Andy takes another long pull from his cigarette, holding his coffee close to his chest with both hands. It is too cold outside for him, but the days of indoor smoking are long gone and he can't sit in the car because the smell will soak into the fabric and linger. He's got to take his mother on her errands tomorrow, and she'd probably chastise him until his ears implode with the kind of sucking pop a clogged garbage disposal would make.

God. The thought screws with him so much that he stubs out a perfectly good cigarette on the bottom of his shoe, tosses back the rest of his coffee and scalds the back of his throat, then clomps back inside to his desk. he checks the clock before sifting through the piles of files on his keyboard, noting with severe dissatisfaction the tardiness of his new partner. "Stupid goddamn asswipe," he mutters under his breath, wetting a forefinger with his thumb and brushing a thick wad of paper to the side. "Navy guy, sure." As far as Andy knows, sailors are known for their punctuality. Leave it to this "child prodigy," twenty-seven and recruited to Murder after barely two years in Vice, to be the first to screw it up.

The captain would do it, too, pair Andy up with some unprofessional-prodigal or no-noob. At thirty-two, Andy's been the star of Murder for over a year, the youngest guy to make the squad in God-knows-how-long, and some people hate him for it.

Actually, a lot of people hate him for it. The amount is staggering.

At the fifteen minute mark, Andy pushes back from his chair with just the right amount of force to knock it backwards. It cracks onto the tile and three pairs of cataract-glazed, old-man eyes glance up from over computers or cups of coffee, judging him. Adding this incident, perhaps, to their growing lists of things he's done to antagonize them.

"Well up yours," he mutters to nobody in particular, kicking up his chair and scooting it back under his desk. Irritated and sweaty, he stalks up to the sun-stained plate glass window overlooking the parking lot. When that little fuck steps foot out of his car, Andy will be on his ass.

Not like he knows what his new partner looks like. They've never met. Andy just knows the basics, the joined the Navy when he was eighteen, made Vice at twenty-six and transferred to Murder stuff. But he thinks that that paints a good enough picture to get the job done, really. Besides, everybody else is here. Even if the Navy/cop body isn't enough to give the new guy away, the only moving car in the lot will.

An hour slips by with more nothing, and the captain comes out, ordering him to at least have the courtesy to look busy, Detective Ross. So Andy sits back at his desk to wait, working on a little bit of half-assed paperwork, keeping his eyes peeled for close-cropped hair and broad shoulders. Possibly even a Navy uniform, if the kid's an airhead, which Andy bets is true. Sailor Man is late, after all, which speaks to at least some level of arrogance.

At his lunch break, Andy is fuming. On top of everything else, he hasn't had a single case assigned to him because he's flying solo. So he powers through what's left of his paperwork in an almost hysterical frenzy, shoving it hastily into folders flagged with plastic tape, and crams everything into his desk drawer.

On the west wall of the building is a line of lockers, old and rusted and basically useless. So many locks have broken that nobody keeps anything truly valuable in them, with the exception of Andy. His phone stays hidden away in one of the lockers-he switches every day-because he's figured out that the key to success is keeping work and home completely separate. He figures that that's probably why he's the top dog. Discipline.

Andy grabs his sack lunch and his cellphone, unhooking his beeper from his belt and shutting it into locker number forty-four, then traipses through the yellowing, cheap plaster halls to the break room. Really, it's just a glorified, slightly larger cubicle type thing, complete with a few home touches. There's a door, for one thing, which is more than anyone can really say about any other part of this building except for the front.

In the corner, there's a mini-fridge that hardly anybody ever uses. Ever since it started seeping this greenish ooze, people have given it a wide berth. That's likely why nobody even uses the break room anymore. That, and the functioning microwave and coffee machines are all downstairs at the front desk.

Considering there's only seven people on the squad-soon to be eight, if Navy Man's stunt doesn't get him fired-it's not bad. Still, since this is the most prestigious squad, Andy would expect at least a table and a few chairs. Instead, he has to make do with a moldy, probably STD-infested sofa that some asshole picked up off the street. He grabs an abandoned newspaper off the counter and spreads it out over the seat cushion, then sits down to eat and check his messages.