Boys will be boys.
After raising a son of her own, Sharon was sure of that. Regardless of the almost two decades of an age difference between Ricky and Rusty, one thing seemed to stay the same. Saturday mornings. Sitting at the kitchen table, Rusty attempted to crack his neck far enough forward to see the fast moving shapes of Tom and Jerry, as the dog continued to chase the mouse.
Looking up from her paperwork, Sharon found herself watching the young boy. The only thing six year old boys should be worrying about was getting home in time to catch the first notes of the theme tune to their favourite cartoon, not about being abandoned in a zoo by the one person in the world who was meant to love you unconditionally and then managing to stumble onto a crime scene.
The reality of it all broke her heart.
Rusty attempted to keep his eyes fixed on the screen while mastering the art of ensuring that the sugar loaded 'Lucky Charms' - his typical Saturday morning treat - landed in his mouth and not down the front of his Spiderman pajamas. He was full aware of the fact that Sharon would not be impressed if he managed to ruin another pair of pajamas.
As her phone began to ring, its shrilling tone echoing through the condo, Sharon's bare feet padded across the wooden floors as she made her way towards the marble countertop. "Lieutenant, good morning" She spoke, bringing them phone to her ear as she prepared herself for having her weekend plans thrown out the window. "Good morning to you to0, Captain. I'm afraid we've caught a case" Provenza announced, hearing Sharon sighing on the other end of the phone, no doubt she had plans of spending her rare weekend off with Rusty. The aging Lieutenant would never let anyone - not even Flynn, oh God no, not Flynn - know that he felt sorry for the Captain, he would never live it down.
The woman had hardly taken a day off since becoming Head of the LAPD's Major Crime division, as well as Rusty's foster Mother. As per usual, it was the one Saturday that the woman had booked off, something about going to buy a new game - the one with flying birds that were almost as annoying as Rios - that Sharon had promised to buy Rusty for his game console.
"I'll be there in half an hour" Sharon declared before hanging up the phone, standing up from the table with her half eaten fruit salad in one hand and her untouched Earl Grey in the other. So much for a peaceful weekend.
"Rusty, get ready, we have to go into the office" Sharon said, washing both her cup and bowl ,placing them on the drainer before moving towards the television screen to turn it off.
"Sharon" Rusty groaned, attempting to look over the woman at the blank television screen. "But we're getting my game today, right?" Rusty asked in a small voice, dropping his silver spoon into his lucky charms as a look of pure panic came to the child's face. "I promise that as soon as we close this case I'll go and get your game" She compromised, heading towards the table to take his plate and glass. Rusty sighed, deciding there was no point continuing to complain as he headed down the hallway to put the clothes on that Sharon had set out for him.
"Five minutes, Rusty!" Sharon shouted as she headed into her own bedroom to change into something presentable for the workplace, certainly not the medium wash jeans and emerald silk blouse that she was currently wearing.
The familiar 'click clack' of her Manolo Blanik's announced their arrival as they echoed off the cold, hard ground. Provenza drowned the last of his coffee before discarding the paper cup into the bin, making a mental note to replace his usual mug that Rusty had managed to shatter the week prior. "Good morning, Captain" He welcomed the pair as they arrived in the murder room.
"Good Morning, Lieutenant" Sharon greeted, the child trailing behind her as he kept his eyes peeled on his Nintendo screen and the birds as they were released from their slings and thrown towards the tower in a bid to knock them down and take out the swine. As Sharon came to a stop in the middle of the murder room, Rusty all but banged into her legs as he focused more on knocking out as many swines as possible as oppose to watching where he was going. "Oh, hi!" Rusty said, looking around at the team as he raised his hand to wave at them before returning his attention to the game as he walked over to Andy's desk, sitting himself down onto the man's spinning chair.
Sharon leaned against the desk as she listened to the team filling her in on the case, running her through the evidence, listening to Provenza once again sound like a broken record as he declared. "It's the husband. It's always the husband!" Sharon had to resist the urge to chuckle to herself, you would think that after several decades in the police force that the man would have figured out that it wasn't always the husband. Sometimes - not always.
Sharon lost herself in the case. When she looked up to check on Rusty through the glass window of her office, she sighed to herself as she noticed the time. It was already one in the afternoon and they were no where near finding a break in the case.
Pushing herself up from her seat, Sharon walked out of her office and towards Provenza's desk, where the child was currently sitting with the miniature chess board that Provenza kept for when he was in the office. "How about I get us something to eat?" Sharon suggest, mindful of the fact she had eaten nothing more than two chucks of pineapple and a sip of Earl Grey.
"Already done, Captain!" Andy announced as he stepped into the room, with Provenza trailing behind with their drink orders, two cardboard holders balancing on top of one another.
Rusty's eyes widened as he spotted the familiar white paper bag clutched in Andy's hand, the room filling with the heavy aroma of freshly grilled burgers. "Burgers!" The boy cheered, even though he usually persuaded Sharon to allow him to have burgers on a Friday or Saturday night.
Folding her arms, Sharon looked at the paper bag with a hesitate, cautious gaze " I don't know Rusty, you had a takeout last night" Sharon thought aloud, her voice filled with hesitation.
"Let the kid have a treat once in a while, Sharon" Andy argued, resting his hand on Rusty's shoulder as he dumped the white paper bag down in front of the child, watching as Rusty reached out and unwrapped the burger from its paper bag as though it was a precious present.
"Yeah, Sharon" Rusty said, attempting to impersonate Andy's strong, masculine voice as best he could. Sharon decided that there was no point in arguing with the pair of them.
Sharon felt as though her eyes might jump out of their sockets when she watched Provenza place Rusty's drink in front of him, the cardboard cartoon was taller than the child's face, and by Sharon's estimates was more than a healthy dose of his daily serving of sugar. "Lieutenant?" She asked, her eyebrow raising as she folded her arms in front of her chest. Sharon was not amused.
"It's a Saturday, Captain. When did a little extra sugar ever do anyone any harm?" Provenza asked, holding his hands out as he placed the remaining drinks on the corner of his desk. Sharon rolled her eyes as she accepted her usual salad and greek yogurt from Andy. "Well, you can deal with him when he's on a sugar high then" Sharon compromised, deciding to head to the break room for a bottle of water than chancing her arm with the high sugar drinks that the two men had brought with them.
Now she knew why she never got asked to do the lunch run.
With Sachez and Amy out picking up a suspect, while Tao and Buzz worked on the CCTV, Andy offered to play a game of chess with Rusty; mainly because Sharon had confiscated his nintendo as he was already over his 'three hours a day limit'.
"The kid beat me again!" Andy protested, leaving his bishop down on the side of the desk as he narrowed his eyes as he looked across the table at the boy. "You just can't play very well, Andy" Rusty revealed between carefree laughter as he took in the man's annoyed look. It certainly wasn't easy to be beaten by a child, especially in a game like chess. "Though that's okay, old people can't play chess very well" He said, shrugging his shoulders as he stopped laughing and set the chess board up again.
Provenza was finding this far too amusing.
Resting his hands on the back of his head, he tried his best to silence his laughter as he looked at the mortified expression on Andy's face. "If you find it so amusing, Mr. Einsten, then you have a go at it!" Andy declared across the room, getting up from his spot across from Rusty and leaving it open for Provenza.
"Lieutenant Provenza" Sharon began as she shut the door of her office behind her, turning around to face the man in question. "Just a moment, Captain" Provenza requested, holding his hand out in protest, though kept his eyes fixed firmly on the chess pieces in the middle of the chess board. Walking towards the desk, Sharon watched as Rusty lifted one of the chess pieces nearest to him before moving it forward. Never in all of her years in the LAPD, had Sharon Raydor saw Provenza with such a look of concentration on his face.
"This is what happens when you dose him with sugar - he gets competitive" Sharon declared in a tell tale 'I told you so' voice, as she look from Andy to Provenza, hopefully they had learned the hard way not to give Rusty sugar.
"And you couldn't have told us that earlier?" Provenza muttered as he lifted his bishop and moved the piece across the board, only for Rusty to once again get the upper hand.
"Well, I did warn you" She reminded him as she rounded the desk to stand behind Provenza, looking down at the chess board. Placing her hands firmly on her hips, Sharon watched as Provenza was royally beaten to a post by the young boy.
"I let him win" Provenza announced, shrugging his shoulders as he tried to act as calm as possible. Andy snorted at the very idea. Provenza didn't let anyone win anything - not even his grandkids. Provenza was a sore loser. "You were saying?" Andy teased, dropping himself down on the desk nearest the pair as Rusty began to clear away his chess board, hiding it away in the bottom drawer of Provenza's desk.
Hearing the sound of footsteps edging closer to the door, Provenza and Andy headed towards the electronics room, knowing that Amy and Sachez would be taking the suspect directly to the interview room. "Will you be okay here?" Sharon asked as she came to a stop in front of Provenza's desk, watching as Rusty logged himself onto Provenza's computer, taking his stack of DVDs out of his backpack. "Yeah" Rusty replied, opening up the disk drive and putting his DVD in.
Sharon suspected that Buzz was no doubt to blame for Rusty's advancing knowledge of computers.
"I'll be in the interview room, once I'm finished here we can head home" Sharon informed him, though by now the boy was more concerned with putting his headphones in than listening to his foster mother. Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Sharon headed towards the interview room, content to listen to the gentle giggles of the boy as he became engrossed in his favourite show.
"It seems the kid's passed out from a sugar rush" Provenza said, stating the obvious as he walked towards the desk where the child was fast asleep. Reaching over the boy, he turned off the computer screen where Tom had been rather unsuccessfully trying to chase Jerry
Sharon had to resist the urge to roll her eyes, this was exactly why she didn't overload him with sugar.
"I'll have to wake him up now" Sharon complained, knowing that the child would be as crabbed as a cat if woken from his peaceful sleep.
"Let him sleep, I'll carry him down" Andy announced, pushing himself up from his seat before walking towards his partner in crime's desk . Sharon collected Rusty's game console and toys, pulling them into her Gucci tote before throwing it onto her shoulder.
The walk down to the parking garage had been a quiet one. Both adults remaining silent in a bid to keep Rusty asleep on the man's shoulder, both fully aware of just how moody children could be if woken up unexpectedly in their sleep.
Arriving at the car, Sharon turned the lock in the driver's door before opening the back passenger door for Andy. She tried her best to hide her smile as she watched the Lieutenant lower the boy into the back seat, buckling him up while attempting to turn Sharon's trench coat into a comfortable pillow for the boy.
Shutting the door, Andy turned around to face the woman waiting behind him. "That should be him now, I really am sorry about the sugar thing, Sharon" He confessed, moving his hand up to brush the back of his neck. He should have known better. "It's okay, you probably helped him forget the fact I was meant to go and get that game for him" She revealed, surprised that the boy hadn't caused more of a fuss about not getting his Angry Birds game - especially after spending most of the week before counting down the days and hours until she would buy it for him.
"Safe home, Sharon" Andy said, flashing him one last smile before glancing in at the sleeping child in the car. Burying his hands in the pockets of his dress trousers, Andy began making his way back towards the elevator, deciding that he and Provenza - not doubt to the displeasure of the other man - could handle the paperwork on this case.
Settling herself down in the passenger seat, Sharon embraced the unusual, but welcomed, silence before she glanced through the rearview mirror at the sleeping child.
Saturdays never failed to amused her.