All characters and such henceforth-fictional things are property of Jim Butcher, who is an amazing writer, and whom without I could not be writing this.

We stared at each other from across the table in the interrogation room. The man across from me was Gentleman Johnny Marcone, head of the crime world in Chicago.

We happened to be negotiating a deal about a recent supernatural murder case I'd been working. Obviously, Marcone wasn't too thrilled with my involvement, but that was okay. We had a mutual loathing and distrust of one another, Marcone and I. Our clashing seemed to be inevitable.

I gripped the table with my gloved hand. "I told you John, that's not going to work for me. The Fairie Courts aren't going to like getting the blame for a murder that one of your thugs screwed up on."

"Very well, Mister Dresden. I don't suppose that the Chicago Police Department would look kindly on your friend Sergeant Murphy taking the blame either; she was nearby when it happened, after all." Marcone smirked his shark-like little smirk. His faded dollar-green eyes sparkled under the light from the interrogation lamp.

I gritted my teeth in frustration. "No, leave her out of this."

"So be it. I guess the blame will have to fall on you then, Dresden."

"Oh really? How's that?" I reigned in the magic I was planning on hitting Marcone with. Letting my anger subside, I released my magic. As much as I hated Marcone we had an understanding, no killing each other at the interrogation table.

"Someone has to take the blame for Miss Negatives murder and it won't be me." Marcone explained, with a cold air of arrogance about him.

"Yes, you wouldn't want to tarnish that great reputation of yours now, would you?" I sneered.

"Mister Dresden…"

"What you insolent fool?"

"Ah, I see your sense of humor hasn't developed since adolescence." Marcone stated.

"Keeps me young." I glared at him.


"So," I mocked. "We haven't resolved our little issue, John." Suddenly, Marcone reached into his jacket and pulled out his gun quicker than I could blink.

"I thought I made my opinion on this matter perfectly clear. Should we go over it again Dresden?" Marcone asked, pulling back the hammer on his gun slowly, and pointing it at my head.

"The fairies won't be getting the blame for this, John. I don't need to owe them any more favors, and I certainly don't owe you anything." I glared at him with what I hoped was a deadly stare. It was hard to be threatening or authoritative with a gun pointed at my head, especially a gun held by the head-honcho of Chicago crime.

"This murder will not be pinned on myself or my men, is that understood?" Marcone's hand held the gun perfectly steady.

"I wont take the blame for it either John, and neither will the magical community." I gripped my staff inside the pocket of my duster. Marcone's expression was set like cement, stone cold and unreadable.

"How do you propose we settle this then? I don't think the police department will look kindly on finding two corpses in their interrogation room."

"Well John, to tell you the truth, if I had to choose between dealing with you or dealing with manic Fairie Queens with weapons of mass destruction; I'd choose the Fairie Queens." I grinned. Marcone's steady hold on the gun wavered, and I tried not to gulp audibly.

"You infuriate me Mister Dresden."

"The feeling's mutual John."

We stared each other down for a minute or two, never looking each other directly in the eyes. Marcone's finger slid onto the trigger. I counted down the next moment in my head, one, always keeping a wary eye on Marcone, two, wait for it, three.

Suddenly, the heavy interrogation room door burst open. Sergeant Murphy stood in the doorway, her blonde hair flew back from her face; her blue eyes were fierce.

"Freeze!" Murphy commanded, pointing her own gun at Marcone. "Drop your weapon!" The gun clattered to the oak tabletop loudly. "Hands behind your back!" She barked orders. Marcone obeyed them reluctantly.

"I'm sorry Sergeant, but what exactly are the charges?" Marcone asked, his tone arrogant.

"Illegal possession of a weapon. I assume that you don't have a permit for that gun, and taking an unarmed man prisoner in a police interrogation room." Murphy clicked handcuffs on Marcone's wrists harshly, and dragged him up roughly from his chair. "I'd read you your rights, but I'm sure you've memorized them by now Mr. Marcone." Sergeant Murphy led the gangster to the door, where another officer was waiting to take him into custody.

Marcone turned back for a second to glare at me. "This isn't over Dresden, far from it."

I smirked at him. "Have your people call my people."

"Lieutenant Stallings will take it from here." Sergeant Murphy said, handing Marcone off to the waiting officer.

I waved goodbye. Then, I released my magic slowly, letting go of my tight grip on my staff. I turned to the lingering Sergeant and sighed. Murphy looked less fierce than she had a moment ago, but she still held herself with strong, cop-like authority.

"Thanks." I muttered.

"No problem. I'm a cop, it's my job."

"Well thanks." I smiled.

"Yup, what're friends for?" She nodded. "I saw everything through the two-way glass. It was pretty intense there for a while."

"Nothing I couldn't handle."

We walked towards the door. Murphy went out first; I stopped in the doorway, staring back into the empty room.

"You coming Dresden? You better hurry before those evil Fairie Queens decide to act on that 'manic weapons of mass destruction' remark you made."

"Yeah." I mumbled, shutting the door behind me. Another door closed on another case, for now.