Case Closed


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Scene Title Case Closed
Synopsis Coren finally receives the information he was looking for, though hoping not to find. And, with the Azrael case closed as it is, he expresses to Liz that he intends to resign.
Date October 16, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

"Detective Shelby, this just arrived for you."

At barely nine o'clock in the morning, Coren's found himself in a rather uncomfortable position. Between Cassidy in for her second psychological evaluation and what he realizes is in this cardboard envelope, from the Coroner in London, whatever it is he was typing up gets to take a back seat. He gives a curt nod as he takes the package, and continues to stare at it for several minutes before opening it.

"Doctor Shelby, I've enclosed copies of three files, which conform to your profile, from or around the seventeenth of September nineteen seventy eight," he reads out from the enclosed cover letter, which he doesn't bother reading the rest of. He rubs his eyes and pulls out three paper-clipped files, temporary relief written upon his face as he sees the first one. Further relief as he hits the second.

With a great deal of hesitation, he lifts the second file off the third. He closes his eyes to fight back the tears, and only after a minute does he open them to read what he already knows is listed as the cause of death. He taps the files upon his desk before letting them scatter across its surface, that third file tumbling off the desk and sliding across the floor.

Elisabeth is working at her desk when the package comes, and she glances up to see the delivery. But she hasn't exactly spoken much to Coren or Cassidy lately — keeping her distance primarily due to the fact that she doesn't want the redheaded empath feeling Liz's problems on top of her own. It just seemed…. better… that way. She's kept in contact by phone here and there, but it's the first time she's been in the precinct with either of the other detectives since Azrael was killed. "Hey," she finally says. "You okay over there?"

For a dead serial killer, it seems he's still more than capable of haunting people. "That's a good question," Coren replies, coming out of his otherwise pensive staring at the file that's made it's way across the floor. He finally gets up and stoops down to scoop it up. "My wife's killer." He holds the file out with a sniff. "First wife's killer, anyway. Thought Azrael'd been fucking with me for a decade. Turns out he'd been doing it for three. Reason we never caught the guy— turned up dead, throat slit. Ruled a suicide. I suppose we'd have found him had we known to check the morgue."

There's a frown. Elisabeth eyes him. "Wait…. your wife was murdered, and…. you think Azrael is the perp?" she asks incredulously.

"There's a very, very good possibility. Either that, or he somehow knew I would get to perceive Cassidy's flashbacks and come upon the information. He described her convincingly. It fits." Another jump of logic to add to Coren's list. "Either that or he killed the one responsible, or knew about it prior to his escapade ten years ago. Or something. Too many things add up yet are not tangible. Doesn't really matter. It's just another nail in the coffin."

There's a heavy sigh and Elisabeth shakes her head. "Well…. we know that his own body has been moldering somewhere. Hell, Shelby… maybe that was his real body and he did commit suicide, gambling on being able to body hop or something. We'll never have those answers…." She studies him. "Are you okay with that?"

"One of the many thoughts that crossed my mind. Hell of a case, one way or the other," Coren says, putting the file away on his desk before pulling a chair closer to Elisabeth's. "I'm OK with it. Son of a bitch is dead, one way or the other. I may not be able to get all of my answers, but he won't be creating anymore questions and won't be hurting anymore people." He hesitates a moment. "I've been meaning to talk to you for a while now before I make the decision final…. I'm getting out, Liz. I've been doing this for thirty years and I think that's long enough. I think it's high time I re-evaluate my priorities."

Elisabeth studies him quietly, her blue eyes thoughtful. She turns her attention back to her computer and closes it down before leaning back in her chair. "Not too shocked," she admits quietly. "Azrael's sort of been your driving force. I'm told there's always one case that keeps you going … this one was yours. So now that it's resolved, I'm not really too surprised." She considers and asks quietly, "What about Cassidy?"

"Not sure, truthfully. Well, won't know until she's declared fit or unfit for duty. If the latter, I might take her back to my old home in London for a while, let her rest and recuperate away from all of this." Truth be told, Coren's face looks like he's already made up his mind about it. "And then I suppose we'll go from there. I might go into teaching. I've guest lectured a handful of times, I'm sure I could handle the rigors of being a University professor. Heck of a lot less exciting than this gig."

There's a long silence as Elisabeth considers what he says, and she slowly nods. She doesn't speak aloud her concerns that Cassidy might not bounce back from this. Being a cop is all Cass ever wanted, and Elisabeth isn't sure that the redhead will recover if she's deemed not fit for duty. And because those things float across her head, she's grateful that neither her friend nor her partner are telepathic. "A change of scenery might be good for her," is what Elisabeth chooses to respond with. She hesitates and says quietly, "You've both been through hell. You deserve to get out." She smiles a bit. "Keep a good thought for the rest of us schmucks, okay?"

None of that needs to be voiced, really. Coren knows it as well as Elisabeth does, and he is just as concerned. "Of course," he says, "Always a good thought." He gets up from the chair and heads back to his desk. "I guess I have a letter to write. But that'll have to wait. Cassidy's finishing up her evaluation, and I should be there." He heads to the squadroom door, "Take care of yourself, Liz."

There's a faint smile and Elisabeth says mildly, "Tell Cassidy I'll bring dinner by tonight. We'll celebrate… no matter which way it goes."

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