Today I posted my 100th work on AO3.
Now, I don’t mean to intimate that I’ve written 100 new stories and poems since joining AO3; many of my works there are repostings.
This story, however, is brand-new.
This fic is very loosely based on an incident in the October 14, 1998 episode of Another World.
What if Joe had found out that Josie was caught breaking into Rachel’s office and going through her briefcase?
Characters are the property of Procter and Gamble Productions.
This brand-new story is the 100th work I’ve posted on AO3, hence the title.
Josie knew she shouldn’t be in Rachel’s office at Cory Publications. She knew she shouldn’t be going through
Rachel’s briefcase. But she just had to find that letter before…
“Josie! What are you doing in my office going through my briefcase?”
“Rachel! I…I…I was just…”
“She was committing a crime, Mom,” Amanda said, “and I think her captain ought to know about it.”
“Please don’t tell Joe,” Josie pleaded. “I swear, I didn’t take anything!”
She hadn’t. Rachel and Amanda had caught her before she could find the letter.
Rachel was torn. True, Josie had been caught committing a crime, and the fact that she was an officer of the law made it so much worse. Joe really should be made aware of this. On the other hand, Joe was Rachel’s son-in-law. Maybe she should spare him from having to, perhaps, fire Josie.
“I’ll have to think it over.”
“I’m really sorry,” Josie said.
“As well you should be!” Amanda snapped.
Josie, worried, did not sleep very well that night.
Joe noticed the next day that something was on her mind.
“Josie, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, Joe. Really.”
“Look, Josie, I’ve known you long enough to be able to tell when there’s something troubling you. Now, is it anything I can help you with?”
Josie heard the concern in Joe’s voice.
“I’m afraid… you might find out about…something I did.”
“Then isn’t it better if I find it out from you, Josie?”
“Then let’s go talk in my office.”
Josie winced at the word “office”.
“Now,” Joe said when they were in his office, with the door locked and the blinds closed, “tell me what’s bothering you, Josie.”
“I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed in me, Joe, when you find out what I did.”
“I’d be more disappointed if you didn’t trust me enough to tell me, whatever it is.”
A tear slid down Josie’s face.
“Don’t cry, Josie,” Joe said, taking her in his arms and holding her close. “It can’t be that bad.”
“Yes it is!” Josie sobbed. “I… I…”
“Josie, take a few deep breaths and stop crying before you make yourself sick.”
“Now, tell me what you did, Josie.”
“Okay. I will,” Josie said. “I broke into Rachel’s office at Cory and.. I was going through Rachel’s briefcase…and she and Amanda caught me!”
“Josie, you didn’t!”
“I did, but I didn’t take anything.”
Joe couldn’t speak for a minute. His best cop had just confessed to breaking into his mother-in-law’s office and going through her briefcase.
“I’m sorry, Joe. Do you… do you want my resignation?”
“No, Josie, I don’t, but you’re in trouble.”
“What are you going to do to me?”
“First, I’m going to call Rachel, and then I’ll have to deal with you.”
A minute later, Joe was on the phone with Rachel. Josie heard what he said; she could only guess what Rachel, on the other end, was saying.
“Rachel,” he said, “it’s Joe. Josie just told me about the incident yesterday.”
Joe listened, and then went on, “I’m dealing with Josie. She already knows how wrong her actions were.”
Again Joe listened. “I’m glad she apologized,” he said, then listened again, and said, “Thank you. I appreciate that, and so will Josie when I tell her.”
When his conversation with Rachel was finished, Joe turned to Josie and said, “You’ll be glad to know that Rachel has decided not to press charges.”
Josie gave a sigh of relief.
“But that doesn’t change the fact that you did something very wrong, Josie.”
“I know,” Josie said penitently.
“Then you know that I can’t let you off without punishment. It’s for your own good.”
“Tell me, Josie, did you get much sleep last night?”
Josie was surprised that Joe was asking her that question just when he was about to hand down her punishment.
“No, sir. I didn’t.”
“I didn’t think so,” Joe said. “Now, I’m placing you on suspension, without pay,”
“Please, Joe, not that,” Josie pleaded.
Joe repeated firmly, “I’m placing you on suspension without pay…. for twenty-four hours.”
Josie gave him a surprised, grateful look.
“And, because you committed a crime,” Joe went on, “you may consider yourself under arrest for those twenty-four hours.”
Joe escorted Josie to a cell.
“Now, lie down on the cot and get some sleep.”
And then Josie understood what Joe was doing.
She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.
Then she lay down.
Joe covered her with a blanket, bent down, and kissed her forehead.
Josie fell asleep thinking how much she loved her captain.