2010-02-18: Doing Something About Mental Health



Guest Starring:

Officer Parker

Date: February 18th, 2010


Maggie is aggravated by her forced leave of absence; Laurie helps. There are no unicorns.

"Doing Something About Mental Health"


The precinct is guest to one of their own this evening — guest, because Detective Maggie Powers has been absent for the last few weeks, save for visits like these. The woman is still wearing the barriers of winter: a worn, brown leather jacket a size or so too large, and a bright, primary blue scarf wrapped around her neck and making a mess of her blonde waves. Standing outside the lieutenant's office, she leans a hand on the doorframe and talks to— the door, as it happens.

It's true that she needed to heal after her ordeal, what with the near-drowning and hypothermia and even a bit of frostbite for good measure. Though Maggie is a little pale, a little drawn-in, she's fine now. Mostly. So when being forced on leave for physical well-being turned into being off for psychological reasons… "I'm fine!" The detective insists, her normally soft voice raising to a high pitch in her desperation. "Fine!!" she insists again. To the closed door. "I just want to get back to work!"

Those who are left shuffling about the station at this time may have a word or two to say regarding Maggie's current psychological state, but they're keeping it to themselves while she's still in the vicinity. That doesn't mean they're keeping their eyes to themselves, though, because one way or another most everybody's found a reason to glance over at the chief's door.

Coming in off his beat to start the fine stream of paperwork that follows a shift, Officer Parker is tugging at his jacket and looking forward to a moment's quiet when he notices the vague gossip-y spirit of the place around him. A sigh. "Come on, guys," he dashes his hand in the air in a practiced motion commanding cease and desist, "It's been weeks now… nothing's new." Except the 'psychological' part, but he doesn't know that. He only combs his hands through his hair, pulls in a deep steadying breath, and marches right on over to that ragged blonde beauty. "Mag—"

THUMP. Whatever the unfortunate officer was about to say is drowned out by the sudden impact of Laurie Miles' shoulder hitting the wall as he drops in against the wall next to the door that has thus earned Powers' frustration. Today, his button-up is unmistakably pink with tiny off-white stripes; the long black jacket she should well recognize. His right arm is crooked out to his side, cradling a very well brown paper-bag.

And, of course, he's smiling. "Why, Powers. I don't think the door can help you."

Maggie spins swiftly around after the interrupted call of her name and the THUMP of Laurie's sudden arrival; it's the latter she seems to actually notice, unwittingly ignoring poor Officer Parker, since she instantly looks down and fidgets with her hands, in a state of obvious frustration. Now with her back to the door, she's a halfway effective barricade should her superior emerge. She hardly glances at Laurie, either. "— Chief wants me to get my mental health assessed," she offers by way of explanation. She hardly sounds angry — try dejected and annoyed, well on her way to anger. "But honestly, I am fine. I'd be more fine if I could do something."

Laurie takes this under heavy consideration, with the pulled eyebrows and the serious line of the mouth. This all lasts about as long as it takes him to reach into that bag in his arm and pop something open. What he pulls out is most likely — hopefully — edible because it's immediately popped into his mouth. "Mental health?" He muses carelessly, "I don't believe it exists." Now, if they were somewhere in the jungle and this were a particular size of rodent he were trying to disprove, one such unusually large creature would surely jump right on him at the sound of this confident statement. However, they are in the police station, and he's talking about mental health. So all that happens is he holds out a hand to her downcast view and shakes a cracker at her, "Triscuit?"

The detective lifts her head up a smidge, the brighter shades of blue jumps out in her eyes as a steely look is sent Laurie's way. And over a Triscuit? Not characteristic of Powers! It's a short-lived look, as she glances away again — but not before nabbing the little cracker as an afterthought. Speedy, like a jungle rodent. "Tell that to the chief," she says, punctuated by a crunch of the cracker as it disappears into her mouth. She folds her arms, hands tucked leather-clad elbows. "If he was convinced everyone was equally crazy then … gee, maybe I wouldn't be given special treatment."

One corner of Laurie's smile tips up higher than the other, elevating the expression into a smirk, as the cracker offering is accepted. He's quick to rummage about for another one for himself. Spinning the wheat-y thing idly in front of him, he mutters in an oddly heavy manner, "A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?" Chomp down. Swallow. The action's dispelled his mood, refreshed it. Intent eyes seek Maggie out again as he dusts a hand off on the paper bag then pushes his shoulder off of the wall. "Yes, well, in his defense, all the officers here haven't been dunked and hung out to dry and expose it."

"I'd say you're biased," What's that? Is Officer Parker still there? In fact, he stands in the same spot he had made it to before being cut off; his scowl looks unnatural on his boyish face, so typically kind. Convenient that, when he looks over at Maggie instead, it's erased. "Come on, Powers, isn't it more trouble to protest it? I— We all want to see you back in form."

Maggie shifts uncomfortably underneath the cover of her oversized jacket after Laurie finishes speaking (as much as he's ever finished speaking), her made-to-smile mouth pinching into a frown instead. She seems momentarily surprised when Officer Parker speaks up. "Yeah well… I dunno, it's— it's not necessary, that's all I'm saying," she says quietly. "Wouldn't it be more efficient to bypass something unnecessary?" She wanders away from the door she blocks, drifting between the two men and looking at neither, focused in her own head.

"It isn't unnecessary, it's protocol…" Parker offers by way of explanation, his hands out placating in front of him, but his confidence shunted by her avoiding behavior. Right across from him, Laurie munches on his Triscuits like they're popcorn, the smirk on his face but his eyes narrowed in a manner that almost mocks the light-hearted mouth. He rolls back on his heels before once again pushing off, this time in a beeline towards, surely to exercise his skill at getting her to turn the direction he wants her to go.

"Let's go interview a witness," he instructs her, the aim of his arm towards the blonde detective's perhaps helping to inflame the officer on the other side of the argument. "I always found those quite unnecessary…"

"Because it says you quit instead of take one!"

"And look at how much happier I am," Laurie replies merrily in mock-revelation, after all only deciding to tap the detective on the arm and then stroll right on by — all the better to tilt his head at Parker to quip as he passed by towards the door.

"Interview!" Maggie exclaims, drawn out of her thoughts of psychiatry and caught slightly off guard. Softer, she looks over her shoulder and focuses an inquisitive gaze on Laurie. More than anything, she appears confused. She follows logical trains of thought, you see, and… "But I'm not cleared to— " She makes vague motions to follow Laurie all the same. "Which witness?"

Laurie's eyebrows bounce in bemusement at her exclamation-mark worthy reaction before he turns and continues on his way, more or less forcing Detective Powers to follow towards the exit should she want to hear. They effectively leave Officer Parker standing there, vaguely aghast. "But I am," he assures her, "As long as I have a badge present. Now, I could take your badge…" The question of what witness has a sobering effect again, and he hesitates for the briefest instant before describing, "A doctor. Turns out, gods need bullets removed just like the rest of us." That tightened jaw-line might be a suggestion of uneasiness, some sense of responsibility, that gets shuffled away by the gnawing on another Triscuit. How convenient, those.

"U-uhh, it's okay!" Maggie is quick to chirp, quick to follow on Laurie's heels, a flash of a smile even brightening her face, for as long as it lasts; the talk of the doctor has a similarly sobering effect on the detective. Her pause is an introspective one, lines along her forehead just a glimpse of the thoughts in her head as they take a dark path toward the murderer. "And this doctor is a witness… to what? Surviving? I'm surprised he's still alive."

"I suppose witness would be sort of a poorly chosen word now," he opines delicately, though Laurie goes to offer no further explanation. His pace never slows so that, with long strides, they're pretty much at the outside doors when he pauses to turn halfway towards her. "If he's still alive, there's a reason. And I'm willing to guess it has more to do with this than just his suffering. He'll have a notion as to where or what she's doing next, even if he doesn't know he's got it."

Maggie's brows are knit as she tries to figure out the particulars of the word "witness" — so it continues as she regards Laurie a moment later, coming to a halt in front of him. "No doubt," she replies with a sigh to her voice Her gaze is a solemn one. She may be officially on leave, but in her mind, she never left. Not this case. "Well, whatever he knows — we'll know it." In that, she sounds sure. By contrast, at least, her next words are light. "Where to? You know, it's strange— not knowing where I'm going ahead of time."

Well, she's certainly leaving, so there's that going for her. When it comes to 'where', though, that one might be drawn out a bit longer. Any trace of seriousness vanishes from Laurie's features as he instigates a lean to the side that pushes the door open. "Then the game is afoot, Detective Powers." With a glance to the great outdoors, then back at her, he shoves the door the rest of the way and slips outside with naught to answer her need to know other than a decidedly cheshire— "Do you trust me?"

"Ask me that more than a month ago and I might've said no," Maggie answers bluntly, the twist of her mouth tipping off a smile-to-be. It's playful, but it's partly forced. "But ask me now if the guy who jumped into a lake in January to pull me out?" She pauses, tipping her head to the left. "Now I'll say maybe. Just go, Miles," she says lightly. "You're the one with the badge this time."

The bluntness does nothing to dull Laurie; if anything, it encourages him. "How intuitive of me to pick the right month, wasn't it. Say this happened in August, and you might hate me." Ear to ear, just for her. It's easy for his looks to seem so personalized, what with those intensely drawing eyes— the way he also looks right into the other person's. "Come on, Powers, come on. If I wanted a badge so bad, I wouldn't have gracelessly retired, as your puppy Parker pointed out." Fishing into the pocket of his coat, he produces keys that he spins on one finger. "We can take Grand. Pass by a Baskins— I'm craving ice-cream, are you?"

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