Categories > Books > Dresden Files

Chicago is Insane

by mitsukai613 0 reviews

A visiting mobster sees something funny going on between Chicago's resident boss and a weird PI, and when he tells his Boss about it, he's tasked to investigate. That turns out to be a lot harder t...

Category: Dresden Files - Rating: PG - Genres: Romance - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2015-07-04 - 6426 words - Complete

Chicago is a weird fucking place to visit. Not just because it’s Chicago, although that does have a hell of a lot to do with it. It’s more about the Don, I think, Gentleman Johnny Marcone, or Saint John, like most of us made guys from other cities say. He ain’t like most the bosses, not at all. Hell, sometimes I think he’s more like a cop than half the fucking cops out there, until I remember just how cold I’ve seen him get. Johnny’s got rules, and if someone in his city don’t follow ‘em, he takes ‘em out. Quick, clean, easy, that’s Johnny. In Chicago, at least, he’s put the organized back into crime. He’s turned it all back into a business. There’s some guys out there, my boss included, that don’t like what he’s made Chicago, but I don’t see too much bad about it, personally. He’s a good man, and that ain’t something many people like me, hell, many people at all, can really say. I mean, I sure as hell don’t like him; he scares the hell out of me, honestly, but I do admire him. Chicago’s got a good thing going, with him around.

Then there’s that other guy, the fucking psycho. His name’s Harry Dresden, ‘least that’s what I’ve heard, but he’s a PI, and I don’t hold much stock in the name a PI practices under. Most of ‘em are smart enough to change their name, once they start doing work like that, so they don’t start finding unpleasant little gifts getting sent around to whatever family they’ve got hanging around. Anyway, that guy is weirder than most, and lucky as all hell, from what I’ve seen. I mean, fuck, he’s got his name in the phonebook under Wizards (he’s the only one there, thank god), and I met him for the first time when he crashed into Johnny’s office during a meeting, and yeah, I’m speaking literally. He just came flying in through a fucking window.

It was late in fall, when it happened, which, in Chicago speak, means it was completely frozen outside. We were talking guns and damned close to making a deal, then I heard it, the crash. I jumped up, all my people did, and it was almost strange how quickly we had our guns in our hands, all of them trained on the black blob that slowly climbed to its feet, glass tinkling off of it gently, harmlessly. The blob, now a man, stretched high into the air, elongated like a shadow in a horror movie, a long staff clutched in his hand. He stretched his back and seemed to be about to jump back out the window when Johnny drew attention to himself.

“Harry,” I heard him say, and there was a smile in his voice, something fond and sweet that didn’t make an appearance often. It freaked me right the hell out. “That was bullet proof glass. Is whatever managed to throw you through it going to be an issue?” The man, Harry, cracked his neck and shrugged, scratched his head and made his tangled, dark brown hair flip in the air. His eyes were dark and sticky with warmth, like tar.

“Don’t call me Harry, John. And no, probably won’t. Just got in a lucky shot. I’ll tell you about it later, probably, but right now it’s got a car, and Murph will probably kill me if I don’t deal with that. So yeah. See you later, and have fun with your obviously totally legitimate business deal.” Johnny laughed. He laughed.

“Certainly, Mr. Dresden. Do be careful, by the way. Dealing with your death would be quite problematic.” And wasn’t that the strangest thing that I’d ever heard? Oh, yeah, it sounded flippant and all that shit, but there was something in Johnny’s face, something hard and sincere that told me he was trying to tell the man a whole hell of a lot more than he actually said. Dresden, Harry, the weird motherfucker who flew through a window, grinned a lopsided, angular grin.

“Don’t kill anybody, Johnny.” And there was another sentence that was trying to get across a lot more. These two, they were having conversations under conversations under conversations, and when I looked around the room, specifically at Johnny’s two favorite bodyguards, I could tell that they saw it too. None of my guys seemed to. I was pretty sure I’d just found out something important, something big, something that could make Saint John’s reign come crashing down. I wasn’t sure if I should tell my boss about it or not, when I got back home. Dresden turned after he spoke and went back to the window, his body apparently not heavy enough to make the glass crunch now that he wasn’t flying god knew how fast through the air. I saw him tug something out of a pocket of the ridiculously large, long coat he had on, and then saw a cork fall to the ground before he tipped the object in his pocket up to his lips and downed whatever was inside before he tossed it onto the ground and it shattered with the rest of the glass. He then proceeded to jump out of a three story window, and, presumably, land totally safely because that was nowhere near the last time I saw that freaky motherfucker. Johnny twitched.

I did end up telling my boss about what I’d found out, about how the boss of Chicago, Gentleman John, the coldest bastard this side of hell, had found himself a girl, and that girl was a nearly seven foot tall man (it didn’t register to me just how tall Dresden was until the day after I saw him fly through a window) in a big black coat. He was also apparently invincible, and possibly had someone with a bazooka after him because I couldn’t think of many other ways he could come flying through that particular window. It was actually a pretty interesting conversation, come to think of it. I’d gone into his office and I hadn’t been able to stand still; I kept hip-hopping on the balls of my feet, wringing my hands behind my back, all that kind of shit.

“Uh,” I tried to start, and you never think you’re going to have to tell the guy you work for shit like this, so it’s not like you plan for it. My boss, a shorter, bigger man that was closer to bald than he actually wanted to admit, crossed his thick arms over his barrel chest and sighed.

“Out with it.” I cleared my throat.

“Johnny’s got a boyfriend.” My boss sputtered. I had to hide a laugh because when he does shit like that his face turns red and his cheeks puff out, some. He looks like a fucked up chipmunk. Not that I’d ever say anything like that.

“Are you shitting me?” he asked, and yeah, when he gets shocked, he gets vulgar. Actually, he’s always vulgar. He sounds more like a grunt than a boss, sometimes, but he’s got balls and he’s got connections, so he’s got power. I don’t piss him off.

“Nope. You shoulda seen it, Christ. It wasn’t like full on making out or nothing, but Johnny was being about as openly emotional as I’ve ever seen him. He was worried as hell about that guy, I could tell it. Kept hinting that if something happened to him, somebody was ending up in a body bag. It was fucking weird.” Boss relaxed, some, but I could see how tense he was. He was thinking hard about something, probably about how he could use this to take Chicago because he’d always, always wanted Chicago.

“No. There has to be something else going on there, goddamn. I don’t know. Who was the guy?”

“Johnny called him Harry Dresden.” Boss went wide eyed and nearly fell out of his fucking chair. I hid a chuckle in a cough.

“Fucking… fuck. Dresden. I’ve heard about him, he’s a PI, real annoying kind of guy, messes in shit he’s got no business messing in. Shoulda been taken out a long damned time ago. What the fuck would Johnny be doing… shit. Go find out what game he’s playing because there has to be one. Johnny ain’t the kind of guy to take a risk like that, not for someone who’d probably only fuck around with him to stab him in the back later on.” I stared.

“Could they not just be in a relationship, boss? I mean, hell, you could use that, couldn’t you? Against Johnny, I mean.” He shook his head.

“No. They’re both playing a game with each other, I just don’t know what. Go find out what their endgames are, and bring ‘em back to me. A fucking PI can’t be a boss’ girl.” So I got sent back to Chicago the day after I got home, since my life is one stupid madcap mishap mistake after another. Goddamn it, I hate Chicago. And that skinny, freakishly tall fuck weirds me out. And Johnny scares the piss out of me. I got on the plane anyway because like I said, even if my boss can be a joke sometimes, I don’t piss him off.


It took me most of a day to find Johnny and his boy, and I almost couldn’t believe it when I did. They were sitting under a tree in a park, Johnny with a ball cap on his head and a dark mop of hair obvious on his lap. A monstrous dog bounced around them, its tongue lolling out the side of its mouth happily. It bounced on top of Dresden’s chest and Johnny laughed. Dresden coughed and wheezed, then surged up to tackle the dog back and bury his fingers into the thick ruff of fur around its neck. The dog allowed all of this with benign politeness even though I was sure the mutt could bite Dresden right in two if it wanted. I tried to get closer because the two of them were alone, meaning they’d probably be talking. If they were talking, then something about what one of them wanted would come up. At least if my boss was right. I hid behind a nearby bush, close enough to hear them with ease, and they didn’t seem to notice me. I was grateful; I didn’t think Johnny would be too happy if he caught me interrupting his date. The dog suddenly trotted off some place and Harry twisted back around to lie where he had been. Million mile long legs sprawled haphazardly out at impossible angles, and Johnny poked him on the nose. It was all so domestic it made me feel sick.

“Anything in particular you’d like for dinner tonight, Harry honey?” Oh fuck. Just… oh holy living fuck. Johnny Marcone does not fucking call people honey. He just doesn’t. He can’t. I do not fucking want to do this. He’s going to kill me, goddamn.

“Nah. Could you cook, though? I don’t feel like going out. My ribs feel like shit.”

“Perhaps you shouldn’t have jumped out of a window then, Harry.” I heard Dresden snort.

“I’ll jump out of windows whenever I damn well want, John, consequences be damned. Just be glad I had my gravity potion with me, otherwise I’d have probably broken myself doing that.” He sighed.

“Had you not been wearing your duster, you’d have broken your ribs any damn way. I’ve told you a hundred times that you need to make that potion stronger.” Did… did Johnny believe the wizard shit? Seriously? Christ. Maybe Dresden’s game was to make him go fucking psycho. Or maybe he was slipping him something. I don’t fucking know. I hate Chicago.

“Yeah, yeah.” And so the domestic prattle ended, thank god. “Hey, hey, Johnny, does that cloud look like that slimy green thing I shot in the face last week?” What… what the hell? I’m saying what the hell too much. Jesus.

“Hm? I suppose it does, if you’ve got a good enough imagination to insert more pointy teeth and ectoplasm.” Johnny got elbowed in the chest.

“Stop ruining my fun. What do you say it looks like?” Marcone heaved a heavy, world-weary sigh.

“Don’t you think cloud watching is a bit juvenile for me, Harry?” There was the Gentleman John I knew. I really hope he stays a while.

“Nope. Get your ass down here and look at clouds with me or no bow chika bow wow for you later.” Marcone choked on a harsh laugh while I felt a little bit sick.

“Sweetheart, that would be just as much of a punishment for you as it would me.” Johnny looked really confident. I didn’t want to know what he was so damned confident about. Dresden grinned, lazy and sharp, and huh, I guess he was okay looking, when he wasn’t jumping out of windows. I shook my head and got my hair caught in the damned bush.

“Remember that little gift you got me that I keep under the bed? Yeah. If I start feeling too bad I can just pull that out.” John actually looked a little bit scared. He was quiet for a second.

“Move, then, if you’d like me to lie beside you.” Holy shit. Apparently the fucker was good. Dresden wiggled away to lie flat on the ground, and Johnny joined him. Then they watched clouds, and John actually got into it. They had a fifteen minute argument about whether one of them looked like a bunny (Johnny) or a flaming hell-beast (Dresden). I figured I wasn’t going to see much else, so I turned around and was faced with that monster dog. It’s even bigger close up, by the way.

It stared at me, its head cocked delicately and its teeth, long and curved like scimitars, a looming threat. It seemed way too smart, for some reason, and I tried to scramble away, but my fucking hair was all tangled up in the damned bush. The dog lifted one massive paw and pushed it against my chest. I fell backwards, a pretty decent sized clump of my hair coming out on the bush. The dog pressed its paw down hard on my chest and got down close to my face, eyes like a human’s dark and soulful and sparking with life. It opened its mouth and I was sure it was going to take my neck in its mouth and kill me. I could hardly breathe for its weight on me. Something blue was dripping from its mouth. Was the fucking thing rabid or something? I squirmed and struggled, but it didn’t even seem to notice.

“Do not bother them. Do not. The criminal is a bastard, but he is keeping my human safe. I will not let you bother them,” a voice came from my head, somewhere deep and instinctual. The blue stuff dripped on my face. Oh, hell. This dog was… talking to me? It was. Oh shit. And it didn’t want me to mess with Dresden and Johnny. I nodded rapidly, frightened.

“No, I won’t, Christ, I won’t.” I wondered if I was stoned. I hadn’t taken anything in years, willingly, but my roommate was a dick. He coulda slipped me something before I got on the plane here. The dog seemed to not once, serious, and he stepped off of me.

“Good.” It then bent down and nipped my arm. Small needle prick holes appeared where its teeth had been, and they were so sharp, cut me so cleanly, that the pain wasn’t so much a pain as a sharp sting, like how it feels when a scalpel cuts you. The dog bounced away. I got back up to my knees quickly and started to crawl off.

“Mouse? How the… why do you have blood on your teeth?” I heard Dresden get knocked down by something.

“Don’t worry about that right now, Harry.” It was then disturbingly quiet. I ran off.

Auntie POV

Grannies and aunts and things

“Oh, my little nephew drove them to dinner last night! It was so sweet, though he seemed quite unwilling to admit it.” I gave a tiny smile to one of the women across from me, one of the youngest of our circle. My hands worked mindlessly at the sweater I was knitting for my own nephew as I listened to my companions talk.

We’d developed a bit of a habit, you see, of discussing the relationship between the nice boy from across the street, the one who always cleared the stairs of snow and ice and cleaned the gutters and patched the roof and performed any other odd jobs we asked of him, and the man who our little boys called boss. They were a sweet couple, really, and worked hard together keeping our city clean and safe. Yes, I do know what that boy is, by the way; I’m one of the few that’s ‘in the know’ as they say, since my nephew is rather high up the ladder. I know about magic, I know about monsters, and I know that little Harry and Johnny fight them together then go out for a candlelit dinner. It’s… I’ve always been quite the fan of romance novels, and their story has the makings of a great one. I suppose it helps that if I were fifty years younger I’d quite like a go at the both of them.

“He’ll come around,” said another woman who rocked back and forth gently, calmly, a fluffy white cat sprawled across her lap rapturously. My clock ticked ever forward, a constant, soothing sound I usually appreciated.

“Yes, yes, they all do eventually! My grandson, he always ranted and raved about how his boss was going soft, that little Harry was making him weak. And then he actually met Harry, and by god if I didn’t think he was going to fall in love with him too!” a close friend of mine cackled, her voice going dry and tired.

“Oh, yes! I came across a whole group of our little ones in my parlor the other day, all of them just chatting away about Harry! It was quite a sight! Why, I had to actually warn a couple of them that old Johnny might not take too kindly to such talk.” I nodded.

“No, not at all! I think all of our boys fall into two places, though; one group loves little Harry and the other wishes they didn’t have to watch him kiss their boss!” I said with a smile, and got a couple of chuckles. We likely would’ve gone on in this vein for quite some time, had the oldest woman in the room, a ninety-five year old great-grandmother, not spoken up and pointed out someone messing around with little Harry’s door. I sighed. This happened far too often than I liked to admit, really. I supposed I’d be lucky if I got to the poor fool before the tricks on little Harry’s door got him.

You see, Harry and Johnny are busy with big things, big threats, big monsters. They haven’t got time for the little punks like whoever was out there, and he was so obviously, painfully, a little punk. He had that skittish look to him, the one that told me he knew that if Johnny caught him, he’d get dead fast. Or, at least he thought he would. I wasn’t totally sure that Johnny would even bother, right now. Things were busy on the supernatural front, or so I’d heard, and they were caught in the crosshairs more often than not. I supposed that was really why we did things like this; it helped them, kept them safe, kept little Harry happy. The more I thought of it, the more I decided that keeping Harry happy was the prime reason; our boys never shut up if Harry was upset with John or upset in general because that meant John was also upset, which mean that their lives were made into a living hell. I stood slowly, felt myself creak in places I’d never thought I’d creak, and made my way downstairs. The young man outside Harry’s apartment was about to start fiddling with the old lock. I felt a headache coming on. I almost wished I could catch someone with a brain in their head out here sometimes. It might make these encounters more interesting.

As it stood, I just put on my ‘helpless, needy, possible confused old woman’ look and made my way over to Idiot 2.0. He jumped when I tapped his shoulder. I could hardly keep from laughing, and I knew my friends upstairs would be hee-hawing their heads off by now.

“Oh! I’m just-“ I interrupted whatever harebrained excuse he planned to pull out of his ass.

“Young man, would you mind helping an old woman out? There’s a bit of furniture I need help moving, and I saw you outside my window. You’d not mind assisting, would you?” There’s something about young Italian men; they can’t resist an old woman in need. They’d all truly make wonderful boy scouts. He cleared his throat.

“Of course not,” he told me, a smile on his face that read, ‘no, I certainly wasn’t about to break into that apartment, what ever could you be talking about?’ with perfect clarity. I really do want to know where the world gets these boys. I led the man upstairs, and my friends jumped on him immediately. It’s surprisingly quite easy for a group of old women to detain a man of that size. It even shocks me, sometimes. Perhaps I was getting a bit too used to this routine.

“What the hell?” he seemed to squeak. I smiled.

“Nothing, nothing, young man. Now, would you mind telling me why you were fucking around little Harry’s house?” I took on the look I used when I disciplined my sons, my grandsons, my nephews, and he cowered away from me a bit. I put my hands on my hips and tapped my foot. “Well?” My friends were snickering.

“Just… uh… my boss, he wanted me… uh,” I took pity on him and relaxed my posture.

“Just tell me what happened, sweetheart. It’s alright. Just tell me what the hell you were doing and I won’t feed you to the fucking wolves.” He flinched.

“My boss wanted me to see what kind of game Johnny and Dresden were playing with each other! He, uh, he didn’t think they were actually together because Dresden’s a PI and shit!” Well, he broke rather quickly. Perhaps he’s had a bad day. Ah well.

“Good boy. Now, let me tell you something, poor thing. Mr. Marcone and Mr. Dresden are very happy together. Their relationship works. They keep each other safe, and they keep this city safe. They also don’t have time to deal with punks like you, so we do it for them, okay? Don’t fuck with a good thing. They’re happy, and when they’re happy, the city is happy. I want to keep it that way, and a lot of other very nice people do too. You want to apologize for trying to break into little Harry’s home now?” He nodded, quick as you please.

“Yeah, sorry. I won’t do it again.” I wanted to double over, honestly. Mrs. Andretti, the ninety-five year old I believe I mentioned, actually did. I worried over her for a moment, but her cane was firmly in her grasp and she got rather snippy in someone attempted to assist her when she didn’t need it.

“Alright. I’m going to let you go now then, young man, and I’d very much appreciate it if I didn’t see you around anymore,” I told him politely, before I and my companions released him. He scampered off, ran from my home, and fled down the street. Little darling even forgot the bike he’d rode in on. Harry came in about half an hour later and stared confusedly at his door, apparently seeing some tampering, but he only shrugged and went in. I love the boy as if he was my own, but I truly wish he had a bit more common sense.

Mobster POV

Bob and Mister

Italian grandmothers are the worst. They’re scary as all hell, and they just look so damned nice and then they start cussing you out and aiming spoons in your general direction and it’s just not fucking good for anyone involved. So breaking into his house wasn’t going to get me anywhere, obviously. Following him and Johnny around got me a little, but I’d tried it again, and apparently they always have that fucking dog around, and it looks at me funny, so I don’t risk that too much. I guessed I could try sending some blackmail shit, like an I know who your lover is and I know you keep a ‘gift’ under your bed type deal, but I couldn’t imagine how that would get either of them to give me more blackmail material. Christ. I had to get into Dresden’s house, because he had to have something in there that would tell me his game. Threats. Maybe threats would work, if I sent them in letter form. I could try to get him away from the house, and do it late, so I wouldn’t be accosted by those scary fucking grandmas. Yeah. Okay. Maybe.

I started scratching out a letter in rough scrawl, some kind of bullshit about me holding Johnny in the park, which I hoped was far enough away that I could get in and out before he found out it was a false report. If he even left at all because if he was just doing this to get something out of Johnny he might not go rescue him, but hey. It was worth a shot, and nothing else was going right, so whatever. Throwing caution to the wind, here. As if that’s ever a good goddamned idea when Johnny is involved, holy hell. I swallowed thickly, finished up the letter, and dropped it on his doorstep. I waited, out of the line of sight of the window to that crazy fucking woman’s apartment, for at least three hours before Dresden came out of his apartment and found the note.

I saw something wild in his face even from where I stood, something frightened and worried and either he was acting for no one or he really did care about Johnny. He whipped around, grabbed a leash, and hooked it to that monster dog’s collar, then ran out of the house and down the street. Long legs ate up the earth, and there was that stumbling look to it, scared and nervous, that he couldn’t have been faking. Like I’d thought originally, boss was wrong. There was something actually going on here, at least on Dresden’s end. Still. I’d done the work, I’d make my check. Besides, he’d left his door wide fucking open, and who am I to refuse such an invitation? I marched towards the door and was immediately confronted with a cat. A really, really, really big motherfucking cat. I’ll admit it, I was scared. Who wouldn’t be, with my track record these past few days? It stared at me, its eyes unnervingly orange. I stared back, but it was more because I was frozen with fear than I actually thought I could beat it in a staring contest or some shit. It mewed. I felt like pissing myself. Fucking cat. Fucking creepy ass cat. I want to go home. Fucking hate Chicago. It cocked its head.

“You really want me to say that, Mister? Okay, whatever you want. Hey, hey, guy! Mister says Mouse told him about you. You’re messing in stuff you shouldn’t be messing in. He also says he wants you to stop messing in this stuff because he wants his human to keep the guy with the magic fingers because he’s really cool. And also he’s tough and he stops his human from being so suicidal. Oh, yeah, and he says that he’ll push you into a woodstove if you ruin anything. As for me, I think I’d rather possess you and make you go next door to visit your new best friends.” Shit. I had to be going crazy because now the cat was talking too, and it was, apparently, schizophrenic. I stepped back. The cat stepped forward.

“Get the hell away from me.”

“Ooh, you think so, Mister? Yeah, I bet Mouse really would like to chase him around a little, if he had a piece of steak stuck to his ass. Huh? Yeah, I could probably get a video camera. Murph could put it online for us, I guess. You and me, cat, great minds.” Crazy fucking cat. Crazy fucking dog. Crazy fucking Chicago. Never coming back here again, don’t give a damn what boss says.

“I don’t want trouble.” And now I was this close to begging a cat to spare my life, shit.

“Then stop pulling this kind of thing, man. Harry’s happy. Harry hasn’t been happy in a long time. Do you know how much your little stunt worried him? He’s gonna tear the fucking city down now, run himself ragged. Johnny has been well behaved; he’s kept Harry safe. You’re not going to do anything to jeopardize that. You’re also not going to go into this house right here. It’s not yours. There’s a place called the Nevernever, by the way, you can get there from anywhere. When you go there from here, wanna know what you find? A giant centipede. It’ll eat anything. I will send you there.” The threat was delivered with cool efficiency. I almost expected one of my friends to jump out of a bush and reveal some kind of recorder on the cat somewhere, playing pre-recorded bullshit to scare me. Nothing of the sort happened. The cat just stared. It stared for a while. I stared back. Something in me, my sanity I think, broke. I ran off. I ran off, I got on a plane, and I left Chicago.

My boss accosted me as soon as I got back, asking about what I’d found, about how he could take Johnny out, about their respective games. I twitched. I suddenly gave not a single fuck about pissing my boss off.

“They are not playing a game with each other. They are seriously in love. They have a talking dog and a talking schizophrenic cat and freak old women. Johnny is willing to watch clouds with that tall motherfucker. That tall motherfucker is willing to run out to a park in the middle of the night with his talking dog to save Johnny. I don’t know what’s going on in Chicago, but apparently they’re the first couple behind it all, and I’m not dealing with it.” He opened his mouth. I really wanted to slap it shut.

“Johnny wouldn’t-“ I held out a hand to hush him

“Nope. Nuh uh. Goddamn it, I have been there for two days. I have seen what Johnny will and will not do. He will do probably anything for Dresden. Apparently every overly frightening Italian woman in Chicago will do anything for Dresden if it means keeping him happy. I got bitten by a mutt with blue spit, nearly murdered by old women, and a cat threatened to make me run around with steak on my ass and get chased by a dog the size of a large pony. I’m done.”

“But I want-“

“I do not care what you fucking want. I just told you that you are going to leave those two alone because they are obviously really happy and dealing with some shit. There’s something weird going on in Chicago, or something weirder than usual, and I want no part in it. You are going to sit your ass down behind that fucking desk over there and let that weird shit happen.” My boss sat his ass down behind that fucking desk over there. It was quiet. His eyes were wide. I don’t want to know how psychotic I looked. Huh. Maybe I should go to Chicago more often. Gets him to shut his fucking mouth, I guess.

Harry’s POV

I was curled up in John’s bed, which was happening more often than I should probably admit to, if I’m being honest. Had been ever since the day he finally got me to say yes and go out on a date with him. That had been a really weird day. Also, flying demon hellcats with fire can ruin any first date, and it’s also possible for them to interrupt any first date, not just mine, thank you very much, John. Anyway, he’d shown me a good enough time that he’d gotten a second date that went off without a hitch and, as they say, the rest is a history of good company and good sex and more love than I could ever express. I mean, hell, Johnny isn’t a total asshole, once you dig under his total asshole layer.

Still, my point is, I was on John’s bed, and he was beside me. Or, under me, I guess. I was sort of sprawled halfway on top of him, one of my bare legs under the quilt and tangled in his and the other jutting out somewhere I couldn’t quite identify. It was cold, though, I knew that much. I tried to move it and then found that it was obviously stuck in something, so I gave up. If you couldn’t guess, this kind of thing happens way too often.

“Hey, John?” He hummed in response and I felt it all the way through my own chest. “Have you noticed anything funny going on lately? I mean, that note I got, and the blood on Mouse’s teeth, and that hair we found in the bush, and-“ he cut me off with a soft finger to my lips.

“Sweetheart, if it were anything important, don’t you think we’d have found out about it by now? Our enemies are anything but subtle and patient, you know that.” I sighed. John is annoying, when he gets all logical like that. He’s also really attractive, but then the lucky bastard always is, so hey, at least he’s my sexy bastard. I squirmed up a little to kiss him and discovered that it was the blanket that had entrapped my leg in the process. I attempted to pull it free and ended up sending me and John both flying down to the carpet. This, um, this has happened before too. In the exact same way. John’s blanket doesn’t like me. Also, ow, my teeth hurt now. Don’t try to kiss someone when you’re falling, kids. It doesn’t work well when you land. John laughed.

“Shut up,” I grumbled.

“You’re lucky I find this so damned adorable,” he replied. I kneed him in the gut accidentally as I stood up and got back on the bed. Also, I just happened to have all the blankets with me and oh, are you cold John? He yanked half of them out of my grasp because he just has to have actual real-life muscles, the weirdo. I snuggled back in beside him even though he’s a dick because I like cuddling and he’s like a furnace. I’ve always thought it was sort of backwards; I shoot fire out of my hands, and my skin is generally an ice cube, while he’s a frigid businessman with oven skin. I don’t complain, though. It’s the whole ‘opposites’ thing that makes us work, more often than not. My eyes slid closed and he kissed my head. I suddenly had the weirdest thought that even if something was going on, he and I could deal with it. We dealt with everything else. We worked. We were happy. God help me, I’m in love with this motherfucker. Hell’s Bells, give me patience.

Mobster POV

I really feel like something else is going to happen. Like, this earth is going to explode. Chicago is going insane, and I think it brought me with it. Talking animals and old women and a PI and a mob boss in a happy, healthy relationship. Something’s got to cave in pretty soon. And I think it might take me with it because stuff’s been happening here now, too, people saying they see monsters and shit and I’ve seen them too. I glanced at the Chicago phonebook and recalled a name written in under wizard. I heard something break in another room and the caw of the giant bird thing that seemed to think boss’ house belonged to it now. One of my guys squawked indignantly. It had probably pushed him out of a chair again. I went and picked up the phone book and Harry Dresden, Wizard PI, said he’d be there with his assistant Johnny Marcone by the end of the day. It’s got to be the end of the world.
Sign up to rate and review this story