Characters: Dee, OCs, Ryo.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Dee and Ryo’s favourite watering hole is being put up for sale, marking the end of an era.
Word Count: 1288
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 239: Bar at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Retiring!” Dee blurted out. “But you can’t retire!”
Terrence McGinty gave a short bark of laughter. “I can’t? Why would that be, my lad? I’m not gettin’ any younger y’know, and I’ve got better things to do with whatever time I’ve got left than pullin’ pints.” His heavily lined face creased into a broad smile. “That’s not to say the years runnin’ this place haven’t been good to me, but my back hurts, my knees are shot to hell, and I figure I’ve earned the right to spend my declinin’ years someplace warm where the old joints won’t ache so much. I’ll be headin’ to Florida just as soon as I find a buyer for the old place.”
“But…” Dee spluttered again, “but I love this bar! Hell, we all do, it’s our home away from home! McGinty’s bar is the stuff of legends! It’s been here as long as I’ve been a cop!”
“As long as and longer,” Terry agreed. “I took the place over and renamed it when I retired from the force near enough thirty years ago, and it’s kept me on my toes ever since. But I’m on the wrong side of eighty now and it’s time for me to move on while I still can.”
Dee tried a final protest. “This is our hangout! Where will we go when we come off shift if not here?” McGinty’s was a cop bar, as much home to the officers of the 27th precinct as the station house itself. It had been the place they unwound at the end of their shifts ever since the 27th had been relocated to the former Bronx station after their old station house got levelled in a bombing.
“Place’ll still be a bar after I sell up,” McGinty pointed out.
“Yeah, but what kind? Probably get turned into a cocktail lounge or somethin’,” Dee groused into his beer, shoulders hunched, the picture of dejection. “All mirrors and potted ferns. They’ll rip the heart out of this place!”
The old Irishman nodded his head. “I’ve had a couple offers for the place along those lines. Haven’t said yes to ‘em, not yet at any rate. Listen, lad, you like this place so much you could always make me a counter offer.” His steely grey eyes glinted shrewdly.
Dee snorted a laugh. “Have you met me? You know what a detective second grade makes; no way I could buy you out, not even if I used every cent I’ve got saved.”
“You’re not the only cop hangs out here. Think about it; it’s not like I’m quittin’ this minute, you got two or three months while I sort through offers. I don’t want to see this place turned into yuppie central any more’n you do.”
“Okay then.” Dee let his breath out on a heavy sigh. “I’ll think it over, talk to a few people, see what I can come up with. If a few of the others are willin’ to chip in… We could maybe do a consortium kinda thing, everyone ownin’ a share and havin’ a say in how the place is run.” Dee felt a little more hopeful; he knew Ryo had savings, JJ was independently wealthy, and Ted practically lived here as it was so he wouldn’t want to see the bar taken over by some stranger. Maybe some of the guys would sign up as silent partners and could be bought out at a later date. They wouldn’t want to lose their hangout any more than he did. Downing the last of his beer he left the bar to head home and talk to his other half about the possibility of going into the bartending business on the side.
Terry McGinty never got to Florida; less than two months later he suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to hospital. For a few days it looked like he’d pull through; he was doing better, well enough that Dee, Ryo, and some of the others got to visit him. Then he suffered an unexpected stroke and just… never woke up. All the time Dee had known him he’d seemed indestructible, larger than life; it was hard to believe he was gone.
Everybody who could get the time off attended his funeral. McGinty had been one of them, a decorated cop, and a good friend. He’d lost his wife several years earlier, and they’d never had children, so his fellow officers were the closest thing he had to family; it was only right they should pay their respects to a man they’d spent hours swapping stories with over a beer and a ball game.
A few weeks later, Dee, Ryo, and several others were called to the bar for the reading of the will.
McGinty’s lawyer was the executor. He had everyone sit down at the tables, dusty from several weeks of disuse, while he perched on a barstool, pulled a sheaf of papers from his briefcase, and cleared his throat.
“I met Terrence McGinty when I was just out of law school. I was a public defender back then and he was a detective. I got one of his suspects off on a technicality, but he never held it against me. I went on to successfully prosecute several of his cases and we became friends. Guess that’s why he picked me as executor. As most of you know, he was in the process of selling this place so he could retire to Florida. What you don’t know is that after his heart attack he had me take it off the market. He already suspected he was nearing the end of the line and that Florida would remain an unfulfilled dream, so he changed his will, dividing most of his savings and a few personal items among those of you he considered his closest friends; I’ll get to those bequests later. As for the bar itself…” He checked the papers he was holding. “He said he wanted to leave it to someone he knew would do the right thing by it; is Dee Laytner here?”
Dee’s mouth dropped open. “What?”
“You’re detective Laytner?”
“Terry McGinty was a good man, and a good judge of character. In getting on for forty years I never knew him to be wrong about anyone; it was his opinion that you and your partner would be the best people to keep this place going.” The lawyer handed Dee the keys. “There’s just one proviso: no turning it into a cocktail bar!”
That snapped Dee out of his stupor. “As if! McGinty’s is a cop bar; what would any of us want with fancy cocktails?” He turned in his seat to scan the familiar faces around him. “Right, guys?”
A cheer came from a dozen or more throats. “Damn straight!” someone shouted from the back.
“There’s still some paperwork you’ll need to fill out…” the lawyer interrupted, almost apologetically.
“Fine, let’s get that sorted.” Dee got up from his seat. “You don’t happen to have contact details for the former bar staff, do ya?”
“I believe I do.”
“Good, because I’ll need to get in touch with them asap and offer them their jobs back. Can’t run a bar without staff. Terry hand-picked every last one of them, and that’s good enough for me.”
It seemed fitting that the paperwork for the change of ownership should be filled out and witnessed on the solid oak bar, and once that was all dealt with, Dee stepped around back and served everyone a pint to toast their late friend. Terry McGinty might be gone, but McGinty’s bar would continue, in his memory. There couldn’t be a better tribute to one of New York’s finest.