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ain't no saints in baltimore

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Baltimore’s like Boston, excepting all the ways it ain’t.

Murphy flicks the butt of his cigarette out the open car window, gray buildings and grayer skies rolling by, reaches over to pinch the back of Connor’s neck and blow smoke in his face.  “Feel at home yet?”

“Not till I see a pub,” Connor says.

“The fuck’re you,” spits the cop, pinned over the hood of Rocco’s girl’s car, and Murphy, leaning beside him on the hood, smoking the last of his pack, smiles and tosses his spent cig over the man’s prone body.  It lands on the pavement in a shower of sparks.  

“Oh, we’d be the Saints, friend.”

The cop grins and spits blood in Murph’s direction.  “You’re fuckin’ lost, pal.  Ain’t no saints in Baltimore.”

Conn leans over him.  Pats his cheek to watch him flinch and pushes him into the metal hood before standing back.  “God’s rearranging the heavenly host.”

They sit in the car while McNulty meets with the Stringer Bell.  Correction: they’re told to sit in the car.  Conn leans and sways on the open door and Murph sits on the hood of the car with his legs spread, a foot on each headlight, and an unlit cigarette hanging between kiss-mauled lips.

Bell gestures to the two of them, McNulty glances back, Murph does a mincing little wave and Connor snorts, reaching over to hit him in the crotch.

McNulty’s expression flickers, before he turns back to Bell, all hard angles and Baltimore cop once more.

“Aw,” says Murphy.  “He likes me.”

Connor tips his head back, eyes half-closed; regards the dishwater sky and the grimy buildings surrounding them, breathes in frigid air that stings his nostrils.  “Who wouldn’t?”   

“Jesus,” McNulty says, when Murphy grows tired of playing games and trips him between the TV and the foot of the bed, taking him down and scrambling atop him.

“If ye really aren’t interested, better say something quick,” Murphy says, as he makes short work of McNulty’s belt buckle.  

“Jesus,” McNulty says again, and looks past Murphy at Connor, who’s leaning in the bathroom doorframe and watching.  “Is he always like this?”

“Lord’s name,” says Conn, grin like a knife edge.  “And yeah.  Ain’t it lovely?”  

“Fuckin’ lunatics, the both of you,” McNulty says, and Murphy, head hanging off the foot of McNulty’s bed, cigarette dangling at the corner of his mouth as he reads one of McNulty’s porno mags upside down, laughs at him.  

Connor is cleaning his gun on the floor, back against the bed and cheek against Murphy’s hair.  He looks up at McNulty and smiles, something hard; says, “I know you are but what are we?”