Chapter Four - Doug and Dennis Blackwood
I don’t think I’m mentioned this yet, but this story takes place between the episodes “Parting Gifts” and “Somnambulist” of Angel
. It takes place in 2000, so 10 years after Booker left Jump Street. Doug and Dennis Blackwood are from the 21JS episode called "Coach of the Year."
Miceli's, by the way, is an awesome restaurant in the valley. DISCLAIMER
I own no characters in either the Buffy/Angel
universe or the 21 Jump Street
universe. Chapter Four
At five minutes before nine, Booker walked through the door of Angel Investigations once again. Cordelia was at the desk, filing her nails. She looked up. “Mr. Blackwood!” she said. “Welcome back. I’ll just let Angel know you’re here.”
“Uh, thanks.” Booker looked for somewhere to sit down, but there seemed to be nowhere. So he stood, awkwardly adjusting his leather jacket, and waited.
Cordelia reappeared and beckoned Booker to follow her. “Come right into Angel’s office.”
“Okay.” Booker followed her into what seemed to be the only other room in the office. It was considerably darker than the lobby. Cordelia closed the door behind him and Booker was left facing the man who must be Angel as he sat at his desk.
He was not quite what Booker had expected. He looked younger than Booker, but there was something about his eyes that felt ancient. Angel stood up and held out his hand. “Hi,” he said.
Booker had to hide a smirk as he shook Angel’s hand. He was clearly uncomfortable in the meeting clients stage. “You must be Angel,” Booker said.
“Yes. And you’re Mr. Blackwood?” he asked. “Please, sit down.”
“Thanks.” Booker sat in the chair opposite of the desk. “Thank you for meeting with me so soon.”
Booker sat silently for a minute, gazing around the heavily curtained office. He whistled. “Not a fan of light?”
“You might say that.” Angel’s intense look bored into Booker. “So what seems to be your trouble?”
“Uh…” Booker was quiet. He had not quite gotten to that part of his story yet.
“Mr. Blackwood?” Angel asked.
“My brother,” Booker blurted out. “My brother Doug. He’s missing.”
Angel leaned back and looked at Booker suspiciously. “What happened?”
“Doug’s, uh, he coached football for a community college in the valley. He and I were supposed to go to see our mother for the weekend. It’s her birthday and he never showed up. I went to the college, but no one’s seen him for a couple days.” Booker swallowed a nervous sigh and hoped that wherever he was, Doug Penhall would not mind being an extension of his story. “He’s never taken off like this before. I know he’s a grown man and everything, but he’s my twin brother and I just get this feeling like he’s in danger.”
Angel nodded. “Do you know if anything’s been hunting him?”
Booker frowned. “Anything?”
Now it was Angel who looked confused. “I’m not sure I understand what you’re doing here.”
“Look, my brother’s disappeared and I need someone who can help me find him! Are you going to take my case or not?”
There was the intense stare again and finally Angel nodded. “I’ll take your case. I’ll need some more information from you and a recent picture of your brother would be helpful. You can see Cordelia about that.”
Booker stood up. “Fine. Thank you.”
He turned to leave, but Angel’s voice stopped him. “Mr. Blackwood, I need you to be completely honest with me about the circumstances of your brother’s disappearance.”
Booker froze. “What makes you think I’m not?”
Shrugging, Angel said, “Nothing. But if you find out anything, no matter how weird or unrelated it may seem, you need to let us know.”
Shakily, Booker nodded. “I will.”
He met Cordelia in the lobby. “That was quick!” she said.
“Yeah. It’s, uh, not a complicated case.”
Angel emerged from his office. “His brother’s missing,” he told Cordelia. “Get a case history and a recent photograph.”
Cordelia frowned and looked back and forth between Booker and her boss. “Uh, okay.”
“I’m going downstairs.”
Angel disappeared into an elevator near the back of the office. Booker smirked. “Not big on people, is he?” he asked Cordelia.
She shook her head. “No, but that’s a good thing. So, your brother is missing?”
“Yeah. Just disappeared.”
Cordelia sat herself at the desk and rummaged through the top drawer. “Well that’s different than our usual cases.”
“How do you mean?”
“What?” When she straightened up to look at him, she had a deer-in-the-headlights look. “I just mean that, well, we have a certain type of client and you don’t really fit the profile. We usually find them, not the other way around.”
“That’s a very strange way to run a detective agency.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Oh really. And you’d know that how?”
He shrugged. “No reason. I’ll have to fax over the picture. I don’t have one on me right now.”
Booker stood there for a minute, but neither he nor Cordelia said anything. “I’ll just show myself out,” he finally said. “Say goodbye to your boss for me.”
She turned on her sunny smile, although this time it had a hint of sarcasm behind it. “Will do.”
Booker left the Angel Investigations office confused and a little worried about how he was going to produce a recent picture of Doug Penhall/Blackwood to fax to Cordelia. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed Kate Lockley.
“Hi Kate, this is Dennis Booker.”
“Dennis, hi.” She sounded flustered.
“Did I catch you at a bad time?” he asked.
“No, no. What’s up?”
“Well I met with Angel. If you can make it, I’d like to meet for lunch tomorrow to discuss how the case is going.”
“I can’t. I’ve got a precinct meeting that will probably run all day.” She paused. “But I’m free tomorrow evening. What about dinner at Miceli’s?”
“Dinner,” Booker repeated. “Uh, sure. That sounds good.”
“Good. I’ll meet you there at eight.”
At five past eight the next evening, Booker and Kate were seated at a cozy table for two on the single private balcony in Miceli’s. A pianist on the main level just below them played “Ain’t We Got Fun” as a tall waiter sang. “I’ve never been here,” Booker commented.
Kate looked down at the main level and smiled. “It’s a fun place. The food’s good, too.”
They sat a little uncomfortably as they each looked over the menu and ordered their dinner. “So I met with Angel,” Booker said once the waiter had left.
“How did that go?”
“He’s definitely weird.”
Kate laughed out loud. “I told you.”
Booker grinned. “I don’t know what it is, but something is definitely off. I’ve got him searching for my imaginary missing twin brother, so it should keep me in contact with him for awhile.”
Kate nodded. “Good. Smart move.”
He shrugged. “Yeah, well, I’ve been taught well.”
“You must have been a great police officer,” she said, then flushed a little. “I mean, you sound like you’re good at what you do.”
Booker shifted in his chair and stared intently down at the main level of the restaurant. Kate cleared her throat, then said, “Sore subject. I’m sorry.”
He looked back up. “It’s okay,” he said shortly. “Not your fault.”
Kate had no idea what to say, so she took a long sip of wine instead. “I was very good at what I did,” Booker continued. “I was also very bad at it. A lot people I cared about suffered because of me, including people at Jump Street.”
She smiled sadly. “The perils of being a cop. I know all too well.”
This time, he met her eyes. “It’s hard sometimes, living with the things that I’ve done.”
He sighed. “I was assigned to an undercover unit known as the Jump Street program two years after I joined the force. At first I was sent in with Internal Affairs to investigate them, but then transferred permanently.”
Kate broke off a piece of bread. “That’s a big change, IAD to undercover.”
“Yeah, it was an adjustment. And I guess I never really let go of IAD paranoia.”
“What do you mean?”
Booker looked incredibly sad. “There was a case that went bad. My partner was shot and he ended up in a coma. These Jump Street guys, they all looked out for each other like no other police unit I’ve ever seen. This other officer who I got partnered with a couple times went after the guys who shot Harry. Another cop ended up dead.”
Kate just shook her head. “Wow.”
“It gets better,” Booker said ruefully. “All the evidence pointed to Hanson as the killer.”
“Hanson was your other partner?” Kate asked.
Booker nodded. “Yeah. I agreed to work with the dead cop’s partner to find the killer thinking that I could protect Hanson from an unfair persecution, but I screwed it up big time.” He paused and took a deep, shaky breath. “I got caught up in the investigation, lost sight of everything I was trying to protect. I ended up putting Hanson in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.”
She did not know what to say, so she said nothing and waited for him to continue. “A couple of months later, I teamed up with Hanson’s partner and the two of us proved his innocence. But the way I did it broke almost every regulation in the book. They were going to transfer me to the police department library.” He smiled sadly. “So I resigned.”
Just then, their dinners arrived. Booker laughed. “So all that heavy conversation before our food even comes out. Hope I haven’t ruined your appetite.”
Kate shook her head. “Don’t worry. Being a cop’s an awful job sometimes. I definitely get that.”
Booker smiled and raised his glass. “Well then, cheers.”
Kate lifted her own glass, smiled, and toasted. “Cheers.”