Disclaimer: The characters of Law & Order: SVU belong to Dick Wolfe, etc. They are not mine. I am only playing with them for a short while and promise to put them back where I found them.

I walk up to the counter and set my coffee down. Setting a bill alongside, I watch the clerk watching me. Something's in her eyes, something familiar but I can't place it. I shake my head and wait for her to ring up my purchase. She stares at me like she's never seen a man before. I open my mouth to say something, anything to get her to ring up my coffee so I can leave. I watch her eyes dart to the side quickly before returning to stare at me. "Will there be anything else, sire?"

Fear, I hear it in her voice. How could I not? After nearly all these years on the job, the one emotion that I was the most intimate with from the start, was fear. I glance to the side and I see them lurking in the shadows. "Pack of Camels." I said trying to buy some more time to assess the situation. Calmly I glance out the window at my partner for the moment, he's busy finishing pumping the gas and completely oblivious.

I absently watch her ring up the purchases, "don't forget the gas on number four." She nodded, too nervous to say anything.

"Twenty-three fifty-two cents, sir."

I nodded and reached for my wallet, opening it I stared down at the cash inside. "Damn, I'll be right back." I say turning to the doors, "my brother'll have the money." As I walked out I watched as the other man looked up.

"Hey, what's wrong? I'm not done pumping here."

"Robbery in progress, call it in. Two suspects, maybe more." I watched surprised brown eyes stare at me, unmoving. "Damn it, do it." I watch him regain his composure and nearly dive for the radio. "Could you possibly be more obvious?"

This kid was going to be the death of me yet.