There was startling little information about the new captain.
He wasn’t a forthcoming man, and rather intimidating, as well. He had a constant scowl, answered more with grunts than words, and, frankly, was built like a brick shithouse. None of the detectives were quite sure how to feel about him, and he wasn’t exactly giving them much to go on.
Which was what led to this small meeting of detectives taking place, right under his nose.
“I mean, how do we know Captain Rivia is even his real name,” Cho whispered, leaning over Boyd’s desk. She caught a file she nearly knocked down in the process, ignoring Boyd’s unimpressed stare. “Did he even tell us his first name? Shouldn’t we know it from somewhere, somehow?”
Ramirez rolled her eyes from her desk, pretending to not be a part of the whole thing, even though she very much was. “You know, you could look it up .”
Boyd chuckled behind his hand as Cho glared at her. “That feels like cheating.” She said, ignoring Ramirez’s raised eyebrows.
“Okay, but,” Ryan said, leaning over their desk, “we’re detectives . It’s our job to figure people out, isn’t it? Dig up everything, find the clues.”
Greeves looked between Ryan and Cho nervously. “You’re not seriously implying that we should investigate the Captain , are you?”
Boyd shrugged. Ramirez rolled her eyes again and pretended to go back to work. Ryan and Cho shared a wild grin. Greeves fidgeted with his hands.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea? What if he finds out ?”
Cho shrugged. “Learn to be sneaky.”
Ryan’s grin grew. “Yeah, get good.”
Boyd rolled his eyes. “Never say that again. And Cho, get your ass off my desk, you keep messing up the files.”
“Spoilsport,” Cho muttered, but slid off his desk nonetheless.
Greeves frowned at them. “I’m still not sure this is a good idea. I mean he’s our boss .”
“Scared of him?” Ryan asked.
Ramirez opened her mouth to speak, but at that moment, Captain Rivia walked into the precinct. He stared at them all, huddled around Ryan and Boyd’s back-to-back desks, Ramirez obviously involved even as she tried to pretend she wasn’t.
“Shouldn’t you be working?” He asked gruffly, raising a cardboard coffee cup to his lips.
They all scrambled to their own desks, logging into computers and flipping open files to try and appear busy, save for Ramirez who remained perfectly calm and turned back to her work. At their mad dash, he continued his route back to his office, steps steady and measured, shoulders perfectly straight. None of them saw the smile he hid behind the lip of his coffee cup.
It wasn’t until that afternoon that the topic was brought up again.
“Wedding ring,” Ramirez said plainly, leaning against Ryan’s desk where they were playing paper football with Cho instead of writing their reports.
Her sudden appearance made Cho botch the shot and she cursed under her breath.
“What?” Boyd asked from the other side of the desks.
Greeves looked up from his desk, clearly listening but trying to pull a Ramirez and look like he wasn’t involved. He wasn’t nearly as good at it as she was.
“Captain Rivia,” Ramirez said, “he’s married.”
They all leaned forward, a clear indication to keep talking. Ramirez rolled her eyes, but played along, just as they knew she would.
“He was holding his coffee cup with his left hand. Fancy cafe shit, too, don’t know how he affords that, but that’s besides the point. There was a ring on his left ring finger. Not too old, but not new either, and clearly well-maintained.”
Ryan’s forehead creased as they scrunched up their face in thought. “Who the hell would marry that hardass.”
“You barely know him,” Greeves said quietly. “Don’t be so quick to judge.”
Cho sighed. “G’s right, as much as I hate to admit it.”
“Still,” Ryan said. “I wanna know what kind of relationship that one is. Who managed to get under the skin of the man of stone?”
“You’re a detective,” Boyd said, going back to his computer and smacking the monitor with his hand a few times as if that would help it work faster. “Figure it out.”
Ryan made a face at him. Cho and Greeves laughed. Ramirez rolled her eyes.
She worked with children .
There was nothing new for several days. There was a lot of work to be done, cases to solve and people to process and reports to write. Captain Rivia became a staple in their daily lives, even if they hadn’t quite adjusted to him and his leadership style yet.
He was a hardass, and he seemed completely void of emotion. He spoke in a very monotone, gravelly voice, and many of his officers wondered if his throat just constantly hurt. He came in at the exact same time every day, not a minute earlier or later even once . He often kept the door to his office closed, but if he was open to having them come in, he would leave the blinds rolled up.
The first glimpse into what kind of man he really was came two weeks into his position. Ryan was running somewhat late, which had been a rather regular thing before Captain Rivia. With their anxiety over their new boss, everyone had been on their best behavior, but things were bound to go back to normal eventually.
Captain Rivia arrived and looked around the bullpen with a critical eye that made even Ramirez hunch away and desperately try to look like she was working. He hummed quietly before marching into his office and shutting the door, though they could see him glance up through the window every few minutes. Eventually, he came back out, standing in his doorway with his arms crossed.
“Detective Ryan,” he rumbled, meeting eyes with every single one of them. “Where is he?”
They all went silent and still. No one was sure what to do, or what to say. Cho refused to look at him, Ramirez’s face was blank, and Boyd looked down and twiddled his thumbs. Greeves raised a shaking hand, as if he was still in school. Captain Rivia locked his fiery gaze onto him.
“Ryan isn’t, ah… Ryan isn’t a man.” He squeaked out.
Captain Rivia stared at him. Face blank and unmoving, stuck still in that permanent scowl. Greeves fluttered his hands nervously.
“Uh, they use they/them pronouns?” He said, unsure what the captain was after.
Captain Rivia returned his gaze to the whole room. “Where are they?”
It was like the room breathed a collective sigh of relief. Boyd’s shoulders literally slumped and Cho gave the captain her best smile.
“They used to be late a lot,” she said. “I guess it was a hard habit to break.”
Captain Rivia hummed and went back into his office, the door shutting once more. When Ryan finally bustled into the office, out of breath and disheveled and spouting apologies nearly fifteen minutes later, they were immediately summoned into Captain Rivia’s office. Everyone in the precinct held their breath as the two disappeared behind the door and the blinds flew down to block the window.
Five minutes went by. Then ten. Fifteen. It was nearly twenty minutes later until the blinds flew back up and Ryan came out, shutting the door softly behind them. They all watched through the window as Captain Rivia sat back down at his desk and continued his work as if nothing had happened. Ryan stepped out into the bullpen and sat at their desk.
And immediately everyone converged on them. Even Ramirez.
“Are you in trouble?” Cho asked eagerly, ever ready to hear gossip.
“Is he queerphobic?” Greeves asked, twisting his hands in his lap.
“Did he yell at you?” Boyd hissed, leaning over his desk.
Ryan looked overwhelmed by all the attention, still seeming somewhat bleary.
“What happened?” Ramirez simplified.
“Um,” Ryan blinked. “He called me in. Said he understood why I was not forthcoming with my pronouns, understood why I hadn’t told him, Truthfully, I forgot I even needed to, but I didn’t want to correct him--”
“He’s nice ?!” Cho hissed, leaning in closer.
Ryan ignored her. “And then he gave me some tips for sleeping earlier so I could wake up earlier, and recommended some good noises to make into alarms so that I wasn’t late again.”
Cho’s eyes searched the grain of the desk as if it held the secrets to the universe. Ramirez shrugged and made her way back to her desk, satisfied with the information she received. Greeves sat back down, looking like he didn’t understand what just happened, and truthfully he probably didn’t. Boyd leaned back into his chair and stared at his screen, unblinking.
“He has a face like that ,” Cho muttered, “and he’s nice ?”
“Maybe a fluke,” Boyd suggested. “Maybe he’s just having a good day and decided to go easy on us.”
“Get back to work,” Ramirez said, “before he realizes you’re all gossiping about him.”
“You were, too!” Ryan said.
She simply smirked and turned back to her work.
A week later, Boyd went into Captain Rivia’s office, thankfully of his own volition. There was a new addition to the captain’s carefully placed mug of pens: a small bisexual pride flag. He stared at it a moment before he remembered the files he had come in to deliver in the first place.
“I like your flag,” Boyd said carefully, handing over the files.
Captain Rivia hummed. “Gift from my daughter,” he muttered, almost absentmindedly as his eyes were already scanning the files.
Boyd’s eyes raised to his hairline and he quickly excused himself before the captain could notice his expression. He made a direct beeline for Cho’s desk, slapping his hands down on the wood before he realized he should probably be more discreet so the captain didn’t find out .
Thankfully, through the window, Captain Rivia still seemed fully absorbed in the files, flipping through them with an even deeper scowl on his face than usual. His fellow detectives, however, were not so absorbed, and immediately gathered around Cho’s desk.
“He has a daughter,” Boyd pronounced with a self-satisfied smirk.
Cho stood from her desk, hands flat against the wood right next to Boyd’s. “Shut the fuck up. No way.”
“Who’d mate with that ?” Ryan said, but it was far more joking than their comments used to be. Though their jokes had remained the same, ever since they had been called into Captain Rivia’s office, they were said far more lightly.
“How’d you find out?” Greeves whispered.
“He’s got a bi flag in his pen cup now. Said his daughter gave it to him, as a gift.”
“Interesting,” Ramirez said, standing from where she’d been leaning against the desk.
“Well,” Cho said, tilting her head in thought, “even if he’s bi, doesn’t this now mean that he’s got to have a wife?”
Ryan flicked her in the ear. “Adoption, dumbass.”
Her eyes went wide. “I was so caught up in a world where the most gruff, serious, and unaffectionate man in the world had a child that I forgot orphans existed.”
Ramirez started back toward her desk. “We’ll have to wait on further developments.”
“Imagine the scowl of death that kid must have,” Greeves muttered, then shivered.
“How old is that kid?” Ryan asked.
“How old is the captain ?” Cho hissed.
Boyd shrugged. “Plenty of people go grey early.”
Cho wasn’t listening. “Do you think if I asked him to fill out his birthdate on a bit of paperwork he’d fall for it, or would I get caught out?”
Greeves buried his face in his hands while Boyd and Ryan laughed. Then they all went back to work before Captain Rivia decided he wasn’t in as good of a mood anymore.
Cho was determined to find something out. The whole thing had been her idea (well, her and Ryan’s) in the first place, and she hadn’t uncovered a single clue about the enigma that was Captain Rivia.
She waited until she had some files she needed to take him, so her snooping wouldn’t seem as suspicious. She then waited until he left to get some of the shitty breakroom coffee. He always did that at specific times throughout the day, so it was easy to plan around that. At his 1:15-1:20 coffee run, she sent a wink to Ramirez and slipped through Captain Rivia’s door once he had disappeared into the break room.
Once inside, her eyes were immediately drawn to the bi flag sticking out of his pen mug. So Boyd had been right. Not that she hadn’t trusted him, of course, she would trust the man with her life (and had ), she just liked to see things for herself. She moved slowly through the room, looking for anything that might help. A picture frame, his phone to see the lockscreen, hell even his wallet to see if he had a picture of his spouse and kid, but she couldn’t find anything.
She was running out of time, so she quickly slipped the files onto his desk and planned to make her escape and pretend to be as unobtrusive as possible. And then her eyes caught on some paperwork. She smothered the grin that tried to fight it’s way onto her face and slipped back out the door, only to almost run into the captain himself.
“Oh, uh, hey, Cap!” She said cheerfully, trying to mask her nerves at almost being caught. “Was just dropping some files off on your desk!”
He hummed. Sized her up. “It’s ‘Captain’ or ‘Captain Rivia,’ Detective Cho.”
She fluttered her hands nervously in what was hopefully a placating motion. “Of course, Captain! Sorry, Captain!”
He hummed again, sipped his coffee, and entered his office without another word. She turned around to see her colleagues staring at her with expectant eyes. She gave them a grin and another wink before sitting down at her desk, wanting to downplay it first after nearly being caught so easily. They seemed to catch on and waited an hour before swarming her desk.
“I saw some paperwork.” She said, grinning smugly.
“And?” Ryan said, practically vibrating.
Ramirez rolled her eyes.
“His first name is Geralt . I think I pronounced that right.”
Greeves looked at her oddly. “You sure it’s not Gerald? Or just a weird spelling of it?”
She shook her head. “No, I’m almost positive not. Plus, weird name would explain his weird accent, right?”
Ramirez pulled out her phone and started typing.
Boyd scrunched up his face in distaste. “But Geralt ? Are you sure that’s even a name.”
“Yup,” said Ramirez, scrolling through something on her phone. “Pronounced like Cho said, too.”
Cho’s smug grin widened.
“Could be Germanic. Or Irish. Something like ‘spear-wielder’ or ‘fanner.’”
Greeves looked back at Captain Rivia -- at Geralt -- through his window and grimaced. “Spear-wielder seems much more accurate.”
Ryan waved his hand as if physically trying to clear the conversation. “Anything else?”
“Yeah. He’s only thirty-five .”
“Absolutely not,” Boyd said.
“I cannot believe that,” Ryan agreed.
Cho held up her hands in surrender and shrugged. “That’s what the paperwork said.”
Ramirez hummed in thought. “He’s much younger than I thought, frankly.”
They sat there for a few moments, taking in the information. The boys and Ryan seemed to still be in shock, but Ramirez and Cho accepted it.
“Get back to work,” Ramirez said.
So they did, before Captain Geralt Rivia could catch them slacking.
Greeves was hovering outside Captain Rivia’s office door. He had something really important to ask the man, but the blinds had been pulled down, so he didn’t think he would be allowed in. He wrung his hands and shifted from foot to foot, eyes darting all over the place. Eventually, he gave in to his curiosity and tried to listen in to what was going on inside to see if it was appropriate to interrupt.
“Ja--no, Jaskier, you can’t--” Captain Rivia was speaking in a far softer and far fonder tone than Greeves had ever heard him use before. It startled Greeves to the point where he almost reeled back, but he stayed rooted to the spot and continued to listen in. “-- I know, love, but this isn’t a decision you just make on a whim, I--”
Jaskier? Greeves thought, wrinkling his nose at the word. What kind of name was Jaskier anyway?
Forgetting about his pressing question, he skittered over toward Cho’s desk, where she and Ryan were once again playing paper football.
“I heard something,” he whispered.
Cho immediately looked up, dropping her goal posts from where Ryan would’ve made a perfect shot. They glared at her for a moment before they, too, processed Greeves words and turned to look at him with wide eyes. Knowing the drill by now, and recognizing the facial expressions, Ramirez and Boyd made their way over to the huddle.
“What did you hear?” Cho asked, practically bouncing up and down in her chair.
“A name,” Greeves said, drawing it out with a twinkle in his eye. He rarely got to be the popular one at work, with how awkward and anxious he could be around his coworkers, he was going to draw it out and savor it.
Even Ramirez was leaning forward eagerly. Cho and Ryan were practically vibrating. Boyd, as usual, had no taste for the art of suspense.
“What kind of name?” He asked, rolling his eyes at all the theatrics.
Greeves rolled his eyes right back, confidence gained from the fact that he held all the cards at the moment. “Captain’s on the phone with someone. Said their name and called them ‘love.’”
Ryan gasped and shook out their hands a little. “The spouse!” They whisper-shouted. “The spouse!”
“What was the name?!” Cho asked, shooting out of her chair.
“Jaskier,” Greeves said.
Boyd furrowed his brow. “ Jaskier ? Are you sure? What is it with these people and weird names?”
Greeves shrugged, rubbing the back of his neck and shrinking slightly. “It sounded like Jaskier, but it was pretty muffled through that big wooden door.”
Ramirez hummed -- she sounded more and more like the captain everyday, whenever she did that -- and whipped out her phone once more. She typed rapidly against the screen before humming thoughtfully once more.
“Well, there’s two options right off the bat,” she said. “Jaskier is the Polish word for ‘buttercup,’ or…” She trailed off, squinting at her phone.
“What?” Boyd asked, peering over her shoulder. He, too, squinted at what he saw. “Huh. Well it’s not that.”
“What?” Ryan asked.
“‘Jaskier’ is the stage name of a new up-and-coming independent music artist, he seems to be getting pretty popular pretty fast. Can’t find his real name, though.”
“That definitely couldn’t be the captain’s spouse,” Greeves agreed, feeling himself flush a bit from giving them all false information.
Cho hummed and shook her head. “Definitely not. He seems like the more ‘down to earth’ type, like he’d want someone who’s feet are on the ground, not floating in the clouds.”
“Hey,” Ryan said. “You can have your head in the clouds and feet on the ground at the same time. You just need to be really tall.”
“Or Elastagirl,” Ramirez said sagely.
Ryan nodded, equally sagely. “Or Elastagirl.”
“Well,” Boyd said, still squinting at Ramirez’s phone screen. “This guy doesn’t look like any Elastagirl , so I think he’s crossed off the list. Plus, he’s not wearing a wedding ring in any of these pictures, anyway.”
Greeves shrunk in a little on himself. “Yeah, I probably heard wrong. Sorry, guys.”
Cho shook her head, reaching out to squeeze his shoulder. “No, no, you did great! Now we at least know the name starts with a ‘Y’ sound, yeah?”
He smiled a little. “Yeah.”
“You’ll get ‘em next time, big guy,” Boyd said, awkwardly patting his shoulder and walking back to his desk.
Ramirez nodded to him and Ryan shot him some finger guns as they rolled their chair across the bullpen back to their own desk. Greeves couldn’t help but smile for real. He may not have gotten the most useful information, this time, but he did manage to learn that his coworkers didn’t hate him as much as he thought they did.
Captain Rivia had been their captain for a few months now. He was still an untalkative hardass, but the team looked upon these qualities more affectionately than they had before. Questions, especially ones of a personal nature, were still met more with grunts than with words, but that was fine. It made the game of figuring out Geralt Rivia far more fun.
And then the game became much more interesting when Captain Rivia came in late .
The captain was never late. About anything . He arrived at the exact same time every morning, left at the exact same time every afternoon, or at the same time every evening, depending on how late he was working that day. He had lunch at the same time every day, he had scheduled times when he would get his coffee.
And he was late . By a whole five minutes .
Not to mention, he was pretty disheveled when he walked into the office, too. Well, disheveled for him , and the word “trudge” was probably more accurate than “walk.” They’d never known their captain to trudge before.
His hair was not neatly styled in his signature half-up/half-down style, but up in a loose bun with flyaway hairs all over the place. His tie wasn’t so tight that they wondered if he was suffocating, it was loose enough to see that the top button of his shirt was even still unbuttoned. The chain of a necklace stuck out against the skin, but disappeared beneath his shirt. And his sleeves were rolled up to just above his elbows, jacket thrown over his arm.
And Boyd may be straight, and Cho may be a lesbian, but those forearms… Not even they could deny how attractive they were.
They each gave him their own customary greeting, whether it be with words or just a simple nod. Usually, Captain Rivia would grunt out a simple “good morning” to the room before disappearing into his office, but now, he simply waved a tired hand and slinked into his office. The detectives exchanged worried glances. Glances that only grew when Captain Rivia face-planted into his desk.
Thirty minutes passed and suddenly a striking woman glided into the bullpen. She wore a black and white dress that hugged her form beautifully and flowed around her feet at every step. She walked with power and grace and confidence, and Cho had to stop herself from proposing on the spot and waxing poetic about those violet -- fucking violet -- eyes.
Without a word or even a glance to any of them, she swept into the captain’s office, not even bothering to knock. They all watched through the window as he blearily raised his head at the intrusion, glare morphing into an expression of confusion at the woman in front of him. She handed him a large coffee from the cafe they knew he frequented every morning and he immediately took a deep swig. A few words were exchanged before the woman floated back out of the office.
She gave the room a smile. “Quite useless without his coffee, isn’t he?” She asked in a voice that suggested she knew more than she let on.
Without waiting for a response, she was gone.
“I’m in love,” Cho whispered.
“Get off it,” Ryan teased, tossing a crumpled paper ball in her direction.
“Oh, she can get--”
“Enough,” Ramirez said. “How do you know that wasn’t his wife?”
Greeves’ eyes went wide. “Oh my god, was that his wife ?!”
Boyd hummed. “Certainly seems like the type I’d peg him for. Powerful, cool, controlled. I wouldn’t mess with her. Or him.”
Cho nodded. “Power couple.”
Greeves cocked his head to the side and furrowed his brow. “How do we know it wasn’t his daughter?”
“Only thirty-five, remember?” Ryan said.
Greeves’ eyes went wide. “Oh yeah, the white hair always throws me off.”
Ramirez snorted. “Me, too. He reminds me of my grandfather sometimes, except he has hair .”
Boyd choked on the gulp of coffee he had just taken, spitting and coughing it up everywhere. It took a long while to clean up.
By lunch, Captain Rivia seemed back to his usual self. He must’ve had a hairbrush hidden in his office, because at some point he rolled down the blinds, and when they came up again, his appearance was, once again, immaculate.
No one knew how to ask about the woman, but they knew they wouldn’t get an answer even if they did.
Something continued to be off about the captain for a couple of weeks. He got better at hiding it, but he was so unforthcoming with information that they’d gotten too good at reading his body language for him to keep it to himself. No one dared mention anything, though. Especially on the days he came in looking like a mess (well, his version of a mess, which was still unfairly put-together) without his coffee, and that terrifying woman had to deliver it to him.
Ryan was running late again, as well, one of these mornings.
“Hold the elevator!” They called, racing through the lobby.
A hand shot out to stop the elevator door from closing and Ryan slipped inside as carefully as they could, panting and slicking their messy hair back with their hand. They look over to see who their savior was and froze in place.
It was her .
She gave them a smile that made Ryan feel like she’d already figured out all of their secrets in the bare second of eye contact that they held.
“Uh, hey,” they said, not certain how to proceed.
“Hello,” the woman said, flashing a smile that spoke volumes in a language that Ryan did not understand. “You work with Geralt, do you?”
Ryan cleared their throat and held out a hand, hoping she wouldn’t notice it shaking. “Yes, ma’am. Detective Kasey Ryan at your service.”
“Yennefer,” the woman said, shaking their hand with a firm grip. “It’s a pleasure.”
And then the elevator dinged and she slipped out without another word, sashaying through the bullpen to deliver Captain Rivia’s coffee. Ryan walked out far more slowly, far more dazed. All eyes were on them, begging for any sort of new information. They met Yennefer’s eyes through the window and she gave them a sly smile.
They sat down at their desk and began their work without another word.
It wasn’t until an hour after Yennefer had left the precinct that Ryan felt they could speak without the threat of her teleporting into the room and revealing all of their deepest, darkest secrets.
“I swear, she’s magic,” they said aloud, and immediately everyone converged on their desk.
“You spoke with her?” Cho asked.
Ryan nodded dumbly.
After a few seconds, Ramirez rolled her eyes. “Did she say anything that could be useful information?”
Ryan shrugged. “I think she probed my brain. Can people do that? I swear she’s some type of witch. Wizard? Sorceress ? She’s got purple eyes .”
“We get it,” Boyd said. “She’s beautiful in an absolutely terrifying way and could probably kill us all with a single look. But did she say anything?”
Ryan shook their head. “No, we just sort of… introduced ourselves? Her name is Yennefer.”
Greeves frowned. “Could that have been the name I misheard? On the captain’s phone call?”
Ramirez’s eyebrows shot up to her hairline. “It’s possible, yes.”
Cho forgot that they were meant to be sneaky and smacked Ryan’s desk. “So she is his wife!”
“Mystery solved, then,” Boyd said.
Greeves rubbed his thumb deep into the palm of his opposite hand in a repetitive, back and forth motion. “Does this mean we can stop being weird and spying on our boss ?”
“Absolutely not,” Cho said. “We still don’t know anything about his kid, I’m very curious about her. Not in a creepy way.”
“And then we can stop snooping?” Greeves asked.
“Sure,” Ryan lied.
As if they would ever stop snooping.
“The files you asked for,” Ramirez said, entering Captain Rivia’s office.
He hummed, taking a long drag of the coffee Yennefer had just dropped off. She watched him for a moment, before deciding to take a leap. As standoffish as he could be, she knew Captain Rivia wasn’t a bad guy, and did genuinely want to have a decent relationship with him.
“Your wife seems pretty cool,” she said, far-too-aware of how awkward and unlike her that sounded.
Captain Rivia looked up at her, eyebrows creased in confusion and mouth slightly ajar, and Ramirez thought it was possibly the most she’d ever seen him emote. She also did not know what she did wrong or how to proceed.
“My wife ?” He asked, confusion even more evident in his voice.
Ramirez faltered. “I, yes?” She said, stuttering uncharacteristically. “The-- the woman? That brings you coffee? That walks like she knows she’s the most powerful person in the room and looks at you like you’d better realize it, too? Yennefer?”
Captain Rivia’s face smoothed into an expression of understanding, an expression that stood much closer to his typical scowls than the mask of confusion. “Ah, Yen. She’s my ex-wife.”
Ramirez blinked. “Ex…?”
Captain Rivia hummed, finally taking the files from her hands.
“But-- Aren’t you married?” She asked, not used to being wrong.
“Yes.” He said plainly, clearly done with conversation and ready to work.
She took the hint and stepped out, the office door clicking quietly behind her. She stood there for a moment to take in the new information.
“Uh, Ramirez?” Greeves squeaked.
“Not his wife,” she hummed, making her way to her desk.
Cho and Ryan’s gazes shot toward her, immediately honing in on any new information discovered.
“What do you mean ‘not his wife?’” Boyd asked with a sigh, rubbing at his eyes.
“Yennefer. Ex -wife. He’s married, just not to her.”
They all sat in silence for a moment.
“Well, damn,” Cho said. Then, after a pause, she added, “Think she’s single?”
Ramirez was a very serious adult, but that didn’t mean she didn’t still like to have fun. She grabbed the three drinks off the bar and maneuvered through the crowded club, trying not to spill any. She heard Boyd whisper curses under his breath behind her as he got jostled and almost spilled the drinks he was carrying multiple times.
She set the drinks on the table they had claimed and immediately lifted her own to her lips. Ryan was too busy making out with their partner in the booth to reach for theirs, and Greeves seemed to have disappeared to the dance floor for the time being. Ramirez had to slap Cho’s hand away from stealing his drink after she shot back her own far too quickly.
“You think we should invite the captain one of these days?” Cho laughed over the music. “ Totally seems like his scene, right?”
Ryan pulled their lips away from their partner’s for just long enough to laugh at Cho’s joke and shoot her a sarcastic glance. Ramirez snorted and took another sip from her own glass, looking out toward the dance floor and raising an eyebrow at Greeves with two very attractive people hanging off of him, and even more staring at his… assets .
“Not exactly my scene, either,” she admitted. She turned to Boyd. “Where did you even find this place?”
She wasn’t sure through the club’s colorful yet dim lighting, but she could’ve sworn that his cheeks went a little red. “It, uh, that musician? Jaskier? Frequents here and said it’s pretty good and recommended it?”
Cho snorted and put her head on the table for a moment before looking back up at Boyd. “We discover some rando musician because we’re spying on our boss and you actually get into him?!”
Boyd was definitely blushing, now, and Ramirez held her glass up to her lips to hide her smirk. “Hey, his music is actually really good!”
Ryan pulled away to laugh again and reached for their drink, sharing sips with their partner. “He looks like a tween’s popstar dream. Did you see those tight pants? The flowery shirts?”
Boyd rolled his eyes. “Okay, yeah, some of his music is definitely super poppy and directed at that demographic, but even then it’s not bad . I don’t think he has a bad song.”
Ryan slid off their partner’s lap to get more comfortable in the booth, reaching for the second drink they ordered, sharing that with their partner, too. “Pretty easy on the eyes, too. I might get into him. What do you think, babe?”
Ryan’s partner scoffed. “I think you all are crazy for spying on your boss when he’s a police captain .”
Ramirez hummed. “Maybe so.”
She glanced back out at the crowd to check on Greeves, a habit she developed after regularly watching these idiots’ backs in the field. She didn’t like any of them remaining out of sight for too long. Her eyes searched the dance floor for far too long before they locked onto Greeves again, and she froze.
She thought perhaps she was seeing things wrong, but there was no mistaking it. Greeves was dancing with Yennefer , Captain Rivia’s ex-wife. He looked far more terrified than he had minutes ago and she was smirking with such amusement that Ramirez didn’t for a moment believe that the woman didn’t know what she was doing. When the current song melted into another, she grabbed Greeves by the hand and started directly toward their table.
Cho nearly spit out Greeves drink -- and Ramirez really should’ve been watching closer to save it, or ordered him a second, knowing Cho’s tendencies -- when she saw them approach. Yennefer gave them all a knowing smile, wide, teeth glinting. For the first time in a long time, Ramirez felt like prey.
“Hello, detectives,” she said.
Boyd recovered first. “Hello, Yennefer.”
“You know,” she said conversationally, leaning against the booth right next to where Ryan was sitting. “I didn’t believe Geralt at first when he said he thought you all were snooping on him. He can be paranoid like that.”
“He’s still not entirely sure, he hasn’t managed to catch any of you in the act well enough yet to be sure. But I know, and I think it’s fucking hilarious, so keep it up.”
Ryan perked up and peered up at her. “You wouldn’t be willing to--”
“I’m not going to freely give you any information,” she said firmly, then grinned again. “Where would the fun be in the game, then?”
Cho downed the rest of Greeves’ drink and grinned herself, raising the empty glass in the air. “She gets it.”
Yennefer gave her an appraising glance before holding out her hand. “Dance with me.”
Cho’s mouth formed a perfect “o” for a moment as she processed what was just said before she scrambled out of the booth so quickly that she almost fell flat on the floor. She delicately took Yennefer’s hand, clearly planning to chivalrously lead her out onto the dance floor, but Yennefer swiftly dragged them both out with barely a wiggle of her fingers to say farewell to the rest of the detectives.
And as Cho danced with the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen in her life, she could’ve sworn she saw a painfully familiar head of white hair, but she dismissed it. She had a gorgeous woman in front of her that deserved her full focus.
Greeves looked up instinctively as someone walked into the bullpen, just to satisfy his brain’s need to acknowledge a new presence and make sure it wasn’t a threat. The form was small and carried no aggressive body language so he looked back down. Only to do a double take when he realized that was the form of a child .
She had blonde hair so light it was nearly white and a glittery backpack hanging off one shoulder, her gaze flitting about the precinct innocently.
“Hey, uh, hey, kiddo,” he called out hesitantly, his voice finally drawing the attention of his coworkers to their new addition.
The little girl smiled at him and approached his desk. “Hi! I’m looking for my dad?”
Greeves shared a worried look with Boyd and Ryan across the room. Was her dad in a holding cell? Did someone send a child to pick up a criminal? How did she even get in ?
“Okay, um, well, why don’t you just sit here in this chair next to my desk. I’m Detective Jason Greeves, and--”
“Oh, I know!” She chirped cheerfully, taking the seat without complaint and letting the glittery backpack fall to the floor.
Greeves wondered if it was odd for a seemingly teenaged kid to have such a glittery backpack. He never was good with kids. He hoped that, if it was, she didn’t get bullied for it.
“You… know? Okay, uh, why don’t you tell me--”
“Cirilla?” A deep voice cut through Greeves’ anxious ramblings.
He looked up to see Captain Rivia coming out of the break room, a cup of shitty breakroom coffee in one hand. His brows were furrowed as his eyes locked onto the girl sitting next to Greeves’ desk. Greeves shot an even more confused look to Cho, but she just shrugged.
“How… did you get here?” Captain Rivia asked the girl.
The girl -- Cirilla, smirked in a way that felt oddly familiar to Greeves and stood, scooping up her backpack.
“Was I supposed to pick you up, I--” Captain Rivia switched which hand was holding his coffee to check his watch.
“Dad, no,” she laughed.
Greeves eyes shot up to his hairline. This girl was not what he expected whenever he pictured Captain Rivia’s daughter. Everyone else in the bullpen seemed to have similar face journeys, except for Ramirez who just seemed to be watching carefully.
Cirilla opened her mouth to speak again, then closed it and shot a look at the rest of them out of the corner of her eye and smirked again. “ Julian picked me up, we went on a secret shopping spree. I got dropped off here to distract you while he put everything away so you don’t know how much we bought.”
Greeves saw Cho grin out of the corner of his eye, and he knew they were thinking the same thing. This kid knew about the game, and she was perfectly happy to play along and throw them the tiniest of bones. She knew exactly what she was doing.
Captain Rivia pinched the bridge of his nose. “Ciri, I’ve told you both --”
“Mom was in on it, too,” Ciri said smugly, leaning forward on her toes for a moment before bouncing back down. “She thinks it’s funny when we buy things and don’t tell you.”
Captain Rivia sighed and held out an arm. Ciri skipped over without complaint and slipped under it with a grin. To all of their shock, he actually smiled back , a small, near-imperceptible thing, but a smile nonetheless, and led her toward his office.
“We’ll call someone to come pick you up, I have to work late today.” Then he looked up at all of them and raised an eyebrow, face back to its usual stony expression. “Get back to work.”
And so, not wanting to risk his wrath -- though they were starting to doubt he would have much of it for them, despite how cold and angry he seemed, he had never once blown up at any of them or anything of the sort -- they all returned to their work. Or, at least, pretended to. Because the moment the blinds slid down over the window, they all flew to Cho’s desk to gossip.
“We got another name,” Ryan said excitedly.
“Yeah, but what does it mean ?” Cho asked, shaking her hands out briefly in her own show of excitement.
Ramirez pulled out her phone, but Boyd put a hand on her wrist. “I don’t think they were literally asking what ‘Julian’ meant,” he said.
Ramirez shrugged and put her phone away. “Who’s the mom? Yennefer?”
“It would make sense?” Greeves offered, scratching at the grain on his desk. “I mean, she is his ex-wife, they could’ve had a kid together, right?”
Ryan scrunched up their nose. “She doesn’t really look like either of them, though.”
Cho shrugged. “Some kids don’t look like their parents.”
“Or we bring up the adoption option, again,” Boyd said.
“Maybe her mom will pick her up,” Cho said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Ramirez shrugged. “I still think it’s Yennefer.”
“Me, too,” Greeves said. Ramirez was almost always right, he felt pretty secure siding with her.
Some time later, a woman walked into the station. She carried herself with confidence and a kind smile, auburn curls bouncing as she walked. Ciri threw open Captain Rivia’s office door and ran out to greet her. They all sat on the edge of their seats.
The woman -- Triss -- laughed. “Ciri!”
Not Ciri’s mother, then. That supported the “Yennefer is ‘Mom’” theory.
Captain Rivia moved to stand in the doorway of his office. “Thanks for taking her home, Triss.”
She smiled. “Anytime, Geralt.”
“And tell--” his eyes darted out amongst the detectives and a twinkle appeared in them that none of them had seen before-- “ Julian that I said, no more surprise shopping trips. He’s spoiling her.”
Triss laughed and the grin on her face matched the twinkle in his eyes. “I’ll tell him. See you, Geralt.”
Captain Rivia hummed and continued to stand in the doorway, arms crossed tightly over his chest, until the two were safely out of sight. Then, he looked to all of them and raised an eyebrow. They all immediately tried to look busy and he retreated back into his office.
Boyd ate mechanically in the break room. This latest case was kicking his ass , and he just couldn’t figure it out. He couldn’t even have a peaceful lunch (late as it was) without it occupying his every thought. Captain Rivia marched in and went straight for the coffee, interrupting his thought process, and Boyd checked his watch.
Yup. Right on schedule.
What came next was not on schedule.
Captain Rivia must not have realized he was in the room, because he allowed his shoulders to slump a little as he rubbed at his eyes, then reached back to rub at one of his shoulders. He let out a heavy sigh as he rolled his neck, eyes closed so he still didn’t see Boyd.
And while his eyes were still closed, a man Boyd had never seen before sneaked through the door, silently as far as Boyd could tell, and started moving toward the captain with a feral grin on his face. Captain Rivia didn’t move or react, simply waited with his eyes closed for his coffee to brew. The man was almost upon him now and it finally clicked in Boyd’s frustrated and exhausted brain that, hey, maybe he should say something about this all. But before he could, the captain spoke.
“Eskel, I swear, if you try to jump on my back, I will drop-kick you out the window.”
The man -- Eskel, Boyd assumed, dropped his offensive stance. “Damn,” he said. “Thought I’d finally get you that time.”
“You too, Lambert,” Captain Rivia called, slightly louder.
Boyd furrowed his brow, then practically jumped out of his seat when a second man cursed behind him. He didn’t even see him come in . Lambert winked at him as he walked toward Captain Rivia.
“How’d you get in?” The captain asked, eyes still closed.
“Your presence is demanded at family dinner tonight,” Eskel replied, not bothering to answer the question.
“We’re here to make sure you actually come this time,” Lambert added, swinging an arm over Captain Rivia’s shoulders.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do--”
“We got your songbird in on it, too,” Eskel added. “He and Ciri are already over there helping Vesemir cook. He’ll be pissed if you don’t come.”
Captain Rivia pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed again. “Fine. I’ll be there.”
“By the way,” Lambert said, tone slightly mocking, “your detective looks like he’s seen a ghost. Think we scared him.”
Captain Rivia whipped around and met eyes with Boyd. Boyd wasn’t sure whether to cower, apologize, or run. Captain Rivia looked like he was going through the same emotional journey.
“Ignore my idiot brothers,” he eventually said.
Boyd simply nodded and went back to his lunch.
Hours later, after Captain Rivia had to excuse himself from work far earlier than usual and off schedule, Greeves looked up from his computer.
“Hey, does anyone know who those two weird, big, scarred guys were, today?”
“They were here for the captain,” Boyd said absentmindedly, glaring a hole into his file.
Cho stood up so fast that her rolling chair shot backwards and slammed into the wall. “Was one of them named Julian?!”
Boyd jumped and looked up at the racket. Everyone’s eyes were on him and he sighed and set down the file. Ramirez slipped it off his desk and started flipping through it as he explained.
“No, the one with the big scar was Eskel and the one with the smaller scars was Lambert. Captain called them his ‘idiot brothers.’”
Ryan stared down at their desk. “For some reason I imagined that Captain Rivia was just… created. He doesn’t seem like the type to be born , let alone have siblings .”
Ramirez looked up from Boyd’s file with a raised eyebrow. “He has a spouse, daughter, and ex-wife.”
Ryan hummed and frowned. “Yeah.”
“Apparently a dad, too,” Boyd said. “They were talking about some guy named Vesemir, sounded like a father figure.”
“What did they want?” Cho asked, clearly hungry for gossip.
“Cho, I’ve got a case --”
“I’m helping,” Ramirez said. “Answer her.”
Boyd sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, then snorted at the habit he had clearly picked up from the captain himself. “Something about a family dinner. Ciri and some guy that they called his ‘songbird’ were helping the Vesemir guy cook.”
Greeves furrowed his brow. “‘Songbird?’”
Cho leaned forward, practically vibrating in her excitement. “What if he’s Captain Rivia’s spouse?”
Ryan gasped. “Who is it, though?!”
Ramirez scoffed. “You’re all idiots,” she said, plopping the file back down on Boyd’s desk with a new set of notes from a fresh pair of eyes.
And then she packed up her things and went home because it was late and she was tired and had chores to do.
The next morning, things went as usual. Ryan was barely on time. Greeves had a hickey that he was barely hiding behind his shirt collar. Cho was practicing her paper football strategies on her own. Ramirez was the only one actually working.
Captain Rivia showed up at his usual time, immaculate as ever. After those few weeks where he was dishevelled, he took a weekend off and came back as put-together as ever. He took long drinks of his large coffee as he walked toward his office door. Every eye except his turned toward Ramirez as she stood and took a few steps toward the captain.
“Captain, sir?” She asked.
He hummed and just barely glanced in her direction as he unlocked the door.
“When do we get to meet your husband, Julian, sir?”
Gasps rang out throughout the room. Captain Rivia froze in his doorway, door creaking open with the force he had started to push it with before she said that. And then he huffed, a light, airy thing that made his shoulders shake, and they wondered if that could’ve possibly been a laugh . He glanced over his shoulder with a smirk -- a smirk !! -- as he walked into the small room.
“I’ll bring him to the holiday party,” he said, and then shut the office door behind himself.
“Holy shit , Emily Ramirez,” Cho practically shrieked, “you cracked the motherfucking case!”
Ramirez smirked as she went back to work. “I told you: You all are idiots.”
The holiday party came two weeks later. Greeves was wringing his hands, as usual. Boyd was taking advantage of the free food already. Ramirez was doing her best to look as uninterested as possible. Cho and Ryan (who was still pouting that their partner wasn’t free to come) were practically vibrating out of their skin, waiting to meet Captain Rivia’s spouse.
And then a familiar head of white hair walked in, a brunette on his arm. A brunette that was familiar enough that Boyd choked on his cookie and Ramirez spat out the sip she had just taken from her drink.
“ Jaskier ?!” She hissed, whirling on Greeves.
Greeves froze. “I heard right ?”
“No way,” Cho muttered. “No way, no way, no way.”
“Captain Rivia is not dating the sunshine boy ,” Ryan said.
“Not dating,” Boyd said through coughs. “ Married .”
“I can’t believe,” Cho whispered. “We knew it the whole fucking time, I can’t--”
“What the fuck ,” Greeves agreed.
Captain Rivia led Jaskier -- Julian?? -- over to their little gathering at the edge of the party. Captain Rivia looked at each of their individually shocked faces and smirked.
“Detectives, this is my husband, Julian Pankratz-Rivia.”
Julian -- Jaskier ?? -- waved his hand through the air. “Please, I prefer Jaskier. It’s what my friends have always called me.”
Ramirez recovered first, clearing her throat and stepping forward to offer her hand. “I’m--”
“No, no, wait!” Jaskier gasped excitedly. “I wanna guess!”
Captain Rivia rolled his eyes, but said nothing. He looked at Jaskier with a softness none of them had ever seen on his face before, save for perhaps the time Ciri had visited. Jaskier seemed to not notice the look, glancing between the five of them with a look of intense concentration. Then he brightened and grasped Ramirez’s still-outstretched hand.
“You must be Detective Emily Ramirez,” he said. “Your eyes hold that intense intelligence Geralt always talks about. He’s very proud of you!”
“Jaskier,” Captain Rivia muttered, looking, for the first time ever in their memories, sheepish .
But the damage was done. Ramirez couldn’t help the beaming smile that came to her face as she squeezed Jaskier’s hand a little harder with her joy. He returned her beaming smile and squeezed back. She stepped back and let him continue his little guessing game.
Jaskier pointed at Greeves, next. “You’re Detective Jason Greeves, I think,” he said. “You’ve got that ‘nervous but heart of gold’ energy that Ciri and Geralt talked about.”
Greeves nodded and offered a trembling hand to shake. “Pleasure, sir.”
“Oh, no no, no sir! Don’t worry about it, please, call me Jaskier!”
Greeves smiled and shook the hand in his a little more confidently. “Jaskier.”
Jaskier grinned and stepped back to examine the lineup once more. “Detective Kasey Ryan,” he said, holding out his hand to Ryan. “Thank you, my friend, for giving Geralt the confidence to bring that pride flag Ciri gave him into the office.”
Ryan flushed a little and laughed nervously as he shook Jaskier’s hand. “I, uh, didn’t know I did. I’m glad to have helped, though.”
At this point, Captain Rivia seemed to have given up. His face was buried in his hands, but they could see his red ears with the way his hair was braided back -- no doubt, they all thought, the work of Jaskier and Ciri -- and they knew the rest of his face probably matched. It was quite the experience, to see such a put-together man so easily taken apart and embarrassed by his spouse.
Jaskier held out his hand to Cho next. “Detective Helen Cho,” he said fondly. “I hear you started the whole game of ‘investigating’ my husband.”
Cho blushed a little, but shook his hand anyway.
Jaskier laughed. “I think it’s brilliant, he wouldn’t have told you anything anyway. And I also hear from our dearest Yennefer that you are quite the dancer.”
Cho laughed and relaxed. “Glad to know I made an impression. She certainly made one on me.”
Jaskier smiled wryly and winked at her. “She has that effect on people.” He turned to Boyd. “And finally, Detective Terrence Boyd!” He said, reaching out to hug the man briefly instead of shaking his hand, and then winking at him as well. “I hear you’re a fan of mine, good sir!”
Boyd sputtered briefly before laughing nervously and putting a hand to his forehead. “What the hell is going on.”
“Jask,” Captain Rivia murmured.
Jaskier turned to look at him. No words passed between them at all, but Jaskier perked up like the captain had said something to him, anyway.
“Oh, of course, dear heart! You go do that!”
Captain Rivia nodded and vanished off to somewhere. Jaskier turned back to the group of them, still staring at him dumbly.
“So,” Cho started hesitantly. “Yennefer hinted at it but… he knew?”
Jaskier laughed again. “Yeah, he figured it out. He said you weren’t very discreet, the way you huddled around desks and gossiped.”
Boyd snorted and then clapped a hand over his mouth. “God, no, I suppose we weren’t.”
“Don’t worry about it. Once he realized what was going on, I think the game was just as fun for him as it was for you all. Said he almost lost it when Ciri called me Julian in front of you all. She clearly had fun with it, too.”
Ryan frowned in thought. “I can’t even imagine Captain Rivia ‘losing it.’”
Jaskier snorted. “Trust me, at first, me neither.”
“Wait,” Greeves said. “Why don’t you wear a wedding ring? The pictures--” He cut himself off.
Jaskier held up his hand, which clearly did have a wedding ring on it, now, matching the captain’s. “I don’t wear it at shows or interviews or photoshoots. Geralt is a very private man, as you all clearly learned. Plus, the stress of fame is not something I want to put on him and Ciri, or the rest of the family. It’s nice to keep some things private, I think a few certain fans would rather be the type to harass if they learned I wasn’t single.”
Captain Rivia reappeared, a large, rectangular box in his hands. He had a wry smile on his face and he gestured for Jaskier to open it. Jaskier perked up again and flipped open the lid. The captain presented the contents to the five of them. It was a cake, careful lettering drawn on in icing:
Congratulations on finding my Not-So-Secret Husband
“You all are great detectives when it comes to your jobs,” he said. “But you’re pretty shit detectives when it comes to personal matters.”
Cho couldn’t help it. She snorted and burst into loud laughter, Ryan following quickly after her. They both doubled over, gripping each other to help themselves stay upright. Greeves couldn’t help but giggle a little, looking from the cake to his wheezing coworkers and back again. Boyd gave in and chuckled a little, shaking his head. Ramirez allowed herself another grin.
“I cannot believe,” she said, “that we had the name of your spouse within the first month, and yet we refused to accept that information.”
Jaskier joined in on the laughter. “Yeah, I suppose we’re not the most likely couple, are we, darling?”
Captain Rivia hummed, which only made everyone laugh harder. A wider smile made its way onto his lips. He leaned over, careful not to jostle the cake in his hands, and planted a kiss on Jaskier’s still-giggling lips. Wolf-whistles, cat-calls, and playful cheers immediately followed.
They placed the cake on a table and all grabbed a piece, and it was wonderful . Cho was on her second piece in, frosting likely covering her face but she didn’t care, when her eyes shot open in realization and she choked briefly on the bite in her mouth.
“The club!” She shrieked.
No one knew what she was talking about, even Jaskier seemed completely lost, but Captain Rivia himself threw back his head and laughed deeply.
“I was wondering when you would realize it was me,” he said once he calmed down. “You seemed a bit busy with Yen to make the connection.”
Cho put down her cake to promptly have a crisis.
“You saw him at the club and didn’t say anything?” Ryan shouted.
“Granted,” Boyd said, “I said it was a club Jaskier publicly recommended, so it would make sense if he and the captain were there together.”
Jaskier looked off in the distance wistfully. “I do love that club.”
“Why did Yennefer bring you coffee instead of Jaskier?” Ramirez asked, still trying to figure out why Captain Rivia had such a terrible few weeks a couple months ago.
Jaskier cocked his head to the side. “What do you mean, we get coffee together every morning?” He looked up at Captain Rivia. “At that fancy cafe you like?”
Captain Rivia shook his head. “When you had a few out of town shows.”
Jaskier grinned devilishly, waggling his eyebrows. “Aww, did you miss me?”
Geralt leaned into him. “I believe I showed you how much I missed you--”
“Get a room!” Ryan called, flicking a bit of frosting in their direction and missing.
And then they seemed to promptly realize that Captain Rivia was their boss and immediately tried to backtrack. Jaskier laughed, which made the captain stop giving them that “disappointed dad” look as he leaned into his husband once more.
“Thank you all, though,” Jaskier said, fiddling with his empty plate.
Greeves cocked his head to the side. “For what?”
“For being so welcoming to Geralt in his new job. For not making it more difficult for him. These sorts of things can be hard for him.”
“Jaskier,” Geralt admonished, looking somewhat embarrassed again.
Ramirez watched them, another smile growing on her face. “Eh, he’s alright.”
“Probably the best captain we’ve ever had,” Cho added.
Ryan grinned. “And he let us get away with goofing off and shit, it seems, since it looks like he always knew what we were up to.”
Boyd frowned. “Does this mean that we can’t get away with shit anymore, now?”
Geralt raised an eyebrow. “We’ll see.”
They knew him well enough to know that he was just saying that. They were totally still going to be able to get away with shit.
Plus, there was probably still plenty to secretly investigate about the man to keep the game going, whether he realized it or not.