pairing: jill and lindsay
rating: 18 yrs
disclaimer: I do not own these characters in any way shape or form
Lindsay frowned thoughtfully and stared out the window of Tom's office. She'd been waiting for ten minutes and suspected Tom was making her wait on purpose. Broodingly, she wondered why she couldn't shake the feeling that she was missing a significant piece of the puzzle. Hector Valdez. How long had they believed he was responsible for Ed being in a wheelchair? She didn't doubt he knew who had done it but they could now rule him out. No, someone else was responsible.
Tom came in and closed the door then strolled to his desk with his cup of coffee. Sitting down, he gestured to the other chair. Lindsay rolled her eyes but sat down. Tom took a drink of his coffee and read the report silently. Lindsay picked at an invisible piece of lint on her jeans.
" So, you've got nothing." he said challengingly.
Lindsay eyed him and shrugged her shoulders. She knew he was trying to push her buttons. The brunette smoothed her hair and watched him silently.
" So, we've been barking up the wrong tree for years. Valdez didn't do it."
" That appears to be the case."
" Then who does it leave?!"
" Half a dozen different people." Lindsay replied wishing Jacobi hadn't disappeared with Denise. She could use him here right about now.
" I want this resolved.Yesterday! Got that?!"
" I can't pull our killer out of a hat Tom!"
" Maybe a little less flirting with Jill and more attention to your job would help."
" Go to hell Tom. Get over it." Lindsay snapped as his office door opened.
Both turned to eye Heather Hogan. Lindsay squirmed uncomfortably as the woman eyed her husband, Tom straightened his tie and swallowed guiltily as if he had been caught doing something wrong.
" Hello Heather." Lindsay greeted.
" Lindsay, hello. Do you mind if I borrow Tom for a moment? He is my husband after all." Heather smiled too brightly and kissed him on the cheek.
" He is that. " Lindsay agreed eyeing her ex husband distractedly.
" I'm having lunch with my wife." Tom muttered.
" Good for you. I'm going to leave now. Good seeing you again Heather." Lindsay smiled hurrying out.
She hadn't gone more than six feet when she could here Heather's raised voice. Shaking her head she crossed the bullpen and entered Jill's temporary office. The blonde sat on the edge of her desk with her back to the door talking on the phone. Lindsay slipped her arms around her from behind and lazily nuzzled the nape of her neck. Jill squirmed and ended her phonecall quickly.
" Hey." Jill grinned leaning back into her.
" Hey. Kiss me." Lindsay ordered throatily.
Jill flashed a grin and obediantly tilted her head and they shared a deep kiss which Lindsay turned very heated and thorough. Slowly she released the very bemused blonde. Jill grinned, her nose crinkling.
" That was some kiss Boxer."
" You are some lady Bernhardt. I don't suppose you can get away for a quickie?" Lindsay smiled rubbing her nose along the attorney's jawline.
Jill made a soft mewing sound in the back of her throat then sighed heavily and pointed to the mountain of paperwork on her desk.
Eyeing it, Lindsay sighed too.
" Tonight? " Lindsay asked hopefully.
" Oh yeah, I'm there." Jill winked kissing her.
" So, where are you on the Valdez case?"
" Going to trial but his attorney wants to meet this afternoon."
" Looking to make a deal?"
" More than likely. I think they want to play up the recent deaths in his family as a reason for leniency."
" Michael Valdez is poison. Don't be fooled by that."
" Hey, you're preaching to the choir. There'll be no deals for Michael Valdez." Jill promised.
Ed looked up as Claire handed him the cup of coffee. She eyed him with concern and sank down on a deck chair to wait. Claire knew he would talk to her eventually but the wait was driving her crazy. When she had told him about the ballistics report, he hadn't seemed surprised. Ed had been more sad then angry. Claire had delayed going into the office until later in the day so she could be there for him.
" Boys get off to school?"
" Hours ago. It's almost noon baby." Claire replied kissing his cheek as she gave his arm a rub.
" Go to work. I'm fine. I'm not going to fly to pieces."
" Claire, this chair and me have gotten used to each other. I'm not saying I don't miss my legs but I'm over it. This chair is
my legs. Who did this won't change that. Now get to work."
" You're sure?" Claire frowned.
" I love you girl but I have things to do." Ed teased.
Claire shook her head and hugged him close. Ed's big hand held her head at the back and he kissed her soundly. His wife smirked
and raised an eyebrow,
" You sure you want me to go to work?"
" Get girl." Ed grinned.
Minutes later, he watched Claire's car back out of the driveway then he reached for the phone. Silently, he dialled a number and waited for someone to pick up.
" Hey sweetness, it's Ed and I need to see you." Ed paused to listen, " Three thirty will be fine."
Cindy smiled as Lindsay got out of her car. The brunette glanced at Chloe and nodded. Cindy squinted in the sunlight and gestured at the lookoff where Valdez had been found.
" I wasn't sure you got my message. The reception here sucks." Cindy greeted.
" No, I just couldn't reach yours to let you know I was on my way."
" I found something." Chloe announced excitedy.
" Chlo was taking more pictures of the crime scene." Cindy explained.
" And?" Lindsay asked.
" We noticed there's another spot that overlooks this one. See? Up there." Chloe said pointing.
" And there are tire tracks up there." Cindy said triumphantly.
" It is a look off point. " Lindsay said carefully not wanting to get her hopes up, but the other two could see the wheels turning in her head.
" I've got pristine pictures of the tire tracks and one tire set is pretty bald. We figure maybe there was a witness who saw everything." Cindy said
" That's a lot of people Cindy."
" But we have a limited number of people to check out and if their cars have the same bald pattern..." Cindy grinned.
Lindsay chuckled. Nodding, she asked,
" How fast can you get me those pictures Chloe?"
" How fast can we get back to my printer?" Chloe asked smugly, laughing when Cindy hugged her proudly.
" You two are quite a team. Ever think about dating?" Lindsay teased.
" Oh hey, I'm thinking way beyond dating." Chloe joked wagging her eyebrows.
" Tell me more!" Cindy laughed.
" Ok guys! Let's get back to your apartment and get those pictures." Lindsay smiled.
Jill greeted Hanson with a tight but professional smile then looked passed him to Michael Valdez. Uneasily, she reminded herself she was sitting just beyond most of San Francisco's finest and knew Fong and several others would be watching her office door when they realized a Valdez was in the building. The blonde attorney stood with her arms crossed and didn't flinch as Valdez smirked trying to intimidate her. Hanson nudged his client to get him to sit down. Michael stared silently at Jill then turned towards his lawyer as he spoke.
" Mr. Valdez has some pertinent information that he is willing to share, in order to get a sentence that's more reasonable considering the small role he played in his father's ' business' "Hanson said calmly.
" You are joking? " Jill smirked.
" He's lost a large portion of his family-"
" Save it. There will be no deals."
" Even if I can hand you my father's killer on a silver platter? " Michael asked glaring.
" You know who killed him? Then why not tell us so your father will have justice? " Jill replied.
" I'm not stupid. My old man is worm food now. I'm looking after number one, that's me."
" Exactly what kind of deal are you looking for Mr North ?" Jill asked grimly as she ran the numbers through her head. She didn't want him back on the streets but she wanted whoever had shot Ed. She wanted that for Ed and Claire.
" No prison time."
" Not possible." Jill frowned. " Your client gets 15 and a chance for parole- "
" No way bitch! I know who the real operator is! I can put him away." Michael hissed.
He needed to be out and he needed to get Cranson. Nobody messed with a Valdez. That had been his father's creed and he would honor him by first getting Cranson, then Bernhardt and Boxer and whoever else who crossed his family. Michael thought about his mother's pain and Ric's. They had already suffered enough. He was the man of the family now and he would see his mother had the best. First, he had to stay one step ahead of Cranson. No way was he doing jail time and that bastard walked around free.
" That's my offer." Jill replied stonily.
" He's going after you and your cop friend next! You think it's worth it to put me in jail?!"
" I'll give you until tomorrow to talk it over with your client." Jill frowned.
" Always a pleasure Ms Bernhardt." Hanson smiled giving her a wink. Jill smirked but said nothing.
Jill looked up and smiled faintly as Gates came in carrying two cups of coffee. Gates grinned and sat down adjusting his eyepatch self consciously. Jill smiled sympathetically and felt bad for coming down so hard on him the previous day. Clearing his throat he pointed towards the door.
" I heard Hanson North and his client were here."
" He wants a deal." Jill replied thoughtfully.
" He doesn't have anything to barter with for a deal."
" On the contrary, he's promising to deliver his dad's people." Jill mused sipping her coffee.
" You mean his killer? Wow, that would save us a lot of man hours. Do you think he really knows?" Gates asked.
" Hector Valdez was all about his boys." the blonde shrugged, " He probably confided in Edward and Michael both."
Chloe waved several pictures and handed them over to Lindsay. Cindy leaned over Lindsay's shoulder and viewed the tire prints. Lindsay smiled. The other two women eyed her hopefully.
" Well?!" Cindy asked.
" The tire marks are pretty unique. Probably a car that isn't in the greatest shape."
" Ok, we have Valdez, his killer's car, and another car that watched the killing go down. Who would want Valdez dead?" Cindy frowned.
" Someone who wanted all the power." Chloe suggested eagerly.
" No, our killer was the brains." Lindsay mused, " Someone who hated Hector Valdez."
" Jeez, get in line." Cindy groaned feeling like they were back to square one.
Ed stared hard out the window and fingered his old service revolver and his shield. Silently he watched the car turn into his driveway and was pleased to see she was alone. Wheeling himself over to a desk, he put the gun away and locked the drawer then went to let her in.
" Hey Ed."
" I see you don't have your shadow today." he said gravely.
" Nope, Tom decided the threat to me is over now that Hector Valdez is dead. What did you want to see me about?" Jill asked sinking down onto the sofa. Ed eyed his young friend and debated dragging her into his plans but he needed access to the DA's department and Jill was his way in.
" I need you to promise you won't tell the girls." he frowned.
" Ed..." Jill squirmed.
" You are the only one I can go to with this without proof."
" But Linds..."
" Will know soon enough. I just need you to look into a few things for me."
" What about Claire?" Jill frowned.
" Especially not Claire. Now do you promise to help me?" Ed frowned.
Reluctantly, Jill looked at her friend then nodded. Ed took a deep breath and squeezed her hand. Jill let out a worried sigh and eyed Ed expectantly.
" I need you to go back over these case files. I made a list." Ed said handing her the dozen or so case files.
" Ed, these are your cases. They're closed cases."
" I want you to read them through and then tell me if they should have been closed. Jill, I think Cranson is the one that murdered Valdez and shot me." Ed continued.
The blonde's blue eyes widened as she stared at him. Ed nodded letting it sink in.
" Your partner Cranson?! My detail? Ed, are you-"
" You can't let this slip not even to Lindsay. If Cranson even thinks you suspect him, he'll kill you."
" You're serious- you think Cranson is dirty? My god-"
" Jill, stay with me on this. If Valdez didn't shoot me that only leaves two people in the warehouse besides my partner and I know where they were located. These cases all fell apart and Cranson was right in the middle of them."
" Lindsay should know."
" Not until I have more evidence! I need to bring him down. Please Jill."
" Ed- do you know what you're asking of me?"
" He'll go after Lindsay too." Ed added knowing that would sway her.
Jill rested her head in her hands and nodded understanding. Ed sighed and leaned back in his chair. The next twenty four hours would decide Cranson's fate. Everything hinged on Jill's expertise with the law and her talent for seeing what was between the lines. He didn't like himself very much right now and he knew there would be hell to pay when Claire found out. Ed knew she might have to get in line once Lindsay found out he had roped Jill into helping him. Claire had filled him in on the budding romance between the two.
" I'll go back to the office and start working on this."
" Trust nobody."
" Just you." she nodded.
" Sweetie-" Ed frowned.
" What?" Jill asked turning back from the door.
" Stay away from Cranson. He'll know you suspect him in a heartbeat."
" You be careful. If you ever feel like you're in danger, all bets are off, just get out and to hell with it. Got that!?"
" Got it."
"Love you girl." he winked.
Vivian stirred the sauce on the stove and hummed tunelessly as Michael walked in. Moodily he walked through the house to the living room. Ric looked up silently and then went back to watching tv.
" Where's my smokes?"
" How should I know?!" Ric scowled.
Michael kicked his shin and yelled,
" Go to the store and get me some!"
" Get them yourself!"
" Don't smart mouth me punk! Get them!" Michael yelled yanking him to his feet and tossing a twenty at him. Ric glared and picked up the money then left. Scowling, he sat down.
" Michael what's wrong?"
" That lady lawyer. That bitch is stalling on my deal."
" What deal Michael?" Vivian sighed tiredly.
" I'm ratting out Cranson. That bastard will pay for what he did to Pops."
" Michael, no."
" I'm not going to prison Mama! And if I have to kill the DA I will. Nobody is putting me in prison!"
" I'm fixing it Michael! You must be patient!"
" What can you fix?! Nothing! " Michael yelled.
" You keep your hands clean! Not like your father. You're smarter than that! Say nothing." Vivian hissed leaving the house.
Jill closed her eyes and groaned as her cellphone rang. She knew it was Lindsay. Flipping it open, she smiled weakly,
" Hey Linds."
" Hey. Baby, I'm working on a lead and won't be able to get home tonight. I'm sorry. I know we were going to spend the night together - I'm sorry." Lindsay sighed.
" No, that's ok. I'm probably pulling an all nighter myself." Jill smiled wearily.
" New case?" Lindsay sighed in sympathy.
" Sort of." Jill hedged rolling her eyes.
" Never ends does it." Lindsay smiled.
" No. It doesn't." Jill agreed.
" Cindy and Chloe may have stumbled onto a new lead. I'll tell you about it when I see you." Lindsay said.
" Maybe we can grab coffee at Papa Joe's."
" Sounds good. Ill talk to you in the morning."
" Kay. Linds!? "
" Yeah Baby? " Lindsay smiled leaning against her car.
" If I'm not in my office. I'll leave a note with Ed."
" Ed? Why Ed? " Lindsay chuckled.
" Why not Ed? I have to stop by there tomorrow with some legal papers for him." Jill lied.
" Okay, if you're incommunicado, ask Ed." Lindsay smiled, " Love you sweetie. Try not to work all night."
" Love you too. Night." Jill frowned.
Claire lay in bed listening to Ed's muffled voice. She knew something was going on. She heard him hang up the phone. Her mind racing, she came to the only conclusion she could based on a secretive phone call in the middle of the night, Ed was cheating on her! God help him, he would pay!
The room was dark. The only light was from the streetlight outside. The light fell on Vivian's body revealing her lifeless eyes. He stepped over her hurriedly and looked around trying to figure out what to do with her. Damn it, why now?! Why did she have to develop a backbone now!? She couldn't be found in his place! Swearing, he ran his fingers through his hair. He didn't need this! He couldn't have Jill finding out. He had to prevent Michael from spilling his guts!