Disclaimer. I don't own Crossing Jordan. I just hope their characters could live a little longer.
Summary. Set just after 'Shattered', Woody finds his job devastating, and looks out for something that restores his faith in humanity. He soon realizes that 'she' is the answer.
Warning. This story is sordid, dark and almost too graphic. I have been obsessed with death lately. However, life goes on, and we have to celebrate it.
I hope you enjoy!
En memoria de Rita.
I need to know if it's worth it.
He knew all too well the risks his job as a homicide detective represented to his sanity, and somehow, he had managed to keep the horror his everyday work implied under control. However, this last case had achieved to undermine his spirit -all night spent recovering body parts from the highway. A woman, they soon discovered. Pamela Stockton.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
Bug and Nigel had miraculously attained to reconstruct the body, so her family could be able to see her one last time without being horrified. A tiny relief in the face of monstrosity. However, a huge black shadow enveloped his anguished soul. He couldn't even begin to explain himself what had happened with humanity. The attitude that people at the scene showed about the incident had him struck and exceedingly angry.
He found it so incredibly hard to believe that people couldn't feel any tiny concern or empathy, that they couldn't be touched by the woman's death or her butchering, all happening in front of their eyes. The sole emotions meeting their callous souls were indifference and annoyance for the inconvenient event that had them trapped in the middle of the highway.
A wave of rage hit over him when he learned how Pamela had been tossed out of a limo because those stupid hellbenders didn't know what else to do after their 'conquest' died from ill-timing anaphylactic shock. The only things they worried about were their job bonus and their comfortable lives. He resented meanness and lack of solidarity from the people who saw how a woman had been thrown away like a bag of waste from a running car and did nothing or didn't say anything until they had been forced to. It was inconceivable how Pamela was hit car after car, leaving cut up body limbs spread all over the pavement, and people didn't notice. One of them had the guts to say that he thought it was a bird! As if he couldn't make the difference of his own specie from another one!
A human being! Pieces of a woman were what they had left behind on the road along several hundreds of feet. Pieces of what had been briefly before on that same day, a loving mother and a beautiful wife.
A disturbing picture couldn't leave him alone: a bloody finger still wrapped with a wedding ring. The finger had been ripped away from the base, the ring serving as if it were the last shield, as if to prevent from its destruction, though it had been destructed anyway. Her life shattered to pieces, figuratively and literally speaking. Her husband's and children's lives shattered as well.
Woody sighed once again while he contemplated through the big morgue's window the grieving scene. Pamela's husband, caressing her hair softly. Truth it was that he felt a small consolation due to the fact that Bug and Nigel had managed to put back Pamela's parts together. They had done a hell of a job. However, this family was destroyed. The irreparable damage had already been inflicted on their souls. Experiences of a mother and a wife had been wiped away from their futures. And nobody gave a dime.
It had been a long time since he last had felt so devastated for a case. He didn't know when or how he had landed on 'her' couch. He had sought for a refuge, and somehow had ended there, his safe place. His head had started to hurt terribly, throbbing on his right temple. He felt like crying. What the hell was happening to him?
Sat on the couch, he threw his torso upfront and grabbed his head tightly with his hands, striving to disappear -or at least diminish- the disabling ache he experienced. He rested his elbows on his knees –his skull still trapped between his hands, and closed his eyes.
They didn't notice him immediately when they entered the office, still occupied discussing details about the case they had just solved. Together they had been able to nail a child molester. The filthy monster that had been responsible for Stewart's suicide, and that had been acting as an honorable member of society until the evidence they had gathered against him had left him exposed in the eyes of law.
Woody didn't notice them either when they arrived, his excruciating pain refusing to leave his head.
Lu was the first to see him, and she immediately argued an excuse to leave, for she didn't want to be in the same room he was. Although she had achieved to overcome their recent issues and had started to rebuild trust on 'her' behalf, Woody was still an unresolved matter.
Woody's eyes caught the blonde's retreating figure when he realized he wasn't alone anymore. There were no greetings or goodbyes, their brake up so recent and full of regrets. The way things had developed between them had set this freezing ambience. He understood.
"My head hurts," he said, looking at 'her' with pleading eyes when they were finally alone. "I think is karma." He had intended it to sound like he was making mock of himself, but the weak, transfigured smile that accompanied his words gave evidence of the incredible pain he was immersed.
'She' came closer to him, a worried expression on her face. Then, she smiled lovingly and sat at his side on the couch. "Hard day, huh?" her tone came out soft and harmonious.
Hearing 'her' voice, magically started to make him feel a bit better. Her face was like a magnet to his worn eyes. "You don't even know! A negligence case that ended up as a horrible carnage!" He shook his head in distress. "But it isn't what disturbs the hell out of me."
'She' rose from the couch and headed toward her desk to open a drawer while she asked him sweetly, "Want an aspirin?"
He just nodded, and she dug out the pills from the drawer. Then, she gave them to him along with a bottle of water that was on her desk. He swallowed the pills with a swift gulp of water, and closed the bottle slowly. A long silence enveloped them afterwards.
"What's it with you, Woody?" she broke the impasse they'd entered and gave him a smile that caressed his damaged spirit. 'She' came back to sit next to him, ruffling his hair jokingly, and striving to cheer him up.
He let out a long sigh, his eyes met the floor.
"I need to know if it's worth it." He said hoarsely, and lifted his face up unwillingly until he came across her beautiful almond eyes glancing at him confusedly. "I don't know. It's this job. Everyday someone dies, I know. When a heartless killer is to be blamed, a 'bad' guy, a scum –well, I know it isn't right, but I can hate him. I can make him responsible of evilness because he is -you know, he is bad. A dark soul with a twisted life. But when it turns out to be a regular guy, someone like me, someone to whom things went wrong at some point and he didn't know how. Someone that is allegedly a 'good' guy –well, he should feel remorse, some kind of guilt I think. He should 'care', shouldn't he?" He made a pause so he could get some air into his lungs. Hard emotions had him out of breath. "If someone dies 'inconveniently' on you and ruins your 'good guy plans', then my job isn't worth the effort. Bringing justice to people is just such a big waste of time." He massaged his right temple, where pain was attacking him again.
"You know, sometimes you just have to fear the 'good guy'. Today for example, a respectable teacher who supposedly cared for his students, turned out to care just too much. The bastard had an entire photo album with his 'favorites'." 'She' couldn't contain the anger at bay anymore and became agitated about it, her whole day being a dazed turmoil of emotions as well. "The ones he had been molesting for years. Some of them managed to go on with their lives, but not Stewart. He killed himself. And then, Stewart's father couldn't cope with it and had a heart attack. He also died. We had a witness, but the strong fireman couldn't face his disturbing past with Dave, the 'nice guy', and he backed out. So, we just couldn't let him get away with it, right?"
By the time being, 'she' had lost all her composure, carried away by passion, and her words and actions showed him how deeply she cared about the victims, a trait that defined her completely. A smile escaped from him unexpectedly, in spite of his impeding sadness, even against of the terrible experience she was disclosing to him.
"Jordan, what did you do?" he inquired her amusedly.
"Who? Me? Who do you think you're talking to exactly, huh?" She faked her most incredibly innocent face. It was her usual game. However, he found it refreshing.
He was astonished to discover how he loved that something she had inside her that always put a fight between them, their constant battle. Her indomitable spirit, her thirst for justice, always pushing limits, trespassing law if necessary. She was herself, the personification of belligerent goodness, the most beautiful soul on earth.
"Oh, you did something. I know!" he insisted, his smile reached his eyes as a glint.
"I don't know what you're talking about. But I must confess I'm happy Dave-the-good-guy is gonna get what he deserves in prison. His own private taste of love…" She cleared her throat, holding back her saying about the punishment she thought fitted a child rapist, perhaps striving to maintain the vulgarity of the image out of their discussion. However, she did say, "As the Bible states 'with the measure you use, it will be measured to you'. If you know what I mean." She ended up throwing a mischievous glance to him. He could no longer contain laughter, his mood completely changed because of 'her'.
Jordan took his hand into hers, an amorous gesture he treasured immediately.
"The pills are working, huh?" 'She' rested her head on his shoulder. Her whole attitude screamed 'I care!'
"Yeah," he answered simply, as he put his head on hers. However, it wasn't physical relief what he felt. It was his spirit what healed.
His whole world recovered its meaning.
Yes, it was worth it.