Title: Collision Course
Author: hexicode aka illman
Fandom/pairing (if appropriate): Republic of Doyle, canon pairings
Summary: Stranded in the middle of nowhere with killers on their track, Jake and Leslie must put their differences aside to survive.
Warnings: Nothing you wouldn't see on the show.
Disclaimers: The characters and settings aren't mine. No profit is being made, this is for entertainment only.
A/N: Not sure how happy I am with this story, although I did have fun writing it. But since this fandom really needs more fic, I decided to post it anyway. It is finished, I'm just need to edit the remaining chapters now. Oh, and by the way, I'm not a native English speaker nor have I ever been to Canada, so despite my best efforts to get things right, I probably messed up here and there.
Leslie Bennett sighed when her mobile phone rang just as she had lifted the first fork full of her lunch. When she saw the name displayed, she sighed once again and a frown appeared on her face. Putting down the fork, she reluctantly picked up the phone and accepted the call.
"What do you want?" she asked curtly, without bothering the greet her caller. It had been over a week since she'd last heard from Jake Doyle which was quite unusual. He normally found ways to just show up wherever she was. Sometimes she thought he did that just because it annoyed her.
"Oh, I just thought it's been a while," Jake's cheerful voice came over the line. Now Leslie was sure that he needed her to do something for him.
"What do you want?" she repeated her earlier question with more force than necessary.
"I need you." There was a pause. "You, as in, the police. Although you yourself, preferably without..."
"What kind if trouble are you in now?" she asked.
"No, no. I'm not in any trouble. In fact, I have something that might interest you."
"What's that?" Leslie's voice softened. Jake had a knack of walking into trouble, but he was also good at his job. He had solved several cases that had puzzled the police not just in St. John's. That sketch he'd recovered somehow just the other week had been the subject of an international search. Of course, he had denied having anything to do with the sudden appearance of the sought sketch at the station, she was sure that he was involved, if only because he had been at the consulate party. How he'd gotten invited that that was another one of those mysteries.
Jake's voice pulled her back into the present when he said.
"I can lead you to the people cooking up that new designer drug - Mercury."
Leslie was speechless for a second. The existence of Mercury, a new designer drug that had caused several deaths in recent weeks among the town's partying crowd hadn't been made public yet. It was strictly need to know information.
"How do you even know..." Leslie began, but then changed her mind. She doubted very much that Jake would give her a straight answer to that question. Instead, she asked: "Is this information reliable?"
"Yes, I'm pretty sure it is," Jake confirmed.
As much as she doubted the quality of Jake's sources if only because of the people he usually associated with, she couldn't afford to let this one slip by. Half the police officers in the city were trying to track down where that drug had come from.
"What do you need?" she asked.
"Well, as I said, there is you, preferably without your blouse and there's..."
"Jake, stop it!"
"Okay, seriously I need you. I would have tried the local police, but I doubt very much that they would believe me."
"Why does that not surprise me," Leslie said, rolling her eyes. Then Jake's words fully registered. "Where are you?"
"Foxtrap." Jake proceeded to read out the address of a motel.
At least that wasn't too far out of her jurisdiction, Leslie thought.
"And bring a chopper."
"What for?" Leslie managed after a pause, but Jake had already hung up.
Jake pocketed her cell phone and turned back toward the motel room where he had been staying for the last couple of days.
He had hardly walked inside when his client, Chris Henderson, asked: "And, are they sending someone?"
"Yes, she'll probably be here in an hour." Unless she decided to let me stew for a bit, Jake added mentally.
"And you are sure you can trust her?" Chris asked, resuming his agitated pacing.
"Yes, I trust her." Jake confirmed. It was true, he reflected, he would trust Leslie's integrity any day. Still, he wasn't so sure about her tender mercies these days. She was still pretty pissed off at him over the whole getting fired thing, Getting her job back hadn't seemed to help, nor had his recent investigative successes. Well, it wouldn't mean that he'd stop trying. She was sure to forgive him eventually. Although whether that would happen during his lifetime, he wasn't so certain. For now anyways, he was back to babysitting his nervous client, who was sure that they were both dead men anyway, making the question of Leslie's forgiveness a moot point.
Despite her irritation at Jake over his recent behavior. Recent meaning, ever since she had met him, Leslie was too dedicated to her job to just blow Jake off. So she put her uneaten salad back into the fridge, signed again and made her way to the inspector's office. She wasn't going to organizing a helicopter just yet, not on the word of Jake Doyle, but she would have to leave word about where she was headed. The only question was how she was going to phrase her reason for going. The inspector cared only about clear-up stats, but still, it would probably be saver leaving Jake's name out of it if she could help it.
When there was a knock at the motel room door an hour later, Jake felt vastly relieved. Chris was starting to majorly get on his nerves. Alternating between gratitude and anxiety - gratitude because Jake had found hi girlfriend Sophia and anxiety because he was convinced that Sophia's family who opposed their relationship was going to come after them - Chris presence was very trying indeed. After spending most of the last week with him here in Foxtrap and the surrounding area, Jake was ready for a change and Leslie was always a welcome companion in his book.
"Hey Les-" he began as he opened the door. Instead of the face however, a fist greeted him, followed by a boot. Before Jake had a chance of recover from the double impact, a pair of arms attached to a guy way bigger than him grabbed a hold of him and he found himself smashed against the nearest wall.
A second guy, who was equally massive, made his way further into the tastelessly furnished room. Scanning the small space, he said: "She isn't here." Neither was his client, Jake observed. Lover-boy had probably retreated into the bathroom.
"Go check the bathroom," ordered the first thug, apparently marginally smarter than his companion. Then he turned his attention back to Jake. "Where is she?"
"Really, I have no idea who you are talking about," Jake protested and kneed the thug between the legs. Howling, the man let go of Jake's arms. As Jake had hoped, his accomplice turned around, just in time for Jake's fist to hit him on the nose. Unfortunately, the first thug had recovered enough at the point to grab Jake from behind, pressing his arm uncomfortably against Jake's throat.
"Want to rethink that answer?" Thug #2 growled and pulled a knife from his belt.
This could get ugly quick, Jake realized, just as outside, a car pulled up in the motel parking lot. Out of the corner of his eye, Jake could see Leslie getting out, looking pissed off.
The sound of the slamming car door was loud enough for the two intruders to notice. They had no way of knowing that Leslie was a cop, but even someone with an IQ below 80 had to realize that the motel room was facing the parking lot and that the door was currently wide open. Jake felt a tug at his neck and the goon not currently cutting into his air supply walked over to the door, probably intent on shutting it. Leslie, Jake observed, was still several steps away from it and clearly in no hurry. Not wanting to become the thugs' hostage any more than putting Leslie in danger, Jake decided that a distraction was in order.
"Tell me," he called out, somewhat hindered by the arm pressing against his throat. "How exactly are your parents related?" The man stopped in his tracks and turned around to face Jake. "I'd guess first cousins, but I don't think siblings are completely out of the running either," Jake taunted, making sure to keep his voice as loud as possible, not an easy feat when one couldn't breathe properly.
"What did you just say?" the man growled as he turned. Brandishing his knife, he slowly advanced on Jake.
"I said, if you kill me now, you'll never find out where Sophia is," Jake said.
"That's not what I heard," the thug holding him tightened his grip to the point where things were going to start getting unpleasant very soon.
Fortunately, it wasn't going to come to that, since at that moment, Leslie's voice rang out: "Hands in the air!" A second later, Leslie appeared in the doorway of the motel room, gun drawn and pointing at the trio.
Clearly possessing some common sense, the two intruders did as commanded. Jake was instantly released, drawing a deep breath.
"Leslie," he began, but was immediately cut off.
"Don't, Jake. I really don't want to know," she said, sounding more tired than angry.
Half an hour later, after they had given their statements and the local cops had finally arrested the two thugs, who as they learned, were well known to the police, Leslie turned her attention back to Jake and his silent client. Although she had been privy to the statement made by Jake regarding the incident at the motel, she didn't believe for a minute that Jake had had no idea what the two thugs had wanted. She didn't think that he local police had bought it either, but since neither Jake nor the thugs were willing to talk about it, they hadn't had much choice but to let the matter rest.
"What did they want?" she asked. When Jake hesitated, she added. "The truth, this time."
"All right," he agreed. "But not here, let's go outside."
Leslie raised an eyebrow at this request, but followed Jake and his client outside. Once they were clear of the building and on the side walk, Jake spoke. "They were looking for Sophia Andretti," he said. "She is Chris' fiancee," he explained, pointing to his client. "Her family doesn't approve of their relationship and when she suddenly disappeared, Chris hired us to find her, which by the way, we did. Turns out her family had shipped her off to stay with some relatives here in Foxtrap."
"Then where's your father?"
"He's taken Sophia back to town." At least one of them had been sensible then, Leslie decided. One of these days someone was bound to get hurt, really hurt. She just wished she could make Jake understand that before someone ended up dead. And if Jake had decided to mess with major drug dealers, that might be sooner rather than later.
"How do the drugs fit into all this or did you just call me out here to annoy me?"
"Leslie, I called you out here because I need your help to stop more people from dying," Jake said with unusual seriousness. "And because I though we could maybe get together tonight, you know after we've put away the bad guys," Jake added, grinning at her.
"Stop it, Jake. I'm here because you said you had important information, and that's it."
"Actually, it's me who has the information." For the first time, Chris spoke. "Jake has agreed to accept it as payment."
That was unexpected, but somehow Leslie wasn't surprised. Despite all his bone-headed antics, Jake knew how to do the right thing. Stop it, she ordered herself mentally. She couldn't afford to let Jake back in. Not if she wanted to keep her job and sanity intact. Just keep things between them strictly professional and maybe her life wouldn't fall apart all around her. Again.
Taking care of the formalities had consumed most of the afternoon, but by 4.30 p.m., Leslie, Jake, Chris and the pilot, a police sergeant by the name of Ryder, were airborne.
Leslie still had a vague feeling of unease which she chalked up to Jake's involvement in this case. Usually, Jake spelled trouble. But Chris Henderson's story sounded solid and had convinced not only her and but also the brass at the local station. Chris was probably only giving up the information because he thought it would keep his fiancee safe. As it turned out it was her two older brothers, suspected by the police to be crooks for a long time, who were behind the manufacture and distribution of Mercury. They fit the profile all right, both had drug related priors and one of them had a degree in chemistry.
"We should be coming up on the Andretti's land now," Ryder informed them.
"Which way did you say it was?" Leslie looked at Chris, who jerked his head to the left.
"Further along that stream," he told them. Leslie looked downwards through the window. The stream was barely visible among the dense tree cover. Only occasionally, the thin blue band peeked out from among the mass of green. Finding a building down there would be difficult, if not impossible. They could only hope that Chris had a good memory or they would never find the Andretti's cabin before nightfall.
The chopper followed the stream for another few minutes, before veering off to the east. Leslie had been looking out of the window the entire time and to her eyes, the spot where they left the river looked just like any other spot they had passed over during the past five minutes. She couldn't help but wonder whether Chris was making it all up. How could anyone possible recognize a spot from up here where they had been one time.
"We are coming up on the edge of the Andretti land now," Ryder announced. "Are you sure that the cabin is on their land?"
"Yes, I'm sure. We must have missed it," Chris said.
"All right we'll circle back for another pass," Ryder said.
The helicopter swung around and they were soon headed back toward the river.
Leslie, who had been scanning the ground attentively, was suddenly alerted by Jake's cry.
"Did you see-". He got no further before the chopper rocked hard, jolting violently her in her seat. The helicopter spun wildly, throwing its occupants from side to side with enough violence to leave bruises. Someone was wailing, probably Chris. As she was thrown about, Leslie caught sight of the pilot beside her, who was slumped over in his seat, unconscious by the looks of it. She had barely time to come to the conclusion that they really were screwed, when she smelt smoke.
"Something's-". She hardly got out the words when the spinning chopper sent her careening into the side window. The explosion of pain in her head was followed by blackness an instant later.