Title: How It Is

Rating: PG-13 - Language, Adult Content, Violence

Spoilers: Knockaround Guys

Disclaimer: Characters and past storylines are property of their original owners and creators. I own nothing, except in the case of the odd original character or two.

Author's Note: This is my first try at Knockaround Guys fanfiction, so, it may not be a spectacular piece. I still have to get in to the feel of this fandom. Anyway, here it is! I hope that you enjoy it!

Summary: After a tragic turn of events, Matty and Taylor are plunged back into the old life. When a professional is brought in for the first assignment, Matty gets a surprise.


Matty opened the door to the refrigerator, and looked inside. There was very little inside, as he had not been shopping in quite a while. It was always left up to him, as Taylor as flat out refused to do the grocery shopping. That was why the refrigerator now held two tomatoes, a package of individually wrapped cheese slices, a container of mayonnaise, which was who knows how old, and the remants of Chinese take out, which was at least four days ago. Weighing his options, Matty decided that chancing the age of the mayonnaise was a significantly better choice than trying to choke down the left overs.

Pulling the tomatoes, cheese, and mayonnaise from the refrigerator, Matty slid the refrigerator door closed with his foot, walked over to the island, and set down each of the items that he was carrying. He turned toward the various drawers that lined the kitchen counters, which, in turn, lined the walls, and tried to remember which drawer Taylor had placed the knives in. Matty laughed, despite himself. Four months in the new apartment-style condominum, and he still could not grasp where everything was.

No sooner had he decided that he would be spending the next several minutes opening each and every drawer, than did Matty hear the unmistakable sound of Taylor's new Honda Civic pull into the driveway. Matty sighed, in relief, deciding to wait for Taylor to come through the door, and ask him where he put the kitchen utensils. When he showed him, Matty was adamant on remembering the location of where they were. That way, there would be no more fruitless hunts for the needed materials.

The sound of the front door opening, and then closing, signaled to Matty that Taylor had entered the apartment, and he returned to the island, leaning back against it. He listened to the sounds of Taylor's footsteps, knowing that he was getting closer.

"Matty?" came the sound of Taylor's voice.

"Kitchen," Matty replied, simply. He crossed his arms over his chest, and waited.

When Taylor's frame finally appeared in the doorway, Matty raised his eyebrows, in mock expectation. He had to hold back a laugh, as he caught a glimpse of the expression on the other man's face.

"What?" Taylor finally asked, warily. He carefully stepped on to the tile floor of the kitchen, and made his way to where his friend stood, arms crossed, and looking mildly upset.

Matty felt as though he could not hold it in any longer, and almost allowed a smile to creep across his face. He regained his composure, and asked the vital question. "Where are the knives?"

Taylor's jaw almost dropped, having thought that he was about to be accused of something that he was most likely guilty of. Without saying a word, he pointed Matty in the direction of the items in question. He watched, as his friend went to the drawer, opened it, and pulled out a butter knife. A wave of relief passed through Taylor, at seeing the simple butter knife in Matty's hands. He was worried that Matty had wanted to do physical damage.

As Matty slipped back to the island, he decided to be generous.

"You want a sandwich?" he asked, as he unscrewed the top of the mayonnaise jar, and set it down on the counter top. When no response came, Matty put down the knife that he had picked up, and turned around. He was about to repeat himself, when he noticed that Taylor was examining an envelope that had been left on the counter top beside the refrigerator.

Taylor picked the envelope up, gave it a quick look, and looked at Matty. Holding it up, he began to inquire. "What's this?"

Matty bit on his bottom lip, quickly, out of habit. He thought for a moment, before turning back around, and returning to his sandwich.

"I asked you what this is," Taylor said, sternly.

"So, do you want a sandwich?" Matty asked, ignoring Taylor's question. He returned to the same drawer from earlier, and pulled out a sharper knife. "I haven't been shopping for a while, so, we've only got - ."

"Damn it, Matty," Taylor said, in a level voice. He walked toward where Matty stood, by the sink, on the other side of the kitchen, envelope still in hand. He glared at his best friend, for a moment, before softening his gaze, slightly. In a calm, collected tone, Taylor raised the envelope, again, and gave his question a third try. "Now, what is this envelope?"

Matty sighed, and threw the knife that he was holding in to the sink. "It's from my father," he said, palms pressed against the counter top.

"I can see that," Taylor said, sarcastically. "What's it about?"

Matty scoffed. "You actually think that I opened it?" he asked, over his shoulder.

"No," came the honest reply, from behind him. "Why didn't you?"

Matty snapped up, from his position, hunched over the sink, to look at his best friend. "Why do you think, Taylor?"

Taylor rolled his eyes, quickly, before letting out a sigh. "Look, Matty, I'm not trying to say that you have to open the damned thing."

Matty nodded. "I know," he said, quietly.

Seeing the sudden drop in Matty's attitude, Taylor automatically felt guilty. He placed his left arm around Matty's shoulders. "Hey, nobody's gonna' think any less of you for not opening it, okay?" he assured. "It's entirely your choice."

Another nod came from Matty's direction, as he contemplated Taylor's words. He was right, but, there was still something nagging at him. As much as he refrained from opening the envelope, after clinging to the past for so long, something was telling Matty to open the envelope.

Releasing his grip on Matty, Taylor held the envelope out to him.

"It's up to you," he said, indifferently.

With a quiet sigh, Matty gave a barely distinguishable nod, and reached out his hand. Taking the envelope from Talyor's hand, Matty held it in his own hands, for a few seconds, before making his decision. Looking up at his best friend, Matty walked over to the garbage basket, and dropped the envelope on the top. He heard Taylor laugh, lightly, as he turned back around. Allowing his gaze to rest on the island, and the items that lay on top, Matty formed a new idea.

"Come on," he said, motioning for Taylor to follow him. "Let's go out for dinner."

Taylor nodded, and headed out of the kitchen. "I'll start the car," he said, sarcastically.

"I'll be right there," Matty said, as he put away what he had left out. Just as he had closed the refrigerator door, he caught a glimpse of the garbage basket, and thought about what he had done. While he still had the nagging feeling that he should have opened the envelope, Matty felt content with the choice that he had made.

"Matty!" came Taylor's voice, from the living room.

"I'm coming!" Matty called back, as he clicked off the kitchen light, and entered the living room.

He had definitely made the right decision.