2010-04-02: Overboard



Date: April 2nd, 2010


They're on a boat. The investigation of a murdered woman whose body was found in the river continues Fishing


Manhattan Docks

She's been to the Liberty, the Sea Knight (that guy was just not cooperative!) , the Dream Boat and a couple of others and now it's fading into early evening as Maggie approaches the common docking spot of Sushi Bar. It's a larger vessel than the others, and apparently current host to something a bit more rowdy than its natural fishing. There's no festive lights or loud music to indicate a party, but the laughter echoes easily over the water surrounding its port. It's also one of the only ones currently in; most of the other boats are still out for the day, meaning there isn't a lot of foot traffic, either. Despite being audible, there's no one in sight, with all the action happening around the bend of Sushi Bar's deck.

Enter Detective Powers. She's a little tired of roaming all over boats without result, but she's making a valiant attempt to wear her thickest skin and not let all the time around water, boat after boat, get to her. Maggie approaches the Sushi Bar, hopping her way onboard with a few thumps of her boots, looking around to see if anyone noticed her; it's not her intent to trespass, but… there's no one here.

Her monotone attire is a contrast to any party moods nearby, and her mouth is a straight line as she takes in the sights — and sounds, among other things — on the boat. One of these boats is not like the others, and she's standing on it. Now to find out if there's a man here who isn't like the others, either — her hunt for information continues hand-in-hand with her hunt for Laurie.

Striding across the Sushi Bar deck, she turns the bend. "Excuse me— "

Conveniently timed laughter! It matches well with the kind Maggie heard on the phone, only now it's in person and she can see each of the culprits.

Set up on this side of the deck is a foldable table with seven chairs crammed around it, each filled with a middle-aged man; the one in the back, completely facing Maggie as she arrives, is Laurence Miles. Elusive, and apparently having the time of his life. Besides a stack of cards that's been distributed among them, there is also a basket of slightly spilled chips and a wide variety of shot glasses — they must have run out of traditional ones, because some of those are mugs, and those souvenir glasses with bright logos painted on them. There's even a few plastic cups overturned somewhere.

The laughter, as it turns out, coincides with the motion of Laurie knocking back one of these shot glasses — the nearby bottles suggesting it may be a mixture of vodkas and God knows what they keep on boats. As he's still got his head back, his eyes clearly find Maggie with a spark of something more coherent than all this liquor would place him.

Then the shot glass is slammed back on the table and he's gesturing to her with a loud "Heeyyyy!" that is echoed by every one of the other men as they turn to notice that there's a whoooo-woman! on board.

To say Detective Powers is not amused would be an understatement. Bright eyes stare at the roundtable of men, none more than Laurie, with a distinct disapproval. To say she's angry would be an overstatement, though — Maggie isn't exactly known for her temper. As she marches to the table, she's calm and collected. She reaches into her coat pocket before she comes to a stop. The quickest way she knows how to get a group of men to sober up, in her experience, is to flash them — her badge, that is.

"Detective Powers, NYPD," she introduces herself somberly. The woman isn't here for the party. "I see you— " Have met my associate? She eyes Laurie and the copious amount of liquor — and decides pretending not to know him for this moment might be better. " —have quite the gathering here…"

Despite that his skill-set says otherwise, Laurie appears to be altogether unaware of Maggie's well directed disapproval right up until she goes ahead and flashes everybody. With her badge. His bright eyes darken, a change that nobody else notices because they're too busy visibly attempting to argue with themselves about whether any of this stuff is illegal. Nobody's driving the boat, right? And they're all of age… and uh… Somebody takes the vodka bottle then quickly redeposits it as if not wanting to leave fingerprints.

"Just enjoying the afternoon…" An older man grunts, beginning perhaps what would've been a wonderful excuse if he weren't so quickly interrupted.

"Alright, alright," Laurie pacifies, waving quieting hands at the others as he pushes to his feet, "Party time's over, it's business time now. Come on, Anders." All the men are varying degrees of confused, but none more than the scruffy man immediately to Laurie's left who is pulled to his feet by the consultant's hand around his elbow. "Come on. You're being arrested."


Maggie spies the change in Laurie from reveler to all business, but she winds up nearly as surprised as the men, particularly the one dubbed Anders. In the midst of tucking her detective's badge back out of sight, she steps to the scruffy man's side opposite Laurie — as if preemptively stopping him from going anywhere, just incase — but that is all she does, save for eye the assembled suspiciously, because there is just one problem. She slides an intently questioning look to the consultant. "Miles?"

"Yuh-huh?" Laurie inquires casually before his gaze tracks to Maggie's face and he reacts to that look with a quirk of the head. "Oh. Right." Releasing Anders, he claps his hands together and then gestures with all fingers to him. "He killed that girl."

Everyone's pretty drunk, but they're aware enough to understand the implication of this statement, even if not the situation fully. There's some scraping of chairs, but nobody really takes action. Stuck between his accuser who was so previously his drinking buddy, and the cop who isn't holding handcuffs yet, Anders turns to Maggie with wide eyes. "But, no, I didn't. I didn't kill nobody!"

Laurie: "Tch, sorry. You did."

"No, come on, I swear I never— "

"Told me about your special new fishing line? Or described that bar you like to go to where the waitresses look so young?"

Anders is clearly back-tracking through the whole afternoon now, eyes widening incrementally for every thing he can remember pouring out over drinks. "Y-You weren't a cop…"

It's becoming clear that Laurie's losing patience, that staple bemused look he carries betraying itself as being a mask while he makes a second attempt to muscle Anders away from the table, past Maggie if need be. "Yeah, well, Detective Powers is, and she dislikes men who kill young women slightly more than she dislikes me, so this trumps— "

Struggling to escape this relentless persecution with all the will of one with absolutely no backbone, Anders flings himself away from Laurie's guiding hand towards Maggie with his last defense: "No! I didn't do it— it was the other guy! I swear to God I never would've hurt her! I was there, I was there, I confess! But I never touched anybody! I'm not a killer!"

Detective Powers barely misses a single movement of Anders or a shift of Laurie's features, and watches it all with wonder and a lightning fast gaze from one to the next. As the— suspect?— flings himself at her, she reaches out with one hand in the universal stop and calm sign, her other hand hovering somewhat ominously at the small of her back, out of sight.

"What other guy? Where? Listen, okay, I'm not going to arrest you without solid evidence," she explains with a pointed look at Laurie as if she's telling him rather than the frantic boater, though it bears less of the chastisement from earlier and more question. Her focus shifts solidly to Anders. "But if you're a witness to a homicide we might bring you in to the station. First I need you to calm down — Anders, right? — and tell me what you know. Why don't you have a seat again." She glances to the imbibed others, minus Laurie, brows arched. "Give us some space, gentlemen?"

The boatmen are only too willing to quit this new frightening atmosphere — all except the gruff older man who takes time to mention that this is his boat, goddammit, before he's dragged off by his friends. Anders doesn't really want to sit, but he does, guiltily folding his hands in front of him on the table and staring at his fingers. Laurie is generous enough to remove the vodka bottle from being knocked over by the man's anxious movements. The consultant then steps around the other side of the table as if he has no intention of staying around any longer. "Yeah, sorry, I lied," he consoles Anders, gesturing out towards Maggie — and her badge. "She's just going to detain you on suspicion long enough for them to find the fingerprints on your boat." And he rolls his wrist over to check a watch and strolls right off to that corner to leave.

Anders, meanwhile, turns white as a ghost at the sound of this evidence. Once again, he moans. "We were ju-just going to have some fun. I swear I didn't know he was going to hurt her. Never, never." His face falls into his hands. It may take a bit to get him into any shape to talk.

As Laurie leaves, after saying out everything she is, apparently, going to do, Maggie gives the back of his head a distinct look, on the side of incredulous. Is she, really?

… Yes, that is exactly what she's going to do. Damn it. After abandoning the thought of ordering Laurie to stay where he is, she pulls a seat out next to Anders, watching him closely. Though the detective mostly keeps her features neutral (if intent), some criticism sneaks in. Even if this man is guilty, he was involved in something, with someone, who is. But Maggie's words are almost consoling — calm. "Okay," she says to him patiently. "Take a few slow breaths or two. And tell me who you're talking about. First I'm going to need some names."
While she waits for the man to get it together, she pulls her phone out. "I'm going to need a team out here on this boat, it's called the… Sushi Bar… around the end of the list. Yeah. Thanks."

* * *

Police Station

With the day gradually slipping by, and the main suspect in the murder of the young woman who was found in New York waters still out there, Detective Maggie Powers has fallen into the focused, driven calm she's used to when working a case. Coat eschewed since stepping in about fifteen minutes ago, she strides through the station, bypassing a pair of officers escorting the suspect from the boat, Anders, in handcuffs, to holding. She's on her way to the most familiar part of the station to her, that which holds her desk. There's also a whiteboard setup on a stand nearby — so far it's empty.

Maggie leans against the desk's edge rather than sitting down, and uses the computer to navigate to someone's rather humble attempt at a website. It appears to be for a bar, given the photograph of smiling, poorly lit staff all in a row surrounded by liquor bottles on the front page.

The passing by of an officer diverts her attention from the flat screen monitor and she tries to catch his attention in turn. "Have you seen Miles?" He's been elusive all day, and she needs to have words with that man.

The singled out officer, holding a cup of something and what is probably his own load of paperwork to get through, pauses long enough to give Maggie the affirmative nod her question was looking for. "Sure," he elaborates in a tone suggesting this should be common knowledge, "He's in Evidence. You want to bring this to him, instead?" He holds out the cup — apparently, that part of his load wasn't his after all. And, uncurling his fingers some, he reveals he's clutching against the cup a small plastic baggie with two generic looking pills.

The answer prompts a faint roll of Maggie's eyes, but she smiles kindly at the officer for his answer. The pills get a questioning look and, straightening from her pose over the desk, she asks and takes in the same breath. "From the scene?" That would be a yes to taking the things to Laurie or, more correctly, a sure, why not. Delaying the helpful officer no longer, she winds away from her desk to venture into away from the desks and into another familiar spot — the Evidence room.

It takes only a smile from Maggie for the woman at the counter to press the button and let the detective in with the carefully (mostly) filed evidence. Rows and rows of boxes, labeled with numerous codes, and forgotten until someone needs them. All manner of things, including personal belongings that will likely never be claimed. Though at first Laurie isn't visible, he seems to hear the sound of the large metal gate clicking open. His voice precedes him, "You know, I didn't actually say you had to…" Around the corner on the end of his word, middle of his sentence, Laurie glances up from the paperwork lying open in one hand to see Maggie. The tiniest bit of surprise motivates his eyebrows to twitch in rather than up. "I definitely didn't say you had to."

"You're right, you didn't," Maggie says easily, holding the cup out at arm's length toward Laurie. The plastic bag containing the pills, though — that's been transferred to her other hand, at her side. Her small smile isn't telling of the chastising she has in store for the consultant. "I've got you trapped now. There's no getting away," she states — minus any and all threat, but it's true, he would have to bypass the detective and a metal gate. There is a pause before she holds the two plain pills up in the bag with a prompting expression, arched brows arching higher.

The file snaps shut with a flick of the other hand that was holding it open, but Laurie doesn't immediately bait to the cup offering. Instead he shifts his weight in a movement that pillows the way he also glances down to the bag at her side. By the end of the move, he's looking her in the eye again: amused, maybe, but his eyes haven't lightened since the boat. Though it'd be criminal to not raise interested eyebrows at her particular choice of words; so he does. When she offers up the pills for explanation, he opts to reach out to grab them away, instead. "Are you going to tell me all the protocol I broke now, Powers?"

The weight of the murder case at her back makes itself known again as a darker expression takes over Maggie's features as well. She frowns at Laurie's question and at the mystery pills being whisked away, turning after to place the cup on the edge of a shelf in front of an evidence box. "No, I'm not," she tells Laurie as she faces him again. "Because I think you know what they are. What were you even doing there, Miles? Besides making a giant leap in solving this case— there's a way we do things here. It involves communication."

Laurie runs the edge of his hand along his lower lip thoughtfully, the motion ending with him grabbing onto the edge of a nearby shelf, near the cup. "And you do them quite well," he admits after a moment. "Promise you it won't happen again." He flashes her a perky smile, then turns to claim the cup, the other hand simultaneously cracking the plastic bag open. As he's turning to maneuver back around the corner he appeared from, he tucks the file under his arm. By the way he's got the bag propped open and is aiming his head back, it's easy to imagine that — out of sight — he's just swallowed both pills.

"Miles, I'm serious— " Wait, did he just— ? Maggie's brows inch together suddenly, knitting. "What are those?" She strides the short distance in an attempt to leer around Laurie's shoulder. The paperwork catches her attention, too, even though she certainly can't see through the folder. "You really have to start filling in some blanks for me here."

The plastic bag is now crumpled into the palm of the hand holding the cup as he uses finishes a gulp to wash things down. Laurie hears her coming, of course, but doesn't start turning to face her again until he's done drinking and can place the cup aside. His free hand pulls the file out and he sets this on the shelf, too. Right next to him is obviously where he had been working, with two boxes pulled out and one missing its cover. "I was completely serious, too. It was painful. I hope I never have to do it again, seriousness." He rattles off merrily, briskly shoving something away and propping the back two of the boxes into its spot. Then he leans to the side, props an elbow on the still-open box, and eyes her conversationally. "What would you like to know?"

Maggie should have expected no less than for Laurie to be Laurie. Now that she's inadvertently delivered his demands in the form of a drink and pills, she seems to consider for a long moment — think about how to phrase things. Her mouth moves into a thin, straight line, the seriousness Miles would rather avoid. Her arms cross. "Everything." Her eyes flit to the open box. What is he doing down here, anyway? "Everything you know about this case, the girl in the water — that, somehow, I might've missed because you seem to want to be two steps ahead of me. And why you're even on this. Half the station thought the chief was going to send you walking."

"That is extremely expansive," Laurie informs her, also leveling into that seriousness, though his is pointedly affected and possibly teasing. He considers her next bit momentarily and then spreads innocent palms upward. "I know what you know now, detective," one of the hands slides into a vague gun-shape aimed at her. "Dead girl, fisherman, nameless dominant partner — from the bar where she worked." Tada! But his generous decision to stand there and talk to her seems to abruptly end when he pushes away from the box, eyeing it and then giving it a shove back onto the shelf. This makes it so he isn't looking at her when he mentions, "Hmm, funny thing… so did I."

But Maggie is still looking at him, because while she may accept his first answers, the more personal one has remained … vague. "So you're sticking around…?" she pries cautiously, her voice raising just a smidgen, towing a contradictory line between disappointment and hope. "For this case? For the others? I mean as far as we know this one isn't a serial. Well, I sure hope not."

There's something about the way she asks it, maybe, but a smile blooms on Laurie's face as he's finishing organizing everything into place. That one file, though, that he started out with — that one he slides into his grip and hangs onto. He even uses it to wag at Maggie when he poses, "I don't know, Detective Powers. Breaking protocol, lacking in communication. Would you keep me on?"

"It's not my call," Maggie states with a certain measure of nonchalance, otherwise known as avoiding the question. "But you seem to be already working on this one, so. The man from the boat, Anders, he's over in holding and he's not talking anymore. Hopefully he'll talk enough for the sketch artist I have on the way to get a face on his… friend. killer, supposedly. They planned to kidnap this waitress, only it went wrong — more wrong even than a kidnapping — you study behaviour, do you buy that Anders doesn't know the name of his partner?"

Oh, and he knows what that move is; Laurie's smile only growing a bit at the edges when she side-steps answering. The expression neutralizes under the sound of facts of the crime, however, a certain homage to a work ethic he'd never admit to. "I do," he responds easily, "Inevitably, all killer teams will end up estranged. If Anders' partner was smart enough to realize this, he'd never give out his name, knowing that the much weaker Anders would eventually flip on him. They probably met coincidentally. Started out making comments about the women in the bar… slowly, they'd realize they were both interested in the same thing, might joke about their darker desires to test the waters. Except, I'd wager this partner knew he was going to kill the victim the whole time, and he knew that once it happened, it'd be too late for Anders to back out. He'd be in on it, too. Insurance. But!" He holds up a finger, "Submissives always try to save themselves. So, not giving a name. Plan B insurance."

"He has a name and we're going to find it. I'm not putting too much faith in the fingerprints that were lifted from the Sushi Bar, from what Anders said— it was convoluted, I'm not even sure it happened on the boat. It's the bar I want to see. He may or may be going back there after what happened," Maggie pauses, an instant, to watch Laurie, expecting him to have an idea on the "dominant" partner here, too. "Either way, we find him or, our best bet, we find someone who recognizes him. I'm heading there tonight, so if you don't get fired before then…"

"He'll go back," is supplied when Laurie's prompted, "Longer he goes without getting caught, more he feels immune. Easier to trap." While Maggie's wrapping up her plans for the case, he takes a last glance around the Evidence room to make sure it's all the way he left it: not entirely messy, not entirely clean. Just the way it works. At the sound of her proposition, though, he glances over. First there's heavy pondering, then an obvious revelation. Laurie shakes the file at her again, looking at her like she's quite wily, indeed. "Then a bar is a perfect place to make them regret it." Nodding, he uses this line as an exit strategy involving sliding around Maggie and back the way they came. "It's a date, Powers!" is called from the other side before the rattling of the gate opening.

Much too belatedly, Maggie realizes that she really did walk into that one. She has nothing in response but to watch Laurie leave the crowded room full of boxed recollections of crime scenes past — and present. At the rattle of the gate, she steps to the shelf to glance over the box Laurie tucked back in place. Her finger runs over the label and her eyes narrow, and one thumb inches the cover upward, but she rapidly reminds herself that now is not the time for snooping. Never is the time for snooping except when it's her job — which she now has to go do.

She files the number, name, and placement of the box away in her mind regardless.

Shaking her head, Maggie leaves Evidence with a creak and click of that metal gate. "Always a pleasure, Dana," she tells the woman behind the desk before getting back to work.

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