One month later
Monday Morning at the 55th precinct was as normal as usual. Some cops were starting their shifts just as some cops were finishing theirs. There were disgruntled faces furiously typing away trying to finish reports so they could go home, others were complaining about the coffee, a couple of flat foots were struggling on the stairs with a drunken hooker who was screaming like a banshee and in the break room a disheveled looking blonde was taking ice from the freezer and placing it in a handkerchief with the purpose of putting it on her aching head. She looked up at wall clock it was 8:05 at 8:00 on the dot her newest partner had stormed into the Captain's office it was about time then, she started a mental countdown. "10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-" before she could get to one a resounding " MACLAY GET IN HEEERE!!!!!!!" reverberated throughout the precinct. Tara smirked and threw her makeshift ice-pack in the trash. "damn I was off by just one." She thought as she casually strolled towards Mack's office.
Some of Tara's co-workers the wisest ones at least went about their own business and tried like hell not to make eye contact with the blonde. Some that weren't so wise shook their heads disapprovingly and sent dirty looks her way, she reciprocated with icy-blue looks of her own that chilled their spines and made them look away as quickly as they could.
She opened the door to the captain's office and stood in front of his desk with her hands clasped behind her back. "You called captain" she said in an almost mocking tone.
The captain banged on his desk as he looked on the unkempt appearance of who had once been one of his best detectives. "Damn it Maclay that's the third detective that's asked for...no, demanded a transfer from this precinct. Three in one month! Enough is enough Maclay, I've been patient too long. I won't lose anymore people over you this precinct is understaffed as it is."
Tara opened her mouth to intervene but the Captain cut her short before a single word could come out.
"Don't you frickin' dare try to explain the shit that went down last night. I should ask for your badge on the spot. Is that what you want or is it more of a death wish?"
Tara aimed her sight on the floor she knew he had every right to be angry. As for his question she didn't really quite know the answer. Why did she keep messing up lately?
Did she really want to lose her job? Being a cop was all she ever wanted to be, all she knew how to be. So why was she acting in a way that could destroy that? She honestly didn't know the answer so she remained quiet.
Mack saw the myriad of emotions flashing though the blonde's eyes and it made his heart ache for her but at the same time she was also the reason his belly was burning and for his angina acting up. He sighed heavily.
"Shit kid, what am I gonna do with ya?" He said while ruffling through some papers. "Sit down will ya." It was more a command than a suggestion. Tara contemplated not obliging for a moment before deciding against it and taking a seat.
"I can't keep covering for you. I know It's been rough but you're gonna have to find away to deal. Are you going to your therapy sessions?"
Tara nodded tensely. Personally she thought the sessions were a waste of time she only went because it was a requirement. She usually sat there for a half an hour a basically lied; she knew what she was expected to say, so she said it and went on her way. So no, in that half hour she didn't have insomnia or nightmares when she did sleep. She ate balanced meals and didn't go up almost every night to the roof top of her building and look down wondering what it would feel like to take a flight.
Mack continued. "Well remember you have to keep them up until the doc gives you the o.k. As for your new lack of a partner, you're out of luck if you thought you could run solo for awhile after you scared this one off you were dead wrong. There's a detective from L.A who's been waiting for a transfer to New York and she's actually willing to work with you to get it."
Tara inwardly groaned some part of her had actually thought that she might get the chance to be alone for awhile after the reputation she had built up the last month.
He interjected again, "No buts! Listen to me and listen to me good. I'm putting my foot down and be grateful it's down and not up your ass out of respect for your father who was once my partner. Whatever is going on in that head of yours sort it out cause sooner or later you're not only going to put your life on the line but the life of other officers and that's something I won't stand for. Now this is your last chance if anything happens to your new partner it's your badge, for good."
Tara looked into the Captain's eyes and saw that he meant it. He would fire her if it came down to it. She deserved it she new that much. But it was what he had said about putting other officer's lives on the line that had really struck a cord in her. Was she repeating the mistake that had led to her brother's death?
The Captain thought he saw a light of understanding in Tara's eyes and hoped that he wasn't making a mistake by giving her one more chance and by putting her in a situation where she would have to be responsible for another officer's life. It could be just what she needed or it could endanger two lives.'Don't let me down kid. These stakes are high' He thought as he continued. "Listen Maclay the reason I'm telling you that you're responsible for this new partner is cause you literally are. This woman even though she's made detective she hasn't exactly had a lot of field experience..."
Tara's narrowed her eyes in confusion, "Huh? How can that be, was she recently promoted or something?"
Mack scratched his head. "Yeah...that's part of it, she only got promoted a week or so ago."
Tara rolled her eyes. "Great Mack, then she's practically a rookie, being detective is a whole other story even if she was an officer in the streets of L.A. Altough... well I guess... at least there's that, L.A can be just as bad as New York soooo I don't know why you make it sound like I have to protect the woman."
Mack scratched his head again and Tara's inner alarms started going off he only did that when he was nervous about something. "Mack what aren't you telling me?"
Mack cleared his throat. "She didn't so much patrol the mean streets of L.A it was more like the marbled streets of Beverly Hills."
Tara Maclay's jaw dropped to the floor. "What?" She jumped from her chair and stared down her boss, "No fucking way am I going to baby sit some powder-puff, manicured, gold-plated pistol carrying rookie with no real street experience in one of the toughest zones in the N.Y.P.D!!!!"
Mack stared back at the irate blond and raised his voice to a commanding tone. "Oh yes you fucking are! What's more you're gonna make Detective Willow Rosenberg feel so welcome she's gonna wanna marry ya."
"Like hell I am!" She yelled.
"Oh. Yeah, the hell you are if you want to keep your badge!" He yelled back twice as loud.
And so started a staring contest that neither party was willing to lose. After five minutes or so of deafening silence Tara gave up and fumed out of the Captain's office slamming the door so hard the glass plate on top of it rattled and nearly shattered. The Captain sat down and poured himself a nice glass of Pepto antacid liquid medicine. As he gulped down the thick pink concoction he thought. 'Jesus I hope I'm not making the biggest mistake of my life.'
Tara practically ran down the stairs and through the basement corridors she needed to get to the archive room. She needed to talk to Xander he was her only hope of not getting stuck with one, Willow Rosenbaum or something like that. God she hated the woman already.