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Robert Fowler
Wed Sep 20, 2006 01:03

Miss Mercury Elfman.

Over the last week, that name had poked and prodded at Robert Fowler for some ungodly reason. A stripper, who likely took cash under the table for the right man, had pointed them in the direction of a kidnapped federal agent, allowing them to recover Devon Holmes before… well, before death; the significant damage had already been done. Speaking of which!

Rob picked up the phone, having the operator dial for him. He was shuffled about the switchboards, until being connected to a harried Agent in Washington D.C. Well, that was interesting! Flipping through Devon’s file, he finally located the name of the man’s superior, a Special Agent Tierney, who sounded like a downright cheerful fellow.

“Agent Tierney, I’m calling on behalf of one of your men, and I’d like to request a secure line for this conversation.” Pausing, Rob waited for the telltale click across the line, where the static suddenly disappeared, and the hum ceased.

Done. Who did you say you were?

“Robert Fowler, Special Agent in Charge of the Agency’s New York office.” He barely heard the quick intake of breath on the other end of the line, though it was likely due to Tierney wondering what man had gotten himself into trouble. “I’ll make this brief. The Agent in question is Devon Holmes. He’s currently in stable condition at a military installed hospital. He had time off to relocate to the City, correct?”

A month, though we expected him back to work sooner than that, considering his attendance record. This fellow was smart, he wasn’t asking the wrong sorts of questions. How long?

“Taking the broken bones and head injury into account, he won’t be ready for another eight weeks.”

That bad?

“You have no idea, Tierney,” Rob murmured, ending the call.

But even with that hassle out of the way, Fowler wasn’t especially certain where to move forward. All information concerning James Michael Moriarty had been stripped, even if it was just from a prison log, and a cassette tape of his confessions. Rob had needed to visit Jane’s office, purging her records of the incident. But she was a smart woman; she’d make a comment to Lucy or Caleb about it, and then it would be done.

The only thing he didn’t have wrapped up in a nice and neat package over the last week was concerning one Mercury Elfman. Rob couldn’t help but view her as a loose end; she knew what had happened to Devon, even in a slightly remote way. But considering her employer, the woman knew exactly how to keep her mouth shut and turn a blind eye to the happenings around her. That was definitely going to work in his favor.

Yet, still, something befuddled him. Occasionally, he would go to a sentimental location to decompress. It had been easily two years since his precious Beth had been taken from him – which he only blamed himself for, involving his wife in his work – and it hit hard at times. One of the places she had enjoyed so much was the Empire State Building, right at the very top on the observation deck. Always said that it put everything into perspective, that they really could be insignificant in this life. But she’d never been that to him, or the men that she’d help during her career.

Imagine Rob’s surprise, amidst thoughts of his dead wife, Miss Elfman suddenly showing up on the platform with a bout of acrophobia. A severe one, judging by the way her hands gripped the railing. But it was the kiss she had bestowed upon his cheek that had him thinking. Was she a woman with a hidden agenda, or naturally charismatic and caring like his niece? It was enough for his paranoid mind to merit a search on the woman.

But there was absolutely nothing in her police file. Not even a speeding ticket, or a warning! She kept up on her car insurance and plates, never jaywalked, just… nothing! This was infuriating. Surveillance on Mercury had shown she lived a quiet existence, going to work, then coming home to sleep in a tidy studio apartment. She would go to the grocery store, do a bit of sight seeing, and walk along Broadway a few times. The woman was… innocent? No, that couldn’t be right. Every person did something wrong during their life.

It was like a damned conundrum for Rob, and he found himself driving along the path she walked on his way home, instead of taking a short cut through the back roads. Then he actually used the grocery store she frequented, for some unknown reason. Mercury had a fairly flexible schedule, yet she seemed stuck in a rut. Maybe just a bit like him.

It wasn’t until later in the week, after monitoring her conversations, that Rob went to that damned grocery store again. He hadn’t planned on it, but he had run out of milk and a few other odds and ends. It was just him at home, the girls grown, with the youngest one in college now. What had been a large, bustling home was now quiet and lonely. He hated going home at the end of the night.

It was in the organic produce section that he caught sight of her; Mercury Elfman. Suddenly, Rob felt absolutely terrible for the way he had been acting over the last week. Mood swings would come and go, but there was something about this woman that put him on edge. It was stuck in his mind that if she was so innocent, it had to be all on the surface. An act! But… no, it wasn’t. Taking a deep breath and bagging up the green vegetables he had been clutching in one hand, Rob quickly fled the section. He only had to grab a few things, and he could rush out of the store.

Ten minutes later, he was breathing easily, but cursing an inept cashier at the same time. The line was long, some little old lady trying to take advantage of double coupon day, her purse contents spilled across the belt, searching for those last three pennies. For God’s sake! He just wanted to get out of here before she saw… him…

Shit, too late.

  • ExplanationsItalians and Englishmen, Mon Sep 18 23:56
    Jesus, it was already Friday! John made a mad dash out of the house, giving Sean a perfunctory kiss on the lips, and promising to be back long before they were due to be in makeup for that night’s... more
    • Excursions — Robert Fowler, Wed Sep 20 01:03
      • The Quality of MercyMichael / Mercury, Wed Sep 20 10:13
        Michael gingerly touched his bandaged nose, eying the miniscule bump marring its otherwise flawless surface. As of the previous week it had been broken twice, the first time in anger and the second... more
        • Visits & RosesHolmes | Fowler, Wed Sep 20 14:39
          The last week had been hell. Devon hadn't wanted to go back into surgery for that damned plate in his head. Or, more aptly, on his skull. But the doctors assured him that this was practically... more
          • Nobody Here But Us ChickensA Couple of Comedians, Sun Sep 24 10:12
            The love of his life was a very angry grump. Michael slouched in his chair, watching Devon pretend to do a cross-word puzzle. One of the doctors had suggested it as a way to challenge brain cells... more
            • Yellow Bellied G-MenHolmes | Fowler, Wed Sep 27 01:21
              D-Day! If Devon thought he could actually handle it, he would have climbed right up on the little cot that was a poor excuse for a hospital bed, and done the happy dance in his skivvies. Seeing as... more
              • Insert Clever Title HereMick | Mercy, Sun Oct 8 01:51
                Devon was whining. Again. Michael glanced up from his copy of War and Peace , limbs sprawled insolently across the couch, and speared his roommate with one of his looks . The invalid dangled his... more
                • Something | Rob, Wed Oct 18 14:56
                  Holmes men did not whine. All right, maybe a little. Devon was going absolutely insane here! For the first day, he was fairly out of it and ended up sprawling on the bed after getting some help from... more
                  • Singers, Dancers and ... FedsSome People, Thu Oct 19 10:54
                    Michael didn’t wake up until he rolled over, attempting to burrow against Devon just a little bit more and found the man’s bed empty. Eyes snapped open, panic replacing sleep as quickly as he’d... more
                    • Playing Catch UpDevon Holmes, Fri Oct 27 11:03
                      Jesus, what the hell was he thinking? Devon stared down at the breakfast, picking at the food, dutifully eating. Sitting here in the kitchen, with his leg propped up on one of the stools, reminded... more
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