N/A: Spoilers for the whole series, up to and including Season 3 finale. Written in one fell swoop, sporadic order, no beta - all mistakes are mine.
Feedback: Makes me happy
Edit: This story contains the mistaken notion that Lem knew the truth about Terry's death.
He hated Shane in that moment. Something dark and spiteful, a feeling he could never remember having before. Curtis Lemansky hated him and his face hardened as he turned and stalked away. He tuned out Vic's calls for him to stop, Ronnie's hand reaching out for a shoulder.
Perhaps he hated him most because he had considered him a friend. What stood there as he got into the van looked at him with contempt. A man and an idea so changed and twisted, he couldn't stand it and he shifted in reverse with a harsh pull, getting as far away from all of this as he could.
A hard punch to the stomach, Vic Mackey grabbed the junkie by the balls, pulling him forward, face to face. Sometimes Lem wondered if Vic would start foaming at the mouth.
It was a thing to see, really. He had only been part of this arrangement for a month now. The Strike Team, they called themselves. Men of action, and Lem liked that thought. Get out there in the streets, make a real difference. Lem didn't have the years on the force that Vic and Shane did, nor he admitted, the intelligence Ronnie had. But it felt right.
The junkie squealed in pain as Vic twisted his hand, and he stammered. "Please.. St-stop. I'll tell you.." his statement was cut off with a silent yelp as Vic shoved him back into the shelves of CDs and meth.
Lem didn't say anything, but action was action in whatever form. He understood sometimes results never come in clean paperwork filled methods. And really, it was okay because they were dealing with shit anyway.
The junkie was now on the floor, coughing and wheezing with his hands covering his crotch, and Lem laughed a bit. "You know, any longer and I swear Vic woulda castrated you."
"I always did have a knack for surgery." Vic's voice was light yet still filled with menace, Lem wondered how he did it. Talent he guessed.
His eyes flicked up to Lem's and he raised an eyebrow. Lem just nodded.
He knew it was the right thing to do. Burn it and all the problems were just ash, he knew the others would see it in their own time. But he had to do it now, before this got any worse, before they all crashed under the weight of it. Fuck the money, fuck it all, Lem didn't care anymore.
Fistful after fistful, it was gone, faster and easier than getting rid of an Irish prick. Problems burned away
"Hey man, shit. Fuck off, I'm not giving you anything."
He grinned and stood, rolling sleeves up his arms. Shane looked at him with a glint in his eye as he stood as well. "Oh, wanna do it this way huh? All right, I'm game. C'mon, you and me, lets go."
"Hey now, guys, settle." Ronnie raised an eyebrow. "Shane, pay the man."
"Fifteen hundred bucks? Shit no!" His teeth gleamed white in his smile.
"Right, and if you won that hand and I refused to pay, you'd be bitching at me nonstop." Lem snorted, shaking his head. He didn't care really, but it was more fun this way. Fighting and yelling was their way of bonding he supposed, and wouldn't the rest of them pitch a shit if he said that out loud. Somehow he knew Shane would make cracks about whips and chains and that was a place he didn't want to go.
"Fuck you." Eloquent as always, Shane was. He laughed then reached around to punch him in the arm. Before he could hit him back, Vic arrived with a case that needed some looking into. He never did get that money.
He shivered slightly, brow sweaty and his stomach twisted in a sharp pain. Lungs wanted to leap out of his chest and he hacked as blood dribbled out his mouth and onto his hand. "Fuck.." His voice just a croak, and the red splatter on the sink in his bathroom was somehow much more frightening against the white.
Another bust, another victory, and this time a cut that helped them all out a bit. A little extra cash in their pockets, and hey, he could live with that.
This thing, it worked, and it was all that mattered. They were stealing from shit anyway, it wasn't like the money would be missed. Most likely sit around in a store room until it filtered back into the streets and get dirty again. No harm done.
"Well boys," Vic smiled wide, "Looks like we got an early Christmas bonus."
Lem looked in silence, and for some reason he felt a twist inside his stomach. At that moment, he thought it to be excitement and joy, shock. He had never seen so much money in his entire life.
Later, when he examined that twist while it became more and more apparent, he didn't think it was joy. Or excitement. Shocked, yes, but weren't they all? Faces gone slack and he didn't know how he was supposed to feel. So much money that this little side business they had going could stop. They would be set for life.
God. He prayed to himself a little just then even if he was never a real religious man, and slowly the others felt smiles break onto their faces and Lem forced one on as well. This was okay. This was fine, they were stealing from shit anyway. Just bigger shit.
A new member, come and gone with a moment's thought, a loud clear crack thundering and Lem froze. They all did, turning and going cold. He shot him, Jesus Christ.
The ice in his blood, and he shivered cold and panic began to seep into the edges. This was not supposed to happen.
"Oh fuck.." A whisper, and he shook his head but Vic was commanding and straightforward. He was their leader, and he led. Lem followed.
His hands were tight on the steering wheel, and he drove. A single gunshot, and they had all been fucked. Vic killed one innocent, himself only a child and Shane almost another as he thought of the lies that were forced through his teeth. To ruin one to protect them all. He thought of Tavon and how he wept, and Lem felt his teeth bite down. What were they now? He knew it had all been building, it was just a matter of time.
Driving away on the streets, Lem knew Vic and Ronnie made to follow, and perhaps they would talk him into staying and accepting. He wondered how much his soul cost.
Just a matter of time before he blew.