Justice... in the Raw!bybashfullyshameless©
Warning: "Justice In the Raw" contains violence, explicit heterosexual sex, explicit lesbian sex, explicit karaoke, use of deadly force by police officers, full frontal male nudity, drive-by shootings, road rash, theft, conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to commit murder, repeated attempted murder of police officers, lesbian-leaning bi-sexual pagans, binge drinking, opportunistic gorging on cat treats, unethical workplace behavior, unethical real estate practices, destruction of private property, acts of public endangerment, accusations of Mary Suedom, numerous moving violations, resistance of arrest with deadly force, discharge of firearms within city limits, internet stalking, frequent use of profanity, nude calisthenics, hair metal, motherfuckers shot in the face, disruption of traffic, questionable fraternization between co-workers, abuse of veterans, sexting, local talk radio, disturbance of the peace, public indecency, tattoos, bludgeonings, assault and battery, sharp and sudden reduction of property values, vehicular assault, at least one reincarnated ancient European warlord and a complete lack of incest.
All characters are over the age of 18, except the aforementioned reincarnation of an ancient European warlord.
"Please don't make me shoot you," breathed Kevin. "Please don't make me shoot you. Please oh please, motherfucker, just don't do it... just don't..."
Standing behind the driver's side door of their patrol car, Officer Tyrone Jackson couldn't hear the way his partner behind the passenger door muttered under his breath. Both men already had their Glocks drawn. "Turn off the car and keep your hands visible!" ordered Tyrone over the patrol car's loudspeaker.
The Bronco in front of them was boxed in. It sat in an alleyway, blocked by a freight truck parked up against a loading dock. Tyrone had pulled the patrol car up behind the Bronco. With less than five feet on either side of the police car, the Bronco had nowhere to go. The guys at the dock moved for cover as soon as they saw how serious the cops were about the sudden alleyway stop.
Drizzling rain kept coming down from dark grey clouds. Rush hour had just started; all of downtown Seattle's streets behind and beyond the scene were already thickening with people just getting out of their offices. Sirens wailed in the distance, but it was anyone's guess if that was back-up or just some other call.
Both uniformed officers waited. Water slid through Kevin's inch-tall spikes of dirty blonde hair, across his thin, toned forearms and down the light blue fabric of his uniform shirt. He waited and hoped.
The Bronco's engine didn't turn off. Instead, the reverse lights blinked on.
"Shit," the partners both grunted over the squeal of the Bronco's tires. Both men flung themselves to the alleyway's walls as the Bronco rushed backward into their patrol car. Kevin flattened up against the nearby bricks just in time to avoid impact. The Bronco didn't hit quite straight on, but rather at an offset of bumper-to-bumper that sent the patrol car skidding back and to its right to slam up against one wall. Pressed against the same wall that the car's bumper struck, Kevin felt enough of its impact through the bricks to understand all too well what it could've done to him. The impact gave the Bronco the last bit of space it needed to escape the alleyway.
Along with the crash came gunshots. The Bronco's driver was busy at the wheel, but the passenger next to him had nothing better to do than try to kill cops. He reached out through his open window with his handgun, firing wildly at Kevin while screaming something. Kevin ducked, but his life was saved mostly by the shooter's abundant excitement, lack of training and a bad angle.
Kevin didn't suffer from such habits of ego. Friends would argue that he was similarly free from the afflictions of common sense. He rushed straight toward the Bronco as it hurriedly backed out to the street, firing a pair of shots from his Glock at the armed passenger. Blood appeared on the spider webs of the windshield while Kevin sidestepped his own smashed vehicle. He put two more bullets directly through the windshield into the passenger as he kept moving.
The conflict spilled out into the street when the Bronco turned out of the alleyway and rammed its already damaged rear end into an oncoming car.
Kevin didn't stop. He ran up to the Bronco, stopping himself against its hood with his free hand while he fired off two more shots. Even at such close range, there was plenty that could cause a man to miss.
The Bronco was still in reverse, but the driver no longer had his foot down on the accelerator. He slumped over to one side in a bloody mess. The engine idled. Cars around the vehicle ground to a halt while pedestrians looked on in shock.
"Kevin!" Tyrone shouted, hurrying out of the alleyway. His leap from the side of the patrol car had taken him off of his feet. It made him only a few heartbeats slower. Blood trickled down from a gash on his head. "Kevin, you alright?"
Kevin tried the passenger side door. It was locked, but the window was down. He reached inside to get the door open, then hopped in over the bloody, expired occupants to throw the Bronco into park. He lingered just long enough to pull the keys out of the ignition.
Neither occupant moved, nor would they ever again.
Kevin slipped out to find his partner waiting for him. At the Bronco's rear, a very stunned and frightened couple came out of their Honda Civic to look at its smashed front end. The sirens drew closer.
"Hey, man," Tyrone repeated calmly, "you alright?"
"I'm okay," Kevin nodded.
"You can put your weapon away, Kevin," Tyrone said.
Kevin blinked, glanced around and finally nodded. He holstered his pistol and stepped back from the vehicle. Third Street was already a mess of honking horns and shocked witnesses. Tyrone paused to clap his hand on Kevin's shoulder, looking his partner in the eyes to make sure Kevin was still there with the rest of the world. A moment later, Kevin's veteran partner turned to take control of the immediate scene.
Kevin looked up to the cloudy early summer sky. The drizzle quickly picked up into full rain. Not for the first time, his light blue Seattle Police uniform—itself barely two years old—was covered in blood.
He turned thirty-two that day.
* * *
"You're uncle's hot, Molly."
"Oh, Jesus," Molly grumbled, pulling the car off 105th onto the darkening side street, "how much of this am I gonna hear out of you?" She looked good tonight, her fire-engine red hair cut short and spiked just the way she liked it. Her torn-up VNV Nation shirt was almost a work of art, and it was finally warm enough to go without jackets or long-sleeve shirts.
"Probably a lot," confessed Onyx, who sat in the side passenger's seat of Molly's beat-up old car with her hands folded in her lap and her dark curls dangling down in front of her face, "because your uncle's really fucking hot." As usual, she went for darker yet more girlish clothes of black silk and lace. She made for a very pretty Goth.
The pretty redhead's eyes narrowed. "Never any parking around this place anytime after eight," she muttered. "Feels like it's still just late afternoon, too. Sun stays up later than a—"
"I'll bet he fucks like an animal," Onyx mused. "All fierce and powerful and possessive, y'know?"
Molly stopped the car in the middle of the street. Her head turned to stare at her girlfriend with daggers in her eyes. Onyx said, sheepishly, "I'm just sayin' I bet it runs in the family."
"I'd better never find out," replied Molly. "Things I don't want to know about my blood relatives. Ew. And let's not bring up the rest of my family, okay? Kevin's the only one who didn't bat an eye over me being pagan or being into girls. Seriously, any one of my relatives who didn't freak when I came out about being one flipped over me being the other and Kevin's the only one who supported me, and even so I am not... ew!"
"I wasn't talking about you doing—"
"Ew!" Molly repeated, swatting Onyx on the knee. "Gross! Don't even think that!"
"I wasn't! That's what I'm saying."
"Even so. You do not get to fuck my uncle!"
Onyx sighed. "Fine... not even a little bit?"
"No! Jesus!" Molly got the car rolling again, finally finding a spot to park. "Look, if we want a guy to play with, we're gonna find him together and we're gonna be in it together, okay? And that means no blood relatives or even marital ones!"
Onyx stared at her lover as Molly turned off the car. "Wait, really?"
Molly looked up at her and shrugged. "Do you want to?"
"I don't... I don't know! I mean I never really thought about it."
"You thought about my uncle enough, you sick-minded tramp," Molly smirked.
"Well, yeah, but I didn't really—I mean he's got eleven years on me, right? I just... I mean... wait, are you serious?"
Molly sighed, slipped a hand up around Onyx's neck and brought her in for a soft, reassuring kiss. "We can talk about it later. You've never gone all the way with a guy and I know you're still curious. I'm open to pretty much anything that doesn't ever involve letting you go. Or my uncle. Ew."
Onyx was floored. "Wow."
"Later though, okay? We've got a birthday therapy thing," Molly said, nodding toward the bar.
"Yeah," Onyx agreed sweetly. She shouldered her purse and exited the car along with Molly, taking her lover's hand as they walked up the residential street to the bar at the corner. She gave it an affectionate, meaningful squeeze as they walked in silence.
Molly smiled and enjoyed the moment.
"Seriously, I bet he's just like a sleek jungle cat—"
"—and all you can do is just lay there under him and take it and love it."
"You are not allowed to fuck my thirty-two-year-old uncle."
"I'm not gonna! I'm just saying somebody should."
"Onyx, you do realize that he's a complete goofball, right?"
The younger partner shrugged as Molly reached for the big brass Chinese dragon handles on the heavy wooden door. "That could be sexy," she countered. Then she heard the music, and what technically passed for singing.
Onyx looked on at the full-grown adult on the karaoke stage throwing goat horns as he wailed into the mic without the least concern for dignity. He even wore a fake '80s hair metal wig. "I'm gonna quote you on that later," Molly warned.
"Um," Onyx struggled for words as Kevin straddled the mic stand and kept singing, "he's more or less in tune...?" Then she winced. "Mostly?"
* * *
"You missed my first number," Kevin said, hugging Molly tightly as he joined her and Onyx at the bar.
"I did? What was it?"
"Wanted Dead or Alive."
"I'm amazed anyone else is still here," Molly chuckled.
"Hi, Onyx," he grinned, releasing his niece.
"Happy birthday, Kevin," smiled Onyx. Her porcelain skin rarely betrayed any shyness or embarrassment, but at the moment her blushing was uncontrollable. There was a moment's hesitation between the two as if unsure of whether a hug was appropriate or not, and after a nudge behind the back from Molly, he went for it anyway. Onyx's eyes went wide over his shoulder as his arms briefly came around her.
"Can I buy either of you a drink? Uh. You can drink, right?" he asked Onyx.
"About two months now," she nodded. "But it's your birthday. We were coming to buy you a couple."
"Sounded like you might need it, Officer Murray," added Molly.
"You already heard?"
"Yeah. It was a little news blurb, and then I started digging, and then I just sorta put two and two together," Molly explained. They took up seats at the bar. Molly noted that Onyx put Kevin in the middle rather than leaving it to Molly, but gave it no more than an amused, accusing eyebrow.
"Right, so, the Kung Pao here is pretty good," Kevin said in a deliberate shift of topic. He held the menu out to his niece and another to her girlfriend. "The fried rice is a total waste, though. Crab Rangoon's okay."
"Kevin. Tell us."
Kevin frowned, dropping the menu. "Tyrone and I spotted a Bronco that matched the description from a home invasion robbery last night. Five guys killed an old lady and put her grandson in the hospital."
"I read about that."
"Yeah. So we followed the Bronco into an alley and lit 'em up. With the lights, I mean. Got out of our car, Tyrone told 'em to shut the car off. They tried to run us over and shoot us instead. Smashed our car, almost killed us. I shot 'em both in the face. Had to run out into traffic to get the driver."
"Tyrone's okay, though, right?" Molly asked.
"Oh, he's fine. He's mad that he fell when they tried to roll over us. Probably would've been a lot more shots fired if that alleyway hadn't been so slippery. I'm lucky I didn't crack my skull myself."
"Is he going to join us later?"
"Nah. His girlfriend's kid is playing the Dentist in 'Little Shop' tonight. This isn't my first birthday or my first shooting, but how many opening nights do you get in high school?"
"That's a great role," Onyx smiled.
Molly took time to order up three Irish car bombs. "Three shootings in two years on the force," she said finally.
"Yeah. Turns out I heard that more than a couple times this afternoon."
"What're they saying?"
Kevin shrugged. "There was a security camera in the alley. All the physical evidence is there. If this isn't a justified shooting, then there ain't no such animal. But I'm still a cop who's been in three shootings in his first two years. Plus there's all the other shit that didn't actually involve shooting anyone, but use of force is still use of force. I mean they deliberately call me out to help with warrants on guys they know are violent, they stick me in the most violent precinct in the city, and they wonder why I've got so many use of force incidents in my jacket? Like I'm the one who goes out looking for that shit?"
"Rookie of the year on your first year, though, right? Didn't you get some awards this year, too?"
"Not sure if I get to keep all that if they have to bounce me."
"Yeah, but you said yourself, all the evidence is on your side, right?"
"Sometimes it doesn't matter. The Department's in so much hot water with all the stuff that's gone wrong over the last couple years that it might not matter how right this was."
Molly spoke after another pause. "Do you think it was right?"
"Well, I don't feel good about it, if that's what you're asking."
"I didn't ask that."
"Don't need to. But do you think it was right?"
Kevin thought for a moment. He took a deep breath and let it out. "I don't know what else I was gonna do."
"Nothing else you could've done, aside from let them go. Which is what you signed up not to do." Kevin just shrugged. Molly leaned over a bit to press the point. "Those two shitbags and their other three friends—who are still out there somewhere, but now at least they're shitting their pants—those guys all murdered an innocent woman last night and put her grandson in the hospital, and that poor kid gets to live with that. They tried to kill you and your partner. They probably would've killed others. You did what somebody had to do. Just like with both of the other fuckheads you shot."
Kevin looked at her, then turned his attention to Onyx. "This birthday party's cheerful, huh?" he asked her.
"We like you," Onyx said with a shrug and a sweet smile. She even batted her eyelashes at him.
"Their dumb luck for running into a Mary Sue like you, anyway," Molly added.
"A Mary—wait, what?"
"A Mary Sue," Onyx grinned up at him. "She's saying you're so awesome it stretches suspension of disbelief."
"Yeah, I know what it means," Kevin fumed, turning from Onyx back to Molly. "I am not!"
"You are, too," she teased calmly.
"I'm not a Mary Sue! And I'm not a fictional character!"
"You're a total bad ass, you did well in school—"
"You're really hot," Onyx put in.
"—you've got an awesome cat..."
"If I was a Mary Sue—and it's Marty Stu to you, thanks—I'd be able to actually communicate with my cat for real instead of just pretending I know what he's thinking." Kevin took another gulp of his drink. "And I'd have a hot girlfriend. And a unicorn. And a magic sword or something."
"You do have a—wait, what about Meredith?" Molly asked. "What happened with that?"
"Went back to her ex last week," Kevin frowned. "Didn't I tell everyone?"
"Ugh. The useless drunk guy she left for running up her credit cards? How ugly was that?"
"Wouldn't have been ugly at all if she hadn't tried to take Attila with her."
"Attila? Really? I'm surprised you didn't shoot her, too."
"Well, like I said, it got ugly, but that wasn't me. Attila let her know whose cat he is. He's kind of serious about that whole bro's before ho's thing."
"Sounds like a crappy recipe for a birthday," Molly admitted.
"Yeah, well. Like I said, I've had worse. I'm home, I'm not in a hospital and I don't have any funerals on the calendar." He held up his shot of whiskey, clinked it against theirs when they followed suit, and poured it into his Guinness. "Cheers," he smiled, and took a long pull.
Onyx had hers down first. "So what happens now? With your job?"
"Now? Two days of nothin'. Mandatory paid administrative leave after an officer involved in a shooting. I wrote all my reports and statements, got my ass-chewings and my sympathetic talk from the chaplain and yet another appointment set with the same lame trauma counselor from my other shootings, and that's it. They don't want to hear from me for two days. At all. Might as well turn off my phone."
"So wait, you're just supposed to sit at home and stew on it?" Onyx asked.
"Yeah, and I guess that works for some people, or maybe if you've got family to focus on or whatever, but me? Not so much. I mean it's kind of dumb. I'm supposed to get my mind off of it, but all I'm gonna do is sit around thinking about how I killed two guys on my birthday. What gets your mind off that?"
He stared at his empty mug with a sigh. "Worst part is, Tyrone and I were supposed to go talk to kids at a middle school tomorrow. Do a big summer safety thing, be all Officer Friendly and stuff. But I can't really do that when everyone knows I'm really just Officer Shootsyourass."
Molly tilted her head curiously, glancing at Onyx. Her lover knew most of her looks by heart. It wasn't telepathy, but it was close enough. "So there's no reason not to sing yourself hoarse, throw your dignity to the wind and get hammered tonight, right?"
He shrugged. "Gotta be coherent enough to get a cab home," he thought aloud. "Never really needed any dignity for that." He frowned and patted his pockets. "Not sure I even brought any with me in the first place."
"We'll take care of you," Molly offered, gesturing for the bartender.
* * *
Onyx honestly hadn't planned on groping her girlfriend's uncle tonight, let alone this much. As she and Molly helped him out of Molly's front seat, putting one of his arms around each young woman's shoulder, Onyx found she had ample justification for putting her hand against his chest, his side, and even his ass. They had to get him inside his townhouse, after all. It was all perfectly reasonable.
He felt just like she expected: toned and fit without being bulky. Once again, Onyx decided that the women comprising Kevin's string of short-term, dysfunctional relationships must have been nuts. Then again, the fact that he'd had to take restraining orders out on more than a few of them seemed to make that obvious.