Previously on Disorderly Conduct: Widower: Emerson sends Natalia home early from work, insisting that she spend time with her family, which is much to Captain Bridges delight. Matthew tells Natalia about someone at his work that triggers a discovery of Natalia’s regarding the case: eyes. Naturally, Emerson thinks she’s crazy. The two go to Sabrina’s apartment to interrogate her, only to find that she’s not home. When they go to leave, Sabrina and Lee, who claimed to not have known her, walk in. In a frenzy of panic, Lee pushes Natalia over and runs with Sabrina. Emerson is left to decide what to do.
Does Emerson stay and help Natalia despite her protest or does he go after Lee and Sabrina alone?Click To Reveal Results
Even though Emerson had wanted to take the stairs originally, running down them after two possible murderers was not what he had planned in his agenda for the day. When he’d tried to take them two at a time to scale them quicker, he’d almost fallen flat on his head which probably would’ve sent him rolling down the rest of the stairs. Luckily, Emerson caught himself on the cold metal railing and stopped trying to make himself do stupid things on the stairs. Sabrina and Lee got down to the lobby quickly, sprinting out the door, still hand in hand as the doorman simply stood there, not realizing a thing.
Emerson ran out, his eyes taking a second to adjust to the bright, blazing sun in the sky. Not a cloud could be seen for miles, the day was clear as it could possibly be. Emerson could feel the heat hit him, but continued chasing the perpetrators.
Lee led Sabrina down the crowded street, pushing past innocent bystanders to clear their way and try and escape. Emerson ran through the way that they cleared, eyes never leaving Sabrina’s swaying blonde ponytail.
They darted around a corner, Sabrina barely staying on her feet at the sudden turn. Emerson rounded, hot on their trail but still dragging behind. He kept his breathing steady, knowing he needed to catch at least one of them.
Though he was set on catching them, he wanted to do it peacefully. The gun strapped to his hip wasn’t even an option in his mind. They were both resisting arrest, but Emerson hadn’t shot his gun while in pursuit before, and that streak was one he wasn’t willing to break unless it was of the utmost importance. If he could avoid the injury of the two fleeing fugitives, he was going to. Besides, Natalia had a better shot than him anyways, she usually did the shooting if need be. Rarely did Emerson find himself pulling the trigger.
Lee obviously knew where he was headed from the moment he’d started running, he avoided Emerson catching up as he veered around another corner. Emerson swore under his breath as he watched Lee push Sabrina away and the two split up, going down separate alleys. He swivelled his head back and forth, knowing he had to make the decision in a split second as to who to go after.
On one hand, there was Sabrina. Arguably, she had known Hunter better than anyone. Another interview with her had the heightened potential to give them more information on his death and further prove that she hadn’t committed the crime, which Natalia still wasn’t convinced of (even when she believe that Jane was alive). Emerson thought it was contradictory, but Lord knew he wasn’t going to point that out to her. Any information she could give on Hunter and what he had been doing at home could help their investigation. Sabrina had also kept the book from them, which made her partially responsible for the death of Christopher Greenway. Emerson knew Natalia would be wanting to put her behind bars practically as soon as they walked through the doors of the precinct.
But then there was Lee. He’d blatantly lied to them, and Emerson found it hard to believe that he had no idea who Jane Paxton was when he was so close with Sabrina. Hunter had to have meant something to Lee in order for Lee to visit his widowed wife only days after his murder. He couldn’t claim he and his brother were estranged when Sabrina and he had acted as if they were best friends before they’d realized that Emerson and Natalia were in the apartment. Unless something was going on between the two of them, in which case Lee had another problem as he was a married man. Though there was nothing Emerson could do about what could be happening behind closed doors, he still thought it was disgusting to cheat on a partner. Granted, he didn’t know that was happening, it was a mere speculation.
“Think, Mackabe, come on…” He muttered, tearing off in the direction of Lee, who went around a corner.
Emerson sprinted, veering around the same corner quickly. He froze, looking around rapidly. This couldn’t be happening to him!
Lee had disappeared.
Then he heard a grunt above him.
Emerson’s head snapped upwards to see a flash of golden blonde quickly get out of sight on a rooftop above him. Emerson scanned the area, finding the fire escape. He almost complained about the fact he had to run more stairs until he remembered that Natalia would have a field day if he let anything phase him from going up stairs.
Emerson shook his head and swung his arms up, not bothering to hoist himself onto the stairs themselves. He climbed up the side of the fire escape, his arms screaming bloody murder at him to stop using them. He only had so much strength in him, after all. Grinding his teeth together, he pushed himself to keep going.
Lee wasn’t going to get away, not if he could help it.
When he reached the top, he climbed over the black railing, swinging his legs quickly to keep himself from falling back down onto the ground. Rocks on the rooftop crunched underneath his feet as he stepped off the fire escape. The sun was baking the roof, causing Emerson to squint his eyes.
Emerson pumped his arms with determination, sprinting after Lee. Pausing for only milliseconds, Lee sprinted and leapt from the rooftop they were on to another. He caught his toe on the edge of the building, but to his luck fell forwards, landing roughly on his hands and face before rolling over to continue his escape. Scrambling to his feet, he continued running despite the fact his forehead and palms were bleeding like there was no tomorrow.
Emerson sighed, sprinting faster even when his legs wanted to give out and taking a leap of faith. Luckily, Emerson had a better long jump than Lee and landed on his feet. Lee had slowed down substantially but continued running. The end of the roof top came up, and Lee took another leap.
Landing that one, he kept running. Emerson was still hot on his trail. Before Lee could jump to the next roof, Emerson had closed in enough that he could tackle him easily. Emerson dug his shoulder into the small of Lee’s back as wrapped his arms around his stomach and used his strength to take the other man down.
Lee grunted as he once again hit the rocky rooftop, his head snapped backwards as it hit the ground and his glasses crunched. Emerson stayed on top of him as he pulled his handcuffs out of his belt and pinned Lee’s bloody hands behind him. Lee grit his teeth together, wincing as the handcuffs clicked onto his wrists. Catching his breath, Emerson sighed as he dragged Lee up with him when he stood. Lee shook Emerson off of his shoulder, his jaw tight.
“Thanks for the workout, pal,” Emerson commented.
The two went down the fire escape of the building they were on, Emerson leading Lee down, a hand holding his wrists and a hand resting on his shoulder. He read Lee his rights as they descended, Lee nodding his head occasionally to recognize he understood what was being told to him.
When they reached the bottom of the stairwell, a car pulled up in front of them. The window rolled down, Natalia looking at the two of them. She looked fine and unphased by what had happened back in the apartment.
To the average eye, that is.
Emerson knew better than most.
He kept his mouth shut, pressing his lips together. He could ask her later once he recovered his normal breathing pattern and could run away from her freely. Natalia quirked an eyebrow.
“Need a lift?”
“I’m not sure what you’re wanting me to tell you, detective,” Lee replied coolly. “You told me about my newer sister in law and my dead brother so I went to go see her. That’s all.”
“Cut the crap, Paxton,” Natalia demanded, slamming her hands on the metal table in front of the three of them. Emerson remained stone cold, Lee jumped back slightly. “You are not lying to us again, do you hear me? It’s not happening. You’re going to tell us the truth and you’re going to do it now.”
Angry was merely scratching the surface of how she felt. She’d been knocked on her side, much to her displeasure in general. Mix that in with the fact her stomach had taken some of the blow, and Natalia was not a happy camper. Now Lee had a cloud of hormones, mom-instincts, and just Natalia in general raining on his parade. Angry hardly sufficed in describing Natalia - fuming was closer.
And that couldn’t mean anything good for Lee.
Natalia had already been pacing the room behind where Emerson sat. Lee had his hands folded on the metal table. Lee was walking on thin ice with her temper, and that ice was beginning to crack.
Lee sighed, “Look, I wanted to help her. She’s my sister-in-law for god’s sake. Just because I never knew him very well doesn’t mean I don’t care about the fact that he’s no longer in the world. She loves him, and she can’t have him anymore. That would take a toll on anyone. With respect, detective, how would that make you feel? Imagine your husband having just been murdered in cold blood, and you walk in-”
“Nope,” Emerson said, cutting him off while shooting a glare his way. “Don’t you dare do that to her, it’s not happening. You’re here to tell us what you know, not to craft a story regarding something you know is horrible to think about, no matter whether you have a personal connection. No more avoiding the question, Lee. You’re talking about what you know, nothing more, nothing less. Carry on.”
Lee swallowed hard. Emerson watched his temples shift as he ground his teeth together hard inside his mouth. They were starting to get under his skin and both parties knew it. He was hiding something, he had to be. Emerson was convinced of it, even if he had no idea what it could’ve been.
Lee let out yet another sigh, tapping his newly bandaged fingers on the table rhythmically, “Fine. I knew who Jane was. I introduced her and Hunter. He was absolutely devastated when she died, he loved her so much.”
“What do you know about her death?” Emerson asked calmly. Someone had to be the good cop in their partnership. He’d read that file, but he wanted to see if Lee actually knew anything or if he was lying again.
“Hey, I’m just the receptionist, I don’t know what happened to everybody that goes in there. It’d be impossible to remember,” Lee scoffed at the idea, thinking it was absurd.
“No, you just don’t care,” a deathly calm came over Natalia as she snarled her words. Her so-called “calm” was sometimes scarier than her anger. The room temperature felt like it dropped below freezing as Emerson prepared to throw himself between Lee and Natalia in case she confronted him and tried to kill him. “Do you know how many dead bodies the two of us have seen? How many people have been murdered in cold blood for the petty reasons that their killer had? How many people we’ve seen take their own lives because they didn’t think they were worth it? Things like that haunt you, you don’t just forget them and move on with your life. Trust me, I know. There’s never a worse feeling than when you watch a teenage girl plunge to her death off a bridge because you couldn’t talk her down,” Natalia’s hands shook against the table, her lip barely daring to quiver the slightest bit.
She had been the only one on the bridge that night. Stupidly, she’d convinced herself that she could get the girl down with just her words and her words alone. Natalia had thought she was doing alright, succeeding even, dare she think so. But the girl hadn’t stopped crying since before Natalia had been there. She was set on not seeing the following day, nothing Natalia could say would get her off the ledge. So… she jumped. Natalia still had nightmares about that night, she woke up in a cold sweat as she relived the memories, all begging her to do something when she helplessly knew that she couldn’t.
Natalia drew in a shaky breath and continued, “O-Or when you see more deaths occur because you haven’t caught the deranged killer yet. Each person that goes past you at the morgue had a family, a life, people that cared about them dearly. And then they’re gone, never to return again. Don’t ever say that remembering every single person is impossible. Because I know it’s not. There’s nothing worse in life than watching the people you’re supposed to protect be taken away from their lives before they’ve lived them to the fullest and reached their great potential. Don’t taint their memory by not bothering to remember who they were.”
Lee shifted in his chair uncomfortably and moved his hands off of the table, letting them hang in the air lazily. His shoulders slumped and his cool composure deflated. Natalia had broken him, even if she had almost broken herself in the midst of it all.
Emerson knew that Natalia truly cared about each person they swore to protect in the city and that a small part of her died every time they had a murder case. But Emerson never knew just how much she cared, how passionate she was about keeping people safe. No wonder she didn’t want to go on maternity leave, she didn’t want to leave the city “unprotected.” Even when she knew that there were other police officers, she took it upon herself.
Emerson knew about her diagnosed post-traumatic stress that came from watching that girl take her own life. Natalia had told him before she told Matthew, after all. But he also knew that she hadn’t gone to see the police psychologist in a while either, and with the stress of her baby it was no wonder she was becoming more and more hostile; she was becoming more and more scared because she didn’t know what to do. Natalia didn’t like asking for help, especially when it came to her own health. Emerson tried to help where he could, but he could only do so much. He wasn’t able to reassure Natalia about her fears for postpartum anxiety because he knew nothing about it. He also knew that if he were to tell Natalia to go to the psychologist, she’d shut him out completely and that wouldn’t be good for her either.
Emerson always seemed to be in a lose-lose scenario with Natalia.
“Nat, do you need to go cool off?” Emerson asked as he looked at her when she drew in a few breaths to calm herself back down. It wasn’t really a question, so much as a recommendation, because he knew how stressed she was about everything, especially after what Lee had done to her.
Natalia nodded and strode out of the room, walking only one room over to where the one-way glass in the interrogation room could be seen. Captain Bridges stood there, an arm around her stomach and her other near her lips as she gazed at Lee, biting the edge of her thumb.
Emerson carried on the interview, knowing that Natalia was in all likelihood still standing directly behind him, shielded by the mirrored glass.
“Doing alright, dos Santos?” Bridges asked, glancing at Natalia before looking back at the interrogation. “You got pretty worked up in there.”
“Yeah,” Natalia lied, nodding her head. “It was part of our good cop, bad cop routine. Emerson’s going to get information from him any time now.”
Natalia bit her lip, unsure. Lee didn’t look like he was going to give anything up willingly, though she knew that wasn’t all that was bothering her. Instantly, Natalia stopped nervously biting her lip, she couldn’t let the Captain know how worried she was about everything in her life at the moment, including the case, and by extension, Lee. Everything that came out of his mouth read lies to Natalia. She couldn’t help but feel he was hiding something important from her and Emerson for self-preservation of some kind. He knew something, he had to. He was too closely knit together with too many people in the investigation to not know something about it.
That just further frustrated Natalia.
Captain Bridges hummed before lowering her arms and looking at Natalia. She narrowed her eyes, “How have you been doing?” She asked curiously. Bridges merely wanted to know the general answer. Of course, she knew about Natalia’s history of post-traumatic stress, it was her job to know about anything harming her officers. She’d seen Natalia have an episode before, the look of panic in her eyes was permanently embedded into Bridges’s and would be for the rest of her life. But Natalia seemed to be doing her best to keep herself together, the captain didn’t want to change the composure she’d built.
“Fine, Captain. Like I said, it was part of our act,” Natalia answered.
“That’s not what I meant, detective,” Captain Bridges replied softly. “How are you doing? At home? With your pregnancy? In general?”
“It’s all new to me, Sir. I wouldn’t know if something was wrong because I don’t know what’s supposed to be right,” Natalia responded truthfully.
It kind of freaked her out how talkative the captain was being if she was being honest. Usually, Bridges just muttered small talk to her and walked out of the room shortly after. Actual conversations were a rarity for them, especially when they were of the positive nature. Natalia was used to negative and completely one-sided conversations that were mostly Bridges screaming in Natalia’s direction (and occasionally spitting).
“Well, if you need anything, my door is always open. You know that right, detective?” Captain Bridges asked.
Natalia knitted her eyebrows together. It felt as if she were on some kind of hidden camera prank show, and at any moment someone was going to jump out and yell “PSYCH!” in her face while the camera man films her surprised reaction and laughter.
No such luck, that would’ve been too easy.
Captain Bridges actually cared how Natalia was feeling.
“Um, yeah, of course,” Natalia replied, not reassuring the captain at all that she was truly alright.
Bridges turned back towards the interrogation, sighing softly. The conversation was inevitable, but it was for another day. Suddenly, she could hear Lee’s voice again. She’d drowned him and Emerson out to give Natalia her full attention.
“Detective,” Lee began, his calm, collected facade obviously relocated and slapped back onto him, “I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by that.”
“People are dead, Paxton. And so help me God if I let a sleazebag like you get away with their murder!” Emerson snapped, obviously livid with Lee, who seemed to know exactly what buttons to press to stir the pot of rage inside of Emerson. “Tell me now, did you kill them?!”
Lee raised an eyebrow, smirking as he looking at the enraged officer. “People die all the time. The world is a mixed up place. You should know that after daddy dearest died, after all. You see, I lied, I know everyone that goes into my work, and I remember all their stories. Poor Ivan Mackabe, lost in the field of duty, am I mistaken? But oh, what his dashing son wouldn’t do to fill in his footsteps, right, detective?”
“Why you son of a-!”
Emerson sprang from his seat, grabbing the front of Lee’s shirt and raising a tight fist. Natalia swore under her breath and ran back into the interrogation room.
The door swung open.
Does Emerson punch Lee or does Natalia get into the room before he can strike?
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