Author's Note: I'm not sure what this is. The idea sprung up from "Memories We Fear," after an exciting promo that promised suspense and drama… and then nothing really happened.
Summary: It's just another run-of-the-mill days at the Chicago Police Department. Or, at least it was. "Delta 7, you are requested for a 10-46 with a possible drunk driver at the intersection of 7th and Timberland."
Warnings: No spoilers. Takes place sometime after episode three, "A Good Cop."
A precarious dollop of jelly lingers on the edge of his finger. It wiggles ever so slightly until it takes the plunge and coats the front his uniform, resting on one of the buttons before sliding further south. Not minding in the least, he continues his munching, flipping through the morning paper as the donut in his hand disappears slowly.
It ain't a stereotype if it's true.
Early mornings at the Chicago Police Department aren't as exciting as the evenings, so he takes pleasure in this fact, and reaches for another one.
"Well, you sure aren't looking after your girlish figure there, are ya, Richie?" Ignoring the teasing, he bites into the donut savagely, tearing a hole in the pastry, and now jelly is coating his fingers and palm. He spares a grimace to his partner and snatches a napkin up, removing the sticky mess from his skin. The sugar from the breakfast stings his back tooth, which is yet another reminder to go to the dentist like his wife has been badgering him about.
"I'm going to assume you didn't get any last night, and that's why you're here so early." Brody shakes his head and makes his way around the joined desks to plop down in a chair.
"Once again, you need to butt out of my private life."
"So, no sex then. Not even a goodnight kiss?" His partner continues to loudly sip his coffee. "Damn, I am good."
"You'd be better if you would hook me up with a chick who at least knows the difference between a touchdown and a layup. I asked her who she was rooting for in the finals, and she said Scotty Mc-something."
"Just because she has different interests than you doesn't mean anything," Richie reminds his partner with a tone that lingered on disapproving, but is mostly sarcastic.
"Rich, the woman spent an entire thirty minutes showing me pictures of her chihuahua."
"Yeah, that's pretty bad." The two watch as other officers file in through the door, each carrying with them some form of sustenance to battle the early hour.
"Okay, so what do you want me to do next time? Run your dates through a background check?"
"Preferably, yes. The one I went out with last Friday wanted to know if she could change her status from single to in a relationship at the end of the night." Richie winces and is about to apologize when their captain strides over to their desks and slaps a manila folder on top of an NFL coverage article.
"What's this?" Richie flips the file open and scans the contents, glancing momentarily at the names and charges before facing the captain once more.
"A reason to get paid for something aside from sitting on your asses all morning long."
"I would like to point out, Captain," Brody starts as he pulls on his jacket, "that you're the one who wanted us in here so early." Their boss says nothing in response and disappears back into his office, shutting the door as he goes. Richie glances over to his partner as they file out of the station and onto the street. A thick cluster of clouds blocks out the rising sun, the sky a dark shade of blue akin to the coloring of a bruise, and the air is heavy with the smell of rain. He's about to give Brody a piece of advice - to never, ever annoy Captain before 8:30 – but the sound of the radio going off stills all thoughts of conversation.
"Delta 7, you are requested for a 10-46 with a possible drunk driver at the intersection of 7th and Timberland." Whoever the captain wants them to interview will have to wait.
"10-4. Officers en route." The partners climb into the cruiser and set off for the location, easily maneuvering around traffic with the wailing siren.
"What kind of idiot tries to drive home hammered during morning rush hour?"
"Maybe he was late for work."
"Yeah, because showing up drunk would definitely be better than faking a sick day." Brody shakes his head in disgust and coasts around a corner, nearly sideswiping a taxicab that's barreling down the street. The driver lays on the horn and throws up his hands in agitation; Brody flicks his hand up in a friendly neighborhood wave and flies past the taxi.
"What happened here?" Brody eyes the scene like a little boy would an action movie sequence.
The back passenger side of the black sedan is nearly gone, shreds of metal curling up into the cab. The other truck's front is completely destroyed, crunched up like an accordion into the car's side.
Sprinklings of thick glass coat the sidewalk and asphalt, cracking underneath their boots as they exit the cruiser. Nearby, an EMT turns away from a woman on a gurney.
"This lady here says the sedan pulled out in front of her, but a couple of eyewitnesses aren't corroborating with it."
"So what really happened?" The woman, who had been quiet so far, scoots closer to Richie and breathes hard alcohol into his face.
"I'm innocent. He's the one that gunned it like a bat outta hell." Richie backed away, placing a hand on the woman's shoulder to ease her back into the ambulance.
"Where's the other driver?" The EMT nods to another bus across the wreckage, its lights nearly stinging Richie's eyes in the early morning darkness. The two officers thank the man and head across the war zone.
"Of course, as fate would have it, it looks like the drunk driver's car wasn't as damaged as the other."
"Maybe they were both drunk?" Brody eyes the scene once more, taking the possibility in.
"Yeah, I guess so. That would make my morning a hell of a lot better, taking two DUIs off the road." Before the two round the side of the ambulance, another EMT steps out and blocks their way.
"Hey there, Rich, listen-"
"What? Is the vic already dead?" Patrick winces and shuffles cautiously.
"Yeah, what the hell's got you so worked up, Pat?" Brody chimes in, brushing shoulders with his partner as he crosses his arms.
"I don't know how to tell you this, but the driver-" Another EMT rounds the vehicle, shutting the doors, and a voice rings out in the hesitation.
"Is that my brother?" It takes a few seconds for the words to roll around in Richie's head, before they take off like a pinball and start knocking against the sides of his skull. The Bears Championship license plate, the early morning hour, and the familiar breathy, sing-songy tone he'd heard since he was four.
"Abby!" Richie shouts and rushes to the double doors, yanking them open to reveal his little sister on the stretcher. There are a few bandages already wrapped around her: a piece of gauze around the forehead, a patch on the collarbone, and a crude sling that traps her arm to her chest. The fingers there wiggle, spots of blood coating the tips.
"Richie, I'm fine," she is quiet for a moment, studying his face while he inspects her injuries, finally meeting his gaze evenly, "Mostly." He opens his mouth to thank the Lord she's not critical or to reprimand her being so careless, but before he can, Patrick pulls him back.
"We've got to get her to the hospital. None of her injuries are serious, but that arm needs to be checked out, and she needs to have a CT to make sure everything's all right inside of her head."
"It's Abby," Brody speaks up from behind the EMT, grinning widely, "Nothing is ever right in her head." Abby sticks out her tongue and the action gives Richie some form of relief – at least she's joking around.
"You can ride with her, if you want," Patrick slaps the bench inside of the ambulance, "But we really need to get going."
"You need stay here. Make sure you get witness statements and all that cop stuff. Whatever that lady says is total bullshit. I had a green arrow, and I would have stopped if I'd even seen her coming. The crazy drunk didn't even have her lights on." Before she can continue to rant, Richie pulls himself in and leans down to press a quick kiss on her forehead.
"All right, I'll stay, but only because you're not critical. But as payment for not letting me ride along, you're the one that has to call mom." She gasps and opens her mouth to say something – probably to beg him to lay that burden on someone else – but he's out and shutting the doors before she can.
The bus pulls off, its flashing lights disappearing once it turns the corner. The only light left is from the other ambulance and the blinking yellow stoplights; Brody squints to read his partner's expression.
"What?" Even though the idea is written all over his face, Richie looks surprised at the command.
"You can't work this case anyway, since Abby's involved. Hell, I don't even think I can, since I'm your partner. I'll call in another cruiser and make sure they take care of it. Get your ass to the hospital." Brody hands him the keys and clasps his partner's shoulder tightly. Nodding, Richie thanks him and pulls away, jogging over to the cruiser.
Swerving out of the line of cars, he flips the siren on and barrels down the road, pausing momentarily at a traffic jam to pull out his cell phone and dial.
"Hey, it's Richie. I'm about to tell you something, but you have to promise not to freak out, all right? Everything's okay but – come on, mom, you have to promise…."
The radio lingo is courtesy of my friend, who did a ride along with KPD (my local police department) and learned the radio terms. However, the terms do vary from city to city.
10-46 literally means "traffic accident: ambulance dispatched." A drunk driver is also coined as a "10-49," but that was too much lingo in one sentence, so I dimmed it down a bit.
Delta (or Alpha, Beta, Blue, Red, etc) is the handle given to certain squads that serve specific areas throughout the city and/or county.
Hope that clears up all of the technical jargon.