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One of Us

By silentshutters

Drama / Romance

Aftermath

Homicide, 12th Precinct, 6.35 pm, Thursday

She strode through the bullpen with her face locked tight and seemingly emotionless, more so than usual. Her stern expression brooking no absolutely no questions or nor interruption. Barely stopping to open the door, she entered the room at pace, not looking behind she hit the handle with the back of her hand to push the door closed, and barely waiting for the confirmation that ensured the door has clicked shut before she yanked the cords to release the blinds. Only then did she release the mask and suck air into her body.

Her hands were shaking. Nothing could stop that. Not the bitterly learnt previous experiences nor the relaxation techniques the departmental shrinks had given them as part of the necessary training they received as sworn officers of the NYPD. She quickly stripped the NYPD duster and then the ballistic vest from her body, depositing them unceremoniously on the long low filing cabinet under the window into the bullpen.

She took far more care with her service weapon. Ensuring the safety was on and the weapon de-cocked, she deposited the SIG P226 with care into the middle drawer of her desk.

Gulping down mouthfuls of air, by instinct she reaches into the lowest drawer and pushes back the apparently haphazard papers and locates by touch the cool, slim, reassuring object. Checking once more that the door is shut and the blind down, she pulls forth the silver flask. It's masculine but not exclusively so. It's a statement especially in such male dominated profession. It says the owner has earned the right to possess it and when the occasion requires take what solace and comfort they can from its contents, regardless of gender.

Her thumb flicks the cap back in a familiar motion, free of conscious action, and her hand lifts the flask to her lips. She tilts the flat base towards the ceiling and the contents glide forth. The liquid is cool but the sensation is sharp almost burning, as it takes a path past her lips and down into her stomach. It doesn't settle the anxiety and hurt that pools in her gut and is flooding her body, but it has to be enough for now.

Replacing the cap, she slips the flask back into the draw, and stands. Taking a moment, she breathes in, no longer gulping, and composes herself.

Striding to the door, she opens the door and steps out into the bullpen. By now the news has reached the precinct and officers are pooling together and sharing the news with concern and shock writ-open across every face. Perhaps not actually hearing but certainly sensing the door open, almost all heads turn towards her.

She runs a steely gaze across the occupants of the room, her eyes and gentle shake of her head conveying the meaning that the news is hers alone to deliver. Having satisfied herself that all present will comply, she strides towards the secure conference room.

Opening the door without knocking, she starts to speak even as she halts at the threshold. The four occupants of the room had all looked up from the document strewn table. Two males, two females – three lawyers from the District Attorney's office and one detective.

Holding a hand up to still any speech from the occupants her voice brooks no dissent but nevertheless her first words contain an apology "ADA Denoza, sorry for the interruption".

Before the graying Assistant District Attorney can respond, she turns to the sole cop in the room "Detective Beckett, I need you to come to my office now."

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