A Good Day
Jim Ellison had been having a good day. It was one of those nearly perfect days that you fondly reminisce on when you're stuck pulling stakeout duty in the dead of winter at 1:00 o'clock in the morning, suffering through hypothermia-inducing, record-setting, frigid temperatures while sitting in your truck which is currently masquerading as a deep freezer. Your patience wearing extremely thin as you're forced to listen to your partner's incessant babbling about some obscure tribe located in the nether regions of some unpronounceable, at least to you, country with mosquitoes the size of sparrows and twenty foot long snakes. Pretending to listen, trying to convincingly act at least mildly interested as to not hurt your irritatingly talkative partner's surprisingly sensitive feelings, when you're actually mentally cursing the fact that certain delicate parts of your anatomy are in very real and imminent danger of freezing solid and breaking off. Now as he sat at his desk a frantic phone call in the hopes of finding out some news regarding Blair, Jim wondered how his good day could have gone so wrong.
THE LOFT - 7:00 am
Jim was thoroughly enjoying a vivid dream in which he had just managed to not only attract the attention of but land the beauty that he'd been eyeing. Just as he managed to get his hands on the exquisite piece of work, Blair's slightly off-key rendition of "Like a Virgin" abruptly jarred him out of his peaceful slumber. Jim groaned and pushed the sleeping mask up onto his forehead. Grimacing when Blair emitted a sharp squeal, Jim briefly considered the absurdity of his rather popular and friendly partner choosing that particular song to perform an early morning, impromptu concert.
The impending dark mood dissipating at the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the feeling of warmth from the sun on his face, Jim took a moment to luxuriate in a bone-cracking, full-body stretch before throwing off his covers and climbing out of bed. Mind drifting to his interrupted dream, Jim smiled as he pictured the beautiful rainbow trout that he'd almost caught. Determined to find the time to take a fishing trip soon, Jim started down the stairs. Coming to a halt at the bottom, he paused in shock for a moment then smiled at the sight of Blair's rendition of a rather suggestive dance move.
"You'd be a lot more popular down at the station if the guys knew you had moves like that, Sandburg," he called out causing Blair to spin around.
"Hey, you're up," Blair stated trying to ignore the feeling of the blush spreading across his face. "I was just fixing breakfast."
"Keep on fixing it like that and I'll have to arrest you for lewd and lascivious behavior," Jim threatened.
"That's not a crime," Blair protested.
Laughing, Jim retorted, "Trust me, Chief, with the way you were moving it most definitely is."
"You're so funny," Blair sarcastically replied. Turning back to the stove, he asked, "Why are you in such a good mood?"
"What? I can't be in a good mood every once in a while?" Seeing the incredulous look Blair directed his way, Jim added, "Hey it's a beautiful day, there's coffee made and I was awakened by a beautiful serenade from my extremely talented and brilliant partner. So why shouldn't I be in a good mood?"
After turning off the burner, Blair reached for the phone.
"What are you doing?"
"Oh, I'm going to call Simon," Blair informed a confused Jim. "The way I see it, you're extremely sick and have a dangerously high fever resulting in delusional behavior. Or you're a Jim-lookalike sent to take the place of the real Jim Ellison while he's being subjected to some gross and nasty experimentation involving implants and probes aboard the alien mothership currently hovering somewhere in outer space. Either way, I'm gonna need some help."
"Just get over there and finish breakfast while I take a shower," Jim ordered as he walked to the bathroom. Stopping at the doorway, he turned to look at Blair. One eyebrow lifted in a quizzical expression, he inquired, "Implants and probes?"
Shrugging, Blair replied, "There was an 'X-Files' marathon on TV the other night."
Shaking his head, Jim continued into the bathroom where he enjoyed a refreshing shower with the hot water actually holing out until he was through. After a quick shave, he pulled on his robe and left the bathroom. "What's up with the hot water?"
"There was enough wasn't there?" Blair asked.
"Yeah," Jim replied, "that's why I'm asking."
"I had some papers to finish grading so I got up early," Blair explained. "I figured I might as well get in the bathroom early so that you could have the chance to enjoy a hot shower for once." Smirking, he added, "Personally, I think being hit by that ice cold water helps to wake you up. And I know that instead of using an alarm clock to get them up in the mornings, our neighbors typically just use that high pitched shriek that you emit when the hot water runs out."
"Keep it up, Sandburg," Jim stated. "Because even your pathetic attempts at comedy aren't going to bring me down this morning. Nothing can."
"Nothing?" Blair asked.
"Nothing," Jim insisted then started back up to his bedroom to get dressed.
Pausing on his way up the stairs, Jim asked, "What?"
"I just wanted to remind you to wear your suit today." Smiling when he saw Jim cringe, Blair continued, "After all, you want to look good for court, don't you?"
"Shit," Jim mumbled.
"What was that?" Blair asked. "I didn't quite catch it, you're going to have to speak up."
Straightening his slumped posture, Jim remembered that the case was going to be argued by a certain new, single, red headed DA who just happened to have a decidedly more than professional interest in one Detective James Joseph Ellison. Even if, according to his partner, said Detective was a grouchy, anal-retentive, kind of guy who suffered from a rampant case of hair envy due to a rapidly receding hairline. Saying a cheerful, "Thanks," Jim began to whistle as he continued up the stairs.
THE COURTROOM - 8:00 am
Walking into the courtroom, Jim immediately spotted the lovely Ms. Linda Patterson and went over to the prosecution table. "Hello, Linda."
"Jim," Linda greeted, "how are you?"
"Fine," Jim replied. "And you?"
"I'm doing good."
"Any idea how long we'll be here?" Jim asked.
"Unless the defense pulls any last minute surprises," Linda answered, "we should be finished by lunchtime."
Turning on the charm, Jim smiled and purred, "Well, in that case, how about I treat you to lunch today. You pick the place."
Blushing, Linda replied, "I'd like that. How about Wonderburger? Unless you're strictly into health food, that is."
Unable to believe his luck at meeting a woman that looked like Linda did and shared his unhealthy addiction to grease and fat, Jim took a brief moment to conduct a mental happy dance. A dance that was rather reminiscent of his partner's earlier display of exceptional flexibility and limberness which, now that he thought about, was probably the reason behind his partner's popularity with the ladies. Jubilant, though silent, celebration concluded, Jim replied, "Wonderburger it is."
Bestowing one more killer smile, guaranteed to leave women and a not so insignificant number of men weak in the knees, Jim went to take a seat.
THE MAJOR CRIME BULLPEN - 1:30 pm
Smiling Jim swaggered into the bullpen and ambled over to his desk. Feeling smug about the conviction handed down in court and his lunch with Linda, during which they made a date for Friday night, Jim wondering how he could convince Blair to vacate the loft for that evening.
Spotting a note on his desk, Jim picked it up. Squinting, he tried to make sense of the scrawled message. Finally managing to make out the words, "Sandburg", "accident" and "hospital", Jim picked up his phone and frantically dialed Blair's cell phone number in a worried attempt to find out some news regarding his partner's whereabouts and condition. Briefly, he wondered how his good day could have gone so wrong.
Attention drawn to the sound coming from his desk, which resembled the ringing of a cell phone, Jim jerked open the bottom drawer. Pulling out Blair's cell phone, he loudly cursed, "Shit."
Hearing Jim, Brown looked over and asked, "Something wrong, Jim?"
"Yeah, there is," Jim answered, "I'm trying to reach Sandburg but he left his phone here. I really need to talk to him. I mean after reading this note..."
"Oh yeah," Brown interrupted, "you got it?" Grinning, he added, "Man, Hairboy is something else, isn't he? I still can't believe some of stuff that happens to him. He is definitely one lucky son of a gun."
"Lucky?" Jim repeated. "What is your problem, Brown? You call what happened to Sandburg lucky? I can't believe you!"
In an offended tone, Brown responded, "Excuse me, Ellison, but I didn't think you'd react badly to this."
Standing up, Jim clenched his fists and pressed them against his desk as he leaned forward. "Well how exactly did you think I'd react when I found out my partner was at the hospital?"
"I thought you'd be happy for him, maybe even a little excited," Brown answered.
"What the f..." Jim began but halted when Blair bounced into the bullpen. Stomping over to his partner, Jim began to lightly run his hands over the other man's shoulder and arms. "Where are you hurt?" he asked.
Confused, Blair looked over at Brown who simply shrugged. "What makes you think that I'm hurt?"
"The note," Jim explained. "The one on my desk that said that you'd been hurt."
"What?" Blair exclaimed. Turning accusatory eyes on Brown, he asked, "What are you up to Henri?"
"Me?" Brown asked. "All I did was take down your message when you called."
Prying Jim's hands off, Blair walked over to Jim's desk and picked up the note. After reading it, he asked, "Is this what's got you so upset, Jim?"
"Yeah," Jim answered. "I mean, it says that you're hurt and had to go to the hospital."
"No way," Brown protested. "I didn't write that."
"That's what it says," Jim insisted.
Laughing, Blair said, "C'mere a minute, Jim." After Jim joined him by the desk, Blair held the note out and asked, "Now what does this say again?"
"Blair's been in an accident and had to go to the hospital," Jim read out loud.
"Okay," Blair stated when Jim finished. "Now I know that Jim doesn't need glasses so that means that you need to seriously improve your penmanship, Henri."
"What makes you so sure Ellison doesn't need glasses?"
Smirking, Blair replied, "He eats lots of carrots." Turning to Jim, Blair reassured, "I'm fine, Jim."
"Then what's with the note?"
"Oh, you're not going to believe this," Blair answered. "It was so weird. I was just getting ready to leave the university and I was walking out to my car when out of nowhere comes this guy on one of those motorized scooters. Anyway there's like a ton of black smoke coming out of the engine, which was rather surprising considering how small it was, and the guy is totally out of control and weaving around people shouting at them to get out of the way. Now I was wondering why the guy didn't just ditch, ya know? I mean sure you'd get a little case of road rash but at least you'd have stopped, right?" Ignoring Jim's attempt to answer, Blair continued, "So the guy is getting closer and closer to me and I just know he's going to put a serious dent in the volvo, not to mention one in himself, and there's no way I want that to happen. That's when I noticed the guys carrying in the new gymnastics mats, quite a coincidence but hey who am I to question these things, so I yell out 'Drop the mats', which the guys do. Then I run forward and tackle the guy on the scooter and we land on the mat, which cushioned our fall and prevented the aforementioned case of road rash very nicely thank you very much. The guy takes off his helmet and I'm like totally shocked to see he's really just a kid. He was really shook up and scared, that plus the fact that he didn't exactly have permission to be riding the scooter, is why he froze up and didn't just jump off the thing in the first place. Anyway, I went with him to the hospital just to make sure he was all right, which he's fine by the way, and to be there with him when his parents arrived. To top it all off, it turns out the kid's father is some head honcho at a big deal local company that holds several season tickets to the Jags. And guess what he gave yours truly? I mean I thought about turning him down but c'mon, we're talking about the Jags here. No way was I going to pass up an opportunity like that. He even gave me two, Jim. So how about it, want to go to the game with me Friday night?"
Looking over at his excited, animated partner, Jim was filled with relief that Blair was okay. Smiling, he replied, "Sure thing, Chief, I'd love to go to the game with you. Thanks for asking."
Watching as his beaming partner headed off in the direction of the breakroom, in search of some slightly consumable cups of coffee; Jim picked up his phone and called Linda to reschedule their date. Listening to the phone ring, he thought, 'Yep, this really was a good day.'
Cool Counters @ baja.com