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Suzie’s House 517 : Head Cases

Vin dragged himself into the house in utter exhaustion. He’d subcontracted with the FBI to work on a serial killer case that had covered five states so far. Although the part of the work that he was responsible for was supposed to be confined to Wisconsin, he’d gone to a meeting in Chicago, an only now gotten back.

It was late. Maybe he should sleep in Miranada’s “shoe room” rather than risk waking her up. She wasn’t exactly easy to get along with when she didn’t get enough sleep. All the windows visible from the front of the house were dark, but a soft glow from the kitchen made it’s way down the hall to the front door. Curious, he dropped his luggage by the stairs, and made his way to the kitchen.

Drew sat at the kitchen table with a cup of tea in his hand for all the world like some kind of gentleman. He stared at a sheet of paper, which was neatly lined up next to the saucer.

“Trouble sleeping?” Vin stepped into the light.

“Vin! Been a while. How’s the case going?”

“Not well.” Vin pulled out a chair. He sat. “Thanks for helping me find the people on that list of next of kin. They made good use of it at The Company.” Since they were both former agents, he could rely on Drew to know he was talking about the bureau. “Think you could help again?”

Drew paused with the cup half way to the saucer. His eyes widened and his jaw set, but only for a moment. Then the cup landed gently.

“Normally, I’d be willing.” He nodded thoughtfully. “But this time you might want to wait a little while.”

“Wait? Why? You know the clock is ticking. The longer it takes to find the killer, the more people will die.”

“Can’t be helped. You know what condition I’m in. Well, it’s about to get wo….”

“Don’t give me that BS.” Vin snapped. “You’ve had long enough to get over this. Or if it really is a brain chemistry thing, then why don’t you find ways to compensate for it? Come on, man. Work with me here.”

Drew stared at him like he’d grown a second head.

“Don’t look at me like that. Haven’t I been there for you?” Vin gritted the words out, his fatigue giving them more edge than he normally would.

“Have you?” Drew arched a questioning eyebrow.

“You can’t blame me for New Mexico. I was there. I can’t help it if you did your level best to ditch me.” He stood up, his agitation stronger than his weariness.

“Is that how you saw it? You know I wasn’t thinking straight.” Drew leaned over the paper, giving the written words at least as much attention as his old friend.

“For someone not thinking you sure did a good job of covering your tracks.” It was something he’d thought may times, but tried to never say. A bad night was rapidly getting worse. Maybe he should just go to bed. Deal with it tomorrow.

“I’ve already apologized to you. I’m not going to keep doing that.” He glanced at his watch, the picked up his cup of tea as if drinking it was a timed event.

“I don’t expect an apology now or ever. But this case is important.” Vin kept to himself that half the reason he wanted Drew to work it was to show the man he still had a life to lead. He walked around the table, and casually glanced at the paper.

“So is this. I have a chance to go back to being who I was before. There are risks, but I’ll risk anything to get over this and be myself again.” He finished off the cup.

The paper held detailed instructions for a self administered “Cleansing Regime.” It was in the blocky handwriting of the old woman who was staying with them at Drew’s request. In fact, Vin cold hear them snoring in th den even now.

“Wait. What are you doing?” He looked at Drew in alarm.

“I’m going to be worse for the next couple of weeks.” Drew took his cup and saucer to the dishwasher. “Think of it like you would if I had to have a major operation. I’m going to be staying home and recovering. If you still need help with your case after that, and I haven’t killed myself with this cure, then I’ll be all ears.”

He walked to the hallway, but paused in the door way to look back at his best friend.

“As to your resentments over what happened in New Mexico, get over them. I don’t hold anything against you, and I don’t owe you anything. Just back me up right now so we can go back to being what we used to be.”

He walked into the dark while Vin stood there with his jaw hanging like the idiot he always suspected he might be.

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3 comments to Suzie’s House 517 : Head Cases

  • I like how you cut off the word “worse” up top and left me wondering what Drew was going to say, only to finally have him pick up on the thought at the end, once Vin gave him time to talk.

    Good stuff.

  • ‘Timed event’ worked well. One doesn’t think of tea – on the drinking side – as that. On the making side, well, there’s the whole elaborate tea ceremonies of the Japanese.

    There are many medicines which need to be taken like that, but rarely from a teacup. Nice.

  • Kellye

    Love the interaction here! Drew’s final comment IS the old Drew. I’m so happy to see these characters again.😃

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