Charlie - X-RejMature

Oho, well, this certainly is a new turn!

Recently, I've been feeling like I'm living in some goddamn episode of some goddamn soap. With some rubbish storyline. Huh. I don't think much of it, to be perfectly honest.

Harrison's hilarious. I mean really goddamn hilarious. There she is, pretending to tidy up papers, or something, and all she's really doing is edging closer to the door of Mendrick's office so she can get a bit of earwigging done. I'm not that bothered, really. So Hart's got a skeleton in his cupboard, or whatever. Haven't we all?

I know I have. And mine's not a skeleton that likes to shut up, either. He's named Rodney. Although he likes to be Rob. Rob Broker.

You got it. He also happens to be my goddamn brother. Although this has sometimes proved slightly useful. Slightly. I can tell you, it was difficult getting a job with the coppers when your brother's up to his neck in about everything going. And that's not a goddamn joke either.

I haven't seen him in about a month, and I was hoping to keep it that way. But guess what? He called. Just now. I can basically smell the goddamn smoke on his breath, and that's just through the phone. Imagine how much he stinks in real life.

Not nice, is it? Imagine having to look at that across the table and ask it to pass the sprouts, every goddamn Christmas. Now you get the picture.

So anyway. I'm off to meet him. Not hanging around here to watch Harrison earwigging and Mendrick grinning and driving us all round the goddamn bend with his comments. No siree.

'I'm off,' I say to the wall, cos Harrison sure as hell ain't listening.

I'm not meeting Rob at his house - if you can call it that. It's more like the inside of a goddamn cooker that hasn't been cleaned since the 1900s.

My brother looks a bit like a skinhead sausage with knuckledusters. But he's got a heart in there somewhere. So they tell me.

'Wassup?' he grunts by way of a greeting when I pull up. I'm in the goddamn police car, which is probably a mistake - traveling incognito as it were doesn't work so much when you've got blue lights. Even when they're not on. But I can't walk in case I need to make a quick exit. You can never be too prepared around Rob Broker.

'Hey, bro. You said you wanted to see me?'

'Oh, yeh.' He scratches his head like a gorilla. 'You heard of X-Rej?'

'Nah. Who's that?'

'It's a group, innit? I gotta tip off one o' me mates. They're plannin' something. I dunno what. They heard sommat about 'Broker' and came right over t'me. Thought I oughtta let you know. Watch yer back. Keep yer powder dry.'

I shiver slightly. 'Thanks, bro. You watch yours, eh? Dry powder, and all that. I don't want to be investigating your murder one day, right?'

He laughs, and I remember why we're brother and sister. I remember all those Christmases, and birthdays, and then that day he stood up against Dad when he was drunk. Sure, my brother's a drunk slob and a goddamn idiot.

But he's still my brother.

The End

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