2007-06-10: Quitting Time at the Pub

Starring:

Ethan_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif

Summary: Ethan and Mara run into each other and catch up on rumours.

Date It Happened: June 10, 2007

Qutting Time at the Pub


Oldcastle Pub and Restaurant

Quittin' Time! Quittin' Time! Well, quitting time for some anyway. It's that time of day when most normal 1st shifters are leaving for the day and heading for home. With the police station nearby, the pub is filling with the shift change of cops and other employees. Among those, is Ethan Holcombe. His hours don't exactly match his wife's most days, but he makes 'em. Even if it means a longer day, or goofing off with some of the guys. He strides into the pub with a few of his fellow lab rats. Today's attire of choice (clearly Vi has no say in his wardrobe), is a pair of jeans, worn out sneakers and a black shirt that reads: I'm Blogging This. He's still wearing his NYPD identification badges on a lanyard around his neck.

Detective Damaris, off-duty as she has been, is still very familiar with the changing of the proverbial guard. It's for that reason that she's camped out at the Pub, hoping for the chance to catch up with some of her fellow officers. As one group heads out after their pre-shift meal, Mara spots the boys from the lab and grins widely. Dressed in tee shirt adorned with a print of the Union Jack and a pair of fashionably faded jeans, she gets up from her table, leaning heavily on her cane as she approaches the resident geeks. "Well if it isn't the Lab Rat Pack!"

Holy s***, woman approaching.. wait.. it's Detective Damaris, and not a woman! There's a chorus of greeting given to the woman, as the rat pack mock 2 file past, giving greetings as they snag a table. Ethan remains behind, grinning widely, "Hey there kiddo, thought we lost you for awhile there. Glad to see any rumors of your demise were greatly exaggerated. It's good seeing you up and around and on three feet. How much longer you gotta use that poker there to get around on?"

"It'll be a while yet. I have good days where I don't need it, but I tend to overdo it on those days," Mara admits, "and then I'm back to square one for the next week. So only time will tell how long it'll be like this. Could be worse!" She shrugs it off and flashes him another brilliant smile. "How the hell have you been, Holly?"

Ethan tsktsks and grins widely at Mara, "Don't overdo it then, kid. Sheesh. What's with you hard headed and stubborn women? You and Vi both, Hell." Even through the chastisement, there's a smile twitching behind his beard. "I've been alright, keeping the wife from overdoing it too. Not that she listens at all. But you know Vi. She's back working, pissed off that she's not out there chasing down perps."

"You gotta be hard headed and stubborn to do this job! I thought you of all people understood that." Mara smirks. "Hey, you tell her not to pull a Damaris, yeah? I feel her pain. Would you believe the department has me seeing a shrink before they'll let me even back at my desk? Oh well. /I/ know I'm sane, so it shouldn't be too long before I get the man to say the same, yeah?"

"Well, duh, yeah, I know that, but come on. Health? You wanna walk again right? Let your freakin' leg heal!" Holly just shakes his head, even if he wouldn't have his wife any other way. It's the little nagging that makes the day more interesting. "No shit? A shrink?" He throws his head back and laughs once, before fixing an incredulous expression at Mara. "A shrink? You're letting them force that down your throat? Jeez.. you must /not/ have a choice if that's the case. Find the sugar to help that bitter pill go down though."

"Oh, I know, right?" Mara shakes her head. "I don't have a damn choice. It's go to therapy I don't need, or quit the force. We both know I don't know how to do anything but be a cop, yeh?" She gestures toward an empty table. "C'mon, I'll buy you a beer. That always makes the thought of somebody doubting my mental health a little easier to deal with."

"No shit," Holly agrees, "Although if you quit the force you could probably go into private security. Maybe make more money, depending on where you go." He's mostly teasing. "Sure thing, not gonna turn down a free beer. Next round's on me." And he won't take no for an answer either. "I suppose so, but I think I can see the reasoning there about sending you to a shrink."

"That's just because they don't understand," Mara grumbles quietly. "And I'm fine with them not understanding. But damn, Holly. Just because it's something they don't get doesn't mean that I'm off my goddamn rocker." Two beers are ordered and Mara settles down at the table with a quiet sigh of relief to be off her injured knee.

Ethan settles down at the table after Mara's seated first. "Maybe they don't, but if it came from higher up.. those suits, they were cops once. They should remember what it's like. Unless they got brainwashed with political correctness crap and are covering their asses, and this is to make them feel good."

Mara rolls her eyes. "Leaning heavily toward that, actually. The suits are too comfortable with their position. They don't remember what it was like to have to get into the head of a murdering bastard to get him to admit to something. To make a little mistake so we can nail his ass to the wall and get some goddamn justice. Do you know what I mean?" She rakes her fingers through her red dyed hair and sighs. "Sometimes a person has to act crazy to get the crazy ones to trust them, you know what I mean?"

"Yeah, I got ya." Holly says as he leans back in his seat, resting his arm across the back of the booth. "Glad I haven't ever really been in that position. I just look at the fun toys you guys bring me and tell you, 'Yeah, I think he took a hacksaw, needing sharpening by the look of it, and sawed into the cranium here, and here..'" Shaking his head, he shifts a little to get more comfortable. "Well kiddo, do what you gotta do to get back into gear."

"Yeah. That's the trick. Just tolerating doing what I have to do. Say all the right things." Mara leans back and shrugs. "It'll work out. I'm itching to get back to work with Demsky. He and Parkman haven't killed each other yet, I hope?"

"Nah, no departmental murders this week.. Speaking of.. Get this.." Holly straightens up and leans slightly over the table. "The cop that shot Vi? I was out getting her dessert and he shows up at our apartment and gives her a bullet with his name engraved on it. What the shit is that? He and Vi kinda put it even at that, but still! That's crazy. If anyone on the force needs a shrink, it's that guy."

"Yeah, see? Clearly I'm ready for duty and that guy is ready for the nut house. Wow." Mara chuckles softly. "Did Vi offer to use the damn thing?"

"Not yet, she didn't know what the hell to do with it. I suggested we make it into a paperweight for her." Holly settles back again, "I think I can see his way of looking at it, giving her a bullet.. not like he didn't already give her another."

"God, no kidding. What the hell was he even…" A quiet sigh. "Crazy son of a bitch. I'm surprised Vi didn't shoot him in the face on principle. I'd love a shot at the bastard that blew out my knee."

"I'm surprised too. She looked pissed, hell, I looked pissed," not that Holly would have done anything but continue to glare. Violence just really isn't in the man. Although, he probably wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger to save his loved ones.

"I'll bet. Damn. I mean, I have seen your wife pissed. I mean pissed, and I can't even… Jesus." Mara perks up as their beers arrive and she takes a long drink. "So, what's the latest rumours around the office?"

Ethan grabs up his beer, eagerly taking a drink from it. "Well, there's the standard betting pool on when you'll be back, I think Owens put down $100 that you're gonna be benched and forced off duty. Riiiight now.. I think there's a solid thou on you being back in six weeks."

"Solid thou? Really?" Mara grins widely at that and takes another drink from her beer. "Owen's is gonna be sorely disappointed. Don't tell anybody about the shrink thing, yeah? That can be our little secret."

Ethan runs his fingers across his lips as if zipping his mouth shut. "What shrink thing?" Cue big, wide, innocent grin.

"Good man. I knew there had to be a good reason why I like you so much." Mara tilts her head to one side and rests her elbow on the table. "I need to get back to work. I'm going crazy sitting at home with nothing to do. I've even considered taking on a part time job just to fill my days."

Ethan chuckles as he takes another pull off the beer bottle. "Don't talk to me about that. I'm pretty sure you're rivaling Vi about now with boredom." With a shudder shaking his shoulders, he remembers all too well just how frightening a time that was. "Do what you need to do to stay .. uh.. sane."

"No worries there. I'm as sane as you are." Mara squints and points the neck of her beer at her friend with a suspicious expression. "You aren't certifiable, are you?"

Ethan throws his head back and laughs, "I Dunno. Depends on what you consider sane." His grin takes a slightly manic expression for a brief moment. He was after all the one playing with the severed hand down in evidence and humming the Addam's Family theme.

Mara chokes on laughter as he takes on that manic look. "Oh, you are terrible, Holly. Don't you ever change."

"I don't think I could if I wanted to." Ethan gives Mara a good natured grin. THe party of guys he came in with don't seem to mind that he hasn't joined them yet. They're deep in their discussion of Halo, or whatever. "I mean, have you been down to our dungeon lately? C'mon. You expect us to be normal folks with what we see and do? Although I think the guys at the morgue have us beat."

"I used to do lunch with the morgue boys back in the day. You know I'm the designated bitch to go check out the floaters and such when I'm at my desk. Pull somebody out of the Hudson? Send Damaris! That stuff just doesn't get to me as much anymore. It probably should, but… I just kind of shut down and do my job. You know what that's like, don'cha?"

Ethan finishes off his beer and signals for round two, which he's paying for, so SHUT UP. "I swear those guys party down there. Had to go over one day to swap info with them, the ME, I swear on my mother's sweet still alive head, had his hair slicked back into this funky braid, dyed in multiple colors. I think they were also blasting rap."

"Oh yeah! I know that cat. He's crazy." Mara laughs at the description of the medical examiner. "They are a totally different breed down there, I swear. But you gotta be to be able to do that job, I think. It's a /tough/ job."

"It takes all kinds." Holly says, eagerly swapping his empty beer bottle for a fresh one as the second round is brought over. "Guess so, and I suppose we gotta find our own ways of coping with what we see and do."

"Exactly. See, you get it. What we do is necessary. Somebody /has/ to do the work that we do. We don't have to be crazy to do it. We just have to… do it." Mara takes a sip from her fresh beer and half-shrugs. "It comes with the territory. Catching bad guys isn't as easy as it looks on Law and Order."

Ethan pretends to choke on his beer and thumps at his chest, "It's not!? I thought it was all Police Academy and Hill Street Blues! You're killing me here, Damaris!"

"Hell no!" Mara slaps her hand against the table. "And what's more? We don't even get a cool theme song! How fucking lame is that?! Pretty fucking lame."

Ethan groans, sets his beer down and throws his arms wide, as if to accentuate his horror. "It ain't all fun and games? Well dammit, no one told me this stuff when I signed up! What a gip! I wanted a cool theme song! I think I'm gonna cry now."

"I know!" Mara laments. "I thought I would be awesome like Ell-Tee VanBuren! But instead? Nothin'. At least I didn't get banished to Staten Island like Mike Logan. The smell, man. Jesus."

Ethan shakes his head as if this were just the biggest damn blow ever to him. He picks up his beer again, working on finishing it off. "I always wanted a kick ass nickname like Huggie Bear or something." Not that he's complaining about his, he loves it. "I deserve a theme, and a pimpin' hat." The very thought and mental image of course, induces hilarity.

Mara cracks up and rests her forehead on the table. "Tell you what, Holly," her head lifts enough for her eyes to stare up at the lab rat, "you wear a pimp suit and I'll wear that Slave Leia costume you and the boys have been trying to talk me into for the past couple years."

Ethan chokes on a mouthful of beer for real this time. "Done!" Oh yes, so done. There is a department Halloween bash planned.. (If there wasn't before, there so is one now.)

"Don't tell Vi. She'll be pissed I talked you into this." Mara cackles with glee, slapping her hand against her thigh now, to draw less attention to them. "Don't tell the others, too. I wanna see their jaws drop, y'know?"

"Tell 'em what, Damaris? Jeez detective, make sense here would ya?" Holly says good naturedly before draining off his beer. Speaking of Vi, "Oh crap! I'm supposed to meet back up with her at shift end." He slides up from his seat and withdraws enough bills to cover this round of beer. "Meetin' up with her family for dinner. Being late is fun, but y'know. It's good seeing you up and around again kiddo. Finish up with that shrink alright? We have a betting pool to end and a new one to start!"

Mara waves with a bright smile. "I'll come harass you later, Holly! Tell Vi I said hi!" She slides the bills to the middle of the table and orders another beer for herself as the labby leaves.

"I look forward to it," Holly says with a grin. He leans over, and dares to tousle Mara's hair in a playful manner before heading off.

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