Returning to the Scene of the Crime
Summary: Um, I rarely write dramatic stuff, but I'm in the mood. But it ends sweet. Unresolved angst makes me nervous.
"I don't think this will help, Detective." The young woman bit her lip anxiously, her whole demeanor one of refusal, denial.
"Miss Andrews…Tara, it's been proven that re-enacting events at a crime scene often helps a witness to recall the incident." Blair's voice was calm, attempting to soothe the obviously anxious girl. That's how he thought of her, sexist overtones be damned. She was a frightened little girl; even her voice betrayed the soft submissive tones of a child. He didn't like to think of the violence that had caused that change.
"I just can't do this, Detective Sandburg." Lank brown hair was pushed nervously behind her ears, as she pulled her baggy black sweatshirt around herself, trying to hide within it. Nervous fingers fiddled within the kangaroo pocket of the ratty jacket. "I can't remember any more than what I told you two weeks ago. I swear, I'm not lying!" Her voice went high on the last two protesting syllables.
"There's no reason to be afraid, Weathers is in custody and he won't be hurting anyone. But we need your help to keep him there." Jim's voice was carefully neutral, although Blair could hear the impatient edge behind the quiet words. Ironic, thought Blair, since Jim was pretty damn good at repressing traumatic incidents himself.
"Jim." Blair's whisper held a warning edge. "Can I talk to you over by the truck?" Jim nodded tersely, following a step behind. The tense flexing of his jaw muscle told Blair volumes. And it wasn't a pleasant read.
"I thought we discussed not pressuring this girl in any way, shape or form. She's already terrified out of her mind, which is why she's repressing most of the incident in the first place!"
"Yeah, I got that, Sandburg. You do realize that she's our only eyewitness? We can't go to court with a witness who has amnesia about the events and make a decent case."
"This is more like repression, Jim, everyone represses unpleasant or traumatic events to some extent. True amnesia is caused more by physical causes, like a seizure, or electric shock or a severe concussion." He paused, to see if any of this lecture was registering on his reluctant audience. He knew Jim hated it when he went into full-blown pedantic mode, but he really didn't give a shit at the moment.
"She did have a pretty significant blow to the head during her attack, though. Let's just hope she'll remember something that can help us. But, it's going to take time and she's going to have to relax. Scaring the shit out of her with that caveman routine won't cut it! You of all people should know that!"
Jim narrowed his eyes to laser beam intensity. "This isn't about me."
"Isn't it?" Blair challenged, unconsciously raising up on his toes to return the glare.
"I'm not your project anymore, Sandburg. I know it's hard for you, but quit dropping cheese in my maze." He turned on his heel and went back to stand by the girl, who if possible was looking even smaller and more anxious.
"Putz, asshole, bastard." Blair mumbled under his breath, one step behind. "Yes, you sure as fuck heard that too." Jim's demeanor betrayed nothing as he went to stand guard over their charge.
"See anything at all that helps?" Blair asked her in a cajoling voice most people reserved for toddlers and dogs.
The girl shook her head violently. "No, no, no, and I want to go home. I want to go home. Please, take me home. I hate this and so do you!" She bonelessly slid onto the grass, sobbing quietly into her hands.
Blair stepped forward quickly to offer comfort, but was intercepted by his partner who knelt carefully by the weeping girl.
"I know, Tara. I know you don't want to remember this, but you have to. Not just because of Weathers, although he's a real bad guy and deserves to be punished for what he did to you and those other women. But, you need to remember for you. Because you never really forget, no matter how much you want to. I know."
Blair let out the breath he'd unconsciously been holding and shut his mouth, which he just realized was slightly open. He rubbed his arms as though cold, quieting the goose bumps that had risen along the tops of them.
"I'll try, okay? I'll try." Tara's voice hitched, but she wasn't sobbing outright anymore.
"You need to get off the grass, it's still a little wet. You'll be cold." Jim said quietly to her, offering a hand.
"It was wet." She said suddenly. "The grass was wet." Reddened hazel eyes rounded in surprise.
"That's a start. What else?" Jim encouraged, as he drew her to her feet. "Anything smell odd, or did you hear something?"
"Smell, there was a funny smell. Like something burnt. His clothes smelled like a campfire." Tara gulped, and a shudder ran through her slight frame.
Blair scrabbled in his pocket for a pencil and a notebook. Slowly, the two detectives and the girl reclaimed her memories.
"You know that Tara's testimony on top of the DNA evidence will probably convict Weathers." Blair was sitting on their bed. He pulled off a hiking boot and tossed it somewhere in the vicinity of the closet. Jim frowned, but said nothing, focused on removing his holster and gun. He automatically checked the safety before setting it down on the closet shelf.
Another boot slid to meet its mate near the closet door. "Um, Jim?"
"Mm?" Jim murmured, stripping off his shirt and putting it in the nearby hamper.
"Are we still pissed at each other?"
Jim paused, hand at the waistband of his jeans. "What kind of a dumbass question is that?" he growled.
"The dumbass kind you ask when you've been fighting for a week?"
"Well, Chief, if you don't know, I sure as hell don't. You're the one with all the advanced social skills here. I'm just a repressed caveman."
"Um, sorry about that caveman crack, man." Blair squirmed into a semi-lotus position on the bed that made Jim's knee hurt just to look at it.
"Apology accepted, putz, asshole, bastard." Jim said, a smile quirking one corner of his mouth.
"I knew you heard me." Blair grinned openly, relief brightening his features.
"Never doubt it."
"Can I just say here that I'd like my crow fricasseed, please?" Blair said, ducking his head and looking up at the same time. "May I also say that sometimes, you amaze me. Even after all this time. And I'm not just talking about the senses thing although that's still fucking damn amazing."
Jim sat down heavily on the bed. "I think I got my share of licks in this week Blair. I think we're pretty much running neck and neck in the putz, asshole, bastard race."
"I'm not going to promise you'll we'll never disagree, Jim. We're too different for that."
Blair sighed and unfolding his legs in one move flopped back on the bed.
"Get up here and plant a big old wet one on me." He held out his arms invitingly along with a sheepish grin.
Jim shook his head and chuckled a little. "Nah, I'm going to hit the shower." He turned to the stairs.
"You'll just have to do it again later!" Blair grinned impishly at his back.
Jim paused mid stride. "You know Chief, when you're right, you're right."
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