DISCLAIMER: CSI New York and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement is intended. Eden Ashley is an original character. All mine.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debrafitzakerley[at]yahoo.co.uk

Eden Ashley Chronicles
By EdenAshley


Part 1

She stares out in front of her, fixated on the pale metal doors, waiting in anticipation for them to open. Knowing that when they do, she will have finally arrived at her new home, her new life. The 'ding' of the elevator, springs her from her thoughts. She swallows nervously as the doors slide open, and she's here, no turning back now, Welcome to New York Detective Ashley.

Detective Eden Ashley steps out into the lab, and surveys her new surroundings, a mish mash of Mustard and Glass, it certainly is a lot more modern than her last lab back in Detroit, and a lot busier. People scuttling around like ants, no one really noticing that she was even there. The nature of working in the city she supposed. She realises that she has been standing in the corridor for an abnormal amount of time, and if anyone had taken the time to notice her, she would look kinda crazy, and kinda lost. She spy's the reception desk and moves towards the small blonde woman manning it, she has a hugely over enthusiastic grin, but Ashley decides she looks pleasant enough.

"Welcome to the New York Crime Lab Ma'am. Can I help you?"

Ashley smirks at the use of the word Ma'am; it made her feel like the Queen. And surprisingly old.

"Hi. My name's Eden Ashley. I'm here to see Mac Taylor." Ashley reveals her old Detroit PD badge to the receptionist to confirm her latest statement. The receptionists smile grows even wider, she seems almost excited.

"Detective Ashley, welcome to New York. Detective Taylor is expecting you; you can go right on ahead into his office." The still unnamed receptionist, motions with her head towards a series of glass walls and doors, to her left. Ashley follows her shrug with her eyes, "Thanks very much." Ashley smiles warmly back at the petite woman, then heads in the direction of Mac's office.

The feeling from the elevator resurfaces, in the pit of her stomach. Nerves or excitement, she can't quite put her finger on it. Whatever it was it doesn't matter now, she is here now. She swallows the feelings, and looks into Mac's office; Mac is leaning over his desk engrossed in a file. Ashley has heard so much about Mac and his team here in New York. She jumped at the chance to move here and work with them all. Apparently her reputation preceded her as well, she hadn't even met Mac yet and he'd given her the job. It certainly adds an amount of pressure, to an already difficult situation. She just hopes she can live up to expectations, and not let Mac's faith in her down.

Ashley gently knocks on the glass door. Mac looks up from the folder, a beaming smile hits his face, as soon as he sees her, and he waves her in excitedly.

"Detective Ashley. Welcome to New York." Mac stands and offers his hand to Ashley as he is speaking, she gratefully accepts it, a matching grin erupts onto her face, apparently Mac's smile is infectious. "How are you finding it so far?"

"Great, well I have only been here for two days, but the Big Apple certainly is different to Boston. A much faster pace." She can't help but smile back at Mac, his face is so full of warmth. It's at this point Ashley starts to relax, and feels she has made the correct decision to leave Detroit. It's immediately comfortable and familiar here. She always knew leaving her comfort zone, and her friends and colleagues back in Detroit was going to be challenging, no doubt, but she's getting the feeling she won't regret it.

"Are you all moved into your apartment?"

"Well all my stuff is there. Whether you would call it 'moved in' I'm not sure. I think I'll be living out of boxes for a while." Ashley mentally glances to the scene at her apartment currently. Mayhem is the first word that springs to mind. Mac just laughs.

"Well if you need a hand, I and any of the guys here will be happy to help. Speaking of which, I think it's time I introduced you to the team. I've not sent them on assignment yet. They're waiting for us in the lab."

Mac starts frantically scooping papers from his desk into his arms. "With all this happening so fast, I haven't actually told them that you will be joining us. I thought it would be a nice surprise. You're gunna be such a great asset to this lab."

"Thanks Mac. I'm glad you think so. I'm really excited to be here." Ashley inwardly cringes, 'excited to be here' deary me, real first day on the job speak. She follows Mac out of the office and they head to the main lab.

Stella is sitting rather impatiently in the main lab, along with Danny, Lindsay and Hawkes. And she is pissed. She has no idea what is going on, and the fact that Mac has left her out of the loop, is infuriating her. And the fact that now she is made to wait her, is serving to wind her up even more. Her anger must be apparent, as none of the guys have said to words to her, in fact they haven't said to words to each other, and they look kinda scared.

At this point Mac strides into the room, with another person, Stella has no idea who she is, but she does look vaguely familiar.

Mac and Ashley stand at the head of the room, Ashley starts to feel uncomfortable at the four sets of inquisitive eyes, currently fixated on her. That is until she spots one of expressions, less inquisitive, more downright pissed off. A woman she guessed around 35 year's old, curly hair. This definitely had to be Stella Bonasera. Ashley knows all about her, and was really excited about working with her, that was until she saw her current expression of course.

Stella has about a million and one questions racing through her brain. She still has no idea what's going on. Or who this woman is, and she hopes someone is going to offer an explanation soon. Stella continues to rack her brain to try and figure out why this woman looks so familiar. Although Mac begins to speak, she may well get her explanation. She tears her eyes from the mysterious stranger, and focuses on Mac.

"Thanks for your patience guys, I've got your assignments here and I promise I will send you on your way in a second." Mac has the attention of the whole room. Everyone looks confused, except Ashley, who wishes the ground would open up. All the pleasant thoughts from earlier rapidly disappear. Mac continues.

"I just wanted to introduce you to the newest member of the team. This is detective Eden Ashley; she's joining us from the crime lab in Detroit." Ashley tries her best to force an uncomfortable smile onto her face, while the rest of the room digests this information.

The penny immediately drops for Stella. On hearing her name she knew exactly where she knew Eden Ashley from, Crime Scene Digest. She was named as one of the top ten CSI's under 30 in the US. This is quite a coup for the lab, Stella was almost impressed. At least she would have been if she wasn't in the world's worst bad mood.

"Wait a sec, you're Detective Ashley? I just finished reading a paper of yours about stab wound markings. It was excellent." Lindsay is genuinely excited. This causes Ashley to pull her glace from Stella, who still by the way looks like she wants to kill her, and acknowledges Lindsay. Well at least one woman in the lab likes me, is Ashley's current thought. Lindsay grabs her hand and starts shaking it heartily, whilst smiling sincerely at her.

Ashley again can't help but grin back at Lindsay, damn what is it with these people and their infectious smiles?

"I can't believe you're gunna be working here. I'm Lindsay by the way."

She makes a mental note of the name; it won't be too hard to distinguish between her two female colleagues. Lindsay equals 'the nice one'.

"Nice to meet you Lindsay. I'm glad you liked my paper, weaponry is kinda my speciality, I'd be happy to show you a few things, now I'm here." Ashley again inwardly cringes at the niceties tumbling from her lips, not that she wasn't nice of course, but it all just seems a bit fake on her first day.

"That would be so awesome." Lindsay is still ginning like an idiot, when Danny moves past her and offers his hand to Ashley.

"Hi I'm Danny, Lindsay's husband." Ashley takes his hand still smiling; her jaw is actually starting to ache. Danny continues.

"Welcome to the team. So you're moving here from Detroit huh, but that accent, what is that British?" Ashley was wondering how long it would take for someone to pick up on her accent, although she had been in the states since she was 16, she is quite proud of the fact she's managed to keep her accent alive, well just about anyway.

"Yeah, English. I was born in Chicago, but moved to the UK when I was one. Moved back here at 16, but I guess the accent was already ingrained by then." Danny seems satisfied with the answer, and at this point Mac begins to talk again.

"And she comes highly recommended, as I'm sure you all know." Ashley really isn't sure how much of this she can take, everybody signing her praises, she is just itching to get out into the field now. She's aware of course there are still two members of the team she hasn't formally been introduced too. Although it seems as though this is about to change.

Stella had been quiet, maybe a little too quiet, watching all of the interactions in front of her. It seems that Ashley isn't the only one unimpressed with all the praise she's been getting. Stella's bad mood is about to take off. She can't quite put her finger on why, but it seems this Detective Ashley is really getting under her skin, who does she think she is?

"Mac, we can't afford to take on another CSI, the budget won't allow it."

Well that certainly sucked the air out of the room. Ouch, the smile immediately drops from Ashley's face. A weird tension descends on the room, nobody really knows where to look or what to do, except Mac who looks furious, and whose glare is firmly on Stella. Stella of course notices the sudden change of mood in the room, and is struggling to figure out exactly why she has just said what she has. But oh well there's no going back now.

"Well when I found out Detective Ashley was available, I looked over the budget and some adjustments were made. . . "Ashley can tell Mac is angry, he's speaking through clenched teeth. He also looks kinda shocked, she can't believe just how rude Stella is being, she decides she needs to show the team that she not scared to stand up for herself, defend her own honour, here goes nothing.

"I've actually taken a pay cut to come here." She says it a lot more determined than she feels.

Stella can't shake the mood, and before her brain has a chance to kick in and stop her, "Well unless you're working for free, the budget won't allow it."

Ouch again, well that told her. Ashley tries to cover the hurt she's feeling, not to mention the current burst of regret she's just had about taking the job. Stella notices the flash of hurt on Ashley's face, it was only there for a second, but she saw it. Her heart sinks, what on earth am I doing, why can't I snap out of this mood? Once again however stupid pride and stubbornness get in her way; Stella and Ashley just stand facing each other, mirroring scowls, both defiant.

"Stella we can discuss this later in my office. Right guys, Danny, Hawkes, there's a DB in the Bronx, I'll meet you there. Lindsay, why don't you and Detective Ashley take the suspicious circs in Time Square? Stella, my office now."

Stella knows she totally in the wrong. So she just huffs out of the office, closely followed by Mac. Ashley watches her leave, and then turns to Lindsay and smiles, relieved that they can finally get out on assignment.

"She's not usually like that; she's actually a really nice person." Lindsay is trying her best to reassure Ashley. She's not really buying what Lindsay is saying, but she swallows down her disappointment.

"Maybe it's just me she doesn't like." She smiles weakly at Lindsay, and looks away. Hawkes quickly introduces himself, before leaving with Danny.

Then Ashley and Lindsay head out also. Ashley can't help but feel confused; this certainly wasn't the start to the day she was expecting. Especially not from Stella, she was one of the main reason's Ashley wanted to come to New York. Oh well. Things can only get better.

Mac strides into his office. He is furious, and Stella knows it; she's messed up big time. Mac moves round his desk, whilst Stella just stands sheepishly in front of the desk, arms folded and staring at the floor.

"What the hell is wrong with you Stella?" Stella knows she's acted like a spoilt brat, so she doesn't speak, she just continues to look at the floor, hoping it will swallow her up.

"You know that Detective Ashley is one of the best young CSI's in the country. She could have had her pick of crime labs in America, hell the whole world. I thought you of all people would have understood me adjusting the budget to get her?"

"I do Mac, really I do."

"I don't think you do Stella. Appointing Eden Ashley is a coup for this lab. The main reason she wanted to work here was to work with us. Now she's going to be regretting that decision."

"Okay, okay Mac I get it. I'm in an awful mood today, and I shouldn't have taken it out on her, I will find her and make it better, I promise." Great, she thought now I've gotta go sucking up to the new kid on her first day. Wow I need to snap out of this mood, what is wrong with me.

With that thought she turns to leave Mac's office. Mac looks up from where he's now seated behind his desk. "Oh and Stella, snap out of this mood, I need you to head down to Time Square, and supervise Lindsay and Ashley. Be Nice."

Stella just smiles apologetically at Mac, and heads out of the lab. She still can't quite put her finger on why she has acted like such a bitch with Ashley, there is definitely something about her. Something which she decides she can figure out later. She needs to put this right, and fast.

Ashley and Lindsay had just finished processing the scene; it was a newsagent in Time Square. The assistant who worked behind the counter had gone missing, they had a lead so they leaving to head off to another location, as they step out of store, Ashley see's Stella has joined them, and she is currently stood chatting to the lead Detective, who Ashley still hadn't been properly introduced to.

"Oh cool, Stella is here, let's put this truck," Lindsay gestured towards the evidence, "And I'll introduce you to Detective Flack."

Stella had noticed the two CSI's emerge from the building, she frowned, she was looking forward to this, she knew she only had herself to blame. She pulled her sunglasses off, as Ashley and Lindsay made their way over towards them.

When they finally got there, Lindsay was all smiles, Ashley still looks a little worried, and Stella can certainly understand this.

"Okay, Ashley," Lindsay begins, "This is detective Flack; he works closely with our shift so you'll see a lot of him."

Flack repeats the pattern that's been going on all day and extends his hand to Ashley, which again she accepts. She smiles at Flack, she knows she's gunna like this guy; she usually gets on with guys better than girls.

"Pleased to meet you Detective Flack."

"The pleasure is all mine."

Ha ha ha, Ashley has to laugh at this. "Smooth." He smiles sheepishly but takes it with the good banter it was intended. Stella watches the exchange between the two of them, it makes her feel weird, and just confirms that she was actually being a bitch earlier, Ashley seems really easy to get along with. She decides she needs to make things right asap.

"So what's happening guys?"

Lindsay updates Stella. "Well shots have been fired in there, but there's no sign of blood, and no sign of the girl who should have been in work. We've collected so trace, and the bullets, and we've had a tip off about the missing girls' boyfriend."

"Sounds like you've been busy. Lindsay, why don't you and Flack go and look up the boyfriend." Ashley freezes; she knows exactly where this is going. "Ashley, you can ride back to the lab with me, and we can start processing what you've collected. Sound good?"

Stella makes a point of making eye contact with Ashley, who really doesn't look impressed, but smiles anyway, "That's fine by me."

With that Lindsay gives Ashley a wry smile, and heads to her car with Flack. Stella moves for her car without saying another word. Ashley just sighs and follows, she figures it took her and Lindsay around 20 minutes to get here from the lab; this was going to be an awkward ride. Ashley climbs into the passenger seat, and pulls on her seat belt. She becomes fixated on New York, just stares out of the window.

Stella can see Ashley is in no mood for talking, and she completely gets why. She starts the car up, and heads back to the lab, she keeps looking over at Ashley, which doesn't go unnoticed, trying to figure out in her head how she's going to break the ice. Stella's earlier mood has completely disappeared, but has now been replaced by one of complete embarrassment. She decides the best course of action is to just come straight out and apologise.

"I . . . Erm wanted to apologise for how I acted earlier." Stella looks away, Ashley smirks, at least she has the decency to actually be embarrassed about it.

"Don't worry about it, its fine." Ashley returns her gaze back out of the window, now she's being the bitch. She knew Stella was offering an Olive branch and she should just accept it, but she wanted to make her sweat a little longer.

Stella knew Ashley was making her work for this, and she deserves it. She decides to power through. "No its not. I was in an awful mood; I shouldn't have taken it out on you." She glances over at Ashley again, still no response, this spurs Stella on.

"I'm really excited about having you join the team. It's not often I get to work with someone voted the best young CSI in the country."

This gets Ashley's attention. Now it's her turn to be embarrassed. She cannot believe Stella saw that article. She looks over at Stella who is currently grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Maybe she's not so bad after all. At this point she decides she probably should give her another chance.

"I can't believe you saw that. It's so embarrassing." She cringes slightly as she remembers the article.

"Hardly embarrassing, just means you're one of the best at what you do. You should be proud." Stella is now genuinely excited by Ashley joining the team, her mood has done a complete 360. Ashley is also quite enjoying herself now.

"Hey I take immense pride in my work. But don't for a second think I believe half of that crap they printed about me. God I can feel my cheeks burning just thinking about it." They both laugh, Stella thinks Ashley is adorable, and she was right, she is really easy to get along with.

Ashley is glad that they seem to be back on track, and can't help but think how beautiful Stella is when she's not being a bitch. Whoa wait a second, beautiful? Where did that come from? Bad idea Ashley she is broken from her thoughts by Stella's voice.

"So how about we start over?" the car stops at lights, Stella smiles and offers Ashley her hand. "Hi I'm Stella Bonasera. Pleased to meet you."

Ashley accepts her hand. There's a definite spark of electricity between them, they both notice it, Ashley pushes it to the back of her mind and just repeats over and over in her head 'she's straight, bad idea'. Stella is just confused by it, luckily Ashley begins to speak before she can over analyse it.

"Nice to finally meet you Stella Bonasera. I'm Eden Ashley. Call me Ashley."

Again the two exchange smiles and relax back into the journey, which is completed in a comfortable silence. All Ashley can think about is how her first problem with her boss, could be turning into a completely different one. She decides she needs to keep things strictly professional, the last thing she needs is a crush on her boss. But damn she's attractive.

Stella is just happy everything between them is sorted. She can't get the feeling from when they touched out of her head, she can't quite put her finger on what it actually was, but she knew it definitely wasn't hatred which was a plus at this point; she just pushes it to the back of her mind.

The rest of Ashley's first day went pretty well. It's currently 6.30pm. Lindsay, Stella and Ashley solved their case. It turned out to be pretty simple in the end, jealous ex boyfriend had kidnapped the girl who worked in the newsagents; it wasn't nearly as interesting as they were hoping. Ashley is currently in the main lab finishing off paper work. She has arranged to meet Flack for a drink, to watch the Knicks game after shift.

She is just packing up her stuff when Adam walks into the lab; she was introduced to him earlier by Stella, who has been amazing with her all day. This morning is well and truly forgotten.

"Hey Ashley, so how was the first day?"

"Fine, after a bad start, things picked up quickly. And now I'm heading out for drinks, which is of course my favourite way to end the day." She smiles at Adam as she continues to throw stuff into her bag.

"Wow my kinda girl."

"Well I'm just heading to a bar round the corner, watching the Knicks game with Flack; you're more than welcome to join us."

"Wow drinking and a sports fan, you really are the perfect woman. But I wouldn't want to intrude on your date with Flack." Adam is teasing her now. The grin on his face confirms as much.

"It's not a date. I certainly don't want Flack to think it's a date, maybe its best if you do come along." Now she's worried, he doesn't actually think it's a date does he?

"Don't worry, I kinda get the impression that Flack isn't your type? And I think he gets that too." Wow looks like I'm busted Ashley thinks to herself.

"That obvious huh?" She decides there's no point denying it.

"Not really in general, but to the trained eye." Interesting she thinks, 'trained eye'. Adam continues, "Well that and the way you've been drooling over Stella all day." Okay that's got Ashley's attention, Adam notices the look of panic that spreads on her face, and bursts out laughing.

"I have not." She protests, Adam just keeps on laughing, which in turn makes Ashley laugh. She decides she needs to get serious though, she doesn't want the whole lab knowing her business. "Listen Adam. I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone. I'm kinda private about this; I'd like to tell people in my own time."

"My lips are sealed. And don't worry I totally get the attraction to Stella." He wiggles his eyebrows, the way he says it has Ashley intrigued. Him and Stella? Surely not? Well if she's slept with Adam maybe I stand a chance after all. This thought makes Ashley chuckle to herself.

"You and Stella, really?" Adam just smiles.

"Maybe I'll divulge more over drinks." With that he walks out of the lab, Ashley follows him. Her final thought is, I think I'm gunna like it here after all.

Part 2

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