Not mine, no moneys made, but yes, as a matter of fact, the timings do work out. Terrifyingly enough. Written for Crossovers100, prompt #03, ends. Beta courtesy of Raine, Springwoof, and Dragon; thanks to Springwoof for keeping me from making a canon glitch!
"What do you mean he got back up?"
Mick would have retreated further if he hadn't already had his back against the door. The more calm and reasonable Armando 'the Bookman' Langoustini sounded, the uglier something was gonna get, and nobody wanted to be the one there when it did. He winced, swallowed, and repeated himself -- as usual, although not usually this desperate. "Honest, Bookman, he got back up."
"Uh-huh." Langoustini looked him over, face to feet, then said flatly, "Where'd you screw it up, Flannigan? Just because I'm curious."
"I don't know, boss!" Mick didn't dare blink; he licked his lips nervously. "I used my own gun, my own bullets that I loaded, went outside and blew holes in the dumpster with the other five -- the bullet was good, boss. Swear to God, Bookman, I shot him in the chest and it killed him. Guy had no pulse, no breathing, blood coming out of the wound -- real blood, I could smell it, and it wasn't any fake shit. Hell, I could hear him bubbling for a second before he stopped breathing. And then he got back up. My right hand to God. Bring me a Bible, I'll swear to it."
"And I suppose his middle name is Lazarus?" The sarcasm was back in his voice and Mick relaxed just a little. It was a damn sight better than that flat calm that was usually followed by a dead body.
"I don't know, Bookman, but I swear, I killed the guy, just like you told me to. And then the bastard got back up and took his bow for the audience. There was still red on his shirt." Mick shook his head, but his eyes were still wide and spooked, his hand actually shaking a little and it had been even before the threat.
"And our hundred grand?" Bookman asked softly, rhetorically. He'd insisted on a lower amount than the original quarter mil precisely because the books could absorb that if they had to. This act had been running for four nights now, and no one in Vegas knew how the guy was doing it.
"Gone. I bet it just like you said--" Mick had some sense of self-preservation; he pulled out the tickets, but slow enough not to get shot by Reese, who was looming in the background. "Legit firms, ten grand at each. All gone, boss."
Bookman took the tickets and checked them individually, meticulously, while his bodyguard lurked in the corner (away from the line of fire through the windows, twenty-two stories up or not). The tickets were good, the money really had been bet that night as specified. Huh. Interesting.
"Did you say something, Boss?"
That was Reese, quiet and not the smartest but plenty fast and more loyal than Langoustini deserved. In a long- and carefully-buried part of himself, Langoustini felt Ray Vecchio's instincts stir and insist something was very, very odd here. Working this far undercover, 'odd' could get him killed by people who were supposed to think they were his. Time to check this out... and watch how his guys reacted to him investigating it, too.
"Yeah." Langoustini raised his voice, summoning his other guard from his crossfire point. "Tony, put Mick here in a spare room till I get back.Reese, you and I are gonna visit Mr. Cimmoli."~ - ~ - ~
Fireworks and light shows were nothing new in Las Vegas, but Reese turned off their route when he saw one ahead of them. Turned, slowed, and was almost far enough off the main drag when the power went out. It wasn't just the buildings and streetlights that went dark; even the traffic lights shut down and they were supposed to be on their own power circuits. Horns honked, sirens blared on buildings that didn't trust power outages.
Langoustini weighed his options and then said, "Get us there, Reese."
"Are gonna be busy for at least ten minutes, even if someone else decided to beat us to 'investigating' Cimmoli.We can spare five minutes for me to look the situation over." He kept his voice cold and level but pushed his cop instincts back down. Those paranoid, cynical instincts wanted to weigh how long it would take the FBI to wonder what the mob had to do with this (nothing so far as Langoustini knew), and whether the power was likely to stay out long enough to set off rioting in the still-hot crowded night.
Even through the bulletproof glass and double-thickness sheet metal of his limousine-shaped tank, he could hear thunder. Langoustini looked up through the bulletproof sunroof and frowned -- the stars were clear and copious, undimmed by Vegas light pollution for once. So where in hell was the lightning coming from?
When they pulled over by the parking garage near Cimmoli's theater, Langoustini quit wondering.That hadn't been thunder. Those were explosions.
Smoke was pouring out, and the second level gaped open where part of the wall had blown out. Chunks of concrete lay on the sidewalk, on top of cars parked on the street, against street lights. Car alarms were blaring, mostly in synch, and some of the cars were individual patches of flame adding to the smoke. Another gas tank overheated and blew as they watched, fire licking out against something other than empty space.
Langoustini took one long, measuring (memorizing) look, pushed down memories of a dead policeman (dead friend), and said coldly, "Keep going. Don't speed, don't stop for coffee or gas or a drink. Get us out of here before the fire trucks show up and call the cops."
"Got it, Bookman." Reese accelerated smoothly away, a rubbernecker who'd seen enough. In the backseat, Ray Vecchio wondered who'd bet more money than they could afford that Cimmoli wouldn't get back up this time~ - ~ - ~
By the time he'd warned his bookies to be careful, the early editions of the newspapers were on the street. Even in Vegas, a decapitated headline act in the middle of an explosion was pretty much guaranteed to make the front page.
'Langoustini's' FBI handlers said it was nothing for him to worry about. The mob had retrieved their honor, so they didn't care. And Bookman came out of it smelling like a rose for insisting on the lower bet.
Ray Vecchio wanted to know what the fuck had happened, but he suspected he never would. The nightmares from this were scheduled for some safer time; back in Chicago, under his own name, was the first open opportunity. What the hell, he did know several things he'd rather not; in some crazy way, not knowing this might balance some of 'em. He could hope, anyway.
A small part of him really wanted to bounce the case off Fraser, see what insane idea he came up with from the evidence. Of course, he'd wanted to call Fraser just about daily since he arrived in Vegas. Just another story for... one day. Maybe.
Armando 'the Bookman' Langoustini went back to work making money, and bodies, for the Mob. And behind his eyes, Ray Vecchio went back to collecting evidence for the FBI.
He'd tell Fraser about it later.
~ ~ ~ finis ~ ~ ~
Ray Vecchio, Fraser's first partner in Chicago, worked undercover for the FBI under the name Armando Langoustini.
Danny Cimmoli was an immortal who wanted his 15 minutes of fame in Vegas, working a shooting 'illusion' -- the illusion was that there was an illusion. He was letting people shoot him with real bullets, and getting back up. Duncan and Amanda were sure that it would get him killed; it did.
The explosion that Vecchio/Langoustini is trying not to remember is the one that killed one of the 27th's cops, Louis Gardino, and was aimed at Ray. (See the episode "Juliet is Bleeding," second season.)