The moon is a pain in Rosa’s butt. Not just figuratively but also literally, since that’s where the punk-ass perp bit her. Just her luck to run into another damn wolf so close to the moon.
“Man, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Jake marvels with the amused candour of someone who hasn’t just lost their favourite pair of pants. “Right on the ass! Seriously, what do you do to these guys?”
“I punch them in the fucking face is what I do,” Rosa tells him, and holds eye contact long enough for him to buy a fucking clue and leave her alone to figure out how to hold the material together long enough to get home.
She growls low in her throat, frustrated, as the duct tape that she’s using falls off as soon as she pulls her hand away. “Fuck.”
“Hey there, amigo,” Gina says, slinking into the room. “Need a little help?”
Rosa eyes her. “What do you want?” She wasn’t born yesterday and Gina doesn’t do favours for nothing.
Gina holds her hands up. “Is that any way to treat a comrade? A friend? A sexy acquaintance who has an extra dance jumpsuit in their locker?” Her smile is triumphant.
Rosa scowls but bites, knowing she has no other choice. She folds her arms and adjusts her stance to something more comfortable; bargaining with Gina is a bitch. “Right. What do you want?”
“Me?” Gina puts on her most innocent face, like that’s any way to fool anyone who’s known her longer than five seconds. “I want what anyone wants. Wealth. Power. Fame. Hot men with tight muscles to gather me up and worship me like a queen –”
– “Yeah, sure,” Rosa drawls –
“World peace,” Gina concludes smoothly. “But this time I’ll settle for twenty dollars and you doing the paperwork on the Malory murder.” Her smile shows all her teeth and Rosa has to fight the urge to bare her teeth back. Fucking moon.
Instead, she mentally sorts through Gina’s request. The money was pretty expected but the paperwork, that’s different. She eyes Gina, suspicious. “That’s Boyle’s case. Why do you care if the paperwork is done?” This doesn’t feel right.
Gina cocks her head and purses her lips. “That, my friend, is none of yours. Suffice to say that I’ve got an iron in the fire somewhere and this is what I’m willing to burn. You in or out?” She looks like she’s two steps from holding a white cat and telling Rosa to never ask her about her business, which is a disturbingly apt analogy for Gina in general. Jesus, Rosa needs to stop working cases with Jake if this is the shit that ends up in her head.
That said, there’s still something in this whole thing smells hinky. And by hinky, she means that Gina’s started to smell oddly familiar, like there’s an undercurrent of eau de Boyle, a marinating bitterness almost like she’s catching the smell of whatever gross thing Boyle’s got fermenting at his desk right now.
So that pretty much means Gina smells terrible just like Boyle smells terrible and – huh.
This is pretty much the most horrifying image Rosa’s had in her head since Scully described the orgies he and his wife used to host. Rosa wants to smack Boyle hard, because this is probably the worst romantic decision he’s ever made in a life populated by terrible choices.
She’s probably going to have to drag him off later and demand an explanation, but for right now there’s still Gina to deal with. Rosa crosses her arms and stands her ground. “No.”
She waits for Gina to shrug and look all benevolent dictator before she hits her with a counteroffer. “How about this instead? You give me whatever weird, ugly dance thing you’ve got lying around, and in exchange I won’t tell everyone that you’re doing Boyle.”
The flaring scent of panic says that she’s called it, for all that Gina keeps her poker face steady. Rosa makes a quick mental note to play more poker around the full moon. This wolf thing might as well make itself useful.
“How dare you,” Gina says, once she’s recovered herself enough to go back to pretending, dragging the words out, “impugn my honour in this fashion.”
“I can smell him all over you,” Rosa says flat out.
“Are you serious?” Gina whispers, leaning forward. Rosa sighs but nods once, curtly.
“Holy shit,” Gina moans. “I swear to god, sometimes working with a werewolf is The. Worst. I hate you.” Then, remembering herself, she throws out a hand like a queen. “No. No, I don’t hate you. You know why?”
“Do I care?” Rosa really doesn’t have the time for this. Her ass is still hanging out of these damn pants.
“I don’t hate you because that would affect my judgement,” Gina says, hands on her chest to emphasise the point, steepling her fingers so the tips touch her mouth. “And judgement... is everything.”
“Are you still quoting the Godfather?” Rosa needs to move this on. “Jesus, Gina, just gimme the damn jumpsuit! Don’t make me beat it out of you.” Rosa doesn’t want to waste another hour in an anger management seminar with Terry, but she’ll do it if it’ll get her some damn pants right now.
Gina takes a quick step away and then laughs. “Jeez, okay. No need to huff and puff and blow the whole precinct down.”
Rosa sighs, put upon. “Great. Wolf jokes.” She grabs at Gina half-heartedly, telegraphing her movements so Gina has enough time to dodge out of the way. “I swear to god, Gina, if you don’t give me those damn pants, I’m going to rip of both your arms and force you to high five yourself. With your face.” Gina laughs and feints away.
She’s about to grab Gina again, for real this time, when Boyle pokes his head into the room. “Hey, Rosa? The Sarge wants to know when you’ll be ready to write up your incident report.” He swivels his head around the frame a little and immediately spots Gina. “Hey, is this a group thing? Can I come hang out too?”
“No!” Gina yells.
“Sure,” Rosa says, jerking her chin at him. “Pull up a chair, Boyle. Let’s talk about how you’ve been sleeping with Don Corleone here.”
Boyle boggles at her, beady eyes popping. “Ha ha! What? No. Pshaw. We would – I mean – I’ve taken a vow to –” Then, clearly giving up in the face of her staring him down. “You know? How do you know? I thought we’d been so careful.” He shoots a nervous look at Gina. “Did I let it slip? I knew I let my eyes linger too long. You probably sensed our raw animal magnetism.”
“Ew,” Rosa offers. She’s definitely going to be talking to Boyle after this. For right now, though, she jerks her head in Gina’s direction. “No. I smelled it on her.”
Boyle closes his eyes with apparent relief and punches the air. “Yes! I knew I’d managed to keep it a secret.” He sobers and looks at her with mournful eyes. “I haven’t even told Jakey. It’s put me under a huge amount of pressure. I haven’t even been able to do our buddy hugs without feeling guilty.”
That’s actually sort of impressive for Boyle. Rosa’s tempted to smile at him, except she’s not sure condoning this whole weird experiment would be a good idea. “Why all the secrecy?” she asks instead.
Gina jumps in. “Because it’s nobody’s business but our own.”
Rosa cuts through that shit. “Because you’re ashamed of Boyle.”
Gina sighs and drops her hands with exasperation. “Well, duh! Look, I’m not saying Boyle is the absolute worst because the boy has picked up some strange skills in his time – and I’m talking really bizarre stuff here, not even all of it sexual – but I’m also saying that I’ve got some standards to maintain, and they do not include letting everyone know that I’m making the downward facing dog with our resident whatever Boyle is.”
“Gourmand,” Boyle offers, delicately.
Gina’s face lets him know what she thinks of that suggestion, and Boyle drops his head, chastened.
Rose eyes the ceiling because this is all ridiculous. Plus, there’s a draft around here and her ass is starting to get cold. “Gina,” she snaps out, “go fetch the damn pants, or else I’m going to tell Hitchcock that you think he looks handsome.”
Gina gasps with the sort of horror that threat deserves, Rosa observes with satisfaction. Damn straight. Boyle on the other hand -
“Boyle, you and me are gonna talk about whatever the hell it is that you think you’re doing here.” She points at the benches in the corner and he sits, cowed and docile.
“Are you angry?” he asks, and Rosa thinks it through because she wants to be sure that it’s not just the moon talking here.
“I am angry,” she tells him, and takes no satisfaction in the way he drops his eyes. She sighs and sits down next to him. “But I’m not angry at you. I’m angry for you.” She tries to make this as sincere as she knows how. Boyle deserves to know that it comes from the heart. “I’m not saying that this is any of my business, but I am saying that you deserve to be with someone who really cares about you and appreciates you.” She knocks her shoulder into his so he can tell that she’s serious.
“I know. And I really think Gina does.” Boyle holds up a hand when Rosa scoffs, and she resolves to let it pass just this once despite it being practically in her face because Boyle’s already got a lot to deal with.
“She says a lot of stuff about not bringing it into the precinct but she’s been helping me get out of work early and letting me try recipes on her. She even stopped texting in bed.” Boyle offers each of these up like conclusive proof.
Rosa sighs. Part of her wants to spare Boyle the heartache she thinks is coming; the other really wants this to play out so that she can watch Jake implode when he figures out that the two halves of his cheering section are now joined at the groin.
She sighs and pats his shoulder, shakes him roughly by it once, like a pup. “I just want you to know that I’m here for you,” she says, looking straight into his eyes.
He nods and smiles, sweet like a strange man child. “I know.”
“Damn you, Rosa!” Gina announces as she comes back into the room, holding a sequined zebra striped jumpsuit. “You do know that I will have my revenge?”
“Is it being forced to wear that thing?” Maybe torn pants really aren’t that bad.
“This,” Gina informs her, “is one of Floorgasm’s best costumes. Do your best not to stretch it out too obviously; I’m going to want it back. And it better be dry cleaned!”
Rosa stares at the material with disdain. “Can’t I just burn it?” But this is Gina’s stuff, so she sighs. “Fine. I’ll make sure you get it back in good condition.” She eyes Gina blandly. “Thanks.”
Gina nods and starts walking backwards. “Okay, you believe that this is over now. Lull yourself into a false sense of complacency.” She snaps her fingers. “Boyle, come on!”
Boyle shrugs at Rosa and trots to catch up with Gina.
Rosa can still hear the two of them even as they walk over to Gina’s desk. “Let’s talk about revenge. You know it’s a dish best served cold,” Gina says, and Rosa grins at the wall as she starts to change into the jumpsuit.
“Oh,” Boyle chirps, sounding thrilled. “There’s actually a lot of dishes that can be served cold. There’s Gazpacho, Gomguk, Kwati, certain kinds of lobster soup –”
“Not the point!” Gina interrupts.
Alone in the storage room, Rosa lets the laugh bubble out of her, happy.