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looking back all i did was look away
title: taiwanese pet show
characters: miles/ana lucia

After a few weeks, they stop looking for Jim.

Every day he comes in, sits down across from an empty desk and does his job. It's just a job, he says to his girlfriend. Just a job. The guy watching your back for the last couple of years is just gone in a flash, but it's just a job. No need getting attached. She catches him sobbing into his hands one night, his gun on the floor beside him, but it's just a job.

A week later, his girlfriend leaves him, a note pinned to the teddy bear sitting on the dresser. To pack her things, she uses the short span of deep sleep Miles gets between getting home late from closing a case and waking up painfully early to work another. He burns her bear in the kitchen sink, looking on with a bowl of Cheerios and a twisted grin that's laced with a grimace.

That same morning, he arrives to find a visibly nervous woman sitting at Jim's old desk, packing Jim's things into a box. She doesn't look too thrilled by the task, but it's the chief's tradition to make the rookie pack up the dead cop's desk. Gives 'em a healthy dose of fear, she says.

Miles stares at her for a moment and it's obvious she can feel his glare by how she shifts in her seat. Without a word, he turns and walks back to the chief's office where she's looking through paperwork with her usual stoic face.

"Who. The hell. Is that?" Miles says, jabbing his finger towards the woman.

His boss doesn't look to see where he's pointing, but still answers. "That's Cortez. New partner."

"I HAVE a partner!" Miles shouts loud enough to turn half of the squad room towards him.

"Yeah, you do. Detective Cortez."

"We don't even know-.."

"I'll feel sorry for your loss later. Right now I'm busy," she says, halting her paperwork, but still not looking up. She resumes her scribbling over the paperwork. "Oh and if you let anything happen to my daughter and I'll snap your neck."

Her voice is still frigid. She doesn't even look up from her desk.

"I mean that in the most professional way, Straume."


"Mother, I don't get wh-.."

"Ana. You have to. This is what a mistake costs here."

Ana Lucia sighs and looks over the mess that was Detective James Ford's desk. There's an intense desire to cry, but she swallows back the tears and gets to work moving the better part of the detective's life into a box.

It's been months since she'd originally put in the paperwork to get this job. She prayed that she would replace some old cop retiring to a condo in Florida. She hoped she'd be able to sneak in while another slipped out and maybe steal a piece of the congratulatory farewell cake from the break room. It's a rookie's worst nightmare to replace a dead cop.

Still, she forces herself to move the coffee cup full of pens and the old notebooks into the box. She'll cry later. After she gets home and no one can see her, she'll cry.


Their first case, Miles almost gets shot when a perp pulls a gun on them ascending the stairs into his shitty apartment building.

The bullet grazes Miles' right arm, leaving a gash in his jacket and a thin streak of blood across his arm that fills and oozes with blood. Miles curses, his hand covering the gash. It's then he misses Ana Lucia saying something like "cover me" and continuing on into the dingy apartment hallway without him.

He curses again, rushing in after her to see her gun on the floor and a man holding a gun to her head.

"Don't fuckin' shoot him, Straume."

"That's right!" the man shouts, pressing the muzzle of the gun harder against Ana's temple.

Ana shouts again, but it's interrupted by another shout from the man holding the gun to her head. Eventually their shouting turns to incomprehensible cacophony that's only silenced when Miles takes aim and fires his gun.

The gunman slumps to the floor, a clean gunshot wound nestled almost between his eyes. Ana scoops her gun off the floor, a soft look in her eyes. She clears her throat and looks back down at the dead man. No one looks out from their apartment. A police siren whines in the distance. A long moment passes before she speaks.

"That was stupid."


Hours later, Miles is pressed up against his apartment door, being kissed by his new partner. He breaks the kiss to concentrate on opening her belt, forgetting that this probably qualifies as something that'd his his neck snapped by the boss.

"What was it like the first time Ford saved your life?" she pants into his ear.

Miles doesn't answer. Something inside him stirs and he's thankful for it, because it helps end this before it can get too serious to back out of. He steps away from her, but she stays pressed to the door, under the assumption he'll be back for more. Something about her is so oddly alluring. Maybe it's that his girlfriend's gone. Maybe it's that Jim's gone. Maybe it's Ana's ass. Whatever it is, it needs to be suppressed.

"Get out."

She rolls her eyes dramatically before grabbing her jacket and her gun.

"See ya tomorrow, partner."


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