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A Tangled Web Chapter Nine: Let The Trap Be Sprung

Title: A Tangled Web Chapter Nine: Let The Trap Be Sprung
Fandoms: Cold Case
Author: tyhyin
Pairings: Jimmy Bruno/Sean 'Coop' Cooper, Ronald Turing/Sarah Turing, unrequited Becky Edlund/Sean 'Coop' Cooper
Disclaimer: I don't own Cold Case or the episode 'Forever Blue', this is just for fun.
Summary: It's early morning when Coop wakes up to the sound of Jimmy in the shower.
Spoilers: None unless you haven't seen 'Forever Blue'
Ratings: PG-13
Authors Note: Comments=Love

Chapter Nine- Let The Trap Be Sprung

It's early morning when Coop wakes up to the sound of Jimmy in the shower. He turns over and closes his eyes against the glare the crappy curtains let in. Jimmy is singing Del Shannons 'Runaway' and Coop winces as he attempts the high notes. He smiles to himself. Jimmy comes out of the bathroom and catches him singing along. They grin at each other. There is a towel around his waist and the sight tempts Coop. Too bad they have to go to work. Jimmy offers his hand and pulls Coop to his feet and he heads for his own shower. Jimmy touches the small of his back as he walks past.

Ignoring his morning erection Coop strips off his boxers and gets in the shower. He washes his body first then as he is shampooing his hair an image of Jimmy dressed in black and with his cheeks wet pops up behind his eyes. Snapping his eyes back open causes shampoo to run into them and when he closes them again to alliviate the sting the image of Owen swinging slightly from the beams of his garage produces itself. It's unfortunate that his brain supplied those particular images. If they had been more desirable than maybe Coop would have faced them as soon as he remembered. He might not have washed off such an important name from the back of his hand. But as it is he pushes them aside, gets out of the shower and goes to get dressed.

The dream could have played out word for word if not for a woman walking on the pavement as Coop drives he and Jimmy to the Station. He recognise her, remembers feeling embarrassed when she looked at him. He remembers being naked and pale. In the end it's as he turns her over in his head that the memories break through and the dream floods in. He remembers everything except for the name of the man Astrid talked to him about. It feels like there is a mental block there, a wall built in front of the knowledge. The stone weathered with age. He remembers what she told him to do with that man and he figures thats enough for now.

He is determined, the dream has given him direction. A point to reach and things to achieve. He is driven. But he spends the whole morning ignoring the knowledge that is sitting at the edge of his brain, crouching, taunting but protected by the wall so he can't get to it. Knowledge he knows he needs but at the same time doesn't want to know. He wonders how he could have forgotten something if it were so important but that line of thought doesn't lead to anything productive so he shuts it down. Grey clouds roll in as they step into the Station, heavy with rain. The Sun hides.

Inside the Station is brighter than should be possible and Coop has to squint until his eyes adjust. Jimmy strides over to the Desk Sergeant to get their 'orders' from McCree. Coop takes his time, he really doesn't want to go on patrol. The other officers watch him as he walks to the desk and he knows what he's done. He's opened a can of worms. A can Owen handed him. He hopes he doesn't see Owen. Nearing the desk he overhears Chris, the Desk Sergeant talking to Jimmy about a raid that took place yesterday. How Mann and Eckstrom couldn't go check out the Beaumont robbery because of it. Neither of them mention how he and Jimmy were purposely excluded, again. Coop tells Chris that he and Jimmy will go check it out and almost grins at how easy it is. Astrid was worried for no reason. Chris looks wary for all of a second then nods and writes it in the log book. Jimmy wants to ask him something, Coop can read it on his face. He's at the door before the words leave Jimmy's mouth. He'll explain in the car, explain as much as he can anyway. Well, more like make up a reason. Owen turns the corner to the reception area just as Coop opens the door. He looks as if he is going to come up to them. So Coop steps outside and lets the door slam shut.

All three of them are stubborn men. Owen, Jimmy and him. Coop knows that but that doesn't mean he's going to put any effort into changing. It's not like he started it, the blame for that lies on Owens shoulders. What makes it worse is that it wasn't just speculation Owen was using for fodder. The others were but not Owen. Coop saw the knowlegde in Owens eyes when he was up in his face growling out damning questions of his own. He knows about Coop and Jimmy, Owen knows and yet he used it to hurt them. He was their friend, they kept him together when Eddie was killed. Coop feels betrayed. But the dream tugs at him. Owen felt so guilty that he hung himself. But he told Coops Dad and worse, McCree. Putting both him and Jimmy in danger. Betrayal again. But Owen is like a brother to him, to Jimmy too. Coop is far too confused.

Jimmy swivels to face him almost as soon as Coop is sat in the car. His eyes are searching and his left hand is twitching on his knee, he wants to touch Coop. For a short moment whilst looking at Jimmys hand Coop lets himself believe that his dream was just that, a dream. The moment passes swiftly. They both knew going in that this thing between them could get them killed but now they're in the most frought time of their relationship. Jimmy is still staring at him and Coop stills. He has never thought the word 'relationship' about he and Jimmy. He likes it. He avoids word's like affair and adultery because guilt will only mar the time they have. They are living a delusion, one set to be shattered. The question is wether or not the pieces will tear them apart.

Jimmy is starting to get fed up of waiting for Coop to speak. He obviously can't tell Jimmy about the dream, let alone that he thinks it's going to come true. He likes his walls without padding. So he does the only thing he can do, lie. "I want to check out this Beaumont place." and it's half truth but it's Astrid he wants to check out. He needs help if he's gonna stop himself from being murdered. He hopes it sounds believable and when he looks at Jimmy he knows he doesn't buy it. They leave the lot and Jimmy rattles off directions as they go. Coop sifts through the dream to see if he can find information that might be useful, But all he comes up with is McCree moaning 'Ronnie' whilst fucking a rent boys mouth. That's not helpful at all. Jimmy sighs all the way to the crime scene.

Coop expects to find the shop the way it was in his dream, but instead it has a boarded up window and there are no vegetables in crates outside. No pumpkins. It looks like someone beat up, like it has a black eye and is keeping itself hidden in case the danger might return. It looks sad. The worse is yet to come. The inside of the shop is sad too, the colours muted. The beaded door hanging is missing. No-one is behind the counter when they enter. The effect is very eerie. The chimes over the door jingled as they came in so someone should be out soon. When Astrid does emerge Coop can't hold back a hiss. Jimmy turns to look at him wearing reprimand face. Astrid laughs and says "You're right sugar, I do look a mess." Her right eye is framed by a big bruise, so recent that it is still a deep blue, nearly black. She is also leaning heavily on a cane. Jimmy, the professional steps forward taking out his pad whilst Coop just stands and gawps at her.

"Hello ma'am I'm Officer Bruno." Jimmy says and shakes her hand. Then he gestures at Coop "And this is Officer Cooper." Coop walks forward and holds out his hand for Astrid to shake. When she takes his hand and grips it hard he knows his dream was anything but just a dream. Astrid looks at him with keen eyes. She sees something but isn't forthcoming. Her face splits into a toothy grin and she gestures them into the back room. Coop steels himself for a big hit of deja vu. He isn't dissapointed. The room is exactly the same apart from a small table and four chairs around it. He wonders when Astrid gets them.

Once they are seated at the table Astrid offers them some tea and before Coop can stop himself he says "I'm sorry I don't like peppermint tea." Jimmy gives him a sidelong look and Astrid says "It's ok child I've got some Earl Grey here somewhere." without batting an eyelid and removes the peppermint teabag from Coops teacup. Jimmy does a double take but doesn't speak. Coop thinks he might just end up in the nuthouse anyway. Astrid moves around the kitchen setting things on a little tray and finally fills the kettle with water and plugs it into the wall. Wipping her hands on her skirt she leaves the kitchen to sit across from them at the little table. She smiles and waits for them to speak. It's Jimmy that speaks.

"Mrs Beaumont were here to get a description of your assailant. What can you remember about him?" His professional voice smooth and reassuring.

"He was about your height Officer Bruno and he had ginger hair, I couldn't see his eyes 'cos it was dark." she paused and then continued her voice softer "His hands were shaking and I could tell he'd never held a gun before let alone fired one."

"He had a gun?" Coop asks. There was nothing in the report about a gun. Jimmy is equally surprised if his face is anything to go by.

"Yes child, he didn't use it. He was more scared of it than I was." she responds her eyes moving to rest on Coop. He thinks how she gives him the willys. She smiles.

Jimmy takes point again and ask "Can I ask how you sustained your injuries?" but Coop buts in at the end "Did he do this to you?". Jimmy sighs and Astrids smiles grows wider.

The kettle whistles and she rises slowly pain clear on her face and her knuckles white on the handle of her cane. She gets to the small kitchenette without a sound and has the teacups full of steaming tea before either of them can so much as blink. How she expects to get a tray with three teacups full of tea and a plate of assorted biscuits across from the kitchen to the table Coop has no idea. Just as she's about to jostle the tray onto one of her hands Coop is on his feet saying "Let me help you with that Ma'am." and he doesn't realize until the tray is on the table and both he and Astrid are both again seated that that was how she expected to get the tray across. The crafty woman he thinks and smiles.

Getting herself settled once again and wrapping a hand around her teacup she asks "What was the question again child?" Coop snags a Bourbon cream.

Jimmy seems to have given up trying to keep Coop proffessional and so has dropped his own proffessional tone. He says "Did the theif inflict your injuries?"

Raising her teacup to her mouth she takes a dainty sip and upon resting it back in its saucer she says "Only the black eye and that was only because I got to close to his elbow as he was making his escape." her lips upturned at the last bit. "I slipped on the wet floor a few days before the robbery, brusied my hip. The doctor gave me this cane." She tapped the cane with her foot a look of distate on her face.

Coop almost sighs, he doesn't know why but he really didn't want the theif to be a batterer of the elderly. He adds it to the list of things he isn't going to dwell on.

"How much cash did he get away with?" ask Jimmy after taking a sip of his peppermint tea. He hides his facial reaction to the taste by stepping up his concerned face a notch or two.

Astrid sees it anyway but just smiles. "I think it was around 150 dollars and forty five cents." then she pauses and thinks "He took a chocolate bar too I think."

Coop is enjoying his own cup of tea and picks up another biscuit, a Nice Biscuit this time. Jimmy has no more questions and Coop drains the last of his tea in preparation.

"Thank you for your cooperation Mrs Beaumont, we'll call again if we have any infomation." and they both rise. She stands up with them with the hint of a wince.

Coop snags a Custard Cream from the tray and says "We can let ourselves out Ma'am, you rest your hip." They leave the backroom with Astrid smiling.

As they leave the shop looks less depressing to Coop. The sunlight catches the dust particles dancing and brings the colours of the fruits and vegetables to life. It looks like hope. Once back in the patrol car Coops stomach rumbles despite the copious amount of biscuits he just ate. Jimmy laughs and says "Yeah I agree, it is about time for lunch." Coop smiles and thinks "You bet it is." Coop pulls back into the traffic and heads for the diner that makes onion rings the way Jimmy likes, Marco's. He is driving on autopilot again. There is no link between the robbery and Germantown, and just because they guy is supposed to croak there doesn't mean he lives there. He hates working a case backwards. This is really the work for the detectives but Coop knows, knows, they wont get the desired result if he were to hand if off to them. Plus they'd never take his tips to heart seeing as he has no justification for them. They'd just think he was crazy.

They car park is near full when they get to Marco's and Coop has a hard time finding a space. A beat up truck pulls out and Coop is on it like a shot, he hopes it's not as busy inside. When Jimmy opens the door and they walk in Coop sighs, it is indeed busy. Coop sweeps his eyes over the diner searching for a table and sees one free at the back next to the window. He nudges Jimmy's arm to get his attention then moves towards the table without waiting for him. He's practically starving. Getting to the table he slides into the booth with his back to the wall, he outran a fat couple. Will do them some good he thinks and turns back to the table when Jimmy slides in opposite him. There are menus in a little stand on the middle of the table along with matching salt and pepper shakers and a bottle of ketchup but they don't need to look. Jimmy grumbles under his breath pulls his face.

"What'd you say Jimmy?" Coop asks

Jimmy makes a annoyed noise in his throat and says "That damn peppermint tea, the taste is still in my mouth. I really hope coffee will get rid of it." Coop just laughs, how can he not with the faces Jimmy is pulling.

"It aint funny Coop, that shit is disgusting. Don't get me wrong I like mint but I can barely tolerate tea at the best of times and let me tell you, tea and mint...not a good combination." Jimmy says and Coop just carries on laughing.

He scowls at Coop picks up a menu and pretends to choose what he's going to have.

Coop looks at him with affectionate eyes and says "Aww c'mon Jimmy don't be like that." and when this garners no response from Jimmy he leans over and half whispers "Well I sure aint gonna kiss you again till you get rid of it."

Jimmy jerks backwards in the booth and his back goes ramrod straight. He exclaims "Coop!" in a stage whisper.

He's like a skittish animal at the moment and Coop keeps forgetting. Jimmy is looking out the window and breathing through his nose, trying to calm down. Looking at Jimmy's profile for a second Coop turns to try and catch a waitress, he spots Becky. He raises his hand when she looks his way to catch his attention. Her face lights up. They haven't been into Marco's for a few months, he and Jimmy. Not since that night in Jimmys back yard. Becky flirts and Coop used to flirt back but that was when he was trapped, when he was cursed. He smiles slightly at that thought. Now he is free, the spell broken by a kiss and he doesn't want to flirt with anyone other than Jimmy.

He turns back to Jimmy and his stomach grumbles loudly. Becky makes her way over to their table, pad and pencil at the ready.

She smiles at both of them and asks in her chipper voice "What can I get you two?".

She is wearing a jumper that hugs her boobs, a knee-length skirt that sways when she moves and a small apron over it. Her name tag is perched precariously on her left breast. Coop is observant, he knows what to compliment, when to flirt, where to look just a tad too long to show interest. Two months previous it was his life.

Jimmy says "I'll have a burger with extra onion rings and a coffee." and smiles at her.

Becky will expect him to flirt so when she turns to get his order he says "I'll have steak, chips and a coffee too thanks." then adds "How's Chuck doing?" onto the end. He looks back to Jimmy almost immediately, no need to let her think he's staring anywhere too long.

Jimmy is looking at him, his face sharp on edge. He is still so afraid of this.

Chuck is Becky's husband and the chef, a good guy who takes his wifes flirting in stride. Coop would never touch another mans wife. Becky frowns, they never mention Chuck. It was a silent agreement, Coop thinks she doesn't like to think of him when she's flirting with other men. Even when he's only a few feet away.

"He's fine thanks, I'll tell him you asked." Becky replies her voice broacasting he confusion. She puts the pad and pencil back into the pocket of her apron and walks back to the kitchen.

Once she is out of earshot Jimmy leans forwards and hisses "What are you doing Coop! She's gonna suspect something." his face tight with barely surpressed fear.

Coop sighs and says "What's she going to suspect Jimmy? She'll just think I've finally got myself a girl. Calm down." exuding calm, trying to force it onto Jimmy.

Jimmy just huffs his own sigh and turns away again. Coop see's the man from his dream, the man afraid of taking a chance, afraid of his own heart. The man who told him to get a new partner. He understands, knows that there is everything to fear and more to lose, but he hopes that to Jimmy there is at least one thing to gain. Even if that one thing isn't him. Still watching Jimmy he moves his right foot under the table until it rests on Jimmy's left ankle. His shoulders relax and his eyes flutter closed, a smile playing at the edge of his mouth. There is hope. When Becky comes with there food Coop tries to move his foot but Jimmy presses his own against it and looks him dead in the eye for a second. Then he is taking the food off Becky and asking her for some mayonaisse. Coop smiles broadly and Becky thinking he is smiling at her smiles back before turning back for the kitchen. He doesn't notice, his eyes are on Jimmy who is tucking into his burger heartily. Not the most attractive of sights but still.

He chuckles and says "I thought I was meant to be the hungry one, you're attacking that like you haven't eaten for days." Then he forgets himself again and says "Isn't Eileen feeding you?" The moment it is out of his mouth he wants to grab it back. He waits for Jimmy to move his foot or hiss at him again but instead he just grunts around a mouthful of burger. Mentally shrugging his shoulders Coop looks to his own meal and turns his fork to attacking his chips. Becky brings the mayonaisse and brushes Coops hand when she places it on the table, Jimmy clenches his jaw. Coop has to hold back his smile, so Jimmy can be jealous. Putting some mayo on his chips he resumes eating them. They talk between mouthfuls, about past cases, Owen and Jimmy's kids specifically Charlie. Jimmy barely shuts up about the boy and Coop loves him more for it. Jimmy is half way through telling him how Charlie said 'Daddy' even though Eileen insists it was just wind when Misha the owner of the diner is at the table asking if he can have a quiet word. Jimmy shifts over in the booth and says "Sure."

Misha's eyes are a piercing blue and his hair a jet black. He is handsome. The foot against his under the table presses harder and Coop fights against a smirk. Jimmy jealous two times in one day, who would have thought. Misha starts off speaking "Guys can you do me a favour." and without pausing goes on in his gravely voice "There's this car out back and its been there for a couple of days now. I thought someone would come pick it up but no-one has, I checked it out and the door was open the keys still in the ignition. I locked it and put the keys behind the counter just in case. I think it's something shady and I was wondering if you guys could check it out?" Finally finished he breathes again and looks at Jimmy and Coop expectantly.

Coop has a feeling in his gut and a voice in his head that sounds remarkably like Astrid. It's saying "This is your lead, child. Follow it." So when Jimmy starts to say something like Misha should call it in to the station Coop cuts him off with "Sure buddy." and grins at him. No doubt Jimmy definitely thinks he belongs on a funny farm after this but Coop can't seem to care. He's not fighting for himself anymore, he's fighting for Jimmy, for Jason, Mary, Charlie and Eileen. Most importantly Eileen. She doesn't know it but she is standing just inside a prison cell looking around but seeing it as a family home and if she's not quick the barred door will swing shut behind her. It is the same trap his mother is in albeit from different origins and for different reasons but the end is just the same. It will leave her broken and bitter, Jimmy lonely and unhappy. The worst will be dealt to the Bruno children, they won't understand what happened or what they did wrong just that there parents aren't happy. He is not totally selfless, the heart wants what the heart wants after all and Coops heart wants Jimmy. So if he has to follow some unconventional sources to get him, get him and keep him then he will.

Misha thanks them both enthusiastically then goes back to taking phone orders behind the counter. Coop watches him go just so he doesn't have to look at Jimmy, who is staring a hole into his face sat opposite him. Without turning his head he asks "What is it Jimmy?"

He feels Jimmys breath against the side of his face as he huffs yet again and says "Oh I dunno Coop maybe it's the fact you've been acting crazy all day. What is up with you?" Then silence and Coop turns to look at him, he seems to be waiting for an answer and when Coop doesn't give him one he says "Jesus Coop, we've got to be more careful." His voice is taunt and Coop suspects there not just talking about police work anymore.

Fighting his rising temper he says "What exactly do we have to be careful of Jimmy, we haven't even done anything. All we look like is two cops having some lunch. You're paranoid." The whole thing coming out as a long continous sigh. They seem to only communicate in sighs of late, thinks Coop.

"There's rumours going round the station about us Coop and you fed them with your little stunt in the locker room. You don't even want to hear how they think I got my black eye." Jimmy replied keeping his tone clipped.

"Yeah Jimmy but that's all they are, rumours. Owen can say what he likes but they don't have proof." Coop replied seeing that the argument was weak himself.

"People don't need proof to lynch a man Coop, you know that." was Jimmys reply and when Coop looks up he expects to see fear in his eyes. Instead he finds them soft with affection and on the damp side of watery.

Coop nudges his foot under the table as acknowledgment and says "Just eat your onion rings Jimmy so we can go check this car out." and he hopes Jimmy recognise that he wants to drop it. If Jimmy blinks more than usual whilst eating his onion rings neither of them mention it.

Once Jimmy has eaten his onion rings they drink their coffee in silence. The noise of the other customers preventing it from being awkward, barely. Coop finishes his coffee before Jimmy but stays sitting, waiting. He starts out looking at Jimmy's hairline and slowly his eyes unfocus as he becomes more involved in his thoughts. Surprisingly they aren't thoughts of Jimmy, Eileen, Jimmy's kids or even McCree. No, he's thinking of his mother and by proxy his father. He thinks she's the best mother a man has ever had, her ready acceptance of him that day when he was sixteen a beacon in his memory. That maybe once of a day, when they first got married his father might have deserved her, been worthy of her but when he looks back on the pivotal points in his childhood the supporting cast is always his mother. His father has only ever been an enforcer, an oppressor whether or not he knew it and still Coop strove to make him proud. They were a broken family that hadn't fully severed down the fault line, a broken family before Coop even knew the meaning of the word divorce. Coop is so deep in his thoughts that he misses Jimmy finishing his own coffee and only realizes when Jimmy says his name and shakes his shoulder. He blinks a few times then slides out of the booth following Jimmy to the counter. They pay and get the keys, leaving with more thanks from Misha.

Jimmy is a few steps in front of him, letting his anger settle or something. It's a good job to since he has the keys. When they turn the corner they see the car, a Cadillac. A shiny blue Cadillac. Jimmy whistles and turns to grin at Coop. Anger settled then. Coop runs through scenarios in his head, it could just be that a guy got too drunk in the bar near by and got a taxi home, or a guy got lucky and went back to the girls place and the last but most probable one. The car is stolen. Jimmy unlocks the car and they both slip into 'cop' mode. Jimmy opens the driver side door and Coop goes around to the back. As he's walking he says "Jimmy, keys." and without looking Jimmy throws them. They go wide but Coop catches them muttering 'crazy ass' under his breath. There's nothing in the boot apart from a few junk food wrappers and an empty brief case with broken hinges. He doesn't really know what he was expecting anyway, bloodspots, a dead body. He laughs at himself. As he's shutting the boot however Jimmy says "Coop, I got something." Locking the boot he makes his way back to Jimmy sliding the keys into his pocket. Jimmy is knelt on the floor between the open passenger side door. Standing next to him he asks "What is it Jimmy?" The glove compartment is open and there is a wallet on the seat.

"This." Jimmy says and hands him the wallet. "I think it's the owners, drivers license is in there too." Then rooting around in the glove compartment he produces a leather bound folder. "Yeah this is proof of ownership. It's the same guy."

Coop barely heard him though as he was still staring at the drivers license he had pulled out of the wallet. The picture was familiar and upon reading the name a few of the weathered bricks crack and fall away. He remembers, he knows this man. Thought once that he loved him.

Ronald Turing. The drivers license picture stares up at him.

"Coop, what is it?" Jimmy says breaking into his thoughts. "Do you know this guy?" His voice is muffled as he is leant inside the car looking under the seats and Coop can hardly make it out. What he does hear however is a sharp hiss. For a moment he thinks something under the seat has cut Jimmy but then he straightens and pulls out a gun carefully ballanced on a pen through the trigger guard. Well isn't this interesting thinks Coop.

They both stare at the gun for a few moments before Coop grunts and Jimmy says "What do you think, does it belong to the owner?" Instantly Coop says 'No.' in his head even though it's been years. He doesn't know the man anymore.

He turns saying "I'll go get an evidence bag just in case." and walks back to the patrol car. His head isn't in the present even as he's opening the car door and reaching into the glove box. No, he is sat on his bed in his room on Thirstfield Road at the age of sixteen with the head of his boyfriend in his lap. His fingers running through his red hair and enjoying the rumbling sound it elicits. That was before the giant words painted on a driveway, before everything crumbled around them.

A feeling of numbness settles over him as he walks back to the abandoned car with the evidence bag clutched in his hand. He is on Jimmy before he knows it and then the gun is in the bag. The numbness prevails but he leaves the clouds in his head. Jimmy is staring at him, probably a second away from calling the men in white coats. He really is acting strange, he can concede to that. Either Jimmy sees what he's looking for or he gives up because he turns away and walks back to the car with "We better go give this guy back his wallet." tossed over his shoulder.

Once inside the car Jimmy asks him "So, do you know this guy then?" and waits for the answer staring straight ahead.

Coop doesn't know how much to tell him, how much he could handle so he just says "Used to yeah."

Those are the only words spoken during the drive to Ron's house. Coop expects sidelong glances from Jimmy but all he does is stare straight ahead. He'd given Coop the directions before they'd gotten in the car. Coop keeps a transistor radio in the glove compartment and as they're pulling out of the Marco's car park Jimmy gets it out and turns it on. The radio valiantly tries to fill the silence with Aretha Franklin's 'Respect' and The Doors 'Love Me Two Times'. It works, if only slightly. The rest of the ride Coop thinks about Ron, wonders if he'll recognise him, if he ever got married, if he's happy. Even though he knows it's selfish, he wonders if Ron still loves him. The time he and Ron shared is like a candle forced to burn to quickly. A flame drowning in it's own molten wax. As they are pulling into the Turing's drive the beginning chords to Jimi Hendrix's 'All Along The Watchtower' come on the radio before Coop turns the engine off. He tries to think of it as a good omen.

From the address Coop figured that Ron had done good for himself but once he is stood in front of the house he is still taken aback. It's in one of the more up scale areas of the city and is way bigger than Jimmy and Eileen's little suburban house. It looks to be a triplex but there's only one name on the mailbox. The whole house is Ron's, he did real good for himself.

Jimmy is already at the door ringing the bell before Coop shakes himself from his thoughts. He chastises himself, he most certainly isn't on the ball. A woman with black hair answers the door and he is on the porch steps so he hears Jimmy when he says "Hello Ma'am does Ronald Turing live here?" He stops however when she replies "Yes, he's my husband." and turns calling "Ronnie!". Front on it's not obvious but when she turns it's clear as day, she's pregnant. He feels like he's been slapped in the face, his cheek actually feels hot. She called him Ronnie. He draws a huge breath and starts walking again and reaches the doorway just as Jimmy is saying "..my name is Officer Bruno." and seeing Coop says "This is my partner Officer...". Ron having just appeared in the doorway cuts him off by exclaiming "Coop!" in a somewhat strangled voice. Well that answers one question anyway, Coop thinks and looks at Jimmy seeing that it must have answered his question too.

There is nothing else for it now. "Ron." Coop says and thinks of what best to say next and settles on "Can we come in?" seeing as it isn't a personal visit.

Ron just nods his head and moves back into the house. Coop steps into the house nodding at Ron's wife, Jimmy follows doing the same but his face is tight, again, Coop just knows it. It is left to Mrs Turing to close the front door. Coop can see Ron in the livingroom from the foyer, he is sat on a couch staring into space. Jimmy steps past him and walks into the room and sits on the opposite couch. Coop sighs and his shoulders drop noticably. Unseen Mrs Turing is still stood by the door watching with a knowing look on her face.

Squaring his shoulders again Coop goes and joins Jimmy on the couch, with a respectable ammount of distance inbetween them. This could ruin us Coop thinks. However he knows touching Jimmy in any way would make the situation worse. Finally Mrs Turing makes it to the couch, flopping down next to her husband.

When no-one breaks the silence she takes the initiative and says "I'm Sarah Turing, nice to meet you Officer Bruno." whilst sticking her hand out to Jimmy who shakes it with a answering "Likewise.".

She turns to Coop and says "Officer Coop." and Coop can't decide if he wants to laugh or cry, Ron clearly doesn't talk about him.

"Cooper." Coop corrects her and shakes her offered hand. "We're here Mr Turing because your car has been found behind Marco's. Was it stolen?" That's right he thinks, use distancing language like they taught us at the Acadamy.

Ron looks up at his voice and can't seem to speak. Sarah puts her hand on his knee and answers for him "No Officer it wasn't, I met my husband at Marco's and we took my car home. I've been craving their cheeseburgers recently." Coop looks at her as she is speaking and can't get over her resemblance to Snow White. Her hair a jet black, skin almost white and to top it off she is wearing scarlet lipstick. He wonders if the look is intentional.

Jimmy says "We're sorry to bother you, the owner was concerned and asked us to look into it. We have the keys." and Coop sits there for a minute before he realizes they're in his pocket. He fishes them out and drops them into Rons open palm. "We'll be going then." Jimmy says as he's getting up and quickly as Sarah starts to stand "We'll show ourselves out."

As soon as they're out the door Coop can see that something is on Jimmy's mind and it's festering. He takes big strides to the car and his lips are a thin line. Coop is thinking how to word what needs to be said as he gets in himself. Pulling out Coop risks a look back at the house, Ron is at the window. This time Jimmy doesn't switch on the radio instead putting it back in the glove box. They drive a few blocks before Coop thinks he has the words right in his head and pulls over. He starts to speak but Jimmy stops him by speaking himself.

"How long Coop?" he says in a flat dangerous tone.

Not understanding Coop looks at him and asks "How long what, Jimmy?"

Jimmy's anger fills the car in the space of a blink. "How long have you been fooling around with him? he grits out through clenched teeth.

Coop has only ever seen this side of Jimmy once before and even then he was sloppy with drink. He treds carefully. "Who, Ron? I haven't seen him in years. Look Jimmy.." he says but is cut off again.

"Shut up Coop!" Then "Do you make a habit of it, perverting married men?" leaves Jimmy's mouth and hangs in the air. Jimmy looks as if he didn't mean to say it but isn't gonna take it back either.

Coop's vision swells with red and he finds himself shouting too "Is that what I did to you Jimmy? Perverted you?" and wonders idly if you can have a brawl in a car.

"I sure as hell didn't feel like this before you kissed me!" Jimmy replies, arms gesticulating madly. He looks desperate, he wants it to be true.

"That's bull Jimmy and you know it!" Coop fires back and almost as one they turn back to face the stretch of road in front of them.

Coop has a feeling that the part of Jimmy wishing and hoping that he was just going through a phase has had a harsh wake up call. Has a feeling that he brought it about.

When silence reigns supreme over the patrol car Coop says "He was my boyfriend in highschool that's all." and sees how Jimmy flinches at the word 'boyfriend'.

Sometimes he forgets how 'new' Jimmy is, forgets that he'll need time and space to come to terms with the fact that the life he has isn't an absolute. He learnt that much with Ron if nothing else. On that note Coop is half surprised and half glad, the only feeling he gets now when he looks at Ron is nostalgia and a smidgen of pity. They both ignore what Jimmy meant when he said 'feel like this'. It's too soon for that particular conversation. When Coop looks over at Jimmy, his anger is gone and like a veil falling away it reveals what is underneath. Jimmy is jealous.

Coop sighs over exaggeratedly so Jimmy will look at him and says "We good Jimmy?" He smiles and hopes for one in return.

"Yeah Coop, we're good." Jimmy says and smiles too before ducking his head to procure the banished radio.

Just as he is turning the keys in the ignition he says to Jimmy and if he's honest to himself "There's no-one else." It's as close to a declaration of commitment as he is allowed.

During the ride back to the station he is troubled. If Sarah Turing is to be believed then Ron can't have robbed Beaumont Groceries. The dream and Astrid were wrong. But they can't be, he's taken the leap already and now he has to follow through. Land on his feet or fall to his death. He knows one thing for sure though, he wasn't wrong about Ron. Skeeter Davis' 'The End Of The World' comes on the radio and Coop hopes that she's wrong. The song seems to settle around them both and it isn't until it has ended that they even contemplate looking at each other.

The whole journey Coop's suspicions chatter at him. But it's only when he gets to the junction that can either take them back to the Station or to Marco's that he realises that there was never an option. Right for the Station or left for Marco's.

Once the lights go green he takes a left and answers Jimmy's question before he asks it. "I don't trust that Sarah Turing, I think we should go check out her alibi." He has to think of it as her alibi, not Ron's alibi. Even though he knows that if she lied then it implicates Ron. Death or loyalty, you'd think it was an easy decision but Coop's never been more torn in his life.

"Coop, are you sure it's not just wishful thinking?" Jimmy asked with a slight plaintative tone to his voice.

"I'm not jealous Jimmy." Coop said keeping his eyes on the road. He'd only just looked at the time, they'd spent too much of it dawdling. They have a eight pm deadline after all.

Jimmy exhales through his nose and says "I didn't say you were.". He sounds dissappointed.

Coop decisively ignores Jimmy's tone and says "We're going back to Marco's and we're gonna ask Misha and Becky if they remember Sarah Turing."

"And Ronald Turing." Jimmy supplies helpfully.

Ignoring Jimmy again Coop stares pointedly at the road and mumbles to himself "Damned dream."

The parking lot at Marco's is almost empty when they get there, the dinner rush well and truely over. The Sun is low in the sky and Coop is yet again reminded of how little time they have left. Misha is stood behind the counter when they come in, he looks up from his newspaper when he hears them come in. A grin splits his face as they walk towards him. Jimmy is behind him at a respectable distance, like he's trying to distance himself from Coop's foolhardy mission. Well, Coop thinks, we'll soon see who's the fool and who isn't. Misha's smile is burning fifty watts bright by the time they get to the counter, Coop wonders what made him so happy.

"Thanks for dealing with that car out back fellas, I appreciate it. Whatever you're having is on the house." Misha said through his smile tossing a nearby cloth over his shoulder as he speaks.

Coop smiles and replies "There's no need for that, we were just doing our job." then he thinks, wait? What? "What do you mean Misha, dealing with the car? Is it gone already?" he asks.

Misha looks confused as he says "Yeah, I thought you knew. It was here an hour ago and then when Riley went to put something in the dumpster out back it was gone. I just assumed you knew."

No, they did not know. He doesn't say that though, instead he asks "So no-one saw who collected it?" knowing the answer will be no.

"Well I didn't and neither did Riley but Becky or Chuck might have. You can go through and ask them if you'd like." was Misha's reply then he turned to serve the customer that had just come up to the counter.

Lost in thought Coop mumbles "Yeah we might just do that."

Misha nods absently whilst serving the customer and lifts the counter divide. Coop steps to walk through to the kitchens when Jimmy grabs hold of his elbow and tugs him to the far end of the counter. He not so subtly looks around to see if anyone is watching them, then turns back to Coop and just stares at him. Coop doesn't look away he has nothing to hide from Jimmy, at least not now anyway. Not that he was conceiling Ron, just that the memory was his and beared no relevance on his present life. Or so he had thought.

"Don't you think you're making a big thing out of this, Coop. It's only a car left overnight in a diner parking lot, at worst Mr Turing will get a fine." Jimmy says breaking into Coops thoughts.

"Be that as it may Jimmy, you heard Misha. The Turing's car is gone. Now who the hell could have got here before us and collected it, certainly not the Turings." Coop replies his voice wavering between raised and not.

Jimmy sighs like he did in the car and it grates on Coops heart. He's not jealous dammit! "That doesn't prove a thing Coop, maybe they got a friend to pick it up." Jimmy says.

"Even so, it doesn't hurt to ask questions." stated Coop then made sure to enter the kitchen before Jimmy could reply.

At the far end of the kitchen Riley, the busboy, was washing some dishes and Chuck was at the grill flipping some burgers. Coop caught himself thinking, what a cliche. The kitchen was buzzing with activity. Another man was stood at the chopping board chopping onions. He had a pretty impressive moustache and when he looked up at Coop his eyes hardened. Despite the onions the man wasn't crying. Coop shivered, turned back to Chuck and cleared his throat to get his attention. If anyone will have seen the Turings it will be Becky or one of the other waitresses.

"Hey Chuck do you know where Becky is, me and Jimmy want to ask her a few questions." Coop called not needing to look to know that Jimmy had followed him.

Chuck answered him without looking up "Yeah, she's in the back taking her break." and continued right on flipping. Coop wondered if he was drunk today.

As he and Jimmy walked past the mustachioed man chopping onions Coop felt his gaze like ice along his side. Jeez, he thinks, that guy is creepy. His gaze follows them all the way into the Rec Room and Coop is extremely glad when Jimmy closes the door behind them. Becky is sat at a square table in the middle of the room craddling a steaming cup of coffee in her hands when they come in. She looks up and grins when she sees Coop, it falters a bit when she sees Jimmy behind him but nevertheless stays in place. Coop knows he has to talk to her about this crush she has on him, before it only felt like flirting now it feels like cheating.

"Hey Becky, me and Jimmy'd like to ask you a few questions. See if you've seen certain people at certain times. Is that ok?" Coop says and has no idea why all of a sudden he's going by the book. Becky looks like she thinks it's for her benefit. He and Jimmy sit at the two chairs opposite her.

"Sure, sugar fire away." Becky replies. The word 'sugar' doesn't effect Jimmy, he doesn't so much as flinch but to Coop it suddenly sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

Clearing his throat Coop attempts to describe first Sarah Turing then Ronald Turing with additions regarding height and estimated weight from Jimmy.

"So this Ronald is her husband then, yeah?" Becky asks.

"Yes." replies Jimmy.

"In that case yeah she was in here yesterday, but she wasn't with her husband. She was with some nigger." Jimmy freezes next to Coop at Becky's words. Aha! thought Coop, Sarah Turing lied! Then in quick succession he thinks 'Oh shit!'

Neither Coop nor Jimmy can speak and Becky to her credit doesn't speak either, just sits there sipping her coffee.

"Is she always with this coloured man?" asks Jimmy, his voice betraying his trepidation.

"No, sometimes she does come in with her husband but lately it's just been the nigger. He dotes on her too, helps her up and rests his hand on her bump to feel the baby kick. You'd think it were his, of course it cant be because...." Becky replies getting caught up in relaying gossip.

Coop stops her with a gruff "Thank you Becky, we've got what we needed. We'll be off now." Almost in unison Coop and Jimmy rise from their chairs and head for the door.

They're out the door when Becky shouts "Coop, wait!" Reluctantly Coop hangs back and walking past him Jimmy throws him a look he can't decipher.

Stepping back into the Rec Room Coop's inteded words are forced back into his mouth by Beckys. She has him pressed against the wall, her body alligned with his. Coop gasps when her hand cups his groin and she uses the shock to slip her tongue in his mouth. It feels like a slimy wet slug that is trying to take his tongue hostage, to which it will do unspeakable things. Coop pushes her off and quickly away, not being careful about the force.

"What the fuck Becky!" he exclaims but Becky surges back in as his lips round the 'u' in fuck. Her tongue is in his mouth again, he thinks he might actually be sick. This time when he pushes her off he puts the table between them.

"Becky, what are you doing? You're married!" Coop asks incredulous. He always thought, despite Beckys flirting, her and Chucks marriage was one of the good ones. One that would last.

"That never stopped you before." Becky spits back, rejection tempering her words. Coop flinches and Becky smiles.

"Maybe you're right, but it's stopping me this time. I like Chuck, he's a good guy. I'm not gonna do this to him." Coop shoots back.

Suddenly there is a twinkle in Beckys eye that Coop does not like. "And Jimmy is a good guy is he not?" she delivers like a death blow. It hits its inteded target, his guilt. Not the guilt Becky thinks, but guilt nonetheless.

Fixing her with a steely glare Coop says "The best." then strides across the room and out the door not caring when it bangs against the wall.

Chuck doesn't look up but Coop can see he is hunkering around the grill, the line of his shoulders rigid. Poor Chuck he thinks. Rileys eyes widen when he sees the state of Coop and the creepy guys face doesn't move but there is laughter in his eyes. Coop tries to straighten his clothes as he walks but knows he isn't successful when upon entering the diner proper a trucker jeers at him. He sees his reflection in a napkin dispenser as he passes and inwardly groans, he has lipstick smudges around his mouth and his father isn't here to see them, oh the irony. Calling bye to Misha he exits the diner post haste.

Coop stops to breathe away his shock and when he looks up Jimmy is staring right at him from behind the windsheild. He feels like he's betrayed Jimmy, feels dirty and to top it off part of him is elated, part of him feels like he's done his father proud. Now he's just disgusted at himself. The Sun mocks him yet again but this time rushing can wait. He sidles over to the car and gets in. Wordlessly Jimmy hands him a napkin. Coop yanks his sun visor down and starts vigorously rubbing at the lipstick on his face. The napkin is nearly entirely red when he is done and it looks like someones used it to staunch a bloody nose. Jimmy was quite the whole time and Coop has no idea what to say. To top it all off the clock is ticking Coops life away, literally. Coop really doesn't want to turn the ignition and go back to the Turing's.

The silence envelopes them and then Jimmy says "Christ, Coop that fella with the moustache was one creepy bastard. You see the look he was giving us?"

Coop's face cracks and he laughs out "I know! I thought he was trying to burn holes in us with just the power of his mind." Jimmy laughs and Coops joins in, silence is conquered again, temporarily.

Coop knows they'll probably have to talk about this, eventually, but right now they need to go get the truth out of the Turings.

The blue Cadillac is in the Turings driveway when they pull up outside and it sits there a testament to the lies he and Jimmy have been told. Coop barely has the engine turned off before he is yanking his door open. He is half way to the Turings door when Jimmy grabs his elbow and pulls him around to face him. His back is to the house and his vision is dominated by Jimmy, if only procrastination could last forever.

"Cool it Coop! We can't go in there guns blazing, we don't have any proof. Let's play this one by ear ok?" Jimmy says eyes following Coops as he ducks his head.

"Sure, Jimmy." Coop says knowing he sounds noncommital. Jimmy smiles and his hand brushes Coops as he walks past him towards the house. Purposefully.

Coop smiles too.

Jimmy once again is the one who rings the Turing's doorbell. Coop stands at his shoulder, fingers hooked in his belt loops. They hear the chime echo in the house, emphasis on the word 'echo', and Jimmy stares intently at the door. For his part Coop watches Jimmy and he can almost see the air of calm that has settled around him. If he knew that all it took was a personal meltdown to free Jimmy from his up tight shell he would have done it sooner. He really wants to kiss him and decides to see how un-uptight this Jimmy is. He leans over so his mouth is inches away from Jimmy's ear and whispers "Jeez Jimmy, you have no idea how many times I've wanted to kiss you today." He expects Jimmy to hiss at him like he did in the diner.

Instead he turns to him says "If it's half as many as I have then I think I do." and licks his lips. Needless to say Coop is stunned.

Finally the door opens and they are once again faced with Mrs Turing. A smile is on her face that Barbie herself would be envious of.

"Officers so nice to see you back so soon, what can I do for you?" she says tone jovial and light. She is quite the actress.

Jimmy takes it in stride and replies "Is your husband in? We would like a talk with you both."

"Yes he's here." then she pauses and her smile faulters for a second before returning. She continues by saying "Wont you please come in." whilst almost gritting her teeth.

She steps aside and Jimmy siddles past her with a "Ma'am." whereas Coop offers her no such pleasantries.

They are lead into the livingroom again. Ron is sat almost exactly where he was when they left. He is cradling a cup of coffee and seems to be mesmerised by it's depths. He starts when Jimmy and Coop sit opposite him.

Rons mouth opens to say something but snaps shut instantly. Sarah sits down next to him and nudges his elbow so he'll release his coffee cup. He does so with a nasally sigh.

Mrs Turing fixes her gaze on Jimmy and asks "What would you like to talk about?", a picture of politeness. Her hands are clasped loosely on her lap. Coop wonders where her pearls are.

"First of all I see that your husbands car is in the driveway, who collected it from Marco's Diner?" Coop asks looking Mrs Turing square in the eye.

She turns to face him her expression still nuetral and responds without even blinking "A friend of Ronnie's collected it, he lives 'round there." Coop sees Ron flinch out of the corner of his eye. Jimmy sees it too.

"Does this friend have a name?" Jimmy asks Ron. They both know who this 'friend' will turn out to be. They just need a name.

Ron opens his mouth to answer but Sarah cuts in. "His name is Samual, he's a janitor at my husbands accounting frim.". Ron is sat next to her silent.

"What frim would that be?" Coop asks looking at Ron who for his credit looks right back.

Sarah deems to let him answer this one it seems as he replies "Bechstein, Crueger and Dahl."

Jimmy writes it down in his pad and Coop pushes on. Time to crack this nut he thinks.

"In your previous statement you said you and your wife had lunch together at Marco's Diner." Coop says leaning over to consult Jimmys notepad, who indulges his theatricality.

Her face gives nothing away as she says "Yes that is what I said, all of three hours ago." Coop is going to enjoy whiping the smirk off her face, even at Rons expense. Maybe.

He tries to fight the smirk sneaking on to his face, he really does. Alas he doesn't fight too hard. "We have two witnesses that disagree Mrs Turing. They say you were there on the day in question but not with your husband." Sarahs face seems to slip as if it has suffered some sort of facial landslide. She isn't smiling anymore.

It's as Coop is, for want of a better word, basking in his small victory that the next logical question sneaks up behind him and metaphorically hits him over the head with a large mallet.

Jimmy saves him from voicing it. "Where were you Mr Turing, the truth this time." he says facing Ron and if Coop didn't know Jimmy as a straight laced proffessional, he would swear he sees jelousy flash in his eyes. For a second of a second.

Ron stares at a point behind Jimmy's head for three minutes. Which is just the amount of time for a litany of 'Shit! Shit! Shit!' to form in Coops head and for Jimmy to get impatient. "Mr Turing?" he asks trying to coax him to speak.

He exhales through his nose and it echoes in the silent room. His eyes move and suddenly he is staring Coop dead in the eye. It's like a fishing line straight to his heart, complete with fish hook.

"I did it." He says to Jimmy whilst still looking at Coop. An emotion passes over Rons eyes like the reflection of a cloud on a lake, it makes him shiver.

"Did what Mr Turing?" Coop asks, 'cos now he is confused. Doesn't know exactly what Ron is confessing to, or why he's doing it so bluntly.

"Robbed the Beaumont store." Ron replies, his lack of tone making it sound like he doesn't care. Coop knows he does, remembers that much.

"Ronald!" Sarah Turing hisses then turns to Jimmy and says "He didn't mean that officers, he's been under stress at work lately and I think...".

Ron cuts her off before she can continue lying "Stop lying Sarah!" then looks at Jimmy this time "I was fired three weeks ago and we needed money what with the baby coming so I did what I had to do."

The room is silent until Jimmy's need for detail saves them all "What did you take?". He is testing Ron.

"I got away with about 150 or so dollars." He doesn't mention the chocolate bar and a the little flame glows at the very end of its wick, hoping that Astrid was wrong.

"Oh and a Hershey's bar." Fuck thinks Coop, very nearly says it too.

Jimmy stands up his hand already on the cuffs at his belt. Ron stands and faces Coop once more, Sarah stands a second later arms out stretched towards her husband but falling short of touching him. Jimmy moves around behind Ron and clicks the handcuffs into place around his wrists but Coop doesn't see him. He can't look away from Rons eyes, can't move. The whole room is standing except for him. He is fixed in place by a memory. Doesn't move even when Jimmy leads Ron to the door with Sarah following behind opening and closing her mouth like a goldfish and he is left looking at a faux Swiss cukoo clock.

"Coop, you coming?" Jimmy says from the doorway as Sarah Turing frets with her coat and purse. It's not a question but he answers by getting up, lining up behind Sarah and following the leader out into the daylight. The sun reflecting off of the Turing's mail box is like an epiphany. He is going to live, his first love is a criminal but he is going to live. By no means is everything fixed or the future struggles suddenly made easier to bear but at least now he'll be there to bear them with Jimmy.

At the patrol car Jimmy puts Ron in the back with the usual 'mind your head' gesture and Coop wishes he'd been the one to arrest him. Wants to touch his head one last time, wants Ron to feel him one last time.

To say the ride back to the station was strained would be doing it an injustice. It was the epitome of all tense atmospheres and Coop could only look in the rear-view mirror at a Ron that is staring blankly back. Not for the first time Coop thinks how fucked up the situation is. He isn't blind, he notices Jimmy getting more equal parts angry and hurt second by second but the man in the back that is wearing Ronald Truings face draws his eyes time and time again. Nostalgia is sinking her sweet tipped claws into him and for all that he is capable of, Coop can't resist. The silence in the car is almost sentient, the only noises the three mens breathing and the sound of wheels on tarmac.

Coop nudges Jimmy's leg and says "Put the radio on will you Jimmy?" and fixes his gaze on the road, ignore the back seat completely. At his side Jimmys face is yet again pinched and Coop genuinely wonders if the other man has a clothes peg concealed on his person as to affect the perfect 'pinched' look. Despite this he gets the radio out of the glove compartment and turns the dial causing The Supremes' 'You Can't Hurry Love' to fill the car. Coop flinches and Jimmy leaves it on.

When they finally pull into the Station parking lot the sun is still shining and Coop feels it like hope on his skin. They get out and Jimmy all but yanks Ron out of the back, the same tactic they use for Teddy Burke Coops thinks, if with more agression behind them. This time around it's inside the Station that seems gloomy, like the outside and inside have switched places. Metaphorical rain clouds threaten the polished floors. Once inside Jimmy mumbles to Chris who Ron is and what he is being charged with. He also asks for an interrogation room even though Ron has already confessed, Chris drags Ron away by his cuffed hands. Coop's eyes follow him and Jimmy hisses "Christ Coop, could you be any more subtle!" and follows Chris. Coop sighs, there is something boiling up in Jimmy and Coop is most definitely sure that it wont be good, for either of them but he figures he can reassure his partner later. He figures.
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