Tangible Schizophrenia


In The Hole

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG
Pairing: None, really. Richard Messner and Paul Smecker gen.
Feedback: Good lines, typos, etc.
Disclaimer: These don’t belong to me. I’m making no profit.
Notes: Boondock Saints/Smokin’ Aces crossover. Post-film for both.
Summary: Richard finally debriefs.


“The biggest goddamn clusterfuck of all time.” Richard drummed his fingers against the table, watched a chip of blood fleck off a broken nail. His back ached, his ankles were numb, his wrists were going purplish beneath the handcuffs. “That’s what happened. Can I have a cigarette?”

The man across the table narrowed his eyes. “Your profile says you don’t smoke.”

“Well,” Richard said, smiling till his mouth hurt, “Paper lies.”

The man snorted. He was sitting with his legs crossed so high his knee edged over the top of the table. Immaculate suit, longish hair combed back like a hangover from the seventies. His hands were long-fingered and pale, with neatly-trimmed nails like he got a fucking manicure every morning. Fiftyish. He’d called the guard ‘honeybuns’ on the way to sending his fat ass to wait in the hall. “Your fingers aren’t yellow, princess.”

Richard blinked, then ducked his head and smiled again. He laughed too, even though he hadn’t had water in hours and his throat felt like the unvarnished side of a floorboard. “Fuck you. I smoke now.”

Something skittered over the table, and when he looked up, a perfect white carton was sitting in front of him, its pristine cellophane wrapping bouncing the overhead light onto his grimy nails. He extended a finger, then put its tip down on the carton and pulled it closer. Then he picked it up and tore into it, not caring if the priss on the other side of the table was aghast or taking it in stride.

He had to look up once he’d put a cigarette between his lips, but once again, the guy did him a favor by greeting him with a flame right in front of his face. He lifted the tip of the cigarette tip right in the middle of it, and swish, it was lit. Richard leaned back and inhaled deeply, and it burned like hell but he didn’t cough.

“Chasing cancer already?” the guy said.

“Carruthers used to say that,” Richard observed, not thinking. Then he grimaced and sucked down another drag.

The man pursed his lips. “Yeah, he did. That’s why I said it.”

Richard stared at him. Then he reached up and took the cigarette from his mouth; flecks of ash floated off the tip and circled his hand as they went up, went down, went fucking sideways. “Who the hell are you again?”

“Paul Smecker.” Reclining again, Smecker folded his hands over his knee. He held the cigarette carton near his mouth and like magic, a thin white cylinder rose from the top. After pulling it the rest of the way out with his lips, he flicked the lighter at the tip; the flame cast serious gargoyle shadows over his face. “I’m here to offer you a deal.”

“With the FBI or with the devil?” Richard asked skeptically.

Smecker snorted, his cheeks going concave around the cigarette. He looked judgingly at Richard and he liked what he saw, and his liking made Richard look a little harder at the man. Feds didn’t like things; Feds were devoted to things and let that fucking devotion eat them all up inside till there was nothing left but a walking talking puppet. Feds were all about righting wrongs and wronging rights. Feds didn’t fucking stare like that, light-eyed and amused.

“With God,” Smecker finally said, smiling slightly. “You try him yet, sugarpie?”

Richard put the cigarette back to his mouth and dragged on it, then let streams of smoke sting their way out his nostrils. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

“No.” The other man suddenly shifted, uncrossing his legs and leaning forward. The red tip of his cigarette pointed right at Richard like a laser-scope. “Messner, are you prepared to try God?”

“We talking a thirty-day trial period here?” Richard shot back.

Smecker snapped his ash way over to the left, not smiling now. “Think a little more medieval.”

Richard sat back and looked at the other man, trying to get past the angles that sloped his gaze right off Smecker’s face into the shadows. Then he sucked down some more nicotine smoke; the handcuff chain scratched coolly at his chin. You are not the judge and jury, you selfish prick! Locke had screamed at him, glass cracking and cracking but not breaking. But weren’t they? Everybody else sure as hell had figured themselves to be and where was Richard now for being the lagger? Where was he?

Crazy, maybe, he thought. He smiled; his mouth hurt but he didn’t mind. “Just call me the Spanish fucking Inquisition, man.”