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Busted chapter 20


TheZot

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[Ah, poor Joe. I've figured out the second plot. Bwahahahahahaha! *cough*]

 

Joe parked on the street behind Steve's car, his little silver coup looking very out of place on the dingy corner. It wasn't one of the better parts of town, all old multi-story brick buildings that had been built back when this was the center of everything, before cars and the suburbs had killed it.

 

The sign next to the door just said "Johnson House", and gave no indication what was inside. Joe opened it. Waiting for him was Chris Gagnon. He was dressed for work, in dress pants, a jacket that'd seen better years, and a white-ish dress shirt. He was carrying a manila folder. A shiver went down Joe's back and his hackles raised.

 

"Detective Gagnon," he said. He was feeling formal. They certainly weren't friends. With the instant arguments and the kiss the past weekend he wasn't sure what they were, but it definitely wasn't friends.

 

"Mister Hennesy," Chris said, matching Joe's formality. "Stephanie's upstairs." The formality helped. Chris had an urge to just grab Joe and shove his tongue down his throat. He fought that feeling down viciously. He wasn't going to do that. It had gotten him into far too much trouble in the past, and Alex had gotten him in even more that way. He wasn't Alex. He'd spent a lot of effort not being Alex, though he'd never admit it.

 

Joe started up the stairs. Chris followed. He had his hands jammed in his pockets. It was the only way he could think to keep them from reaching up under the suit jacket and stroking Joe's ass. Stupid hands. Stupid jacket. Stupid pockets.

 

Joe was oblivious to this. There was only one way to go, so that's the way he went.

 

"Who's Stephanie?" Joe asked. He'd turned on the stairs to face Chris.

 

The good thing about that was it took his back side out of Chris' view. The bad thing was it put his crotch there instead. Very bad, as there wasn't any coverage from the jacket. His reaction pissed him off. It didn't help that he still had a small headache from the morning's hangover.

 

"Girl you found," Chris snapped. He regretted the tone, but he didn't feel like apologizing right then.

 

"You figured out her name?"

 

"We're detectives. Sometimes we detect things," Chris said.

 

"Who'dve thought?" Joe winced inwardly as he said that. It sounded insulting. Hell, it was insulting.

 

Chris chose to ignore it, though it stung. "Her parents were separated. We haven't located any relatives on her mother's side. We're still looking for the father."

 

"He dead too?" Joe asked as they got to the top of the stairs.

 

Chris snorted. "No, just an asshole. Six months behind on his child support."

 

Joe looked around. The stairs went up another two floors, but Chris wasn't pushing to go up another flight. This was mostly because he was fighting to not notice how the light material of Joe's dress pants fit his legs. It was such a good thing Joe was wearing that suit jacket. Between the hangover and the dreams and Toby's spells he was feeling like crap. Chris wasn't sure how much self-control he had.

 

"Great," Joe said. Chris' struggles went unnoticed. "Where now?"

 

"Rec room at the end of the hall,"

 

"So who is he? Or can't you tell me that?"

 

"It's not a secret, not for something like this." Chris dug around in the pocket of his jacket and pulled out his notebook. His head was throbbing something fierce, and he wasn't thinking all that well. He flipped through a few pages, buying time.

 

"He's Billy O'Malley," Chris said after he found the right page. "A.K.A William J. O'Malley. Sometimes 'Studs' O'Malley. Has a string of priors, mostly DUI or drunk and disorderly."

 

Joe whirled and stared at Chris. "William James O'Malley? Thirty four? Five nine, red hair, worthless piece of shit?"

 

Chris recoiled a little from the venom in Joe's voice. "Maybe. He's bald in the pictures we have." He opened the folder and took out a picture. It was a family photo, a few years old. A woman, maybe thirty, looking a little worn, was holding a small child. Two girls were standing next to her, one on either side. The older of the two was Stephanie, the younger must've been her sister the resemblance was so strong. And to their left was Billy. Bald, wearing a t-shirt and black leather vest. He was bulky, like he worked out a lot and drank even more. Tattoos were clear on both arms, bits of his face were pierced, and even in the picture you could see he was freckled all over. His head was shaved bare.

 

"Bastard. Utter, f**king bastard," Joe spat. "583-5555."

 

Chris' eyes narrowed. He was suddenly very angry. Joe obviously knew this guy. That meant he had to be an ex-boyfriend. He didn't know what was worse; that Joe'd date someone obviously married, that he'd date someone who was such a cretin, or that he'd had hurt Joe so badly.

 

"So you know him," Chris said. Carefully. Coldly. "That his number?"

 

"No," Joe said, opening the door and stepping into the rec room. "It's our mother's."

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Tight little island of a story, huh? I love it when the characters all turn out to have these connections. I also love how fast you're writing right now and I wish I could say the same for myself!

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:) Thanks everyone. I decided when I started this that societal homophobia just wasn't going to be a big issue. (I don't get it, I've never had to deal with it, and it's been done to death) Joe and Chris have family issues that we'll eventally touch on, but while they're both estranged in one form or another from their families, it doesn't have anything to do with their being gay. (Though Chris has some personal isues there, and Joe's pretty in-your-face about everything in part because of it)

 

While it feels like it's taking forever to write, I have the advantage (of sorts) of an hour long train ride home every evening. Assuming I've got some space it's enough time to write maybe a thousand words or so, assuming I remembered to grab something to eat on the way out of the office in the evening. Who knows, maybe the draft'll be done by spring.

 

(And there is good reason there's a set of tight connections between everyone, and it's not me being evil. Well, not just...)

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Yeah, where is that last chapter of Marek and Jackson?

 

That's a long story, and I have moved it to my livejournal because it's too long to take up somebody else's blog comments with. It is coming. Maybe even today.

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