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Murder Ballad

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This story is No. 4 in the series "The New York Contingent". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Jenny Brandt's back. Sort of. And she's brought a lot of friends.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Law and Order: SVUMediancatFR181632,338512719,66516 Jul 0910 Aug 09No

There Are No Reasons

Nina Cassady was created by Dick Wolf.

X X X X X

And he can see no reason
'cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die

I Don't Like Mondays
, Boomtown Rats, though I prefer Tori Amos' version.

X X X X X

"Hey, Cassady!"

"What is it?" Nina Cassady had finally transferred to the only division that would take her without much of a fight that would still let her stay in Manhattan: Internal Affairs.

Her father and brothers had given her twenty loads of shit for her decision; cops didn't like cops who policed cops, even the really dirty ones. Truth be told, it wasn’t where she'd planned on ending up, but at the moment she had no choice, really. She did the job efficiently and went home at the end of the day.

The fun part came when she was training the Slayers. None of them had firearms licenses yet, but she had taken Milla, Harriet and Kennedy to firing ranges and let them test out on airshot weapons.

Anyway. "Boss wants to see you."

She wondered why; her open cases involved triplechecking paperwork, and so far she hadn't caught a cop doing more than padding his hours or moonlighting -- and she certainly wasn't going to bitch about that.

Entering Captain Sailes' office, she took a seat at his gesture.

“You were involved in the Jenny Brandt case, right, Cassady?” Sailes asked.

Sailes knew she had been; very few people in the city didn’t. Still, he seemed to be waiting for her to answer, so she said, “Yes.”

“Look at this.” He handed her what looked like an initial police report – someone had gotten beaten with a baseball bat. Nothing unusual, nothing that reminded her of Jenny Brandt, until she came to what the victim told the paramedic.

“That’s what she asked,” Cassady confirmed. “But that wasn’t something we held back. Looks like someone’s following in her footsteps and not doing a particularly good job. Jenny Brandt used her hands and feet. No weapons.”

“Didn’t she hit someone with a hammer?”

Right. IA thrived on that kind of pickiness. She needed to remember that. “Yeah. She didn’t use any weapons regularly. When she killed people, it was with her bare hands.” She looked at Captain Sailes. “What’s IA’s part in this?”

“This comes down directly from on high,” Sailes said. “It’s not really IA business, but your business. They want you to go over this with a fine-tooth comb. Not that we don’t trust SVU on the police end of things, though they certainly skirt the rules like there’s no tomorrow.”

Terrific. Not only was she in IA, she was going to look over the shoulder of a bunch of detectives who would be pissed at her very presence.

The only good part about this was that she could quietly let the Slayers know that someone was imitating Jenny Brandt, on the chance that there was something they needed to do about it. Probably a copycat. But she knew now that that wasn’t the only option.

No, that wasn’t by the book.

But it might be the right thing.

“When, sir?” was all Cassady said.

“Now. Go see Captain Cragen and he’ll direct you from there.”

The meeting was over. Sailes never told you this; he expected you to know. Cassady said, “I’ll head over there immediately,” and left.

X X X X X


"But Daddy doesn't have me this week," her son said.

"Well, I asked him to and he didn't." Frankie got along fairly well with her ex, all the more impressive because she was the one who'd left him.

>He deserves to die.<

Shut up. You won't get James and you won't get my son.

>But you'll give me everyone else. That'll do. I wish you hadn't gotten rid of that baseball bat. It's alright. You can always buy another.<

I won't.

>You will.<

She did.

X X X X X

Fin Tutuola and John Munch were at the hospital. CSU had collected Tom Ashley’s clothes already, and while Fin was making calls, Munch was going over the witness statements. Earwitness only, unfortunately, but that was better than a lot of them. The witnesses had definitely heard a female voice, but the only think they’d agreed she’d said was “I’m sorry,” over and over. No distinct accent. “She sounded like she meant it.”

Wouldn’t be the first time they’d had a conflicted killer, though George Huang was the expert there.

The doctor in charge of Mr. Ashley came out and talked to his wife first. Munch observed her reaction.

This one, he couldn’t figure. She seemed upset, but relieved at the same time.

Then the doctor came up to them. Since Fin was still on the phone, Munch stood up and intercepted the doctor. “Detective Munch. How is Mr. Ashley?”

“He’s not going to die. Several broken bones, some minor internal bleeding, nothing we can’t fix. The worst is the damage to his genital region. Both of his testicles were ruptured.”

Munch winced; you couldn’t be a man and not wince at that.

“Someone had a serious mad-on for him,” the Doctor said.

“He conscious?”

“Yeah, but he’s got a lot of painkillers in his system. There was no damage at all to his head; he passed out from the pain alone. Don’t stay in there too long.”

Munch nodded to Fin, who nodded and said, “Got to go” into the phone before hanging up.

“Anything interesting?”

“IA’s sending someone down to ride us. A Detective Cassady. Not the same one you used to work with.”

No; that Cassidy was out of policing entirely. He hadn’t been suited for it. It just took him too long to find out. “What’s IA’s beef on this? Ashley’s not a cop; neither’s his wife; and we haven’t been on the case long enough to screw up anything badly enough to catch their attention.”

“Who knows why the hell IA does anything?” Fin asked.

“A point well taken,” Munch said as they entered Ashley’s room. “Mr. Ashley?”

A grunt of acknowledgement. This was going to be work.

“Can you tell us what happened?” Munch asked.

“Just walking home,” he said. “Work the night shift. Computer tech. Woman standing there, leaning on bat. Asked if I knew where Handelman Street was. Opened my cell to check a map and she hit me – down there. Don’t remember much after that.”

“What’d she look like?” Fin asked.

“Hat on head. Hair dark. Sunglasses. White. About my height. Not thin, not fat.” Tom Ashley was 5’9”, so their suspect was tall for a woman but not ridiculously so.

“Didn’t you blink at the street name?” Fin asked.

“Jenny Brandt’s dead,” Ashley said, closing his eyes.

The doctor – who’d stayed by the side of the room – now stepped forward and said, “I think Mr. Ashley needs to rest now.”

“We’ll need a copy of the report,” Munch said. “And let us know if anything changes.”

“Already faxed,” the doctor said. “And we will.”

“Jenny Brandt might be dead,” Fin said. “But someone’s trying to keep her legacy alive and well.” His phone rang. He answered it, said, “Thanks,” and hung up. “CSU’s ready.”

“Well, let’s not keep them waiting.”

X X X X X

“He’s over there, ma’am,” the bartender said. “Him and Ms. Blythe have been there about twenty minutes.”

“Thank you,” Allison said tightly.

>He’s your man. He’s doing you wrong.<

She knew that her husband was just having a business lunch with his boss. His boss was gorgeous, yeah; but married and gay. He wasn’t stepping out on her.

Stepping out? Where’d that phrase come from?

>You’re a good girl. Everyone knows that. He deserves it.<

Allison couldn’t help herself. There they were, at the end of the bar.

She didn’t want to do this.

>Yes, you do.<

She loved her husband. She was also fingering the grip of the pistol she was carrying under her jacket.

>And look how he’s treating you.<

Allison walked across from the bar to the table where her husband was sitting. He looked up and saw her. “Allison?” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“I don’t want to do this,” she said, “But I have to.”

>Good. Kill the bastard. Five times.<

She pulled out the pistol, and, before Ms. Blythe could do more than scream, she shot her husband five times.

Then she ran out of the restaurant, not caring where she was going.

>Isn’t that better? You’ve done good.<

She didn’t want to hear it. She kept running.

X X X X X

Author's Note: Whatever is talking to Allison has quoted from the murder ballad Frankie and Johnny.
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