Fictional piece by Joanne Siderius
This fan fiction is meant for the pleasure of those who chose to read it. It is based on characters created by Barbara Corday and Barbara Avedon for the TV show Cagney and Lacey. I'd enjoy hearing your comments. You can send them to me at: email@example.com
This story takes place after the last episode of Cagney and Lacey (Fair Shake, 1988). Chris and Mary Beth didn't make major cases squad. They did go to the press to blow the whistle on Marquette, the CIA, the FBI and some Italian mobsters. Marquette, the consummate politician, weathered the storm by blaming someone else. But as a result, Cagney and Lacey do not count him as an ally. Mary Beth has made her twenty years and Chris is about to be promoted to Lieutenant as soon as a spot opens up. Harvey is happily doing renovations and Alice Christine is growing up, as children tend to do. Chris is seeing a rich politician named James Burton.
Scene opens with Cagney and Lacey in the car. Chris is driving.
Mary Beth (exasperated with her partner)
Christine - you don't even know that Mansfield has anything to do with the gun thefts!
I do know, Mary Beth. It's Mansfield! He's using Andrews as a go between to keep his own hands clean. Trust me - I know!
You heard Inspector Marquette - case closed. Mansfield is under witness protection and Capt. Andrews has been cleared of any involvement -
Chris (emphasizing the point with her finger):
That doesn't change the fact that we both know Andrews is working with Mansfield
Mary Beth (continuing)
- and not to mention how inept we looked when the case fell apart
It didn't fall apart - Marquette blew it out of the water!
Mary Beth. (somewhat quieter)
Leave it go Chris - we're in enough hot water with Marquette - remember?
Mary Beth glances over at Chris, is about to say something, but changes her mind. Chris is in no mood to listen, especially lately. Mary Beth doesn't regret her decision to retire, but does understand that Christine is feeling a little lost and maybe even betrayed as a result. Not that Cagney was discussing the situation with Mary Beth. Chris had talked Mary Beth into taking the Sergeants exam so that when Chris received her own expected promotion to lieutenant, they could continue working together. But Mary Beth was tired and wanted to spend more time with Alice Christine and Harvey. She loved her work and took pride in knowing she had probably passed the demanding test, but she needed a change. Lately she found herself just going through the motions. It was important that Chris understand, but so far her partner had only put more distance between Mary Beth and herself.
Mary Beth (changing the subject)
So, how is Mr.Burton?
Chris looks over at her:
Mm. Yeah. I don't know, Mary Beth. I love him but he wants the whole married thing.
He's a very nice man, Chris. And so good looking.
Yeah. I just feel smothered. You know me. What is it with men and picket fences?
Mary Beth smiles. The scene ends.
A darkened warehouse. The bulb outside the door is blown, as are several lights in the warehouse. Christine Cagney, gun drawn slips inside the door and is slowly inching along a row of crates, obviously expecting to meet someone. Suddenly the lights are thrown on and Chris is confronted by four men with guns.
Cagney blinks in the light and slowly raises her hands with the gun.
Caught you in the act Sergeant - here to meet Andrews and deliver the guns?
No - It's Andrews - I'm here to meet Andrews! He -
I know - nice setup, don't you think? Andrews played you just right, - I knew there was a dirty cop in this whole setup. He got you to commit yourself to this drop-off meeting and now I have you.
Drop the gun and kick it towards me! Now!
Chris drops the gun - makes to kick it towards the FBI agent and instead does a neat dive for the door. There is gunfire as Chris flips over the doorsill and into the night.
Formby curses and the four agents swarm out the door after the wounded cop.
As the men thunder by overhead, Chris crouches lower in the window transom below the stairs. Her leg was bleeding but she didn't think the bullet had done much damage. She waited a full hour until she knew they had widened the search. The she tied her scarf tightly over the wound trying to keep the bleeding to a minimum. When she had cased out the warehouse earlier, planning a getaway in case things went wrong, she hadn't counted on getting shot. Damn. She had, however, found this hidden transom. She had also counted on the open garbage truck being parked here and on the FBI agents searching it tonight. Thank God it was there. Now she just had to stay warm and alert until morning. Damn. She had Andrews and Mansfield dead to rights - if she could stay out of trouble long enough. Being a hunted fugitive complicated things. She had known she might be walking into a setup. But she couldn't let Mansfield and a dirty cop get away with it. She couldn't let them beat her. But she needed help. She settled further back into the transom, tightened the wrap on her leg and pulled her old army coat close around her waiting for morning. The leg was beginning to hurt.
Dawn, still at the warehouse. Christine watches as the agents search the garbage truck one more time, grumbling as they poke through the smelly, ripped green garbage bags. Finished, they move off warming their hands, resuming their search of the grounds - again. Formby is furious at having lost Chris. His men do enjoy watching him bested, but they aren't enjoying his bad temper. As they turn the corner, Chris very slowly crawls out of the transom. Her leg has stopped bleeding but she is feeling cold and weak. Still, she will feel a lot worse if she is caught. She drops from the transom, biting back a yelp of pain as she hits the cement. She lies there a brief moment, then pulls herself up and walks cautiously towards the garbage truck. She climbs the metal rungs along the truck and drops into the pile of garbage bags. Phew!! Lovely. Chicken bones and fish skin. Not only sick from pain, now she was going to throw up from the smell. She sure hoped that Isbecki would clue in for once and that Mary Beth had gotten her message. If not, she was done. Chris buried down into the bags and waited for the truck to move through the gates. She made it through one more cursory search by the agents before the truck was waved through the gates. They were as thrilled by the smell as she was. She was on her way - she prayed her luck held. She knew Mary Beth would come through. It was luck she was praying for now.
Later the same morning in the squad room.
Mary Beth enters the squad room 30 min late surprised to find - first that Chris wasn't in yet and - second - three men searching hers and Chris' desk.
Who are you?
Formby (officious twit):
FBI. I have confiscated all information pertaining to the gun theft you and Cagney were working on - you are under suspicion as well, Detective Lacey.
Samuels(opening his door and interrupting the agent):
Mary Beth goes into Samuels office and closes the door.
What in hell were you two thinking!
Cagney was arrested in the 13th street warehouse last night - caught in a meeting set up by an FBI informant to arrange for the transport of the stolen guns. It was a sting operation, Lacey, and Cagney walked right into it - and into an arrest. She made a run for it and is now wanted for grand theft, resisting arrest and -need I go on?!
MARY BETH mouth open, and speechless, thinks of speaking but can't
Well, where were you when your partner was taking on the whole damned FBI and a gunrunning mob! Don't tell me you didn't know what she was up to! (His finger is jabbing the air in front of her face).
No sir, are you sure, sir? (Mary Beth is torn between not believing that things could get that bad that quickly and knowing what her partner was capable of.)
Lacey, I'm sending you home. (calming down) I'm worried about Cagney - they think she's been shot.- If you know where she is, Lacey, do her a favour and let me know. Until I hear different, I've been ordered to bring her in as a dangerous fugitive. Formby is just mad enough to shoot her on sight. He hates being bested by a woman. (quietly) Oh, and Lacey, if you know of anything that can help your partner out, let me know. I mean it.
Yes sir. Sir, you know she isn't dirty - she walked into this to get Mansfield.
SAMUELS (really concerned now)
You listen to me Lacey! Stay out of this - come to me if you know anything. You and Cagney are way out of your league. We all may be. That's all.
Mary Beth leaves, pulling the door shut behind her. Samuels watches her leaves, shaking his head.
Mary Beth moves by her desk and by the FBI agents, grabs her coat and heads out of the squad room. Isbecki casually follows her, carrying a manila envelope.
Lacey, wait up.
He makes sure no one is watching them.
I found this letter for you in my mail. It looks personal.
Mary Beth is distracted and says "later Victor" as she turns to go. Victor touches her arm, lowers his voice " I think it's important"
Mary Beth looks at him and takes the envelope. He turns back to the squad room and she leaves.
Mary Beth at home.
She opens the letter and finds a hand written note" If you get this I need your help. If you get this, you could be in just as much trouble as I am. - 75th recycling warehouse.
Mary Beth sits holding the letter for a minute and then grabs her coat and a first aid kit. She picks up the phone and calls Harv at his work site.
A carpenter picks up phone -
It's Mary Beth - tell Harv I'm bringing his lunch by.
She heads for the door, hoping that whoever is bugging the phone is fooled by that simple trick. Now, to figure out the most round about subway and bus route to Chris by way of Harvey's work. Damn that Chris. Heading out on her own, endangering both of them this way. Mary Beth honestly didn't know what went on in her partner's head. She was almost as angry at Chris as she was worried about her. Chris was likely wounded, facing a prison sentence - let alone the end of her career. Mary Beth never once doubted her partner's innocence. She was furious that Chris had acted without her - they were a team, dammit.
Another part of town, later that afternoon. A recycling warehouse. Christine is slumped in a corner, hidden by some boxes used for recycling cardboard. Her wounded leg is extended in front of her. She is holding a gun in her hands.
A door creaks and a crack of light splits the dark. Chris snaps her head back, raising the gun with both hands. Mary Beth slips into the storeroom and whispers:
Mary Beth - over here. Cagney lowers the gun. Mary Beth finds her and stops, looking at her.
My lord Chris! You're hurt! Let me see that.
Mary Beth cleans the wound and wraps it.
Just sit still! What were you thinking! You need to get this looked at! You're lucky the bullet isn't still in there. And you smell like a garbage can!
Ow! Take it easy, will ya?
Up now and come with me. I'll help you. But you're coming with me. First to the hospital, then we'll go to Samuels and you can turn yourself in. Hire David. Right now, I mean it - come on!
NO! Mary Beth listen to me! Please, just listen to me. I will turn myself in. Tell Samuels to be here this evening. He can bring me in. But I need you to do some things for me, Mary Beth. We can do this. I have them, - Mansfield and Andrews!
As Mary Beth just stands there looking at her
Please Mary Beth?
Mary Beth explodes:
Sure, now you need my help! You sneak off here yourself, not letting me in on your plans, get yourself shot and arrested and now you need me? Lying there bleeding and smelling like a damned dead fish and now you need me?! What happened to teamwork - partner?
Chris has no answer and no time to give one as Mary Beth rages on -
What?! You don't trust me anymore? You think you're the only one capable of bringing these guys in? You're obsessed and you can't see beyond making the damn collar. Now you're in deep shit and you've dragged me in too! And now you want me to help you to bleed to death while you use yourself as bait to get Mansfield? Forget it Lady!
Mary Beth. I'm sorry. I was worried about you. You retire in a month. This is dangerous. And you're right. I am obsessed with Mansfield - I couldn't drag you into that. I wasn't even sure you'd come with me. We aren't really a team anymore - you're leaving! (resentment has crept into her voice)
Wasn't sure? Not a team? After all the times I've followed you on your hare-brained plans?
Mary Beth, I'm sorry. I was wrong. I do need you and I miss you.
(she rushes on)
But I know it was Andrews, Mansfield has Marquette in his pocket. Marquette is willing to turn a blind eye to his gunrunning as long as Mansfield stays an informer. Mansfield put in a call to Marquette. Marquette called the FBI to put out the sting and I fell right into it going after Mansfield. All he had to do was tell Capt. Andrews not to show. I turn up to the meeting and it looks like I'm the bad cop. But Mansfield didn't count on me seeing Andrews there earlier in the day. I can get Mansfield here - He has to come to get rid of me. It's no risk for him. Marquette can claim Mansfield was working as a police informer. They ship the guns here first. I turn up and he shoots me. I'm wanted and Mansfield can shoot me, claiming that I shot at him first. He'll come because I know too much. And because he needs to win.
He needs to win? (A bit softer) Chris - it's too dangerous, you can barely walk.
just bring the recording equipment, Mary Beth - be here at 4. We'll set it up and be ready for Mansfield when he comes. Tell Samuels to be here and he can arrest either me or Mansfield. Mary Beth (this as Mary Beth is about to speak) I'm facing a long term in a very nasty prison. Don't you think I should get to make the choice?
Chris (her voice husky with exhaustion and the tears she's been holding back):
Will you help me?
Fine, but you have to turn yourself in no matter how this comes down!
Same recycling warehouse. Early that evening. Chris is in the same corner settling in to wait It is still early. Mary Beth came early, bringing food, coffee and clothes that didn't smell like garbage. Chris refused to change. She needed to convince Mansfield she was hurt and no threat. That wasn't as far from the truth as she wanted to admit. Mary Beth is hidden nearby watching and ready to operate the recording equipment - and to grab Mansfield if things got out of hand. No matter what she told Chris, Mary Beth cared more for keeping her partner out of danger than she cared about nabbing Mansfield. Although keeping Chris safe meant nabbing Mansfield.
The door opens. A large man enters the dark warehouse and turns on the lights. Mansfield is early. Both women are taken unawares, but Mary Beth has chosen her hiding spot well, and can see everything while staying hidden. Chris brings her gun up and struggles to her feet.
Well, well. Sergeant Cagney! Rumour has it that you are a dangerous felon! Odd, you don't look too dangerous at the moment! My, my what a mess! My dear, you have come down in the world!
Cagney (swaying a little on her feet, not needing to exaggerate her weakness too much):
Can it Mansfield! I have you and I have the guns. You are under arrest!
Oh, Christine, you are such a kidder.
He walks up to her until the gun touches his chest.
You won't shoot me in cold blood. Remember? This isn't a game for you, is it? By the way, I have no intention of being arrested. He moves quickly, kicking Chris in her wounded leg. She falls to the ground, and he pulls his own gun putting it to her head before she recovers.
Drop it my dear, NOW!
Mary Beth holds back, knowing, hoping, that Chris still has things under control. She knew her partner well, but knew her well enough to know she could push things too far. Mary Beth hated this. There was nothing she could do without blowing the collar and putting Chris in greater danger.
Christine drops the gun. Mansfield grabs her by the collar and drags her to her feet. Mary Beth still stays hidden, hand on her own gun, waiting for Chris to get Mansfield to talk.
CHRIS (her face close to Mansfield's face)
So. You win. Tell me. Just for my own satisfaction. How much does Capt. Andrews get out of this. I'd just like to know how scum like you gets to a cop.
Very well, since you won't be alive much longer. Andrews didn't get much at first - I got to him through his family - amazing how people will co-operate if you threaten to expose their son as a junkie. Of course, it helps if you deal the drugs yourself. Andrews is paid enough. But you, Christine, are a thorn in my side.
My pleasure. How did Andrews know when the shipments were due?
If I didn't know better, I'd say you were setting me up, but you don't seem to have any friends left to help you, do you Christine? My friend Marquette lets it slip now and then that the department is moving confiscated guns. So handy being in the witness protection program, isn't it?
Chris (unable to hide her disgust):
You make me sick
Very funny coming from a woman who smells like garbage.
He moves the gun under Chris' chin. I was pretty clever setting you up with the FBI, though wasn't I? But now I'm bored.
Chris glowers at him as he raises her chin with the gun barrel.
Mary Beth is ready. They have what they need, but now any move on her part could set Mansfield off and get Chris killed. Mary Beth has been here before. All her instincts and training come into play: her partner's life depends upon her.
Mansfield (enjoying the moment and holding Chris' gaze):
Time to say goodbye, Christine. Pity, really. You weren't that much of a challenge in the end.
Mary Beth has heard enough and erupts from her hiding place gun in hand. Mansfield is momentarily distracted. Chris knees him in the groin and grabs for the gun as Mansfield doubles over. Mary Beth yells "freeze Mansfield !" as Mansfield and Chris fall in a heap to the ground. A gun goes off.
The warehouse door is flung open as Samuels, Isbecki and Esposito flood into the warehouse. From the opposite door four FBI agents, led by Formby run into the warehouse.
Mary Beth has grabbed Mansfield, putting handcuffs on him, pulling him off Christine.
Chris are you alright?
No answer. As she moves Mansfield, Mary Beth notices the blood on both Mansfield and Chris.
Chris groans, slowly opens her eyes and mumbles:
I'm fine. Just fine.
She rolls over on her side and sees that Mansfield is unconscious and bleeding.
Chris falls back and closes her eyes briefly. Then she looks up at a concerned Mary Beth, laughs a little and says:
A challenge! I'll just bet he loves Rikers!
At least you'll have the chance to ask him, partner.
Mary Beth starts to help Chris sit up when cops and agents run up, guns in hand.
Formby reaches over and tries to grab Chris by the arm. Mary Beth moves between Chris and Formby.
Back off Formby! This is my jurisdiction and I am taking Sergeant Cagney into custody!
This is a federal matter and she's my prisoner.
And this was a precinct sting! Get out of my way and call an ambulance (takes a look at Cagney) call two! (to Formby's men) Do something useful - take care of cataloguing those guns if you want any part of this collar - you hear me?
Formby is fuming. His men hastily find something to do.
Formby (pointing his finger at Chris):
Just don't leave town, you hear me?
Chris replies in her best John Wayne drawl:
Watch it pardner, this town ain't big enuf for the two of us.
Mary Beth holds back a smile. Formby, obviously outmatched, turns on his heal and goes in search of someone else to torment.
Samuels turns to Lacey who is holding onto Cagney. Chris is letting Lacey do the talking.
Spill it quickly Lacey - it had better be good! Good enough to keep us all out of trouble!
Yes, sir: We have it all on tape. Chris got Mansfield to implicate both Andrews and Marquette (Samuels whistles at this). She's innocent, sir. (looking at Cagney) We need to get her to the hospital, Lieutenant.
Samuels smiles at them both:
Good collar. Yeah, get her to the hospital. Looking at Cagney and smiling: - and Cagney, put on some clean clothes - you smell terrible.
Mary Beth sits beside Chris, holding her. Chris leans her head against Mary Beth and closes her eyes. Mary Beth puts her hand on the side of Chris' head, holding her close. She had almost lost Chris. But not this time. Chris' leg was bleeding again, and throbbing. She was filthy and exhausted, but she was also at peace. Even at peace - for a while.
Ambulance sirens are heard in the distance. The camera pulls back on the two women seated on the ground as Isbecki and Esposito take charge of Mansfield.
Three weeks later.
A park in the spring sun. Christine Cagney, just back from a walk, is dressed in sweats and doing some sit ups. Mary Beth Lacey walks up and sits on the nearby park bench until Chris finishes. Chris gets up and walks to the bench, limping slightly as she walks.
Hi Mary Beth!
You're hardly limping. Ready to go back to work on Monday?
Coming to my party tonight?
Chris is quiet for a moment then reaches into her pocket and gives a package to Mary Beth:
I'd rather not go, Mary Beth, but I got you a retirement present. Pauses, "Open it"
A retirement present?
CHRIS Yeah, (impatient)
MARY BETH A retirement present? (hands the package back to Chris)
How about a promotion present?
It's huh, Sergeant!
CHRIS (incredulous and not knowing what to think) sputters:
Yep, Sergeant Lacey-
Chris jumps up to hug her
- of the Major Crime Squad!
Chris (pulling back to look at her friend):
Well, I couldn't very well pass up the chance of hearing you call me Sergeant, now could I, partner?
Mary Beth - that's wonderful - I'm so happy for you!
She hugs Mary Beth again.
So Chris, this party is for both of us - Sergeant Lacey and Lieutenant Cagney - newly of the major cases squad!
Chris is dumbfounded but manages to sputter out another:
Mary Beth (immensely enjoying having the upper hand):
Samuels asked me to let you know that your promotion came through. And - there's a spot for a team on major cases - we're in! Amazing what collaring Marquette did for us. I'm assuming you want to go. You do want to go don't you?
Chris is still having trouble articulating. She is, however, grinning widely from ear to ear.
You bet! But your retirement!
I love my job Chris. I love working with you and we're a great team. (Chris is beaming). Besides, I obviously can't leave you alone on major cases squad - they're not ready. It wouldn't be fair. (she smiles at Chris)
Chris ignores the last comment and hugs Mary Beth again.
Chris steps back and warily listens, a little chastened. Mary Beth hasn't talked to her about the Mansfield case and Chris has been waiting for the storm.
No going off on your own!
No holding out on me
Home at 5 every night!
Now I know you're lying! Chris, I'm serious about not going off on your own and keeping me in the loop! Especially in Major Cases - are you listening?
Chris is grinning from ear to ear. She puts her arm around Mary Beth and says:
Com'on Sergeant - we have a party to go to!
Mary Beth looks at her and then smiles.
Are you bringing James?
No. We broke up. You know, - the picket fence thing.
Silence for a while as the two walk along.
But I met this veterinarian. Very nice teeth. I'm thinking of getting a dog. You know, someone to take for walks -
and to the vet?
Mary Beth shakes her head at Chris and but smiles back.
The two women walk off with their arms around each other, still smiling as the frame freezes.
There is, of course, the strains of very upbeat saxophone music as the scene fades away.
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