Fictional piece by Joanne Siderius
Cagney and Lacey fanfiction based on characters created by Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday.
Let me know what you think: Joanne Siderius
1998 - in Christine Cagney's loft. Christine finishes making the popcorn and turns off the lights. Only the flickering lights of the television light the loft. Chris walks over and curls up on the couch.
CAGNEY (as she offers the popcorn to Alice Christine)
ALICE (now 12, reaches for the popcorn, eyes fixed on the TV)
There is silence as both watch the TV. Christine is transfixed. The popcorn in transit to her mouth stays in mid-air for some time.
(without taking her eyes from the screen)
Your mother know you watch this?
(slowly nodding her head and reaching for more popcorn)
CAGNEY (waiting until the war-cries, back flips and sword fights subside a little)
She lets you watch this at home?
(still watching the screen but shaking her head) unh unh.
The TV screen continues to flicker and many, many ancient Roman bad guys bite the dust before the popcorn disappears.
The next day is Sunday - it's afternoon
The warmth of the sun is welcome after the long winter. There is no snow and grass is turning green at the feet of the trees on the street. Dusky little brown birds are chirping away as if they were responsible for the weather. The streets are clogged with shoppers - it's the trendy part of town. Christine and Alice are out shopping (strolling really) until it's time to pick Mary Beth and Harvey up. Both are looking in the window of a shop, debating the virtues of Alice getting another pair of jeans.
Anyway, we should be leaving - We don't want to leave them hanging around the airport.
Chris looks at her watch and realizes the second hand isn't moving.
(She starts to unstrap her watch and impatiently hands her purse to Alice) Here, hold this while I figure out what is wrong with this thing.
But - I really don't have anything to wear -
Chris' purse is ripped from Alice's hands.
Hey! Stop! Police!
Cagney has her gun from her holster and is off after the thief but Alice is already hot in pursuit.
Alice! Wait! Get back here!
The thief is on roller blades. She has the advantage but loses some ground when she looks over her shoulder to see Alice on her tail about 20 feet behind. Chris loses sight of both of them as they turn the corner into an alley. Damn! This wasn't going well at all. Chris rounds the same corner to find Alice standing at the mouth of a cul-de-sac, the thief nowhere in sight. Chris grabs her namesake by the collar and pulls her none too gently back into the cover of a large dumpster at the mouth of the alley.
(finger in Alice's face, watching the alley, gun still in her hand, pointing skyward) You listen to me! Never, never, do that again! Do you hear me?? (Alice looks at her sullenly) What were you going to do when you caught her? Eh? (Alice looks at the ground). What if she has a knife? Now just wait here until I see if she is still here? Do you understand?
(Alice nods. She is quite subdued).
Christine moves to the corner of the dumpster and peeks around the corner. She checks over her shoulder to make sure Alice is still under cover and then calls out.
You in there! I'm a cop! Come on out with your hands up. - Things will go much better for you if you turn yourself in now.
There is silence and no response.
Do you hear me? If I have to come in after you, I'll charge you with resisting arrest on top of theft!
Silence. Large cardboard boxes, piles of garbage bags and loose trash lie in the shadows. There is still some snow here. Very little sun warms this alley. Cagney waits. Chances were the kid was just hiding - too new at this to realize she'd gone into a cul-de-sac - and now regretting wearing the roller blades. Chances were she was unarmed - purse-snatchers weren't usually your dangerous criminals. Still, Cagney had a feeling about this one. Maybe it was just having Alice along, maybe it was just hard to let go of old habits, but Cagney wasn't going to take any chances.
Chris looks once more at Alice, raising her finger at the girl- warning her to stay put. Not until Alice meets her eyes and nods does Chris move forward. She steps out from behind the dumpster, gun in both hands - searching. She moves cautiously to a spot behind the first pile of trash. Waiting. Steps out quickly, gun poised at anyone hiding behind the pile. No one. She quickly takes cover behind a huge pile of garbage bags. Melting snow drips steadily into the pool at the foot of the pile. She stands with her back to the pile - listening. Again she steps out.
The gunshot is deafening - it echoes several times throughout the alley. The bullet takes a chip out of the wall 20 ft. away. Chris has fallen to one knee - finger on the trigger. Her every instinct screams to pull the trigger before the shooter fires again. The girl in front of her is shaking so badly that the gun pointed at Chris might have been a conductor's baton.
Her voice is low - her eyes are locked into the eyes of that girl. There is no mistaking the sincerity of her words:
Put that gun down now or I will blow you away.
The girl doesn't move. Cagney raises the gun ever so slightly - ready to fire.
ALICE (from the mouth of the alley - She's heard the shot and doesn't know if Chris is OK. She is on the point of running for help.)
Cagney registers the loss of concentration on the purse-snatcher's face in the instant before she knocks the gun from the girl's hand. Chris grabs her arm and flings the child on her face in the ice water. She has the cuffs on the girl before she answers:
It's OK Alice. Just stay there for a bit longer. I'll be right there.
Chris is very shaken. She hadn't really expected the thief to be armed. She should have shot the child on sight - especially after the first shot. There had been no reason to believe the girl wouldn't shoot again. Cagney had not seen a killer in that girl's eyes - but she could have been wrong.
Cagney read the girl her rights, retrieved the gun and her purse and walked back with her prisoner to meet Alice.
5PM that afternoon - Number One Police Plaza - Major Crimes Unit
Chris has taken the kid down to the major crimes unit. She is bothered by the gun she's taken from her - It's Russian made - the type brought in from the Balkans and very illegal. What was a child doing with that gun? Chris has a hunch about that particular gun.
Alice is sitting at Lacey's desk. She has been watching the booking process intently, asking interminable questions of everyone involved. Chris is reminded of her own childhood days at the 14th, following Charlie around - when he'd let her.
No. I probably won't book her on attempted murder.
Why not? We got her red-handed.
CAGNEY (noting the "we" but letting it pass)
Well, I'm more worried about where she got that gun Alice. (Pauses, noting Alice's disapproval) She won't get away with shooting at me Alice, but she was very frightened and didn't really realize what a gun would do. Getting the people who make it possible for children to get guns is also very important, you know. She will probably spend some time in detention.
She tried to kill you!
Chris takes a long look at her young friend. At 12, so much is black and white - right and wrong. Chris sighed. She changes the subject.
Do you know why I yelled at you this afternoon?
Alice looks at Chris and nods solemnly.
ALICE (shrugs her shoulders, then answers)
She had a gun.
We didn't know whether she had a gun or not. If you're going to chase someone like that again - yell for help - (smiles) or at least let the cop with the gun catch up - OK?
Alice nods and looks down.
You did well to stay where I put you. I knew I could have counted on you to go and get a cop if I had yelled for you.
Alice looks up at Cagney and smiles. Chris doesn't say things just to make her feel better. Chris trusted her good sense.
The phone rings. Chris is tempted to leave it - it's the weekend and her time off.
Maybe it's Mom
Chris almost drops off her chair - Oh my God - she'd forgotten Mary Beth and Harvey. She was supposed to pick them up 4 hours ago.
Did you remember we were supposed to pick them up?
Only about an hour ago.
Chris puts her head on the desk. Only about an hour ago. The phone keeps ringing. Chris picks it up and says tentatively:
Where have you been? I've phoned all over! What are you doing there? Where's Alice?
So many questions. So many answers.
ALICE (she has picked up the extension)
Hi Mom! Guess what? Aunt Chris and I caught a purse-snatcher and got shot at. We might get to catch some gun-runners too!
Chris puts her head back down on the desk.
Mary Beth and Harvey were waiting for Chris and Alice when they drove up. Chris had tried to tell Alice - tactfully - that maybe it was better for Chris to explain what had happened. But Alice was wired on her adventure. She had always idolized her Aunt Chris and she enjoyed embellishing every detail of the story.
Chris now stood in the living room watching. She had initially entered the room smiling sheepishly saying:
You know, Alice, It didn't happen exactly like that.
Mary Beth and Harvey had listened while Chris had calmly explained what had happened - but it was their daughter who held their attention.
Chris was now watching the faces of Alice's parents as each realized their daughter was talking about being a cop. There was anger - and fear in Harvey's face. Mary Beth's face was harder to read. There was sadness -and resignation as she listened to her daughter. Things had snowballed now and Harvey and Mary Beth had disappeared into the bedroom to talk to their daughter. Harvey to expound to his equally stubborn daughter about the dangers of what had happened - and about thinking more seriously about her future. Mary Beth followed the two into the bedroom as mediator. Chris let herself out quietly.
Monday morning - Major Cases Unit.
Chris is in early, drinking coffee at her desk. She is going over the transcripts of the young purse-snatcher's testimony. Mary Beth sails into the room. She dumps her purse on her desk, puts her coat on the rack, chalks in and gets a coffee. She sits down without a word. She looks up at Chris.
Hi Chris. (Mary Beth looks at her partner for a moment). Thanks for looking out for Alice yesterday - both of you could have gotten hurt.
You know how it happens - Mary Beth - it all came down so fast. She wanted to nab the kid - didn't think about the consequences. (looking up at Mary Beth). I did talk to her about being more cautious - and why.
I know. She told me. (pauses) You know she thinks the sun rises and sets on you don't you Chris?
I've never wanted my kids to be cops. I don't want them to know about the things we see - and do, sometimes. She sees you and she sees a hero, Chris. One of the first women on the NYPD to wear a gold shield - fighting the bad guys - making the world safe.
Com'on Mary Beth! She idolizes you too!
LACEY (smiles a little)
It's not the same, Chris, I'm her mother. All I'm saying is that she is in love with the idea of being a cop right now. You're her hero. I worry about that. She doesn't see the other side of being a cop. I don't want her to know.
Cagney does know what she means. The other side of being a cop. Not just what you see on some days - but what you are prepared to do. No matter what the cost.
You know Mary Beth - I've always wanted to be a cop. I never doubted what that meant - and I hung around cops a lot when I was a kid. (softly). I am willing to do some hard things to get the job done. That's who I am.
Lacey looks at Chris and eventually answers.
I'm willing to make those tough choices for the job too, Chris. To do a good job. Then, there's always the part of me that knows I can quit if it gets too bad. My family always comes first. But I never do quit do I?
Captain Patricia Hong leaves her office and walks up to Cagney and Lacey. She is carrying a manila folder. She turns the chair by their desk so that it faces both of them, throws her leg over the seat and sits down. She tosses the file folder on Cagney's desk and rests her arms on the back of the chair before speaking.
HONG (to Lacey)
Well, Sergeant, looks like your daughter has helped turn up a very interesting case for this unit. Chip off the old block. Probably a lot faster than either of her mentors, though.
Lacey and Hong get along very well, but Mary Beth never really knows how to respond to Hong's sense of humour. She just nods and smiles. Cagney is reading the file.
Hong turns to talk to Lt. Cagney, her second in command. Nodding towards the file she says:
I knew it! (looking up at Hong).
Mary Beth looks at Chris, then at Hong, waiting patiently to be included in the conversation.
CAGNEY (hitting the file with one hand)
It's Mansfield. The gun registration number proves it.
Cagney is agitated - her face is alight - her eyes hard. Lacey is watching Chris. She is resting her elbow on the desk, forehead on her hand, looking up at Chris from beneath that hand. Hong is watching both detectives. She knows the history: Chris' entrapment of Mansfield; Mansfield's conviction for trying to kill Chris; his attempt to frame and kill Cagney (and the subsequent promotion of both detectives to major cases); and finally his release into the witness protection program. Cagney has shown herself willing to push the limits of what a "good" cop is willing to do to bring Mansfield in. Hong has a decision to make. On the one hand, who better to put on the case than the two detectives who know Mansfield best? On the other hand - could she trust them - particularly Cagney - to remain personally uninvolved?
Patricia Hong stands up. She carefully replaces the chair and leans on the desk between Cagney and Lacey. She can't run this unit without showing trust in her detectives. That doesn't mean she can't keep a close eye on things.
I want Mansfield. He's flooding this city with illegal guns. Cagney, you picked up on his possible involvement some time ago - and you and Lacey know him best. I want you two to follow up on this case. (She looks long and hard at both of them.) And detectives, I am well aware of the history between you and Mansfield - especially you Cagney. I do not doubt your ability to deal with this case - but I do want to ensure that no one can question our …impartiality in this case.
HONG (keeps on talking, ignoring Cagney's interruption)
I want you both reporting directly to me on this case - is that understood?
Cagney looks at Hong and merely nods.
It is dusk on the pier. It is foggy and you can smell the ocean. It is a quiet night -just the occasional chuckle from a roosting gull and water lapping against steel hulls. The pier is several feet above the water, the wood old and wet, the large iron tie up cleats are gleaming wet metal in the night. Large wooden containers lie in rows, piled one on top of each other along the pier. Anyone observing would have seen two women waiting in the shadows by some of the larger containers unloaded that day. They are watching the activity of several men at the far end of the pier.
(Both speak in loud whispers) I don't like this, Chris. We should wait for some back up.
CAGNEY (She is very focused: her answer is short and terse.)
There isn't time. Com'on.
LACEY (grabs Chris' arm)
Chris! Remember - Just observe - be careful.
(impatient) Fine! We've discussed this! - Let's just get moving!
They have just received a tip from an informant that there is an illegal shipment coming in tonight - now. Mansfield will be here. There is activity by the piled containers at the far end of the pier - by the Liberian registered freighter "Koslovo".
Both detectives move cautiously forward, guns drawn - darting from shadow to shadow, watching each other as they move forward - nodding when each is ready to move - when they are sure the way ahead is clear. Working as partners bit by bit to the other end of the pier.
The detectives are close enough to see the men. A very large man - Mansfield - reading some papers - invoices? The other men talk - each man with his eyes on Mansfield. Chris and Mary Beth are almost close enough to hear what they are saying. Cagney is preparing to move forward when Lacey grabs her arm.
Lacey is pointing. Harbour security are making their rounds, flashlights flickering over each container as they walk along the pier.
Chris and Mary Beth hear the click of the safety being removed from a gun. It is coming from on top of one of the containers just ahead of them - a lookout. The security people are moving forward - unaware of the gun trained on them. Something warns Mansfield and the men - they turn and run for shelter among the containers. That is all there should have been to the incident. An interrupted meeting and a surveillance job blown by the arrival of dock security. But one of the security guards hears the fleeing men and draws her gun. Both guards pursue the fleeing men.
There is gunfire as one of the fugitives is cornered. One of the guards falls. Her flashlight hits the pier, rolls and throws crazy circles of light into the night. Cagney and Lacey glance at each other and split up - Cagney moving around the waterside of the containers and Lacey moving up the middle of the pier - both still using the containers as cover. Chris and Mary Beth are very aware that the armed lookout is still somewhere up ahead of them.
LACEY (still from behind cover calls out to stop the gunfire ahead)
Police - Drop your guns!
Cagney has made her way around the containers. She sees the man on the containers - their eyes meet simultaneously.
CAGNEY (dropping behind cover again, training her gun on him)
Police! Drop it!
He fires first, missing her head by inches. Chris ducks - by the time she looks up he has jumped from the container. He is heading towards Lacey.
Lacey! Behind you!
Gunfire. Cagney races around the end of the container to see the shooter disappearing around the end of the containers and away. Lacey is holding her shoulder. Her gun is on the ground and there is blood on her fingers. She drops to her knees and looks up at Chris who is now kneeling beside her - holding her.
She had ridden in the ambulance holding Mary Beth's hand. Now she sat in the waiting room holding Alice's hand. They were watching Harvey pace back and forth. Harvey hadn't met her eyes when she had told him what happened - he had backed away from her clumsy attempt to hug him. Her own guilt was crippling her - his rejection felt like a slap.
She's going to be OK isn't she?
CAGNEY (Looking at the small distraught face and hugging her. This was a scared little girl - not the self confident teen.)
It looked clean - Alice. I think she'll be OK. We'll know soon.
Doctor Cheevers enters.
CHEEVERS (walks up to the nursing station. The nurse directs the doctor to Harvey)
Harvey stands before him waiting - it is the worst moment of his life. Chris and Alice are standing - holding their breath and listening to the doctor.
She is going to be fine. We removed the bullet. It fractured her collarbone and did some muscle damage. Nothing time and physio won't heal. The loss of blood will leave her weak for a few days. If things go well - no complications - she'll be home in about a week and a half.
Harvey hasn't responded. He is crying, holding his hands over his face and sobbing.
(touches him on the arm) You can look in on her - she won't be awake until tomorrow - but if it makes you feel better?
Harvey nods and walks to the door. Chris is crying as she comforts a sobbing Alice. Alice gets up and walks over to take her Dad's hand. Chris stands and they all go to see Mary Beth in ICU.
Cagney stares at the last of the coffee in her cup. The coffee cup is old diner ware - chipped , heavy enamel stained from years of thick black coffee. The counter top is stained formica rimmed with aluminum edging. The diner smells of old smoke and grease. The bacon and eggs - better than expected. The old diner had a good clientèle of stevedores. The diner was also conveniently close to the pier.
Here she sits, a 53 year old woman who has been a cop for as long as she can remember and who doesn't know how to be anything else. She is obsessive, relentless and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Maybe that makes her a good cop - but it almost got Mary Beth killed yesterday. Chris is remembering the times in the last couple of days when she didn't listen to Mary Beth - when she plunged on regardless- tasting Mansfield just around the next corner.
Chris, even at this age, still isn't one to examine her feelings too often. She feels guilty, yes. She is devastated by almost losing Mary Beth but Chris blames Mansfield. She hasn't decided what to do about her guilt, about Harvey, about Mary Beth, but she does know what to do about Mansfield. She is going to track him to earth and bring him in. Whatever the cost.
Hong has ordered her home for three days. That leaves her two to find Mansfield before she has to report back to work.
2AM that night.
He is on that ship. Her informant is reliable. Mansfield has every reason to believe the police have lost the scent. The shipment has been seized - the others involved in the deal dispersed or dead. He doesn't know Cagney is on the scent. She isn't interested in the shipment anymore - she wants him. She settles down in the damp air to wait and watch.
(He is sitting beside her, holding her hand. Harvey has convinced Alice to go and get some lunch). I've called Babe. I'm sure she'll show up.
Lacey smiles at him. She isn't hurt by Chris' absence. She is worried. She is sitting up now. The nose tubes are gone and she is on lighter pain medication.
It's been two days. Harvey is worried too. He needs to talk to Chris. He has his own guilt to deal with and he's afraid Chris might do something rash. Hong hasn't heard from her in two days.
They are lowering containers from the ship. The Koslovo is set to sail tomorrow. If Mansfield plans to stay in the U.S. he has to get off the ship tonight. Unless all her information and instincts are wrong.
Chris is chilled to the bone. Nights on the pier are long. It is damp and very cold. There is a fine drizzle blowing in from the water. She now knows the rhythm of the lighthouse light and the foghorn as well as she knows the rhythm of her own breathing. The halyards from the yachts moored in the nearby marina announce the wake of another passing vessel. She checks her gun one more time and stands cautiously to stretch her muscles. She stands in the cover of the largest container.
There. On the top of the container being swung onto the pier, carrying a suitcase. Mansfield. He is helped from the top of the container. The guy wires are removed and sent back to the ship for the next container. She watches him walk past the few workers needed to unload the ship. He walks down the center of the pier in her direction. Still she waits. He has no idea she is there. She relishes that moment. Then she steps out from cover.
Mansfield sees her step from the shadows, feet planted, gun pointed - standing directly in his path.
MANSFIELD (showing no surprise)
Ah. Christine Cagney. Let me guess. I'm under arrest?
Put your hands where I can see them! Up! That's it. Yes, you are under arrest Mansfield - for illegal importation of guns - and for the attempted murder of a police officer.
MANSFIELD (his hands are out at his side)
My dear, you really are predictable.
Cagney is moving slowly towards him, keeping him covered with the gun. Normally her partner would keep him covered while she cuffed and frisked him. Normally.
You have the right to remain silent….
Chris is getting ready to put the cuffs on his wrists. As Cagney reaches out, Mansfield kicks the suitcase at his feet directly into Chris' feet. He lunges for her gun as she trips. Chris maintains her hold on the gun, struggling to bring the weapon down and shoot. Cop and killer are held face to face by their struggle for the gun. Without her gun and in a one on one struggle, Cagney is badly outmatched. Mansfield outweighs her by at least 120 pounds and he is taller by a foot. He has little trouble swinging the struggle closer to the edge of the pier. She still has the gun.
MANSFIELD (smiling down into her eyes)
Do you swim, Christine?
The drop from the pier is 50 feet into the ice-cold water of the ocean. Survival in 32 degree water is estimated at 10 minutes without a survival suit.
They are at the edge of the pier: Mansfield is slowly forcing her backwards to the edge. Christine feels the iron mooring cleat at her calf as Mansfield forces her backwards. She goes suddenly limp, ducks and catches Mansfield above the knees with her shoulder. He almost carries her over with him, but the cleat catches her in the shoulder. Mansfield topples over her and continues in a slow free fall over the edge.
Cagney moves to the edge of the pier. She is on her knees and holding her shoulder. Mansfield looks back at her from 10 feet below. He is still holding the mooring rope that broke his fall.
MANSFIELD (Looking first at the water below and then back at Cagney. There is no trace of desperation in his voice.)
Christine, my dear, you wouldn't let an old friend drown, now, would you?
There are moments when, in looking at someone else, all you see is your own face. It would be so easy to let him fall. Let him fall and have it done with once and for all. Who would know? Revenge. Christine looked at Mansfield. She would know - and Mansfield would know - that she was no different from him. She realized then who she really was. She was capable of killing Mansfield - but she wasn't going to. She was a cop - and she was going to do her job. No matter the cost.
These thoughts took less than the time it took Christine Cagney to grab the rope, brace her heels and pull.
(shouting in the direction of the stevedores) Help!!! Get some help over here! (to Mansfield) Hold on! Try climbing up. Don't just use your arms. Wrap your ankle around the rope and stand on it with your other foot! Anchor yourself and pull!
The rope was anchored at the cleat, but her grip was slipping as Mansfield tried to climb the rope. He was a very heavy man and climbing a rope is harder than it looks. The rope was very rough, heavy hemp and it tore through her skin as it slipped. Her shoulder was aching and her arms felt like they were being pulled from her sockets.
Help!!! I...can't hold on much longer.
Yes you can! Do as I say! Wrap the rope around your other foot and stand on it. Mansfield - listen to me!
The rope slips again and Chris knows she can't hold on much longer. Mansfield looks her directly in the eyes - suddenly there is no weight on the rope.
She stumbles to her feet and runs, yelling, towards the stevedores. They finally see her and remove their protective hearing gear.
Cagney is sitting on the tailgate of the ambulance with her hands bandaged and with a blanket draped over her shoulders. The pier is crowded with vehicles. Police, harbor security, paramedics and spectators swarm over the scene. The harbor patrol boat has found nothing. They will drag the harbor in the morning. She is exhausted.
5AM that morning.
Nurse Williams stops in to check on Mary Beth Lacey. She stops dead in her tracks. A blonde woman sits fast asleep in a chair beside the bed. One bandaged hand is holding Mary Beth's hand. Williams has no idea how the she got past the desk. The nurse covers the woman in the chair with a blanket and closes the door as she leaves.
Mary Beth stirs and wakes to find Christine smiling at her.
Lacey is very glad to see Chris. Mary Beth looks at her partner's bandaged hands and says matter of factly:
Nice to see you. What's new?
CAGNEY (ignoring the mild sarcasm)
Mary Beth, I'm sorry I haven't been to see you. (She takes in a very large breathe). I had to take care of some business -
Lacey waits for Chris to continue. She isn't sure she is ready to hear this story yet.
Mary Beth, I have something to say first. I know I ignored your advice about Mansfield - that I plunged on ahead without regard for your welfare
Wait a minute Chris. Hold it. You're not the one who shot me. You didn't drag me there. I had a choice. Things blew out of control and either of us could have been shot. It happened to be me.
Chris, look at me. Are you listening? I would go back there with you now. (smiling) well, maybe in a month or so. We had a job to do and we did it as best we could. You were there for me Chris. I never felt any different about this.
I thought my heart would stop when I saw you fall to your knees like that. Mary Beth, I'm so glad you're OK.
Chris comes over and hugs her partner. She holds Mary Beth tightly - afraid to lose her again. Mary Beth holds on just as tightly. Chris eventually moves back to the chair wiping her eyes as best she can with her bandaged hands.
LACEY (wiping her own eyes)
So, what happened to your hands?
CAGNEY (looking at her hands wondering where to start)
Well, I lost the skin on the palms when the rope I was holding kept slipping through my hands.
LACEY (when Chris doesn't continue)
CAGNEY (still looking at her hands)
Mansfield was holding onto the rope. He was dangling off the pier. I tried to pull him in - hold him there while he climbed up - but I couldn't. I yelled for help and no one could hear me. They haven't found his body yet. (she looks up at Mary Beth and then down again, preoccupied with her hands).
I thought about letting him fall Mary Beth.
LACEY (answering the unasked question)
But you didn't.
CAGNEY (looking up at Mary Beth)
No. I didn't.
LACEY (after a pause)
(softly) I might have thought about it too Chris.
Chris meets Mary Beth's eyes and smiles slightly. Alice and Harvey break the moment.
ALICE (bursting into the room followed by Harvey, burdened with flowers)
Morning Mom! (she comes to a stop when she sees Christine.) What happened to you?
Hi Babe! Chris!
(Harvey comes over and kisses Chris on the top of the head before planting a large kiss on Mary Beth.)
I'm glad to see you Chris.
CAGNEY (a little subdued. For someone who doesn't like to talk about her feelings, she was going to be doing a lot of that very thing this morning)
Hi Alice. Hi Harv.
Chris pulls herself to her feet.
Alice why don't we go down to the cafeteria and leave your mom and dad alone for a bit?
Because I want to talk to you. OK?
Chris has coffee. Alice has pudding - two puddings, actually.
You can eat that in the morning?
Cagney is very tired. She is also dirty and more than a little sore. She still has to explain herself to Hong and talk to Harvey. Coffee just wasn't going to be enough. She stands up to get some food when Alice says:
ALICE (an accusation)
So where were you? Mom was worried.
Chris sits down again. Well, the kid was direct.
I know. Your mom and I have talked about it. I don't know if I can explain it to you Alice.
Alice manages to convey that she doesn't want to be brushed off - that she doesn't expect that from Chris - with one roll of her eyes.
CAGNEY (she tries to gather her thoughts)
Alice, do you ever have trouble knowing why you are feeling a certain way?
(Alice pretends she is concentrating on her pudding, but she nods.)
Well, I feel that way sometimes. I felt guilty about your mom being shot, but I couldn't face how I was feeling.
(Alice looks at Christine directly and listens)
But I also blamed Mansfield - you know, the gun-runner. It was easier for me to hunt him down than to talk to your mother. I guess I was afraid she would blame me as much as I blamed myself. I'm sorry Alice. I know I should have been here for Mary Beth in the hospital - and here for you and your dad.
ALICE (she regards Chris for awhile before asking)
Did you kill him?
CAGNEY (she is taken aback both by the question and by how directly Alice asks the question.)
No. No, I didn't. He is dead, though.
What happened to your hands?
I tried to pull Mansfield up by a rope that kept slipping through my hands. He fell into the ocean anyway. He drowned.
Cagney looks at Alice and desperately wishes she knew what Alice was thinking.
Alice pushes her second pudding over to Chris and says:
I can't finish this, want some?
Why not? Gotta be better for me than coffee.
Did you want to kill him?
CAGNEY (To herself: Oh God)
She looks at Alice and makes a decision.
Yes. For awhile. Until I knew that killing him made me just as bad as he was. I'm a cop, Alice. I only kill to protect other people or myself. Not for revenge. Understand?
Yeah. I understand. Do they hurt?
My hands? (Alice nods). Yeah, they hurt a lot.
There is silence as Chris eats and Alice watches her.
Harvey enters the cafeteria and looks around until he sees Chris and Alice. He walks up to the table and puts his hands on Alice's shoulders.
Alice, your mom is asking after you, why don't you go up and see her?
See you later Aunt Chris.
Chris watches her leave. Hard to tell, but Chris felt that she'd just passed some sort of test.
Harvey sits in the chair Alice vacates.
Hiya Chris. (puzzled) Pudding?
I need to get some real food Harvey. I'll be right back.
Harvey puts his hand on her arm.
Sit, Chris, I'll get it - what do you want?
Chris has cleaned her plate of bacon and eggs and is sitting back to another cup of coffee. Harvey has been content to wait until she is finished eating before he speaks.
Chris, I have to talk to you.
Harvey, I want to say something first-
Chris, just let me talk here, OK? (Chris sighs but she nods.) I'm sorry about what happened in the hospital. I was blaming you and I had no right to do that.
(Harvey is very intense, gesturing with his hands). But Chris, sometimes you make me nervous. You scare me.
(Chris looks at him and her mouth drops open a little)
Yeah, you do. You're so intent on being a cop. You don't always take the careful way around things - and you take Mary Beth with you. No. Maybe that's not fair. Maybe what scares me more is when I see the same look on Mary Beth.
Harvey, we're partners. Mary Beth doesn't go anywhere she doesn't want to go - trust me on that one. (softly) And Harvey - I would do anything to change what happened. I would take a bullet myself rather than let that happen to Mary Beth.
(He looks at Chris and knows she means it. That scares him too.)
I know that Chris. I would do anything to protect her too. I just wish you two wouldn't look for trouble.
(Harvey puts his head and arms on the table - he is crying) I'm sorry, Chris. I don't blame you. But she almost died and I don't know what I'd do if I lost her.
Chris moves closer and puts her arm around Harvey. She pulls him close and holds him.
I know Harv. I know.
Patricia Hong looks up from her conversation with Mary Beth and Alice as Harvey and then Chris enter the room. Cagney almost executes a cartoon skid as she stops in the doorway upon seeing her commanding officer. This morning just kept getting better.
Hong gives Harvey a hug.
Well, Mary Beth is doing well, Harvey. You must be pleased she'll be back home in two or three days.
It's just good to have her still around, Pat.
Cagney is still standing quietly in the doorway.
Cagney! What a surprise! I haven't seen you in, oh, is it three days already? But I guess we can talk about that tomorrow morning when you come back to work - eh?
Chris is smiling sheepishly and nodding.
Hong smiles back. There is no warmth in that smile.
They haven't found Mansfield yet. The DD5's filed by the officers at the scene were quite complimentary about the work of a Lt. Christine Cagney in arresting and trying to save Mansfield. At some risk to herself. Under normal circumstances - oh, say, for an officer not in flagrant violation of at least three direct orders (but then who's counting?) - a commendation might be in order.
Hong stands and stares at Cagney. Chris can out-stare a rock but she also knows when to cut her losses.
CAGNEY (very serious)
Captain. You're right - I have no defence to offer. I chased him down when I was taken off the board. I didn't report back to you and I walked in without back up -
You forgot one - violating a direct order to stay away from the case.
CAGNEY (hangs her head)
Hong is finished berating Cagney. She looks at the detective standing before her. She sees the bandaged hands and the exhaustion. She also sees a damned good cop. If a somewhat stubborn one.
Cagney. You did a great job hunting Mansfield down. I disagree with your methods - and I resent you working behind my back. (sighs) I'm glad you're OK. And the part of me that doesn't want to strangle you is very proud to recommend you for a commendation.
Chris, just take some time off, will you? Say out of trouble and we'll talk next week.
Sure, Captain. (hesitates) Pat. I didn't go behind your back because I didn't trust you. I had to go after him alone - this once. All that's over now. It would be over even if he wasn't dead.
She looks at Chris thoughtfully.
(Everyone in the room has been watching the drama between the two women. Alice has been watching wide-eyed. She's never seen anyone talk to Chris like that. Harvey has been pretending to read the paper. Lacey has been examining her nails, silently rooting for Chris to win this one.)
I don't pretend to understand, Chris, but I do believe you.
Lacey is smiling.
Three weeks later in the Lacey house.
Harvey has declared that the sauce is ready. Chris has just finished the salad and Mary Beth is supervising. Her arm is in a sling, but otherwise Mary Beth looks like her old self. Dinner is about to be served.
I'll go get Alice. (Chris goes into the living room to fetch her namesake).
Alice gets to do the dishes tonight Babe. Those who cook don't wash.
3 minutes later.
Alice! Chris! Dinner.
It's OK Harv. Ga' ahead. Boil the noodles. I'll see what's holding them up.
Mary Beth enters the living room to find Alice and Christine glued to the tube. She goes over to see what they're watching.
Chris! You're the adult, here. You shouldn't be encouraging her to watch this.
Chris looks briefly up at Mary Beth
(Before Chris can answer)
Who's the guy in leather? (as she sits slowly down, watching the screen.)
CAGNEY (still glued to the screen)
Aries. You know. God of War.
Callisto. Real bad news.
Hey, everyone! Dinner! Com'on!
Harvey takes off the tea towel at his waist, throws it down on the table and marches into the living room. He sees the three transfixed in the flickering light and goes to stand behind the couch to see what they're watching. Harvey has watched Xena with Alice before. He sits down on the couch, puts his arm around Mary Beth and sits back to enjoy the show. Luckily he hasn't put the noodles on yet. Dinner will be a little late tonight.
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