Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
As he drove through the quickly forming storm, Winslow couldn’t help but think of the conversation he had with Reilly. There was certainly something suspicious about Dr. Palm and the disappearance of the assistant coroner. It could have just been the timing and the strong emotions that Winslow was dealing with, or the man may have just forgotten to take leave. Or it could be something ultimately sinister and connected to the other cases he had been studying around the country.
“Winslow, are we home yet?” Asked the sleepy Scotsman laid out on his bench seat.
Truth be told, the detective had mostly forgotten that Reggie was in the car with him. Usually the presence of Reggie meant that there would not be a single second of silence. Winslow had only heard this dead quiet on a few occasions during the decade he had known the man.
In his most motherly tone, Winslow responded, “We’re nearly home, dear.”
“Are we still going to get that bubble bath?”
“You’re going to get a bubble bath and a mug of tea and a blanket to stop you from shivering so much. How does that sound, my friend?”
Reggie sat up in his seat, pulling Winslow’s coat tighter around his shoulders as he said, “You’re much too kind to me, Winslow.” The detective didn’t know how to respond. He didn’t know what was the right amount of niceness to bestow upon Reggie. To be fair, just a few days ago the Scot had been involved in an attempt upon Winslow’s life.
“I’ve said that before, haven’t I?” Reggie asked while looking out the passenger window. Winslow could see the fog gathering up on the inside of the glass from the combination of the temperature and exhales of noticeable sighs. The silence, that had previously been an enjoyable and welcome change, was starting to make Winslow feel guilty.
He wasn’t sure what he was feeling guilty of but he was definitely feeling guilt for something.
As they turned into his apartment complex, Winslow managed to place a finger on some of the words that he was searching for. They turned and twirled around in his brain for a few moments before he explained, “You have expressed that sentiment before, my dear, but I can assure you that you deserved to be treated this well.”
Winslow shifted his car out of gear, turning off the ignition and searching for the lock key in his coat pocket. It took Winslow another few moments to realize that Reggie was wearing his overcoat and then another series of thoughts to be able to pose the question: “Hey Reggie, can you hand me the car keys in the pocket of my coat?”
The detective expected his friend to say something such as “Anything for you, my good man” or “No trouble at all kind sir”. Instead, the only response he got was the sound of the slumped over Reggie. Winslow slid over on the seat next to him and carefully began fishing through his own coat pockets.
“Is there something I can help you with, Winslow? Perhaps you’d like to feel another part of my body.”
Winslow laughed as he asked, “Are you really that desperate for sex?”
“Says the man who just slept with one of the lead witnesses in his multiple homicide?”
The detective could only chuckle to cover his blushing red embarrassment as he hauled the both of them out of his sedan. Reggie’s vow of silence was soon broken as they made the trek across the parking lot and up the stairs to Winslow’s shabby apartment. He wasn’t going to lie to anyone about the state of his living quarters - they were downright trash. This was the man that had gone from sleeping in Los Angeles mansions to Manhattan penthouses to reasonably nice European hotels and finally to basement bars in Berlin.
After that last experience, Winslow enjoyed his modestly sized apartment in the morally shady and dimly lit Oak Plantation complex. They reminded him of the tenements of New York except with more crime and more filth. At least during his undercover assignment there, which informally involved romancing a Jewish actor he had seen in an off broadway play, there had been some sense of community and some way to stay warm at night.
Well, he thought to himself, I do have a way to stay warm now.
When they reached the landing for Winslow’s floor, Reggie put a hand on his shoulder and asked, “What world are you day dreaming about now, Winslow? Or would I be more correct in asking what man are you day dreaming about now?”
“I’ll have you know that I’m no longer a confirmed bachelor but I do not have a beard.”
This line managed to make Reggie laugh a bit as he fished for Winslow’s keys in the borrowed overcoat. The detective stood off to the side with his own disgruntled sighs, wondering how long it would take for Reggie to realize that the house keys were attached to his car keys.
Once again, in another moment of slight, casual cruelty, Winslow found himself not giving a single care about Reggie. He knew in his heart that he should be taking care of his friend in this time of pain but it was altogether so easy to repay the Scotsman for the pain he had inflicted upon Winslow.
It was not fun to get thrown out of a moving vehicle.
Now Winslow just had to find a way to express that sentiment to Reggie.
“Reggie,” Winslow started and then sighed. “I have the keys to the door.”
He took the chance to whisk them both inside before Reggie had a single second to question his actions. The lights in his apartment were still burning at their dim brightness. James’ soft snores coming from the broken sofa signaled some dirty things for Winslow, but he resisted his temptation to focus on taking care of Reggie. It would be so, so easy to jump onto him right now…
For the last few steps of sneaking towards the bathroom, Winslow had to drag the spy over to the bathtub, trying his best not to wake his sleeping partner.