[A/N So who's up for a cheesy Noire-esque detective story? Anyone? Anyone? Ummm… Anyone else besides me? :( No? Well, here's one anyways. Because I'm selfish like that.
WARNINGS: Lots of swearing, possibility of violence during the course of the fic, and the inevitability of clichéd detective puns, plots, and jokes. I apologize for none of this. :D
Reviews if you would, please. It lets me know if I should actually write more chapters or hang up my pen and go back to being a spectator.]
Gilbert Beilschmidt, private mother fucking eye. That's what it says on the door, baby. Well, minus the 'mother fucking' part. Hey, I run a classy joint here, ok? Well, classy in spirit, if not looks. I sure ain't gonna be getting a visit from Fancy Shit Monthly, not while I'm still holed up in this joint, that is. But the place is all I could afford. Sure, the carpet is crummy and the ceiling is cracked and the corner that faces the street gets leaky after a heavy rain, but hey the rent's cheap. And I got this place set up real nice, see. The front room here is pretty big, probably meant to be set up as a living room/dining room if you were the home maker type. Half the room, the half closer to the door is set up as a living room. Big, ragged green couch, end table, tv, floor lamp, you've been in a living room before, I ain't gotta spell it out for ya. The second half, yeah, the half with the leaky corner, is my office. Two big filing cabinets against the far wall (looking mighty fuckin official, might I add), two chairs for clients to sit in, and of course, my desk.
Currently, I'm setting at my desk, chair leaned back and feet propped up. My hat's tipped up to cover my face and my hands are folded behind my head. Things are a little slow today and I decided I could spare the time for a nap. Well, to tell you the truth, things weren't slow today, they were slow every day. So maybe I'm a little new to this whole private eye thing and maybe I haven't had more than two clients the whole six months I've been running this gig. So sue me. Everybody's gotta start somewhere. Hell, I heard Stanly Kubrick started off as a lowly bellhop in New York. It inspired his work on The Shining, ya know. What's my point here? Sometimes great men just need a little time being un-great so that when they finally stumble onto greatness it will be extra awesome. Or something like that.
So here I am trying to nap and the thing is I can't fall asleep. All these pesky thoughts keep floating into my head like how are you gonna pay the rent this month and it's going to be a long-assed winter if I don't have the money to turn the heat on and most frighteningly aw man, what if I have to choose between booze and electricity again this month? Point is, I need clients. I've always done alright for myself up until three months ago. I've always been pretty keen with my money and had a nose for investments. Of both the legal and perhaps not so legal variety. But then my little brother got himself into a spot of trouble. His name is Ludwig (yeah, not sure what the hell my mother was thinking either. She was probably still stoned off of her epidural when she was filling out the certificate) and he's a police man. Three months ago he got into a car accident with some idiotic fucking drunk driver and got banged up pretty bad. Of course the dumb fucking drunk didn't have any insurance. Why would he? Deadbeat… And on a policeman's salary and benefits it just wasn't enough to cover Ludy's operations. So of course I stepped up to the plate. He's my little brother, for Pete's sake. I'd die for him. I ended up cashing out all of my assets and paying to have Luddy's organs put back in his gut. I ain't complaining about having to help him out, it's just, well, it would be nice to have a full fridge again.
But fuck it. What are you going to do? The way I see it, things will come around eventually. They always do. Now for that nap…..
My eyes were just drifting shut while my body felt deliciously heavy and drowsy when I heard my door creaked open. FUCK! I started violently and flung the hat from my face. I'd let my guard down and now some prick was waltzing into my apartment. Not wasting a second I swung my legs off the desk, vaguely aware of my blotter and today's paper being dragged haphazardly as well. Falling out of my chair I grasped for the middle drawer on the left side of my desk. As I clumsily clawed the drawer open I glanced up to see how many guys there were. But then I stopped my frantic hands and fell the rest of the way out of my chair as I realized who my guest was. Or rather, who he wasn't. Because if this pansy ass looking joker was a hit man then I'm the Queen of England.
He just stood there, watching me spaz with a haughty look of amusement on his face. I wanted to knock the smirk right off his mug. And it was a hell of a mug at that. Soft and refined features, glasses on his face that just screamed vogue. Perhaps most maddening was the mole by his mouth. The kind of beauty mark you'd see on a French whore or a classy motherfucker. And boy, you could see this motherfucker thought he was classy. And I think that's what annoyed me the most.
"Hey buddy," I grunted as I shut the partially opened drawer with a bang and picked myself up off of the floor. "Take a wrong turn or something? Cause this sure as hell ain't—"
"Are you Mister Beilschmidt?" he cut me off impatiently.
"Depends on who's asking," I said defensively.
"Please, Mister Bielschmidt, I don't have the time or patience to play coy," the man said, a note of annoyance clear in his cultured voice. "If you're quite through seizing on the floor I'd like you proposition your services as a private eye." I took a step towards him. "Sure thing, Mister-?"
"Edelstein," he said, offering his hand. "Roderich Edelstein." I shook it. His skin was soft and dry, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the aristocratic front he exuded. "Well, Mister Edelstein," I said. Gesturing towards the chairs in front of my desk I said, "Please, have a seat."