A/N Well, why not?
Writing a fic for a TV adaption is something I know requires a lot of skill- it's quite outside what I usually do for fanfiction- like most people my age, I write for video games. However, I've read a lot of fics for the more 'mature' TV shows, shows that are often among my favorites.
As I said, however, it requires a lot of fine-tuned skill, especially the characters. I mean, you see so much of the characters that you have little excuse for messing it up; however, they are so complex there is a very high risk to. There's also the possibility that I may create some continuity- unfortunately for this show I have not seen every episode- after all, it started when I was not even ten years of age.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained, aye? Nevertheless, I shall start simple with a simple oneshot. No tackling romance (which in and of itself for CI requires a lot of fine tuning), no creating intricate plots, just a simple oneshot.
Disclaimer: In New York City's war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. These are their stories, through characters and ideas told by Dick Wolf, Rene Balcer, and defined by the actors such as Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe. The franchise is owned by the NBC network, even if no new episodes air any longer. I do not own the characters or the franchise. The case-related characters are my own, however.
Also, the fic's title is the property of one of my favorite bands, the Editors. It is in no way a songfic, this story, but the philosophy of the song is evident in this fic.
I hope you enjoy, and if you can spare a review, I thank you. :)
The door to the cold interrogation room slowly opened, allowing a tall, built man to step in. Just the presence of this man would cause many to double take, whether during his job or off hours. He stood at least six feet tall, and managed to be heavyset, yet not overweight. He sported a head of sparse gray hair, cut down to a manageable size, and nothing impressive. He did not quite look all fifty of his years otherwise, though- he looked just spry enough to look a decade younger than he was, but just that much.
What truly caused many to shudder, however, were his eyes, which made well known the intensity and passion what was weaved into everything about him.
The woman who was, so to speak, invited into the interrogation room was no exception, but she herself caused the new inhabitant of the room to do a double take. With good reason- one would never suspect that this frail woman with no head of hair to be needed in a police station, much less in this intimidating, metallic room with an intense, heavyset man as her companion.
The man chuckled as he took a seat across from her, adding awkwardly "I apologize, ma'am, I'm still quite astonished- you see, the idea of seeing you in this room as our number one suspect is quite out of the ordinary."
Without waiting for a response, not that he expected one, he gave an introduction. "Detective Robert Goren of the Major Case Squad," was all he said.
The woman took opportunity to reply, her glazed blue eyes piercing the detective. "I know this, sir," she stated, betraying no emotion.
"Of course!" Goren took visible amusement at his error. "We've met before- after all, I know that you are Renee Edminson. Thirty seven years of age, and former heir to your father's estate, well known abstract artist Gregor Alton- heir until, of course, you were diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and would not live past your father, and unfortunately the only remaining heir was your younger sister, Carmina Alton, who, admittedly, was somewhat of a basket case before she was killed last week, December 8th, 2011, and now we've got no heir to your father's fortune."
Clearing his throat and drawing in a breath, he asked "Have I remembered it all? I hope I did, from my angle I sounded like bad exposition."
Renee sighed wearily. "Yes, you did."
"Remember it all or sound like bad exposition?"
"I fail to see the point," she continued woodenly. "But, yes, you've remembered what is necessary. Mind telling me why I'm here, or should I have you send your regards to my lawyer?"
Goren raised an eyebrow. "You don't need to. I mean, anyone with half a brain could figure out that you killed your sister."
If he was hoping for an aggravated, telling response, he would be disappointed as she replied disinterestedly "Is that so? Perhaps those with half a brain shouldn't be solving cases of these magnitude."
Surprised, Goren chuckled. "Ahaha, you're a quick woman. It'd be easy to think that someone with such a sharp mind as you would never be so... careless in handling the murder of her own sister. I mean, she was shot by a gun hardly a couple blocks down the street with DNA easily traced back to you. Frankly, I feel insulted that you thought we wouldn't catch you."
"If this gunner was so careless, and I so intelligent," Renee did not miss a beat in her reply, "then what makes you think-"
"It's very simple," he stated. "As I may re-itterate, you have about two months to live. You could easily shoot whoever you wanted and jail time wouldn't mean a damn thing to you."
Renee took visible offense at this, albeit calmly. "I would never do such a thing. I can't imagine who would. All of us cared about Carmina, we gave so much for her. Why would we kill her?"
"That's the part I want to get to," Goren smirked, knowing that she had played right into his trap. "Everyone loved Carmina. Everyone cared for her, because she was a troubled seventeen year old. Of course, that's just the nice way of saying she didn't give a damn about anything but herself."
He felt a twinge of satisfaction when Renee raised her own eyebrow, surprised but keeping her composure. "She got drunk every chance she got, she was addicted to weed, then crack, then heroin, really, the list goes on. She slept with more guys than you've even talked to in your entire life. She hasn't been in school for perhaps the past year because she's too busy throwing her life away."
Goren smirked deeper in accomplishment. That one had really gotten her. "Nothing like you were as a kid- you were the smart one. The girl who didn't believe in boys or parties- just studying dutifully to get into Harvard. You were very reclusive, but very moral and smart. Got a degree in economics, only been with one man, and extremely intelligent. Absolutely perfect to take over daddy's legacy someday.
He got up out of his seat, pacing around the room as he continued."But when you were nineteen years old, your daddy had an affair with a woman he had never met. Very shameful, but, hey, he's an artist so not much happens. He does stuff like that. His daughter was a bastard child from the beginning, cursed from birth, but on the whole you didn't need to heed her that much. Just a birthday card and obligatory visits."
Renee gave Goren a hateful look that would have scared a different man, but provoked a smile from Goren because he knew she was starting to crack. She revoked her expression in exchange for her passive one again, but did say "You suggest that I did not love my sister? You have no idea..."
Goren burst out laughing, alienating his suspect as he fell against one of the walls, wiping sweat off of his forehead. "You have... oh... wow, you really take me for an idiot? When she got into her teen years, she was nothing more than an embarrassment." He leaned over her shoulder as he emphasized the last word, showing her how intense he really could be. He was impressed that she gave no reaction whatsoever.
Not unlike a devil offering a trade, he put his hands on her shoulders as he continued. "And when you and your husband were told that you were terminal... I can only imagine." His voice was deceptively sympathetic, and he could feel her shudder. "You had worked so hard to carry on your brilliant father's legacy someday, and here you were, frail, dying. Not only that, but the only other heir your father had was Carmina. Isn't that just such a slap in the face?"
Renee's hissed "Yes..." didn't escape Goren's hearing. He released her, but stayed nearby. "You were there, and where was she? She was out there being an idiotic, worthless teenager." He threw his hands up in the air as his voice raised into a fervor. "Nothing like you were as a kid. She had no morals, no heart. She's just like all the other digitally charged, disillusioned kids out there. How could she possibly run a business like that?
"She didn't deserve it!" The room shook from Goren's sudden shout, and Renee was no exception. He didn't lower his voice; in fact, he continued to raise it. "What a waste. She saw you dying in the hospital, your husband too choked up in sobs to say anything. And what does she do? She goes outside and has a smoke! She didn't care!" He slammed his fist on the table as he finished shouting, looking into Renee's haunted expression. The mask had come off at last, it seemed.
Goren knew that just outside the room, looking in, Eames was probably out there, holding her head in her hands. Even if this was how he always did things, he must look so unorthodox shouting at a dying woman. To attempt to accommodate, he took his seat again and stared directly at a more visibly shaken Renee Edminson.
He gave a weak smile, speaking in hushed, relaxed tones. "I've heard someone say that the saddest thing he's ever seen were smokers outside the hospital doors. Someone continuing to waste their life away knowing people are dying right next to them. Someone like that... just pitiful. She didn't deserve to live at all.
"So all you had to do was go up to her house- her father had kicked her out awhile back, after all. Too much of a disgrace. You may have been sick, but you had just enough strength to walk. Simply let the nurses know you were going to visit a family member, and she arranged a taxi to make it easier on you." His tone became passive as he described the crime at last. "She was slumming at some ran down apartment in Harlem. Truly pitiful, wasted under an exposed pipe on a shag carpet. Totally unconscious. Didn't even know you were there. That the taxi had driven up and left to get you when you were done having a good time with the fam. She didn't even react more than a jolt when you shot her with her own gun she used to keep predators from attacking her in her own house." At the end, he all but mouthed "Never woke up."
He gave a twisted smile as he saw her face twist up in anger. "Anything you'd like to say, Mrs. Edminson?"
"I did it," she hissed, fist clenched. "You're exactly right. That ungrateful bitch deserved nothing!" Goren felt a dark relief upon hearing her shout her confession. Everything was always so twisted in the confession room. "She didn't care about me. She didn't care that I was dying! She didn't care about anything except ruining her life and 'having a good time!'"
Rage started to take over her, and Goren knew that the case was closed. He wasn't finished, though. He let her scream "All that bitch had ever done from the day she was born was ruin my father! She slowly ruined my father's marriage, she ruined his reputation, she was an embarrassment to the family. If I had let her live she would have ruined his legacy! You see that? I had to do it!"
"Is that so, Mrs. Edminson?" Goren finally interjected, causing her to fall silent, still not calmed. He reached into the pocket of his suit and pulled out a small pink book.
"What's that?" Renee demanded.
Goren sighed, raising an eyebrow. "Your half sister's diary. Found it at the crime scene. She wrote some very hard stuff in there, but it's the last entry that gets me the most."
"How dare you take her diary!" she shouted.
"How dare you take her life," he replied motionlessly as he flipped the pages. She fell silent as he started to read from the last used page.
"December 3rd, 2011. Dear Diary. I heard the news today. About Renee. About dad's estate. I... know that I should be devastated that she died, and that I should be excited that I'm taking over my dad's fortunes. But I don't know what I'm supposed to think.
"I'm a mess. I admit it. I'm a horrible person. I've done so many things that I'm not proud of. I've embarrassed daddy so much... it hurts to think about him. I wish I was like Renee. She's so put together, so smart. She did things right, and I did everything wrong.
"She doesn't deserve to die. She really doesn't. I wish it was me in her place, but I know I can't, and it hurts so bad. It hurts more than the fact that she never wants to speak to me. Never talks about me. Never thinks about me. And I wish I was like her so much.
"I wanted to ask her for help. I tried helping myself once, but I was too weak. I couldn't do it. And no one else understands. They either tell me things are going to get better, or tell me to go to rehab, or completely disown me. Renee's smart... she'd know how to help me."
"No..." Renee whispered, tears lacing her eyes. Goren paid her no heed.
"But how do I tell her? I visited her once. I wanted to beg her forgiveness for everything I've done to daddy, to her. Tell her I was sorry that she was dying and not me. But I couldn't. I made an excuse that I was going to go have a smoke, when all I did was run into the bathroom and cry.
"No!" she was more audible this time. Goren still didn't react, speaking up above her sobs.
"I wish that she could help me, because I can't help myself. I'd hear anything she had to say. I'd hear her tell me that I was a disgrace if I had to. I'd let her throw me in rehab myself. I wish she'd listen to me, though, and help me. I've looked up to her for years. But I can't even talk to her. I can't help her.
"I truly am weak."
As she sobbed, he put the diary in front of her. "That was signed by Carmina Alton," he stated. "A girl that was stuck in her disease. She was dying just as much as you were, but all she could think about was that you were, and she wished she could save you, take your place! All you could do for her was put her down," he shouted again, "like a horse with a broken leg! You didn't even give her the chance to walk again!"
"She never would have changed!" Renee insisted madly. "She never would have listened!"
Goren frowned deeply, aggressively, as he leaned directly into her face, his intense eyes stabbing into her glazed pair. In a dark, angry whisper, he said "You never gave her the chance."
It was then the interrogation room's door slammed open, and Eames walked in. She pulled Goren away from the dying woman, gently as to not upset him further. When she had done that, she pulled out a pair of handcuffs and announced "Renee Edminson, you have the right to remain silent." She continued on with her Miranda rights, not fazed by the vehement sobs echoing through the room. Goren watched the two of them walk out of the room, exhausted in many ways. Placing the diary in his pocket, he made his way back to his desk and took a seat, trying to concentrate on work.
After an uncounted passing of time, Eames returned, taking her seat. "I think we've closed the case," she announced with little fanfare.
"I assume so," he agreed, his voice strained. "Hate to have wasted my damn time like that."
Eames cocked her head towards Goren, who wasn't looking her way. "Tough case?" she asked with subtle sympathy.
"Obviously not," he replied testily. "It was open and shut. Hardly required effort at all."
"...that's not what I meant," she replied gently. "And you know that."
Goren closed his eyes in frustration, but spoke no more. Eames' expression turned downcast as she decided it best to let it go, and turned back to her own desk.
Goren didn't try and stop her. He knew full well that she had understood, and had her answer.
A month later would find Goren walking down Trinity Place, South Manhattan. He had a clear mind, and a single intent.
It wasn't long until he found it, next to the church where he had learned Gregor Alton had first married. He walked amid the trees, enjoying the shade quietly, until he had found them.
Carmina Alton and Renee Edminson.
They lay together, only a small distance between them. The only thing separating them were two coffins, and six feet of dirt. Goren wondered why the murderer would be placed so close to her victim, but his darker thoughts deduced so that she would never forget what she had done, even in her afterlife.
Goren glanced at the headstones, saddened to find that both of them were blank. It actually hurt him to know that Carmina's had no kind words to say, nor Renee's past anything worth noting. Grief is a hard thing to sort through, though, so he didn't dwell too long on the insult.
Even if he had no kind words to offer, he did take something out of his pocket. Carmina's diary. He flipped to the empty pages of the back, pages never to be filled.
He ripped the last one out and got a pen out of his other pocket. He leaned the paper against Carmina's headstone, and wrote two Latin words.
Satisfied with the legibility, he got out a small roll of tape and applied it to Carmina's headstone. He ripped out another paper, and wrote something that was the same, yet different.
Remember you will die.
With a rueful smile, he taped this message to Renee's headstone. He hoped that at the very least, they could set an example.
With a sigh, he placed the diary by Carmina's grave, and started to walk away, but didn't feel fulfilled yet. He walked back almost instantly after reaching the cemetery's end, and then wrote one last message in her notebook.
Hope that somehow I helped a bit.
With one last sigh and smile, he placed the pen down, as well as the tape, and proceeded to walk out of the graveyard. He truly hoped that he had helped one more soul to rest.\
A/N I... think I did good. I don't know, though. I like how it turned out, although it took me awhile to do. And the timing of this message's submitting... it's actually a lot sadder given recent events and tragedy in the world.
Either way, I hope I did the genre justice. Thanks for reading! Your reviews would mean the world to me, so I know if I did well!