[AnneACK's

AnneACKs Hideout Entry

 

Actions & Consequences

by




"Blake, Paul, come on in," Kermit Griffin, computer guru, cop and occasional mercenary greeted his two oldest and best friends.

As he stood aside they entered. Looking about them, they blinked in surprise. Kermit had been gone on a, ah ... trip, for two weeks at the start of the month, and had followed that up with a week and a half of night and day at the station tracking down a group of thugs who had been stealing retirement checks from the elderly. Between the two events Kermit had been gone almost all month, yet the place was immaculate. Not a speck of dust was to be seen, the windows glistened like polished silver. The kitchen floor was polished and the sink and counters scrubbed and wiped down. There was also evidence that the refrigerator had been cleaned out and wiped down inside and out. In short, the apartment was spotless. The smell of bleach said that the cleaning had been done recently, and would also account for Kermit acceptance, when his friends had invited him to go to the classic car show.

Usually, Paul went with Peter, but for some odd reason his foster son had cancelled on him this year, saying that something had come up. Paul was guessing that it was another case of Kelly Blake, the younger man's on again off again girlfriend, demanding that Peter spend every spare minute with her. It had caused them to break up in the past and probably would again, but Paul made it a policy not to interfere in his grown son's dating habits unless he was asked for advice.

"Even Annie would be impressed," Paul commented. Because his wife, Annie, was blind she was a meticulous housekeeper.

"I'll pass it along to my cleaning crew," Kermit smiled.

"Cleaning crew?" Paul asked. He knew that Kermit was very, very particular about who was in and out of his home and no one would be admitted while he was not there, so the odds of him having a cleaning lady were remote at best.

"Oh, yeah," Kermit almost chuckled. "Let me finish getting ready," he said, heading for his bedroom.

Paul headed towards the bathroom where he could hear what sounded like someone scrubbing grout. Sticking his head in, he did a double take. "Peter, what are you doing?"

"Cleaning the bathroom," Peter Caine, a detective and Paul Blaisdale's foster son, muttered, as he continued scrubbing the grout between the shower tiles with a toothbrush.

"About done, Peter?" Kermit asked from behind Paul.

"Almost Kermit, I just have to wipe the shower down and I'm through," the younger man answered.

"Good, hurry up so we can get to the car show," his host called to him.

"Right, Kermit," Peter bit his lip, trying not to growl. He loved classic cars and had gone to the yearly show with Paul every year since he was fifteen. It was bad enough that he couldn't go because he was cleaning; now Kermit was rubbing his nose in it.

"How did Peter end up as your cleaning crew?" Blake asked, as the three older men sat in the living room.

"He did something unwise and has learned not to do it again," Kermit answered.

"What did he do?" Paul asked, in his patient 'parent' voice. With Peter, anything was possible. He was good man but tended to act first and think afterwards, if at all. If it resulted in Kermit sentencing the young man to hard labor and Peter accepting it, then it was something big. Even Annie hadn't been able to get Peter to clean willingly.

"Just something between the kid and I," Kermit assured the police captain, while letting him know that nothing more would be said.

Paul accepted that, but it did seem odd that Kermit was tormenting Peter like this. He knew that the father and son had a yearly date to see the cars, and yet Kermit not only picked this day to have his younger friend clean but then arranged for rest of them to meet here and head for the show. That seemed over the top for Kermit. The mostly ex-mercenary was lethal, but never cruel.

"I'm done, Kermit," Peter said, a bit despondently, as he came out of the bathroom, returning a bucket with cleaning supplies to under the kitchen sink.

"The place looks great, Peter, thank you," Kermit said, praising the job as he got up.

Paul and Blake were quick to add their agreement.

Normally, Peter would have been beaming with the three men that he respected and admired praising him for a job well done. Right now, though he was still trying to get over the fact that he was not going to be going to the show and they were.

"You guys have fun at the show," Peter tried to smile and sound sincere. He really did hope they had fun, and Kermit was being really cool about what he had done and Peter knew nothing more would ever be said about it. That is unless he was dumb enough to do it again, which he was not.

"You don't want to go?" Kermit asked, sounding surprised. And maybe he was, though his two older friends had never known anything to surprise their favorite Muppet.

"Well, yes, I would love to... that is... I didn't know I was ... I get to come?" Peter sputtered and finally got his question out. Unfortunately he sounded like a kid being told that he could go with the adults.

"Yes, son, you get to come. Go get cleaned up and changed and we'll meet you at Delancy's for lunch," Paul instructed, chuckling. He should have known that Kermit was not going to leave Peter behind.

Grinning broadly, Peter dashed out the door in the same headlong fashion he had used since he was a teenager and would likely be using when he was a senior citizen. The three older men exited more sedately.

"What did the kid think we were waiting for?" Kermit asked, as they all got into Paul's Cadillac.

"I think he thought we were waiting for him to get done so you could lock up," Blake offered. He understood Peter's odd habit of always expecting to be left behind. Up until he had met Paul and Kermit, he had never really believed anyone liked him, merely that they tolerated him because they had to or wanted something from him. Then in Vietnam, Paul had been at his bedside when he woke in a MASH unit simply because Blake was his friend; Kermit had almost died for him in that same jungle. Hopefully it would not take anything like that to get Peter to understand that they really did like him.

Half an hour later, Peter came skidding into the booth occupied by the others. He was showered and in clean clothes, but was looking a lot more worked up than he had when he had left them.

"Son?" Paul asked, curious. The older man never pushed Peter to talk to him, but the younger man usually did once he was able to.

"Paul, does mom ever get upset about you leaving for a day?" Peter asked. He didn't think his Mom had ever gotten angry if Paul went out his friends for the day, but he wasn't certain.

"Not unless it's a special day such as our anniversary or something; I suppose she might if she had asked me to do something and I was going off with the guys instead of doing it. She usually plans a day out with the girls if I'm going to be gone with friends," Paul explained. Evidently Kelly had been at him for not staying with her.

Peter nodded thoughtfully as their food arrived, including Peter's favorite barbeque hamburger with the works and fries. He smiled his thanks to Paul for ordering for him. It wasn't surprising that his dad knew him so well; Paul, as an ex-mercenary himself, missed little and remembered everything.

"Annie always said the fastest way to get you to the table was to put food on it," Paul chuckled.

"I didn't know you had started a cleaning service, Peter," Blake teased.

"I haven't, I was paying Kermit back for not killing me," Peter admitted with a half-smile.

"Oh?" Paul asked his eyebrow going up as his long fingers twirled a fork.

"I was leaving for that seminar on investigative techniques in a multi-ethnic precinct," the young man began, glaring at Paul. The captain had sent his detective there as a reminder not to be quite so creative about following orders.

"And..." Blake encouraged his friend to continue the story.

"Kermit wasn't around so I took one of the laptops from his office to the training. I meant to have it back before he ever returned," Peter winced at the stupidity of that idea.

"What happened?" Paul asked, wondering how he was going to explain this to the department if he was short a computer that they had baught.

"I came home to a message on my machine at work saying that my laptop was at the airport and would I like ot pick it up for have it shipped to me," Kermit smiled preditorily.

Both the older men groaned in harmony. Nobody took one of Kermit's computers, much less risked losing it.

"I came home and Kermit asked where the laptop was. I figured I was a dead man, so I admitted the whole thing," Peter confessed.

"Smart move, son," Paul chuckled.

"Kermit told me he had it safe and sound, but asked me what I planned to do to remind me never to lose a computer again. I told him I was open to suggestions and he said the apartment needed cleaning so I agreed to do it," Peter finished.

Paul and Blake were laughing about the whole thing.

"And will you ever do that again?" Kermit asked

"Never," Peter answered quickly and vehemently.

Still laughing about it, the four men piled into the Cadillac to enjoy a day of playing and bonding together.


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