2010-11-27: Associated Press



Guest-Starring: Nina Halding

Date: November 27th, 2010


In the long dead search for a consultant's whereabouts, a detective receives help from an unlikely and possibly unlikable source. Who won't name her sources.

"Associated Press"

NYPD Bullpen

And now: a day like any other. The Open Cases board has eased up some — though in cases like the Alison Lambert murder, there lacks a certain sense of achievement. Things are done, get done, and the ebb and flow of work is just that. Work. With little more to gossip about the last week, clumps of police officers are harder to find. Returned to duty with the coming of the new month, Kotowski and Jordan have already hit the streets, regaining their workload and quieting the general bullpen in their absence. It goes on.

Here, into the haze of Detective Powers' typical day, strolls a presence. Like out of an paperback noir, she's all legs and long red hair, wrapped both in a light green from her pencil skirt to the scarf keeping strawberry waves at bay. Stems that were made to be looked out mark her way across the bullpen to the homicide detective's desk. The distinctive reporter waits not for permission, but bumps right up to the corner of the desk, draping one leg across the other in an elaborate stance of leaning. "I've got six words for you, Maggie Powers, that won't be a waste of your time."

Detective Powers is leaned over paperwork at her desk in a huddle unkind to good posture, the picture of studiousness and, by the hints of sternness and exhaustion around that focused face of hers, someone who has been working for too long. The lighter load on the Open Cases board does not match the load on Maggie's shoulders.

She's on the very verge of plucking the heel-steps out of the din of the station and determining them to be A) not the ADA's, and B) out of place, slowly lifting her head, when the bump to her desk and the unusual greeting — or is that proposition? Offer? — seals the deal. Maggie's pen pauses mid-air. She looks across her desk to the corner, spies the woman's elaborate lean; her gaze travels up, up… to land on red hair. Maggie stares, gradually placing her. "You're a reporter. From…"

Red hair only slightly more brilliant than the smile the reporter beams down upon Maggie. There's a particular sly edge to it as she props her hand onto her ample hip. "Not on business today," she waves off, with a breezy reassurance and similar wave of the left hand she'd been leaning with. "Just Nina Halding today," this hand juts out then, after a second, she laughs and undoes her crossed legs in order to offer Maggie the proper handshake. "So, what do you say? Do you want to hear 'em?"

The reporter, off-duty or not, is given a consistently skeptical look by the detective — not suspicious, per se, but simply unsure of the woman's goal here. Not to be impolite, however, she sets her pen on her paused paperwork and sits up straighter, reaching across for firm, warm handshake. "Ms. Halding." She smiles, a little sideways for her skepticism. "O— kay…?" she answers lightly, even as her focus becomes more intent on Nina's purpose.

Nina's handshake is smooth, inviting — and pulls away slightly prematurely, leaving Maggie's hand lingering — just an instant — while the reporter's is already raised to make her point. But only one long, red-nail-painted finger is raised to cover all six words: "I. Know where the money went."

And the intrigue has been set into motion. Nina Halding's six words. They could easily be cryptic, leave a person wondering; Maggie cuts through their meaning in an instant, her gaze fixed with sudden intensity upon the reporter. Skepticism is placed momentarily on the backburner, quietly simmering in the background. "What— ?" she queries all the same, the soft ingenuousness not matching the knowing, steady stare she gives. Folding her wrists over her paperwork and leaning in slightly, she goes on, "Where?"

To Nina's credit, it isn't quite smugness that paints her lips as that finger raised turns into two fingers that draw across her lips with a definitive zip motion. Sealed. Swirling her arms together under her chest accents all of those proportions without her trying; by now, she's too practiced at it. "Those were my six words," she elaborates, more generously than her miming would suggest. "It's going to take a little more to get a little more." Shrug; that's how the world works, and she is put victim to it.

Maggie may be hooked by the reporter's lure, but wariness is well on its way to replacing skepticism by the time Nina Halding zips her lips. When the tables turn, her eyes narrow, a brief, unsurprised squint. Figures. "Did seem a little backwards; okay," she concedes… sort of; she manages to sound less than agreeable to these terms. Whatever they are. she eases out of her lean, slowly sitting back against her chair and folding her arms across her chest in a manner that accomplishes essentially the opposite of the reporter's pose. Maggie studies her. "What are you looking for?"

"Nothing really," supplies the reporter. Immediately, she rolls her eyes at her own response, "Who am I kidding, right? Look, Maggie Powers; I'm a reporter. I write stories. All I want— is the story that comes out of me giving you this." The slick, deep way her throat opens up on the last word imbues it with magnificent meaning. It's juicy, this. Maggie must want it — and if she doesn't… hers is not the only desk in the bullpen. Only the least given to gossip. Jumping up, Nina's right hand forms a three-fingered salute, "I solemnly swear to tell the whole truth of it, whatever it may be. Just as long as I get it."

Maggie only regards the reporter for a long, drawn-out moment. Just stares, considering, unmoving, with little indication of where her thoughts are headed, until her gaze grows in determination— but at that apex of what might be a decision, it wrenches to the right, looking off toward the other desks with a hint of antagonism. She wets her lips, bites the tip of her tongue—

"Is your information good?" she asks strictly, all eyes back on the temptress over there, splaying her hand in a curt gesture. Clearly, the reporter has deemed her information good— juicy— but Maggie, well, she eyes her carefully. The detective does not sound happy about her own near agreement. "How do I know it's worthwhile?"

"You don't," assures Nina, a strange feat. Her voice slides in after Maggie's, none of the hesitation or lengthiness there. "I could tell you, but you just met me. And reporters are the parasites who feed off of overworked detectives' backs. So is it good? I don't know; am I good for it?" The shrug she gives oozes self-confidence. It's a weightlessness she is privy to — that Detective Powers may not have the luxury of. "So how do you know it's worthwhile," the red-haired head tips, "By how much do you want it?"

This overworked detective once more regards the reporter through one of her thinking sessions. Maggie's knuckles come to press over her mouth, and she leans into her hand. Eventually, her fingers steeple and, with a swing of straightened blonde, she whips her head to the side and back. "Okay," she stiffly grants — she wants it. "I'll do it, I'll give you a story," she says, a smooth voice overtop a harsher undertone, gesturing slowly with that one hand. "But you'll keep quiet about it until the end, you won't go to anyone else," it isn't particularly demanding, this firm address, despite the steel traps her eyes are on the redhead; Maggie only states, simply, how she sees it working, "and you get what you give." She softens ever-so-slightly to raise her eyebrows at Nina, gauging.

Once again, the sweetness of victory does not taint Nina's pleasant smile; based on her facial expression, they've both won. To show for it, she nudges into a straighter posture to dip a hand inside her inner jacket pocket. Out from it she slowly presents a folded piece of paper, and this she lays like the gift it is upon Maggie's desk. "Turns out, the settlement was claimed," she summarizes the official looking — photocopied — document. Quiet, it's a private exchange between them now. Though she does nothing to hide that they're talking, or that she is handing over materials. "And even by a Miles." Her head tips to the other side, awaiting Maggie's full processing of what she's seeing. Timely to when the name appears on a line of legalese: Dr. Jeffrey Miles. "Wrong Miles."

"Dr. Miles…" The document flattened atop her paperwork, Maggie reads in a murmur full as much mystery and curiosity this reveal demands. But her countenance is a serious one, a bothered twitch coming and going at the corners of her mouth. She is reluctant to stop studying it, her mind's wheels turning, but from the paper up, the reporter is quizzed with one eyebrow. "How'd you come across this? A source? Otherwise, you might make a good detective, Ms. Halding." A desk drawer grates open; from it, she plucks a business card, and she leans over her desk to scrawl a number on the back. She hands it up to the reporter with a thin — this, too, almost reluctant, but friendly — smile. "My cell."

"The esteemed psychiatrist himself," Nina addendums, offering freely to her new conspirator, "That's why it took weeks to claim. He had to go through all this legal bullshit to be pronounced the holder of his son's estates." Her fingers weave in the air above some of the more complicated legal terminology. From there, her up glance catches Maggie's and she flashes a modest, but happy, smile. "I'd make a terrible detective— detective. I'm only this dogged with cases that really interest me." There's that juiciness again, the fullness of Nina's lips that lends suggestiveness to an ordinary word. Offered the card, she tosses her red hair over her shoulder and accepts it graciously, flipping it over between two fingers then sliding it along her hip — into the pocket there. "I'm so glad we're going to be working together."

I'm not, says Maggie's straight face. Nina's enthusiasm for an interesting case only serves to fade her smile. She sits still save to toy with a top corner of the document, rustling it along with the papers beneath it, a hundred things unrelated. Her thoughts are kept reserved; it's not story time yet. However, she does say, and sincerely so, despite the dullness to her voice and her misgivings: "You clearly … do your homework. Thanks for coming to me with this." First, that is.

Immediately, the reporter brandishes her hand across her chest, tapping the generous curves there and then raising another salute. "Scouts' honor, I go to no one else." Until the conclusion of our deal, that is. "Have a fabulous day~ Do be sure to tell me all about it later." As if they were meeting for coffee later. Nina mimes holding a phone to her ear as she backs up from Maggie's desk several steps. Then her body turns and she's strutting the way she came. Eyes follow her, each wondering why they didn't merit a leggy visitation.

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