Log in

No account? Create an account
11 June 2010 @ 06:22 pm
fic: a spotlight on these desolate dreams (part one.)  
[back to master post.]

Jared Padalecki makes it a point to not trust his fellow man.

It’s not a hard stance to take when you’re in his line of work. He’s seen his fair share of broken hearts, emptied bank accounts, and bruised faces.

The idea of ‘happily ever after’ is complete and utter bullshit. Nine-point-five times out of ten, love ends in heartache and despair.

People lie. They cheat, steal, and kill. They do whatever it takes to satisfy their own needs and then they crawl back into whatever dark, slimy hole they came from to wait for the next opportunity to fuck someone over.

So maybe he’s a cynic. But then again, the truth hurts.

Jared pulls his trench coat a little tighter around himself and angles his fedora down to cover his eyes as he leans up against the wall outside of a no-name bar buried deep in one of the more unsavory parts of Manhattan. It’s three in the morning, he’s cold and tired, and he’s pretty sure this place doesn’t even have a legal liquor license. He covers a yawn with his hand and then shakes his head a little to wake himself up.

He’s been skiptracing this asshole all over town. He’s like a ghost. Jared always seems to wind up in the place the guy had just been an hour earlier. He’s always one step behind and that really pisses Jared off. But now he’s got him.

No one with an addiction can ever truly hide. If you’re a gambler, you’ll get caught at some underground card game. If it’s drugs you’re into, you’ll be found with a needle in your arm in a no-tell motel off of the interstate. If you’re into sex, any whore will give you up if they’re offered enough green.

And if you’re a raging alcoholic, Jared will find you at the seediest back-alley bar in New York City.

This is his post. Three in the morning in the middle of Manhattan, dressed from head to toe in black and charcoal grey, leather and canvas and cotton. This place has no distinguishing marks – only a faded green door set down four steps in a back alley piled high with forgotten trash. Out front, Jared blends in with the night. He’s gotten good at that. Blending in, that is.

You wouldn’t look twice if you passed Jared on the job; you wouldn’t know that he’s comforted by the constant presence of his Glock in its side-holster, gunmetal warm from being pressed against his flesh. You would never know how dangerous he could be.

The door to the modern day speakeasy opens and Jared perks up, instantly shaking off the heavy blanket of fatigue that had been draped over him. The muffled sounds of rock music permeate the smoggy air and Jared wrinkles his nose at the smell of all that liquor. His target stumbles out, too trashed to even walk, and Jared smiles like a hawk that just caught sight of its prey.

They dig their own grave more often than one might think.

Jared pushes away from the grimy brick wall with his foot, hands buried in the pockets of his coat as he takes a step forward. The guy whirls on him and ah, there he is. Joseph Tucci – ruthless con artist and abuser of fragile women.

Jared had been hired by one Evelyn Moriarty. He was ready to take any case from her based on her name alone, but then she took off her sunglasses and he saw her bruised face. He has always been a sucker for a pretty girl with a sob story, which should be odd given his proclivities in the bedroom.

This ghost that Jared has been chasing all over New York City for the past week, this aggravating thorn in his paw, turns and faces him. He’s handsome in a way that takes time to notice, but all of that is masked by his bloodshot eyes and red, swollen face.

“You got a light?” Joseph Tucci, conman extraordinaire, asks him. Jared reaches into his pocket and extracts a lighter – a well worn silver Zippo that was gifted to him by someone very important long before he even knew what a cigarette was. He flicks it on and sees the inscription across the scuffed, dented surface. It reads non timebo mala, and it’s the best advice anyone has ever given him.

“I got a light if you’ve got a smoke,” Jared drawls, adding a slur to his words. Ignore the full pack of Marlboros in the pocket of Jared’s slacks. They aren’t important. Joseph nods and extracts a pack of some cheap off-brand from the pocket of his jeans. After a few moments of fumbling, he finally pulls out a cigarette and hands the pack over to Jared. There’s a quick exchange; too quick for anyone to notice.

Jared lights Joseph’s cigarette and while he’s distracted by that first drag-dizziness, head tipped back towards the sky, Jared slips a tiny tracking device into the package, nestled between the silver foil and the cardboard where it can’t be seen. Then he flicks the pack, pulls out a cigarette with his teeth, and lights it while handing the closed pack back to Joseph. He shoves it into his pocket without even looking at it and Jared smirks around the filter of his cheap smoke.

He takes a deep drag and then tips his head back to blow smoke into the already filthy sky.

“Take it easy, man,” Jared says, all drunken-stumble stupid. Joseph nods and wanders off towards the street, presumably to hail a cab back to whatever shitbag motel he’s hiding out in before he skips town.

Jared watches him go, flips up the collar of his coat to ward against the cold, and flicks the cigarette against the dirty ground after one last drag. He crushes it with the toe of his black leather shoe and whistles to himself as he walks back to his car.

On his way home he stops by the 6th precinct and wanders inside. He flashes his visitor’s badge and tells the first beat cop he sees to get Sergeant Fuller down to the station. Wake him up, it’s no problem. He can wait.

Jared sits behind Sergeant Fuller’s desk in the bullpen, feet kicked up on polished wood as he waits. He pulls his fedora down to cover his eyes and licks the taste of nicotine from his lips.

“It’s four in the goddamn fucking morning, Padalecki.” Jared flicks the brim of his hat up to see Sergeant Kurt Fuller, all sleepy and disheveled, glaring down at him like he’s America’s most wanted villain. He slaps Jared’s feet but they don’t budge. “What the fuck d’you want?”

“I want to give you a gift,” Jared says as he pulls his feet back and leans forward to rest his elbows on top of various papers, cases Jared could solve in under a week. “A certain conman wrapped up in a neat little bow.”

“We found Tucci?” Fuller asks, and Jared lets out a rough little chuckle. He wants a cigarette – a good one, not whatever shit Tucci was smoking.

“No, I found Tucci,” Jared corrects. “Found him when your boys couldn’t.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Fuller replies with a pinched expression. His face makes Jared want to laugh. He’s eager for the information but undeniably pissed that he has to get it from Jared. Again. “Where is he?”

“Here,” Jared says as he holds out a piece of paper between two fingers. The tracker he put in Tucci’s smokes stopped moving about ten minutes after he and Jared parted ways. A quick search proved that Jared was right – he’s holing up at a cash only, no questions asked motel. “He should be passed out in a pile of his own vomit by now, right there at that address.”

“How’d you find him?” Fuller asks as Jared pulls his cigarettes out of his pocket. He sticks one behind his ear and rolls his lighter in his hand. He looks up at Fuller with a raised eyebrow, hidden by the brim of his hat.

“A private dick never reveals his secrets,” Jared tells him. He gets up and taps the stack of unsolved cases on Fuller’s desk. “You ever need any help with these, let me know. I’ll even give you a discount because we’re such good friends. Sound good?”

“Get the fuck out of my station, Padalecki,” Fuller grits out. He plops down in the chair Jared vacated and picks up the phone. He looks up at Jared after he dials. “And get some sleep. You look like shit.”

“Always good to know someone cares,” Jared replies lazily. He lights his cigarette as soon as he’s out in the crisp night air and leans against the side of his car as he finishes it. He pinches the bridge of his nose with one hand and yawns so hard his jaw cracks.

It’s late. Or early, depending on who it is looking at the clock. Jared doesn’t really have a good grip on things like time. He’ll call Evelyn in the morning to let her know that she’s safe. Maybe she’ll finally get some rest. Maybe Jared will too.

His phone vibrates in his pocket and he pulls it out to see that he has a new e-mail on an account he doesn’t even use anymore – the only string still attaching him to his old life. It’s from an old friend, someone he hasn’t spoken to in almost a decade. He’s too tired to deal with old ghosts right now. He needs some sleep before he can even think about opening that particular door.

He slips his phone back into his pocket without opening the e-mail, flicks his cigarette onto the damp asphalt, and gets into his car. The job is done, and that means he can finally sleep.

Right now that’s all he wants to do.

“They say that your life flashes before your eyes right before you die.” And then there’s a knife against Jared’s neck, blade cool like ice where it presses flat against his fluttering pulse. “Tell me, Jared. What do you see?”

Jared remains silent. His eyes are closed and he pulls helplessly at the binding keeping his hands around the pole behind him. His fingers are sticky and wet with the blood seeping from his wrists.

“Tell me,” demands the voice. The knife slides just barely across the taut, sweaty skin of Jared’s throat and he feels blood leak from the wound. It’s hot and wet and Jared doesn’t react at all.

“I get it. You’re going to kill me,” Jared grits out. He’s proud of the way his voice doesn’t even tremble. “Doesn’t mean I have to help you get off on it.”

“That was always your problem,” his captor tells him while pulling the knife away and standing up. Jared opens his eyes to see the blade gleaming with blood – his blood. “You have a smart fucking mouth. Did you really think it would never get you into trouble?”

“Oh, so it’s my charm that got me here?” Jared retorts. His legs are going numb from sitting on his ass for so long. His arms feel warm and heavy and the collar of his shirt is wet with blood. It’s a surface wound, from what Jared can tell. Just a knick, nothing serious. “Funny, I thought it was because I was going to turn you in.”

“Well, that too,” comes the reply. “But mainly you’re a fucking nuisance.”

“Good to know,” Jared replies, unable to shut up. If this is going to work at all, he needs more time. “So tell me. What pushed you to this point? It’s always one of three things – love, money, or drugs. So which was it? Maybe it’s a combination. Maybe it’s all three?”

“Shut the fuck up.” Suddenly he’s face to face with his captor, eyes dark and lips curled back into a snarl. He grips the bloodstained knife in one hand and presses the tip right under Jared’s sternum. He swallows and blinks the sweat from his eyes. “Tell me what you see before you die.”

“No,” Jared spits, staring defiantly back. The knife digs in deeper; enough to cut skin, but Jared swallows back the quick sting of pain. “That’s for me to know, and for you to never find out.”

“I beg to differ.” The knife goes in deeper, deep enough to make blood spill from the wound but not deep enough to really damage him. It scares him though. It makes him think his plan has failed. “Tell me now!”

“Jensen.” The name comes out without him meaning it to, an admission and a plea all at once, and then there’s a crash and white light floods the room. The knife falls away and Jared lets himself slip into blackness, the pain from his more severe wounds ebbing away as he loses consciousness.

His plan worked. He can rest now.

Jared gets five hours of sleep. For him that’s pretty decent. He might even call that sleeping in.

He rolls out of bed and heads straight for the coffee pot. He scratches idly at his chest, fingernails slip-sliding over the scar just under his sternum. He yawns as he leans over the counter, sipping coffee that’s just this side of too hot.

He’s only twenty-eight but he feels ancient. It’s like he can feel the decades seeping into his bones. Jared shakes it off. He has way too much shit to do to feel so old.

After taking a shower and getting dressed Jared puts in a quick call to Fuller just to verify that Tucci is, in fact, locked up and no longer a threat. Fuller confirms that yes; he’s in custody and even begrudgingly thanks Jared for his help. When he calls his client to give her the good news, she’s over the moon. She’s happy, grateful, ecstatic, impressed, and pretty much every other compliment in the book. Jared checks his watch while she continues to gush. They arrange an appointment to settle Jared’s bill and he hangs up.

He’s at the door putting on his black pea coat, scarf, and fedora when he gets the feeling that something is… off. It’s a sharp twist in his gut – a raincloud over his head. He shakes it off and steps out into the crisp morning air.

It’s a short trip to his office, and his eyes scan over the sign reading Jake Spade, Private Investigator as he slides his key into the lock.

When Jared came to New York a decade ago, he knew he wanted to start over. He wanted a completely different life. The alias was almost a joke at first, but then it stuck. So that’s who he is now. He’s known as Jake Spade to everyone, every single person in this godforsaken city, except for his contacts with the NYPD.

Jared looks down at the key in the lock and then turns his head when he catches the scent of the muffins from the coffee shop next door. His stomach growls threateningly, protesting so much coffee on top of so little food. Jared pulls the key out of the lock, checks the handle, and goes next door instead.

“Oh, good morning, Mr. Spade!” The girl behind the counter’s name is Christy. Jared can almost remember when he used to have such pep. “What can I get you?”

“A muffin,” Jared replies simply. “Whatever’s freshest. And some coffee.”

She scampers off towards the back and Jared’s eyes drift across the television. What he sees makes him do an actual double take, and he rushes forward to turn up the volume even as his blood goes ice-cold.

… reporting live from Los Angeles. The body of Sandra McCoy, daughter of Academy Award winning actor Steven McCoy, was found by joggers in Topenga Canyon early this morning. Hollywood is reeling from this shocking crime and mourning the untimely death of the twenty-eight year old aspiring actress who is described by her friends as being beautiful, funny, and above all, kind.

Jared’s keys fall to the tiled floor with a clatter.

“You know, I’ve never met a boy that didn’t want me.”

Jared chuckles drunkenly as Sandy straddles his lap and sits down, wrapping her thin arms around his bony shoulders. She’s wearing nothing but the tiniest of bikinis but modesty isn’t really a word in her vocabulary. It’s after midnight but the balmy Los Angeles air is enough to keep her warm. He looks up into her brown, almond eyes and takes another sip of his drink.

“Are we really doing this again, Sandy?” Jared asks playfully. He sets his drink down on the end table and slumps down further on the sofa before reaching up to curl his hands around Sandy’s hips and pull her closer. She slides her fingers into his hair and bites her lip coyly. “Baby, you’re gorgeous. You’re every straight man’s dream. A perky ass and a set of tits to kill for, but I like boys.”

“You really think I have nice tits?” Sandy asks with a playful pout. Jared rolls his eyes and slides his hands up to cup them, thumbs brushing the hard bumps of her nipples through the thin fabric. She shudders and tugs softly at his hair. They’ve always been like this – no boundaries, no concept of personal space. It’s like a game. They already know neither one of them will win, but it’s fun to play anyway. “Mm, you tease.”

There’s a shriek of laughter followed by the sound of splashing water. Jared blinks owlishly and slides his hands back down to Sandy’s hips. He should be at home studying for his twelfth grade history final, but instead he’s sitting poolside at a mansion in Beverly Hills feeling up a movie star’s daughter. Talk about a life unexpected.

“You have gorgeous tits,” Jared says again. He eyes her cleavage, that swell of soft-looking caramel skin, and for a second he wishes that he did want her. It’d be easy – just a quick shift and slide is all it would take to be inside her. It’s what she wants and it would make his life simpler. But unfortunately for the both of them, Jared’s life is never easy. “But again, I like boys.”

“Uh-uh,” Sandy replies. She slides her hands down his arms until her fingers curl around his wrists to push his hands down to her bare thighs. She rolls her hips a little and Jared hisses. She’s drunk, but Jared’s mind isn’t exactly clear either. “You like a boy. Just one.”

“Sandy,” Jared admonishes. His eyes flick over her shoulder to the group of people scattered around the pool. She grabs his cheeks and presses their foreheads together. Jared swallows hard and looks at her as his thumbs stroke the soft skin inside her thighs. “Don’t – “

“I won’t tell,” Sandy whispers. She bites her lip and grins at him. “I won’t tell if you kiss me, just once.”

Jared rolls his eyes in fond exasperation and pulls Sandy in for a kiss. It’s wet and messy and it does nothing for him.

Sandy kisses him, and he watches Jensen out of the corner of his eye.

… pictured here with good friend Katie Cassidy at her last public appearance just four days ago. Cassidy updated her Twitter account this morning, telling her followers…

Jared stares at the picture of Sandy and it jogs his memory. He pulls his phone out of his pocket and brings up the e-mail he so quickly ignored the night before. He blinks rapidly when he sees Sandy’s name on the display, and his fingers are trembling when he opens the message.

Jared, I miss you all the time, especially now. I think I’ve stumbled onto something big. You just can’t trust anybody these days. I wish I knew how to reach you. I could sure use your super sleuth skills about now. But hey, since you’ll probably never read this and I don’t even think I’m going to make it out of this alive, I might as well tell you. I know we were playing a game, but I think I might have loved you, once upon a time. Okay, wish me luck. – Sandy

Over the last ten years a sort of numbness has washed over him. It’s how he gets by. It’s how he makes it through the day to day. If he can’t feel, he can’t hurt. If he doesn’t hurt, he doesn’t have to remember. Jared Padalecki and Jake Spade are two completely different people and the lines have never been blurred.

Until now.

“Oh, that’s sad isn’t it?” Jared hears Christy speak only because he’s trained himself to always have one ear perked up, one eye open. He wishes he hadn’t trained himself quite so well. “I loved Sandy. She just seemed so sweet, you know? I hope they find whoever did it.”

“Don’t worry,” Jared replies. There’s a sharp edge to his words and he grits his teeth as he watches the news report. “Someone will pay.”

Jared is packed up and in a cab to JFK by lunchtime.

To say that he is nervous would be inaccurate. Jared doesn’t get nervous. Being scared means that you have something to lose, and Jared has already lost everything.

Jared came to New York with nothing but a duffle bag full of clothes, a fat stack of reward money that ended up going towards his PI license bond, an old lighter with an inscription on the side, and a single photograph. His grandfather used to tell him that any good gumshoe knows not to keep things like that on him. Photographs are trouble – they give away all your cards. If you’re caught and you have a picture of your sweetheart in your wallet, they’re a goner too.

But still, for every single ounce of knowledge and advice that his grandfather gave him, Jared couldn’t bring himself to destroy this picture. It’s the only tangible proof that he once had this fairytale life – the life of a weird, poor kid who went to an elite private school in Beverly Hills only because someone on the board owed his grandfather a favor and somehow found himself smack in the middle of the who’s who of young Hollywood.

Jared was swept up in a whirlwind romance with money and fame – exclusive parties at mansions in the hills and VIP booths at clubs he wasn’t even old enough to get into.

He was a small fish in a very big pond, and he was too caught up in it all to even realize when he was in over his head.

For one brief period in time he was headline news – tabloid fodder – and it’s all because of a boy named Jensen Ackles.

“Hey, you’re that new kid, right?” Jared glances up from his homework as someone drops down across from him. “Jared something, yeah?”

“Padalecki,” Jared replies dryly. He freezes when he notices that it’s Jensen Ackles sitting across from him. The same Jensen Ackles that he sees on the covers of magazines and on late-night entertainment news shows. Jensen Ackles, son of Alan Ackles, billionaire oil tycoon turned real estate mogul. “And I suppose there’s no need for further introductions than that, Jensen.”

“Ah, the pleasure of introducing myself has always eluded me,” Jensen says with a cocky grin. Jared is almost annoyed by his obvious giant ego, but he can’t deny that he’s never seen a more beautiful person on the entire planet. Jared is instantly enthralled, ready to hang on this boy’s every word. And it’s not because he’s starstruck – celebrity has never fazed him.

“I may know your name and your face, but I don’t know you,” Jared tells him. He’s proud to find that while he may be flustered on the inside, he’s as calm and collected as ever on the outside. “Only you can give me that pleasure.”

“Wise words from a wise man,” Jensen tells him. He leans forward and the white dress shirt he’s wearing clings tight to his lithe frame. Jared’s eyes are drawn to the open collar of Jensen’s shirt, to the barely hidden expanse of tan skin and caramel freckles. He’s momentarily distracted and almost misses Jensen’s next words. “A little birdie told me that you do things for people. That true?”

“Depends,” Jared replies as he absently twirls a Ticonderoga #2 in his left hand. “Sounds like a very nosy little bird. What sort of things could I possibly do for you, Jensen?”

“I’ve been popping up in the tabloids more than I’d like,” Jensen admits. “All of these rags always cite a source close to me. Nine times out of ten, it’s all bullshit. But this particular one seems to know things – little pieces of information I don’t exactly make public, you know?”

“You have a mole?” Jared replies with a wry smirk. “High school’s a bitch, man.”

“It’s trench warfare,” Jensen tells him. He taps Jared’s notebook to get his full attention and then leans in slightly. “So, can I hire you? Get my own personal private dick on retainer?”

“We can probably work something out,” Jared tells him. He’s grinning like mad by now, completely under Jensen’s spell. “But I don’t come cheap, Ackles.”

“Things I partake in rarely do, Padalecki.” Jensen pulls Jared’s notebook over and writes down his cell phone number and address. Jared doesn’t have a cell phone – not enough money. “Come over around eight tonight? I’ll send a car to pick you up, if you’d like.”

“Uh, sure,” Jared replies. He taps his eraser against Jensen’s neat scrawl and looks up to meet his playful green eyes. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

“Sounds like I’ve got myself the start of a beautiful friendship,” Jensen replies with a happy grin. “See you tonight.”

The mole turns out to be one of Jensen’s drivers eavesdropping on private conversations and selling those facts to the highest bidder. It wasn’t hard to figure out.

It’s too bad, though. Jared had secretly hoped it was Jensen’s girlfriend.

Jared looks down at the photograph again.

It was snapped over ten years ago in the back of Jensen’s limo on the way to a nightclub in West Hollywood. Jared and Jensen are in the middle, arms slung over each other’s shoulders with Sandy and Katie flanking them.

There are dozens of photos of them all together, but this one had always been his favorite. Jared swipes the pad of his thumb over Sandy’s face even as his eyes linger on Jensen’s youthful, cocksure smile.

Jared holds the picture out of the window of the cab, watching as it flaps in the breeze. His grip loosens for only a moment before he closes his eyes in defeat and tucks the photo back into his jacket pocket.

There may be no time for trite dalliances in his long buried memory, but that doesn’t mean he has to let them go completely.

The view out of the window is the New York City skyline and Jared drinks it in. It’s beautiful but cold, industrial, and gray. Everything is a different shade of gunmetal, harsh and unforgiving. It’s here, in this cruel, sprawling metropolis, that Jake Spade fashioned a new life.

And now Jared Padalecki has to return to Los Angeles to face the old one.

It’s nearly dusk when Jared’s plane lands.

His suit is disheveled after spending six hours crammed into a seat far too small for his frame. His suspenders dig painfully into his shoulders and his knees ache. He shakes off all the discomfort and grabs his luggage, throwing on his suit jacket and fedora before heading over to pick up his rental car.

Even though he was expecting it, the change of scenery is still a shock to the system.

It’s warm and balmy enough that Jared feels himself start to sweat. Palm trees stand tall and proud, doing little to block the sun that somehow seems brighter here. Everything is colorful and warm, and Jared feels entirely out of place. He can’t blend in here like he can on the cold, dark streets of New York.

But even so, he hasn’t forgotten the streets of Los Angeles, bright and distracting as they may be. He doesn’t even bother checking into his hotel. He drives straight to Hollywood, hopping off on Cahuenga and making his way down Sunset Boulevard. It’s not long before he’s parking his car outside of the police station.

He pretends every step isn’t a challenge and pulls his hat down to shade his eyes as he works his way into the building. Getting a visitor’s pass isn’t difficult after flashing his PI badge, and luckily he doesn’t run into any familiar faces.

He keeps his head down as he works his way through the halls and even smirks a little when he lets himself into the captain’s office without so much as a knock.

“I’m busy,” Jeff Morgan replies. Jared is amused to find that his gruff voice hasn’t changed much in ten years, but the color of his hair sure has. Jared drops down into the chair opposite the desk and kicks his legs up onto it.

“Anything I can do to help?” Jared offers. Morgan’s pen comes to a halt and he glances up. The expression on his face goes from shocked to some mixture of fondness and annoyance in the blink of an eye. He sits up and leans back in his chair with a wide smile on his face.

“Well if it isn’t Jake Spade,” Morgan drawls, and something twists in Jared’s belly. He doesn’t like that his other name is known in the place he tried so hard to escape. “New York’s finest PI.”

“My reputation precedes me,” is all Jared says. Morgan gives him a long look, once up and once down, before meeting his eyes again.

“Jake Spade?” Morgan repeats, and Jared bites his lip. “For someone that ran away, you sure didn’t try very hard to hide.”

“Maybe I wanted to be found,” Jared replies with a shrug. It’s not something he’s ever admitted out loud, but combining the names of two of the most famous fictional private investigators and going by that pseudonym wasn’t exactly clever. It was simple – easy to figure out. “Maybe I made it easy on purpose and no one ever came looking. You ever think of that?”

“No, I guess I didn’t,” Morgan replies with a shrug. “You look good, kid. Tired as hell, but good.”

“I’m not a kid anymore, but I’ll take the compliment,” Jared replies. A grin splits his face and he tips his hat back even further. “I see you’ve also done well for yourself, Captain Morgan.”

“You think you’re the first to make that joke? Guess again,” Morgan says gruffly. “Why are you here, Padalecki?”

“Why do you think?” Jared replies instantly. “You’re not a stupid man. Sandy was my friend.”

“You haven’t so much as exchanged pleasantries with the girl in a decade,” Morgan reminds him. “But now that she’s dead, she’s your friend.”

“I never said I was a good friend,” Jared replies shakily, unable to keep the emotion from his voice. Jeff Morgan has been in Jared’s life as long as he can remember. He was good friends with Jared’s grandfather back when Morgan was just a rookie beat cop and he was a hardboiled PI. “You’ve gotta let me in on this. I’m a legit NYPI and I’ve solved more cases for that department than I can count. I’m better now than I ever was back when I was solving this department’s cases in between studying for math tests and worrying about prom.”

“No need to remind me of your greatness, kid,” Morgan replies sternly. Jared gives him a pleading look, calling on the puppy eyes he only reserves for extreme cases. He’d rather pull his sidearm than that fucking look. Morgan just rolls his eyes. “Look, I couldn’t contract you even if I wanted to. You’re an NYPI, not a – “

Jared slaps a California-issued private investigator’s license down on his desk along with his license to carry a concealed weapon in California. Morgan meets his determined gaze and raises an eyebrow.

“Thought you weren’t ever planning on coming back here,” Morgan says. Jared grimaces slightly and pulls the licenses back. He slides them into his pocket and adjusts his sidearm.

“I like to cover all my bases,” Jared replies. He shrugs slightly and takes his hat off to run his fingers through his hair. Maybe he always knew he would end up back here.

“Fine,” Morgan replies. “We’ll contract you. Collins is my lead on this. You can touch bases with him.”

“Collins?” Jared asks, lips curving up into his trademark wry smirk. “Please tell me his first name is Tom. It’d be in keeping with the theme around here.”

“It’s Misha Collins,” Morgan replies scathingly. “He’s my head detective, and he’s out in the field right now so you can’t pester him. Go get some sleep and I’ll call you in for our debriefing in the morning.”

“Thanks, Morgan,” Jared replies, curling his fingers around the brim of his fedora. He’d like to get started now, but he’ll take what he can get.

“So, Sherlock,” Morgan starts. “Are you going to bring Watson in on this?”

“Huh?” Jared replies. Morgan rolls his eyes in a way that never fails to make Jared feel all of five years old. “I work alone.”

“Didn’t used to,” Morgan reminds him. “You never went anywhere without that punk, Ackles, on your tail.”

“Things have changed,” Jared grits out, fingers clenching his hat even tighter. Just the mention of Jensen’s name is like a punch to the gut. Ten years and he still isn’t over it. “I’d like to sidestep him, actually.”

“That’s not possible,” Morgan replies. Jared raises an eyebrow. “Not if you want to work this case, anyway.”

“And why’s that?”

“Jensen Ackles and Katie Cassidy were the last ones to see Sandy alive,” Morgan tells him. Jared closes his eyes for a moment and nods, throat working furiously. “That was last night. Midnight.”

“Can I get an address?” Jared asks thickly. Morgan nods and Jared furrows his brow. “And a copy of the police report, if you’d be so kind.”

“Anything else I can do for you?” Morgan replies in a sarcastically cheerful tone. Jared puts his fedora back on and winks at him.

“Just a smile will do,” Jared tells him. Morgan glares at him and hands over the documents. Jared hands him Jake Spade’s business card with his cell number written on the back, tips his hat, and leaves the precinct.

Sandy was last seen alive at midnight, Pacific Time. Jared stands on the curb and pulls his phone out of his pocket to check the e-mail. Sandy sent it at a quarter after one, and her body was discovered at six.

Jensen and Katie may have been the last people to see Sandy, but Jared was the last one to hear from her.

Somehow, this doesn’t make him feel any better.

Two hours later it’s dark outside and Jared is standing outside a posh mansion in the Hollywood hills. A cigarette dangles between two fingers, orange-red ember forgotten and fading in the balmy air.

He’d stopped off at his hotel to shower and grab a bite to eat. Also, let’s face it, to psych himself up. This is a moment he’s never allowed himself to imagine. He never thought it would happen, and certainly not like this.

He decided to come at this from a purely professional angle. It’s been ten years – Jensen may very well not even really remember him, let alone still give a shit. Jared is the one that came away from their friendship with a broken heart and a messed up mind.

He put on a basic black suit and tie and debated with leaving his sidearm behind, but he feels absolutely naked without it. He takes another drag of his cigarette and lets his eyes sweep the area. He thought he would have had to battle with a shutterbug or two before he got to Jensen’s front door, but there doesn’t seem to be any present. He finishes off the smoke and flicks it into the gutter before staring up at Jensen’s lavish home.

Jared blows out a breath, drops his fedora onto his head, and makes his way up the path to the front door.

He rings the doorbell once and swallows hard, wiping all the emotion from his face as he leans against the doorjamb and waits for an answer. He’s stunned when the door opens and he’s faced with Jensen himself – no butler or hired help at all.

“Do you make a habit of answering the door without finding out who it is?” Jared asks before he can help himself. Jensen looks flawless, just like Jared knew he would. His eyes are a little red and swollen, and his pain is like a kick to the gut. Even after all these years, no one makes him feel more than Jensen Ackles.

Jensen’s mouth is hanging open, eyes wide with shock. He looks Jared up and down once and his shocked expression turns into an angry one. He doesn’t even say anything, just slams the door in Jared’s face.

He blinks and then tenses a little before rolling his eyes. Jensen always was a bit of a drama queen.

“I deserved that,” Jared whispers to himself. And it’s true. Jared just vanished like a puff of smoke with no explanation at all. He always figured Jensen knew why, but still – he has the right to be a little angry. Jared rolls his lips into his mouth and then lets out a shout. “Jensen! My finger’s in the door!”

He hears footsteps and then the door flies open. Jared resists the urge to smirk.

“Oh my – “ Jensen cuts himself off and glares when Jared holds up his hands and wiggles his fingers. “You asshole.”

“Still gullible, I see,” Jared says, and wow. It’s good to see his face, even if the circumstances aren’t great – even if it hurts.

“Still insufferable, I see,” Jensen replies snidely.

“Elementary, my dear Watson,” Jared says. It’s easy to try to fall back into their old routines instead of facing the matter at hand.

“Did you show up on my doorstep uninvited after ten years to trade quips?” Jensen asks with an arched eyebrow. “Or was there a point to all this?”

“Come on, Jensen,” Jared replies, suddenly serious. “You know why I’m here.”

“Yeah, I do,” Jensen snaps. “And it’s sure nice that you don’t want to pick up the phone to give us a ring while we’re alive, but you want to be the one to solve our murders after we’re gone.”

“Jensen, maybe it’s too little, too late,” Jared tells him, pushing past the sting Jensen’s words cause, “but I am here. I want to find out who did this and you know I can, but I’d like your help.”

“Fine,” Jensen bites out. “But this isn’t going to be like the good ol’ days – Jared and Jensen against the world. Those days are gone.”

“I’m well aware,” Jared replies, proud of the way his voice doesn’t even waver. He hasn’t had a best friend since Jensen, and he doesn’t think he could even stomach the thought of ever having another one.

Jared learned the hard way that you can never give one person that much access to your heart.

“Come in,” Jensen tells him. Jared nods and removes his hat as he steps inside. Their shoulders brush and Jared closes his eyes. He’s seen Jensen hundreds of times in the last decade; not a week went by that he didn’t walk by a newsstand with tabloids featuring him, or that he wasn’t flipping through the channels and caught a glimpse of his face.

Even across the country, he couldn’t escape Jensen.

But now, being right here with him, sharing his space and breathing his air – it’s worse. His senses are heightened, nerves strung tight like he’s going to snap.

Jensen pats his shoulder once and it’s like a thunderclap through three layers of material. He clears his throat and runs his fingers through his hair.

“Well, this is awkward,” Jensen says, always blunt and straightforward. Jared smiles tightly and grips his hat in his fingers. “Here, let me take your jacket.”

Jared hesitates but then begrudgingly hands over his hat and shrugs out of his suit jacket. Jensen’s eyes linger on his handgun, nestled tightly in its side holster. Finally he takes a moment to step back and blatantly look Jared up and down, taking in his broad shoulders and long legs. Jared just raises an eyebrow when Jensen shrugs.

“Can’t deny that you grew up decent,” Jensen tells him. “Looks like you could sleep uninterrupted for a year, though.”

“That’s what they tell me,” is all Jared says. Jensen rocks on his heels and scratches the back of his head. He looks almost the same as he did ten years ago – skin just as tan and hair just as sun-bleached. He’s a little taller, a little broader, and more beautiful than ever. Jared just swallows hard.

“So, you became a cop, huh?” Jensen asks, gesturing vaguely at his gun and his standard-issue black suit and tie. Jared chuckles darkly and shakes his head. “Oh my, dreams really do come true. You’re a PI, just like you always wanted. I see you’re still living in a decade you never even knew. A fedora, Jared, really?”

“I like my hat,” Jared grumbles. He rolls his shoulders and meets Jensen’s eyes; he can still see the playfulness behind the pain. “Morgan gave me the okay to investigate the case.”

“Not like it would have stopped you if he hadn’t,” Jensen replies. He smirks and tilts his head a little. “Or have you finally started following the rules after all these years?”

“I follow the ones that don’t stand in my way,” Jared replies casually. “So, I’m assuming you’ve been down to the station?”

“Ah, yes. I spent all morning with Captain Morgan and his pretty boy detectives,” Jensen informs him. “Not sure if that man is running a police station or a modeling agency.”

“I thought you liked to surround yourself with pretty things,” Jared questions casually. Jensen smirks at him and quirks a brow.

“A decade later and you still know me,” Jensen retorts. Jared feels his mouth twist in a wry smile. “Well, this is no time for playing catch up, Padalecki. Ten years gone are ten years gone, and we aren’t getting them back, so it’s best to keep moving forward. I’m assuming that you’re here to ask us the same questions we already answered this morning?”

“Us?” Jared replies. Jensen nods and gestures for him to follow him deeper into the lavish home. “There’s someone else here?”

“Katie,” Jensen replies over his shoulder. “She’s very broken up. We all are, of course. But Sandy was her best friend, you know. And there’s nothing like the bond between two best friends, right?”

“So I’ve heard,” Jared grits out. Jensen smirks again, that tiny quirk of his lips that always got Jared hot and made him want to smack it off of his face at the same time. That smirk just screams I’m better than you and I know it and Jensen wears it so damn well.

“Oh darling,” Jensen calls out as he leads them into a large sitting room. Katie Cassidy is curled up on the sofa, somehow making sweatpants and smeared make-up look like the latest runway fashion. “Look who decided to drop in.”

Katie looks up and focuses her red-rimmed eyes on him, flicking her sunny blonde hair out of her face. Her eyes widen slightly and she looks absolutely stunned at the sight of him. Her mouth opens and then closes before she schools her features into something calmer.

“Jared,” is all she says. She looks him up and down, eyes lingering on his holstered weapon before she goes back to his face. “Wow.”

Katie Cassidy is one of those celebrities that is famous for no apparent reason, as so many of them are these days. Her father is a world famous fashion designer and she’s done a few acting jobs, from what Jared has heard. But mainly, she’s entertaining. People have always loved Katie Cassidy just for being Katie Cassidy, and Jared was no exception.

“Hello Katie,” Jared replies in a polite but professional tone.

“Jared’s here to lend our famously incompetent police department a helping hand,” Jensen tells her. “Although, the pretty boy detective duo they put on the case seems to know what they’re doing well enough.”

“As you’ve mentioned,” Katie replies. “Though you mainly keep pointing out how pretty they are. We get it, darling. You like pretty things.”

Jared is flummoxed. When did Jensen acquire a taste for pretty men? He certainly didn’t have one when Jared left. Or maybe he did appreciate them, just not in the way Jared wanted him to. Either way, now is no time to dwell.

“So Jared,” Katie says with watery eyes and a tight smile. “It’s good to see you. What have you been up to?”

Jared opens his mouth to speak but Jensen cuts him off as he tosses himself gracelessly onto the sofa next to her.

“We’ll have none of that, Katie Cass,” he admonishes. He looks up at Jared with that pompous smirk and a challenge in his eyes. “Jared is here on business. He’s a private investigator of unknown origin here to find the bastard that killed our friend.”

“Right,” Jared says through gritted teeth. He narrows his eyes slightly and pulls a notebook from his back pocket. He’s tried recording devices in the past, but nothing helps him keep the facts straight like a tiny notebook with a golf pencil hidden in its spiraled binding. Bugs are for when he has to eavesdrop, and a pencil and paper is for when he has to listen. “Now, I did get a copy of the police report, so I’ll try to make this as painless as possible.”

“Well, I for one appreciate you pausing to consider our feelings before you go and do something rash,” Jensen tells him, one groomed eyebrow arched high. Jared rolls his lips into his mouth and taps the tip of the pencil against the paper twice. “Please continue.”

“Can you take me through last night again?” Jared asks them. “According to the police report, you were the last two to see Sandy alive, which makes you the most valuable witnesses.”

“Oh, Jensen, I can’t,” Katie says as she dabs under her eyes with a tissue. Jared always softens at a pretty girl’s tears. He clenches his jaw and looks away. Jensen slings his arm over Katie’s shoulder and pulls her close. “You tell him.”

“There there, Katie Cass,” Jensen whispers soothingly into her hair. “Jared will find whoever did this.”

Jared stands up a little straighter at the vote of confidence and wonders, just like all the other gossip-addicted airheads in this country, if Jensen and Katie are an item. They’re pictured together in all the magazines and the topic has been debated for years. Jared looks at them and no, he doesn’t think they are. Two friends of the opposite gender can never get past such scrutiny, especially two as rich and beautiful as Katie Cassidy and Jensen Ackles.

“Okay, well,” Jensen starts. He clears his throat a little and pets Katie’s shiny, disheveled hair. He blinks rapidly and takes a deep breath. “We met up at Katsuya for dinner because Katie wanted sushi.”

“It was just the three of you?” Jared asks. Jensen nods and Jared writes down the name of the restaurant on his notepad. “What time did you leave the restaurant?”

“About ten,” Jensen replies. Jared relies on past knowledge and his eyes drift across Jensen and Katie’s wrists. As expected, he spots smudged stamps left over from the night before. They look as if they might have been in some sort of celtic knot pattern in red ink. Jared makes a mental note of them. “And then we – “

“Went dancing,” Jared finishes. The corner of Jensen’s mouth flickers and he nods. “Where at and until when?”

“We were at Hyde. I left at midnight because I had a meeting this morning,” Jensen replies. “Sandy left with me and my driver dropped her off at home around 12:30.”

Jared nods and makes a note of it. He’d almost forgotten that Jensen was no longer just a pretty face. He had actually gone through college and gotten his business degree, and he now works for his father’s real estate firm. How much of that is actual work and how much is bullshit PR, Jared can’t say, but he’s willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

For a second Jared feels almost guilty. He has ten years worth of knowledge about Jensen without even trying to get it, and Jensen knows nothing about him. Not that there’s much to learn, but still. He shakes it off and turns to Katie.

“What about you?” He asks. Katie sniffles and looks up at him.

“Huh?” Jared smiles tightly and taps his pencil against the paper. “Oh, well. I came with Jensen but I wasn’t ready to leave when he and Sandy did. I stayed until last call and took a cab home around two.”

“You took a cab?” Jared repeats incredulously. “You’re one of the most well known people in this city, and you didn’t call a driver to get home?”

“I don’t know,” Katie replies tearfully. “I was just tired and wanted to go home. I didn’t want to wait and the cab was there.”

“Alright,” Jared says, looking down at his notepad. “So, Sandy was with the two of you all night, and was dropped off at her home by Jensen’s driver at half past midnight.”

Jensen and Katie nod. Jared furrows his brow and taps his pencil against the paper as he thinks. Either Sandy didn’t stay put or someone dragged her out. There’s an empty hour before Sandy e-mailed him, and then another five before her body was found across town off of a jogging path in Topenga Canyon.

Whoever did this was either very stupid, or they wanted it to look like they were.

“Was Sandy acting strangely last night?” Jared asks. “Or at all, recently?”

Katie shakes her head but Jensen bites his bottom lip. He strokes Katie’s hair and then lets out a harsh sigh.

“I don’t know,” he starts. Katie lets out a confused little noise and turns her head to face him. “She did seem a little off. Like something was on her mind and she just couldn’t shake it, but she was trying not to show it. I just assumed it was boy trouble.”

“Boy trouble?” Jared repeats, eyebrows perking up. “What kind of boy trouble? Was she in a relationship?”

“Sandy always had boy trouble, or lack there of,” Jensen replies cryptically. “The girl just wanted to be loved, you know? Not for her money or her daddy’s Oscars, but for her. And I suppose the cads in this town never got the memo.”

“Hollywood, where hearts are broken daily,” Jared mumbles, repeating one of their old sayings from a decade ago. Jensen makes a gun with his fingers and points it at Jared, making a clicking sound with his tongue. “Can you think of anything else that may help?”

“We told you what we know, Jared,” Jensen replies with a bit of an edge to his tone. “It’s been sort of a hard day for us.”

“Yeah, I get it.” Jared lets out a breath and pinches the bridge of his nose before flipping his notebook shut. When he gets back to his room, he’ll read over the notes a few times to commit them to memory before destroying them. No need to leave a paper trail. There isn’t much else he can do without getting a debriefing from Morgan’s detectives and getting a look at Sandy’s body, which isn’t something he’s looking forward to. “If you think of anything else that might help, call me, alright?”

“Ooh, we get a phone number?” Jensen replies in that same tone, the one that tells Jared he’s pissed and he’s not about to let him forget it. “How exciting.”

Jared rolls his lips into his mouth and extracts a card from his wallet. He hands it over to Jensen and pretends he doesn’t feel the electric spark when their fingers brush. He’s probably just been dragging his feet across Jensen’s expensive carpet.

He nods at them and then turns to let himself out. He can smell Jensen’s cologne, something woodsy and expensive, and he just wants to be out in the fresh air. Or well, the closest L.A. can get to fresh air.

Once he gets to the door he realizes he has no idea where Jensen put his hat and jacket. He smacks his hand to his face and drags it down, spinning around only to come face to face with Jensen.

“Forget something?” He asks, and Jared just narrows his eyes. “Jake Spade, huh?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jared replies. He sort of created the name in hopes Jensen would someday look him up, but that never happened and now it’s just an embarrassing reminder of how foolish he once was. “That’s who I am now.”

“Bullshit, Padalecki. Your feet are still too big and you still haven’t the first clue as to what to do with that mop of hair of yours,” Jensen retorts. His gaze is intense and Jared averts his eyes. “I still know who you are, Jared. Maybe better than anyone else ever has.”

“Yeah,” Jared grits out. “Maybe you’re right. And look how that turned out.”

“I’ve grown tired of this back and forth, alright? I’m done.” Jensen reaches up to drop Jared’s fedora onto his head and then grips the bill to pull Jared in close. He grimaces and swallows hard as Jensen looks him in the eye. “But you listen to me, Chinatown. You did it before, and now you’ll do it again. Find out who did this.”

Jared merely nods. Jensen flicks the brim of his hat and turns to walk away, leaving Jared to let himself out. He blinks a few times and then spins on his heels, pulling on his jacket as he slips out the front door.

He quickly bounces down the steps, already well on his way to lighting a cigarette. He flips the lighter shut once he reaches the street and takes a deep drag as he looks up. There’s a car across the street – a nondescript gray sedan. Jared raises an eyebrow and looks a little closer, spotting a telephoto lens and a photographer with a gleam in his eye. Jared rolls his eyes and casually strolls over to the car.

“Is Ackles in there?” The paparazzo asks, leaning eagerly out of the window. “Perez Hilton was getting tips that they were holed up at Cassidy’s place, but I think it’s bullshit.”

“Sorry, I’m not familiar with those names,” Jared replies indifferently. He takes another drag of his cigarette and the shutterbug scoffs as Jared blows acrid, blue-gray smoke into the moist air. “Can I help you?”

“Who the hell are you then?” The guy asks, and Jared calmly flicks his ashes on the ground.

“I’m the gardener,” Jared tells him. The pap looks him up and down and snorts.

“You don’t look like a gardener,” the guy replies. Jared smirks sardonically and takes another drag.

“Really? I sure feel like a gardener.” Jared places his hands on top of the car and leans in the window. The photographer sits back and swallows hard. “Because I have no problem with planting my fist in your fucking face if you don’t leave. Now.”

“Alright, shit,” the guy says as he starts his car. Jared takes another drag of his cigarette, burning ember glowing right in the photog’s face. “Looks like Ackles got himself a guard dog.”

Woof,” Jared replies, blowing smoke in his face before the guy drives away.

When Jared gets an invitation to come over to Jensen’s on the Sunday after their case is wrapped up, he isn’t sure what to make of it.

Even more confusing are the succinct instructions Jensen gives him just before hanging up: bring swim trunks.

Jared’s car is a beaten up old thing that barely runs, but at least it’s all one color. He laughs to himself as he pulls up to the security gate outside the Ackles estate and his car gives a loud whine. He knows that not having a lot of money isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. But still, it’s a little funny to drive up to a mansion in the Hollywood hills in his piece of shit Ford.

A butler answers when Jared rings the doorbell, and he clutches his swim trunks in his hand as he is led through the giant house and out back to the pool. Jensen is swimming laps and Jared clears his throat as he watches his tan, lean body cut through the water like the world’s most beautiful knife.

There’s a slight chill in the January air, but the sun is shining bright enough that you don’t really notice it, and Jared is willing to bet that Jensen’s pool is heated enough that the time of year never matters.

Jensen finally surfaces and Jared clears his throat a little louder to try and catch his attention. Jensen grins when he spots him and swims up to the edge, hooking his elbows over it to prop himself up.

“What’s up, sleuthalecki?” Jensen asks with a cocky grin, and Jared raises a brow at the nickname.

“You asked me to come over,” Jared responds. “So you tell me.”

“Change into your shorts,” Jensen tells him as he jerks his chin towards the pool house. “And jump in.”

Jared opens his mouth to speak but Jensen dives under the water again before he can. He lets out a huff and then ducks into the pool house to quickly change, for lack of anything better to do. When he comes out, Jensen is lounging in the middle of the pool on a floating chair. There’s another chair floating nearby and Jared merely shrugs before jumping feet first into the deep end.

He pulls himself up into the free chair and looks over at Jensen. A pair of expensive sunglasses hides his eyes, and Jared takes a quick moment to let his gaze sweep over Jensen’s body. His skin is bronzed by the sun and freckles dot his shoulders, hips, and most importantly, the bridge of his nose.

Sometimes just looking at Jensen Ackles is enough to make him ache.

“Are you gonna talk or am I just meant to sit here and soak up some sun?” Jared finally asks. Jensen smirks but doesn’t say anything at first.

“Exactly,” he finally says in a slow, lazy drawl. Jared raises a brow. “It’s a nice day. Not so cold. Shut your yap for five seconds and enjoy the damn sunshine.”

“I don’t understand,” Jared replies. Jensen lets out a sigh and turns his head to look at him from behind too-dark lenses. “I thought you needed to talk about the case.”

“Nope,” Jensen tells him. “That’s all taken care of.”

“Then why – “

“Damn, Jared,” Jensen cuts in. “Are you always this suspicious of everyone that tries to be your friend?”

“Oh.” Jared furrows his brow and gnaws on his bottom lip for a moment before looking at Jensen again. “That’s what this is?”

“I like you,” Jensen says with a shrug. “Why is that so hard to believe?”

“I don’t exactly run in your circle,” Jared replies with a wry smile. “Everyone at school hasn’t exactly been receptive of me.”

“Jared, have I ever once made it seem like I give a shit how much money you may or may not have in your bank account?” Jensen asks as he looks at him over the lenses of his sunglasses. Jared begrudgingly shakes his head and Jensen smirks. “Look, everybody at our school is a stuck up, elitist dickwad. And yeah, my family might have a lot of money and so might theirs. That doesn’t make them interesting.”

“That’s definitely true,” Jared says with a chuckle. He ducks his head and then looks up at him with a fond smirk. Jensen grins back, bright and radiant.

“Look, Jared. You’re sort of weird,” Jensen says simply, and Jared cocks a brow. Jensen grins at him. “Sometimes I’m not even sure you know what decade it is; from you way you turn some phrases. Your mind works differently than everyone else’s.”

“And what?” Jared replies. “Your mind could use a change?”

“I invited you over because I like you in spite of, or maybe even because of your various quirks, and I think we could be friends,” Jensen says bluntly. “If the feeling isn’t mutual then, well, you know where the door is.”

“Eh, I’ll stick around. Might prove interesting,” Jared finally says. He flops back in the chair and lets his feet dangle in the water. He takes a breath and closes his eyes, smiling at the feeling of the sun on his skin. Making friends hasn’t ever been easy for him, and he’s glad to have one now. Even if that friend is Jensen Ackles.

Jensen starts bitching and moaning about their classmates and all these celebrities that Jared has only seen in magazines. He talks like someone who knows where he stands but isn’t always happy with it, like someone who maybe just wants to be normal for awhile. Maybe Jared helps him with that.

Maybe this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

[onto part two.]
greeneyes_fangreeneyes_fan on June 12th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, I was totally hooked from the first scene. So far I particularly love:

"I sure feel like a gardener."

And the NAMES!!
Silhouette in a Window Framecelerywench on June 12th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
But you listen to me, Chinatown. ?? Chinatown? O.o LOL I have never heard that phrase before - where'd you get it from/meaning behind it?
Blonde on the inside: poppiesstormcloude on June 14th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
*butts in*

There's an old classic movie called Chinatown starring Jack Nicholson as a hardboiled LA PI. ;)

Edited at 2010-06-14 10:44 am (UTC)
vision_mvision_m on June 13th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
This has been an amazing first chapter and heading onto the next can't wait. Poor Sandy
Annieaythia on June 13th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
I've been looking forward to this story SO much. Stupid work to be in the way so I haven't had time to start on it until now. But here goes!

And loving it already :)
Gina Marie: sam smilesycophantastic on July 21st, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
This is so so so so SO Film Noir that I can practically see it being played out in black & white, narrated by one of those old fast-paced no-nonsense male voices they had in so many of those films. You are doing the genre some serious JUSTICE right here. Hats off to you, author. I mean it.
shhh. my common sense is tingling~bloody_american on August 5th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
The noir fiend in my heart is giddy with excitement. :D