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Actions & Consequences
"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
"I'll pass it along to my cleaning crew," Kermit smiled.
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.
Kermit almost chuckled. "Let me finish getting ready," he said, heading for his
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
know you had started a cleaning service, Peter," Blake teased.
I was paying Kermit back for not killing me," Peter admitted with a half-smile.
Paul asked his eyebrow going up as his long fingers twirled a fork.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"And will you ever do that again?" Kermit asked
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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