The next day and a half she sat around and inspected the other photos, the ones she’d cast out as unrelated to the serial killer, particularly, the two she’d deemed committed by a soldier. The only time she went outside was to pet Aika, which Syverson definitely exploited. Mahmoud as well. She held up one of the photos, inspected the dirt around it, there was a small puddle like stain on one of them, like…like someone had spat onto the ground, but that was too much to be just spit…tobacco, chewing tobacco. She breathed out slowly, glancing towards Russel and Collins, then towards Syverson. There was no way of narrowing this down, she knew it, she would have to let it go, even if she really wanted it to be Russel.
She and Syverson, they didn’t sleep together again, well, they slept in the same bed, but they didn’t sleep together. When they had had sex, they were both caught up in the notion of still being alive, that the pain wasn’t quite so bad. But now, that bone ragged, hanging on simply by adrenaline sensation had worn off. And all they had left was pain, breathing too deeply hurt let alone trying to move. That didn’t mean that she didn’t wake up pressed against Syverson. That was…not expected, especially given the heat. She started to shift away, but realized the weight on her hip wasn’t the bedsheet, it was his hand, and he pulled her back flush against him. Well, okay then.
“Transport should be here around 1100,” he informed, voice slightly roughened from sleep.
“Right,” she nodded slightly, that meant she needed to pack, granted, not a whole lot was out of place, she was pretty meticulous about staying organized when traveling. She was definitely stealing his hooded sweatshirt though.
They probably should have spent the few hours they had to actually discuss feelings and relationships, that would have been the smart thing to do, but they didn’t. Instead, they just, existed. Skin to skin, breathing the other’s air, running heavy hands down arms, up backs, threading fingers through hair. They should definitely be adults and talk about this. She shifted, careful not to put too much weight on his chest and pressed her lips to his. She was kinda fond of the beard, he angled up a bit, then dropped back when he twanged his ribs. Instead, his hands came up, grabbed her by the back of the neck and the jaw, and pulled her closer. She bit at his lip and pulled back slightly, sighed out a breath, then racked in another as he pulled her back down to his lips. Yeah, she liked the beard, and his lips, and his hands.
After their make out session, which unfortunately wasn’t able to go anywhere, she angled up and started packing, and double checking everything. She even went back to the closet to make sure she had everything from their as well. Back in Syverson’s room, she sat on the floor and refolded all of her clothes, made sure all toiletry lids were secure. She tucked her cold case file into her go bag, then grabbed up the stack of crime scene pictures and evidence baggies and held them out to Syverson.
“Can’t imagine I’d be allowed to take any of this.”
His brows flicked upwards, sleep-hooded eyes glancing over it, “Probably not,” he muttered, sitting up slightly and flipping through the stuff. He reached down, rough fingertips ghosting up the inside of her thigh, gentle, coaxing, “Come back to bed.”
She stared up at him, then caved, let him draw her back into the bed and his embrace. 1100 came too soon though, they both stood from the bed and she pulled on her last pair of jeans. She hefted her bag over her shoulder, then picked up her go bag, and started for the door. Syverson reached out, grabbed her by the wrist and turned her, corralled her back against the wall. He waited a beat, then dipped low, hands cupping her face, and kissed her. Her eyes closed, she dropped her go bag, cupped the back of his shaved head and pulled him closer. She was in the process of climbing him like a tree when someone banged on the door, “Sy, transport’s here,” someone called, they froze. She pulled back, racked in a few breaths, then murmured, “Gotta go, Hank.”
His eyes went soft, tracked over her face, then slowly eased her to the ground, he picked up her go bag, flung open the door, and stepped out, Jasmine trailing behind him.
She started for the truck, Syverson walking a step behind her. She paused at the door and turned to face him, “Thanks for keeping me alive, Captain Syverson,” she held out her hand.
“Thanks for not being too much of a pain in the ass,” he countered, grabbing hold of her hand and shaking once, then simply holding it. Right. Yeah, don’t kiss the man in front of his entire camp. She nodded slightly, then turned and climbed into the Humvee. He closed the door behind her and leaned against the window opening. “Try not to be too reckless, Lane.”
She grinned up at him, “I’m not reckless, Syverson, I take calculated risks.”
He slanted blue eyes over her then ordered, “Do as your told,” he gestured to the driver of the Humvee. She arched a brow and sat back, as he tapped the vehicle and stepped away. The ride back was boring, she spent the whole time trying not to fall asleep. They finally made it to the base, and she holed up in the same hot, stuffy office as when she’d first arrived and waited until the plane was ready. It was the same kind of plane, no comfy seats or first class, just strapped in.
She slept, she was a cop after all, she could sleep just about anywhere. She woke up a few times in the fifteen-hour flight, stretched, then would go back to sleep. She woke up as the plane was descending. Once given the go ahead, she stood, and gathered her things. She strode out, pulling on sunglass in the early morning sunlight and glanced around, breathing in crisp air, she shivered, thank god for that.
She turned, saw Hughes striding towards her. Oh, good, she hadn’t planned out the whole getting home thing.
“Hey!” he called, bending to give her a hug, then back tracking, “Jesus, shit, are you alright?” he asked, eyeing her face, then gaze dropping to her throat.
“I’m fine.” She graveled out.
“Jesus, what the hell happened?”
“We went undercover, baited the guy,” she shrugged. “He attacked, shot Syverson in the armor, then Syverson shot him in the head.” Among other things, but yeah, that summed it up.
“Damnit, I shouldn’t’ve left—”
“Shut up, Hughes,” she grumbled, striding towards the direction he’d come from. She spotted his car, shoved her bags into the back, then slumped into the passenger seat.
“Should we go to a doctor?” he asked sliding into the driver’s seat.
“The medics looked me over,” and okay, maybe they had suggested additional medical treatment, he didn’t need to know that.
“We’re going to urgent care,” he stated.
She slid her gaze his way, leveled him with a glower, but said nothing. Urgent care took a while. When they finally saw her, the immediately noted the age of the injuries. “A medic looked me over, thought we’d come in for a second opinion to be safe.”
The nurse, Katie her name tag on her scrub top read, eyed her then nodded slowly. Hughes flashed his badge, “She’s a detective, she was undercover.”
Katie’s chin rises in understanding no longer carefully calculating, “Right, well, let’s take a look, then.”
“Hughes,” Jasmine muttered, “Get out.”
Hughes looked offended and about to protest.
“I have to take my pants off.”
“Oh, right,” and her boss stepped out.
Jasmine shimmied out of her jeans, unfortunately skinny jeans. Katie carefully inspected the bandage, then unwrapped the wound to reveal the stitches, “clean, even, no tearing, you’ll have to come back to have those removed.”
Katie turned her green eyes to Jasmine’s throat, “This is of concern,” she gestured slowly.
“Manual strangulation,” she noted.
Jasmine nodded confirmation.
“This level of bruising, we generally do a scan, make sure that there isn’t anything that may require surgery.”
“Any coughing, respiratory distress, seizures, loss of time?”
She shook her head, “Just the hoarseness, and, well, the obvious,” she points to the dark bruises. The nurse nodded, scribbling a few things down on her chart. “Contusion to the face,” the nurse also noted, then gently palpated her bruised, but no longer swollen face. “No signs of a break.”
Katie scribbled some more, then took her blood pressure and pulse, then listened to her breathing. “Alright,” she nodded, “We can write you a prescription for pain, if you like?”
She shook her head, “that won’t be necessary.”
“Then you’ll want to have those stitches removed in about six, seven days, you can come here, any doctor will do.”
She’d find one of her paramedic/fire-fighter buddies to take them out. “Great,” she nodded, hoping down from the exam table, stuffing her legs back into her jeans, feet back into her boots, and strode out. She was straightening out her bunched-up pockets when she felt something, she fished it out of the pocket and held it out, a folded piece of paper, she glanced it over as Hughes made his way towards her.
“Says I’m good, stitches out in six or seven days.”
Hughes nodded, “Right, you want me to take you home?”
She wanted to go straight to work, but another shower would be awesome. “Yeah, alright.”
Once she was safely dropped off at her house, she took a shower, pulled on Syverson’s giant hoodie, grabbed up a pillow for a cuddle and stared at the paper. Syverson’s hand writing was blunt and clear. His name, a mailing address, and beneath both he’d written, Don’t go and get yourself killed, Lane, you still owe me for the shower. She snorted, then laughed, a full-on belly laugh that tapered into giggles. She pressed her face into her pillow and sighed, shit, she realized, she’d gone and caught feelings for the broody Captain in Iraq.
She fell asleep, overhead light still on, face pressed to her pillow, and his note clutched in her hand. Her last waking thought, I’ll have to put together a care package for the asshole.