Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Decker & Hayes, Series Two
Episode 4 - The Way It Used To Be

By Nicholas Taylor Roach

Mama Wang
Derrick Washburn
Stella Decker
Tommy Potsdam
Julian McGuinness
Paige Rose

Narrator: Things aren’t always the way they appear. Especially in a place like Parlortown, where the harlots could be loving mothers, the authorities could be crooks, and the detectives, our modern knights in shining armor, can have a far darker past than imagined. Stella Decker knows this better than anyone else. A gangster-turned-private eye, she’s seen it all the time. Crime bosses masquerading as tax consultants, assassins playing the part of girlfriends, and now, hitmen pretending to be distraught fathers. In the murky depths of Parlortown’s South Tip, Stella made a visit to Celeste "Mama" Wang, a madam with a heart of gold, hoping to find a lead on this enigmatic case. In the process of doing so, Stella’s client Derrick Washburn arrived with a thickening of the plot and a loaded gun. With the help of Mama, Stella knocked him out and tied him up with the intent of finding out what’s really going on…

Washburn: (Groans) One thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight…

Mama: Honey, you’re going to need more than a bunch of numbers if you plan on leaving some time soon. South Tip’s cellars are full of forgotten bodies the boys in blue never got around to finding.

Stella: Wait, Mama. This might be something important.

Washburn: The way it used to be…was so much different.

Mama: Dear, I hope you start making some sense soon. I’d hate to see what would happen if I had to call up the rest of the gang.

Stella: Why have you been looking for Macy? I’d hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re not exactly her type.

Washburn: (Regaining his senses slowly) I’ll take that as a compliment. Her type isn’t a safe one to be near?

Stella: Just what are you insinuating?

Washburn: Untie me first.

Mama: Not gonna happen, shiny shoes. Give us what we need to know, first. Then we’ll consider it.

Washburn: Impeding an agent of the U.S. government is a pretty serious offense, Miss Wang. Don’t think the CIA won’t be looking for this body if it winds up in a cellar. Go on, check the credentials. Right coat pocket.

Narrator: Stella reached into the man’s coat pocket and withdrew a wallet. In it was a card with his picture on it and the CIA logo, indicating his status as an operative. The name read "Agent Jason Drake."

Stella: So you’re a fed…

Drake: If you want to call me that, sure.

Stella: What do you want with Macy?

Drake: It all started in 1988 when Hayes and her old partner, runs by the name of Lexi Grayson, was working with us on a mission in Russia. The Cold War was almost over and the Ruskies had the KGB team up with them for this one. They were to off an ex-general in the Russian army who was causing some trouble with his arms sales. A renegade called Smerdyakov. Grayson was to sneak into his office and do the deed while Hayes stood guard outside and made sure no one interrupted. Evidently, things didn’t go according to plan. We just got word that Smerdyakov is still alive and well…and he’s not happy with how either us or the mother country’s been treating him. What’s more, Grayson’s gone turncoat. We know she’s part of a terrorist cell that Smerdyakov is leading somewhere in this very area. Grayson was never happy with Hayes leaving the Agency for Cross, but there’s more to it than that. She has something that Smerdyakov needs. Your partner’s in over her head.

Stella: I doubt you’re here to keep her from drowning.

Drake: Of course not. I’m here to see if she can pull Smerdyakov out of hiding. Truth be told, I don’t have a son. I’m not even married. That was just a story to get me closer to Macy.

Stella: With all these lies floating around, how can I be sure your story isn’t one of them?

Drake: How else would I know so much about Agent Hayes’ past? The only other group that knew so much was Wexler & Cross…and, well…I don’t think any of them can tell me much of anything anymore given their condition. Now, if 20 Questions is over, can you untie me?

Narrator: Stella and Mama exchanged looks.

Stella: Why don’t you sit this one out and let the big boys play, eh Drake? Mama, can you take care of the suit until this shindig’s through?

Mama: No way. Dear, I love you to death, but I’m not going to keep some fed holed up in here for God knows how long.

Drake: Besides, you need me. You don’t stand a chance at finding Smerdyakov. He keeps too low of a profile. Your best lead is Grayson, and even she’s tough to track unless you know the kind of people I do.

Narrator: Stella weighed her options for a few moments. Go it alone, possibly getting help from McGuiness who knows even less about this case than her, or bring Drake along for the ride even if his story does still seem fishy. Finally, she made her decision.

Stella: Mama, untie the rope. Drake, you better not be more trouble than you’re worth.

Drake: Trust me. I’m not.

Stella: You did already kill a good friend.

Drake: What makes you think I did that?

Mama: It could be the gunshots we heard before you came in, or you admitting to murdering him, you psycho.

Drake: I said I dispatched with him.

Stella: That means you killed him.

Drake: It could mean I killed him. It could also mean to dispose of something or to complete a task. In this case it’s the latter. Follow me.

Narrator: Drake led Mama and Stella toward the stairs where they could hear distant groaning. At the bottom, they could see Lucky clutching his foot to his chest in agonizing pain. Blood oozed out of a hole in his boot.

Mama: Mr. White?! Oh God!!

Lucky: You crazy son of a bitch! What did you do to my foot?

Stella: Call an ambulance, now!

Narrator: Later, Stella found herself in yet again the sterile, uncaring environment of the hospital, hoping beyond hope that yet another one of her friends survives a senseless shooting. It seems like history has a nasty habit of repeating itself in Parlortown. This time, however, it wasn’t the familiar presence of Macy, Tommy, or Julian in the room with her, but that of the still-dubious Agent Drake. After a long, uncomfortable silence in the waiting room, Drake decided to speak up.

Drake: What’s on your mind?

Stella: What’s on my mind? In the last 24 hours, I’ve met two old friends so close that they were like family to me, only for some crazy jackass to come along and shoot them, putting them in here. That’s what’s on my mind. And guess what? I don’t even know why it happened either time.

Drake: Stella…he wouldn’t let me in.

Stella: So you had to shoot him?

Drake: Yeah. I had to keep up appearances. The plan was to wound him so people knew I meant business, take you out of there at gunpoint, then explain everything to you personally so I wouldn’t blow my cover in front of those two. Now, at least one person who shouldn’t know about my operation does.

Stella: (Dripping with sarcasm) Well, I’m sorry to be an inconvenience. (Beat) Look, I’m going to see how Tasha’s doing. After that, we can start following up these leads of yours. And you better be here when I get back. CIA, mafiaoso, whatever. I don’t care who you are.

Narrator: That said, Stella got up to ask the receptionist if it was still visitation hours. Elsewhere in town, Tommy Potsdam was en route to the apartment/office of Paige Rose. With Stella’s Visa being overdrawn, the check turned out to be the only option they had. Passing the Blue Light Diner, Tommy couldn’t help but remember the fiasco that went on there, landing Macy Hayes in prison and his girlfriend six feet under. A few blocks down and three stories up, he found the door to Paige’s apartment ajar with a sign hanging off the doorknob reading "Out to Lunch"

Tommy: Silly girl. Makes a living off looking into other people’s things and she can’t even put a little effort towards keeping others from doing it back. Well, I’ll just drop off the check inside.

Narrator: As a precaution, Tommy knocked on the door a few times. When he was certain she was still out, he stepped in. Paige’s housekeeping skills were about as sloppy as her security. Take-out food containers, papers, and other things were strewn about the place. He found some relatively uncluttered portion of Paige’s desk to place the envelope Stella had given him.

Tommy: That part’s done. I do say. Miss Decker and I keep a far cleaner ship than this Paige woman.

Narrator: As he started for the door, Tommy heard the phone ring. It took everything inside of him to resist the well-conditioned urge to pick it up and say "Decker and Hayes." He continued for the door instead, letting it ring until the answering maching picked up. He stopped when he heard an all-too-familiar voice.

McGuiness: Yo, this is McGuinness. Kudos on the bug in her room, kid. I could use someone like you in my offices. Been a while since I’ve had a partner too, and not in that way. McGuiness and Rose. Call me if you’re interested. Anyway, I also called to thank you on the intel. I knew there was something suspicious about that Grayson and Lansberg. I might need your services a little bit more. Leads aren’t coming easy with these two. Gimme a call back when you can, babe.

Tommy: Good God! She is bugging us!

Paige: Now I feel hurt. All this time, I’ve been nothing but a bother to you?

Tommy: Paige, you’re back!

Paige: Damn right, I am. What the hell are you doing in my apartment?

Tommy: Dropping off your check. What the hell are you doing invading my employer’s privacy?

Paige: That’s none of your concern. Julie and I figured you wouldn’t approve, so we kept it a secret.

Tommy: Bloody right I wouldn’t! Miss Decker needs to know about this, as well as these Grayson and Lansberg fellows.

Paige: No, Tommy! You don’t understand!

Tommy: Out of my way!

Narrator: Tommy pushed past Paige and bolted down the stairs before she could say another word. He ran in a dead sprint until he got back to the office.

Tommy: Miss Decker! Miss Decker! I was right! Paige is spying on us!

Narrator: He got as far as his desk before he felt another presence in the room, and it wasn’t Stella’s. Turning, he saw a gun trained on him. It’s holder: Macy.

Macy: Kid, I think that’s the least of your worries, right now.

Narrator: Nothing at all is how it appeared at first glance and now both Stella Decker and Tommy Potsdam are yearning for the way it used to be when things were simpler and you knew what side everyone was on. What is Macy doing? Did Paige and Julian really plant bugs in Stella’s office? Is Agent Drake telling the truth? The plot thickens in the next episode of Decker & Hayes: "Secrets & Lies."

Go to Episode 5