DISCLAIMER: "Crossing Jordan" and all its characters don't belong to me. They are the property of series creator Tim Kring, Tailwind Productions, and NBC. I merely borrowed them for my story.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: While I liked the episode itself (the acting of the ending scene was brilliant) I hate to see good characters go. I was just starting to like Lu :( This is my way to ignore the ending of 33 Bullets :) Thank you, Cris, for your help and encouragment! Thanks, Maria for beta-reading!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: "33 Bullets" 6x03.
Don't Let Go
"I'll go with you." Jordan followed Lu to the elevator and was momentarily shocked when it opened and a dozen wounded civilians entered the morgue.
Boston was in a state of emergency after an eight year old, black boy was shot to death by white police officers who claimed he was holding a gun. There were thirty-three bullet holes in his little body and the coroner, Jordan Cavanaugh, had to testify in court that there was gunshot residue on the boy's hands seeming to prove he had indeed fired a gun.
The people on the street didn't want to believe that, and right after the first hearing at court, the riots started.
"We can't bring them to the hospital. It's too dangerous!" Woody helped a guy with an injured leg. "Wait! Where are you going?" he shouted when he realized where the two women were heading.
"Back to the crime scene, there's got to be some more evidence." Jordan threw Woody one of her don't-argue-with-me-now-looks.
"Did you hear one word I just said?" He yelled helping the guy sit down then hurried to jump in the elevator before the doors closed. "There's a riot outside and they're shooting anything that moves."
"Yes, and we've got to stop it. We need to prove what really happened in that ally. We have to find whatever black object that kid was clenching because it sure wasn't that gun we recovered."
"Then we go and find it as soon as we get the situation on the street under control and " Woody argued.
"The evidence might not exist by then anymore." Lu cut him off. "The streets are burning!"
Jordan felt her heart sink with the elevator. Sometimes she hated her own courage. She knew exactly how dangerous it was out there. But they had to do something, anything to stop it.
The traces of black paint Jordan had just found during a second examination had to prove the boy's innocence. If the cops were dirty, they probably hid whatever it was somewhere in that ally.
"You've got a car outside?" Lu asked without looking at Woody.
"Yeah, I've got a squad car." They walked through the entrance hall towards the street. Shots could be heard from further away and a trashcan across the road was burning. Otherwise the street was empty.
Woody walked to the trunk of the squad car, took out two bullet-proof vests and handed one to each woman. Jordan and Lu threw each other a knowing look and donned the offered protection.
Making sure his own vest was tightly secured under his shirt, Woody sat behind the wheel and they started their trip to hell. Woody drove ahead , Jordan and Lu following behind in the coroner's van.
The black plastic toy was finally found after they had searched every corner, every trashcan and every hole in the wall at the crime scene. Jordan wasn't surprised but Lu and Woody looked a little shocked. Those cops were their colleagues after all.
Bagging the toy airplane into a paper bag, Jordan saw a truck driving slowly by the alley. Lu and Woody were alarmed by the wide-open eyes of the brunette and then everything happened at once.
A group of people on the back of the truck armed with rifles and guns threw a Molotov-cocktail at the squad car. The flammable liquid spread over the whole car and the flames lighted the entire alley. Then the shooting erupted and bullets invaded the small alley. Jordan dropped to the ground and watched in shock as Lu was hit by a hail of bullets and knocked to the ground.
Jordan pulled Lu out of the line of fire and behind the coroner's van. Woody returned fire but the gang's truck squealed around the corner and was gone.
"Lu!" Jordan shouted and checked for a pulse. "Lu, wake up!" Jordan looked at Woody who kneeled down beside them. "What do you need me to do?" he asked, nervously fiddling with the latex gloves he'd been wearing.
"She was hit four times, probably automatic weapon." Jordan loosened the vest and stared at the slugs embedded in the Kevlar. Her heart racing, she quickly ripped the vest from Lu's chest. "She's not breathing! The impact must have stopped her heart. Get the AED, now!" Jordan bent forward, her mouth covering Lu's providing her with life saving rescue breaths.
The squad car was still burning. Woody used a table leg he found in the garbage to open the trunk of the standard equipped squad car, which included an automatic external defibrillator. If they were lucky, it wasn't damaged.
It took only seconds for Woody to race back to the two women. He watched as Jordan pulled away Lu's white blouse and tore open the kit to attach the pads on her chest. Cursing because it took so long to charge, she signalled Woody to stay clear and then the AED buzzed to life shocking Lu's heart. Checking the blonde's pulse again, Jordan sighed when she could feel it. Wiping some sweat off her forehead with her arm, Jordan smiled at Woody who visibly relaxed.
"We need to get her to a hospital." Jordan knew they hadn't won yet. She started checking for other injuries and wasn't surprised to find a nasty bleeding wound on the back of the blonde's head. Taking a gauze compress from the first aid kit, the coroner pressed it to the wound and looked over to Woody who was getting the stretcher from the coroner's car.
"I'll drive," he said after they had loaded Lu inside. Jordan knelt down next to the blonde and kept a close eye on her condition, pleased when she felt a strong pulse in her right wrist. Lu was still unconscious, her skin was pale and her clothes ripped. Jordan took her hand and brushed strands of blonde hair off her forehead.
"Don't you dare leave me like that," Jordan felt tears swell up in her eyes. It was her fault they had gone out in this chaos. It was her fault she had yet again dragged friends with her. And it was her own fault she had just really started to like the blonde detective.
"I can't breathe," Lu's voice was filled with panic.
"Hey!" Jordan looked up while quickly wiping away a tear that had made its way across her right cheek. "Take it easy." The coroner smiled, "you've been shot, you've probably got broken ribs, but you'll be fine."
"It hurts!" Lu cried softly and squeezed Jordan's hand tightly.
"I know, Sweetie! As soon as we arrive at the ER they'll give you some real good painkillers." Jordan tried her best to keep Lu from panicking. "I'm certainly not going to let you die on me here, before we can properly work out that stuff between us." It was hard for Jordan to watch Lu suffer so much. Caressing her cheek with her free hand, Jordan sniffed. "Okay?" she asked and waited for a reaction from the blonde.
Lu nodded. Just barely, but she nodded and then looked at Jordan with teary eyes. "Just make it stop, please."
"Just a few more minutes, I promise," Jordan kissed her forehead and closed her eyes. She hated not being able to do anything.
It felt like a lifetime until the van finally stopped and Woody opened the backdoor. He and Jordan pulled the stretcher from the van and wheeled the detective into the ER.
"Officer down, we need some help here!" Woody shouted as two men dressed in scrubs hurried over to them.
"Detective Simmons was shot in the chest four times. The bullets were all caught by her vest. We had to use an AED and she's got a pretty nasty gash on the back of her head," Jordan informed the doctor and squeezed Lu's hand once more when she saw the scared look in her eyes.
Waiting was the worst part of the whole damned day. They stood in the hallway filled with a dozen other people and watched the organized chaos around them. There were injured people coming into the ER every few minutes. The staff did what they could to triage patients, helping the most severely injured first.
Jordan had managed to call Garret and let him know what had happened. She informed him that they had found evidence the boy wasn't armed and that the crime scene was staged. She still had the evidence bag securely stuffed in the back of her jeans.
When the doors of the trauma room opened and they wheeled Lu out, Jordan pulled on Woody's sleeve. The doctor quickly scanned the crowd and then walked over to them while Lu's bed was taken to the elevator.
"Detective Simmons is out of critical condition. We did blood tests and x-rays. From the impact of the bullets she fractured five ribs, and three look displaced on the x-rays. She's also got a mild concussion. We'll take her upstairs to a room now and keep her under observation. She needs IV pain medication for the next twenty-four hours." With that he was gone, already on his way to the next emergency. Jordan was glad he wasn't one of the doctors that beat around the bush, instead getting straight to the point.
Since the doctor upstairs wouldn't let anyone in to see Lu yet, Jordan and Woody had drawn straws to see who would bring the evidence back to the morgue. Woody had lost and called for backup to escort him.
Jordan sank onto one of the chairs in the hallway. Head in her hands and her elbows on her knees, Jordan looked as miserable as she felt. One of the nurses brought her coffee, which she gratefully accepted, and they talked for a few minutes. All rooms were filled by now but the nurse told her that they were prepared and well staffed. It was strange how much quieter it was up here.
"Can I go in there for a few minutes? I won't wake her up, I promise," Jordan smiled desperately and the nurse sighed and nodded. "Ten minutes, but don't make me come in there to throw you out!" she warned and walked to the elevator which signalled new arrivals.
Standing in the doorway, Jordan bit her lip. She was glad cops still held some privileges like being assigned a private room. Normally there would have been a cop standing guard outside the room after an assault on an officer but with everyone on the street, things were working a little differently today.
The blonde's head was wrapped with a bandage and an IV was quietly dripping fluids into a vein in her left arm. She finally looked calm and out of pain. And alive! Jordan walked closer and stood by the bed for a few moments just watching. Then she carefully sat on the edge of the bed.
That was close, she thought. Too close.
She took Lu's pale hand in her own and rested them on her thigh. She didn't like Lu right from the start. She thought she was arrogant, a know-it-all, and she was messing with whatever she and Woody had. Jordan didn't know herself what that was but she didn't like Lu butting in. Jordan generally didn't like shrinks analysing her.
On the other hand, she slowly started to like the attitude. Lu would always speak her mind not caring if she stepped on any toes. Just like me, Jordan smiled.
She was pulled from her musings when the hand she was holding squeezed.
"Hi Lu!" Jordan grinned. She wanted to say more but she felt like choking.
"Hey!" the blonde was all smiles.
"I can see you've got good drugs here, just like I promised." Jordan moved a little closer.
"I can't feel a thing," Lu tried to move but Jordan quickly put her hands to her shoulders.
"That's really good for you but please take care. Stay put or the nurse will throw me out. I promised her I wouldn't wake you." Jordan put one finger to her lips. "Listen, you've got several broken and bruised ribs and you need to be very careful, okay?" Jordan explained but doubted that Lu understood one word she was saying. She just starred at her with a silly smirk on her face.
"Careful, got it." Lu narrowed her eyes but just couldn't focus on Jordan's face. Jordan smiled when Lu's eyes drifted shut once again and the blonde fell asleep.
Jordan watched her a little longer and when her back started protesting she got up and stretched. Sighing, Jordan strolled to the hallway and looked for anyone who could bring her up to date on how it was outside.
The next morning Jordan still sat in Lu's room. They had allowed her to stay with Lu, since she couldn't leave the hospital anyway, and the hallways and waiting rooms were all filled with people. Jordan had been so tired, she fell asleep her head pillowed on her arms which rested on Lu's bed.
Hearing footsteps Jordan slowly awoke and looked up to be greeted by a nurse.
"Hey," she mumbled and pulled her hair out of her face. Rubbing her face with her hands, Jordan tried to focus and then looked at her watch.
"How are things down there?" she asked.
"Calming down since the Major was on TV and the cops are being arrested." The nurse smiled and wrote down something on Lu's chart. "I hear you and your friend were a big part of it."
"I just wished it would have ended a little better for her." Jordan pressed her lips together and looked at the blonde detective who was still sound asleep.
Two days later, Jordan threw the note she brought with Lu's address on the passenger's seat and got out of her car. Garret had sent her home early after her interview with internal affairs and she thought better now than never.
Knocking twice, she waited and wondered if she should have called and if Lu even liked chocolate. Jordan was still deciding if she should throw the box away when the door opened.
"Jordan!" Lu narrowed her eyes. She looked genuine surprised. "Come in," the blonde, clad in a white top and grey sweatpants, stepped aside and opened the door further.
"Hi, Lu!" Jordan wanted to roll her eyes at how she sounded. She was glad to see the detective up and around though. Jordan entered the hallway and looked around.
"Living-room's to the right," the blonde walked past her and carefully sat down on the couch.
"Nice place," Jordan sat down next to her and let her eyes wander over the place. The living room and the kitchen were divided by a nice wooden bar made of dark wood with two stools. Jordan liked the way Lu's apartment was decorated in soft caramel colours highlighted with green and white accessories here and there.
"Thanks." Lu eyed her curiously. "Are you trying to bribe me? Because I have no influence on the entry in your personnel file, you know." Lu held her hand to her chest with every move she made.
"What?" Jordan looked like a deer caught in headlights and Lu pointed to the box with her free hand. "Oh, that!" Jordan held the chocolates out for Lu who didn't move. "Just a little get-well present." The brunette put the box on the table.
"Thanks." Lu cocked her head and smiled. "How did you know I love chocolates?" she asked suspiciously.
"Lucky guess. I thought if you don't like them, I'll eat 'em." Jordan grinned. "How are you?" she asked after a moment.
"Fine, I guess, been better though." Lu grimaced in pain when she pulled her legs on the stool in front of her. "The painkillers they prescribed me aren't half as good as the stuff at the hospital."
"Do you have someone to help you out?"
"Tom and Sheryl, my neighbours have been a great help. I just throw something at the wall and either one of them comes running."
"Sounds great! Good to know you're not on your own." Jordan played with her fingers. "Anything I can help you with?" she asked unsure.
"How about you fill me in on the case? My supervisors won't talk to me until internal affairs has interviewed me, which my doctor denied until tomorrow." Lu's hair fell in her face and she blew it out of her eyes.
"They talked to me and Woody and are probably interviewing Garret as we speak." Jordan had fixed them both a cup of tea since Lu wasn't allowed to drink coffee, and told her everything they had learned so far. "The Major wants this handled as quickly as possible." Jordan passed Lu her cup and winced when the blonde grimaced again.
"Don't mind me," Lu said when she caught her breath. "Doc says it'll be like this for a couple of weeks. I'll get used to it."
Jordan wanted to reply something but suddenly remembered how the blonde had begged her to make the pain stop just two days ago. She looked down at the cup in her hands.
"It must have looked pretty bad," Lu watched Jordan trying to keep her composure. "Have you talked about this to anyone other than internal affairs yet?" the blonde tried her best not to sound like the shrink she was.
Jordan took a deep breath and looked up. "No." She had wanted to, but there just was never the right time. Everyone was busy at the morgue, Lily had called in sick and Woody was tied up with work at the police station. It didn't help either that internal affairs had ordered her not to talk to anyone until their investigations were wrapped up.
"I guess I shouldn't even be here." Jordan tried to smile and hoped it didn't look too stupid.
"I won't tell anyone." Lu whispered back conspiratorially and patted Jordan's knee.
"Trying to save your reputation or mine?" Jordan raised an eyebrow.
"Can you tell me what happened in that alley?" Lu asked cautiously, "I can't remember a thing after we left the morgue."
Jordan looked her in the eyes for a moment and then sat and pulled one leg on the couch, her right arm resting on the back of the couch. "We looked for the kid's toy and just when I bagged it, those punks showed up in a truck and threw a Molotov-Cocktail at the police car. You were hit in the chest by four bullets and dropped to the ground like a sack potatoes." Jordan paused and saw the blonde swallow.
"The impact stopped your heart. Without the AED," Jordan couldn't bring herself to say that last words. She dealt with death on a daily basis but this was different. The tears she'd been holding back for the last two days finally made their way to the surface. Jordan sobbed, and ashamed, put her hands in front of her face.
Lu's eyes were watery as well as she cupped the back of the brunette's head and gently guided her to rest in her lap. She wanted to give her a hug so badly but knew that wasn't within her possibilities just yet. So she made do with caressing Jordan's neck and back as far as her protesting ribs allowed her.
Jordan slowly relaxed, the stress from the last days and weeks slowly leaving her system. The constant strokes over the back of her head and shoulders had a calming effect; the brunette even fell asleep. Lu didn't mind since the medication made her extremely tired and sitting around with minimal motion was perfect for her.
A knock on the door woke Jordan and she slowly lifted her head from where it had been resting in Lu's lap. For a second the brunette was confused but when the knock came a second time, she realized that someone was at the door.
"Just a second!" Lu shouted, and tried to sit up. "That's got to be Sheryl with my groceries."
"I'll get it," Jordan locked eyes with her and they starred at each other for a second, then she went to the hallway.
The blonde patient could hear them say hellos and introduce themselves. Sheryl was an engineer grad student and lived right next to her with her husband.
"So Jordan, are you a detective friend or just a friend-friend?" the neighbour asked when she and Jordan unpacked the paper bag.
"She's a friend," Lu looked over the top of the couch first to Sheryl, "and no, you don't want to know what she does for a living, and you Jordan, please don't make her lose her breakfast." Lu begged. She knew the student was extremely sensitive to anything gory and Jordan just couldn't keep from sharing just those details of her work.
"Coroner," Jordan smiled at Sheryl who nodded.
After the neighbour had left, Jordan stood in the living-room looking a little lost. She felt like she needed to say something about her earlier behaviour but didn't know how to bring it up. "I should get going, too," she said instead.
"I won't tell a soul," Lu sensed the other woman's discomfort, "We're all a little exhausted. Will you help me up?"
"Sure," Jordan helped the blonde put her legs to the floor and she put her arms around her neck and was pulling Lu to her feet. The coroner suddenly felt a little trapped between the stool, couch and table and stepped back.
"I'll walk you," Lu followed.
Jordan turned around after she had opened the door, "I guess I'll see you around."
They looked awkwardly at each other until Lu rolled her eyes and hugged Jordan as proper as she could manage. "One thing though," Lu let her arms rest on Jordan's shoulder, "I would like you to come back," she smiled.
"That's," Jordan frowned a bit, "cool," she didn't know where to put her hands. Was it inappropriate to keep them on the blonde's waist, she wondered. But Lu looked just fine the way they were and didn't move.
"And next time you want to kiss me, be assured you don't need Woody as a bystander." Lu placed a lingering kiss on her lips, "and if you don't want to, that's fine with me, too, we're even now." The blonde stepped aside and watched Jordan curiously.
Jordan walked out the door just to turn back around. She looked at Lu strangely and this was the first time the psychologist couldn't read the other woman.
The coroner narrowed her eyes and started grinning. "Do you maybe need some help with dinner?" she asked and followed the blonde detective into the living room for the second time that day.
I know an offer when I hear one, Jordan smirked. If the last days taught her anything, it was not to waste any time, life could be over way too soon.
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