A/N: My first time writing for a new show...I apologize in advance if I get a name wrong or mix up a fact, as there aren't a lot of sites to look up details like I normally would! I haven't yet seen episodes 6 or 7, so this story may not include some of those details.

I'm anticipating that this story will probably have somewhere between ten and fifteen chapters. This first chapter begins about a year and a half ahead of where the show is now, so please keep that in mind in later chapters.

The late summer sun was just beginning to set over the Chicago skyline as the dark sedan pulled up across the street from the suburban home, a marked police car trailing a few minutes behind it. As they waited for their backup to arrive, the man and the woman stared silently across the street.

"This doesn't feel right, Jen," the male driver said, cutting the engine and slipping the keys into his pocket. "We shouldn't have to do this."

Jen sighed and shook her head. "I don't like it any more than you do, Matt, but we've been through this. It may not be the nicest option, but at this point, it's the only option we have left. She knew that this was a possibility."

"So we're just supposed to walk across the street, knock on the front door and tear this family to shreds without giving it a second thought?"

"You seem to be forgetting our place in all of this, Matt. We don't get paid to be nice, we get paid to be effective."

"I'm not saying I won't do it. I'm just saying I don't want to, and I don't like it. Not one bit."

"Oh for God's sake, Matthew." Jen groaned and pulled down the mirror in the visor to adjust the tight bun in her hair. "Do the world a favor and grow a pair, would you? You'd think they'd stuck me with a rookie, the way you're blubbering on."

"Don't be…"

"You're also forgetting that she knew what she doing from the start, Matt. No one forced her to do what she did. She could have walked away at any time, but she didn't. She knew if it got this far, if this much information came out, we'd have to come after her. She's not innocent."

Jen glanced up in the rearview mirror, caught sight of the Chicago Police Department patrol car pulling up behind them and reached for her door handle. "Pull yourself together, it's go time."

Abby Kowalski smiled at the roar of laughter coming from the crowd gathered in the dining room. Reaching across the kitchen counter, she pulled the cake stand closer to her and began slowly inserting the birthday candles into her father's chocolate cake.

Her mother had objected to Abby making the cake, insisting that she had plenty of time to do it herself. Abby had been adamant, though, and as she stepped back to admire her handiwork, she was glad she'd done it. Aside from the fact that Sheila Kowalski was already running herself ragged just to keep up with the business at her year-old bakery, making the cake has served Abby's motives too. Now, at least her family would have one good memory of her to hold on to in the months to come.

They weren't going to be easy months. Abby had no delusions about what was to come. If joining Internal Affairs had been hard for her family to deal with, what was about to come out would be damn near impossible for the Kowalski clan. In fact, she fully expected that in a few days, there wouldn't be a single member of her family who would still so much as look at her, let alone speak to her.

"Aunt Abby?"

Abby jumped slightly at the unexpected voice, looking down to find her seven year old niece staring back up at her.

"What are you doing in here, little monkey?"

"Aunt Abby, why are you crying?"

Abby's hands flew to her cheeks, finding that they were indeed wet with tears she hadn't realized she'd shed. Quickly wiping them away, she smiled at her niece.

"Oh, I've just got something in my eye, sweetie. Don't worry about it."

"Are you sure?"

Abby nodded and patted the girl's head. "Hey, Ellen, why don't you an important job for me? Run into the dining room and turn out the lights, okay? We've got to get this birthday cake out to Grandpa before all these candles set off the fire alarm."

Ellen giggled. "There aren't that many candles, Aunt Abby."

Abby arched an eyebrow skeptically. "Oh really? You want to test that theory? Get the fire department out here?"

Ellen shook her head vigorously, laughing as she ran into the other room to turn out the lights.

Abby sighed, resting her hands on the side of the cake stand and taking a deep breath. "C'mon, Abby, pull yourself together."

"Well it's about damn time!" Richie called out as Abby walked slowly and carefully into the dining room, her father's birthday cake in her hands.

"Watch your language!" Sheila scolded playfully. "Okay everyone, you know the drill, on the count of three…one…two…three…Happy birthday to you…"

As the singing continued around her, Abby set the cake down in front of her father and took a step back. Glancing out the front window, her plastered-on smile faltered at the sight of the man and woman in dark business suits making their way across the front lawn.

Not now. Not tonight, she thought as a chill ran up her spine. Not here. Not yet.

While her family gathered closer around the table, goading her father on as he pretended to struggle to blow out the candles, Abby slipped to the back of the room and leaned against the wall to steady herself. Her fingers found their way up to her neck, fingering the thin gold chain and the ring that had been resting unseen under her shirt for the last week. As the doorbell rang, interrupting the cheers at the table, she shut her eyes and started singing softly to herself, unsuccessfully attempting to briefly shut out what she knew was about to happen.

The last thing that ran through her head as she heard her mother pull open the front door was an unfulfilled wish that the floor would open up and swallow her right then and there.