Author: Guede Mazaka
It's been a late night of glitter trash and ink bleeding over reams of useless reports, gum sticking up Paul's shoes and gun oil greasing his fingers. He was planning to cruise for a pick-up, but one look at his neurotic printer suggests he stay home and do the paperwork bullshit.
When he gets home, another glance at his bulging briefcase says he should just take a shower, trash his shoes and let a few fifths of whiskey settle him beneath the blankets. He gets through the first two items all right, but in the middle of the third, someone tries the door. Paul rolls his eyes and takes out the living-room gun from its drawer, listening for the give-take of paired teases. "It's a day short of Friday, kids."
"Kids?" The answering voice is loud and brash, tweaked car horn compared to the McManus boys' piccolo chiming. Greenly.
And Paul just thinks fuck, because that's twice he's gotten it wrong in less than a week, and he really can't afford to not be able to identify people in the dark. Seeing as he pretty much lives in that now, no matter how bright the sun is shining. "Sorry. I keep forgetting there's only one of you, seeing as it takes both your heads to do your thinking."
"Christ, it's after hours. Can't you lay off, just for-" Greenly breaks off, still standing in the little foyer.
Paul takes advantage of the awkward pause to put away the gun, because deep down he actually likes Greenly. The guy's an idjit to the nth degree, but he does have balls. Which can't be said for most of the dicks Paul meets. "What?"
Feet shifting over carpet, and Paul remembers too late that he hasn't scrubbed out the latest bloodstains. Maybe he should just give up and strip back to the wood flooring.
"The Dellacroce case isn't budging, and the higher-ups are shifting it to your lap. Seeing as you were around the last time this pennies-on-the-eyes thing started up." Greenly's directly behind the couch now, and if Paul wanted to, he could set the man down just by slamming his head into the stomach that's warming his hair. "I didn't know they'd gotten back in town."
"Three high-profile shootings in the last week. The only way it could've been made more obvious would have been if they'd taken out a notice in the paper." Speaking of, a thick batch of folders slaps down beside Paul, like Greenly had wanted to knock out Paul with them instead, but had realized that he didn't have the…panache to pull off an apartment murder.
Greenly's been eating something with onions. He reeks, and that just makes the frustration in his voice even more palpable. "What the hell, all right? What the hell? I'm doing you a favor by running this down instead of calling you to pick it up, and this is what I get?"
"No, you came here to see how the fag man lives. Go back to your beat, and stop poking your big long prick into nasty corners. You'll make more babies that way." Paul flips open the topmost folder, and the fleeting glimpse he gets is enough. Enough to tell him he'll have to do a hell of a lot of shuffle-fast-talk-dice to get this away from the Saints' doorstep. Officially, anyway.
Thing about belief, real belief-the kind that trails slick black and stinking brown and crusty rust-is that it requires two things: heart and stomach. Mind is optional, as attested to by all the many brainless wonders held close in history's pages. Well, Paul knows he has the gut for it. And he thought he had the heart. Other thing is, it's been a while since he's actually used that part of himself. It's a lot more painful than he remembers.
"I don't fucking deserve this. Look, I'll get you coffee and donuts and all that, but I refuse to take your bullshit sympathy act. And stop talking about my dick!" Greenly's uncomfortable. He's also coming dangerously close to hitting the mark. He does that, sometimes, and that's why the flicker of interest stays lit. The guy's capable of surprising Paul.
"Why? Does it make you think inappropriate thoughts?" It's sympathy ploy, not act, but if Greenly's not buying, then Paul isn't, either. The banter can wait till morning, when the hang-over will be enough to get Paul through another day of trying to keep the twins' asses out of Federal frying pans while also trying to keep his ass where it is. Where it can do something. So he wants Greenly out, so he can get back to fueling that hang-over without feeling embarrassed about it.
He really hates the feeling of embarrassment. Especially since it doesn't come around very often.
Greenly is being very quiet. Paul looks up, and he's almost shocked by the intensity he finds. The other man's always come off as a bit of a lightweight, a tall tower made of paper that blows over in the smallest breeze. One of origami's traits, though, is its ability to be recreated very quickly.
"I'm not gay," Greenly declares.
Now Paul's bored again. "You know, just because I fuck men doesn't mean that giving you a key to here equals gilt-edged invitation. Fuck off."
"You're just such a bastard." And the kiss is in the standard script for this sort of thing, so Paul really should've seen it coming. He doesn't, though.
It's a lot of rolling on the floor. Greenly's a biter, and Paul's not, but Paul feels quite at liberty to use elbows and knees-doesn't that get a reaction-and feet. He's half-thinking of getting untangled even as his shirt's being clumsily undone, as his mouth gets stuck somewhere between Greenly's ear and shoulder, as his hands decide that getting down into Greenly's pants where it's fucking warm is a good thing.
He makes a note to look up the other man's first name. 'Greenly' isn't meant for panting, or groaning, or anything short of derisive sarcasm. Which Paul's slightly less than capable of when Greenly displays some actual dexterity with cock-manipulation.
They end up against a wall, grinding each other into oblivion, and it's a damn good thing that Paul knows his way around concealer because his neck is already stinging. Just for those, he rakes his nails down Greenly's sides, making the other man jump into a climax. Messes up the carpet even more, but Paul can't see it happen because he's a little preoccupied with almost passing out.
And then Greenly spots the bloodstain in the corner. His face goes flat, a little disbelieving. "You had them over."
"Connor and Murphy. They have names." Paul whacks Greenly in the head as he climbs off. "You should know; after those 'stomping murders' you were hanging around their cell as much as the rest of them."
"Oh, fuck you." Greenly smacks Paul back, and wipes at his sticky stomach. He doesn't look Paul in the eyes. "Um…can I borrow your shower?"
Paul gets his pants and discovers the fly-button's flown away, like a pretty butterfly. "I don't know, can you? You might get Murphy-cooties."
"You fucked them?" True to form, Greenly continues to ask stupid questions.
"Them? I mention one in a completely innocent context, and you make a leap to the plural? Greenly, what have we said about my thinking and the Boston police?" Which isn't entirely fair of Paul, but he doesn't give a shit. He knows what's coming. Cue the whining.
Actually, what Greenly does is swipe himself off with a wad of tissues, rip on his clothes and throw Paul a dark look as he stalks towards the door. "I give up. You're not fucking human."
"I didn't even know you were trying." But it's a half-hearted retort, because Paul's already falling back into his little mud-wallow and he's too disgusted with himself. He's got an itch where the McManus brothers are concerned, and it's spilling over into the rest of his life. It's fucking with him, and he really does not enjoy being fucked with.
He wants it to be just a clear-cut case of him helping a cause that helps him, but it's somehow not quite. He wants it to be him not having to waste time on the obvious scum, no matter how prettified they've become, so he can spend more time on the complex cases. The cold trails, the unsolved puzzles of the gutters and the suburbs and wherever else. He does not want to sit up at night, hoping for a phone call. He's not a teenager anymore, and he never was a girl. Or a fag.
Greenly's hand is on the knob.
"It was one guy with six guns." Paul has no idea why he says this-well, actually he does, but it's so insane that he doesn't consider it for more than a few seconds.
"No shit." The other man half-turns, cockiness already coming back. "So I did get that right, and you were wrong."
There's a stack of clues to sift in the next room, and some evidence to twist away from the angelic Irish twins. Paul retrieves his whiskey glass and pours himself just enough to cover the bottom. "Gloating does nothing except get you a swift emasculation, Greenly. Now you've earned the honor of sitting down and attempting to convince me that that wasn't just nature sneezing."
Greenly's first name is Michael. And he can make a decent breakfast.
The next night, the look on Connor's face when Greenly opens the door is priceless. So is Murphy's sudden fit of coughing.