This is all, without reservation, gyzym 's fault. She loves me, and really, I do not know why, so please address any hate mail and/or marriage proposals to her, please. (Actually, just the marriage proposals. Hate mail, bring it on, babies.)
Buckle your seatbelts, kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
these are the badlands
[you know we're never gonna back down]
Frankie Flannery: Either they forgot about us, or this entire fuckin' neighborhood better get ready to duck.
- State of Grace
Jimmy Malone: What are you prepared to do?
Eliot Ness: Everything within the law.
Jimmy Malone: And then what are you prepared to do?
- The Untouchables
- The Untouchables
Chapter One: the stuff that dreams are made of
"Where th' fuck are the lovebirds, then?" says Logan, throwing a crumpled up piece of paper at Scott's head, that Scott ducks easily but frowns anyway, because, Jesus, they're supposed to be past missiles.
"In a meeting with McTaggert," he says, "I heard she got a call from that Fury guy over at the FBI. Nothing good can come of this."
"You are such a fuckin' pessimist," says Logan, stabbing his pen into the arm of his chair, "that's your problem."
"No," says Scott, evenly, "you're my problem, and Christ, why are you doing that, this is why you keep failing the psych evals, for fuck's sake, Logan."
Logan raises an eyebrow and grins, says, "There's a new kid on the front desk. Bobby-somethin'. He ain't learned to be scared of me yet. He needs to be learned good."
Scott starts booting up his computer, says, "Everyone is scared of you, Logan, I think there was actually an inter-office memo about it with your name blacked out, that I wasn't sent on purpose. I'm sure poor Bobby-whatever has heard the Logan legend already, you don't have to worry about anyone not being suitably terrified."
Logan grins, again, all teeth, says, "Except for you."
"Duh," says Scott, but he smiles, so fast you'd have to be Logan to catch it, then, looking through the glass, "shit, Lensherr looks like he's about to lose it."
That's different how-" starts Logan, and then Erik throws the door open and it's just another morning in the New York City Police Department Organized Crime Control Bureau.
Detective Investigator Dr. Charles Xavier, First Grade, is twenty nine, shorter than average, and has eyes that make you want to tell him everything.
He conceals a knife-blade mind behind a friendly smile, has a DPhil in Criminology from the University of Oxford, and not a lot of friends.
His subordinates call him "the Professor", or, sometimes, "Professor X", and most of them think that he doesn't know, that it doesn't make him laugh.
He likes milk in his tea and he has a sister called Raven, a British accent, and a cat called August Weismann, and is in hopeless and unrequited love with his best friend and official partner of three years, Erik Lensherr.
Mostly, though, the first thing you notice about Charles is how he knows whatever you don't want to tell him, almost instantly, almost, but not quite, like he can see inside your head.
"We," says Erik, without even shutting the door, "are in the deepest form of shit, gentlemen."
"Let's just close the door, shall we," says Charles, hurriedly, and once it's closed he turns back, says, "I am afraid that I can't really tell you that what Erik says is wrong, in this case."
Erik tosses a file on Scott's desk, says, "Look."Scott picks up a photo, says, "Oh, fuck me.""What the fuck is goin' on here," snarls Logan, snatching the photo from Scott, "oh, hell's bells-"
"As of one o'clock this morning," says Charles, "Patrick Coonan, the head of the Westies mob, is dead."
"He ain't jus' dead," says Logan, "someone eviscerated him good."
"Yeah, well," says Scott, "guess we're the lucky assholes who have to find out who did it, huh?"
"You are not wrong, there," says Erik, "now who's up for a trip to Hell's Kitchen?"
Detective Investigator Erik Lensherr, First Grade, is thirty-three, has a Master's degree in in Eastern European Studies from Harvard, and is an orphan.
He's as sharp as a whip and has too many teeth in his smile and he can do things with an edged weapon that make a gun look like a kindness.
Charles is the only partner he has had for more than three days, and the only partner to ever call him by his first name.
Erik likes music with no lyrics, putting motherfuckers away, and Charles Xavier, not necessarily in that order. On the days he can be fucked, he also cares about the state of his morning coffee and preventing stupid NYC motorists from denting his car even more than it is already.
He never cares, though, about the rest of the department, and the name he knows they call him behind his back.
"We're here to take your statement," says Erik to Molly Coonan, wife of the late Patrick.
"Like fuck you are," she snarls, "get the hell off my property, pig."
"I am asking you nicely, Mrs Coonan-" says Erik, with a tone that suggests, really, he isn't.
They have been standing on her doorstep for all of thirty seconds, Charles beside Erik, Scott and Logan a few feet away, hands unsubtly on their belts, on their guns.
"We are here to help you," says Charles, hurriedly, "we are just doing our jobs, Mrs Coonan, and while we are sorry for your loss-"
"You are not," hisses Molly Coonan, as she slams her front door shut, "sorry for my loss."
Logan spits on the ground, says, "Bitch has a point."
"Well, bossmen," Scott says, "we did the routine bullshit. Now what?"
"You know what," says Erik, voice flat and jagged as a blade.
Logan grins, says, "Are you givin' us permission to make our particular brand of trouble, Professor?"
"Don't crash the squad car," says Charles to Scott, resignedness in his voice, and Erik winks at Logan when he thinks Charles isn't looking.
Detective Investigator Scott Summers, Third Grade, is twenty-five, has a bachelor's in Law Enforcement from the University of Alaska, and two brothers with whom he is engaged in a constant state of war.
Scott is a determined, irritating, wearing sort of clever, with a mind for numbers and the right things to say when someone's lying to you but you don't know what about.
He is Logan's perfect match and his worst enemy that he can't live without, but then, all of Scott's most significant relationships seem to follow this sort of pattern, so he gave up worrying about it long ago.
Scott likes non-lethal weapons, cooking shows, and his dog, Edgar J. Hoover, more commonly known as Eddie J. He might also like Logan, but don't quote him on it.
Scott knows his department nickname, and he thinks it's a fucking riot, thank you very much.
"Drunk driving or tail-light?" Scott says, a mile from Molly Coonan's house, car in a lay-by with the lights off.
"Stereotypes ain't stereotypes for nothin'," says Logan, "drinkin', that's how we'll catch her. But I can smash her tail-light, too, make it good and proper, if you want."
"I don't want," says Scott, knowing full well that Logan will do the opposite of whatever he says, and Logan's grinning at him, because he knows it, too.
"Shut up," says Scott, unceremoniously, "I hear a car, it's gotta be her."
He puts the lights on as soon as the car gets in front of them, and when Molly Coonan pulls over, murder in her eyes, and when Logan walks up to her window, motions for her to wind it down, Scott says, "Well, what have we here? Why, Mrs Coonan, what a surprise seeing you here."
The fact that she spits in his face is already a foregone conclusion.
The .44 Magnum on the passenger seat, however, is not.
Detective Specialist James Logan, Third Grade, has a smile that makes people falter, won't tell anyone how old he is, and a military background that he doesn't want to talk about, ever.
Logan seems stupid, seems like nothing but muscle, and it's his greatest asset, because Logan's outsmarted more men than you've had hot dinners.
Logan used to do something military, something even McTaggert can't access, and he's the weapon specialist of the OCCB, the man who trained the department how to use their brand new shiny Ruger Mini-14s, after the Mumbai riots.
Logan knows, also, that Scott never wants him more than when he's got a semi-automatic burning a hole in his pocket, but Logan's first rule is to never admit to anything and he's sticking to it.
He'll admit, just this once, though, that he knows about the nickname. He likes it, too.
Logan has Scott on the floor before he has time to speak, his gun in his hand, pointing straight between Molly Coonan's eyes as she says, "Yeah, cop, you ain't so big now, are ya?"
"Put the gun down," says Logan, voice perfectly level, "or I will blow your fuckin' brains out, ma'am."
Scott is inching, still on the ground, around to the other side of the car, to the passenger window, as Molly laughs, says, "You think that makes a difference to me. Today?"
Scott stands up, gun in his hand with the safety off, knowing that she'll be distracted by Logan's vicious grin, the way he raises his eyebrow, arrogant and infuriating, because this is the third time they've played this one, and says, "Two against one, now, Mrs Coonan. You shoot him and I will put more fucking holes in you than in Jesus Christ Himself, are we clear?""Christ Almighty," Molly whispers, drops the gun, opens the car door, says, "This won't do you any fuckin' good, you know."
"We were never," says Scott, handcuffing her, "that interested in you."
"Nah," says Logan, "but we wanted to get in your trunk, mind."
Scott shoves Molly in the back of the squad car, says, "We better radio out for forensics, then."
"Yeah," says Logan, "that weren't all bad, your Clint Eastwood impression, there. Maybe it's just 'cause I find you as threatenin' as a fuckin' rubber spoon that it don't work on me."
"Well," says Scott, "her judgement's clearly suspect, you were never that big to start off with, were you?"
"Gonna take that outta your fuckin' hide, Summers," says Logan, and his face isn't the only one that's feral when Scott says, "Should fucking hope so. Dispatch, this is Summers-"
There's nothing in the trunk except marked bills.
"Hank says there's nothing on them," says Erik, "they're as useless as Sarah Palin, and it's him saying it, so you know it's true, because it's Hank."
Dr Hank McCoy, MD, is twenty-four, an ex-child prodigy, did his MD at John Hopkins, and both his Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Medical Engineering and Medical Physics MSc at MIT, and is, it's said around the station, far too good to just be their forensic whiz-kid and coroner rolled into one.
Hank is tall, very thin, and physically unimposing, which goes as far as to show that appearances aren't everything.
Hank has a cat called Prince Myshkin, big, innocent, wide blue eyes, and a surprising yet terrible temper.
His nickname has a lot to do with the time they don't talk about, the time even Logan couldn't take him out, but it's best never to mention it to him, because there's a lot of things about himself that Hank still doesn't understand, even if Logan, after that day, did.
"Well, shit," says Scott, as they watch McTaggert, through the glass of her office, on the phone to the Mayor's office, and Logan grimaces as he punches Scott's desk when he's not looking for about the thousandth time.
"Don't be like that," says Charles, "now we know where not to look, and that's nearly as valuable as knowing where we should."
"What th'fuck do we do now, then?" says Logan, and Erik smiles.
"You, Logan, you get Tony on the phone, that's what you do."
Chapter Two: such a lot of guns around town and so few brains