Date: May 1st, 2010
When you want something done right…
New York Police Department
If everyone at the station wasn't awake already this morning, they are now— or at the very least, their headaches are, thanks to a loud drone and occasional hammering. Disruptive sights and sounds are centralized around the desk of Detective Maggie Powers. This wouldn't be anything unusual, per se, if the culprit were her consultant Partner, Miles; but this time there's no one to blame but Maggie, gravity, the progress of time and maybe budget cuts. She's trying to fix her desk. It has a slight lean to it — slight but significant; the neat items on her desk have sloped to the right.
Maggie is on one knee next to the front leg of it, and also next to a cup of coffee on the floor. She is, at present, propping half the desk up with her shoulder while jury-rigging a piece of wood to the top and drilling it in place with a cordless drill. The detective's white blouse and black, buttoned vest might be more suited to office work — though she is wearing jeans, it's Saturday — but she's seems just as comfortable with the spontaneous carpentry.
In the midst of all this (rather expert, it might be noted) drilling, a young man from the forensics lab appears to toss a file on Maggie's desk, but … stops awkwardly since it's sideways. "Uh… we have the secondary results from Battery Park and… the other… stuff… is confirmed… wh-where do you want me to put these— "
"Thanks!" Maggie chirps from below. "Uh— just put them on Miles' desk."
Speaking of headaches, Matt has been dancing on the edge of one for the past half-hour, holed up with what he hopes is the last stack of backlogged paperwork on the acid killer case. It's annoying that it's still on the books, but at least others have been working on it in his absence; he told Charlotte as much, back during last year's Christmas shopping, and let it go to deal with more personal problems. Now, finally, he's in a position to help do something about—
—what the hell was that noise? Did one of the building's major water lines just hit its 50-year expiration date? Setting the folder down, he gets up and follows the noise (and a background murmur of the similarly annoyed thoughts of those around him, which he was blocking off earlier out of necessity) to its point of origin. "You know the carpenter union's gonna put a hit out if they catch you, right?" he quips, trying to put a name to the mess of blonde hair with her back turned to him.
Miles' desk, home to what is becoming a neighborhood of paper-cut out world attractions — the Eiffel Tower has since been fixed, or perhaps replaced by one less imitating the new Tower of Pisa — doesn't offer exactly an easy target for the poor forensics man to just plop a file. Several harrowing moments of tense indecision are wrapped up, however, by the appearance of the man, himself, tailing on Matt's own approach. Laurie's eyebrows draw in not with the irritation of those around, but a certain curiosity that he transfers to the two desk visitors.
"I'll just… have those." Taking up the offered Battery Park information, he flips it open with a hand, bracing the other against his own desk as he leans vaguely forward for a cursory examination of Maggie's handiwork below. The second look is for the visiting Matt, the third for the file. "I'm not so sure about that," he opines carelessly, "Putting out a hit… carpenter's are notoriously do-it-yourself."
Files grasped away, the lab guy — somewhat cautiously— turns tail and goes back to where he came from.
There's a final, and unfortunately screeching bzzzz! of drill, and Maggie eases back into a crouch as she looks behind her and up at the passingly familiar detective, followed by the more familiar consultant. "Yeah— well I don't think they have spies. I need my desk," she says through a wincing smile to Matt. Maggie rolls her shoulder, so recently under some of the desk's weight, and rises to her normal tall height to turn about. "I really apologize for the noise," she sounds sincere, she just had to get it out of the way. "Now I'm done. Promise." Double-checking her own statement, she gives her desk a discriminating eye. Though its contents are messier than usual, everything is upright again.
Matt winces briefly at the last round of metal nails on wooden chalkboard, then steps aside to leave room for the lab rat. And the consultant, nodding: "Yeah, you've got a point there— you could cover a lot of ground with just a nail gun."
Turning his attention back to Maggie, he gives the desk a quick once-over, its owner a longer one. "I'd heard about things getting tight around here while I was— away." The brief hesitation suggests that he'd rather not get into the details, and the little red chip near his collar remains in place in case someone decides to pry anyway. "They really couldn't get someone to come in? I'm sure there are things you'd rather be doing."
"Mmm, no. For spies it's the electricians you have to watch out for," Laurie mentions once it seems like the tyranny of noise is letting up. Rather than check the desk's new integrity, he chooses to watch the deliberation on Maggie's face in order to determine how sound her promise. On Matt's contribution, he'd also responded, but only to hiss in low appreciation at the idea of a nail gun's possible damage; it's almost a reminiscing noise.
"Oh, it was awful. It was just terrible," the consultant sighs heartily to the returning detective, though there's a notable lack of much actual upset in his tone. Shifting against his desk, he closes the file and props that hand against his side. "The station had to stoop to some new hiring lows. We're all very glad you're back from… that personal thing that makes you hesitate." No judgment: it is fact, after all.
Maggie seems to give the desk a passing bill of health, but only after leaning into the corner with her hand and shaking the whole thing for an instant, rattling a pen holder and the out-of-place hammer which sits next to it. "It didn't even take ten minutes out of my day. It would have taken longer for them to find someone to come in and fix it," she answers with a smile and an unbothered shrug, holding the tool up, cocked not unlike a pistol. "It's no big deal, aside from the racket, which— again, I'm sorry for the whole interruption, I bet you have a lot of catch-up to do. You were out for awhile." No judgment from Maggie, either; she's not one to talk, all things considered.
Ye-es, Laurie, thank you for so prominently pointing out the fact that there's something that's not supposed to be pointed out. We're meeting now for the first time.
"Well, ten minutes isn't too bad," Matt continues, "I could see it if you already had the right tools handy." He would've done himself, back before he went on the run. "I saw you guys ran someone in for the mess at Tabla— that was some good news, at least. Knew Mendoza didn't deserve the rap he got."
Well, you know what they say: if it's not supposed to be done… trust Laurie to do it. Unless you're counting on some pattern of behavior. Then you should— you know what, back to the moment at hand.
"The sequence of events was probably more like… she came in, and then she was paraded back out again," Laurie mentions, sounding less like this was good news as just… news. Rather than comment further right away, he slides into the chair at his desk, gazing across the way at Maggie's and, eyes squinted, seeming to gauge whether her carpentry has in some way affected the relationship. Satisfied in most part, he situates his elbows on his desk somewhere between the mini-paper Coliseum and Paris Opera houses and gazes up at the pair of detectives. Where the Battery Park file has gone is anyone's guess, if anyone's even looking. "The rap'll always be there in some way. They never go away forever."
"Especially when that rap is murder-suicide. I wouldn't call Caulfield good news," Maggie does make a judgment over the matter, less neutral than the man among the paper houses. Optimistic? No, but neither are the facts. It seems she did have the right tools handy, as she goes about now putting them away in a lower desk drawer. She fills in the detail after Laurie's answers without pause. "Her story was next to impossible to make sense out of; she was taken away by DHS — " Detective Powers makes her way toward Laurie as her desk drawer slides shut. " — before anything she said could be even remotely verified." Handywoman duties over, it's immediately back to detective work. She stands next to Laurie's chair, folds one arm across her vest and and simply holds out her opposite hand openly, expecting the file to be placed in it. Meanwhile, her eyes are on Matt, made stern by thought of Mendoza, of Emily.
As soon as Laurie mentions the release, Matt visibly goes on edge, holding back just long enough to hear out Maggie's input as well. "Released? DHS— oh, crap." Unless one of Emily's victims was a diplomat or something, there's no obvious reason for DHS to take an interest in the case… which means it was probably being used as a Protocol front. Which, with the Protocols finally scattered, who knows where she ended up afterward.
"I met her once, before she was brought in. I have an idea or two about her story—" Actually, he knows quite a bit about her story, but not how to get the others to buy it. "Where's the rest of the files? If I can find who took recognizance, I can follow up from there."
There's some rooting from Laurie at his own desk before he fully notices the hand waiting there. Deliberating over whatever it could want, the consultant glances from her palm to the desk, to her palm. Then, carefully plucking it between two fingers, he retrieves the Sphinx and places it in Maggie's hand. An expectant stare for her reaction — and, probably, that reaction — sparks the need to try again. This time, he dips into the bag of Bugles he just got from his drawer and sets one of the cone-shaped spirals next to the paper monument.
His attention diverts easily towards Matt at the talking; he sits back against the chair, toying with the edges of the snack bag. "Ideas are wonderful, you shouldn't leave us guessing about how many you have," he pipes up happily, though his mind is yet abuzz with statements from that file he isn't giving Maggie — and a little something else.
Passing by, behind Matt, another officer in hearing range pauses with the sudden intense thought that yeah, yeah, I should share my ideas…. But then it fades. Or maybe the guy just didn't have any ideas after all.
She should have known, and maybe she did. The snack food in Maggie's hand is met with the same look as the Sphinx: incredulous with a dash of disapproval, to the end of: seriously? Both incorrect items are deposited on the desk before she holds it open to Laurie again, patiently. Maybe she'd be good with toddlers. "Miles, the file," she demands and, while she continues to wait expectantly, she regards the other detective.
"Can you?" Maggie's question, while blunt, is curious instead of contrary — her eyes are stationary on Matt now, bright and inquisitive. "Follow-up, I mean. I want to know what she had to do with it as much as the next person…" More, actually, but that's neither here nor there. "But aside from having some question marks, officially the case is more or less closed. Wherever she was carted off to … that's a little bit over our heads."
Blinking, Matt turns around long enough to glance after the other officer as he walks by. Did he just do that? He doesn't think so… but maybe being upset about Emily was enough to make his control slip a little. Calm blue ocean.
"I intend to try, at least," he replies, while Laurie tries and fails at his own version of mind-reading. "If it has to be on the side, then fine" - there's no lack of other cases needing attention - "but… you're right, Caulfield is bad news. Bad enough not to just wave hands and mutter 'jurisdiction'."
Tennis shoes, blue jeans, and a t-shirt aren't exactly clothes befitting a NYPD detective, yet Sam appears dressed as such. No business attire today, even though he got the job he'd interviewed for, apparently he doesn't care much for impressing his superiors within the first three months. He pads towards the desks he'd visited only days earlier when he'd come for his interview, a smug smile plastered over his lips. "Mags. Mags' partner. Fellow I haven't met yet." With a wink he walks towards an empty desk not far away from the others, sits down, and puts his feet up. "Yeah. I could get used to this…"
No, Detective Powers, not seriously at all — which is kind of the point. Blissfully unaware that his thoughts are anywhere but his own head, Laurie turns away from Matt when he declines to say anything else interesting, finding Maggie's yet waiting hand. His eyebrows raise, mouth forming a mostly silent oval of revelation: Ohh, the file, that file. As if he didn't know.
But as he ducks to put a hand to his desk drawer, in strolls a Sam to make things exciting again. Straightening, the consultant aims a pointed finger at Matt to get his attention. "More of those hiring decisions I mentioned," he explains, voice then raising in direction of the newest addition to both force and conversation. "Howdy, FOB! You know, the question is not exactly could but will. The scope of could is larger than most people give credit. Bugle?" The bag of them juts out into the space between desks, too far for arm's reach, as Laurie surely knew when he offered.
The arched brows of Detective Powers draw in and up above those inquiring eyes. "If you have time, later…" he begins to suggest curiously to Matt, "Detective Parkman— I'd like to know— "
Maggie, interrupted. She was expecting Sam to be true to his word and show up again; she wasn't expecting it to be now. She certainly wasn't expecting him to be here, so casual, acting like he belongs. The change in the woman is instant, her demeanour edging into tougher territory, lips turning down. "It's Detective Powers," she corrects the newcomer firmly. Otherwise, she keeps her cool, ignoring him to remind Laurie, with a gesture of that waiting hand: "I need that file…"
Who the heck is Sam, anyway? Obviously the New Guy, with the cockiness that sometimes goes along with that role, but beyond that… Matt could find out for himself, but it's easier to just let it come out naturally in conversation. Once that's out of the way - and Maggie gets that elusive file - then maybe one or both of them can make some progress. Meanwhile, casual banter, go! "And he's right, you know, it's like riding a bike— just don't hit any roadblocks and you should be fine."
"Don't mind if I do," Sam smirks as he stands from the desk and gets up to have a bugle. "I used to wear these as fingernails. Course so did Maggie. If memory serves me correctly there was this one time at the station when she had a bunch of bugles and, like all bugle eaters we were playin' with our food and she — " he glances at Maggie and then stops telling the story. " — since Detective Powers is so intent on bein' professional, I can follow suit."
Looking down at the paper buildings on Laurie's desk he tilts his head, "Hell no. Paper buildings? Isn't desk decor… womanly?" He arches an single eyebrow before turning to Matt, "Detective Sam Wright, NYPD." Griiiiiiiin. Yup, he's enjoying this.
Laurie appears vaguely disappointed at the use of the past tense when it comes to whether your snack belongs on your fingers or not. An abrupt stop to his telling only intensifies the expression until he's all but forced to glance over at the reason for this travesty, Maggie. "You shouldn't," he scolds, eyes back on Sam, "She'll still be intent on it after you're done, too. Stories are just as good, if not better than ideas. And we didn't get to hear any of those, either."
Blinking narrowly, he follows the train of notice to his own desk, and those whimsical pieces upon it. "Why are you asking me that as though it were a fact I could confirm, rather than an opinion you have formed? Anyway, no reason women should get to have all the fun just to keep up an image." His mouth curves into a smile, soft at first then breaking bigger at the sight of Sam's grin. "Well," he announces, pushing off from the arms of his chair to his feet. "This is all very detective-y, and I am not, happily, required to be part of it unless one of you is dead." A selective glance to each of them as though picking which one it'll be…
Duck, duck… oh, hey, Maggie. Bye, Maggie! He spins on a heel and departs with exactly no maneuvering room in-between for anyone to call him back for items he may or may not have.
Maggie's waiting hand drops, empty, striking her side despondently. Her response to everything is silence, stoically ignoring Sam — and Matt, by proxy, seeming uninspired to finish her thought to him (outloud— or otherwise, for that matter) in light of Detective Wright's appearance. She moves to slide one of the drawers on Laurie's desk open; her snooping is innocent, she just needs that forensics report, but she makes a grab for nothing. Instead, she looks down into the drawer for a moment too long before shutting it very fast.
On the move, Maggie has a polite smile for Matt, but to Sam she's colder, jaw tight. "Welcome to New York," Detective Powers murmurs under her breath as she passes by both of them. Empty-handed, she's on a fast track to Forensics.
Oh. Oh dear. So the new guy is not just a full-on detective - Matt had him figured for a specialized one-subject consultant, going by the outfit - but a walking pile of established drama as well. Exactly what sort of drama, he doesn't know without digging deeper, but the surface impressions alone… man. "Detective Parkman," he introduces himself, "good to, uh, meet—"
Fortunately for him, his cell phone chooses that moment to pipe up. "Hello? —Ms. Mohland, yes, I'll be there in two minutes." Phone against shoulder. "Interviewing a witness, I'll see you around, right?" Right. And off he goes as well.
"Thanks Mags. Look forward to working with you," Sam shoots her a too-charming grin before shaking his head. "Spitfire that one. Always has been." His Southern accent is matched with a dimpled grin. And then Matt's phone rings, and Sam offers the other detective a wave. With everyone gone, the drawer is now of utmost attention. He too opens it, peers inside as a smug grin spreads over his lips again. He closes it gently before walking towards Maggie's desk and kicking over the cup of coffee she has on the floor. "Geez!" he sputters loudly as the coffee spills all over the places. "Mags, you gotta stop doin' that — " with another smug grin he walks towards the kitchenette to find something to clean up the mess.