Damn it, Costigan. You went soft on me.

That was all Staff Sergeant Digman could really come up with. It didn't do a good job of justifying this untimely demise of one Billy Costigan but being the hard ass that he was, there was no way he'd fall into a pool of guilt. Though, had he looked into it a little more, he'd realize that he was already there.

There were so many maybes and Dignam had gone through just about enough to drive his sanity off a fucking cliff. Maybe if he had been there sooner, maybe if he hadn't resigned like the hothead he had proved to be on more than one occasion. Maybe Billy would still be alive.

Christ. The kid was gone. Simple concept to grasp and sure, Dignam had taken the news like any other man would have. Silence and then the anger. Fuck Sullivan, that rat shit. If there was one thing that Dignam couldn't stand, it was rats who expected praise and this son of a bitch actually got it in the end. But it wasn't really the end.

When Billy had stepped into that office, Dignam had done his own job of sizing him up. He'd noticed the stiff manner in which he sat down and the simple automatic replies. The kid didn't flaunt any forced bravery like most stateys who liked to bite off more than they could chew. Dignam liked that but wild horses couldn't get him to say it aloud. Billy had this vulnerability to him that set off his radar loud and clear, but he had a temper. Right from the start Dignam had wanted to harness that aggression. This kid had potential, and Dignam saw that.

It was in his nature to push buttons. Every insult that flew out of his mouth was natural. He'd spent too many of his childhood days choking on soap. Apparently his dirty mouth had yet to be cleansed and his mother would be turning in her grave now if she saw the way he treated people. But with Billy it was different. He pushed his buttons and pushed them hard to make something of this kid. Billy had it in him to get things done. Dignam trusted a small amount of people in his field and in life, even less, but Billy he could. They didn't see eye to eye at all and Dignam was pretty sure the only thing they shared was the desire to nail Costello. Even still, he secretly liked the kid but more so just enjoyed pissing him off. The twitching and tensing of his face muscles got Dignam off in a healthy way.

He had wanted to tell him that after he was done with all this, Billy would easily become one of the elite, these elite being those who didn't give him homicidal urges.

The fear he had heard in Billy's voice had been apparent during their phone calls. Dignam almost wanted to feel bad then but it was dishonest. He didn't feel bad. He encouraged this because he knew Costigan was someone who would get somewhere in life and make his fucking mark, whether people knew it or not. He knew and that was enough to satisfy.

He had wanted to tell Billy that Queenan had been like a father to him and with every good guy earned the big guy upstairs had to knock one off. So it was Queenan's time. Dignam wasn't happy about it, hence the resigning, but he didn't expect Billy to go too. That was fucked and now, so was Sullivan.

Dignam stood before Sullivan now, gun pointed as his eyes bore down into his cheese-gnawing soul. The bitch had groceries. Bunch of dairy products, no doubt.

Sullivan seemed to accept his fate and gave a dismissive okay, turning his head to the side as if Dignam's face were too repulsive to stare at for very long.

You ain't Miss-Fucking-Universe yourself, Dignam wanted to say but no. Without so much as flinching, he let his gun do the talking and that said it all. He watched with no satisfaction whatsoever as Sullivan crumpled to the floor, groceries littering the otherwise spotless floor. Queenan was gone and so was Billy. But hey, at least he could go to bed tonight and know that somewhere out there, the kid was probably tensing and twitching those fucking face muscles, probably thinking, took you long enough, you hardheaded bastard.

Dignam headed off. Job him good in the afterlife, kid.