littlepriest: (✩ three)
Detective Rustin Cohle ([personal profile] littlepriest) wrote in [community profile] herbgarden2016-12-08 11:12 pm
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Open Post: Detective Rustin Cohle




"Wᴇʟʟ, ɪғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴏɴ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ʜᴀs ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴜᴘ ғᴀɪʀʏ ᴛᴀʟᴇs, ᴛʜᴇɴ ɪᴛ’s ɴᴏᴛ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ғᴏʀ ᴀɴʏʙᴏᴅʏ."



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wontgraham: (pic#10809662)

for his shithead alter ego, let's get some filthy gross past-au in here

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-27 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
The ninth ward isn't the only shitty, still-impoverished place left in Louisiana. Will's been to most of them, knows them well even after being transferred officially to New Orleans police.

Sometimes, they still end up driving outside their areas for calls. It can piss off the other local cops, but Detectives Graham and Broussard aren't known for respecting pecking orders. So when they get the tip-off that a noise complaint and reported lone gunshot down in Iberville might actually have been a drug chain getting a nasty interruption, they saddle up and drive over.

Two hours later, it turns out their location is lots of chickenwire fences marking off weedy lawns and thin, barking dogs. Will pulls them against the side of the road, half the tires into the soft dirt of what passes for a shoulder in this residential area. They both get out of the car, ignoring the neighbor two mobile houses down who's peering out her blinds with a scowl to see what the cops are up to on her street now. Will reads tired hatred and burnt-out fear, cigarette ash drifting across the road from her.

Turns out the tip-off about the house was right. Three guys leave, in the lamp-breaking hustle that follows them trying to ask about noise levels. Two guys end up caught in the aftermath, and both of them put their guns down for the cops leveling guns right back at them. Broussard takes the thicker one, out in the kitchen from where the guy tried to half-heartedly sprint away.

Which leaves Will with the taller, lankier one, the one who tracks his every movement with sharp eyes. He's quiet as hell but his face is a loudspeaker, and Will looks away first, sweat pooling at his lower back.

He's already dropped his weapon onto the floor, as suggested. "Turn around, hands behind your back." Will's still got his gun out, pointed at the guy's shoulder - he watches this stranger's eyes, sees the way he clocks that the gun isn't actually pointed at his heart, watches him read so much before he starts turning into a loose, relaxed circle around to face the wall.

The handcuffs ratchet loud in the sudden quiet. Metal gleams as it encircles one bare wrist and one that Will can just barely see dark ink spilling down towards, but a leather jacket covers the rest.

Dust clouds off it, when Will pats his pockets down.

It doesn't take more than five seconds to find the large bag of crystal this guy was carrying. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law." Will's cautious about putting the gun back in his holster, doesn't snap the button back into place, leaves it easily accessible. Whoever owns this house could easily still be inside. "Not that you seem like a nervous talker."
wontgraham: (pic#10809704)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-27 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
There's a certain demeanor most cops adopt around people they're arresting. It's human nature, Will knows that. He understands it. But that doesn't mean he's quite as good at the dehumanizing that seems to propel about half his colleagues through hushed brutality complaints.

Not that sassing criminals is really what he ought to be doing, for various reasons.

Will's got his glasses on - shatter proof, expensive as hell, but less of a pain in the ass than taking them on and off whenever he's writing tickets or talking to the public - but he doesn't duck behind them quick enough to avoid the serious stare being leveled at him.

He blinks, genuine surprise leaking eagerly at the edges of his on-duty-mask. Will's only easily unbalanced when he's actually unsure of himself, though, and he's been doing this job for almost five years. "No." Will keeps his gun's holster open, but leaves it there. He takes a step back and jerks his head towards the doorway, one hand just barely tipping to indicate that this man can go ahead and lead the way out. "I guess there'll only be one person talking during the ride back."

Right on cue is the heavier one, echoing from the kitchen barely fifteen steps away. "Y'all didn't even try to catch the others. They call you in here to do this? Those sons of bitches."

Will doesn't really feel bad when, as he and Broussard fold their respective suspects into the back of the police car, the heavier one knocks his head on the door frame. By contrast, Will's suspect - neither of them had any ID on them, even in their wallets, which were devoid of anything except cash money and, in the heavier one's case, a nameless Costco card - is nearly graceful as he slides in, quiet and emotionless as a stone.

He also watches them, in spurts, in the rear view mirror. Will catches him as he and Broussard trade places for the ride back, Will in the passenger's seat.

By the time Broussard is pulling back onto the resident street, though, he's just staring out the window, eyes bloodshot but dry.

Will stays staring forward at the road, calling in their find to New Orleans PD on his own cellphone.
Edited 2017-02-27 19:15 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#10809704)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-27 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Quiet with authority he can't win against in the moment. Calculated cruelty and aggression towards cohorts that he thinks he'd win against in the moment (and he doesn't appear to have calculated wrong, going off 'Toad's' howling).

'Crash', the man currently slumping himself to lean towards his window again in the backseat, is smart. You can be dangerous without being smart - that's the majority of the arrests they make, to be honest - but Will sees the way this one weighs the risks. Will's got his own interpretations of that ripple in the aftermath.

Will cranks around in his seat, slow and eyebrows just starting to raise, face otherwise relaxed. Sweat makes his hair swirl unprofessionally against the back of his head, where it brushed upwards against the headrest of his seat.

Toad has already been watching for him, glaring with bloodshot eyes. When his upper lip curls, Will sees too-red gums and a missing lower tooth. By comparison, Crash's oral health appears to be stellar, even if both of them reek of drug-sweat and sleeping in cars. "I don't know." Will says, eyes tracking from one to the other.

"It's not as if any of that yelling is going to get anyone any favors once we're back in New Orleans." Will's sitting back upright in his seat, facing forward. Across the gear shift, Broussard's face is twisting with the self-satisfied shadow of a smile. Both of them have their own aggressive tics, but neither of them err on the side of bullish when patience will do just fine. They've made a surprisingly smooth team for the past eight months.

"What he's saying is, please feel free to rough each other up as much as you'd like on the way back. Just don't get blood on our jackets."

Will rolls his eyes at the window to conceal his resigned smile, but Broussard catches it in the reflection anyway.

*

They separate them, obviously, as soon as they get them in. No one's that stupid.

The meth, technically only found on Crash, was in the trunk in an evidence bag on the way in, and Will sends it off to get officially tested at the lab. The both of their suspects get maybe ten minutes to stew, while Will and Broussard type up the basics of the arrest, and then it's time to drag them separately through the booking process. There's no reason to let them start Morse-code-blinking or handing off little notes about how to collaborate their stories.

Broussard and Will naturally fall towards the ones they'd cuffed, no discussion about it.

"Good luck, man." Broussard passes him, tapping their shoulders together as he goes.

"Don't need any." Which is the expected response, by now, ingrained into a genuine habit. Broussard winks before opening his door and stepping in to go strip-search Toad, an experience that quite frankly Will doesn't envy him for.

Will opens the door to Crash's temporary holding cell. Making sure he doesn't have extra contraband on him is next on the list, before fingerprints and photos and saliva swabbing, and Will is already peeling out a pair of blue nitrile gloves.

Will's already patted Crash down, he didn't feel like he had any weapons, but there's not much wiggle room for procedures.

There's no reason to be callous, but Will knows from experience now that being overly kind tends to get the smarter ones riled and collaborating, and the meanest ones suddenly keener for weak spots. He keeps his tone neutral, looks Crash up and down just to assess the basics. "I realize you may or may not already be aware of what happens next." Will's pulling the gloves on already, gun still in the holster at his side. "But before we can start taking your fingerprints or anything else, we need to make sure you're not carrying any other contraband on your person."

Will is very, very good at looking at someone while avoiding direct eye contact. He's found it's useful during this part. "I'm going to need you to remove your clothes and pile them on the bench behind you."
wontgraham: (pic#10113610)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-28 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
It's a polite brand of caution. It's a self-protecting brand of unease.

Other people spill into him and the paints don't unmix so easily. Will has spent unwatched hours following paths in his mind that are at once foreign and familiar to him, that he knows he didn't carve but that he can find the scars of on his own hands.

So yeah. He's going to be careful about eye contact right before a strip search on a recently-armed gang member.

But the rest of Crash's face is just as distracting. When he stands up, Will leans back into his own stance - shoulders lowering, chin tilting up, weight shifting onto the balls of his feet.

He isn't approached like a lumbering threat, though. There's no yelling-at-Toad growl to the voice. This is a man changing gears, and Will finds eye contact in a flash, because for a split second he thinks he's hearing someone mirror--

But he's more likely just hearing someone act. And as he looks at distracting, bloodshot eyes that are remarkably focused and clear, none of the drug-haze that had clouded across everyone in the backseat on the ride over, Will sees either a very good actor, a very delusional man, or...

Surprise hits like lightning to a still-green tree, splintering through and across. Will blinks at Crash, watches the complete change of attitude, and thinks of Broussard in the next room hustling Toad through what Crash is currently delaying.

The corners of Will's mouth twitch up, air huffing out in amused surprise, forehead pinching down. "Does your file include your pathological need to have the last, witty word?" Will doesn't take his gloves off, but he doesn't issue the order to strip a second time. Instead, he reaches for his back pocket and takes out his cellphone.

"Okay. Well. Since we both realize how ridiculous all of that sounds." Will watches Crash, this time with the sharp edge of someone who's good at what he can do and right now doesn't see any reason to hide it. To call what just came out of Crash's mouth far-fetched doesn't do it justice, but Will is more willing than most to go ahead and test out the limits of what people are capable of carrying within themselves.

He's already googling for Houston PD's number. Will looks back up only once he's also bringing the ringing phone up to his ear, gaze flat. His eyebrows raise slightly, a parent challenging a child in an ill-advised game of chicken.

"I'm going to need that name and badge number now."
wontgraham: (pic#11015114)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-28 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
It's the way Crash's shoulders slacken and then bend inward instead of posturing up. It's the way his gaze releases its pressure and his pupils track away and don't widen in alarm. That's not the nervous next-step-planning of a guy who knows he's about to be caught in an elaborate lie.

Will finds, as he's waiting for that name and badge number, that he's starting to really believe this is going to be genuine.

"...Really?" Is the only squinting commentary Will gets to have on that ridiculous name, though, before a receptionist picks up.

"Houston Police Department. This call is monitored for your service. What can we do for you?" Will's already sat through a brief directory, and he's not really looking to beat around the bush with this.

"This is Detective Will Graham, with the New Orleans Police Department." Will usually stares into space when on the phone, but right now he's concentrated on one Crash - sorry, Rustin Cohle - and the way his posture changes. It stretches that leather biker jacket in unfamiliar patterns, creaks the material all wrong, and Will imagines that that's not a pose Cohle's struck for quite some time.

And possibly never while wearing that fucking gang jacket.

"Is Amelia Hill in? I need to speak with her."

"Sorry, sir, she's busy, but I can take a message--"

Phones have always been a weak point for Will's rudeness. He interrupts without a twitch, the other man's voice fading compliantly out of the way. And, as it turns out, Will goes all-in on this story he's being told. That posture tic is damn convincing. "I've got one of her undercover agents in my holding cell right now. Rustin Cohle, one-five-five-seven-four."

There's a long pause. "I'm transferring you right now, sir."

"I appreciate it."

Without covering the speaker - there's only elevator music filtering through for a moment anyway, no one to keep from overhearing - Will keeps his gaze pinned tight on Cohle's face. "Congratulations on not actually getting arrested." Through the haze of surprise - this isn't unlike stumbling across a fairy tale, arresting an undercover officer from out of state - there is the barest thread of self-aware amusement, of a rough sandpaper humor that maybe Will is only reading off of the room's other occupant.

"And on just giving me a good week's worth of papers to file about this, I'm sure." Not that there's any point, when it's surely going to end up redacted anyway.
wontgraham: (pic#11015102)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-03-01 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
"Probably should." Looks like they're on the same page about the amount of time that's about to get wasted, typing up something that's only going to appear in most digital files as a lot of fucking blacked-out boxes.

Will's never dealt with anyone going undercover to this extent. Outside of Cohle's own state? It's practically unheard of, usually would suggest a lot of shuffling panic as a cover gathered enough waves to carry the officer's lies too far - the fact that Hill hasn't called their office already, looking for her detective, is bizarre enough. It sends up red flags, enough to distract Will out of the protocol he's probably going to be meant to follow for this.

And Cohle himself. He's clearly high, been high for a while, eyes red-rimmed and attention crackling and then fizzling out. How long has he been awake? Will remembers a few particularly shitty nights of his own, knows that brand of wide-eyed focus, but he's never done drugs. This is another level, and it's distracting being in the room with it.

"Amelia Hill speaking." That snaps Will out of it. The voice is deeper than he was expecting. "You actually got him locked up right now?"

"He told me what was going on as soon as he wasn't around his cohort we brought him in with. He's fine, not even processed yet." Will hears concern in her voice and, reasonably, assumes it's for Cohle.

Her voice when she continues is chilly enough that he's not really sure anymore, though. "This is gonna be a pain in the ass for everybody, but for the most part it's just gonna be forgetting you saw anything. I'll fax your senior officer over Cohle's files so you can confirm ID on him." Her voice is clipped, someone used to people underneath her fucking up but no more patient for it. "I'm gonna need their name, and yours, Officer...?"

"Detective Will Graham." Will's starting to reanimate, no longer needing to watch his back or his gun, now that it's all but confirmed that this is indeed Rustin Cohle, (very deeply) undercover narcotics officer. He glances back up at Cohle, holds up his free forefinger in a just a sec gesture, and then edges out of the room while relaying all the incredibly exciting information of his boss's name and fax machine number.

*

The door cracks back open, Will's phone back in his pocket and the sergeant too busy on the phone with Hill to be giving out many further orders.

He's got a little plastic cup from the cooler in one hand, filled high enough that he's got to be careful not to spill it when he holds it out. "I'm pretty sure that it's fine for you to come out of the cell now, but I'm equally sure that Landon will have an aneurysm if he sees you sitting in the break room before I've had a chance to tell him what happened." He says, by way of avoiding commenting on the fact that he's just gone and brought Cohle water.

Will's mouth has been dry in mirrored sympathy for the whole ten minutes he was gone - Cohle looks dry, from his lips to his hands, and the image had been burnt into Will's head as clearly as the dusty leather jacket.
Edited 2017-03-01 23:13 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#11015114)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-03-02 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
"Not with you wearing an Iron Crusaders jacket still, we definitely can't." Cohle might otherwise not throw off anyone who doesn't know better - everyone in the department isn't dumb, but it's not like everyone memorized the faces of the people that got hurried past them into cells at the front of the building already - but he's not exactly dressed the part of an average citizen.

Not like he couldn't just take it off, of course, and stop having a gang logo stitched aggressively into the back of his clothes, but.

Speaking of motorcycle gang affiliations, though.

The room's had enough time to fully collect what it contains, and Will can smell Cohle on the air - the bite of anxiety, the twist of fear, the way gun powder seems scraped along the walls by now. And he's just a guy with an average sense of smell, standing barely within arm's reach of him. Tension coils off this guy in nearly-visible waves, Will's sense of him rattling down to his bones.

The echo of Hill's annoyance rings in Will's ears when Cohle quietly thanks him. Will's shoulders round in, shrugging, hands smoothing out his pants and then spreading into his pockets. "Consider it an apology for cuffing you earlier." Although in his defense, you'd pulled a gun on him first, Cohle.

Will sinks into his heels, then paces, slowly listening for any footsteps beyond the windowless door. When he turns back, guilty suspicions prickling at the nape of his neck, Will can't help but comment on the obvious. "You're high." He crosses his arms against his chest, uncomfortable but still forging ahead. "Do you-- need anything for that? I mean." He forces himself to stand still, eyes tracking up to the ceiling. "We have EMTs that work with us a lot. It's been a while I went to a conference on street drugs, but I was pretty sure hospitals carry antagonists for meth." Assuming that's what's got this guy all jumpy. It's definitely what they found on him, at least.

And if 'antagonist for meth' is really just code for 'you look like you could use a Valium while we wait on when to ship you back to Texas and your angry senior officer handler', well.
wontgraham: (pic#10121227)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-03-03 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
Will's always been exceedingly self-conscious. Does it always mean he self-corrects to make himself appear smaller and meeker? No, not always, not since he first was living on his own in a career that gave him some sense of purpose. But it does mean he's aware of what his reactions give to others - he usually feels a pull to bow to them, instinctively seems apologetic when he can't, and that's what gives him his bite when refusing social norms.

It's why he's got a reputation of being quiet but largely unfriendly, among his fellow officers.

So when Cohle chuckles dryly and correctly catches onto Will's discomfort, Will doesn't keep curling into himself. He takes note, takes stock, reads no real threat from Cohle. Will's face pinches, forehead wrinkling and mouth parting to show teeth as he scoffs in turn. "Guess I misrepresented myself. I'd say the same still applies to you, though, since I'm getting a good look at it right now."

Because if you're gonna call Will's bluff on playing it cool, he's going to point out the obvious too. Cohle reeks of adrenaline, fight or flight bouncing off the walls - he might be keeping it together, but his blown pupils and his hairline matted down to his forehead broadcasts the anxiety he doesn't otherwise voice. It would be more polite to ignore it, but they just sped past 'polite'.

But there's no real venom behind it, and Will looks at Cohle's parting remark with confusion instead of more irritation. His voice is level and reasonable when he speaks again, hands still in his pockets, still stationed nearer the door than Cohle. "What real problem? Getting in trouble with your handler?"
Edited 2017-03-03 02:47 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#11015102)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-05-10 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Will's eyes close, eyebrows pulling up. His hands are on his hips, now that he's confident the man in this room isn't going to try to jump him the second he sees a weak spot in his arresting officer.

"There's that one-liner affliction again." Will says, slow not because he's savoring it, but because it's difficult to decide on exactly how annoyed he feels. "You must be hilarious at gang meetups."

But how annoyed does he need to be? He's backing up, step by easy step, sidling towards the door. "I think it's against policy to let you smoke in your holding cell. But I'll make sure they don't 'lose' your cigarettes before we've got you back out of here." And he slips out the door, with just the barest nod to indicate he isn't storming off, just off to do another errand.

And if he brings a sandwich from the break room fridge back with him, when he comes to give Rustin Cohle the estimate on his handler finishing talking to Will's captain, well. Cohle doesn't comment on it.

*

Will wants to feel smug that he was right. Instead, his stomach just feels cold the entire drive to the airport.

It's not a long flight. It's just quicker than a car, and easier to bill the state police department for it, citing work expenses.

He drags himself out into a different scent of humidity - New Orleans to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Will hasn't been to Texas in about six years, hasn't lived there for even longer.

The hospital smells like high-grade germicide and fake lemons. It still has the age-decay scent of a regular hospital, but there's a bitter ring in the air. There's too much forced cheerful lighting for there to be a lot of shadows, but the few that gather under front desks and in elevator corners seem to vibrate with screams.

He's left outside room 511. He's told there's no roommate in there yet, that he'll be alone to talk to his 'friend'. Will thanks Nurse McDonald, waves him off and stands outside the doorless doorway.

And then he steps in. "I told myself I wouldn't say this." The view of the bed is clear from the doorway, even just two steps inside. It's weird seeing anyone with IVs hooked up to their hand. The skin around Cohle's eyes is so dark that Will isn't sure it's black eyes or lack-of-sleep bruising.

"But I definitely told you so."
Edited 2017-05-11 22:37 (UTC)