Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership to these characters in any way, shape or form.
In Too Deep
Martin Riggs pulled into his partner and best friend's driveway early one spring morning. He headed in through the front door then went into the kitchen. "Morning Trish! I brought the paper in for ya."
"Thanks so much hon! Want some coffee? Something for breakfast?" she asked.
"Well coffee would be lovely, thank you. No need to trouble you with anything else, though. We've gotta get to work."
"Rog is still getting ready. I am making him breakfast. You might as well have something too, it's no trouble."
"Well thanks for the offer Trish but I'm really ok."
"If you're sure..."
Riggs chuckled. The Murtaughs took such good care of him.
Roger came downstairs and grabbed his car keys. "We're running way late, honey. Gotta go." Roger told his wife.
"Alright, see you boys tonight for dinner."
"See you then!" Riggs promised and walked out the door.
Roger kissed his wife goodbye, and followed his partner out the door.
"Hey, Rog, you want me to drive?"
"Hell no Martin, get in the passenger side!"
Riggs laughed and got in without complaint. He never expected Roger to actually let him drive, it was just a part of the routine that they had established over the last six months of working together. He enjoyed every minute of it. At last he had somebody to depend on, and someone who depended on him. Sure, the nights were still sleepless. Yeah, he had to drink to numb himself enough to wind down. But in the morning, Roger was there to pick him up from whatever mess he had fallen into in his few hours alone. A caring presence in his life made it possible for him to exist in more than a physical state; Roger kept him from reaching the rock bottom of his despair.
Roger enjoyed being partnered with Riggs more than he had ever enjoyed being partnered with anybody. Riggs' childish side needed love and care, and the father in Roger was more than happy and very capable of providing that. Riggs also had a mature side that Roger felt very close to. This Riggs was clever strong, inquisitive and protective. Though the man's methods were unusual and he was constantly putting his own life in danger, he had saved Roger's life countless times and Roger knew in his heart that he would always be able to trust Riggs with his life and his family's lives.
Riggs laughed and turned on the radio. Before they knew it, they pulled into the station to see what their day of police work would bring them.
They passed captain Murphy in the hall, and he motioned for them to follow him into his office.
They walked in and sat down in the chairs opposite his desk. He hesitated for a moment before he plastered a smile on his face and said, in an overly cheery tone, "Good news, gentlemen!"
"What's that, cap'n?" Riggs asked suspiciously.
"You get to be a narc again, Riggs! They have an undercover case for you to work on down there."
Murtaugh was shocked. "Captain Murphy, we are partners now! You can't expect us to just go back to the way it was before we met."
Roger was concerned for his friend and knew that he needed someone to watch his back. Especially in narcotics. Since they had been partnered, Riggs had told him what goes on in that department and be was really glad to have ended up in homicide. He didn't mind seeing dead bodies, but going undercover, deep into the lives of drug lords didn't appeal to him. He didn't want his partner to have to return to that world.
Riggs was touched that Roger wanted to remain his partner, even when presented with the chance to get rid of him. He knew he wasn't the easiest person to work with. "Captain, I do like the thrill and all, but I have really been doing a lot better in homicide with Roger."
Captain Murphy sighed. He knew all about Riggs, and had seen the visible changes in him since he had started working with Murtaugh, but it had to be done.
"I'm really sorry to split you guys up. It's only a temporary basis, though. Riggs, we need to send you back to Donovan."
"Shit." Riggs said. "Murph, it's been twelve years. My alibi of moving to New York was pretty goddamn thin. Sure he never suspected me then, but I'm sure he will suspect something now, since I haven't kept in contact at all."
"Well, Riggs, I can't guarantee your safety, but I can say without a doubt that you are better off than you think you are. You were so valuable as an undercover agent that we did what we could to keep the lines of communication between "you" and Donovan open. You've sent him generous Christmas and birthday gifts from your address in New York. And he has actually returned the favor. He really did like you. Our agent undercover right now used you as a reference, and Donovan said, "Any friend of Marty's is a friend of mine."
Riggs nodded, taking it all in. "So why was I not informed till now that these communications were still open?"
"I know how much of a toll this took on you. I didn't tell you, because I don't want to send you back, but we really need to bring this guy down. He's done such a great job with keeping his hands clean. He has built an entire empire up from the ground. His people are thorough and loyal. They make sure that he is not discovered."
Riggs and Murtaugh sat in stunned silence for a moment. Riggs was the first to break it. "I need some time to think Murph."
"Of course. We can talk specifics later. Take the day off, guys."
Riggs stood and motioned for Roger to do the same. He nodded to the Captain and walked out and down the hall, back out to the car with Roger in tow. He got in the driver's side, and for once, Roger just handed him the keys.
They drove in silence for a while before Roger finally broke it, "Riggs, this guy could kill you."
Riggs smiled, happy that Roger cared. "He could have killed me last time, too, Rog. If I go back to this guy, I can finish him. Imagine about a third of cocaine business in L.A. at a standstill. When the guy goes down, everyone who's worked for him will crumble and freeze. They'll be easy targets for the guys in narcotics. It sure would make our lives easier in homicide if I took this guy out."
Roger spent a few moments in silence as Riggs pulled into his driveway and parked.
"Man, I just hate to see you go. It will be weird not seeing you during the day."
"I won't be seeing you at night either. Gotta maintain my distance. I won't be Martin Riggs. I'll be Marty Cole. I'll be unshaven and new in town. I'll still be at my trailer- it's kind of perfect for a quick fix, but he will probably welcome me back like the prodigal and have me stay with him, where I will probably have to use and punish those who do not do their jobs right."
"But I'll at least know that you're ok. I mean, you'll be wearing a wire, right?
Riggs shook his head, and muttered, knowing Roger wouldn't like the answer. "It's safer not to, Rog. He'd kill me on the spot if he found out."
Roger sat in stunned silence for a while. How could the police department justify sending these kids into such certain danger? And why Riggs? Why now? "I know I can't stop you man. But are you sure you want to do this? We care about you, and I'd be devastated if something happened."
Riggs shifted and faced Roger. "Man, you don't know how much I appreciate you saying that. But this is something I have to do. The guy likes me and I think I can bring him down."
"I figured as much. Not much use in talking any sense into you, I guess."
"None at all. Hey, I'm gonna go back. You go in, enjoy your day off. I'll get the specifics from Murphy and come have dinner with you guys tonight."
Roger got out of the car, and Riggs sped off. The guy was so eager to make a difference, he thought as he opened the front door. It looked like Trish had gone out. Roger was glad to have the place to himself. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat down on the couch, ignoring that it was only mid-morning. He knew by now that Riggs was good at what he does, maybe even too good. But that couldn't keep him from worrying that he would never see his best friend again.
Riggs drove like a madman back to work, ran into the building and straight into Murphy's office. In truth, he was pretty excited to go back under cover. He loved the thrill.
Murphy looked up and smiled. "Didn't take you too long, did it kid? Here's all the information you need about our guy inside, yourself and Donovan," Murphy said, handing him a thick file. "When can you start?"
"Is tomorrow too soon?" Riggs asked with a grin.
"Settle down, kid. I know you were being reserved on account of Roger earlier, but I don't want you rushing into everything. You've gotta learn how to be Marty Cole again, and we have to cover up your existence here. You're gonna have to do it in a week. After that we're gonna come in after ya. We have some evidence as of now, but we need you to gather more or it's gonna be really easy for him to get back out."
"Yeah man I know the drill. You guys are gonna need to lock up everything saying I worked with Roger though. And say I transferred so if he gets suspicious, figures out I'm Martin Riggs, he won't have anything to back it up. That's not as big of a deal though, as separating any ties from me and Roger. I couldn't handle anything happening to him and his family." Riggs said, worriedly.
"They will absolutely be protected, you have my word, Martin. And we will do what we can to protect you, too. Just call mine or Rogers private line, say anything and we will go along with it, then send help."
"That's not as important, I can't risk anything happening to you guys."
"Yeah, it is Martin. Roger and I would be devastated if something happened to you."
Riggs smiled, "Thanks buddy. I know you guys have my back. But I can do this."
"I know you can."
Riggs spent the afternoon covering his tracks. He erased all signs of the Murtaughs from his life, he boxed up everything they had given him. He changed his phone number, so Rog couldn't call. That night, when he went over to have dinner with the Murtaughs he would explain the importance of them staying away as best he could. It was going to be a hard two weeks, but he knew he could bury this bastard and finally close this chapter of his life.
When Trish came home from the store to an empty driveway and Roger drinking on the couch, she knew that something must be wrong. She walked over and sat down next to him.
"Where's Martin, honey? Is everything okay?"
"Martin is getting briefed for an assignment. He's going back under cover."
"I didn't know he ever was," Trish replied, shocked.
Roger sighed. "After a couple months working together he started to really open up to me about some things in his past, like his experiences in the military. He was probably the best shot in the armed forces. He climbed through the ranks really quickly, and then the CIA snapped him up and he worked in special forces for the remainder of his term. He doesn't really like to talk about that part. I don't know what happened, but I won't push him. If he wants to tell me, he will. Anyway, the police force hired him right away, of course, and he fit right into narcotics. He became a detective and started going undercover, because he was so experienced with such things. He was good, of course, but there were a lot of near death situations. You see, it's just a tough job and I really hate to see the little guy go back to that, just when he's getting his mind right, ya know?"
"Honey, I know. You are such a good friend. But ultimately it is his call, and you'll just have to be the one to pick him back up when he comes out of this."
"If he comes out of it, Trish. It's risky going in once, but to go in again after such a long time, unheard of. What if the guys have been keeping tabs on him and know about it all? They'd kill him right away." Roger said, voicing his worst fears.
Trish sighed and hugged Roger close. She too worried about Martin, and hoped that no harm would befall the man that was so easy to love as one of the family.
Riggs pulled into the driveway around 5:30. He grabbed the box of everything he had that could link him to the Murtaughs and carried it inside, not bothering to knock on the door.
"Hello?" he called, walking into the living room.
"Hey." Roger answered from the couch. He hadn't expected Riggs to show so early, but as soon as he heard his voice he cleared his head and pulled himself together.
"Hey Rog." said Riggs, standing there awkwardly with the box in his hands. "I was hoping you guys could maybe hold onto this box of stuff for me? It's basically everything you have given me, and anything that ties me to you. They can't see it at my place."
"Of course buddy." Roger stood and took the box, setting it down in the corner. "Want a beer?"
Riggs grinned, "Now Rog, have you ever known me to turn down an alcoholic beverage in my life?"
Roger chuckled, then shook his head, realizing he hadn't. Who knows what the kid did to his liver on a daily basis. He had a good idea that when Riggs didn't stay over, he drank himself to sleep. This worried him, probably more than it should, because it was none of his business. But the kid didn't take care of himself at all, and hardly seemed to care about his own well being. Well, at least he wasn't trying to off himself anymore.
Rianne walked in the door just as Roger was handing Riggs a beer, "Hey, can I have one Daddy?"
Riggs chuckled, and Roger said, "Not until you're 21 Rianne."
"Oh please, you're so old-fashioned Daddy." she replied, storming out of the room, with a shy smile at Martin.
Of all of Roger's kids, Riggs had a soft spot for Rianne. It wasn't because she had a huge crush on him, either. She was just a charming kid and the kidnapping fiasco made him feel protective of her. He always imagined that if he were to someday have a daughter, she would be like Rianne. Spirited, smart, and a bit overdramatic.
"Come on everyone, dinner is ready!" Trish called from the kitchen.
Riggs groaned and held his stomach. "Here we go Rog, best of luck to you man!"
Roger laughed at the good natured jab at his wife's cooking. "I'm sure we'll pull through, I've survived on this stuff for years."
"You're a stronger man than I, Rog." Riggs replied quietly as they entered the dining room.
"What was that?" Trish asked suspiciously. She knew she wasn't the best cook in the world, but if they wanted something better, they could make it themselves.
"Oh nothing, Trish. Looks great!" Riggs said through a grin.
"That's what I thought. Hey, kids, you all washed your hands, right?" Trish addressed the children, who nodded and sat down.
They ate the meal in relative quiet. There was small talk, but nothing like the usual chatter that always threatened to push Rog off his rocker. As the meal was winding down, Riggs, looking a little bit uncomfortable, made his announcement.
"Um, so all of you know I have been partnered with Roger here for the last six months, right?" He asked, gearing this explanation towards the kids.
"Duh!" Nick and Carrie scoffed, and Rianne nodded.
"Well, before I met your dad in homicide, I worked in a unit called narcotics. My job in narcotics was to do whatever it took to take down drug dealers and the bad guys who worked with them. Sometimes, I had to go undercover to arrest them. Every time but one that I went undercover I was able to arrest the boss and make sure he could never do anything to hurt people again. Sometimes it took a week, sometimes six weeks, but the longest I was ever undercover was six months, and he was the only guy I couldn't arrest."
"Why didn't you arrest him?" asked Carrie.
"Well, I wasn't able to get the right kind of evidence to detain him before I had to leave."
"Why did you have to leave?" asked Nick.
Roger looked up at this. This was the sort of information he wanted to know. What exactly was Riggs going to face when he went back?
"Well, it's sort of complicated. See, I got so deep in the guy's trust that his rivals used me for leverage. One of them ended up hurting me, and the police unit helped me get out. I needed to distance myself to keep from getting hurt or killed, so we led him to believe I have been living in New York."
"So, are you going back to him then? Martin, what if you get hurt again?" asked Rianne, anticipating the reason behind the unusual storytelling.
"Yes, actually. I will be going back. This time, it will be no longer than a week, though. The department believes that they have enough evidence to detain him. I just have to go in and get everything I can on him. These guys are tricky. The more evidence, the less likely they will be to get out of it."
He stopped talking for a moment and looked around at their faces, gauging their levels of understanding. It seemed his news was sinking in.
"So, this all means that in order to protect you guys, I have to be completely away from you for the next week, maybe more if it takes longer than expected. I won't be calling or coming over, and you guys can't call me or come to my place. If I see you by coincidence, we will have to just ignore each other completely. I can have no ties to you in any way, your safety, and my safety, depend on it. Understood?" he asked, his voice reflecting a gravity which the Murtaughs had yet to hear from him.
"Just be safe, Martin." Trish said, echoing the family's thoughts.
They finished the meal and cleaned up in near silence, only a few half hearted attempts at small talk were made.
After a while, Riggs stood and walked toward the back door, beckoning for Roger to come along. Martin sat down on the steps and lit a cigarette. Roger stood behind him. "So, they hurt you, huh?" he asked, feeling entitled to the full story.
"Yeah, they did buddy," Riggs replied. When his answer was greeted only by silence, he sighed and took a long drag of his cigarette. "Well, you better sit down if you want the whole story. Lord knows an old timer like you doesn't need to be on his feet longer than necessary."
"Yeah, well Lord also knows to keep his mouth shut." Roger replied, taking the bait, then sat down next to Riggs. "Let me know what you're getting into, buddy."
"Look, it was nothing big, alright? Donovan screwed up by not paying someone in full, and he took me hostage. Donovan may have liked me, but I certainly wasn't worth blowing any kind of cover for, so it was about a week before he got me out of the situation. The guy shot me in the gut before Donovan got to him and killed him. I went to the hospital, and that was pretty much that. I tied up a few loose ends with Donovan, and made my fake escape to New York. He laid low for a while, and I forgot about my time there. And here we are, now." he paused, taking in Roger's reaction, noting the contemplative gaze and worry in his eyes. "Look, man. I know I can do this. I know that you know I can do this. It is just a week, and then I'll be back. If he hurts me, it's ok, I have been hurt before. I can hang on."
"That's just it, Riggs. I know you are amazingly skilled at what you do. Don't ever think I doubt your talent. I just don't think that the department should risk your life. I can't stand seeing you hurt like you were at the end of your fight with Joshua. You gave absolutely everything, until you had nothing left to give. Don't let this mission suck you dry. Promise me, that you will seek help before it is too late."
"Look, I will. Do you think you could recognize my voice easily over the phone?"
"Of course I could," Roger answered.
"Then if I call you, and say anything to you, get me some help. I won't be able to warn you what you're coming into, but if you hear my voice on the line, it means I need saving."
"I'll come for you."
"I know you will. Thanks buddy." Riggs stood and stretched. "Enjoy your week's vacation from me, this may be the only one you ever get."
Roger smiled and shook his hand. "We will miss having you around, kid."
Riggs grinned and mock saluted him, then walked out front, got in his car and left.