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As Mickey Kostmayer
headed down the main street of Chinatown in Sloanville, he thought again about
the shirt he was wearing and the possible consequences of being caught in the
shirt. His boss, Control, had given him the shirt when he had needed to communicate
to his Goddaughter to follow Mickey without a word being said. It featured a picture
of Control and simply said `This is Mickey. Go with him.' Normally Mickey would
not have worn the shirt. His having it was to him a sign of trust between him
and a man who trusted almost no one. Control had asked about it once, and Mickey
had jokingly asked what shirt he was referring to. The senior spook had given
him a slight smile and let it drop. As far as Mickey knew no one else on the planet
had a shirt like this, there was no way he was going to abuse it.
since then Mickey had found the shirt useful in fulfilling jobs. Both times he
had needed to get a contact of Control's to go with him quickly, and the shirt
had worked. One time he had asked and received permission when he had explained
his reasoning. The other he had had to move fast and only had time to call Control
and tell him he was doing it. In a show of unbelievable trust, his boss had simply
said thank you and asked that he tell him about it as soon as he had time. When
he had explained the need, Control had agreed it was necessary. He had inadvertently
packed it when he had come here on a fact-hunting trip for Mccall, normally it
would have then stayed in his duffle bag, but he had been here long enough to
have run out of clean shirts. Besides, no one in Sloanville knew Control. Did
"Tell me again, Peter, why
we are sitting in a cold wet park freezing our asses off?" Kermit Griffin, mercenary
turned cop, and lifelong computer hacker, looked askance at his lunch, "and eating
some unknown meat that is trying to pass itself off as a hot dog?"
Double D's suppose to meet us here with a lead on that serial robbery case," Peter
Caine explained, inhaling his lunch. "Since we're both working on that case I
thought you might like to talk to him yourself, he's a little nervous about meeting
you though, so try not to scare him mute."
"I promise to be at my diplomatic
best," the ex-mercenary grinned like a shark behind his customary green shades.
was about to express his thoughts about Kermit and his diplomacy when they saw
a reddish-brown haired man walk past with a shirt showing a photo of Paul Blaisdell
asking them to go with this guy. Both men had learned long ago not to question
Paul's instructions, just follow them. Looking at one another, they got up and
went after the man. Evidently, Paul was using this man to contact his detectives.
Far stranger things had been known to occur, especially in this place.
closer they got to the man the faster he seemed to go. If he was supposed to be
meeting with them, this was a weird way to go about it. Finally, he ducked into
one of the legions of blind and dead end alleys in the city. Peter charged in
after the strange man just as Kermit went to put a restraining hand on him.
they name is Peter," Kermit growled as he slowly entered the alley after his impetuous
"What do you think you're doing?" The strange man was asking, a
gun at the younger detective's face.
"Now really, do you think Paul would
want you to shoot Peter, after he sent you to get us?" Kermit asked, approaching
the man with his Dessert Eagle out and aimed.
"Paul?" The man in the t-shirt
"Paul Blaisdell, the man whose picture is on your shirt," Peter
Mickey Kostmayer went white. Evidently Sloanville DID know Control,
and now he knew the senior spy's real name. He was a walking corpse and when Control
was done the job would be complete.
"I think what we have here, gentleman
is a failure to communicate," Kermit offered with a hard smile.
Mickey responded with a sickly smile as he put his gun away and shrugged, palms
up. "Sorry about that."
"Mistakes happen," Kermit answered, putting his
own small cannon away. "Luckily this wasn't a permanent one."
to swing at the stranger who had had him at gunpoint. A vise gripping his shoulder
stopped him. He knew better than to risk Kermit ripping his arm off and beating
him with it.
"Peter, Peter, Peter. Remember your manners, detective, or
our new friend is going to think we don't like him. And he DID put the gun down,"
Kermit reminded him.
"Right," Peter muttered, not relaxing a bit.
Mickey asked. Just his luck to have threatened a detective. Mccall hadn't wanted
it known that his friend was here.
"Detective Peter Caine from the 101st.
And you are?"
"Mickey Kostmayer," the stranger identified himself, and
then looked inquiringly toward the man in green shades. He was maybe five years
younger than Mickey himself and was decidedly not a run of the mill cop, if he
was a cop. With that dark suit and the shades Mickey would have guessed Fed; but
there was something about the man that said he was far too familiar with smoke,
shadow and gray areas to be a Fed.
"Kermit Griffin. Come with us, and we
can clear up our little misunderstanding," the older of the two local men offered.
like a plan," the brown haired man said, following his shaded host. The youngest
man followed behind, still glaring at the newcomer.
"Hey, Partner, Donny double D was looking for you and Kermit," Mary Margaret
Skellany called as the three men entered the detective's bullpen. Seeing Mickey's
shirt, she went silent.
"I'll get to it in a minute," Peter called as he
followed after the first two men.
"Detective Griffin, nice to see you out
of your office," Chief of detectives Strenlich commented. On seeing the stranger's
shirt he shook his head mumbled something incoherent and headed back to his own
"You're a detective, too?" Mickey asked the man next to him.
Yeah," Kermit answered, rapping on the door they had stopped in front of. According
to the writing on the door, a Captain Paul Blaisdell worked in there.
came a very familiar rumbling voice.
Mickey went white; this was just
not his day. How on earth was Control a police captain here when he was the head
spook in New York? Well, if anyone could do it, it would be him.
kind of rugged face looked up at the trio entering. Mickey cringed, he had faced
this man too many times not to be a bit nervous when dealing with him. Long, dexterous
fingers laced behind the man's head as he leaned back in his chair. He had a slight
smile as he got a view of the shirt causing all of the commotion. He knew who
was on the shirt, but he had to wonder why the man had given anyone such an item.
The was sure be an interesting tale behind it.
"Peter, Kermit, I think
I can handle it from here," Paul assured the two men. They recognized the tone
as one of polite dismissal.
"Right, Come on kid, we still need to track
down Donny," Kermit reminded his companion while steering him towards the door.
The shutting of the office door was followed by a rare sound in that office.
Paul began laughing hysterically. He couldn't wait to hear how this guy had gotten
a picture of his brother on his shirt. John was even more paranoid than Paul was;
if that was possible.
Finally getting his laughter in hand, Paul looked
at the man sitting across from him with an expression of surprise. "Can I assume,
Mickey, that you have a last name?"
"Kostmayer, Mickey Kostmayer."
his thanks, Paul reached over and picked up the phone, and dialed a number he
"Control," came the immediate response, in a voice that
exactly matched his own
"I have a refugee here named Mickey Kostmayer.
Would you care to claim him? You should see the shirt he's sporting, it's very
spiffy," Paul chuckled.
"Kostmayer's there? Probably doing a job for McCall,
but yes I'll claim him," Control chuckled, wondering what his favorite trouble
shooter was doing in Sloanville and evidently wearing a t-shirt he had given him
once with his picture on it.
"Good, I had a feeling he might have been
one of yours," Paul replied, relived that his instincts had been right, as usual.
did he end up in your office, though? He's not in trouble is he?" Control groaned.
While Mickey was the best at what he did, there were times that his boss was convinced
that if Mickey was placed in a planet sized garden of Eden with only one hornet's
nest the man would find it by putting his foot in it.
"No, he's not in
any trouble. A couple of my detectives came by him and followed the directions
that they thought I was giving them by following Mickey. When it was clear that
Mr. Kostmayer didn't know me they brought him here to get things straightened
"Thanks for calling , let me talk to him and I'll get him out of
your hair," Control offered, snorting in disbelief at the entire situation.
it's for you," the captain said holding the phone out to his guest.
Mickey took the phone. This was not going to be pretty.
"I can explain
this," Mickey said first thing.
"I'm sure you can and I would love to hear
it," Came a rumbling purr over the line. It was kind of like a lion playing with
"I was on a job for McCall and it took longer than I planned. I
hadn't even realized that I packed this shirt."
"Kostmayer, thank Captain
Blaisdell for the use of his phone, and then go out and do your laundry," Control
"Right," Mickey said, handing the phone back to
his host. "Thanks for letting me use your phone," he remarked as he headed for
Paul nodded that the stranger could leave and took the phone;
after the younger man had left the captain resumed his phone call. "Okay, John,
now tell me what possessed you to give one of your men a shirt like that?"
it started when my goddaughter Yvette came to town for a visit....," began the
other man. Both were laughing now over the absurdity of this entire comedy of
Mickey went to the men's room and turned the shirt inside out before
leaving. There was no way he was risking more mishaps on his way to the Laundromat.
he passed the captain's office he could still hear the man laughing about it.
Griffin paused on his way back to his office with fresh coffee. Paul was in his
office laughing. Mickey was leaving with his shirt inside out. Something was going
Turning around he went back to the break room and got a second
cup of coffee. Carrying both mugs he tapped on the captain's door and entered.
A long and involved history with the older man had resulted in the detective having
At Paul's motioning he took a seat after depositing the
second mug on the desk and getting a nod of thanks.
Paul finished up his
call, wiping a tear from his eye.
"What was that all about?" Kermit asked,
in a tone that asked `Do I want to know and can you tell me?'
have a brother on the east coast that's in the business.," Paul began. "It seems
that there was a situation when his god-daughter was in town. She was being watched
and he had to get her to go with Mickey but she had never met him. He got her
to go by sending Mickey over wearing a shirt with his picture on it to let her
know that he was one of the good guys. he never asked for the shirt back and Mickey
has never offered it. In fact a few times since then Mickey has found the shirt
to be of help. Evidently Mickey didn't have any other clean shirts with him."
he wore it thinking that no one here knew your brother so there wouldn't be any
damage done and the guy would never know about it?" Kermit asked, joining Paul
Paul nodded his reply, laughing again about the odds of Mickey
wearing it in the one city that would responded to the picture.
up, Paul saw a mischievous glint in his friend's eye. "No you may not have one
like that!" Paul got out, laughing again.
Kermit gave him a hurt look.
"I don't even wear t-shirts, I was thinking Peter might like one."
NOT!" Paul stated quickly and clearly. Peter was a good kid and he loved him dearly,
but the kid could not keep a secret. "Well, maybe, but only if it has YOUR picture
on it," Paul amended his earlier statement.
Kermit sputtered. "Maybe it's
not such a good idea,"
"We've had our laugh, now I've got a meeting with
the Mayor and you have a partner to go catch up with," Paul reminded him as Kermit
got up and headed out and he returned to the papers on his desk.
A beautiful, cultured voice came through the intercom
box on Control's desk. "Mickey Kostmayer is here to see you, sir."
China, send him in and hold my calls, please," he asked.
A second later, Mickey entered, head up, but looking rather
embarrassed. This was not something Control had ever seen on the younger man before,
and it had all his flags going up. Mickey quietly put a freshly laundered and
carefully folded shirt on Control's desk, with the familiar picture up.
since I'm not a laundry service and that shirt is clean, what is it doing on my
desk?" Control asked.
"After this mess, I figured you would want it back,"
he explained, sitting as Control waved him to a couch.
a moment, and then moved from behind his desk to the other couch that was perpendicular
to the one the younger man was on. He had given the shirt to Mickey when he had
asked him for his help as a friend, and he would treat this discussion as one
between friends, not as a boss to a subordinate.
"Mickey, the shirt's yours,
keep it. Just use more care when you wear it in the future," he instructed. "I
am curious though, to know why you had it with you if you didn't intend to wear
"I didn't realize I had packed it until I reached for a clean shirt
and realized that the only one I had left was that one. I would never wear it
without your permission unless there was no other option and then I would tell
you right away," Mickey assured him.
"I know, that's why I never asked
for the shirt back and have never worried about you having it. I would never allow
an agent to keep something like that, but I wouldn't worry about a friend having
it" Control explained, hoping that Mickey understood what he was saying.
you certain?" Mickey asked, looking at his supervisor.
"Yes, I'm certain,
now take your shirt and get out of here. I believe that you have some other place
to terrorize, like Panama," Control replied, mentioning an assignment the ex-seal
had just received.
"Thanks," Mickey grinned taking the shirt back and heading
out. He had understood perfectly. He had the shirt because Control considered
him a friend and trusted him as a friend. Control still trusted him and so was
not willing to take the sign of his friendship and trust back.
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