Roger sat quietly in the mud, crouched on his knees within a large clump of bushes. After a painstakingly slow and nerve-wracking crawl, he had positioned himself about five feet from where the land cleared out around the cabin. Once he had gotten there, he was to give Martin a few minutes to make sure he was in position and then start his diversion. Roger frowned. With his luck, once he started making a noise, the son of a bitch would probably just begin firing. He glanced at his watch. It was time. Damn it, Riggs, he thought, this better work. Grabbing a hold of the nearest bush, he gave it a violent shake.
The guard reacted immediately. Whirling around, he leveled his weapon in Roger's direction. Oh God, PLEASE don't shoot…Roger thought to himself….Come one, just get your ass over here to check it out. He shook the bush again, a bit softer this time. After a moment's hesitation, the man stepped down, slowly making his way in the direction of the sound, eyes scanning back and forth, finger on the trigger. Roger held his breath as the goon inched closer and closer to his hiding place. He was standing at the edge of the clearing now, dangerously close to where Roger was lying. Come on, Riggs….Despite the cold, Roger could feel beads of sweat pop out across his forehead…Where are you, Riggs?…Shit, I don't wanna die like th---
Roger detected a sudden movement to the right, in his peripheral vision and he quickly pushed himself even farther down into the mud. The guard saw it as well, but reacted too slowly. He turned just in time for Riggs's boot to catch him full force in the jaw. There was a low popping noise as he fell into a crumpled heap without ever uttering a sound. Riggs dropped quickly to the ground, lying prone, eyes focused on the cabin, Beretta drawn. After a moment, it became apparent that the cabin's occupants hadn't heard the confrontation. Reaching over, Riggs grabbed the man's weapon, slinging it over one shoulder. He carefully dragged the body under a nearby bush then slithered over to Roger's hiding place.
"Do we need to tie him up?"
"Him?" Martin glanced over to where he had left the guard. "No, we don't have to worry about him."
Roger shook his head. "You just had to go and kill somebody didn't you?"
"God, are we really gonna argue about this NOW?" growled Riggs. "We probably have a few minutes at best before Daley realizes the front guard is gone."
"Actually you don't even have that."
Riggs and Murtaugh froze as the whispered voice drifted from behind them.
"Son of a bitch…" The two of them glanced over their shoulders at a figure hidden among the shadows.
Riggs sighed through gritted teeth. "Where were you?"
"Actually, I just got here." He gave a low amused chuckle. "Don't beat yourself up too badly. It was pure luck that I hadn't gone up to the cabin yet when you arrived. Otherwise I would have missed you."
"My lucky day," muttered Roger.
The man's voice grew hard. "Get up."
The interior of the small one room cabin was completely barren except for a table and four chairs set up near the center. On one side of the table, sat Riggs and Murtaugh, hands tied to the chairs' backs. On the other side of the cabin, Daley and the last remaining guard stood, quickly conferring on their plans.
"Everything is ready, sir."
"Good, good. Go ahead and get the car."
"What about the other men?"
Daley hesitated, a frown deepening his brow. "Leave them. We're running out of time." Daley glanced over his shoulder at the two captives. "Just get the car and I will take care of our guests."
"Yes, sir." The guard turned on his heel and disappeared out the door.
Roger gave a small, discreet tug, his shoulders sagging downward as he realized there was no way he would be able to free himself. The guard had bound them up so tightly, he had already begun to lose feeling in his hands. He looked over to his partner.
"I THOUGHT you said this would be a piece of cake."
Wincing, Martin tried in vain to readjust his position into a more comfortable one.
"Rog, you're hearing things. I never said that."
"WHAT!?" bellowed Roger. "Yes you did!"
"Must be an old age thin—"
"Alright, you two," snarled Daley, "shut the hell up before I just decide to shoot you both."
Riggs's eyes narrowed as he looked upward. "Isn't that the plan anyway?"
A small smile came across Daley's features. "Ah…you know me so well, don't you…?"
As soon as the smile had appeared, it faded. "And why shouldn't you, right?" Daley began to pace the floor, still pointing the gun at the two detectives. "After all, didn't I bring you into the family? Didn't I trust you? Didn't I treat you like a son?" The pitch of Daley's voice raised a notch, his countenance growing even darker.
Riggs just gave a disgusted shake of his head, eyes boring into the drug dealer.
"Oh yeah…some father. Nothing like having murder, drugs and prostitution inscribed on the family crest."
Daley's twisted smile reappeared. "Well, every family has to have some hobbies."
He sat down at the table across from the two men. "Besides, Riggs, I am in no mood to be judged by you. Despite your badge, I find us quite similar."
Martin's hands clenched into tight fists as he pulled furiously against his restraints. "You and I are nothing alike!" he spat out vehemently, yanking even harder.
"Tsk, tsk…such a temper." Daley rubbed a hand across his jaw, staring intently at Riggs. "Tell me, does the Department know that you're here? Hmm?"
No answer. After another long moment of silence, Daley gave a nod of his head. "Just as I figured. You always were one for doing things your way---fuck what anybody else had to say about it."
His expression rearranged itself into a smirk. "Like I said, maybe you've got a badge but that doesn't mean you're any different."
"We're goddamned cops," growled Roger, "and if you kill us you'll only be making things even worse for yourself."
Daley waved Roger's comment away, his eyes rolling derisively. "Oh, please…killing the two of you will be nothing but a pleasure. Especially you, Riggs." Daley's attention turned to the other detective. "I do have to admit," he continued, "I am somewhat motivated by my ego. I couldn't believe that you had fooled me." He paused as he scratched the side of his face with the gun barrel, his expression turning amused. "My God, it must have just about killed you when I shot him and there wasn't a damn thing you could do about it." His smile grew wider, obviously quite pleased with himself. "What a wonderful little bonus that turned out to be."
Riggs struggled against his bonds in fury, his heels digging into the dirt floor of the cabin, but it was futile. After another minute, he finally stopped, his chest heaving from the effort. He looked up, leveling a calm, hateful gaze towards Daley.
"Just cut me loose, you son-of-a-bitch," he said in a low voice, "and then let's see who's left laughing."
Daley scooted his chair in closer, propping his elbows onto the surface of the table. "Oh, I don't think so, Riggs. One of the reasons I've been so successful is by making smart decisions. And I think we both know what the only outcome to this situation will be." He leveled the gun from across the table, the barrel pointed directly at Riggs's forehead. "And despite what your partner seems to think, killing two cops is not going to complicate things for me. LAPD won't have any more luck connecting me to your murders than they did with all the others." Daley stopped for a moment, the smug look on his face growing even more self-satisfied by his victory. "Life IS sweet, "he murmured, smiling, eyes closing tight.
The moment lasted for only a brief second, but it was all the time that Riggs needed. As Daley closed his eyes, Riggs quickly raised both legs and kicked them outward, shoving the table hard into the other man's midsection. The gun discharged, the bullet just missing Riggs's head and digging into the wall of the cabin as Daley tumbled backwards, Riggs falling over as well from the force of his own kick.
"SHIT!" Roger hurled himself to one side, crashing against the floor, legs flailing. The impact of Daley's fall caused him to lose his grip and the gun slid across the floor, Roger managing to throw his body on top of it.
"YOU FUCKER!" yelled Daley as he rose to his feet. Leaning over, he grabbed Roger by the collar, punching him in the jaw. He struggled to pull Murtaugh off the weapon as Roger continued to wiggle, trying to escape from Daley's grasp. Still lying on his side, tied to the chair, Riggs managed to slide across the floor, reaching the two men just as Daley landed a series of vicious blows to Roger's temple. Martin threw one foot behind Daley's right calf and with as much force as he could muster, quickly kicked his other foot across the front of Daley's right knee. He went down with a scream, the kneecap busted.
And then that was when the earthquake hit---or at least Roger thought it was an earthquake. The entire place began to shake violently and Roger watched as the front wall cracked wide open. He stared at it, trying to focus through the dust filled air, finally realizing that it was the front of a car peeking through the cabin's wall. Grunting, Roger rolled onto his knees, kicking the gun over to the other side of the room. He glanced quickly over one shoulder, seeing that Martin had already risen to his feet and was standing over the writhing drug dealer.
"You FUCKING bastard!" the man howled, both hands clasped tightly over his knee. "You've FUCKING crippled me!"
Riggs quickly placed a cowboy boot on Daley's throat and began pressing down. "I'll just put you out of your misery then."
"Riggs!… Don't, man."
Martin looked over at Roger, his glacier eyes impenetrable, still increasing the pressure on Daley's windpipe. The two detectives locked stares for a long moment then…suddenly Riggs released his hold. He turned away with a sigh just as two patrol cops came through the door, guns drawn.
"He's right over here," barked Riggs, "and would someone PLEASE untie me from this goddamn chair!?"
"I'll take care of that."
Riggs and Murtaugh turned, watching as Nancy came through the door of the cabin. Grinning, she stepped up to Martin. Tilted her head as she stared at him.
"I don't know," she said, crossing her arms over her chest, "To tell the truth, I'm kinda liking you all tied up like that."
One of Martin's eyebrows arched upward. "Nan-cee…" he said admonishingly.
"Oh, all right…" Nancy's mouth drew into a pout as she began fumbling with the ropes. "God, these are tight," she muttered, struggling to untie them.
Riggs jerked his head towards the destroyed cabin wall, the two headlights of the car winking at them as if they were all in on some big joke. "Your handiwork?"
She smiled proudly. "I had to create some kind of diversion and it was the only thing I could come up with at the moment."
"Works for me." Riggs looked over his shoulder, watching as more patrol cops poured into the cabin. "Even brought the boys in blue, I see."
"I know…I know…you're not a back up kind of guy, but I was scared to death. I just knew that asshole was going to kill the both of you. I didn't know what else to do." A soft laugh bubbled up from her. "Although it does look like you had everything under control."
She pulled the last of the bindings free, the chair dropping to the floor. Riggs shook out his hands, rubbing the rope burns that crisscrossed his wrists. His eyes darkened angrily as he watched two cops hauled a moaning and handcuffed Daley to his feet, dragging him out to a waiting black and white. A large hand suddenly clamped down on his shoulder. Turning around, Riggs faced his partner.
Roger gave a faint smile. "Well, I think that's over," he murmured, giving his shoulder another pat.
Martin nodded silently, his brooding gaze sliding downwards. He took in a shaky breath, trying to control the wrath he could still feel swirling inside of him. He knew that if Roger hadn't of stopped him, he would have killed Daley. And he also knew that Roger knew it as well. He cleared his throat, not really sure what to say. After a second, he looked back up.
"You did good, Rog."
"Shit, you're the one that brought him down." Roger rubbed a hand across his jaw. "Just glad you could do it before he made mincemeat of my face."
A trace of a smile from Riggs, one eyebrow raising sarcastically.
"Well, we certainly wouldn't want anything to happen to that pretty mug of yours, now would we?"
Roger grinned. He looked around the cabin briefly. "Overall, I'd say this turned out pretty well. We're still alive, which is a major plus…Daley will be going back into custody and even if we can't nail him for the murders, we've got him on a whole load of new charges."
"Well, actually it may have turned out even better than you think."
A puzzled expression came over Roger as he looked at his grinning partner. "What do you mean?"
His bewilderment grew even deeper as he watched Martin begin to unbutton his shirt then his mouth gaped open as his eyes fell upon the wire taped to the midsection of Riggs's torso.
"I don't believe it! You were wired?"
By now, Riggs's grin was stretching from ear to ear. He looked over to Nancy.
"How did it go? Did you get everything?"
Nancy nodded enthusiastically. "Sure did. Daley just handed a whole lotta rope over to the prosecutors. I feel sure he managed to say enough to hang himself."
"Beautiful, man. Just beautiful."
"I'll second that," said Riggs as he ripped off the wire and started to button his shirt back up, ignoring the longing stares Nancy was throwing his way. As the last button was refastened, Nancy's chin dropped to her chest, a huge sigh rushing through her.
The corners of Riggs's mouth pulled upward slightly, his eyes cutting over to Roger who motioned sympathetically towards the reporter. "She did help us find Daley," he said.
Riggs glare turned sharp. "Oh dear God…" he finally muttered. "Okay…one little peck."
Nancy's head jerked back up, eyes hopeful. "You mean it?"
Without another word, Martin leaned over, planting a big one square on her lips. He straightened back up, forcing down his own smile as Nancy giggled, one hand twirling a lock of hair. Still giggling like a love-struck teenager, she took the wire from Riggs.
"I'll get the tapes for you," she murmured, her gaze raking over Riggs from head to toe one last time before she slipped out the door.
Roger rested his hands on his hips, watching as she disappeared from view. He turned to his partner, giving him a slap on the back.
"Boy, Riggs," he said, a teasing twinkle lighting his eyes, "must be tough being so devilishly handsome."
Riggs shrugged, heading outside with a heavily dramatic sigh. "Well…I guess we all have our crosses to bear."