1963-07-08 - East Village Sleuthing Part 2
Summary: Crystal and Magneto sneak into the 9th Precinct searching for the unique bullet that struck Erik.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
crystal erik 


Some time later, in a kosher bagel shop judged to be one of Manhattan's best kept secrets, Crystal and Erik are just polishing off a lunch.

"You know," he remarks in an offhand way, before wiping his mouth with a paper napkin. "We could just sneak into NYPD. Bust into evidence." He sets the napkin down, and looks Crystal square in the eye. "Find that blasted bullet."

*

Crystal brushes poppy seeds off of her skirt, wiping her fingers on a napkin and quirking a brow at the suggestion. "And just how would you suggest we sneak into the police station?" asks, a note of amusement in her voice. "I was under the impression that they try to keep those sorts of places relatively…secure. And I think you and I are ill-suited to stealth," she adds with a laugh.

*

Some time later, in a kosher bagel shop judged to be one of Manhattan's best kept secrets, Crystal and Erik are just polishing off a lunch.

"You know," he remarks in an offhand way, before wiping his mouth with a paper napkin. "We could just sneak into NYPD. Bust into evidence." He sets the napkin down, and looks Crystal square in the eye. "Find that blasted bullet."

*

"Crystal brushes poppy seeds off of her skirt, wiping her fingers on a napkin and quirking a brow at the suggestion. "And justhow would you suggest we sneak into the police station?" asks, a note of amusement in her voice. "I was under the impression that they try to keep those sorts of places relatively…secure. And I think you and I are ill-suited to stealth," she adds with a laugh."

*

"Not necessarily," Erik responds, though his mouth does twist into a coy smirk. Then he leans forward, ignoring the glass of milk that remains unfinished.

"I've been doing research. I believe I can simulate an electromagnetic burst, which should fry a police radio." He gestures with his hands. "Cuff 'im with his own handcuffs… then borrow his uniform. Only problem is… I can't think of how to lure a police officer into a dark alley. It's not something I'm quite experienced at, I'm afraid."

*

"Well, you're not very good at looking like you need help, either," Crystal points out with a smirk of her own. "But I could be a damsel in distress, I suppose. Pull the oxygen from his lungs and he takes a nice nap. Which leaves you free to visit the police station. But won't they recognize you as not one of their own? I've no idea how big police departments are here," she admits, shaking her head.

*

Erik snaps his fingers when she speaks of pulling oxygen from the officer's lungs, then reaches for his milk. "Perhaps. Perhaps I'm from another Precinct?" He smirks ruefully."We do the dirty deed uptown. The Bronx. Lock him down somewhere no one will come looking. Only… I'd need a good reason to get into the 9th Precinct."

A hearty gulp of milk is taken, then the paper napkin does its work again. "If we can find the actual bullet, it'll be much easier to run down the person who fashioned it."

*

"That makes sense," Crystal agrees on the topic of the bullet, considering possible roles for a moment. "I could be reporting a crime," she muses. "But I can't see them letting a strange officer go into evidence just to take a report of a crime. Which means you'd need to be bringing me in for something. Something that I could also get out for, as I'm not planning on spending the night in jail."

*

Erik sets the glass of milk down, shaking his head. "You wouldn't spend the night in jail," he points out. "What's a police station full of? Ferrous metals. We could be had, but we won't get caught. The trick," he clarifies, with a finger in the air, "is to be quick. Cunning. Never be had."

Erik angles his head slightly, peering across the table at Crystal. "You have something in mind?"

*

"Breaking out of jail is a bit showy," Crystal laughs, leaning back a bit in her seat and going through her purse with a sly smile. "But yes, I'm having a thought. It seems to me…" She pulls a scarf out of her purse, tying it around her hair. "That a young woman from Europe intending to meet her fiance could be mistaken for a different sort of woman entirely by a suspicious police officer. Easy enough to get out of by faking a phone call to confirm things with said fiance. But sufficient reason to get in, yes?"

*

It takes Erik a few moments to piece together what exactly it is that Crystal is suggesting. He's halfway through drinking another gulp of milk when it's finally pieced together.

Erik lurched forward, cheeks bulging, and the milk comes spurting out of his nose. "Mrf!" He sets the glass down quickly and grabs at his paper napkin. "You - what - you can't be serious!"

*

Crystal claps a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh when milk comes out his nose, leaning over to pull a napkin from the dispenser to offer it over as well. "Why not?" she laughs, grin spreading.

"Really, it's simple. I go in babbling in Russian insisting that my fiance was supposed to be meeting me, our parents arranged everything so I didn't know what he looked like. You disbelieve long enough to get into the evidence vault. Then fake a phone call to the supposed fiance, who confirms the story, and apologetically escort me out of the station."

She pulls on her gloves again, folding her hands neatly over her purse with an angelic smile. "And voila, mission complete."

*

Dabbing at his nose and face, Erik can't help but scowl a bit at the whole affair. Once he's cleaned up, he sets the napkin on an empty plate, then takes a moment to actually consider the plan.

It wasn't a bad one.

Slowly, a grin folds across Erik Lensherr's face.

Later that evening…

Erik finishes fixing the duct tape across Officer Kenton's mouth. The poor sap is shackled up in some abandoned building far uptown, and has been stripped down to his skivvies. Still out cold from Crystal's assault, the officer snoozes away while Erik fixes the NYPD cap upon his head.

"Well?" He turns to Crystal, left eyebrow half cocked. "How do I look?"

*

"Well, I'd say dashing, but as you're about to bring me in accusing me of prostitution, that seems somewhat unfair," Crystal winks, looking over from freshening her lipstick. The deep red is a bit much, but taken with the scarf and the gloves, it does at least present a nicely mixed picture.

She steps over, adjusting his collar with a few touches. "There we are. Now, just remember to stay calm, and everything will be fine."

*

"Impersonating a police officer is a fairly decent crime," Erik remarks, though he does lift his chin a bit to allow her room to adjust his collar. He's going to avoid blushing this time, but just barely.

"Make me a promise?" He lowers his chin, studying her. "Don't wear so much lipstick again. Masks your natural royalty."

Erik checks the radio. Still static, for the moment, but with a measure of focus, the static fades. Dispatch comes through loud and clear, which draws a smirk to his face. "Well. Let's go serve and protect, then."

*

"That is entirely the point," Crystal points out with a small smile, stepping back. "But thank you." One more adjustment of her scarf, and she's nodding firmly. "Keeping the streets of New York clear of confused immigrants, one young woman at a time."

*

It isn't long before Officer 'Kenton' is walking into Precinct 9, with one would be prostitute in tow. There is a look of visible frustration on his face while he tugs her along toward the front desk. "Yeah, yeah. Like I'm some stupid Jersey cop with no high school education," he tells her, before positioning her before the desk officer. "Kenton, 35th Precinct."

*

Crystal is babbling in Russian as she walks in with Erik, tugging on her arm to try to pull away. "« But we were supposed to meet there! His parents and my parents have been planning for years! Please, you must help me! »" she insists to the officer at the desk, as if he's going to speak a lick of Russian. It's New York, it could happen.

*

The Russian is enough to draw the desk officer's attention away from the unfamiliar officer from uptown. "The hell, you bring a Ruskie in here? You want me to call FBI over here?"

"I don't think that's-" Erik starts.

The desk officer looks back to Crystal. "Hey, Red Square. You keep that commie shit in your bloomers, okay?"

"Look, can you just point me to booking and evidence? I want to get this crap over with and get back to my own precinct."

"Evidence? What you need evidence for?" He peers at Erik's badge. "Kenton?"

"Trust me. You don't want to know what I found on her."

*

"Not communist," Crystal insists in heavily accented English, looking offended. "My father, he work in the palace of the czar!" She gives her arm another tug in Erik's grip, turning on the water-works with tears brimming in her eyes. "« I am not some sort of loose woman! This is all a misunderstanding, you must let me go and meet my fiance! »"

*

"That way, Kenton," the officer scowls. "Third floor, booking, second floor, evidence. And make damn sure she doesn't get loose!"

"Sure, yeah, thanks."

"Goddamn Ruskies."

Erik leads Crystal to the elevator, relieved that no one else seems to be entering the car with them. He looks at the meter above the door, which is currently pointed at the number 1."Hmm."

*

Crystal casts a dismayed look over her shoulder at the desk officer as she follows Erik toward the elevator, playing up the worry until they're inside the elevator. Once they're inside, she still looks worried, but switches over to German in a low tone. "Third floor booking, second floor evidence," she murmurs, glancing back up at him. "We're in here. And he did say to make sure I don't get loose. We might as well head to evidence."

*

"Yes," agrees Erik. "But it is proper procedure, I believe, to book the suspect first. Fortunately…" He reaches out to press '2', then casually reaches with his hand toward that meter.

When the elevator stops, the meter keeps moving, until it lands upon three. This will, of course, be synced up with the meter in the lobby below.

Erik only has time for a mischievous grin before the doors open, at which point he peers out into the corridor beyond.

Which is empty.

Luck, or a bad sign?

*

Inevitably, it's usually the latter.

Crystal steps out when he does, looking up and down the hallway herself. "Quickly, then," she murmurs, looking back with a quick, mischievous smile of her own. No one ever lets her have fun like this. For good reason, but that's beside the point.

*

Fun? Perhaps. Perhaps the truth is, Erik has a bad feeling about this. "Quickly, yes," he murmurs, and rushes down the corridor toward the room marked 'Evidence'. A quick check of the doorknob proves that it's locked. Which is no big problem.

A gesture, and the lock is unlatched. Then, Erik pushes the door open and steps inside.

Inside, all appears quiet. There are shelves upon shelves filled with tagged bins, organized by case number.

Erik looks around as they enter, barely breathing. "We should have gotten a case number," he whispers, after examining one of the tags.

*

"That…would have been helpful," Crystal agrees, turning in a slow circle as she looks around. "Maybe there's a log in here? A filing cabinet like at a library with a card system?" She starts to look for any of those things, then pauses, turning back toward Erik.

"You can't use your powers to find it, it wasn't metal," she muses. "But if it wasn't metal, then maybe it was earth." Switching gears, she steps toward the center of the room, extending a hand as she reaches out with her senses for anything that pings as earth.

*

"Perhaps," says Erik, already looking for such a filing system. "I could weed out what is metal, but that might make a mess."

He has little idea what exactly it is that Crystal is up to. Earthen matters aren't exactly his specialty. There's no way he could know that the bullet which pierced him was ceramic. Made of clay.

Made of Earth, decidedly small, and decidedly unlike the various weapons and vice that fill this room.

*

Ceramic, and not made out of clay from New York City. There are pieces of marble, granite. Most of them are local. Soil samples in tidy bags. But only one thing that has the feel of something solid, something from far enough away to stand out. Well, aside from a few surprising pieces of jewelry that probably haven't been properly logged, but she's relatively certain he wasn't shot with a precious stone.

"Over here," she says quietly, moving down two rows of shelves and crouching at the shelf one up from the bottom, pulling at a box. "It has to be this. It's different."

*

With a sharp motion, Erik's head darts toward Crystal's voice. He rushes over with quiet steps, mouth ajar and breathing deeply. "Different? Different how?" he asks.

He notices something, then. The tags… they all carry the same case number, the entire shelf. Lots of evidence from one case. One very big, and according to the date stamps, recent case.

"Open it," he urges, feeling a spike of adrenaline. "Quickly, now."

*

"Not from here," Crystal explains as she digs unerringly through the box. "It's ceramic, that's why you couldn't stop it. Ceramic's made from clay, which is earth, and earth from particular places has a certain…feel," she explains, just in time to pull out a tiny evidence bag, holding it up triumphantly. "There," she holds it out to him. "I think I can isolate where the clay came from, at least."

*

Reaching out, Erik takes the baggie in hand, examining the item. There's still dried blood on it, which draws a frown to his face. "I'll be…"

Just then, the door to the evidence room opens, and another police officer enters. "Hey," he calls out. "Someone leave this damn door unlocked?"

*

Crystal freezes at the sound of a hand on the door, quickly slapping the lid on the box and pushing it back into place as she stands. "I'm really sorry," she whispers quickly to Erik, right before she pulls him down for a kiss. It lasts just long enough for whoever's walking in to be able to see it before she pulls back only to deliver an open-palmed slap.

"Officer! I demand to call my fiance! Now! I will- How you say, I will press charges!"

*

"For wha- mrf!"

Erik's eyes are wide enough already, but he's quick enough to stuff the baggie in his pocket. Just in the nick of time to be slapped.

Eyes? Wider.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" The arriving officer raises his hands in a gesture of surrender. "Look, we… what the hell, officer??" He looks to Erik, then back to Crystal. "Now listen here, miss, there's no reason to go causing a riot. I'm sure this is just one big misunderstanding."

"Y-yes," Erik stammers, while straightening himself. "Just a, uh, a misunderstanding."

*

The heavily applied dark red lipstick only adds to the incriminating appearances as Crystal rummages through her purse for a handkerchief, feigning tears. "I am only want to call my fiance, officer," she sniffs, pulling out a compact and quickly trying to wipe at her lipstick. "Is all misunderstanding. I am to meet fiance, this man think I am loose woman instead…I am to be engaged, officer," she insists, giving the new arrival her most pitiful look.

*

"Fine, fine, okay?" says Officer Stanford. "We don't want no trouble." He shoots daggers at Erik, then walks over to claim Crystal by the arm. "I'll walk you to a pay phone. Got a nickel?"

Erik follows along, reaching up to wipe the sweat from his brow. He looks from Stanford to Crystal, face reddening a touch, but nowhere near to the degree of the lipstick now smeared on his face.

Stanford tosses a handkerchief to Erik, and scowls at him while they walk. "Wipe yourself off, for Christ's sake!" he hisses.

*

Crystal sniffles, wiping at hereyes as she nods to the officer. "Yes, I have nickel," she agrees, pulling her arm away from his grasp, shoulders rising defensively. "Thank you," she says, reaching out to put a hand to his shoulder instead. "You are good man, officer."

Time to get out of this place before anyone has a chance to compare stories or look too closely at things.

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