Disclaimer: Lee, Harold, and Rosanna
belong to me. Everything else, in one form or another, belongs
Okay, here's the thing, last time, when I first wrote this,
I got a bunch of letters saying they just couldn't see Jubes
as a judge. Well, here's why, Madeline Lee isn't Jubes.
I just happen to like the name Lee. Okay? <G> Glad that's
5:36 PST; September 29; Police Department; Charlottesville,
The sun sank slowly down behind the mountains, casting some
of the most beautiful colors on the few clouds left from the
day's rain. The moon wouldn't be coming out tonight, but maybe
it would still be a good night to go outside and set up the
telescope to look at the stars. There wouldn't be many more
nights like this -- cool ... but not cold -- until after the
winter months had past.
But right now, standing on the third floor of the Police
Department, the Homicide floor -- where all the walls were
made of windows -- Detective Remy LeBeau wished, more then
ever, that his wife was right there beside him watching this
He could almost see them now: on the deck of their ranch-like
home, their arms around each other, holding on, emitting love
from their every pore; just watching something this simple
as the Earth completing its full turn yet again as it did
every day. Knowing that, as the sun was setting here, somewhere
it was a whole nother day where a couple just like them was
watching the sun rise together.
After awhile, when the sun was gone and only a little of
its radiant glow lingered on behind the mountains in the distance,
he turned away. Yet another beautiful sunset he hadn't been
able to share with his family, not that Jean or Kyla, their
daughter, were home anyway. Kyla at school in Richmond, and
Jean working today, and, because of their fight, probably
not coming home until late.
It was a wonder, really, that they had even had a chance
to make the baby now growing inside his Jeannie, and Rem's
only hope was that she would take time off so that they wouldn't
lose this one, as they had the last three.
She'd gotten angry at him when he'd asked her to do so that
morning when the stick of the self-pregnancy test had turned
pink, and had left that way. He sighed, all he wanted to do
now was hold her and tell her how much he loved her ... and
watch the sun set with her.
He'd give a thousand dollars just to be able to spend one
quiet night with his wife without getting into a fight. One
night where neither was angry with the other. Just one night
they didn't have to send their daughter away so she wouldn't
hear them yelling at each other.
He sat down on the edge of his desk that stood in one corner
of the room. He didn't have his own private office, and the
room around him buzzed with talk, heavy footsteps, telephones
ringing, and someone typing on a keyboard; the background
noises that filled all of his days.
He picked up his coffee mug from the blotter on the desk.
It was one Kyla had given him for Father's Day when she was
five, and it read The Best Daddy In The Whole Wide World!"
It was in childish handwriting, and until Jeannie had told
him differently, he had thought they had bought it that way.
Kyla had learned to write those eight words and Jeannie had
taken them to a shop where they put it on the mug. It was
the best gift, next to the birth of his daughter, that he
had ever gotten.
He smiled and put his mug up to his lips, taking a sip of
the coffee in it, then spit it back out making a face.
It was cold.
He sighed again, and looked at his watch. It didn't matter,
he'd get a cup at the diner when he left work in ten minutes.
No since in going home to leftovers if he was going to be
alone. Maybe he could call and convince Kurt and Kitty to
join him ... a few beers, a game of pool, maybe a little poker
if Kurt felt sorry enough for him. Then he'd be able to go
home and sleep at least.
With that in mind, he dumped the cold contents of the mug
into a plant beside his desk, and set it back down where he
wouldn't forget it. Getting off his desk, and sitting back
in his chair, he gathered up loose papers and shoved them
into the file folders they belonged in; putting them in a
pile so he could take them home and work on them some more.
The phone rang and he picked it up, putting the receiver
to his ear and holding it with his shoulder, leaving his hands
free. Hello? Homicide. Detective LeBeau speakin'," he
said, shifting his shoulder slightly for more comfort.
"Ah! Remy, mein Freund, I was hoping to catch you!"
a definite German voice said on the other end of the line.
Rem smiled, and put his papers back down. "Damn, Kurt!
You gettin' as bad as Jeannie! I was just thinkin' 'bout you."
"Do I take that as a compliment?" Kurt Wagner asked.
Rem could hear the laughter in his voice.
"What? Dat I be thinkin' 'bout you, or dat you as bad
"Take your pick," Kurt laughed. "I didn't
catch you at a bad time did I, partner?"
"Non, non. Just gettin' some paperwork ready t' take
"Ach, paperwork. Definitely something I will not miss
about being a homicide detective."
"You call f' somethin', or just t' rub your retirement
in my face?"
"Can't fool you, can I? Kitty and I got some great news
today, and we wanted to invite our favorite perfect couple
out for a few beers, maybe dinner."
Rem raised an eye brow. "You are as bad as Jeannie.
I was just goin' t' call you f' de same thin'. Only, I thought
you and Kitty could come and cheer up your lonely ol' partner."
"Oh? And why would we ne-" Rem heard Kurt's chair
squeak, and something heavy fall to the floor, then a feminine
laugh in the background.
"Kurt?" Rem asked. His answer was a series of long
drown out German curses, "zum Teufel" among them,
and more laughter. "Hey, Kurt, you still dere? What hap-"
"Hi, Remy," Kitty's voice came over the line. She
was still laughing. "The fuzzball's chair broke, you
get to put up with me while he goes to see how much damage
he did to his tail."
Rem laughed. "I think I can put up with dat."
"You're laughing, but you don't sound too happy, Remy.
"Jeannie's pregnant, 'gain. We found out dis mornin',
and I 'ad to go an' say somethin' stupid."
"I see. And what stupid thing did you say this time?"
"I ask her t' stay home, so we didn't lose dis one like
de others..." he sighed, moving the papers on his desk
around, trying to keep his hands busy. He was itching for
a cigarette even though he hadn't had one since just after
Kyla was born.
"You like the taste of your own feet, LeBeau?"
He smiled. Slightly. "She didn' take dat so well."
"I can imagine she didn't," Kitty sighed. "I
think that was the wrong thing to say, at really the wrong
"Tell me 'bout it. She half way across town now, and,
with de way she left, I don' think she be comin' home 'til
late. Or you be gettin' a call from her askin' if she can
stay de night."
"Remy after ten years of marriage, you're still as dumb
at being a husband as a newlywed. Look, Kurt and I are going
out to celebrate, go get Jeannie as soon as you get off work,
drag her into the car if you have to, and come meet
us at Charlie's. We'll talk about it, tell you what we'll
He smiled. "I think I would have t' drag her."
Captain Logan was heading toward his desk. He raised an eye
brow at him, and gestured to the chairs in front of his desk.
"Hey, Kitty? Logan just walk up. Let me go, and we'll
talk 'bout dis at Charlie's."
"Okay, Remy, I've got to go anyway, Kurt's whining about
hurting his tail," she teased. Kurt said something Rem
couldn't quite make out in the background. "We'll see
you in a little while."
Rem hung the phone back on it's cradle, and looked at Gray
Logan who stood across from him.
The captain was a short, stocky fellow, who almost always
had an unlit cigar in his mouth or hands, although he didn't
have one now. He looked like a very dangerous man, even his
past suggested it; ten years working as an army Ranger, twenty
more working for the government at things that were kept in
closed files. He looked like he was in his mid-fifties, but
claimed to be much older.
He had one very striking feature, his eyes. They were the
only thing about him that didn't seem to scream "Danger!"
Well, that and his humor. He'd never make it as a stand
up comedian, but he did know how to throw a good joke into
any conversation every once in a while, just to liven things
up. That, combined with his obsession with giving everyone
who worked under him a nickname, made him a pretty likable
fellow. He had the trust, and, more importantly, the respect,
of his people. Without that, this wouldn't be a good division,
and this was more then a good division, it was a great one.
"Rem," Logan said, putting a hand on his desk.
Rem looked up, noticing the man standing behind the captain
for the first time. He was a good looking kid with light brown,
almost blond, hair, blue eyes, and a cocky grin on his face
as he looked around.
Rem hid his own grin, with the way the kid was looking around,
he must have been a homicide rookie. But, looking at him,
Rem decided that he already liked him, although the kid was
a little overdressed in a blue pinstripe suit and jacket.
Remy himself never wore actual suits like that -- in truth,
no one here did -- not unless someone important was going
to be at the office that day; He usually just wore ordinary
pants and a button down shirt with a tie, then his trenchcoat
over it when he was out and about. This kid would have looked
very out of place if it weren't for his tie, and, at that,
Rem had to smile. A black tie with a man in a blue and red
easy to identify costume that everyone in the world would
reconize; Washington DC's own superhero, Spiderman, swinging
into action. If it weren't for that tie, Rem'd think the kid
was some stuffed shirt cop who did the work not out of enjoyment
like he himself did. But, because of it, he just looked like
someone Rem would get along with. Wasn't it funny how something
as trivial as a tie could do that?
"Rem, this is Detective Lieutenant Robert Drake."
Rem nodded curtly. "Nice t' meet you."
"The same, and it's Bobby, if you don't mind."
Bobby Drake held out his hand, and Rem shook it. You could
tell a lot about a cop by his hand shake. Robert Drake's was
firm, confident, Rem liked him even more.
"Bobby, this is Detective Lieutenant Remy LeBeau, our
finest. Th' best detective we got. One o' th' smartest too.
He also does freelance fer th' B&E department once an'
a while. Been known ta give counseling' ta 'bervics' too."
Rem's eyebrow rose, Captain Logan didn't butter people up
like that unless he wanted something from them. He sighed
and leaned his chair back so his weight was only being held
by two legs ... waiting for the ball to drop.
He didn't wait long, because the next words out of Logan's
mouth were, "Rem, Bobby here is yer new partner."
"I hear you right, Cap?"
"Yeah, ya did."
He sat up, putting all four legs of the chair back on the
ground. "Oh no. Non, no way, out o' de question. You
want me t' have a partner, you find a way t' make Kurt come
back t' de force, otherwise, I go solo; no 'fence t' you,
Logan sighed, his hands started twitching, he taped the fingers
of one hand on Rem's desk. "Wish it were that simple.
I'd love ta have Kurt back. Hell, we all would, ain't
been th' same since th' Elf left, but it ain't happenin',
Rem; an', as fer Bob here, well I got my orders from above.
They don't want ya workin' alone no more. If it were up ta
me, ya'd be solo, ya've done well on yer own so far, but it
ain't up ta me."
"I don' have de time t' teach a rookie 'bout my case."
"Oh, you don't have to do that," Bobby cut in.
"I know all about it. I read up on all the files the
department has last night. I know what's going on, in fact,
I've been following the case before I even found out I was
being promoted. You're very popular all over the station,
"See? Ya don't got ta teach him nothin'. Look, Rem,
jus' think o' it this way ... it's an order. Ya don't have
ta like it, but ya've got ta do it."
"Damn," was Rem's response. Today of all days...
He put his hands to his temples, he was getting a headache.
"It ain't all that bad. Bobby's a good-"
The phone rang. Once, twice. Rem picked it up, getting a
brief, and needed, diversion.
"Hello? Homicide. Detective LeBeau speakin'," he
said, shooting daggers at Logan with his eyes. After a second,
he realized no one had answered. He frowned. "Hello?
Wh-" then it dawned on him, "fils d'une chienne!"
"What?" Drake asked, confused.
"Damnit! I want a trace on this call, an' I wanted it
yesterday!" Logan yelled out, sending dozens of people
rushing about. Everyone else moved a little closer to Rem's
desk to hear what was going on.
Rem turned pale and hung up the phone. "Dere be another
one. 'Bout a mile away from de last."
"Good God in Heaven," Logan said, running his hand
through his wild black hair. Rem was already up, putting his
revolver into his shoulder holster, and picking up a deck
of cards from his desk and putting it into his pocket. Then
he grabbed his trenchcoat and started to half run, half walk
to the elevators, pulling it on.
"Take Drake with ya, Rem! It's a good time fer him ta
start." Logan yelled after him.
Rem held his hand up and stuck his middle finger up at his
Captain, but he held the elevator door open for Drake to get
5:25 PST; Charlottesville Court House; Room 582; Judge
Madeline Lee Presiding.
Jeannie LeBeau rubbed her hands together and then tugged
on her suit jacket. It was chilly in the court room. Someone
had decided to leave the air on in the building, although
it was nice outside. She shivered, she didn't like being cold,
and she knew she wasn't the only uncomfortable one here.
Her green eyes flicked to the little girl sitting at the
witness stand. Twelve-year-old Rosanna Mander was shivering
as well; but, unlike Jeannie, she wasn't only shivering from
the cold. Rather, she was shivering from genuine fear: fear
of Jeannie's coworker and friend, Victor Creed, who sat beside
Jeannie really couldn't blame the child, for Victor was indeed
a frightening sight to behold for anyone who didn't know him.
Although he was dressed to kill in a tailor made pinstripe
suit, a small, warm smile lighting his face and eyes, he easily
had the look of some sort of mountain man. Were his shortly
chopped dirty blond hair a little longer, and his face unshaven,
he would look feral indeed. Even in a suit.
Although, Jeannie knew he wouldn't harm a flea on his dog,
at times, when he was angry, he was frightening; even
to her, his friend. And to others, especially to children,
who didn't know him, he was terrifying.
She heard him sigh, and gave him a tight smile. She leaned
over to him, covering her mouth with her hand, and keeping
her eyes on the child. "She's scared out of her wits,
Victor," she whispered softly to him.
"I know, Jeannie. I can smell the fear,"
he whispered back.
She gave a brief thought to Kyla, her own daughter, and how
she too had had a fear of Victor when they had first met.
She also thought of how Victor had turned her daughter's thoughts
of him away from "serial killer," to "pretty
nice guy," and how he had won her over.
"Maybe it's time you should call in ... reinforcements?"
She smiled at the look he gave her and the twinkle that came
to his eyes.
"That was just my idea." He pat her hand, and stood
up. Her eyes followed him as he moved away from the desk where
she sat second chair. "Permission ta approach th' witness,
Yer Honor?" he asked.
"Proceed, Counselor," Judge Madeline Lee said.
Without even needing to read her thoughts, Jeannie knew she
was curious about what tactic Victor would use to calm the
little girl down.
"Miss Mander," Victor moved closer to the girl,
but stopped when she seemed to shrink back away from him.
"Can I call ya Rosanna?" he asked, purposely letting
his words draw out, his accent showing through.
She nodded slightly, her eyes never leaving his face.
"Well, Rosanna ... ya know, that's a very pretty name.
Ya look like a rose, ya know that?" She shook her head.
Jeannie could see she liked the compliment though. "How
old are ya, Rosanna?"
"T-twelve," she stammered in a low whisper.
"Twelve!" Victor said, his voice excited. Rosanna
jumped, then tried to bite back a tiny smile. Victor looked
happy enough to clap his hands together. The corners of her
lips curved upwards a tiny bit. "That's th' age o' my
daughters. Pretty little girls ... why, you might even go
ta same school with them."
"You Honor," Marcus Harold, the defending attorney,
stood from his chair. "What does Mr. Creed's children
have to do with the case at hand?" His voice was that
of someone tired of his work.
Jeannie caught Victor's gaze, and rolls her eye at him. Victor
smiled. "Permission to approach the bench, Yer Honor?"
Lee's eyebrow lifted, and she waved her hand, summoning him
closer. "Proceed, Counselor."
Victor gestured for Jeannie and she stood just as Marcus
"Yer Honor, I call for my second chair's opinion."
Lee nodded, and they all turned to look at Jeannie. She flicked
her eyes to the witness stand, and the little girl therein,
then back. "She's frightened," she said. "You
don't need a telepath to tell you that."
"An' so sayin' Yer Honor, may I open a window?"
"You asked to approach the bench for that?"
Marcus asked unbelieving.
The judge ignored him and smiled. "She goes right back
"Thank ya, Yer Honor."
They stepped away from the bench, Marcus more confused then
before. Jeannie leaned next to him before they separated.
"Don't worry about it, I didn't get it the first time
either." Marcus gave her a look that said her remark
made him even more confused, and Jeannie smiled brightly.
"Do ya like dogs, Rosanna?" Victor asked. Jeannie
saw Rosanna's interest picked up, and she nodded. He smiled,
walking over to a window and opening it. He stuck his head
out and whistled, then, a second later, a mutt of a dog in
a brown and black coat put it's paws up on the window sill.
She seemed to have a grin on her face, and lifted her head
up to lick Creed's cheek, her wet tongue going over his eyes.
Rosanna smiled, and the shivering stopped a little as she
looked at the mutt.
"Permission ta take th' witness down from th' stand,
"You may, Mr. Creed."
"Your ... Your Honor! Mr. Creed is making uh ... uh
... a mockery out of the court!" Marcus said standing.
"How so, Mr. Harold?"
"With all do respect, Your Honor, this is a courthouse,
not a pet shop."
There was slight snickering from the Jury and the press.
"Mr. Harold, the court can see this young lady's distress,
if petting a dog will make her a little bit easier, I'm all
"But, Your Honor-"
"If anyone is making a mockery of this court, it is
you, Mr. Harold. I have given my permission to allow the child
to see the dog, if you do not like this, I suggest you get
out of my court room. Until then, sit down, and shut up!"
Marcus's face turned red in embarrassment, and he sat back
down in his seat. "And you may keep that on the
record," Judge Lee told the stenographer.
Victor walked over to the witness stand, pushed the microphone
away, and helped the little girl down. Then, holding her hand,
walked her over to the window so she could see the dog.
"This is Poochie. She's my dog."
"Yours?" the little girl asked, astonished.
She looked at the big man in a new light, anyone who had a
cute little doggy like this couldn't be mean. Jeannie put
her hand over her mouth to hide her smile.
Rosanna petted Poochie, who seemed to love the attention,
for a little while, then went back to the witness stand.
"Now, Rosanna," Victor started again, petting Poochie
one last time before pushing her out gently and closing the
window back. "'Member when I told ya I have two daughters
"Yes, sir," she answered back. She didn't seem
as frightened of him anymore.
He smiled, "My daughters are th' same age, twins. I
love 'em very much, an' I have no doubt that they love me
back. Th' two o' 'em 're always doin' things fer me, like
cookin', and cleanin', just ta make me happy."
"Your Honor? What is the relevance between this and
"Yer Honor, I'm just tryin' ta set a picture in mind
fer th' witness."
"Proceed, Mr. Creed. I want to see where this is going,"
she turned in her chair, looking at the witness, and propped
her head up with her hand.
"Why am I not surprised?" Marcus tossed his hands
up in the air.
Judge Lee decided to ignore the coment.
"Thank ya, Yer Honor," Victor sighed and looked
at his watch. Jeannie followed suit, and looked at her own.
5:50, ten minutes more. "Now, Rosanna, have ya ever done
things like that fer yer father?"
"Yes, sir. But everything I do, I seem to do wrong ...
and then..." she looked down at her hands, fidgeting.
"And then...?" Victor led on, waiting for her to
finish the statement.
"Then I make Daddy mad." Her voice was so soft,
it was hard to hear.
Jeannie leaned up in her seat, leaning her elbows on the
table, and putting her crossed hands in front of her mouth.
She was frowning at the image those few words brought to the
"How so, Rosanna? How do ya make yer daddy mad at ya?"
"I ... I'm clumsy. I drop dishes sometimes, and they
break. Daddy says he works hard for the things we have, and
I tare them up. He doesn't like that, he ... he gets really
mad at me 'cause of it," she said it as if it were a
common thing. As if it was something that happened to everyone.
Dear God, Jeannie thought, this child actually thinks
that is how a family was supposed to work!
"Rosanna, I know this is hard, it's really scary bein'
up here, yer Mom an' Daddy not even in th' same room. Ya don't
know anyone here. I know yer scared, but I want you ta tell
me somethin', okay, darlin'? When yer daddy ... gets mad at
ya, has he ever ... touched ya-"
"Objection! Leading the witness!"
"I'll rephrase Yer Honor. Rosanna, when yer daddy gets
mad, what does he do?"
Jeannie closed her eyes, willing the images and thoughts
whirling in Rosanna's mind out of her own. She shivered.
Rosanna looked down at her feet, suddenly shaking again.
"Daddy says I'm not supposed to tell you that."
Her voice was tiny. "He says you'll send him to a bad
place if I do." She looked up at Victor, her eyes wide
and bright with tears. "You wouldn't send him to a bad
place would you, Mr. Creed? You wouldn't hurt my daddy ...
Victor's mouth hung open slightly, and he looked helplessly
toward Jeannie. She shrugged, not knowing what to say to that
anymore then he did.
He thought for a moment, then turned back to the child. "Rosanna,"
he started, picking his words very carefully. "Sometimes,
daddies do things that ... aren't right. They ... do these
things and make their children think they did something
wrong, when, they really didn't. Daddies like these need to
be ... helped. They need to ... learn that what they are doing
is wrong, and it sometimes hurts their kids. We need to find
out if your daddy needs help, too. Do you understand that,
Rosanna thought about this for a moment, then nodded. She
looked over toward Marcus Harold. Jeannie turned her head
that way, her eyes staying on the child, then slowly sweeping
around toward Marcus. "Mr. Harold says you're gonna try
to make me say something to hurt my daddy."
Marcus was turning red again. "Your Honor! I never said
"Sit down, Mr. Harold," Judge Lee said, then started
to write something.
"But ... but, Your Honor..."
"Mr. Harold, if you do not sit down, right this moment,
I will be forced to fin-"
The doors to the room slammed open. Everyone in the room
whirled around in their seats as Scott Summers ran in, trying
to tighten his tie as he came.
Judge Lee stood up, so did the rest of the court, except
for Rosanna, who looked from one adult to the other, not knowing
what to do, or say.
"What is the meaning of this?" Judge Lee asked,
trying not to yell at Summers.
"Permission to approach the bench, alone, Your Honor?"
Scott asked, fixing the red sunglasses on his face.
Lee raised an eyebrow and sat down. "You've already
burst into my court room, and disrupted this trial, I don't
see why not."
He blushed and walked up to the bench, leaning over it to
tell the judge something. When he was done, she picked up
her gavel, and slammed it down, "Court is adjourned until
seven AM tomorrow morning. Mrs. LeBeau, Mr. Creed, I want
to see you in my chambers ... there is something we need to
tell you." Lee stood up and walked down from the bench,
then through the door beside it.
Jeannie stood up very slowly, her heart thumping in her chest.
Victor gave her a sidelong look, worry shining in his eyes
as he wondered if something had happened to his girls. Jeannie
moved like there was lead in her feet, her mind ripping through
one-hundred-and-one reasons for Scott to just burst in here
like he did, most of them lingering on Remy and weather or
not he was hurt. She still remembered the day she and Kitty
had been out together, and they'd gotten the call that Kurt
had been shot...
When she reached the door to the judge's chambers, Victor
was beside her. He put a reassuring hand on her shoulder,
as if he were the one reading her mind, and not vis versa.
She took a deep breath and steped into the room, Scott closing
the door behind them.
A moment latter, the door slambed open again. Jeannie, her
face pale, ran out and through the cort room, making her way
to the dubble doors leading to the main hall. Victor came
running out behind her, then Scott, who stood with the judge
looking after them both.
Continued in Chapter
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