Being The Victim Changes Everything


cassidy_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif coren_icon.gif

Scene Title Being The Victim Changes Everything
Synopsis Coren brings Elisabeth to interview Cassidy in her home following her encounter with Mortimer. Once that's over with, he gets her to pack a bag to bring back to his place, which will be her home for the course of the investigation.
Date May 11, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

The New York Police Department Head Quarters is an old stone building, rennovated 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.

Night. Always a bad time to be working for anyone, but the streets are typically quiet thanks to the curfew. Coren was sitting at his desk when he got the call. For a moment, he just sat there staring, but afterwards, there was a fire in his eyes. Half of him was expecting something like this, the other half was hoping the first half was wrong. Now he sees how good his own gut instincts are, and he is displeased. He pushes his chair aside and opens his drawer, pulling out his shoulder holster with service pistol. If Mortimer is still in the vicinity when Coren arrives, the man's simply dead. He also, briefly, checks his ankle holster, and then grabs his jacket.

He'll need someone to investigate. Someone he can trust. Only one person springs to mind, and it doesn't take him long to follow the trail of answers to his 'Seen Harrison?'. "Harrison," he says, as he approaches. "Drop whatever you're doing." There's something unusual in his voice, something that is simply never there. He sounds tired, his annunciation sluggish. It's a combination of stress, fighting back emotion, and already being weary from the whole situation involving Agent Ohnesorge. And now his fear has become reality. That bastard dragged his partner into something that could very well have ended her life tonight.

She's actually standing in the break room stirring a cup of coffee with an expression on her face that says either she's deep in thought or that she's fallen asleep with her eyes open. When Coren calls her name, Elisabeth's blonde head jerks up and her eyes focus on him. "Okay…." She immediately takes a huge swallow of her coffee and then walks away from it, heading to grab her jacket to throw on over the firearm in the back of her waistband. "What's up?" she asks the other detective — she's never heard that tone from him before.

There's a crumpled up paper in Coren's hand. It wasn't crumpled up when he wrote it down from his rolodex, but it's somehow managed to get clenched in a tight fist, and it takes him a second to open it up. "Get yourself and a crime scene unit to this address," he says, handing the slip of un-crumpled paper over. "It's Cassidy O'Shea's apartment." As he says it, goosebumps erupt on his arms and back. Saying it out loud makes it real.

There's a moment of sheer and complete shock, and then Liz snatches the paper from him and grabs the nearest phone, literally snatching it out of the hands of a uniform and hanging up on whoever he was talking to without even a by-your-leave. The dark-haired man jerks to his feet and says, "Harrison, what the fuck…?? Gimme tha…."

The blonde newly minted detective levels a Look on him that makes him back off, both hands raised in a placating gesture. She barks into the phone, "This is Detective Harrison, I want a forensics team to <insert address here> yesterday. Officer's residence, tell them to do it by the book and as fast as fucking possible." She hangs up the phone, only then looking at Coren. "Where is your partner?" she asks Coren very calmly, her words very deliberate.

"At the apartment," Coren says. "Alive, thankfully. Agent Ohnesorge from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had her interrogate an informant some days back, and it's slowly led to this," he says as they walk to the front of the building. "She didn't sound particularly well on the phone, but I don't think this Mortimer character did anything to her, aside from scare her witless. And me as well, for that matter. Once we've checked her out, I'm going to take her back to my place to sleep, which is why she went home. I told her to get some sleep already. She can't keep running the same hours as I do."

"Mother f… " Elisabeth manages to bite back the curse, but barely. "Let's go." Because although Coren can't investigate this, Liz is well aware he's not going to stay behind. Hell… she's counting herself damn lucky he bothered to pause long enough to grab someone else without contaminating the scene. "I wanna be you when I grow up — if that was my partner, I don't know if I'd have had enough control," she admits to him as they head through the precinct. "You drive. I'll catch a ride back with the forensics team."

"Occupational hazard. When you've profiled and hunted down as many monsters as I have, not to mention seen some of the atrocities…. I've been in law enforcement for nearly thirty years. After a while, there's not much left to hold together," Coren says as they get outside. That's when he begins to job, because who the hell can walk at a time like this? The beaten-up, rust-bucket sedan is entered. Coren reaches over to the passenger side and pops the lock up. No power locks on this old POS. The engine's started before Elisabeth gets in and he's pulling out of his parking spot once her door is closed.

"I'll get her to tell me what happened on the scene — you tell me about this ATF agent." Elisabeth glances at him. "And whether I need to have his ass hauled in."

"Agent Alois 'Dutch' Ohnesorge. Apparently he's investigating some sort of gun running operation involving custom-made submachine guns with armour-piercing rounds. Naturally, Staten Island appears to be this operation's venue," Coren says with marked disdain for the island. "Cassidy… went out to Staten Island to meet with the agent sometime shortly after she completed the interrogation. You can imagine how thrilled I was at that." Thrilled or not, conversation not involving Cassidy's current predicament is helpful.

They pull up to the checkpoint booth at Park Row and Worth Street, across from the Chatham Towers, and Coren's fingers drum along the steering wheel as the officer at the booth raises the barricade for them to pass. "I'd advise against bringing him in. Not while I'm around anyone, otherwise … there may be words." And by words he does not mean any form of verbal communication. Once they've passed the barricade, Coren turns on his emergency lightbar. Despite the fact that there's little to no traffic thanks to the curfew, it's a habit to have it on when he goes through red lights until they finally pull up at Cassidy's apartment building. The Crime Scene Unit has not arrived yet, but that doesn't really matter to Coren. He may be in a somewhat different state of mind right now, but he knows how to not contaminate a crime scene.

Chinatown — Cassidy's Apartment

Cassidy's small one room apartment with it's rather homey and Americana feel is fairly quiet. She's hasn't really moved from the plush blue-grey couch, since she made the call. Perched at the edge of the couch, hunched over a bit so that her elbows can rest on her knees, her hands clasped tight and tucked under her chin. If she didn't hold them like that she would start shaking again. Her eyes, lids heavy with exhaustion, are focused on wall across from her while her mind goes over everything that had just happened yet again.

When the knock comes, Cassidy doesn't move to answer it. "Just come on in.. Don't touch the inside doorhandle." She's amazed that she can keep her voice so steady and calm considering her fight to keep her body from shaking. She doesn't look at the door, so she's assuming it's the forensics group as she says. "Bathroom needs a through going over.. He showered in there.. " She trails off and then her body gives a little shudder. "And the inside of the door. He touched it and modified the locks."

Elisabeth listens quietly to the information, and she frowns a bit. She's kept a peripheral eye on it only insofar as she knew Cassidy'd been to Staten. The women's locker room definitely could tell some tales. But she's been tied up in her own cases and this one hasn't tweaked on her radar much. As they arrive at Cassidy's apartment, though, she glances at Coren. "If his case has gotten Cassidy hurt, he better hope Kaydence and I don't get to him, cuz there'll be a goddamn sight more than words," she comments tightly as she gets out of the car and heads for the apartment at a jog. And she's not kidding… the women have been closing ranks lately, what with the problems Elisabeth faced not long ago and the whole anti-Evo cop problem — they're a formidable group of women to start with, but you start messing with all of them, it'd be smart to duck and cover.

Using her elbow to nudge the door aside, but she doesn't have time to say anything before Cassidy's talking. And what the other woman says turns her very soul to ice. "Oh, Cass," she breathes quietly. She walks toward the other woman and moves to sit with her. She shoots a look at the officer who's taking the report, and he'll know exactly what she's asking with that querying look. Did he touch her? The officer keeping Cassidy company steps aside with the briefest of negative shakes of the head, at least giving Liz that much relief. Thank God. "Sounds like you had some excitement," she murmurs to the other woman as she puts an arm around her shoulders.

Coren is silent as he moves into the apartment, followed by the forensics team as they arrive shortly after he and Elisabeth did. "I want the door knob dusted for prints, then bag it and the locks. Swab the taps, the drains, and the floor of the bathroom. Bag the towels," he instructs them as he leads to the bathroom. He spots the various gun parts littering the floor. "And bag those, and anything else that looks out of place." Once the crime scene unit starts working, he looks up at the ceiling, takes a breath, and then walks to the couch, where he takes a seat on the other side of Cassidy, and reaches to take her hand. "You can stay in my spare room until we have all this shit sorted."

Of all the people in the room, Cassidy's partner would possibly have felt shaken up before even reaching the apartment. The numbing feeling that comes after fear and the disappointment she was feeling in how she handled all that. When the other woman sits next to her, Cassidy finally looks at her with a forced smile on her face, her shoulders stiff and tense. "I had a naked madman in my shower. I'd say that's more excitement they I ever really want." A thrill of fear and images of what she thought was going to happen, playing in her mind. One involving her being shot to death. The other worse.. much worse.

When Coren takes her hand, hers instinctively spasms around his as if grabbing something safe, the shake noticeable. Cassidy turns to him giving him that same forced smile. "Thanks, and I know what your thinking Coren…" Yes, she actually used his first name for once. "He only came here cause he saw a picture of me." Her hand squeezes his again, her expression begs him to believe her, he'd just feel the truth of it.

Elisabeth's touch on Cassidy is supportive and more than a little relieved, grateful that it wasn't worse. Her rage at the fact that this bastard defiled Cassidy's personal space is carefully held back so Liz can give the other officer her support and her best work. "So let's start there…. you said he saw a picture of you? How?" She pulls a mini recorder out of her pocket to start recording this so that she doesn't forget anything. "And then let's start with what happened from the moment you came in. You know this drill, Cassidy," she says gently. "Any little bit's going to help the DA build a case."

Provided the bastard lives long enough to see an arrest, let alone a trial. He could resist arrest or threaten the lives of one or more members of law enforcement and meet an unfortunate accident involving one or more bullets.

Coren holds Cassidy's hand with the warmth of someone who clearly cares deeply for her wellbeing, and in a manner befitting the situation. He'd do more if he deemed it appropriate, but for now the hand is there. He knows how these things go. He's sat with victims of worse, but usually on Elisabeth's end of things, and without any physical contact whatsoever. Contact helps — he knows this. He nods to her, "I will listen to what happened and reserve my judgement for afterwards." Judgement of Mortimer, of Dutch, and anyone else who played a hand in this whole shitfest.

The images that flit through his head may or may not be coming from Cassidy. Clearly, similar thoughts went through his head when he first heard her shaky voice come over the phone. All of that talk about never having had a partner shot on him before — well, it seems that's turning around. She may as well have been shot for all the emotional damage it could do.

"I guess when that body was dropped at the PD, he had someone near by snapping pictures to see who found it and the reactions." Cassidy's voice is clam and steady. Good girl, your alive no need to break apart. Your not weak, you won't be weak. The hand in Coren's is the only outside sign that maybe it effected her badly. She quickly glances at Coren and hand, giving him a look. "Coulda been any of the officer at the PD. I just happened to be there." She glances over at Elizabeth and steadily started to give her a run down of the events. From the lock engaging when she walked in… To him being in her shower naked with a submachine gun pointed at her… To him giving her three offers while sitting on the couch watching TV.

Cassidy takes a deep breath as her account runs it's course and finally said. "I called dispatch and then Shelby here." She suddenly seem overwhelmingly tired, her hand tightens in his briefly. "Thanks for getting here so fast."

Elisabeth continues to take mental notes, her free hand resting on Cassidy's shoulder. Her calm at this is more than skin-deep, the relief that Cassidy's all right lending her the distance necessary to keep calm. She listens closely to the events, asks a few more pointed questions — like specific appearance, whether Cassidy can work with a sketch artist to get a likeness, if he said anything that might give us a lead on him, all the painstaking details that have to be asked about. And finally, she nods slightly. "I think that's about all I can do for tonight. First thing tomorrow, after you get a little sleep, come in see the sketch artist." She pauses. "And pay a visit to the shrink, too. You know your lieutenant's not going to give your shield back until you do." It's just protocol in a case like this. Meanwhile, Liz gets to her feet and says, "I'll keep you in the loop, okay?"

Coren looks to Elisabeth as she rises to do the rest of her job. "Thank you, Elisabeth," he says, before he turns his attention to Cassidy. "How about you pack a suitcase with some things and I take you to my apartment so you can get some rest?"

As Liz gets to her feet, Cassidy reaches up to grip her hand briefly. "Thanks Liz." She murmurs before letting it go. The hand drops to rub against her pant leg as she turns to her partner again. A small smile quirks up the corner of her mouth. "Some how I don't think you'll take a no on this, huh?" She sighs and hangs her head for a moment, her breathing steady her eyes closed. Finally she says. "Alright." She lifts her head slowly. "Just tonight til I get new locks." She has a pretty good feeling what he'll say, but she can't just give in like a weak woman.

"Hotels cost money," Coren says, "My spare room costs nothing, aside from the rent I already pay, so it seems like the least expensive route." He chuckles, "You're forgetting that your apartment is a crime scene, Cassidy. You can move back in once it's no longer one." His tone is mostly one of concern. He doesn't view her as weak so much as he, himself, is afraid for her. He gives Cassidy's hand a friendly squeeze before finally releasing it. "Go on and pack for tonight and tomorrow morning, then. Worse comes to worst, you log yourself in here and grab something extra."

"God.. your right. Sorry, not thinking straight." Cassidy looks deeply embaressed by the slip, shake her head in some sort of mental rant. "Yeah alright." As soon as she gets the hand back, she's not in a hurry for him to let go, she climbs to her feet. She starts around the couch and pauses, watching the men work for a moment. The image of her panic and attmepts to open the locks, goes across her mind before she gives herself a little mental shake and she hurries into the bedroom to gather things

She opens her closet door and pulls down a gym bag. She quickly fills it with things she needs, though she'll have to hunt down new toiletries as hers are probably evidence now. SHe moves down the hall and pauses. Something isn't right. She takes a step back to look at a blank spot in the wall. "That son of a BITCH!" Suddenly, all that anger.. all that fear… all that feeling of vulnerability hits her. "He took my academy graduation photo!" Oh she's mad now, it seems irrational that she's so mad about a photo.. but it's better to be mad, then to breakdown like she's been wanting too.

Those very images pop before Coren's eyes too, and he cocks his head at Cassidy's retreating form as she heads into her bedroom. He won't mention it, not now, anyway. While she's collecting things, he goes to the crime scene investigators to speak with them. "Once we're gone, do a thorough search and photograph everything. If Cassidy picks anything out as unknown, we'll have more evidence. If he had time to modify the locks, God knows how long he was sitting in here. He had a sixteen hour window to do God knows what." That's when he hears Cassidy's cry, and he turns to see what's happened and comes over when he hears that Mortimer stole something. "I just told the CSIs to photograph everything. We'll sit you down to identify everything, make sure he didn't leave anything behind. I suppose we'll also have to see what else he may have taken, but that's for a rested mind." He sent her home to sleep, not find naked lunatics in her shower.

Glaring at the spot on the wall, Cassidy physically jumps as Coren comes up next to her. Again she looks embarrassed, she reaches out to grip his arms briefly as she apologizes. "Sorry Shelby.. I was lost in thought. It's hard not to keep going through it all in my head. There is so much I shoulda done differently, but all I could think is to get him to go out the door. It's totally different to be the victim." She gives a tired smile and she motions him to the door. "I know.. I need sleep." But can she sleep? Can she get her mind to stop playing it all? "Let's go, before I go crazy from sheer exhaustion. Or pass out and you have to carry me. Cuase I'll never live something like that down." She gives him a grin and heads for the door.

"If you keep beating yourself up over 'what ifs', you'll never get over this. Things happened as they happened. You can't change them, you can just move on from them," Coren says. It almost seems lame, the words. He's heard them dozens of times and has told people them so many times. "Being the victim changes everything."

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