Anthem of Angels (NY fic)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Jade_Nolan, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Jade_Nolan

    Jade_Nolan CSI Level One

    Nov 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    so I haven't posted anything in this forum for over a year despite having written stuff (oops...), so I thought I'd pop over and post a couple of the stories I'm currently working on. So without further ado, here's Anthem of Angels.

    Rating: T - mild language, violence, and innuendo
    Synopsis: In one of Mac's first cases as a detective, he learns just how dangerous it can be crossing the wrong people.

    Chapter 1

    He heard footsteps behind him and turned just in time to see the handle of a gun smash into the side of his head. He fell to the ground, stunned, blood making its way down his face from a gash that instantly opened. As he tried to regain his orientation and stop the world from spinning, the wind was knocked out of him as a boot connected just under his rib cage with enough force to throw him sideways. He gasped for air, and his already hazy vision blurred even further.

    Then blows came from every direction as he was surrounded and beaten.
    He instinctively covered his head, tried to protect his midsection and twist out of the way. But there were too many, and it wasn't just fists and boots that were used. A tire iron crashed into his arm that was across his face. He would have cried out as his arm broke if it hadn't have been for a following blow to his side, breaking ribs and knocking the wind out of him again.

    He was hit again and again.

    The beating seemed to last forever. He managed to ward off several strikes, but they came fast and furious, hitting his already damaged ribs, back and extremities. Eventually they proved too much and too many. He stopped feeling individual pain, and his whole being became one giant sheet of dull agony as there became hardly an un-hit part of him. He felt his strength eek away, and gradually stopped trying to evade the blows.

    His body shuddered as they continued to rain down.

    "That's enough," a voice said. It was the first time anyone had said anything. "We don't want him dead. Not yet anyway."

    The assault stopped.

    He lay still, face down, unable to move, his broken arm still draped limply over his head. Pain coursed through him as he fought to catch his breath and his hazy semi-conscious awareness seemed distant and surreal.

    "Pick him up," the same voice said.

    Hands ruthlessly grabbed his battered body, and he let out a choked cry as they wrenched on his broken arm and unstable ribs. The man who had spoken walked towards him. Unable to support his own weight, Mac hung limply between the men holding him up, head drooped forward.

    He winced as the man grabbed his hair, jerking his head up and back so he could look him in the face. It was covered in blood from a multitude of cuts and his vision was very nearly obscured, but he could make out who it was: Rivera. He should have known. Then he felt the cold metal of a gun barrel press against his exposed neck, and he tensed, going even stiller.

    "We told you to stay out of our business," Rivera shook his head, "But you just don't listen, do you?"

    "I'm not good at obeying thugs," Mac choked out between short, painful breaths. His tongue felt thick and his words were slurred.

    "No, I can see that," Rivera replied, as Mac's cell rang. The unexpected sound made everyone freeze momentarily. Pushing the gun even harder into Mac's neck, Rivera let go of his hair and fished in his jacket pocket pulling out his phone. Mac angled his gaze down to see who it was. It was Claire. He closed his eyes and felt an overwhelming sense of grief. He wasn't afraid to die. Hell, he'd given his life over to borrowed time a long time ago, but the thought of Claire opening the door to a grim Harris telling her he was dead, and seeing her face and her pain, made a new agony tear through him.

    Rivera caught the look that flashed across Mac's face. "It's your wife isn't it," he asked with a devilish half-smile.

    Mac glared at him.

    Rivera flipped open Mac's phone, his thumb hovering over the 'answer' button. "Maybe we should let her hear what happens when you don't do as we instruct."

    Terror flooded through Mac, and his throat constricted with near-panic at the thought of Claire being forced to listen to his murder. That was beyond cruel.

    "No. Please." he managed, his voice shaking.

    Rivera just smiled at him without a trace of humour in the expression. His thumb pushed the 'answer' button, then 'speaker'. Mac could hear the faint sound of Claire's favorite CD in the background. There was a pause as Claire obviously waited for him to answer. Mac swallowed hard, and blinked back the hot tears that had formed.

    "Mac?" she said after a few moments, "Mac? Are you there?"

    Mac couldn't speak.


    "Answer her!" Rivera hissed in his ear, pressing the gun painfully into his throat. "Answer her, or I'll shoot you right now while she can hear."

    "Claire?" Mac managed, his voice tight.

    "Mac? Mac, are you ok?"

    "Yeah, I'm…I…something's come up at work," Mac said, trying to keep his tone as even as possible. He coughed in a vain attempt to keep blood from trickling down the back of his throat.

    "Is everything alright? Shall I call you back later?" Mac could hear the instant concern in her voice, and emotion threatened to take him over.

    "Yeah," he said, his voice not much more than a strangled whisper.

    "What's going on? Are you sure? You don't sound good honey. You've got me kind of worried." She had turned the background music off.

    Rivera shoved the gun into Mac's throat again. He choked, and Rivera released some of the pressure.

    "Yeah," he managed. "Look, I'll…I'll talk you later, ok?"

    "Okay," Claire replied reluctantly. "I love you baby."

    His heart threatened to explode into a million pieces at the thought of her trying to call him later, with no hope of an answer. He squeezed his eyes closed as tears escaped him, mixing with the blood that still dripped off his chin.

    "I love you too."

    Rivera snapped the phone closed. "Well wasn't that sweet," he said mockingly. "Can't say I never did anything nice." He grinned evily.

    Mac glared at him with nothing but pure hate. "Why don't you shoot me already and get it over with," he spat.

    "Because if I wanted to shoot you, I would have done it from the start." Rivera held out his hand to one of the men who was standing behind him. The man walked forward and handed Rivera the tire iron he had. Rivera took the gun from Mac's neck and stepped backwards, swinging the iron in his hand. "And this gets the point across just as well. Better, in fact. Besides," he continued, his anger growing rapidly and pacing back and forth in front of Mac, "You cost me. You cost me dearly, and now you gotta pay."

    He took a couple of running steps towards Mac, bringing the tire iron back with both hands. He swung it full force at Mac's unprotected belly.

    Pain like Mac hadn't known exploded through his midsection, and despite being held on each side, he folded over. Rivera hit him again and again. Mac choked on blood in the back of his throat, and through the white sheet of agony, he knew he was really severely injured.

    Rivera tossed the tire iron aside and paced in front of him again, breathing hard with the rage and adrenaline that had built up.

    "No one crosses and humiliates me!" he shouted. "No one!"

    Mac was now completely limp and aware of almost nothing except the excruciating pain that tore through him.

    Rivera crossed the small distance between them. He grabbed Mac's blood matted hair, yanking his head up and pressing his gun back into his neck. "You hear me?" he all but screamed at him, spit flying. "NO ONE!"
    He released Mac and turned his back on him, taking a couple steps away. He paused, hand tightening and clenching at his side. Then in one motion, he turned with a yell and hit Mac across the side of the head with his gun. Already almost-unconscious, Mac's head snapped to the side and back front. Blood poured down his face as the laceration from the earlier blow opened wider, and Rivera could see the life escaping with it. His white-hot fury subsided and he straightened his shirt. He regained his cold, authoritative anger.

    He motioned to the two men who still holding Mac up. "Leave him, he's as good as dead. Let's go."

    They dropped him unceremoniously and left.

    Mac crumpled to the ground. He lay motionless and barely breathing. He was in so much pain his brain didn't even know how to register it anymore. Somehow though, he retained enough presence of mind to push the little orange emergency button on his radio. He heard the dispatcher say something to try to reach him over the open mic channel that was now keyed to his radio. But he couldn't even understand what she was saying, let alone hope to answer.

    His final thought as he stubbornly struggled to breath despite the darkness that crashed over him, was of Claire. He wanted nothing more than to hold her, and feel her arms around him one last time.

    His eyes closed despite his efforts, and he lay alone, unconscious, his blood tracing a path along the pavement of the alley.

    Three days previously…
  2. Jade_Nolan

    Jade_Nolan CSI Level One

    Nov 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 2

    Detective Taylor,” Claire said with a grin, “Here are your Oatmeal Squares.”

    Mac groaned, “You aren’t going to get tired of saying that, are you?”

    “Nope!” Claire said cheerily. “It has rather a grand ring to it.”

    Mac sighed. “ ‘grand ring’,” he snorted. “Hardly.”

    “It does!” Claire protested. “Makes you sound all important and dreadfully cool!”

    Mac laughed and shook his head, “You going to go give me my cereal or not?”

    Claire handed him the bowl with an exaggerated flourish. “Coffee?” she asked.


    Claire disappeared back into the kitchen and poured them both a cup of coffee and herself a bowl of cereal. She plopped on the couch next to Mac, who was still only his boxers. She handed him one of the mugs, and he accepted it gratefully.

    “What time did you get in last night?” Claire asked, noting his exhausted slouch with an inward wince.

    Mac propped his bare feet on the coffee table and yawned, “Far too late.” He wearily rubbed one eye and set his coffee mug on the coaster in front of him.

    “Do I want to know?” Claire asked.

    “Nope,” Mac said dryly, around a mouthful of cereal. He finished the last spoonful and set the bowl on the table next to his coffee mug.

    Claire stared it for a few seconds, and then looked up at him. She didn’t say anything.

    “What?” Mac asked, confused.

    “You never finish the milk.”

    “You know I don’t like how the cereal flavors it!” Mac protested.

    “But you eat it with the cereal,” Claire pointed out.

    With the cereal, not without after it’s gone all sugary and room temperature!”

    “awwww….” Claire said in mock sympathy.

    Mac just looked at her, stone faced.

    Then without a word he reached forward, and before Claire could even think to react, dumped the rest of his milk in her unfinished cereal, sat back and folded his arms, his expression unmoving.

    “Mac!” Claire squeaked.

    There was a brief pause as neither of them moved, a mischievous devil smile starting to play at the corners of Mac’s lips, Claire staring at her cereal bowl, mouth open in disbelief.

    Then at nearly the same moment, she lunged at him, and Mac, bursting out laughing, bolted. He skidded into the bedroom just in front of her and tried to quickly close the door. But Claire was too close on his heels. She ducked past him, grabbed one of the pillows off the still un-made bed, and began pummeling him with it.


    “You off?”

    Mac looked up at Claire who had come around the corner. “Yeah,” he sighed, fidgeting with his tie. Claire walked over.

    “Here,” she said, gently sneaking her fingers underneath his. She smoothed down his collar, “It’s fine, Mac. Like you of all people need to worry about how neat your tie looks!” She snorted, “You could make it look perfect if someone was hanging you upside down off a roof! Relax.” She stepped back and looked him up and down.

    “What?” Mac asked, conceding her point and rolling up first his left shirt sleeve then his right.

    Claire reached out and hooked her thumb on his belt, pulling him toward her. She paused, he was close enough so their lips almost touched. She glanced down and then back up at him, “Have I have ever told you how hot you are?” she said, her other hand sneaking up the inside of his leg. Suddenly work was the last thing on Mac’s mind.

    “You might have mentioned it at some point,” he said with a little smile.

    “Well it’s true.” Claire’s fingers traced higher, “You sure you have to go just yet?” she asked with a little bite of her lip.

    “Yes,” Mac groaned tragically.

    Claire kissed him slowly. “Well you hold onto that thought then,” she said with a sly grin.

    “How could I forget?!” Mac asked. He clipped his badge to his belt. “When do you have leave?” he asked.

    “Not for almost another hour,” Claire answered. “First meeting’s not ‘til ten.”

    “What did you get up so early for then?”

    “I didn’t get to see you last night,” Claire said simply.

    Mac pulled her back to him and gave her one last, hard kiss. “I love you,” he said emphatically.

    Claire grinned at him, “I know.”


    Mac got off the elevator. Even though he was finishing his second week at the crime lab, it still felt a bit weird not to be going to the precinct, but he had a feeling it would take longer yet to get used to not wearing a uniform to work. It was the first time in his entire life he didn’t have a mandate on exactly what to grab out of the closet in the morning, and he hadn’t yet made up his mind whether he liked it or not.

    Nodding hello to a few people he’d already grown to recognize, he made his way to the actual lab part of the lab where he had finally called a halt at 1am the prior night to the analysis he’d been running. To be perfectly honest, he had been a bit apprehensive of this new position. The detective side of his job he had no qualms about, and the role felt very natural. But it had been years since he’d seen the inside of any sort of lab. Granted, he had spent an obscene amount of time in them (god, it felt like he had lived in them sometimes…) back at Northwestern University, but the fact remained that once he had gone active duty with the Marines, science was pretty much the last thing that had been on his mind.

    He’d always kind of missed it though. He liked the methodical process, the train of reasoning, thought progression and problem solving that went into figuring out a tangled experiment. Sometimes one had the answer and needed to figure out how to get there from a completely unknown starting point, sometimes the other way around, and sometimes all one had was a vague goal to somehow miraculously get to. And he’d been quite good at it.

    But it was one thing to have aced college chemistry and biology back when he was nineteen, it was another story to remember it all more than a decade later and to give it an application he had never used it for before. Plus, he tried to forget how long ago how long ago his days at Northwestern were. Although truth be told, they seemed to belong to another world entirely. He grew pensive, as unsummoned and wordless memories, images and feelings of what he had found himself thrust into after trading the college lab and his ROTC cadet rank for infantry lieutenant bars, drifted through his head. He had taken it all head on, with a decorated uniform and scars to prove it. But although his military service would always be what he’d be most proud of, the specifics of those eight years contained places, people, memories and emotions which not even Claire would ever know. There was no way he’d ever burden her with certain things, and it was safer for him too if they remained locked securely in the back of his brain.

    He pulled open the door to the lab and took a moment to stare at the row of white lab coats hanging, waiting on their hooks. He shook his head with a small smile and the complete circle of sorts his life had now taken. Five years ago while breathing liquid heat under the blistering Iraqi sun, again, and wondering if he’d ever escape the hellish desert (except for a glorious 2 years in Japan, apparently no other place existed for him to be sent to…), he wouldn’t have dreamed that he’d find himself in an air conditioned lab again. Let alone very possibly spending a good amount of the rest of his career in one. He rather liked the prospect.

    He grabbed a coat off the hooks, and was just putting an arm into one of the sleeves when he heard a voice behind him.


    Mac turned. It was Harris, his new boss.

    “Don’t put that on just yet. We got a double in the South Bronx that just came in. Grab your stuff.”


    Comments anyone? I know it's been read, so like.... dislike? :/
  3. Jade_Nolan

    Jade_Nolan CSI Level One

    Nov 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Comments...? anyone....? you're killing me here...! :confused:

    Chapter 3

    Mac followed Harris up the stairs to the 3rd floor apartment where their crime scene waited. The homicide detective already there, met them in the hall.

    “You two are going to have fun with this one,” he said, leading the way down to the end of the hallway.

    “Why?” Mac prompted him when the detective offered no further explanation.

    “You’ll see,” the man told him, glancing over his shoulder with a grim smile. “Although one of your people is already here,” he continued, addressing Harris.

    “Really?” Harris asked with a puzzled look.

    “Yep,” the detective said, opening the end apartment door for the two CSI’s. “Quinn Shelby?”

    “Ah,” Harris said.

    It was a name Mac hadn’t been introduced to yet.

    “This way,” the detective said, leading them down the short hall to the back bedroom. “Here ya go,” he said, standing to the side to let them in.

    “Holy shit,” Mac breathed.

    “Told you you were going to have fun,” the detective said dryly.

    “Someone has to have heard this go down,” Harris said in somewhat impressed awe as well.

    “You’d think. But everybody in the building is swearing up and down that nothing out of the ordinary was seen or

    “Which means they all know exactly who did it,” Mac observed with a shake of his head.

    “Precisely,” the detective nodded. “I’m going to continue questioning the tenants and people around here, maybe
    will give us even a sideways hint at who it is. Although, if it is the guy who runs this area, no one’s going to be breathing a word.”

    “If this is what he does, can’t say that I exactly blame them,” Mac said.

    “Me neither,” said a voice from behind him.

    He turned to see the other CSI the detective had mentioned.

    “There you are,” Harris said. “Kingsley said you were here. I thought you were over on 41st and Shelton?”

    “Yeah, I was just doing a quick check of the bathroom,” she said with a jerk of her thumb over her shoulder. “And I was. But it was so obviously a suicide, I don’t even know why we got called out there in the first place,” she rolled her eyes. “And you must be the new guy,” she continued, looking Mac up and down. She grinned approvingly at him and stuck out her hand, “Quinn. Quinn Shelby.”

    “Mac Taylor,” he replied.

    “Don’t worry, you didn’t miss me, I just got back from vacation,” Quinn said in response to his wordless question.

    “Ah,” Mac said, glad he hadn’t been imagining that he hadn’t seen her yet.

    “You don’t say much, do you?” Quinn observed. “Man of action, not words?” she continued with a small wink.

    Mac cleared his throat and glanced down briefly in momentary embarrassment. “Something like that,” he said, looking back up smiling, amused despite himself.

    Quinn turned from him, eyes still dancing with mischief. “You want me to stick around?” she asked Harris.

    “Yeah, if you don’t have another call,” Harris said. “This, is going to take a while.”

    The three of them turned back to survey the small bedroom.

    “Yes, yes it is,” Quinn observed.


    “Want to take a guess at motive?” Quinn asked rhetorically.

    “HA!” Mac snorted, looking up from photographing. He gestured towards their male victim who was the current object of his camera. “Only a guess?”

    Quinn glanced over her shoulder and regarded their victim whose genitals had been cut off and stuffed into his mouth. “Yes, you do have a point,” she said wryly. She turned back to collecting samples of the blood spattered all over the walls and pooled on the floor and mattress. “So how long have you been with the department?” she asked.

    “Three years,” Mac replied, moving to the other side of the bed and turning his attention to the female victim that
    was draped across the chest of the dead man and staring sightlessly at the ceiling.

    “That’s it?” Quinn said in some surprise.

    Mac shrugged, “There was an opening here, took some science in back in college, figured I’d go for it.”

    “Oh? Where at?” Quinn asked, interested.

    “Northwestern,” Mac answered.

    “A Chicago boy huh?” Quinn drawled, dragging out the ‘a’ in ‘Chicaaago’ exaggeratedly.

    “mm-hmm,” Mac replied, purposefully paying closer attention than really necessary to the laceration which had transected the female victim’s neck nearly all the way through the trachea, and hoped Quinn wouldn’t start grilling him further about his past. He would always love Chicago and Lake Michigan, whose beach never failed to bring him a sense of peace; but the city was filled with haunted ghosts for him, and most times he preferred not to dwell much on it.

    “So’d you get sick of the lab or something in school and go to the academy to have some fun on the street? Or was taking pictures of dead bodies where you planned to end up?” Quinn queried.

    Mac laughed, distracted by Quinn’s persistent line of questioning before he started brooding. “Not exactly,” he said,
    “I spent a few years with the Marines. Originally thought I might retire from the Corp.”

    “Wait, a few years with the Marines?” Quinn asked, puzzled, doing a mental double-take, “How old are you?”


    Quinn restudied him carefully in surprise for a few seconds. “I would never have guessed it,” she said in appreciation.

    Mac smiled. “Believe it,” he said wryly.

    “So why didn’t you?”

    “Why didn’t I what?” Mac asked.

    “Do your twenty and retire?”

    Mac cleared his throat, images of all his deployments and the look of unspoken hope in Claire’s eyes when he had first mentioned not re-signing and his father clinging to the last shreds of his life in a hospital bed, all swirling through his head. “Life,” he said simply.

    Quinn nodded, sensing Mac didn’t want to say anymore, and left the subject.


    Mac cut the thin cord that had tied the male victim spread eagle on the bed, so the coroner’s office could take him away. He grimaced at the torture the man had been put through, even though it wasn’t the first time he’d seen such a thing and worse. Quinn and most people might be surprised that he was as old as he was, but he sometimes felt far older even than that. But he’d been plunged long ago into dealing with sights and situations and emotions and responsibilities that most people never had to deal with their entire lives. It was a very weary, lonely feeling, and sometimes he still found himself simply sitting staring off into space, his soul feeling as used up as though he was at the end of his life and not even less than half-way through it. It was those times that Claire would simply sit next to him, slip her arms around his neck and lay her head on his shoulder in quiet, unspoken understanding of the indescribable weight he carried with him. And the ache of both the mental and physical scars he endured, would ease, the ghosts haunting him fading to the distant recesses of his mind. She was his life, and could never know just how much he loved her.

    “Well, like I suspected, no one’s heard or seen a damn thing,” Kingsley said, coming back in the bedroom.

    “What do you already know about this local power-house?” Mac asked, his drifting train of thought instantly interrupted.

    “Name’s Victor Rivera, and he’s got a very violent reputation,” Kingsley said dryly.

    Mac arched an eyebrow, “Why does that not surprise me.”

    “Well yes, quite,” Kingsley said.

    “Wife? Girlfriend?” Mac queried.

    “Wife,” Kingsley replied grimly, “Although we don’t have an ID on who she is exactly. You think this is her?”

    “She’s not wearing a ring,” Mac said, “But if she was having an affair with whoever our male victim is, I’m not surprised. And this whole thing has vindictive rage written all over it. Do you have any idea on who our guy is?”

    Kingsley slowly shook his head in thought. “No,” he said, “He looks vaguely familiar, but it’s hard to tell with how beat up his face is. Did you find any ID on him?”

    Mac shook his head, “Any clothes they had, were taken, and I’d assume his wallet went with them. If he is any associate of Rivera, odds are he’ll show up in the database.”

    Kingsley nodded, and turned as one of the uniformed officers came up to tell him something.

    From the doorway, Harris simply leaned back and watched as his newest detective took easy charge of the investigation, despite the fact that both him and Quinn were there. He was impressed with how fast Taylor had pieced together their suspect, the visual evidence at the scene and his subsequent line of questions for Kingsley. Even Harris hadn’t connected it any quicker. He’d been rather skeptical initially based solely on Mac’s application, because despite his superb record, he had only been on the department for three years with no prior police background. But any reservations he might have had were quickly blown away after interviewing him. There was a quiet, sharp intensity to the man that spoke of more experience that could one could put on paper, and even though it had only been two weeks, Harris had been nothing but impressed since. He had no doubts that whatever Taylor decided to do with his career, he would go far. Harris only hoped the new detective would stay with his department.


    “Well your guy is definitely one of Rivera’s associates,” Giles said, handing Harris a printed report sheet. Harris passed it to Mac.

    It had taken them the better part of the prior afternoon to finish processing the apartment, and the small bedroom had been fairly littered with yellow evidence markers by the time they were done. Whoever had committed the crime hadn’t made even the slightest effort at restraint, and one could have created nearly a series of instructional lectures from the blood spatter that had been on all four walls and the ceiling.

    “And not just any associate. His right-hand man, Vincent Quinterro,” Giles continued. “And yes, his final COD is exsanguination from the obvious mutilation, despite taking quite the beating first.”

    “So he was very much alive for it all,” Mac said.

    “I’m afraid so,” Giles said with a wince, “Poor bastard.”

    “What about our female victim?” Harris asked. “Any id on her yet?”

    The ME pushed his glasses up and walked around to the table which was next to where Quinterro was lying, “Sophie Marie Rivera. She showed up due to a felony trespassing charge five years ago.”

    Harris and Mac exchanged a look.

    “Why? You know who she is?” Giles asked, looking between the two.

    “A pretty good idea, yes,” Harris said. “You got anything on her besides, again, the obvious?” he indicted the transected neck.

    “I do, and I think it should help you. There are hand and finger bruises on both her arms where she was held and presumably forced to watch whatever was done to our poor bastard over there,” Giles gestured back to Quinterro,

    “And I found quite a bit trace under her fingernails from where she’d obviously fought back… abrasions on her
    knuckles… whoever did this, is definitely going to have marks on them.”

    Harris nodded, “Thanks, Leonard.” Just then his phone rang, “Detective Harris…” he answered, turning and ambling a few steps away. “Yeah?... You sure?... What did he say?... uh huh… Here’s the problem with that…”

    Giles regarded Mac who had hardly said anything the entire time, but nonetheless, had had nothing but the most studied attention and interest on his face. He stuck out his hand, “Leonard Giles. I’ve seen you down here, but I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m the head ME down in our ‘vault’.”

    Mac smiled and shook the other man’s hand. He had taken an instant liking to the meticulous Medical Examiner who looked like he should be teaching in one of those old-fashioned college lecture halls. “Mac Taylor,” he replied.

    “So how many people have you been introduced to and expected to remember so far?” Giles asked with a quiet amusement.

    “Quite a few,” Mac laughed.

    “You got a wife? Kids?”

    “Wife. No kids,” Mac replied.

    “Just as well,” Giles grimaced, “I have an nine year old who thinks she seventeen. Oh the drama! I don’t think I want to know what seventeen will look like,” he continued.

    Mac nodded sympathetically, but felt the familiar twinge whenever anybody talked about their kids or asked if he had any. His and Claire’s decision to at least put off having any themselves, had been paradoxically both the easiest and hardest decision they’d made. While he was still a recon infantry officer in the Marines, it had been a foregone and very natural conclusion on both their parts. But then with his subsequent line of work and both of them establishing their respective careers in NYC and simply enjoying being married, they had never seriously revisited the subject. And if he was perfectly honest with himself about it, he would have to confess he was torn on the subject, his intimate knowledge and experience with the dark and very mortal side of life, providing both the best and worst reasons for bringing a child into the middle of it all.

    “…yeah ok. I’ll be right there…” Harris shoved his phone into his pocket and turned back around. “Mac? Call Kingsley, let him know what we got, and see if he’s managed to track down Rivera. I have to go the DA’s office and sort out something about a case from a couple months back.” He rolled his eyes. “You alright going with Kingsley to question our guy?”


    “Ok. I’ll catch up with you as soon as I point this DA assistant towards the light at the end of his arsehole,” Harris said, with another roll of his eyes. “You go see if our dear boy Rivera knows anything his wife ending up on poor Dr. Giles’ table.”
  4. mulder42

    mulder42 Corpse

    Jul 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I just read all your posts, Jade...I really like it. You really went into details regarding the medical/physical stuff. I read your profile, so I guess you know what you write--I'm impressed! :)

    Liking it so far...will Quinn cause problems later? This is the same Quinn that's a New Jersey CSI, that worked with Mac on the Cabbie Killer case, right? They had a past, so I know this might cause some angst/drama/trouble. ;)
  5. Jade_Nolan

    Jade_Nolan CSI Level One

    Nov 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Thanks mulder! :D And yes, it is the same Quinn, but this is just their introduction, and nothing related to the incident that they referenced in s4 is going to be in, but as you can see, there is established ground work for my further explorations into Mac's past ;)

    And now, the next update :)

    Chapter 4

    Kingsley pulled up opposite one of the buildings Rivera was reputed to hang out, and where one of his contacts had finally indicated that Rivera was currently favouring. The two detectives got out of the car and surveyed the abandoned apartment building. Behind them, the squad car with the two uniformed patrol cops they had brought with them for backup also parked and exited their vehicle.

    Mac was actually quite glad to get out of the lab and be doing something he was more comfortable with. Claire had often told him he expected and demanded far too much out of himself. But he couldn't bring himself to do less, and right now, going to question a very dangerous and violent drug dealer felt far less stressful to him than the pressure of refamiliarizing himself with a lab and catch up on the technology which had mercilessly advanced on without him.

    The two detectives and the two officers crossed the street and headed up to the top floor of the building.

    "Well well well, look who it is. Seems like the good folks of the New York Police Department have seen fit to pay us a visit," the man in the center of the room drawled, looking up as Mac, Kingsley, and the two officers entered the room which had been right off the elevator. The rest of the occupants of the abandoned apartment suite drifted over to stand menacingly behind him.

    "Victor Rivera?" Kingsley asked.

    "I might be, I might be," the man said. "And who are you? Them," he indicated the uniformed officers, "Them, I know who they are. But you, you could be anybody."

    Mac found his patience rapidly disappearing at Rivera's attitude.

    "I'm Detective Kingsley, this is Detective Taylor," Kingsley said with an wave of his hand in Mac's direction. "We need to ask you a couple questions."

    "Ask away," Rivera said. "Can't promise you an answer though."

    "Where's Quinterrro?" Mac cut in impatiently.

    "Not here, obviously," Rivera said with a little grin.

    "Yes, I know that," Mac interrupted shortly, "Otherwise I wouldn't be here asking you about him, now would I? Where and when was the last time you saw him?"

    Rivera's demeanor chilled a couple of degrees as he realized Mac was not going to play along with his bluster. "This morning," he replied, "I sent him out to do a couple things for me."

    Mac took a couple steps forward. "And your wife?" he continued.

    "My wife?" Rivera blustered.

    "Yes, your wife. When and where was the last time you saw her?"

    "This morning," Rivera said, voice icy.

    "You're lying," Mac said. "This is where they've been the past two days." He handed Rivera the autopsy photos of Quinterro and Rivera's wife lying in the morgue.

    Rivera studied the photos for several long seconds, any shred of bouncing bravado disappearing, instead replaced with a dangerous calm. When he looked back up, his eyes were two blocks of steel. He slowly handed the pictures back to Mac.

    "I suggest, detectives," he said very quietly, "That you simply leave well enough alone while you still can."

    Mac took another couple steps forward, oblivious to the fact that Kingsley reached out a hand to try to tug him back.

    He glanced at Rivera and noticed a bite mark, clearly new, on the man's right forearm.

    "Where'd you get that?" Mac asked nodding towards the injury.

    "That isn't any of your business," Rivera said.

    "I think it's very much my business," Mac replied in as equally quiet of a voice. "In fact I'll tell you exactly what's my business."

    Those standing behind Rivera shifted uneasily, as the tension between the two men facing each other off, grew palpable.

    "I think you found out they were having an affair," Mac held up the two pictures again.

    Rivera simply stared at them, face rigid.

    "I think you found out, and just couldn't stand that these two, of all the people in the whole world, would go and do something like that. After all, I don't doubt you loved her, loved her too much and she sought out someone else. Someone else more…understanding."

    Rivera's lips pressed tight together, and his eyes flashed.

    "But you loved her, you really did," Mac continued. "She just couldn't see that. But with Quinterro? Your 2nd in command? Your most trusted compatriot? That was too much. And how could he betray you like that? They deliberately mocked you. And why not? After all, if you can't even keep the ones closest to you loyal, you deserved to be shown up."

    Kingsley, along with everyone else in the room, watched in hushed silence, all of them afraid of setting off the explosion that was sure to happen if someone so much as breathed wrong. Kingsley had to admit, this new detective had guts. He wasn't sure even he could bring himself to be that blunt with Rivera.

    Across from Mac, Rivera stared down the detective who was standing in front of him, acutely aware of his men standing behind him and the impression this whole thing was making.

    "I wouldn't have said that, Detective," Rivera said, his voice glacier cold. "I told you, business, was taken care of. Now, I suggest you leave… while you can."

    Mac gave him one last, long stare. "Next time I'll be back, it'll be with a warrant," he said, and turned back towards Kingsley and the two uniformed officers.


    "Be careful, Mac," Harris warned him when Mac had brought him up to speed on the events of the afternoon. "Rivera is not a man to be trifled with. Although," he chuckled, "I would have loved to have seen all that." Harris crammed a couple of folders into an already over-flowing box, and shoved it underneath his desk, giving it a little kick to urge it exactly where he wanted it to go. "You headed home?" he asked.

    Mac nodded, "Yes, actually."

    Harris pretended to look shocked. "What? No staying here and being hunched over the lab table or microscope for hours? This'll make the first time since your intro orientation day that you haven't!"

    Mac smiled somewhat sheepishly, "No, not tonight. Claire has the day off so she's making some sort of special dinner that I even have to pick up dill/rosemary goat cheese for."

    Harris coughed sympathetically. "Good luck with that one, Mac," he said, as Mac turned his office door handle to leave.

    Mac chuckled, "Thanks!"

    "See you tomorrow," Harris told him, fishing another couple folders out from a box that was also stashed half under his desk.

    Mac headed out, infinitely looking forward to a relaxing evening with Claire (whatever she was experimenting with for dinner regardless), and maybe even a good night's sleep.


    Mac winced as his radio suddenly hissed loudly with scratchy static, and his hand flew to his belt. He'd forgotten to drop it off before leaving. He swore to himself. Oh well, he was going back in tomorrow, no point in returning it now. Turning the volume on it all the way down, he slouched his left hand on top of his steering wheel and turned his attention back to finding a parking spot. Dill and rosemary goat cheese? What the hell did one use dill and rosemary goat cheese for? Mac shook his head, a bit dubious about Claire's new dish she wanted to try out. Spying a spot that someone was fortuitously just pulling away from, Mac expertly parallel parked next to the curb, and walked the block back towards the shop that had this special, all-important goat cheese.

    He pushed the shop door open, and as the sound of the jingling bell died, he let his brain have a moment of totally overwhelmed bafflement at the shelves and displays and strange food that presented themselves to him. Immediately abandoning the idea of finding anything on his own, Mac headed to the counter.

    The shopowner looked up. "Can I help you?" he asked.

    "Yeah, I need dill/rosemary goat cheese?" Mac replied uncertainly with arch of his eyebrow.

    "Oh yeah, right here," the shopowner said, pointing out a large lump of green-flecked, old cream-cheese looking stuff. "How much do you want?"

    "Oh, um…"

    Mac hadn't thought to ask Claire how much she needed. He had assumed it came packaged like every other cheese he bought at the grocery store. Clearly, it didn't.

    "You can get it ¼ lb increments," the shopowner offered helpfully.

    That still didn't tell Mac how much Claire wanted, just by how much he could be off by. "Can you hang on a second?" he asked.

    The shopowner nodded.

    Mac fished his phone out of his pocket and turned away from the counter as he dialed their apartment number. He waited for Claire to answer as their phone rang.


    He half-smiled at the sound of her voice, despite his frustration.

    "Hi honey," he answered. "How much cheese did you need?"

    "um…12oz I think," Claire told him. "Hang on, let me double check."

    Mac could hear dishes and pans clink together as Claire extricated her recipe card folder from under whatever she had stacked on top of it. He sighed as the mental image of what the counters must look like filled his mind. He smiled apologetically over his shoulder at the shopowner who waited patiently.

    "Here it is!" Claire said triumphantly. "Yes, 12oz."

    "Ok," Mac replied. "Do you want me to just get a full pound so you can have a bit extra if you want it?"

    "Yeah actually. That's a really good idea," Claire said enthusiastically.

    "I have my moments," Mac said dryly. "Right, I'll be home in a little bit."

    "Sounds good," Claire replied. "Love you sweetie."

    "Love you too," Mac said, and flipped his phone closed. He turned back around to the long suffering shopowner. "I'll have a pound, please," he told him.


    Mac slid his sunglasses on as he pushed the shop door open and headed back up the street towards his car. But as he crossed the street and walked past a delivery truck which had been obscuring his view of his car, he saw someone facing and leaning against his drivers door, clearly trying to jimmy it open.

    "Hey!" he shouted, dropping the small bag of cheese and his right hand unsnapping his gun holster.

    The attempted car thief looked over his shoulder at Mac. He grinned at him maliciously before running off down the street.

    Furious, Mac dashed after him.

    The little bastard was fast, and he nearly lost sight of him as they bolted across a street. Car horns blared as they crossed against the light, and Mac half-jumped half-slid across the hood of a taxi as it slammed on its brakes to avoid hitting him. The driver swore colourfully at him out his open window. Mac paid no attention. Without missing a beat, he twisted lithely out of the way of an SUV who also skidded their tires and laid relentlessly on the horn as he cut in front of it.

    Mac felt a surge of almost joy. The adrenaline rush of the situation filled him, and he embraced it fully. As much as he liked his new position and the opportunities it gave him, he hadn't fully realized how much part of him acutely missed the rough and tumble side of being in patrol. To say he'd spent his entire career up until now in an adrenaline charged atmosphere, would be an understatement of vast proportions, and adjusting to the lack of it was proving a rather unexpected and not entirely pleasant surprise.

    Reaching the other side of the street, Mac saw the man he was chasing duck down the next alley he came to. Skipping sideways to avoid a kid barreling towards him on a bicycle, Mac rounded the corner and into the narrow alley which had staggered garbage bins from one end to the next, and that seemingly perpetual dampness. He could feel sweat start tracing along his back and down his chest from the exertion of the full speed chase, and his hair clung to his neck and forehead.

    Then suddenly two additional men appeared at the end of the alley and started walking towards him and his pursuant, who began to slow down. Mac felt a thrill of unease course through him, every alarm bell in his mind screaming at him. The man he was chasing hadn't been trying to break into his car at all, but rather, ensuring he would get Mac to follow him into this alley. Mac pulled to a halt and drew his gun.

    "Stop! Hold it right there! NYPD, put your hands in air!"
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  6. Jade_Nolan

    Jade_Nolan CSI Level One

    Nov 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 5

    Mac took a couple of deep breaths and forced his heart rate and respirations down to a slightly more normal level.

    Both the man he was chasing, and the two who had appeared shortly after rounding the corner, stopped in their tracks.

    “Put your hands in the air!” Mac repeated.

    The one he’d been pursing spread his hands out at his sides and slowly turned around, a smile slowly spreading across his face. The bad feeling that been niggling in Mac’s chest, spread.

    Then he heard footsteps behind him and turned just in time to see the handle of a gun smash into the side of his head. He fell to the ground, stunned, blood making its way down his face from a gash that instantly opened. As he tried to regain his orientation and stop the world from spinning, the wind was knocked out of him as a boot connected just under his rib cage with enough force to throw him sideways. His own gun flew out of his hand and skittered along the pavement. He gasped for air, and his already hazy vision blurred even further. Then blows came from every direction as he was surrounded and beaten………
    …… He would have cried out as his arm broke if it hadn’t have been for a following blow to his side, breaking ribs and knocking the wind out of him again…….
    …… He felt his strength eek away, and gradually stopped trying to evade the blows…….
    ……Hands ruthlessly grabbed his battered body, and he let out a choked cry as they wrenched on his broken arm and unstable ribs. Unable to support his own weight, Mac hung limply between the men holding him up, head drooped forward……
    ……“I’m not good at obeying thugs,” Mac choked out between short, painful breaths. His tongue felt thick and his words were slurred……
    ……Rivera took a couple of running steps towards Mac, bringing the tire iron back with both hands. He swung it full force at Mac’s unprotected belly. Pain like Mac hadn’t known exploded through his midsection, and despite being held on each side, he folded over. Rivera hit him again and again. Mac choked on blood in the back of his throat, and through the merciless white sheet of agony, he knew he was really severely injured……
    ……“No one crosses and humiliates me!” Rivera shouted. “No one!” He crossed the small distance between them. He grabbed Mac’s blood matted hair, yanking his head up and pressing his gun back into his neck. “You hear me?!” he all but screamed at him, spit flying. “NO ONE!!!”……Then in one motion, he turned with a yell and hit Mac across the side of the head with his gun. Already almost-unconscious, Mac’s head snapped to the side and back front. Blood poured down his face as the laceration from the earlier blow opened wider……

    ……They dropped him unceremoniously and left. Mac crumpled to the ground. He lay motionless and barely breathing, in so much pain his brain didn’t even know how to register it anymore. Somehow, he managed to retain enough presence of mind to push the little orange emergency button on his radio which was still clipped to his belt. He heard the dispatcher say something to try to reach him over the open mic channel that was now keyed to his radio. But he couldn’t even understand what she was saying, let alone hope to answer……

    ……He was so cold, and when it came right down to it, he was scared. Facing death and injury in battle was one thing, feeling it slowly and inexorably creep up on him was another. His eyes closed despite his efforts, and he lay alone, unconscious, his blood tracing a slow path along the pavement.


    Jim Harris’ phone rang. He set down the folder he had been studying. “Harris,” he answered.

    “Hello, Detective? This Heidi from dispatch. We’ve gotten an emergency alert from a radio logged out to one of your detectives, and we haven’t been able to get an answer or a ‘cancelation’ from him. A…” the dispatcher paused, “Detective Mac Taylor? Do you know where he is?”

    Harris sat up straight, the case he had been reviewing entirely forgotten.

    “No, I don’t. He left work about an hour ago.”

    ”Well we haven’t been able to get a hold of him, and all that’s coming across the channel is background intermittent traffic noise. All we can tell is that he’s not in a particularly busy area, or at least his radio isn’t.”

    “Thank you,” Jim said hurriedly to the dispatcher, “Keep that channel open, I’ll send one of my people over to see if we can help narrow down a location.” He pushed the disconnect button without hanging up the receiver, and immediately dialed Mac’s number. But Mac didn’t answer. He redialed again. “Dammit Mac, pick up,” he muttered. But all he got was Mac’s voicemail.

    Harris stood up, grabbing his own radio and keys off his desk. He made a beeline for the elevator. “Quinn!” he called as he marched down the hall, “I need you to get central dispatch to patch an open emergency alert channel that they have, up here, and track down where’s it coming from. Now!”

    Quinn looked up from the phone call she was on, puzzled. “Hang on,” she said to the person she was talking to. “Sure, Jim. What’s going on?” she called after him.

    Harris looked over his shoulder as he pushed the elevator button, “Taylor’s missing.”


    Jim picked up the radio mic from his center console as he skidded his car out of the parking ramp, “Dispatch, 8137, any update on that emergency alert?”

    “Negative, Detective. Still no contact.”

    He swore colorfully to himself as he drove across the city. On a hunch he took a route which would take him in the direction of Mac’s apartment, even though there was no guarantee that his choice of how to get there would have been Mac’s. Still, it was as good a guess as any, and better than simply driving around in an increasingly wide radius.

    Harris peered up and down the streets, the minutes and blocks ticking by, and there was no sign or word from his missing detective. Harris’ stomach settled from unease to downright Han Solo-I-have-a-bad-feeling-about-this kind of level.

    Then he spotted Mac’s car parked along the side of one of the streets, and skidded to a stop. Not caring that he blocked off an entire lane of traffic, Harris threw on his emergency lights, parked his car and got out. He hurried over to Mac’s vehicle. It was empty. Swearing, Harris glanced around. There was no sign of Mac anywhere, up or down the street. On a whim he headed south, glancing down the narrow alleyways that formed myriads of crisscrossing shortcuts from one street to the next.

    He crossed one, two, then three streets at a slow jog, shouldering deftly past other pedestrians, without a sight of his missing detective. A sinking feeling threatened to take over his chest. It had been a good 15 minutes since he had received the call, and probably at least 25 since the alert had first been activated. As time passed without any contact from Mac, the odds that he was in genuine trouble rose exponentially.

    And finally, glancing down a side alley, he saw a familiar figure, lying face down on the pavement and not moving. A knife twisted Harris’ insides, and he ran towards him, praying he didn’t find the worst.

    “Mac! Mac!!” he called.

    The man didn’t move.

    Harris’ heart plummeted as he reached his fallen detective.

    “Ah Jesus,” he breathed, dread settling into his stomach as he saw the extent of the injuries Mac had sustained. He dropped to the ground next to Mac and rolled him up onto his side, gently lifting his head out of the pool of blood in which he had been lying.


    Mac’s eyes didn’t so much as flicker beneath his closed eyelids, and his body was completely limp. Harris steadied Mac’s back against his knees and supported the young detective’s head in the crook of his left arm while he almost frantically keyed his radio.

    “Dispatch, I have an officer down and unresponsive at 112th and Ophelia, in the alley just south of 112th. I need a bus here now!!” Harris didn’t even pay attention to what dispatch said to him beyond their acknowledgement of his request. He double-checked to make sure Mac was still breathing.

    He was. Barely. The young man’s respirations were so shallow that Harris had to rest his hand on Mac’s chest in order to detect them. Given what he knew of Mac’s background, Harris wondered what the hell had happened to have ended in such a result.

    “Come on,” he urged Mac gently, “Hang in there! Hang in there.” He willed for the ambulance to get there sooner.


    The microwave dinged at the exact moment the station tones went off. Morgan threw up her hands in exasperation. “Every fucking time!” she swore in frustration.

    “I’m telling you,” her partner chuckled, “Just don’t do it. It’s cursed.”

    I’m cursed,” Morgan grumbled, “And how exactly am I supposed to eat if I don’t heat it up?”

    “It’s still edible, cold,” her partner said, grinning.

    Morgan threw the roll of paper towels at him. “Fuck. you!” she said viciously.

    Justin ducked the flying missile, and burst out laughing.

    Then dispatch interrupted them with the info about their impending call, “Station 22, respond priority one to 112th and Ophelia, in the alley south off 112th, on an officer down, unresponsive, possible not breathing.

    “Ah fuck,” Morgan said, swearing for the third time in almost as many sentences, her stomach twisting icily. Although this time it had nothing to do with a cursed microwave. She and Justin all but ran out to the garage and their truck.


    Morgan had never run on a call where an officer had been injured. She both did and didn’t want to. On the one hand the call itself was one they all dreaded hearing go out. They and the police might work for different departments and never back down from their ages old rivalry, but ultimately they were all one. They were united in watching out for their city. And if one them did pay for that duty with their blood, Morgan wanted to be the one to make sure that blood didn’t turn into a life.

    As they pulled up to the scene, Morgan’s jaw all but dropped at the sheer number of cop cars that were crowding the street. She wondered just how they were going to get anywhere close. But at the appearance of the ambulance, there was a scurry of activity, the sea of vehicles parted, and before she knew it, they had been ushered through. She parked the truck at the end of the alley and jumped out. As she quickly went around to the back and threw the jump bag on the stretcher, she addressed the uniformed sergeant who had precipitated their access to the scene.

    “Do you know what happened?” she asked him.

    “Looks like he got jumped and beat really bad,” the sergeant answered, agitation and impatience radiating off him.

    “Is he breathing?” Morgan asked, the dispatch info echoing in her head.

    “I don’t know… I think so,” the sergeant replied.

    Morgan heaved a huge internal sigh of relief. She did not want to work a possible cardiac arrest on a police officer, or worse ever, have to pronounce him dead on scene. The angry, hyped energy crackling on the air was bad enough now. She hated to think the intensity it would turn in to if the officer died right there.

    The downed officer was young but clearly already a detective of some sort, lying crumpled on his side in a pool of blood that was still slowly trickling from an enormous gash on the side of his head that looked as if it went all the down to his skull. His right arm was obviously broken, and Morgan could see a thin line of blood and a triangular shine of white a couple inches above his wrist where the bones had broken through.

    “What’s his name?” Morgan asked, all but throwing herself on her knees next to him, not caring that her uniform pants became instantly soaked in his blood, and checking for his pulse and breathing at the same time. Both were far too fast and barely detectable. At least they were there.

    “Mac. Mac Taylor,” the older man in shirtsleeves who had been kneeling behind him and holding him up responded in a shaken voice. His partner, Morgan guessed, noting the detective badge on the man’s belt as well.

    “Mac. Mac! Can you hear me?” Morgan called.

    Not a shred of a response. The familiar sinking feeling of a really bad call settled with dread in Morgan’s stomach. “How long has he been down?” she asked.

    The older man shook his head, “I don’t know exactly. 45 minutes maybe?”

    Morgan nodded grimly. “Justin, we gotta get going,” she said. But her partner had already anticipated her request, and in less than two minutes, the young detective was in the back of their truck and Morgan was cutting off his shirt while Justin hooked him up to their equipment. Transferring him from the ground to their stretcher had finally elicited sounds of pain from him, which Morgan had greeted with grim relief as a sign he wasn’t entirely unresponsive. But Morgan’s stomach sank again as she removed his blood-soaked shirt. She could barely tell where one bruise stopped and another started. But even worse than his clearly broken ribs, his entire abdomen was rigid and miscoloured. He was bleeding internally, and bad. She and Justin exchanged a knowing look.

    “You ready to go?” Justin asked.

    “Yeah,” Morgan said. “I’ll do everything else en route.”

    Justin nodded, and jumped out the side door. He backed carefully out of the sea of cops. Morgan heard the sirens start back up as they headed down the road, and she did her best to ensure the dark-haired detective who was stubbornly fighting for his life in the back of her truck, kept it.
  7. mulder42

    mulder42 Corpse

    Jul 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I hope Mac pulls through. Really lovin' it, Jade! :thumbsup:

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