Elissa’s place – GS.

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.freshome.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/apartment-architecture.jpg

Scene setting: Elissa’s Apartment

co-written with VunG.

 

Razorbackwriter: By now, all three would be feeling drained after being up all night, having been shot at, hospitalized and interrogated for being at Joey Patone’s apartment. But it was late in the afternoon, and Tommy had yet to even call in to his office about his whereabouts and the photographs he still had thanks to Frank. Driving Elissa to her apartment, Tommy knew he was going to have to show his face at the office of the New York Times sooner or later. As much as he wanted to see Elissa settle in at home, he knew he would have to keep moving. Frank; who was sitting in the back seat with Elissa had no intention of going into the Police station till he had heard from Isa. Without his service revolver he felt practically naked.

The traffic was building up as many workers would start to head out of the city, and Frank stared out the window at the procession of cars, trucks and taxis. In the back of his mind he was worried about what the Commander was going to do. Everything hinged on Isa’s report that he was not the shooter. Taking out his cell he quickly checked for messages and there were none, not even from his partner; Detective John Moss. Frank wouldn’t be surprised if John asked for a transfer. John had a wife and a life outside of the force, unlike Frank and John’s wife was sick of the long hours John put in babysitting Frank.

Soon, Tommy’s car pulled up outside Elissa’s apartment building but he kept the car running. Turning in his seat, with his arm draped over the passenger seat, he looked guilty about having to leave the pair.

“I’d come up, but I want to go to see my Editor about the pictures. The story has to be told, or at least investigated further. I want to reach my editor before your fat ass Commander does.”

Frank gave a sigh and nodded as he handed over the crumpled envelope that contained the only pictures of the beast that took Rory. The cops had the others thanks to the Commander, and Frank genuinely believed that those photos would never see the light of day. Swallowed by the same means of all the other evidence that seemed to vanish into thin air.

“I’ll take Elissa up.” Frank said, before getting out of Tommy’s car and going around to open Elissa’s door. He offered his hand to her to help her out of the car and onto the pavement.

When the door closed, Tommy indicated and then pulled out onto the street to head to his office, leaving Frank standing there with Elissa. He glanced up at the apartment building and uttered. “Nice place…..”

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa felt like she was about to pass out at this point. She hadn’t slept well even before this whole mess had started, and between two sleepless nights, getting shot at, getting into two separate verbal fights with the damn Commander, and now busting out of the hospital she was utterly and completely beat. She was grateful that she was self-employed, because she didn’t envy anyone that had to go to an office tomorrow. Actually, she was fairly certain she may have blacked out for the entire drive over, because it almost looked like the clock was skipping a few times. As much as she wanted to deny it to herself, Elissa wasn’t in any condition to help the guys.

Once they arrived at the apartments, she’d turn and nod to Tommy at his comments, knowing full well that he probably had more than his share of work to do, even after all this. If the commander decided to head off the news on this, then they would be shut down pretty damn quickly. Smiling feebly to him, she attempted to sign ~Thank you,~ though it was pretty ‘slurred,’ if you want to use that term. Besides, he probably had his own life to live besides baby-sitting her, same went for Frank, regardless of what he said. Sighing softly, she took Frank’s offer of helping her out, still feeling a bit woozy but refusing to let it show any more than it needed to.

And then, just like that, Tommy was gone, the two of them left alone. Strange… she didn’t really feel like she was coming home. Then again, how much time had she actually spent here? Upon hearing Frank’s words, she scoffed lightly and shrugged with her good shoulder, conceding that it probably was. She just never felt really all that at home here. Slowly she began moving her way into the building, using the railing but refusing any offered help, firmly deciding that she needed to handle herself. That said, she wasn’t too proud to use the escalator up to the third floor. Assuming Frank followed her on up, she’d be pretty much dead on her feet the whole time, though just as they exited the elevator he’d hear her hiss as she felt the first hints of the anesthetic wearing off.

Once to room 302, she pulled out her keys and opened the door, gesturing for Frank to follow her, if for no other reason than getting him something to drink. She wouldn’t bother with the door herself, at the moment she only had eyes for the restroom; specifically a bottle of painkillers. Though, before she went there, she stopped herself and gestured to the main room and to him in a way that kind of suggested she was trying to tell him to make himself at home. With that, she was away, leaving him alone for a little bit.

The room was probably higher-quality than the actual furniture and appliances she’d brought into it. The refrigerator and such things that came with it were all quite nice, upper-middle-class things, but she seemed to be a bit of a budget shopper as most of it was nice but far from fancy. All around the room there were various pictures, some of them simple landmarks from everywhere from Paris to Tokyo to Las Vegas, others of people and events in her life, and they varied wildly in size too. Her mother was a bit of a shutterbug and had sent a lot of the pictures to her, though if Frank was paying attention he’d notice that in none of her pictures she had a scarf, even when it was snowing. The most common figures in the pictures were either her parents from when she was young or her husband, a man of Native American heritage, about her height and about the same weight, both of them displaying their bands in the pictures. However, the pictures were all pre-pregnancy; she had no interest in haunting herself like that. Besides that, the only thing of note was a cork board near her desk with various pins and yarn set next to it, suggesting a similar set up to his own at home, just not one that was in use at the moment.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank trudged along silently behind Elissa. He had to hand it to her. The way she was keeping up appearances after the last two days was remarkable. A lesser man would have crashed out in the car. Following her into the escalator, Frank stood with folded arms as the lift rode up to the third floor, where he got out after her and continued to stay in behind her till she reached her door. He paused for a moment at the door, till she gestured him to follow. “Thank you.” he said simply, entering after her and letting her close the door. For a single girl in this town, she had a pretty spacious apartment. Tastefully decorated and neat. Elissa showed him with the wave of her hand what part was the main room and to more or less make himself at home. The detective offered a light smile, but knew when she headed into her bathroom that she was probably going to be getting some aspirin or painkillers. The drugs from the hospital must be wearing off by now, and the light hissing sound that she made indicated to Frank at least that she was in pain. Slowly, Frank removed his jacket; all the while checking out the array of photographs on the wall. They say that family photos are a way of looking into your past, your family..those you love. Being a detective Frank had a good eye and was able to spot right away that most, if not all these photos were taken before she had her accident. He noted that she didn’t wear a scarf in any of the photo, and time and again there were pictures of her with another man – presumably her husband. Frank walked right up to the wall, that was covered in photos from all over the globe. What a life Elissa must have led.

Elissa, like Frank had tragedy strike them both. Each had a story. They were more alike than one would dare say. Frank suddenly felt very uncomfortable, like he had stumbled across something that was private. Elissa wasn’t a case, and he shouldn’t be trying to deduct from the pictures just what happened to her husband. Frank wiped the underside of his nostrils and shaking his head slightly.

“You should be okay now. I know you don’t need a dead beat cop on your couch.”

Frank was about to head for the door, when suddenly his cell phone went off in his pocket. Fidgeting to get it out, he answered “Detective Malone.”

“Hello?”

It was Isa. Frank stopped dead in his tracks and noted that she was whispering. “Isa…what’s wrong? Where are you?”

~RB~

 

 

 

Taking Elissa home – GS.

Scene setting : New York Presbyterian Hospital

co-written with VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa scoffed at the boys’ reaction to her; it was like they were teenagers around a cheerleader or something. It was flattering, to be sure, and Tommy’s little jest about not washing his face actually had her feel like she was blushing. Even if it wasn’t something she was used to, she was grateful for the treatment, and she had to admit that she liked it a little bit. As Tommy got her some water, she’d gratefully flash him a smile and cradle the drink in her good hand, sipping at it slowly as he asked about her prospects of escape from this place. The doctor had been a little wishy-washy with her, but she had a good idea from other injuries. Putting her water down reluctantly, she signed, ~Probably within a few hours, once they know I’m out of the woods.~ However, afterwards she sighed and looked down, shaking her head with a whispered groan. ~I really don’t want to spend any more time here than I have to.~ If there was one thing that she hated, it was sitting around doing nothing when there were important deeds that needed doing.

Of course, once Frank brought up the subject of the Commander, she grimaced and nodded her agreement, still drinking her water… up until the p*rn comment, which promptly had her spitting back into her cup. Coughing a little, she looked at him with an expression along the lines of ‘Really? You went there?’ before letting it go with a shake of her head. Regardless of colorful language, she knew that he was right; that idiot commander had basically ruined the case and put more people in danger because the guy was probably getting kickbacks under the table. Sighing, she shook her head sadly and downed the rest of her water, smiling a thanks to Tommy before adding to Frank, hopefully with Tommy translating for her, ~I’m sorry this backfired so badly, Frank. I wish we had something to show for this mess.~ Her expression was utterly sincere, she felt bad for failing Frank; this was his chance to finally prove his innocence, and they blew it.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank and Tommy both spoke at the same time, when Elissa said she was sorry that their attempts to find evidence and get a witness statement backfired so badly. It wasn’t her fault and if anything they should be sorry for putting her in the line of fire. It was foolish to think that someone like Joey Patone didn’t have a mark on him. When you play with fire, you often get burnt.

“No no no, Elissa. Come on. Don’t be sorry. So…we had a set back.” Frank said, trying to be upbeat considering the fact he had to hand in his service revolver. Tommy on the other hand was more realistic. “We didn’t get the guy we wanted, but I am pretty damn sure that we were screwed the moment the Commander entered the scene. The guy is so crooked, I’m sure he has a hand in what happened. He was all too eager to pin this on Frank, when it was bleeding obvious that it was a sniper that shot Joey…..and you.” The journalist making a point of including Elissa in his deductions. “All we gotta do now, is figure out what we are chasing….and who.”

It seemed that this had gone from investigating what killed Rory, to a murder case on one Joey Patone – and the attempted murder on Elissa. In Tommy’s mind the most important thing to do was to see that the Commander’s ideas of Frank’s involvement in the crimes was quashed.

Looking at the time, and taking into consideration that Elissa didn’t want to stay in hospital a moment longer than she needed to had Tommy ducking outside to see if he could find a wheelchair, to wheel her out. Frank watched Tommy leave and then asked Elissa. “You know I am not going to rest until I find out who shot you, right?”

Frank reached for her hand, squeezing it lightly, as Tommy snuck back in with a wheelchair.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s break this babe outta here.”

~RB~

 

VunG:  It was… a little strange to be told that she hadn’t screwed up even when she knew damn well that she had. Even though she was a civilian now, she of all people should’ve been the combat expert; she should’ve been the one trying to protect them, not the other way around. But, Frank was probably right, no sense dwelling on one mistake. And what Tommy had to said actually got her back on her mental feet. No, not because it was encouraging, but rather because it got her blood boiling something fierce. What he said made perfect sense, and probably explained a great deal of the trouble that Frank had been having in his case even before she and Tommy got involved. And it also suggested some answers to some things she’d witnessed during her time in the force, things that had slipped by unnoticed due to a sort of optimism on her part, but now made perfect sense. Hopefully she was wrong on that and she was just jumping to conclusions, but whatever happened they knew that the Commander was likely not going to rest until Frank was out of commission, if nothing else.

And if he really was responsible for what happened in Joey’s apartment, then she had some personal reason to fry that pig’s bacon.

However, her enthusiasm was quelled by a simple reminder: she was wounded and stuck in this stupid hospital. When she felt Frank’s hand on hers and heard those words, she turned to him with a slightly surprised expression. Did Frank actually care that much about her? It… was actually kind of touching. Without intending to, she gave him a sweetly grateful expression, squeezing his hand back. Thankfully she toughened right back up and flashed him a weak but intense smile. Even if she couldn’t be on the field thanks to her injury, she wasn’t about to abdicate. Her pride wouldn’t allow it. Even if they never caught the shooter, this enterprise had her full support…

And then Tommy came in with the wheelchair, and suggested on busting her out. Oh, if he only knew how often that happened with her. Giving him a go ahead with a wicked smile, and signing for him to get a bandage and some cotton to help her with the IV. Really, she didn’t need too much help, just needed him to keep pressure on the area with the cotton while she turned off the drip and pulled out the needle. After that she bandaged herself up, already quite used to pulling that off even before SWAT, and then reached up for a hand to get into the chair. Once in, she gestured for one of the guys to get in back for her, then gestured like she was telling an army to move out.

Meanwhile, Doctor Steiner, who had been about to enter, sighed and waited outside, just shaking his head. That woman had been his patient since arriving in New York, and the only times she hadn’t walked out after an injury was when she actually couldn’t walk. He’d let the people bail her out, mostly out of exasperated knowing that she was impossible to keep around, and went ahead and signed her out himself.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Opening the door, Frank’s face fell on seeing the Doctor who had been standing outside. He didn’t look impressed to see Elissa in the wheel chair and it was Tommy who had the balls to call it what it was. Firmly gripping the wheel chair’s handles he gave something of a Cheshire grin. “Oh…hey Doc. You are probably wondering what Elissa is doing out of bed. Welp. After reading a comprehensive article on how people often get better faster in their own surroundings, we..” Frank interjected with a quick nod….“…and me.” Tommy picked up…“….thought we would take Elissa home.”There was a slight pause as it registered with the doctor that these were her friends. Not to mention he had heard the nurse station gossip about the flirtatious Tommy Xo. Doctor Steiner brought out the clip board he had been holding in his hand, as he had half suspected that this would happen. He had the release forms but needed her signature. Once she left the hospital’s care she was no longer covered by their policies. Red tape…and all that.

The Doctor offered her the clip board to sign, before asking both Frank and Tommy to take good care of her. Tommy gave a small salute, while Frank waited for Elissa to sign the release form and then take it from her to hand back to the Doc.

“She’s practically family.” Frank insisted. “I’ll stay with her till she is right again.”

Did this mean that Frank was going to stay at her apartment, or his?

With the papers signed, the trio would be able to head for the lift and then make their way to the carpark where Tommy was parked. Frank was relieved in a sense that they hadn’t had to resort to busting her out, but signing her out instead. Tommy made sure he waved to certain nurses as they left, even winking at the one that helped the boys from the beginning.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa locked eyes with the doctor as they left, and for a moment she felt really guilty at doing this to him. Thankfully though everything worked out, with the guys basically covering for her and making sure that she’d be alright. Of course, it was kind of silly how Tommy tried to explain it, but she rolled with it, not bothering to give him a raised eyebrow just out of a desire to get out of the hospital. Fortunately, old Steiner knew the drill, and had them sign the papers, which was fine by her… though not before Frank commented that he’d be staying with her until she was okay. That… was a strange thought… Did he really mean that? Because it probably wasn’t necessary.

Shaking it off, once they were signed out they were out, Tommy being the flirtatious goof he was as they went. After a trip to Tommy’s car, they were off to her apartment.

 

 

Everyone has a tale to tell – GS

 

Scene setting – Fifth and Maple : Joey’s Apartment.

co-written with Chor & VunG.

 

VunG:  Even through her slight daze, Elissa was more than happy to see that idiot Commander Bracks getting so worked up over being proven wrong; pride before the fall asshole. Of course, now that she had made it apparent where she stood and how things had worked out, she realized just how far into the line of fire she had placed herself… no pun intended. Thankfully, someone else came in, someone whom he immediately recognized as Khalil, someone that she had had to cooperate with on more than a few occasions. Even if they weren’t what you would call friends, she was definitely very grateful for the support, even if it was just stating the facts… she would’ve displayed it if she wasn’t so busy trying to keep firm towards the Commander.

She actually wasn’t aware of the corruption that the man went through, but at this point she would’ve been utterly unsurprised. Still, she backed off a bit as the other two came into the fray, but remained near them, glad to see that she wasn’t the only one with a bit of fire in her heart. Unfortunately, the crooked cop went ahead and confiscated all the photos, and while she had no doubt that one of them had pocketed a few, she knew that getting the pictures into the paper weren’t going to happen. If the things went public, Tommy would get charged with taking evidence from a crime scene. Once again, back to square one, and this time not a lead to be found.

And of course, throughout this whole fiasco, the poor EMT was just staying off to the side trying not to get caught in the crossfire.

The moment the commander was gone, she seemed to deflate, actually stumbling a bit before the EMT caught her, her good hand going up to her forehead as the world started spinning. Her eyes turning to see a concerned face looking at her, and suddenly she felt a strange warmth in her, despite her condition. Still, she didn’t have the energy to do much other than nod feebly, to which the EMT grumbled in frustration, “Not that she has much of a choice.” As the man started to usher her out of the crime scene, she turned to Tommy, and had an expression on her face almost begging for him to follow… if for no other reason to bust her out once she had her stitches in.

Provided nothing else happened, she’d be brought promptly downstairs to the ambulance and brought in; though thankfully they spared her the indignity of using a stretcher. And then she would be sped away, siren somewhat unnecessarily blaring.

 

Chor:  Isolde wasn’t sold at all on the idea that this was a drug-bust-turned-assassination. Did anyone really believe that? Maybe they spent so much time settling for ‘just enough’ that they couldn’t tell that this place smelled of serious mischief. She had actually forgott about the Commander, having very little respect for him anyways, and her attention snapped up to him when he countered her. Tested? She snickered to herself, wondering if he knew a single thing about actual crime scene investigation. Obviously, there would be testing done; idiot. That meant very little, though, in this situatio nat this moment, where she could see with her own eyes that it was not a point blank shot or even from across the room. This was a long-range, sniper shot.

Isa did not falter when the Commander stepped up to her. She stared hatefully past his bushy dark brows into his sunken eyes and crossed her arms with closed fists.

You can count on it,” She muttered, fighting the urge to spit where he stood. Khalil seemed to sense her growing attitude and he pulled her towards the body again, attempting to avert her attention to something useless and not even relevant to the case. She looked thankfully at him. He was usually the one whi played mediator, stopping her from saying things she shouldn’t and doing things that would cost her dearly. Once the Commander had finally given up on barraging everyone in the room with insults or questions, he exited the building. He left his rotten stink behind, though, and his corruption choked Isa.

Filthy, sexist bastard,” Isa muttered to herself as Frank approached. She knows of him, has been following a lot of his cases, but has never personally worked with him. Khalil handed her a bag and a sharpie.

Unfortuantely, I’ve got to take it. I’ll make sure to return it in good condition, though,” She said, holding the bag open for the gun to be placed in, then marking it accordingly. She’s certain there’d be no evidential use for it, but the Commander would be ever so pleased she did as he asked.

I won’t let him pin this on you, no matter how much he gets paid or how lazy and ignorant he is,” She said thoughtfully, her more humane side showing. This is a man’s career; and not only that, his life.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank turned his service revolver around in the palm of his hand so that the butt end was facing Isolde. The detective then dropped it into the offered bag with something of a sigh. At least Isolde was being compassionate in the light of how the Commander viewed things. The Commander had to be one of the most unpopular men in the force, and with good reason. Especially after the way he spoke to those on the site. He was a sexist pig and a bastard to boot. With the gun handed over, Frank took out his badge and stared at it for a moment. How long before they asked for this too? From beneath his furrowed brow, the Detective glanced up to hear that Isolde was not going to let the Commander pin the murder of Joey on him. It brought a little comfort in what had been a rotten morning thus far. “Its a tough battle when you got dicks like him in charge. Heh, you didn’t hear that from me.” Frank offered with a crooked smile. Ah, there was that sense of humor. It was good to know that he still had that at least.

Watching the other officers boxing up all the photographs and equipment, Frank knew that this was going to get buried at the police holding office. Maybe the porn pics will do the rounds, but the pictures of the beast that will probably be discredited as being photo shopped….or computer generated. That was the key evidence to clear his name over Rory, and as the police teams thinned out to let the forensics do their job, Frank knew it was time to go. One last look at the sheet covered body of Joey, and Frank started for the door. “Keep in touch…okay?” Frank said, before heading out the door.

Tommy was waiting for Frank outside. The paramedics had rushed Elissa off to the ambulance, which meant that the pair would have to follow in Tommy’s car. You could see that Tommy was already angered by the behavior of the Commander, and his eyes narrowed as Frank appeared. “No offence, Frank….but that was some stupid shit in there. Are they all useless as that Commander Klutz?” Tommy knew that his chances of those pictures of the beast making front page were now all but gone. They were really on to something, and now the main witness was dead and the evidence taken downtown. Frank wiped some blood splatter from his cheek and patted Tommy on the back. “We’ll figure this out. Just…not now. Come on, let’s get to the hospital. I’m worried about Elissa.”

The two men headed down the hall to the stairwell, and would make it out to Tommy’s car, as the blazing lights of the police illuminated the alley.

~RB~

 

Chor:  As most of the cops had finished whatever it was they were pretending to do as they stood around breathing precious air and potentially destroying evidence with their sheer idiocy, this left the building empty save for Forensics, Khalil, and her. Khalil was already loading up the body into a bag and pushing it via gurney out to corpse-mobile, which left Isa by herself in what appeared to be some sort of living room. She scoured it for a few moments, finding nothing of significance, and almost resolved to leaving before abrupt laughter caught her attention in the next room. Obviously it was Forensics, she recognized Michael’s distinctly obnoxious chuckling. The room bustled with loud talking, then laughter, so Isa sauntered over and stood in the doorway. It was dark and they couldn’t see her at first.

The five men- including Ricardo the lanky newbie, Michael the unsightly prankster, Bronkov the stoic transfer, Balle the confused alcoholic, and Jameson the fucking prick- were all standing around a box of evidence. In their grubby fingers they held photographs. They were throwing the things around and making horrifying comments like they were playing some sort of pornographic trading card game.

“Riccy, here this one’s for you,” Jameson flicked a photo at the kid and he grasped the air, sadly not catching it. It fluttered slowly, as if caught on a breeze, landing just by Isa’s booted foot. Ricardo snatched it up, looking at her boot, then following it up to her eyes. Everyone fell silent then.

“This is evidence, you fucking dimwits,” She scolded, eyes narrowed to slits. Anger reddened her normally pale face and she took the picture from the newbie. It was a girl who could be no more than 19, naked and alone on a bed. There was a false sense of hunger in her eyes, followed by a sadness Isa knew all too well. The girls name was Amelia. She’d been a street girl when Isa’s sister was in Vice, but switched out of the game just to fall into another one. Just a week ago, Amelia was found in a hotel bathtub, beaten so terribly they almost couldn’t recognize her. Claura cried for a week.

“Oh, piss off, weirdo,” Jameson spat, making Isa smile because he couldn’t find anything more insulting to say. He growled, eyes shooting daggers, but the rest of the men just gathered everything and started leaving.

“No, leave the boxes, I’ve got to do inventory on it,” She commanded, knowing if any of these boxes disappeared from sight that helpful evidence might never be seen again. The men cursed their way out of the dark room, kicking feet like children at the prospect of being told what to do by a women. In picking up and inspecting the photos, she found that not all of them were of women. There were some that were barely distinguishable, like they hadn’t developed correctly, and some she could barely decipher. Then there were three that were actually frightening to look at. It was some sort of beast. Her eyes dug into the picture and she found herself thinking back to Claura’s third month in Vice. She’d seen something. As it was her duty to lurk in the night through all sorts of streets and alleys, she thought she’d seen it all. Claura was scared of whatever she’d seen. She told Isa every night that she came home that she felt she was being followed. Isa chalked it up to anxiety. Claura never was the best at handling stress and the new job was really getting to her. One month later, Claura disappeared and was never seen again. No one knows what happened. Nobody pays attention to a hooker. With a sigh, Isa went against everything she knew was right and pocketed the photo. Someone would know what this is. Someone had to believe her and if this photo disappeared, she would never figure it out. Collecting the three boxes of evidence, she exited the building and left in the running vehicle with the dead man in the back.

 

 

 

 

The Evidence doesn’t lie – GS.

 

Scene setting – Fifth and Maple streets; Joey’s apartment.

co-written with Chor & VunG.

 

VunG:  If there was one thing that nobody could call Elissa, it was easy to discourage. Even as she was getting fixed up by the EMT’s she insisted on being allowed to stay until she knew for a fact that Frank and Tommy were in the clear. Normally she would’ve just gone ahead and joined them, but she knew that her injury was mild enough that she wasn’t exactly in mortal danger and with that goddamn commissioner around her level of confidence in the situation was somewhere around Satan’s wine cellar. While the room was investigated by the CSI’s, she was busy with the EMT’s getting the slug out of her shoulder with just a local anesthetic and getting her all bandaged up. It wasn’t her first time getting shot, and besides bleeding out it was pretty mild. When the slug was out, she asked the EMT’s to have it put into a CSI bag so that they could examine it themselves… though she had to do a lot of pantomime to get that out and was stuck holding the bag for the time being.

Once she was in the clear and her arm in a sling, she went ahead and asked one of the EMT’s to help her up to the crime scene, something that he was really reluctant to do. “Ma’am, we need to get that looked at proper. The immediate danger’s over, but you might have some contamination from the blood, or just lead poisoning.” But after an assurance that she’d go with them to the hospital afterwards he agreed. As it turned out, her hunch that things were bad would turn out to be dead on.

As she walked on, she noticed Tommy waiting outside, and she nodded to him, flashing him a weak smile as she leaned on the wall. Slowly she spelled out ~Thanks~ with her free hand, privately cursing her muteness for the hundredth time since getting shot. But… she really was grateful to him… he’d looked after her while she was downed and done his best to see to her wound, even though he wasn’t trained for it. And… for someone not trained to do this sort of thing to be so composed under fire… she had to admit that she was really impressed. Of course her smile faded as a bit of pain lanced across and she winced, shaking her head to clear it.

And then she heard the “you have motive” phrase… and suddenly her face was beet red with rage. The EMT tried to usher her out, but there was no stopping her. Still in her tank top with a bright white and deep red bandage on her shoulder, she strode in as Frank was protesting his innocence, a snarl of pure rage on her face. Tapping the commissioner on the shoulder, she promptly thrust the bag of lead shards into his chest. Once he had it, she immediately pointed to her shoulder, then pointed across the room to the window it had come from, then to the place where Joey was laying/his blood pool sat… all the while the EMT was urging her, “Ma’am, calm down! It can’t be good for the wound!” However, even as light-headed as she was feeling right now, she wasn’t about to back down.

Chor:  When Khalil practically leapt into the drivers’ seat of the vehicle, Isa took it that they were off to the scene. He started the Coroner’s van and they sped backward, all four eyes in the car trained intently on the rearview mirror. The scene of this homicide wasn’t too far from the precinct, but the police obviously had been alerted first and she only prayed they did not mud up her scene. What some might consider a front yard that was really a patch of wet dirt had a plethora of police issue boot marks tracked through it, leading to the apartment. An officer stopped her at the door, looking her up and down until she produced her keycard for his eyes to squint at for about a full minute. Apparently satisfied, the mustached hero of the yellow tape lifted his thin barrier and allowed the two passage underneath. She’s seen this cop at least a dozen times this month, yet he still does’t recognize her. It doesn’t bother her, much, though. It’s something Isa has become accustomed to.

Entering the building, Isa could barely hear herself think…or even breathe. The amount of people in the place was actually suffocating the air right out of it. It smelled terribly of not only drugs, but now cigarettes and a hint of aftershave. Eyes flew to her as she arrived. She wasn’t dressed very properly, wearing black pants, a normal tee, and her lab coat. This, accompanied by her dissheveled hair and lightly smudged eyeliner, may lead some to believe she’s in the wrong place. Isa, however, steps gently over to the body and uncovers it. She rolls her kit out and assembles her camera.

The CSI team is taking plenty of photos, as is evident by the flashes still bouncing across every surface. It’s a habit of hers to take her own shots, though, and uploading them to the database so if anything happens- like it often does in their chain of command- she has the hard copies. Much commotion was going on between a few cops and possibly civilians. There was much talk about motive and how it ‘could’ or ‘couldn’t’ be the officer. A laugh escaped her. A little snort thatwas loud enough to stop and turn quite a few heads. The body in front of her was not killed close range and any idiot with a forensics degree could see it. She turned, standing.

“No abrasion ring, no powder residue, the entrance wound is too small, and look at the spatter!” A hand pointed down at the body as she near shouted. Her words weren’t meant as an insult, but nevertheless she was incredulous.

“He couldn’t have killed this man…” Khalil tried to help, hoping maybe the few glares they received would calm. Isa didn’t care much for anyone’s opinion of her. She cared about the facts; about justice. This detective, whomever he was, was not the murderer. Whether he hired someone was a different story, one she didn’t need to worry about. They could argue for days about motive, but the science was factual and the science could prove it wasn’t him.

 

Razorbackwriter:  
Feeling the sharp tapping on his shoulder, the Commander turned to see an infuriated Elissa thrust a bag of lead shards hard into his chest. It winded the Commander slightly as he released a loud oomph The Commander wrestled the bag from Elissa only to have her madly pointing out her shoulder, then over to the broken window. It was clear by her demonstrations that she was making him realize it was impossible for Frank to have been the gunman, if you calculated the angle of the shots, the splatter and the fact that Elissa had also been shot in the attack. With her SWAT training, the girl was a very credible witness as well as being a victim of the shootings. The Commander didn’t like being proven wrong, and you could see he was getting flustered and annoyed. Small purple veins were starting to stand out on his neck. He was about to gruffly reply to Elissa, when one of the team from the coroners office spoke clearly and concisely about what the evidence was telling her.

“No abrasion ring, no powder residue, the entrance wound is too small, and look at the splatter!”

“That all still needs to be tested.” The Commander argued, hating being in the wrong. But he was being outgunned here and the fact it was women doing it to him, made it all the more painful. In the background, Frank’s shoulders sagged. Seriously, the Commander was as corrupt as Joey had been. There had been a lot of talk around the station, that the Commander was getting kick backs and shady deals from some of the mob bosses. Also, the Mayor’s office was involved. Hushing up crimes against certain underworld leaders. You really had to wonder if there was any true fighters for justice in this town. Finally, Frank had had a gutful and brazenly said what was on his mind. “Why would I kill the only man who witnessed what I did the night Rory died, Sir?” Again he was talking about the creature in the photographs that adorned the dark room out back. At this, Tommy reentered the room. He was not part of any police investigations, but he was ready to go into bat for his best mate.

“When these pictures make it in the mornings paper, there are going to be more interest in the creature, than the death of a drug runner.”

The Commander stiffened, hearing the nosy reporter enter the crime scene. “Oh…the Press! You are not getting one of those pictures, Son. They are all evidence.” He said with a wave of his hand diagonally across his body. “Someone get that guy outta here!”

Isa continued to try and help the situation, by adding that Frank was not the killer. “He couldn’t have killed this man…” The Commander walked right up to her face and stared her down. “I want your report on my desk ASAP. Prove without reasonable doubt.” Having had enough of the argument, he turned to one of the uniformed officers. “I want all the evidence brought into the station. ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHS and equipment.” Commander Bracks yanked on his jacket and then in a huff, stormed out of the room. Tommy still hadn’t left the crime scene, and came up alongside Elissa.

“Now do you wanna go down to the ER?” Concern riddled on his face. He didn’t say anything to the Commander about the photographs, since he knew Frank had a few in his jacket.

With the Commander gone, Frank approached Isa. “Do you want my service revolver for testing?”

 

~RB~

Frank takes the heat – GS.

Scene setting : Fifth and Maple Street; Joey’s apartment.

co-written with Chor and VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa’s face remained stuck in an expression of intense pain and concentration as she tried to keep herself aware, and even as Tom and Frank came to her aid she tried to reach out for her gun again. No, she wasn’t about to try and pull some last stand maneuver, but she damn sure wanted to be armed. Every one of the extra shots made her blood boil, and even with her wound she wanted to fire back. Of course, she realized pretty quickly what a bad idea that was, and would promptly put her hand back into place while Tommy perched over her, stating the obvious. (No fucking shit,) she mouthed, not really caring if he actually saw or understood her words. They didn’t have time for the obvious to come down. But… she had to give up the fight, and nodded and remained in place while he found something to help bandage her.

She was aware of Frank returning fire, but beyond that Elissa was unable to really contribute much here. Still… apparently everything calmed down… which gave her enough time to bring her hand away and punch the floor furiously, slamming her head against the couch she was leaning against as she kicked herself for not noticing that damn sniper. She’d made longer shots than that, much less seen them, how the hell had she missed that?! Was she really slipping that much?! Was she really that much of a has-been?

Of course, just to make matters worse, Joey’s significant other came in at about that moment to see the carnage. Frank was quick on it, of course, and was able to get things under control. Grunting softly, she reached up to the buttons of her coat and undid them as quickly as she could manage, ignoring the pain of moving the arm involved. The moment the thing was off to allow for a little better access to her injury, her right hand returned to its place while the left went limp, tears of pain streaming down her face as she bit her lip. Under her jacket she was wearing what amounted to a grey tank top. Tommy would be able to see the wound clearly if he could get her hand away, and if he was paying attention he’d notice scars similar to her neck’s along both her arms and a single mark on the edge of her right shoulder where she’d been grazed by another bullet.

She was absolutely oblivious to the calls being made… except for Frank’s mention of an 11-41. Immediately shame overwhelmed her and she looked down, biting her lip as more tears streamed down her cheeks. Damn it all… was that all she was now? A freaking ambulance call?!

 

Chor:  Now Isa wouldn’t have called herself busy, but drinking her shitty coffee from the conference/break room down the hall just past the morgue was the one thing that she preferred to be uninterrupted in her morning routine. She guessed, though, that in the city that never, ever sleeps, ten in the morning was not too early for a homicide. Truthfully, she had been on overnight duty and just slept in her office. The lounge served comfortble enough for at most six hours of light, non-murder-interrupted sleep. The crackling of the heat coming on in the room caused her to wake about thirty-seven minutes earlier and her hair was still a raggedy, sad mess.
This, of course, homicidal maniacs did not take into consideration when they started killing for the day. One sip into the sludge shite in the cracked “Best Mom Ever” mug and the radio exploded with sound, turning her quiet world upside down and causing her to drop her liquid breakfast onto the counter. The mug bounced off the edge of the granite and tumbled to the floor, creating a scene more annoying than she wished to handle at the moment. Listening closely to the radio, she stood unblinking. 10-71. Not for her. 11-41. Still not her. Her fingers twitched. Now that she was alert, ready for it, she eyed the device hungrily. So quickly her emotions could change. When nothing else spewed from the muffled speakers and the sound quit its reverberation in the accoustic room, she bent and retrieved her cup. The handle was broken and where the piece sepearated was seen layers upon layers of all sorts of glue of different consistencies and colors. This cup is old, a piece of fine china in their little kitchinette, and she would put it back together again. Just like she always does.
A towel is procured from a bland gray cabinet and used to mop up the black mess. The coffee was actually so thick, it nearly reminded her of coagulated blood. A small smile tugged at her lips as she threw the towel in the ‘to-be-washed’ bin, where it woud sit for about a week and a half until she washed it at home. Her second in command for this shift, Khalil, opened the door gently, holding fresh scrubs she only imagined he planned to change into.
“I got word from the buses it’s homicide. Keep an ear out, I’m headed to change, you’re on dead guy duty, I’ll drive,” He said. Khalil didn’t have an office, mostly because he was new and not because he didn’t deserve one. He worked just as hard as any of the others, just Isa worked harder; and she was more qualified. She nodded, though, and followed him as he left the entrance. There was a pretty good chance they’d be seeing hearing someone call in a body within the next ten minutes. She pulled her coat on and plucked her clip board and pen off the shelf, waiting patiently in the corpse-mobile.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The street below Joey’s apartment, was now filled with brass and the blazing lights of squad cars and of course the ambulance. Tommy sat outside in the hall, his jacket now a disheveled mess, covered in blood and bits of broken glass. After having answered questions to one of the other officers, he was ordered outside while Frank was getting a dressing down from his superior.

“No warrant? Jesus, Frank. What were you thinking? You are just damn lucky this joint is full of drugs.” The Commander scowled, as he was handed a bag from one of the CSI teams. “More in the bedroom, Sir.” The rookie announced, as others were searching throughout the apartment for more. Frank had been consoling Patty, who was now being taken away by a special officer for the bereaved. Joey was laying on the floor under a sheet, while another cop was dusting for prints. There had been no word yet on the dark room, and this had Frank on tender hooks.

“Sir, I’m not going to lie. Joey Patone sent me some photographs and that is the reason I came here. I dragged Elissa and Tommy Xo in with me. So if you are going to throw the book at anyone, throw it at me.”

The Commander raised a brow, and then asked. “What photographs?” At this point, Frank directed the Commander to the dark room. The two gentlemen walked in and this was when the Commander’s face became quite stern. “So he liked a little photography. What has that got to do with anything?” The Commander not being able to see a connection. He could see the p*rn pictures, but then he saw the ones of the beast.

“What the devil?” He pulled one down and stared at it. “He was into Sci fi photography?”

Frank came up behind him and said. “Sir…look at the date.” It was the same date as the day Rory died. The image taken from the alley below. “Sir…that is the thing that took Rory. Joey…saw it too.”

“AHAHAHAHA. What a load of crock. He was fitting you up, Frank. This is ludicrous.” The commander wasn’t about to believe Frank. Who would? He spun on his heel and got in Frank’s face. “You got a dead man out there, and you have motive.”

“What?” It was incredulous to think that Frank would kill Joey, if he was the only other witness to the death of Rory. “Sir, you’ve got this all wrong. A sniper shot Joey through the window. Ask Elissa…..or Tommy.”

 

~RB~

Foul Play – GS.

Scene setting : Fifth and Maple Street.

co-written with VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa couldn’t help but grimace with contempt as she overheard Joey’s pleading. This sort of man was an utter worthless waste of food and even in her cursory examination she could smell the drugs here, much less see them. Still, they were here for a particular purpose, and even if they decided to bring this guy down for the drugs, they needed his dark room far more.

As she gladly took up her place to keep Joey under control, her finger actually resting on the trigger rather than resting alongside; unlike Frank who perhaps wanted him as a witness, she had no worries about killing a mobster. She’d done it more than her fair share of times in the past. She wasn’t really taking into account Frank’s treatment of Tommy; this was an act, and he was playing it to a T. But then Joey turned to look at her, and while she made absolutely zero reaction other than to tighten her grip on the gun, she could tell that he was scared about something, and it wasn’t her or Frank. Then…

BLAM BLAM BLAM. Blood splattered across her face her ears were ringing from the shots. Tommy’s words were unnecessary, by the time he said them she was already prone on the floor. As quickly as she could manage, she crawled for cover, pausing to wipe the blood from her face. Eventually she found a place behind a chair, and quickly got herself into a position to fire back, briefly peeking over in the hopes of spotting the shooter so she could return fire. However, even if she normally would’ve been able to, she was distracted by a slight fuzzy feeling, particularly in her upper arm. Frowning, she looked at herself… and would see red blooming on her shoulder. It was only then that she felt the pain explode as she realized that Joey hadn’t been the only one hit by the assassin.

Immediately she was on her ass and leaning up against the couch, a pained hiss escaping her as she dropped her gun, and reached up to put some pressure on it. She was completely oblivious to whether or not she was visible to the others, right now she was just trying to focus on staying alert and keep herself from suffering from blood loss until one of her brothers could get to her. Damn it… why did she wear such heavy clothing?! (Of course, she’d completely forgotten about her scarf, which had fallen off once she slumped over) This stuff couldn’t be easily torn! She tried to shout to them, to let them know of her status, but all that came out was a sound like a cat’s hiss.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The sudden sound of gunfire, followed by the loud thud and shouts from Tommy brought Frank running from the other room. Had Elissa suddenly opened fire on Joey? Had he tried to disarm her? All these things were buzzing in his mind, but the moment he turned the corner, the full scale of what had happened hit him damn quick. Another few shots suddenly were fired and whistled past Frank’s head as he too dropped to the floor. Seeing the slouched body of Joey, with his blood covering the floor and parts of the wall made him swear.

“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!” He exclaimed as glass showered Tommy and Elissa on the floor. The window was now riddled with bullet holes, the glass having shattered and even a few holes in the curtains. The shooter had to have been across the street, watching the entire time. Crawling across the floor, Frank saw that Elissa had been hit. Frank’s eyes widened and then the horror sunk in. He had led his friends into a trap of sorts. When Joey said, he couldn’t go to jail again, and was afraid of something he wasn’t kidding. Now, their only witness to the creature that took Rory….was dead. They were now in the middle of a crime scene, and this was going to have to be explained.

Tommy crawled over to Elissa and started to tear fragments from the table cloth on the table above him. “We need to get you to a hospital.”

As he tried to help Elissa, Frank brazenly jumped to his feet and began firing at what he thought was the opposite window to Joey’s apartment. A light there flickered then went out. Whoever had shot Joey, had now fled. Frank collapsed onto a nearby couch and started to smack his own forehead with his left hand.

“DAMN DAMN…FUCKING A!” He had no other words to describe how he felt.

Suddenly, the key turned in the lock. It was Joey’s partner, Patty. She had raced home cause she forgot her purse and the sight that greeted her made her scream. “JOEY!!!” She saw the damage in the apartment and then the trio who were there, sitting in various parts of the room. “WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? WHAT HAPPENED TO MY JOEY?!” Tommy groaned, as having this girl turn up now, was not going to help matters. Frank then held up his badge.

“Police. I’m Detective Frank Malone….Homicide.”

Tommy pulled out his phone and called 911. He explained the incident in minor details, and then sung out to Frank. “You are going to have to call this in.” There was no escaping it now. Frank reluctantly pulled out his own phone and rang head quarters on a 10-71…..and an 11-41. Slowly Frank got to his feet, as a sobbing Patty fell into his arms.

 

~RB~

 

 

Falling in and out – GS.

 

Scene setting – Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with Moo & VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa almost immediately started glaring daggers at Tommy after that stunt, mostly just for the embarrassment of having spit up some of her coffee. Still, her anger cooled almost immediately as the girl showed her concern and gave her some napkins to clean it up. While it was obviously just the girl’s job, she definitely seemed genuine… but there was that look she had… like she’d just seen a ghost. Grabbing the napkins with a polite nod, she went about cleaning herself… and quickly realized that her scarf was acting up again. Wincing with annoyance, she went ahead and fixed it before continuing. This whole thing was a joke. The three ‘investigators’ were making fools of themselves in front of this poor girl, and she was being so patient with them. She and Tommy were going to have words though, a little something he probably hadn’t heard about called subtlety. As the X-Files/Hardy Boys conversation went on, she immediately smacked her forehead with annoyance and went back to her coffee, waiting for the pain to end.

Once it did, she added to Frank’s ranting with an irritated addition of, ~It’s not like people knowing that the X-Files were based on a true story would send people panicking or anything.~ Still, she wasn’t quite as angry as Frank, more just irritated at Tommy’s poor judgment. Though… with all the things to get pissed off about, she actually scoffed a little at Frank’s annoyance about the choice of Nancy Drew; she liked Nancy Drew. It was what got her interested in police work as a little girl. Still, he had a legitimate reason for being irritated.

As Frank made to leave, even going so far as to pay for ALL of their tabs, she sighed and looked between the two men, debating the detective’s offer before nodding and downing what little remained of her coffee and gestured in a lead on manner. However, as they got up to leave, she gestured to Tommy the moment Frank’s back was turned, ~I’ll make sure he doesn’t hurt himself.~ Her expression was apologetic, and she actually thought that the man was being a touch unreasonable, but that said it wasn’t like he didn’t have a right to be. Someone needed to make sure he didn’t do something stupid, and obviously he wasn’t in a mood to take Tommy’s advice… as suspect as that was now if for no other reason than judgment.


Sasha had been smack in the middle of drafting something, his computer whining plaintively as he worked on the exact dimensions for a piece of a transmission. And when Sophia came over and said his name he jumped and sent his mark flying way off into the space of the CAD program, letting out a startled yelp as he realized someone was near him. Before he could even get worked up over the mistake (would’ve been more towards himself than anything), he looked up and realized it was just Sophia working here. “Oh!” he responded happily, quickly straightening up and hitting *ctrl-z* on his keyboard to fix that screw-up, “Heya, wasn’t expecting to see you so soon.” He’d realize quickly enough that she was waiting to take his order, and he’d look up into space thoughtfully before shrugging and saying, “I’ll have a mocha, thank ya.” Chuckling to himself, he looked around at the are and commented to her, “You picked a cozy place to work.”

 

Moo:  Sophia had at least noticed Tommy’s smile fade away as she helped clean up the mess. It was a relief, to say in the least…she’d managed to go on undetected. She dared not look his way again until his comment. It was funny enough that she laughed lightly. The man was humorous, to say in the least, even though the other two didn’t seem to appreciate it as much as Sophia did. Elissa took the napkins she offered, so the woman would be able to continue with her work. She moved away from the three thereafter. Honestly, she was feeling a little guilty…she couldn’t help but glance over her shoulder as Tommy received glares. She’d bit her lip before turning to address Sasha.

Awkwardly enough, she had managed to make him jump, and had to bite back a light snicker. It couldn’t be helped; this guy really was pretty jumpy, and in a rather comical way. He’d even managed it during the mission the previous night when he’d hid under the car shouting nope over and over. She hadn’t gotten the chance to laugh at it then, but looking back on it now, she could…as twisted as it was. “Sorry about that,” she cut in rather quickly with a smile. “I know… What a coincidence!” Though, she couldn’t help but feel happy about it; excited, even. She nodded her head while he gave his order, lifting a hand to fix her loosening bangs, tucking them behind her ear. “I really did… I love it here.” Sophia’s smile had lessened a bit, but it was a genuine smile that showed her appreciation for the place. She’d come to know her co-workers and boss pretty well, so it was kind of like a second family. Plus, who couldn’t appreciate the smell of coffee and baked goods? The coziness was something she really needed, as she would return to an apartment that wasn’t hers, incomplete with boring furniture and blank walls. “Well, I’ll get that for you. Good luck with…” With a slight pause, she glimpsed at his computer. “You know.” She gave a small half chuckle, looking a little apologetic for not knowing exactly what it was the man was up to. But she assumed it was a project for college, as he was a super nerd. “Mocha…” Sophia turned away from him, tutting to herself lightly while she began to walk towards her area behind the counter.

Only, she couldn’t help but overhear the last bit of conversation between the three investigators. Her smile was quickly brought down…hooking into a frown instead. She’d caused the three to bicker among themselves, apparently. Tommy being the scapegoat. Her fingers tapped against the tray she held while she debated momentarily on what she could do to ease the situation between them. Normally, it wouldn’t be her business, but she did have a hand in it. So she turned again and approached the three, her frown being forced away. The new expression wasn’t much better, as it showed her concern. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but notice you were leaving so soon.” It brought a small smile to her face when she looked at Frank. “Will you be coming back?” In any case, she was interested in the investigators and their work. Whatever had been in that picture, it was something she could relate to the work she had been forced to do the previous night. But how had they obtained such a thing? More than that…she wanted to ensure she would be able to talk to them about this at some point in time. So she could fix it now. “I think it’s amazing that you invest so much time…into your work…” Sophia had to think about how to go about this. “Personally, I’ve never seen a ten tonne slug–” a pause for a chuckle. “But I do believe that you’ll find a story worth the front page, Tommy. Sooner or later. And all of you will find whatever it is you’re looking for.” This woman’s benevolence was probably getting the best of her again. She quieted for several moments, fidgeting while she chewed on her lip…only to glance up at Frank again. “Do you mind if I get your number?”

Where had that come from? Why look at him? “Ah! I mean… I’m interested in what you’re researching…so… If I could get both of your numbers…” The blush that had crept onto her cheeks was rather apparent while she fumbled with her tray and nearly dropped it. She wouldn’t be asking for Elissa’s number only because of the obvious…the woman was mute and it would be hard to converse with her. But she would be glad when she got the chance to see her again. “W-well…In any case…I hope I see you all soon,” she managed to add, sort of closing her little one-sided conversation.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Elissa’s signing brought about a sigh from Tommy. He hadn’t meant to make such an ass out of himself around the waitress and his companions. Truth be known he could have handled things a lot more delicately than going off on a bizarre rant about fictional detectives. Maybe it was the lack of sleep getting to him, or maybe it was due to the fact that Frank tried to sharpen up in front of the young girl. And guys say women are hard to understand. Frank took everything related to his dead partners case very seriously, and to see Tommy make a mockery of it was a real blow to his pride. The jovial Frank from before was gone, replaced by a stony face as he tugged on his own jacket as though marking time and waiting for Elissa to follow him. But just as Frank was about to head for the door, the cheery waitress was back and showing a bright smile as she said. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but notice you were leaving so soon.” The way she held herself and spoke with such sincerity stopped Frank in his tracks. It was almost like he was now conflicted, from how he ranted at Tommy just a few moments before, to suddenly having someone being nice to him. “I just got a coffee stain on my shirt. Need to change it before work, since I am on the clock.” Frank was referring to his work, which was one of his ports of call that morning. The Commander didn’t appreciate his officers coming in wearing the same clobber they had on the night before. This might have made things awkward for Elissa, to have to stand and watch. There was another pause, as the waitress asked“Will you be coming back?” The detective didn’t expect this question and was slow to respond. “…Err…sure, it’s a nice place.” Again his eyes darted back to Elissa, as he didn’t give Tommy a chance to make a crack remark, quickly adding.“Great coffee.” Frank showed a slight smile, while the waitress then started speaking in a friendly tone to Tommy and the others about how she admired their dedication. It was almost a total switch from when she tried to avoid the whole mention of the “ten tonne slug”.

Tommy was already closing his lap top and trying to find his cigarette packet in his jacket, while Sophia said that he would make front page one day. This had him chuckle lightly. “Yeah, Frank will have murdered me for another jack ass remark. That would be front page stuff.” The ice broke between the two men, and Frank couldn’t help but interject. “No, not murder, mate…..I’ll make it look like an accident.” Frank and Tommy held each other’s gaze for a moment, and both started to laugh. “Touche’ “ Tommy said, now looking more at ease as the tension seemed to filter away. Sophia asked for their numbers, and both men shrugged, while digging about in their coats for their cards. Tommy found his first, which was a white card, gold lettering. He handed it over, while Frank was pulling all manner of things out of his pockets – nothing looking like a card. Instead he took up a napkin and scribbled his number on it, before offering it to Sophia.

 

Tommy went to stand and then patted his friend on the shoulder. “Friends again?” the reporter asked hopefully. “I have a spare shirt in my trunk.” What a peace offering.

 

~RB~

“Hello, my name is….” – GS.

 

Scene setting – Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with VunG & Moo.

 

VunG:  Elissa continued to rub her temples as she noticed Tommy’s attention to her, but really didn’t care enough to change her mode of behavior at this point. She winced a bit at his reference to a therapist, and internally admitted that she wasn’t feeling all that secure in her own stability, though not to the same extent. Looking at him with a tired expression, she signed, ~Does she speak sign language?~ She was going to need therapy after this… maybe even enough to make her get over her distrust of the entire profession. Still, Frank’s comment got an amused scoff out of her, shaking her head and signing out, ~Sanity is a myth, I think.~ Once the coffee got on its way, she’d sit up straight, a brief time period where her scarf was knocked out of position from her face-desk/table and her scar was visible. Still, as the girl handed over the coffee, she’d gladly taking hers as and taking a deep breath of the stuff, grabbing the cinnamon to add. As she did so, she too noticed Frank’s antics, but just rolled her eyes and straightened her own scarf before signing to Tom, ~He’s not that old. Heck, my folks had nine years between them.~ Though, besides that she wouldn’t encourage or discourage the detective, giving the girl a nod of thanks for the drink, mixing in the stuff before finally taking a big gulp of it. The moment she swallowed that big swig, she let out a shuddering, pleasured sigh, closing her eyes at the feeling. Oh yeah, that was the good stuff. She was completely oblivious to the photo situation at the moment.

 

Moo:  While it was intended for Sophia to return to her area behind the counter, she was stopped by the rather pleasantries of these particular guests. She turned with her smile still well plastered over her face. Actually genuine, as she enjoyed contact with other people. In the man’s apparent attempt to look sharp, Sophia couldn’t help but lift her hand over her lips, holding in a small and rather girlish chuckle. It didn’t take much to cause the girl to blush, given her situation. But she would not delve deeper into it than that, as she wasn’t the type to openly flirt, and with strangers nonetheless. “It’s a compliment, really,” she added as the other male teased the first. “But you’re very welcome…all of you.”

Sophia’s gaze wandered around the three, and while she didn’t want to seem the nosy type, she was definitely interested in getting to know Candice’s favorite regulars. “May I ask your names..?” She gave a tilt of her head while she held onto the circular tray, holding it flat against her stomach and pelvis. “I know I recognize you two.” The girl grinned while her finger pointed from Tommy to Elissa. “But you seem new.” Her brows furrowed in the slightest while she looked at the third guest. Something sly could be seen in her expression, as though she should have been concerned he hadn’t been here to taste the coffee sooner. “I’d better start seeing you around more often.” A light chuckle before her eyes wandered down to watch the mute woman pour cinnamon into her drink. By chance, a photo happened to catch her eye, which had been moved well out of the way moments earlier. Blinking, she swore she saw…well, that was just it. She couldn’t tell what she was looking at. But it looked grotesque and reminded her of the mission she’d carried out the night before. Sophia swallowed, managing to avert her eyes quickly and normalize her expression, which hopefully hadn’t completely fallen from her face. Luckily, at this point the woman seemed to be enjoying her drink, so she would give a small laugh…which hopefully didn’t sound as forced as it really was. “I’m glad to see you enjoying the coffee.” Would it be a smooth enough recovery?

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank couldn’t hide his pleasure at hearing the waitress giggle and try to hide her smile behind her hand. It left him with a crooked smile. He didn’t socialize much these days and it was a refreshing change to get any sort of reaction from a member of the opposite sex. Frank sat a little straighter and gave a small salute to the young girl who had asked for their names. Tommy, who took his cup from Sophia and sat it down, went first.

“Name’s Tommy. Tommy Xo. I work up at the road at the New York Times. And this lovely lady beside me is Elissa.” He didn’t know her last name, but knew it would be polite to say her name verbally, since Elissa would either sign or write it. “And that guy there…” He pointed to Frank, with a smirk. “Is…Detective Frank Malone.” At this, Frank extended his hand towards Sophia, to be a touch more formal. “You can just call me Frank.” The detective offered, hoping she might shake his hand in reply. “Tommy here loves to do the talking. Comes from being on the job 24/7.”What Frank meant by this was that Tommy was always working a case or investigation trying to make the front page, if he could get past his editor. Frank took a sip of his coffee and made a satisfied smile, before answering Sophia. “If the service is always this good, I’ll be around a heck of a lot more.” This had Tommy laugh. “Woah, trading coffee for beer? Amazing what change can be brought about by a beautiful girl, Frank.” Again Frank blushed, and shook his head, embarrassed that Tommy spoke so broadly.

Tommy was quick to notice Sophia blink, then he glanced down at the table and noticed one of the pictures was out of the envelope and could be seen. The reporter glanced back up at Sophia, and he did notice that she had shifted her eyes quickly. It was strange how the girl regained her composure so quickly, and then went on to speak to Elissa. Would Elissa pick up on it? Tommy…went for broke.

“So…Sophia. Ever watched the X files?…..Or….seen a ten tonne slug?”

Frank spat his coffee right as Tommy asked this.

 

~RB~