Fandom: Crossing Jordan
Characters: Matt Seely, Bug, Nigel, JD
Prompt: 06. Lightening
Word Count: 1,300
Summary: A/U: Matt followed in his father’s footsteps-sort of. He’s working at the Boston Star, an ‘alternative science and celebrity gossip newspaper’-and someone just called about aliens at the morgue...
Author's Notes: For my darling vkai on the occasion of her birthday (and her nephew's birthday too, but I didn’t write him fic. ^^) Hints of Matt/Nigel, and a cameo by everyone’s favorite deceased reporter, JD.
"Seely. Seely! Matt! Wake up you lazy-"
"I'm awake-shit!" Matt swore, as JD shoved his legs off his desk abruptly. "Jesus Pollack, what do you want?"
JD leaned over the other side of his desk, dangling a sheet of paper in front of Matt's face. "We got an anonymous tip, something about aliens at the city morgue. Your lucky day."
"It is too early in the morning for you to do that to me," Matt made a face. "At least let me finish my coffee before you spring aliens on me."
JD smirked down at him. "I like that it's aliens that put you off, not, say, the morgue."
"Hey, dead people don't talk. It's the 'anonymous' tipsters who always want to talk for a few hours," Matt grabbed the note from JD's hand. "Who called it in?"
JD smirked. "He didn't give a name. Just referred to himself as 'Agent Bollocks.'"
Matt groaned again. "Do you save the weird junk for me? Be honest now."
"Seely," JD raised an eyebrow. "D'you forget where you work?"
Wiping his mouth, Matt stood up and grabbed his jacket.
"We're an alternative science and celebrity gossip newspaper," he said automatically. "Dedicated to bringing the truth to our readers, no matter where it takes us."
"It's taking you to the morgue this morning," JD grinned. "Get going."
Great, Matt sighed to himself half an hour later. Lost in a morgue. He could add that to his list of supremely stupid situations he'd ended up in thanks to work. It wasn't bad enough, the time he had to go check out the alleged 'were-cat' that ate people. Or the time he got roped into pretending to be partners with that hick detective from Wisconsin. And that thing with the shark...God, that had sucked.
Matt opened another door-and a dark-haired woman looked at him, up to her elbows in someone else's ribcage. She opened her mouth to say something, but he slapped a hand over his mouth, tried to look sick, and slammed the door shut again.
A job, he amended, wiping his hand on his pants, where he wouldn't have to sneak around like a-a-like a criminal, faking sick and lying all the time just to get the work done.
He took a few steps down the hall then stopped, leaning his forehead against the wall. He wondered for a second what it would be like to have a job where he could actually get stuff done. A job where people actually took him seriously, cared what he had to say. A job that meant something. A job where he could actually investigate stuff, maybe even catch a bad guy or two-
"Can I help you with something?"
Matt spun around, trying hard not to look guilty as he sized up the two men who had addressed him. The first was a shortish Indian guy, mint green scrubs, short hair, tennis shoes. The other guy was taller, pale, with shoulder length brown hair. He'd either just got off work or was just getting on, as he was sans scrubs and holding a motorcycle helmet. And-
And he was wearing leather boots and an ankh.
"Sorry, what?" he asked, looking at the taller man, hoping he'd say something.
"Are you looking for someone?" the guy asked, a British accent slipping through. Matt smiled to himself. He might hate his job sometimes, but he was still damn good at it.
"Yeah, actually," Matt nodded. "I'm looking for Agent Bollocks, maybe you know him?"
There it was. The Indian dude sighed quietly, but the tall guy bit his lip.
"You're from the Boston Star, I assume?" Indian dude frowned.
"Got it in one," Matt grinned. He turned to the other man. "And you must be Agent Bollocks."
"How did you-"
"Word of advice?" Matt nodded sagely. "Don't use a pseudonym you can't say with a straight face. Cuts your credibility like that."
"Speaking of credibility," the Indian guy spoke up. "Who are you again?"
"Frances Rhond, my uncle passed? I got a call earlier this week," Matt paused. "See? No giggling at all."
"Frances Rhond," Agent Bollocks spoke up. "I like that. Could I use it sometime?"
"Sure, if you could tell me your real name."
"Ah yes," he grinned. "Nigel Townsend, ME."
Ignoring the outstretched hand, Matt pulled a pad of paper from his back pocket and the pen from behind his ear.
"Townsend with or without an H?"
Nigel's face fell as his friend snorted.
"I told you not to call that tabloid-"
"We're not a tabloid," Matt answered automatically. "We're an alternative science and celebrity gossip-."
"Which means T and A and Batboy filler."
"Bug," Nigel chastised, before turning to Matt. "Look mate, I'll give you my whole story after work if you like-that's why I called, after all-but I'd really prefer you not use my real name. Last time I was in the papers, I was horribly misquoted, and my boss got rather upset, because it sounded like I was saying we're running around unsupervised, cutting people open and making balloon animals with their intestines-why are you writing that down?"
"Don't mind me," Matt shook his head, not looking up. "Could you repeat that last bit about making balloon animals? I need a direct quote-hey!"
The man now identified as Bug had snatched the notepad out of his hand with surprising agility. He tore off the page Matt had been writing on before holding it out to him again.
"That," he said, directing his statement at Nigel. "Is why Dr. Macy doesn't let you give statements anymore."
"And guys like you-" Matt cleared his throat, flipping another page and continuing writing. "-are why I invest in carbon paper."
Bug reached out again, but Matt was expecting it this time. He sidestepped neatly out of the way, flipping the pad shut and shoving it back into his pocket.
"Also why my dad forced me to memorize the First Amendment when I was six,” he said, packing as much boredom into his voice as possible. “Congress-shall-make-no-law-"
"When do you expect to learn the definition of libel?" Bug snapped, turning away. "I'm going home, Nigel. Don't talk to him anymore, and don't worry about Dr. Macy seeing anything either," He raised an eyebrow at Matt. "He wouldn't pick up that miserable excuse for a paper if he were packing up a china shop."
"We in the newspaper business prefer the one about lining birdcages, actually!" Matt called after Bug as he stalked away. When Bug had turned the corner, Matt glanced up at Nigel. "Is he always that cranky?"
"Yes, just generally with me," Nigel blinked, looking at Matt warily. "I, um, I'm actually not in Dr. Macy's good graces right at this moment, so, I would very much appreciate it if-"
"Eh, don't sweat it," Matt shrugged. "I wasn't really gonna use your real name anyway."
Nigel's face broke into an easy grin, and before Matt could stop himself, he smiled back. He looked down at his notebook again, trying to force a look of concentration onto his face.
"Yeah, if I write Agent Bollocks like I don't know what that really means, maybe we'll get mentioned on Jay Leno again. The headlines, you know? We've been on there like three times already-"
"Uh, Mr. Seely?"
"Just call me Matt," he said, looking up again.
"Alright, Matthew," the corner of Nigel's mouth quirked slightly. "I'm off work at six. You know John's pub? 'Bout two blocks that way, a little that way, and then-"
"Turn left, yeah, I know where it is," Matt nodded. "I'll meet you there and we'll talk aliens finally?"
Nigel grinned full-out at that. "Among other things, yes"
Matt smirked back. "Let's just see where the aliens get us for now."