DISCLAIMER: Copycat and its characters are the property of Jon Amiel and Warner Brothers, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once again, Em, you're a wonderful beta. Thank you for doing this and for being so opinionated and smart because if you weren't I wouldn't know who else to trust with this.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Major Roon
With shaking hands she reached for the soft, silky curtains hanging before the huge windows and drew one aside carefully. What greeted her was the sight of Downtown San Francisco; huge buildings, fancy architecture and the wide expanse of sky.
With a forced breath Dr. Hudson let the curtain fall closed.
It was night and she had just survived the attempted murder by a serial killer, had just survived sitting on a rooftop, had just survived 2 hours in a hospital and the nagging questions of a SF PD lieutenant.
And now this. She couldn't even look at the world outside.
Helen sat down on the hotel bed gingerly and tried to collect herself. She tried to concentrate on this room and on its walls enclosing her safely or so she thought, but the more she looked around, the more she tried to feel safe, the more she fought for breath. Everything seemed to close in on her. The walls came closer and seemed like they would crush her any minute. She waited for them to swallow her alive but of course nothing happened.
Helen held her breath until she felt dizzy and that was when she saw clearly that she was still as fucked up as before, or even more so but in a different way. Releasing the breath she stood abruptly, almost falling back down onto the bed and grabbed the small overnight bag an officer had brought her.
With as much dignity as she could muster Helen Hudson stepped out into the hallway because getting out of that unfamiliar room outweighed staying in that unfamiliar, supposedly safe room. She rode the elevator and felt like curling up in the corner and somehow make that small cabin wrap around her as tight as possible but then she caught herself counting the numbers of the floors, trying to will it to go faster so that she could escape from it.
In the lobby she passed a few people and tried not to bump into them in any way then she practically threw the keys to her room at the woman behind the reception desk. "I'm checking out," she said, barely able to hold the tears back.
With quick but unsteady strides she made it to the doors. Someone opened them for her of course; she should've thought of that. Not yet ready Helen took a deep breath and took a tentative step into the outside world.
How gruesome that felt. She was made to stay in an unfamiliar room with no one there to keep her company, with only few of her own things, with nothing that kept her grounded in some way.
"May I help you, ma'am?"
Helen whipped her head around and almost clobbered the portiere with her overnight bag. "A cab. I need a cab."
He nodded politely and Dr. Hudson just prayed that she wouldn't get a panic attack now. Not now, not now, not now, she chanted and tried to take it all in. At the sight of the skyscrapers her eyes almost rolled back in her head but she did not break down, instead she waited for the cab, her body shivering violently.
Then her lips started to tingle, her fingertips too and she felt so lightheaded as if all the blood had drained from her brain and was now holding her feet pressed against the ground. But the cab came and she did not have a panic attack.
Inside she immediately wanted to say her address but remembered. She remembered why she was at the hotel in the first place. Her apartment was a mess. The police was still there and they would touch her things and make an even bigger mess. Her things. Her things wouldn't be where they used to be and everything would go to hell and she would die here, not knowing where to go or what to do.
Everything would be unfamiliar and how could one feel safe like that? How?!
"Ma'am, where to?"
The cabbie asked impatiently, not really concerned with her distraught appearance.
Fantastic. If she had thought of this sooner she wouldn't have left the hotel in the first place.
Helen tried to contain a sob, barely succeeding and wished that there was just something she could hold onto. Something she knew, something safe, something she was used to but Andy wasn't here anymore. She was all alone. If there was just something or someone safe just
"St. Francis Memorial fast."
The cabbie glanced at her through the mirror, trying to determine if she was bleeding on his seats, or worse, dying in his cab.
He finally did.
St. Francis wasn't far, Helen was glad. As they sped towards the destination she began to ask herself how long 5 minutes could be. She just closed her eyes, that was the best she could do, and waited for the vehicle to slow down.
When it finally did, she just threw money at the driver, not caring how much it actually was and jumped out of the car. Helen refused to look around and instead walked towards the entrance on unsteady feet. Inside she tried to ignore the crowd of sick people or the nurse calling her, she just walked.
Nicoletti, or something, she just ignored him too. Not that she could've actually acknowledged his presence in any way even if she wanted to. With the last ounce of strength she seemed to possess, Helen reached for the door handle.
"You can't go in there."
The hell I can't. She burst right into the room and stopped as soon as the door closed behind her then, slowly, she moved closer to the bed, her eyes fixed on the small, fragile seeming figure lying in it.
When Helen took a seat tentatively she realized that she was actually crying and what a sight must she had been, she thought further as Nicoletti poked his head in. He seemed to take pity on her; she looked quite pitiful after all and left her alone with M.J. Monahan.
Her face, Helen thought, her face was still so pale and she looked so small and powerless.
But she wasn't; powerless that is. This innocent, little fragile thing had saved her life.
"What are you still doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at the hotel?" M.J. Monahan's eyes had slowly opened and were now looking tiredly and somewhat unfocused at Dr. Hudson.
"I was at the hotel, I mean but I came back." Helen felt the rope around her ribcage loosen a bit as she heard the familiar voice.
"Why the hell would you do that?" M.J. whispered, her eyes drooping.
"I don't know. I just did."
And then Inspector Monahan was asleep once more.
Hushed voices woke her up and instead of opening her eyes she just listened.
"Just go home, Nikko. I'm fine, everything's fine, alright?"
"What about her?"
"You want me to "
"I'll take a cab now go."
Niccoletti sighed. "Fine. Have it your way."
"Shhh! Hey, could you do me a favor? Could you get someone to clean up Dr. Hudson's apartment a little? Please?"
The door slammed and Helen almost jumped out of her skin.
"You know, he's gone now so you can stop playing possum."
Helen felt a small smile form on her lips and opened her eyes tentatively. She immediately realized that her body was hurting all over from sleeping in a rather small armchair.
"You okay?" M.J. asked concerned.
"Yes, I think so and thanks for getting my apartment cleaned up."
Monahan grinned at that. "I deduced that there are only very few reasons why you would leave the hotel and come here. And because I'm not biased I didn't think it was because of me but that the hotel must be awful and you couldn't go home."
Helen smiled faintly at the Inspector. At least she didn't look so pale anymore. "You deduced correctly, Inspector," she paused uncertainly, "I didn't feel safe there. Alone and with none of my things."
"And so you came here of all places?"
"Well," Helen smirked, trying to lighten the mood somewhat. "I couldn't decide if I was agoraphobic or claustrophobic."
"But you went outside and made it," M.J. reached out her hand. "That's a good thing."
Helen smiled sadly at that, stood and took the offered hand. "It is probably."
"It is," Monahan said with certainty and tugged on the hand until Helen finally sat on the edge of her bed. "So, how are you doing besides being a bigger crank than before?"
She was breathing faster than normal but she was nowhere near hyperventilating, gladly. Inspector Monahan was also holding her hand which helped somehow. It was evening now and Helen could see everything, so much space, such huge things, things happening, it was still unsettling and she wished it was night. She might also panic if there were yet another small traffic jam on their short drive. But it didn't seem so bad because Inspector Monahan had seen her in much worse situations.
Like a bit drunk and high or breathing into a brown paper bag while unconscious or hanging on a wire over a toilet; that was much worse than clammy hands and accelerated respiration.
And here she was again, at the hotel because her apartment still wasn't clean. She wanted her apartment back even though it would remind her of everything and somehow Helen started to resent herself for wanting to go back. How pathetic was that? Being so in the head that she wanted to go back to a place where one of the most horrible things in her life had happened.
Dr. Hudson was barely aware that Inspector Monahan was following her in until the woman spoke up. "Let me get the keys."
"I checked out I think."
But M.J. took care of that seeing that Helen could only control her emotions for so long. They found the new room fast and Helen ducked inside as soon as the door opened and threw her bag next to the bed. The room was identical, at least.
Monahan kept standing near the closed door awkwardly while Helen sat on the bed with her head in her hands.
M.J. just thought that this wasn't good at all because Dr. Hudson composed herself always rather quickly after a panic attack, minor breakdown or outburst.
A sob alerted the Inspector to the severity of the situation. With tentative steps she came closer to the bed, sat down and put a comforting hand on the woman's shoulder. "It's gonna be alright."
"I know that," Helen said into her hands. "It's that after everything that happened, it seems just so ridiculous." She looked up and into the concerned eyes of M.J.
"I didn't break down, I didn't panic much. I didn't die, I'm still here and still scared." The doctor sniffled then took a deep, cleansing breath and wiped the tears away. "Okay so, are you hungry?"
M.J. smiled a bit at the abrupt change of topic then glanced at her watch.
"It's okay if you have to go I'll be fine."
"Oh no, I was just thinking that it's been a while since I've had something proper to eat. And yes, I'm quite hungry."
"I could stay until you're asleep?"
Helen's eyes wandered from the bed to Inspector Monahan, standing near the table they had just dined on. "It's okay," Helen said slowly, a reassuring smile on her face. "You don't have to, I'll be fine."
"I know," M.J. came closer. "But I really wouldn't mind."
Not knowing what to say to that Helen just nodded. "Well then suit yourself." She wandered off into the bath room with her overnight bag in hand, wondering what the officer had packed her. Hopefully something to sleep in.
M.J. meanwhile sat down on the bed tiredly asking herself why she offered to stay. It wasn't because Helen was all helpless and fragile; she wasn't. She had come across as pretty strong and calm over dinner but somehow the Inspector felt as if she could use some of that strength right now.
With a sigh she glanced at her left shoulder and pulled the sweater she was wearing down over it to take a look at the bandage. It didn't bleed, meaning the stitches were okay but it hurt like hell, she had to admit. Maybe she should just take a tiny look at it to see how bad it really was. Well, maybe not it hurt even worse to get the bandage off.
"You should take some of these," Helen shook the bottle of pills gently.
"I'm not fond of painkillers."
The doctor smiled and came closer. "You're fond of pain then?"
M.J. made the effort to look exasperated when she popped two pills into her mouth and swallowed them with the glass of water Helen was holding out to her. Now she just hoped the meds would kick in fast.
After a while, M.J. had no idea how long that was she started to draw her hands away from her face and looked up. Wow. "I feel dizzy," she said to no one in particular, having forgotten about Helen, the hotel and all that.
"It's the meds. They're pretty strong."
Pretty strong? Of course. Why did Helen know that and she didn't? What did the doctor say what they were? M.J. couldn't remember exactly.
"Lay down c'mon." Helen urged and the Inspector did as she was told, especially since her eyes kept drooping. She felt blissfully numb. No throbbing
Next thing she felt was falling backwards and naturally she tried to stop the fall somehow and ended up sitting straight up in bed. Then she became dizzy and a bit nauseous and slumped back down.
"I think I'm high."
"I think so too."
M.J. startled visibly at the voice coming from right next to her but realized soon that it was just Helen.
Just Helen in her bed. No, she was in Helen's bed. Right. The hotel. "Oh, god. What did you poison me with?"
"With your prescribed Vicodin, Inspector." Helen watched her keenly, concerned. "Are you alright? I think you had a nightmare "
M.J. contemplated for a moment if she should feel odd given the situation she was in but decided to just ignore it for now, given that Dr. Hudson was doing the same. "I don't know. I think I was falling " Falling endlessly in a sea of red. It slowly came back to her. Falling and blood and shots. Helen hanging there. Suddenly she felt delirious.
Helen hanging there and about to die and everything. Awful.
"Why did you give up?" The question didn't even make sense to M.J. herself.
"Why did you try to kill yourself?" M.J. turned onto her right side and realized that Helen must have found this whole thing quite odd because she had scooted over to the other end of the bed. "What did you do that for?"
Monahan shook her head; bad idea, she was still a bit dizzy. "Then explain it to me."
"Well, if I hadn't done it then we both wouldn't be alive now," Helen said angrily, ready to bolt.
"Hey " M.J. reached for her. "It's okay. I'm sorry shouldn't have asked." The words had the desired effect as Helen slowly sunk back into the mattress.
"It was the last shred of control I had left "
The Inspector glanced at her sideways as she spoke, genuinely interested in what she had to say.
"To kill myself was the only decision I could make for myself in that situation. He had taken control over everything except my life."
"Don't tell me you actually wanted to die?"
Helen turned her head, a small smile gracing her lips. "No but I also didn't want you to die. He was about to slash your throat and there wasn't anything else I could do besides messing up his plan."
"You knew that I was alive?"
Helen raised an eyebrow at her. "There wasn't enough blood. And I hoped you would somehow regain consciousness because lets face it, what could I have done? Stab him with my Escada pumps?"
M.J. chuckled at the mental image then suddenly she laughed outright. "Oh, god. I think I'm totally high!" Helen on the other hand tried to hide her amusement, not ready to laugh just yet after all that had happened. "You really can't be 'totally high', it's been 3 hours since you've taken the pills."
But M.J. kept laughing. "Oh, I have to be high!"
"Why would you think that?" Helen asked, now a smile gracing her lips.
"Well, why else would I do that ?"
M.J. grinned one last time. "This " Her lips connected with the doctor's and after a moment she put a bit pressure into the kiss, thinking she had Helen already convinced that this wasn't such a stupid idea. But apparently that wasn't the case; Helen pushed her back gently and looked up at her with big eyes.
"What did you do that for? Right, you're high."
"I did it because I wanted it." Newsflash, doc. M.J. bent down again to kiss a stunned Helen and this time she kissed back; at least most of the time, but when M.J. began to move her lips to the doctor's neck she was pushed back once more.
"M.J. " Helen sighed. No explanation was needed because the Inspector heard everything in Helen's voice as she spoke her name. With a sigh of her own, M.J. slumped back onto the bed.
"I'm sorry I thought you wanted it too."
M.J. snorted. "No, it's not." Now she screwed up and that really wasn't what she had wanted. She had wanted to comfort and be comforted. Maybe she should've come up with another not as stupid way to do that. Then Helen held her hand she should've done that instead of kissing.
"Are you okay?"
And now she's asking me if I'm okay? Me?! "No." The first tear spilled down on her cheek. "No, I'm not." Another and another joined in and before M.J. knew it, she was crying into Helen's shoulder.
"I'm sorry," M.J. said after a while.
"I'm a mess crying all over you." She sobbed and gave a short ironic laugh. But Helen said nothing to that, probably because it was true and just kept stroking her hair a little longer. "Everything seems to finally sink in." M.J. sniffled.
"Don't worry about it."
"I must look awful."
"Not worse than I fainting while breathing into a paper bag."
The Inspector closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I feel awful. It's over but I still feel awful."
"That's only natural. After having one of your biggest fears actually "
M.J. cut her off, moving away a bit but not out of reach. "Why, thank you Dr. Hudson. A psych eval. is just what I need right now. But hey, while you're at it, tell me, what's Inspector Monahan afraid of?" M.J. knew the answer alright and also didn't expect an answer.
"You killed someone," Helen stated dryly. "And to you it doesn't matter that it was a wacko serial. You never wanted to kill anyone but now you did and you need to "
"Oh, you seem to know all about me." M.J. had enough, ready to just leave; leave all this crap behind. "You know what I want, need " But suddenly she was being kissed and forced back down on the bed until she reclined on her back with Helen kissing her relentlessly. But there was still the matter of "Ouch," she hissed and Helen drew back, startled. "Bruised ribs."
"That's just another reason why we shouldn't."
M.J. brought her right arm around Helen's neck and drew her back down. "Doesn't matter. Just be careful." They kissed again, much gentler this time and rid themselves of their clothes. Or rather Helen rid them of their clothes; she undressed herself then M.J. who was just looking up at her with those big innocent girl eyes, knowing that she had to surrender somehow. She had it all figured out now. Helen Hudson could not survive with being out of control, she needed control over what happened to her, that was what all this was about; the agoraphobia, everything.
"I knew you wanted it too," M.J. said quietly, still looking up at Helen, who was inspecting the huge bruise forming on the Inspector's chest.
"Does that matter to you?"
M.J. thought for a moment then shook her head gently. "No. What matters are the things that I want and that I'm gonna take 'em," she drawled. "Fuck the consequences."
Helen watched her legs part slowly but didn't seem to appear shocked or baffled, instead she just placed her body between them, resting carefully atop the Inspector. "You think there'll be consequences?"
"I told you: fuck 'em." M.J. reached out with her right, keeping the left on the bed given that it still throbbed a bit despite the drugs she had taken. For a moment she watched Helen closely; saw the empty expression and completely misinterpreted it. Slowly she brought her legs around the doctor's waist, daring her to admit defeat but there came none. "Do you even know what you're doing?" M.J. applied some pressure and watched Helen's eyes flicker for a moment.
Then the empty expression disappeared and a smirk formed on the doctor's lips. "What do you think?"
"That you never do anything you're not good at?"
Helen grinned lopsided, an expression M.J. had never seen on her before. "You deduced correctly, Inspector."
"Then, by all means," M.J. breathed as Helen ground into her again, "get on with it."
"Aren't I already?"
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