Author: Guede Mazaka
It's a cup of coffee. Simple, right? You pour the grinds into the filter, then add the water and drum your fingers on the countertop while the damn thing seems to drip slower and slower. That's if you're in his apartment-because it's always his apartment, since yours isn't good enough for a high-and-mighty Fed like legendary Paul Smecker.
legendary for his snits and breakdowns as much as for his impressive record. duffy says that Paul was down in D. C. once and nearly got two congressmen killed with a flip-out in the middle of the street
If you're not in the apartment, which is freakishly neat, but also pretty damn nice with plenty of top-notch creature comforts, then you're waiting in some nickel-and-dimed corner store. The stains on the counter look too much like the ones the lab guys were scraping off the walls two blocks over, the punk zoning out on the other side of the chips rack looks like a robbery in the making, and the coffee isn't strong enough to cover the stench of dog shit the whole place has. You've got your head down because you're embarrassed as fuck to get a put-down five fucking seconds after you showed up, because you're cursing the snotty bastard with his elegant little fuck-you asides, and because you know that all the zombies wandering around the store don't give a shit. They maybe think you're weird as hell for standing there and muttering at the chip in the counter edge, but they don't know and don't care who Paul Smecker is. Or who Michael Greenly is.
Outside a small circle of law enforcement officers and the occasional pert-assed Irish boyo, no one gives a fuck. It's all relative. So why do you? Why the hell should it matter what one embittered old queer thinks about your mental processes?
and jesus, greenly. we don't need to know when you got some, and we definitely didn't need to know that it was smecker.
shut the fuck up, duffy.
gotta say, now i'm curious. he really as coldblooded as he acts?
Hell if you know. Smecker clearly doesn't care for social mores, and now that he's struck up a…something…with the twins, he's drifting a bit from legal mores as well. You don't think for a second that he's lost the way the stoners in the 7-11 are; he's got his o-pin-ion, and God help anyone that tries to disabuse him of it. It's more of a mismatch between his private idea of right and wrong, and everyone else's. In that respect, you can get why he would keep hanging out with the pretty little McManus vigilante weirdos.
Well, that and Smecker's deal for young, nice-looking bits of meat that are shorter than him. Faithfulness and Paulie are…not really acquainted in the bedroom. Not that you've ever asked for that-hell, half the time you chase the nearest skirt in hopes of getting a non-mockable reason why he can't take you up to his place-but it's just a little annoying. He could at least get rid of the fucks before he calls you up to discuss whatever case is currently riding both the BPD and the Fed's asses.
Smecker? Damn it, I know you're in there! You do not fucking call me at two A. M. because of some break-through you had and then make me wait. No matter how brilliant your fucking idea is!
Hey, man. Don't yell at Paulie like tha-ow! Paulie, you bitch-ow!
Here's your shirt. It was a nice night. Really. Don't ever call me that again or-actually, don't call. That's nice and simple and even you can handle that. And Greenly, you'd better have remembered the Sweet 'n Low this time.
It does make you wonder what the deal is with you two. Assuming it's a simple fucking arrangement does make things easier on the head and the vague area in your gut that twinges every so often when he fails to insult you, but it cuts out a lot of shit that refuses to be ignored. Like the fact that you're a foot taller and much heavier and could probably smack him into the wall if you wanted to, yet he always ends up on top. Without much protest from you, either. And like the fact that he's a bastard, hands-down all around, yet you find him stinking drunk and propped up against your doorframe about once every six weeks.
This roughly corresponds to hometown visits by the Saints. It's a better predictor for a suddenly-increased workload in the future than word on the street.
He still doesn't ever come inside, and you always end up driving him home. And then you end up squirming beneath him as he clumsily snags fingers on your shirt, on your jeans fly-on your dick that one time. Smecker tastes stale and sour like lemon in milk left on the counter, yet you lick it up and groan and sometimes you even beg when his fingers start groping into your ass.
you need therapy. or you could at least stop with the coffee shit when i'm here.
i go to confession. it's cheaper and their right to silence has been upheld in the courts more often. lesson to take away here, greenly: you can fuck with the code of the profession, but you can't fuck with the religion 'less you want the real fanatics to come out of the woodwork.
that explains a lot.
don't try to glare; it makes you look as if you'd be right at home in a kindergarten. And what are you doing here, anyway?
…here's the fucking coffee. i'm going now-oh, you might wanna change your sheets. they reek.
Times like those, you wonder if he's just being ornery or if he really doesn't remember. Smecker does know how to go on a really, really fucking bad bender when he wants to, and-well, he mumbles. Babbles. When he's that loaded. And you start out nodding and smiling and cursing under your breath, and you usually end up nearly screaming at him for passing out in the middle of something that sounded damn important.
He wouldn't tell you that kind of shit if he knew what he was doing, definitely. For some reason, you've never brought any of that up, or even hinted that you knew. Maybe that's respect. Because you do, under all the annoyance and frustration, respect the bastard for being superior as hell at what he does, for cutting through the bull-shit-and yeah, even yours is included-and for holding his own ground. Smecker does what he wants, how he wants. He doesn't play up to the higher-ups, yet he always manages to come out on top.
Though according to him, he's been compromising since day one and he fucking hates himself for doing it.
Maybe it's just Smecker not being able to make it to a confessional in time. You don't think you give off a priest-vibe, but till Smecker showed up, you didn't think you were stupid, either. Now that thought crops up on a regular basis, and you snap and snarl at it and then you go study like you never ever did in your entire life. Of course, the next time you see Smecker, he just proves that all of that effort was for shit.
It hurts. Sometimes you can't tell whether that's good or bad, because you're just that confused.
can't you just find another scapegoat? aren't i getting boring for you?
greenly, your stupidity is such that i am constantly discovering new expressions of it. it's better than watching talk-shows.
you're a nasty son of a bitch, you know?
think of it as extreme avoidance training. that way, you'll never pull the same bit of idiocy twice.
So that's just how weird it is. It's gotten to the point where you can't tell whether you're up or down, left or right, or even just still on your feet. Doesn't help much that Smecker's constantly twisting around himself, turning his whole strange package inside-out for a prolonged airing of a side you never ever would've associated with him.
He actually hasn't had any pouty twerps over in the past two months, as far as you can tell, and when all's said and done, you didn't get your detective rank by sucking cock. The Saints have been in town twice, and the first time, one of the twins actually brought beer-soaked Smecker back to your place. You think it was Murphy. In all honesty, you try not to get too close to them and whatever Smecker does with them, because it gives you vague shifty feelings in your stomach, and Smecker already is threatening to give you an ulcer.
The second time, Smecker showed up by himself. Sober. In the middle of the day. It was a free day for you, so you bitched and moaned, but you went out with him to look at the case anyway. And you wrote shit down in your notepad, and he restrained himself from commenting on your bad insights while there were other people around. Then you caught dinner.
so who's paying?
First, this is a fast-food drive-through. Second, you're driving. Third, as far as I can tell, we both have dicks. Stop acting like a high-school girl, Greenly.
Then you owe me two-fifty-five.
Two fifty. Learn arithmetic while you're at it.
Halfway through, the lab called, and you drove over to listen while Smecker debated results with the forensic freaks. Then there was yet another call, you were officially back on duty, and the Saints were unofficially back on the Boston clock.
So it's midnight now, your free day's down the drain and clogging up the plumbing, and you're counting out change for Smecker's coffee. If all the java in the world were to disappear, you wonder how long he'd last before he permanently flipped out.
christ, greenly. what'd you do, stop to chat up one of the corner whores on the way back?
fuck off and drink your damned coffee. and yeah, it's got sweet 'n low.
greenly, stop staring and move. you're standing in a bullet trajectory. go…i don't know, be useful and see why the fuck the photographer's not done yet.
What the hell did Smecker do before he had you to fuck around? It's an interesting question. Right up there with who am I and where did I come from and why am I here, only a little more relevant to your current situation because you know you're Michael Greenly, you're Boston born and bred, and you're here to take off Smecker's edge. It's a shitty job, but someone's got to do it, and he's terrible at doing it himself.
For a moment, you're almost whistling as you walk away. And then he calls after you-
--and you sip the coffee you got yourself while you were at the 7-11, and you think that hey, this is actually good shit. Pure caffeine. The secret to life as you and Smecker know it.