A/N: Posting this without my beta. She's otherwise engaged and out of touch, so I hope to make any corrections when she's able to help me out again. OR, you guys could let me know when you see something amiss. *g*
Later that afternoon, Detective Blair Sandburg was almost ready to pull his hair out. His gaze was locked in a staring contest with a twelve year old girl who just smirked back at him.
Jim noticed the stare down and chuckled silently, careful to hide his smile.
The partners had caught the kid stealing the previous day and learned she was living on the streets because her mother had up and moved out of town.
Blair had gotten Child Protective Services to let their fellow detective, Megan take the girl home with her instead of putting her into the system just yet, hoping they could find some family member to take her in.
This morning, Megan awakened to find the girl missing, along with her most expensive pieces of jewelry and the living room flat screen TV. It had taken the men all morning, but they’d found her again and brought her into the station with them. After they’d fed her lunch, of course.
“We’re trying to help you, kid.” Blair’s tone was one of disappointment and he didn’t break eye contact.
The child scoffed, rolling her eyes, “Yeah, right. Nobody does anything for anybody unless there’s somethin’ in it for them.”
A new voice startled all three into looking at the doorway to Major Crime, “And massively incompetent Janene Lehane strikes again. God, if this isn’t déjà vu all over the place. What’s your name, kid?”
The “kid” in question bristled, “Lay off my mom, if you know what’s good for you. And you can take a hike, because I don’t give my name to strangers.”
The sultry brunette chuckled and stepped forward with her ID that she handed to the cops as she spoke to the girl, “I’m Faith and I can say anything I damn well please about that bitch because she dumped me on the streets of Boston when I was ten. How long you been on your own, little sister? Looks like you lasted longer than me, at least.”
Charity stared, openmouthed with surprise and consternation.
Faith nodded, “Yeah, it’s a pattern with her. Once her little girls stop being so little and cute, she can’t handle it and takes off. That’s my guess anyway. Regardless of her reasons, it’s a pattern with her, not anything you
ever did or said. I don’t care WHAT she might have told you different. Ya got that, kid?”
Still stunned, the girl could only nod.
“Good. It took me too many years to figure that out on my own, so I’m giving you a jump start at getting your life back on track a lot sooner than I did.” Looking to the two detectives who were now standing by their desks, Faith took her ID back in her left hand and held out her right while she properly introduced herself to them. “Faith Wood. I understand I have you guys to thank for finding the little sister I never even knew I had.”
Blair took her hand, “Detective Blair Sandburg, this is my partner, Detective Jim Ellison. Charity
,” he pointedly gave the girl’s name to her big sister, “told us she’s been on her own now for a couple of months. I can definitely see a family resemblance between you two.”
Faith nodded at the shorter detective, “Yeah, it’s like looking at one of the only pictures I have of myself at that age. Freaky,” she added and then shook Jim’s hand too.
At that moment two other women joined them and after introductions all around, Faith asked, “Any idea where Mommy Dearest took off to this time?”
Jim shook his head, “None yet, but we have people who are still trying to figure that out.”
Faith shook her head, “Thanks. I hired a detective a few months ago to find her for me, had some things I needed to say to her, according to my grief councilor. Closure, I think he called it.”
The kid sneered, “Fantastic, my big sister is a head case!”
Faith just smirked at the kid while Collette told her, “Your sister is a recent widow, Charity. She’s been seeing a grief councilor because of that, nothing else.”
With a self deprecating laugh, Faith said, “Let’s not lie to the kid, Collette. Yeah, Charity, I was
a head case growing up, mostly because of what Janene did to me and a lot of the crap I went through living on the streets. But I got past all that, grew up and made friends who are like family to me. Sometimes the best family you can have isn’t related to you by blood. Until now, I didn’t think I had any blood family worth trying to get to know, but you remind me of me a whole hell of a lot. I think I turned out okay in the end and I believe you will too.”
Blair and Jim exchanged surprised, yet approving glances at this information.
Jim then noticed the other detectives of Major Crime surreptitiously watching the unusual reunion, along with several perps being booked and offered, “Why don’t we take this to one of the conference rooms down the hall? I’ll call Charity’s caseworker and let her know she can bring over the paperwork so you ladies can be on your way as soon as possible. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a police station is any place for an impressionable girl.” His gaze zeroed in on a skuzzy looking man brought in in handcuffs who was leering at all three women and even the kid.
Before the guy could say anything, Jim walked over and glared down into the man’s face without saying a word. With an audible gulp, the perp turned around and faced the wall, silent except for a quiet whimper.
The three women exchanged glances and all smiled. Tina said what all of them were thinking. “I like this guy.”
Sandburg laughed too. “I call that Jim’s ‘Blessed Protector Mode.’ He does it very well.” He gathered some papers from his desk in preparation for showing the women where they needed to go.
Charity sniped as she stood up. “You’ve been doing your share of that too since you found me, detective
Jim turned around and chuckled. “She’s got you there, Chief.” He laughed at his partner’s eye roll and led the way down the hall and into a room with a long table and six or seven comfortable looking chairs.