Brenda placed her signature underneath yet another form and put down her pen. It felt like paperwork was all she was doing these days and it was in moments like this that she longed back to some of the more action packed days with the LAPD. Accepting the job at the DA's office had provided her with as graceful an exit as possible but now, almost a year later, the walls were getting uncomfortably close and some days Brenda felt like she couldn't breathe.
The phone on her desk began to ring and the number 1 was glowing. A smile tugged at her lips before answering and she leaned back in her chair a little, stretching her legs under her desk. Some of the tension that had been building in her shoulders melted away.
Brenda chuckled. Sharon insisted on calling her Chief, even though she was technically nobody's Chief anymore. Most of their phone calls started like this when they were both at work. It was a little play on the by now famous exchange they had once had in the Murder Room when Brenda told Sharon she had a complaint and Sharon asked her when she didn't have one.
Brenda twirled a blonde curl around her finger and fixed her eyes on a spot on the wall where the wallpaper had started to fade. It looked like someone had thrown coffee against the wall. Maybe her predecessor had lost their temper one day?
"What can I do for the most beautiful woman in the LAPD today?" she asked, her voice laced with mirth.
"I need a favour," Sharon sweetly said. There was a hint of humour in her voice.
"Do you remember what happened the last time you asked me for a favour?" Brenda reminded her, still smiling[KY1] .
"I believe that's when our relationship status changed." Sharon was smiling too now. Brenda could hear it in her voice. She imagined the Captain sitting at her desk, in that big leather chair. Sharon's voice dropped a little, hinting that she very clearly remembered the moment Brenda was referring to. "And I ended up owing you."
"Just makin' sure you remember," Brenda purred. She crossed her legs, grateful she had chosen to wear pants instead of a skirt today because it meant she could sit far more comfortably in her chair. "Now, what can I do for you?"
There was a knock on her door and Brenda beckoned whoever was on the other side to come in. Andrea Hobbs entered and Brenda just gestured at the chair in front of her desk. The blonde DDA silently sat down, dropped her purse at her feet and crossed her legs.
"It's Rusty's birthday tomorrow and I ordered a cake but we've just rolled out and I don't know what time I'll get home tonight..."
"I'll pick it up after work," Brenda promised. She felt her cheeks flush a little when she saw Andrea's smirk. The DDA found pleasure in teasing Brenda at every available opportunity about dating the woman she had once loathed. "I'll see you at home."
"Thanks, Brenda. I owe you."
"And don't think I won't collect," Brenda suggestively answered before ending the call. She fixed her eyes on Andrea as she put down the phone and her brown eyes darkened a little. "Not. A. Word," she hissed. "Or I swear I'll personally see to it you're reassigned to Fraud."
"I don't want to know how Sharon repays you," Andrea grinned. "And I wouldn't risk being reassigned to Fraud. No soul lasts longer than a month over there."
Andrea reached into the purse at her feet and pulled out a stash of paperwork. It was neatly held together with a paperclip and she leaned in to hand them to Brenda. Her blue eyes briefly found the former Chief's brown. "I only came to drop these off. I ran into Mark Winslow at the courthouse and I thought I'd spare you the trip. Fritz has signed the papers."
"Finally," Brenda sighed in relief. This marked the ending of a rather unpleasant few months. "Thanks, Andrea."
"You're welcome." Andrea stood up and headed for the door. Just before leaving she turned around. There was a twinkle in her eye. "Have a good night, Brenda."
"Get out," Brenda laughed and the blonde DDA closed the door behind her.
Brenda left a little earlier than usual and stopped at the bakery on her way home to collect the cake. The box had Sharon's name on it. Brenda carried it to the car and made sure to drive safely, avoiding any bumps and unexpected turns until she got to the condo. She parked in the visitor's spot next to Sharon's car, rode the elevator to the third floor and knocked the door.
When it opened and revealed Sharon, Brenda smiled in surprise. She had expected Rusty. "Oh! You're home."
"I'm only passing through," Sharon answered as she finished buttoning up her shirt. "I just came from the morgue and..."
Brenda noticed Sharon's hair was wet and she could smell the shampoo. She guessed Sharon had witnessed the autopsy of her victim. "Change of clothes?"
Sharon nodded. "Yes." It was one of those moments where she needed to say nothing more because Brenda understood. She eyed up the box in Brenda's hands. "Is that it?"
"Yep. I do hope it's all still in one piece."
"Thanks for picking it up, Brenda."
Brenda followed Sharon to the kitchen and placed the box on the counter. She was so used to being at the condo. It was where she spent most of her time. Now that the divorce was final she was planning on moving out of the apartment she was renting and buying her own home. She'd settled for the first place she could find after leaving Fritz and the apartment was small, overpriced and in serious need of some TLC. She needed a place to go, somewhere that didn't remind her of the failures of her job and her marriage. A new house would be her fresh start. A place to call home.
Brenda switched on the kettle and got two mugs from the cupboard. She selected a couple pf teabags from Sharon's large collection and waited for the water to boil before adding it to the mug. She left the tea to brew for a little while, the herbal scent filling the kitchen, and when she turned around to give one of the mugs to Sharon, she found the older woman watching her with an endearing smile.
"I love it when you do that," Sharon said softly.
Sharon tucked a damp strand of hair behind her ear and shyly looked away. "When you're comfortable."
Brenda smiled and Sharon smiled too and right in that moment, Brenda realised she didn't have to find another place to go.
She was already home.