[in which Joe gets yelled at. I keep waiting for someone who's really a cop to tell me exactly how wrong this all is -- I've been winging it on common sense and chutzpah so far. I really, really hope the stats I'm pulling out of the air are wildly overstated for dramatic reasons too]
Joe walked back to the rec room to see if there was anything else that Steve needed. Joe wasn't exactly sure what he was going to do. He felt numb and sick. His empty stomach hurt. His throat hurt.
Steve was sitting at a table in the corner of the room, papers spread out. He had a battered laptop open and running.
"You okay?" Steve asked. Joe looked like he'd been run over by a truck. Which, all things considered, he sort of had.
Joe looked at him like he was insane. "No."
Steve shrugged. The interview had kicked the shit out of him. He had a headache coming on, and like it or not Joe was going to have to figure out how to deal with it himself. Steve was having enough trouble of his own. Joe was a nice enough guy and all, and maybe he was dating Chris' crazy alter-ego, but he wasn't family. Not yet.
"So what do you do with her next?" he asked.
Steve shrugged. "Probably nothing."
"Nothing? What do you mean nothing?" Joe was confused.
"She's probably told us all she's going to," Steve said. He shuffled through the papers on the table and poked at his computer a little.
"That's it then? You just drop her?" Joe sounded incredulous. He'd seen Steve with his kids, and Chris' kid. He couldn't believe Steve would just leave Stephanie.
"No, of course not. Social services will take care of her."
"That's not good enough! How can you sit there and, and