It's Warlock, Damn It!

“Hey, Frankie, you finish that thing you were supposed to finish yet?” John pretty much referred to anything technical as ‘that thing’ and most of the time his co-workers IMed for a translation.

Matt turned when Warlock bellowed, “It’s Warlock, damn it!”

John took a long sip from his coffee cup. It was Starbuck’s coffee in a plain mug. John refused to drink what he continually called the ‘Yuppie crap’ and yet each morning Matt filled his Big Gulp thermos at the local Starbucks and grabbed a cup for John. The Big Gulp he hid from John before he poured the extra coffee into a chipped NYPD mug, leaving it on John’s desk.

“Whatever…” John took another sip. “Frankie.”

Nana-chan watched the whole interaction while chewing on the end of a pigtail. It was a daily battle between John and Warlock, but a constant source of entertainment for everyone else.

Matt wheeled his chair next to Nana-chan’s and leaned into whisper, “Five bucks says that Warlock will start twitching by the end of five minutes.”

“Two,” Nana-chan countered, still sucking on her hair. “McClane is looking particularly vicious today. You cut him off?”

Matt’s gaze slipped to John and then darted back to the only woman in the room. “Shut up. He’ll eviscerate both of us if he thinks we’re talking about him.”

She rolled her eyes and spit out the end of her pigtail. “That means yes?”

“No.” Matt bit his bottom lip and smirked. “Cutting him off would only punish me.”

Nana-chan slouched back in her chair, arching her back up as she stretched her hands over her head. Her tight, pink Hello Kitty shirt crept up her torso to reveal her navel ring. It never failed to escape her attention that Matt looked, even if it was a glance. It wasn’t like she wanted to seduce him, but it was always interesting to note that Matt still paid attention to women.

“You’re cheating,” Matt accused. “You keep stretching like a slutty cat and Warlock will start twitching for a whole set of reasons other than John.”

Nana-chan huffed and brought her arms down, wriggling in her chair. “All’s fair when it’s a bet and you didn’t lay out the ground rules. I wouldn’t put it past you to sick McClane on Warlock, then place the bet.” They both watched as Warlock set out on a fresh, red faced rant about how his name wasn’t Frankie. “McClane does it on purpose. He knows the man’s name.”

“Yeah, but it’s fun to watch. John started calling him Frankie just to piss him off and, well, now he keeps doing it for the sheer entertainment value.”

Warlock’s face was now a most unattractive shade of red as he continued to rant at John, threatening him with all sorts of cyber nightmares and weaving elaborate conspiracies, all with McClane as the head. John stood silently in front of Warlock, calmly sipping his coffee. The coffee had long ago gone cold, but John still drank it.

“So, I heard Warlock moved out of his mom’s basement…” Matt hedged.

She turned back to her computer and quickly typed in a few quick lines of binary code. “Yeah, so what? About time if you ask me.”

“Funny how he did that after you told him you’d never date a man who lived in his mommy’s basement…”

Nana-chan’s finger slipped and she accidentally typed in a two. “He’s a loser.”

“Maybe…” Matt used the corner of Nana-chan’s cubical wall to push off and start spinning in circles. “Did you know he owns that house? He bought it for his mom. Despite her bitching, she likes him there especially since his dad died.”

She hesitated a moment before responding. “Maybe he’s not a complete loser. That doesn’t mean I’m going to date him. We have nothing in common.” When Matt gave her an incredulous look after waving at her computer, Nana-chan added, “Other than hacking. We’re complete opposites.”

Matt spun his chair in the opposite direction and nodded in John’s direction. “That doesn’t mean anything. Trust me.”

Now it was her turn to give Matt an incredulous look. “There’s a big difference between a hot, hero cop and a hairy, chubby hacker boy.”

“He could shave,” Matt countered and winced as Warlock threatened John’s car. “And, you’re a chubby chaser. I remember your last boyfriend. Besides, brains are your real kink. He’s smart and hacker vicious. Warlock did get the last guy you dated arrested for…”

“Bestiality,” Nana-chan snorted. “He hacked into dispatch and… it was sort of cute in a psychopathic, possessive stalker way.”

“Oh, please. You have no idea about possessiveness. Warlock is an amateur compared to John. I’ll give you the stalker part, even though you encourage him.”

Nana-chan huffed indignantly. “I do not!”

“John sent you home last week to change after you showed up in that obscenely short skirt.” Matt tapped his chest. “That wasn’t for me. Not for John’s benefit, either. All of the others can barely speak to you with the whole boob thing going for you. So, by process of elimination, that leaves Warlock.”

Nana-chan was still mortified thinking about how McClane had taken one look at her short school girl inspired skirt and taken his jacket off, then wrapped it around her waist. She had felt like a child as he pointed at the door and told her not to dare to come back without something more decent on. It was part fear, but mostly respect for the older man that had stopped her hissy fit and actually sent her packing to suss out something less drafty. Ever since she had spotted that bald head through her peep hole on the day she had been recruited, Nana-chan had listened to John McClane. They all did, even Warlock in his crazy, ranting way.

Flushed with renewed embarrassment, Nana-chan shot back, “At least I don’t have daddy issues.”

Matt’s eyebrow quirked. “That’s the best you could come up with?”

“Give me a break.” Nana-chan shrugged and glanced down at her sparkly Hello Kitty watch. “We’ve been here thirteen hours. I’m brain dead. By the way, I owe you five bucks.”

She nodded towards Warlock who was speechless, gaping like a fish, and had a distinctive facial twitch. John looked smug and sipped his coffee.

“What do you think he said to Warlock?” Nana-chan asked. “I’ll run the subroutines for the Boston project tomorrow if you find out and tell me.”

“Deal.” Matt held out his hand and shook her tiny hand. “Why don’t we go separate them before John gives Warlock an aneurism?”


“Yeah, we,” Matt nodded and pushed his chair back to his work station, spinning the whole time. Tilting back in the chair, he raised his voice, “Hey, Warlock! Nana-chan said if you stop being a dickwad, she’d let you take her out for pancakes.”

Matt glanced back at her, giving her challenging look, then nodded back to Warlock expectantly. The offer had the effect he was looking for on Warlock. The man had a dopey expression on his face, giving Nana-chan full on geek puppy eyes. Matt was familiar enough with the expression, pretty sure he wore it around a certain middle aged cop turned federal agent sometimes.

“R-Really?” Warlock’s voice actually cracked.

Silence stretched in the room for a moment, only interrupted by the beeps and whirs of million dollar computers. Nana-chan finally sighed and nodded, grabbing her furry purse in the shape of Hello Kitty’s head from under the desk. “Yeah, sure. Why not? But, I want chocolate chips on my pancakes.”

Warlock tripped over his untied laces in his rush to stand up. “Yeah, of course. My treat.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less.” Nana-chan looked back over her shoulder, pigtails bobbing and short skirt swaying. “C’mon, Frankie.”

John choked on his coffee, barking with laughter. He slapped Warlock on his shoulder and continued to chuckle. “Remember what I said.”

John continued past Warlock and Nana-chan to Matt’s cubicle. He laid his hand on the back of Matt’s neck, tugging him towards the door. “C’mon, kid. Let’s go crash.” Raising his voice, he called back, “I’m telling security not to let you back into the building for at least ten hours. Go home. Eat. Sleep.” A slight smirk crossed his lips. “Or, whatever.”

John still had his hand resting on Matt’s neck as they got to the elevator. Matt welcomed the warmth and slight pressure of the touch.

“What did you tell him?” Matt asked.

“You don’t want to know,” John warned, giving Matt’s neck a slight squeeze.

Matt’s sneakers squeaked on the tiled floor of the elevator as he bounced on the soles of his feet. “I do!”

John leaned in and whispered into Matt’s ear. “I warned him that if he fucked her over, I’d fuck him up. Then he got all freaky because of that you being gay thing. I told him not to worry about his honour ‘cause you were the best fuck around here.”

“You didn’t!” Matt hissed.

John’s hand moved up from Matt’s neck to ruffle his hair. “I bet she’s not even a close second, kid. No one is.”

It was crude, but Matt was pretty sure that was a compliment in McClane speak. Matt was willing to tackle some simple subroutines to keep this McClane gem to himself.




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