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Aug. 23rd, 2007 @ 07:25 pm Chickens have a habit of coming home to roost
Cosmic!Rays AU, Part 19

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18



Ray had exhausted his repertoire of hanging about possibilities. He'd tied and untied his bootlaces. Twice. He'd patted himself down in an over-exaggerated 'search' for his sunglasses doing his best 'what a relief' mime as he found them around his neck. He'd window-shopped in the one shop that was open just up the street from the bar. It wasn't until he'd been staring vacantly into the window for a few minutes wondering what was going on inside the bar that he realized it was a shop specializing in frou-frou dresses for the non-discerning frou-frou female and now it was too late to step away without some kind of embarrassment. He thought about making the most of it, hitting on the Muscle Twins, but Vecchio probably wouldn't approve. He wandered a little further up the street, looking round the corner, finding a quiet place to call in law enforcement – better be safe than sorry.

He began to saunter back towards the bar and that was the moment the door opened and a man came out. His shape was familiar and Ray felt a kick to the stomach. The man started walking towards him. Ray pulled off his sunglasses to get a better look but before they even hit his chest he was running, white hot fury pouring through him.

Acting entirely on instinct, Ray launched himself at the man and they slammed into the ground, Ray grasping the man's legs. Wriggling, the man tried to free himself from Ray's grip but Ray straddled him and pinned his arms to his sides. He pulled out his gun and shoved it into the guy's cheek. He knew he was yelling; he hardly knew what. The world blurred around him.

"Kowalski!"

Ray heard the voice but it wasn't until Vecchio was crouched in front of him, pale and shocked, that Ray was able to pull together a response.

"Volpe," he said.

Vecchio's face twisted in confusion.

"This is Frankie Zuko, Kowalski."

"This is Volpe, Vecchio. You think I could mistake the guy who murdered Fraser?" Ray's voice nearly broke on the last word and he tightened his grip on Volpe-Zuko.

The guy blanched. He should. His life was almost over.

"I didn't. Don't kill me. I don't know what you're talking about. I've never seen you before. Mundo, get him off of me. I have children. Don't. Please. Don't."

Ray was disgusted. This sniveling coward was the guy he'd been chasing? The cold-blooded killer? The master criminal? He spat in Volpe's face.

"Say your prayers. Not that anyone's gonna be listening for you."

"Kowalski, don't. Don't kill him."

Ray looked up at the sound of Vecchio's voice. Don't? What did he mean, don't? Didn't Vecchio realize this was why Ray was here? He shook his head and aimed his gun at Volpe's forehead.

"Ray, please," said Vecchio. "You can't kill him, you're not a murderer. You're not like him. You're a thousand times better. A million. Fraser wouldn't want revenge; he'd want justice, wouldn't he?"

He was using the voice, Ray knew he was using the voice and he tried to resist it because seeing Volpe's brains blown half-way across the street and his blood soaking into the dust beneath him, that was something Ray wanted so badly to see. But as much as he wanted to shout, to scream "What do you know about what Fraser would want!" the truth of Vecchio's words branded him. Fraser had believed so fiercely in the power of Justice, even when his face was shoved in the dirt of its failures. Ray couldn't let him down now.

Vecchio was looking past him now, holding up a hand.

"You're gonna wish I had killed you when they're through with you," He pushed his gun towards Volpe once again, relishing the look of terror on his face, before pulling it back, twirling and holstering in one easy movement. He leapt up and off Volpe, kicking him in the ribs.

"Tie him up," he said.

"Sure, Kowalski."

Ray found he was shaking. He put his hands on his hips and breathed deep, looking around him. He saw the Muscle Twins out cold on the floor – when had that happened? – and turning round further he saw a group of three uniformed men, standing in a huddle and looking at him funny. Ray's fist curled and he had to stop himself striding over to wail on them just so he could get some of this fucked-up energy out.

Vecchio, meanwhile, had Volpe-Zuko tied and on his feet and was holding him at arms' length. He was signaling to the uniformed men – must be the law enforcement Ray had called. They strolled over, avoiding meeting Volpe's eyes. One of the guys, a pasty, overweight, middle-aged man with the purple nose of a drinker stopped just by Vecchio's shoulder leaning in to mutter in his ear. Ray didn't catch what he said. Vecchio looked cross.

"Yeah, we're sure. Mr. Zuko otherwise known as Volpe otherwise known as scum-sucking dickweed is under arrest. We will be transporting him to the CourtShip at our earliest convenience for his permanent inconvenience. Now let's get out of here before those idiots wake up or anyone else interrupts this cozy little scene."

The officer shrugged.

"On your head be it," he said. "Transport's this way."

"Some help here, Kowalski," said Vecchio, snapping his fingers in the direction of Ray's face.

Ray blinked and looked at him. Vecchio raised Volpe's arm and flapped it about. Ray got the hint. He walked over and took Volpe's other arm, squeezing tight. Just let him complain. Just let him. He'd give his nose another kink to match the one Vecchio beat into him all those years ago.

*

It was an uneventful journey back to the Port. Leastways, Ray assumed it was; he was barely aware of any of it. Vecchio had them taken straight to the Port Detention Facility where Volpe was unceremoniously dumped in a holding cell. He was making noises about lawyers now. Slamming the door shut in his face sorted that one out. Vecchio had thanked the law enforcement guys and sent them on their way, ignoring the dire warnings about 'messing with the natural order of things'.

Left alone by the Port officials, Ray dropped onto a bench outside Volpe's cell, foot tapping and fingers twitching. He closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall. Vecchio paced the corridor, trying to reach Riviera.

"MacDonald," he said for the fifty millionth time. "This is Vecchio, state your position."

There was a sound of something being fumbled and then Ray heard Ian's voice.

"We're still at the CourtShip."

"You not got the prisoners handed over yet?"

"Oh, yes," Ian sounded proud. "That's all done; we have the releases and everything. They're very efficient up here, you know. I was quite impressed. It reminded me of the time-"

"Good, good. Why are you still there?"

"Um. Things are happening?"

"Things are happening?"

"Yes."

"What things?"

Ray could tell Vecchio's temper was rising from the increased speed of his footsteps.

"I don't know. Frannie things."

There was a splat that Ray recognized as Vecchio's hand smacking his forehead.

"Tell my sister to finish up yesterday and get down here. We got Zuko."

"You got him?! That's great!"

"It would be greater if we could make him someone else's problem. Capice?"

"I'll raise Frannie. We'll be there quicker than you can spit. Well, not quicker, but-"

"Thanks, Ian."

Vecchio clicked off. Ray felt the soft whump of air as Vecchio sat down next to him. He opened his eyes and glanced sideways. Vecchio looked tired.

"I'm sorry," said Ray.

Vecchio twisted sharply and frowned at him.

"What're you sorry for?"

"This," Ray gestured helplessly at himself. "Because it was you and Zuko and me being the strong, silent type. Now it's me and Volpe and me being the homicidal wreck type. I'm trying- I mean I want to- It's hard."

Ray knocked his head off the wall to punctuate his point. Always with the way with words, he thought and then rubbed the back of his head where he'd banged it. Vecchio smiled and gripped Ray's shoulder, shaking him lightly.

"Idiot," he said. "It's not like you planned it or nothing. Anyhow, stopping you flipping out is giving me something to do."

"I'm still flipping out here. See me out-flip. You're not doing a good job. You need quality assurance."

"I thought I'd see how far you could go before I reeled you back from the edge. Stopped you killing him, didn't I?"

Ray turned and met Vecchio's eyes, open and frank, searching Ray's face for something. For what?

"Yeah." Ray's head dropped in a nod. "Thanks for that."

Vecchio shrugged.

"De nada. I only just broke you in. Think I want to start all over again with some unwashed, underfed dweeb while you cool your heels in Punishment?"

Ray was all out of snappy comebacks. A wave of tiredness swept through him and he thought he would drop right there. He let himself droop forward until his forehead rested against Vecchio's shoulder.

It was a brief occurrence only, but Ray was sure he felt Vecchio's cheek rest against his hair. Of course, he could have imagined it. But he definitely didn't imagine Vecchio's murmur.

"You're too good for that, you dink."






Part 20
Current Data
ray/ray just another day
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From:lamentables
Date:August 23rd, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Aaawwww.
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From:ultracosmicrays
Date:August 24th, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
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*beams*
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From:lamentables
Date:August 23rd, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
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is that the right kind of wail?
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From:ultracosmicrays
Date:August 24th, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
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Hee! Yes.
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From:thehousekeeper
Date:August 23rd, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Mr. Zuko otherwise known as Volpe otherwise known as scum-sucking dickweed is under arrest. We will be transporting him to the CourtShip at our earliest convenience for his permanent inconvenience.

Ohmygod, perfect Vecchio.
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From:ultracosmicrays
Date:August 24th, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
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\o/

Thank you!
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From:snoopypez
Date:November 24th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
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As tensiony as the rest of this part was, I can't stop giggling over this image:

He'd patted himself down in an over-exaggerated 'search' for his sunglasses doing his best 'what a relief' mime as he found them around his neck.

HEEE.
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From:ultracosmicrays
Date:November 24th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
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*hearts your icon*

He's such a dork, you can just see him doing that, can't you?