This is based on real incidents (from whence a great many of my stories stem... this isn't, however, one of the old war stories from former instructors. I got this one from one of those 'reality' shows on cops.) I liked the idea and told it to Graywulf, who said 'plot bunny?' It's been a week since that conversation, and it's nagging at me (I don't need Lila's 'pointy stick of inspiration', as several folks know, my imagination is still running very strong, I've just cut back on writing, except for things I had already promised to people. I'm tired and haven't felt like writing... basically, for the past year.) This one isn't forced, I'm just going to let the musae run with it. It's probably going to be really short, but that's okay.

For Graywulf, for being there and listening.

You Call This A Chase Scene?


"Slow down, Chief."

"What?!" Blair nearly squeaked with shock. "What do you mean, 'slow down', Jim? We can't let this guy get away. If you were driving, we'd probably have run him off the road already."

"Not this time. Just keep back a bit, okay?" Jim replied. He was focused on the vehicle ahead and didn't notice when his partner cast a worried glance his way.

"Jim, I'm a good driver, I'm not going to crash your truck..."

"It's not that, Chief. That's a kid driving that car. If we put too much pressure on him, he's going to panic and have a wreck. I can see he doesn't have his seatbelt on, and that car doesn't have an air bag. If he crashes, he could be killed."

"You can tell from behind how old he is?" Blair asked in amazement, backing off a bit in his pursuit.

"I can see him in his rear-view mirror, he can't be more than eighteen. He grabbed the car for a joyride, and he doesn't deserve to die for it. I think if we just keep back, keep the pressure light, he'll eventually give up," Jim explained.

"Prevent further panic, let him have a chance to think about it and decide to give himself up? You think that's going to happen?" Blair was unconvinced.

"Yeah, I think it will. It might take a while, but this way no one is put at risk." Jim reached for the microphone and broadcast, "This is David 1 5 2 in pursuit of stolen vehicle, 3 9 5 Adam William Boy. We are heading north on Ocean Avenue, passing Dawson. Alert all units that the suspect appears to be a juvenile and we are easing hot pursuit." He released the button and turned to his partner, "I think this kid will give up if we give him a chance to think."

"Roger, David 1 5 2, All units, David 1 5 2 is in pursuit of stolen vehicle, 3 9 5 Adam William Boy, be advised that this is a code two pursuit, as suspect is believed to be a minor. Repeat, code two pursuit..."

Jim hung the microphone back on it's hook and sat back, trying to ease his aching shoulder and hip, injured in a fall earlier in the day; the result of another pursuit.

Blair glanced at his partner, "You doing okay there, Jim?"

"Yeah, just starting to ache a bit, it's nothing serious, though."

"Yeah, that was a pretty bad fall you took, though. What did the doctor say?"

"That the 'sunset should be spectacular'," Jim grunted, trying again to find a comfortable way to sit that wouldn't aggravate his bruises.

Blair chuckled, "Now, where have I heard that, before?"

Jim grinned, "Oh, let me see, it's been... wow! Almost a month since our last trip to the ER. We're doing better."

"Funny, man. At least it wasn't me, this time."

"Yeah, this time."

"Where do you suppose he's heading?"

"I don't know, but he's turning off..." Jim picked up the microphone again, "Dispatch, this is David 1 5 2, stolen vehicle is turning east on Valmont. Isn't that a dead end street?"

"Affirmative, David 1 5 2. From Ocean Avenue, Valmont runs six blocks and then ends. All units, stolen vehicle, 3 9 5 Adam William Boy has turned east on Valmont from Ocean Avenue. Backup is requested for David 1 5 2."

"This is Echo 3, we will back up David 1 5 2, E T A, three minutes."

"Roger, Echo 3, provide back up for David 1 5 2, E T A, three minutes. 4 William 7, provide backup and transportation, Valmont off of Ocean."

"Roger, Dispatch, this is 4 William 7, E T A, five minutes."

"Roger, 4 William 7, E T A, five minutes."

"What do you suppose brought Joel and Megan out?" Blair asked.

"I don't know, Chief, but our perp just realized he's hit the dead end, so hit the siren and block the street, will you?"

"Duh, Jim." Blair replied sarcastically as he did as directed. His stop wasn't nearly as spectacular as Jim probably would have made it; no slamming on of brakes and sliding around to block the street, simply the calm, slow swinging around and angling of the big truck to block the road. The driver of the stolen car, realizing that he was trapped, stopped the vehicle and got out, holding his hands above his head, his fearful trembling visible even from their distance of thirty feet. For a few moments, they stared at each other. It was now obvious that their perp was a juvenile, he definitely looked too young to drive. Blair glanced back when he heard another vehicle pull up behind them. Seeing their back up, he opened the door and got out of the truck. Jim, with a soft grunt of pain, got out the passenger side and stood awkwardly, keeping his eyes on their soon-to-be prisoner.

"Hey, guys," Joel called softly as he approached. "So, how do you want to handle this?" he asked softly, giving control to the junior officers who had done all the hard work.

"How about we just walk up to him?" Blair suggested.

"Good idea, Chief. No guns, though. He's already about to pee his pants. We don't need to scare him any more." Jim said.

"Why don't Sandy and I go get him?" Megan suggested. "Either one of you are liable to scare the poor kid to death."

Joel chuckled, "Sounds good to me, how about you, Jim?"

"Sounds good to me; that way, I don't have to move," Jim agreed, grimacing in pain.

Blair gave his partner a sharp look; he'd said that he was 'fine' when they left the hospital. It was now more than apparent that he was far from 'fine'. "Jim?"

"I'm all right, Sandburg, just stiffening up is all. Don't worry, if he rabbits this way, I'll get him. You and Megan go on and get him before he decides to try something foolish, okay?"

"You mean, more foolish than stealing a car?"

"Children, just go get the kid, will you?" Joel interjected, gently nudging his partner in the proper direction.

"C'mon, Sandy, let's not keep the old men waiting," Conner said cheekily and started walking towards the obviously terrified teen who was still standing by the stolen car.

"Right," Blair said, giving his partner a worried look before turning and following her.

"How bad is it, Jim?" Joel asked as soon as the two younger officers had moved away.

"Just bruised, is all. I'm just starting to stiffen up. I'll be fine in a couple of days."

Joel snorted. "Yeah, I remember those days, fall down a cliff and come back for more. I finally outgrew it, though... and I think it's starting to look like you may have, too."

"Yeah, you may be right," Jim agreed, carefully stretching his stiffening muscles. "Man, this hurts."

"Well, do yourself a favor and don't try to be superman, Jim. You'll only do yourself and your partner a disservice," the older man advised. "You're still in great shape, but as you get older it's going to take longer to heal, and it's going to seem to hurt more than it did even a few years ago."

Jim smiled softly, "That's the voice of experience talking, I assume?"

"Oh, yeah. I used to be young once, thought I was invincible... then I went to 'Nam... and learned that I wasn't."

Jim looked at his friend, seeing the man remembering something bad. He reached out one hand and gently lay it on the bigger man's shoulder. "None of is invincible, Joel. I know that." Joel looked at him, a bit surprised. "You want to talk about it?" Jim offered.

Joel sighed, "No, it's all right, just one of those times of the year, you know?"

Jim did, the anniversary of the crash in Peru came to mind, or the day Danny Choi died, or... yeah, he knew. He patted Joel on the shoulder. "If you want or need to talk, I'm here, big guy."

"I know, thanks, Jim."

Blair and Megan quietly approached the terrified joy rider. Both were wearing their badges prominently; there was no doubt that they were cops. When they were close enough to speak in a normal tone of voice, Blair smiled and said "Take it easy, we're not going to hurt you."

The boy was terrified, he was shaking violently and looked about to faint. Turning his eyes from one cop to the other, he finally focused on the man, whose expression didn't seem quite as intimidating as the woman's.

Connor grabbed the boy and spun him around, pushing him forward to lean on the hood of the car, "I'm sure you've heard the expression, 'feet back and spread 'em'?"

"Take it easy, Connor. He's just a kid," Blair admonished.

She looked at him in surprise, "You're joking."

"No, here, I'll frisk him. You just back off. He's scared enough already. Now," Blair began to frisk their suspect, "What's your name?"

"B-bobby Singleton," the boy stammered out, flinching as he was pulled gently upright and handcuffed.

"Want to tell me why you took the car?"

"I-I-I..." The boy stopped and swallowed hard. "I took it to keep my sister's boyfriend from doing something bad."

"How old are you, Bobby?" Megan asked, finally recognizing what Blair had noticed right off, that the boy was terrified and wasn't going to give them any trouble.

"F-f-fourteen. M-my s-s-sister's boyfriend, his name is Greg Simmons, I heard him bragging about the deal he was going to make, he said he was going to get a lot of money and take Cindy away with him, and she was going to help him. I knew that he was going to do something bad, so I took his car, so he couldn't... but I didn't think he'd call the cops and report it stolen..." he trailed off in dismay.

Blair looked curiously at the boy, realizing that, just maybe, he wasn't really their suspect. He began to escort the boy back towards the other officers, leaving Megan to take care of the impounding of the vehicle.

"Bobby, how long has Greg had this car?" Blair asked as they joined the older officers.

"A-about a week. Why?" He looked up to see the other two detectives, they were huge! And the expression on the white one's face was the scariest thing he'd ever seen in his life, including some of the guys in the neighborhood hyped up and overdosed on drugs.

They came to a halt by the old truck. Bobby swallowed hard and looked up at the two older detectives. Intimidating didn't begin to describe them. He started shaking again.

"Jim," Blair began, "When was that car reported stolen?"

"Last week some time, why?"

"Well, I think you need to hear Bobby's story, then." He turned to the boy, "Tell them what you told me, Bobby."

Bobby looked at the smaller cop, uncertainly, seeing only encouragement in his expression, he glanced furtively at the two bigger cops again, took a deep breath and began. "My sister's boyfriend, Greg Simmons, it's his car, he got it last week, he's planning on doing something bad, and he wants my sister Cindy to help him. I-I-I took the car so he couldn't."

Jim and Joel exchanged speculative looks, then focused on the boy. Jim asked, "What was he planning to do?"

"H-he said he was gonna sell something, and get a lot of money. I-I-I think he put it in the trunk, I saw him out there this morning, he was doing something in the trunk, and then he went back inside with Cindy, and I got his keys where he left them, and I took the car, I thought I'd take it to the police station, only I didn't know where it is, then you started chasing me and I got scared, and I ran, but then you didn't chase me so hard, and I was thinking maybe I should just stop, then I turned off and it was a dead end and there wasn't anyplace else to go, and I didn't want to be shot, so I just stopped and..."

Jim interrupted the boy, "Do you have the keys to the trunk? Do you know what he put in it?"

"The keys are in it, and I didn't look, I just took off in it." Bobby admitted.

"Where are your parents, Bobby?" Joel asked gently.

"Th-they're out of town for the week, visiting my grandma. She's sick."

Just then, Connor called from the stolen car, "You lads might want to take a look at this."

Looking at each other, Jim motioned the others to go take a look while he stayed with Bobby.

Seeing how frightened the boy was, Jim tried to smile reassuringly at him, which only seemed to frighten the boy even more. "So, you took the car from Greg this afternoon, but he's had it for a week? Where does he keep it?"

"With my folks out of town, he kept it in our garage," Bobby admitted.

"Did you see what he put in the trunk?" Jim asked, watching the excitement taking place down the street as his colleagues looked through the trunk of the stolen car.

"No, I think he found something in the trunk when he bought the car." Bobby was also watching the other cops.

"Bobby, the car was reported stolen a week ago. Greg didn't buy it, he stole it. Now, from the looks of things, we're going to go looking for him, and then, depending on where he got what's in the trunk, possibly go to the owner and talk to him, as well. You sure you don't have any idea what's in the trunk?"

"No, I didn't have time to look." Bobby looked hopefully up at the tall detective.

"Well, instead of taking the car, you really should have just called the police. Then you wouldn't be in trouble."

"I didn't think. All I could think of was stopping him from doing something bad and taking Cindy away."

"Well, you may just get lucky, this time. There better not be a next time, though," Jim said.

Shaking his head, Blair came back, leaving Joel and Megan to handle the contents of the trunk. Looking at Bobby, Blair grinned, "You have no idea what's in the trunk, right?"

"Right." Bobby replied worriedly.

"Drugs or guns, Chief?" Jim asked.

"Counterfeit money, Jim. Lots of it. Plus a couple Kilos of what looks like meth, three assault rifles, and a box of hand grenades."

Jim blinked in surprise. "I think we need to talk to the car's owner, Chief... That doesn't sound like the kind of thing a punk would be able to get his hands on. I'll call Simon and tell him. Don't let anything go out over the radio on this, OK? Go tell Joel?"

"Don't have to, he said the same thing." Blair grinned. Bobby looked even more worried, now knowing what had been in the trunk. Blair patted him on the shoulder, "I think you just may be in luck, Bobby." He looked up at the approaching patrol car. "Uh, Jim? Do you want them to take Bobby in?"

Jim, speaking to their captain on the phone, looked up and paused a moment, then looked at Blair and shook his head. Blair nodded and went over to tell the patrolmen that they would be transporting themselves.

"Bobby, what's your address?" Jim asked.

"1957 Pine Street."

Jim repeated the information, then turned away to look at the stolen car and watch Joel and Megan inventorying the contents of the trunk.

Bobby tried to listen to the telephone conversation, but it was too soft for him to hear. Blair watched his partner's face, reading more from Jim's expression than he would have gotten from half of a conversation. Jim wore a satisfied smile when he disconnected the call. "Simon wants Bobby in his office while we straighten everything out." He looked at the boy, "Simon's sending Brown and Rafe out to pick up Greg and Cindy. Then, we'll maybe get to the bottom of this whole mess. Meanwhile, we need to get a hold of your parents, Bobby. Do you have a phone number where they can be reached?"

Bobby swallowed hard and nodded. "They're in Olympia, (360) 555-2219." Blair jotted down the number, then looked at his partner.

"We'll call them from the station," Jim said. Blair nodded. Jim looked down at the boy, "If you promise not to try and run off, I'll take the cuffs off of you. But if you try anything..."

Bobby looked relieved. "No sir, I'm not going to try anything. I promise."

Blair took the cuffs off the boy and motioned him to get in the truck. Bobby was a bit nervous, sandwiched between Jim and Blair, but relaxed a bit when Blair started the truck and the sounds of Santana drifted out of the speakers.

"Hey, cool music." Bobby smiled at Blair.

Jim chuckled as Blair grimaced. "Thanks. You like Santana?"

"Oh, yeah..." and the boy started off on a lecture of contemporary music, much to Jim's amusement and Blair's consternation.

"Forensics was able to lift some good prints off the stuff in the trunk," Simon informed them as they sat at their desks, filling out their reports. "I think Bobby's going to be off the hook, seeing as how his prints are only on the steering wheel, rear-view mirror and the keys. Greg Simmons' prints are all over the car, and the woman who reported the car stolen, well, her boyfriend's prints are also all over the stuff in the trunk." Simon had a satisfied grin on his face, "Seems she had lent the car to him last week, just before he went out of town. The car was stolen the night he left, and he doesn't know anything about it. He's due back this evening. We have his flight number and I'll have Joel and Megan on hand to meet him as he disembarks."

"Why not us, sir?" Jim asked.

"Because you can hardly move, detective. I need someone who can actually chase down a suspect, if necessary. Which reminds me, why don't you two head on home?"

"I can move," Jim argued.

"Sure, you can, Jim... but you're too stiff and sore for me to risk you getting injured further. Besides, you've already had two chases today, that's more than enough," Simon grinned.

"Wait a minute, one of those chases was mine," Blair complained from his desk next to his partner's.

"You're partners, chases count for both of you. Have you finished up your reports on today's escapades?"

"Yeah, all except the disposition on Bobby, what's going to happen to him?" Jim asked.

"His parents are on their way back. Cindy and Greg are trying to outdo each other on blame, but Bobby looks like he may end up in the clear. His story is holding up, and it would seem that Greg didn't even realize the car was gone, until Brown and Rafe knocked on the door."

"I'm glad," Blair said. "You were right, Jim."

"About what?"

"About the chase. We kept back and he gave up."

"He drove into a dead end, Chief."

"Yeah, but he didn't panic, and he didn't get in a wreck, and he wasn't hurt."

"And you managed to scare him badly enough that I doubt if we'll ever see him again," Simon agreed.

"Yeah, well, that would be a good thing, right?" Blair replied.

"That would be a good thing, Chief," Jim agreed, signing his report and handing it to the captain.

Simon looked through the report, pausing at the description of their pursuit of the juvenile. "Thirty-five miles an hour? You call that a chase?"

"Well, yeah," Jim replied, "It wasn't a hot pursuit, after all."

"Thirty-five miles an hour? That's not a chase. Not for you, Jim." Simon was laughing.

"That's because I let Blair drive the truck." Jim admitted.

"Wait a minute, you said to back off so we didn't scare him!" Blair complained.

"I just didn't want you to crash my truck, Sandburg," Jim snickered.

"That's not what you said! You said..."

"Forget it, Sandburg," Simon chuckled, "If your reports are done, sign them and hand them over, then get out of here. Before your partner stiffens up so much he can't move and we have to set him up in the lobby as a statue."

"I'm fine, sir," Jim said plaintively.

"Oh? Really? If you're so fine, let's see you drop and give me twenty, mister," Simon challenged.

Glaring, Jim slid from his chair to the floor and started doing pushups. He'd gotten to five before either of the others could react.

"Jim, forget it, I was kidding," Simon protested, looking at Blair for help. Blair glared at him and shook his head.

"You dared him, Simon. If he can't come in to work tomorrow, it's going to be your fault." Blair declared.

"Come on, Jim, stop that, now. I take it back, you're in great shape," Simon was getting concerned, Jim was counting his reps and had reached twelve, showing no sign of stopping. Looking to Blair for help, Simon was surprised to see a smile on the younger man's face. "Sandburg, stop him!" he hissed.

"Nope. You said for him to drop and give you twenty, and he did," Blair replied as Jim completed his twentieth pushup, then gingerly rose to his feet, rubbing his sore shoulder.

"Will there be anything else, sir?"

"Go home, Jim. Both of you, just get out of here."

"Yes, sir." Jim snatched his coat from the rack behind his desk and headed for the door, his precision military movements marred just a bit by a slight limp. Shaking his head, Blair glanced up at Simon.

"You know, sir, that was pretty good," Blair said softly.

"What was?"

"The way you got him to forget about the suspect flying in tonight. Pretty slick." Blair grinned.

Simon grimaced, "I didn't intend that, but it did take his attention away from being miffed about it, didn't it?"

"Yeah. It did. He'll be fine, Simon. I'll make him take a nice, long, hot shower, standing under the shower massage until the water turns cold should help a lot. Loosen up those stiff muscles. Then I'll set him down with ice packs, followed by heat packs, feed him well and send him off to bed early."

Simon stared for a moment... then, with a sly twinkle in his eyes, "You're going to make someone a wonderful mother one of these days, Sandburg."

Blair spluttered, vacillating between indignation and hilarity. Simon chuckled. "You'd better get going after your partner, before he decides to try and drive home."

Finally giving in to his laughter, Blair grabbed his own coat and headed out. "Right, Simon. Good idea."

Simon smiled as he watched his youngest detective dash out. Glancing down at the reports, he shook his head. Nope, couldn't call that a chase. Not at all. At least this one hadn't resulted in either damage or injury... for a change. Shaking his head, he headed for his office to await the return of his team at the airport, hoping that there wouldn't be any more pursuits, two were enough for his people for one day... even if both chases involved the same people.

Sitting down behind his desk, Simon pulled out his cigar case and prepared to have himself a nice, leisurely smoke while he waited. Lighting up, he leaned back in his chair and went through his officer's reports, making notes to himself to ask for clarification on later. Every once in a while, he'd find himself smiling as he thought of Jim being mother-henned by his smaller, younger partner. Then he would sober and sigh, wishing he had a friend that cared as much... maybe he needed to get out... His phone rang.

Snatching up the phone, he barked into it, "Banks." Listening, he frowned, "All right, stay there and wait. If they decide to reroute, call me and I'll get Seattle to pick him up at Sea-Tac. Hopefully, the fog will clear enough for them to land." He listened a bit more and then disconnected, sighing. Naturally, the airport was socked in, and unless it cleared, the plane would probably be diverted. Although... since it had come from San Francisco... maybe, in fact, probably, the pilot would have his ILS certificates, and unless the visibility dropped down below an eighth of a mile... Well, there was nothing he could do about it except stand by and wait. Picking his cigar up from the ashtray, he puffed contentedly and continued going over the reports of his subordinates.

"Come on, Jim. Hot shower. Long hot shower. Run out of hot water kind of shower," Blair insisted, barely restraining himself from offering Jim a hand. Mr. Macho had insisted on taking the two flights of stairs up to their floor, unwilling to wait for the elevator. Sometimes...

"Yes, dear," Jim agreed, snidely. "At least let me get inside before you start stripping me for my bath, would you?"

"Oh, sure, Jim give the neighbors a show, why don't you? Hmmmm. Maybe you and Mrs. Peterson?"

"Sandburg! She's got to be eighty!" Jim complained, aghast.

"So? You don't mean to tell me that you haven't seen her giving you the eye?"

Jim blushed, "Well, I have seen her drooling whenever you walk past..."

Blair looked at him in shock, "Me? She looks at me?" His jaw dropped as he contemplated this little bit of information. "Oh, man... we have a dirty old lady living downstairs from us," he bemoaned.

Jim chuckled. "Well, I think I'll take it as a compliment, Chief."

"I guess that's about all we can do, huh, Jim?"

"Yep." Jim struggled a bit, trying to get his coat off and grunted his thanks as Blair automatically reached up to assist him. "Now, for that nice, long hot shower..." and he headed for the bathroom, working on the buttons to his shirt.

Blair grinned and waited.

"Uh, Chief?"


Sighing in exasperation, Jim softly asked, "Could you give me a hand here, please?"

"Sure, man." Blair had been waiting for this. Stepping into the bathroom behind his roommate, he grasped the lower edges of his tee shirt and as Jim bent over, pulled it off over his head, which allowed him his first view of the older man's injuries. "Ouch, the doc wasn't kidding about the spectacular sunset, man." Jim couldn't turn his head enough to look at his shoulder, but from what he could see down his left side, it had to be pretty colorful. Straightening up, he looked in the mirror and winced.

"Oh, yeah, that hurts." His entire shoulder area was a spectacular black, purple and magenta, with portions already turning green and brown. From the patterning, he was a bit surprised that he hadn't dislocated his shoulder, the bruising matched the time he'd done that. The colors were most intense on the point of his shoulder, right at the joint, where the suspect had hit him with a two-by-four. That had been before he'd taken the board away from him and wrestled with him. And prior to their fall down the embankment where his luck had continued, as the telltale bruising indicated where it streaked down his ribs and past his pants. Seeing his shoulder, he really did not want to see his hip, which had taken an even worse hit.

Glancing up to see Blair's head shaking and his face screwed up in sympathetic pain, Jim sighed. "Thanks, Chief. I think I can get it from here."

Blair looked up and met his friend's eyes, "Yeah? Well, I bet you won't be able to dress yourself in the morning."

Jim smiled, a bit grimly. "I'll manage."

"You always do," Blair agreed, turning to leave Jim to his shower. "I'll start dinner. Stir fry okay with you?"

"Heavy on the chicken?" There was a hopeful note in Jim's voice.

"Sure. Protein to heal... You've got it."

The shower was wonderful, although the spray stung his bruises. He stayed under the massaging jet until the water started to cool, then turned off the taps and stepped out, reaching for a towel. Unfortunately, because of his bruises, his balance wasn't what it should have been, and he slipped on the bathmat, nearly falling. He managed to grab a hold of the sink, but wrenched his back in the process and swearing at the pain that shot from his back through his bruised hip and up into his injured shoulder. He clamped his jaw tightly to keep from alerting Blair to his stupidity. Panting through the pain, he shook his head in self-disgust. Closing his eyes, he focused on his imaginary dials, turning the one labeled 'pain' down until it was bearable. He was careful not to turn it down too far, knowing that it would be counter-productive... especially when Blair found out.

Straightening up, he lifted the towel from the rack and carefully dried himself off; then, wrapping the towel around his hips, he left the bathroom and headed upstairs to his bedroom to dress. Blair looked up as he passed and eyed him critically.

"What are the dials set at?"

"Two." Jim admitted.

"That bad?" Blair asked in concern.

"Yeah, I slipped getting out of the shower, twisted to stay up, so now, on top of everything else, my back hurts a little."

"It just isn't your day, is it?" Blair said with a sympathetic smile.

"I don't know, no casts, no blood... I'd say it was a pretty good day, considering," Of course, Jim was actually using the railing on the stairs leading up to his bedroom.

"Well, there is that. Dinner in five."

"I'll be right down."

Coming down in sweatpants and bare-chested, Jim sat down to dinner and noticed a small plate containing several pills on it. "What's this?"

"The meds the doctor gave you. Anti-spasmodics and anti-inflammatories. They have to be taken with food, so you take them after you eat, then prepare to sleep the night away."

"What about your dislike of pharmaceuticals, Chief?"

"Hey, I don't like putting that junk in my body, but you're in pain, man, and you've done some damage to muscles and joints. Besides, you hate willow-bark tea." He smiled cheekily as he loaded up Jim's plate with the chicken and snow peas he'd made, making sure that he gave Jim the largest portion of chicken.

Inhaling appreciatively of the savory dish, Jim smiled. "Thanks, Chief. This looks great."

"Dig in, man. What do you want to drink?" Blair offered, going to the refrigerator and opening it.

"Just water, thanks."

Pulling two bottles of water out, he opened them both and tossed the caps in the plastic recycling bin and then took them to the table, handing one to Jim and then sitting down at his own place setting. They ate quietly, the silence comfortable. When they had finished, Jim took the tablets from the waiting plate and took them, quickly washing them down with the last of his water.

"That was great, Chief. Thanks."

"Hey, it was my turn to cook anyway, man."

"It was?" Jim replied in surprise. "I thought it was mine?"

"No, you have Tuesday, and this is Wednesday."

"Uh, Blair? It's only Tuesday."

"No, Jim it's..." he stopped, frowning in confusion. "Are you sure?"

"Go look at the newspaper, I'm sure it's only Tuesday."

Blair got up and went into the living room and picked up the unopened paper. Looking at the date, he shook his head. "Darn, and here I was thinking it was Wednesday, all day. Man, this sucks. Now I have even longer to the weekend."

Jim chuckled and, rising from his own place at the table and gathering up their dirty dishes, took them to the sink and began running the water to wash them. "Well, just think of tomorrow as Tuesday, when it's my turn to cook, then you'll get surprised when Thursday follows Tuesday with no Wednesday between them."

"That doesn't make sense, Jim. Are you reacting to these pills?"

"Maybe a little. As soon as I'm through here, I think I'll head to bed."

"Good idea. I'll fix you some ice packs. I hope you can sleep okay."

"I'll be fine, Chief." Jim quickly finished washing the dishes and putting them in the strainer to dry, knowing that Blair would put them away later.

"Okay. Off to bed with you, then."

"Yes, sir." Jim mockingly saluted his friend, who barely restrained himself from smacking him as he went past, remembering just in time that Jim was injured..

Coming upstairs, he noticed that Jim had taken his sweatpants off and was dressed in just his boxers. He lay stretched out across his bed, his eyes already drifting closed in the stupor brought about by the medications he had taken. Stepping over to the bed, Blair murmured softly and carefully applied the ice packs to Jim's shoulder and hip. Jim's face grimaced in momentary discomfort, but quickly slipped back into peace as his breathing slowed and he dozed off. Grinning, Blair gently drew the comforter over his slumbering friend and quietly went back downstairs.

Simon was still in his office when Brown and Rafe finally returned. The plane with their suspect on board was over an hour late, but at least they had landed in Cascade. They had booked him under suspicion of trafficking in drugs and illegal weapons and placed him in a holding cell after allowing him his two phone calls. Foolishly, he wasted the first one on his girlfriend, who hung up on him, his second call was to one of his cohorts, who apparently promised him a lawyer.

"Did he make any statement?" Simon asked hopefully.

"No. He thinks we made a mistake. We didn't tell him that his prints were all over the contraband," Rafe replied.

"That's to be expected, I suppose. All right, get me your reports by tomorrow afternoon, gentlemen. Go on home, now."

The two detectives grinned and headed out. Taking a last look around, Simon followed them out, himself.

Jim woke up with a moan. It took him a moment to remember the previous day's occurrences. Steeling himself, he sat up slowly. He could feel the heat in his side from the bruises. With a grimace, he forced himself to his feet and began to shuffle towards the stairs. He stopped at the top of the steps and thought for a moment. He turned back and picked out clothing for the day and took it with him down the stairs. He was the first one awake, so he headed straight for the bathroom for a shower, hoping that the warmth of the water would help ease the stiffness, or at least alleviate some of the pain. Refreshed from his shower, although not any less in pain, he dressed and headed for the kitchen to start some coffee. Looking at the clock on the VCR, he realized that he had awaked somewhat earlier than usual, not that that was a bad thing.

Looking up from where he was mixing up a batch of pancake batter, Jim watched as Blair shuffled out of his room, yawning. "Good morning, Chief."

"Uh-huh." Blair mumbled back, still sleepy and making his way to the bathroom, still more asleep than awake.

Ten minutes later, there was a yelp from the bathroom as the hot water ran out. Jim winced in commiseration, remembering just how long he'd spent in the shower already. Obviously, ten minutes wasn't enough time to recharge the water heater.

"Sorry, Chief," he called out, wincing at the soft cursing coming from the bathroom.

When Blair came out of the bathroom, he glared at his roommate for a moment, then realized that Jim was already dressed, and that he was wearing just a long-sleeved shirt. "Couldn't get your arms up to put on a tee-shirt, Jim?" he asked in concern, his own annoyance at the sudden coldness of the shower immediately forgotten.

"Yeah. Uh, do me a favor?" Jim asked tentatively.

"What do you need?" Blair continued rubbing his wet curls as he waited.

"Uh, I forgot my shoes upstairs, would you get them for me, please?"

Blair froze for a minute, staring. His thoughts were fairly obvious. Jim was in too much pain to go back up the steps to his room for his shoes, meaning he had used all the hot water trying to ease his aching muscles, and that it hadn't managed to alleviate it. "Sure, Jim. Which ones?"

"Uh, the loafers?"

"You got it." OK, so Jim was hurting enough to want slip-ons... He made a mental note to talk to Simon to make sure that they didn't have to go out... if at all possible.

Breakfast was quiet, and Blair was careful not to pester Jim about his injuries. After all, they weren't really serious, just painful and should pass within a few days. Meanwhile, Blair decided to try and keep things light. After all, a quietly hurting Jim was much preferable to a surly one.

As they got ready to leave, Blair paused at the front door, watching Jim. Jim picked up his keys from the basket and looked at them. Sighing, he looked up at Blair, "You drive?" he asked, softly.

"Sure. Do you want to ride in the Volvo?"

"Not really," Jim smiled, "But I can deal. How's it running, by the way?"

"Pretty good, for now."

"One of these days, you're going to have to get rid of it and get something more dependable, you know."

"Yeah, but I only paid $750 for it, and I've been driving it for almost three years, If you think about it, I'm getting a pretty good return for my money."

"Yeah, but it's time for you to start looking for a new junker."

"Junker?" Blair straightened up in outrage. "Junker?"

"Well... okay, 'classic'."

"Junker... like that old truck of yours is such a prize..."

"Well, at least it hasn't left me stranded anywhere."



"You heard me. Or else you'll crash it like you usually do."


"Let's go, Jim. We don't want to be late, and my junker might take a while to get us there."

Jim sighed. The morning had been going well, despite his discomfort from his bruises. "Look..."

Blair glared up at him from under lowered brows.

"Okay, it's not a junker. And... well, it does get better gas mileage than my truck," Jim admitted, trying to make peace.

Blair looked up at him in surprise. They'd had similar arguments before. He knew that Jim was right about his need for more dependable transportation, but still... he really liked that old car... Seeing Jim's expression of contrition, he gave in. "It does?"

"Yeah. Now, how about we get going before we're late and Simon finds us something really rotten to do?"


Simon took one look at him, and decided that unless there was a riot or something even worse, he was going to keep Ellison and, by extension, Sandburg in the office all day. With a smirk, he suggested that they work on any and all reports they had to do, and if they ran out, they could look through the cold files and see if they could pick up anything.

Jim, of course, grumbled and complained that he was perfectly capable of going out in the field. Simon smirked at him and asked if he wanted Simon to ask Connor to give him a lesson in hand-to-hand, down in the gym. Jim had grimaced and declined, settling himself down at his desk and starting in on his reports for the previous day.

When the rest of the squad had arrived, the teasing began.

"So, Hairboy," Brown started. "I heard you drove your first chase, yesterday."

"Second. There was the one in the Volvo last year."

"Oh, yeah, the one where Jim stomped on your foot to make you go faster? Chasing Roshman's stolen car? Does that count?" Joel asked, chuckling. "I mean, Jim worked the gas..."

"Funny, guys," Blair muttered.

"Hey, is it true that your chase was at the excessive speed of thirty-five miles per hour?" Megan cracked, nudging Joel in the side and winking at him.

Blair blushed and cast a surly glance at his studiously silent partner. "Why, yes. As a matter of fact, it was at about thirty-five miles per hour. Would you have preferred I have gone faster and frightened that kid into having an accident and getting hurt or killed? In which case, we would not now have a suspected drug/gun dealer down in the lockup?" he asked sweetly.

Simon had come out to see what everyone was doing and had managed to overhear the last exchange. He chuckled. "And don't you forget it," he agreed. "Don't the rest of you have anything to do? If not, I'm sure I can think of something. Perhaps, you'd all like to go through the cold cases? The really dusty ones, maybe?"

Recognizing trouble when they saw it, the four detectives scattered to their desks and tried to look busy. Simon smirked and turned to Blair, "You did just fine yesterday, Sandburg. Don't let the teasing get you down."

Blair grinned back at the captain and cast a sly glance at his still silent partner. "Well, rookie that I am, I just followed my training officer's instructions." He grinned.

Simon grinned back at him. The other members of Major Crime all stopped what they were doing and stared in shock, at Jim.

"Wait, are you saying that Jim said to go slow?" Megan voiced for them all, disbelief in her tone.

"Yep." Blair replied.

"We are talking about Jim 'my insurance rates are higher than my mortgage because I keep demolishing my vehicles and anyone else's I get near' Ellison?" Brown added.

"Yep." Blair was grinning.

The other four just gaped at Jim, whose ears were tinged a bit pink in embarrassment. "You're kidding." Joel muttered.

"Nope." Blair was trying to keep from giggling.

The four exchanged looks of disbelief. "Uh," Megan began, "Wait, hadn't he just gotten out of hospital when this all happened?" she asked.

"Well, yeah." Blair couldn't hold back the giggles, and even Simon was smiling broadly.

"That explains it, then." Megan declared. "He just didn't want to go back to the hospital again."

Jim's ears were red, now, and he simply couldn't take any more. He threw his pen down and sat back, glaring at his colleagues, his captain and, most particularly, his partner. Then, he smirked.

"Actually, I just didn't want my insurance rates to go any higher. He's not on my policy, and if he'd crashed up the truck, I'd have been SOL."

Everyone laughed and, shaking their heads, went back to work. That made a lot more sense to them. Jim caught Blair glaring at him for his obfuscation, but Jim just grinned and winked at him. Shaking his head, Blair laughed and returned to his own reports.

That night on the news, there was a brief report of the arrest of the dealer in drugs and guns and how he'd been apprehended. There was no mention of the chase, for which Blair was grateful. However, he still had to put up with comments about his 'low speed chase'; at least until someone else had an equally embarrassing incident and the teasing fell to them.

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