2011-02-09: Like A Predator


Detective Ryan and Chloe



Date: February 9th, 2011


Detective Powers is clearly a sexual predator, according to one of Laurie's observant fans.

"Like A Predator"

NYPD Station

" — //like to report sexual harassment in your department!"

The announcement, in and of itself, is startling enough to justify the frozen expression on the detective's face — stuck somewhere between the grim of a long day wrapped, and the first of his unadulterated lack of understanding — before he wrestles that into the delicate calm of a professional. Stiffened, surprised, shoulders ease him straight from the lean she'd stuck him in by approaching as he bent over a desk, pen leaving his fingers where he'd signed his last paperwork. It was supposed to the last thing of the day… but expect that, and the city will always find a way to punch you in the face as you turn away. So it is, that Detective Ryan faces off with a tiny-statured brunette, clutching belongings to her chest, and heatedly declaring of impropriety in the workplace. This workplace.

Wavering in some lingering disbelief, his eyes jump from her to glance all around the arc-shape of the surrounding bullpen, marking all those familiar corners, and the men and women who are slowly leaving them. Well— nothing's visibly going on…

But, all in short seconds, some of Ryan's logic returns to him and he, gesturing openly, invites the woman to come in if she need, take a seat at the desk — his — he'd been clearing of work. A couple of open cases remain, planted there by his partner, and a notice taped to his closed down computer; it's a stinging reminder of the leap one consultant made from phony to pulling strings: the memo notes FBI funded, liaison approved, changes to his previous posting in Vice.

"I'm sorry— what was your name?" He prods gently as he ushers, getting a better scan on the young woman's determined face, "Did somebody in a uniform approach you in an uncomfortable fashion—?"

"C-Ch-Chloe! Chloe Williams," the determined little brunette declares as righteously as she can; she sounds remarkably confident despite her stuttering. She shakes her head with a back-and-forth bob of her neatly coiffed hair. "Oh— n-no, Detective." Ryan, despite not being the only soul around, is the unlucky one deigned to deal with this matter at the end of his shift. Maybe it's because he was at his desk, maybe his badge seemed to give him more authority… whatever the case, Chloe's frenetically determined eyes are on him. She politely sits down but perches at the very, very, very edge while clutching her messenger bag and cell phone.

"No one approached me. I w-witnessed it, and it wasn't a uniform. We just covered this in my Human Relations class. I know that this isn't my workplace but I was the one who saw it so it's only proper — n-no, judicial — to report improper conduct. Things that— involve unnecessary or unwanted sexual touching of a co-worker, or engaging in hostile physical conduct, or unreasonably interfering with work performance," she says as if quoting a fact sheet, for which she momentarily looks proud of before leaning over intently. "S-someone needs to know so you can fix it. You know sexual harassment is— an organizational problem a lot of the time— "

Preordained by the brunette or not, Ryan's attempted, "Miss Williams— I'm going to find an officer who can— " avoided interrupting as much as possible, his hand already trying to flag several avoidant figures, until the girl's whole slew of words became a rainfall canceling that plan. He appears inflexibly uncomfortable around some skipped procedure, but the half textbook babble coming from the Miss distracts his hardened heart. "You really know your stuff," he commends, glancing over his shoulder to pull up someone else's chair — someone home right now — in order to meet the woman head-on for his soft compliment of encouragement. Her so-far speaking confidence only belies what is, at its core, a very discomforting topic, and he hopes to head this off. "Believe me," he starts, more forcibly than he might've, riding the righteous wave she's started them on, and with an unconscious glance to the nudge his thumb gives at his belt — oh yeah; he's in Homicide now. "If there's something improper going on at this station," not too surprising in anything else, "everything that can will be done to correct it. Let's just try to get some details… Would you be able to fill a report on exactly what you saw, and provide a description of those involved?" Possibly to someone else?

"Oh— of course! Certainly! Do you have a report for me to fill out? I'll fill it out!" Chloe replies enthusiastically. "But I can t-tell you right now who was involved." She sits up straight as a pin, glancing from side to side as if checking for somebody's presence. Finding it lacking, she goes on to lean ahead ever-so-slightly this time, conspiratorial; she looks downright mad, though it's all quite primly contained. "It was— " She shifts awkwardly — physically, in her seat, and with a turn toward apology for Ryan's sake as brown eyes skirt toward the desk nearest his.

It's as empty as his was until recently. DET. POWERS is shadowed on the nameplate under an overhang of paperwork. That lackluster desk full of all things functional and no things personal. No obvious hints of personality, history, family, gender. But Chloe seems to know enough: "I'm sorry, is sheeee— " Skeptical, eager, like a child telling a secret, "is she your partner?"

For the second — third? — time, Detective Ryan is caught halfway between actions, having grasped the back of his chair to stand, and fetch the young lady her paperwork, or perhaps one of those officers in the background by the coffee machine conveniently pretending not to see his decreasing glances. On hearing that she knows those involved, though, his chin hits his chest to look down at her, and his butt connects to the chair more prominently. Someone in the station— someone in the station recognizable to the public. It seems natural where she's going with this, and, to his great displeasure, Ryan finds himself growing a pleased tic at the corner of his mouth to think it; but give him a badge, and this is what happens; they brought it on themselves.

The side-bar to Powers is, at first, surprising and then not at all. Ryan admonishes the knowing out of his expression, narrowing in on the important part of that sentence: partner. Mining support, he braces his elbows against his legs, his back effortlessly straight so that he makes a strict angle. "She is." And if she's been treated poorly, he'll back her right up — is what his face says when his words, to be strictly professional, can't hang bias. So he also refrains from asking the leading question in his eye, instead leaving a poignant silence for Chloe to fill with a tip of his head to catch her desk-wandering gaze.

Chloe is a sharp little thing, and seems to hone right in on every change in Ryan. It's as though he's being watched by a bright-eyed cartoon character who never blinks. "Maybe… you should… keep a better eye on her…" she ventures. "Oh, not because— no, no," she shakes her head; Powers clearly wasn't being treated poorly, "She was displaying unprofessional behaviour. I happened to be walking by and I saw it, Detective. She had her hands all over him and he wanted to get away but she had him c-cornered. Like a predator. It's dangerous, I'm only looking out for the police department. I keep up with the news you w-wouldn't w-w-w-want— " Briefly frustrated, she presses more confidently, " — more negative media attention." A sweet smile flashes and is gone. "Especially involving Laurence Miles."

A big, bright-eyed cartoon character talking about sexual harassment. The seriousness of which is the unchanging scale in Ryan, watched. Far more than the wrinkle of disbelieving concentration required to absorb what appears to be the reported situation. Too delicate — and stern, besides — to outright show doubt on this clearly adamant witness, he's yet unyielding to acceptance; mostly, because he isn't getting it. Possible nod has frozen, leaving his head still at an angle as her regards her, finally loosening his jaw with a soft, wordless exclamation of interruption.

"Now, hold on— " Laurence Miles; there springs the name he was expecting, and that much is clear; it's as clear as the impatience the detective immediately has for the alleged 'victim' — impossible to think on those terms, really. "Are you telling me…" still lacking accusation. Or understanding. Chloe's likely blown the strict detective's world view. "You saw Detective Powers make untoward advances on— Laurence Miles. Are you— sure you're remembering correctly… these things can be— confusing in the heat of the moment…"

"Maybe Detective Powers is confused," Chloe sounds incredulous on that note, as though she's completely convinced otherwise; the opposite of Detective Ryan, "but I know exactly what I saw," she insists, getting a wee bit ruffled. "I took a picture." She goes about digging in her bag. It's only a moment before she brandishes a silver cell phone. She's quick to bring the promised picture up, and grips it tightly (it's hers!) as she outstretches an arm to show it to Ryan.

The evidence is sandwiched between two blurry lines (window blinds) and is slightly blurry, but nevertheless depicts a scene of something. In an office — a nearby office — the two figures in closely arranged chairs, literally face-to-face, Maggie's arms seeming to move up Laurie's as he is, indeed, trapped, and she's leaning in with an intensity even a cell phone photo captures. The voyeuristic nature of Chloe's shot only makes it appear more scandalous. But is it more scandalous than it really is?

"You can't really tell that he was trying to leave…" Chloe laments of her photography, but quickly livens, "but he was! Just because he's a p-powerful m-man doesn't mean he can't be a victim." She leans over her bag again, warning intently, "His popularity makes him more of one you know. You police have to watch out for that."

Having evidence thrust in his face only deepens Ryan's well of confusion, struck between a photograph and what reality would suggest. "You're going to need to…" Give him the phone? Rebelliously, his thoughts shift. Powers was swayed, he can't understand that, but he isn't nearly so surprised; she isn't, by any means, the first to fall victim to the flash-bang charm of such charlatans… but she's his partner. And clearly needs help.

"Hold on— " for the second time. But now the detective's eyes spark with the quick and reliable memory for detail that defines his profession. Startled by this revelation, his hand goes right for the phone, in Chloe's possessive grip, seeking to yank it, for clarity, closer to his peering eyes. "Isn't that office— "

Bam— bam! The concussive beat — thunder, in the station's silence (the officers near the corner have been tuned especially low, as if listening for something they all weren't quite sure they heard…) — of a door shutting down the hall. A dead-end around the other side, the only possible exit is to the bullpen; the entire arena alights with a kind of surreal attention, unsure of what they're waiting for.

It doesn't take long. When he appears, it's certainly an appearance. Pulled from the screen-cap Ryan's hand is poised by, the newly minted liaison is the product of that scandalous future: his fancy blue dress-shirt hangs, as if irreparably, open, flapping, not only with his speed, but the lack of closure in the top two buttons. It's tucked in— no, he's in the very process of shoving his shirt-tails into the top of his pants, beside a messily loose belt, when he marches on past. Both his mind and eyes clearly elsewhere; he meets no other gaze, nor focus, in the station where his blues are hazy — not even the path ahead of him that he takes with rigid speed. There's a thought to pull on his brown, yellow-piped biker's jacket before the front door is swinging behind him.

Even the talkative young woman is too startled and bug-eyed at the sudden interruption of the bullpen's quiet to say anything, verging on downright horrified. She is, however, quick to take this opportunity to claim her phone as solely hers again, tucking it into her bag. Returned attention to Ryan features an almost childish 'I told you so!' expression of pride. "Well?!" Her voice then switches to nothing but serious— and a bit threatening. "If this doesn't get taken seriously I'll take it seriously on behalf of the station. It's the principle." She certainly is determined to this sudden cause that has nothing to do with her. She stands up. "The public acts on what they know."

Having tracked that bizarre walk of shame — prey escaping? — Detective Ryan's head swivels slowly to recover his pin on the witness, baffled not only by the events by their seeming timeliness. It was all happening right now. Somehow, the reality hits harder and bolts him from his seat at the sight of the young woman — witness — doing the same. He's lost sight of the phone, and the victim, but not the cause. "Trust me, Miss Williams," he alerts her with a matched seriousness that is swiftly hardening, "I'll be getting to the bottom of this myself. Count on it."

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