Justified Crossovers

by Domenika Marzione

Justified/Burn Notice

(This never went anywhere, not really, but it's got a start and a middle scene.)

Helen's waiting in front of Raylan's motel room when he pulls up, arms crossed over her torso and cigarette dangling from her lips. She pulls one last drag, like she's annoyed with the cigarette, before dropping it and stubbing it out with her foot.

It's been a shitty day, the most recent in a string of shitty days, because marshaling is too often about paperwork and stupid criminals and stupider witnesses and waiting around in courthouses and surveillance vans that stink of old coffee and body odor. Even when you're not on the boss's shitlist, although Rachel's pretty determined to find some way it's all his fault anyway.

It's been a shitty day, but he knows it's about to get a helluva lot worse because Helen doesn't come calling on social visits. She doesn't come 'round with good news, either, although that's mostly a supposition on his part because he can't remember the last time she had any to share.

"And how are you this evening?" he asks as he fishes his keys out of his pocket. He opens the door, turns on the light, tosses his keys on the table and heads straight for the booze and two plastic cups before turning around. Helen's standing there by the door looking like her soul's too heavy to drag one step further into the room.

He hands her a cup with a couple of fingers of bourbon in it and she downs it all at once.

"They took him," she says simply.

Raylan doesn't need the pronouns translated. He drinks his own bourbon, enjoying the burn of it going down.

"Well, they can keep him."


......

"You do realize that we're supposed to be the good guys, right?" Art asks, enjoying the wince he gets as reply. They're both hung over -- hell, they might both be still drunk -- and he knows his voice is ricocheting around the cell like a rubber ball. "You know, the ones who don't go off and get drunk and decide to stage an assault on a perfectly legitimate business just because you don't like the owners?"

He gets a mildly chastened look in return, earnestness undone by the glassy-eyed expression that comes with it.

"These shiny pieces of tin," he goes on, holding up his badge, "are supposed to remind us that we work on the side of the angels. You were not doing the Lord's work last night, Deputy."

The bill for the damage would be in the tens of thousands. The lawsuit would be for a whole lot more than that. There won't be either -- Savonne and Hernandez aren't high enough up on the criminal evolutionary ladder where they've developed the balls to sue law enforcement agencies -- but there's no need to say so at this juncture. Not when he still has remorse to wring out of his wayward subordinate.

The desk sergeant must've finished with the paperwork since a young uniform shows up bearing keys to unlock the cell. Both men rise in anticipation of freedom.

"Unless you've made arrangements I don't know about, Mister Axe," Art says, "you're not going anywhere. I'm only paying for my own cross to bear."

Axe sits down heavily -- and a little unsteadily -- and sighs. "Great. This is what I get for helping out with a federal investigation."

The aforementioned cross shuffles past him, still stinking of beer, and muttering apologies thare are genuine but worthless as far as future good behavior goes.

They have to wait for the uniform to unlock the door to the holding area.

"I thought you didn't like him," Art says. "Last time I looked, the two of you were snarling at each other like dogs who'd pissed on the same tree."

Tim looks up and gives him half a shrug and a quarter of a smile. "He improves after a few beers, sir."


Justified/The Mentalist

The case is bad news all around, the kidnapping of a federal judge's daughter by the mother of a career criminal being tried by said judge. The media's all over it: cameras everywhere, enough video and still footage to ensure that nobody assigned to this case will ever be able to work undercover ever again. The politicians are all over it: the sheriff and the governor are both up for election this year and the local DA is aiming for the latter's job. The brass is all over it: Raylan is expected to update his boss, his boss's boss, and the regional head of the Service hourly, an order he ignores from the get-go because by the time he got through to any of them, he'd have precious little time to engage in the cross-agency pissing match that's requiring him to drink steadily just to keep up.

But all of this, all of this endless posturing and politicking and self-regard at the probable expense of a little girl's life, would be almost bearable if Raylan were just allowed to shoot the damned psychic.

"Does it not bother you, Deputy, that your wife is thinking of leaving you?" Patrick Jane asks him, out of the blue, one afternoon. "Or do you simply not see the signs? Judging by your general demeanor, it would seem to be the latter, which is perhaps odd considering your livelihood depends upon your observational skills. And yet here you are, leading your team in the most high-profile case in the state."

Jane is there at Mrs. Wilcox's request, despite both the FBI and her husband telling her that it was unnecessary, that it would do more harm than good. But the lady is unmovable, given to tears when it gets brought up again and sliding into near-hysterics if anyone dares to make the argument with any kind of force. Mrs. Wilcox believes in spirits, you see, and Patrick Jane has her convinced that her own late mother is watching over young Patricia and would tell the location of her granddaughter if only there was a moment of peace long enough for her to penetrate the vale of tears.

Or some such. Raylan's got decades of Sunday spiritual circuses presided over by fire-breathing preachers in his past; his familiarity with the show is mistaken for sympathy by Mrs. Wilcox, who insists Raylan attend to her whenever she sees him. But Jane, the master carny, is not so fooled and treats him with wariness dressed as disdain. He, too, wants Raylan close, but for the more practical reason of keeping an eye on him lest he prove a greater threat than initially thought.

Raylan goes along partially because it's his job -- the marshals are attached to the security detail -- and mostly because it bothers him to see Lydia Wilcox so ill-used. She's a fragile lady, married equal to her station but above her ability to endure it. She'd have done fine in a lower-profile match, married to a banker or a businessman or even if Roger Wilcox had been less ambitious and stuck to practicing law instead of rendering judgment. She was never meant to be organizing fundraisers and planning 300-person luncheons and glad-handing; she's too nervous a woman to be teetering on the high society tightrope before such a crowd. Her husband is too blinded by his own bright future to see her desperate need for a protector, for the assurance that there is someone in control even if it's not her. But into that breach stepped Jane instead, with his talk of spirits and ghosts and ephemera that offer guidance and order that only he can see.

"What sort of criminal is your father?" Jane begins another conversation, this time in the kitchen as Raylan sips from the china cup the maid put before him.

"Now what makes you say that, Mister Jane?" Raylan asks mildly, burying his irritation with the man's ability to unerringly poke under his armor just to see what's there. Jane is a villain and a showman, but he's a wildly successful one. "It's not very nice."

"But it is true," he retorts with an artless shrug.

"Are you a mind-reader now, too?" Raylan reaches for one of the cookies on the tray.

"It's written all over your face," Jane replies. "The wonder's not that I can see it, but that everyone else doesn't."

"My daddy's dead," Raylan offers, biting the cookie tentatively. Raspberry filling. Too bad Jane-the-psychic couldn't have told him that.

"No he's not," Jane dismisses. "Your mother, yes. But your father is still alive and if you don't know exactly what he's up to -- and I bet you do -- then you could find out in a heartbeat."

With no desire to even consider what Arlo might be up to, let alone discuss the particulars with a man looking for ammunition to use against him, Raylan goes looking for a trash bin to discreetly dispose of the rest of the cookie. This being a kitchen that's more for show than for the gritty details of cooking, it's not in plain sight and he's remarkably reluctant to go around opening cabinets looking for it considering he's spent the last few days rummaging through every other detail of the Wilcoxes' lives. The alternative is eating the rest of the jam cookie, however, and so he does, quickly and stealthily, like he was looking for contraband and didn't quite have a warrant.

Jane is waiting for him when he returns for his tea cup, having rid himself of the raspberry-coated mistake.

"Drugs, petty thievery, the kind of back-woods racketeering that goes on in rural Southern states," Jane picks up where he left off. "Nothing so bad that he was ever looking at a life behind bars, but enough that everyone knows what sort of a bad man he is and what sort of apples might have fallen from that tree."

Raylan hides his discomfort in the careful examination of the cookie platter.

"The chocolate ones are lovely," Jane suggests, pointing. "Very delicate."

Raylan could be spiteful, but it would be lost on Jane and, besides, the man's been eating enough here for him to be an expert.

"You're right," Raylan confirms after he's taken a bite. "Thank you for the recommendation."

Jane accepts with a tilt of his head. "Your father's a petty criminal as far as the official records go," Jane says thoughtfully. "But unofficially, he's much worse. Beat you, beat your mother, a nasty man the law never caught up to. Because nobody would let it."

Raylan sighs. "Now why did you have to go ruining a perfectly nice moment between us with that garbage?" It's all completely true, but that's beside the point because it's all completely none of Jane's business. "You and I were having our first civil moment."

This is his history, a litany of misfortunes and mistakes born of accident, providence, and his own doings, and he knows it intimately. It's unpleasant to hear it out loud no matter the circumstance, but especially galling to hear it coming out of this man's mouth. Jane's silky, soothing tones and smooth exterior hide a rotten core and a devil's impulse and he wants Raylan to appreciate how much he knows (however he knows it, which is not by mind-reading -- file-reading, most likely) and to feel what kind of power he has at his fingertips.

"I'm trying to figure you out," Jane says. "Understand my brothers in arms as we work to save Patricia."

Raylan can feel his blood pressure spike further and his right hand itches to touch his sidearm, not even to draw it, just to touch it and be grounded by its presence. But he doesn't because that's exactly what Jane wants him to do, react instinctively and thus reveal even more about himself that can be exploited at a later date.

"We are not brothers in arms, brothers in spirit, or brothers in any other sense but that we can both pass as human beings," he grits out. "But only one of us actually is, Mister Jane, and it ain't you."

He puts the delicate china cup and saucer down carefully -- on a napkin, not wanting the maid to get in trouble for leaving marks on the wood table -- and leaves the room. It's not so much a tactical withdrawal as it is open (if contained) flight, but Raylan doesn't care at this point. How Jane keeps score of their interactions is not with the same metric as Raylan, so it doesn't really matter.

In the drawing room, the FBI has set up their computers and phone equipment and Raylan goes in there, knowing that the Feebs will put up with his presence but not Jane's. At least not without Lydia Wilcox to insist.

"I am going to shoot that man," Raylan announces to no one in particular. The agent nearest by -- he doesn't remember their names -- chuckles.

"If you do, try for between six AM and noon tomorrow," he says. "We've got a pool going."

This is a kidnapping with a known kidnapper and a known 'ransom' and, as such, there is a different tone and tempo to the process. At least for the professionals. Even with all of the press and all of the scrutiny by the brass, there is... not a calmness, but an appreciation for what they aren't dealing with. They don't have to waste time figuring out who or why; Monica Locari is keeping no secrets there.They don't have to worry about sexual abuse, torture, kidnapping into prostitution or slavery, or any of the surprisingly many ways a young girl's life can go from perfect to ruined in a heartbeat. Patricia Wilcox will be returned to her family either safely or in a coffin and Raylan knows he isn't the only one wondering if there's not a part of him that's broken for finding comfort in those absolute outcomes.

It ends up being the better of the two; Patricia is found and rescued three hours before the deadline. She's bruised and scared out of her mind and things won't be okay anytime soon, but Raylan can see after fifteen minutes with the girl that she's nothing like her mother but in looks. She's not fragile. She'll heal.

Jane, who had nothing to do with the finding or rescuing of Patricia Wilcox, nonetheless comes out of the case covered in roses and sunshine. Mrs. Wilcox can't say enough to the press about how much of a comfort he was and how, at the crucial moment, he was able to reveal key details provided by her own departed mother.

Raylan is in a bar drinking his way free of the memories of that last half-hour before Patricia was found, when they had very credible evidence that she'd already been killed and Lydia Wilcox had been out of her mind with grief, when Jane appears on the TV behind the bar. Giving another commercial that masquerades as a press conference, smooth and smiling and as unruffled as ever. Raylan gives the bartender a twenty just to change the channel to something that's not news.


Justified/Hawaii Five-O

Raylan's not sure what to expect as he gathers his belongings to get off of the plane. Experience has shown him that the nicer the destination, the nastier the business and Hawaii is a paradise.

There's a row of pretty girls holding leis waiting for them at the end of the tunnel; he dips his hat in greeting to the one who approaches him. She returns the smile but comes no closer, either put off by the realization that he's not de-hatting for the ritual or by the glimpse of sidearm visible through his open sport coat.

He had nothing to confess on his Plants and Animals Declaration Form, so he sails past the Agriculture Inspection Counter just as the annoying woman from three rows behind him on the plane is stripped of her carefully segmented and de-membraned orange-and-grapefruit mix. It's small reward for six hours of listening to her describe, in painful detail, her ritual of colonic cleanses and their effects.

The trip to Honolulu is for a pickup of a fugitive and so Raylan was told that a representative of the HPD would be waiting outside the terminal for him. He looks around for a squad car -- local LEOs not usually too invested in providing taxi service for visiting feds -- but his attention is instead drawn to a middle-aged man in an open-collared shirt leaning against a car right in front of the entrance.

"You're Givens?" the man asks, pushing off the late-model Dodge with a weary grace.

"I am," Raylan replies a little warily. He's carrying his bag in his left hand, the right free to draw if he has to. He's picked up more than commendations and the odd letter of reprimand in his time with the Marshal Service and some of those extras tend to shoot first and explain themselves afterward.

"Your office told me to look for the hat," the man says with a smile, holding out his hand to shake. "Detective John McGarrett, HPD. Welcome to Hawaii."

McGarrett doesn't offer to take the bag after they shake hands, instead gesturing for Raylan to get in to the Dodge and crossing around the front to get in on the driver's side, stopping near the left headlight to wave and call to someone he knows. It's enough time for Raylan to look around the inside of the car and identify the accouterments of law enforcement, making sure McGarrett's legit, which in turn lets him relax when McGarrett gets in and guns the engine.

"We picked Lopez up in a condo in Manoa," McGarrett explains as they pull into traffic. "It's just about the last place we would have thought to look."

"Last place you did look," Raylan points out.

McGarrett smiles. "That it was," he agrees. "Place looked nothing like a bolt-hole, let alone like Lopez was looking to start something here. No booze, no hookers, no drugs, no firearms bazaar. There was juice in the fridge and an orchid on the terrace and the Advertiser open to the sports page. SWAT team thought they broke down the wrong door at first."

Henry Lopez, near as anyone could figure, had never left Florida up until three months ago. His quietly sordid career had never expanded outside of greater Miami and all four of his prison stints had been up at Coleman, from which he'd escaped. Which was why it had taken almost a month before anyone had gotten really serious about the idea of looking for him anywhere else. At least that's the official version; Raylan's not the only one to suspect that the real story's a lot less about credible leads from the Miami police and a lot more about agency pissing matches and the fact that someone important from the state's attorney's office is sleeping with someone important at the FBI's Miami office.

But the real story doesn't actually matter and Raylan has never been one to get involved in office or agency politics. That way lies endless assignments to prisoner transport detail and other shitty jobs. Of which Raylan already gets more than his fair share because keeping out of office and agency politics is about the only way he doesn't piss off his bosses on a regular basis.

Which is how he ended up with the assignment that has him spending twenty-seven of forty-five hours in a cramped airline seat, with more than half of that to be spent babysitting an overweight career criminal who'd undoubtedly have bad breath and restless leg syndrome.

The drive is pleasant, apart from the frequent bursts of traffic, and McGarrett either isn't the chatty type or recognizes that Raylan isn't, so it passes in companionable silence. Hawaii, even downtown Honolulu, is a beautiful place. Miami has the sunshine and the palm trees and the endless expanses of beaches and the scantily-clad women to fill them, but it doesn't look like this. Maybe because Raylan doesn't see the tourist Miami anymore; he rates the glitzy waterfront hotels by how many criminals have suites inside, the fancy restaurants and night clubs for what sort of illegal transactions get made in its darker corners. He's sure if he were stationed in Honolulu, this pristine beauty, too, would fade.

They arrive at police headquarters and go inside, the crowded hallways starting to give Raylan the answer to the question he didn't want to ask McGarrett earlier: why was a senior detective playing limo driver? Raylan's walked in and out of many cop shops over the years and they all have a similar feel to them -- when they're healthy. There's a whiff of disease in this one, a taint of something rotten. Rotting. A tension, buried under the surface but only to someone too blind to see.

McGarrett doesn't pretend that Raylan's that oblivious.

"IA's crawling around here like termites," he explains shortly after he closes the door to the small conference room where all of Lopez's files are spread neatly across the table. "They caught a guy from Vice with too much money in his bank account."

From that, all else follows and McGarrett need say no more. Everyone does all their own work during a corruption probe, no foisting off the shit duties -- like picking up visiting feds at the airport.

The files, most of which Raylan has looked at already, keep them both from any sort of awkward conversation until there's a brisk knock at the door and, once it opens, a head stuck through.

McGarrett waves the head in and the rest of the body follows. "Deputy Givens, meet Detective Chin-Ho Kelly, the man who found your fugitive for you," he says. There's just the slightest emphasis on Kelly's rank, which Raylan takes to mean either it's new or that McGarrett had something to do with it or both.

Kelly he may be, but he doesn't look anything like any Irishman Raylan's seen before. He keeps that to himself, however, and accepts a very firm handshake from the man.

"I appreciate you doing the legwork for me on this one," Raylan tells him, meaning it. "This fellow's been making a right fool of a lot of important people back in Florida."

"And we all know how unpleasant that can be," Kelly replies wryly. No, bitterly. Whatever's going on around here might not be touching McGarrett, but Kelly's up to his ankles in it, at least.

"It'll all go away once they get their pound of flesh," McGarrett assures Kelly with a sigh. "You're an honest cop, Chin, and you've got nothing to fear."

Kelly isn't quite convinced, but doesn't protest. Instead, he tells them that Central Booking has called and the transport for Lopez from lock-up to the airport has been arranged. They're booked on a flight back to Miami (via LAX) tomorrow evening -- it had taken all of Raylan's charm and much of his dignity to beg and plead not to be turned around and put on the flight home the same day once Logistics had realized it was possible. Raylan will have tonight and tomorrow morning to himself, a prospect that earned him some envy. But not enough for anyone to volunteer to take this job from him.

Raylan might not have to take custody of Lopez until tomorrow, but he's got a ream of paperwork to fill out today. It takes him the rest of the afternoon because there's two state agencies and more than two federal agencies involved and nobody's willing to take a photocopy of someone else's forms. He has to call Miami three separate times to get information and to find out when the hell Harriman is going to be in tomorrow because it's late back East and DHS wants a signature from the chief deputy marshal, not understanding that one of the perquisites of being chief deputy marshal is that you don't do prisoner transport.

Harriman is still at work, despite the hour. In a meeting with DHS, actually. But no, his secretary will not pass on a message for him to sign a piece of paper to give to them while he's there.

The sun is most of the way to setting by the time Raylan's done absolving every agency but the Marshal Service (and every deputy but himself) of responsibility for Lopez. The last bit's not yet signed -- it's a rookie mistake to autograph it all before the hand-off's complete and the prisoner's secure -- but it's as done as Raylan's going to get today and he flexes his cramped hand as he stands up and rolls his neck.

McGarrett drives him to his hotel and, en route, makes an offer to go to supper that's phrased so that there'll be no insult in the declining. But Raylan's all too familiar with eating alone in strange diners and so he accepts.

They wind up at a place called the Side Street Inn, which looks like a dive bar tucked in among the tacky tourist draws. McGarrett is apparently a regular since a waiter brings over two beers and a plate mounded with something Raylan can't identify without them saying a word.

"Ahi poke," McGarrett explains. "Local specialty."

It's fancy sushi, something Raylan's not too partial to but learned to eat because of Winona. It's better than what he's had in the Japanese restaurants, though, savory and substantial and almost like it's pretending to be meat. Nonetheless, Raylan's relieved when McGarrett tells him that the fried pork chops are a specialty here.

They make conversation while they eat, but not much. They're both not given to chattiness and have been at their respective jobs too long to confuse temporary acquaintances with the beginnings of friendship. Of course, that doesn't mean that they can't recognize something similar in the other, not when their limited divulging puts up a matched set of histories of loved ones lost to death and their own inabilities to put the job away at night. McGarrett is a widower with a son in the Navy ("a SEAL," he says with a father's pride) and a daughter at loose ends ("she'll be good at whatever she finally decides to do"). They're both living in California, but McGarrett doesn't see them much and Raylan suspects that to be their choice as much as his. For his part, Raylan confesses to being divorced, leaving out the part where he's a cuckold. His anger at Winona is genuine and, at times, as unremitting as his love for her. But it's a private anger and there's no need for the public shame that goes with it.

They split the bill because Raylan insists; with the IA probe, there's no way McGarrett submits a receipt and no way he'd accept Raylan putting it on his own per diem. They drive back to Raylan's hotel and McGarrett tells him what time he needs to be at Headquarters and that if he chooses to go out this evening to stay away from the place on the corner with the purple umbrellas because Vice raids it weekly.

The next morning is bright and sunny and, buoyed by fresh strong coffee and a plate of fresh fruit he'd only been partially able to identify, Raylan is almost able to sucker himself into believing that the next twenty-four hours won't suck as badly as they undoubtedly will.

Things start going downhill when they find out that the transport from the prison's delayed because the morning head-count was off. Lopez is accounted for, but someone else is not and they're not going to release the wagon until they sort out who and how.

The slope gets steeper when DHS decides that they really need that signature now, not when Raylan gets back to Miami. It's just dawn in Miami and Raylan won't be able to do more than leave an aggrieved voice mail with Harriman until it's almost time to leave for the airport. If DHS lets them -- and if Lopez is released from lock-up in time for them to go through the airport and then the airline's nervous security.

Lopez is released at 2:30, which is a relief right up until it isn't. Because the driver of the van isn't a guard; it's a prisoner wearing the uniform and HPD's now got three fugitives on the loose where they once had one behind bars.

Finding the van isn't hard, but it's not done fast enough to find it with the occupants still inside. Instead, they're inside a plate lunch storefront with four hostages.

Harriman, who never returns Raylan's calls when he needs it, does so while Raylan's got his gun drawn and pointed at a part of Rico Samonora's substantial girth that's not covered by the slender girl he's got in a neck-lock.

"I'm pointing my sidearm at a very fat man hiding behind a very skinny girl," he tells Harriman when he's asked why he can't fax the DHS form over right this moment. "I'll get to it within the hour, sir."

It takes longer than an hour, by which point Raylan's got entirely different paperwork to fax to Miami because Lopez is dead, shot by Kelly after Lopez picked up a fallen Glock dropped by Charles Hisagi, the escapee in the hack's uniform, whom Raylan killed.

Raylan doesn't make his flight, which pisses off the ladies back in Miami because not only do they have to pay to change his tickets, but they also have to cancel Lopez's and the airline's not giving them a full refund. Raylan bites his tongue during that chewing-out, to no great advantage because when he finally does get to leave Hawaii, it's on a flight that changes planes twice.


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26 June, 2011