3 MAY 24, 16:00
Various Locations throughout Portsmouth, VA
Two vehicles on the outbound journey, and buddied up in the one to return, simple logistics which allowed at least a bit of one to one time with the new boss. Buzz was laidback and relaxed, relishing the time outside the office and away from the screen as much as the chance to talk shit.
Standing on the sidewalk in front of Roe’s building, he took in the view, and listened to the sounds of traffic traversing the Elizabeth river. They had about a twenty-minute drive back to pick up his personal car next, then drop that home, return to base and all was good.
“Nice place,” Bradley noted, casually, keeping it somewhere between informal and half-interested, his southern accent wrapped warmly about the words. “I’m the other side – over on the Nasemond River. Fair warning, house looks way above my paygrade.” He flashed a grin. “But I’m just staying in a friend’s spare room for the moment.”
“Wouldn’t want to end up under investigation?” Roe joked as he came from the front door and toward his waiting vehicle. They had elected to take Roe’s as it was already set up with his personal gear.
“Definitely not,” returned Buzz with an amused brightness. “Just the joys of moving house with two kids and a working wife,” he half-explained. “Not figured all that out yet, but kinda grateful for the chaos, being as how we’re about to head off for a while.” He gave an upward nod to his new boss and added. “Ready when you are.”
“Let’s head back and grab your car,” he said, moving to the driver seat and sliding into the car. Once his passenger was in they moved out and headed back for the base. “I can imagine that things must be chaotic they are for me and I’m alone. Though it’ll likely be good to get the team’s feet wet with some minor cases before we get into something deep.”
Watching the world go by as he kept his eyes front, Buzz simply enjoyed letting his new boss focus on the driving for a bit. He was also multi-tasking a little excitement for having a work car. So many less things to worry about when your employer was picking up the tab for wear, tear and any damages.
“Oh, wifey can handle it,” Buzz drawled with mild amusement. “I think she’s sometimes happier when I’m on a case, one less big kid to handle,” he joked. “And hell yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing how this team rolls. You have any concerns at this point?” He asked outright, curious and interested. “Any bad first impressions – or is that an unfair question?”
“That’s a difficult question,” Kevin said. “I will say that I have a personality concern so far but I don’t know if it’s just an interesting first impression. We’ll leave it at that for now.” Kevin didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss a team member with another team member as he was their supervisor. He knew it happened and that every leader generally had someone who was below them in the chain to confide in but he hadn’t chosen that person yet and he wasn’t sure who he could or could not trust yet either.
“Sorry,” came the amiable apology from Buzz. “I guess difficult questions come with the job.” He watched the road for a moment or two, internally considering Roe’s comment and making an educated guess – or at least applying his own opinion to the other man’s statement. “Easier one for ya then, boss,” Bradley said. “Anyone you’ll miss while we’re away?”
“Well, I’m here alone, so no… not really,” he said, with a shrug. “I’ve never been the type to get too tied down and I’ve made lots of relationships across the Coast Guard in my time, thankfully, and outside too.”
Buzz nodded. “I never planned on getting tied down,” he said, with a lazy shrug. “Just kinda happened. Six years in the Army kinda laser-focused me on the good stuff when I got out I guess.” He looked down to his boots and grinned. “So, y’all know folks up in Cape May?”
“Probably,” he said, with a shrug. “Coast Guard is much smaller than the Army.”
“I’m kinda realising that, yeah,” Buzz agreed. “And in this case, small ain’t a bad thing.”
He watched the satnav count down the distance now they’d left the 164 for Harbour View Boulevard. North River Road played out with more spacious and beautifully presented houses to either side, and then just as they slowed to turn left into River Park Drive, they could see the Nansemond river up ahead.
“All the way to the end,” said Buzz, wincing slightly in preparation. “And it’s the second t’last house on the righthand side. 4005. Swing on up onto the drive, you’re good.”
“Jesus your friend must be doing well,” Roe said, as they pulled up through the open gate into the house. “Huge and on the river.” Though it wasn’t a terribly expensive area to live he managed to afford it on his salary although in an apartment.
Buzz chuckled as he opened the car door, then turned back to Roe. “Friend’s a grunt like me,” he said, “but he married well. I’m gonna miss this place just a little bit,” he admitted. “But as always, looking forward to something new.”
“Well then there’s certainly no going wrong in the military then,” Kevin said.
There was a flash of a big dumb grin and Buzz paused for a moment. “I enjoyed it,” he admitted. “Had its moments for sure, but good people and good times. Same,” he added, “as you have with our new team, I’m sure.”
He stepped out of Roe’s car and jabbed a thumb to his own, waiting on the drive. “I’ll see you back at base, boss.”