Title: Be me authentically without the apologies
Fandom: 9-1-1, Numb3rs
Warnings: character bashing
Summary: Selfish people making selfish decisions. Buck puts his foot down and himself first. Good thing he has some support waiting in the wings.
Note: 9-1-1: Discussion of events up to end of season 2. Numb3rs: After Colby returns to the team in season 4 (episode 2).
Title taken from Andy Grammer's song Love Myself, Album Love Myself
Buck woke up slowly, his leg throbbing despite the obvious pain medication wearing off. He always tasted dirty socks when heavy pain meds were involved, but he tended to shed the meds fairly quickly. A woman’s voice was speaking by his side with increasing irritation while someone else’s footsteps headed out of the room. An expert at waking up in hospitals due to his ‘adventurous’ youth, Buck knew where he was immediately and took his time to put together what had brought him here.
But something was definitely not right. Why were there no male voices in the room with him?
Female. Irritated. Ignoring him. Talking at him, and mostly about her own issues. Maddie. Maddie? Why was Maddie in his hospital room? Where were–
Another set of footsteps, joined by the original steps, entered his room. “Mr. Buckley, glad you could join us,” the man said with obvious humor. Buck was not really amused but figured this was part and parcel of a surgeon’s life. Bad jokes in the aftermath. “I’m your surgeon Dr. Rosenthal, and we have a lot to go over. I’d like to do so, including a check-over, before we give you your next dose of pain medication. How does that sound?”
By now, Buck had fully opened his eyes and taken in the scene completely. His initial guesses were correct. It was Maddie sitting by his side for some reason, and Carla was also in the room now with the surgeon. Buck gestured towards the water pitcher he spied on the table to the right, and Carla quickly helped him out.
“I have some ice chips for you first before you try actual liquids, Buck; you know the score.” Carla gave him a soft smile and patted his hand as she helped him out a bit. To his left, he heard Maddie huff a bit at being ignored, but Buck paid her no mind. He honestly had no idea what she was doing in his room.
In fact, it was time she left the room before the surgeon went any further.
“I’d like to speak with you in private, Doctor. Would you please have my sister escorted out of here?”
“What? Evan! How dare you. You aren’t thinking straight. I need to hear what the –”
“Maddie, I am thinking straight, and it’s my right to speak with my doctor privately. You aren’t my mother, you really need to get that through your head.” His voice was rough, but his glare was strong.
Buck looked at the doctor and repeated his request. “Please have her escorted out and restrict any other visitors from coming in for the moment. If you don’t, everyone will find some way to push their way in here.”
The doctor checked Buck’s chart. “Well, you have been without pain medication for enough time, so I’ll consider you of sound mind.” He stepped into the hallway to call for a couple of security officers to comply with Buck’s request while Maddie continued to berate him. Buck ignored her, as he just didn’t have the energy to put up with her usual bullshit at the moment.
Buck murmured quietly so only Carla could hear when she went to give him a hug, “Please make sure that Eddie knows I will contact him later. Something is so very wrong with all of this. I will call you on your phone. Please don’t mention who it is out loud.”
“You got it, babe.” Carla gave him another pat and kissed his forehead. You get some rest and do as the doctors say. I’ll check in on you later.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Buck saluted her as she walked out.
“Let’s go, missy. The patient has made a request. As a former nurse, you should know better.” Carla all but pulled Maddie out of there.
Security followed behind Maddie as she was pulled out to make sure she wouldn’t lurk in the hallway, Buck saw, and one of them followed the doctor back into the room.
“Now, Mr. Buckley, would you please explain?” Dr. Rosenthal asked.
“Well, doctor, I would love an explanation myself, seeing as the only people in this room should have been you and those with my power of attorney. My sister is listed nowhere on my medical paperwork nor as my next of kin. She should not be privy to anything confidential.” He reached for a few more ice chips.
The doctor looked at him silently for a moment before leaning outside to call one of the nurses in. A slim young man with light auburn hair and matching eyes walked in.
“Francis, did Ms. Buckley claim to have Power of Attorney for Mr. Buckley here?”
“Yes, she did. Mark, the other nurse on duty with me earlier, said he didn’t think that was right, but the other firefighter with the funny name–”
“Chimney?” Buck interrupted.
“Yes, exactly, that one, he just bulldozed over everyone. Made a bunch of claims that she was his sister and whatever we had was wrong and not updated, and how she was going to sue. The Unit Coordinator got all scared and just let her through.”
“And what sort of medical decisions did she make for me? Actually, one moment while I phone the people who should have been called in the first place. And while we are at it, the restricted visitors’ thing will stay in place. At this point in time, I don’t trust anyone from the 118 at all except for Eddie Diaz, and his position is vulnerable since he’s still a probie.” Buck sighed as he took out his phone and dialed.
“Hey, Don, please tell me you aren’t in the middle of a case.” Buck looked around for something to write on. Coming up empty, he gestured to the security office as if writing on air. The man — it said Henderson on his tag–handed over his pad and a pen. Buck listed out three names and handed it back.
“Hey there, Buck, what’s going on? You don’t sound so great, buddy,” Don replied.
“Yeah, I’m not doing so great, actually… I just woke up from surgery. I’m at Community Hospital and just had surgery on my leg –”
“The first surgery,” Dr. Rosenthal cut in.
“Uh, make that the first surgery of I don’t know how many.” Buck wiped a hand over his face, exhaustion overtaking him. “Look, Don, the hospital fucked up, but they weren’t alone. Maddie and Chim did an end run around them and claimed Maddie had my POA, so no one called you. I have no idea what decisions were made for me while I was unconscious. I have blocked all visitors for now except for you, Charlie, and Alan.” Buck handed the pad back to Henderson.
“Wait a second, Buck, slow down. What happened that you ended up there in–fuck, that was you under the truck, wasn’t it? Damn it.”
“Yeah, yeah, it was. It’s a really long and fucked up story, man. Can you just — I mean, if you all aren’t busy–”
“I’m calling dad and Charlie, and we’ll be there soon.”
Buck sighed with relief. “Thank God. Uh, also, if you need more information, you could also speak with Carla — you remember I wanted to introduce you to Eddie and Christopher? She’s the home health aid, and she’s totally made of win.”
“Text me her number, and I’ll talk to her on the way over.”
“Don, don’t go near the 118. For one thing, I still haven’t told them about you — about anyone I’m friends with outside of them because –well, you know why. And also, I just don’t want you getting in trouble. Just wait until you are all here, and I can talk to you in person, please.”
Buck could hear Don sigh over the line. “Yeah, okay, bud, you got it. I’ll behave. And I’ll make sure dad behaves, too. We’ll be there soon.”
Buck looked at Henderson. “Those are the names of my next of kin and power of attorney holders. Agent Don Eppes of the FBI, Professor Charles Eppes of CalSci, and their father Alan Eppes.”
Henderson went to leave before turning back. “Anything else I need to inform the rest of my people?”
“Oh! Yeah, um, Sergeant Athena Grant? She may also try to do an end run. Good cop, but sometimes she thinks she knows better than everyone else, and in this case, her closeness to the 118 is going to bias her. I am really not in the mood for a lecture just because she only has half a story.”
“You got it.” Henderson waved the pad at him and left the room, already on his radio relaying instructions to his staff. Nurse Francis also left waving his own pad to relay the names to the nursing staff, Buck guessed.
“Right, let’s check you over while there’s some privacy, and we wait for your people to get here.” Dr. Rosenthal brought out the blood pressure cuff and his stethoscope. Buck lay back and relaxed against the bed. There was nothing to be done but wait now.
Don Eppes parked his car and made a move to exit but closed his door again.
“What’s wrong, Donny?” Alan asked. “We need to go in and see what’s happening; the sooner, the better.”
“Yeah, and we will. In a minute. Just, before we go in, you need to do something for me. Keep calm, and don’t say anything about who we are visiting while we walk through the waiting rooms, okay?”
Charlie leaned forward from the backseat. “What do you mean? What are we missing?”
Don sighed and turned to face his family. “Buck called me after the first surgery had already been done. He–”
Alan jumped in his seat. “The first! Why weren’t we already here? Did you have a case? Don–”
“Just–just give me a moment to fill you in. When I was on my way to get you, I spoke with Carla. Do you remember Buck mentioning her? She filled me in on what had happened today with all the bombs. She also told me about what has been happening at the 118. Buck will tell us more himself, but what you two need to know right now is that the toxicity level of that place has ramped up, and most of it has to do with that asshole Chimney and his sister Maddie.”
“I thought Buck was transferring,” Charlie said.
“He is, but things like that don’t happen immediately. What you need to know right now is that Maddie lied to the hospital about being the next of kin and having power of attorney over Buck’s medical decisions. The moment he woke up, he knew something was wrong and kicked her out.”
Alan whistled. “I bet they are bending over backward now.”
Don nodded. “They are completely aware that they are in deep shit, yeah. So we are probably going to come across his team waiting in the waiting rooms. They know nothing about us, and Buck wants to keep it that way. Not–” Don held up a hand to forestall any arguments or protesting, “–not because of shame, but to protect us from them. This way, they can’t follow us around or harass us. Security knows our names. I am going to flash my badge to one of the security guys outside and ask them to have us quietly escorted to Buck. Please do not say his name or mention anything about him.”
Both Eppes’s agreed readily, and everyone exited the vehicle.
Just as he had described, Don flashed his badge to the guard and made his request quietly. Alan saw the quick flash of a smile of approval before the guard took out his phone to text someone. Another guard could be seen approaching the nurses’ station. Don took his queue and headed over.
Again, without saying anything, Don simply showed his ID, Charlie and Alan following suit. The guard nodded, and Nurse Francis wrote something down for them before passing it over. All five of them made their way over to an elevator before disappearing from the view of anyone from the 118.
Once in the elevator, Nurse Francis blew out a heavy breath. “I can’t believe that worked.”
“They not leaving you alone?” Alan asked.
“The main waiting area isn’t my normal duty station. I was only there to wait for you, actually. That group had been pushed to wait out there instead of upstairs because they were becoming such a nuisance. Then Mr. Buckley had put them all on the restricted list, so there was no reason for them to be upstairs any longer. Instead, they are now harassing everyone that comes in and asks about him.”
“Wow, good thing you told us to keep our mouths shut, Don,” Charlie said, wonder in his voice.
“Yes, amazing I know what I’m talking about sometimes, huh?”
“Oy, enough, you two.” Alan sighed, shaking his head.
“Sorry, dad,” they said together.
“Donny, did you tell your team about Buck?”
“No, dad. I’m going to wait until I get the full story from him, and also, the 118 clears out of here.”
“Oh, Larry will want to know, too. You know he loves talking to him.”
They rounded the corner to see a couple of guards by an open doorway and some laughter drifting out.
“No way, that didn’t really happen,” they overheard.
“Yeah, unfortunately, it really did. Some people just can’t help themselves.” All three Eppes men sped up a bit at the sound of Buck’s voice.
“Tribe Eppes!” Buck called out. “I am so happy to see you,” he said with a smile.
“And we are ever so glad that you are still here to see us.” Alan leaned forward for a hug, followed by Charlie and then Don.
“Okay, so. Buck.” Don found chairs for everyone to sit on before facing the injured man. “Let’s go, story time.”
“Right, I’ve held off on more painkillers so I could tell you everything with a clear head. This is Jeff Stenso, my lawyer. We’re just waiting for–”
“Me, I’m sure,” a large man with a deep voice said, entering the room. “I had to sneak in from the back so that the 118 wouldn’t see.” He turned to Eppes family and introduced himself. “Pardon me, I’m Chief Alonzo of the LAFD. I’m sorry that we’re meeting under these circumstances.” Done wasn’t sure how it was possible for a man over 6 foot with that large a frame could sneak anywhere, but he wasn’t going to question it now.
Everyone took the time to introduce themselves before Buck got on with the story, a recorder taking it all down. He described his problems at the fire station, with Chimney, with Nash, and why he wanted to transfer in the first place.
Buck went on to describe the issues that had begun once Chimney had started dating his sister. “Suddenly, this guy is dating my sister, and it means he is somewhat nicer to me–but also, it apparently means he will be reporting my every move to her. Things she had no business knowing. It was completely ridiculous and a violation of my privacy.
“The things she was doing were also violations of my privacy, but that isn’t under the purview of the LAFD.
“Together, they have been making my life hell, and when he became Interim Captain, he decided to make it official. Any menial task was assigned to me, he would berate me publicly, and demean me. Heaven forbid I make suggestions. It got ugly. I was really happy I had already put in–and been accepted–for transfer.
“Except when I had called yesterday evening to talk to Captain Oslo about the courses he had wanted me taking, he asked me why I had pulled my request. I informed him I had done no such thing. Turns out, Chimney had seen the paperwork and pulled it for me.”
Alonzo held up a hand. “I had also seen that and was wondering about it, was going to call you in to talk it over because it made no sense.”
“I was very clear about being unable to work with a man who was dating my sister–my sister who can’t seem to understand that she is not in charge of my life. She hasn’t been a part of my life in over a decade. Why she thought she could–”
“Maybe now is when you tell everyone about what happened today,” Don said, cutting in.
“Right, yeah.” Buck took a deep breath. “Okay. I woke up from surgery–apparently the first of however many surgeries?–and found Maddie in here and not Don.
“Dr. Rosenthal will be explaining to all of us what my options are going forward, but Maddie doesn’t have any say at all, and neither do my parents. I don’t want anyone with the name Buckley to have anything to do with medical decisions. I know Maddie has some really fucked up view of my parents–she calls them bad parents, but not bad people.”
“That’s hogwash,” Alan said. He stood up and started to pace. “If ever there were poster parents for emotional neglect, it’s them. They ignored you! Completely! And from what you described, Maddie actually raised you for the first nine years of your life before you fucked off to wherever.”
Charlie hopped up to guide his father back to a chair. “Just because we’re in a hospital doesn’t mean you can get your blood pressure all high and crazy.”
“Yeah, yeah. Leave your old man alone.”
Buck chuckled at their antics. “I walked away from Margaret and Philip when I finished high school and haven’t had anything to do with them since. I have no wish to have anything to do with them now. If I need to put out a restraining order to do the same with Maddie because of what happened today, then let’s do that. I obviously can’t trust her.”
“Well, she’s obviously living in her own world; the way she was describing her relationship with you has been wildly different.” Dr. Rosenthal took a moment to adjust the way Buck’s leg was lying before continuing on. “She gave everyone the impression you were the best of friends, and she knew everything about you. Also, that she was surprised some girlfriend wasn’t here?”
“I don’t have a girlfriend, haven’t been dating anyone for quite a while.”
Chief Alonzo sent a few texts, stared at his phone, and then frowned when it seemed the responses he received were not what he was looking for.
“Well, I have people going over the security footage of the station, and they definitely don’t like what they are seeing. The staff will be called in for interviews individually to find out what has been happening. Also, yes, your transfer is still going through. Once you are up and about –which it looks like will be quite a few months down the road, you will be at the new house. Take this time to do those courses Oslo was telling you about.”
“Agent Eppes, I’ll be in touch. I assume that Mr. Buckley will be going home with you when he is done here?”
“You assume correctly.”
Once the doctor had outlined the options with the surgeries and a timeline, both Buck and the Eppes’s agreed on the more aggressive approach. With Charlie’s connections, they also were able to get the most recent and advanced research on what would be the best way to approach everything with the optimal result.
The introduction to Don’s team went smoothly. Adding in Eddie was easy and painless. Everyone got on the same page fairly quickly.
“I think you should get a restraining order for Howard Han,” Eddie said after surgery number 2 had been completed. “I caught him trying to break into your apartment earlier today.” Eddie whipped out his phone and showed Buck, David Sinclair, and Colby Granger a video of Chimney attempting to pick the locks on Buck’s apartment door. They could hear some words of frustration and see Chimney kick the door before walking away.
“I didn’t let him see me, and I could hear him mumbling–it obviously didn’t make it into the video–about how his key wasn’t working for some reason. I don’t know if he was talking to himself or on the phone with someone.”
Colby took the phone and replayed the video. “Why didn’t you call the cops? And do you mind if I send this to myself and David?”
Buck and Eddie looked at each other before Buck waved to Eddie that he should go ahead.
“Sure, no problem. As for calling, the thing is that–ugh, how to explain this. You’ve heard that Athena Grant is now dating our captain, right?” At Granger’s nod, Eddie continued. “Right, so she has decided that makes all of the 118 her people as well. Part of the problem there is that Bobby listens–and believes–everything that comes out of Chimney’s mouth. And Athena, who is best friends with Hen, is the same way. Between the two of them, they have this really skewed view of Buck.”
“What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?” Colby asked as he handed Eddie his phone back.
“Yeah, well, the moment I report there is a problem at Buck’s address, Sargent Grant will take ownership of the call. There is a 90% chance she will brush off the incident and let Chimney go, believing whatever bullshit story he comes up with.” He made a waving motion in the air. “Don’t get me wrong, she’s a great cop. She just has this one blind spot when it comes to the 118. In any other case, she would be a complete badass. From what I can tell, Hen and Chim told Athena so much shit about Buck before she even met him, that her idea of him is of a child. For anyone else, she would double-check the story.”
“I’m sure Maddie prepped him,” Buck added, adjusting his position. “Maddie announced her reintroduction to my life by breaking into my then-girlfriend’s apartment. It was a whole thing. She lied to the apartment manager to get access and then acted like I shouldn’t be upset about it. At the time, I was having that problem with the catfishing– remember me telling you about that?”
“Oh, yeah. That was some next-level bullshit.” David shook his head and rolled his eyes.
“Sinclair, you have this fantastic skill with understatement, let me tell you.”
“Thanks, my man.”
“Not to interrupt this bro-fest,” Eddie said, laughing at the two of them, “but what do you want to do, Buck?”
Buck took a moment to think about it. “Do you think a statement from that manager about Maddie, plus the statements from the hospital staff here, could grant me those restraints?”
“Let me call Don and ask him; he should know. I don’t see why it would be a problem. How the two of them still have their jobs, I don’t know.”
Colby piped up with a question of his own. “Maybe we should ask Megan to profile them?”
David nodded at him, and the two of them stepped away to make their calls.
“Have you been able to tear Carla and Christopher away from Alan yet?”
“Ha, no. Not to mention Larry is obsessed with Christopher’s questions. I think my son has decided CalSci is the best thing since Animal Crossing. You’ve introduced him to people who actually study the stars, Buck. People who can help him reach his goals and don’t tell him that it’s not possible just because he has CP.
“I can’t thank you enough for giving my son a reason to strive, to keep out the negative voices.”
“Eddie,” Buck breathed out.
“No, Buck, you don’t get it. My parents — did you know that at Shannon’s funeral, they were still harping on about how they were a better fit to be Christopher’s guardians? That Shannon’s death was a sign we should all go back to El Paso — or really, my son should, I could do what I wanted.”
“Um, no. Nope. Speaking of restraining orders. What your parents want to do is kidnap your son.”
“Yeah, I figured as much. After unloading on Alan one night because he had overheard a phone call with my parents and just wasn’t having any of it… That man, seriously. Godsend.
“Anyway, I unloaded. He started asking questions about what I had set up for just in case scenarios considering my job. Alan gave me the number of a family law attorney and then went to the appointment with me to help me set things up.
“I need–Buck, if anything ever happens to me, I need to know that you’ll –”
“Of course, Eddie, you know that I would–”
“I know. You love Christopher like he was your own.”
“I put down the Eppes’s as secondaries. Alan first, then Don. I also put down that under no circumstances were my parents or any of my family to have any guardianship of my son, nor do they have permission to make any medical decisions for or over me.”
“Covering all the bases, I see,” Buck reached out a hand in comfort.
“Yeah, man. Listen. The last couple of weeks at the station have been brutal. I have already made up my mind that the moment my probationary period is up that I am transferring to a different house. Captain Oslo has reached out.”
“To be my future partner?”
“Well, we do have a lot of the same certifications. We can do the courses together while you recuperate, and I’ll get used to working at the new station.”
“Sounds like an excellent plan to me.”
A tablet and phone dropped down in front of Buck. He looked up as Matt Li grabbed his phone out of his hand and started taking out the SIM card. “What is–”
Buck had been hanging out in the break room of Don’s FBI office waiting for him so they could go get lunch. It wasn’t a problem since he was done with PT and wasn’t planning on going to the library for anything until later on in the day.
“Um, Don hasn’t said anything about this yet?”
“Matt. Said anything about what?” Buck asked, the pleasantness leaving his voice.
“Fuck. Okay. So, you know how the investigation into the 118 is ongoing, and some of what your sister has done is a felony, right? That she’s committed fraud?”
With a heavy sigh, Buck nodded and waved at Matt to continue. “So, to compound the issue, your sister has attempted to break into your apartment, have her boyfriend break in, and is trying to also track your phone.” Matt held up his hand to stop Buck from speaking. “Did you think Don wouldn’t have me monitoring her after all the crap she’s pulled on you? Both her and her man have been trying some shady shit since you stopped responding to anything of hers once they received the TRO. You can bet that the restraining order will no longer be temporary once all of this gets put before the judge.
“Anyway, we are going to give you a new number, unlisted. Also, we’ll be going through all of your accounts to make sure two-factor authentication is set up; this way, you can’t get hacked–that’s email, website accounts, social media, etc.”
“I don’t really have social media except for private Instagram and Reddit,” Buck said.
“Well, thank fuck for that. Let’s get going on those accounts and make sure your banking is secured. Don has already informed the bank that no one but you should be accessing it, no matter what anyone says. He told them what was up with your sister. They gave us the instructions for the password security stuff.”
Buck started making a list of accounts they would need to check on that he had memberships for while Matt set up the new phone. “And what’s with the tablet?”
“Ah, Don said you were dragging your feet on finding a new place? He and Alan had found some listings that might make you change your mind on, and I quote, ‘getting off your tuchas,’ end quote.”
Buck gave a quiet laugh as he finished off the list before picking up the iPad. Quickly finding the list, he saw what Alan meant. Listings for ranch-style duplexes and detached units on the same block came up. Units that would suit both him and Eddie. Units that Christopher could easily navigate and would also be close to the Eppes family.
“Once I’m done with lunch, I’ll be at the library and can look these over more until Eddie comes to find me, and he can put his two cents in. But I really like this three bed, two bath with the open floor plan. That kitchen is gorgeous, and I’m totally in love with that island already. There’s plenty of space for a gym, for my books…what’s my new number? I’d like to go out to see this place, actually.”
Matt was smiling as he handed over a slip of paper with his new number. He let Buck make the call and set up an appointment for that afternoon before taking the phone back. They used the iPad to go through each of his accounts and set up the two-factor authentication. When they reached his bank account, they looked at the last logged-in time, and Buck dropped the pad.
“What the fuck?”
“What’s wrong?” Matt asked.
“What’s wrong is I haven’t logged into my account in three days. There was no need. Except if you look here at last logged in, it says that I was in here, in the site,” Buck pointed at the area right under his name at the top right of the web page, “four hours ago. Considering four hours ago I was in PT with at least five witnesses plus security footage and my phone nowhere near my hands, I would love to know how I would be logging into my bank account.”
“Shit. Let me get Don. This really did just become a federal case.”
“And you’re sure you didn’t have your password written down anywhere?” Don asked again.
“Yes, Don. After all of the lectures you’ve given me, not to mention Matt and the rest of your team, I know better than to use a flimsy password or to write it down on a post-it note.” Buck sat there, shoulders hunched, head down. The misery was almost tangible. “It’s not like it was an actual word. It was a mess of letters, numbers, and symbols. Problem is, the bank only just recently activated two-factor authentication. It hasn’t been an option until this past month. They notified everyone by email, but I didn’t see it.”
“You didn’t see it, Evan, because it was buried while you were in and out of surgery.” Colby gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “They should have been bombarding you with reminders until you did it, or locked out users until they did it. Maybe you should change banks?”
“Ugh, I probably will once I finish moving. Realtors don’t like it if you’ve only been with a bank for a short while.”
“We’ve got the warrant for the bank, Matt, so do your thing.” David put the paper on his desk, and Matt got to work. It took all of five minutes for Matt to zero in on what had happened.
“Man, this bank’s security is for shit. Your buddy Howard used a password cracker he found online, brute forced his way into getting your information. It seems that this bank has a reputation for shitty security.”
“And that’s why they were so happy to hand out loans and whatnot at lower rates.” Buck’s head was between his knees at this point. “Why she couldn’t just go get some therapy–some much-needed therapy, I have no idea. I’m guessing Howard Han will now be charged, along with my sister? You know he did this for her.”
“Yes, we’ll be going to pick him up as well as her for the healthcare fraud. Megan will be going to Chief Alonzo to fill him in, David and Colby are going to pick up Han, and I’m heading off to pick up your sister with Megan once she’s done with the chief.
“You know the second you arrest either of them, Athena Grant is going to involve herself.” Straightening back up, Buck took a deep breath and tried to focus on what was in front of him instead of panicking. “What’s going to happen when she tries to track me down?”
“Well, we’ve already blocked and locked your new number. It isn’t in the LAFD system yet, so there is no reason for her to have it. She’s not on this case, so she has no reason to be tracking you down. If she tries to, we’ll go over her head. Also, seeing as you no longer live at the loft, there’s no reason she needs entry there. The building manager doesn’t have your new address, so there are no leads there.”
“I just –she’s a good cop, and I don’t want her damaging her career for those two–I don’t even have words for them right now.”
“I know, bud, I know. We’ll try to keep Grant clear of the mess.”
Buck watched Don for a moment before nodding. Everyone took that as their queue and got moving.