Kay, here's your challenges.

#1. A Dreamgirl Challenge (IS THERE ANY OTHER!!!)

*Must be an alternate universe, (NO ALIENS)
*Must also be a future fic, Max and Liz must be between 20-25 years old.
*Max must be a very good police officer (top rank without needing a desk job).
*Max and Liz must not have met yet.
*Liz must witness a murder. She must be the ONLY witness.
*The murderer must be a well-known big man, meaning resources EVERYWHERE (including the police department).
*Liz must be put in the witness protection program.
*Max and Michael must be the main cops that watch out for her.
*They must BOTH be attracted to her, but Liz only wants Max.
*Michael cannot be a jerk about Liz and Max.
*Max and Liz must have hot wild and steamy sex.
*The killer must come after Liz various times
*The killer must actually kidnap Liz, but Max and Michael must get there before she's killed (that does not mean before she's hurt. NOTHING FATAL!!!)
*Max and Liz must end up together. Michael must somehow meet Maria, she could be his new rookie partner or something.
*Everybody must be all happy and content when the story ends. Y'ALL CAN DO A SEQUEL IF YOU WANT, AND EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A SEQUEL CHALLENGE.


Angels Would Fall


Disclaimer: I own nothing, nada, except an evil computer named Bob. I wouldn’t try to take him if I were you.
Spoilers: Spoilers?
Rating: NC-17
Distribution: Anywhere, just tell me where.
Summary: Read the challenge, chicas.
Category: M/L, UC, M/M, AU



Much to the killer’s satisfaction, his victim got down on his knees and begged.

“Please, I swear to God, I’ll do anything, you can have all my money, I-“

The killer’s lip twisted into a grin. “Money? Who needs money?”

The man’s eyes widened when he realized that, unlike everyone else in his life, he could not buy this man. His mouth flapped open and closed like a dying fish’s.

“I’ve got everything I need,” the killer drawled. He pulled off his mask with a dramatic flourish, revealing a face that the victim clearly recognized. “Except-except-that tasty little treat of yours, what’s her name? I’d like to have her. Maybe I could comfort her after your funeral, what do you think?”

“Don’t you touch her,” the man hissed. “Don’t you fucking get near her, ever, you goddamned bastard. Kill me, but don’t hurt her.”

The murderer considered this, running a finger along the dull edge of his Exacto knife. “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.” And with that he slit the man’s throat, watching with pleasure as the blood spilled out onto the plush carpet, turning it from pristine white to a deep, almost maroon red. The victim gurgled, blood foaming at the corners of his mouth. Then he collapsed, falling forward into the pool of his own blood.

Almost instantly, the killer dropped the knife onto the dead man’s inert body. Peeling off his bloodied latex gloves, he pulled his mask back over his head and crept back toward the door, stopping at the exit to wipe the blood off his shoes.

He never noticed the woman hiding in a dark corner, her eyes wide with terror and a scream caught inside her mouth.

****

“There was a struggle,” the detective said tersely. “Yet, no sign of forced entry. So that means what, my young protégé?”

“That the victim knew the killer, at least a little, or was familiar with him.”

“Exactly. So who did the victim know?”

The rookie looked down unhappily at the corpse on the floor, now covered in a stained white sheet. “That will be hard to find out.”

“Perhaps. That’s your job, isn’t it?”

The rookie glared at the back of his superior as he turned away, resenting the fact that the detective was only a few years older than him. He watched as the detective gingerly snapped on gloves and lifted the Exacto knife by its middle, examining the blade. Then he put it in a plastic baggie and slid the baggie’s zipper shut.

The detective strode briskly to the officer taking notes by the corpse’s side. He handed the baggie to the officer standing there. The stretcher that would take the body to the morgue was just being unfolded. “So does his wife know yet?” he asked in low tones.

The officer looked even unhappier than the rookie. “We can’t be sure. She might’ve heard about it on the news by now. From what we can tell, she hasn’t lived here in a while. She and the victim were estranged, and she had the children with her.”

“Jesus,” the detective muttered. “Hearing about your husband’s death on the news.”

“Evans! Hey, Evans!” The detective turned around, looking for who had shouted his name. “Look what we found in the bedroom!”

It was the rookie. Max grunted in irritation and headed for the back hallway. “So, what did you find?” he asked sarcastically, leaning on the doorway.

Looking triumphant, the rookie pulled a lace teddy out of the closet.

“Well, I’m glad to know you found something to help you jerk off tonight, but what the hell does that have to do with the case?”

“The victim had a mistress! Can’t you tell?”

Max shook his head. “Do you have any real proof of that? How do you know it wasn’t just his wife’s?”

The rookie dropped the teddy, looking disappointed. “I-his wife wouldn’t wear something like that.”

“So do you have any proof of that hypothesis?”

The rookie seemed flabbergasted and speechless. Max turned around and stormed back toward the parlor, where the body had been found. His nose crinkled at the mixed odor of dust and blood. The body had been taken away, and the classic chalk outline drawn where it had been. It always made him shudder to look at those outlines. It was almost as though they were shells of the person that had been, drawn in messy charcoal across carpeting or cement.

“Shit, it’s hot,” he muttered to himself, swiping at his forehead with the back of his hand. “So, Bob, do we have anything? Anything at all?”

Bob sighed in frustration. “Nothing yet. It looks as though all the fingerprints may be the victim’s.”

Max sniffed and looked at the huge bloodstain. “Maybe he did it to himself.”

The officer laughed. “Yeah, right, Detective.”

****

The woman slammed her apartment door shut behind her, shaking from head to toe. She’d driven the forty miles to her home in thirty minutes. Her teeth were chattering and she was covered in goose bumps despite the 90-degree heat. She sank against the door.

“I’m in shock,” she mumbled to herself, rubbing her arms. She got up with the intention of taking a steaming hot shower, but barely made it a few steps before stumbling. She looked at the phone, considering calling. Should she? Did he know she knew? Had he seen her? Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod.

And her boyfriend…her chest heaved. She bent over, dry heaves racking her. She was fairly certain she’d thrown up most of her lunch in the street by his mansion. Giving up on her legs, she laid down on the cool hallway tiles, watching as the warmth of her body caused them to fog up.

She didn’t know how long she’d been sleeping, but when she woke it was dark out. The blinds were open and the bright lights of the city shone through, sending shooting pains through her eyes into her brain. She stumbled to the cords and pulled them shut, thanking God for the darkness.

There was a knock on the door, the loud noise sending pain crashing through her. She flipped her wrist over and pressed the tiny button that illuminated the face-it was 2 AM. Who in hell could be here at 2 AM?

“Liz? Liz, I know you’re in there…”

Her heart lurched as she froze in place, willing herself not to move or breathe.


Part 2

AUTHOR’S NOTE: If some of the crude language or thoughts that you won’t see in my other fics (I.e., just the general male pig-ness) offends you, I’m sorry. I wanted to portray the police as I’ve seen it in my experience, and most cops I’ve known have been good people who are a little rough around the edges. And the police as a general rule are very much MALE LOL.


#1. A Dreamgirl Challenge (IS THERE ANY OTHER!!!)

*Must be an alternate universe, (NO ALIENS)*
*Must also be a future fic, Max and Liz must be between 20-25 years old.*
*Max must be a very good police officer (top rank without needing a desk job).*
*Max and Liz must not have met yet.*
*Liz must witness a murder. She must be the ONLY witness.*
*The murderer must be a well-known big man, meaning resources EVERYWHERE (including the police department).
*Liz must be put in the witness protection program.
*Max and Michael must be the main cops that watch out for her.
*They must BOTH be attracted to her, but Liz only wants Max.
*Michael cannot be a jerk about Liz and Max.
*Max and Liz must have hot wild and steamy sex.
*The killer must come after Liz various times
*The killer must actually kidnap Liz, but Max and Michael must get there before she's killed (that does not mean before she's hurt. NOTHING FATAL!!!)
*Max and Liz must end up together. Michael must somehow meet Maria, she could be his new rookie partner or something.
*Everybody must be all happy and content when the story ends. Y'ALL CAN DO A SEQUEL IF YOU WANT, AND EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A SEQUEL CHALLENGE.


Max sighed and sank into his chair. It was 2 AM, and he was bone tired. He was used to working the late shift, but ordinarily his partner would have been with him. But Nick’s wife had just given birth to their first child, a little girl, the day before, and Max could hardly blame him for taking a few days off.

It didn’t make going it alone any easier, though, especially with Krupiczewicz following him around like a puppy. Just like a puppy, Max thought with irritation. He couldn’t keep his hands off anything. Max hated to think how much evidence he’d disturbed at the scene of the Vitale murder.

Not that Harry Vitale had been that clean a character to begin with. If the man had any more underworld connections, he’d have actually *been* a sewer rat, not just appeared to be one. It was well known that he had a gorgeous mistress, but her identity was a well-kept secret. It was whispered that perhaps she was a movie star, or a musician. No one knew.

Max picked up the top file; it had a picture of Vitale on it. The man looked, as Max’s esteemed father would have put it, “Like he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.” Yet somehow he had managed to keep unbelievably beautiful women at his side and in his bed. Max wished he knew what Vitale’s secret had been. Money, he guessed. Shower a girl with diamonds and she’d be in your bed faster than you could say “Suck it.”

He looked at the files that had been dumped on his desk; everything they had on Vitale and his history. Max sighed, put his feet up, and began to look through the pile.

****

Liz looked frantically across the room. The phone, the phone was sitting on her kitchen table. If only she could reach it, she could call the police. But they’d never be here on time…She thought frantically. The knife! Her brand-new knife set was in the kitchen, close to the phone.

“Liz, I know you’re in there. Why don’t you let me in? You must have heard by now. We need to talk…”

She froze. The killer didn’t realize that she had seen him. Or did he? Was he just playing with her? She had no way of knowing. She crawled across the soft, plush carpeting, wincing as her knee hit the linoleum with a soft *thunk*.

“I hear you in there! What’s wrong with you?”

Liz stood slowly, willing the floor not to creak under her weight. She slid the biggest knife from the set. The phone was on the other side of the counter, on top of the bar. There was a squeaky spot under one of the barstools. Could she grab it without making the floor creak?

He might break down the door at any minute. She didn’t have any time to waste. Using strong, sleekly muscular arms, she lifted herself and slid across the smooth, clean countertop. She had it!

She dialed the three numbers without thinking, her breath coming faster than ever. “911, how may I help you?” the woman on the other end asked in a monotone.

“Yes…I, there’s a man, he’s trying to break into my apartment, he’s dangerous, I know he’s trying to kill me, I saw, he’ll kill me…” Liz was stuttering, her words coming fast and loud until they were no longer a whisper.

“Hold on, I’m already sending someone. What’s your address?”

Liz breathed her address into the receiver. The knocks were coming louder and harder all the time. “I have to go, I have to hide…”

“No, hon, stay on the line with me. Don’t hang up the phone! Do you know the intruder?”

“Yes,” Liz whimpered, a tear tracing its way down her cheek.

****

Max stood up and stretched his legs. Well, at least he had a preliminary list of suspects. They could begin questioning tomorrow…*after* he got a few hours of sleep. He pulled his coat off the coathook, not bothering to put it on. It was too hot for these goddamn suits in LA.

He stepped out his office door and almost ran into Krupiczewicz. As much as the rookie irritated him, he was also assigned to this case. “Evans!” he said, almost out of breath. “I…I found something about one of the suspects!”

Max sighed and leaned back, watching in his mind’s eye as the little bit of sleep he had been praying for dissipated. Goodbye, he thought miserably. “Yes?”

“Jim Castellenata was just reported as attempting to break into an apartment in Bel Air!”

Max smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “Well, it looks like this case is getting off to one hell of a quick start, doesn’t it?”

****

Max smirked, looking at the sparkling new apartment building. He would bet even money that Vitale kept his mistress stashed here. The 911 call had come in from a young woman, and Max was convinced that it was her.

He walked into the lobby. Three officers were already questioning the security guard, an old man who seemed entirely puzzled as to what had gone on. Five more, including the rookie, were waiting for an elevator. Max watched the numbers above the door: 27…26…25…

He snorted and opened the door next to the elevator and began to jog his way up to the seventeenth floor. He heard the door close, then open again as the other officers caught on. They couldn’t keep up, and were all huffing and puffing by the tenth floor. Max laughed and outdistanced them.

On 24 hours and counting without sleep, he could easily outrun them all.

****

It was easy to tell which apartment it was; there were officers crowded all around the door. Max groaned to himself. What was this case turning into? Sure, Valenti had been well known, and Castellenata even more so. But over his dead body would this turn into the next OJ Simpson case.

He elbowed his way in, nudging cops aside. They all recognized him; not only was he well-respected, but he was almost legendary for the speed with which he had risen through the ranks. He could easily be running his own office by now, but he preferred detective work, and enjoyed it. He couldn’t imagine sitting at a desk all day. He was only 25 years old, nearly 26. He had a lot of living left before he spent it sitting down.

The first thing he laid eyes on was the girl. And she was a girl; several years his junior, he guessed. Nineteen, twenty if she was lucky. And he suspected that she had not been lucky.

She was breathtakingly beautiful; he couldn’t tear his eyes off her. Long, shimmering brown hair cascaded down her back, easily touching her waist. Her skin was porcelain and honey, flawless and smooth. She didn’t seem to be wearing any makeup, and was none the worse for it. Her huge brown eyes shone with tears.

Then he realized that one of the cops was shouting at her. A tear welled in one eye and propelled itself over to run down her face, leaving a shiny wet trail behind. Max longed to wipe away her tears.

But first things first.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Max growled at the his coworker, Lieutenant Hedley.

Hedley snorted. “Questioning the *witness*,” he said.

“Yelling at her won’t do it,” Max hissed.

“Yeah, well, Mr. Hot Shot, why don’t you question her then?” Hedley asked with a laugh. “But let me watch.”

Max rolled his eyes. How hard could it be?

He took another look at the girl and it hit him like a fist to the stomach exactly how difficult this was going to be.

She looked up at him, her eyes widening slightly. She was wrapped in a plush gray comforter, and for the first time he noticed the luxury of his surroundings. Shit, he thought to himself. Professionalism, Evans. Professionalism.

“What’s your name?” he asked, as gently as possible.

Her eyes narrowed. “I already told them seven thousand times.”

“Elizabeth Parker,” another officer supplied helpfully.

“Miss Parker, you told the 911 officer that Castellenata tried to break into your apartment. Are you-“

“It wasn’t him,” she interrupted. “I thought it was him, but it wasn’t. I was wrong. It was someone else.”

Max grimaced inwardly. “Uh-huh. And were you at the residence of Mr. Harry Vitale earlier tonight?”

“No, I wasn’t.”

“But you do know who that is?”

“Yes, I - I knew who he was. But I wasn’t there tonight. What does this have to do with him?” she asked, and Max knew that she was trying to hide something.

“Listen, Miss Parker, I don’t like being lied to. If you want to lie, talk to Lieutenant Hedley again.”

Max heard muffled laughter from somewhere behind him. He stood and began to survey the apartment. He strode over to the door, and examined the hinges. There was no sign that the door had been forced open. But hadn’t she said in her 911 call that he was trying to break down the door?

And how, even if Elizabeth Parker was the secret mistress, did Castellenata know? Vitale, for all his faults, wasn’t the sort to tell secrets like that. And besides, why would Castellenata be after her?

Unless she knew something.

Unless she had been there.

Unless she had seen it.


Angels Would Fall, Part 3

#1. A Dreamgirl Challenge (IS THERE ANY OTHER!!!)

*Must be an alternate universe, (NO ALIENS)*
*Must also be a future fic, Max and Liz must be between 20-25 years old.*
*Max must be a very good police officer (top rank without needing a desk job).*
*Max and Liz must not have met yet.*
*Liz must witness a murder. She must be the ONLY witness.*
*The murderer must be a well-known big man, meaning resources EVERYWHERE (including the police department).
*Liz must be put in the witness protection program.
*Max and Michael must be the main cops that watch out for her.
*They must BOTH be attracted to her, but Liz only wants Max.
*Michael cannot be a jerk about Liz and Max.
*Max and Liz must have hot wild and steamy sex.
*The killer must come after Liz various times*
*The killer must actually kidnap Liz, but Max and Michael must get there before she's killed (that does not mean before she's hurt. NOTHING FATAL!!!)
*Max and Liz must end up together. Michael must somehow meet Maria, she could be his new rookie partner or something.
*Everybody must be all happy and content when the story ends. Y'ALL CAN DO A SEQUEL IF YOU WANT, AND EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A SEQUEL CHALLENGE.


Max had volunteered to stay with Liz to continue questioning her. He would have liked to believe that his motives were professional, but somehow he was having a tough time. He knew perfectly well that she was lying, though, and he had a feeling that he might be the only one to talk it out of her.

It also seemed clear enough that she was the mistress of the victim. He understood why they would be trying to keep it a secret; Liz was a rising star in the LA club circuit, and he was involved with a lot of dangerous people. It wouldn’t be a good idea for their relationship to become well-known.

While he hadn’t personally heard of her before, the rookie excitedly informed him that Elizabeth Parker was considered one of the best new talents around, and it was expected that she would soon get a record deal.

Max suspected that the murder of her boyfriend might slow down the fast track she was on just a little. Then again, knowing this town, she might get that record deal tomorrow. After all, what was a little publicity?

He snorted to himself as he watched all the cops flood out into the elevators and staircases. They left dirty footprints behind themselves, clear markers that they had been there.

He turned around to see who else had stayed. It looked as though it was him and two-old timers, both of whom were known for convincing witnesses and criminals to spill their stories.

“We’re going to let you go first,” Gene said grimly to him. “We don’t think she’s going to spill, but hey, you’re the one she’s been staring at all night.”

Max shot him a look and pulled up a chair next to the couch. Liz had not moved all night-wait, it was morning now. Easily 8 or 9 AM. He didn’t even know anymore.

She looked blearily up at him. “Can’t you leave me alone? I already told you I don’t know anything.”

Tim cleared his throat. “Just a few more questions, ma’am.”

She sighed. “Fine. But I have to be to work by noon.”

“Where do you work?” Max asked, and Gene and Tim faded into the background like the experts they were.

Liz glared at him. “You must know that by now.”

Max pretended to look down at his notebook. “Tell me again.”

Her lips tightened. “I work at the Peru Elan. I’m a singer.”

“A singer. That must be an exciting career.”

“Sure.”

“Did you meet Harry Vitale at the Peru Elan?”

“Yes.”

“When?”

“About a year ago.”

“Did he ask you out?”

“No. Not really. He wanted to talk. I only really knew him in passing.”

He heard a sniff behind him as one of the others tried not to laugh. “Miss Parker, what would you say if we told you we found your fingerprints all over the crime scene at the murder of Harry Vitale?”

Her body stiffened visibly. She might have been a singer, but she wasn’t much of an actress. “That’s not possible.”

“Why not?”

“I’ve never been to his home.”

“Miss Parker, all evidence to the contrary. Please don’t lie to me again. You aren’t under oath yet, but you will be soon.”

“You can’t make me testify!”

“Yes, we can, Miss Parker, with sufficient evidence. Have you ever heard of a subpoena?” She didn’t respond. “Besides, we aren’t looking to charge you with this. We think we know who did it, but we want your help in catching him.”

“I don’t know who did it. I didn’t even know he’d been murdered until they told me.”

“Don’t lie to me,” Max said, beginning to lose patience. “Why did you tell the 911 operator that Jim Castellenata was attempting to break in?”

“I never said that.”

“Don’t make me throw you in jail, Miss Parker.”

Her eyes widened in outrage. “You can’t do that!”

“Try me,” Max growled. “If Jim Castellenata didn’t do it, you’re our number one suspect, Elizabeth Parker.”

****

Max had finally given up, leaving the two weathered detectives to question Elizabeth Parker. He sat in the bedroom of her apartment, examining the folder that had been thrown together on her.

Inside the front cover, there was a picture of her attached. It had been taken during a performance at the Peru Elan. Her arm was out in front of her, her dress sparkling in the blinding blue spotlight and somehow managing to highlight every curve of her body. Max had never seen a more seductive photograph in his life. It was hard to believe that that was the same girl who sat shivering in her living room right now.

Suddenly, a sobbing cry rang out. “I didn’t do anything, I swear!”

Max jumped up and ran to the living room so fast he almost crashed into a table. “What the hell is going on in here?”

Krupiczewicz looked up at him with a glare, his hand gripping Liz’s arm tightly. “I’m questioning the suspect, Detective.”

“The *suspect*? She’s not a suspect, she’s a witness, you incompetent ass.”

“She’s not answering my questions.”

“So what? So you take her to court, you don’t throw her around. Where the hell are Gene and Tim?”

He didn’t respond.

“I repeat… Krupiczewicz…where are Gene and Tim? Why are they letting you question her? Why does she even need to be questioned again?”

Liz looked up at him hopefully, angry tears still filling her eyes.

“She’s my witness now,” Krupiczewicz said finally.

“Goddamnit, this isn’t a TV show. She’s not your anything. Let her go, now.”

“Who made you so high and mighty, Evans?” he said with a growl, releasing Liz. She fell with a cry to the floor.

Max looked down at the rookie; he was at least four inches shorter. “I guess God did it, Krupiczewicz. Wonder if he gave me something else he didn’t give you?”

Krupiczewicz growled and lashed out with a fist, striking Max in the chin. Max was stunned, but far from knocked down. “Fuck off, rookie,” he snapped, and took Krupiczewicz out with one punch.

Rubbing his fist a little, he turned around to see Tim and Gene in the doorway, gaping openly at him. He heard Liz’s sobs behind him, and knew that he was in trouble.

“Shit,” he muttered.

Tim and Gene raised their eyebrows at each other.



Author’s Note: If you’re wondering how Krupiczewicz is pronounced, it’s Kroop-eh-shev-itz.


Angels Would Fall, Part 4


#1. A Dreamgirl Challenge (IS THERE ANY OTHER!!!)

*Must be an alternate universe, (NO ALIENS)*
*Must also be a future fic, Max and Liz must be between 20-25 years old.*
*Max must be a very good police officer (top rank without needing a desk job).*
*Max and Liz must not have met yet.*
*Liz must witness a murder. She must be the ONLY witness.*
*The murderer must be a well-known big man, meaning resources EVERYWHERE (including the police department).
*Liz must be put in the witness protection program.
*Max and Michael must be the main cops that watch out for her.
*They must BOTH be attracted to her, but Liz only wants Max.
*Michael cannot be a jerk about Liz and Max.
*Max and Liz must have hot wild and steamy sex.
*The killer must come after Liz various times*
*The killer must actually kidnap Liz, but Max and Michael must get there before she's killed (that does not mean before she's hurt. NOTHING FATAL!!!)
*Max and Liz must end up together. Michael must somehow meet Maria, she could be his new rookie partner or something.
*Everybody must be all happy and content when the story ends. Y'ALL CAN DO A SEQUEL IF YOU WANT, AND EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A SEQUEL CHALLENGE.


“You want me to do *what*?”

“Evans-“

“Fuck it! I’m not some goddamn rookie you can push around! Go to hell!”

“You’re sure as hell acting like it! And do I have to remind you that the chief isn’t exactly please with you right now? If you don’t do what I say, I’ll have your ass out of here so fast you’ll think it was fired from a cannon!”

Max stopped short, his chest heaving in anger. Fists clenched, he turned back to his boss.

“You’re going to do this, whether you like it or not,” Valenti said evenly. “This girl needs to be protected. I’d bet my pension he’s after her.”

“She says she’s never met him,” Max snapped.

“She also says she wasn’t at Vitale’s that night, but her prints are all over.”

“So? She was his mistress. So fucking what?”

“Think, goddamn you. This girl must have been threatened or she’d be willing to give us all the information she had. She’d want to know who killed her lover.”

“Maybe. Maybe not.”

“Are you implying that she did it?”

“You said it, I didn’t.”

“For Christ’s sake, Evans, you know perfectly well they didn’t find any of her prints on the body.”

“Convenient.”

Valenti sighed. “Listen, Evans, it doesn’t matter what you think. You’re about to be demoted, and therefore you are no longer the head detective on this case. Your job is to make sure Liz Parker isn’t killed before we get her testimony. Got it?”

Max was silent.

“Got it, Evans?”

“Yeah, I got it. Let me guess, since I’ve been demoted, I get to spend even more time with Krupiczewicz! Since we got along so well the first time!”

“No, Krupiczewicz has been transferred to one of our outlying offices. It’s clear that you two aren’t compatible. And with Javenson on paternity leave, we had no option but to find yet another partner for you.”

“Another rookie.”

“No, he’s a vet. Has quite a reputation. Transferred from the NYPD two weeks ago.”

“Great,” Max groaned. “NYPD. Just what we need.”

****

Michael Guerin surveyed the cheap motel uneasily. He’d been well aware that his first assignment in a new city would be one below his status, but not this far below. How the hell was he supposed to guard this girl in this place? There was no security and an intruder could enter through one of at least five places that he could see right off hand. And he and one other guy - a rookie, probably - were going to have the whole responsibility?

Great. Just fuckin’ great.

He sighed a little and resigned himself to the whole situation. *You knew this might happen if you transferred, Guerin. Deal with it. Hope that nobody will come after the girl. *

He took out the key his new boss, Vitale, had given him before he’d come here. *Watch out for Evans, Guerin, he’s had a tough time lately and he might take it out on the nearest warm body. *

Michael sighed, slipping his key into the lock. Voices, as he stepped inside. Distinctly masculine and feminine, the female one a little husky as though worn or well used, the male one low, rough, angry.

“Show some respect, goddamnit, I saved you from that asshole rookie. God only knows what he would have done to your pretty little face if I hadn’t come running. Your career would have been fucking over, not just on hold.”

“You don’t understand! You can’t just take time off from the Peru Elan. It doesn’t work like that in…in…”

“In what? Show *biz*?” The last word was said with a snarl.

The female voice was starting to sound angry as well as upset. “I knew if I said the words you’d react like that. What do you have against me? What do you have against my career? And why, oh why did they assign *you* to be my guard?”

“Shut up,” the voice was tense now.

“No way in hell, you bastard! You don’t have any right to tell me…” the voice slowly trailed off and Michael heard footsteps. He tensed, his hand moving unconsciously to his holster.

More words from the male voice. “Come out of there right now with your hands up or I’ll blow your fucking head off.”

Michael started, angrily. Who the hell did this jerkoff think had a key to the room, other than him? He walked toward the voice with no intention of obeying, and heard the soft *click* of a safety lifting. He raised his hands.

“Who the hell are you?” the dark haired man asked, his gun pointed dead center between Michael’s eyes. Cocky, Michael thought. Either he’s a fantastic shot, or he thinks he’s one. It’s a thousand times smarter to aim for the chest or stomach. A thousand times more likely to hit.

“Michael Guerin, NYPD,” he said.

Max started to lower the gun, then changed his mind. “Prove it,” he ordered.

Michael reached down slowly and pulled an ID from his shirt pocket, tossing it towards the other officer. He bent down to take it, never taking his eyes or his gun off Michael.

“Michael Guerin, NYPD,” he read. “I get it. Ever heard of knocking, hotshot?”

“Sure,” Michael replied. “Ever heard of the trigger-happy LAPD? No, wait, they’re a bit too fast with their nightsticks. My mistake.”

The other officer’s eyes narrowed as he threw the ID back at Michael, his gun finally lowering. “Max Evans, LAPD. And don’t tell me I’m going to have to put up with that kind of bullshit for however long this trial takes.”

“No, *sir*,” Michael said archly, wondering which of them would actually be giving the orders around here.

****

It was a triangle. Liz watched as the two officers, a study in differences, gave each other vicious glances, then looked away as though they hadn’t seen anything.

Two more opposite men she had never seen. While they both seemed intelligent, and while both were handsome and physically imposing, Evans seemed to rely on a combination of unbelievable intelligence and street smarts, whereas the only distinguishing feature she’d seen from Guerin was a biting satirical wit.

Evans was a tad shorter than Guerin, but his hair was at least ten shades darker. His skin was the kind of permanent tan that made other men and women jealous. Gypsy skin, her grandmother used to call it. The west coast was evident in him from head to toe; his amazing physique was clearly the result of more than the normal punishment taken on the job. His hazel eyes were deep, mysterious; she got the feeling he was hiding something.

Guerin, on the other hand, was a stereotypical - in her Iowa view, at least - East coaster. He was tall, but very pale, and his dark blond hair didn’t have any streaks from the sun. He was in good shape, but his muscles were the kind developed by a lot of running, not a lot of lifting. She had to crane her head back to look up to him, which she hated. But it certainly wasn’t his fault, and he walked without the usual lumbering stance common to men of his height. She got the feeling that he attracted a lot of women, but he wasn’t her type.

But then, Harry hadn’t been her type, either.

She winced, trying to clear her head of thoughts of Harry. She didn’t want, didn’t need to think about him right now.

Guerin cleared his throat. “Do you need anything, Miss Parker?”

She smiled a little. “No, thank you, Officer Guerin. And please call me Elizabeth.”

He grinned back at her, and she realized with a sudden start that he found her attractive. “Sure, Elizabeth. Call me Michael.”

There was a snort from Evans’ end. Liz turned to glare at him. “Hey, Evans…since you’re not Detective Evans anymore…what the hell should I call you?”

He turned to face them, his eyes flashing. “Just call me Max,” he said through gritted teeth.

She smiled fully this time, with satisfaction. “Max, Michael, Elizabeth. Just one big happy family, huh?”

From the looks the two men were shooting at each other, this wasn’t going to be very familylike. And it was going to be very, very, very long for everyone.


Angels Would Fall, Part 5

#1. A Dreamgirl Challenge (IS THERE ANY OTHER!!!)

*Must be an alternate universe, (NO ALIENS)*
*Must also be a future fic, Max and Liz must be between 20-25 years old.*
*Max must be a very good police officer (top rank without needing a desk job).*
*Max and Liz must not have met yet.*
*Liz must witness a murder. She must be the ONLY witness.*
*The murderer must be a well-known big man, meaning resources EVERYWHERE (including the police department).*
*Liz must be put in the witness protection program. *
*Max and Michael must be the main cops that watch out for her. *
*They must BOTH be attracted to her, but Liz only wants Max.
*Michael cannot be a jerk about Liz and Max.
*Max and Liz must have hot wild and steamy sex.
*The killer must come after Liz various times*
*The killer must actually kidnap Liz, but Max and Michael must get there before she's killed (that does not mean before she's hurt. NOTHING FATAL!!!)
*Max and Liz must end up together. Michael must somehow meet Maria, she could be his new rookie partner or something.
*Everybody must be all happy and content when the story ends. Y'ALL CAN DO A SEQUEL IF YOU WANT, AND EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A SEQUEL CHALLENGE.



Author’s Note: A few people have commented on me reversing the roles of Michael & Max, personality-wise in this fic. I hadn’t even really thought about it, but now that I’m doing it, it’s so much fun! What if Max were the messed-up one? What if Michael was the one on the straight-and-narrow? What happened to them at young ages to cause such differences? Okay, I’ll shut up now.


Max gritted his teeth at the irritating sound of his cell phone ringing. Why he had to carry the goddamn thing anyway, he didn’t know.

“Evans,” he said.

“Hey, Evans! How you doing?” There was no mistaking the joyous voice on the other end, and Max grinned.

“Hey, Javenson! How’s the wife and kid? And what is the kid?”

Nick laughed. “Wife and baby - a girl - are both doing fantastic. We decided to name her Natalie Amelia.”

“That’s great. I’m happy to hear it. Just about the only happy thing that’s happened today, actually.”

He could practically hear his partner wince over the phone. “Yeah, so I heard. Hey, they aren’t pairing you up with that New Yorker permanently, are they?”

“No, hell no. He’s just cutting his teeth on this case. And let me fucking tell you - I hate this witness protection shit. Especially *this* witness. She’s such a - goddamn, I don’t even know how to describe her.”

“Diva, is what I heard. Doesn’t she sing at some club or something?”

“Yeah, but she ain’t going back there for awhile. She’s got a rich murderer after her. Screwed the wrong guy.”

Nick laughed appreciatively. “Yeah, that seems to happen to a lot of those young girls. How old is she? She can’t be too old or smart to be sleeping with any one of that crowd.”

“I don’t even know. Eighteen, nineteen.”

“That isn’t like you, Evans. Not checking up? Mighty peculiar. If I didn’t know you, I’d say-“

“Don’t even say it, Javenson. Don’t even let the goddamn words enter your mind.”

“Well, I’ll keep quiet, then. But hey, I’m warning you right now, partner. Those girls are trouble from the letter *t*.”

Max snorted. “Yeah, I’d keep that in mind if I found her interesting. She’s got a bigger ego than the damn chief.”

Somehow, from the noises that came through the phone line, Max got the feeling that Nick had just snorted some form of liquid out his nose. Choking, he said, “Now, *that* is something I’d like to see. So how good looking is this witness?”

Max grinned. “Five-five, great legs, dark eyes and hair, pale skin. Throaty voice.”

“I knew it!”

“Shut up, Javenson. You sound like a fourteen-year-old.”

“Yeah, but I’m right. Whatever you do, Evans, don’t get fired. I don’t want to come back to that office and wind up partnered with the New Yorker. That’s your fate, not mine.”

“Shit, I’m not going to get fired. No diva from some sleazy club is going to get me fired.”

“Well, that’s a good thing. Now tell me, what do you know about babies?”

Max laughed. “Not much. Never had one.”

****

Liz, leaning on the door frame, watched Max exit his room of the two-room hotel suite, and much to her surprise, he had a smile on his face. “So what put Mr. Hardass in a good mood?” she asked with a smirk.

He glared at her. “None of your goddamn business, *ma’am*.”

She smiled in delight. “Ooohhh, defensive! A lady friend perhaps? Or a male friend? I mean, I don’t really know you all that well, Max.”

“No, and you never will.”

“Touche! Well, I can see you’re not in the mood for polite conversation. So why don’t you run on down to the store and buy me something to eat for dinner? I’m so sick of this take-out food.”

“Why don’t you give me a reason to?”

She smiled, standing lightly on one foot and leaning slightly forward. “I don’t think you could handle me, Evans.”

He raised an eyebrow at her incredulously. “Can’t handle you? What are you, sixteen?”

She slinked across the room toward him, choosing not to strike back on his miserable failure of a comeback. She revealed clear white teeth in a dazzling smile. Even in a sweatshirt and jeans, she was strikingly seductive. Max inched toward the wall, hating that he was trapped but not knowing where else to go. She leaned close and whispered in his ear, “Don’t worry. I’m legal in all fifty states.”

Just then the door opened and Michael strode in, carrying some awful-smelling Thai food. He looked at Liz, who stepped back with a smirk, and then at Max, who groaned inwardly. He didn’t say anything; instead, he turned away and sat the food on the table.

The three ate dinner without a word.

****

Liz sighed with relief as Max left for the night. Hopefully he’d be a little more refreshed after a few hours’ sleep. “Is he always that grouchy?” she inquired of Michael as Max walked out the door.

He shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. I never met him before yesterday. I’ve heard of him, but only through reputation.”

She laughed, easing some of the worn roughness of her voice. “To look at you two, you’d think you’d been enemies forever. But tell me, what sort of reputation does he have, exactly?”

“Genius. Mind unknown before in the force. They say he got promoted to detective at twenty-two and was offered a higher position but turned it down. He likes the work. And now, he’s not much higher-ranked than your average rookie. Not surprising, considering the other part of his reputation.”

Liz raised an eyebrow. “The other part?”

He looked at her for a moment, and then shook his head. “Not something that needs to be repeated. It’s probably not true anyway.”

Her mouth opened wide in outrage. “No way! You can’t do that to me! Why would you say, ‘the other part’ and then not tell me? Are you trying to torture me?”

Michael laughed. “No, Elizabeth. If he wants you to know, he’ll tell you himself, I’m sure.”

“What? No he won’t. He hates me.”

He chuckled, a little painfully. “Elizabeth, if you think he hates you, then you obviously never experienced kindergarten hair-pulling.”

Liz was unsure of how to respond to that. If she saw Max on the street, he wouldn’t give her the time of day, but Michael seemed so sure of himself. “Come on,” she protested, changing the subject back. “I wanna know.”

“Nope.”

“Now you’re just teasing me.” And with that she crept across the room, looking him directly in the face. She pouted prettily and said, “Come on, how can you resist?”

“It isn’t too tough,” he said. “That’s not your most attract-never mind. Say, it’s awfully late. Do you want to turn in?”

“Oh, please,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I’m always up late, and besides, I’ve done nothing but be cooped up in this tiny hotel room all day. And you and Max aren’t exactly the planet’s most entertaining company.”

“Thanks.”

“Well…at least you don’t act like I interrupted your own little private world of joy. Is this assignment a step down for you guys, really? I mean, would they ordinarily assign rookies to protect a witness?”

“No, not ordinarily. But ordinarily there would be a lot more officers on the case. Since you insisted that it wasn’t Castellenata who threatened you, there are just us two. If anyone tries to attack you, security will be increased tenfold.”

“Oh,” Liz said, settling back. She had been trying to put the murder as far from her mind as she possibly could. God…Harry’s face…she closed her eyes, blinking rapidly to try and force away the images. The only way she was going to get through this was by keeping her mind on other things.

Michael was looking at her inquisitively when she opened her eyes. “I think I’m going to go to bed now,” she said hastily. “Good night.”

He shook his head and groaned as she shut the door. Just her presence…near him…she was so damn gorgeous. And he knew that the valley-girl act was a façade. He’d read her profile, rapidly compiled since the murder. She’d graduated at the head of her class in Iowa, an honors athlete. She was no dumb blonde - or brunette, he corrected himself with a grin.

It was clear that she had seen something she had no intention of revealing. But who would be the one to work it free of her conflicted conscience?

Angels Would Fall, Part 6

#1. A Dreamgirl Challenge (IS THERE ANY OTHER!!!)

*Must be an alternate universe, (NO ALIENS)*
*Must also be a future fic, Max and Liz must be between 20-25 years old.*
*Max must be a very good police officer (top rank without needing a desk job).*
*Max and Liz must not have met yet.*
*Liz must witness a murder. She must be the ONLY witness.*
*The murderer must be a well-known big man, meaning resources EVERYWHERE (including the police department).*
*Liz must be put in the witness protection program. *
*Max and Michael must be the main cops that watch out for her. *
*They must BOTH be attracted to her, but Liz only wants Max.
*Michael cannot be a jerk about Liz and Max.
*Max and Liz must have hot wild and steamy sex.
*The killer must come after Liz various times*
*The killer must actually kidnap Liz, but Max and Michael must get there before she's killed (that does not mean before she's hurt. NOTHING FATAL!!!)
*Max and Liz must end up together. Michael must somehow meet Maria, she could be his new rookie partner or something.
*Everybody must be all happy and content when the story ends. Y'ALL CAN DO A SEQUEL IF YOU WANT, AND EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A SEQUEL CHALLENGE.


"I have to go back to work," Liz said.

Max and Michael both turned around at the same time.

"Sure, why not?" Michael said cheerfully.

"Out of the question," Max said at the same exact time.

Liz pouted. "Come on, darlings. A girl's gotta make a living."

"Sure. There's been no sign of anyone coming after you. They don't know you know," Michael said.

"That's because I don't know anything," Liz said quickly.

Max's eyes were narrowed and he was scowling. "The reason nobody's come after her is that nobody knows where the fuck she is. Haven't you ever done witness protection before, asshole?"

"I certainly have. There's been no sign that Miss Parker is in any danger at all."

Max snorted. "Fine, but you go with her. And when she winds up dead and murdered in some back alley, don't put my name in there with yours, huh?"

Liz rolled her eyes, but pounced happily towards Michael. "I'll call my boss, and then we can go to my place and get some of my dresses!"

He laughed. "Sure, Elizabeth."

****

Max sat with his back to the bathroom door. Liz was in there, changing. Michael had brought her back before taking her to the Peru Elan. She had been burbling happily the whole time about getting to go home and sleep in her own bed. Now she was singing to herself in the bathroom as she changed, and did whatever the hell it was girls did to make themselves look so -- holy shit.

She stepped out of the bathroom wearing a dress that displayed assets he'd never known she had before. And he had been pretty damn sure he'd noticed everything. Her breasts were pushed up and, in true Hollywood style, seemed about to actually fall out of the dress. Every inch of exposed skin was sparkling and glistening. The sequined blue gown hugged every single one of her slim curves, and Max's jaw dropped slightly as he realized there was no way in hell a girl could wear underwear with that dress.

Liz smiled triumphantly and winked as she walked past him, and Max realized she'd seen the dead giveaway -- the bulge in his pants. He tried not to swear and sank into his chair, feeling like a twelve-year-old boy.

Michael's jaw had dropped open too, but he wasn't trying to hide it. As Liz approached him he managed to clamp his mouth shut, and offered her his arm. They were out the door before Max could say a word more.

"Shit," he muttered, looking down at himself and willing the arousal gone. That was
some change after a week of sweatshirts and jeans.

With a groan, he got up from the chair, grabbed his coat, badge and gun, and
slammed the door shut behind him.

****

He only vaguely knew where the Peru Elan was, but he soon discovered that it
wasn't very hard to find. The glittering neon sign could be seen a mile away.

He pushed past the crowd at the door waiting to get in, flashing the bouncers
his badge. They didn't bother him at all.

The show didn't seem to have started yet, but the noise of the crowd inside
was deafening. This place was a hell of a lot bigger than it looked from the
outside, with a balcony level overhanging the main theatre area. The stage
was empty, though the lights were up as though in anticipation.

Max shoved his way to the front of the theatre, finding an open seat at a
table filled with wealthy-looking young people. They gaped at him, but
said nothing.

Suddenly the curtain moved across the stage, closing off the back half. A
man, dressed in a black expensive-looking suit, walked across the front
half, microphone in hand. "Hullo, ladies and gentlemen..." he said in a
deep British accent. Max rolled his eyes.

"We've got quite a treat for you tonight, yes, we do. We realize that many
of you may be here for the new talent night...but due to unforeseen
circumstances, we've had to cancel that little occasion. Our own little songbird
is back in town. Miss Elizabeth Parker, just for you, ladies and gents."

Max sat up straighter in his seat as the curtain began to roll away and the
lights went down in the club. That was damned fast. And the darkness
made him uneasy.

Crouched in the middle of the stage, seemingly sitting cross-legged underneath
that shimmery dress, was Liz. Her eyes were closed, and individual strands
of her long dark hair fell over her face. A lone spotlight shone down on her,
making her pale skin glow. She began to sing.

"The rope that's wrapped around me is cutting through my skin,
and the doubts that have surrounded me are finding their way in
I keep it close to me like a holy man prays, in my desperate hour,
it's better that way."

She paused and pulled herself to her feet. Max looked around, trying to
figure out where on earth the guitars were at. They certainly sounded live.

Her singing voice was a surprise, too -- so different from her high-pitched
speaking voice. He wouldn't have guessed two such totally different tones
could come from one little female.

"So I'll come by and see you again, I'll be such a very good friend
Have mercy on my soul, I will never let you know where my mind
has been."

Max knew he'd heard this song before, but he honestly had no clue where. The
way Liz sung it, in her deep, husky alto, it sounded different than anything he'd
ever heard before.

"Angels never came down, there's no one here they want to hang around,
But if they knew, if they knew you at all, then one by one the angels,
Angels would fall.

"I've crept into your temple, I have slept upon your pew,
I have dreamed of your divinity inside and out of you,
I want it more than truth, I can taste in on my breath,
I would give my life for just a little death.

"So I'll come by and see you again, I'll be just a very good friend,
I will not look upon your face, I will not touch upon your grace,
Your ecclesiastic skin.

"I'll come by...and see you again, I'll have to be a very good friend,
If I whisper they will know, I'll just turn around and go,
You will never know my sin..."

Max looked around and saw Michael at a table a few rows back, applauding
enthusiastically. Max groaned at the east-coaster's antics. He could definitely
understand falling for this girl, but to make it obvious like that was unprofessional.

He froze as he reread his own thoughts. Falling for this girl? he thought in
disgust. He watched as she took a bow to the raucus cheers in the
audience. She was much too big of a pain in the ass.

Or little, he thought, watching her slim body move onstage.

Her eyes wandered the ceiling as she waited for the cheers and clapping
to die down. She paused, took a breath, licked her lips and began a new
song, with a piano accompaniment.

"Oh no, I see,
The spider web is tangled up with me,
And I lost my head,
And thought of all the stupid things I'd said."

Max thought he heard a noise coming from behind him and turned around,
not happy to have to drag his eyes off the sight of Liz.

"Oh, no, what's this?
A spider web and I'm caught in the middle,
So I turn to run,
And thought of all the stupid things I'd done."

He rose when the noise started getting louder. It was coming from the
balcony. Max realized suddenly that he couldn't see Michael anywhere.
The seat he'd been in when Max arrived was now occupied by a fat,
balding middle-aged man. Definitely not Michael.

His chair falling behind him, Max headed for the balcony. As he looked for
the way up, he saw a man in dark clothing push his way to the front. He
swore to himself. Liz's sweet voice still rang out behind him.

"And I never meant to cause you trouble,
I never meant to do you wrong.
And ah, well, if I ever caused you trouble,
Oh, no I never meant to do you harm."

Before Max knew what was happening, three shots had rung out and the
audience had erupted in screams. Shit, where the fuck was his coworker?
He turned and ran for the stage -- it was as if the smoke machines had gone
haywire. He could see a damn thing happening on the stage. He stumbled over people moving toward the exit as the piano stopped and he made out a high-pitched
voice among the screams.

"Max! Maaaaaaaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!"



Author's Note: The two songs used are Coldplay's "Trouble" which I am SURE you've
heard before hehehehe. The other is "Angels Would Fall" by Melissa Etheridge.