Disclaimer: I don't own anything, I'm just borrowing things for a while and I promise I'll put everything back exactly how I found it when I've finished. Well, almost exactly how I found it. ;)
Sandra stood with her hands thrust deep into her coat pocket, her scarf wrapped tightly around her neck, the cold spring wind whipping happily around her.
*'At least it isn't raining,'* she thought sombrely.
Graveyards were her least favourite places, and visiting where her mother was buried was not at the top of her 'to do' list. But Gerry had picked her up that morning to take her to work, and he had stopped at the graveyard, refusing to move until Sandra had been and seen her mother. Sandra started to protest but soon stopped when Gerry just lit a cigarette, folded his arms and settled down in the driver's seat of the Stag.
Sandra stared down at the small stone and sighed. Her mind was everywhere but here. As much as she had cried when her mother died, almost five months down the line she found she didn't really miss her. Even Brian couldn't understand that, which was saying something.
She turned at Gerry's quiet, respectful tone. "What is it?"
"Just had a phone call from Jack. We're wanted at the office ASAP," he replied. "Apparently Strickland's got something important to tell us."
"Don't tell me, he's retiring and putting you in charge."
Gerry chuckled. "Worse, Brian."
"Oh God," Sandra said, rolling her eyes before smiling. She fell into step next to Gerry as they walked back to the car, but before they left the graveyard, she turned and murmured, "Bye, Mum."
Boyd had just entered the empty squad room when the phone in his office started ringing. Grumbling, he hurried into the room, idly wondering if it was Grace. She had spent the night at her place, and Boyd was scared by how much he had missed her.
*"Good morning, Peter,"* the Commissioner's voice greeted him.
Boyd automatically stood up straighter. "Sir." As he started to take his coat off, he noticed Spencer and Stella walking down the corridor, talking animatedly with each other. He caught the DI's eye and motioned for them to be silent, pointing to the receiver he was holding and rolling his eyes.
*"Are you in the office?"* the Commissioner asked.
*'No, I'm on the bloody moon. Where do you think I'd be at this time in the morning?'* Boyd thought sarcastically, but out loud he replied, "Yes, sir, I am."
*"Good. I'm sending you everything we have on a new case that I want you to look at."*
Boyd frowned as he finished shrugging his coat off. "But, sir, we've..."
*"The Maybourne case is on hold for now, Peter,"* the Commissioner interrupted. *"This is important."*
*'When isn't it?'* Boyd thought, trying hard not to voice his displeasure. After several weeks of nothing, Eve had finally achieved a breakthrough with a partial fingerprint, and the team were eager to follow it up.
"What's the case?" Boyd asked after a moment or two of silence.
*"The Lisa Riggs disappearance,"* the Commissioner replied. *"Are you familiar with it?"*
"Vaguely, sir. Do we have any fresh leads?"
*"Yes. Her body has just been found."*
Boyd sat down heavily in his chair, not noticing Grace coming into the office and making a beeline for him. "I see. Shouldn't this go the murder squad, sir? Or at least homicide, as it's a recent death."
*"Who said it was recent?"* the Commissioner asked, almost amused.
"I just assumed..."
*"I want your team handling this case, Peter,"* the Commissioner said firmly. *"I believe the original investigation in Lisa Riggs...disappearance was conducted very poorly. The team reached a dead end quickly, despite the suspicious circumstances in which she vanished, and seemed to give up at that. I don't think they were interested, to be frank."*
Boyd tried to suppress a smile. While he was still a pretentious tosser, this Commissioner was better than his predecessor, and the DSI almost liked him. "We will do our best to exact a more complete and satisfactory result, sir."
*"Did Dr Foley write that for you?"* the Commissioner asked, and continued quickly before Boyd could respond. *"I know you will, Superintendent, but to make absolutely sure, I'm drafting in some extra help for you."*
Boyd's frown returned as he straightened in his chair, leaning onto his desk. "With all due respect, sir, my team work better alone."
*"Tell me that again when you've met the help,"* the Commissioner replied. *"Everything pertaining to the case will be with you within the hour. Good luck, Peter."*
"Interesting call?" Grace asked.
Boyd looked up, startled, to see her stood in his doorway, smiling fondly at him. "The Commissioner," he replied.
Grace frowned. "But the Mayb-"
"Right. New case?"
"We're getting a new case?" Stella asked, handing Grace a mug of tea before venturing all the way into Boyd's office to give him his coffee.
Boyd nodded. "And help as well."
"Help?" Stella asked, also frowning.
"I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning," Grace murmured, turning and heading to her office.
"Don't go far, Grace!" Boyd called. "Team meeting in five!" He sipped his coffee and tried to fight off the headache that was already starting to form. When his phone rang for a second time, he grimaced before answering it. "Boyd."
He smiled despite himself. "Good morning. How are you?"
*"I missed you,"* Grace replied.
"Really? I thought you'd be glad of a rest from my snoring," Boyd said.
*"Well, that was nice, but I missed your company."*
"I missed you too."
*"Really?"* Grace asked.
Boyd nodded firmly, knowing she was watching him. "Really."
*"That's sweet of you. So, what do you think about this new development?"*
"Do you even need to ask?"
*"I know you're not happy about it, but why are we getting the case and why are we getting help?"* Grace asked.
"I can answer the first question," Boyd replied, sipping more of his coffee. "Not sure about the second one."
*"Alright. Five minutes are up. See you outside?"*
Boyd smiled again. "I'll race you."
Just then several officers entered the squad room carrying boxes and Spencer directed them to the spare desk in the corner. "What's going on?" he asked loudly.
"New case," Boyd replied, leaving his office. Reading the look on his DI's face correctly, he held his hand up. "I'll explain in a minute. Believe me, this isn't my idea." He looked around. "Where's Eve?"
"I'll get her,"Stella volunteered.
Boyd nodded. "Spence, all the Maybourne stuff has to come off the board, but don't put it too far out of reach."
Scowling, Spencer started to take the papers down. "So who can I blame for this, sir?"
"And here I was thinking he wasn't that bad," the DI muttered.
The doors from the lab opened, admitting Eve and Stella. "Summoned I come," the scientist said in a monotone. "What's going on?"
"You're about to be very unhappy," Grace told her.
"Why? What's happened?" she asked.
Boyd clapped his hands together. "Right. As of right now, the Maybourne case is on hold at the Commissioner's insistence. If you've got a problem with that, I suggest you take it up with him." No one spoke up. "We've being given a new case, the disappearance of one Lisa Riggs."
"And why are we getting it?" Spencer asked.
"Because her body has just been found," Boyd replied.
A phone rang and Stella answered it. "DC Goodman... Yes, she is... Yes... Just let me ask." She covered the mouthpiece. "You're wanted in the lab, Eve. Something about a dead body."
"I'd worry if it was a live one," Spencer muttered.
"Is it the Riggs case?" Eve asked, and Stella nodded. "I'll be right there."
"Yes, she'll be there in a moment...thank you." The DC put the phone down and looked around at her colleagues. "You said something about help, sir?"
Boyd nodded. "The Commissioner has also assigned us some help on this case. Again, not my idea."
"And who exactly is being drafted in to help us?" Grace asked.
The team turned to see Sandra, Jack, Brian and Gerry stood in the doorway, all four smiling warmly.
"Why am I not surprised?" Grace replied, smiling back.
"Did you know about this?" Eve asked, looking at Gerry.
He shook his head. "We only found out about half an hour ago."
The two teams met in the middle of the squad room, and exchanged handshakes, hugs and kisses. While it hadn't been so long since they last saw each other, the bonds of friendship made by their first case working together were strong, and they spent half an hour chatting amicably.
"Well," Sandra said after a while, "I think we'd better get to work, don't you?"
"Work? What's that?" Gerry repeated, looking at Brian.
"No idea," he said.
Gerry looked at Jack. "Don't look at me," Jack replied, holding his hands up.
Sandra rolled her eyes. "Boys."