Cat Sitter
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Detective Webber has ordered surveillance on suspect Britney Pagan at 6221 Drexel in the Callie Higgins homicide.

6221 Drexel Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90048

April 28th, 9:00 PM

"…"

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"Are we seriously out here watching for a cat?! Webber has seriously lost his marbles this time," boredom has already set in for Officer Carter. "We've only spent," she looks at her wrist expectantly, "three hours watching Britney Pagan— " The dark haired rookie reaches for her coffee cup and brings it to her lips to enjoy the comfort of the blend's rich aroma. "— and the mos tinteresting thing she's done is go into her house." She motions towards the door only to observe, "I swear, I hated girls like this one in high school." She clucks her tongue.

She sighs before turning to face Kev, "We should play a game." It's not a question.

Leaning against the inner car door in a would-be restful pose for the long-haul watch, Kev appears more uncomfortable than settled. Half of his forehead is squished against the window he peers out; with his bleary stare, three hours in, it’s questionable that he’s seeing anything at all anymore.
“Huh!” he gives a muffled exclamation – muffled by nothing but his own absent attention – and squirms up straighter, looking as though he just woke up from a nap… truly, barely a change from the norm. He dives a hand into his hair, flattening that which was flattened by the car window all the more. Jack’s side of the conversation hits him belatedly through a slow filter. He’s been a pleasant, if progressively witless surveillance partner. “What kinda game…” Just short of skepticism, he squints at the rookie but smiles. “Is it called 'Herding Cats'? Maybe we get all the neighbourhood kitties, send 'em to Webber’s desk.”

The rookie beams in turn. "I think that's the best game I've ever heard. The Detective's got it comin'." Her tone levels though as she stares at the house door once more, "Seriously though, I didn't join ACRU to catch animals. Would've joined the humane society or some such instead." She shoots him a smug half smirkbefore sliding down in her seat. It's pretty much the first time in months she's allowed herself to be a little human around her colleagues. Of course, that could be the effect of three hours of loopiness in the same car.

"Well, I guess any other game would have to keep us attentive. So… word games? Like 20 questions or something? I'm just so… bored." She clears her throat, "On TV surveillance is always exciting. In practice, it sucks balls." She pauses. "I mean it's brutal." There. Professional self is professional and doesn't tell colleague things suck balls.

The rookie's commentary — and her general evolution from strict baby-cop to a regular person — has Kev smiling, even as he remembers to keep a lookout on Britney Pagan's house. "Nah, you're right," he agrees easy as can be, "it does suck balls."  He leans toward Jack, tossing his head slightly sideways for a quick look. "I gotta tell ya," he confides, "Y'know what else sucks— me, at word games."

The reflection of her own phrase wins Kev a big grin, even if Jack stares at the house across the street. "It's all good— no word games then." Her nose wrinkles, "You know what else sucks about this?" She pauses. "I was one of those stupid girls back in like middle school. You know the type?" Her teeth toy at her lip pensively. "Dumb on purpose? It's so… irritating to think that I was like that. Freakin' teen years." Which, even to Jack feel like a lifetime ago. She turns her gaze away from the door for a moment to grant Kev a sidelong glance, "Do you think we'll see anything? Like… a cat?" She smirks.

"Ehhhnnn…" Kev's wavery response doesn't inspire confidence.  "And don't feel too bad, everyone's dumb in middle school. And high school. On purpose and not." He squints at the property, slinking down in his seat to lean a knee against the dash. "Like what're we supposed to do if we do see this mystical cat, that's what I wanna know, those things are wily. Friggin'— squirmy mofos." A beat. "… Cute though."

"That's actually a really good question. It's not like I just carry cans of tuna around with me," Jack's nose wrinkles again, mostly because tuna is stinky, and thinking about it makes her think about the way it smells. "I seriously feel like we would get further if I posed as a fake potential roommate or neighbour." Pause. "Or if we had a can of tuna or bowl of milk. Cats love that stuff." She arches an eyebrow, "So you're a cat person then?"

“Nnnh, weeeelll… I like the little guys, but see, I never had one. All the cats I got to spend time with, they were kinda psycho. Now all the nice ones, they sense that I don’t trust 'em, they go loco.” He shifts this way and that in his seat, weary of sitting in the same spot a long time ago. “'N' yeahh, that sounds like a good idea,” he tells Jack easily, seeming sincere, not seeming to give a damn that she’s the rookie. “But I guess we’re stuck on surveillance duty.” Kev sinks a little further in his seat.

Grin. "Right," she clears her throat around the word. "Makes sense." And then Jack offers, "I've always been more of a dog person, myself. Though I like cats that are more like dogs." She nods, "Right. Of course. Just one of those things. I mean, if Pagan never leaves her house and we don't see a single cat, then it's not exactly productive." Her lips press together tightly, "Pagan's not ability registered, right?" She clears her throat, "I only ask because I could easily give a police detail the slip— "

At first it's just out of the corner of the eye; a slip of a thought of motion. But then, as if it appeared there by magic, a small white mixed breed feline pops out from a bush near the front door, possibly having been waiting underneath the parked car. It approaches the gated door, slinking back and forth, its little mouth moving, but, from this distance and inside a car, the plaintive noises can't be heard; only the intention is seen as it stops, crouches, and begins to paw at the door until that rattles loud enough to ring into the vehicle.

“I, uhhh…” He’s supposed to know that, isn’t he. Kev scratches his chin with a few knuckles, a rustle of facial hair that fills the silence where an answer should be. “I don’t think so… might wanna double-check with Webber, or uh, what’s his uh, that skinny dude partner'a his.” The rattling careens his attention back to the house. He lets a breath out slowly through his mouth. “Well … it’s a cat.”

"Huh," after three hours in the car, this is finally something worth seeing. "Well. That's… huh." She hadn't actually expected to see the cat. Jack's hand goes for the handle of the door as she leans just a little closer. "And it wants in the house in question— "

In, but that's not what it gets. The door rattles on opening, but Britney's foot swiftly stops the white cat's forward progress. A few harsh syllables and noises make their way to the detectives, even as the creature attempts to wind its way lovingly around her ankles. "Shoo!" She probably shouts, delivering a swift kick that backpedals the cat in surprise, giving her room to slam the gate and disappear back inside.

After critically witnessing the cat's blocked attempt to get inside, Kev comes to a decision: "I don't like this Britney chick." 

The unfolding scene between Britney and the cat, Carter feels like her blood could boil. "Me neither," Jack hisses as her nostrils flare before finally tugging on the handle of the car door. "Anyone that cruel to an animal— " she doesn't finish the thought. Instead, she slides out of the vehicle and gets down a little lower to the ground— don't want to startle the poor thing. "Here kitty, kitty, kitty~" she virtually sings in a high-pitched voice reserved only for cute things (if anyone mentions it later, she will vehmently deny it). Her approach is slow, a kind of near-crawl towards the cat. "I'm not going to hurt you~ Just wanna bring you some place safe and waaaarm and loaded with tuna~ Mmmm. Yummy, yummmy tuna— "

Immediately, the white cat bristles, mewling its discontent as it shuffles a few steps towards the gate, finds itself blocked, then winds back towards the bushes.

Kev too may harbour concern for the cat, but his ambling out of the car is more reluctant — even if he does get to finally stretch his legs. A hand indecisively resting on top of his head, he watches Jack for a moment before heading closer to the residence himself. "Not drawing any attention to ourselves at all…" he mumbles under his breath. "I'll go— " he gestures to the far end of the bushes, crouching and expecting a face full of claws.  

"Here kitty, kitty, kitty~" Jack repeats with a little bit of a harsher edge. She nods at Kev's motion as she slowly follows the cat's path. Maybe together they can catch this sucker. The house, for now, is summarily ignored.

Cornering the cat causes the predicated results: with a hiss and batting of claws, it defends itself against the scary Kev monster, scuttling even further back into the equally scratchy bush.

Kev withdraws his hand rather speedily and announces: "It has claws." Armed with that knowledge, the SWAT officer turned detective turned failing animal catcher proceeds with even more operational caution. "Now, c'mon, little cat… we're the good dudes…" he says quietly and forlornly into the bush. "I dunno what we're doin' here…" This, to Jack, yet he snaps a twig from the branch and tries to lure the cat put with promise of playtime — still expecting a face full of claws. "This isn't in my job description," he says, more worried than complaining, feeling especially conscious that they're creeping around a suspect's shrubbery trying to catch a cat (see: wily, squirmy mofos and don't forget: face full of claws).

"Sorry!" Jack squeaks apologetically towards Kev before narrowing her eyes. "I can probably phase with the bush. It doesn't look that big. Then maybe you can reach in, yeah?" Even before Kev has time to agree to this Jack is reaching forward, closing her eyes, and taking a deep breath (it's hard to breathe when in a million little pieces). She grasps one of the branches and does what she can…

Phasing, right, that's what the rookie does— what's phasing again— ? All of this makes up the vaguely stunned expression on Kev's face before he finds himself agreeing. "Alright— " Agreeing to reach into the less than solid bush with the clawed animal. They should have brought gear. In he goes, seeking out white fur. "Jesus God — " Hardly a prayer. "C'mon kitty… kitty—  "

Rawr rawr! The cat complains, protesting each inch that Kev gets closer by noise and by shoving itself as far back against the house as it can possibly flatten its surprisingly limber body. But the bush is no longer protection, and Kev's arms get within clawing distance, so the claws come out. As he grapples for the cat, it informs him why this is a bad idea; leaving it his decision whether to try and hang on to the writhing animal.

He's in too deep now to debate the pros and cons of this idea while the cat has clearly made up its mind: he's here, the cat is there, he might as well hang on to the poor homeless feline, right? "Shh hey hey!" Despite all of his fretting over one cat, Kev isn't exactly a stranger to facing pain. He sucks it up and takes the clawing of his hands and forearms, but the cat's writhing may yet prove too— "Squirmy— ! I don't wanna hurt the little guy— "

Jack promptly releases the bush and reconstitutes into a fully formed woman, instead of many micro-pieces of herself, and within seconds she's next to Kev to grab the cat if she can. Maybe it needs a lady's touch?

Touch bad! And when the gate rattles in opening, the cat's fervor increases, kicking off from whatever's closest with every nail in an attempt to get down and towards Britney as she stares at the ensemble, "What the hell— ?"

That's when Jack's shoulder begins to buzz — more precisely, her walkie; it echoes a mechanical voice originating in the car parked on the other side of the street: "Danger, danger. 6025 break-in and possible 207 at 610 N. Crescent Drive. Any car in the area please code 2, identify."

"Whoa-ho-ho-kay that'sa— " Enough cat wrangling for Kev. He knows when there's too much pain for not enough gain; the cat is wildly out of his control as he finds himself blinking up at Britney Pagan. The nervous smile he gives the cat-kicking resident, swelling rapidly into a wince due to the scratches also rapidly swelling on his arms, freezes in place as the address from Jack's radio registers as familiar. "Ma'am," he mumbles awkwardly to Britney, starting to rise, everything's normal, ignore his bleeding hands… "We— were jus' lookin' out for this friendly kitty there. We— were just leaving. Jack?"

Arms wrestle against the squirming cat, getting scratched every moment. Jack manages a tight lipped smile. "Lovely… " she grunts around the words, "… pussy." Britney is issued a tight-lipped smile. And then, the rookie adds, "A neighbour complained about it crapping in their yard— so… taking it to animal control." She smiles again only to wince as the claw catches her skin.

"Well… fine," Britney snorts, running a hand through her hair and inching backwards to block the cat's target path, "Just, like, get it out of here or whatever it is you guys do." Twisting, she slams the gate so that it nearly takes off the cat's nose. Mewling pathetically, it scratches for a second then, thinking twice, dashes around the other side of the house and disappears.

"That address is Alice's. The girl who runs the website," Kev tells Jack as soon as the gate closes and the cat bolts. It's left to its own devices. "Radio in, we should head over." Little sounds like a command coming from him, but his sense of urgency lends weight; he's already taking stomping steps back to the car, his brow crunched down in concentrated distress, turning his normally lackadaisical expression angry. 

Jack's head snaps back to Kev as her lips part, but her hand has already gone up to her radio. "Roger, Unit 78 in bound." Her paces match Kev's as she rushes back to the car. No one needs to tell the rookie twice (at least not this time).

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