toujours_nigel: BFT (kaminey)
[personal profile] toujours_nigel
Over the years, he’s grown rather, (well, resigned isn’t the right word, but) accustomed to being called in to break the wills (and occasionally limbs) of recalcitrant criminals. The expression on their newly-ashen faces on seeing API Sudarshan Sharma, Encounter Squad (they call him other names) is often the best the part of his day. Guddu gives him shit for it, Guddu gives him shit for everything, bloody moral idiot.

Getting summoned by narc. is still something of an event—most of their canaries sing fast. Especially when they look like the skinny fucker, drowning in a silk suit, they’ve got strapped into a chair under the lone bulb.

“Encounter Charlie,” the guy grins, like he’s here to take an interview.

“Fhut up.”

“Or you gonna hit me, Charlie?” He licks his lips, hungry eyes on the bottles of cold water on the table. More imagination on Lele than he’d have thought. Fucker usually goes straight for the fingers.

“I’m gonna hang you upside down by your anklef.”

The guy gleams at him, eyes hazy (samples what he sells, how conscientious) and bruises livid under the yellow light, tilts his head and smiles up from beneath all the hair. “Kinky.”

***

An hour later and he’s still not made good on his promise. Instead he’s trickling water down the throat of the man who—he’s had a resentful Lele inform him—is Mujeeb Dutta’s baby brother, which is a fact he could have done quite well without knowing. In the months—nine, a new life born—between watching his father’s flesh roast, and getting tipped-off about the scholarship game from a priest new enough to mistake him for Guddu, he’d spent hours at the race-course. And if Dutta had already been, then, a name to contend with—paid well, treated their bully-boys-for-hire like shit, fair enough—seems he’s put the last ten years to good use.

Fucker’s designer drugs are as potent as his designer togs; vomited twice and tried to climb into his lap as many times, already. He’s not paid enough for this. Can’t even hit him because he’s already all banged-up—caught in the cross-fire, Lele’s tried to feed him, in the ‘gang-war’ between Tashi and Bhope. Begs the question of what this fool’s doing mixed up in that—doesn’t look anything like useful—unless they were using him to confirm stuff was potent. And then what, shot him because they got bored? Bullshit. What’s Bhope doing mixed up with Tashi, anyway? Bastard can’t stand anyone who’s not Marathi, and Tashi’s about as non-Marathi as they come, Nepal’s mountains in the ridges beside his eyes and the flat monotone of his voice.

And then there’s the fear, pounding the back of his skull in, of Guddu fucking things up again, now they’ve finally got out of the pit Baba dug for them when he died. Who in their right minds fucks Bhope’s baby sister without a condom on, for fuck’s sake? Duniya ke saare bhai pagal hote hain. Small relief girl’s bloody Laxmibai reborn. Got herself out, got his idiot brother out, looks like she’s not regretting him, still. Women are strange.

“I wanna sue the station,” the head lolling on his shoulder—he does not get paid enough to fucking babysit prisoners, and who drags a guy outta hospital and dumps him on an officer from a different department? Mumbai Police, hallowed be its name—quips, “I was promised bondage.”

“Fuck you.” Mujeeb-Dada, they used to call him, back when, like he’s bigger than he is, small fry, sprat, nothing. “Beat you up any more, you’ll be dead. What’d you do, dance into a fire-fight?”

“Danced, yeah.” The smile he sends up is pure filth and promise. “Tope Bhau, Bhope Tope Bhau, Bhope Tope Tope Bhope Bhau Bhau.” Check one in the drugged-got-bored/annoyed-shot-the-fucker box. The Naxalites were so much less irritating, what’d he been thinking, getting transferred back to Mumbai?

Well, mostly he’d been thinking electricity and running water sounded good, but he’s learnt his lesson since. “Mujeeb-Dada’f going to fuck you up fo badly,” he laughs, because what do you do but laugh, sat on the floor in an interrogation room with an armful of silk that smells under its cologne like the horses you spent your sixteenth summer helping fools place bets on?

“He’s in Jannat,” the guy rumbles, voice gravel against his throat, “or Jehannum, I forget which has the virgins?”

He looks up, and his eyes are the blank of little boys who turn themselves into bombs. “Jannat,” he finds himself saying, voice sunk two octaves, trying to remember whether the table hides them.

“Jannat, then,” Mikhail says—Lele’s told him as much, and he remembers, too, this guy being skinnier and seventeen and hanging around the horses and kidding with the guy he’d called boss—Mansoor, giant of a man—and being treated like a favourite child by everyone; that’d rankled, heat from Baba’s pyre still warming his face—and leans in close to kiss his mouth, ear, jaw, throat, while he sits with a hand over his hip and thanks whatever gods might be sparing him a glance that he’d left his weapon elsewhere.

He breathes time with the kiss—worst idea he’s ever had, and he’s known for them—till he loses breath and kisses back. The man—Mikhail, give the poor fool his name, kisses like he’s drowning and wants to drag at least one other soul down to rot beside him, and the desperation sets him off, never mind nevermore the rattling terror beating against his skull. Kissing. A Man. In An Interrogation Room. In Narcotics. This cannot but end badly, he’s a good judge of idiocies of this and every other kind—gambling, drinking, whoring, breaking bones, escaping being thrown into lock-up and gangs, Encounter Charlie’s done it all. Usually, though, with some modicum of discretion.

Mikhail—Dutta, ‘Dutta & Sons’ hoarding over the booking window, paint glossy, they’d believed keeping up appearances—twists away like he’d been manhandled, groped, assaulted, and leans his weight on one arm like his shoulder doesn’t hurt, and bares his teeth in something that must pass for a smile because it’s on a human face. “Aren’t there laws against raping prisoners?” he murmurs, voice low and insinuating, and his eyes are far saner, now, than they had been.

“I’m not,” is too ridiculous to say,—and how skin-hungry is he to not have thought that?—so he opts for “Are you?” and stands up to loom.

“Not for long,” Mikhail grins, and he does look debauched enough that his word might hold. But he’s also weak enough that he might never get to make the accusation.

***

But it’s a statement that turns out prophetic, because while he’s coaxing more of the story—guns! Drugs! Tashi! You can’t speak like that to me, Sharma!—out of a reluctant Lele, who clearly has higher stakes in this than he’s letting on—how did he know what was happening? And where the fuck is Lobo, anyhow?—the Maharashtra State Police HQ gets invaded by some woman in teetering high heels and a voice like the rapping of her shoes.

“Fuck,” Pradeep says, low-voiced and pitched only for his ears. “That’s Vikrant Shetty’s daughter, isn’t it?”

Whoever the fuck it is—he draws a blank on Vikrant Shetty—descends on them like a particularly vengeful mother-goddess, in mid-tirade. “You.”

“Yeah?” At least today’s proving entertaining.

“What have you arrested him for?”

“Who?” Pradeep puts in. “We arrest a lot of people.” Lele shrinks away. Fuck.

“My husband.” She rolls her eyes, shrugs. “Mikhail Dutta? This high?”

“Very high,” he dead-pans, and the woman spares him a derisive glance before turning all her attention to Pradeep, who clearly knows more than he does.

“We haven’t arrested him,” Pradeep intones. And that’s news to him.

“No?” At least he’s not the only one who sounds sceptical, which. Is not the usual reaction people have when told their relatives aren’t in trouble. “I know you have him here.”

“We found him.”

“And decided to haul him in? It a crime to be visible, now, what?”

“We believe he’s involved in a drug-deal.”

She laughs and laughs while Pradeep goes slowly purple. “Mikhail? Of course he wasn’t. What, you found him buying coke from some guy? Seriously, officer, you’d have half Mumbai locked up if you’re arresting for that.”

“We have reason to believe…”

“That Mikhail’s, what, in cahoots with Tashi? Or is it Bhope?” Pradeep stares stolidly ahead. “Yes, officer, I know. Come on, let him out.”

“Look, Madam.”

“Look, you little JUMPED-UP PIECE-OF-SHIT,” she screams, and everyone freezes, “let me husband out of here NOW or I will see to it that you’re transferred to the ANDAMANS, yes I will, and you know it, so fucking well do as you’re told HIS BROTHERS JUST DIED AND HE NEEDS TO BE HOSPITALISED AND HE HASN’T DONE ANYTHING AND WHAT FUCKERY IS THIS, DRAGGING AN INJURED MAN INTO INTERROGATION, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, BLOODY COCK-SUCKER, YOU HAVEN’T ANY PROOF YOU DON’T FUCKING WELL HAVE A WARRANT WHERE DO YOU GET OFF DOING THIS? I’M GOING TO…”

“Madam,” Lele says at her elbow.

“WHAT?” Behind Lele, smiling faintly, is Mikhail Dutta. Fucker. “Oh.”

“I could hear you from in there,” Mikhail says, stumbles closer. “Puro omaik gola.”

“Shut up,” she says, still at a higher pitch than at all necessary. “I go to Mauritius for a week, really, baby.” She puts a hand on the back of his neck and he smiles at her like they’re alone.

“Keep telling you not to leave me,” he murmurs, “see what happens?”

Charlie smiles slowly at Lele—it’s taken him ages to perfect that smile—and Lele shivers. “Fir?”

“Not now, Sharma, I have…”

“But we can’t let him go, fir; he didn’t divulge any of his connectionf.”

“Let it go, Sharma,” Lele whines. Sophia glares a moment before turning her eyes speculatively on him, one eyebrow going up, Mikhail leaning in close to whisper to her, his arm around her waist.

“I’m free to leave?” Mikhail laughs, insolent and cock-sure. His eyes are still blank.

“Yes, of course, Mr. Dutta, sorry for the confusion. See, the thing is, we’re in a war-like situation, and you got caught up in the cross-fire. Cocaine is our property, the government’s, and we thought you might be able to give us valuable information.”

“Thank you for the co-operation,” Pradeep says, sardonic.

“No,” Mikhail says, and he’s laughing at them, “thank you for the superb accommodations, officer, and,” his eyelids dip, “the wonderful company.”

Lele—of course—leaves with them going to show them out of the labyrinth, and get in some ass-licking on the way. “So,” he asks, making himself comfortable on Pradeep’s desk—might as well, given he’s here. “Who the fuck waf that?”

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