Title: i don't care if i lose
Characters: Winona Hawkins, Karen Sisco
Summary: Backstory. In the morning, there’s a church bombing connected to a murder connected back to Boyd Crowder. Winona misses Miami already. Character-swap, ladies-centric AU, inspired by But we are not men by moonshine_givens. PG for language, probably.
i don't care if i lose
For a while after Gary was explosively decapitated, when she was back on the job, Winona did prisoner transport.
Dan Grant thought she might need some time to think things over, and she wasn’t precisely opposed to taking the time, so she hadn’t argued. She knew where she stood, though, and she’d already spent all the tears she meant to on Gary Hawkins.
“Hey Hawkins, come on, we gotta get on the road.” Karen Sisco, was all set to go.
“On a fine day like today, it's a damn shame,” Winona said, but she gathered her things and got up, more than ready to do anything that wasn’t paperwork and gossip.
Karen watched her from the doorway of the break room, leaning easily, a bemused half-smile on her lips. “So what’s your secret?”
“My what now?”
Karen nodded back at the girls in the break room, said, “Girl talk. I just don’t get it. It’s all gossip and catty competition and threats so veiled that it takes me days to sort out a sincere sentiment from the malicious ones. And half the time, I still guess wrong.”
Winona shrugged. That was a lesson she learned early. Got to keep your hand in, and that meant a friendly smile, the right turn of phrase. She’d never thought of it as ‘girl talk’, let alone the kind of competition that Karen described. Threats were threats, no matter if they were delivered with a baseball bat or the sweetest smile in the world -- there was a time and a place, and if you didn't know what was what, you’d lose everyone’s respect.
She guessed that Karen-my-father-is-a-detective had probably seen more than her fair share of threats, though, considering her situation.
About half-an-hour in, Karen said, “I heard what Gary did.” She was like that, didn’t waste words. “I’m sorry about what happened to him.”
Winona was sorry, too -- Gary was nice, Gary was a sweetheart. He was a moron, but he made her laugh enough that she thought she could be really happy with him. He didn’t remind her of all the shit she’d left behind in Kentucky, and he was always looking forward. He talked about their future like he could see it all unfolding for them, like he knew just what they’d build together, like it was beautiful.
He made her feel wanted, the way no one else had ever managed. No matter how much she’d loved Raylan, no matter how they fit, it had never felt like anything less than the inevitable, something they couldn’t fight. Gary made her feel like a choice, and one he loved to make, every single day.
“Gary was an idiot.” She’d loved him, but there was no disputing that.
“You married him,” Karen said, like it was some kind of trump card.
“Oh, like you never slept with that damn bank robber, a few years back,” said Winona, only mostly teasing, “And that Feeb,” which was almost the worse offense.
That was uncalled for, it being the same jab that everyone in the Marshals' office had been taking for months, but Winona had heard just about enough about how Gary wasn’t the man for her.
“At least I knew better than to marry either of them.”
Winona knew she deserved that one. Still -- “Karen, I like you. I like the way you are -- demanding the respect you’re owed, beating the boys at their own game." This is true; Winona approves of her style. "But you ever think that it’s not the only game in town?”
There was silence in the car for another five miles, just the sound of the A/C laboring away in the thick summer humidity.
“Is that your way of saying, I’ll sleep with who I want to, even if it’s a secret bank robber one week and a Feeb the next, and you’ll get married if you want to, no matter if he is a total loser?”
Probably close enough to what Winona had meant. “That’s about it.”
“Un-be-liev-able,” said Karen, in her flattest Miami Beach accent, but she was smiling all the same.
This references the short story "Karen Makes Out" by Elmore Leonard, though I have never actually read "Out of Sight".
Also, I guess it's about time I linked to the song that I'm taking all these titles from so here it is: The Hand That Thieves by Toh Kay