A Bone To Pick


cassidy2_icon.gif coren2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title A Bone To Pick
Synopsis Coren has a bone to pick with Liz for nearly getting his partner killed.
Date July 28, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

The New York Police Department Head Quarters is an old stone building, renovated many times over the years. The plaster walls are not as cracked and in need of repair as the various Precinct buildings around the city. The fluorescent lights give the room a rather sterile glow. Old posters, civic reminders, duty rosters and newspaper clippings are tacked up on the walls, rustling every time one of the doors opens. A high, wooden desk sits on the north wall, manned by two clerks, who records all visitors and arrests.

The way out to the street lies to the south, while doors to the offices of the Head Quarters lie to the northwest.

As it turns out, a lot of Coren Shelby's cussing that Cassidy witnessed via their unfortunate psychic entanglement wasn't just about the scenario his partner and Elisabeth had gotten themselves messed up in. It was also directed at various members of the department. It turns out that, while Cassidy and Elisabeth were creating the situation that led up to their getting shot at, he was already starting on the paperwork, including talking to both Organized Crime and the brass about an operation to warn a gangbanger about a possible evolved assassination. He's quite thorough, that man, to the extent of making it seem completely plausible that information regarding that assignment had been mishandled to the extent that the brass was never informed, and paperwork misfiled. What with the disaster at Brittany Hall the prior evening, it's no wonder signals got crossed, right?

Despite all of the ass-covering, Coren is still livid by the time Cassidy arrives, although he is also holding a cotton swab of hydrogen peroxide for the bullet knick on her face. This could be one of those completely awkward arguments, or it could be something else entirely. The well-contained and organized emotions of Coren Shelby are presently a complete and utter jumble of madness that makes it incredibly hard to determine what exactly his emotional state is — even for himself.

Cassidy isn't a fidgety type, but the whole ride to the station her left knee bounced like it had a large amount of energy it just had to get rid of. The bullet grazing on her cheek stung and would probably need at least one butterfly stitch. Leaning against the door of the car, her eyes don't even focus on the the world beyond and her ears don't hear the constant yammering of the officer in the drivers seat. Her thoughts are directed inward as she tries to go over events over and over again, trying to think of anything she missed. Of course the images that seem to come across strongly is the moment when that guy pointed his gun at her… and the moment the bullet entered her old partners head.

"Hey O'Shea.. You hear me?" She glances towards the drivers side and he motions to the front of the with his head to point out they were almost there.

"Oh.. Frank. Yeah, thanks." Cassidy murmurs sliding out of the vehicle. She doesn't hesitate to move quickly into the headquarters building. She ignores the greeting and concerned question from the Desk Sergeant. She ignores the looks of various others in the building as she makes her way up the stairs. There is no need to delay what she is headed to face. She's worried, especially since she can't figure out what he's feeling. Her stomach twists with the emotion. Mentally she braces herself as she closes that last bit of distance to the man. "Coren." She says softly in greeting, a glance given to the cotton swab, well at least he's prepared.

The swab is brought up and gently — though however soft one chooses to apply it, it's still likely to sting — brushed against the wound, all the while Coren guides Cassidy, via his hand on the small of her back, to a chair. Once he has her seated, he takes his chair and sits himself down in front of her, gazing into her eyes all the while he dabs at the wound as a parent would treat a child's wound. Then with all the attention of a physician, he assesses the wound.

"I think you might just avoid needing a stitch," he says, as he reaches into his drawer to a first aid kit, which he always has in his drawer — under the can of Twining's Earl Grey. He pulls out a bandage and some antiseptic ointment, and after pressing hard on the wound with the swab, applies the ointment. Then, a small juvenile bandage, with little red hearts, is applied.

It is alongside a deep sigh that Coren puts the first aid kit back into its drawer, setting the tin of Earl Grey teal eaves back on top. As he closes the drawer, he looks back into Cassidy's eyes. "You scared me half to death, luv." Yet through all the caring and all — though he'd never admit — joy at having her sitting before him, alive, there is still anger buried somewhere in that tangled, jumbled mess of emotions. It's just not for her.

There is a wince around her eyes, when the cotton is pressed to her cheek causing it to sting sharply. But at the same time, the way he's being gentle makes her heart skip a beat, leaving a bit of pressure in her chest. He seems to be good at doing that, much to her embarrassment. Luckily, she can ignore it quickly enough with replay of that moment in her head. The moment she was looking down the barrel of a gun. That is enough to make anything she's feeling fall flat.

She can only meet his eyes for a moment, before they glance away and down and she swallows a sudden feeling of being nervous. She's still waiting for it him to lecture her… something. But she doesn't say anything, just lets him work.

When he sighs and starts to put things away that Cassidy, finally dares to look back at him again, their eyes meeting again. The words he says, make her cheek redden but there is no clear reason why.. Is it cause she's completely embarrassed about being caught in that situations or is it cause of the care in those words. In fact, she can seem to settle on anyone emotion. Her head lowers a some and eyes drop to her lap, like some kid waiting for their parents disapproval . Her eyes go her her hand s that still shake from the whole thing. "I— " words fail her for a long moment. "I am sorry I scared you like that."

The image of the gun pointed at her… runs through her head. She had been scared too. So scared that they were both going to die, that this time she wouldn't escape with her life. Her hand lifts to touch the bandage tenderly. So close.

You're coming back to my place tonight so we can talk, are the words that echo in Cassidy's mind as Coren projects them there, clearly mature enough to wait until they're in private before giving whatever lecture he intends — if he intends to lecture her at all. Even he is still undecided. "You'll be happy to know that the mountain of paperwork you and Elisabeth were expecting may not be so large," he says. "What with the disaster that was last night's total and utter shitfest, it's so easy for paperwork to forget to be completed, let alone filed. That whole situation caught you two off guard, and you proceeded as you had expected to, completely forgetting about the various tees that still needed crossing." There is definitely something to his tone that suggests he has done something to cover both Cassidy's ass and Elisabeth's for which they ought to be thankful for.

Even though it wasn't spoken out loud, Cassidy nods a bit in understanding, realizing that she doesn't want to be alone in her apartment tonight anyhow. Though her nightmares will be rather vivid to him, that close. This makes her rethink her agreement. Last thing she wants is to have him have to endure her nightmares.

However, that is waylaid by the shock she feels when he reveals what he did for them. Oh she's thankful and very relieved. That was a huge fear, how much trouble they could have been in. There is so much she wants to say to that. So much she is feeling. Her hands press together and her head drops forward a touch so that she can rest her lips against the edges her hands. The glittering of tears and the look in her eyes is enough to show just how thankful she is.

His only warning is when the thought, Screw the rumors, flashes though her head. That comes just as her hands move apart so that she press them to his cheeks. Then before he can think to pull away. She draws him closer as she leans in and……. kisses his cheek, before hugging him. "Thank you." She finally manage to whisper, her voice muffled by his shoulder and yet thick with her mess of emotions. "You are.. amazing. Even like we are, you manage to surprise me."

"Like we are is precisely how I managed to save your collective asses," he whispers, only moderately shocked at her actions, though he does blush slightly. "Sure, let's start rumours worse than the ones that have already likely been spread about us," he says with a smirk. Coren gets into his desk and pulls out the tin of Earl Grey tea leaves and measures out two teaspoons into the mesh tea infuser in the glass teapot he keeps on his desk. Amidst all the clutter, it's a miracle it hasn't hit the ground and shattered yet.

When you're so flustered at what's happening around you, it's not hard to lie, as it turns out, he thinks as he fills the pot with boiling water from the machine next to the coffee maker. It's a distraction that apparently makes you more credible. Seems like you're too preoccupied with something else to possibly be talking out of your arse.

He settles on his chair again and sets the teapot on his desk, allowing the tea to steep. There's a new mug on his desk, which replaces the one he broke the other night — in his bare hand, which now has his hand wrapped with a cloth bandage. Not that it hurts too much. He can endure a lot, that man.

If Liz practically thinks we are…. That thought trails through her mind as she leans back in her own chair trying to relax, but it doesn't finish. It really doesn't need to. "I guess that's a plus for this — thing." She taps her fingers against her head with a small smile. "One of many I'm starting to discover." resting her elbows on the arms of her chair, her hands folding loosely in her lap. "Getting use to it," she admits softly, "Kind of becoming natural… to a point." Her cheeks redden a bit, except for the fact she can't have any privacy. He's privy to all her conversations with Liz. "Where is Liz anyhow? Should be back soon, then her and I can start on that damn paperwork." She glances down at his bandaged hand, and reaches out to brush it thoughtfully. "Have I said sorry for this, yet?" Yes, she feel partially responcible for his hand since he, just like her would have gotten a double whammy of emotions.

"You make it sound as though I do," Coren says, referring — of course — to his privacy. "I'd guess half an hour, if she spent a half-hour at the scene." He pours himself a cup of tea but doesn't drink it yet. It's far too hot for that. "Please, this?" he asks, looking the and, "I've had worse, and it wasn't your fault I got wind of … well, who you found in Miss Wilcox's dorm room. Although, I still have to wonder where we'll find Jessy Delany…." Which of course makes him think a bit of Meg Manning, and that fact that like Jackie — who he was right about — Jessy is probably dead somewhere, or going to be dead somewhere. There's also the fear that they won't figure it out, just like last time. If a team of six profilers from different walks of like can't figure it out, what's the hope that two cops, one Fed, and an ex-profiler can? And since when did he start thinking about himself as an ex-profiler?

"You should probably go get yourself a hot shower or something, work out some of the post-shooting kinks. You can do paperwork later, I say."

"Yeah.. you're right. Shower sounds great actually. I think I got something I can wear in my locker." Cassidy climbing to her feet, glancing towards the stairs. "I'll head up to the locker room." She gives his shoulder a light punch and teases, "No peeking."

Her hand rests on his shoulder, as Cassidy looks down at Coren. Something flits through her mind, a quick little thing that he doesn't catch. It leaves her with an nervous fluttering in her stomach. And for a moment she looks like she's going to say something, but then she only sighs. The hand on his shoulder moves to brush his cheek with the back of her fingers, while giving him a soft smile. I'll be back in a few.

"Bring me back some Aspirin on your way back, would you?" Coren asks. Miraculously, his first aid kit and the various, over-stuffed drawers of his desk seem to be all out or never had room for them in the first place. "Getting a bloody migraine, I swear," Coren remarks. And he's been getting them more often, too.

Cops getting shot at damn near guarantees a huge police presence on the scene, and this case is no different, really. Ray Tangent was pretty much a nobody in the bigger drug circles — low man on the totem pole, and he's the one who got dead anyway. The rest of the homeboys started scattering when it became apparent that they were going to get raided in a big way. About ten of them were rounded up by various units and are downstairs being booked for everything from possession to firearms violations to whatever the hell else can be thrown at them. Elisabeth, covered in blood spatter from the kid she shot, earned herself a ride back to the precinct in a black-and-white and a meeting with her PBA rep. She had to turn in her weapon until it's cleared as a clean shoot, and as she comes into the main squad room, she makes her way unerringly toward where Cass and Coren have their desks. By this time, Liz's face is clean, though her clothes are going to be a complete loss. "Is she okay?" is the first thing she asks the redhead's partner.

With Cassidy off getting a hot shower, it's just Coren in their usual place. His headache quickly gaining migraine intensity, he's added more leaves to the tea infuser for his second cup, which he currently pours from the two-cup glass teapot. Why it's called a teapot when it looks more like a glass cannister, or even a measuring cup, is beyond him. At least it does dribble tea down its side like so many tend to do.

Despite the pain raging in his head, however, he doesn't miss Elisabeth's approach. He does, however, miss the fact that he's still holding onto the teapot. "Oy," he calls out, his hand going to point at Elisabeth and the teapot, consequently, does with it. "I've got a bone to pick with you," is drowned out by the shattering of the glass teapot at Elisabeth's feet. Sodden tea-leaves spill out of the mesh infuser as it rolls around amidst shards of broken Pyrex, the infuser finally stopping as it hits Coren's boot.

Yeah…. she kinda figured. Considering his action there drew all eyes toward them, Elisabeth looks pretty calm. She looks around the squad room and grins. "Sorry, boys and girls, no show for you," and she slaps a silence field up around herself and Coren. He can yell to his heart's content — no one will hear him except Elisabeth. Her blue eyes when they come back to him, though, are steely blue. "Pick your bone," she invites. Because on several levels, she probably deserves it.

And now he's flustered, though that's probably because he just broke his teapot. Coren looks up to Elisabeth from his chair, "You'd think with some crazed maniac on the loose, and after what happened last night, you'd be a bit more careful about going into dangerous parts of town without backup or anyone — save me — knowing where the fuck you're going, or what you're doing." He stands and is only taller than Elisabeth by an inch, so he's not really that imposing as far as height goes. Then the finger appears, that pointed index finger that wags around like a conductor's baton as he berates in manner that grows more anger with each word. "But that's not the part the really burns my hide, no… nor is the fact that you nearly got yourself and my partner killed." His voice grows quieter, "Death, though not something I handle particularly well, isn't that traumatic for the person who has died." The finger finally goes down.

"No," Coren says quietly. "The thing that pisses me off is that you dragged her into gangland. She left New Orleans to escape a lot of things, not the least of which was how her last partner died." There's actually hatred in his eyes there, although it's most likely for the gangbangers and not Elisabeth, though that doesn't make him any less angry at her. "After they blew her partner's brains out in front of her, they attacked her. She nearly died, but they left her there. Beaten, bruised, and broken."

It's the finger that makes Elisabeth narrow her baby blues at Coren. Because that finger implies a huge number of things, not the least of which is superiority. And considering what the last two days have been like, that's like waving a red flag at a bull. She manages, barely, to bite back a number of words that might have actually flayed the skin off his body, figuratively speaking. And when he's done, Elisabeth's reply is civil — if barely — and quiet. "She left for a new start in the same line of work in a city of several million that's the cradle of the Evolved argument and is currently enduring a shitstorm of epic proportions. If she thought she'd be able to avoid gangs and/or getting shot at — which I do not think she did — she was seriously deluding herself and needs a new line of work." She never drops her eyes from his face. "Or at the very least, she needs to move to Podunk Fucking Idaho and be a town sheriff where the worst action she's going to see is traffic violations. And since I'm pretty goddamn sure that's not what she wants out of her career, I'm going to chalk up your little pissy shitfit here to being scared out of your mind for her safety and not a lack of faith in her fucking police skills, and I'm gonna mostly ignore it. Except to say that I'm sorry — it wasn't supposed to go down like that."

There's a bit of squinting — damned headache. How dare she stay so calm! There are a number of choice comments he'd ordinarily say — or not — but she apologizes. There's a deep breath as he bottles a few choice comments. The fact that Cassidy was thinking precisely about what happened to her last partner, and reliving being at the end of a gun barrel while lathering up isn't lost on him. "God knows, how she's going to sleep after this madness," he comments before saying, "Thank you. For not letting her get killed." Of course he was scared to death for her safety, not that he'd openly admit it.

Coren reaches onto his desk and pulls up a stack of papers, "You'll be happy to know that the brass and Organized Crime were apprised of your hasty attempt to get a warning out to a gang member based on a highly credible tip from a confidential informant. Prior to shit hitting the fan, might I add. You might actually finish paperwork in time for suppah."

"Well, for what it's worth, I'm not sleeping after this either. As if I didn't have enough nightmares to get me through, the last two days have been no fuckin' picnic for me either," Elisabeth replies in a growl. She already had other nightmares from the weekend, so insomnia is her best friend this week.

As Coren starts pulling out paperwork and setting it on his desk, though, Elisabeth's anger at his high-handedness sort of has the wind taken from its sails. Because he covered their asses. She starts to say something but has to bite it back and look around the squad room for a long minute. When she looks back, her voice is subdued. "Thank you." For covering for her lie. "I …. just… thank you." Because somehow she has a feeling that when everyone calms some, there's going to need to be a conversation about what Liz knew and from whom and such, and Coren will deserve answers.

"I don't suspect any of us will be sleeping for a while. At least I still properly function after a day or two of sleepless nights," Coren says. He straightens the stack of papers and offers them to Elisabeth. He's even organized all of the forms that need to be filled out too. "And you're welcome. Just try not to make it a habit of mine, because I will keep doing it if I have to."

Elisabeth looks up at the man, nodding slowly. "Let's deal with what's in front of us, okay?" she says quietly. The decision to have the other conversation was almost already made, but those words pretty much clinch it. "When things slow down from all the hell we've just caused…. I'd like to cook you and Cassidy dinner." She offers a small smile, lifting her chin as she reaches out to take the papers. "I think it's time we had a conversation." But for now, she drops the silence field and says quietly, "I'm gonna go check on your partner."

Coren nods as he picks up his tea mug. "I'm sure she'll like that," he says. It's only after drinking down half his tea, the caffeine really doing nothing to dampen his headache, that he sets about cleaning up the shattered Pyrex and wet tea leaves. That's two tea-related accoutrements he's broken in twenty-four hours. He's certainly on a roll.

Elisabeth smiles slightly and says quietly, "Let's see if I can do grandmama proud." She moves toward her own desk, coming back with her roll of paper towels for him, and then heads for the locker room to check up on Cassidy before finishing the paperwork. Thank God for Coren, because his foresight allows Liz to get home to shower the blood out of her hair at something close to a reasonable hour at least.

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