On his return from the toilet, Venkman threw himself prone on one of the down-room couches, his hundred-twenty kilo frame summoning a squeal from the rickety furniture. The noise drew a couple of drowsy grunts of displeasure from his squad mates lying scattered around the room, but nothing sincere.
Venkman put his boots up and stared at the ceiling. Not that tired yet, but fuck it, better to be rested and not need it than wiped out when things go south like they did today.
The Starfall District squad had only been pulled from the line after a full platoon of Central District officers showed up. If they wanted to avoid working for a living, their timing was impeccable.
Sergeant Trudeau was still seething about that timing, angry voice carrying from the Lieutenant’s office all the way down the hall, “Why is it that the unit from the district we were deployed to couldn’t get deployed in time, while my people are where they need to be when they’re ordered, asses in the god-damned breeze?”
The lieutenant’s response was neither audible nor satisfying, given the Sergeant’s shouted, “Well, fuck that! We’re all on the same team, last I checked, and just cause the-” the rest of Trudeau’s diatribe was cut off by the click of the latch on the Lieutenant’s door.
“Haven’t seen Trudeau this pissed in a long time.” Baptiste murmured from the lounge chair beside the couch.
“Ever.” Venkman opined.
“Not every day we get that much stick-work in.”
“True. We were lucky, though, that none of ours got hurt.”
“What do you mean, no-one?” Thierry piped up, raising his wounded hand. His gauntlet had failed and he’d taken a slice from a bottle on the knuckle. Nothing serious, but not something to inspire confidence in department equipment.
“That? I’ve had worse trying to bang your sister!” Baptiste said. His comment elicited a couple of sleepy chuckles from the rest of the squad. Bap had a rep as a clever mouth, always ready with the quick shot.
“That’s right! She’s got better taste than to let a fucktard like you anywhere near her snatch.” Thierry answered.
Damn, anyone who’ll talk like that about his own people deserves to win every once in a while.
In the dimness, Venkman saw Baptiste open his mouth and either fail to come up with a suitable reply or decide to let Thierry win for the same reason Venkman thought him deserving.
Everyone got a chuckle out of that silence, even Baptiste.
“You were saying, before we were so rudely interrupted?” Baptiste murmured after the amusement died down.
“Aside from their late arrival, which I agree was fucked, the guys from Central did all right by us.”
“Yeah, Sarge just has her panties in a twist because of all the use of force paperwork.”
The couch squeaked again under Venkman as he shrugged, “Well, they weren’t there for the stick-work, so the boys and girls from Central couldn’t well write the paper, could they?”
“Nope. But if they’d been in position in the first place, we might not have had to start swinging: Police are scary. Lots of police even more so.”
“Would you two lovers shut the fuck up? We might get called out again, and I need my beauty sleep.” Thierry said.
“More like a coma, to get that ugly mug straight!” Baptiste said.
“Look at your partner much?”
An uncomfortable silence began to settle, a silence Venkman broke, “Not my fault I fell face first into your sister’s snatch.”
The down-room erupted in laughter. Venkman was glad of it. His face was a seamed mass of scars, but there was a good reason for it, if one different from what was generally assumed.