Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Emily looked back once more at Sherlock on the porch and the Plymouth in the driveway, while Joe started to push the pedal into the floor. It felt weird to leave him behind with all of the hunts she had promised to let Sherlock go on, but he would just have to understand how it worked when the government was involved. They had involved themselves because she had gotten sloppy and that wasn’t going to happen again.
If it did happen again, she would have to kill Torrio.
They rolled down the street to the toll bridge and set on the brake for sitting in the line waiting to go across.
“Is your friend Arthur okay?”
“Yeah, he’s just adapting to the time difference.”
“So he is from England?”
She took another swig of the peach soda, thinking about how if she were hunting with her grandfather, he would have insisted on cutting it with whiskey. As it turned out, the feds did not approve of drinking on the job and often invalidated claims based on blood levels. Emily pushed the window down with a snark comment about the feds not wanting to have air conditioning either.
“Emily, I know we haven’t been working together long and we’ve been sharing personal details for even less, but-”
“But you want to know how the fuck Arthur ended up as my roommate?”
“My version was subtler and had no such expletives, but yes. I don’t mean any offense, but he doesn’t seem to be particularly with it.”
Well, he used to be a bit of a drug addict, but he’s just like this because I’m his mother goose.
Emily repeated the mother goose concept in her head until it would fit for the conversation in question. Joe kept looking back at her towards the silence and she could almost hear the gears cranking in his head, as they figured out how to fix what happened. One more swig of peach soda passed through her lips before she began with, “He’s had some life troubles and got into some trouble with the family.”
She didn’t need to be specific about “the family” in question and she didn’t plan on it. Joe kept his eyes on the road, sighing enough to fog up the windshield.
“I knew him through this guy in London named Doyle and I had uh sort of connection with the kid, almost a parent figure. So, when one of other mutual friends informed me of the danger he was in, I offered up one of my spare rooms in exchange for some things.”
“That’s all I get? Mhmm?”
As the car slipped over the aqueduct bridge, nose pointing into the valley of trees below, Joe threw on the brake and said, “We’re here.”
Emily retrieved her gun from beneath the seat.
“Yeah Joe, I sort of guessed that.”
She looked down at her watch reading out 20:25, giving her a few hours to hunt down their mark, make it home to make dinner for Sherlock, and have time to sleep before driving him to work. Even if he did have proof of identity to get a driver's license, she wasn't going to trust him with it.
The familiar sound of the trunk lid coming up and Joe rustling around in the area was followed by, “So here’s the plan.”
“And I bet it’s a beaut.”
He ignored her comment, coming around the side of the car to give up her weapons bag. Versus what the federal agent chose to carry, Emily had turned to being more creative and classical with her weapons. Today’s case would be easy. Just a band of human smugglers trying to pass illegal ghost supplements back and forth over the border. She was only getting consultants pay for this, but it would be good enough to cover the expenses.
“Are you sure you’re going to be okay on this run, Emily? They might not be violent enough for you.”
“And what is that supposed to mean?”
“I know you, and I know that you have a thing for beating answers out of people. I hate to break it to you, but these guys are honestly going to break at the flash of a badge, not your death glare.”
I know you have a thing for beating answers out of people?
Is that really how everyone in the world viewed her? It wasn’t that far from the truth, but it still hurt to be accused of it.
Joe came back around to her side of the car, buckling the pattern cloak to shield them from view, and carefully squeezed through the other door. They needed to long tarp to blend in to the environment. Though the position on the aqueduct was dangerous if they got a gust of wind or a flash flood, it was one of the better vantage points for the trail.
“So Emily, what do you want to talk about until they show up at 10?”
“How are we going to talk about sleep – oh.”
She had already turned against the window of the car, bringing her coat tight around her neck, and avoiding contributing to the conversation. The talking he was doing with himself was nothing new but she wasn’t going to admit to listening. After twenty minutes it faded out and she began working on catching up her sleep.
“Emily, get your gun.”
If it hadn’t been for the recognition of Joe shaking her awake, the body that belonged to the hands on her shoulders would have been in a great deal of pain. Still her hand was twitching, wanting to punch him in the gut, with the further realization she needed him to capture the targets.
“Just arrived. Thirty minutes past the dot though.”
“So you were expecting criminals to be on time based on a tip we got from a werewolf drag queen at a gay bar in Mathias?”
“Well you didn’t seem to have any trouble flirting with xem.”
Emily went back to ignoring him, checking the sharpness and speed of the blades in her boots. It didn’t matter where they got the information or who they got it from. It just mattered that they found the targets before they did anymore damage and caused any more trouble to the community.
It was always going to be about removing the threat.
They both slipped out of the car at the same time, climbing down the side of the hill and grabbing at loose roots to make their way. The little band of smugglers was distributing their products into small shipping containers marked as items of produce. Even through the distance and the dark, Emily could identify some of the slaughtered goods, all very illegal.
“Alright, there they are. I’m going to go flash the badge and you stay here to cover my back.”
Joe crept up to the next bridge, hiding behind it a moment before stepping into the light of their campfire. Emily was already in the motion of reaching the next bridge with her rifle. She would have preferred to be shooting live rounds but her compromise with the government didn’t even allow her to wing the perps. Instead, she was loading the knockout drop darts into the clip.
“Ladies and gentlemen, so sorry to disturb you this evening but I am going to have to take you into custody.”
As each accomplice backed out of the circle, they dropped to the ground from a well-placed dart in the neck. After everyone but the main two fell, she clicked the safety on but left the rifle in its position against the stone work. The visible fear in the remaining leaders’ eyes was enough of a reason to justify her presence in the operation.
Badge or no badge, her wrath was delivered more effectively.
Joe looked around the scene, flashing back to give her a knowing glance before continuing with his spiel.
“Now I know that you folks are important, but how about you tell me who the real ring leaders are?”
She looked down at her watch again.
Still plenty of time to get home, even if she would be here all night interrogating these assholes.