It must have been the father in Roger, but when Riggs burst into the warehouse, wet, shirtless, jean clad, and throwing goons around all over the place, the first thing the older man thought was: goddamn, he's way too skinny. Immediately followed by: Wow. We really should get him registered as a lethal weapon.
It hit him again, almost literally, when the kid'd fallen into his arms after his fight. Too light. A man who can fight the way Riggs could should weigh than Rianne did. Roger hefted him up, helping to bring Riggs to his feet. Too damn light.
He told Trish, at Christmas, when she'd 'invited' him into the kitchen to help refresh drinks, obviously prepared to tear him a new one; maybe Riggs had helped them out, but Christmas is a time for family, honey, you know that. Too damn skinny, too damn light, he'd repeated, and her eyes had softened. One more is always acceptable; they'd both been suckers for sad cases before, and Riggs was one sad case.
After that, it was just a habit, keeping Riggs healthy. Trish would pack a lunch for both of them, so Riggs had to eat more than hotdogs, and despite his partner's joking complaints about his wife's cooking, Roger saw that he always bolted them down like he expected the food to be taken back
. He'd invite Riggs over for dinner, Trish and the girls wanted to see you, he explained, and it wasn't a lie; they did, they always did, and Riggs would beam. He'd grin, and bounce and make annoying jokes for the rest of the day, making Murtaugh groan, and at the end of the day, as Riggs got into the passenger seat; you're not driving, dammit, just accept it okay? Roger'd look over, and Riggs would be so happy he looked fit to burst.
It worked that way. Roger would bitch and moan and make Riggs eat lunch and sleep at reasonable hours. Riggs would joke and play and make Roger lighten up when he was being too serious.
The next time Riggs had taken his shirt off, Roger was too busy making sure his partner was still intact after the latest group of gun wielding crazies to actively look at his physique, but when everything had calmed down, he took a certain pride from the fact that he couldn't count Riggs' ribs any more.
He wasn't looking at the same wild-eyed, crazy looking kid he'd mistaken for a junkie, all that time ago.
He looked at a young man, who was just as crazy haired as he had been years ago, yes, but no longer skinny enough to give a bulimic super model a run for her money, or sleepless enough to out black-eye a panda.
"What the hell are you smiling at, Rog? We're about to get ourselves fitted with a pair of concrete shoes!"
"Who's fault is that, huh?"
But still, when he catches Riggs, he can't help thinking:
Boy's too damn light.