!"
Cutter glanced back at Hyacinth. "Mrs Bucket, I am certain that you murdered Kendra Malone," he said darkly in an even and steady tone. "It is my job to prosecute you to the full extent of the law, and I will not withdraw the people's charges against you, until you can prove to me otherwise."
Hyacinth cowered away from him, tears beginning to prick the brims of her eyes.
Woll patted Hyacinth on the back to comfort her. "If you'd excuse me, I'd like a moment alone with my client," he requested.
Cutter and Rubirosa stood from their seats.
"Not a problem," Cutter replied, a slight contented smile forming on his lips. He was pleased with the evidence they had against Hyacinth so far, and so didn't see the need in interrogating her further. "We'll keep in touch."
Both attorneys made their exit from the interrogation room.
Cutter rested against the closed door on the other side of the room, letting out a long sigh of relief. "The woman is a whack-job!" he said with exasperation.
"Killing a woman over getting her order wrong, she must be," Rubirosa agreed. "Given her erratic state, Woll has a good chance of winning an insanity plea."
Mike glanced over and Van Buren standing beside him. "Contact Dr Olivet," he instructed. "I want a full psychiatric evaluation of Mrs Bucket before I decide where the charges apply."
"Right, Mr Cutter," she replied, making her way into the squad-room towards her office, Cutter and Rubirosa following closely behind.
"Oh, and book her for murder," Cutter added, before he and Rubirosa left the precinct. "Don't want her fleeting off to England, we have enough wanted fugitives in this city."
"I'll get started on the application as soon as we get back to the office," Rubirosa informed Cutter, as they entered the double doors of the squad-room.
At that instance, a balding middle-aged mad raced through the double doors of the squad-room in a mad panic, knocking Rubirosa onto the floor.
"Hey, watch where you're going!" Cutter yelled out at him. He bent down to help Rubirosa up. "Oh god Connie, are you okay?"
She picked herself up and brushed herself off. "I-I'm fine Mike, don't worry," she replied, startled, turning around to get a glimpse of the man who had knocked her over.
The man stopped for a moment. "I-I'm sorry," the man apologised quickly, before rushing towards the service desk.
The two attorney's then left the precinct.
Once Richard had reached the service desk, he tapped the bell several times.
A young uniformed officer approached the desk. "Yes sir, how may I help you," she asked.
"I-I-It's my wife," he replied frantically between breaths. "A detective contacted me, and told me that my wife has been arrested."
"Okay, sir, what is your wife's name?" she enquired, taking a seat behind the computer monitor placed on the desk.
"Hyacinth Bucket," he replied.
She strolled down the list that appeared on the screen. "Augh, the Bucket Woman."
Van Buren made her way towards the man standing in front of the service desk. "Mr Bucket?" she asked.
He whirled around to face her. "Yes, I'm here for my wife."
She put her hand forward in a hand-shake. "I'm Lieutenant Anita Van Buren," she introduced herself. She guided him towards her office. "I'm going to have to ask you a few questions regarding your wife's whereabouts."
What do you think so far? Feel free to comment:-)