Prompt: Can we see Tony and John during their detective days? Like maybe on a stakeout or something?
Damn, he hated these long-ass stakeouts. He needed a shower, and he missed his nice comfortable bed, not to mention food that didn’t come served in tinfoil or wrapped in cellophane. The driver’s side door opened for him, and he slipped inside behind the wheel with a grunt in thanks. He handed John one of the coffee cups, and closed his door.
“Thanks, Anthony.” John smiled that big boyish grin of his, and Tony let out a snort in disgust at his best friend.
“You are way too cheerful after two days of this shit.”
John shrugged. “Why wouldn’t I be? The weather’s beautiful, I’m here with my best friend, and now I have java. What’s not to be happy about?”
Tony merely grunted in response before taking a sip of his black coffee. He schooled his expression knowing what was coming. Three… two… one…
“Oh my God, I thought you said you were getting coffee,” John sputtered, his face looking like he’d just tasted a rank lemon or something. Tony congratulated himself on not laughing.
“That is coffee,” Tony replied flatly.
John shook his head. “No, it’s not. It’s foul. Like they took your dirty gym socks and soaked them in water for days, and then used that water to make this coffee.”
Tony gagged a little at the thought. “You’re a cop. Foul coffee comes with the badge.”
“I’ll keep the badge, but the coffee’s getting dumped into the river with the rest of the biological waste.”
Tony reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out a wad of sugar packets that he dumped in John’s lap. “There you go.”
“Oh, well, this changes things,” John said dryly. “Now it’ll taste like sweet toxic waste.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “They didn’t have any of that frou-frou shit you drink.”
John grinned widely. “Say frou-frou again.”
Tony flipped him off, and John cackled.
“How was that movie you took Dex to?”
John did his best to give himself diabetes as he poured packet after packet of sugar into his coffee. “He loved it. There were a couple of scenes that were a little scary, but when I asked him if he wanted to step outside, he shook his head, eyes glued to the screen. Gina took him shopping the next day, and he came back with a red zip-up hooded sweatshirt just like Elliott wears. She also bought him this tiny stuffed E.T., and he put in a basket that he made me tie to his tricycle.” John shook his head with a chuckle. His eyes went wide, and he turned to Tony with a very solemn expression. “If he gets on his tricycle and E.T. is in the basket, do not take your eyes off him. He keeps trying to make his tricycle fly. With him on it.”
Tony let out a snort. “Like I ever take my eyes of Dex when I babysit him. If he’s not tying his blanket around his neck and attempting to throw himself off the couch, he’s trying to use his jump rope as a whip.” Tony’s expression turned deadpan as he regarded his friend. “Congratulations, John, your kid’s just like you.”
“What? You mean charming?” John asked, wriggling his eyebrows.
John gave him a knowing smile. “Does that mean you’re not going to babysit him this weekend?”
Tony’s eyes went wide in horror at the thought. “Are you kidding? Like I’m dumb enough to stand between Gina Daley and Harrison Ford.”
John laughed. “Yeah, that would not be pretty. Now I know why she keeps suggesting I dress up like Han Solo for Halloween. Can’t say I blame her. Han is pretty hot.” John winked at Tony, and Tony chuckled.
“Man, I can’t wait to see you with a teenage Dex.”
John almost choked on his coffee. “What the hell, Tony? He’s two years old, adorable, and I can’t deal with the cuteness when he’s in his footie pajamas. It’s too soon to be thinking about mood swings, teenage boy smells, or having to purchase tissue boxes in bulk.”
Tony let out a bark of laughter. John glared at him, and Tony held his stomach as he laughed. He felt no sympathy for John. His best friend was finally going to get a taste of his own medicine, and it was going to be glorious. Tony did, however, feel for poor Gina. Having to deal with two Daley men.
“Then comes the dating,” Tony teased.
John narrowed his eyes. “Not happening.”
Tony cast him a sideways glance. “Yeah? Like you never dated? Pretty sure that’s how you ended up with Dex.”
“I ended up with Dex because I married the love of my life, and we had a beautiful baby boy that’s going to stay an innocent cherub forever.”
“Right. More like he’s going to be like his daddy before his daddy met the love of his life. Leaving a trail of havoc and broken hearts wherever he goes.”
John’s smile faded, and Tony frowned. He placed his hand on John’s shoulder. “Hey, I was just messing with you.”
“I know,” John said quietly, shaking his head. He sighed. “They’re going to break his heart one day, Tony. Some guy or some girl is going to come along and break his heart into little pieces. I think that’ll be worse than the teenage boy smells.”
Tony’s expression softened. “Well, when that day comes, we’ll buy a giant tub of ice cream, grab a bunch of spoons, and we’ll all cry into the ice cream along with him.” The thought formed a lump in Tony’s throat. If Dex really was like his daddy, he was going to wear his heart on his sleeve, and have a heart too big and too soft for all the ugly out there in the world. Tony placed his hand on the back of John’s neck, and gave it a squeeze.
“Dex has you, Gina, and me. He’s going to be okay. Besides, if some boy breaks his heart, his uncle Tony will grab Old Betsy, and pay the guy a visit.”
John burst out laughing. “And you’d do it too.”
“Damn right. Someone messes with my boy, they’re going to answer to me.”
John’s smile lit up his bright blue eyes, the same eyes he’d passed on to his little boy.
“Thanks,” John said softly.
“You’re welcome. Now drink your toxic waste.”
John chuckled, and shook his head. “Ass.”
Tony was about to take another sip of his coffee when several doors down, a guy bolted out from the building. “Shit! That’s our guy!”
Part Two 9/28/17 Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.