2010-08-27: The Distance Between Two Points



Date: August 27th, 2010


She said...

"The Distance Between Two Points"

Police Station

New York City

The police station is a constant bustle — today, and every other in recent days — even here in Homicide, ever since temperatures started to rise to beyond seasonal. A hot city means a city on edge, and people on edge means people prone to anger. And when anger leads to irrational behaviour …

We all know what that means.

Suffice to say the NYPD has a lot on their plate, but organization keeps it more or less business as usual — only amped up several degrees.

More or less.

Coming in off the street is Detective Powers, along with a handful of colleagues; this and that officer or detective matched with her for this or that case. She has been attacking every problem as she does every other, hardly seeming affected by the heavy workload; her workload is rarely light. Brisk, long strides propel her around the corner, weaving around uniforms and detectives staunchly sticking to their suits-and-ties in the heat wave; they'd be better off mimicking Maggie's t-shirt. As soon as she spies her desk in the bullpen, she branches off from every one of those around her, leaving them with the conversation she, quietly, wasn't a part of; her focus toward her desk singular. Point A, point B.

Point C is a winding line across the station, following those uniforms on their feet that Maggie declined to join until it reaches the other entrance where a gaggle of entering bodies coordinates with what has already happened on the other end. This collection of officers — several feeling the same heat-cooker pressure in vice as homicide has been — is yet grinning as they all prod into the bullpen; their conversation must be more stimulating than the other detective experienced. Each turns about while walking to chatter, add their voice into the general murmur of amusement. The level of humor on a day hot as Hell raises a few heads along their path, snagging attention from paperwork that only reluctantly gets it back from the majority.

Giving a last glance to this effect, Officer Nolan separates from the others, stretching his arm in a companionable gesture before abandoning the huddle. He, and others, have reports to get to. A few of these movements reveals the epicenter: behavioral consultant Miles.

Immune to heat's persuasion, his sky-blue collared is tidy and neat down to the cuffs of long sleeves — though unbuttoned, a crimp in the image. But more than shirt, and gray slacks — he's wearing a grin from ear to ear. With glances between those remaining around him, he mutters out a word or two that resparks the laughter in the others and brings the consultant's head to bow in bashful humility at his own effect. But still grinning.

His long strides come to a slow and then the inevitable stop before those last two hovering detectives currently assigned him (not Kotowski, as it turns out): a stop perhaps notably, perhaps not, long before Homicide and its occupants. Burton, a seasoned team member not especially known for the hardy smile parting his lined face now, lays an appreciative hand on Laurie's shoulder. It's given a couple of pats and then he and his partner also fold to the demand of paperwork and the next case waiting.

But Laurie isn't left expressly alone. The person at the desk by which he halted turns to smile and hand up a case file to which he attends, standing there.

The desk of Detective Powers is but a momentary stop for its owner. Her full ambitious strides barely have time to come to a proper halt at its corner before she reaches purposefully for the inbox that sits there. The laughter and parting officers does draw Maggie's attention up, however; it's caught there when — without surprise — her gaze finds the flash of sky blue, which is not only a paired match with her own common t-shirt, but a cue for her realization of the consultant's presence.

And there her gaze stays distantly fixed. The companionable atmosphere across the station floor hasn't broadened its scope to include the lone detective: she remains stoic and, instead of friendly, her gaze is thoughtful — discerning. The newest layers of the papers and files which sit in her inbox are sifted through without full attention; her hands simply perform a familiar task that she barely glances down at every so often, marking her search toward finding a particular item.

A moment later, a drop of files back where they came from, a tap of a slender stack of files on the corner of her desk once, leveling out their contents — time to go again. Maggie's turn away begins, clearly toward some Point D on her schedule. The remnants of her glance across at Laurie, before she's heading swiftly back the way she came, could be said — quite literally by colleagues near her desk, Lopez and that lingering rookie, who happen to look up and notice — to be almost hostile.

And in that, she isn't as alone as first appearances suggest. Panning along the path of the detective's exiting charge — before its end — another glancing figure. Braced in a doorway, hovering like an intruder to this workplace, the stern-faced FBI agent once described by Sergeant Gartland as being there to pick up loose ends. His is the suit of the day, impeccably pressed, fit along a body reclining but not exactly relaxed as he stares unhesitatingly to that middle point. The consultant, shifting about through papers, chattering with the woman who presented them: so blissfully an image of unawareness to the all this narrowed attention.

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