“Ugh,” Dee growled, scrambling into Ryo’s car and slamming the door behind him, pushing dripping wet hair off his forehead and out of his eyes. “Damned rain!”
Ryo pushed the hood of his coat back and reached across in front of his partner, opening the glovebox and dragging out a plastic carrier bag. He shook what it contained into Dee’s lap.
“There you go. Dry yourself off a bit and put it back in the bag when you’re done.”
Dee picked up the towel. “You keep a towel in your glovebox?”
“Of course. They’re very useful; not just for drying things off on days like this, but for covering the steering wheel when the car’s parked on a hot day, cleaning up spills, all kinds of things. I’m never without one. Didn’t you ever read ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’?” Ryo was grinning.
“No, what does a book have to do with keeping a towel in your car?” Dee asked, puzzled, as he used the one in his hands to get the worst of the wetness out of his hair.
“I’ll loan you my copy; then you can read it and find out,” was all Ryo would say on the matter.
The rain had all but stopped by the time they got back to the precinct, and Dee didn’t think anything more about towels for the rest of the day. Both he and Ryo were too busy with the new case that had landed on their desks, a nasty double murder that took up all their time and attention. Catching a killer was their first priority, and the towel conversation was soon forgotten.
Or at least it was until the water Dee had got from the cooler in order to take something for his headache got knocked off his desk into his lap.
“Argh!” Dee jumped to his feet a lot faster than he’d sat down; having ice-cold water spilled on you is never a never a pleasant experience, and it didn’t help his headache any. Before he could make a move towards the locker room though, a towel landed on his desk.
“Here, mop it up before it has a chance to soak in.”
“Uh, thanks.” Dee did as instructed while Ryo fetched him another paper cup of water. Thankfully, the wet patch wasn’t too visible on Dee’s dark suit pants, and with any luck it would dry out before they had to go anywhere. Dee wiped the seat of his chair for good measure before sitting down and looking at the towel in his hand. He passed it back across the desk to Ryo, accepting the fresh water in exchange and taking his Tylenol. “Thanks, bud.” Leaning back in his seat, he closed his eyes for a moment, before opening them again and looking across at his partner curiously. “Did your towel migrate from your car or something?”
“No, I keep one in my desk drawer too.”
“You’re weird, you know that?”
“You’re saying it wasn’t a good thing I had a towel to hand just now?” Ryo asked.
“Good point; saved me trekking to the locker room for paper towels. Worked better too.”
“Of course it did. Towels are massively useful things. You should always know where your towel is.”
The next morning, Dee arrived at work to find a bag on his desk. He could guess who’d put it there, but Ryo was nowhere to be seen. Opening the bag, Dee found a copy of the book Ryo had mentioned a couple of weeks earlier, along with a new black and white striped towel. He tucked both in his desk drawer and got on with work, thanking Ryo quietly when his partner arrived with two cups of coffee, and later that night, alone in his apartment, he opened the book and began to read. How had he never heard of this book before?
His new towel immediately took up residence in the glovebox of his car, and it was from there that he pulled it a few days later when a kid playing with a water pistol hit Drake in the face with a jet that drenched him from hairline to chin, the excess dripping down the front of his shirt.
“Here, dry yourself off before you drown,” Dee said, still laughing at his friend’s predicament.
Mopping the worst of the water off his face, Drake gave Dee an odd look. “You keep a towel in your glovebox?”
Dee feigned surprise. “Of course; don’t you? A towel is the most massively useful thing anyone can have. Everyone should know where their towel is.”