The  Easy Way 


Based on The Hard Way, starring James Woods and Michael J. Fox. You really need to see the movie before reading this, but it's basic cliche cop buddy stuff, except Nick was an actor who wanted a cop movie role, and stalked John in order to get the information he wanted on 'how to be a super-cop'.  This was the first story I ever finished, so don't expect much. 

hardpic.jpg (31467 bytes)

Tired and Shagged Out After a Long Squawk

John slowly opened his eyes. Everything felt distant, fuzzy. Last thing he remembered he'd been arguing with Captain Brix. Certainly not a new occurrence, their relationship was based on argument, mutual frustration and grudging admiration. He'd felt the old familiar anger rising, the tension increasing, his heart beating harder, blood pumping, then the world had gone white. Not suddenly, not slowly, just white. Christ, John thought, I friggin passed out on the Captain's floor.

Hands, on his feet and under his shoulders. What now? Carting me out in a body bag.

"Hey, I'm not dead you know!" John crabbed.

"John? Hang on, he's awake. John? John? Can you hear me?" the Captain actually sounded worried.

"Yeah, of course I can hear you, what the hell is going on?" John snapped, sitting up and slapping away the helping hands.

"You passed out, right in the middle of a sentence. What's wrong with you, man?" Yeah, the captain was definitely concerned about something "Not getting enough sleep at night? You gotta sleep on my office floor now? How many fingers?"

"Three." John said, wondering why it was so difficult to get off the trolley. How long had he been out anyhow, enough time for a trolley to come from the infirmary, must have been more than a minute or so.

The Captain put away his two fingers, "Take him up to the infirmary, find out what the hell's wrong with him. I can't have my men passing out on the job."

"I did not pass out. Hey, I can walk, get your hands off me," John snapped at the medics, and left the office under his own steam. He decided he would go to the infirmary anyway, there was no way he wanted to be passing out without knowing why. Shit, he thought, Probably a fucking brain tumour. Too many frog dogs.

Thinking of frog dogs made him think of the kid. That made him angry again. Little cockroach had stolen his life. Who did he think he was? How dare he? Everything: his words, his flat, Susan, even the piano, had ended up as part of the little maggot’s 'hit' movie. As he approached the stairs he felt the rage boiling up from his gut. Then the red faded into the white again.


 John decided against opening his eyes this time. Last time had definitely been a mistake. "Where the hell am I now?" Not his own bed. Not his own comfortable, and tastefully decorated, bed. Plastic sheets? Shit. Hospital. Great. Damn. How long was I out for this time? Oh, yeah . . . stairs. Great. Shit. Moss took stock of his surroundings, as he finally opened his eyes a crack. Private room? When did the station get a budget increase? Flowers? Oh, yeah, those would be from Susan. John smiled to himself, felt the warmth that he always felt when he thought of Susan. Better than the heat of rage. Foot immobilised, dying for a cigarette, probably a broken finger there. Toys? Hmm. Who in the hell would send toys? Probably some of the guys. Benny, or Billy, some sense of humour. What is it anyway? Ugly little thing. Greenish, big ears . . . oh, fuck, Yoda. The kid. It had to be. Breathing exercises. John practised the breathing his father had shown him to control his temper. He decided against moving, or trying to get a nurse's attention. Probably only have bad news. hell, maybe the kid was right. Too much bad food, bowel cancer gone to my brain. John smiled to himself. Wondered why he found that amusing. Anyway, it's nice here. Nothing to do. Sunlight through the windows, Quiet. No maniac killers or moronic drivers. Argh. No cigarettes. Can you get those in the hospital? Last time he'd been in one of these places they'd confiscated his smokes. Of course, he'd quit again. For Susan. He smiled a little wider.

"Hi," it was Susan, she came sideways through the door, kind of nervous. "How are you feeling?"

"Fine, I'm fine." John smiled at her, knowing she would return it. She loved his smile. He loved her for it. Christ, they'd only been going out for a few months, and he knew he was too much in love already. Coming on too strong. He'd been alone too long. But everything about her drove John mad. So lovely, so warm. . .

"They said you fell down the stairs at the station. That you fainted . . ."

"Oh, well, you know, nothing serious, working too hard."

Susan nodded, her ‘I’m an understanding psychologist’ nod. He wondered if this would give her something else to worry about. All her jargon about his frustration and anger being exacerbated by his inability to communicate did no good at all. She’d already dumped him once before, saying his work had made him too hard, too violent, too likely to wind up dead, leaving her a widow and Bonnie fatherless again.

John was just making progress with Bonnie, who had gone from seeing him as an awkward geek to a thrilling fighting machine. The way to a little girl’s heart was apparently by beating the shit out of annoying drunks. He still hadn’t found the way to the heart of the grown woman. So much work. She’d made it clear he had to change. She wasn’t going to put any more into the relationship, it was up to him to meet her standards.

The doctor came in, interrupting their stilted small talk.

"Sorry, Ma'am. Could you wait outside for a moment?" Susan left, looking anxious.


Oh, boy, John thought, that sounds ominous.

"Well," said the Doctor, (John decided he looked like Captain Brix and liked him because of it), "You gave everyone a bit of a scare today didn't you?"

John smiled, peevishly. How old does he think I am? ‘A bit of a scare’, I just passed out for fuck's sake, didn't chase them around with an axe or anything.

"Apart from a couple of minor injuries, and some rather nasty bruising, you're basically sound."

"So," queried John, "why did I, uh, pass out, then?"

"When was the last time you took a holiday?" countered the Doctor.

"Uh, few years I guess."

"And, do you ever take sick leave?"

"No," John wracked his memory, "No, I don't really get sick".

"You know you've had glandular fever? Toxic poisoning, probably from bad food, and a mild lung infection, all in the past year?"

"No, really?" John felt like being sarcastic. What a load of bull, "Thought it was the weather."

"No, we ran tests." The Doctor said, unaffected by the sarcasm. "I talked to your Captain. It seems that you've been going to work sick, not taking breaks, no holidays, no sick leave, working all hours of the day and night. Not eating right." The doctor held up his hand to stall the interruption and denial, "We can tell, very easily. I dare say, looking at all this, that you've been running on adrenaline and tension for months. To put it simply, Mr Moss, you've come to the end of the line, physically and emotionally. Nervous tension. It has increased to the point where the brain is no longer able to function properly. It needs rest, so it's been putting you out."

"Oh, is that all," John sighed in relief. The smoking hadn't given him cancer, after all.

"No, that's not all," the doctor snapped irritably. "This is serious. Nervous tension may not in itself kill you, but high blood pressure can. And what if you pass out while driving? Fall down a higher flight of stairs? A hundred different things could kill you."

"So, um, like, what now?" The doctor was right. Christ, I could have my driver's license suspended if they consider me a danger on the roads. Shit, I'll lose my job.

"Take a holiday."

"Is that it?"

"No, not just that. Complete rest. Complete quiet. No worries. Nothing. If you don't look after yourself, I will have no choice but to enter on your record that you are unable to continue to work as a police officer. Eat right. Live clean. Relax. Get your blood pressure down. That nice lady out there, why don't you go on a cruise or something?"

"A cruise, like some old fart? Anyway, where do I get the money for something like that?"

The doctor shrugged. "Not up to me. I'm just stating the facts."

"So, how long is this for then, coupla' days, a week?"

"At least a month."

"A month, you have got to be kidding. There is no way I'm gonna take a month off work, I'm in the middle of a case, for Christ's sake. "

The doctor didn't say anything, his mouth a hard line. Uncompromising. He is like Brix!

"Okay, okay, " John capitulated. Knowing full well there was no way he would voluntarily take that much time away from the job. It was all he had. No rabbits, no horses (why had Nick said the Party Crasher would boil his rabbit anyway?), few friends, maybe not even Susan. That relationship was still on shaky ground. She hated the way violence seemed to follow John around, was terrified of Bonnie's being affected. John couldn't blame her for being worried about her daughter though. Anyway, he could handle this stress business himself. Sure, take a few days off, work on that piano piece he'd been trying to get right (the kid had assumed, when John said his father played, that John himself didn't, like, why would he have the piano tuned and set up otherwise? But then the kid had been really pissing him off, that piano was special). Just take things a bit easier after that. Take a few nights off. Sleep late. Yeah. No problem.

The doctor left and John closed his eyes to take a nap. Boy, that talk had been exhausting.


The Guy Under the Cover? He's An Undercover Man

John bitched at the nurses. Sure it was policy to always have patients leave the hospital in a wheelchair, but how stupid can they make one guy look?

"Yo, Moss," came from the general area of the hospital door.

"Hey, Cain", John waved at his work-mate and friend "How'z it goin'? Here, gimme that," he took his crutch from the nurse, "You supposed to be giving me a lift home then? Where's Susan?"

His Neanderthal looking friend flashed a bright grin, "Why, don't you love me, Moss? I'm not good enough for you?"

"Ah, shut up, Cain. Hey flash car, look at that", an enormous white limousine was parked at the curb. "Probably some rich mother getting a pimple removed from their butt."

"Makes ya sick, doesn't it, Moss, these rich people flaunting it over all us working slobs." Cain laughed as they walked out of the hospital.

"Yeah, so where's your car."

"I didn't bring it. Here, let me help you, Sir," Cain made a big play of opening the door to the huge car, shit eating grin on his face.

"You have got to be kidding me."

"Nope, all part of the service", Cain then took Moss's arm and steered him into the car. John was too off balance on his crutch to protest as Cain seated him and laughingly shut the door.



John froze. That voice. Too cheerful. Too perky. Oh, god. No. This was all supposed to be over. The kid had his movie, (my life, the little asshole), what else does he want from me? Blood? It had been so nice in the hospital. Nice and quiet, he even liked the pale décor, like his own - from the pages of New York Budget Vogue - apartment.

He looked over at the kid. "Shit".

"Isn't this great?" Nick enthused. "Talk about personal service. Door to airport, just like a movie star."

"What are you doing here? What airport? You've made your movie, what is this, are you working on a sequel now? ‘Ray Cazanov returns, and passes out for an hour and a half’? Sure the public will love that."

"Hey, lighten up, John, Norma called . . ."


"Yeah, you know, Brix's wife," (John tried to say, ‘of course I know Brix's wife’, but Nick wasn't allowing interruptions to his enthusiasm) "Anyway, she called, and told me what happened, and said that you needed a holiday, and I thought, hey, my place. On a beach. Relax, swim, have a good time. You'll have no more worries, I'll take care of everything. You'll love it. Anyway, I owe you big time, it's the least I can do."

Nick Lang sat back, smiling openly in his own inimitable way, fully expecting John to just gush his thanks at Nick's great idea. Okay, Nick thought to himself, perhaps not gush, John's not a gusher. But this is great!

John sat silent for a moment. It's a conspiracy. For once to stunned too even swear at the little shit.

"Oh, I contacted Susan too," Nick continued. "She's going to join us if she can. She thinks it's great too. And Bonnie. It's a great place for kids."

"Wha..," John stuttered "What, you're just kidnapping me? I don't get a say in this? You just waltz in, take over my life again? Without consulting me? Wasn't once enough? How many times do you have to get shot before you realise? I mean, how dare you just decide to . . . "


Nick caught John as he faded out. He'd done his research on this. Nick Lang had a reputation for doing research for his roles. Hell, if an actor gets shot to get a part he's got to be good right? Since the episode with Moss, Nick's reputation had soared. Not just a cartoon actor now. He had his choice of work. Serious stuff. Stuff with social comment. Just like real life. And, he'd done his research this time too. Talked to Brix, Norma, Susan, had Rosalie surf the net for information, spent hours discussing what he had to do with John's Doctor. Keep him calm. Relaxed. Okay, so maybe we're off to a bad start. Again.

He placed John's head in his lap and softly stroked his hair as he slept. "Hey, partner, thought we were buddies now? You called me ‘Pal’, remember?" Nick experienced an extremely rare moment of self doubt, Maybe John was just being nice since he thought I was dying? Nah, he likes me. Everybody likes me. Nick assured himself. He's just not good at expressing it. Look at the way he is with Susan. Obsessed with her, and look at the trouble I had getting him to open up to her. Me. Me pretending to be her. Whatever. Nick smiled to himself. This was going to be great. John was going to have a great time. He'd shown Nick what it was like to be a cop, now he'd treat John to being a celebrity. He whispered softly "You'll be fine, John, you'll see."


Nice ¾ soothing, John thought of the hands on his hair as the whiteness faded away. He knew whose hands they were, but it was easier not to really think about it. Stay half asleep, enjoy the ride. Don't wake up, don't get angry at the kid. Not like I haven’t enjoyed being petted by guys before… Only out for a few minutes that time. That's better, probably a good sign. Pity the kid is wearing jeans. If it was a softer material, it would be easier to pretend that it was Susan so softly stroking my hair, tracing my lips, caressing my face. Goddamn little faggot. John sat up as he realised how intimate the kids hands felt. Sat up too suddenly. Things spun for a minute.

"Hey, where the hell are we?" he said. This was no limousine.

"Oh, this is my private jet. It's the quickest way to L.A. Feeling better after your nap?" The kid gave him a cheeky grin.


Didn't even know I was being loaded into a plane. Where are the staff? he wondered. He was just about to ask that question when it suddenly had to be changed.

"Bag. Now".

Nick handed John a bag, into which John lost his lunch. What little of that disgusting hospital jello muck he'd eaten in the first place. "Bad flier."

"Hey, that's okay. I always do this on the Concorde, myself." Nick rubbed John's back and put his hand on his forehead until he was sure John was finished. "Evian?"

John gave the kid a disgusted look, but rinsed his mouth out with the yuppie water anyway. Drinking a little. "Tastes like dust."

"Oh, I'll get in some Perrier instead. Look, here we are. Coming in to land now. You can see my place over there. I didn't want the airstrip too close to the house, but a car will collect us."

The plane started to descend. John's stomach didn't.

"Shit", then he lost the dusty Evian as well.


Captain Brix laughed on the phone to his wife. Listening to the officers under his charge laughing in the staff room too. Perfect set up. It had been easy, from a teasing suggestion from China about how Nick was so devoted to John, to a casual mention to Norma about how John was under the weather, to Norma mentioning this in one of her many adoring letters to Nick, to Nick getting the wonderful idea of taking John 'away from it all'. He could just imagine how John was cursing the lot of them now. He sniggered and collected another doughnut, brushing the sugar off of the sleeve of his beloved ‘Smoking Gun II’ jacket.


"You got any cigarettes?" John asked the young girl who was laying out his bags. Bags?

"Sorry, no smoke," she replied.

Me or you? John thought "Where did this stuff come from?" John indicated the bags.

She shrugged, "Yours".

John looked through. Favourite clothes, bits and pieces, a book he'd been halfway through reading, Miles Davis CD, Hey, I'd been listening to that. He looked around, sure enough there was a full entertainment system in the room. Nice room. Large. All in white. Clean, peaceful. He wandered over to the CD player, fiddled with it for a while, finally the evil sounds of Mile's mean trumpet filled the room. He turned the volume down a little. "So, how many of you went through my stuff then, huh? The little faggot get some kind of kick going through my private things?"

Esperenza just stared at him, shrugged again. "I not know, ask Mr Lang. Here, drink this, you dehydrated".

She handed John a glass of cold water then left. Great he thought. Now they all know that John Moss, supercop, tossed his cookies on a goddamn private jet. But he drank it anyway. Good honest tap water, none of that foreign crap in bottles.

He'd been sent to his room, told to have a nap before dinner. Jesus, and Nick is the one who complains about being treated like a child. But John had been too pissed off to argue. A few minutes away from the kid. Won't 'nap' though. Too much to think about. How to get out of this mess. Call Brix, surely he couldn't have condoned this set-up. John kicked off his shoes and sat on the bed. Okay, close my eyes for a minute. That's all.


He was aware later that night of someone coming in and loosening his clothes. But it was too comfortable to bother letting them know he was aware of it, or the loose cover being put over him. "Sleep tight, John, see you in the morning."

"G'night, Nick." It was too difficult to swear at him, or even come up with a suitably insulting comment.


Maybe it had been a mistake to bring John here. He hadn't expected the lieutenant to be overjoyed, but he hadn't expected him to pass out in anger either. Nick looked at Moss while his friend slept. Friend? Sometimes he found it hard to keep thinking that. He gently touched the corner of John's mouth, remembering when he had repeatedly punched the lieutenant. God, that man infuriated Nick. Like no one he'd ever met. He was so used to people liking him. Liking 'Nick Lang, movie star', or, 'Nick Lang, boyish charm'. John Moss was the first person he'd ever met that he'd had to work hard at to gain approval. Nick wondered if he had really succeeded yet.

Instead of being impressed by meeting the biggest name in movies, of working with another professional, John had hated him right from the start, on Principle. Hell, John had even pissed on Nick when they first met. Nick grinned at the memory. Nicely hung for a skinny guy. No, Nick corrected himself. Not skinny. Lithe. His grin widened at the whimsy. Angie had pointed out that he'd fallen in love at first sight with John. But his manager couldn't understand, as soon as Nick had seen the cop on TV, looked into those chocolate eyes, eyes full of pain and anger during that distraught interview, he'd known that this was what he wanted. Wanted to become for the movie, and wanted to keep for himself.

He himself had thought that once they worked together, the infatuation would have worn off. But it hadn't. After John had played that awful joke on him, made him look such a fool with that terrible sting operation to make Nick think he’d killed a street bum. He'd cursed himself for being stupid. For falling in love with the son of a bitch. He couldn't believe how John had made him into such a patsy. He'd hugged John at the airport, trying to show how much he appreciated John's sacrifice, taking the rap for Nick's supposed killing of some street guy. Trying to show how he felt, only to come back to find the whole police station laughing at him. Stupid. But in retrospect, Nick had convinced himself John had been right. It sure had helped Nick play the role of a cop who shoots an innocent bystander. He knew the feelings first hand now.

Sure John made him angry, angrier than anyone he'd ever met. But like a snake he kept Nick hypnotised. One minute he hated John, the way he wouldn't let anyone in. Was it so hard to open up? The way he abused Nick, just for trying to learn about him, after all Nick had a job to do, right? All of that, it was totally unnecessary. But Nick had watched him all the time. What was it about the dangerous types? John had to be the most intense person he knew. He liked the way John wiggled when he was happy or excited. His animated gestures, his passion, his fire. The way he got shy and clammed up around Susan, his nervousness with Bonnie. His dynamite smile. Nick, you're losing it, he thought, watching John's face, relaxed in sleep. Get some sleep yourself.


John rolled over. No plastic sheets. But this still isn't home. Memory faded back in. Shit. John wandered into the bathroom and relieved himself while marvelling at the place. The bathroom was bigger than John's whole flat. Fucking indoor fucking swimming pool, he thought of the bath, and decided to take a shower instead. It took a few minutes to make a choice from all of the different soaps and shampoos laid out for guests, and another few minutes to figure out how the fancy taps worked. But the water pressure was wonderful, pounding out tension. He opened his mouth and drank, imagining the water cleaning him from inside and out. The toiletries smelled a bit too fancy for John's taste, he decided, but he enjoyed the luxury anyway. Not that he'd admit it. Not on pain of death.

Clothes were laid out for him when he returned in a robe. Not a scummy towel, but a robe. Monogrammed, 'J.M.'. How long had the kid been planning this anyway? He dressed in the unfamiliar clothes, (all designer labels, which, of course, fit perfectly), and wandered out. He'd not had a chance to check out the place thoroughly on his way in, too tired, but in the light of morning, he was suitably impressed. Everything was pure white, except the furnishings, which appeared to be a mix of movie set and fun house. Billiard tables? Pin ball machines? The kid says he wants to be treated as an adult and the house is full of toys? Shit.

"Good morning, John," Nick shouted up at him from below the balcony.

A chorus of 'hellos' and 'hi John's sounded. The house was filled with people. Some faggot was waving fabric samples at Nick, while a tall, blonde woman shouted into a mobile phone ¾ boy did she ever have a Bronx accent. A pretty, very large woman took John's elbow (which he immediately took back) and led him downstairs. It seemed that bikini babes were everywhere, wearing high heels. High heels, around a pool? The huge pool was visible through glass doors. The babes were being followed by fat balding guys in hideous Hawaiian shirts, cliché sandals and socks. Probably studio execs, John thought.

John listened with half an ear to Nick's shouting. "Angie, I thought I told you I wanted all of these people out of here? Gupta, where's the grapefruit, I said I wanted Californian grapefruit this morning. I'll look at costumes tomorrow. Angie, why are these people still here?"

The harassed blonde woman, Angie, John supposed, put away her phone and started the task of soothing celebrity feathers. John grinned to himself, typical spoilt rich brat. Angie was trying to explain to Nick that these were important people, Nick was telling Angie that they had to go, that he wanted this place quiet and restful. Didn't she know that John had to relax? Angie sighed and threw her hands up and started herding some very annoyed movie makers and movie groupies out of the house. Costume people included. John wondered where was the person who wiped the little gisball's ass.

After a little while Nick said, "Great, we're alone now," indicating just himself and John. And Angie, and fat girl, and Gupta and the kitchen staff, who were buzzing around trying to lay a breakfast buffet. "Gupta, did you get the non fizzy water? John doesn't like fizzy, just get some still mineral water in like last night, and fruit juice, he needs fruit juice."

"What's wrong with tap water?" John muttered to himself, but he had to admit he was impressed by the spread. Nick continued to give orders to everyone, punctuating his demands with a breadstick. John helped himself to a bagel and wandered away to do some further investigating.

"Hey, John, here, sit down." Nick had him by the arm, steering him to a table outside by the pool, arranging for Rosalie (the fat lady, John decided) and Esperanza to get John a plate, "Healthy stuff, Rosalie, lots of healthy stuff, cereal, fruit, you know".

Finally the kid thumped himself down in a chair next to John, grinning at him. What the hell is that green stuff the kid's eating? Whatever it is, knowing Nick, it's bound to be good to the bowels.

"So," started Nick "What'd you think of the movie?"

"What movie?"

"My movie, 'The Good, the Badge, and the Ugly'."

Why did Nick have to bring that up? "Probably the most stupid title in the history of film making. But, other than that, s'okay."

"Okay?" Nick shouted, "Okay? It was great. Everybody loved it! Did you see the reviews? Hey, man, you're famous. The Ray Casanov! D'you know how many people want to meet you? The man behind the movie? It's changed my career, do you have any idea how hard it is for someone who did the kind of movies I was doing to get a serious role? And I owe it all to you. That's why I figure I owe you this, you know? After what you went through for me, I figure half the money belongs to you.

"Look, Nick, I didn't go through anything for you, I was just doing my job. I don't want to meet these 'people', I don't want to be famous, and I don't want your money." John punctuated each statement with a violent chopping gesture.

"Hey, lighten up, John. Enjoy life. You can do anything you want here. Anything. Angie's given orders to everyone that they are to do anything you ask. Any whim you have, John. All taken care of."

"I want to go back to New York."

"You don't have to. Everything's taken care of. I've arranged that your rent and bills and stuff will be taken care of, and your plants watered, while you're here. Did you see how overdue you were on your MasterCard? Anyway, you don't have any pets or anything, so you can stay here, no problems."

"Who gave you the right to pay my bills ¾ do you think I can't even pay my own credit cards?" John waved his arms around furiously.


"Oh." That stopped him, he really couldn't argue with that! "Well, if I'm not allowed to go home, can I have a cigarette?"

"No, it's bad for your blood pressure and stuff. Have to take care of yourself now. Anyway, it's not a matter of being allowed to go home or not. I mean, why would you want to leave? Hey, do you want to go for a swim? The beach is great, you'll love it. It's fun. Hey, Esperanza, get John some swim shorts would you."

"Look, you little runt", the idea of appearing in swim shorts in public spooked John, "I don't want to go for a swim, I don't want to lie around in the sun 'having fun', I just want to have a cigarette, and go home."

"Sure, sure. Here, try these on. I'll get some towels and stuff, come on, this is great."



John felt totally self conscious. Standing here in these goddamn shorts, while the kid bounced around him like a puppy on speed. But, it was a beautiful day. John turned his face to the sun and squeezed the sand between his toes. Not since he was a kid had he been on a beach. That was a faint memory. Had Dad been on a tour? Probably. There wasn't much like this in New York. At least not the kind of private beach an ordinary, hard working cop could stand on.

Nick yelled, "Hey, come on in, the water's fine".

John proceeded to power into the water, cutting it like a fish, letting the waves pound out the memories and the frustration.


Well, that hadn't been a complete success, Nick thought. John had been too interested in actually swimming to allow Nick to put his well rehearsed seduction into play. Next time it's the swimming pool. He won't be able to get away from me there!


John flopped face-down onto the sand, exhausted. Where did that come from? Not used to swimming. Used to be able to go on for hours before getting tired. Running on nervous energy. Uh. Yeah. Well, maybe they are right. If there's no more nervous energy . . .

He let the thought drift. The sun was warm . . . Nick's hands gentle. Hey, what the? The little runt's at it again!

"You're burning, John, hold still while I get some of this sun screen on you!"

"Goddamn queer. You do this with Roger?"

"Sure, whatever you say, now hold still."

John quit griping, and snoozed instead.


Moss hunted around until he found a phone. A Starship Enterprise shaped telephone, he wondered what sound it made when it rang.

"Hi, it's John Moss, could you get me Captain Brix? Yeah, thanks."

John hummed slightly to himself while Brix's secretary hunted around for her boss. This'll get it all sorted out. Not that John was exactly being held prisoner, but he was stuck in L.A., with no money or credit cards (not that MasterCard had been honouring his last few purchases anyway, the kid was right there), and it was going to be very difficult to get back to N.Y. without the boss's help.

"Yo, Brix, yeah, it's me."

"Hello, John, enjoying your holiday?"

"Oh, so you do know about this. Look, can you forward me plane fare or something? I've gotta get outta here."

"No way, Moss. Look, we spent a couple of days there, Norma and I, and it's great, aren't you having a good time there, Moss." John could tell the Captain was laughing at him, knowing full well that John would hate the interference in his life.

"You set this up, didn't you. You think this is funny? Is this your idea of a joke? Leaving me stuck here with this freak?"

The humour suddenly left the Captain's voice. "Now look here, Moss. My wife likes Nick. He's a good kid, and you can stop raining on his parade okay? He likes you, although for the life of me I don't know why, you bad tempered asshole, and he wants to show you his appreciation. I don't want Norma on my back because you've upset him, so you can just shut up and enjoy yourself. You hear me, Moss? If you don't start enjoying yourself, I'll . . ."

"Yeah, yeah. I get the idea."

"Good." The Captain’s voice softened, "Just do things the easy way for a change. We'll see you back when you're better. You can take on the world again later. Bye John."

"Yeah, goodbye Captain."



What Did They Say Backwards At The End of Hot Shots 2 Anyway?

Over the next few days Moss found himself relaxing, despite his best efforts to remain sour.

It was hard to remain immune to Lang's cheerfulness and determination to make John happy. Nick was like a steamroller, charming everything in his path, and John was finding it more and more difficult to remember why he hated the little dickwad anyway. Besides, even someone as self-conscious as Moss was not totally unsusceptible to the kid’s continuous flattery. The attentions had changed from admiration for John's abilities as what Nick saw as being the world's greatest cop, to a far more personal level.

Lang had already given himself away by saying he admired John's build. When John had raised an eyebrow, the actor had covered himself by joking about his own lack of height, using his actor's talent to cover his embarrassment. Nick kept slowly wearing away at John's resistance. Buttering him up, desperately trying to keep him happy (which sometimes seemed like an uphill battle), getting him to relax and open up.

"This is harder than getting Angie to let me do my own stunts", Nick quipped.


John ran his hands over the piano in one of Nick’s playrooms. Baby grand. Pure white. Beautiful. Put his old rosewood upright to shame. John checked he was alone. Tried a few scales. Perfect. He played a few standard jazz lines, ‘Take the 'A' Train’, launched into Chopin's ‘Polonaise No. 6’, not a favourite, but good finger exercise, and finished off with an extended riff from Meatloaf's ‘Bat out of hell’. As the finale notes died away, he realised that instead of a soft relaxing play, that last piece would have alerted the whole household.

Slow clapping from behind spun him around.

"I thought you said you couldn't play." Nick asked, obviously pissed off at finding out something about John Moss he felt he should already have known.

"No, I said my father played. Big difference."

"That was incredible," Nick's enthusiasm came back, he couldn't repress it for long, "Can you play anything?"

"With practice, but I don't get a lot of that. No time." John decided to be civil, to do what Susan often nagged him about, open up a little, talk about himself, "It's kind of relaxing. Or at least distracting. My father was a fairly big name on the jazz circuit. I hated the lessons, but enjoy getting to play when I can. Can you play?"

"Well, no, not really. I've had a few lessons, but I never really got very good. I bought the piano, and thought I'd better learn to use it, but you've heard the extent of my repertoire. I didn't recognise one of the pieces, what was it?"

"'Les plus Inconnu des Mondes', wrote it years ago, for my piano teacher". John didn’t mention why he’d written the music for Monsieur Pédé.

"Woah! You compose! You speak French? I can't believe this. This is terrific. I didn't know this," Nick enthused.

"You don't know everything about me, Nick. Your research did leave me some privacy, otherwise I guess that would have been in the movie as well." The good mood engendered by the piano was evaporating.

"Yeah, you're probably right. But, the way you play, it's, I dunno, I've never heard anything like it. Fantastic.'

John smiled, inspite of himself. His piano had always been a weakness. In more ways than one.

Nick plopped down on the stool beside his hero, and started to play his only song, heart and soul, "Wanna play the high part?"


Nick’s hands shook slightly, and he could feel the dampness where he clutched the phone, but he was proud that his skills as an actor held: his voice showed no tremor, no sign of his nervousness.

Even though he’d told John he’d do his best to see if Susan could join them, he knew it would be better all round if she didn’t. Besides, Ben Pierson would show her a real good time. Since being widowed recently, the poor man had been so lonely. A lovely lady like Susan, complete with ready-made family would be just the thing to bring a little sunshine to ol’ Ben, and he was far less hard work than John was.

Nick convinced himself that the flicker of guilt over setting up Susan and Ben on a date was misplaced. Ben was rich, well established, he came home every night and never did anything more dangerous than direct the occasional uppity actor. Just what Susan was looking for. Yes, this was definitely the best thing for every body concerned.


Franklin, My Dear, I Don't Care If You Are A Man

"John, will you look at this sun? Isn't this great?" Nick seemed exhilarated by life this morning. "So, John, what d'ya want to do today?"

"Smoke. I mean, who do I have to kill to get a cigarette around here?"

"We could go to a show, do you like the theatre, John?"

Moss just have him a look.

"Okay, bad idea. How about indoor climbing?"

"Climbing? You have got to be fucking kidding me? After that billboard fiasco? I had enough of climbing hanging off your stupid hat to last a life time," John gesticulated wildly.

"Yeah, you're right, it's too tiring anyway."

"I am not a goddamn cripple, Lang. Don't you dare try to baby me. Don't you dare, d'you hear me, Lang?"

Nick made soothing gestures, "Sure, sure. Hey look, since you're feeling so full of yourself today, catch," and he threw a basketball at Moss. "Yeah, good hands, John, good hands."

John grinned, remembering the last time Nick had said that. Boy, he'd been angry then. As always.

Nick started jumping around, calling for the ball, and John found himself caught up in his enthusiasm. It had been a long time since he'd played, and why couldn't a man have a bit of fun for a change, since he didn't have any choice in it anyway. So he threw the ball at Nick's head.

The game progressed to the patio, where they played one-on-one for the hoops, both of them laughing for a change, enjoying the sunshine. John was probably the better player, (although neither were terribly good), but Nick used his size (or lack of it) and exuberance to full advantage, ducking around John to keep him off balance, while John favoured his injuries.

Nick shrugged off his shirt, enjoying himself, getting in a few surreptitious gropes, as well as a few hoops. Nick rubbed his hands together vigorously each time he grabbed John's hips to prevent him from making the hoop. John was even talking, a few personal comments, drawn into discussing growing up with a popular musician for a father, until panting became more important than chat.


John was aware of the heat, and decided to lose his own shirt. That'll give the kid a thrill. Moss was no fool, he'd been aware of the kid's intentions for some time. The kid had even worn Moss's clothes when he'd been living at John’s apartment. Moss had decided not to make his own awareness known, then maybe the confrontation would not happen, and embarrassment would be saved on both sides. At least on Moss's. He didn't think Nick knew the meaning of embarrassment, he'd probably enjoy it. But there was no way that John wanted to be the next tabloid sensation, "Nick Lang, star of 'The Good, the Badge and The Ugly' (what a dreadful name), Caught In Sizzling Affair With Cop Who Inspired Movie". Gross! And besides, John had set his sights on Susan. She was too special to mess about with some crazy fling with Nick. Not that the kid wasn't cute. John was not completely innocent with men, in fact he didn't really have any preference except in what other people might think, it was just that it was always easier with women. Also, the couple of times John had fooled around with another guy, at least the other guy had always looked like a man. No matter how old Lang was, he would always look like a kid to Moss. But then again, there was a joy of life that the kid exuded, something missing from the cynical cop, that he found very attractive. Everyone loves a puppy. He decided to let the train of thought go, enjoy the company, don't dwell on what would probably never happen.

Shit, it's hot!

John became aware of feeling a little nauseous, maybe it was too energetic, playing basketball in this heat, and after eating, but he ignored it, until the dizziness started.

No, not again! He put his hands to his head as the world spun. But this was different, no fading to white, just a sick, off balance feeling.


  "John? Son of a bitch, John!" Nick grabbed Moss, worried he was going to fall, cursing under his breath. John seemed so well, abusing everybody as per normal, no sign of fatigue, now he was swaying, seemingly unable to walk properly.

"S'okay, juss so hot", John slurred "'m not gonna pass out again".

"Heat exhaustion, that's it, isn't it. I've read about this. Christ, okay, what do we do? Cool. You've got to cool down." Nick thought of chucking the lieutenant into the swimming pool, but decided it probably wasn't worth his life, so he led him towards the pool house instead.

"There's a bath in here, we'll put cold water in it, you'll be all right." Nick led Moss in, and stood both of them in the bath, turning the shower water on, full blast, cold.

"Ergh", said John. But at least he wasn't sick this time.

Nick quickly stripped John of his clothes, then shucked his own jeans, leaving them both in their underwear. He was worried that John may get embarrassed and leave, but Nick relied on him having more sense than to go back into the heat. In fact, Nick had been feeling it himself and cursed himself for not thinking.

"C'mon, sit down." Nick eased them both down, leaning John back against his chest, goose pimples rising between them. Nick changed the shower for bath taps, splashing water over John, trying to bring their temperature down. Actually, it was quite nice here, away from the heat outside, enjoying the feel of much wanted skin under his hands. "Feeling better?"


Nick moved carefully, trying to make the movement of his hands not appear too obviously caresses. As he became certain that John was fully aware, that they’d been fast enough not to let the heat stress become severe, he was also aware that John was not pulling away. He allowed the caresses to also become more evident, his hands moving to less socially acceptable areas of John's body, as well as adding a little bath oil, trying to create a seductive mood. John has to know by now what I’m trying to do, and he hasn’t hit me yet.


John could feel the kid tremble, very faintly. Stage fright? John pondered this. The kid was afraid of nothing. None of John's tirades ever affected the kid, apart from impressing him, of course. Nick had faced down the Party Crasher, who had been armed with a semi-automatic, while all the kid had had was a plank. Sure, Nick had been shot, but he hadn't backed down. And now the kid was scared. Suddenly John realised just how important this was to Nick. Not just another game, another role to play. Moss had been aware of the fact the kid was acting out some self-directed script up until now, but at this point Nick was flying solo.

John leaned back against the kid and relaxed. Why the hell not. Nick's erection was sticking into his back. With all the babes surrounding him, why the fuck is he interested in one burned out old cop?

"I can't slap you with a paternity suit, is that it?"

"Hmm", Nick brushed his lips against John's temple, turning the detective against the side of the tub and rubbing his hands up and down Moss's chest and abdomen, removing their underwear and slowly working his way to Moss's genitals, trying to recall every seduction scene from every movie he'd ever seen. In Nick's few experiences with other men, he hadn't had to worry about doing things right, the other partner had done all the work, thrilled to be with a movie star, and now he cursed himself for not paying more attention to what had been done. Should have done more research. Now Nick knew this was probably his only chance with John. Why John was allowing him to do this now he wasn't sure, but one mistake and he'd never get another chance.

Should John be the aggressor? That would allow him to maintain his sense of masculinity? Nah, he'd get up and walk away given half an excuse. So, what, do I just fuck him? Here in the bath? Would he like a blow job? He had mentioned something about Hollywood blow jobs. Did your wife never give you one, John? Hmm, now there's an idea. Nick had a feeling that John probably hadn't had sex since the end of his marriage – somehow Nick couldn't imagine Moss using a prostitute, too uptight – and John had admitted to him that he’d not had a girlfriend since his divorce. Maybe that desperation was working in Nick's favour just now. Nick ran his hands down John's thighs, over his butt, Boy, talk about tight ass, can anyone have buns that small and hard and still walk? and up his inner thighs, listening to John sigh slightly. He gently cupped and started to manipulate John's balls.

"Ah, shit."

"Anything you want, John, just let me know, anything you want." Nick slid his own erection between John's buns, letting the oily water act as lubrication, while he started a firm stroking on John's long penis. "Oh, you’re a big boy aren’t you, John," Nick grinned, hiding his envy. He kept up a steady pumping, feeling John relax into the rhythm. "Just let it go, John." His free hand rubbed John's chest, trying to find out if his nipples were sensitive, maybe some men don't care about that, but Nick didn't want to leave anything unexplored.

Nick's fingers found the tip of John's penis, teasing, gently pulling.

"Ah, fuck, shit, Nick".

"You kiss your mother with that mouth, John", but just then Nick's cock slid over the small opening to John's body, the tiny pucker, and Nick started to lose control himself, biting sharply into John's shoulder. John started to jerk and thrash in the water, frothing the bubbles and splashing it onto the floor. Nick increased the pressure, forcing himself harder against Moss, holding him against the side of the tub. They were both going to drown at this rate.

"Oh, God, John, you're incredible, yeah, just let go, like that, yeah" Nick kept up the litany of compliments and reassurances, pumping John's penis steadily, until he felt him suddenly freeze, groan, and come in his hand.


John squeezed his eyes shut, concentrating every molecule of his body on the waves of pleasure rolling up from his groin. Feeling the relaxation, physical and mental, that followed. It had been a long time since someone else had touched him, worked for his pleasure.

He sighed, and waited for a sign from Nick as to how the kid wanted to finish this. So far, Nick had made no demands that John couldn't meet, and was now just rubbing semen into John’s chest. John watched, fascinated, the mixture of semen and oil, it was kind of erotic in an unexpected way.

"Just let me... " Nick took a firm hold of John's hips and started to thrust between the cop's thighs, "I won't... I, ah, that's right, ungh, John. John..."

The feel of the tip of the kids penis prodding against the back of John's now oversensitive balls was mildly disconcerting, but John held still until Nick finished. The kid had worked hard for this ¾ why not let him enjoy it. John enjoyed the feel of warm semen mixing with cool water across his thighs.

John wondered was Brix would think of this. Probably be thrilled. Think of all the perks the Captain could get with one of his men screwing a goddamn movie star! Norma would be overjoyed that her little Hollywood pal was happy. She'd all but adopted Nick as it was. So much like Angie, in that respect. John wondered whether Nick realised that Angie almost considered herself to be Nick's surrogate mother. Hell, the kid’s not all that young, John considered. Gotta be in his 30's at least. Just looks like a teen.

Nick was panting slightly, running kisses across John's shoulders and neck, holding on for dear life.

"That was incredible, you're incredible, God, I love..."

The kid came to an abrupt halt, realising just what he'd been about to say.

John pretended he hadn't heard the unintended words. This peace was to rare to jeopardise.

They lay together for a few moments, enjoying the post coital vagueness. For once, perhaps the first time since they'd met, Nick was quiet. So that's what it takes to shut you up, then? John thought, longing for a cigarette.

Eventually they moved, going back to the main house for a snack, and Nick's ordering John to take a nap. For once John didn't argue. He had some thinking to do, and even though they were both tacitly ignoring their escapade of this afternoon, John wanted some time to come to terms with what had happened, surprised at himself for allowing it.


Nick bounced around the house all afternoon. Finally taking the time to be measured for his costumes, to sign papers and flick through scripts he’d been ignoring.

Angie pursed her lips. It didn't take much to figure out why Nick was being so perky, and she wasn't entirely sure she approved. That New York cop was trouble, she was sure of it! She filled this house with babes, and Nick goes and falls for some skinny cop with a major attitude problem. Mind you, she thought to herself, the babes have been a serious headache in themselves, all those paternity suits. She sighed, Can't win either way. She retired to her office, her mind already ticking over various ways she could wriggle Nicky out of the scandal that was bound to arise.


Bang, Bang, Nick Lang

John woke from a deep sleep. Slowly coming up through the layers to full awareness. He suddenly jack-knifed, unsuccessfully trying to tear himself away from the bed.

"Hi, Honey", Nick cooed.

"What the hell. . . What are you doing?"

"Well, you handcuffed me to your sofa bed. Therefore this could just be one of your own fetishes, right? Saw that in a movie somewhere." Nick leaned down to kiss the lieutenant, and nearly lost his lower lip as the John bit at him.

"No it fucking isn't, uncuff me immediately." John jerked his hands, where they had been cuffed together to a some kind of ring on the bed head. The little pervert had this well planned.

"Look, John, just be quiet, because the only thing I have here to use as a gag are my boxer shorts, and–"

"Don't you dare, Lang, don't you mmmphh".

"There, that's better", Nick said, "Oh, this is just like a buffet," he gloated from his position straddling John's hips, "What shall I taste first?"

Suddenly John was struck by the idiocy of his position, and started to laugh, only able to make 'unking' noises around the face full of underwear he had.

Nick relaxed a little, the laughter didn't mean John wasn't going to kill him when he got free, but it probably did mean John wasn't going to get so angry he'd pass out again. He bent to his self appointed task, making a meal out of John's right armpit, riding out John’s frantic writhing. "How come you've got no body hair, John? You protesting against it?" Then kissed across his chest over to the left nipple, talking even with his mouth full. "I noticed that in the bath, not even much pubic hair. I've got more body hair than you, and I’ve made my career out of playing kids."


What a lot of crap, John thought, trying to wriggle away from the semi-ticklish tongue. The kid moved down, touching John in ways John hadn't been touched before. Actually, he probably wouldn't have allowed it anyway, some things he'd always felt were too intimate, left him too vulnerable, took too much trust, or at least that's the way things had been between John and his ex-wife, but Nick was leaving nothing untouched.

Nick worked his way around John's body, paying no particular attention to any one piece of skin, but making sure every inch received its fair share of bites, pinches, strokes, and licks.

Finding it more and more difficult to lay still under the assault, John finally spat the makeshift gag out of his mouth, but he didn't restart protesting. The usual unreality of sexual arousal had taken over and instead he raised his hips to give the kid greater access on his downward journey. Nick kissed and rubbed John’s inner thighs for a while before turning John onto his belly, like a turkey for basting. Determined fingers worked out any last remaining knots of tension, manipulating each vertebrae of Moss's spine, soothing and arousing. He signed as the kid started on his thighs, rubbing his calves and even biting behind his knees. What a ridiculous seduction technique, but what the hell, he thought, as Nick bit his thighs and buttocks, it works.

"Nice slim hips, John, snake hips, just like Miguel Ferrer."


"And, you've got a better butt than Mel Gibson, you know that?"

"Cut the crap, dickwad."

Nick reached underneath John to pinch a nipple, "Hey, John, d'ya like me better than Mel Gibson?"

"Get outta here, the guy's a star . . . ouch."

Nick twisted harder, and made his voice sound more threatening, "Who's the better actor, John?"

"Owe, you are, Nick, Christ, leggo."

Nick chuckled, which made his penis bob about like a stoned Muppet.

"Hey!" said John, indignantly, "Now do the other one!"

Nick laughed harder, and reached for the other nipple, giving it the same twisting treatment, enjoying the way John's twisting body felt against his buttocks as John ground his penis against satin sheets, sliding in his own pre-cum.

Nick decided to quit with the jokes for a while, and flipped John over onto his back again. He picked up each foot, paying them special attention while avoiding actually tickling him, knowing this was a turn on for some people.

"Hm, you like this, John? A bit of royal financial advice?" Nick took each toe in his mouth, suckling firmly.

John choked back a moan. He'd always had a thing about his feet, and Nick was ruthlessly exploiting this new found weakness. "All right, Nick," John said softly.

"Uhn?" Nick mumbled, not understanding the apparent non sequitur.

"All right", John repeated, and Nick caught onto the fact that he'd got the surrender he was after.

He planted a few kisses on John's flat belly, and tongued the navel, then kissed and bit his way up to John’s lips, claiming the first kiss to which Moss actively contributed. No biting now.

"How about one of those Hollywood blow jobs you mentioned, John? Would you like that?" John just nodded, his eyes shut, swallowing hard.

Nick bent down, cradling John's balls between gentle fingers, lightly brushing his finger tips over the skin, watching it pucker with arousal. He grasped the swaying penis and placed a soft kiss on the crown, then washed it with his tongue, tasting the pre-cum. He blew a thin stream of air across the ultra-sensitive tip and watched muscular tics disappear over his friend's skin. He listened appreciatively to a soft sigh, enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done. He continued that pattern, making sure he tasted every part of John's genitals, and using moist, cool breath to increase his partner's excitement. John found the attentive touches absolutely delightful, strangely both soothing and exciting at the same time.

"Hey, John," Nick interrupted his ministrations, his voice thick with arousal, "Here's a trick, you'll enjoy this." He placed his lips against one of John's testicles, sucking slowly and insistently, increasing the pressure so it strained hard against his lips, pressure building until it suddenly popped into his mouth. John put back his head and howled, that would have been painful if he hadn't been so aroused, but right now it felt incredible. He spread his legs further apart, encouraging Nick to do it to the other one. Fucking incredible.

John arched his lean body off the bed, too aroused at this point to be self-conscious any more. He felt Nick's tongue, flick at his anus, then start aggressively rimming the opening, softening and relaxing the muscle. John growled deep in his throat, arousal having taken him to the point where he could no longer speak. There's no way my wife would have done that! he thought, pulling long legs back towards his chest.

Nick looked down at John's face, his lust easy to read. He bent his head to run his tongue in a slow, wide swathe down the inside of John's thigh. "John, I wanna cum in you." He didn't look at John for a few seconds, waiting for a reaction, then finally raised his eyes to meet the cops. "I'm not very big, so it won't hurt." He waited for denial or approval.

John grinned up at him, "More than a mouthful's a waste, Nick,." licking his lips, his ploy obvious.

"Bastard," Nick retorted, but smiled in spite of himself. "Won't work anyway, I'm not uncuffing you, yet."

Nick grabbed the tube of lube he had slipped into the sheets earlier, coating his fingers, carefully inserting one, then two digits into the cop and gently twisting. All the while he kept up a steady pumping of John's penis, flicking his thumb over the sensitive glans, making sure he kept his partner aroused. Nick still wasn't confident that John wouldn't put an end to this if he regained his sensibilities too soon.

He scissored his fingers to gradually relax and widen the opening, then pushed inwards to find the hidden gland. "Every guy should have a prostate exam, don't you agree, John?" Nick pretended to be thoughtful as he probed the sensitive bump, delighting in watching John yelp and writhe at each move.

"Hmm, not at all lumpy or stodgy, Mr Moss, in fact, just about perfect" Nick said in his best General Hospital Doctor's voice, "Just about perfect for fucking." Nick crawled forward, placing himself at the opening of this much desired body. Although he was telling the truth when he had told John he wasn't big, (he had always believed that it really was how you used it that mattered), in this position Nick knew he would be exactly the right length to hit that prostate and give John the ride of his life. He eased himself in, careful not to move too fast, and savoured the thrill of victory. There was a long pause as John’s body adjusted to the invader, squeezing and flexing. John couldn’t keep still, even now, and Nick grabbed what flesh he could to make sure John didn’t cause them to separate at this stage. Slowly, he started to thrust into that buttery heat, enjoying the way the insides caressed and squeezed him as John writhed and tried to further impale himself.

Nick let go of John's penis, grabbing his hips, holding the cop in place as he pumped himself in and out, feeling rectal walls cling hungrily to his flesh, hearing John's frustrated moans as he tried to bring himself to orgasm.

"Holy Jesus shit Christ," John exclaimed, so worked up now he couldn't even swear straight. "Nick, for Chrissakes . . ."

Nick caught onto the problem, and again grabbed John's erection, pulling with a force that could have been painful, allowing John’s frenzied movements to bring them both to orgasm.

John arched back as the spasms took him, silent for once. Nick had angled John's penis so that semen splattered against his chest. It went unheeded by the actor, who was enraptured in the moment of ultimate selfishness, aware of nothing but the electric thrills setting his nerves alight, the ecstasy of conquering his most desired hero.

John twisted and grunted, flopping back onto the bed as the spasms faded. Nick fell forward, like a Thunderbird whose strings had suddenly been cut. In slow motion he reached up and uncuffed John's hands, then fell beside him, he looked over at his still panting friend and grinned.

"Best love scene ever, John. Best ever."

John just laughed.


The Long, Good Bi

A few days later, John was packed, along with his clean bill of health, and ready to return to New York. He and Nick stood on one of the upper bedroom balconies overlooking the beach. Neither of them wanted to say goodbye, even if it was just to avoid looking emotional. John was going back home, back to Susan and New York. Nick had his life here. John would not have believed, if told before this all started, that he would miss the kid this much, and I haven't even gone yet!

Nick broke the tense silence.

"Did I tell you they are thinking of making a sequel to Badges?"

"Another one? Wasn't the first one bad enough?"

"It was a big success, John, it was fantastic! Best thing I've ever done. . . besides you, of course!" Nick winked obscenely, "The sequel's called "The Good, the Badge and the Ugly Two: We Don't Need No Stinking Badges . . ."

Argh, John put his hands over his head, That's going from worse to absolute shit!

"Anyway, John, I was thinking, you know, well . . ." Nick looked almost shy . . . "Um, I'll need to do research again, and I was thinking . . ."

"Again? After what we both went through last time?"

"Sure, it was great. Well, not the being shot part, that sucked, but we had some fun right? Anyway, I was good at being a cop, all the critics said so, and I was a good partner, you gotta admit that, John."

John rolled his eyes to the ceiling and sighed "I don't understand you, Lang, I really don't!"

"Maybe that's the problem. Maybe instead of trying to understand me, you should just kick back and experience me. Experience the whole Nick Lang Thing."

"You egomaniacal little cockroach."

"Yeah, I love you too, John."


Notes: It’s dated now, but the ‘financial advice’ crack is a reference to the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and her toe sucking millionaire. Thanks to Mirna and Gillian who fixed up some of my original errors, there sure were a whole heap o’ those!