For jadelennox by Torra

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Title: "Christmas Eve At the Comedy Club"
For: JadeLennox

Pairing/Characters: Huey, cameos by RayK and Fraser, mentions of everyone else (Gen)

Warnings: Rated G
Vidder's/Author's/Artist's Notes: My hugest thanks go to both of my betas, Caersmane and AndeInCascade.  This fic never would have happened without  them, and even if it had, it would have been unintelligible.  Thank you.




"Okay, that's it. Last one."

Fraser smiled at Ray and nodded. Together, the three of them raised their glasses of scotch solemnly and left it to Fraser to intone the sacred words, "To the Queen."

"To the Queen," Ray and Huey chorused before they all tossed back their drinks in unison.

"Okay." Ray made a face as the scotch slid down, "That's good. We've gotta visit my parents in the morning, and you know how Mom gets if we're late."

Fraser nodded, "Of course, Ray. Did you wrap--?"

"Wrapped it this morning, we're good to go."

"Indeed." The pair got up off their chairs and Fraser held out his hand to Huey, "Will you be attending the precinct holiday celebration on the 26th?"

Huey shook it and smiled, "I'd better be, the Lieu told me it was going to be held here, so I'd better be open."

"It's not at the station this year?" Fraser asked, curious. They had just gotten back into town a few days ago.

"Apparently too many of us ex-cops want to attend, too," he shrugged, smiling, "not to mention everyone who wants to bring their families, show the kids off. The precinct is starting to get a little small to hold us all, plus all the the perps who get brought in through the night."

Ray grinned, "Yah, well, that's what you get for opening up a cop bar, I guess. You can't get rid of us once we're here."

"Yeah, like an infestation," Huey grinned, "rats or something."

"Hey," Ray jabbed his fore and pinkie fingers decisively toward him, "That's pigs, and don't you forget it. Just because you couldn't hack it..."

Huey rolled his eyes, "You mean, just because I was smart enough just to get out before I got myself shot like Vecchio?"

Ray snorted, "Yeah, damned lucky bastard."

"Come along, Ray, Dief'll be wondering what's keeping us." Fraser shook his head at the two of them as he looped his dark red scarf around his neck, and pulled on his peacoat, buttoning it up tightly.

Huey trailed his two friends to the front door, and wished them a merry Christmas before easing it shut behind them, sliding the safety bars and twisting the locks into place. The rest of the bar's patrons had drifted off to their own Christmas Eve plans some time ago, which had left just the three of them to ring out the night together. Huey didn't get to see Ray and Fraser often these days, what with them spending half the year liaising up north, so when they were in town, they always made a point to hang out with their old friends at The Comedy Club (though neither men were really bar folks themselves).

Though The Comedy Club hadn't actually been a comedy club in quite some time. His early entrepreneurial enterprise with his ex-partner Dewey had never really taken flight, despite the regular patronage by their old precinct. By the time the pair was ready to actually admit their failure and throw in the towel, Huey had found himself reluctant to return to the force. He'd given a lot of his life to the badge, giving up chances at love and a family, and while he didn't regret those choices--the work he'd done was important and he'd solved an impressive number of cases, helping a large number of people (everyone at the 2-7 learned quickly not to compare their closure rate to Fraser with either Ray, the man just had an inhuman knack for blowing bell curves out of the water, no matter who he was partnered with)--and he wouldn't want to undo all that. But he didn't want to go back to it either, especially not as a fallback to the loss of his business.

Dewey hadn't had any problems with it, however, though he had switched precincts. And cities. And states. He was out west now, in LA, partnered up with some hot blond that he could never shut up about and how much she looked like a Greek Jenna Jamison (a combination of descriptions which still baffled Huey, though he chose not to press the issue).

The pair had dissolved their partnership amicably, neither blaming the other for the loss of their business, but after a certain point it became clear to all that it was hopeless. Eventually the partners had gone their separate ways, remaining friends through it all.

Since he didn't want to return to the force, and he'd found he actually had a decent head for business, when they could actually get the customers into the place, he decided he wanted to remain his own boss, and converted the club into a bar. The food was simple, the beer was cold and plentiful, and it was always kept open late for the poor souls on swing shift. Half of the bar's business was coffee, in fact, as no cop could go too long without his fix. Though throughout the day, most of the coffees ordered were Irish.

Grabbing a rag and a bottle of disinfectant, Huey set about giving the place a final shine. He didn't have any plans to be open tomorrow, so this would be his last chance to clean before the party. He'd sent his staff home hours ago, telling them to be with their families. He was no stranger to hard work, or to the well worn cloth in his hands. This was his bar, now, and he took good care of it.

To an objective viewer, this place looked almost nothing like it originally had. When he and Dewey had been working it together, it had been the spitting image of the classic 90's stand up comedy club, complete with a brick backdrop behind the stage for Amateur Night (they kept curtains in front of it the rest of the time, after receiving too many jokes about the cliche of it early on). The color scheme had been your basic comedy club black with neon blue accents and garish red splashes, and they had served a ridiculous variety of bad and fruity martinis.

He still sold martini drinks, of course, they were a staple in modern bar culture, and he had to have stuff on hand for the non-cops who patronized the place, but they were no longer the main offering.

The place still had the basic main shape, the bones of the place never changing, and he hadn't done any major remodeling projects during the conversion, but he had brightened up the colors. The black tiled floor was now hardwood (a dark stained bamboo, at Fraser's insistence for the need of renewable and environmentally friendly products), and the wrought iron and glass tables had been replaced with miss-matched wood tables and chairs gathered from consignment shops and yard sales from around the whole greater Chicago area. The booths had been re-done as well, switching out the black vinyl with blue piping, for a more classic "cop bar" look of deep, worn-looking red, and more bamboo laminating the tables.

The whole place had a rather mish-mash effect to it now, but combined with the warm lighting and the smells of plain and simple foods, it had a homey air that that every cop joint should have. It'd never be a classic Irish pub, but really, what city in this age needed another pseudo-Irish pub, especially one run by a man who in no way looked Irish.

Counters wiped, Huey tossed the rag back towards the bar's sinks, and began the long and tedious task of flipping all the chairs up onto the tables to rest for the right. Dewey had always left this job to him, insisting that they were just chairs, they could remain on the floor and no one would mind, but then Dewey also hadn't understood Huey's insistence that the place needed to be swept and vacuumed every night without fail as well.

Dewey was a good man, but he never did stop smelling like old fish and bacon.

Tipping the last of the chairs up, he walked into the back room for the brooms and dust pans and saw the most recent letter from Ray Vecchio still sitting on the counter from where Fraser had passed it on to him. According to Ray (the one that spent half his year in Canada playing Law & Order: Moose Jaw), Ray had somehow gotten the idea that his Ma needed to get out more. Apparently she was starting to drive Frannie a little crazy with wanting more grandkids, and a good, Catholic husband for her, and Frannie was hitting her limits. So Ray had gotten the idea to start pestering Huey to start serving more good, old-fashion comfort food in his place, in the form of home-made Italian, courtesy of Ma Vecchio.

Huey had no clue how that was supposed to work, a woman of any age would struggle with such a job, but he had to admit, the idea of home cooked meals did have some merit. This wasn't exactly the kind of place you'd expect to get fresh spaghetti from a 78 year old Italian woman with four immaculately conceived grandchildren (and another on the way), though. But Ray was insistent that the local cops would love it, and he kept pointing out how both beat cops and detectives were always on the lookout for good food at random hours, that don't risk giving you a heart attack with every bite.

Huey had lost twenty five pounds his first year after leaving the force, just from his sudden lack of greasy spoon diners in his regular meal plans.

Counters wiped and floors swept, Huey debated chopping lemons and limes, like he usually did at the end of the night, but finally decided they wouldn't last too well with the day off in between their use. The last thing left to do was gather up the glasses he and Ray and Fraser had used, and carry them over to the sink in the back room and wash them by hand. The dishwasher with the rest of the day's remnants was chugging away beside him, and it wouldn't hurt anything for the dishes within to be left sitting inside to dry for a day or two before getting put away.

These glasses he was washing, however, did not go into the dishwasher. These glasses were special. These were three of the twenty-seven glasses he and Dewey had been given by their old precinct as a farewell gift when they'd resigned from the force. They were not to be used by the regular bar-patrons, and they were never thrown into the dishwasher with the rest of the glassware. These were the special ones, to be used only when drinking with friends, or being served to the current and past workers of the 2-7.

Out of the twenty-seven, there was one even more special then the rest, intended for Welsh and no one else, too sacred to be wasted on anyone else. No one ever questioned why that glass, and that glass alone, had its own section on the shelf.

Washed and dried, Huey returned the glasses to the rest of their set, taking care to line them up and make sure each had its own space, with none of its mates touching its sides. Each one was very special to him, and he made sure nothing risked scratching or chipping them. There weren't many things Huey held in his life as truly important; a few distant relatives, a handful of still living friends, a picture of himself and Louis as new partners, his grandmother's wedding ring, and these glasses.

Walking around his domain, he began shutting off the lights, one by one. Slowly and gracefully, his world was locked away in shadows and warmth.

It had been a long time since this place was truly a comedy club, but once something was given life, it was given a name, and no one could take that away.

Keys in hand, Huey patted the door frame as he locked the place up behind him, snow already dusting his shoulders. The Comedy Club would stand for another night, another Christmas, another year, and in two days time, it'd be once again be full of life and laughter and family.

Tonight it would rest, and be kept safe. In two days, Huey would be back, and as always, his home would be waiting for him.

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19 Comments

Jade Lennox Author Profile Page said:

Oh! Gifter, you ROCK! This is such a gorgeous peaceful life for Huey, so much better than the comedy club. I mean, it was a good idea, but, well Dewey was a good man, but he never did stop smelling like old fish and bacon.

I miss Huey, who doesn't get enough love from canon or fanon, and this has given me a huge chunk of that love.

*hearts*

leonandra Author Profile Page said:

I never took much notice of Huey, but your story made him very real and loveable to me.

I love the idea of the 27 special glasses and the way he loves his bar, which shines through in all the little things he does. He seems very happy with his life.

A great Christmas story!

Yay Huey!

There weren't many things Huey held in his life as truly important; a few distant relatives, a handful of still living friends, a picture of himself and Louis as new partners, his grandmother's wedding ring, and these glasses.

Wow. Very nice. Very real.

That was *so* lovely. Lots of little things that made up one great story.

I always liked Huey, so I'm very glad to see fic that has him so content and doing well.

Such a delightful job of showing a character rather than merely the actions. Exploring such simple tasks and moments in a life is truly what brings a character to life in fic.

Oh, this is lovely. I really enjoyed this look at Huey, and am glad to see someone give him good things!! ::beams::

This was really lovely. I have such a clear picture of Huey's bar and of his life. I'm glad he's found some peace and another place to belong.

catwalksalone

Aw! This is a very nice character piece for a character that is often overlooked by fandom.

It took me a minute to get the significance of 27 glasses (yes, I'm slow) but I liked that detail, and especially one glass being reserved especially for Welsh.

I'm so happy that Huey has a place that he loves, that's his.

Huuuuey!! Love this. Perfect place for Huey, too, and of course the comedy wouldn't have worked. I love how RayK and Fraser are obviously still partners, too, and what they might or might not be doing in the privacy of their cabin/apartment/whatever is not an issue for anyone, apparently. Taken in stride. I love "Law & Order: Moose Jaw"! Hee!

Ma Vecchio's cooking! Four immaculately conceived grandchildren. :)

And the 27 glasses and Welsh's glass? Awwww!

Lovely piece. I'm glad Huey is content. He really did deserve something less freaky and dangerous and more fun. \o/

This made me smile. Bravo!

*claps, stomps, cheers, whistles*

I really enjoyed this look at a little-seen secondary character like Huey. You've really infused him with a lot of wonderful qualities, and I love the future you've envisioned for him and everyone else formerly of the 2-7th. In particular, the detail about the 2-7's Christmas party having grown too large to hold in the station was a great choice: it made it clear that things get better with time, that people's families and lives expand instead of contract. I loved that bit, and the rest of the story was really wonderful and heart-warming. Thank you so much for writing this one, Santa!

Luzula Author Profile Page said:

I like this! Huey seems so content with his life, and I like the details of him closing up the bar and taking care of the place.

What a wonderful quiet and insightful glimpse of a believable future. All the small details and rituals create a feeling of familiarness and coziness.

I also like, how the lives of all of them are still interlaced with each other and the idea to keep Ma Vecchio on the go, just made me smile. Thanks!

What a lovely and peaceful place you've created! I laughed about Fraser insisting on renewable bamboo, and can just imagine the place staying open late for swing-shifters. Oh, adn the twenty-seven glasses! Much happines.

china Author Profile Page said:

Oh, I really liked this! Lovely. :-)

spuffyduds Author Profile Page said:

Aw gee, the picture of him and Louis as new partners made me TEAR UP. *sniff*

This is lovely--quiet and sweet and just such a good life for Huey. I especially adore the Fraser-nagging about bamboo flooring, and "Law and Order: Moose Jaw." Yay you!

malnpudl said:

This is absolutely beautiful. What a lovely, quiet, perfect story, and an equally perfect happy ending for Huey. I love this a lot.

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This page contains a single entry by Torra published on December 12, 2008 9:25 PM.

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