Make Some Noise
by cgb

There will come a time when Meldrick won't remember any of this. He'll try, when he's alone, when he's thinking about how it all turned out, when he's thinking about Baltimore and how he always figured he'd make it out of there. Not because he wanted to, but because Baltimore is the kind of place you leave.

He'll try to remember Mikey and his blue eyes and the way he wore jeans those first weeks in Homicide. He'll remember Mikey leaning the barrel of his gun against his chin, how the gun felt warm in Meldrick's hand after Mikey relinquished it. He'll remember Luther Mahoney choking on his last words, the three of them watching him die, all in it together.

He remembers important things, but it's the minutiae he misses, the details that are slipping away from him already, disappearing before he's had a chance to understand them.

He wishes he hand time to think things through, make them make sense the way Crossetti was always trying to make sense of the Lincoln assassination. Meldrick appreciates that kind of dedication. He wants to make sense of these little things like Mikey in the back seat of the cavalier, leaning back in the seat as he zips his fly and says, "Munch covered your shift at the Waterfront last night." He opens the door, gets out and gets in the driver's seat. He lights a cigarette, waits for Meldrick to join him in the front.

Meldrick doesn't move. "We can't keep doing this, Mikey."

"Can't do what?" Mikey doesn't turn around. Smoke curls out the open window.

"You know what I'm talking about."

In the rear view mirror, Meldrick sees Mikey laugh. "You're so full of shit, Lewis,"

Meldrick gets in the passenger seat. He doesn't like cigarette smoke. One advantage of working with Falsone. "I'm a married man," he says. "I think you forget that sometimes."

"We both know who has trouble remembering your marriage," Mikey says. "And it ain't me."

Meldrick doesn't do denial anymore than he does adultery but not everything has a convenient explanation. Meldrick's wedding was planned in twenty-four hours. No marriage should start that way.

"We can't just do this," Meldrick says. "It's not..." His baseball cap is on the floor under his feet. He picks it up, turns it around in his hands a few times before putting it on. "Fuck, Mikey - I ain't your bitch, all right? I don't come when you call me. I got my own problems."

"Yeah, whatever," Mikey says, flicking his cigarette out the window.

Mikey is drowning, slowly sinking under, has been since the bribery allegations. Meldrick wants to save him but Mikey's heavy, dragging Meldrick down with him. Meldrick's not a saint, and no one will call him a hero when he's gone under. Not even Mikey.

Meldrick remembers the boat and the gun. He remembers walking on the pier, the cold night and Mikey without a jacket. He remembers being back inside the boat, taking Mikey's hands and warming them between his palms, the way Meldrick's mother warmed his hands on cold Baltimore mornings as they waited for the bus. Meldrick did the same for Barbara sometimes. When things were working out between them.

Mikey didn't pull his hands away. Meldrick remembers that. It was weird, two cops, palms held between palms. Meldrick said, "You're hands are fucking cold, Mikey. I'm surprised you can feel anything below your armpits," and he let go, shook his hands like he was shaking Mikey away.

Mikey blinked and licked his lips. And then he dropped to his knees, pushing Meldrick against the counter as he went. He unfastened Meldrick's belt, dug his fingers into Meldrick's thighs and took Meldrick in his mouth, sucking hard and punishing, like he was out for revenge.

Meldrick didn't think about it. He rocked his hips, bare ass against the fake pine, saying, "Mikey, yeah, fuck..." and pretended it wasn't really happening. Sexual ambiguity was for guys like Bayliss who was never really black and white, even before he started exploring it. Meldrick was straight and Mikey didn't go for the middle ground in anything so it couldn't be what it looked like.

Meldrick didn't ask questions, and Mikey was prickly about his personal life even when he didn't have his hand in Meldrick's pants, jacking him why he dry-humped Meldrick's hip. Mikey left clues, like the way he spaced his feet the first time he bent over the back of the couch, pants lowered around his thighs. He braced his knees, like he knew just where they were supposed to be, and Meldrick knew, although he suspected before, that it wasn't Mikey's first time. Not by a long shot.

It was Meldrick's first time, of course, but he didn't feel bad about that. Times change. Everyone had a kink or two, and so long as he wasn't making love to a donkey or putting needles in his balls then he figured he was okay. Nothing he couldn't handle.

Mikey starts the engine. The heater doesn't work and they can barely see out of the windshield. Mikey wipes it with his sleeve, clears a patch of glass in front of him no bigger than a basketball. "I'm tired of sitting on this," Mikey says. "Waiting for them to make the first move. We're cops, right? We're supposed to keep the streets safe. We're supposed to protect people from scum like the Georgia Rae."

"We're homicide detectives," Meldrick says. "We need a body before we do our thing."

Mikey lights another cigarette and puts the car into gear. "It's not enough," he says. "It's not fucking enough."

Mikey was gone, lost somewhere in the squad room, underneath the strangled melody of the phones and the streams of uniforms and felons, the irreverent jokes and the perps screaming, 'I didn't do it!" all the way into the box, only to come out quietly hours later, nothing left to say.

No one heard. Not even Meldrick. And maybe that's because he wasn't paying attention to the details, keeping a record. He's paying for it now, though. He owes Mikey that. He pays and pays; in the back seat of the cavalier with his pants around his thighs and one hand on Mikey's ass, fingers digging into pale skin, leaving marks.

Meldrick won't remember this. He won't remember Mikey's hand on the window, streaking the condensation as his fingers slip. He won't remember Mikey breathing out sharply, tensing as Meldrick enters him. He won't remember his fingers trailing Mikey's ribcage up his chest until Mikey grabs him suddenly, holds Meldrick's wrist against his sternum and doesn't let go until it's over.

Mikey drives, too fast and with too little attention. He drives past a stop sign and the headlights from an oncoming car are too close for comfort. A horn blares and Mikey yells, "Fuck you!" out the open window.

Meldrick braces himself, one hand on the dashboard. "You crazy fuck. You'll get us killed!"

Mikey snorts, shakes his head. "You worry too much, Meldrick."

"Yeah," Meldrick says. He looks out the window, away from Mikey. "That's me - always worrying."

Meldrick can hear sirens. Police cars: probably a chase. He'll remember this much, dead bodies and sirens and blood trailing into the sewers like it's trash. The details get lost but that shit will be with him forever.


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