This takes place two months after the series finale One.
One + One = One
Charlie Crews looked into the mirror. He saw a man with haunted green eyes and copper red hair that had grown a little too long and now on top of that he had a goatee to match his hair. His skin wasn't so much tanned as red, though it wasn't painful. It just looked painful. Tanning was something his Celtic genes didn't allow.
San Jose del Cabo was located in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Once he had been suspended for insubordination, recklessness, and endangerment; he got in his car and drove and drove for days ending up there basically because he ran out of land. He rented a stone beach cottage right on East Cape for six month outright and then he attempted to lose himself for a while. Better off to be in Mexico than in a prison cell.
Though there was enough to bring him up on charges that could lead to jail time, he had actually saved the life of fellow LA Police Detective Dani Reese, had the Police Benevolent Association behind him, as well as ADA Constance Griffiths, who had once been the lawyer that proved Charlie was innocent of murder after he served twelve years in Pelican Bay, argued against bringing him up on charges. Her reasoning was simple: he'd already won a fifty million dollar settlement, so why give him the chance at more money. Of course, once they found the burned body of Roman Nevikov, they settled on an indefinite suspension. If he wanted back on the department this time, he'd have to apply for reinstatement, stand in front of a board and argue for his badge back. There was no proof that Charlie Crews killed Nevikov, but the consensus believed he had.
He left before he found out that the suspension was merely indefinite. Charlie was still working under the impression that charges might be brought up against him. When he thought charges and possible jail time was still on the menu, he ran. There was no way he was going back into a cell.
He didn't say goodbye to anyone, except sending an e-mail to Ted Earley, who not only handled his finances but had become his de facto best friend. Ted was off to Spain chasing Charlie's father's runaway bride Olivia Canton. He let Ted know if he convinced Olivia to return to the US then they should take one of the many empty bedrooms in his mansion.
He left behind his partner Dani Reese. Charlie had grown close to Reese, real close. When she was kidnapped he discovered something almost miraculous to him and that was he had fallen in love with her. He didn't know how Reese felt about him, though he suspected the feelings were not reciprocated. She was involved with their Captain in Homicide. It seemed that Captain Tidwell and Reese were well matched and she was finding equilibrium and he couldn't interfere with that. Hell, he would love to find equilibrium in his own life.
"Another beer and tequila chaser," he said with a goofy smile on his face to the female bartender in the Cantina he frequented.
"Here," she placed a sweaty bottle of Dos Equis in front of him then she poured more tequila into his glass. "You seem lonely."
"Really," he smiled again. "One of the most influential figures in Japanese Buddhism Hakuin Ekaku once said: Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?"
The war between his two natures, Charlie the con and Charlie the once straight cop, was held in check by his obsession with Zen, which he developed in solitary at Pelican Bay. Zen focused him on the present and allowed the darkness that lay just below the surface to only visit occasionally. It kept the con in check.
"You are strange," she said then offered him an inviting smile.
He had to admit that she was attractive, rich brown skin, black hair, deep brown eyes, but his mind was preoccupied with two people: Dani Reese, the partner he fell in love with and Mickey Rayborn, the man behind most of the evil shit that had happened to him. He wondered if Dani missed him and if she did would she forgive him for not saying goodbye. As for Rayborn the darkness was revenge not only for the death of his friends but for the end of his marriage and the regret and sadness he felt over his mother dying without seeing him free and proven innocent. Innocent? Maybe that was the wrong word to use in regard to him now. He was no longer innocent and never could be again. There was too much darkness he'd done in prison to survive.
"Yes," he smiled.
He shot down the tequila and then took a long swig of his beer.
"Why don't you come home, Charlie?" the familiar voice of Rachel Seybolt asked him.
He turned to see her standing behind him. She looked tanned and healthy. It was her family he was accused of killing. She was the only survivor and ended up being raised by the man who killed her father, mother, and brother. When he finally put Kyle Hollis in prison, he tracked Rachel down and had her live with him until Roman threatened her then he sent her off with a good deal of money and access to more.
"How did you find me, Rachel?" he asked.
"Ted," she said then sat down and took his beer away from him and took a swig. "He is paying your credit card bills."
"Oh, that's right," he smiled.
Maybe he had a few too many beers and tequilas. He started around noon and a look out the window told him it was dusk.
"Are you back at home?" he asked.
"Yup. Once I heard about Roman Nevikov I thought it was safe to return, but you were gone and Ted was living in the house with Olivia," she told him.
"So, she returned with him. Good," he said.
"You look shabby, Charlie," she said.
"Jizo was approached by a student who said: My teacher instructs me to shut my eyes to evil and see no evil thing; to cover my ears and hear no evil sound; to stop my mind activities and form no wrong ideas. Jizo said: But I do not see a thing. I do not ask you to cover your ears, but do not hear a sound. I do not ask you to cease your mind activities, but you do not form any idea at all," he said. "I like Jizo."
"Okay," she sighed not really following him or wanting to follow him. "Are you coming home?"
"Did you know there is a fruit in Mexico called the star apple, or caimito? It has thick sticky pulp that they puree and add to the cream when making ice cream. It's delicious," he said.
"What's keeping you down here, Charlie?" she asked.
"I don't want to go back to prison," he said.
"Ted told me to tell you that the LAPD have indefinitely suspended you and that they are not pursuing charges," she said with a smile.
He took the beer back from her and finished it off: "I guess I'm going back to Los Angeles."
"About time, Charlie," Rachel said.
Dani Reese was more shocked than anyone when she discovered that she had fallen in love with Charlie Crews. She was so shocked it didn't register for days, as she was forced to sit in a hospital bed being treated for dehydration, exhaustion and maltreatment. When she got out of the hospital the first person she went to see was Charlie. She opened his unlocked door and saw that his mansion was empty. Next she went into the office to check on where Crews was and that was when she heard the news that he was currently suspended and there were talks of charges being pursued against him. Immediately, she knew where Charlie was, he was on the run. She saw the expression on Charlie's face when he visited a prison. He was never going back into one as an inmate.
"Why didn't you protect him?" she asked as she Kevin Tidwell as she stormed into his office. "You are his captain. You should have protected him." She wanted to say you should have protected him like he protected me.
"Listen, babe, I was a little concerned with your health so I let Crews handle himself for a few days. I didn't realize how many people wanted him railroaded and stuck in a hole," Tidwell defended himself.
She glared at Tidwell and his disheveled self. No matter how hard she tried he always looked like he was on the final leg of an eighteen hour shift. In her mind she compared that with Charlie who was always well groomed, neat, and smelled of expensive cologne.
"Don't call me, babe," the petite, fierce, yet sensuous and beautiful Dani Reese growled.
She was half Irish and half Persian with chocolate brown eyes, black hair, a pinched nose, and full lips which biting insults easily escaped from. Dani was tough, strong willed, volatile, but she had two weaknesses: she was a drunk and drinking led her to sleep with nameless and faceless men.
"Do you know where he went to?" she asked.
"No. He just disappeared. Believe me I reached out to him but he was gone, honey," he said.
"Stop calling me honey. Crews is my partner. I don't want any other but him," she said.
"Well, you might not have choice, Dani, because even if he does come back, it's going to take a lot to get him reinstated," Tidwell said. "And if he does comeback I doubt you'll be partnered with him."
"You're an idiot," she seethed then stormed out of his office.
Tidwell sighed then sat down behind his desk. He knew that Dani was close to her partner but now he was wonder just how close they were.
Wearing a grey pullover cotton Baja beach hoodie and jeans, Charlie opened the door and walked into his still sparsely furnished home. Rachel walked past him and up the stairs to her room. After driving in a car with him for four days she needed some time alone.
Ted and Olivia came out of the kitchen. Charlie could see the big grin on his former prison mate's face. Ted walked over to him and talked soft enough not to be overheard.
"Good having you home, Charlie. You look like a beachcomber," Ted said then whispered: "I hope you don't mind Olivia staying here with us."
"I told you it was okay, Ted," he replied.
With a sincere smile on her face Olivia came over to Ted and Charlie. Now that she wasn't marrying his father Charlie could see himself liking her more.
"Thanks, Charlie, for letting me stay here," Olivia said.
He gave her a lopsided grin: "No problem. Ted, can I speak to you for a moment."
He and Ted moved off to a large room with only a black leather armchair in it. Charlie looked at the room. After nine weeks living in a small stone cottage, which had more furniture than his mansion, it now struck him as odd to have such a big room with only one piece of furniture in it.
"We should get a couch for this room," he said.
Ted looked at him as if he was just a little crazy, but didn't voice it: "Okay, Charlie."
"I need a lawyer, Ted, a good lawyer," he said.
"Why, Charlie?" Ted asked.
"I want to get reinstated as a detective," Charlie grinned.