"Suzie, can you lift that a bit higher? Thanks."

"Just sweep it under the carpet. Then we could just throw out the whole thing." She glared at me and looked longingly towards the T.V. "Hurry up. I could be using this time to watch "Girl On A Motorcycle" right now."

"That would just defeat the purpose. Besides, don't you have it on tape? I'm almost done."

She was starting to get impatient. Almost nervous. Except she's Suzie Shooter. She would usually shoot anything that irritated her except there wasn't a target for to take her frustrations on. …Unless I started lingering, then she would have a target. I hurried finished my business and gestured her to go do what she wants. She quickly went to her television to insert her tape and plopped down on the couch.

As soon as she relaxed, I went back to finish cleaning the rest of the room. Usually, Suzie wouldn't bother cleaning her part of the house unless the smell starts to rot the walls. Since she hates cleaning, I'm usually the one that has to do it. That's when she would help out by lifting the heavy stuff out of the way like the couch (it was starting to smell) and various worryingly large guns as well as helping me burn the trash. She seems to really like the burning part.

When I was finally done packing everything into a bag and making a list of items we need to stock up on for Suzie (need more salt, pepper, industrial soap, and rags to wipe away the blood), I plopped down next to her (not quite touching) exhausted. In response, she handed me a glass of Coke (the real thing, not the cheap imitation). It even had the curly-wurly straw in it.

I sipped it gratefully and leaned back to watch the movie with her. After a few moments, Suzie's eyes never left the screen, but suddenly she was a lot closer than she was before. Not close enough to be intimate, but I could feel her warmth.

It was enough. Although… there's a small part of me that wishes for the day she can be with me without forcing herself. After all, even monsters get lonely sometimes.

Some time later

"Huh. You're usually the one who cleans, Boss?" She had a contemplated look as she sipped her drink (some sort of alcoholic beverage, I'm not sure what it is, but my liver is quivering just being near it).

Cathy, my teenaged secretary (who adopted me) came over with some paperwork so I told her to wait till I was done sweeping the ashes away (Suzie got a bit enthusiastic). As I threw the ashes into the garden (I heard it's good for nutrition), I grabbed the pen from her and prepared to teach her how to forge my signature. When I saw that she wasn't paying attention, I gave her a look.

"What? Is there something on my face? …Suzie didn't draw anything, did she?" She tends to get vicious whenever someone falls asleep watching "Girl On A Motorcycle". Although this time, I think I only dozed off a little since I was tired. There was one interesting moment when she lectured me for not having a boner for Marianne Faithful.

"No…but are you wearing an apron? And is that a bandana?" I raised an eyebrow (not quite as good as Walker's but practice makes perfect).

"You wouldn't believe how vicious dust bunnies get when you try to get rid of them," I said matter-of-factly. "Also, I don't feel like paying for the cleaning my coat's going to go through if I do wear it. It gets annoyed enough whenever I go out on a case."

She simply looked at me and Suzie (who was getting ready for another job), and shook her head. Frowning a little, but diverting her attention to me.

"There's something wrong with this picture…but I can't quite tell what."

Just business as usual in the Nightside.

A/N: Crossposted to .com/nightsidetales/

...For some reason, this site won't let me edit this work properly and save my edits. D: