2010-09-09: Washed Up



Guest-Starring: Teresa Havens, Melissa Jones

Date: September 9th, 2010


Previously: PooledWavelengthTidal

Armed with what they now know, the detective and consultant follow the money begin to crack open some witnesses' stories a little further. Also, nipples and pizza.

"Washed Up"

* * *

Teresa Havens' Apartment

The previous residence — that of Lisa — was pristine, obsessively controlled with a personal but well-organized system of everything in its place. Moving anything felt doubly intrusive — though that didn't much slow Laurie, who made a deal of completely upsetting each small section of coordination. In order, he later explained, to put it back together again: a puzzle. That's the only way to truly see why one thing had to go where it was. The level of compulsion the room showed was likely also a source of Lisa's stress, not even to mention a range of high-class dishes, the most upgraded technology, and a wardrobe of tastefully expensive clothes. And — behind the clothes, hidden by several layers but eventually findable — a shrine plastered to the wall for Zach Dayton. Pictures, papers from the campaign, newspaper clippings where he was mentioned, receipts: even some of his credit cards. Compared to the rest of the apartment, this mish-mash of, yet still obsessively, composed stalkings feels like an attack against the woman's system.

In further comparison, the apartment of Teresa Havens has all the similarities to a college frat house, instead. Reluctantly allowing the detective and consultant in, she steps over several pizza boxes and then bends to pick up a fifth, "I was going to clean up today," she claims as excuse while the foyer opens into the living room and small attached kitchen. The pizza box is distributed to some other pile where it's out of sight and out of mind while the woman decides to focus more on running her hand through her lightly curled hair to make it fall around her face exactly the right way. Teresa is dressed not to be living here, but to be enjoying elegant drinks in a room with at least one chandelier.

"What can I do for you, detectives?" is asked with better phrasing than it's voiced, a flicker of impatience and — something else — across her face as she rounds to a couch and folds her arms over her chest. "Senator Roland's holding something at the hotel later to honor Lisa's memory or some bullcrap if you need something to crash."

With a lot to think about by the time she reaches the apartment of Teresa Havens, Detective Powers is nevertheless prepared. She bears no sign of judgment of the state of Teresa's home, only steps through the apartment neatly in order to follow her. Near the couch, she halts. A glance to track where the consultant is, a polite smile for Teresa, and that's all before it's quite down to business — that, and an "Oh?" voiced in response to the news of Senator Roland's plans; her eyebrows raise, distantly intrigued by the notion. "We're looking into some new angles on what happened to Lisa," she says, her words holding a certain knowing, "and I wanted to give you a chance to talk to us again…" A statement that drifts off, open-ended.

"Don't look at me, it wasn't my idea," the woman replies, as if that oh were more accusing of the event. When the detective goes on, Teresa's posture only tightens, arms blocking her chest, though she frees one to tug a bit at the short sleeve of her dress. "That's great, but I didn't even want to talk to you guys the first time. So, you can just go ahead and knock on the next door." Even though they have only just arrived, Teresa steps her same path around the clutter as though to escort the officers right back out.

But there, having trailed slowly enough behind the others, Laurie still lingers in the hallway and he does not obligingly turn towards the door but irreverently plucks a picture frame from the stand meant for mail and keys. The mail is what he goes for second, while saying, "We've already spoken with Melissa…" Several shades of reaction settle in on Teresa. She hesitates, then shakes it off with some confidence, then rethinks her position uncertainly — worried — then inhales deeply and flips her hair with all impatience — and a hint of concerned suspicion. "… So?"

The voice of Detective Powers sounds behind Teresa, who has inadvertently trapped herself between her questioners. "So you might not want to talk to us…" she trails off meaningfully where there is no meaning. Maggie folds her arms, not tightly, but calm, giving the young woman the smallest shrug of her shoulders against the straps of her shoulder holster. "You were clearly holding back on us last time."

Her split attention between rock and hard place of detective and consultant further rattles Teresa's focus as she glances between the two, stares determinedly at her mail a moment to recall its content and if anything wrong could be there — then opts on Powers because, well, she has the badge. And a shoulder holster. And is a woman. Not that she won't distractedly make little peeks over her shoulder; being trapped in your own hallway doesn't do a lot to calm your anxiety. "It's not like she told you anything," she snaps, unaware yet somehow alarmed at the way that sounded half like a question itself. During one of her more focused stares on Powers, Laurie shifts to the side and points strictly to the interior, with the couch, mouthing strongly sit her down. On the tail of his voiceless instruction, Teresa has worried herself into a corner enough to blurt, "It was her idea in the first place."

The mouthed words are detected around Teresa. Maggie shows very little reaction, understanding or otherwise, her focus sliding easily back to the young woman. "You don't sound like you were a fan of it," she comments, stepping to the cornered resident, turning, positioning herself alongside her. The woman might have a badge and a gun, but the touch she gives to Teresa's shoulder to urge her toward the living area is gentle enough; still, she's firm when she suggests, "Let's just sit down for a minute."

Teresa isn't initially a fan of Powers closing in on her, her shoulders giving a defensive, angry twitch here and there. But at the touch, she bends into it, hesitating only a second before following the physical instruction to move into her own living space. She sits, but she does so huffily and with the look of pissyness to match the huff of exhale as she flops down so unenthusiastically. "I didn't say that," she claims, "I never said that. Don't put words in my mouth."

"You didn't say that," the detective agrees calmly, sitting down a moment after Teresa does, on the same couch at a small but polite distance, though angled toward her, focused with her considerable awareness — it would seem — entirely on her. "Not words, Teresa; emotions," she clarifies patiently. "You tend to follow Melissa, don't you— " no blame, only gentle observation, going on as if they're having a comfortable conversation regardless of Teresa's temper, " —when you're together — she makes the plans. She makes the rules. She lies, and you go along with it. Why don't you tell me in your own words what happened."

That's right she didn't; Teresa attempts to see if the detective is putting her on by agreeing, but she's mostly coaxed by the easy seating, and distracted by a vague glance away when lying is mentioned. She covers the movement — or tries — by raising her hand and tucking a bit of her hair away. "I did tell you what happened," is muttered with some clinging, lingering annoyance. "You're not listening. I wasn't lying; I was barely at the party, even. I didn't see anything."

The detective — who couldn't be listening any more, on the contrary — nods in an easy accord to note as much, even almost sympathetic. She glances very fleetingly through the apartment to where the intrepid consultant was last before blue eyes resettle on Teresa and pause there for a moment before she says anything else at all.

"You were basically with Zach, like, the whole time." Maggie's recital is perfect but minus the inflection of the original. She tips her head a touch. "Melissa put those words in your mouth." But Maggie puts none in Teresa's; she presses on to encourage the woman herself, her gentle words gradually hardening bit by bit. "It's very… important that we get everyone's story straight — the true… story, Teresa. Everything — leading up to what happened last night. You might not think it's important, but withholding information from police, Teresa, is an obstruction of justice. We could take you down to the station to figure the rest out…"

The sought for consultant doesn't appear until, in a timely fashion, he arrives at the doorway, visible to the women, when Maggie mentions the station. With the words, and the returned looming presence, Teresa gives a startled jolt in her seat, hands flittering to the edge of the couch. "Jesus! You don't— don't have to do that," the retaliation begins to sap out of her voice, leaving her with something more akin to pleas, "Don't— do that. You can't tell her, alright," it's a command, a weak one, but a command nonetheless and one she'll clearly hold to if its not fulfilled. "She can't know that I talked— " Now the gaze flickers to Laurie, the representation of leaving, "She said it would damage the campaign and I should just keep my mouth shut. I would never ever want to do that to Senator Roland— "

Maggie, following along, gives a few small, encouraging nods, obliging enough to Teresa's No Tattling rule for now. "That's fine…" Laurie's reappearance is met with the same keenly interested look Teresa also receives; except, however, that Laurie receives a second look from the detective, pointed as she has to choose her words rather carefully for Teresa: "It's out of your hands, now, it's okay. Rewind for me, Teresa, when was this."

There's no budging from Laurie while Teresa is staring at him for support, so she's forced to return to Maggie, scooting a little closer as she runs her hands under her skirt to smooth it. When the attention's off him — from the woman; the detective's second look is what is timed for — he raises a piece of Teresa's mail on which has been scribbled in the station's black marker: Tell her she didn't do anything wrong. Can't be blamed.

"I'm not like that," Teresa is meanwhile insisting, unsatisfied, halfway between trying to convince Maggie and her own self, "Okay? I'm not Lisa. I don't want to screw anybody over. And it's not like I really know anything… An obstruction, is that what you called it?"

The consultant's cue card for her earns a small flicker of a frown from the detective, though it could easily be for Teresa. Only a moment passes before she's on track. "Yes. You know enough, you knew enough to keep quiet. But you didn't do anything wrong, Teresa." Maggie's eyes seek out the woman's, making sure to catch on and smile ever-so-slightly when she does. "You can't be blamed."

Teresa's hands clench along her lap, staring with eyes that narrow in on that smile — test it. Carefully, she opens her mouths, thinks, then: "All I did was fall asleep… At the party. Zach and I were together— almost the entire time," her gaze breaks away from Maggie guiltily, but not for that — for talking at all. "But after we had sex, I fell asleep on the bed. And when I woke up… he wasn't there. I went back to the party and he was there, so. I didn't think anything of it. You know, why should I. It's not like I expect him to cuddle or anything. But Melissa said… it would be better— if I could account for the whole time. But we weren't lying! It was basically, like, the whole time… I just— I fell asleep." Her head lifts, desperately, to Maggie. "Nobody can blame me for that."

"No, no," Maggie replies, sincere, "no, of course not. I might get you to think about the times — when you were with Zach, and when you left the room — and write them down after. Actually," some maneuvering on the couch brings a notepad and pen from her back pocket. She flips to the back-most pages and tears a few out neatly. "Anything you know about all of this— just write it down. A timeline leading up to last night. To compare. You can do that, right Teresa?" No patronization from this detective. She hands the paper and pen to Teresa— going straight for her hand to offer it.

Whether or not this menial task occupies her, Maggie gets to her feet with a gentle smile of encouragement for the young woman. She winds around to Laurie, whose coat sleeve she touches briefly as a cue to move away from the apartment's resident into the foyer, and speaks very quietly— "It's coming together. What are you thinking?" A glance back to Teresa.

There's a bit of doubt and skepticism on Teresa's face as she automatically accepts the notepad while trapped in thought — who looks at the clock during sex? … well, except prostitutes, I guess… — and she's not sure that asking if she's capable of writing could ever be completely lacking in patronization… but the point is that she takes the notepad and pen and doesn't toss them in Maggie's face.

On contact, Laurie moves with her, sliding the cap back onto the marker as he strips the envelope he scribbled all over away from the letter before tossing that to the stand. The envelope he crumples in the hand and pockets, timing with a glance towards the paper-speculating Teresa. "That gives him a frame of time to act… no, I'm sorry," to Maggie, his hands coming up in gesture, "That's a lie— I was thinking about how her first defense was not wanting to do anything to the Senator— and her second, she adamantly tried to tell you she wasn't like Lisa."

"And yet — it all connects to Dayton," Maggie states — particularly in light of this timeline and after their trip to Lisa's apartment— the intensive shrine of information on Dayton attests to it. "Do you think Lisa was being paid off? Teresa was told to keep quiet, but about what— the money— how would she know," she says quietly as possible, a murmured whisper— thoughtful, neutral, uncommitted, and with more consideration present in the gaze she directs again over her shoulder to Teresa. "I don't want to put words in her mouth."

"Paid off because she wouldn't sleep with him instead? Maybe…" But the consultant doesn't sound committed to the theory, he's only bouncing what ones come around. "But why the obsession… the credit cards. Lisa was extremely controlling in all other parts of her life— it feels more like she snapped than he did." Quiet, too, he glances once to check on Teresa's progress; she's crossing something out. "No, you're right," he adds to the detective's sentiment, "She's too weak alone, and when she's with Melissa it's too easy to let it happen, but she knows that it is. You're a strong female presence and she'll gravitate towards that, if you can detach her from Melissa, and you should make her feel better about herself instead of dominated. Remember, she's still afraid of disappointing these people."

Maggie is quiet for another long moment — both for herself and to allow more time for Teresa to write — before she moves off. The detective's presence reappears to Teresa — she eases down close-by on the couch, leaning ahead with her elbows on her knees, criss-crossed wrists dangling. "How are you doing?" She gestures with the remnant of her notepad and looks to the paper Teresa works on. "Whatever you write stays between us. Well— and Miles over there." A flicker of a soft smile appears before she gives a firm, earnest assurance: "I'm going to make sure you're kept out of this as much as possible. You don't have to worry."

"I feel like I'm in kindergarten," Teresa retorts quite honestly, hurriedly scribbling over some portion that was written off to the side of the paper when she realizes Maggie's closing in. "And I didn't really stare at the clock or anything— I'm not sure I have what you want." Similar to when she wavered on the idea of ratting on the party, she now hesitates to show Detective Powers something not what she wanted. The notepad is pulled protectively towards her chest where the other woman can't read off of it. Staring, studying, she catches those expressions, her own face softening to a vague impression of Maggie's, earnest and curious. That smile she sees. Miles 'over there' has stayed out of hearing range, his arms calmly folding; he looks very official. But it's to Maggie's smile that Teresa bluntly asks: "So, are you two— ?"

Maggie is momentarily derailed; off that smile, her mouth is open to reply to Teresa about her notes, about the case — now, it just moves in lieu of immediate speech and she studies the younger woman closely. "Are we— ? What?" Both brows arch skeptically at off-track question; however blunt, the sharp detective nevertheless doesn't appear to catch on fully until she shakes her head. "O—kay. No, no." This, on the heels of a reassuring smile that puts her, at least, smoothly back on track with a look to the notes Teresa keeps protected. "I know it seems silly. Can I just see what you have?"

"Oh." The answer — whether Maggie meant it to be one or not — clearly disappoints Teresa, whose gossip radar blips uselessly as she glances to Laurie, then back to Maggie. Then is briefly puzzled. She recovers: "So you have some other boytoy off on the side, huh. I get it. Don't mix work and pleasure and shit. Fuck your coworkers. You probably think I'm the biggest slut." It's just the self-conscious side of baiting, as Teresa holds the notepad out but not for Maggie, still tipped away, and shoves the pen into the side of her mouth for nervous gnawing.

Detective Powers is patient with Teresa and the slow-to-come notes — and the rest, to which she only looks away, pressing her hands together palm-to-palm just past her knees. Her hands are thoughtfully rubbed together as she waits; not for long— one such thought brings her lips to purse in grim reluctance. She gets past it, when she considers Teresa and decides to share — like they're friends. "I was engaged to another cop once," she divulges, though the news comes as rather factual and bland — not exactly the tone of racy gossip. "Mixing those worlds can be…" Maggie shares a little regretful, knowing smile with Teresa, and once more eyes the notes. "…dangerous."

"Yeah," sympathizes Teresa more than she has the authority to really do, "I saw that movie once. After she broke it off, he broke into her apartment and she broke his nose. Totally eww." Poor Maggie! When her hand comes down to touch the detective's companionably— perhaps a little more friendly even than that— the notepad comes, too. Most of it is words here and there, but she describes arriving, changing in the room, Melissa ripping her nylons, Dayton pulling her aside, they fool around— take their first round of drinks with them to another room to have sex. She falls asleep. There's also mention of Lisa's obsessiveness, next to the part she scribbled out. "But really, I can't complain about Zach. He's funny, considerate— fucking fantastic in bed. I mean, like, come on. I swear to God the only time he's gotten really angry is when we went to dinner and he'd lost his card so I had to pay. Seriously. Angry that I had to pay. Who is even a gentleman like that anymore?"

Maggie smiles for a moment and takes the notepaper, sitting up straighter to study it quickly once and then a second time, looking up here and there at Teresa in-between. "Maybe he was angry because his card was stolen," she comment off-handedly. "How has Zach been lately; has he been any different? It never bothered you… that he was also seeing…" she starts to ask, trails off, more conversationally than her consideration of the note; particularly the scribble that she thumbs over. With that very paper in hand, Maggie's arm soon stretches along the back of the couch toward Laurie as if to give it to him. Or at least lure him over.

Over he comes, pushing off from the wall he'd been leaning on to casually join the women by the couch; he remains around the back and does not sit. As he approaches, Teresa shakes her head adamantly, "Stolen? He'd just forgotten it," duh, "He was even laughing at himself. I mean, come on." Now, with the looming of the male figure nearby, Teresa shifts away from Maggie, in the guise of wanting to lean against the couch arm on the opposite side. Her arms come towards her chest in a vague, but limp fold. "Why should it bother me. We were all just having a good time. It's not like we were engaged or anything," to which she raises a pointed eyebrow — but not to Maggie; it's to Laurie. She's still giving the consultant a look-see when she remembers to add, "Zach was a little stressed lately, but who wouldn't be with— umm, coming up on these deadlines for the campaign. The party that night was really like a celebration of what he'd managed to do."

"And what he'd managed to cover up?" Maggie ventures, casual turning into curious; certainly not blaming of Teresa, and not acknowledging Laurie right away once he's there, save to hand the note up to him for study or safekeeping. Bright, aware eyes are all on Teresa. "Or was he stressed because he was being hounded by Lisa?" Without pause, just then, Maggie shifts as if to rise, but lays a hand on the woman's shoulder before she does. "If I can say— engaged… or not, you should be careful who you get involved with."

"Cover up?" Teresa parrots, undoubtedly sincere. But she's caught by the next question — and not enough by the hand, waving the note, that attempts to distract either or both women for it too late. "Zach was only— wait, didn't you say you talked to Melissa about this? She was the one who— " Having bounced up to slide one leg under her body, Teresa hovers there a moment and then pushes to her feet, her arms tightening around her midriff as she backs off and leaves plenty of room for the detectives to leave by. "If I can say— " is mentioned, though, with less venom, "— maybe you should be less so."

* * *

The day wears on. So do its tasks. Lucky for Detective Powers — or maybe lucky for the consultant — she multi-tasks, saving time: as in the phone conversation that, in a timely fashion, she's just finishing up as she approaches one of the city's familiar brownstone buildings. Business-like tones address the other line as she moves in-between the day's sun and the shadows of trees along the sidewalk just in front of it. " — I understand, you have an obligation… if it comes to that; I hope it won't. " She ascends toward the brownstone, pausing just a couple of steps up as she says, "… Thank you, doctor."

The phone is disconnected — but Maggie keeps talking. Not before with an obligatory glance about to ascertain that she's not about to talk to herself, however. "Lisa's psychiatrist won't release her records, claiming patient confidentiality, so we won't get anywhere without a court order or permission from her legal representative. Or her executor. Hopefully it won't come to that. He didn't say she was visiting for anything out of the ordinary." The remainder of the steps are meandered up, and Maggie leans slightly to the left to push the doorbell.

What noise she gets in response — or to confirm that she's speaking for the benefit of another — is less than reassuring in its commitment. Laurie, with his hands thrust into the pockets of his long coat, is beginning to resemble a child who's been dragged along for errands. "Of course he didn't say," he mutters — actually as though to himself — that sour bit of look not improving on referring to a psychiatrist, "Why would he tell you that much when he could just keep it to himself and get you to shut up." On the rise to the door of the building, Laurie does not tackle them but hops himself up onto the thick concrete railing bottom, prepared to swing his legs and observe from there.

The doorbell echoes into the residence in lingering fashion before there's any sign of movement instead; it's just the sound of moving about, stairs. Then there's the creak of the door unlocking and it's swung open only so far as Melissa Jones needs to reveal her whole body to her visitors without letting them inward. It's a body clad quite slimly in silken boxer shorts and a robe that has been left untied. Only the merits of chance and gravity keeps the flimsy fabric from flashing her nipples to the street. It takes her a moment to place Maggie's face; the resulting recognition is not a happy one. "Unless you've got my pizza, you can pretty much go."

After Maggie has gotten the full impression of both Melissa's state of dress and state of mind — expectedly dismissive — she immediately turns her head left with modesty the resident does not care about. The glances she skirts back from this polite poise are nothing but resolute, however. "I have a few more questions for you, Ms. Jones," she says, firm. "You weren't a hundred percent honest with us last time."

She doesn't even take half a second to think it over. "I a hundred percent don't care." Her body retreats the distance needed her hand to slam the door shut, but as she's doing it, Laurie's voice cuts in which: "Cruel Intentions." The door pauses, half-shut, with some self-defeating curiosity, even though her voice remains flat and dully uninvested. "What?"

"Cruel Intentions," Laurie repeats helpfully, happily, leaping off the banister and striding his way towards Maggie's side, "It's about two influential rich siblings who make a bet over their ability to corrupt the reputation of an innocent third," as he pulls up next to the detective, he tsks sadly, "Of course, the boy falls in love with the girl. The girl finds out about the bet— it's all very inconvenient. Somebody dies at the end by the hands of a jealous lover defending a woman who falsely cried rape for revenge." There are a few flickers of attention in Melissa's eyes along the way but, in the end, she appears wholly unimpressed.

Maggie's eyebrows raise ever-so-slightly at the description of the movie, gradually turning a more constant gaze on Melissa. "Interesting plot," she comments after a moment, as if— well, commenting on something so casual as that, the plot of a movie— but her eyes are strictly pinned, now, on the sliver of Melissa visible. "… And it's familiar, somewhere in there, isn't it. Melissa. This process will be easier on you in the long run if cooperate with us now."

Now it takes Melissa more than half a second to decide: "I don't know what you're talking about. Oh, and I don't care." Before she can get that half of a door shut, Laurie's hand jumps into the way and the edge slams his knuckles instead. Melissa, more than annoyed than concerned, opens the door with an expectant eyebrow instructing the consultant to get his body parts out of the friggin' way next time.

"Who do you have in there?" The consultant inquires while his hand maintains its position at the frame, "Is it a lover— jealous or otherwise?"

Catching herself glancing at her own body as if for the evidence of this, the woman recovers in full form by opening the door a little wider, which shifts her weight heavily to one hip. Jauntily, she tips her head and the entirety of both motions whisks the flimsy material away from her body, exposing her in all her glory for both of their views. "Why you asking," she accuses Laurie in the most welcoming tone of accusation ever, "Care to find out by joining us?"

There's a moment — though not long — where Laurie, for all appearances, is completely contemplating this option. His gaze visibly drops, his head even tilts down, to Melissa's finely visible breasts. They're given the same half a second she first gave Maggie at the door. "Mmm," not a positive appraisal, it's almost pitying. And decisively: "No." Offense and anger alight Melissa's eyes and she bangs her hand forcefully against the door with a nnngh! of embarrassment. A second time it bangs hard off Laurie's hand, now turned to his palm and, this time, the consultant flinches; the hand retreats into his other one. But the door's on the rebound, giving him just time to blurt out: "Why aren't you going to the memorial?"

"For Lisa?" Melissa spits out, surprised out of her wrath at Laurie by her disregard for the dead woman, "Yeah, right. Why the fuck would I go for her. I don't even care that Zach did set it up." Without obstacle, her door finally reaches it goal; the locks immediately click into place.

Maggie — her features set into a lingering animated expression of something resembling bafflement after all of the naked door-slamming — stands still for a moment after the door locks. "Oh, well," she starts off in what is actually a completely light tone despite her commentary, "that was very rude." She turns from the locked door unfazed — they shouldn't have expected much more from Melissa, and she doesn't, moving right along. "She might not be going to the memorial — but I plan to. Dayton and the Rolands will be there." As she heads step-by-step-by-step down to the sidewalk, Laurie is glanced to with pointed curiosity, question in her voice as she says, "So Cruel Intentions this time… that's quite the triangle."

"It was— owww." Not a common exclamation from Laurie, but a strongly meant one as he first grips and then shakes his right hand out into the air, teeth clenched for a soft hiss of recovery. He's brought the palm around again to glance at when first answering, "It was the first thing I thought of with enough keywords," he relates somewhat regretfully, "She responded to the girl finding out, and the jealous lover— but not with guilt, and she didn't think she was tarnishing Lisa's reputation. But she did have to pause and wonder to herself if the death part could be true." Step by step, he's at the end of the stairs and he eyes the door slammed so many times. "I don't think she really knew much, in the end." To the window that is probably the bedroom, he then turns to Maggie— and almost directly to her car. "Right then. The hotel?"

"Then I suppose she'll never know we got what we wanted, just from that." On the sidewalk, Maggie stops just long enough to regard Laurie and his pained hand with concern that she refrains from commenting on — a momentarily noticeable honing in and glance away included — before she drops quickly off the curb in front of her car. "Tooooo the hotel."


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