Oyster Bay. Detective Fusco thought, pulling into the parking spot and stopping the car. Guess we're here now.
For a long time he just sat there in the car, listening to the small ticks of the engine as it cooled down, watching the gulls fly across the water. Oyster Bay wasn't the prettiest oceanfront property. In fact, when you got down to it, it was bare, muddy, and rather ugly. Good if you liked oysters, but for much else, especially scenery.
But then, he wasn't here for the scenery.
Sighing, Fusco unbuckled his seatbelt and clambered out of the car. He shut the door with a bang and walked around to the back of the car. For a moment he just rested against the back bumper, feeling the edges of the trunk with his hands. Maybe the guy in the suit had just been playing around with him. Jerking his chain a little. Making stuff up just, like, to scare him or something. Y'know?
Until he opened the trunk, it was all possible. Wouldn't that be something, to pop open the trunk and just see an empty trunk? Get all worked up over this, drive all the way out here, and then finally pop it open and then… nothing? Wouldn't that be funny?
Fusco glared at the sunset and sighed. Yeah. Friggin' hilarious, that's what it would be.
Who knows, maybe Stills had gone for witness protection after all. He could've. Sure, Stills was a jackass, but he wasn't stupid. Certainly, when faced with a guy with a gun and a load of incriminating evidence hanging over him, he'd made the smart choice, right?
Shaking his head, Fusco pushed himself off the back bumper and turned around. It took him a moment to find his keys, then another moment to find the right one to fit in the trunk lock and pop it open.
There was Stills, folded neatly into the trunk, lifeless eyes staring at some point past Fusco's shoulder. Same bald head, same gristly stubble, same tiny lip-scar, even the same damned leer that made you want to punch him even if he was supposed to be your friend.
The only new thing was the neat little hole between his eyes.
Swallowing hard, Fusco leaned his head against the popped hood of the trunk, staring down at Stills. Where had everything gone all so wrong? He wondered. Stills used to be such a good cop.
Well… Fusco reconsidered. Okay. He'd never really been a good cop. Not even really a good man. But a good wingman, a good hand to have by you in a gunfight, backing you up when you were taking down some nutcase or scumbag drug dealer.
That first time, when Stills had come to him with a sob story about a bust gone wrong, he'd known something was up. Especially when Stills offered him money to cover it up. But hell, it'd just been a drug dealer who'd only gotten what was coming to him anyway. Everybody fudged a little, everybody cheated on their taxes or swiped stuff off the counter when no one was looking. That was just life in the big city.
The killing… well, that had gotten a little much. Just killing people for being there was a tad strong and some of Stills' "crime scenes" had gotten a trifle… graphic. But heck, Fusco didn't kill them, he just framed different scumballs for them. And after all, they were criminals. The guys they were supposed to be cleaning off the streets anyways.
Everybody knew the score: cops vs. robbers. And drug dealers. And rapists. And murderers. And jaywalkers. Heck, even politicians and laywers, most days. Sometimes the folks they were supposed to be protecting would be against them. When you got down to it, all cops had were each other. Cops had to stick by cops. And Stills, whatever else he did, would stick by you. He'd stuck by Fusco, that time with the hostage situation.
And now he was dead. In Fusco's trunk, no less.
It was all the fault of that crazy attorney lady. Killing an ADA? That was a huge step from killing pill-poppers and gutter lowlifes. Sure, the guys had agreed to it initially, but Fusco had been arguing them around. They would have come around eventually, he was sure of it. If she hadn't pushed them. If she had just held off a little longer. If that guy in the suit hadn't shown up.
"If." Fusco snorted. What did "if" matter, anyway? If Fusco had been born to millionaire parents, he wouldn't be a deadbeat New York detective with IA and a psycho vigilante breathing down his neck. But Fusco was born where he was, and he did what he did, and that brought him here, to Oyster Bay, with a dead ex-friend in the trunk of his car.
Fusco bent over and gripped the body around the waist. Bit of flab there… the boys always kidded Stills about that extra sausage he always ate for breakfast. Course, who was Fusco to judge? He heaved the body out over his shoulder, staggering slightly. Stills was a big boy, after all. You never appreciated how heavy a body actually was until you had to move a dead one. That's why usually you walked them out to the pier and THEN shot them. Not hoist them out, drop them on the ground, and drag them to the waterside.
Fusco was puffing and blowing by the time they reached the edge. He stopped to wipe his brow and took a last look at Stills. There were bits of dust and gravel on him from dragging across the ground.
Looking at him, Fusco cocked his head a little. Wonder how much I could fence that leather jacket of his for? He wondered. And then: That guy in the suit probably got his wallet already.
Then he shook himself. What was he thinking? You didn't loot dead friend's bodies. Anyway, Stills never used cash and Fusco knew better than to go around using a dead man's credit card. And that jacket probably wasn't worth much anyway.
Bending over, Fusco stuffed a few handfuls of rocks in the jacket's pockets. He tied the dead man's shoelaces together and then, after a few moments fishing in his pocket, brought out the bike chain he'd brought from the car. He wrapped it twice around Still's ankles, then picked up a sizeable rock and wrapped the other end of the chain around that. It all felt very surreal, to be doing something so familiar on a friend. At least he was dead… Fusco hated tying their legs while they were still alive, it just felt so rude.
He stood up, wiped the sweat off his brow again, then picked up the rock and pitched it over the side. The chain ran after, the legs jerked over, and the body followed. His friend's body vanished into the deep murk that was Oyster Bay. There he'd be eaten by the fishes and bacteria and what-not that lived there, until even the skeleton was lost in the slimy bottom where no one would ever recover it. There'd be no tombstone for Detective Stills, nothing to remember he'd ever existed.
Fusco swallowed, looking at the muddy water. "Stills, you…" But he shook his head. Really, what could you say at a time like this?
He turned away and plodded back to the car. He couldn't stop at the bar, he still had to pick up Charlie from the day-care. But maybe he'd pick up something at Mort's Quik-Mart to swallow up his sorrows after the kid went to bed. It was no funeral, but it was better than nothing.
Getting into his car, he slammed the door, buckled his seatbelt, and drove away from Oyster Bay and its screaming seagulls.
A/N: Just a quick one-shot. I'm going through a POI binge right now, and I feel like the fandom could use a few more good fics. Part of me wants to write a long story, but another part of me says I don't have time for that.
This is from the pilot. When Reese is talking to Fusco in the car, he says he's going to spare Fusco because he isn't in it for the pain or the money, Fusco is dirty just out of loyalty to the other dirty cops. Which in a way, means that those guys were his friends. I always felt sorry for Fusco in his last scene in the pilot, where Reese has a gun to his head and is telling him to go bury Stills. Of course, Fusco did try to kill Reese, so it more or less evens out but... I felt someone should write a one-shot from Fusco's POV.