"I'm just saying," Harry said as he picked at the lock on the warehouse door, "there's a slight chance she could..."
"Not gonna happen." Perry was watching through one of the windows, occasionally checking the perimeter to make sure they weren't seen.
"I'm not that bad looking."
"No," Perry agreed far too easily for Harry to feel good about it, "you're not. You still don't have a chance with her."
Harry glared. Perry didn't even have the decency to notice. "I used to be rather good with the ladies."
"How long has it been?"
He frowned. "There was Harmony's friend, back during the Harlan Dexter case."
"That was six months ago, Harry." Perry spoke slowly, his voice dripping with condescension.
Had it really been that long? Time flies when you're solving crime. Or, when you're helping Perry solve crime. Though really all he did was try and stay out of the way while Perry solved crimes. When had he turned into such a lackey?
"Okay, so it's been a while. I still could-"
"Exactly how many times have I fucked you?"
Harry dropped one of his lockpicks. His face turned scarlet. Twelve, but he wasn't counting. Or was it twenty? "I thought we agreed you wouldn't mention that. I was drunk."
"You get drunk a lot, for a straight guy." Perry was smirking. His eyes roved once over Harry's body, lingering far too long on Harry's rear.
"Then maybe you shouldn't take advantage of me when I'm drunk."
"My cock didn't jump down your throat."
Perry had a point. Not one Harry would ever admit out loud, but there was a distinct possibility that he wasn't entirely on the straight side anymore. He hadn't actually been that drunk last time.
"Harry, shut up and pick the lock." He shut up. The lock clicked in a matter of seconds and he stood, opened the door.
"Good boy." The detective ruffled Harry's hair as he walked into the warehouse, kind of like how you'd pat a dog whenever it did something good.
"I'm not your pet." He kept his voice low, despite the urge to shout at Perry. He hated it when the guy got all condescending, which was, like, always.
"Keep telling yourself that." Perry moved with a kind of effortless stealth that Harry could only envy. He was built for this kind of job, that's what he did, but Harry, Harry was just tagging along because... because he had nothing better to do, really. It was either stay here, play detective with Perry, or go back home. He didn't really want to go back home.
His mind wandered back to their earlier conversation, about the sultry chick that had stopped in this morning, begging them to help find her missing husband. Harry had taken on the case, despite Perry constantly telling him that the missing husband was probably out having an affair. Considering the way the wife looked, Harry didn't think an affair was even an option. Why go out for a burger when you've got steak at home?
"Keep an eye out for that box," Perry reminded him, jolting Harry's thoughts back to the task at hand. "MJ65552."
They'd received a tip last night about a case Perry was working on as a favor for the local police, something to do with smuggling jewelry. Or was it jewels? Anyways, they thought this warehouse had to do with the ring, but they needed something to link it, some proof before the police came busting in. Plan was, break in, find the jewels, and in about half an hour, some of the guys from the police department were gonna come down to investigate. Perry'd already called in the 911 about a possible break-in. The thought of waiting around until the cops came still filled Harry with dread, even though the cops were technically in on it.
A strange barrel caught Harry's eye. It was red, the old, rusty kind of red he'd always associated with tractors that had seen more than their fair share of years on the farm. That was one of the quirks about growing up in Embry, Indiana, he knew tractors. But, back to the point at hand, this barrel was sitting against the wall, shoved into a back corner, out of the way so that it wouldn't be noticed. It was also the only barrel Harry'd seen since they walked in here. The rest of the warehouse was crates and boxes, and here amidst all that was one lone, unmarked barrel. Odd.
He walked over, pulled the crowbar from where it hung on his belt loop. It took him a few minutes to pry the lid off, and he set that aside, trying to be as quiet as possible, before he looked inside.
"Holy Jesus!" Harry jumped back quickly.
There was a person inside. A dead person, covered up to his neck in oil. He couldn't help but stare. It was sick, really sick, and when he looked closer, he thought he saw blood mixed in with the oil. Something about the man's face seemed familiar. He took a step closer, almost gagging as the smell hit him, and knowing it would be worse if the guy weren't so freshly dead. Couldn't have been more than a day since he had been killed, not if he was in such good shape, and it was really sad how he knew that. One of the down-sides of working with Perry.
This guy was really familiar. Harry's fingers brushed the folded photo in his pocket and he pulled it out, staring between the face in the photo and the face in the barrel.
"Perry..." He called out, not as quietly as he should, but he was kind of freaked out at the moment, too freaked out for rational sense to tell him to shut the fuck up and keep quiet. "Perry, I found her husband."
He turned, rounded a corner in the long corridor of crates back to where he'd last seen Perry and stopped as he nearly walked into someone. Someone who was definitely not Perry.
"Um... hi... I seem to be lost and..."
Something heavy hit Harry on the back of the head, cutting off the rest of the sentence as he exclaimed in pain. He turned to stare at another guy, this one holding a wooden stick, kind of like what the police used. Actually, now that he thought about it, that was exactly what the police used. He put his hand over the bump forming on the back of his head.
"You know, if you're trying to knock someone out, you've got to hit them harder than that, otherwise it's just annoy-"
He should have kept his mouth shut.
When Harry awoke, he was not in the warehouse. He was also not, thankfully, in jail. Those two options eliminated, he took a moment to figure out exactly where he was. He looked up at a ceiling that was far more familiar than it should be. The sheets beneath him smelled like Perry.
Harry groaned. "Not again..."
Perry walked out of the attached bathroom with a smirk, wearing nothing but a loosely tied bathrobe and the towel he was using to dry his hair. "Sorry to disappoint you, princess, but you're only in here because of that concussion."
The scene from the warehouse flitted through his head. "Oh. Right." He slowly sat up, wincing as the movement caused his head to pound like there was a flamenco group dancing inside of it. Harry discarded the idea of actually trying to get out of bed and leaned against the headboard. "I found the-"
"Missing husband?" Perry cut him off as he rummaged through his dresser for a pair of underwear. "Yeah, I know. Turns out there was a pair of dirty cops actually running the jewelry ring, so when my friends circulated the plan among their boys, those two rushed over to get rid of the evidence, us included. The husband was apparently the one who had found out about the warehouse and tipped the cops off. Apparently he'd noticed a discrepancy in the inventory logs."
"Huh." It was becoming a rather common occurrence for any case Harry took to overlap with one of Perry's current cases.
Perry disappeared into the bathroom. "So, they knock you out, I save the day, real cops arrive, and you owe me ten bucks since I had to bribe the doorman to help me get you up here."
That didn't seem entirely fair but he knew better than to argue.
"And I'm in your bed because?"
"Would you rather be on the couch?"
"No, not really."
Perry returned, sans towel. He dropped the bathrobe over the back of a chair, turned the light off, and slid under the covers next to Harry.
Harry glanced down at himself. At some point, Perry had changed him out of the clothes he'd been wearing earlier and into a pair of sweat pants. "You know, I could-"
"Go to sleep, Harry."
He groaned as he shifted back to lying on the bed. His head was going to be a bitch for the next few days. The bed was warm, comfortable. This was not the first time he'd slept in it, though it was the first time he'd been sober while doing so. But then, maybe having a concussion didn't fully qualify him as sober. He could feel Perry's proximity as a physical force, a weight he wasn't entirely used to having next to him.
This was also the first time he'd been in Perry's bed without certain activities occurring.
"You aren't going to-"
"Harry." The word was accompanied by a long-suffering sigh. "You know that saying about rape and the willing?"
He thought about it for a second, not entirely sure he was comfortable with the analogy. "Yeah."
"That applies to you."
"Oh." He didn't really have much of an argument for that. At least, not one that Perry wouldn't just laugh at. His pounding headache reminded him of something. "If I have a concussion, shouldn't I be-"
"Awake? Like we are now? Yeah. I'm supposed to wake your sorry ass up every hour, make sure you're not dead. So, since we only have forty five minutes now until the alarm is set to go off, I suggest you shut up and get some sleep"
"Right." He was touched that Perry would go through that much trouble for him. "Perry? Thanks."
"You can thank me by going to sleep. And, once I've actually had a decent amount of sleep, your ass is mine." Perry spoke the threat offhandedly, like it was more of a reminder than a real threat. Which really, given that he was in Perry's bed and not thinking one-hundred percent rationally, was a pretty accurate assumption.
There went his chances with the missing guy's widow.