Fandom: Battle Creek
Characters: Milt, Russ (Gen or pre-Slash)
Summary: When it comes to Russ, Milt is always going to poke the bear.
Author's Notes: For writerverse, and the prompt of "Watching the Stars."
"This street is so dark, you can see all kinds of stars," Milt said.
"Just as long as Joe Garrett can't see us," Russ said. "This Bureau truck is pretty conspicuous. Should've taken my car."
"Your car has junk food wrappers in it," Milt said.
"Sometimes." Russ squinted at the bushes lining the front of the house they had under surveillance. "I cleaned it."
"Did you now?" Milt smiled like he'd won something, and Russ wanted to slug him. "Still, it's great to have these big windows on a night like this, for the view. You used to be a poet—I'll bet you wrote something about stars, once."
Russ scowled into his coffee cup. "God, not that again."
Milt gestured out toward the night. "It's a shame, really. If you'd lived someplace like New York or California, maybe you'd have had someone to encourage your talents."
"Maybe I would have had a teacher who could keep her mouth shut," Russ muttered
"And you shouldn't give up on it," Milt added. "Keep practicing whenever you can. Like now—how about making something up right here?"
"No," Russ said.
"It could be about anything, just give it a try." Milt looked at Russ earnestly. "Please?"
Russ exhaled noisily. "Your eyes," he said, "are like the dark, depthless gaze of a shark, waiting to strike."
Milt blinked. "Oh come on, don't you think that's a little harsh?"
"I don't know," Russ said. "Is it?"
Milt sighed. "I'm just kidding around. I like teasing you, Russ, you shouldn’t take it so seriously. It means I like you."
"Or maybe you don't."
"Why would you even say that? I requested you as a partner, and I think we've done some good work together. Of course I like you!"
"Because I'm so warm and fuzzy, so how could you resist?"
Milt gave him a look. "Right, like no one's ever found cantankerousness adorable."
"I don't do it on purpose," Russ said.
"I know that. It's just how you are. And that's okay."
Russ rubbed his fingers across his forehead. "Adorable, huh? I think that's the biggest load of crap you've come up with yet."
Milt held out his hands. "I'm totally sincere."
"Yeah?" Russ looked over at him. "Prove it."
"Fine." Milt glanced at the house—still no movement. He hooked his arm around the back of Russ' neck, pulled him close and kissed his forehead, then let him go. "Like that."
Russ opened his mouth, and then closed it. He coughed. "I don't even know what that means."
Milt laughed and shook his head. "Which is adorable all by itself."
Russ smoothed his collar down and reached for the binoculars. "Whatever, man. I still think you're yanking my chain."
"Not yet," Milt said.
Something moved at the edge of the house next to Garrett's. "Did you see that?" Milt whispered.
"Yeah." Russ looked through the binoculars. "Looks like Garrett's partner."
"We'll wait until he gets inside to move on him."
"So," Russ said. "What am I supposed to make of that kiss?"
Milt shrugged. "That you got off easy. And maybe I did, too."
"I don't get you, man," Russ said. "It's like everything you do is in some kind of code."
"Maybe you're overthinking. Sometimes things are exactly what they look like."
"I think this looks like showtime." Russ checked his gun, and put two extra cartridges in his pocket. "Let's go."
"Think we can wrap this up tonight?"
"If we do, I'll take you out for pancakes and bacon."
Milt grinned. "I love small towns."
"No, you don't. Now shut up and let's put this asshole back in prison."
Milt gripped Russ' arm, all business now. "I go first."
Russ shook his head. "Uh-uh. My perp, my call."
"Fine." Milt let go, looking genuinely peeved. "But I call dibs on next time."
"We'll see." Russ opened his door and slipped out onto the street.
Milt followed, and the two of them streamed across the road like shadows against the night.
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