2010-05-26: Dangerous Bets



Guest Starring:


Date: May 26th, 2010


Maggie's first partner at the NYPD, Detective O'Meara, who has since been desked for being an ass, lurks around and brings up the "curse" his former partner seems to have. Detective Powers does some sneaking around of her own.

"Dangerous Bets"

New York Police Department

Maggie has a killer to catch and a missing woman to find, and that's on top of every other case she's working on. Suffice to say, during most of her waking moments, she's hasn't been going much of anywhere that isn't related to police work, except to go home and sleep. It's been that way for awhile. It usually is, with Maggie.

It should come as no surprise to anyone at the precinct, then, that Detective Powers is front of the coffee machine, getting her third cup of coffee since— well, it's better, for her, anyway, not to think about that, lest she start being concerned all over again about her caffeine intake. It's getting her through. It's probably no surprise either that, while she pours black coffee into her mug, she's multi-tasking: a cell phone is pressed awkwardly, but securely, between her ear — covered by a wave of blonde — and her shoulder — covered by blue shirt, black vest. "You asked him, you're sure that's what he said? A gambling parlor?"

With all of her overtime hours, Detective Powers should consider getting herself an office. Or at least one of those invisible fences. Because there's somebody scrounging about at her desk again. Admittedly, there could be stranger visitors than Detective O'Meara there, but since his reassignment, it's generally accepted that he should not be at Powers' desk but, in fact, somewhere on the opposite side of the station. Yet there he stands, surreptitiously glancing once in a while up at the detective getting her coffee while greedy hands finger through some of the files sitting out. Already under his arm is another; it's not from her desk, per se, but a related case. His careful watch for the desk's occupant to return is distracted by a particular profile he tugs out to study more intently.

Maggie sets the coffee pot back in its home, allowing her to hold the phone more naturally to her ear for a moment while she steadies the folder in her other hand against her chest. "No, it makes sense considering what we found out about the cards— thank you," she goes on to say to whoever happens to be on the other line before hanging up. The phone goes on her belt and it only takes a few seconds to stir in a few necessary items for a mediocre cup of coffee after that.

In turning away from the little coffee station, cup in hand, Maggie's path immediately angles toward her desk — and just as immediately, she spies O'Meara there. A v forms between her brows. How long has he been there? At the very least, her desk needs an alarm system. Her steps pick up quickly, surprisingly quiet given that her boots have the appearance of being rather heavy. She comes to a halt beside the man and pipes up. Pointedly. "You looking for something there O'Meara?"

Whether he heard her approach or not, O'Meara's reaction remains the same; in a fit of what is probably supposed to be surprise, he gives a shove to whatever he was looking at and ends up knocking everything in its entirety off of the desk. The resulting clutter makes it impossible to know which one he'd been singling out, much less if there was anything new added. Which adds conveniently to his excuse as he glances from the mess to her. "Oh, shucks. Would you look at that. And here I was bringin' ya more info on that, ya know, case of yours. What they got me doin' here, don't you know." It isn't. But it's not like anyone's been checking up on that constantly desk'd detective. He's also less than inclined to duck down and do anything about the fallen files.

A reserved cringe and soft hey! under her breath constitute Maggie's surprise at the mess made of her desk. She instinctively moves to pick up the files, but she waits — wondering, perhaps, if O'Meara will have decency enough to make the first move to tidy. Her fingers only twitch and she slides the folder already in her hand onto her desk: the only new information she knows about, save what she just learned over the phone — but with so many angles being worked…

"Where is it?" she asks innocuously; less innocuous is the watchful gaze constantly leveled on Detective "Desk Duty" O'Meara beneath arched brows and a skeptically furrowed forehead while Maggie lifts her NYPD coffee mug up as if to take a drink. "The 'info'."

Rather than help at all, O'Meara raises both his hands warningly and backs up when Maggie makes that move towards her desk. "Oh, don't touch, Detective, don't touch," he scolds, the edges of his mouth hooked at the first sign of a smirk as he watches her right back. "Figure I got lucky, gettin' away when I did. Don't need that death mark of yours comin' back around and remembering' your old pal, O'Meara."

Prompted as to his reason for being there, he gives an unconcerned shrug, wagging a couple of fingers at the things on the floor. "Yeah, it's… probably in there somewhere." When he takes a step forward as if to, finally, do something about the mess he created, he ends up trodding on a good deal of the papers. Retreating the foot with a too-sheepish look drawn on his face, he leaves behind a considerably dirty footprint and a irreparably flattened version of the Ancient City.

"Excuse me." A mildly contrary smile flickers in and out of sight. "Death mark?" As if Maggie doesn't realize what he's talking about; a look of annoyance is sent the other detective's way, unmasked where it might normally be more reserved in politeness; Detective Powers doesn't have time for O'Meara to hang around and be a jerk. In fact, her (occasionally) saintly patience has been wearing thin in general these days. She sets her cup of coffee down — with another look to him, this one lingers in warning, as if to say don't knock that over, too — before she conceding to crouch down. She does actually need these files — some time in the near future. On one black pant-clad knee, she goes about swiftly gathering gather several papers and files (and city) to her, trodden or no. "I'd call you a lot of things, O'Meara," she comments as she tidies, "Lucky isn't one of them."

The coffee cup will be safe. O'Meara, sticking around for whatever reason, has decided to fold his arms over his chest to observe her. "I'm still here, ain't I?" He challenges, more prodding than hardened, "More 'n what we can say for the rest of 'em you had. Drivin' the sane ones crazy and the crazy ones away. You're a real champ at it, Powers." Glancing to his side, he releases his arm's stance to pat the desk across from hers that he now leans against, "Bets are still out on this one, but general consensus ain't good. I say— " he leans forward, conspiratorially, as if trying to pad the odds, "You one up yourself. Detective Sam Wright's days are numbered."

After begrudgingly gathering every last file — including an escaped paper she had to reach under her desk to fetch — Maggie gets to her feet. She plants the now unorganized stack down with a sort of thud and sits, rolling her chair in. Her eyes don't track to the desk her colleague indicates, that of Sam's; instead, she looks calmly upon O'Meara. "I'm sure they are," she says, sincerely, even genially, without an ounce of sarcasm. However, that pleasant voice takes a turn with an undercurrent of hardness: like she's making a joke, only it's not actually a joke. "Is there a bet running or something? Sam's who I'll chase off next? You know by the time you win, that means we'll probably go back to working together."

"Oh ho, no thanks, lady, I'm done with all this," A sweeping hand indicates the Homicide section of the station, though it's the one he currently doesn't seem in a hurry to leave, and his voice is tainted bitterly. "You bet there's a bet," O'Meara adds, brightening and chuckling at his own turn of the phrase, "Want in? Can't tell the guys, but… I'm willing to take a little on the side." Fingers twitch at her though he keeps them close to his side, suggesting a more subtle transaction. "Biggest money is," he says, leering even closer, low voice made huskier just by the accent, "you're working up to the… kill. Money's you get your partner… shot." He even makes the sound for her, incase she needed the story-telling assistance.

Detective Powers glances up in time to see the little money-grubbing gesture, though she didn't really care to. That means, by the time he's gotten to the point, her gets the full effect of her gaze turning resentful. "I don't gamble," she assures him heatedly. "You and the boys should knock of your silly bets," she adds flippantly, but her eyes are serious, their clear blue flooded with warning — until they return to files that she flips through, papers ruffling this way in that in reorganization. "You don't want to work over here, O'Meara, then … go back to your own side of the station. Make up your mind. I'm busy."

"Hey, yeah, fine!" O'Meara raises his hands in surrender, flashing her with a glimpse of the one folder he came here with and has since been clinging to. "Get back to bein' important. Don't let me stop ya." The muttered 'sheesh' doesn't sound late enough for it not to be clearly audible to her, happening even before he turns around on a dirtied heel to leave. The first passing look back at her is furtive, suspicious. He covers with a repeat of the action, a sneer and parting shot: "Ya know it ain't silly if it's true. Have a nice day, Detective."

The detective only spares O'Meara and his muddy shoes one more glance as he departs. She's more than content to focus on her work, of which he has made more of. Resenting that fact for too long is a waste of her time, though, and she efficiently goes through the files, placing everything back in its rightful place, if a little worse for the wear, while searching for the new information that was dropped off, interspersed by sips of coffee.

There is no new information there. She double-checks.

Maggie does rediscover the crushed Ancient City, however. The now dirty paper building receives a thoughtful twirl between both hands; a small smile appears. It turns into a small frown she regretfully tosses it a little arc into the trashcan by her desk, and she leans back in her chair to survey everything in front of her and even the floor. Did she miss a file? No, she couldn't have. The only addition is the one she put there herself.

Sliding back from her desk, she winds through the bullpen to (kindly) flag down a passing file clerk. "Hey, do you know if O'Meara ran through with a file for one of my cases recently…?"

The man seems overburdened as it is but he takes the time to pause and really give Maggie's question due consideration. "Umm. Yes? He turned in some paperwork recently," there's a shuffling of things in his arms as he adjusts them against a hip to spread a free hand towards the detective, "Was that your case, too? Honestly, I was just happy to have something with a name signed on it. They've been harassing me to get those witness statements documented forever now." He rolls his eyes, but refrains from further commenting that might turn more negatively towards detectives on a whole, such as the one talking to him.

If this detective senses where the commentary might lead, she doesn't seem to mind — she's focused on something more pertinent, something that has her head has tilted to one side. She gives the file clerk a curious, blinking stare. "Witness statements…" Maggie becomes more intent, nodding at the clerk. "For what case? I'd actually like to see anything he signed off on recently." It sounds more like a command, but it's followed up naturally by a polite smile. "Double-checking."

He ranges towards looking insulted until Maggie's smile heads off some of the negativity of the suggestion. "You'll have to follow me if you want the actual files," he says, starting to walk, slow at first and then picking up pace to get back on the schedule she interrupted. "The combined shootings in Battery and the warehouse district?" A glance to see if Maggie's following as he speaks, "I believe the record now shows that none of the witnesses saw enough for a photo line-up. Which is good and bad news for you guys, huh?" A half-hearted chuckle to go with the lackluster joke.

The detective is quick to follow, her pace becoming brisk as the clerk's does, unbothered by the little trek. It's another detour in her own schedule, but Maggie does like to be thorough … and something is telling her it's worthwhile. She gives a glance back at her unattended desk. "A— yeah," she says as if she knew that's the case in question. "We were only able to ID one suspect from Battery Park thanks to a witness and a sketch," she answers, "but none from the other side. The other gang."

The file clerk nods adamantly, "Right. And the possible hit from the international database fell through, too. Which— I honestly didn't expect to get so fast. But hey, when it's nothing it'll still be nothing two months from now, right?" Another harried bit of humor as she delivers some of what's in his arms and then pauses at the door to the outside corridor. "Sounds like you two are on the same page. Did you want to see the files still?" Guess what he'd like her answer to be.

The continued attempts at humour, whether they hit the mark or not, earn a smile from the detective — it's a little forced, but not insincere; it only comes off as a little tired. Pausing when the clerk does, she holds her hand out; mostly just a gesture. In other words, yes. "Please, if it's not too much trouble." Hopefully he doesn't say it is, because Maggie wants to "double-check" no matter what.

He gives an unsurprised, but not altogether pleased, nod when she gestures them onward and, silently now, leads the way strictly to the sanctuary of kept files. Bidding her stay at the front desk, he goes about in search of the requested items and then returns to slap them down on the surface in front of her. "There we go," he says, "All the investigative leads currently closed by O'Meara's signature. Looks like they keep you guys busy even at the desks." The large stack suggests… busier than a detective at a desk should be. On cases that aren't his.

Detective Powers moves off a gentle lean she had acquired against the front desk while waiting, and her hands wrap around the stack of files, a thumb moving up and down the ridges of the folders. She notices the extent of it, that there are more files than there really ought to be, but makes her realization is so low-key it could easily be missed — she's soon smiling gratefully at the clerk. "Thanks," she says, hauling the files close to her to carry. "Sorry for the interruption. I'll get these back as soon as I'm done." Maggie starts to turn away, now that she's taken more work for herself, but stops short. "And hey— if O'Meara comes around … don't mention this, okay?" The woman comes off as a touch awkward in saying so, but at least she's smiling hopefully all the while. "It would be a real favour. He's … done all this work— wouldn't want to make him self-conscious, right?"

If the file clerk is put off by the idea of Maggie walking away with all his once-carefully sorted work, he only lets it linger a second before he gives into the inevitable. Choosing to, instead, move onto the next pile of things to be logged in, he glances once or twice up from the computer for the woman's last comments. "Right," he says wryly, but somewhat distractedly, tapping away already at the keys, "Because self-consciousness is something Detective O'Meara has a real problem with."

Maybe it isn't self-consciousness he has a problem with. It's her he would have a problem with. "Okay, you got me there," Maggie concedes, keeping things light-hearted on her end as she calls out: "All the same!" Shifting the stack of files, she leaves the clerk to his work and bitterness and moves into the corridor. Unlike the brisk strides that took her here, and despite the workload ahead of her yet today, some of that work pressing, her walk is now slower: she's back to multi-tasking. Maggie rifles through the files as she goes, hunting for anything that stands out to her eye in the slew of familiar case material.

* * *

A Few Hours Later

A figure — Maggie — heads to the narrow space where the rows of lockers for personal belongings are kept; shadowy with the lightswitch off, empty, and thusly quiet, it seems especially separate from the rest of the floor back here.

The hour at the station has grown later. Most importantly, the number of men and women manning desks are slightly fewer — that of one desked detective in particular is empty, as far as she could surmise.

Fresh from following a lead outside the precinct on the most urgent of her cases, Maggie's still in her leather jacket, though it's truly too warm outside for it; it only serves to handily disguise her weapon, and it's comfortable. She looks watchfully, uneasily over her shoulder in the dimness as she moves, unable to shake the feeling that she's doing something she isn't supposed to — even though it's her own locker she now unlocks and pulls open.

It's files that she retrieves, files from the apathetic file clerk, but the stack is smaller than it was before. Balancing them against her forearm and body, she sorts through them, plucking individual papers from folders, leaving others be, tackling the undertaking tactically, having already gone over the contents. Criminal Records SearchFederal, International Law Enforcement AgenciesCANCELLED … she sets every paper into a waiting folder inside her locker.

* * *

Detective Powers stands on what appears to be a lazy guard by a lone photocopy machine, arms folded, a hip canted to one side as though she's been standing here for an eternity. She's been working for what seems like an eternity, to her and everyone else, that's for sure. The copier is at the edge of all activity in the precinct — which, at the time being, is at a minimum. The rhythmic hum and stop of the machine is fills most of Maggie's hearing, but she's otherwise more she's vigilant. A file folder is kept tight to her vest (literally), hugged behind crossed arms in-between feeding sheet after sheet into the copier.

Every paper is signed — authorized — by one Jimmy O'Meara.

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