DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING!
A/N: This fic takes place during the episode "David." It's my take on what happened after Needles ordered Tommy to clean up the kitchen. It's also my first Rescue Me fic. Please be kind and don't forget to read and review
"Holy shit," muttered Tommy, surveying the damage he and Lou had caused during their brawl.
Cheese balls and thousands of multicolored candies were scattered all over the room, along with shards of the glass jars that had contained them. The entire dish rack had been knocked off the counter near the sink; almost all the plates that had been on it were either broken or chipped. Pots and pans were everywhere. Canned goods littered the counter and stovetop. There was a smashed bottle of ketchup on the floor.
'Where the hell do I even start?' thought Tommy.
"You don't look like you're cleanin' up, Gavin," said Needles, passing through the kitchen on the way to his office. "Get your ass in gear."
"No, no, no," said Tommy, shaking his head. "No way. I shouldn't have do all the work, okay? Most, I take that back, all of the mess is Lou's goddamn fault!"
"How do ya figure that?" Lou challenged. He had overheard the conversation and come into the kitchen.
Tommy began ticking things off on his fingers. "You pushed me into the dish rack. You dragged me across the counter and knocked over all the pans. You broke the bottle of ketchup and spilled all those friggin' M&M's. Therefore, I should not being cleaning up everything. You started this in the first place, y'know."
"Well, I'm the superior officer," argued Lou. "And may I remind you, Tom, that the M&M's jar broke because you pushed me into the table and knocked it over. And if you hadn't talked shit about my future wife, we wouldn't be havin' this conversation."
A sudden crunching sound put an end to their discussion. Both men whipped around and saw Sean Garrity standing atop some of the scattered M&M's. Garrity froze, his eyes wide like a deer caught in the headlights.
"The hell do you want?" Tommy snapped.
"I just, uh, I came in here to get a Vitaminwater." he said, gesturing toward the refrigerator.
Tommy felt his temper rising; he knew from experience with his kids that smashed M&M's were a real bitch to clean up. He rolled his eyes, yanked open the refrigerator, grabbed one of the brightly colored bottles, and threw it at Garrity as hard as he could.
"Here's your goddamn fruity water!"
The bottle bounced off Garrity's chest, but he somehow managed to grab it before it hit the floor. Tommy slammed the refrigerator door so hard that the whole appliance rocked; several items rained down on him from atop the refrigerator.
"Shit! Son of a bitch!" he swore.
"Uh, Tommy," said Garrity, glancing at the bottle. "This is, uh, this is strawberry-kiwi and I wanted dragonfruit." He motioned at the refrigerator again. "So could I just, like, put this one back and--"
"Get out," Tommy said through gritted teeth.
For once, Garrity didn't need telling twice. He rushed out of the kitchen, closing the door behind him with a sharp snap. Tommy looked over the mess again and groaned.
"This is gonna take the rest of the tour," he muttered, frustratedly running his fingers through his hair.
"Not if we shut our fat Irish pieholes and get to work," said Lou.
"We?" said Tommy.
"You may be an asshole of the highest order, Tom, but you did have a point." Lou sighed. "It's not fair for you to clean all this up. How about you do whatever part of the cleaning you wanna do and I'll do whatever part of the cleaning I wanna do?"
"I don't wanna clean up any of this shit."
"Jesus, please, Tommy?" he pleaded. "We can go back to hating each other after we sort out this kitchen."
"Fine by me," agreed Tommy.
Downstairs, the rest of 62 Truck had huddled in the lounge area. They were too far away to really hear what was happening in the kitchen, so they had gone back to one of their usual forms of entertainment: betting on something being shown on TV. Today, they were tuned into one of Maury Povitch's "Who's the Daddy?" specials.
"I think it's that dude," said Mike, pointing to a man who had a scruffy beard and wore mismatched, tattered clothes. He laid a five-dollar bill on the coffee table.
"Uh-uh, no goddamn way," Franco disagreed. "The mother's way too hot to be sleepin' with somebody who looks like he dumpster-dives behind 7/11."
"He's gotta be. Him and the little girl both got crazy eyes," said Black Shawn. "That kid cannot be that creepy by accident."
"Speakin' of crazy," said the new probie, Damien, glancing at the ceiling. "You think one of 'em's dead? I haven't heard any yelling for awhile."
Franco, Mike, Black Sean, and Damien looked up from the TV as Garrity came back into the room.
"You lost your last bet," Mike informed his best friend. "It was the guy that weighed like 300 pounds."
"Damn it," said Garrity, sitting down in the creaky old recliner. He cracked open his Vitaminwater and took a sip. "Oh yeah, guys, Tommy and Lou are both still alive."
"I didn't know they were betting on Maury too," said Mike.
"No, ya dumb-ass." said Garrity. "I mean, they didn't kill each other...not yet, anyway."
"Hey, is Lou about done cookin' lunch?" asked Mike.
"Nope," Garrity replied. "I think it's gonna be a while before he can cook anything. Him and Tommy, they, like, totaled the entire kitchen."
This bit of news produced groans all around.
Meanwhile, Lou was up to his elbows in soap suds, plowing through the mountain of dirty pots, pans, dishes, and coffee mugs on the counter beside him. He wasn't even halfway done. Tommy was on his hands and knees, sweeping up broken glass, M&M's, and cheese balls with a miniature broom.
"Shit!" screamed Lou as a pot toppled from the stack and fell into the sink with a huge splash, pretty much soaking his light-blue uniform shirt.
Wordlessly, Tommy opened a drawer and handed Lou a fresh dish towel.
"Thanks," said Lou, using it to wipe some suds off his face.
"Look, uh, I'm not gonna apologize for tellin' you the truth about Candy," Tommy started. "But I am sorry about makin' ya snap like that. I think I got a pan-shaped bruise on my ass."
"And I'm sorry for using your ass to clear the counter," said Lou. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was 1:30. "Jesus, I better finish these dishes before the guys start cannibalizing each other down there."
"Hey, lemme do some of those dishes and you can finish sweeping," offered Tommy.
"Gee, that'd sure be swell of you, Opie," said Lou.
Surprisingly, Tommy smiled at the joke. Lou smiled back and placed the now-dripping container of ice cream he'd left sitting on the table back in the freezer.
Back in the TV room, Maury had gone to a commercial break. Damien checked his watch; it was almost an hour and a half past their usual lunchtime and they were all getting hungrier by the second. Not helping matters was the fact that the TV was currently showing an ad for Gray's Papaya Dogs. By the end of the thirty-second clip, all the firefighters were drooling.
"All right, I can't take this anymore," said Garrity. He handed ten dollars to Damien.
"Thanks," said Damien with a grin.
"Ah-ah!" exclaimed Garrity when Damien started to pocket the cash. "It's not for you. You're the probie, so you gotta make the food run. There's a guy, like, six blocks up with a hot dog cart. Get me a chili cheese dog with no onions, a pretzel with extra mustard, a bag of those toasty sugar-coated almond things, and a water."
"Got it." Damien started to leave the room.
"Wait!" said Garrity. "You gotta get lunch for all of us. Everybody, give Damien some of your winnings."
"What if you didn't win anything?" Mike wanted to know.
"Then ya don't eat, Mikey," said Franco, rifling through his handful of bills.
"Come on, guys. I'm starving," griped Mike. "My stomach's, like, yelling at me 'cause I didn't eat breakfast this morning."
Franco shrugged. "That's your problem."
Garrity reached into his wallet and handed some more money to Damien. "Here's another ten for Mike."
Black Shawn, Franco, Mike, and Garrity all started talking at once, each telling Damien what they wanted to eat. After about a minute, they started shouting over each other. The chatter slowly died down.
"You got all that, Probie?" asked Franco.
In truth, Damien's brain had short-circuited while he was trying to pick out individual voices and he'd completely forgot who ordered what. But, of course, he could let the guys know that. "Yeah," he said in a falsely confident voice. "Yeah, I got it. Just one question: How am I supposed to carry everything back?" He knew hot dogs stands didn't usually provide bags.
Black Shawn clapped him on the shoulder. "You're a smart kid, D. I'm sure you'll figure somethin' out."
"Yeah, and don't forget the drinks," said Garrity. "Tommy and Lou won't let us near the fridge."
"And don't mess up my order," added Mike.
"Don't worry, I won't," Damien promised. He paused in the doorway and, in a terrible imitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice said, "I'll be back." Then he walked away.
"Double-time it!" Franco called after him. "I'm about to start eatin' the goddamn couch!"
"Well, that's the last of 'em," said Tommy, pulling the plug out of the sink.
He dried his hands off on a dishtowel and surveyed the room. It was mostly clean now, save for the puddle of ketchup on the floor. Lou walked over to the sink and filled a bucket with soap and water so he could mop. Tommy started putting the mountain of plates and cookware back where they belonged. Neither one spoke while completing their respective tasks. After dumping the dirty water, Lou bent to pick up the items that had fallen off the top of the refrigerator. Then he and Tommy looked over the room a final time.
"Not bad," Lou assessed. "Not bad at all. Good job, Tommy."
"Yeah. Yeah, you too," said Tommy.
He held out his right hand and Lou shook it. Their friendship wasn't completely repaired, but they could at least be civil now.
"Y'know what? It is way too quiet downstairs," Tommy observed.
"Well, then that means they've all either died from hunger or they're happily chowing down on whoever they decided would be the tastiest," said Lou. "My guess would be Mikey, what with that vanilla bodywash he uses. We better go check on 'em."
By the time the two older firefighters reached the TV room, it was a chaotic scene. The coffee table was piled high with food purchased from a street vendor. The guys were bitching at Damien for screwing up their orders. Actually, only three of them were bitching. Mike just kept holding up random items of food, and even though no one was paying any attention to him, calling out, "Is anyone gonna eat this?" Simultaneously, the chief, Needles, was chewing out Damien's ass for not bothering to ask if his supervisor wanted any lunch.
"I can't you believe you forgot the mustard!" Garrity was complaining.
"Look at me! I'm wastin' away to nothin', kid!" shouted Needles, holding his arms out to the side so Damien could see his waistline. "Snezyana can't cook a damn thing. I wouldn't even feed a dog the shit she makes!"
"It'd help if she learned some friggin' English so she could read the recipes," Tommy muttered to Lou out of the corner of his mouth.
Lou chuckled and so did Tommy.