When Enright assigned Susan Branca to partner David Creegan, it had been with the expectation that she would be a stabilizing influence on him and not the other way around. She did, of course, do what she could to make him at least conscious of which laws and regulations he was breaking and there hadn't been any public nudity since that memorable plane ride to Denver, early on. However, David was so passionate about life and the Job especially, that she found herself following his logic to highly irrational places without batting an eye. She felt stifled by the pettiness of rules and at a loss to explain to herself why or how following them had once been so all fired important to her.
Still, old habits were hard to break, so she let Creegan be the outrageous one, running roughshod over negligible legalities and the niceties of civility. She held her own impulses in check, knowing he would act them out for her before too long, he always did. Then she got to play the sane one and chastise him for his behavior. He would listen to her scolding with a knowing gleam in his eye that said, 'I know you wish you'd done it yourself', even when he was outwardly admitting to his mistakes. Even with the release of watching Creegan's antics, she still felt the pressure to break free of social confines building. Then one day, she let something slip, just a little thing, just a word.
It's not as though she never cursed, she was an adult, she'd said and heard much worst, but the thrill she'd felt from uttering that tiny forbidden thing was ridiculously intense. Creegan had commented on it too, mocking her, his eyes telling her he knew just how much she'd liked it. The moment passed, just as quickly as it had come and she tried to shake it off as nothing and maybe it was. It was just a word, only given power by our perceptions of it. Only dirty and taboo because we let it be. As David once said;
"There are no lines."
And so, later she'd let slip again and again, littering her speech with meaningless filth, just to feel others react to it. Especially David. Oh yes, especially him. The amusement he seemed to get from having corrupted her that small amount was worth more than the price of admission. He got this happy, little hum about him for hours after, like afterglow without the complicated, messy, sexual component. Finally after several weeks of what was starting to amount to phone sex without the phones, Enright stepped in.
"Everything all right?" he asked, a mixture of concern and annoyance in his voice.
"Not 'Everything's fucking fine'?"
"Good. Go save Bernal, Creegan's goading him again."
"Yes sir." And that was that. Susan would start reigning in her mouth. She left Enright's office and pulled Creegan off Agent Bernal. Once they left for the day, David followed her to her car in silence, expecting her daily offer to drive him back to his motel. She didn't offer. He got in the car anyway. He spent most of the ride picking at a small tear in his seat's upholstery, nudging his index finger in and out of it, stretching it wider. She gritted her teeth and ignored it. They were nearly there before either of them spoke.
"Principal wash your mouth out?" Of course, he couldn't leave it alone.
"Not that it's any of your concern, but no. He was just checking in," she lied.
"So no more dirty, dirty Susie, huh?" He gave her a leer.
"No." He was now pulling tiny pieces of the fraying threads off and flinging them out in front of him, watching them float back to the floor of the car.
"Too bad. Knew it wouldn't last anyway. You're not built for it."
"And what does that mean? 'I'm not built for it.'" She looked away from traffic to see him answer.
"You didn't mean any of it." He finally stopped abusing the cushion, angling his body towards her.
"How do you know I didn't mean it? What, I'm not allowed to get angry? I'm not allowed to lose control? You have that market cornered?" she asked, ire rising.
"Oh no, you're allowed. You just don't put it out there." He gestured expansively with his arms.
"Out there?" She mimicked his movement with one arm.
"Branca, you get angry, you do something about the problem. You're methodical. You channel it. The sewer mouth's something else." He went back to the damaged seat, now pulling small bits of stuffing out and decorating the dashboard with them.
"And that something else would be?" She pulled into the motel lot and parked, shutting off the engine.
"You don't want me to answer that," he stated flatly.
"Yes I do," she protested.
"No you don't," he said, releasing his seat-belt.
"Yes I- Creegan! Answer the mother-fucking question!"
"It's about sex or lack thereof. You're not getting any."
"No it's not. How do you know I'm not getting any? I could have a lover. I could have them lining up every night just to take a poke at me." She made little poking actions with her finger.
"But, do you?" He looked too intently at her.
"Me neither. Wanna fix that?"
"Yeah, fix it." He leaned slowly across the car. She was frozen as if in the path of an oncoming train until the feather-light touch of his mouth brought her back to herself and she returned the kiss, letting it deepen. When they pulled apart, she couldn't resist saying:
"About friggin' time."