Gumshoes by Pengi
Story Notes:
All Nick POV is by Evergreenwriter83, all Brian POV is by Pengi.
Chapter 1 by evergreenwriter83
1:00 A.M.

The door sounded like it was about to be broken down. I imagined a trojan horse or one of those giant viking warrior beams banging on the other side of it. I pictured my hotel room under seige. I came to the door in boxers and I know my hair was a disaster. Nick stood on the other side, his eyes blood shot and breath smelling of alcohol. He had the 70s porno facial hair going on. He stared into my eyes, a heavy expression in his, and he gasped the words, "he's dead," before falling to the floor at my feet, a lump of nicotine-scented clothes and alcohol induced coma.

I sighed.

Bending down to grab Nick under the arm pit, I did my best to hoist him up from the floor. I got him to a semi standing position, his body heavy against mine, but cooperative as he began to rouse slowly. He leaned onto me, his arm over my shoulder. "Brian," he said in a pleading voice.

"You're drunk, Nick," I answered, "C'mon, let's get you to your room."

I'd started to lead him back down the hall to his own hotel room, but he flipped out. He struggled out of my grasp, stumbling backwards into the hotel wall. His eyes were wide, "No," he stammered, "No, no, no. I don't want to see it again. No. He's -- Brian, he's dead."

"Who's dead?" My heart raced, thinking of Nick's dog.

Nick's eyes overflowed with tears. "AJ," he whispered thickly. "AJ is dead."

"Nick," I said, the hair on my arm standing up, "You're drunk. AJ's fine. C'mon, let's go to your hotel room and I'll show you, then you can take a shower and go to sleep." I reached out my arm for Nick's hand, but he shook his head, his back pressed against the wall.

"No Brian I'm not drunk, not that drunk," he added.

"Nick," I started to say as patiently as I could.

"Brian I ain't shittin ya," Nick burst. Suddenly tears were pouring down his face, "Oh Jesus," he whispered. He covered his eyes with his hands and his shoulders shook.

"Nick, AJ's not dead," I answered.

He looked up at me. "Then where did all of that blood come from?"


There was blood. A LOT of blood. Now I'm not one of those hypoallerginics or whatever, but I was a second away from throwing up my double stuffed bean burrito.

"Oh Heavenly Father," Brian muttered.

"See?" I said, my voice rising past nails on the chalkboard level.

"There's got to be some explanation."

I swallowed hard. "Someone killed him," I whispered.

"We need to call the police."

"We don't talk Swedish!"

Brian stared at me. "Nick, most of the people around here speak English. I'm sure at least one officer does."

"But...but...who could have done this?"

"You didn't see a..." It was Brian's turn to have trouble with words. "body did you?"


"So maybe he just accidentally cut himself."

"What with? A machete?"

"Good point."

"Should we wake D?"

"No," Bri shook his head. "The less people that know the better. We don't want a mob scene before we call for help."

I paled. "Oh God. Rochelle. She's going to freak out. How are we going to tell her that her monkee went to the big banana in the sky?"

"The big banana in the sky?"

"The forest of eternal shade?"

"Stop. Just...stop."

I wasn't trying to be funny. I really wasn't. I rubbed my face and tried to stop the room from swimming in front of me. It was true I had tossed a few back before happening on the scene, but there's something about a huge ass pool of blood that will sober you up really quick. I handed Bri my cell.

"You call."

We stared each other down. Bri swayed slightly. The smell from the thick goo on the floor was getting worse. He took the phone. A second later, he had his back turned to me, his shoulders tense and was speaking way below Alvin and the Chipmunks level. He gave the address of the hotel, a description of the scene, and asked three times if someone was on their way. Obviously, whoever was on the other end of the line told him yes because he hung up and handed the phone back to me.

"Ten minutes."

We both walked back into the hall and slid down the wall onto the floor. I slung my arms over my knees and concentrated on my breathing. I thought of AJ's mom. I thought about Rochelle. I thought about his dogs.

Yes, AJ had his problems. We all did.

But for it to be bad enough for someone to kill him?

I couldn't process it.

"I need a cigarette," I announced.

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