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“Detective, good morning.”

She hangs up.


There’s a case downtown that nobody wants to touch; the victim is some kid who was handing out the Metro at the Wall Street station, the perpetrator's more pissed off that he’s missing a meeting than sad that he killed someone. “He wouldn’t get out of my way,” he says, looking at his watch again. “It was an accident.”

“If it was an accident, how come we found your spit on the victim’s clothes?” Joss asks. It’s bullshit, but she knows the type.

Sure enough, the guy flushes. “You fucking people, you get in my face and you expect me to—“

“Yeah,” she says, leaning away as he tries the same trick on her, “That’s charming. Think we’ll do some more questioning at the precinct,” she tells the uniforms. “Read him his rights.”

Her phone rings; she fishes it out of her jacket pocket. “Carter.”

“Detective, as much as I understand your reluctance to—“

She hits “END” and climbs into the passenger seat of the squad car. “Let’s stop at that doughnut place on Church on our way back.”


Pissing Finch off never actually ends well; usually it ends like this, with John scaring the shit out of her at two in the morning.

“It’s called a buzzer,” she yells at him, “It works! The FedEx guy used it just the other day, so I know!”

John blinks at her, squinting a little in the bright lights of the kitchen - squinting because of course he’d been lurking there like a goddamn serial killer. “What’d you get delivered?”

“Out of my house,” she orders, making flapping motions toward the front door.

John props his head on his fist. “Aren’t you worried you’re going to wake up Taylor?”

“He’s staying at his friend’s place in SoHo, and if you didn’t know that practically before he called and asked me, then you and Finch are seriously off your game,” she huffs, and stomps over to the fridge, because she came down here to get some ice cream and she’s damn well going to have some ice cream, home invasion or no home invasion.

“I ate the mint,” John says as she yanks the freezer door open. “But I got you some more Chubby Hubby.”

Sure enough, there’s a brand new carton. She pulls it out and starts prying off the lid, ignoring the way John’s still watching her like that damn dog does whenever she’s got food in her hand.

“Finch thinks you’re mad at him.”

“I am mad at him,” Joss points out, digging a spoon out of the drying rack. “And you. Now shoo.”

He starts pouting. “What’d we do?”

“What did you do.” Joss debates giving into the urge to throw the carton at him, but that’d be a waste and he’d probably just slice it in half with his fists or something. “Remember last weekend? How I was on a date, and Cal and I were talking about our parents’ finances and how everybody worries about supporting their folks in their old age?”

“My parents are dead, so,” John says.

“Sure, Batman,” because she knows he doesn’t say that stuff to get sympathy, but something in her gut twinges every time he points out just how utterly screwed up his life is. “But I’m saying, you remember that conversation?”


“Okay, so that’s part one of why I’m mad at you,” she says, holding up a finger to demonstrate.. “Because you guys shouldn’t be listening in on my private conversations.”

John nods solemnly, which is how she knows this one’s not going to penetrate. Worth a shot.

“And part two,” she says, holding up a second finger, “Couple days ago I got a call from my mom. She bought a Powerball ticket at the bodega on Wednesday.”

“Doesn’t she usually buy a ticket on Wednesdays?”

“Okay, that’s going to be part three, since you shouldn’t know about my mom’s weird lottery addiction,” Joss says.

“So what’s two, then?”

“Two is, she won. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.”

“Congratulations?” John offers.

“No congratulations, John! You two did some kind of — whatever, techno voodoo, didn’t you?”

John spreads his hands. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Yeah, this whole thing,” she says, waving her three fingers at him, “Is what I’m mad at you for.”

“So you’re giving us the silent treatment because you think we rigged a lotto game,” John concludes.

Someday Joss is going to have to sit John down and talk to him very seriously about the fact that he’s using first person plural pretty much all the time now. “I’m giving you the silent treatment because you two need to stop barging in on my business every time you get bored.”

“We could take the money back,” John says. “If you’d prefer.”

“What I’d prefer is if you two’d work out what normal human interaction looks like sometime in this decade,” she says. It takes pretty much everything she’s got, but she puts the lid back on the ice cream and shoves it back in the freezer.

“So how long does this silent treatment usually last?”

“Depends. What do you want?”

John stares at her. “To know how long the silent treatment lasts.”

“Oh my God, I should’ve arrested you when I had the chance.”

“Too late now,” John agrees. He even sounds sympathetic.

“What else do you want?”

This time John looks shifty, like Taylor used to when he was little and needed to go to the bathroom. “The President is coming to New York tomorrow night,” he starts.

“Oh my God,” Joss repeats, and goes back to the freezer for the rest of the ice cream.