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  1. What Are You? Chicken?
  2.  
  3. Officers Gregory and Heinz had been working together on the force for nearly half a decade. Their partnership had seemed to go so flawlessly due to how each of them complimented the other. Gregory McDermit was a whip of man, built quick, lean and lithe and with a wit to match he often found himself taking the lead when either tailing or questioning their suspects through whatever twists and turns they might lead him on. He was sharp featured, topped with cropped ginger hair and a well maintained short beard and goatee, careful to take care of himself in every aspect he could, be it by his vegan diet, or clean, pressed attire.
  4.  
  5. Peter Heinz, meanwhile, was an absolute unit of a feller. Broad chested, and even more broadly skilled, he often found himself hacking his way through airlocks for them whether it be with a fire axe, or a fine touch. To say this square jawed, salt-and-pepper haired, clean shaven brute inspired anything less than absolute awe would fail to do him even the faintest justice, and while his heavyset build made him more likely to simply crash through a wall than dance about it, there hadn't been a perp alive who'd managed to outrun him when he was behind the wheel.
  6.  
  7.  
  8. ------
  9.  
  10. Recently, the pair of them had been working one of their toughest cases yet. For the past three weeks they'd been trying to track down a notorious burglar known by the name of Slick Haired Mick, who'd been involved in a series of BnEs on the Northern Star, orbitting Vir. Mick always seemed to be one step ahead of them, and it had been driving the pair mad, sending a wedge between them as they grappled with elusive perp. Tonight, they were staking out a pawn broker Mick was known to frequent, posing as a pair of patrons in the bar across from the seedy looking fence.
  11.  
  12. Heinz gave a sigh, sipping from his vodka and tonicas his steely grey eyes watched unflinchingly through the window. Gregory looked up at him with a furrowed brow.
  13.  
  14. "What's on your mind, my man?" he asked, twisting a glass of apple and berry kombucha in his grasp.
  15.  
  16. "This lead. It's too easy..." Heinz replied, "You barely even had to frighten that asshole to get the information out of him. It feels like a trap."
  17.  
  18. Gregory rolled his eyes and smirked, taking a sip from his drink before he replied.
  19.  
  20. "What are you, chicken?" he asked, "It's a solid start at least. And even if it is a trap, they know we aren't going to spring it unless Mick shows himself. We've got a shot, for once."
  21.  
  22. Heinz' eyes flared at the taunt, to literally anyone but Gregory, he was immune to such simple goading, but the pair of them held such a strong, friendly rivalry that it was almost all Gregory needed to spur him into action. The implication was known to them both, if Gregory, as tiny as he was, was willing to issue the challenge, it meant he was willing to throw down the proverbial gauntlet and commit to whatever action. Of course, to this, Heinz had no choice but to meet him. What use was all that muscle if he wasn't willing to throw it at whatever they were tackling together, after all?
  23.  
  24. ------
  25.  
  26. Their banter was cut short though as across the hallway a pale, freckled man with gelled ginger hair slunk his way into the pawn shop they were watching.. Heinz nodded through the window.
  27.  
  28. "Well what do you know?" he asked of Gregory, smirk playing across his lips, "He could be your brother, Gregory."
  29.  
  30. The thinner of the pair rolled his eyes again, this time more out of annoyance than mockery.
  31.  
  32. "Yeah that'd be the dream for you, wouldn't it Heinz? God knows you can't get enough of me."
  33.  
  34. The two of them stood and donned their jackets to hide their holsters from view before making their way casually across the street with a slight sway in their step to imitate drunken patrons going for a perusal of the pawnbroker's product.
  35.  
  36. Like usual, Heinz made his way through the door first, holding it open for Gregory while making a quick sweep of the contents. Something seemed off. It was far too empty in here, there was barely any product on the walls, but plenty of dust missing to shown there had been more stock recently. It was also almost devoid of people, to boot. Only the ginger topped man and the clerk were inside, the latter behind what appeared to be bullet proof glass, the former with a suspiciously thick jacket and an oddly misshapen bag.
  37.  
  38. ----
  39.  
  40. The redhead turned around once the pair were inside, and the door had shut behind them. As he spoke, his voice was softly lilted with what seemed to be a Terran's Irish accented, punctuated by a confident, sing song tone.
  41.  
  42. "Aaah, good afternoon officers. I think you've been looking for me."
  43.  
  44. Gregory was quicker on his feet as usual, and having noticed the same signs as Heinz, played a touch dumb.
  45.  
  46. "Officers?" he asked, tossing Heinz a confused look, "I think you've got us confused, friend. We're not security."
  47.  
  48. There was movement through the window outside, as several large, well armed men stacked up at the entry. The lead made is way inside, gripping a burst laser in his hand, and holding it threateningly. Mick gave a soft scoff at them.
  49.  
  50. "Is that so?" he asked, clearly not convinced, "then I really must ask, just who are you two fine gentlemen?"
  51.  
  52. The pair looked at each other, before Gregory replied, confidently, "We're just here on a date of course, we're looking for decorative plates to put in our apartment."
  53.  
  54. Mick was thrown by this. He held up a hand, signalling the gun team to stay themselves.
  55.  
  56. "Is that so..?" he inquired again, hesitation flickering across his expression. Perhaps these were civilians. Perhaps murdering them would only draw security closer. The Terran's gaze hardened suddenly as the solution crossed his mind. "Then, prove it. If you live together, you must've shared a kiss by now. Prove your affections."
  57.  
  58. The two of them hesitated, glancing behind themselves, spying the sheer numbers of heavily armed men, while they were caught undergunned and underarmed. Gregory looked Heinz in the eye, and gave a sigh, before conceding with sagging shoulders;
  59.  
  60. "Well, honey? What are you, chicken?"
  61.  
  62. ----
  63.  
  64. What could Heinz do but follow through? Taking Gregory by the hands, the pair of them stood close, Heinz upturning his rough palms as he held Gregory's softer fingertips. The bigger man leaned down, towering his powerful frame over the hesitant, demure ginger before pressing their lips together in unsure, cautious embrace with eyes clenched closed, expecting horror. Then, curiously, something unexpected happened.
  65.  
  66. A spark shocked between them, an electricity without voltage. Their closed eyes softened, and they inhaled with unexpected ease. When they finally broke apart, they looked at each other with disbelief, before clearing their throats and looking at the Irishman who was giving them a slow round of applause.
  67.  
  68. "Lovely, jus' lovely" Mick said, a sincere smile on his features quickly changing into something apologetic. "Gentlemen, you'll have to forgive me, and my associates here. We were expecting some rather troublesome guests. I beg of you to enjoy your shopping, and forget we ever bothered you, and we'll take our leave.
  69.  
  70. With that, he gave a sharp whistle, and a twirl of his finger, before stalking out the front door, guards in tow. The detectives gave a dual sigh of relief once they were in the clear. They lingered for a long moment, long enough pretend to peruse, before making their way back to end their shift for the day.
  71.  
  72. ----
  73.  
  74. Gregory huffed as he passed the threshold of his apartment, throwing his coat into a messy pile on his counter before running his hands through his hair and making for the fridge. Heinz followed not too far behind, face pensive with thought as the redhead dug out a bottle of beer for the pair of them.
  75.  
  76. "You know..." the larger man began, shutting the door behind him and then leaning against it with crossed arms, "I'm not sure that act is going to be convincing enough under scrutiny if we have to do it again." He let his arms fall by his side, tapping at the steel of the blacked out airlock in contemplation. "Maybe we should rehearse. In case we run into him in such conditions again."
  77.  
  78. The smaller detective paused from his activity, arching a brow briefly before giving an amused smirk and returning to his corkage.
  79.  
  80. "Y'know, Pete, if you've got a burning desire to make out with me all you've got to do is speak up" he said, veiling his comment with an ironic tone and a scoff.
  81.  
  82. Heinz, for his part, simply looked away, a faint tint of red making its way onto his cheeks. Gregory, as sharp eyed as he was, couldn't miss it. The slight half of the duo could naught but pause, and then take a long swig from his drink, draining it near dry. He took a deep breath, then gave the silent slab a cocksure grin before speaking what would be decisive words.
  83.  
  84. "Cat got your tongue, Pete? C'mon. What are you? ...Chicken?"
  85.  
  86. With that, as they so often did, Heinz' eyes flared at the taunt. He reached out for Gregory's collar, using it and his immense strength to throw him carefully against the wall and...
  87.  
  88. <i> Oh-- <i>
  89.  
  90. ----
  91.  
  92. <i> Oh my goodness. </i>
  93.  
  94. ----
  95.  
  96. <i> Oh that is really quite graphic. </i>
  97.  
  98. ----
  99.  
  100. <i> Golly gosh, this scene... </i>
  101.  
  102. ----
  103.  
  104. <i> Why is it so LONG? </i>
  105.  
  106. ----
  107.  
  108. <i> Oh dear, that wasn't meant to be quoting Heinz. </i>
  109.  
  110. ----
  111.  
  112. <i> Well that was certainly an experience to read. </i>
  113.  
  114. ----
  115.  
  116. The two of them fell against the sheets, wordless and catching their breath for a long moment. Gregory, being the tiny thing that he was, recovered first and rolled over dragging open his bedside drawer to fish out a cigarette. Heinz drew a final, deep breath to regain his composure, before breaking the relative silence.
  117.  
  118. "Well. Uh. Okay. I suppose we're in practice. So what uh. What are we going to do about Mick?"
  119.  
  120. McDermit just laughed, before lighting up his cigarette and shaking his head.
  121.  
  122. "Peter, my boy. Somehow I get the feeling literally nobody cares."
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