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Loyalty

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There’s a bench in what serves as Sam’s room in their hideout, the one Mason set up when he first recruited the two of them. They both have apartments in the city, obviously, and Sam is pretty sure he’d strangle Isaac in his sleep if they actually lived together at some point, but this is a good place to go after a job. It’s just abandoned enough that no one looks here, but not so abandoned that someone is going to come crashing in to set up their own headquarters in it.

Right now, he’s sitting on that bench and going through the unnecessary motions of cleaning his gun. Unnecessary because this isn’t fucking 1870, and because he does this enough that it’s become redundant through that repetition. Despite the uselessness, however, it’s a good post-gig ritual to have. Isaac has, if he can be taken seriously, and that’s never a guarantee, air-headed pretty people of various genders in various positions. Sam has this, because anything involving actual socialization makes his skin crawl and alcohol makes him violent.

Tonight, he’s interrupted by Isaac, who is still here, apparently, bursting into his room and stopping, apparently startled. It’s obviously an act, though, just from the fact that his eyes are the same kind of wide as when he’s playing sarcastic- innocent. He stares at Sam. “You mean that wasn’t a fucking euphemism?” he mock-blurts, with about as much of a filter as he ever has. Sam makes a show of a long, slow blink in his partner’s direction. His expression is carefully blank. Isaac huffs out a sigh, shaking his head. “That creeps me the hell out when you do it, you know. I was joking. You have got to know that.”

Sam keeps silent, but he puts his gun and cleaning rag aside. Eventually, he says, “We are nowhere near that close,” and gets up. He intends to walk past Isaac and go home. He is in far from the right headspace to deal with his bullshit.

Isaac, apparently, has other ideas, and he says, “How the fuck am I supposed to know you’re not just going to shoot me in the skull one day?”

This time, the sigh Sam lets out is more of a groan, and he turns to look at the other bounty hunter. “Why would I shoot you?” It’s a sincere question, even though Sam has a pretty good idea of what Isaac is driving at. He can tell this is going to be a fun conversation. Especially when Isaac just gives him possibly one of the most skeptical looks Sam has ever seen.  

“Why would you shoot me?” Isaac asks the question like the answer is obvious. He scowls, and stares up at the ceiling for a moment. Sam can see him collecting words for a tirade. “Why would you shoot me ? Maybe it’s because you again shot the guy we were supposed to bring in alive just ‘cause it was “more expedient.” Through the head! You shot him through the head when we had him in the car on the way to the police station.”

Isaac doesn’t actually use finger-quotes for the last part, but Sam adds them in his head. They’re pretty obvious, either way. “He was going to assault Siris.”

“He was tied up . You tied him up yourself .” Isaac is shouting now, and Sam does his best to try and figure out how exactly he can explain what he’s trying to say to his apparently idiotic partner. Before he can, however, Isaac continues shouting. “How do I know you’re not going to shoot me because you have an inkling I might do something you don’t like.”

“You do stuff I don’t don’t like all the time.”

Isaac drops his arms and for a moment he just looks incredibly baffled. “You- what is wrong with you?”

“You’re my partners! You and Siris both! He was some random scumbag that the IPD was going to kill anyway .”

To Sam’s surprise, Isaac takes that as his cue to leave. “And what if I ever don’t hold up to your apparently haywired moral standard?” Isaac asks, just before he reaches the door.

“We made a deal to work together.” That has to be it, this is going to make Isaac finally get it, that’s the best way that Sam can explain why Isaac is different from their marks. It’s certainly not because he likes the other bounty hunter. “I stick to those promises.”

“Ortez, you make absolutely no sense.”

“Codenames, seriously,” Sam replies, but by the time he speaks Isaac has already shut the door behind himself, having given Sam one last look of either disgust or sheer confusion. 

Sam considers sitting back down on the bench. He looks at his gun, considers finishing cleaning it, and shrugs. It’s not like he needs to, again the tech is advanced enough that it’s basically a calming redundancy. Sighing, he grabs his bag from his bed and leaves his room. Isaac has already left, and there’s no reason why he’d want to go after him, anyway.

There’s no point to sticking around here much longer, so he heads out, deciding to walk the fairly long while to his apartment. It’s going to take him a few hours, obviously, but it’s warm enough outside, and he needs something to get the nagging sense he’s fucked up out of his head. Sure, he's walking to a city from an abandoned quarry, which involves among other things that cliff, but whatever. It's only later, after all, that this place becomes where he stays most of the time. At this point, he has a life-ish. It's early days yet. Nothing really bad has happened. 

No, that's for later, long after this particular walk that takes him nearly half the night, and long after things go to hell. For the first time. 

In the moment, he's mostly confused. It’s not like he lied to Isaac. He has no desire, whatsoever, to cause any harm to his partner. Either of them. After all, Sam makes sure he's never the bad guy. Obviously.