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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4. First Case, Old Memories

~Octavia's POV~

Letting out a groan, I banged on the gate, before groaning again.

"You look horrible" Lindsay chuckled as she walked up the stairs. She punched in the code and scanned her palm. Just as I was about to walk through the gate, Jay and Ruzek walked down the stairs.

"We got a case. The others are going to meet us there" Ruzek said. Groaning for the third time, I turned around and walked back down the stairs.

"Tav, you ride with Ruzek" Lindsay said. I nodded and followed the male to his car. Getting in, I yawned and closed my eyes. 

"Tell me when we are there. And would it be wrong to stop for coffee on the way? My motel room was out this morning and I was running late" I said.

"Wait, your staying at a motel?" Ruzek asked as he drove off.

"Yeah and I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone. Especially Jay."

"Didn't he drive you home last night?"

"Yeah he did, but I had him drop me off in front of a house. I left my car there and grabbed it this morning. I walked from the house to my motel room. Wasn't far. Just four blocks give or take" I replied.

"Tav, that wasn't safe. You could've been attacked. And why are you staying in a motel room?"

"Yeah well, I believe that I was sober enough to use my gun. Plus I had a small nap in the car on the way home. Luckily Jay was going into the right direction cause as soon as the car started, I was out."

"And what about the motel room?"

"I have no family here. And I was in hospital. Not like after I got out I could go house hunting. It's a pretty nice motel. But it's all I can afford at the moment."

"I guess that makes sense, but its been a month. You could've found a place by now. And you were, well still are, FBI. Your pay check is probably bigger than mine"

I sighed, opening my eyes and looked out the window.

"Yeah, well...." I said. "There is a really good coffee place just up here. Do you want anything?" I asked. Ruzek pulled over and gave me his coffee order. Dashing into the coffee shop, I gave them my order and stood aside, waiting for them to be ready. Thankfully it wasn't long.

"Thank you" I smiled before heading back out. Part of me didn't want to get back inside the car, but I knew I had to. Getting in, I handed Ruzek his coffee as he drove to the crime scene.

 

Arriving at the crime scene, I saw Ruzek and I were the last to arrive.

"Thought you were right behind us?" Halstead said as he walked over.

"Needed coffee. Ran out at home" I said holding up my cup before taking a sip. Jay nodded before leading Ruzek and I over to the crime scene.

"No ID yet. But he is missing his left hand and his, uh...." Jay said. 

"I think we understand" I replied looking away.

"You OK?" Kim asked walking over. I nodded and walked away from her; away from the others over to a large patch of overgrown grass. I tipped my coffee out and took deep breathes.

"Hey, you OK?" Lindsay asked from behind me. I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.

"Hank!" Lindsay called out. I waved my hand as if to wave off, as no sound came out when I opened my mouth.

"What is it?"

"Something is wrong with Tav" Lindsay said.

"I got it. Call Antonio" Voight said. I felt a hand on my back. Taking a deep breathe, I tried to get myself under control.

"Do you know who that is?" Voight asked. I nodded my head, falling to my knees.

"Ruzek, Burgess, get Cayson out of here. Lindsay, tell Antonio to meet us at the district" Voight told them. I felt someone take my hand. Looking over I saw Ruzek.

"Come on" he said gently taking me back over to his car. Helping me into the back of the car, Kim slid in next to me. I saw her share a glance with Ruzek before he got into the drivers seat.

"We're here for you" Kim whispered taking a hold of my hand. I looked at her, trying to calm myself down. Taking deep breathes, I sent her  a small smile.

~

"Tav" Antonio called as he entered the bull pen. Getting off Kim's desk, I walked over and threw my arms round his neck.

"It's ok. I'm here" he whispered.

"Antonio" Voight stated as he walked up the stairs with the others. I looked over and saw their concerned faces.

"Let's head into Voight's office" Antonio said. Nodding, I pulled back and led the way. I sat on the couch, Antonio next to me, with Voight sitting in a chair opposite.

"We still don't have an ID" Voight said. I looked at him before looking out his window.

"Dion Sanders. He has a record, so he'll be int he system. Before you ask, yeah he had enemies. Myself included but I was too intoxicated to do anything to him, so don't even think of me as a suspect. Didn't even know he was out of the slammer. Last I heard he was doing 20 in Stateville" I replied. Antonio rubbed my back.

"10 years ago, I arrested a guy named Marcel Martel. He was a known sex offender. Liked pre-teen aged girls. Tav here was one of his victims. Martel named Sanders as one of the people he...lent, his victims too" Antonio added. I felt eyes on me but I just kept looking out the window, trying so hard not to let my mind wonder back there. I never wanted to remember that time in my life.

"Do you know anyone in particular who would want to hurt Sanders?" Voight questioned.

"As I said, he had a lot of enemies. I've blocked most of that anyway, so I don't know how much help I'd be anyway" I replied.

"I can get the original case file for you. It'll have all of Martel's and Sander's known associates and enemies in it" Antonio offered.

"That be great man, thanks." Voight replied. I could feel his eyes on me, but I refused to look at him.

"I think that you should be removed from the case" Antonio spoke, after a few minutes of silence. I whipped my head round to face Antonio.

"No" I said standing up.

"Tav -"

"No Antonio! I am not skipping this case! This is my first one since joining the unit, and I absolutely refuse to be treated like a child! I may not remember most of my childhood, but I still could of use!" I yelled, my anger boiling.

"Octavia, this is the last thing you need right now" Antonio tried again, concern written all over his face. I gave him a hard glare, before turning to Voight. His expression was unreadable.

"You can use me. Give me a cognitive if you must, but, despite how much I hate it, I know Sanders. And Martel. I can help out.You know I can" I insisted. Voight stared at me, clearly studying me.

"OK. But Antonio is helping out too. And if he says you've been through too much, then your done" Voight spoke, his tone hard. I nodded. It was better than nothing.

"Deal. But I want to be given a fair shot before he makes that call"

"Fine. But I won't hesitate to call is quits Tav. You've been through so much already" he warned. Nodding again, I followed Voight to his door.

"Everything ok?" Lindsay asked looking over.

"Yeah. Antonio is helping out with this case." 

"Why?" Ruzek questioned.

"Because I said so"

I looked between the two, before rolling my eyes.

"The victims name is Dion Sanders. He is a known sex offender. He preferred brunette, girls between the ages of 12-14. He normally got girls off a guy named Marcel Martel" I stated, interrupting them.

"Marcel Martel? One of the Martel brothers, right?" Jay asked.

"That's right. Martel is doing life in Stateville, like his older brother Micah Martel, but their younger brother Markus, has been out for the past few years. I wouldn't put it past Markus to put out a hit on Sanders for doing something to Marcel or for whatever reason" I added.

"You sure know a lot about the Martel brothers" Olinsky commented. I looked at him and sent him a forced, but believable smile.

"FBI remember? Plus I had a case a few years back involving one of the Martel brothers" I half lied.

"I also dealt with one of the Martel brothers. I was the one to arrest Marcel and put him in jail" Antonio said speaking up since we stepped out of Voight's office.

"So you could get a sit down with Martel, then" Kim said. Antonio nodded.

"He was the one who probably put the hit out on Sanders, if not, it was someone close to him" I commented.

"What makes you say that?" Voight questioned.

"Because Sanders was the one who turned on Martel and got him arrested" 

"Sounds like motivation to me" Atwater commented.

"Antonio, you and Olinsky, go talk with Martel, Octavia y-"

"I want to go with Antonio" I interrupted.

"Tav, no" Antonio warned. Voight stared at me.

"Do you think that's a good idea?" he asked.

"Probably not, but I am the fastest way to get Martel to talk. I will be the last person he'd expect. It'll throw him off guard which we could use to our advantage. If Martel did do this, and I believe he had a hand in it, then between Antonio and I, we can get a confession" I reasoned. 

"Octavia, no" Antonio tried again. "Voight, you know this is insane"

"Are we missing something here?" Lindsay asked, looking between the three of us. My eyes never left Voight.

"Don't worry about it" Voight commented.

"No Hank, it seems like we should know about it" Lindsay replied, her voice hard.

"Seriously Erin, back off" Antonio commented. Lindsay gave him a hard look.  Voight looked at me, clearly trying to find something. But I wouldn't let him find it. I had to face Martel. And not just for the case.

"Fine. You can go" Voight said.

"No! I'm calling it. You're off the case Tav" Antonio said glaring at Voight.

"Hell no! I need this Antonio, and not just for the case!" I yelled. MY eyes went wide as I realised what I had said. I watched as Antonio's features softened, his eyes turning sympathetic.

"Don't give that crap Antonio" I said before I headed for the door. Everything felt like it was closing in on me and I had to get out of there. I heard my name, but I ignored it. Grabbing my keys out, I got in my car, a destination in mind. I was surely going to get in trouble.

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