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Knox was getting to be a regular presence at PM. Twice a week, at least, he would come in to chat with Marty Yan and Casey Harnick. And to their credit, both paid attention to him.

Marty still wasn't thrilled that she was stuck with him. And Knox almost agreed. She had an instinct for crime reporting, one she had honed on the sensational Van Fleet murder in Chicago. Once you've dealt with a dead socialite, scheming ex-spouses, fumbling detectives, and the rest of the Chicago media, Gotham crime isn't that hard. But both knew that her knowledge of Gotham was very limited. So he'd tell her local history, anecdotes, all the things she'd need to understand the city. She took it in, but he was sure she was still hoping her fiance would quit and take a job in Central City. She really wasn't at home here.

Casey knew the city, but he needed an education in how to be a reporter. He wasn't aggressive enough. More over, he thought he could listen to the questions other people asked and draw his own conclusions without thinking he needed to speak up. Casey claimed he was getting the point, but his stories still showed a certain lack of insight. Teaming Harnick and Yan had worked a few times, but that wasn't the goal, and Knox suspected that Casey might not make it as a crime reporter.

Still, he was starting to like the job, and his charges. Marty didn't take any crap, Casey was a fellow Batman enthusiast, and both liked his stories of the 70s. Each had even tossed a few ideas for columns at him, and over lunch once or twice, they had dissected the pluses and minuses of the new DA, Harvey Lee Dent, and whether he would really bring down the city's newest Mob boss, Sal Maroni.

-----

Knox arrived from the August swelter, basked in the air conditioner, and looked for his pupils.

"Hey, Knox." Casey came in from the file room, weighted down with at least eight overstuffed manila folders and envelopes. "Good column."

"Thanks, kid." Casey was "Kid" simply because someone had to be, and Marty would bristle. "What's with the folders?"

"Research on Maroni. He's been around. Did you know he tried to do a hit on Grissom three times?"

"Do you know who you're talking to? I covered two of those. You need to check my old paper for the real story. And to talk to people. Those folders are just facts, remember."

"Facts first. Then interviews." Casey said that often. Knox was sure it was a mantra from J-school, and therefore to be eradicated. "There's an envelope fro you on my desk, by the way. By messenger."

"For me? Couldn't they just mail me my check?" Knox didn't know who'd be sending him anything by messenger, but it could be a scoop, so he hurried to find it before Casey buried it.

"Huh. It's from the GPA. Am I behind on my dues?"

"GPA?" Casey dropped the files on his desk with a WHUMP.

"Gotham Press Association. The union's more professional face. They do luncheons and networking and awards." Awards...it was the right time of year, but they never, ever nominated him.

He tore open the envelope fast, and read the note inside. Three times.

"Oh, man, Ohhhhh, man!" Knox's eyes lit up. "I'm nominated!" He handed Casey the letter.

We are pleased to inform you that you have been nominated for a Gotham Press Association Award for Sustained Excellence in Beat Reporting

"Congrats, Knox!"

"Been waiting years for this, kid. Years. Guess the Bat put me over the top." The Bat, and the exclusive about Mayor's Borg's indictiment - which he regretted by now - and the stories about the blizzard, all adding up to one last burst of reporting acumen. "I wonder who else is nominated. Not that I care. This is big. Not Pulitzer big, but I'll take it.

"Where's Marty? I should buy you guys lunch."

"Downtown. She got an interview with the old Harvey Dent."

"Really? Good for her." There was a tiny hint in his voice that Casey should be next to get that sort of story. For the day, though, Knox wouldn't give anyone a hard time. He folded the note up, stuffed it back in the envelope, stuffed the envelope in his pocket, and smiled some more.

[ooc: Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] a_is_for_amy for the germ of the idea.]

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November 2011

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