Fictional piece by Joanne Siderius
Cagney and Lacey fanfiction based on characters created by Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday.
Let me know your thoughts: Joanne Siderius
A Cagney and Lacey fan fiction based on the characters created by Barbara Avedon and Barbara Corday. This story is meant for the enjoyment of Cagney and Lacey fans. I would really appreciate any comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Around 1996 - 1997 (eight years after the last Cagney and Lacey episode: A Fair Shake). Cagney and Lacey are detectives on Major Cases Squad. Chris is about to turn 51 and Mary Beth is 49 years old.
(grunting) Unh …Well, I would be able to grab it if you would just hold still, Mary Beth!
Lt. Christine Cagney, crouching on her knees on Sgt. Mary Beth Lacey's shoulders, makes another swing at the lower rung of the fire escape ladder and finally succeeds in grabbing it. "Whush" - A winter's accumulated snow drops to the ground as the ladder swings down.
MARY BETH (as wet snow hits her in the face)
CAGNEY, (holding onto the lower rungs)
I'm OK now, - meet you on the roof, Sergeant.
She is already on her way up the ladder as Lacey, brushing snow from her head and shoulders, turns and runs towards the door to the building. Great. She should be at home with her family, visiting with her new grandson, but no, here she was climbing - running - up four flights of stairs, up to a dark, icy, roof chasing a hired killer. Trust Chris to be enjoying all this.
Damn. The rungs were slippery and the landings were deep in snow. Running up the fire escape with her gun drawn was no piece of cake. But they had him cornered. She could feel it. She pauses for breath and speaks into her shoulder radio.
I'm about two flights up - How's it going Lacey?
MARY BETH (voice on the radio - out of breath)
I'm on the second landing - no sign of him.
I'm switching off now. (no sense in having the radio alert the creep)
Chris, be careful.
Mary Beth switched off her own radio. Sure. Careful. Age had not left Christine Cagney any less reckless. Mary Beth was near the top of the stairs now.
Chris pauses, listening at the top of the fire escape. Nothing. She peers over the 3 ft. lip of the roof as a searchlight from the adjacent building sweeps across the rooftop. Nothing. She couldn't see behind the skylight, or beyond the door at the top of the stairs. She pulled herself cautiously over the lip of the roof and drops to the ground. She stays crouched in the shadow of the lip, listening and watching. She can make out few details in the night, but she can see recent prints in the snow, leading from the stairwell to the skylight. Lacey would be waiting at the top of the stairs in the door well. Chris caught her breath and stood up. She started to move around the door well towards the skylight. Crunch! Damn. It was impossible to move quietly across this hard snow. Fine. She moved to stand right by the door well - her back to the wall - gun at the ready.
(Shouting): Police - I know you are back there! Come out! Show me your hands! Now!
Nothing. The spot light makes another sweep, throwing dark shadows across the roof. Dark shadows where a killer hid. He had the advantage. He knew where she was. But they had him trapped. Time to call for back up. She switches on the radio and turns to the broadcast frequency.
This is Lieutenant Cagney. Back up requested…
A shot - a chip of concrete wings by her cheek as a large man lunges from behind the sky light for the fire escape. Mary Beth has heard the shot. Chris moves to block the killer's way - legs planted - both hands holding the gun. She is still by the rear wall of the stairwell.
He stops, drops his gun and slowly puts his hands up just as Lacey flings the door open, crouching low, gun drawn. He is now facing two cops - one crouched in the doorway of the stairwell and one standing by the rear of the stairwell. Both are blocking his escape.
Don't try anything Mister! Mary Beth (the closer of the two cops) moves to frisk the man as Chris covers him.
Neither cop sees the second killer. He has been in the shadows behind the stair well. He has only to take a step until he comes up behind Christine Cagney and grabs her in a choke hold with one hand and sticks a gun in her ribs with the other hand.
Mary Beth sees it all in slow motion as she continues to keep the first man covered. The snow, between sweeps of the searchlight, is a bright background to the action. She watches as Chris slumps against the man, temporarily throwing his balance off - her boot heel crashing into his shin. Mary Beth watches as his gun goes skittering across the snow, spinning slowly, eventually sliding into the shadow by the lip of the roof. Chris is fit and she is a well-trained match for most assailants - even those that are larger, and much younger. Both women would kill if necessary but, as luck would have it - this man was a born killer. One of the people struggling on that dark snowy roof slipped. And again, as luck would have it, Chris was the one who slipped. She fell backwards before she could raise her gun and the killer punched her hard as she went down. Mary Beth watched as Chris was knocked backwards by the punch - watched her stumble off-balance, closer to the edge as she struggled to keep to her feet. The spot light swept around again. The killer chose his moment well. Mary Beth can see their faces as if they are frozen in the light. Chris' look of horror as she realizes what he is about to do and his smile as he ever so slowly pushes her off balance. Her gun falls into the night as she tries desperately to catch her balance. Chris falls backwards and disappears over the edge. There is no sound as the spotlight sweeps by.
Mary Beth could only watch in horror. The whole incident took a few seconds - a minute at the most. She was too far away to grab Chris. She couldn't shoot without hitting Chris. She could only cover the guy she held.
MARY BETH (to the killer by the wall).
Freeze you f*** bastard!
Chris' assailant covered the distance to the fire escape and was over the wall and down the fire escape as Lacey's bullet hit the wall where he had stood.
MARY BETH speaks into the broadcast frequency, still covering the first perp
10-13 - officer down. The Gramercy Apartment roof -10th and 45. Plain clothes officer at the scene requesting back up. One suspect escaping custody. One suspect in custody.
Radio crackles: "10-4 - ambulance and backup on their way".
Shock, then disbelief.
Then calm. So this is how it ends.
A small whisper - "it's not fair".
She tucks her head, folds her legs and arms and waits for the freefall to end.
Mary Beth tries to hold the flashlight still. There she is. Christine is lying on her side, arms flung over her head, one leg twisted to the side. A bag of garbage from the surrounding pile has fallen over her other leg.
CHRIS (waking up and moving her head to look around. She is winded and dazed by the fall.)
Oh God. Ow….
Mary Beth is standing on the rungs of a very large dumpster peering down at her partner. The perpetrator is cuffed, on his face in the snow waiting for uniformed back up. The bastard could freeze to death for all she cared. The other killer had gotten away. She is out of breath from running and dragging that creep down the stairs. She fights back tears. She'd been so relieved when she realized Chris was probably in the dumpster and then felt such dread when she peered over the edge to see if Chris was there - praying that she was alive.
(voice choked). Thank God. Chris, don't move, the paramedics are on their way. Don't move! Please!
Cagney is struggling to get up.
Mary Beth? Ow. OK. I won't. (Pause) Where are you?
She is still confused by the fall and by the light in her face. As she recalls what happened:
Where the hell am I? (coughs, then, laughs.) Never mind. How the hell are you Mary Beth?
The paramedics arrive and assess the situation quickly. They really don't need much more information: the officer has found herself in the dumpster by falling four floors from the roof. She's lucky. She has a mild concussion, probable bruised ribs, and she has damaged her knee and ankle. They know what to do for her. Get her out of there safely, patch her up and get her to the hospital. Chris, (in spite of her sore ribs) and Mary Beth are still going through bouts of spontaneous laughter on the ride to the hospital. The paramedics smile tolerantly, but they don't get the joke.
Late the next morning at Number One Police Plaza - Major Crimes Unit
The door swings open and Christine Cagney, limping and wearing sunglasses walks slowly into the room and to her desk. Mary Beth, sitting at the desk facing Chris' desk, pauses in raising her coffee mug. If it's possible, Chris looks much worse this morning. The punch to her face left her with a black eye and swollen cheek. Chris is trying hard not to show it, but Mary Beth can tell that she is feeling very bruised and very sore. Heaven forbid Cagney stay home and in a hot bath.
MARY BETH (knowing that any expression of concern or "mothering" will be met with scorn, resorts to sarcasm)
A bit late this morning aren't we?
Chris, putting her hat and coat away, merely turns to look at Mary Beth. Even with the shades, Lacey recognizes that withering look.
I want to look at the mug shots. I have the best chance of identifying the bastard that tried to kill me. Anything from Phillips - the guy you collared?
We collared. Nothing. His lawyer is quite good. He's out on bail. Funny, Phillips has the same lawyer that defends many of our favourite mob hitmen. Captain Hong wants to talk to me. Somehow she was under the mistaken idea that you might take a day or two off. Silly of her, of course.
CHRIS (ignoring the last comment and removing the shades)
Is she in?
Yes. Want to go now or after you look at the mug shots.
Lets get it over with.
Mary Beth followed her partner to the captain's office. These meetings made her nervous. You'd think the two women would get along. Cagney and Captain Sarah Hong had so much in common. Both were police brats. Both had worked their way up the through the ranks to become superior officers. But Chris couldn't seem to forgive Hong for being a captain, being 10 years younger - and for getting the job that Cagney had wanted. Head of Major Cases. Mary Beth gave a mental sigh. Cagney had been caught both ways. She'd started out when women had to prove they belonged on the force. Women had to be twice as good as a man to get noticed, let alone promoted. Chris had earned her stripes slowly through hard work, determination and brilliance. Times had not changed as much as you'd think, but they had changed. Correlations on a crime spreadsheet held more credibility now than shoe leather. Cagney was not one of the new wave of technocrats - and worse - Cagney had never learnt how to be a politician. So here she was, turning 51 -the best at what she did but unlikely to advance much further up the ranks. Mary Beth had tried to talk to Chris about it. Christine had always been happiest and best at chasing the bad guys - and promotion would mean leaving much of that behind. But Cagney's ambition was a devil that had often blinded her to her own best interests. Mary Beth hated to see her friend becoming bitter.
Both detectives are standing in front of Hong's desk.
Well. I see you've left leaping tall buildings to be with us this morning. Leave your cape behind, Cagney? (Christine crosses her arms and looks off to the side, not responding). Let me get to the point. I don't want you in here proving you are made of steel, or kryptonite or whatever. You are to report to counseling services and then you are taking two weeks off. Got it?
(leaning over Hong's desk) Yes, Captain. I got it. I would like to point out, however, that it is important to I.D. this killer and get him off the street. I came in this morning to look at mug shots.
I understand that Lieutenant. I also understand that you were almost killed last night and that you need time to recover. I need my detectives to be effective. I don't need you exploding or falling apart on the job. I have your colleagues' safety as well as your own to consider. You and Lacey have been doing an excellent job on this case -You two are one of my best teams. Lets keep it that way, Cagney. Go and take care of yourself, Lieutenant. Go home.
Yes, Captain. After I look at the mug shots.
And go to counseling services?
Yes, Captain. (Turns to leave)
Cagney turns and looks at the captain
"I'm glad you are still with us. I was worried when I got the call that you were… missing. It would have been a great loss. (Pauses) You're an important part of this department." Hong waited, not showing her awkwardness. Why was it so difficult to drop rank with this woman?
CHRIS (somewhat mollified)
Thank you Captain.
Mary Beth watches as Chris leaves. Lacey sits as she prepares to brief the captain on their case.
Just after lunch.
Mary Beth and a man in an expensive suit are bent over some photos on her desk.
He is smiling already and he has such big brown eyes! The man laughs and says "Just like his grandmother, Mary Beth"
Mary Beth smiles with pleasure and pride. She has always liked this man.
Christine enters. She has just been to counciling. She is more than a little sore and cranky. She stops mid limp when she sees who is talking with Mary Beth. Chris catches her breath as a jolt of old feelings and emotions washes over her. His head is bent. Mary Beth sees Chris first and stops mid sentence. David Keeler raises his head to look at Mary Beth and then meets Chris' eyes. He straightens and takes a step towards her, and stretches his hand out to touch her bruised cheek. He collects himself, and pulls his hand back.
David smiles warmly.
David is here to talk to Captain Hong about the Waverly case. You know, the police brutality charge….
But Christine isn't listening. She is still looking at David Keeler. She lowers her head to look at her hands. When she raises her eyes to look at him again, she has a pleasant smile on her face, but her eyes show nothing of the emotion they held before.
Hello David. How have you been?
He smiles, pauses before answering
Fine Chris, and you?
Fine, David. Just fine.
An awkward pause.
I was showing David Michael Jr.'s pictures, Chris. There is another silence. Mary Beth gladly answers the ringing phone.
Do you have time for a coffee Chris?
No. Today's a busy day, David.
How about lunch tomorrow?
Come on Lieutenant, it's just lunch with an old friend.
Looks at him steadily for a moment and then smiles. "I'd like that David."
DAVID (smiling back)
What time should I pick you up?
I'll be at home tomorrow morning.
Mary Beth (hanging up the phone, takes her purse out of her desk drawer, and walks to the coat rack to pick up her coat).
What's happening Mary Beth?
MARY BETH (stopping in her tracks and looking at Chris)
They've found Morris, the killer we I.D.'d this morning. (she puts up her hand to stop Chris as she is about to speak) He's been shot. Small caliber bullet to the back of the head. Looks like our mob killer was executed. Serves the bastard right. Uniforms and forensics are on the scene and at his home. I'm (she emphasizes the I'm) going over there now.
CHRIS (limping over to get her coat)
I'm going with you.
MARY BETH (crosses her arms)
No you're not.
I'm supposed to go home. It's on my way. (pausing, no response from Mary Beth). You can give me a ride home after.
I can give you a ride Chris
No thank you David.
Mary Beth puts her hand to her face and turns and walks quickly to the Lady's room, turning her face from the other two.
Mary Beth? (turns to David) I'll see you tomorrow David (as she hurries (limping) after Mary Beth).
David watches her leave, turns to pick up his coat and leaves, shaking his head.
Mary Beth is wiping her eyes with a paper towel as Chris limps in.
What's wrong Mary Beth? (no answer) Is anything wrong?
(sarcastically, gesturing with her hands) Is anything wrong? Geez Chris, let me see. Last night I chased two killers- one who shot at you. I watched you go over the edge of a roof. I dragged and pushed some damned killer down four flights of stairs, all the while certain that I would come down to find you splattered on the street.
I look over the edge of a filthy dumpster, not knowing if you'd be alive or just some parts in the trash, watch them haul you out on a stretcher, and ride in the ambulance to the hospital, all the time on the verge of hysteria. I try to get you to come home with me. But no.
CHRIS (concerned for Mary Beth and confused)
Then I take you home - so pale and bruised - and try to convince you to stay home and heal. I care, Chris, and I was so scared (putting up her hand to stop Chris who reaches a hand up to touch Mary Beth and tries to interrupt) No, Chris - I'm going to say this. I was scared for you - Then David turns up (Chris looks up with an "oh no you don't" look and takes a step back) and tries to show some interest, some concern and you turn him away. Chris - why won't you let anyone care about you? You hurt the people who love you.
You're having a reaction to last night, Mary Beth - who wouldn't…
You. You wouldn't Chris. You're scaring me. You almost died. I would have been terrified in that fall. Weren't you?
CHRIS (changes what she was about to say)
Softly. "I was scared." (then snaps her head up to look at her partner) But I'm not you, Mary Beth. I can't explain my reactions. Why is it so hard for people to take me as I am?
Oh Chris. Maybe because we see a part of you that you are afraid of.
CHRIS (turns away in real frustration and throws her hands up)
Mary Beth, we have a case to work on. Let's go.
Chris walks out the door. Mary Beth finishes wiping her eyes, looks briefly down and then follows slowly.
A dark alley. Ambulance lights play on greasy pools of water and icy garbage bags. Lacey is interviewing a man wearing jeans and a tweed jacket. Cagney has finished talking to the officers on the scene and is writing in her notebook as she listens to Lacey and the man who found the body. Morris' body is being removed to the waiting ambulance waiting.
Thank you Mr. Spencer..
That's Dr. Spencer, Sergeant.
Dr. Spencer, we'll get back to you if we have any further questions.
I'm leaving for Brazil day after tomorrow.
I'm going on a collection trip to the Amazon.
A collection trip?
I'm a museum entomologist - I'm going on a field trip to collect and catalogue insects from the rainforest canopy. The New York Metropolitan museum pays the way and I get to play in the forest. Quite a deal eh?
Yes, well you found the body Mr. er, Dr. Spencer and we may need more information. Where can we reach you tomorrow?
Spenser hands over his business card and his home address and number before leaving.
MARY BETH (looking at her notebook)
Looks like a mob execution Chris. Small caliber bullet to the back of the head in a dark alley. Nice work if you can get it. (looks up and see that Chris is listening, but pre-occupied). Uniforms report finding coke at his apartment. Maybe he was free-lancing and the mob set a hit man to get a hit man.
Let's go to Morris' apartment. Something doesn't ring true. What was Spencer doing here?
Yeah, and what was our killer Morris doing here? A hit man keeps a low profile. Pushing coke doesn't fit, somehow. And I get a funny feeling about Spencer too. This is a funny part of town to find an entomologist - unless he's a cockroach and louse guy.
Well-kept apartment in disorder. Somebody has tossed the place.
Somebody was looking for something. It wasn't the coke - uniforms found it taped to the toilet tank lid. Typical place. Unless that was planted by whoever tossed the place.
Chris is looking at the crowded corkboard over the desk that holds the phone and computer. The board is covered with scraps of addresses, comics, receipts and phone numbers. She reaches up to touch an empty space on the board.
This guy liked to play on the Internet. He wasn't a real geek though. He kept a lot of phone numbers, e-mail addresses and notes on this board, not on disk. Mary Beth, help me here.
Mary Beth comes over and together they move the desk out from the wall. Chris reaches over and picks up a file card from the floor.
This is odd. Look at this. (Mary Beth looks over her shoulder). A file card. Who uses these any more? I don't see any more around - not in the desk, not anywhere. And this ink. Black, very fine, permanent ink marker of some sort. This guy used only ball points. Look at this writing! I'll bet this address wasn't written out by our dead killer.
She pulls down some hand written download instructions from the board. You're right! Look at this - totally different writing.
CHRIS (bending down behind the desk and picking up a very fine pin with a small head)
What kind of pin is this? (She fits it through the hole on the file card). Odd thing to use as a tack. Any more of these around?
No, not that I've found. We can look at what forensics found. This doesn't look like a mob hit, Christine. What are we dealing with, Christine?
I'm not sure. There are pieces missing, Mary Beth. We're not seeing the whole picture.
I don't know about you Lieutenant, but it's already late on a long day. I'll drop you off. Leave it for a while. Sometimes beating your head against a wall just gives you a headache.
Christine is still puzzling over Mary Beth's last statement as Lacey takes her arm and leads her out the door.
Christine has dealt with her enforced time off by sleeping in, and lingering in a hot bath. She is at an AA meeting before going back home to get ready to meet David for lunch.
I've been dry for almost nine years and I still want a drink. (murmurs of empathy). I was almost killed. I died. I fell. From a building.- Into a dumpster (she smiles and pauses for the laughter - there is none) And on the way down… there was no time to think…. But I was so scared….and all I could think was - how unfair. I'm OK. Not hurt very badly. But now, I think if I let it out… how scared I was that I will rip open and fly into a million pieces. And I might lose all the pieces, you know. And…I can't trust anyone else with those pieces. Even the people I love. I probably could, but. - I know "the big book" says to let it go and let God deal with it….but sometimes I don't know how to do that. Trust. I don't always know how to do that you know.
Her eyes tear up and she sits down listening as others stand to share.
Mary Beth is going over the list of belongings found at Morris' apartment, going over telephone calls, checking out the addresses on the cork board and looking at the list of files on the killer's computer. Leg work. She sits back in her desk and rubs her eyes. She gets up to get a coffee.
Captain Hong comes over to Lacey's desk and sits on the chair beside the desk. Sarah Hong pulls out a package of photos and smiles at Lacey.
We got photos of Amber back. See - she's walking. Isn't this priceless?
Mary Beth leans over to look at the photo. Sarah Hong and her partner Michelle had become parents late in life - as had Mary Beth. The captain and the sergeant had no trouble finding topics other than work to talk about.
Oh, she looks so darling in that little dress!
Yes, Michelle loves to dress her up like a little doll. I make up for it by making sure there are lots of jeans and ball caps in her life. (Her eyes crinkle as she smiles fondly at another picture) She loves to chase the dog. I think that is the main reason she learned to walk so early!
My kids always wanted a dog, but I just knew it would be me and Harv looking after it…..
At a corner table in trendy restaurant.
I never asked you to leave David. You chose to leave me.
I've changed, David, but I still don't want to marry. Anyone. And (laughing a little) children are out of the question now.
I've changed too Chris. (looking up at her) I'm a father.
Chris stops in mid bite to look at David with her mouth open and her eyes intent on his face.
I adopted a son four years ago. I was representing his parents in a refugee hearing. They had fled the military regime in Nigeria. They had been in the states as students and were killed before their refugee status was confirmed. Their son was an American citizen, but had no family in this country. He was the most solemn little boy. He had taken on responsibilities far beyond his age. Anyway, I adopted him when he was eight years old. He's almost thirteen now. (David looks up and grins at Chris) Imagine me as the parent of a teenage boy Chris!
Chris looks at him solemnly.
I can, David. I can imagine it. I bet you make a great father. He's very lucky. He really is.
Looks at Chris and smiles.
I'm the one who's lucky, Chris. I have much of what I wanted in my life. I have a wonderful son, and a very fulfilling job.
David smiles and reaches across the table to touch her hand. Chris looks at him and doesn't move her hand.
I've missed you.
She sighs, plays with her fork briefly and then looks up at him.
David - I've missed you too. But I can't lie to you. I have been happy with other men since you left. Loved other men. (putting her hand on her chest) And I still love my life. (pauses) Yes, I would like you to be part of my life again. But you have to listen to me - and believe me - when I tell you what I want. (She looks down again. When she looks up and into his eyes, she smiles) And I will listen to what you want.
David tightens his hand on hers before withdrawing it to pick up the breadbasket to offer her some bread.
I will listen, Chris. I care about you. I just want to be part of your life. Bread?
Mary Beth Lacey is looking intently at the red ticket in her hand. The contents of the dead killer's pockets are spread out on her desk. The ticket is torn in half but she can still see that it is a ticket to the New York Municipal Museum. Another connection to Spencer. Something else was odd. She'd looked at the coke the uniforms had found in the apartment. The evidence sergeant had commented that few detectives actually came down to look at the drugs - it was usually enough to know that the perp had been in possession. Lacey had smiled absently at his sarcasm as she looked at the dope. It was a very odd bag. Like no baggie she had seen. Kind of like an industrial strength sandwich bag. Who used bags like these? Mary Beth handed the bag back to the sergeant and went back to her desk to make some phone calls.
Chris laughed as Kiunga explained why he had changed his name from his birth name - Moses. She and David were sitting on the couch in David's apartment listening to David's son show off for Chris. Christine had lost none of her charm. Kiunga knew how to tell a story and he had a very infectious laugh. He was remarkably social for a 12 year old.
DAVID (offering Chris another cup of coffee)
Tell Chris about your trip to Florida, Kiunga.
Well, I collect insects, and ……
CHRIS (putting down her coffee cup and looking intently at the young man)
You collect insects?
Kiunga nods and smiles - he is off like a shot from his chair to get his insect boxes to show Chris. David looks over at Chris. Chris has something on her mind. Kiunga returns with several small wooden boxes.
These are my favourites - they are just flies, but they are very clever at mimicking other insects - look - I bet you think this is a moth. And look at this one - it even buzzes like a bee!
Chris has caught her breath.
Can I see the pen you used to label these, Kiunga? And Kiunga - do you use index cards for your collection?
Kiunga shows Christine the fine-tipped drafting marker he uses and hands over a box of index cards.
These pens work best. You can get a lot of information on the labels and it's permanent. I use two cards. One stays in the file box and I glue the other to the inside of the insect box. I suppose I could use a computer to make a list of what is in the box, but the museum uses index cards, and (shyly) I want my collection to look like theirs.
Chris reaches over and touches Kiunga on the arm.
Kiunga, you've been very helpful. (Kiunga grins shyly and looks down. Chris turns to David) David, can I use your phone?
Lacey is sitting at her desk surrounded by papers. The screen saver on her monitor flickers. She is studying a list as she absent-mindedly answers the phone.
Sergeant Lacey, Oh, hi Chris, (she puts the paper down and leans back in her chair) How was your morning? I wondered how long it would take you to phone. (she smiles) How is David… uhuh. Listen, I'm glad you phoned. I wanted to talk to you about Spencer. Yes, Chris….What? Insect pins! And that's where the marker comes in? Bug collections! Chris, listen - the dope was stored in some weird sandwich bag type bags. I'll just bet these bags are used to store dead bugs or something…So.. right… I figured that, …So?… Spencer was the one trafficking dope, not Morris, yeah, South America. Right…- Morris was greedy - not enough to be just a hit man - he moonlighted as a runner. Spencer was double-crossing the mob - Morris was blackmailing Spencer! Spencer set Morris up, made it look like a mob hit, hid the cocaine in the toilet tank to make it look like it was Morris who was double-dealing the mob. Right… I figured that… he trashed the place looking for the index card and the address that could implicate him - Got it right here. The… the address is near the murder scene. Spencer normally met him at the museum - no reason not to. But this one time he met him near the alley… Chris! He's leaving for Brazil tomorrow. He could get away with this unless we get there and find some hard evidence. Yeah… unhuh…OK. But Chris… sure, I have enough for a search warrant for his place to nail this down, but… Chris, you shouldn't drive….Oh. Well say hello to him for me…But just watch and wait until I get there. Chris! Be careful. Just wait for me. Chris?
Mary Beth hung up the phone and headed into Hong's office to set the machinery in motion to get a warrant. They'd broken the case. The case had started with them chasing down a suspected killer. Now they were breaking a dope dealer and a murderer. Now they needed the gun, or DNA evidence or dope or something concrete to get this guy. Something that would stand up in court. Dr. indeed.
I see you still like sports cars, Chris. This is a bit cramped for surveillance work, though, isn't it? How long 'til Mary Beth gets here. She will have a proper search warrant won't she?
They are in a parking lot across from Spencer's home. Chris is beginning to remember the good old times. David was a stickler for details - a good quality in an ACLU lawyer, but not necessarily in a lover, if you're a cop.
Hey, what better cover? Who would suspect a forest green MG? Besides, you never complained about close quarters before. Yes, Lacey will have a warrant. How could you doubt my good intentions David? (she smiles sweetly at him).
Before David can respond, a car using no headlights pulls up in front of the house they are watching. The driver waits. The car door opens. The driver gets out, looks around and then walks to the back of the house. Chris grabs David's arm.
That's Phillips, David! He's the mob hit man we collared up on the roof the night Morris got away. Wait here.
David grabs Cagney before she can open the door.
Chris, wait. What are you going to do? Chris - Wait
(Impatiently jerking her arm away) David, I don't know why he's here. He could be in on all this with Spencer, but I doubt it. His partner was blackmailing Spencer. I'm betting the mob is onto Spencer and Phillips is here to kill him. Now, I am just going to stand over by that window to observe - and to stop a murder if I have to. Lacey is on her way.
Cagney pushes open the door. She slowly pulls herself from the car and limps towards the house, her gun drawn. David gets out of the car and follows. Chris stops and looks at him.
David. Stay in the car.
DAVID (in an answering whisper)
No. I can help you get up to that window, and let Lacey know what's happening when she gets here.
Cagney looks at him suspiciously. That made sense. She also knew he thought he was here to keep an eye on her.
Fine. Just stay out of my way. And out of trouble.
Cagney and David are under the window. It is an old turn of the century house with old wooden windows. The wooden box beneath the window had been made to hold the garbage between collection days. Probably many kids had used this very box to get in and out of this window. David helps Chris up onto the box. The window looks into the living room of the old home. No one was in the room. Cagney could just see a portion of the kitchen but she could see Spencer standing, with his hands above his head. Chris held her breath and pulled on the window. What were the chances that the old window still opened and what were the chances no one in the kitchen would hear her? One pull told her the window wouldn't open. So much for getting in quietly. She pulled back against the wall beside the window to watch. She turned to listen as Lacey and two squad cars pull up quietly in the lot across the street.
David, go tell Lacey what's happening. I'll stay here.
David looks at her doubtfully, then runs to meet Lacey. Nothing was happening inside. Cagney could hear voices. Arguing. Keep talking boys. Moments later, Lacey, David and a uniformed officer move quietly up to the window.
Chris winces as she crouches down to speak quietly to her partner.
Phillips is in there with him (at Lacey's look of surprise) I don't know why. I can see Spencer in the kitchen in with his hands up. I can't see Phillips. He could be here to kill him. No time to call in a swat team. Here's what I think…
The timing had to be just right. Cagney moved to the front door and picked up her cell phone. The phone in the house rings. Spencer jumps.
"Who the hell is that? Answer it before the machine cuts in."
Spencer was supposed to be home, packing. Phillips didn't need any lose ends after the body was found. Let him answer the phone. Spencer wasn't likely to welcome any intrusions into this illegal little party. Spencer thought Phillips was working on his own - looking for the dope and double dealing the mob. Phillips would want the coke, and Spencer was smart enough to think that until Phillips had it, he wouldn't kill him. Phillips, however, was quite willing to kill him and look for the dope later. He still worked for the mob. He'd been paid well to kill Spencer. Freelancing wasn't his style. The two men moved into the living room to answer the phone on the living room wall. Spencer moved to answer the phone, his back to the wall, facing Phillips. Phillips kept his gun on Spencer, facing the scientist, his back to the living room window.
The window shatters and glass flies into the room as Sergeant Lacey thrusts her gun through the broken window. Phillips swings around to aim at Lacey. Spencer turns to run as two uniformed officers burst in the back door shouting "Drop your gun - Now". Phillips looks briefly at the front door for escape, only to see Lieutenant Cagney standing in the doorway, her gun drawn.
You are both under arrest. Drop your gun, Phillips.
As Phillips drops his gun and the uniforms move in to read both men their rights, David Keeler walks in, holding up a piece of paper.
And, of course, gentlemen, we do have a search warrant.
I'd like to commend you both on a great job, detectives. Forensics has found enough to support a case of drug trafficking and murder against Spencer and to keep Phillips out of circulation for most of his life. Good bust.
MARY BETH (smiling)
Thank you Ma'am
CHRIS (also smiling)
Thank you Captain.
Lieutenant, I'd like to talk to you about your interesting tactics in this case - notably how efficiently you work while on temporary disability. Oh, yes, and I find that bringing a lawyer, and an ACLU lawyer at that, to a bust, a unique and… original approach.
CAGNEY (smiling as only the guilty, but charming, can smile)
Yes. Well, Captain, I.
Could you excuse us, please Sergeant? And please close the door.
Lacey turns to give what she hopes is a supportive smile to Chris and gladly turns to leave the room.
Hong stands up. She moves to the front of her desk, sitting with one hip swung over her desk, facing Cagney.
Sit down Cagney. (as Cagney hesitates). Please.
Cagney moves to sit on the chair in front of Sarah Hong, feeling more than a little like a truant kid. She resents feeling this way and it shows. Her arms are crossed, her chin is thrust forward and her eyes are ever so slightly narrowed.
You know Christine, (Chris notes the use of her Christian name, as Hong intended she should) when I came here three months ago, I was looking forward to working with you. Oh yes, you had the reputation of being a hard-headed witch, but then people say the same about me. Women who use their strength are called by so many names, don't you find? (Chris nods cautiously and lowers her arms). You also had the reputation of being the best cop on Major Cases. The reputation was well earned. You are a great cop. (Chris has no idea where this conversation is going, but she is not going to walk easily into an ambush. She smiles noncommittally). So I ask myself, why is this capable, brilliant woman treating me like the enemy? (as Chris opens her mouth) Oh, yes you are, Cagney, and you know it. You wanted this job and maybe you should have got it - but you didn't. I did. And I won't apologize to you for that. (Chris' arms are crossed and she has leaned further back in her seat, but she is listening). Unless you plan on retiring soon, and I can't see that happening, you are going to be spending quite a few years more as a cop. Probably at least the next few years under my command. Well, Cagney, figure out a way to enjoy it now, because fighting me is going to be hell. I don't look forward to that kind of war, lady. But I won't back down. (Hong stands and moves behind her desk to sit down). Now. I do have an alternative suggestion. I need a second in command. I have avoided making a choice until I knew my detectives better. Rodrigues and Connors both have seniority over you, but you are the better cop, you have the respect of the other officers and you are a very able commander. Second in command has more responsibility - in addition to carrying a full caseload. You are my choice - if you are willing to support me as your commanding officer. Well Cagney?
Christine looks at this woman who has laid it all out on the line for her. Cagney isn't afraid of a fight. But suddenly she feels tired. Tired of fighting and very tired of the bitterness. Maybe age has given her something: not all battles are worth fighting. What the hell, Chris loves her job. At least Hong had class. Cagney stood up and held her hand out to Sarah Hong.
I would be honoured to be your second in command. Thank you, Captain Hong.
Hong (shaking Cagney's hand)
Thank you Lieutenant Cagney. It is I who am honoured. (barely missing a beat). Now, about that time off. Shall we say a couple of weeks of recovery time, Lieutenant?
Cagney looks at Hong and slowly smiles.
You know, Captain, that episode on the roof was very hard on Sergeant Lacey too. Very emotionally stressful. She could use, oh, say, two weeks to recover.
Hong looks at Cagney and smiles in return.
Of course, Cagney, I'd love to take my two best detectives off the chart for two weeks. Go. Go with my blessings and let Lacey know the good news.
Thank you Captain. See you in two weeks.
Hong sits at her desk and watches through her office window. She watches Cagney sit beside Mary Beth Lacey and give her the good news. Mary Beth looks across the room at the captain and smiles. Captain Hong raises her coffee mug in salute to the two detectives and then turns to her work. Sometimes it is only wise to lose a battle or two in order to win a war - and she was very glad this war was over.
Dinner is finished. Harvey and David are still discussing politics in the kitchen; Alice Christine and Kiunga are listening to some awful rap group upstairs and Mary Beth and Christine are sitting with their feet up on the porch railing of the Lacey home. It is a soft evening in early spring. The snow has finally melted and you can smell the earth returning to life.
Look, Mary Beth, a shooting star! I didn't think you could see the stars in the city. What a beautiful night!
Mary Beth is smiling and looking at the stars. She turns to say something to Chris and notices that her friend is crying.
It is all so wonderful. I was so afraid when I was falling. I only had time to think how unfair it would be to die. Look what I would have missed - this beautiful night - a whole life of beautiful nights. (looking up at Mary Beth) and I would have missed all the people that … I love, Mary Beth. You, and Harvey and little Alice, my family and David. And people I haven't even met yet. I guess I'm just tired and I need to cry for a while. Maybe I do need a couple of weeks off.
Mary Beth pulls Christine's head onto her shoulder and kisses the top of her friend's head.
Well, isn't the world a funny place. Here's to shooting stars, Chris.
The scene closes with the two women, on the porch, watching the stars.
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