Chapter 29

6 Months Later

Sharon Raydor was watching the television as Commander Taylor stepped in front of the camera; she leaned forward, completely transfixed by the case. A six year-old boy had been shot by the police department. She could hardly believe her ears, and she could sense the tension and unease in Taylor's voice as he delivered the update.

It was at that very moment that her phone began to ring. She blindly reached for the vibrating object and glanced down with blurry eyes to find a number she hadn't seen for ages flashing across the screen.

"Chief Pope," she stated with some disbelief as she answered the phone.

"Sharon Raydor, I'm not sure if you've seen the news…"

"I'm watching it right now. What the hell happened?" She glanced back at the television; the carrot she'd been slicing forgotten on the cutting board.

"As you know, I can't discuss anything with you….but if you wanted your old position back, now would be an excellent time to reconsider." He sounded as stressed as Taylor looked.

Sharon pulled the phone from her ear and stared at it with disbelief. "Are you shitting me?" She finally retorted.

Chief Pope laughed, "I wish I were."

"You're calling me now, after an officer shot a child? Boswell is perfectly capable of…"

"He's not you. We need you."

Sharon took a deep breath and placed her hand with cutting knife in it on her hip. She closed her eyes, realizing her heart was racing.

"Where were you standin' when you shot?" Brenda flipped a piece of paper that had a mapped out diagram of the crime scene towards the officer seated across the table.

Officer Jenkins pointed to where the cop car had been located. "I was standing right there, right by the door."

"And then Mr. Andrews was where?" Brenda leaned forward, very interested in Jenkins' recounting of what had happened.

"Right here," he pointed towards the spot where the gunman had been standing.

"He had his gun pointed right at you?" Gabriel's brow was creased as he inquired.

"He pulled a gun out of his pocket and took a shot at the cop car, here," Jenkins pointed to the diagramed cop car, exactly where a bullet had been found. "He was using the child as a shield and I thought I had a perfect angle on his head, but he moved right after I shot and the bullet went right in to the kid's shoulder."

Brenda nodded and grabbed up the paper, "okay, thank you, Officer."

She made a quick exit because she wanted to consult with Flynn and Provenza on the details, but as she exited the room she felt her stomach sink in a most surprised way.

Green eyes twinkled momentarily in her direction before returning to Chief Pope. The case suddenly forgotten, Brenda went stalking right up to the duo standing in the middle of her bullpen. "What are you doin' here?"

"Captain Raydor has returned to head FID in this investigation." Chief Pope simply stated.

Brenda stared incredulously from him to Sharon. "You…you're back?"

Sharon just gave her a slight smile, "I am. And I would like to question your Officer before I talk with the family."

Brenda felt her mouth opening to agree, but her brain had not quite caught up with her mouth. "I can't believe…of course, I just…you didn't tell me…and…"

Chief Pope stared between the two women, a confused look playing on his visage. "Chief Johnson, may she interview Officer Jenkins?"

Brenda just nodded, unable to keep the grin from forming. "Welcome back, Capt'n."

Sharon just awkwardly nodded and gave her a rather flustered smile before Chief Pope could whisk her away to the interview room.

Brenda stared after them with a silly smile – completely inappropriate for their current case and that moment – playing on her lips.

It was well past midnight by the time Sharon finished all the paperwork, with the help of a rather flustered Boswell, and returned to her home. She noticed that a certain blonde's car was parked out front of her house and she smiled at the prospect of returning home to her Deputy Chief.

Unlocking and opening the front door as quietly as she possibly could, Sharon made her way in to the house and sat her bag down, surprised to find her son sitting in the kitchen.

"What are you doing up, honey?" Sharon ran a hand through her now flattened hair and moved towards the boy.

He smiled widely at her. "I wanted to congratulate you on your first day back."

Sharon pulled him in to a hug. "Thank you, Luc." She pulled away and took off her jacket. "Where is Brenda?"

Lucas laughed, "you missed her. She fell asleep on the couch."

Sharon snorted and headed back in to the living room. She saw the blonde curled up in a ball around a pillow, completely out. She must have been exhausted after the nearly forty-eight hour investigation she'd just completed. Sharon was equally tired and wanted nothing more than to curl up with the blonde and fall asleep – but in her comfortable tempurpedic bed.

She sat down on the edge of the couch and let her hand run lightly over Brenda's cheek, fingers trailing through her hair. The blonde's eyes flashed quickly open and she startled out of her curled up position. Sharon grinned and leaned down to kiss her forehead. "Hey sleepy."

Brenda smiled, realizing who it was. She wrapped her arms around the brunette and pulled her in for a deeper kiss. Sharon smiled and lightly pulled away, "my son's in the kitchen."

"Don't matter," Brenda stubbornly kissed her again. "You surprised me."

Sharon sat up and smiled. "I know."

"I'm glad you're back."

"I am, too." Sharon grinned before turning towards the kitchen. "Lucas, honey, you should get to bed. You have school in the morning."

He sighed and hoped off his barstool, taking his leftover midnight snack plate to the sink.

"You should get to bed, too." Sharon turned back to Brenda and leaned down to kiss her again.

"Only if you come with me."

"I was planning on it."

Thank you all for reading! I hope you've enjoyed this story. I don't know why I waited so long to post this last little bit. You've all been great reviewers. :)

And for being good reviewers, here is a sneak peek at a potentially upcoming story. Let me know what you think about...are you interested?

Brenda Leigh stepped out of her Crown Vic, her heels clicking on the cement pavement of the parking garage. Just what she needed today. A major crime, the day she was supposed to go sit down with her lawyer to sign the final papers. She would have to put it off another day. She knew Fritz would be upset with her, but she simply couldn't do it. Not today.

And besides that, it still hurt. She wasn't entirely sure she was ready to let go of everything they'd built together, yet she knew…they both knew it was over.

Her ears perked up as she heard heels clacking behind her. Police training overtook her need to know who was following behind her, and she stealthily glanced behind her, surprised to find a rather disheveled looking Captain Raydor, struggling with her purse and bag.

Stopping in her tracks, Brenda turned to greet the other woman politely, but realized the brunette was fighting back tears. Perhaps she shouldn't have turned around.

"Chief Johnson," Sharon's voice was even; it held no emotion as she quickly caught up to the blonde.

"Afternoon, Capt'n." Brenda nodded, uncertain as to what she should say in this situation. It was obvious the Captain was under distress, but Brenda wasn't sure their slowly blossoming working relationship extended to asking her what was wrong or comforting her. In a strange way, Brenda almost did want to reach out to her on more than a professional level.

"Did you catch a case?" Sharon inquired, obviously trying to detract from her teary eyes.

"We did. LATV 9's anchorwoman went missin' this mornin' and she ended up beaten to death in her apartment." Brenda filled Sharon in as they stepped in to the elevator off of the parking garage. Brenda politely hit FID's floor for Sharon without her asking.

Sharon's eyes widened. "I wondered where she was on the news this morning. I always found her very attractive."

Brenda nodded, then glanced over at the brunette and frowned. "She is attractive, isn't she?" Brenda had never thought about it before, but she did suppose the once living blonde anchorwoman had been very attractive. Not so much in the sorry state Brenda had just seen her in. "Was, I suppose." Brenda glanced down at her hands.

Sharon seemed to open her mouth to ask Brenda something, but then stopped herself. This single motion piqued Brenda's curiosity. She wanted to know what the brunette would ask her. After some internal struggle – or so it seemed –Sharon finally opened her mouth again. "Are you doing all right, and all?" Her voice sounded small, uncharacteristic of the normally confident head of FID.

Brenda nodded. She glanced at her watch and then sighed, "I was supposed to be signin' the papers right now, but this case came up."

"I'm sorry." Sharon's voice was sympathetic.

Brenda looked over at the Captain, a bit surprised by her show of sympathy. Though she supposed it wasn't so surprising. They'd been growing closer over the past few months. Sharon had actually been the first person Brenda had confided in about her divorce. So perhaps this was normal, it was okay. "Thanks," she gave her a wide smile before the elevator dinged open on to FID's floor. She immediately wished she'd asked Sharon about her afternoon – the woman had been visibly upset – but the brunette was already bidding her a good afternoon and making an escape from the elevator. Brenda felt like a coward. She made a mental note to be more attentive next time.