Letter of the Law

Fictional piece by Joanne Siderius

A Cagney and Lacey story, written by Joanne and based on characters created by Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday. This story is intended for the pleasure of fans of the show - send me your thoughts - siderius@netidea.com

Letter of the Law

Uh oh - the Rottweillers. She pulls herself up to the window sill, squeezes through the narrow opening and drops into the dark. She lands awkwardly on the wet pavement, grunts and rolls to her feet. It takes all her willpower not to look behind as she hears the dogs scramble through the window behind her. They aren't barking. She can hear only scrambling claws and panting as they close in on her.

She turns the corner at full speed and grabs the corner of the dumpster. She pulls herself up to the edge, reaches into her jacket, pulls out a gun, removes it from the baggie and shoves it deep into the garbage. She lets go and falls to the ground, slipping and knocking her shoulder as she falls. She is up and running - hitting the chain link fence at full speed. The sound of metal on metal rings in the night as the fence takes the impact and springs back against the posts. Water is knocked lose from the fence, reflecting silver in the streetlight as it falls. She shoves her feet into the chain link and pulls herself up - just as the dogs hit the fence below.

Sirens and flashing lights start up from the pub, triggered by her weight on the fence. All her earlier care to bypass the alarms is for naught. The dogs are barking now, hitting the fence, and making it difficult for her to keep her balance. But she is at the top now, face to face with the razor wire. She had known it might come to this. She pulls her leather jacket up as far over her head as it will go, lays her arm and gloved hand over the razor wire, pulls herself further up and rolls over the top. Her sleeve tears, and the barbs bite into her arm, through her heavy jeans and then into her hip as she rolls and drops to the ground.

The dogs are frantic, only a foot from their target, but frustrated by the fence. They are yelping and whining now as they leap at the fence. She is given only a moment to recover, crawling to her feet instantly at the sound of approaching sirens. Several cop cars will be there any minute. This was definitely not the time to explain what she was doing here. Definitely not the time. She has to get away quickly - and on foot.

A figure runs from the alley into the light , gun in hand and grabs her by the shoulder: "You really went through with this?!" Mary Beth Lacey removes her hand and puts her gun away. Chris grins: "You're here - " Mary Beth pulls at her sleeve: "This way. Hurry!". Chris runs after her partner, into the dark, and into the waiting car.

"That was stupid - " Mary Beth slaps another bandage on her partner's hip.

"Ouch!" Chris glares sullenly. Mary Beth was not being as sympathetic as one might hope.

"Sit still. When was your last tetanus shot?" Mary Beth has now finished bandaging Chris' arm and stands, hands on hip, glaring at her partner : "Well?" She is not talking about the tetanus shot.

"We've been over this." Cagney rolls her sleeve down. She is exhausted, high on adrenaline - and smiling insufferably. "We can't get a warrant for the pub? Fine - We get a tip from an informant, a warrant to search the garbage truck as that pub dumpster is dumped tomorrow morning - and well…will you look at that! (wincing as she raises her arm) the murder weapon! And Clark, the cop-killer fries."

Mary Beth is angry, with the situation and with Cagney's cavalier attitude. They're cops: they are no better than criminals if they break the law. The law is everything- and it's their job. She is shouting now: "Sure, just a little matter of break and enter, theft and obstruction of justice, Chris!" Chris stands. She is angry now too- angry, in pain and exhausted: "Fine Mary Beth, just let it ride - just let it go!. Let a cop killer go free. If the prints match and it turns out to be the murder weapon, where's the harm?" Mary Beth can't get through to Chris. She speaks softly: "You - We broke the law, Sergeant." At the merest whisper of her own doubt, Chris is on her feet and struggling into her ruined jacket. So what if Lacey is right - Chris doesn't care. She's there to nail the killers, and that is exactly what she is going to do: "Fine - No one asked you to be there." She slams out the door. Mary Beth runs to the door and shouts after Chris: "And where would you be if I hadn't been?" There is no answer - only a sleepy cry from the next room: "Mom?"

"A plea! For a cop killer?!" Cagney and Lacey are standing in Samuels' office, along with A.D.A. Feldberg. "Relax, Cagney, Clark will never get out - and we get a crack at O'Brien - the assassin-" Cagney interrupts before Feldberg is finished: "He should have fried, the bastard." She wheels on her heel, wrenches open the door and storms into the squad room. "Cagney - get back here!" She stops to lean over her desk, closes her eyes, turns and walks slowly back into Samuels' office, closing the door after her. The latest Cagney drama over, other detectives turn back to their own work. Mary Beth has kept her head down, hands folded, watching the floor. She hates this case. "Sergeant, this meeting isn't finished until I say so." Bert Samuels waves his finger in her face and returns to sit at his desk, still glaring at his second whip. Feldberg finishes: " I'd like to thank you ladies for a job well-done. You gave us a case we could win." "Thank you, Detective." He shakes Mary Beth's hand as he leaves. Chris graces him with a stiff smile and turns to Samuels sarcastically: "Is the meeting over now, Lieutenant?" "No. No, it isn't Cagney." He stands and approaches the two. "You don't even know when you've won, do you?" Cagney is still outraged: "Won! Clark killed a cop!" "Yes, he killed a cop. He should have fried, but that isn't up to us. Do your job and be glad when you turn out to be right, Cagney. You two did a good job, - go - celebrate and come back tomorrow ready for more." Mary Beth nods uneasily: "Yes, sir, Thank you sir." She puts her hand on the doorknob, watching Chris, who says sullenly: "Yes, Lieutenant". She walks out the door, followed by Lacey. Samuels watches them leave, angry with Cagney. He understands, and agrees with her, but he has almost had it with her pig-headedness. He shakes his head and goes back to work.

Lacey goes for her coat and barely pauses by her desk as she says: "Good night". Chris looks up, not a trace of a smile as she says: "'Night." Several call out as Lacey leaves: "Way to go, Lacey"; "Great conviction."; "Going for a drink, Mary Beth?". Lacey barely smiles as she walks hurriedly out the door. Petrie looks over at Chris bent over her work: "Everything OK, Chris?" No answer. "Chris?" Cagney looks up at Petrie and shakes her head: "No. It's fine, Petrie." Petrie nods. Things certainly aren't fine between Cagney and Lacey, but he turns to leave. Whatever it is, they'll probably work it out. They always do.

The squad has gone home. Chris is still working, surrounded by the halo of light from her desk lamp. She gets up to get another cup of coffee, leans against the counter and closes her eyes. She can't believe it. She'd pulled out all the stops to get them the evidence they needed and they'd taken a plea. She'd risked everything - broken the law, pulled her partner into it - and the bastards had taken a plea. She should have learned by now. She puts the cup of coffee down. It is bitter after a whole day of brewing. She gets her coat and turns out the light as she leaves.

" Here you go, Sergeant." Coleman drops a pile of mail and folders on her desk. Cagney looks up from the phone and nods curtly. Mary Beth smiles up at Coleman as she reaches over to begin sorting the pile, looking for an overdue M.E. report. She comes across a package addressed to "Cagney, Fourteenth Precinct" No postage. Odd. Mary Beth eyes it suspiciously, but tosses it back onto Chris' desk. She finds the M.E. report, puts the rest of the mail on Chris' desk and begins reading. Chris hangs up the phone and looks expectantly at Lacey. Mary Beth looks up: "She died from asphyxiation" Chris is shocked: "She was shot!" "Yeah, but the blood in her lungs strangled her." Cagney grabs her coat: "Well, whatever - we'd better get back out there and find more witnesses." Chris tosses Mary Beth's coat and purse onto her desk. Lacey shuts the file and stands to go. "You have some mail, Chris". Chris stops on her way out and sorts impatiently through the pile, stopping at the package. She opens it to find a video tape and a letter: "10PM Pig 'N Whistle. Watch the tape, you'll be there". The letter is unsigned. Cagney quickly re-wraps the parcel, stuffs it in her purse and walks to the door. Lacey sighs, but follows without comment.

Cagney stops to talk to Coleman on her way out. Mary Beth stands apart, waiting. She is tired of the silence between them, but she can't find it in her heart to forgive Chris - and Chris is certainly not talking about it. Worst of all, Lacey feels the gnawing guilt of complicity. She couldn't have left Cagney alone to infiltrate the pub and drop the gun without backup. She couldn't - and she hadn't. But she had kept silent, and that had compromised her own principles. Maybe that is what she can't forgive.

Of course Chris doesn't talk about the parcel. She isn't talking about anything. Chris recognizes the address in the letter- it was the address of the Pig 'n Whistle - where she had moved the gun. She feels a chill run down her spine. She has a sickening feeling about that video.

Well, there it is, in black and white. Break and enter in the least, at the most -obstruction of justice. Security cameras -newly installed - had caught her on tape. That was undeniably Christine Cagney scaling the fence. That tape implied oh so much about her presence there that night. He had nabbed the tape before his partner got to it. And he had been oh so clever. He had waited until his inconvenient partner, Clark, had been convicted - had waited until she had so much more to lose - until she had no option. There was a date in the corner of the frame, and this was a copy. She poured another drink and ran the tape through one more time. Only her. There was no sign that Lacey had ever been there. Had ever known. Well, at least that was something. She drained her glass: she had played and lost. She would lose her badge and might even go to prison. But the worst would be telling Samuels tomorrow - and Mary Beth. She had to talk to Mary Beth first.

The phone rings. Cagney contemplates getting another drink and just letting it ring. The machine cuts in before she picks up. A deep Irish lilt comes over the line: "Hello, Sergeant Cagney, I thought I might catch you at home. You didn't show for our little meeting". Christine doesn't answer right away. When she does, she is curt: "We have nothing to discuss." Laughter. "Oh you are so mistaken, darlin'. Don't you recognize the thief on the fence? The night before the gun was so…. conveniently found." She closes her eyes. "Who are you?" More laughter, softer this time: "So we do have something to discuss?" "Stop being cute. What do you want?" "Good. Right to the point. I need a favour, of course. But just one. And then all of this will go away, Sergeant."

The snow is falling heavily, leaving a halo around the street lamp. She turns her face to the sky to feel the bite of the cold snow. Such repercussions. Cagney turns away and enters the building. The snow keeps falling until, eventually, there is no trace of her footsteps in the snow.

She hesitates before knocking. The door swings open. "It's 2 AM in the morning." "Thanks for seeing me, Mary Beth". Her partner stands aside to let her in before saying dryly: "At least you phoned to let me know you were coming this time."

Chris hangs her coat and hat and then stands holding the video tape and the answering machine cassette. She says quietly into the silence between them: "I knew you were right. And….I should have listened to you, Mary Beth." She puts up her hand to stop Lacey from talking, although the other woman hasn't opened her mouth, yet. "I need you to see this tape and to listen to the cassette, Mary Beth." Mary Beth is standing with her arms crossed, silent. She is angry, (very angry) and will not be silenced, but she listens. Chris pleads: "Please, before we talk." Mary Beth looks at Chris for a long moment before she takes the tape Chris is holding out and puts it into the video machine.

"You're telling Samuels tomorrow morning?" They have reviewed both tapes and are now standing by the door. Chris nods, shrugging into her coat before saying: "Mary Beth - you aren't on the tape - you weren't there." Silence. Chris sighs and continues: "You didn't know - never knew, Mary Beth." Still silence. Chris pulls on her gloves and shakes her head. Mary Beth is watching her - not responding. "Mary Beth, you had nothing to do with it. If I had listened to you none of this would have happened." No response. Frustrated, throwing up her hands: "It isn't even lying - I won't mention you and you won't have to say anything - Mary Beth!". "Shush, you'll wake everyone -" She is standing, shaking her finger in Chris' face: "Christine Cagney - you have no right to tell me what to say or do - ever!" They are staring at each other- Mary Beth is finally spilling her anger. Christine is contrite, actually ashamed: "OK. Fine. I know that." Chris turns to the door, pulling on her hat. Mary Beth stands her hands in her pockets, head down. Chris is standing with her hand on the doorknob: "'Bye Mary Beth." Mary Beth nods. Chris turns to go. The door is open and she turns back, raises her head to look at Mary Beth. Her voice cracks: "I am so sorry, Mary Beth." Mary Beth abruptly crosses the distance between them and grabs Chris in a hug. Christine holds Mary Beth briefly and then she turns and leaves without another word. Mary Beth watches her leave and slowly closes and bolts the door.

It is a full half hour before the shift begins. Cagney has caught Samuels in his office, but he is already embroiled in a heated discussion with Petrie. Finally Petrie leaves, shaking his head. Samuels picks up the phone as Cagney enters, shutting the door behind her. Samuels ignores her. Finally he hangs up the phone.

"Well, what is it Sergeant?" She abruptly places the video tape and answering machine tape on his desk and begins: "I need to speak to you, sir". He is preoccupied and in a hurry: "- well?" She shifts her feet and then leaps right into it: "I broke into the Pig 'N Whistle Pub on the night of November 16th, found the murder weapon in Clark's locker, where our informant said it would be." She has his full attention now. On Samuels' look: "No sir, not the dumpster. I'm getting to that, Lieutenant."

She clears her throat again and begins again: "I removed Clark's gun from the locker and dropped it in the outside dumpster. I knew we could get a warrant to search the garbage the next morning, sir." Samuels slowly stands and jabs his finger into his desk: " Do you know what you are telling me, Sergeant?" He is red in the face, his neck bulging, but he is speaking quietly: "Do you?" He walks to the front of his desk before continuing sarcastically: "Why tell me now, Cagney?" Chris takes a step back before continuing. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see Lacey at her desk, watching - unable to turn away. "Sir, there's more." "Oh, there's more is there? Well?" He is now five inches from her face. They are of a height and are now eye to eye. "The video tape is - of me - climbing the fence at the pub. I've been approached by the man who sent the tape - asking for a meeting." Samuels is now leaning on the edge of his desk, arms crossed. He is calmer but still angry - waiting. "I didn't meet him- so he called me at home last night." She indicates the cassette. "He wants a favour. I'm to meet him tonight and he'll give me details." She pauses. "It's O'Brien, Lieutenant." Samuels looks at her sharply: "Lliam O'Brien, the IRA assassin?" Cagney nods.

Samuels grabs the tapes: "Follow me". He yanks the door open and marches to a taped interview room. Chris follows, trying to look casual. Lacey catches her eye, and raises her eyebrows. Cagney shrugs in response and follows Samuels upstairs.

Lacey watches them trudging up the stairs to the interview room. She prays that Cagney comes out of this in one piece- that Samuels is willing to help Chris play this out.

Samuels has run through both tapes twice. Finally he turns to her and says: "Sergeant Cagney, you admit to tampering with evidence." He waves the video tape. "This could be construed as something far worse. I should - am obligated - to report this matter to IAD. " Christine merely nods. He sighs. Cops have to choose too often between following the law or convicting the criminals. Sometimes the best cops step over the line. "Why Cagney?" He turns to look at her as she answers: "He killed a cop. I wanted a guilty man to pay." Softly: "I'm sorry, sir. I wanted it too much. I was wrong" Samuels nods, and shakes his head: "Cagney, you've never learned to let it go." He jabs his finger into the table again: "We play by the book, Cagney. If we don't - who will?" He is still watching her as he says: "Who else knows?" She doesn't blink an eye: "I showed the tapes to Lacey - I didn't want her to be dragged in - I wanted her to be clear on what was happening, sir" Samuels inquires no further. He nods as if to say: "Good".

Cagney decides to go for it. She is animated, adamant: "Lieutenant, he came to me. We don't have to lure him in -We can get him." Samuels rounds on her: "We, Sergeant? If I let you continue working, I put myself on the line, here." Cagney looks down. "Yes, sir." Samuels walks up and down, runs his hand through his hair before saying: "What do you have in mind, Cagney?"

"Feldberg was so excited that he actually paid for lunch". Cagney and Lacey are in Samuels' office. The lieutenant continues: "He knows it is good that O'Brien came to you on his own. The D.A.'s office is fully behind this operation." Cagney, you will wear a wire - Lacey will be monitoring - Isbecki and Petrie will be back up. Well, detectives, let's get on it - we only have three hours!" Lacey smiles broadly as she opens the door for Cagney: "Yes sir."

There was no sign of O'Brien by 9:30 - still none by 10 PM. He had been very clear -she was to be skating - alone - around the outdoor rink at precisely 9 PM. Chris is wearing a wire and Lacey is in the crowd, monitoring with her own ear piece. Isbecki is skating, with a female cop on his arm and Petrie is watching from the crowd, directing other plain clothes cops. It is crowded tonight. Dance music pours from the tinny speakers, drowning all other sound. There is a group of kids playing tag on the ice - laughing and screaming -and terrorizing the more sedate skaters. Chris is edgy - and cold - when two kids barrel right into her, knocking her to the ice. "Hey watch where you're -" A snowball hits her in the face. A kid runs away on foot. It isn't just a snowball - there is a letter crumpled into the snow. Chris gets to her feet and skates beyond the mayhem and to a bench before smoothing the crumpled paper. The other cops have kept their distance - it is important that O'Brien think that she has come alone. The note is written in pencil on waterproof paper and reads: "The Gardens - Paddy's day- Rangers vs. Leafs. If all goes well there will be a gift waiting under seat Q17. If not - you'll be singing in a prison choir" She speaks into the wire "It's from O'Brien - if you haven't found him by now, he's long gone - if he was ever here." She dug the wet snow from her collar and bent to unlace her skates.

"Who's he going to kill at a hockey game?" Lacey asks - voicing the question they've been trying to answer all morning. They have only one day to find the answer. Isbecki speaks up: "Hockey players?" Samuels glares at him in frustration. No one of any importance is known to be going to the game. Lacey throws up her hands: "Sir, maybe he isn't after one person. Maybe he is going to kill several people in the crowd at random?" Samuels is still pacing, running his hands through his hair: "It makes no sense. The man's a sniper, a political, a paid assassin - why change his M.O. now?" Cagney closes the file she's been reading: "We have nothing else to go on Lieutenant - and no other choice. We have to carry through on this plan. All we know - all we think we know - is that he will be at the Gardens tonight." Coleman walks into the room: "Phone, Lieutenant." Off Samuels look: "It's the D.A., sir." Samuels throws up his hands: "Take a break." He walks to his office. The other detectives scatter, leaving Cagney and Lacey at their desks.

"Something is off, Chris" "Tell me about it." - Chris grabs Lacey's cup and pours more coffee. A uniformed officer delivers the deli sandwiches they've ordered. "What if this is a diversion?" Chris is chewing her sandwich, watching Lacey intently. Lacey unwraps her sandwich before continuing: "We'll have most of the 14th at the Gardens - what if he is going to be somewhere else?" Chris throws herself back in her chair: "Great Mary Beth, now we know the only place he won't be on the 17th." "No, listen Chris, it makes sense. I'll bet he doesn't plan anything more with you - We'll get to the Gardens and there will be no instructions. He just wants us at the game so we won't interfere, Chris."

Chris gestures towards the piles of paper on their desks: "Where else, Mary Beth, where else?" Then it hits her: "That's it Mary Beth - a diversion!" Lacey looks up: "Isn't that what I said?" But Chris is off on a tear now, rummaging madly through the papers on her desk:" The pub!" "The pub?" Lacey repeats patiently. "Yes, the pub - don't you see! That's the diversion - he's a secret partner in the place." Lacey catches on "- with his partner Clark put away, O'Brien may set up a kill there and then blow out of town!" Chris has given up on the papers, throwing up her hands: "But who's going to be there tomorrow?"

"Who?" Samuels asks. Lacey explains - "They are a very political Irish group - and very popular, so the pub hasn't publicized their appearance." Cagney cuts in: "It's not that uncommon - not advertising big names in a small venue - it ensures the regulars see the band and - the place will be packed regularly by people hoping to catch some big name." Samuels waves his hands "Fine, fine. We still need to show a presence at Madison Square Gardens, or O'Brien will know we've figured it out - and you have to be there" He points at Cagney: "He is expecting you to be there."

But Lacey has a plan: "Sir, what if we force his hand?"

Here we go again - the dogs are awake now. Cagney jumps for the window sill. Her fingers slip and she jumps again. The room is thrown into light. Smoke from the evening still hangs in clouds from the ceiling. The place smells of stale beer. "Well now darlin', fancy you bein' here." "Stay!" -He commands the dogs, who are now at Cagney's feet, whining, eagerly watching her every move. He is holding a gun and he gestures for her to raise her hands. She does so very carefully, eyeing the dogs. He crosses the floor, circling slowly with the gun, watching for other cops.

They are now face to face. He says nothing, but grabs her by the collar and throws her against the wall and begins frisking her. He throws her face forward against the wall and continues the frisk: still no wire. He flings her around to face him: "Where is it? You wouldn't come alone - you're not that stupid, are you love? No, no you're not." The gun is in her face. She speaks to him, but she is watching the gun: "I came to talk. I want the tape." "Ahh… and you expect me to believe that, do you?" He is watching her, assessing this new development. The man has ice water in his veins - but he knows when to cut his losses. If the cop isn't carrying the wire, then the place itself is wired and ten to one the place is crawling with coppers. Time to get out. He is only wasting time asking her anything.

He grabs Cagney by the jacket and pulls her in front of him as a shield. He has his arm over her throat, his gun in her side. His back is to the wall. He increases the pressure on her throat until she chokes. He eases up and whispers in her ear: "Well played darlin', well played, but now you're coming with me. I could drop you right now, but I need you a wee bit longer, don't you see?" He brushes her hair back with his gun "but then again, maybe not, my professional services are that expensive, and it would leave such a mess." "Move!" He pokes her in the side and they move across the room. The dogs stay where they are: they have been told to stay and they are far too well-trained to move. He calls to them: "Come, com'on lads."

Samuels had been right on one thing: O'Brien had not changed his M.O. He is an assassin: but he has also planned to leave nothing behind. O'Brien works his way to the door and flips a switch, turning the alarm system off. But then he throws another switch.

They are out the heavy oak door mere seconds before the stage explodes into flame. O'Brien turns briefly to watch the explosion - Lacey hits him from behind just as Cagney sags against him and rams her heel into his shin. He rolls and is up and covering them with his gun as he makes his way out the gate - Isbecki and Petrie are behind a squad car: "Police - Drop it!" but they have no line of fire - and he is still covering Cagney and Lacey. The dogs are in now in the yard, barking and yelping. He is off and into the alley, Petrie and Isbecki in hot pursuit.

There is the cough and roar of a motorcycle and O'Brien roars around the corner shooting and forcing the detectives to dive for cover. He is away and gone into the night before they can mount a pursuit. Even his dogs eventually give up the chase and return with their tongues hanging nearly to the ground.

"The FBI picked O'Brien up at LaGuardia. Just like Feldberg said: the Irish have an outstanding warrant out on him." Samuels leans back in his chair: "Good plan, Lacey - O'Brien made a run for it once he suspected that his contract was blown - before he had a chance to assassinate anyone in the band. And we were right about the Gardens- that was a red herring." Cagney smiles at Lacey and says: "Forcing him to him make a run for it ensured he'd end up at the airport and into the arms of the FBI. Great plan, partner." Samuels turns to Chris: "Going in without a wire took guts, Cagney - turns out the bugs we'd planted were good enough to let us know what was going on - but it's a good thing you're a poker player." Lacey sums it up: "O'Brien may have suspected he was set up, but he had no choice but to run." Cagney says cheerfully: "And it took the 14th to pull it off." Samuels is serious: "Yes, and no one got hurt - we had just enough firepower to flush him out and protect you Cagney - give the FBI some credit, Sergeant - they handled the rest." Samuels is smiling now:" Feldberg - and the D.A. are beside themselves with joy." His phone rings. Before he answers it he says: "Go on - I'll meet you at Mallory's"

Lacey replaces the receiver: Harvey will keep her dinner warm. "Coming Chris?" Chris shakes her head. Mary Beth nods and sits down to wait it out with Cagney. She can think of nothing to say.

Samuels is finished on the phone. Chris gets up to talk to him as he turns out the light and comes out of the office, carrying his overcoat over one arm. Cagney is standing at her desk, ready to intercept him. He can see she has something to say, but he speaks first: "Oh, Cagney. That was forensics. Nothing left of the pub, nothing recognizable." He sits on the chair beside their desks, toying with a parcel. He places it on Cagney's desk: "nothing left. Were you aware that only original tapes are acceptable as evidence, Cagney?" She sits back down and doesn't answer - so he continues: "and the clocks in surveillance cameras can be so unreliable - and easily tampered with. It is really hard to tell whether- well say just for example - whether an officer was there earlier, or much later, as part of a squad operation." He stands, pushing the package towards her: "But it is always wise to keep track of any copies that are around." He stands: So…anyone for the pub?"

Cagney looks up at him, she doesn't know what to say: "Thank you sir." "Oh, don't thank me - you're buying Cagney." Samuels smiles his big smile at both of them and places his hand on her shoulder: "Com'on before all the beer is gone - Isbecki's been there for an hour already."

Samuels is out the door before any more can be said. Lacey has her coat on and is handing Cagney hers. Chris toys with the package and then locks it in her desk. She doesn't look up. Lacey realizes she is crying. Mary Beth places her hand on her partner's shoulder and waits. Chris finally looks up, wipes her eyes and smiles. Lacey smiles back: "OK now?" Chris nods and crosses her heart: " I swear I will never, ever, bend the rules - even a tiny bit - again." Lacey hands Chris her coat: " Uh huh." "Mary Beth!" As they are going out the door: "Leave it go Chris." "I'm serious here -You don't believe me!…"

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