Skin Deep

Title: Skin Deep
Fandom: CSI NY
Pairing: Danny Messer/OC
Rating: M
Synopsis: When Blue Blood meets Blue Collar, neither thought they would ever be able to work together. But sometimes, class takes a backseat to love & passion, hopes & dreams & you will discover that in the NYPD, you're all the same shade of blue.

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4. COTN: Falling Down

Chapter Four: Creatures Of The Night

 

I'm not afraid to fall It means I climbed up high To fall is not to fail You fail when you don't try Not afraid to fall

SuperChick – Fall Down

 

Strawberry Fields was beautiful in the darkness, the stars were visible through the branches of the trees, and a cool breeze blew through the open air. Yet the three CSI's stood at the edge of the small open space, each of them unable to take in the stars, or the full moon that shone down on them. Armed with flood lights and a crime scene kit, each one of them reviewed the scene with observant gazes.

 

There was a tree directly in front of them; scuff marks in the soil underneath it indicated signs of a struggle. There was a black high heeled shoe lying on its side near the roots of the tree.

 

"Mia, you take pictures of the scene, Danny walk the perimeter…" Sam spoke quietly, before crouching down and flicking open her crime scene kit.

 

There was silence as the three of them worked. Each had their own task and carried it out methodically, working alone but still part of a carefully oiled team.

 

Mia found herself standing next to Sam after she'd finished up taking the Crime scene photographs. She knew the other woman was as determined as she to catch the rapist, Robin's bloody face still haunted her when she closed her eyes; it filled her with a deep seated rage that she struggled with.

 

It still surprised her that human beings were capable of doing awful things to each other. Each year the crime rates rose throughout the city, another sign that society's issues were coming to a climax. The NYPD needed all the help they could get, that was part of the reason she was here, to make a difference that didn't involve donating money to the next neediest charity.

 

"What do you have there?" Mia asked, scrutinising the tiny glinting piece of metal Sam held between her tweezers.

 

She was leaning over the other woman's shoulder taking in the scene of the scuffle with different eyes now, she tried to imagine what it must have been like being Robin, fighting against not only one but what looked to be two attackers. The thought alarmed and frightened her; she couldn't imagine what it was like to be forced into submitting like that. Her biggest fear was not being in control, the idea of not having any scared her beyond words.

 

Sam brought it closer into the light allowing the less experienced woman to see. Sam had become a teacher in this case, someone to be respected and to learn from. Mia appreciated the firm lessons she was being taught by the other woman. Sam could have made this whole situation a lot harder for her than it had to be. She didn't expect the NYPD to accept someone like her with open arms, but Sam and Danny had made it a hell of a lot easier. As for Flack…

 

Well the hate was mutual.

 

"It's a nose ring." Sam stated, her eyes flickering over the tiny object before she began the process of bag and tagging. "Looks like it was torn out during the struggle."

 

The disgust in Sam's voice was evident.

 

"I'm seeing two pairs of tracks here that don't belong to Robin, I'm thinking maybe there were two attackers," Mia theorized, looking to Sam for confirmation.

 

The brunette slipped the evidence envelope into her kit before looking around the immediate area.

 

"I would say one sets workman's boots, the other…" Sam shook her head. "It's hard to tell."

 

Danny's voice cut across the silence the two girls fell into, they turned their attention to him as he held up something in a silver take out container.

 

"I just found a steak over here." He called out as he stepped towards them. "And I bet I know where it came from."

 

The two women glanced at each other. Maybe they'd just gotten a break in the case after all.

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The drive to Ramon's Steakhouse was filled with awkward silence and Flack's continuous cursing under his breath at the state of Manhattan traffic. The atmosphere between the two people didn't lift when they stepped out the car and slipped into a state of professionalism either.

 

Flack made his distaste for the new CSI clear, through words and his mannerisms. He didn't see the point of some spoilt, well bred rich kid being here. Of course the NYPD was equal opportunity, anyone from any background could climb the ladder, but looking at her now as she studied the building in front of her he could see there wasn't a chance in hell this girl was right for the job.

 

Mia was arrogant in his eyes, and he hated that, he hated the way she looked down on him for being blue collar, there wasn't a damn thing he liked about the woman except maybe her body and even then there wasn't a damn thing he'd do to tap that because she was such a freaking bitch.

 

"You keep staring and I'm gonna think you have a crush on me," Mia informed him, glancing over her shoulder as he locked the car door.

 

Flack snorted as he walked round the front of the car and past the deep red haired CSI.

 

"Not even in your wildest dreams Princess, you couldn't pay me to fuck you."

 

"I doubt it would be money well spent," she retorted, wrinkling her nose as he stopped dead and turned to face her.

 

Flack took a step forward towards her. Mia held her ground as he came to a halt right in front of her, they're bodies inches apart. There was something in the air between them, tension sizzled therein the small space. They were looking into each others eyes, neither one breaking away. A test of wills as it was.

 

Mia had never noticed how good Don Flack smelt before now, his aftershave was purely masculine and one she didn't recognize but suited him down to a pat. His face was smooth and fresh faced.

 

Appearances were important to him, his longer hair made him look younger than he was but it was his startling blue eyes that told the real story, they were old and wise. She saw the compassion he held for each victim, his strength and determination. She also saw the struggle.

 

The one he fought with day in and day out to overcome. She'd heard of his father, and now meeting the son that followed in his legendary footsteps, well that had opened her eyes. It was a burden no one should have to bear but one that parents put on their children's shoulders constantly.

 

She wondered what he saw when he looked into her eyes.

 

"Enjoying yourself?" he hissed, bringing her back down to earth with a thud.

 

"Just trying to decide which bargain basement you got your aftershave from," she stated automatically, her walls going back up as she crossed her arms over her chest fighting against the coldness in his voice.

 

"I'll bear in mind to tell Sam you said that," he stated as they walked side by side towards the steak house.

 

"I don't think it's fair that you blame her for your bad taste," Mia returned, rolling her eyes as Flack let the door go behind him, almost smacking her right in the face.

 

"Grow the fuck up," she muttered before yanking the door open and following him inside.

 

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The inside of the steak house wasn't much better than the outside. Dark, foreboding with an attempt at romantic lighting…The place was a dive. A harassed looking manger rushed towards the two Detectives as they took in their surroundings, a menu clasped tightly in his hands.

 

"Table for two?" he questioned, scanning the barely used diary for any sign of a reservation.

 

"Actually we're here on business," Flack responded flashing his badge at the manager.

 

The manager's face went white as his eyes widened at the sight of the badge.

 

"You got anyone that works here that wears a nose ring?" Mia butted in before Flack could get the words out.

 

"Yea, Donovan Tracey, he's the dishwasher here."

 

"He in the kitchen?" Flack questioned, beating Mia to the punch.

 

The manager nodded before leaning forward towards the two of them.

 

"I don't want any trouble officers," he told them, before glancing at the door to the kitchen.

 

"Neither do we," Flack responded, before turning to glance at Mia and was surprised to find her not by his side but already heading through the kitchen door.

 

Flack cursed under his breath as he took quick, long strides to follow the complete pain in the ass that was his partner.

 

"Donovan Tracey?" the woman was already in front of their suspect and unclipping her cuffs.

 

Tracey took one look at her badge and lashed out. He shoved Mia backwards; she hit the floor with a clatter, the sound of her head connecting with the work surface echoing through the kitchen. Flack felt a surge of rage at the situation as Donavan turned on his heel and started to run. Flack stepped over his fallen colleague and took off after the other man as he wove through kitchen patrons and appliances.

 

His hand enclosed on the back of Tracey's collar as he yanked the man towards him, and twisted so that Tracey crashed into the wall face first, Flack's body weight forced against him as his hand searched for his cuffs. Within seconds Tracey was cuffed and being marched down the kitchen towards Mia was rubbing the tender spot on the back of her head, her face was pale and she looked shaken.

 

"You ok?" Flack inquired, as she jammed her hands in her pockets.

 

Mia nodded her mouth a grim line as she followed him towards the car.

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The ride back was quiet, too quiet for his liking. Mia hadn't looked at him once since she'd gotten into the car. He gave her a side long glance before taking a deep breath. It really wasn't his place but he thought maybe he ought to say something. Her jaw was tense, clenched her eyes lingered on the people out of the window.

 

"You know, nobody's going to look down on you for trying," Flack broke the silence gruffly.

 

Mia's head turned to him suddenly, her gaze furious and irate.

 

"Excuse me?" she spat.

 

"I think it's time to accept that you're not cut out for this, you tried but you should go back to doing what your best at…" he paused wracking his brains for a second. "Going to parties and looking good," he finished proudly as he drew up out side the station house.

 

He turned to look at Mia catching the expression on her face. She looked like she was about to beat the shit out of him.

 

"Fuck you Flack." She was already out of the car and slamming the door in his face.

 

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Her day seemed to go from bad to worse. Donovan Tracy had been her collar. Well, maybe not per say, because it had been Flack that had chased the young black man down and got the cuffs on him. All she had to really show for it was a massive bump on the back of her head, a killer head ache and the world's biggest hatred for Detective Don Flack. The man was just too much to bear. He was self centered and arrogant and had a smart, sarcastic wise ass quality that made you want to beat the crap out of him.

 

So why was it that she cared so much what he thought about her? Why had his words in the squad car cut so deep?

 

Mia stood with Danny Messer in the observation room as Sam and Flack handled the interrogation of a nervous Donovan Tracy. Mia had been itching to get in there, excited at the thought. But Mac had shut her down quick. She was too green. And he wanted her to sit back and watch as more seasoned cops handled the questioning. Mia didn't quite get what he meant by seasoned when Sam herself hadn't been on the job that long.

 

But it was clear as she paced the room, the tiny brunette CSI could handle whatever was thrown her way. And that she didn't back down from anyone.

 

Flack stood at the end of the table, keeping an eye on Tracy and for the most part, keeping his mouth shut. He'd interject if he felt there was a reason to. And so far, that reason hadn't cropped up.

 

"You raped a girl in Central Park," Sam said, her voice angry as she leaned over Donovan Tracy, her palms on the table.

 

"No...." Tracy shook his head. "You got that all wrong."

 

"No. I've got evidence," Sam informed him, picking up a file that rested on the table and waving it in his face. "Your nose ring, Donovan. It puts you at the scene of the crime."

 

"She was passed out when I got there!" the young man argued. "I didn't see her at first!"

 

"So what did you see?" Flack asked.

 

"Her hand bag," Tracy replied.

 

Both Sam and Flack shook their heads as they pieced together what had happened that night. That Donovan Tracy, while on his way home for work, had spied what he assumed was a lost hand bag and took the opportunity to check it for cash and credit cards. And when Robin Prescott had managed to pull her wounded, battered body towards the first signs of help, she had somehow yanked out Tracy's nose ring and caused him to take off. But planning to steal a handbag didn't excuse him from being a rapist too.

 

"So we got this all wrong?" Flack asked angrily. "You're not a rapist, You're just a thief?"

 

"Yeah...." Tracy agreed. "Something like that."

 

"I'm not buying it, Donovan." Sam said. "I found Robin Prescott's wallet. It still had cash in it."

 

"That's what I'm trying to explain to you!" Tracy's voice and eyes had a pleading quality to them. "I didn't get a chance to take the cash!"

 

"I want the boots you were wearing yesterday." Sam demanded. She grabbed a paper cup sitting on the table and held it out to the young man. "And I want a sperm sample."

 

Tracy reached out for the cup and hesitated.

 

"Want me to come with you?" Sam asked. "Hold the cup? Or do you think you can handle it on your own?"

 

"I think I got it," Tracy replied.

 

"Good," Sam said and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

 

Behind the glass, Mia and Danny looked at each other. Understanding Sam's anger and frustration. Despite all their hard work and long hours, nothing seemed to be coming together for them.

 

"Whoa...." Mia said, not appreciating. "She's pretty good."

 

"Small but mighty," Danny told her and led the way to the door, holding it open for the deep red haired CSI.

 

"Is there something going on between them?" Mia asked curiously, as she and Danny began the walk back to the labs.

 

"Who?" Danny asked in response.

 

"Samantha and Flack. I just get the impression that there's more to it than just friends and co-workers. Just the way I saw them together in the lunch room and...."

 

"What were they doing?"

 

"Nothing. Just sitting really close and talking quietly. And at the scene I noticed the way he watched her and stuff like that. And he made a comment while we were out going to see Tracy that made me wonder."

 

"Samantha and Flack," Danny said with a chuckle, shaking his head.

 

"What?" Mia asked.

 

"I don't even think they know what's going on between them. They have some history. And they just can't seem to make it permanent history. They always seem to wind up together."

 

"Relationship wise?"

 

"You kidding? Sex wise. No relationship there."

 

"So they're playing each other?" Mia wasn't surprised to hear that about Flack. He seemed the type. But Samantha? She didn't seem to be that way at all.

 

"More like he's playing her," Danny said.

 

Mia shook her head. Why doesn't that surprise me? she thought. "What about her daughter? Does she ever see the father?"

 

Danny nodded. "On a regular basis. But if you don't mind, that's not something I talk about. Sam and her little girl are Sam's business. I stay out of it. She's a beautiful little thing though. I just don't gossip about it to other people."

 

"Fair enough." Mia said. "It's not you is it?"

 

"What?" Danny laughed. "Me? The father of Sam's kid? You kidding? Sam and I are good friends and co-workers. Nothing more."

 

"You're not interested in her?"

 

"She's hot. But then I find a lot of women hot. Doesn't mean I'm interested in them."

 

Mia smiled and shook her head. "You haven't changed a bit, Danny Messer."

 

"Good." he said. "Because you wouldn't want me any other way."

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