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“You want to what?” Betsy asked.
“Nothing to do with want,” Alan said. “But I don't think he's a detective. I think he's one of those things. And if he is, then I'm not sure we should be taking the chance he'll get loose again.”
“And is Angel one of those things now?”
“What? No,” he said. “He's maybe been infected or something, but he's still our friend. This prick?” He nudged the detective with his foot, “for all we know he bought the trenchcoat to better flash children, and is a monster both in his day job and as part of his night life.”
“You idiot children are ranging closer and closer to conspiracy to commit murder,” the detective snarled.
“We're not killers,” Kelly said. “Why are we even having this conversation?”
“Because that big bastard with the hatchet is still out there, and we're running low on medical supplies. I'm saying what sounds cold-blooded now, may be life or death before the sun rises. We don't have to kill him. He's going to bleed to death unless we help him- and I'm asking if we're sure it's the right thing to do.”
“That is fucking spectacular,” the detective said from the ground. “No, seriously, I would applaud if my hands weren't nailed to the fucking ground. Little insignificant Alan, holding life and death in the palm of his hands. Not unlike God herself, or like effeminate little Denny cradling your sack.”
“What's he talking about?” Kelly asked.
“I've got all kinds of answers for you, if lover boy is willing to patch me up.”
“Angel,” Betsy said, kneeling by his head. “Can we fix him?”
“With a pair of pliers and a basic understanding of anatomy.” She rabbit-punched him in the chin. “Not a sense of humor in the bunch,” he grumbled.
“Can we save him?” she asked, her voice breaking. “And to be clear, you make a crack about religion and I will send you to whatever shit-puddle you cower before.”
“I like you, Betsy. And seeing as you're currently single, unless you're into interspecies action, maybe you want me to hump one into you.”
“Pliers,” Betsy said, putting out her hand. Alan handed them over without hesitation. She opened them, and pressed the pliers against his slacks. “Straight answer, or I unman you.”
“I wouldn't,” he said, “because without my help, Angel's name's going to be a hell of a lot more literal.”
“Goddamnit!” Betsy yelled, jamming the pliers into the dirt between his legs. “Fix him up,” she said, glaring at Alan.
“But just so you see I can give tit for tat- and notice what a class act I am, not demanding anyone show me a tit to cooperate- I'll answer Kelly's question, too. Breast pocket. I don't think you ever knew- that you could even fathom who Alan was cheating on you with. But since we're all friends now, I think it's right that we clear the air, so we can move forward. It just guts me, us keeping secrets from each other.”
She bent at the waist to open his pocket. “Kelly,” Alan said. “Don't.”
“You don't need to see that,” Denny said. She hesitated.
“Sort of lets the cat out of the bag,” the detective said. “But a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. And we both know, Kel, that you need to know.”
She removed several polaroids, and dropped them almost immediately.
“Is that,” Lark frowned, “Denny?”
“No,” he said, tears welling in his eyes. “Of course not. They're fakes. Lies. I...”
“Stop it,” Alan said.
“It's not me,” Denny whimpered.
“It is,” Alan said. “I'm sorry, Den. But lying about it... it doesn't change things. It just makes everything worse.”