Category: Crossover (CSI:NY, Criminal Minds)
Summary: When a serial killer brings the BAU team to New York, an old acquaintance is renewed and a new relationship emerges.
"You sure about this, Flack?"
"I called the Spider Bar. Neither Sparks nor Bingley showed up for work today. All the other employees showed up sooner or later and were questioned by our people."
"But they're on the early shift. I thought we were more interested in the late night staff," Derek replied.
"We are, but Donna said that the two shifts overlapped during happy hour. At least one of these guys has to have seen our victims. They were regulars."
"Their failure to show up for that interview doesn't automatically make them suspect."
"Their failure to show, however, is in and of itself suspicious," Don countered. "That alone merits an investigation." Derek nodded and reached for his seatbelt.
"All right," he conceded. "You know, Spencer asked me earlier whether the guy who ran the locksmith's shop had any employees."
"I didn't do the intake on that, but let me check it out," Don said reaching for his file.
"I already looked," Derek replied. "There's no notation."
"Who did the visit?" Don mused, mostly to himself. "Ah." He dropped the file into his lap and opened his phone. "Hey, Angell. Got a minute?"
Derek sat back and watched Don converse with his colleague, slightly amused by the detectives' banter and once again impressed by Don's attention to detail. Derek had no illusions as to Don's motives for dragging him back out on the street at this late hour. But Derek shared his desire to find the person responsible for hurting Spencer and Sheldon so he needed very little convincing when Don called and asked him to join him in seeking out the two elusive bartenders.
"Did she give you a name?" Don asked as Derek listened in on the conversation via the speakerphone.
"She didn't know; all she could say was that there was 'a new guy' who had been working with Mr. Safin for a few months," Jessica Angell said. "He left before her husband died. Anything else?"
"No, that's it. Thanks a lot, Angell."
"Any particular reason why this call couldn't wait until morning?"
"You know I sleep better after hearing the dulcet tones of your voice," Don quipped.
"I hope you have nightmares," she replied. "Night, Flack."
"We could wait until morning and look at Mr. Safin's records for the name," Derek suggested.
"Or we could ask our bartender friends if either of them ever held a job as a locksmith's apprentice," Don countered. Derek shrugged.
"We checked out everyone else; we may as well go for these two. Which one of them do you want to visit first?"
"You decide," Don suggested as he started the car. Derek looked at the addresses on the sheet of paper in his hand.
"That one," he said, pointing to Ed Bingley's address. Don leaned over to look at it when he came to a stop at a light.
"Interesting; he lives in Lower Manhattan," he observed.
"You mean he lives within close proximity of the Spider Bar?"
"And the loft," Don added significantly.
"That is interesting. Makes me wonder even more why he didn't show up today."
"Yeah. Let's see what he has to say." Don turned west and headed for Franklin Street. He found the address he wanted easily and pulled up in front of a neighboring building. The two men got out of the car and paused to assess their options. The only access to the building was via intercom, but they were loath to announce themselves to their potential suspect in advance.
"No on-site building manager from the looks of things," Derek said, scanning the list of residents. Don looked up at the windows.
"Two apartments on each floor. If we're looking at lights from two different apartments--and I think we are, given the dissimilarity of the window treatments--our guy is at home," he concluded. "Lights are also on in both apartments below. Let's see if he's got a friendly neighbor." He reached for the button, but the front door abruptly opened, and Don stepped back to let the man pass, but Derek glanced up at the building and then stepped forward in time to block the newcomer's path.
"Is your name Ed Bingley?" he said conversationally. The man's eye opened wide, but he quickly masked his surprise.
"Who's asking?" he replied boldly. Derek produced his badge as Don stepped forward, boxing the man in from the other side in case he attempted to escape. "What's this about?"
"We'd like to ask you a few questions," Derek said.
"About lots of things," Don answered for his partner. "We're conducting an investigation into the deaths of four women over the past month and we interviewed all the staff of the Spider Bar today. You didn't show up."
"Yeah," Bingley replied, taking a step forward as if to leave. "I don't know anything about any murders so I stayed in and got some shut eye."
"You were behind the bar on several occasions when the four deceased drank there," Don replied. "We wanted to ask if you recalled seeing them or anyone who might have been hitting on one of them at--."
"Hey, I see hundreds of people every week. I can't remember every face and every name of every girl who walks into the bar," Bingley spat back.
"Well, maybe we can jog your memory," Derek suggested.
"Look, I've got nothing to say to you," Bingley declared. "I'm outta here."
"What's your rush?" Don asked mildly, clamping a hand on his shoulder.
"I got plans."
"Well, we've got plans of our own so yours will have to wait a bit." He gave Bingley a gentle push and Derek took him by the elbow.
"Wait a minute! You can't do this to me! I didn't do anything! I didn't do anything!"
"Good. Tell us all about it down at the precinct," Derek said as he pushed Bingley toward the car. "Cuffs?" he asked Don.
"Oh, yeah," Don replied. Derek cuffed Bingley and pushed his head down to protect it from being bumped as he got into the car.
"Why are you arresting me?" Bingley demanded. "I haven't done anything!"
"You aren’t being arrested," Don explained. "But you don't want to play nice with us. The cuffs are just there to remind you to behave."
"You can't do this to me!" Bingley shouted. "I've got rights! I'm going to sue you and--."
"Look, stop yelling or I will arrest you for being a public nuisance," Don snarked as he got into the car. Derek slid in beside Bingley.
"We could gag him," he said, smiling. Bingley fell silent. Don smiled and headed for the police station.
"What do you think?" Derek asked twenty minutes later.
"Sparks has dark hair," Don said as he peered through the glass at Bingley, who was pacing back and forth in the interview room.
"So the guy Mac saw had dark hair. I think we ought to give him a call."
"I thought he didn't get a clear view of the unsub's face," Derek replied with a frown.
"Our suspect doesn't know that," Don said, smiling. He pulled out his phone and made the call. "Yeah, Mac, this is Flack. Morgan and I just brought in one of the two employees of the Spider Bar who didn't appear for questioning earlier today."
"I thought we agreed that you'd take the evening off. You're supposed to be looking after Sheldon and getting some rest."
"I'll rest when the bastard that hurt him is behind bars," Don snarled, turning away from Derek and lowering his voice.
"Don, you can't let your feelings for Sheldon cloud your judgment," Mac warned. "If you lose your perspective on this it could ruin our chance of making a clean arrest. We can't afford to get sloppy and have the case get thrown out on a technicality."
"I know, Mac," Don assured him. "That's why I called Morgan before I made a move. That's also why I'm calling you. The guy we brought in is a good candidate for the man you described at the loft. I want you to come in and take a look at him."
"I probably can't ID him, Don," Mac said doubtfully.
"Yeah, but maybe he can ID you," Don replied. Mac smiled.
"Got it. I'm on my way."
"Thanks." Don pocketed his phone and turned back to Derek. "Mac's on his way."
"Let's see if we can connect a few dots while we wait," Derek suggested.
When Mac arrived at the precinct a half hour later, he found Derek and Don talking outside of the interview room. Don glanced up and spotted him standing a short distance away.
"Gentlemen," he said curtly. "What's going on?"
"We've been kicking around a few scenarios," Don replied.
"What have you got?"
"Nothing we can prove," Derek replied as they walked back to his desk. Don flopped into his seat and Derek pulled up a chair to join him.
"Morgan just noticed a very interesting scar on our suspect's forearm. It looked as though it had been stitched up," Don said, picking up the story. "I bet if we canvassed local hospitals we could find an emergency room record that could tell us when it happened."
"Back up a bit and start from the beginning. What got you so interested in this guy?" Mac asked, pulling over a chair from another desk.
"Well, we were initially more interested in speaking with the two night bartenders--Rafael Hernandez and George Martin--figuring that they were more likely to have encountered our four ladies," Don began. "But when I spoke with one of the bartenders, she said that neither of the guys showed up for the early shift."
"And if Flack's hunch is right," Derek added, "and the guy who was at the loft was aware of our investigation there--."
"Wait a minute," Mac cut in. "You've got nothing, Don. I warned you about this. There could be any number of reasons why the guy has a scar on his arm. Maybe he didn't show up today because he had a dentist's appointment. You can't just go blindly--." Mac abruptly shut his mouth, realizing that he'd come very close to outing Don in the middle of the squad room. He ran his hand over his face.
"If it means anything, Mac, I agree with Flack," Derek said. "Something about this guy is hinky. He didn't show up to be interviewed at the bar. He's got a cut that could be the result of being involved in a violent act. We won't know anything until we talk to him, just as we spoke to all the other employees at the Spider Bar. This guy is a legitimate suspect."
Mac nodded and rose to his feet.
"All right. Let's go."
Don nodded and rose to lead the way to the interrogation room. As the three men entered, Bingley turned and looked up. The moment he spotted Mac, he froze. He quickly recovered, but all three law enforcement officers had noticed his momentary loss of composure. Don and Derek stepped forward to conduct the interview. Mac hung back, setting down his kit and standing near the wall.
"Have a seat, Mr. Bingley," Don said. At first, Bingley didn't move, but when the uniformed officer in the room took a step forward, he quickly complied.
"What's he doing here?" Bingley asked. "He can't be in here. You have to have some sort of line up."
"Excuse me?" Derek said, hoping that Bingley would further compromise himself.
"You can't have him in here!" Bingley shouted. "I have rights."
"Why are you objecting to Lieutenant Taylor's presence?" Don asked mildly. "He's just here to process you."
"Process me for what?" Bingley demanded suspiciously.
"He'll fingerprint you and take a cheek swab for DNA purposes," Derek replied. "The same thing we did for all the other Spider Bar employees today."
"Can't someone else do it?" Bingley asked as Mac came forward and set his case on the table. He opened it and reached for a pair of gloves. Bingley turned away slightly to prevent Mac from getting a clear view of his face. Derek and Don exchanged a glance.
"Exactly what is your objection?" Derek asked.
"He's going to try to pin something on me!"
"Like what?" Derek persisted. Bingley paused and licked his lips.
"I want a lawyer."
"You aren't under arrest," Don replied. "You're only here for questioning."
"I want a lawyer," Bingley said again. Don nodded crisply and rose. Derek also rose to his feet. "And I want someone else to do this processing, or whatever."
"You can have a lawyer if you want one," Don said, "but you don't get a say in who collects evidence." He paused for effect. "Unless there's some specific reason for objecting to Lieutenant Taylor."
"I'm not saying anything more without a lawyer," Bingley replied firmly.
"Have it your way," Don said. Derek and Don moved to the door as Mac pulled a set of scrubs out of his kit and tossed it on the table.
"You need to change out of your clothes and into these," he said calmly.
"Don't leave me with him!" Bingley shouted. Don and Derek turned back.
"Why not?" Don insisted. Bingley hesitated and Mac spoke up for him.
"You recognize me from this afternoon," he said. "I'm the one you ran into at the loft, is that it? You were wearing a jacket, but otherwise, you're dressed exactly as you were this afternoon."
"I'm not saying anything else," Bingley replied. Mac nodded at Don, but it was Derek who stepped forward to formally take Bingley into custody. Don glared at Bingley, who wouldn't meet anyone's eyes.
"You're under arrest for the attempted murder of a police officer and an assault of two other law enforcement officers. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand everything I just said?" Don asked. Bingley nodded curtly. Don turned and strode out of the room seething with anger. Derek followed, reaching for his phone. He watched Don return to his desk as he waited for Hotch to pick up.
"Yeah, Hotch," he said when his supervisor answered. "Flack and I just made an arrest in the assault on Spencer and the two NYPD officials."
"How did that come about? Last time we spoke, you were planning to keep Spencer company at the hospital and study case files."
"Yeah, well, shortly after I left the hospital I got a call from Flack, who wanted to track down the last two Spider Bar employees. We picked up one of them and he's clearly the guy who assaulted Spencer and the two LEOs at the loft."
"Did he actually confess to the assault?" Hotch said.
"No, but he took one look at Mac and went into panic mode. And Mac recognized him, as well. Moreover, he's got a scar on his arm that bears a closer look. I'm guessing he was slashed. That makes him a primary suspect for the murder at the loft."
"That would tie up one case, but not necessarily ours," Hotch observed.
"What, you don't think that this guy is good for the four victims as well?" Derek replied incredulously.
"Where's your proof? From what you just said you can only connect him to today's assaults and possibly that old case. We've got to keep digging."
"Yeah," Derek said glumly.
"It's good work, Derek," Hotch said, "but we can't afford to be complacent."
"You're right. We'll keep looking."
"Tomorrow, Derek. Get some rest."
"Yeah, I think I'll do that." Derek shut his phone, his eyes still on Don, who was silently fuming. His phone rang and Don pulled it out of his pocket. He rolled his eyes before he opened it.
"I thought you were staying over tonight," Sheldon said calmly before Don could say a word.
"I intended to," Don confessed with a sigh.
"But?" Sheldon frowned when he heard one of Don's colleagues speaking in the background. "Where are you, Don?"
"I'm at the precinct," he replied. "We just arrested the guy who attacked you, Dr. Reid and Officer Donner today."
"You mean yesterday," Sheldon replied wryly. "It's after midnight."
"I'm tired," Don admitted, rubbing his eyes.
"Then it's time for you to come home."
"Promise me something," Don said, looking around to make sure he wouldn't be overheard. "When I get there you'll be in bed and asleep, not waiting up and ready to give me a lecture."
"There's no way in hell I'm making any such promise," Sheldon said with a laugh. "If I'm sleeping when you get here it'll be because I got tired of waiting. But we will talk about this later."
"Okay, just get some rest, will you? This case isn't over yet and we're probably going to need your help to figure it all out."
"You'd better be here next time I wake up," Sheldon countered.
"Promise." Don pocketed his phone and rubbed his eyes before rising and returning to the interview room. Derek was peering through the glass watching Mac finishing up. Bingley was frowning, clearly trying to control his tongue. Mac exited the room and the three men walked a short distance away from the door before any of them spoke.
"I stand corrected," Mac declared. "This is going to be a good arrest. There's clearly enough evidence here to place Bingley at the loft."
"We still need to figure out why he was there and how it's connected to the other murders," Derek said. "We can run him in the morning and follow up with Mrs. Safin to see if we can connect him at all to that card we found in Caroline Jeffer's apartment."
"We should also follow up on Michael Sparks," Don said. "Just to cover our bases."
"In the morning," Mac said. Neither Don nor Derek was prepared to argue with him. Don merely nodded and opened the door to signal the officer to bring Bingley out.
"Where are you taking me?"
"Central booking," Don replied. "Your lawyer can speak to you there."
"Why can't I meet him here?"
"Look, you don't seem to understand how this works. You're under arrest. You don't get to demand accommodations," Don spat. Mac put a hand on his shoulder and Don backed down.
"Look; let him cool his heels in a cell here overnight," he suggested. "You'd be down at the court for hours if you take him now."
"You really think I should leave him here overnight?" Don said incredulously. He shrugged dramatically and waited until just before Bingley was out of earshot before he spoke again. "You know, if I was under arrest for the attempted murder of a cop, a police precinct is the last place I'd want to be," he said with a puckish grin. He picked up his paperwork and went to turn it in to the desk sergeant. Derek smiled and gathered up his things. By the time they were both done with their paperwork, Mac had already left. Don collected his jacket. "Come on," he said to Derek. "I'll drop you off."
"I'd appreciate it," Derek replied, grabbing his own jacket.
"No arguments on the arrest?" Don asked when they were on the road.
"The loft murder is your case," Derek conceded graciously.
"And if it turns out that our suspect is implicated in the four other murders?"
"Then--. Shit; I'm too tired to fight tonight with you tonight. Can I take a rain check and get back to this in the morning?"
Don smiled and made a turn that led to Derek's hotel. He pulled up in front and looked at his watch. He swore softly.
"What's the matter?" Derek said, frowning. Don merely shook his head.
"Bring your thinking cap tomorrow," he replied. "We're going to have a lot of work to do." He waved to Derek and drove off.
End of Part 7
On to Part 8