Actions and Consequences
"Blake, Paul, come on in," Kermit Griffin, computer guru, cop and
occasional mercenary greeted his two oldest and best friends.
As he stood aside they entered. Looking about them, they blinked in
surprise. Kermit had been gone on a, ah ... trip, for two weeks at
the start of the month, and had followed that up with a week and a
half of night and day at the station tracking down a group of thugs
who had been stealing retirement checks from the elderly. Between
the two events Kermit had been gone almost all month, yet the place
was immaculate. Not a speck of dust was to be seen, the windows
glistened like polished silver. The kitchen floor was polished and
the sink and counters scrubbed and wiped down. There was also
evidence that the refrigerator had been cleaned out and wiped down
inside and out. In short, the apartment was spotless. The smell of
bleach said that the cleaning had been done recently, and would also
account for Kermit acceptance, when his friends had invited him to go
to the classic car show.
Usually, Paul went with Peter, but for some odd reason his foster son
had cancelled on him this year, saying that something had come up.
Paul was guessing that it was another case of Kelly Blake, the
younger man's on again off again girlfriend, demanding that Peter
spend every spare minute with her. It had caused them to break up in
the past and probably would again, but Paul made it a policy not to
interfere in his grown son's dating habits unless he was asked for
"Even Annie would be impressed," Paul commented. Because his wife,
Annie, was blind she was a meticulous housekeeper.
"I'll pass it along to my cleaning crew," Kermit smiled.
"Cleaning crew?" Paul asked. He knew that Kermit was very, very
particular about who was in and out of his home and no one would be
admitted while he was not there, so the odds of him havinga cleaing
lady were remote at best.
"Oh, yeah," Kermit almost chuckled. "Let me finish getting ready,"
he said, heading for his bedroom.
Paul headed towards the bathroom where he could hear what sounded
like someone scrubbing grout. Sticking his head in, he did a double
take. "Peter, what are you doing?"
"Cleaning the bathroom," Peter Caine, a detective and Paul
Blaisdale's foster son, muttered, as he continued scrubbing the grout
between the shower tiles with a toothbrush.
"About done, Peter?" Kermit asked from behind Paul.
"Almost Kermit, I just have to wipe the shower down and I'm through,"
the younger man answered.
"Good, hurry up so we can get to the car show," his host called to
"Right, Kermit," Peter bit his lip, trying not to growl. He loved
classic cars and had gone to the yearly show with Paul every year
since he was fifteen. It was bad enough that he couldn't go because
he was cleaning; now Kermit was rubbing his nose in it.
"How did Peter end up as your cleaning crew?" Blake asked, as the
three older men sat in the living room.
"He did something unwise and has learned not to do it again," Kermit
"What did he do?" Paul asked, in his patient 'parent' voice. With
Peter, anything was possible. He was good man but tended to act
first and think afterwards, if at all. If it resulted in Kermit
sentencing the young man to hard labor and Peter accepting it, then
it was something big. Even Annie hadn't been able to get Peter to
"Just something between the kid and I," Kermit assured the police
captain, while letting him know that nothing more would be said.
Paul accepted that, but it did seem odd that Kermit was tormenting
Peter like this. He knew that the father and son had a yearly date
to see the cars, and yet Kermit not only picked this day to have his
younger friend clean but then arranged for rest of them to meet here
and head for the show. That seemed over the top for Kermit. The
mostly ex-mercenary was lethal, but never cruel.
"I'm done, Kermit," Peter said, a bit despondently, as he came out of
the bathroom, returning a bucket with cleaning supplies to under the
"The place looks great, Peter, thank you," Kermit said, praising the
job as he got up.
Paul and Blake were quick to add their agreement.
Normally, Peter would have been beaming with the three men that he
respected and admired praising him for a job well done. Right now,
though he was still trying to get over the fact that he was not going
to be going to the show and they were.
"You guys have fun at the show," Peter tried to smile and sound
sincere. He really did hope they had fun, and Kermit was being
really cool about what he had done and Peter knew nothing more would
ever be said about it. That is unless he was dumb enough to do it
again, which he was not.
"You don't want to go?" Kermit asked, sounding surprised. And maybe
he was, though his two older friends had never known anything to
surprise their favorite Muppet.
"Well, yes, I would love to... that is... I didn't know I was ... I
get to come?" Peter sputtered and finally got his question out.
Unfortunately he sounded like a kid being told that he could go with
"Yes, son, you get to come. Go get cleaned up and changed and we'll
met you at Delancy's for lunch," Paul instructed, chuckling. He
should have known that Kermit was not going to leave Peter behind.
Grinning broadly, Peter dashed out the door in the same headlong
fashion he had used since he was a teenager and would likely be using
when he was a senior citizen. The three older men exited more
"What did the kid think we were waiting for?" Kermit asked, as they
all got into Paul's Cadillac.
"I think he thought we were waiting for him to get done so you could
lock up," Blake offered. He understood Peter's odd habit of always
expecting to be left behind. Up until he had met Paul and Kermit, he
had never really believed anyone liked him, merely that they
tolerated him because they had to or wanted something from him. Then
in Vietnam, Paul had been at his bedside when he woke in a MASH unit
simply because Blake was his friend; Kermit had almost died for him
in that same jungle. Hopefully it would not take anything like that
to get Peter to understand that they really did like him.
Half an hour later, Peter came skidding into the booth occupied by
the others. He was showered and in clean clothes, but was looking a
lot more worked up than he had when he had left them.
"Son?" Paul asked, curious. The older man never pushed Peter to talk
to him, but the younger man usually did once he was able to.
"Paul, does mom ever get upset about you leaving for a day?" Peter
asked. He didn't think his Mom had ever gotten angry if Paul went
out his friends for the day, but he wasn't certain.
"Not unless it`s a special day such as our anniversary or something;
I suppose she might if she had asked me to do something and I was
going off with the guys instead of doing it. She usually plans a day
out with the girls if I'm going to be gone with friends," Paul
explained. Evidently Kelly had been at him for not staying with
Peter nodded toughtfully as their food arrived, including Peter's
favorite barbaque hamburger with the works and fries. He smiled his
thanks to Paul for ordering for him. It wasn't surprising that his
dad knew him so well; Paul, as an ex-mercenary himself, missed little
and remembered everything.
"Annie always said hte fastest way to get you to the table was to put
food on it," Paul chuckled.
"I didn;t know you had started a cleaning service, Peter," Blake
"I haven't, I was paying Kermit back for not killing me," Peter
admited with a half-smile.
"Oh?" Paul asked his eyebrow going up as his long fingers twirled a
"I was leaving for that seminar on investigative techniques in a
multi-ethnic precinct," the young man began, glaring at Paul. The
captain had sent his detective there as a reminder not ot be quite so
creative about following orders.
"And..." Blake encouraged his firend to continue the story.
"Kermit wasn't around so I took one of the laptops from his office to
the training. I meant to have it back before he ever returned,"
Peter winced at the stupidity of that idea.
"Waht happened?" Pauls asked, wondering how he was going to explain
this to the department if he was short a computer that they had
"I came home to a message on my machine at work saying that my laptop
was at the airport and would I like ot pick it up for have it shipped
to me," Kermit smiled preditorily.
Both the older men groaned in harmony. Nobody took one of Kermit's
computers, much less risked losing it.
"I came home and Kermit asked where the laptop was. I figured I was
a dead man, so I admitted the whole thing," Peter confessed.
"Smart move, son," Paul chuckled.
"Kermit told me he had it safe and sound, but asked me what I planned
to do to remind me never to lose a computer again. I told him I was
open to suggestions and he said the apartment needed cleaing so I
agreed to do it," Peter finished.
Paul and Blake were laughing about the whole thing.
"And will you ever do that again?" Kermit asked
"Never," Peter answered quickly and vehemently.
Still laughing about it, the four men piled into the Cadillac to
enjoy a day of playing and bonding together.