Noon came around the next day as Detective Shraeger was sitting alone on a bench that overlooked the river, oddly enough not too far away from the docks where her partner brought down their killer from a few weeks ago. The only people in the vicinity were the joggers that ran past every now and then.
She waited for almost fifteen minutes when the reason for her being there finally walked up and took a seat beside her, then spoke up in a low, deep voice saying, "It's a beautiful day; a perfect day for relaxing in the sun by the river. Did you bring me what I asked for?"
Casey turned and glared at the man who assaulted her and Walsh and then finally replied, "Yeah, I brought you your payment. I'll give it to you, but before I do, I need to see the antidote. I won't be conned when my partner's life is at stake."
"I get that," Johnny responded coolly. "I'll show it to you, so long as you show me my money."
"I thought you were working for someone," Casey answered smugly. "And you had another partner. Or are you planning on double crossing them too, just like your last partner?"
Their suspect shook his head as he replied, "I thought you believed that you killed him when you and your partner shot at him the other night?"
Shraeger shook her head as she reached down and picked up a brief case that rested on the ground beside her, then she responded, "That's what I thought at first, but I've seen the surveillance footage of the attack and the more I've thought about that night, the more I realized, your first partner was struck in the arm. It wasn't a fatal shot, which means either you or someone else you work with killed him."
"Very good," he answered. "Now, open the case and show me the money."
"It's all here; all four million," she said coldly as she did as he asked. "Where's the antidote for my partner?"
Upon examining the money closely, Johnny spoke up again saying, "It looks like you got exactly what I asked for. Well done, Detective Shraeger. I trust gathering this much was no problem for one of your stature."
Casey wanted nothing more than to shoot him, but she maintained her composure as she replied, "You have no idea. The antidote?"
"I've got it right here for you," he responded as he hand her a box containing a vial of liquid. "It was a pleasure doing business with you, detective. Good luck!"
"The pleasure was all yours," Casey muttered under her breath as Walsh's assailant walked off carrying the briefcase she had given him at his side, then watched as what looked like a homeless man bumped into him and tried to beg him for money before being shoved down to the ground.
Johnny continued to walk off as the bum came over to stand beside her, then spoke up as he asked, "Can you spare a few bucks, pretty lady?"
Casey looked over at the man as she reached into her jacket pocket, pulled out a role of bills, then handed it over to him, and asked, "I take it you got it done?"
"You wanted me to stick him, I got it done, just like you wanted," he answered smugly. "Thanks again for the dough. By the way, what exactly was in that?"
"You'll be better off the less you know," Detective Shraeger replied as she reached out and shook the man's hand. "Thank you for your help, Sam. I will keep my word, as well as do whatever I can to get back the counterfeit money for you. You won't be implicated in this mess, I promise."
Sam looked at her and then responded honestly, "For whatever reason, I like you, detective, and I don't usually like cops. I hope you get your man and save your partner."
Casey answered, "I plan to, or believe me, there will be hell to pay."
A half hour later…
"I've got it!" Casey shouted as she came running into the hospital toward Sergeant Brown and Alvarez, who were currently speaking with her partner's doctor. "I've got the antidote, but just in case, I need you to check it first to make sure it's the real deal."
"How did you get it?" Serge asked crossly as the doctor took the vial from her hand, then ran off toward their lab to do as Casey recommended. "Talk, Shraeger."
Casey looked between her boss and Eddie, then replied, "It's a long story, but first, is he doing all right?"
Alvarez sadly responded, "He's still alive, obviously, but he's taken a turn for the worst. If what you claim is the antidote, isn't really the antidote, then he isn't going to make it."
"It's good," she answered with more confidence than what she actually felt. "It's got to be."
"So, what happened?" the sergeant asked again, sounding more impatient.
Detective Shraeger replied, "When the three of us searched the apartment building, two men involved in Walsh's assault surprised me and claimed they had the antidote, so long as I gave them money for it; four million."
Eddie gasped as he cried, "Four million dollars?"
"So you paid them," Brown stated sternly. "I'm guessing you decided to accept your fortune after all?"
"I did what I had to do to save Jason's life," Casey responded angrily. "Don't worry, Serge, I've got a plan in place to bring them down, as well as whoever they work for. You're just going to have to trust me. That's why you brought me into this precinct in the first place, isn't it?"
Sergeant Brown nodded and then answered, "Do what you have to do."
After he walked away, Casey and Alvarez walked into Walsh's room and as they looked down at his frail form hooked up to a number of tubes and a ventilator that's trying to keep him alive, Shraeger asked, "You have my back, don't you, Eddie?"
"I told you before, Eddie Alvarez is always here for you two," he replied sincerely. "What do you need?"
"I'll let you know in just a moment," she responded as she looked down at her cell as it began to ring. "This is the call I've been expecting."
On the other end of the line, the voice spoke up saying, "You double crossed me, you…"
Casey interrupted, "That's right, the money I gave you was fake and before too long, you'll be in for another surprise as well. You didn't think that I would just trust that the antidote you gave me was the real thing, did you? You double cross me and I double cross you."
"What are you talking about?" Johnny asked angrily. "What surprise?"
"The homeless man that you ran into earlier, wasn't actually a homeless man," she answered smugly. "He was a friend of mine and during your run in, he gave you some of your own medicine. I took an infected blood sample from Detective Walsh and had my friend inject you with it. You're going to get sick, just like him."
Johnny replied angrily, "You bitch! You can't do this, you're a detective!"
Casey responded curtly, "Maybe not, but no one tries to kill my partner and gets away with it. If you manage to survive this, then give me a call if you want the real money in exchange the real antidote. Walsh and I will be waiting."
"What was that?" Eddie asked in confusion once she got off the phone. "Did you really poison Jason's assailants?"
"Only one of them," she answered. "I had a feeling that the antidote I gave the doctor was fake and I was right. However, it might even be the poison, which may allow them to get the sample of it they need to make an antidote themselves. Just in case it's nothing, but water with food coloring, I've got another plan in the works as well. The assailant will go back to his boss to get the antidote for himself and when he does, we'll be there to bring them all down at once. I've got friends tailing him."
Detective Alvarez replied, "You're taking a pretty big risk by doing all this. Jason may not be able to hold on for much longer."
She looked over at her partner again and took his hand in her own, then she responded, "He's going to make it. He always has before. This time is no different. He's a fighter."