**Disclaimer: Billions and its characters belong to Showtime. Not us. There is no profit or copy right infringement intended and absolutely no intention of saying that anyone from Billions stole our ideas in the unlikely event we accidently write something that comes to fruition.
A/N: This one is inspired by a still from the season finale. It is highly unlikely that we have the circumstances right. However, because of what this still suggests on its own, we are giving a possible spoiler warning. Read at your own hedged risk.
Being an arrogant asshole can be a great reliever of stress regardless of the effort that may be required, which is why Bobby is currently wearing his most irritating smirk and sitting back very relaxed, but taking up as much space as is possible just to remind the man sitting across from him that he owns this place and there is absolutely nothing he can or will do about it.
Connerty is sitting as far back in his chair as he can be and looks like someone dumped a wad of dog’s dirt under his nose.
“If you need to vomit, there’s a toilet pan through the door 20 yards behind you.” Bobby says, biting into his pizza.
“That is a lot of Pizza.” Connerty says changing subject and sounding mildly disgusted, surveying the tray with several squares of Pizza on it. Bobby has heard chatter about Connerty being weird about food.
“I’m a greedy asshole…or so they say.” Bobby says with an edge to his voice and letting that just dangle there, adding some tension to proceedings. The only reason he is opening himself up and Connerty is sitting across from him right now is a favour to Orrin. Otherwise, Connerty would have been kicked straight back out the door.
“Orrin said you had something for me.”
“Did he now?” Bobby asks with amusement. Connerty’s self-disgust is a thing of beauty. “You sure he said that? Because I struggle to believe that Orrin Bach would be stupid enough to think I’d want you anywhere near my shit.”
“So, you do have shit?” Connerty fires back.
Bobby adds some needless aggression to his tone and leans forward for good measure. “Wearing a wire, Connerty? Doing some underhand long game undercover work for Rhoades?”
Connerty’s eyes are blazing as Bobby pushes, “No? Guess that is just what you wish you were doing, huh?”
“You already managed that and I haven’t forgotten.” The anger behind Connerty’s eyes is replaced by surprise. Bobby snorts. Of course the alter boy would only equate screwing him over with how many years he spent in a prison cell.
Bobby pushes the tray of pizza over towards the window, clearing the space between him and Connerty. He speaks quietly, slowly, deliberately “I’m not proud of what I did on 9/11. I cannot justify it other than to say I did what I felt was necessary at the time.”
Connerty cannot hide the look of repulsion on his face.
Bobby continues “I was who I was, I am who I am and if I ever have anything for you, you are just going to have to learn to deal with that.” Connerty opens his mouth to say something, but Bobby cuts him off. “I’ll tell you something else too, judging on your apparent standards, I am not the biggest scumbag you’ll ever have to defend working for Orrin. So, I suggest you shed the alter boy robes and quick because those people won’t like sitting across from someone whose first thought is how to judge and not how to defend.”
“Enjoying your new apartment?” Bobby asks, abruptly changing track. Connerty, stays silent. “Well, at least you seem to have grasped the concept that silence is the first line of defence.” Bobby takes another slice of Pizza as Connerty’s face becomes redder. The truth is that Orrin never specifically gave Bobby a reason for his sending Connerty over, probably because he trusted Bobby would understand why without being told. Connerty clearly has no idea why he is here at all.
Bobby leans over to his bag on the seat next to him and pulls out the fake SEC file on Pouch. “You helped save my bacon with this.” Connerty seems to Bobby to be a volcano bubbling away and Bobby just has to pour oil on that molten lava. “Of course that part was an accident and rather took the shine off of something potentially very smart. You went from 10 out of 10 to 2 out of 10 faster than Wags can end up in a gutter on a Friday night.” Connerty is absolutely fuming. “Ok, then! 3 out of 10.”
“That did what it was supposed to.” Connerty answers defiantly.
Bobby opens up the file all the while staring Connerty out. “First of all, you should have listened to Donnie when he pointed out to you what a stupid idea it was to set Pouch up.” Bobby sees genuine sadness cross Connerty’s face at the mention of Donnie’s name. For the first time, he looks away from Bobby, unable to hold his gaze. Bobby sighs. “He liked you.”
“So, why did he do it?”
“You already know the answer to that question. You don’t actually need someone else to say it out loud for you to make it true.” “Secondly.” Bobby continues as if there had been no show of feelings and sharing of emotions, however slight. “The volume of trades in here are pure fiction. If I got that out of him in a month, I’d be ecstatic. As it is, I struggle to get that out of him in 6 months.”
“Struggled.”, Connerty corrects. “You fired him.”
“No. I just gave him an extended holiday.” Bobby answers without looking up from the file, but smirks at the sound of irate indignation across from him.
“Last, but not least, this file is detailed and it makes sense. There is nothing missing in here. Nothing that could give any doubt that Pouch was insider trading and you had him bang to rights or that he was ratting on me. Not one thing in here with even the tiniest hint of a loophole begging to be exploited and used to compromise the contents. It is even written in proper English and I don’t think I saw one typo. In short, it is like nothing that ever came out of Ari Spyros’ office and I mean ever! The idea that incompetent weasel could produce something this good is absolutely diabolical.”
“So you’re saying you cottoned on because it was too perfect?” Connerty asks, leaning towards Bobby for the first time.
Bobby leaves out the fact that he was already a few steps ahead of them by that point. After all, he may owe Orrin a favour or two, but Connerty doesn’t need to learn everything at once.
“No one and nothing is perfect. Not ever.”
Connerty leans back apparently contemplating this. Bobby smiles to himself as Connerty absent mindedly reaches for some Pizza. For his part, he is marvelling at Connerty’s imagination and attention to detail, all of which are wrapped up in this fake SEC file on Pouch. Not that he would tell him that though.
As he looks back up at Connerty after several moments of silence he notes emotions rippling across his face like water when you throw stones.
“You’re going to have to do something about that, you know. Your face and eyes give away how you feel. That will be no use to you as a defence lawyer.”
“How? How do you stop caring and feeling?”
“You don’t. You just hide it.”
“Because you’re defending the rich guy and no one gives a shit how the rich guy and the rich guy’s lawyer feels. They want a pantomime villain. They wouldn’t want to hear it. Not when they want to rage at you. So shut up and let them. You wanna be Clark Kent, loved by all, I suggest you toddle off back to Rhoades.”
They lapse back in to silence.
It is several minutes later when Connerty apparently decides for himself that he is leaving.
“Thanks for the Pizza.” It is awkward from a man still trying to cope with the decision he made to venture to this new world.
Bobby puts his serious game face on “Tell Orrin that his guy is not quite there just yet, but that it won’t be long now.”
“What guy?” Connerty asks confused.
“If he wanted you to know that he would have told you. Just give him the message.”
Connerty seems to consider arguing for a moment, but thinks better of it and heads out.
As soon as Connerty is out the door, Bobby picks up his phone and calls Orrin, who unsurprisingly answers practically after the first ring.
“Well?” Orrin asks.
“I’m not gonna vet all your new guys for you.”
“It is a good thing I won’t ask you to. Just this one.”
“He has a message for you.”
“He does? What would that be?”
“That your guy isn’t quite there yet, but that it won’t be long.”
“Indeed.” Orrin, replies and Bobby can hear the smirk and imagine it too.
“He has no idea how smart or capable he is. Not yet, but you already knew that anyway.”
“Needed to hear it from you, Bobby.”
“Well, you got your guy. Bang to rights.”
Bobby hangs up with the sound of Orrin’s laughter ringing in his ears and nothing more needing to be said.