She meets Diana her third day on the job. She just ran into the convenience store to get some coffee for herself and Lazarus, who was looking a little punchy (not that he doesn't always look a little punchy, and sooner or later they're going to have to talk about that before it gets them both killed), and there she was, looking out of place and elegant in track pants and a tank, buying cigarettes and an energy drink. Tonya lets herself look a little longer than she normally would, because there's no one around to see. She knows there are gay cops, bisexual, whatever you want to call it. She's even wondered about some of her training class--there's no way that Kenny kid is playing for only one team, for example. But it's not something they sit around and discuss in the break room, and she doesn't want to get labeled before she's made a name for herself in other ways ("stupid," "brave," and "worst" run through her mind, with half a dozen other comments made by Yoda so far, but she shoves those down underneath other thoughts like "thank you," "where's my coffee?" and a million other things Lazarus has said this week). But she pays and, as she's leaving, the woman stops her at the door.
"You're new," the woman says. It's not mean, just a statement of fact. Tonya appreciates that.
"So?" she says anyway.
"So, nothing," the woman says. "But I've been there. Give me a call sometime, and we'll get coffee."
The woman slips her a business card, and Tonya slides it into her pocket without looking. She nods at the woman before walking away. She'll think about it later.
Later comes that night, sitting in her mostly-empty apartment and wondering, not for the first time, if she's made the right choice. She knows she has, for the most part. There really wasn't anything else she could have done. But another lecture, another day of fucking up and getting called out on it, and she's thinking maybe she can't do it. She pulls the card out of her bag, where she moved it when she got out of uniform, and reads it. Diana Barrigan, it says. FBI White Collar Crime Division. It's got the official FBI seal and a phone number, but it's pretty plain otherwise. She runs her thumb over the embossed letters, wondering if she should call. It feels like admitting defeat, calling this woman who could tell she was new just from the way she bought coffee. But tonight--tonight she's almost ready to go there, to give up and take whatever she can get. She picks up the phone.
"We'll get coffee" turns into getting coffee regularly, once a week if they can. Diana's undercover, some FBI business that Tonya never asks about and Diana never mentions. She was undercover that day at the store, trying to get information out of the shop owner. Sometimes her work takes her away, but for the most part they meet at a local coffee shop just outside Harlem every Friday night. Tonya doesn't tell Lazarus, but she knows he can tell a difference. It's just that Diana really has been there, the young female cop with a hell of a lot to prove to everybody, herself included, and no clue how to get there. And sometimes it's just enough to talk about it. Diana helps her pick out the parts of Yoda's lectures that are important, that are helpful, that she can learn from and use to get better. And she does get better. She feels more centered, more calm, more willing to stop and wait and not go diving into every situation she can, just to feel like being a cop and going against her whole family has been worth it. She's better, and she's safer, and she's maybe falling a little bit in love.
They've been meeting almost two months when Diana brings it up. They're talking about how the job can become your life, if you let it, and how sometimes it's hard to find the energy to keep things separate.
"My last girlfriend dumped me when I couldn't get enough time off for a winter skiing trip," she says, casually, as if she hasn't just answered all the questions Tonya's been keeping inside for eight weeks.
"Damn," Tonya says. "Sorry."
"That was a year ago," Diana shrugs. "And we weren't serious. For her, it maybe wasn't worth it. But I want you to know that sometimes it is. Sometimes it's worth every ounce of effort you put into it."
She smiles over her coffee, reaching a hand out to touch her fingers to Tonya's on the table. Tonya looks down, sees Diana's long fingers stretched over her own, and smiles.
She thinks maybe she can do this after all.