2010-06-24: A Recipe for Justice



Date: June 24th, 2010


The prelude to a plan. Maggie and Laurie do something they're not supposed to do, in order to do something that needs to be done: stop Mandy.

Also, there's food.

"A Recipe for Justice"

Maggie's Apartment

New York City

Keys jingle, door opens; door locks shut with more than one lock; a bag falls to the floor with a thump; the shuffle and thud of someone taking their boots off in the process of walking — all signs that Maggie is home.

Detective Powers, so recently off work for the night, hasn't yet disconnected her thoughts from the job: her expression is pensive, critically turning things over in her mind, even as she performs the more domestic task of wandering through the warm-feeling apartment and turning on lights.

While minus her gun and badge (at least in any obvious fashion today — not always the case when it comes to the former), her wardrobe is typical of a day at work — or most days; who's to say? Khaki-colored pants following no particular trend, thick brown leather belt, and a more vivid red button-up shirt over something unfrilly and white. Lights on, she's on her way, purposefully, to the kitchen when an unfamiliar ringtone prompts her to twirl around in a full circle to tread to the satchel she deposited by the front closet. It takes some crouching and quick digging to find the source, and then she's answering with an expectant, "… Hell… o?"

A dull ringtone, default and forgettable. When shut off by the call starting, it's followed by something much more familiar. "Uh oh, listen to that significant pause in your greeting." Indeed, Laurie's voice. Though outside noises back him up, the call comes in clear — it's almost like she can hear the rumbling thrum of cars going by all around her. "Should I hang up and let you think about it a little longer?"

"Well, I had to be sure," Maggie points out — casually, but matter-of-fact — upon recognizing the voice. Some relief flashes in her eyes, but doesn't translate audibly. "It could have been a wrong number," she adds, though her mildly joking tone says she didn't think that would be the case. She gets to her feet and resumes her wander into her kitchen, but pauses in the very middle, just listening, tuning into the background noise.

It isn't unusual background noise — occasional traffic, the rush of a breeze, a clang of something meta— oh, no wait. That one was actually outside Maggie's apartment. "You didn't sound very sure," Laurie's voice teases, "But I suppose I'll let it go this time."

"Lucky me. Where are you?" Maggie says dully, distractedly — her eyes roll ceiling ward as she keeps on listening. She soon hones in on her window, the direction of that metal clang. What starts as a casual pace hurries up before she's halfway across the living room, leading very quickly to the light curtain being pulled back so that she can eye the outside world.

"Oh— " Leisurely responding, he only gets so far as that before the curtain pulls away. It would seem not such a distraction for him, the curtain — except that he's behind it. Perched on the small fire-escape landing right outside Maggie's window, the consultant has been sitting there for as long as anyone can guess, his long legs drawn up in a half-crouch, one hand holding the mobile phone to his ear. The other slowly lifts into a cheery, and perhaps more cheeky, wave to her.

Today Laurie is inescapably… Laurie. Or he is, at the very least, not Roscoe. The grey and grunge-printed t-shirt, while well-fitted, is definitely casual, as are the typical jeans and black jacket that could be found on anyone on the street. The consultant is not, however, on the street — he's on a fire-escape — and that's also not the finish to his ensemble. It's rather impossible to just forget this pretty pink and purple scarf clinging fancily to his neck, or the jauntily settled black fedora covering his hair; one or both of those might even be shiny. "— Around."

" — what!" The soft exclamation into the phone sounds surprised, but Maggie, staring out her window, doesn't look surprised — the open-mouthed expression is similar to one of shock, but that's as far as it goes.

The cheap phone is disconnected and quickly tucked into her back pocket and forgotten about so that Maggie can pry the wide window open. Met with the night air and Laurie, the detective's head tips to the extreme right and her eyebrows lift, high and arching, as if posed to declare her disapproval. "This isn't exactly the best venue either, is it— " A hand waves at Laurie. "Gangster." The same hand rests on her belt at her hip. "Cop. Cop's apartment…" A small roll of her eyes indicates the space over her shoulder … a space which slides fully into view as she steps aside with a gesture of her fingers above her belt. "Well— " since he's here " — come on inside."

He goes on smiling at her, phone falling away from his ear slower than hers, as though reluctant to not carry on the unnecessary ceremony of speaking through the pieces. When the window comes up, Laurie does not immediately leap up, only shifting slightly to look into the apartment. "Seems reasonable to me…" he muses unconcernedly. At his labeling of him, he presses fingers against his chest in abject surprise and offense at being put into that narrow, narrow box. "I'm a very simple person," is described happily, "A cop's apartment sounds like a perfectly typical place to talk about a case. Unless, you know, the cop would like to report this…"

But here she is, offering him an in. Uncurling only a little stiffly, Laurie grabs the upper sill of the window and slides himself into the apartment proper. "I half bet myself you'd leave me outside," there's a dart of hand behind him to the escape, then he's fully committed to standing in the room, now with a stuffed plastic bag in his grip, "But aren't you glad you didn't; I have that dinner you weren't going to make for yourself." And he strides quite happily towards her kitchen as though he belongs there.

"I— " Whatever protest Maggie was forming is lost on the wind as she watches Laurie waltz into her kitchen. She closes the window as securely as it was and pulls the curtain especially closed, shaking her head faintly as she does. On her way to the kitchen herself, she delivers her calm rebuttal. "I'm not going to kick you out — or report you — but what if someone who knows you as someone else were to see you here?" She stops at the stove-topped island that separates kitchen from living room. Both hands rest at near her sides, hooked over her belt. "You brought— " The plastic bag is studied; a struggling smile appears that doesn't seem to know whether or not it ought to form at all. "What did you bring? I hope you can multi-task! We have a lot to cover."

"I'm cleverly disguised," is the casual, and not entirely sincere, announcement over the organized clang and clink of Maggie's dishware being invaded and purposed. Catching a grip on a very particular handle, Laurie adjusts it a few times, staring wistfully at the frying pan: "I remember you…" But it's set away to make room for the plastic bag as he swings it to the counter, the large pot that he turns over a few times in professional inspection. "Then I hope I can too!" Merrily projected as he pauses in his kitchen bustling in order to glance at her, keep up the cheeky theme with half a grin and the suggestion of a wink that gets refocused on the next dish — a small saucepan. That wasn't hers; it's drawn from the bag with a crinkle of plastic. "But, yes. I broke into the latest crime scene earlier…"

Maggie's curious watch of her kitchen being raided and added to is interrupted by a by a wince, apologetic as ever, when Laurie picks up the frying pan … and is interrupted again for this latest revelation. "What!" Another exclamation, almost identical to the first at the window — but this one is followed by definite surprise. All things — Laurie — considered, however, it fades fast. Her hands grip the edge of the island and she leans into it, wholly ready to protest. It's on the tip of her tongue, but the detective's thoughts go through a progression until, slowly, her features forcibly return to neutral. She visibly swallows the instinct to tell Laurie that breaking into crime scenes is unlawful and, instead, tips her chin toward him. Her calm and composed question is a complete one-eighty. "And?"

"What?" Laurie parrots perfectly innocently at her exclamation, settling the saucepan and scooping up the pot to be brought around to the sink. As water runs, he espies behind him to assess if she's done deciding to scold him or not. As she tips her chin, his raises with a patient, "Ah…" And? "As I was saying— the gallery. The writing on the wall, as it were." Touch of broodiness, just as he wrinkles his nose to the side at a hint of unpleasantness. "Hmmmm," is the only observation before it's gone. "She has a purpose, a target, a mindset that's not even very original. But she kills nearly at random and that's an almost impossible killer to chase. That's a killer— " he glances back to see the pot is filled just right and he hefts it up and sets it quite determinedly on the stove, clicking the temperature into existence. "— you lure out."

In her consideration, Maggie stares down into the nearby pot of water. "One murder in the Bronx, the next in Brooklyn — yeah, near random victims. Every precinct is on the lookout," she says, agreeing, looking up through a shake of her head. She could show up in any of the five Burroughs … if she's even committed to staying in the city." Pushing off the edge of the island, she whisks around its corner to Laurie's side of the stovetop, though she keeps her distance, watching but — so far — staying out of the way of … whatever it is he's doing. In her kitchen.

"Lure." The word is tested; Maggie isn't sure she likes it. "She could be anywhere. Strike anywhere," she says, her voice becoming more purposeful, confident as she goes on, "… But I don't think she will. The artist, the victim — his girlfriend, Amber, she was there, she met Larson. She got away. But not without being threatened. She's been under surveillance since the murder. I've been keeping track. As far as I know, there's been no sign, but…"

He's cooking, duh. To be more specific, as Maggie comes around, Laurie's snapping open a package also fetched from his bag of plastic; this one contains noodles that are set nearby. Then a can appears — broth — and an assortment of other containers all brightly labeled — peanut butter, honey, chili paste, cilantro, more — the first of these he gets to removing the lid, tipping over into the saucepan without seeming to measure except by his own instinct, because he's even glancing over at her as he does so. "Exactly," he says levelly, "It's a matter of making there nowhere else for her to be able to resist striking."

He finds slightly lifting and working the slowly filling saucepan interesting as she speaks, though his attention isn't necessarily really on this easy action for him. "She didn't get away," after a moment, a darker theme of observation over the sizzling if preparing ingredients on the stove. "It's only taking longer to happen. But egos are easy to play. And leaving someone behind will become as unsettling to Larson as the anticipation she wants to control by not acting right away. You turn that love of fear around on her— she won't have a choice."

"What exactly are you saying?" Maggie asks, while her gaze is more knowing as it observes the cooking consultant steadily. Focused though her mind is on the problem of Mandy, she does glance away for an instant to the ingredients on the stove to segue much less ominously: "And— hey, what exactly are you making over there?" She circles around to the other side of Laurie at a distance and goes on right on as if she hadn't interrupted herself, with barely a space for her questions to even be answered.

"Well then Amber is running out of time." Not a new revelation, to the detective, but furthered. "She's not safe at her apartment; no one watching her has the first clue about what Larson is capable of. But Amber is not bait. Even if she were used as bait— " Maggie halts, studying Laurie with her concentrated, expectant stare. "You have a plan?"

"Hmm," the consultant, in turn, studies that face versus the question she asks and one side of his mouth quirks upwards just as knowingly. "That's quite a habit with you, that technique." When she comes near, he eyes her territorially in her own kitchen. But, as she keeps her distance, he keeps on cooking. "Food," is all he has time for when asked — and was possibly all he was prepared to say at any rate.

As the heat of the stove continues, an aroma of the sauce begins to surround them — soy. A touch of honey. A hint of garlic. In the pan, the peanut butter is beginning to melt into the rest of it. In charge of it all, Laurie stirs everything with a deft flick of his wrist while completely aware of the study the detective is giving him. "As a matter of fact— I do," he delivers to her expectance. "And you're not going to like it."


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