You Sound Like My Ex-Wife


cassidy_icon.gif coren_icon.gif

Scene Title You Sound Like My Ex-Wife
Synopsis Riddled with guilt, Coren comes home with enough alcohol to destroy the liver of an elephant and news about his partner's apartment. Cassidy confronts him about going to the Island and they end up having a bit of a heart to heart.
Date May 16, 2009

Casa de Shelby (AKA: Coren's Apartment)

The evening sky is starting to have the first signs that the sun is sinking. The shadows of buildings stretch long across the ground, covering anything below the roof lines in cooling shade. The apartment is cast in yellow and orange as the last of the sunshine blazes through the open blinds. The effect not only makes the apartment seem brighter for a time, it makes parts of it seem much darker.

Cassidy hasn't been home all that long, evident cause her trench coat is tossed over the back of the couch, her shoulder holster laying on that. Her shoes resting next to the door. Yes, out of courtesy to him, she's started taking her shoes off at the door. There is the click of a door and she comes out of the spare bedroom dressed in worn old jeans and a long sleeved green shirt with a darker green Celtic design up the sleeves and in the middle of her chest. She pads softly into the kitchen to, pull open the fridge door. Unable to help it, she glances at the clock. Where was her partner? There is a twinge of worry that makes her stomach like a rock. The sensation causes her to looks whatever appetite she had, and so she closes the fridge. "Dammit.. where is he?"

Then there's the click of the front door as it's unlocked and opened, Coren coming in, still in the jeans he wore Friday afternoon, his plain shirt just a bit dirtier than usual. The first thing he does is set down a bag with what appears to be a box of tall bottles, followed by an identically-packed bag. Then he removes his boots and is on his way into the living kitchen with the bags by the time he notices Cassidy. "You'll be happy to know your apartment won't be a crime scene as of tomorrow, now that Mortimer's chained to a hospital bed," he says, almost displeased, almost happy. It's a confusing swirl of emotions in his heart, and he can't say even he knows how he feels about her leaving. He goes straight to the liquor cabinet, and it appears he has just stocked it full, instead of just the solitary bottle he had before. Two bottles, however, don't fit, and they're set on top of the cabinet with the four square-based glass tumblers, which also had to be removed to fit all of the liquor. Apparently, it's been that bad of a day. Plus he's wearing jeans. How weird is that?

Never know how much you worried about someone until they finally show up, Cassidy's actually holds her breath as the locks click and the door opens letting the man in. "Oh thank god.." Comes out in a rush before she can stop herself as soon as she sees he's okay. The announcement about her apartment makes her frown a bit, she can't decide what to feel. Instead she lets the anger rushes in to replace the fear, the sadness.. the confusion that she's feeling. "Know what… screw the apartment right now.. You could have at least called me to let me know your okay." She snaps. "I had to call around and find out." She turns watching him and her anger just washes out of her as she notices all the bottles. Her eyes drift to her partner and she's suddenly very concerned. She moves to rest a hand on his arm, to encourage him to turn to her. "What happened, Coren?"

"I'm such a total and utter shit," Coren says, taking hold of the hand on his arm for but a moment, before he opens a new bottle of Scotch and pours himself a glass. No ice. He takes it and the bottle to his chair and has a seat. Two glasses are downed quickly. It's such a bewildered and angry expression on his face. He takes a sip of his third glass a second after pouring it, before he finally sets the bottle on the floor next to his chair. The glass bobs up and down slightly with his hand along the arm of the chair as he tries to sort through it all.

"Never mind what happened with you," he says, his eyes looking at the ceiling. "I … screwed up." His eyes lower and look at Cassidy, red-rimmed. "I nearly destroyed a twenty-year-old girl in order to save Agent Ohnesorge's life. Of course, if I hadn't followed him around ever since your early lunch with him, he'd be dead right now." He looks into his glass and then downs every drop. "Funny how things work out."

Cassidy's hand drops away as he pulls away to his chair, there is a sharp wrenching feeling of fear in her chest as she watches him. As much as she chafes at his protectiveness, it's almost comforting and.. well… made her feel safe. This was a side she hadn't seen yet and it kind of scared her. "What do you mean you almost destroyed a girl?" She asks, moving to sit on the arm of the couch closest to him. "What happened?" She repeats the words again, wanting to understand.

The empty glass continues to bob up and down with Coren's hand over the arm of the chair. "Your friend Dutch nearly got himself killed. Blew Mortimer's arm off with a grenade, punctured himself pretty good with shrapnel, after getting the shite beat out of him," Coren explains. "I called Abigail Beauchamp, the healer, to meet paramedics and some uniforms at the ferry terminal. In between calling her and dispatch for the cars and the paramedics, I realized he would not make it if he had to wait for a boat to take him back to Manhattan. Abigail would have to be brought on board and taken to Staten Island. And I forgot to mention that to her." He pours himself a glass and drinks it down, hands trembling slightly, though with grief or anger even he is not entirely sure. "After what those fucking monsters did to her over there…. How could I bring her there without telling her? I swore I'd protect her and that she'd never set foot on that island again until it was safe. I betrayed her."

Quiet while he talks, Cassidy moves from the arm of the couch, to perch at the edge of the coffee table so that she's sitting right in front of him. She studies him for a long moment, before taking a deep breath and lets it out slowly. She reaches out to touch his knee briefly to get him to look at her. "It was an accident Coren." She says softly, trying to push away all her emotions and feeling into a corner "It's part of being human. I imagine she'll forgive you in time.. but you saved a fellow officer's life.. He almost died out there, Coren." She isn't all too sure, but she adds.. "I'm sure she'll understand in time."

"You should read her statements," Coren says as he pours himself yet another drink, bringing the bottle nearly to empty. "She was abducted outside her apartment, held for a month and change while they forced her to heal whoever the wanted her to heal. Cut out her tongue, shot her … I'm not sure it will be that easy for her to cope." He downs the last glass and leans back into his chair. "If I never see Dutch again it will be too soon."

Giving a little shudder at the description of events, Cassidy rubs her arms a bit as if suddenly cold. "I can't even imagine." She murmurs, slowly shaking her head. His words bring a sharp flash of anger from the woman. Her eyes narrows at him. "Don't you take your anger out on him, Coren. You didn't /have/ to follow him to the Island." Her hands tighten into fists on her knees. "A place you yelled at me about, got pissed off at me about… Do as I say, not as I do?" She asks the question, arching a brow.

"Something like that," Coren says, reaching to drain the little bit of Scotch from the bottle into his glass. "The condition he was in when all was said and done just goes to support what I said: Staten Island is a dangerous place. If I hadn't been there, he'd have either ended up in the morgue instead of the hospital or he would just be missing."

Knuckles white, Cassidy stares at him for a long moment. "You are.. an infuriating man. Do you know that?" She sounds more bewildered then anything. Her head drops so that she can stare at the floor and their feet. It's the first time she realizes he's wearing jeans. He doesn't look bad in jeans.. less suiting then the slacks. But not bad. Her hands lift the run her fingers through her hair as she sits up, fighting the desire to pull it out in frustration. "Okay look… I thankful you went out there when all is said and done. And I still think your under estimating Abby. I really think in the end she will be fine." She takes a deep breath and adds " That said… If you can go out there. I will go out there too, if need be." She dares him to tell her no. "I'm not some kid. I am a grown woman and dammit all I can protect myself." She leans forward a bit as she adds. "And next time you go over you bring me along so I can watch your back. I'm your partner. It's my job." She really was scared. Very scared for a man she still doesn't know that well, and that in itself scared her too. "This isn't a one sided deal."

"You sound like my ex-wife," Coren says, drinking the few drops he managed to get into his glass from the bottle. Yes, he's divorced. And he wears a wedding band. "I didn't intend to go out there; it wasn't on my to-do list and I'd much have preferred to stay off. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to let Agent Ohnesorge go off and get himself killed. When time is of the essence, you have to fly by the seat of your pants." Yet he dressed for Staten Island. Clearly he saw it coming, no matter what he says.

"Well obviously, she is a smart woman." Cassidy jabs right back. "Your not the only one allowed to care in this." She cares about his well being just as much, probably more then she expected. That too scares her as well. She's tried not to let herself get too close to any partner since… She shakes the thought out of her head. "Fine… I don't completely believe that it was a last minute decision, but /fine/. Just don't exclude me next time."

"I saw it as a good possibility," Coren admits, "And hopefully there won't be any repeats of this sort of thing for there to be a next time," Coren says. It's hopeful, but these things inevitably happen. He gets up with bottle and glass and takes the bottle to a little recycling bin next to the kitchen cabinets, where it is deposited. Then he pours himself some ice and then a glass of orange juice from the fridge. "I don't mean to exclude you. I just don't want you to see the things I've seen."

As he stands, she leans back so that he can get around her, but she doesn't move… she doesn't even watch him. She leans forward to rest her arms on her knees and gaze at the floor. But she listens to his movements. "Well, we can hope.. but you can't protect me from anything.. and I might be younger then you, but I'm not any less an adult.. or any less a cop." She lifts a hand to rub at her forehead. "… and I don't need another father. I had six really bad surrogate ones already." Why does it bother her so much that she thinks he probably just sees her as a kid?

"I never said you were any less an adult or cop," Coren says, sipping at his orange juice. "The things I've seen…. Nobody should," he says. One of the downsides to chasing serial killers, rapists, arsonists, kidnappers. People broken, beaten, bruised, torn into pieces — to name a few things — whether emotionally, psychologically, physically, or some combination. It's a lot for anyone to process, and one of the many contributions to Coren's own emotional state. Hardened though he may be towards it, he never did harden enough to stop it from getting to him. Those pictures haunt him more and more as the days go on.

Cassidy stands finally, turning to face him, she arches a bow. "I will be 30 this year Coren. I was a cop… and a detective in New Orleans.. Not to mention I had to go through all that crap with Katrina." She closes the distance between them as she talks. "I know you've got a lot more years on the force then me, but I have seen my own share of nasty stuff." She might not have seen as much, but she's seen her share.. It's obvious as she mentally categorizes it all. But the one that would stand out the most, is the back of her partner's head being blown out as the bullet passed through his brain. She even remembers the feel of the blood that splattered across her cheek. "I've got plenty that haunts me everyday… every time I close my eyes. It's why I drive myself to exhaustion. Your not alone in that."

That's not something Coren cares to picture. Not that he hasn't seen it before, but it was nobody close to him. He's also put a bullet in the head of a number of people, and while he is often consoled with the customary 'it was the only way,' he doesn't believe a word of it. He drinks down his orange juice, already working on gaining sobriety. "Why does the bad shit always happen to the beautiful?" he asks himself. It's rather quiet, but there's still a chance Cassidy might hear it.

Oh Cassidy heard, in fact, her heart skipped a beat. Okay, a couple of beats. She quickly turns away and opens a cabinet so that he doesn't see her confused expression. She pulls a glass out off the shelf, slowly.. "So… uh… You said my place will be free again tomorrow?" She grimaces as she asks the question. But the comment he made… She takes a deep breath and let's it out, before moving passed him to get herself a glass of ice water. She glances at him finally and arches a brow waiting on an answer.

"Yes, with any luck," Coren says, and he has no problem picking up the awkwardness, though there is no sign of a blush from him. It's a truthful statement. Cassidy is beautiful. It's not an opinion, it's fact. "I mean, Mortimer's locked up, and from the looks of things, aside from that photo he stole, nothing else was removed or added for that matter. I'm not sure you want to stay there, mind you, but it should be cleared for habitation soon enough."

"Well…" Cassidy starts after taking a sip of the water to clear a suddenly dry throat. SHe turns to face him, leaning her hip against the fridge. "I'll have to get new locks on the doors, but then I can get out from under your feet." She gives him a small smile, even though there is no humor in her smile. There is a small part of her is a bit sad with the idea.. and another part that holds a little fear, even after talking to Mortimer. "Get your bachelor pad all to yourself again."

"I'll be sad to see you go," Coren says, and he does mean it. He pours himself some water to use up some of the ice remaining in his glass. "This place was dead before you ere here, and it will be dead again once you go. Bachelor pad it is not," he remarks, walking back to his chair and having a seat. "For all the use the place gets, anyway."

There is a soft tap of fingernails on Cassidy's glass, her eyes on the melting ice. "Well, like I said.. It'll take a day or two to get the new locks in." She's not in a hurry to leave really. She drains her glass and moves to rinse it out in the sink. "Besides…." She starts softly. ".. I stay longer then I should, rumors will start circulating." She keeps the comment light, even thought the thoughts and emotions swirling around in her head are enough to make her want to scream.

Coren chuckles lightly. "That would be almost amusing if it didn't have the potential to damage either of our careers," he says. He downs the last of his orange juice. "Could still be amusing, actually. Naturally, you're welcomed to stay whenever, and you can keep the key. If you're ever too exhausted and in the neighborhood, feel free to pop in and use the spare room. God knows nobody else is likely to."

The water shuts off and Cassidy sets the glass gently in the bottom of the sink. "Yeah I know. Partners are not suppose to feel anything for each other…" She trails off and reachs for a towel to dry off her hands. But how do you prevent it? She pushes that problem aside for later. "Thanks." She says a bit louder. "When I get my locks, I'll make sure you have a copy, in case something happens or what not." Dropping onto the couch, she actually turns and lays down on it. Getting comfy, she crossing her feet at the ankles, eyes watching the ceiling. "Dunno why you don't use it more, it' a nice cosy place. Better shape then mine. Very homey."

"They may say that, but unless they're completely daft, they don't believe it," Coren says, leaning back into his chair, swirling the remaining ice in his glass. "It's a very difficult situation to reconcile, one way or the other." He gives a chuckle about his relatively bare apartment being called homey. "Working twenty hours a day, seven days a week could play a bit of a role in that. I mean, I suppose I could start doing more normal hours, but I can put in those hours consistently and can pull thirty- and forty-hour shifts without any decline in my performance. I'm one of few who can."

Cassidy shifts so that she can curl up on her side, arm tucked under her head. She gives him a small smirk. "I'd say yes you do need to have more normal hours, but your about as married to cop work as I am." She rubs her cheek along her arms as she turns thoughtful. "Mom…. and you know how mom's can be. It always telling me I spend too much time working, not enough time being a human being who needs a life, love and companionship." She yawns suddenly covering her mouth, she definitely doesn't have his endurance. "I told her.. if I want companionship, I'll get a cat." Her eyes drift shut and she curls up a bit more on the couch. She's quiet for a moment, and then she mumbles. "Besides.. I got… you around." She sighs softly as she starts to drift off.

"Got the wedding band and everything," Coren says, and listens to Cassidy as she begins to fade out. Despite the fact that he is the one who's been up non-stop for well over two days, it's her that falls asleep. Another unfortunate thing about such endurance. The only people who you can chat with at night are the people who work night shift. Seems there are all sorts of downsides. He sits there in silence, swirling the ice in his glass, or over an hour until it has all melted. He drinks it and sets the glass on the coffee table. He wanders into Cassidy's room, opening the door quietly and walkign towards the bed. He pulls the covers back before walking back out to the couch. One of the upsides of superhuman endurance is how long you can keep lifting things, how much you can lift, and how long you can carry. Coren picks Cassidy up from the couch, very carefully, with her head resting over his shoulder and one arm cradling her lower back, and the other under her knees. He carries her to her bedroom and lays her down on the bed, slips her feet under the covers, and then pulls blanket up to her shoulder. He brushes the hair from her face and quietly leaves the room to go and rest in his own bed. He has been up for nearly fifty hours, after all. It's time for a bit of sleep.

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