There were few things more stressful than police officers getting shot on the streets of Los Angeles and right now Sharon Raydor found herself on a frenzied crime scene. She wasn't sure where one thing ended and another began. Dozens of police cruisers had pulled up outside the yellow crime scene tape, their blue and red flashing lights cutting strange shaped shadows across the building walls. People were talking, walkie talkies crackled and somewhere amongst the chaos a voice was barking orders.
She didn't need long to recognise the voice. It belonged to the only person in the LAPD who dared to step onto a crime scene wearing a pink trench coat and matching pink kitten heels. Against the dark backdrop, Brenda Leigh Johnson was a stunning vision, both for all the right and all the wrong reasons.
Sharon approached the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division with her hands shoved firmly into the pockets of her own trench coat. Black, like the shadows that surrounded her. When she reached the blonde haired woman, Brenda had just finished handing out her orders and she turned at the sound of Sharon's heels clicking against the tarmac. Brown eyes widened slightly at the sight of the brunette.
"Capt'n Raydor," Brenda said. The usual hint of dismay was absent from her voice. She spoke almost quietly. "Looks like it's gonna be a rough night."
Sharon swallowed. "It would certainly appear so, yes." She looked around. The members of Brenda's division were all disappearing in different directions. "I take it you have a plan of action?"
Brenda nodded. "I know you have your own investigation to run, Capt'n."
Sharon didn't answer. This was how it always went between them. One of them would mark their territory, remind the other who was in charge. And although Brenda outranked her, Sharon usually had control over crime scenes that involved officers discharging their weapons. It was something she and Brenda had learnt to accept about each other, albeit begrudgingly, and now tha their paths continued to cross it was almost as if they had reached a silent understanding about at least trying not to get in the other's way.
Brenda turned around when the noises behind them betrayed that one of the fallen officers was about to be escorted to the nearby ambulance. The police officers to their side stood in formation, silently paying their respects to their fallen comrade, and when Sharon heard Lieutenant's Provenza's booming voice call, "Attention!" a cold shiver crept down her spine and she covered her heart with her right hand and bowed her head.
From the corner of her eye Sharon noticed Brenda looking at her and she met the blonde's gaze. For the first time since entering the crime scene Sharon noticed Brenda looked tired. How long had it been since the Chief had slept? As she thought about that question Sharon realised she had been up for almost twenty-four hours herself; an unfortunate circumstance of working several cases at once.
There was something about Brenda Leigh Johnson that intrigued Sharon. It wasn't the rumours she'd heard flying around ever since her arrival from Atlanta. It wasn't even the fact she was just plain odd. It was something Sharon couldn't put her finger on and the longer she looked at Brenda, the more aware she became of it. She nearly jumped out of her skin when the blonde moved a little closer and their elbows touched.
Sharon stood up straight as soon as the ambulance doors were closed and took a quick step back.
Brenda stared down at her feet for a moment before slowly letting her eyes trail up and meeting Sharon's. Around them people were moving around, continuing to investigate the shooting that had cost two patrol officers their lives and had left their squad car riddled with bullets. It was only when she heard Tao call her name that Brenda tore her eyes away from the FID Captain.
"The calibre and the amount of shell cases suggest the shooter had an automatic weapon," Tao explained as he showed a bullet casing between a gloved thumb and index finger. "I count only four or five rounds for each of the officers." His face fell. "They never stood a chance."
"Thank you, Lieutenant," Brenda nodded and tucked a stray curl behind her ear. Determination settled in her chest and she fixed her gaze back on Sharon.
Sharon's eyes narrowed a little. "Chief?"
"I have assigned my detectives in such a way they should not be in the wat of your investigation." Brenda fumbled with one of the oversized buttons on that hideous trench coat. "I know you're in a 72 hour reporting cycle and the quicker we establish the officers are innocent, the better."
Sharon was surprised and resisted asking the Chief why she was so forthcoming but bit back her sharp retort and just said, "Thank you."
Brenda looked directly at Sharon, saw the dark circled under her eyes, the way her shirt had creased a little too much underneath the open trench coat. Silent hints that betrayed a day that had been too long and sleep that had been too short. Brenda cocked her head a little and took a step towards Sharon, entering her personal space without warning. Sharon wanted to step back but something stopped her. She just looked down when Brenda placed a hand on her forearm.
"I have arranged for Detective Gabriel to do the notification," Brenda softly said. "I think the burden on FID is big enough as it is." Kind brown eyes searched for and eventually found green. Sharon wondered how she'd never noticed how many different shades of brown Brenda's eyes really were. "I hope you don't mind?"
"I don't mind," Sharon answered, the echo of relief evident in her voice. "I don't mind at all. Thank you, Chief."
"You're welcome," Brenda replied and her hand lingered a moment longer on Sharon's arm. The air between them seemed charged somehow and when she pulled back her hand, Sharon almost instantly missed it.
Brenda made a gesture towards the bullet riddled car. "After you, Capt'n."
And Sharon went, aware that Brenda Leigh Johnson was walking right behind her. When she caught a glimpse of the blonde in the shattered glass of the windscreen, Sharon decided that maybe that pink trench coat wasn't so damn ugly after all.