A Girl's Strength

Octavia Cayson is a young woman on the rise in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Her life was rough, but that never stopped her. Despite how many times she had been pushed down, Octavia always got up again. But not this time. After being attacked while on an undercover assignment, her boss decided that she should spend some time with a team of highly skilled police officers in the city of Chicago. Now, back home and apart of a team she wants nothing to do with, Octavia must learn to work with her new team and to let people in, otherwise she might not get back up.

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3. Facing the Past

"You know each other?" Kim asked looking between Dawson and I.

"Yeah. I met Octavia about 10 years ago" Dawson answered.

"The same time you left Chicago" Ruzek commented.

"Yeah. And before you ask, yes the two are connected. How, you may ask? Not going to tell you. And if Detective Dawson respects my privacy, then he won't say anything either" I said giving Dawson and warning glance.

"Of course. It's none of my business anyway. We knew each other for about a month before you moved and I never saw you again. Until now that is" Dawson stated.

"Until now" I agreed. Forcing myself to remain calm, I kept blinking every few seconds so my eyes wouldn't water.

"You ok Tav?" Halstead asked frowning.

"Excuse me" I replied setting my glass on the table and walked out of the bar. I heard someone behind me.

"Tav"

It was Dawson. I rounded the corner before falling to my knees on the path. The concrete scrapped my knees causing them to start bleeding.

"Dammit" I groaned as I moved to sit on my ass, leaning against the wall. Dawson crouched down in front of me. He placed his hands on my legs, keeping them still so he could look at the damage.

"Nothing serious. Just clean the wounds and out some band aids on them. They'll heal up in a week maybe more." Dawson said looking up at my face.

"Thanks. Though aren't you a cop, not a doctor?" I mused with a small smile. Dawson chuckled.

"It is good to see you doing so well Tav" Dawson smiled.

"Thanks Dawson. I have you to thank for that. You saved my life" I replied.

"Antonio? Tav?" the voice of Halstead asked as he rounded the corner. He saw the two of us on the ground and frowned.

"I tripped. Grazed my knees when I fell." I explained.

"She'll be fine. But we should get those knees cleaned." Dawson said.

"Why don't you get Gabby or Will and I'll take Tav into the kitchen out the back of the bar?" Halstead suggested.

"Or, Dawson could take me out back and you could find Doctor Rhodes. He was at the table when I left" I countered.

"You know Dr Rhodes?" Dawson questioned. I nodded as I pushed myself to my feet. I grimaced when blood dripped onto my foot.

"Yeah. He saved my life bout a month ago." I explained heading towards the door. Dawson went to help me, but I held up my hand.

"I can still walk" I stated opening the door. People moved out of the way when they saw I was injured.

"Hey, you ok?" Rhodes asked walking over when he saw.

"Yeah. But I should get these cleaned out. Think they have a first aid kit in here somewhere?" I asked heading towards the back of the bar.

"You OK?" a girl questioned, frowning as she walked over to us. She pushed open a door and motioned me through. Rhodes, Dawson, Halstead and Kim followed me inside.

"What happened?" Kim asked appearing right next to me.

"I tripped" I said as I sat on a table. I bit my lip as I saw how much dirt and stones were actually stuck to the wound son my knees.

"I got it Gabby" Rhodes said holding his hand out for the first aid kit the unknown female was holding.

"You sure? I don't mind and it's my bar so I'd like to be here either way" the woman, Gabby said hesitating.

"Tav, this is Gabby, my younger sister, Paramedic in Charge on Ambulance 61 and co-owner of this bar" Dawson introduced. I looked between Rhodes and Gabby. I looked towards Rhodes.

"It's fine, Gabby can clean them. I'll see you out there before I go though" I smiled. Rhodes nodded before he left.

"So, how do you know Antonio? And how do you know Dr Rhodes?" Gabby asked as she began to look through the first aid kit, looking for...well, whatever she was looking for.

"Dr Rhodes saved my life about a month ago. I was badly injured. As for how I know Dawson, we met about 10 years ago." I replied kind of vaguely.

"Cause that's not vague at all" Gabby replied sarcastically.

"Dawson might have mentioned me to you. I know sometimes cops tell their family members about cases they work."

"So you knew Antonio from a case he worked?" Halstead asked. Gabby paused and thought for a moment.

"Wait..." she said looking at me.

"Octavia Cayson" I muttered. Gabby gasped and dropped what she was holding.

"Oh, I am so sorry" she muttered as she picked up what she dropped, a frown on her face.

"Now I'm really confused" Kim admitted. 

"I understand why. But I am not going to clear it up for you, sorry. I'm not for the whole, sharing backstories or whatever" I said leaning back on my hands. I sucked in air through my teeth, as a reaction to the pain I felt when Gabby wiped my left knee with something.

"Sorry. Alcohol wipe. I need to clean the wounds before I cover them. Don't want them to get infected" Gabby explained. 

"Don't be. Last thing I want is for them to get infected." I replied.

"You would tell us if something was wrong or something bad was going on, wouldn't you?" Kim asked concern written all over her face. I looked at her and thought for a minute.

"If I'm being completely honest; if I knew you all better I would. But I met all of you, aside from Dawson and Rhodes, today. I know nothing about any of you. Maybe down the track. It's not exactly something I'm proud of" I replied my face completely serious.

"And done" Gabby said stepping back. Looking down I saw both knees covered with band aids.

"Thanks Gabby" I smiled as I stood.

"No problem. It's my job" Gabby smiled.

"Now, I need a drink. Preferably something strong" I said heading towards the door. Halstead and the others chuckled as they followed me. Once on the other side, I saw Rhodes waiting. He smiled when he saw me.

"I'm fine. Relax. It's going to take more than two scraped knees to take me down" I grinned.

"That is true" Rhodes chuckled.

"Now, next round is on me. Gabby, I'll take a glass of your strongest drink. I don't really care how expensive" I said turning to her. She grinned.

"Got it. I'll get everyone's next round" she said before disappearing.

"That's awfully nice of you" Halstead said as he sat back down in his seat. I sat down next to him with Antonio on my other side.

"You ok?" Lindsay asked.

"Yeah. Nothing I can't handle" I smiled.

"You know Tav, you are one weird person" Ruzek commented. I sent him a smile.

"No duh" I replied before laughing as Gabby bought over a tray of drinks.

"I must say, you've got some balls wanting this" Gabby said placing a glass with about a centimetre of liquid in it in front of me.

"So I've been told" I replied before I picked the glass up and downed the whole thing in one. The liquid burned my throat and I almost threw it back up due to the horrible taste. I forced it to stay down and once the urge to throw up passed, which was pretty quickly, I grinned.

"Now I need water and a Manhattan please" I replied.

"You planning on getting drunk or something?" Gabby joked.

"Yes. I'm back in a town I never wanted to even think about again. I ran into someone who, no offence, reminds me of one of the worst times in my life and I have been demoted for being injured. Not exactly in the mood to celebrate" I replied in all seriousness. Gabby frowned before she walked away.

"That's depressing" Ruzek commented.

"Well obviously. I have no one in this god forsaken town. No offence to you guys, I'm sure you love Chicago, but I don't. Not anymore" I replied with a shrug, flicking my eyes to look at the table. I felt something on my shoulder. I looked to see Kim, her face set.

"I will change that. I know you don't have any family left but in the Intelligence unit, we are a close knit team. I don't care how long it takes but I will make it so you love Chicago ago." Kim vowed. I looked at her, my expression void. Slowly, a small smile appeared.

"You know who you remind me of?" I asked. She shook her head.

"Someone I miss very much. But I'm glad your like her. I miss her determination and her spirit"

"T-Thank you" Kim replied her cheeks heating up slightly.

~

"So, Tav, I need to know. You said before you were demoted because you got injured. How did you get injured? And how badly?" Ruzek asked. I shrugged sipping on some water.

"What was that?" Dawson asked. I frowned.

"What was what?"

"That shrug"

"Oh that. That shrug was an, I don't know. Because I don't know. Well, not in detail. Last thing I remember is walking out of a bar during an undercover operation, and next thing I know, I'm waking up in a hospital. In Chicago. 3 days later" I sighed setting my head on Dawson's shoulder.

"What do you mean in Chicago?" he questioned.

"Meaning last time I checked before I was injured, I was California." I replied.

"How badly were you hurt exactly?" Halstead asked concerned. I looked at Rhodes.

"Ah, Tav had bad internal bleeding, cracked ribs, a fractured leg and sever head trauma. As well as..." Rhodes trailed off looking at me. I shook my head.

"As well as what?" Atwater chimed.

"Don't worry about it. It doesn't matter. But the point is, I was hurt pretty badly. And the had trauma obviously caused the amnesia. Hence, I don't remember what happened" I said with a small yawn.

"Tired?" Dawson chuckled. I nodded.

"It's late. You should go home" 

"I would, but I'm still feeling the affects of the shots and the sunset rum I had about an hour and a half ago. I shouldn't drive. Well, I don't think I should drive" I pointed out.

"I'll drive you home then"

"Not happening. You also did shots with me about an hour and a half ago, not to mention you were here before me and who knows how many beers you have had"

"I'll drive you home. I've barely drunken anything" Halstead said. I lifted my head and looked at him.

"You don't have to do that. And what about your car?" I asked.

"I'll pick it up tomorrow. Or I'll get my brother to drive it back. I know he got a lift with his girlfriend" Halstead replied.

"Ok. But if you crash my car or put a dent in it. You are paying for the damages. And don't even think of going for a joy ride" I warned pulling my keys out. They fell to the floor causing me to giggle.

"Oops" I said beginning to bend down to pick them up. Halstead beat me to it.

"Thanks" I said blinking. The room was starting to spin.

"Too many Manhattan's I'm guessing" Halstead chuckled as He put one of my arms round his shoulders and one of his arms round my waist. He lifted me to my feet and I almost fell.

"Probably" I yawned.

"Night Tav. We'll see you tomorrow." Lindsay smiled. I nodded with a smile.

"Before we go. I know this is going to sound cheesy and like a drunken rambling. But there is something about you guys. Something...pure and happy. I hope I get a chance to experience that. I get the feeling that you guys might be able to convince me that Chicago isn't as bad as I think. And I believe Kim with be at the centre of that....of that....of tha- of whatever the word is. Now, Halstead please take me home" I said. Everyone chuckled and waved goodbye. With Halstead's help, I managed to get out of the bar.

"Which is your car? And you can call me Jay" Hal-Jay asked. With my free hand I pointed to a sleek black car.

"That one" I replied walking forward. Jay helped me as he gawked.

"You own a black 2017 Porsche 911 turbo coupe?" he asked amazed.

"Yep. So no scratches, no dents, no damage at all. And if I say I feel like I need to puke, pull over and open my door." I said as Jay unlocked the car. He helped me into the passenger's seat.

"Got it" Jay chuckled as he closed my door and got in the drivers seat. The purr of the engine drifted me to sleep.

 

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