Unkindest Cut of All

Chapter One

It was winter in New York City and despite the bitterness of the weather, criminals seemed to be pouring out of the woodwork, making the lives of the cops and detectives working with the NYPD difficult. However, many of them thrived under the pressure and Detectives Walsh and Shraeger were two of these. They have only been partners for a few months now, but they have already developed a strong sense of loyalty to each other and they were the best of the best.

A few weeks into the winter, Casey had broken up with her boyfriend, Davis, after he could no longer take her attitude toward the rich life. She hated how they lived, how they thought about those that were under them, and she especially hated how they couldn't understand how she wanted to be just a normal girl, working as a cop. Her partner admired that about her and was the only detective in their precinct, who didn't tease her or try to get something from her.

As for Jason, when he wasn't busy running after criminals through the streets, he would spend his time alone at his diner, or with his girlfriend, Detective Beaumont. Although, lately, he hasn't seen much of her, as she had other things going on in her life, making it difficult for her to have a love life. Truth be told, Walsh appreciated his time alone, as it gave him the downtime he needed to think about the things that were troubling him, much of it having to do with the decision he had made in regards to Beaumont's partner, Cole. He never spoke to Casey about why he made the decision he had, nor did he ever tell her that his instinct was telling him that he had made the wrong choice. It was a secret for him to keep to himself and he could not afford to tell anyone else, especially Beaumont.

What Walsh didn't realize, was that in the last few weeks, Casey noticed that something was deeply troubling him and it wasn't until one morning when she woke up shortly after five and walked into his diner as she saw that he was already awake, that she finally decided to confront him about it.

"You're up early this morning?" he said from behind the counter as she walked through the door. "I was just getting ready to eat. Can I get you something?"

"I could use French toast and some orange juice, that is, unless your French toast is as bad as your pancakes," Casey answered.

Jason smiled and responded, "Very funny. Actually, they're probably about the same, but you're getting it anyway, so sit down and shut up about it. What brings you here so early anyway? Is everything all right?"

She took a sip of the juice he had sat down in front of her and then replied, "With me? Of course! I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?"

"Perhaps it's because you look like you have something on your mind and you'd like to get it off your chest," Walsh answered. "Then there's the fact that it's barely after five o'clock in the morning, when most people are passed out by now."

"Well, you're awake right now too and from how terrible you look, I'd say that you haven't been asleep all night, or for the last few nights." Casey said. "Spill it. What's going on with you?"

Jason turned his back on her as he continued cooking her breakfast and responded, "Nothing's wrong. I'm fine."

Casey smacked him across the back of his head and he quickly turned back around to stare at her in surprise as she roughly replied, "Try again. Is everything okay between you and Beaumont; not that it's any of my business."

"I told you…" he began to say until he cut himself off as he saw that she was getting ready to slap him again. "What do you want me to say? That I am having trouble sleeping?"

"I want you to tell me what's wrong," Casey answered. "Maybe I can help."

Walsh nodded as he softly said, "I appreciate that you care, but I can't talk about it; not to you, not to Beaumont, and not to anyone else. It's complicated."

It was then that Casey realized what he was hiding and she responded, "This is about Detective Cole, isn't it? You're worried about your decision not to tell our Sergeant and about letting him get away with what he's done."

"As I told you, I can't talk about it, so drop it," Jason replied angrily until he realized that he shouldn't be yelling at her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk to you like that, it's just that, I can't pull you in; I won't."

"You know that you made this decision because you want to protect Allison from learning of her partner's bad past and because you believe that Cole is a good man, who had been caught in a tough place," Casey spoke in a comforting manner. "You want to do the right thing here and unfortunately, the answer isn't so black and white."

Jason looked at her again and asked, "If you were in my position, what would you do?"

She gently put her hand down over his as it lay on the counter and answered, "Unfortunately, I can't answer that because it's not my place, but I can tell you that I support you in your decision and will continue to support you if you change your mind."

"Thanks," he said as he moved to finish making her breakfast and then sat it down in front of her. "So, what is it that's causing you to come to my place so early in the morning for?"

"Oh, Davis called me last night to tell me that he was a fool and that he wants to get back together with me," she responded.

Jason took a bite of bacon he had made as he asked, "And what did you tell him?"

Casey replied, "I told him I'd think about it. I don't like that he broke up with me because he doesn't understand how I feel, but at the same time, I've known him for years and we dated for a long time. Besides, it's not like I'm going to get another boyfriend anytime soon, being a cop, who's filthy rich. People just don't understand me. I'm a very complicated person."

"I understand you just fine," Jason said softly with his back to her once again.

Casey was surprised by his admission and smiled at his kindness, but she didn't say anything in return as she continued to eat. Once they finished, they walked out of his diner and headed off to the police station for work in his car, as they talked about random things such as the latest books they read, or about something they had seen on television. It was back to business, as usual.