OK, number four coming up. This is a sequel to 'Church Picnic' Just because. You know how those muses are. It's the Monday following the picnic, and the guys are all in court. With that creep, Lawrence. Remember him? Good.
As usual, I don't own them. I won't make any money at this. Please don't sue me. Thank you for sending feedback. Six more. I started Sunday and finished this Tuesday. J I just might make it to ten before Wolfpup gets back. This is not a feat I intend to ever repeat, so don't ask.
I'll See You In Court
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Wearing suits and ties, Jim Ellison and his partner were uncomfortable, waiting to be called as witnesses for the prosecution. Joel Taggart, on the other hand, used to wearing a suit and tie, appeared perfectly relaxed.
"You just don't understand, Joel. He's gonna kill me for what I did Friday." Blair worriedly paced.
"No, he isn't, Chief." Jim told him. He wouldn't dare. If he does anything to you, just mention the events of Friday and suggest suing him or pressing charges. Everyone in the office saw what happened. There were even half a dozen cops there, ready, willing and able to take him on for you. Don't sweat it. Besides. If it gets too rough, I'll take him on." He paused, "Although, since he's bigger than I am, I find it much more amusing that you put him on the floor." He grinned, a rather feral grin, but still, a grin.
"That makes it worse, man. You don't have any idea what he's going to do to me."
"Blair, he won't. It would mean his job. He wouldn't dare do anything against you in public, and once we leave here, he won't have a chance at you." Joel agreed with Jim.
"You just don't understand." Blair whispered, dropping heavily into a chair.
Jim looked at his agitated friend, worried. "Obviously not, Chief. Why don't you explain it to us?"
Blair sighed and looked up at his friends. "OK. I was a smart little kid. Emphasis on little. Everywhere we moved, I'd get picked on by the local bullies. A couple of times, I got mad and took them on. Once, I got in a single punch, and it turned out that he had a glass jaw. Down and out. I took one look at him, then looked at the shocked looks on the other kid's faces. I ran. The next day, he and three of his buddies beat me up. I was in the hospital for a week." He wasn't looking at his friends, so didn't see the expressions of horror and anger.
"Man, that sucks." Joel muttered.
Blair looked up in surprise. "Huh?"
"You must have been a trouble magnet all your life. Most bullies, once vanquished, give up. You're the only person I've ever heard of who got beat up worse after having won a fight with a bully." He shook his head. "What happened?"
"We moved." Blair dropped his head again. The unspoken 'I wasn't worth defending, even by my own mother.' hanging like a pall over the room. Jim's jaw twitched in anger.
"I'm sorry, Chief. But that won't happen here."
"No, it won't. We won't let it." Joel agreed.
Blair looked up and realized that they meant it. They were angry for him. He started to relax. Realizing that he really didn't need to worry, this time. He smiled, a little hesitant, but still, a smile.
"...and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"
"I so affirm." Joel replied. The prosecutor began his questioning. He spoke softly, asking his questions. Joel answered firmly, clear and concise. The defense asked their questions, he was unshakeable. When he was dismissed, Blair was called to the stand.
"Mr. Sandburg, please state your relationship with the police?"
Blair was surprised, not expecting that sort of question from the prosecutor. With a quick glance at his friends, he took a deep breath and answered. "I'm a graduate student working on my doctoral thesis in anthropology. I'm studying closed societies and have been assigned as an observer with the Major Crime Division of the Cascade Police Department. I'm partnered with Detective Ellison."
"I see." He paced back to his table, picked up a piece of paper, just ignoring him. Blair cast a confused look at his friends, who shrugged in equal puzzlement.
"Mr. Sandburg, why were you at the scene?"
Blair blinked, "Uh, because I was on my way to return some video tapes to the store next door." He was wondering whether this guy had read the reports. The questioning degenerated from there. The prosecutor asked odd questions, seemingly unrelated to the case, like whether or not Blair used drugs ("Absolutely not."), or what he 'thought' he saw. Almost like he was doing the defense's job for them.
"Mr. Sandburg, what is your relationship with Detective Ellison?"
"You heard me. What is your relationship with Detective Ellison?"
"We're partners, friends."
"Don't you also live with him?"
"We share a condo, yeah."
"You have your own room do you?" The innuendo blatant. And there was no one to object to the line of questioning.
"Yes. And my own car, and my own job, and my own girlfriends, and..."
"I didn't ask you about your sexuality, Mr. Sandburg. Is that a problem?" Sarcasm dripping in his voice.
"No. Not really. Is it a problem with you?"
"Your honour, the witness is being contentious," The prosecutor complained.
"I'm afraid that I have to agree with Mr. Sandburg, Mr. Lawrence. He's your witness. Didn't you go over his testimony in advance?"
Lawrence stiffened. There were almost inaudible sniggers from the gallery. He suddenly realized that the incident from the previous Friday had gotten literally everywhere, and there were a number of members of the District Attorney's office present.
"No, your honour. The witness refused to answer any questions." Trying to salvage things.
"Approach the bench, counselors." The judge commanded.
When they reached the bench, She leaned over and spoke quietly. Unfortunately, Blair could hear every word.
"Mr. Lawrence, if you are trying to lose this case, you are doing an excellent job of it. You are new here, I understand that. However, everyone, and I mean everyone has heard about Friday's incident. I suggest you back off and ask the questions you really need to ask, or I will be forced to request to have you replaced. Which is not a good thing to have happen to you on your first case for the DA's office, don't you agree? He couldn't believe the judge was taking the side of that little, fag, hippie, over his macho, 'went to law school on a football scholarship' self. He was furious, but struggled to hide it.
"Yes, of course, your honour." He said through gritted teeth.
"Mr. Sandburg, please tell the jury, in your own words, the incidents you observed."
Blair smiled, bounced in his seat and started talking, hands waving expressively. He soon had the entire courtroom entranced with his retelling of the robbery he had observed, and his part in the capture of the thieves.
Lawrence couldn't help but be impressed. The punk could really spin a tale. And every word concurred with the testimony of the two policemen he had been able to grill in advance.
Although he had opened the door for some really nasty cross-examination, the defense merely politely asked for clarification of key issues, not taking up the attack on the little punk's personal life. He couldn't figure out why.
"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"
"I do." When directed, Jim sat. His jaw was still torqued from his anger at the treatment of his partner by this piece of pond scum.
"Detective, what brought you to the scene of the crime?"
"I received a call from my partner. He had spotted the clerk's hands going up and the suspicious actions of the three men in the store. I called to Joel Taggart to go with me to the scene, and called for backup, as well."
"Why wasn't your partner with you?"
"He'd been at the station that morning, but he had grades to post and office hours that afternoon. He was supposed to stop at the video store on his way to the university to drop off the tapes."
"When he called, you immediately dropped everything to run to his side?"
"Excuse me?" Any other member of the DA's office would have recognized the signs. Lawrence was new. He didn't know or understand about this particular detective.
"I heard what you said. I want to know why you said it. I'm a cop. My partner called in a report of a robbery in progress. What did you expect me to do? Call up Robbery? I did. I also informed them that I was rolling on it, because it was my partner who called it in. If you have a problem about that, then I suggest you tell me what it is. Explain yourself to me."
The judge refused to interrupt. She was enjoying the show.
"Your honour, please..."
"Mr. Lawrence, you have made your bed, now you must lie in it. The court would be interested in hearing your explanation of why you are treating your own witnesses as though they were hostile. Yet, when you ask the proper questions, your witnesses seem perfectly capable of making clear and concise statements. You do have an explanation, don't you?"
He was angry. All because he had allowed that little punk to catch him off guard. Now he was being made a fool of in public. He wasn't a fool. He realized that his reaction to Sandburg's appearance may have been premature. It shouldn't have made any difference. It was just that...
"My apologies, your honour." He looked back at his witness. "Detective Ellison, please describe the scene from your perspective."
Jim glared at him for another moment, then began describing the events after his arrival at the scene. He spoke clearly and concisely, and there was little doubt left in anyone's mind as to the guilt of the defendants.
When the verdict was read, the defendants were found guilty of armed robbery and several other related charges. As they filed out, Jim, Blair and Joel tried to ignore the prosecutor. He caught up with them on the steps.
"Detectives. Good job." He congratulated them. Joel looked at him, dumbfounded. Jim turned, slowly. Blair seeing the look on his Blessed Protector's face attempted to stop him.
"No, Jim. He's not worth it." Holding his partner back.
"No. He isn't. But you are." He gently disengaged his arm from Blair's grasp.
"Mr. Lawrence. If you ever say another word to my partner about his appearance, or life style, or sexuality, or anything else not specifically related to a case again, I will take you apart like the slimy piece of shit that you are and flush you down the nearest sewer. What the hell did you think you were doing? You could have lost that case. What the hell set you off on Blair? Was it the long hair? The fact that he's an academic? What? You're new here, so I was on my best behavior when you raked me over the coals for four hours. Joel was, as well. Something set you off when you saw Sandburg, and when he wouldn't take any more of your shit and left, you went after him and tried to intimidate him physically with your greater size and strength. Well, when a six-foot, five-inch man, weighing in at about, oh, say three hundred pounds? Football player, right? Couldn't make it in the NFL? When someone your size picks on someone as much smaller as Blair is smaller than you, we have a name for that kind of person. We call him a bully. Now, I heard about what happened Friday. There were a number of cops there who wanted Blair to press charges. He didn't do it. He won't do it. He has too much class for that. However, you had better mind your manners around him in the future, or you'll have me to deal with. Yeah. You're younger and bigger and possibly stronger. But you can never match me on pure mean. Do you understand me, Mr. Lawrence?"
When he began his impassioned speech, Jim advanced on the larger man. With every word, every emphasis, he moved closer, and Lawrence moved back, until, finally, he bumped into the wall and could go no further. Jim never touched him, but the look in his eyes frightened the bigger man. Joel and Blair flanking Jim didn't hurt, either.
"Do you understand, Mr. Lawrence?"
"Yes. I understand. I won't bother you again."
"I'm not worried about you bothering me. You need to worry about whether you bother Sandburg."
With that, he turned away, put his arms around his friends and headed down the steps.
"Wow, Jim. That was intense." Blair was bouncing in excitement. Joel just shook his head in awe.
"Good going, Jim. I don't think I've ever seen you back down anyone like that before. With words instead of your fists. Congratulations." He cast a glance at the two men. Jim was still clenching his jaw, and Blair was on an adrenaline high.
"Come on, guys. Come on over for dinner. I'll call Simon and Brian and Henri and we can play a little poker."
"On Monday?" Blair asked in surprise.
"Yeah. I think we all need to unwind, after that."
So they did.
Four down and six to go. J
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