Timeline: Early fall of Season Three, somewhere around the time of Cane and Able, Lines in the Sand.

Ch. 1

"Come on, buddy. Wake up. "

The policeman nudged the still form with a foot. A whiskey bottle resting on his chest fell to the ground with an unmistakably empty sound. "No sleeping in the park, pal." The sleeping man groaned and tried to roll onto his other side. The policeman ran his flashlight over the length of him. Disheveled, unshaven, his clothes dirty and torn, smelling faintly of whiskey, his fly half unzipped. The cop sighed. He was so close to the end of his shift. It was tempting just to let the poor slob sleep it off under the bushes. But duty called.

"What time is it?" asked Lenny as yet another car pulled out of the rest stop and passed by without a second glance. He gave the car a finger as it pulled back into traffic.

"Seven thirty," said his companion. "We're never going to fucking get there at this rate." So near and yet so far. They were just across the river, maybe five miles from South Boston. "If we're not there by eight, the whole deal's off. Ten grand,down the toilet." So much for their plan of instant riches.

"And it's getting dark. Once it's dark we're screwed—no one will stop for us. " He turned to his companion. "Put the fucking bottle away," he growled. Nobody's gonna stop if they see you fucking drinking fucking whiskey." Lenny ignored him, took another long swig at the bottle and wiped his chin on the sleeve of his army fatigue jacket.

"Got a plan," said Lenny, stumbling a bit as he returned the bottle to his jacket pocket.

"This better be better than your last plan."

"Shut up. Listen. Next car that comes in here, we…borrow it."

"Steal a car? Now you are nuts. Cops'll be on us in no time.."

"Nah, we'll just jack something long enough to get us to Richie's place. Ditch it before the cops find us. A free ride, y'see? And whaddya know? Look here—here comes our ride, right now. Sweet."

"A motorcycle? You stupid fucker. You don't even know how to ride a bike."

"Shut up," said Lenny, and pulled his buddy back out of sight to watch as the Honda pulled into the rest area. The driver killed the ignition, and the two hitchhikers moved behind a tree as the man sat for a moment, massaging his right leg and seeming to gather his strength. "Come on, you fucker,"muttered Lenny. "Go take a piss. You know you want to. And leave the key." As he said it, the man removed his helmet, lifted his right leg slowly over the bike, stood for a moment leaning on the handlebars, and then –limping heavily, his right hand pressed hard against his leg—moved off toward nearby bushes that grew between the gravel rest area and the banks of the Charles River.

"Just our luck, he took the key."

"Never mind," smirked Lenny. "The guy's a cripple. How hard can this be? Taking candy from a baby. Come on."

The two crept up behind the unsuspecting man, the sound of the traffic on Memorial Drive hiding the noise of their approach. Just as the biker was wrapping up business, Lenny pulled the whiskey bottle out of his pocket and swung it in a quick, hard arc that connected with the right side of the guy's skull. No dramatic shattering of glass, like in the movies, just a solid thud, and the man slumped straight to the ground—a marionette with his strings cut.

"Shit, you killed him, you moron."

"Naw," said Lenny, who had turned the man over and was going through his pockets. 'He's still breathing. Aha!" He smiled and held up a set of keys.

"Let's get out of here," said his friend, panic starting to set in.

"Just a aminute," said Lenny, continuing his pat down. "What's this?" He dug around a pocket and then held up a bottle of pills, squinting at it in the fading light. "Vicodin! Oh, yeah!"

"Come on—enough. Let's get out of here." His friend glanced anxiously around, but Lenny pulled the man onto his stomach and checked his back pockets.

"Ka-ching!" exclaimed Lenny, holding up a wallet.

"You take his credit cards, we're in big trouble. This is bad enough."

"Relax," he said. "I'm not that stupid. Now help me move him."

The two grasped the man by the wrists—he was heavier than he looked--and dragged him across the mud and gravel until he was lying beneath the bushes. He looked quite peaceful, curled up on his side. Pausing a moment to uncap the whiskey, Lenny drained most of the bottle, and then, with an evil grin, poured the last few drops onto the chest of the sleeping man. He wrapped the man's arm around the empty bottle. "Sweet dreams, and thanks for the ride," he said, almost fondly.

"And we're outta here," Lenny's friend declared, tugging him back onto the gravel parking area. He snatched the wallet from Lenny's hand just as he was rifling through it, pocketed the cash and, before Lenny could object, tossed the wallet into a nearby trash can. "Come on," he shouted.

Moments later the Honda sprang into life and the two stuttered jerkily off to their rendezvous on the other side of the river. The sun dipped behind the Boston skyline. A chill settled over the city. The sleeping man stirred, then rolled over and fell back asleep.