"Hey, wake up. C'mon. Geez, it's not like you got hit that hard. WAKE UP!"
"Wha... what's going on? Who turned out the lights?"
"The bad guys. And can you move your elbow? I might want to use that part of my anatomy sometime in the near future. Especially if I decide to have children one day."
"Please, do me and the entire whole a huge favor. Don't ever reproduce. One of you running around is more than enough."
"Ha ha. I'm serious move it."
"Ugh. I'm trying. Where are we? I can't see a thing except your feet. And why am I laying on top of you?"
"Okay, I'll try to make this simple for you. Are you listening?"
"You know, I can always move my elbow back where it was."
"Yeah, well I can always BITE."
"You wouldn't dare?"
"Just call me Cujo."
"More like Fido. Cut the crap and tell me what happened. I've got a splitting headache."
"Well, you did get hit over the head with a 2x4. Gee, do you think that could have something to do with it?"
"Actually, I think it has more to do with your feet. Ever hear of odor eaters?"
"Man, that's it. It's time to chow down."
"Wait a minute. What are you doing? Leave my foot alone. That tickles! All right. You asked for it."
"Aah! Fine, I give. You win. I'm letting go. Now, MOVE YOUR ELBOW!"
"That's what I thought. For the last time, will you please TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!"
"Gee, don't yell. I'm gonna be deaf by the time we get out of here. That is, if we don't die of suffocation first. Man, we're gonna die in here. I just know it. This is how my life is going to end. Stuck in here, in the dark with you and your elbow. Why me? What have I ever done to deserve this? Why does this stuff always happen to me?"
"Would you just calm down. Relax. There's a little bit of light coming from somewhere. And if light can get in, then air can get in. All right."
"Okay. I just really hate this. I mean being stuck in a small, dark place would be kinda nice with the right company. Like that new file clerk down in records or that new detective in homicide. But no, I'm stuck in here with you and your pointy, sharp elbow."
"You wouldn't be able to pay someone enough money to be stuck in here with you, and my elbow is not sharp or pointy. It's perfectly normal, thank you very much."
"You're not the one that had it jabbed in your..."
"Well, you're not. Hey, what are you doing now? What are you saying?"
"What? For someone to come get us out of here?"
"No. I'm praying for patience."
"Patience? Oh. I get it. You're claustrophobic and you don't want to freak out. I understand."
"Actually, I praying for the patience to put up with you until we get out of here. Otherwise, when we are rescued, they're gonna find one dead body and one stark raving mad lunatic."
"What? What do you mean?"
"There's all ready a stark raving mad lunatic in here. I mean, you were just talking to yourself, after all."
"How would you like to find out how my other elbow feels?"
"NO! Fine, be that way. You could look on the bright side, ya know."
"What bright side? There is no bright side here."
"Hey, at least you're on top. I mean, I'm really feeling squished down here. How much do you weigh anyway?"
"Trust me on this one, my being on top of you is not a bright side. In any circumstance, at any time."
"I know several people who would disagree with you there."
"I REALLY don't want to hear about it. What I do want to hear about is how we wound up in here. So, tell me. NOW."
"Didn't we all ready go over this?"
"No, we got distracted. That seems to always happen whenever I try to get an answer out of you."
"Well, excuse me. It's not like this is the most comfortable position I've ever been in. That involved a waterbed and a girl named Beth. You see we..."
"SHUT UP! Just tell me how the fuck we ended up like this. Well....I'm waiting....c'mon. TELL ME!"
"What? What do you mean you can't? Don't you know?"
"Oh, I know all right. I know everything that happened."
"Fine then. Tell me."
"Oh, for the love of... Fine, I'm going to regret this, and you are most definitely going to end up regretting this, but I'll ask anyway. Why can't you tell me?"
"You told me to shut up."
"So what. I tell you that all the time and you've never listened before. Why start now?"
"You hurt my feelings this time. It's bad enough we're stuck in here. You don't have to be so mean. It's not my fault we're in here. I'm hot, uncomfortable, SORE and squished."
"I'm sorry. Okay? Now, would you please tell me what happened?"
"Right after you say 'pretty please with sugar on top'."
"I now you heard me. So say it."
"I am NOT saying that."
"Then you won't find out what happened. And you know I'm not going to be able to just lie here quietly. I'll have to make SOME noise. I think I'll sing. Got any preferences?"
"God, I can't believe I'm going to say this. But here goes, pretty please with sugar on top."
"What was that? I didn't hear you."
"I said, 'PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP'!"
"Now was that so difficult?"
"I'm going to make the rest of your life difficult if you don't start talking."
"Duh, I've been talking ever since we got put in here."
"You know what I mean. Tell me what happened!"
"Okay. Well, you see it happened like this... Wait a minute, did you hear that?"
"What? I didn't hear anything."
"It sounded like... wait, there it is again."
"I hear it. Whoa, did this thing just move some?"
"Yeah, I think.... Oh man. Well, it's about fucking time you got here. Help us out of this thing," Blair demanded as the lid of the crate was finally lifted.
Reaching in to help his friends, Jim said, "I don't know about that. I really should get a picture of you two first. It'd make great blackmail material."
"Don't even think about it," Simon growled as he hauled himself out of the crate.
Popping his head up over the side, Blair added, "Yeah, just remember who does most of the cooking. And I've got some new recipes that I am just dying to try out."
Standing aside as Blair climbed out after Simon, Jim said, "Ease up there, Chief. I'm not the one who got you two stuck in there."
"That reminds me," Simon stated. "You never did tell me how we ended up in there. What happened?"
"Later," Blair answered. "Right now I just want to get outside and get some fresh air."
"You want fresh air? You kidding, right? I was the one with your smelly feet stuck in my face."
"Well, I was the one with your elbow stuck in my..."
"I'll make you a deal. I'll keep quiet about your stinky feet, and you keep quiet about where my elbows were stuck."
"Don't you mean your sharp, pointy elbows?"
"I told you, my elbows are not..."
Listening to the bickering, Jim followed his friends out of the warehouse. Smiling, he made a mental note to pick up some odor eaters for his partner and some elbow pads for his captain. After all, with the way their luck ran they'd probably end up stuck in another crate again sometime soon. Although next time he'd probably have the misfortune of being the one with Sandburg. And there was NO way he'd mix Sentinel sense of smell with those feet without the benefit of some odor eaters. 'I wonder if they come in extra-strength?' he wondered before turning his attention back to Blair and Simon.
"Hey, guys," Jim said to his still bickering friends. "How about we go to the loft, relax and order in dinner tonight. My treat. Then we can just sit back and watch some TV. I think Cujo's on tonight."
Feeling suddenly uneasy, Blair and Simon began to wonder just how much of their conversation that Jim had overheard.
Sensing his friends' nervousness, Jim added, "You two can stretch out on the couch, even lie down if you want. And Sandburg?"
"Yeah?" Blair warily replied.
Laughing, Jim said, "I sure Simon won't mind if you're on top tonight."
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