DCI Jeanine Lewis strides into Thames Valley CID with more confidence than she really feels, but she needs to consult the people in charge of an investigation crossing with hers.
The young constable at the desk looks at her and decides not to take any chance. "Good afternoon, ma'am, may I help you?" comes out of his mouth in a very patronising tone.
"Yes, yes, you can." She has to take a breath and the young constable takes advantage to continue talking.
"Who are you looking for, then, ma'am?"
Jeanine's answer is as short as her breath. "DCI Lewis."
The young constables nods. "I see. Well, if you give me a minute, I will call him and notify him of your arrival. May I ask your name?"
"Huh? No, ma'am, I asked for YOUR name, please."
"Are you taking the piss?? No games like that with me, missie!"
"Sir? Constable Dudley says to warn you he put a madwoman asking for you in one of the cells." Hathaway is frowning, because Constable Dudley did not make a lot of sense with his explanation.
"Eh?" is Lewis' only answer, accompanied with a look of total lack of understanding.
"He said to me verbatim “I put the hag in there because instead of answering me when I asked her name, she kept repeating the boss'” and showed me the direction of the cells."
It takes a few seconds, but Lewis suddenly pales and looks at Hathaway. "Roughly same age as me, brown middle length hair, blue eyes?"
"Uh, I do not know, sir, having not seen her. A moment." He phones Constable Dudley, who answers his brief questions, hangs up and confirms the worse. "Apparently so, sir, do you know her?"
"Bloody hell. Yes. Come on, come on come on!" Lewis takes off to the cells at high speed, turning corners as quickly as he can, and almost sending a DS carrying files flying.
Hathaway is just behind him, having no difficulty keeping up with his long legs, but puzzled as to why his governor has to run.
Lewis slides to a stop near the cells. Guessing where the woman is is no difficulty, considering the abuse coming out of it. A Constable on duty, nearby, is as white as a sheet after listening to what she intends to do with his private parts.
Lewis mouths "I'll take it from here..." to the Constable who flees as fast as possible.
Hathaway opens the door for his governor, still frowning and still puzzled.
"And then I'll hang you by your regulation tie!!! And... ROBBIE!" The voice that was spouting threats is now friendly, if at a very high volume.
Lewis has to smile. "Hi, cousin. What are you doing here, now, and why did you not tell your name to the Constable?"
Jeanine's voice hits a new high, and Hathaway winces. "WHAT? But I told him, SEVERAL TIMES that I'm DCI Lewis!"
Lewis frowns, but then realises what happened – almost at the same time Hathaway did, and he is trying to hide his smile – "Oh. Dudley. I'm going to wring his neck. Berk..."
"I don't understand?" Jeanine is puzzled as they walk to Lewis' office.
"Well, he thought you were talking about me when you said DCI Lewis, he did not understand we share a rank an' a name! But.. he's bloody sexist, so I'm not even surprised. I'm sorry, Jan, I hope you're not too cheesed of..."
"Oh! That's what he meant... I see. Nah, I'm not happy but... Oh, all right. Only, if you have an idea of what to do..."
Constable Dudley is waiting to enter Innocent's office with his cap in his hands and very worried about the reason he was called there.
He has asked to be transferred to a place with a male DCS – not by explaining it like that, just that he wanted a change of location –, though, so it is probably for that.
As the PA shows him inside, he straightens up and greets DCS Innocent politely, trying to look deferential.
"Ah, Constable Dudley, good of you to come here. Jeanine, may I introduce Constable Dudley who will chauffeur you while you are in Oxford. Constable Dudley, this is DCI Janine Lewis from Manchester CID..." DCS Innocent does not even manage to finish her sentence that Dudley has turned white as a sheet, and fled the office.
From said office, a few seconds later, laughs are coming, and merry voices. "His face, god, did you see his face!" from Janine, "Well, that is a neat way to take care of the problem, ma'am." from James, and sniggers from the others, including Innocent's PA, who concludes with a "And best part of it, it's all on the internal CCTV! I'll print you pictures!"