The 4-9 precinct was busy when Detective Brad Colbert entered it for the first time. Officers and Detectives alike were running back and forth, yelling, handing off papers and all and all trying to survive to rabble the squad area had fallen into. A young officer with a shock of blond hair knocked into him before he mumbled a hasty apology and scurried off to the other side of the room, where a man in a sergeant's uniform was barking out orders and pointing in different directions.
It wasn't much better on the upper riser level, where several windowed offices were. Men and women in sergeant, lieutenant and even captain's uniforms were marching to and fro, barking orders down into the chaos below, talking over walkie-talkies and into phones and looking just as frazzled as everyone else.
Brad grunted again as he was knocked into for the second time in as many minutes and he had to look down at the man in front him. "Move your ass!" He heard from behind the stack of files in front of his face and Brad raised an eyebrow.
"Move my ass? You can't even see over those things." He snorted. The shorter man put the files on the desk next to him and leveled Brad with an even glare. "I don't know what shithole precinct they dragged your tall ass out of, but unless you're as fucking stupid as you're acting, I'd bet my ass cherry you can see we're a bit busy." He spat out and Brad's eyes widened almost imperceptibly in shock before he smirked. He liked this guy.
The other man took a solid look at him for a few seconds before going to open his mouth to speak, but he was stopped by the sudden change around them. The room had fallen silent and no one was moving. No one said a single word. They were all staring at the door to the squad floor with wide, almost nervous looks, even from the detectives.
That's when he heard it.
It was the sound of three pairs of boots on the tile, two steady, one faltering.
Brad's heard it before.
The door darkens and then he sees him.
Supported between two men in full swat gear is another man, dressed in a tattered polo and a pair of jeans, black dog boots scuffing the floor as he limped forward, supported by the two men. His hair was shorn close to his head, giving it a dark look and his eyes were green like moss and they shone bright with pain. He was handcuffed between his escorts as they brought him all the way into the room and sat him in a chair. There was another pair of footsteps and a man dressed in a Captain's uniform made his way down the stairs, stopping in front of the group.
One of the men in swat gear produced a key, which he handed off to the man in uniform and they stepped back to give him room. There's was still a tense silence in the room as Brad waited for something to happen.
"Nate? You all right?" The man in uniform asked, looking concerned. There was silence for a minute more before the man in the chair, Nate, spoke.
"I'm just fine Captain. We got them and I only got kicked half a dozen times." He says with mock derision and the squad area erupted into cheers and smiles. The Captain unlocked the cuffs and flung them onto the nearby desk as he helped Nate to his feet.
Brad watched as the other man was surround by officers and detectives who made a big show of congratulating him before returning to their work. The short weasel of a man Brad had been talking to was gone, over by the man and talking to him rapidly.
Finally, the Captain put a stop to the noise. "Alright you lot. The Lieutenant needs to see the medic and you all need to get to work. Now." He ordered over the good-natured groans and well placed jabs of his detectives and officers.
Already a paramedic was closing in on Nate and the Captain, blue bag slung over his shoulders. Nate was about to protest when the Captain silenced him with a look. "Not happening, Nate. You said half a dozen times, which really means probably about fifteen, because you're a horrible lair and we all know it. That, and if you don't go with the medics, I sic Rudy on you."
Nate nodded and allowed the paramedic to steer him off when finally the Captain's eyes alighted on him and he made his way over. "You must be Detective Colbert. You'll have to forgive me, I didn't think you'd be in until later, and news of the raid had already circulated. Come on up to the office." He said easily and Brad swore there was some kind of southern drawl in the older man's voice.
He followed the man up a flight of stairs to the riser level and then down the length of the room to a windowed office in the corner. Both men took a seat, the Captain behind the desk and Brad in front of it while they stared each other down. "I guess I should start by welcoming you to the 4-9. We handle just about everything here, nothing fancy or special like Special Victims or Vice. I'm Captain Wynn and I run this precinct." He said, staring Brad straight in the eyes.
Brad stared right back at him. "Brad Colbert, Detective III Class." He responded. Wynn sized him up for a few minutes before nodding. "Good. Now, as I was saying earlier, I wasn't expecting you until this afternoon, when the squad room had settled down a bit but, as you can see, we're all a little high strung right now." he shuffled a few papers around on the desk.
"You did say something about the raid. Who was that guy the heavies brought in?" Wynn looked up. "That was Lieutenant Nate Fick. He spent the last month a half deep undercover, trying to bring down a human trafficking ring. Today was the raid. Successful, thanks to him." Wynn looked up and watched as a young uniformed officer entered the room.
"Officer Hasser. Come in." He said and the young man did. Brad recognized him almost instantly recognized him as the officer that bumped into him earlier. "Detective Colbert, Officer Hasser here is gonna take you down to your desk and introduce you to your partner. You won't get much started today, but tomorrow, we'll get you started on everyone's favorite pastime. Paperwork." He grinned broadly and held out his hand, which Brad shook firmly before he followed Hasser outside the into the hall.
The squad area had calmed down considerably and most people were back at their desks and scribbling down reports from complainants, tapping out reports and conferring with their fellow officers. Brad, in a rare attempt at breaking the silence, tried starting a conversation with the young officer. "How long have you been here?" He asked.
The young officer swiveled his head around and looked at him with bright blue eyes. "A year. I just finished by probationary period and was promoted to Officer II Class." He said, before turning around and Brad realized they were standing in front of a pair of desk, one of which was occupied already while the other was barren of anything other than a computer, a phone and a notepad.
"Well well. If it isn't tall, blonde and in the way of every motherfucker in the squad room. Let me guess Hasser. I'm stuck with him, aren't I?" The smaller man said from behind the desk, face screwed up. The officer gave him a stern look.
"Ray, try to be nice or Captain Wynn will put you on graveyards again and I'll end up riding with Encino Man and I can't guarantee I won't shoot him myself if that happens."
"I wouldn't do that to you, Walt. When have I ever steered you wrong?"
"You want the long list or the short list?"
"You wound me, Hasser. Would it help if I got on my knees?"
Walt blushed darkly and Brad grinned. He was right. He liked this guy. "Ray!" Walt hissed, trying hard to cover the color that had stained his cheeks dark red. "J-just be nice." He tried to sound stern, but his stutter ruined it and all Ray did was smile brightly before, with a single-fingered salute, Walt stalked off in the opposite direction.
Brad and Ray leveled each other with cool looks for several minutes before Brad spoke. "Listen here you whiskey tango inbred sister fucking moron, I'm not here to wipe you ass or be your bestest buddy ever. So just make sure I don't get shot and we'll get along just fine." Brad said coolly and Ray's eyes widened for a moment before he broke into a grin so wide Brad swore his face was going to split in half in about five seconds and then Brad would have to clean it up and listen to a lecture on not killing his partner on the first day.
"I think we're going to get along just peachy-keen. Stick with me, you tall ass fucker and we're gonna rock this place."