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Story Notes:

This is a tag/missing scene for Romeo & Juliet & Juliet, the first episode of Season 5. Juliet is temporarily reassigned after the clock tower, and after rewatching the episode, I wondered how other people in the station apart from the usual crew would react to her being gone.

“I’m going on temporary reassignment,” she had explained to him as she had to everyone else. “I’ll be back soon.”

“Come back when you’re ready,” he said quietly. “You don’t want to push it and risk hurting yourself. You’ve got all the time in the world, you know?”

She smiled sadly. “Thanks for understanding. I think you’re the only person who does.”

She was probably right. He’d gone on temporary assignment himself after he’d been shot and captured by a cartel enforcer back in Arizona. It had taken him three weeks to get back to the force full-time, and not just because of the fracture in his collarbone. Some things take even longer to heal.

“Just take care of yourself,” he said finally. “We’ll all be here for you when you get back.”

She smiled again---just a tiny one---and picked up the box of personal effects that she’d cleared out of her desk. “Thanks.”

Then she’d left for City Hall. That was two weeks ago, and he hadn’t seen her since. He wasn’t sure if anyone had, except for maybe Gus and Shawn.

So he didn’t really know why, one morning, he found himself hovering over her empty desk, staring at her upside-down nameplate. He’d passed by on the way to the file room, and like a magnet, the desk had pulled him into orbit, forcing his conversations with her to float into his mind. Sighing, he set his folder onto the desk’s surface and ran a finger across the top of that nameplate. When he was done, his skin was coated with a thin layer of dust. Dobson sighed again, shoving his hands into his uniform pockets.

“I miss her too,” a voice said quietly, startling him. Dobson saw Buzz’s enormous shadow before his friend actually moved into his field of view.

“Hey, Buzz,” he said wearily. “How long’s it been, two weeks now?”
“Do you think she’ll come back?”
Dobson nodded slowly. “She will. She has to.”
“When she’s ready.”
Buzz frowned. “I hope she’s okay.”
Dobson heaved a sigh. “Me too. C’mon, Buzz. Let's go.”

The folder remained behind, completely forgotten.

About an hour later, Dobson and Buzz were taking a short coffee break when Lassiter barged over to Dobson’s desk with a file in hand, fuming.

The detective slapped the folder down onto the desk with a loud smack. “What’s the meaning of this?” he demanded.

Dobson looked at the file and then back at Lassiter. “Looks like a case file to me.”

“I know you left this on O’Hara’s desk, and I want to know why,” Lassiter snarled.

“Look, Lassiter---”

“That’s Head Detective Lassiter to you, Sergeant. And you of all people should know that Detective O’Hara’s workspace is off-limits to anyone and everyone in her brief period of absence. O’Hara will be coming back to work any day now, and I will not tolerate anyone disrespecting my partner this way! Am I making myself clear?”

Dobson’s calm, lake-blue eyes scanned the detective for a brief moment. Then the tall, stocky officer slowly stood up, drawing himself to full height. “Do you really think I don’t miss her, Head Detective? Because I do. She’s the only person---apart from Buzz here---who talks to me every single day. She’s the only one who regularly notices my existence, and she’s the only person at this station who actually knows anything about my life. So before you jump to conclusions, Head Detective, maybe you should remember that you’re not the only one who’s worried about her and wondering whether or not she’ll come back. Capiche?” He paused for just a second in his calm---but dangerous---tirade. “Oh, and thanks for returning the file.”

With that, Dobson returned to his seat and took a sip of coffee.

“I miss her, too,” Buzz added.

For a split second, Lassiter had no idea what to do or say. “Duly noted.”

When Lassiter returned to his desk, he grabbed every file that he had on the Chiang kidnapping case and threw his jacket over his shoulder.

He needed to take a trip to City Hall.
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