Helping Hand
by Kayryn

Rated: G
Summary: Prompt fic (sorta, I came up with a head!canon, but defyingnormalcy turned it into a prompt for me) / Since Hobbs' first appearance on The Closer in ep 5x14, Andrea's style has become slightly more elegant and slightly more groomed. Perhaps it's due to Sharon's influence?
Disclaimer: TNT's & James Duff's. Not mine. Never was, never will be. If it was, a certain blonde DDA would be featured in plenty more episodes.
A/N: Does *not* take place in the same fic universe as my other Major Crimes fics. Stand alone.

Sharon Raydor knocked on the closed door and waited until she heard a faint 'come in' from the other side.

She opened the door and was greeted by a clearly tired, but smiling, DDA Hobbs.

"DDA Hobbs, thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this case," Sharon said by a way of greeting. The Captain had come to seek legal advice on a case where her investigation of a narcotics detective had taken a shocking, and tragic, turn.

"It's not a problem, Captain, I could use a break from my other cases," Andrea Hobbs promised the brunette, her eyes immediately drawn to the two take-away grande lattes Sharon was carrying. "Please tell me one of those is for me."

Raydor smiled and handed one of the coffees to the other woman. "Grande skimmed latte with a touch of hazelnut."

"How did you-," Andrea managed, before realizing the answer herself. "Gavin."

"Yes, I asked Gavin if there was something I could entice you with to give me some of your time, and he assured me this would do the trick," Sharon explained. When she had called Gavin earlier in the day to request his advice on the current situation, he'd informed her he was on vacation, and suggested Sharon talk to Andrea instead. The women didn't know each other that well, but, Gavin was a mutual friend and Sharon was certainly aware of Andrea's skills as a prosecutor.

Andrea, though, couldn't help but think that if the Captain was looking to entice her to help on anything at all, all she needed to do was show up and ask; Andrea was quite attracted to the woman and had, for a while now, tried to gather courage to ask her out. There were rumors about an estranged husband (or possibly an ex-husband, no one was quite sure which), and of course Andrea had no way of knowing if Raydor would even be open to the suggestion, but Andrea could swear she'd felt Sharon's gaze linger on her a few times. They hadn't really had a chance to work together before now, but they'd crossed paths often enough. And, of course, Gavin wouldn't shut up about how wonderful Sharon was.

"Heaven," Andrea sighed happily after she took a sip of the coffee. Then, she rearranged some files on her desk before looking back at the Captain, all business. "Please, take a seat. You're working on the Richards case, right?"

The Captain nodded, placing her own coffee at Hobbs' desk. This case had shaken not only Los Angeles, its citizens and law enforcement alike, but the entire nation. Detective Richards had found his wife and two young children murdered, and media had pounced on the case, milking the tragic story of a heroic narc detective losing his family for all it was worth. Everyone in the force had consoled Richards, offered their support and they'd spent three weeks working day and night trying to find the killer. After exhaustive search they had finally closed in on their suspect, who, according to Richards, had blackmailed him. Only, as several units had surrounded the suspect, detective Richards had arrived at the scene and, after a brief confrontation, shot the suspect. Everyone chalked it up to Richards being overwhelmed when he'd finally come face to face with the killer of his family, rushing to defend his actions as justified.

But, when Sharon had interviewed him, his story hadn't quite matched up, and finally she'd caught him in a lie. Then, realizing his slip and trying to correct it, he made another mistake and in less than five minutes Raydor had learned the horrific truth of how Detective Richards had murdered his own family.

Now, Sharon was dealing with an extraordinary amount of pressure from the entire LAPD, and she needed to make sure that when she presented her part of the investigation to her bosses she had everything covered; this included every legal issue the defense could come up with. There had been too many mistakes made on the case already, everything from here on out needed to be airtight.

"I hate these kinds of cases," Andrea confessed. "It gives the rest of us a bad reputation; not just the police but everyone who's trying to uphold the law."

"I know," Sharon agreed, bending down a little to pull out a folder from her bag. "I'm afraid we'll feel the aftereffects of this one for years to come."

Raydor handed the folder over to Andrea, but, in the process, knocked her coffee cup over. She cursed as the hot liquid spilled all over, narrowly missing her tan skirt.

"Oh, god, I'm so sorry," Andrea apologized, already up to fetch napkins from a drawer behind her. She grabbed a few from the packet and dropped to knees on the floor to clean it.

"Not your fault, Andrea; I'm the one who's clumsy," the Captain countered, following Andrea's example. "I'm just glad I didn't ruin the skirt; it's my favorite."

"Mine, too," Andrea blurted out, horrified as she realized what she'd said. "I mean-,"

Sharon, on the other hand, looked up, surprised. Andrea had blushed, clearly struggling to explain her reaction, and Sharon became even more intrigued, a smile playing on her lips.

Andrea cleared her throat and, gathering her courage, forced herself to continue: "I mean, you always look so impeccable and I… well, to be honest I can't help but admire you. Your sense of style, I mean."

Understanding flashed in Sharon's eyes, and her smile grew just a little bit wider. She took the coffee soaked napkins from Andrea's hand and together they got back to their feet. They stood inches from each other, Sharon studying Andrea's face, trying to discern if she dared to take a leap of trust. What she saw was uncertainty, hope and a little fear. As she saw the hope begin to diminish, Sharon finally made her decision.

"I'd planned on going out shopping on Saturday; maybe you'd like to come along. I could introduce you to a few of my favorite stores and, afterwards, we could have lunch?"

The bright smile that reached the younger woman's eyes was answer enough, but, still, Sharon felt a certain giddiness when Andrea nodded.

"I'd like that."

The End