Life Lines
By: Lady Shelley

Three snippets about friendship.

Fun 'n' Games
Honror and Duty
Fishing Lessons

Rated G-ish     May 20, 2000     23K (total for all three snippets)

Fun 'n' Games
By Lady Shelley

 For Eve. I hope it makes you laugh.

Simon couldn't believe it. Blair Sandburg was going to die and there was nothing he, Simon, could do to stop events. Simon had always feared Blair would be killed while on duty as an observer and guide, but he never imagined this kind of scenario, even in his nightmares.

It was supposed to be a relaxing fishing trip, Simon thought to himself. How did things get so far out of hand?

Thinking back on the afternoon, Simon realized he had seen the man lurking near shore, but hadn't given him more than a passing glance.


One hour before:

"Jim, are you sure there are fish in this river?"

"Yeah, Simon, I'm sure. A very reliable source informed me of this hot spot. He even swore me to secrecy not to tell anyone about it. So, do me a favor, don't tell Brown I brought you here."

Simon chuckled and recast his line.

It felt good to just relax. The stress of the job had been getting to everyone lately. With a grueling caseload and three weeks of hard, dirty police work, Simon, Jim, and Jim's partner Blair Sandburg were taking a well-deserved break. While he and Jim fished the river, Blair was on shore poking into various nooks and crannies.

As Simon looked up from checking his line, he noticed the man gazing out at the river, with a small smile on his face. Simon waved and he waved back and then continued down stream closer to Jim's position. Simon turned back to his reel and drew in some of the slack in his line.

Jim was watching the water, trying to see where the fish were, and casting into their path. Simon wasn't fooled in the least. He knew exactly what Jim was doing, but he really didn't mind too much. At this rate, it's the only way we're going to catch anything.

Jim cast his line a few more times toward the fish, and then reeled in his line. "Simon, I'm going to try a little farther down stream. Maybe I'll have better luck in that eddy closer to shore."

Simon merely nodded and turned back to his own line. So far, they had each had a few nibbles, but nothing substantial.


Present time:

Some days, it's good to be a sentinel, Jim thought. The sun was warm on his back, the water pleasantly cool instead of the usual chilly version. Moving farther downstream, he hoped to have better luck catching something for dinner.

He chose a spot a few feet from shore and near a section of rapids. Jim listened to the water play over the rocks for a few minutes and then turned his hearing back down. He could see a small school of fish in the eddy pool to his right and cast near a nice sized trout.

Just as the fish was about to strike, Jim felt something hard crash into his back. Slipping on a rock, Jim had a brief glance of his attacker before he was completely dunked. He came up sputtering and spitting out water. The fish vacated the area.

Jim could see Simon running in his direction and the sound of laughter from shore. Simon's hand reached out to help him up and Jim took it. Laughter was still ringing from shore, and now he could hear the soft laughter of his superior as well.

"You think this is funny, Simon?"

"Well, Jim, you have to admit he managed to get the drop on you. And the look on your face was priceless when you came up." Simon could see his comments were only making the detective angrier and, after several more chuckles emerged; he managed to school his features and amusement.

"I'm gonna get him for this!" Jim charged out of the water and after the man responsible for his unscheduled bath.

Blair however was halfway back to camp, laughter still ringing back through the woods.


Honor and Duty
By Lady Shelley

 For Fran. A Blair owie to say we miss you.

Arnold Willis was a two-bit hood with a greedy side, never a good trait for a two-bit hood. If he hadn't decided to expand his operation to include attempted murder, Major Crime would probably never have heard of him. After trying and failing to rob a convenience store, and shooting the clerk in the process, Willis was now a very popular man on the seventh floor of the Cascade Police Building. Everybody wanted to talk to him.


Blair grabbed the handle above the window and held on for dear life. I hate it when he does this. I'm pretty sure Ford didn't have high-speed chases in mind when trucks were in production.

Jim took another turn, his right arm jerking out instinctively to brace Blair back in his seat. "Hang on, Chief. Willis just cornered himself." Even as he was saying the words, Jim was slamming on the brakes and bringing the truck to a stop.

Seeing he was trapped, Arnold Willis jumped out of his Chevy Camaro and took off. Jim was out of the truck like a shot and gave chase on foot instead of wheels.

"Call it in and see where that back up is. Tell them Willis is on foot and just went down the alley between Champa and Curtis. Looks like he's heading away from the Performing Arts Center so have some units standing by on 15th Street." Blair nodded at the instructions as Jim jumped out of the truck.

As soon as he was done talking to Dispatch, Sandburg was out of the truck and in pursuit of his partner. Both men had a sizable lead on him as it had taken a couple of minutes to explain everything to the dispatcher, but Blair knew the area around the Performing Arts Center well, and easily made up the lost time. Coming around a corner, Blair put on an extra bit of speed and caught up with the chase just as Jim tackled Willis to the ground. Blair could hear the sirens in the distance and slowed a little to catch his breath.

Recovering a little faster than Willis, Jim rolled over and got to his feet. Reaching down for Willis' arm, Jim hauled the suspect up and pushed him up against the side of a nearby building. Turning slightly to look at Blair, now at his side, Jim didn't see Willis' hand disappear, or the knife. Blair however saw both and was in motion again as soon as Willis made his move.

"Jim, look out!" Blair shouted and pushed the older man back. The knife missed Ellison's neck by a good foot, but the downswing of Willis' arm, sent the knife slicing through Blair.

Jim, quickly, and rather forcefully, disarmed Willis and finished cuffing him. With Willis taken care of for the moment and the sound of sirens echoing off the walls of the nearby buildings, Jim turned Blair in time to hear Sandburg gasp and quickly sit down as his knees gave out.

"Let me see it, Chief," Jim said quietly, gently taking the bloodied arm in his grip. Blair gasped again and tried to jerk his arm away from the pain Jim's touch was causing. The movement didn't help the pain and Jim noticed Blair's color fade another shade.

"Ow, Jim, don't touch it please," Blair said rocking back and forth and hissing between his teeth.

"Sandburg, I need to see how bad it is and get the bleeding stopped. I know it hurts, buddy, but I need to check it, OK?"

Blair only nodded, and Jim again took the injured arm in gentle fingers. Peeling away both the flannel over-shirt and a long sleeved T-shirt underneath; Jim could see the knife had cut a six-inch gash in Blair's forearm.

The sirens had been building to a crescendo in his head and suddenly climaxed. One moment the alley was empty except for himself, Blair and Willis. Now the same alley was crawling with patrol officers leading Willis to a car, Forensics team members taking pictures and sketches of the area, and a paramedic team heading in his direction.

Jim glanced up from his inspection of Blair's arm when a shadow crossed his field of vision. One of the EMT's knelt on Blair's other side, and started removing various items from his kit.

"What do we have here?" he said looking at Blair with a smile.

Jim answered for him, "He got cut by a knife. I'm not sure what it might be contaminated with."

"Well why don't I just take a look and see. My name is Geoff. Can you tell me yours?"

"Blair Sandburg."

Noticing Blair was going into shock, Geoff shook out the blanket he carried and draped it over Blair's shoulders. "OK, Blair, I need you to stay with me here. If the blood is making you feel a little queasy, take a few deep breaths and let me know, OK?"

Geoff took a pair of small scissors out of his kit and started to cut away the two layers of cloth, to get a better look at the wound underneath. Once the fabric was out of his way, he cleaned the area around the injury.

"Well it's a clean cut, no ragged edges, and it didn't hit bone. You probably have some muscle damage and this will definitely need stitches. Let's get you up into the van and head over to Cascade General," Geoff said. Putting action to words, he helped Blair to stand and led him back to the ambulance. Jim paused only long enough to let Joel Taggert, who had just pulled up, know where he was going and why. He then headed for his truck to follow the ambulance to the hospital.


Blair sat on the edge of the bed in the ER of Cascade General Hospital, waiting for the doctor to finish stitching his arm. Jim, sitting in the nearby chair, looked up as Simon came through the curtain.

"Hey, Simon!" Blair said too brightly from the bed. The doctor finished with the stitches and started bandaging his arm from just behind his wrist to almost the elbow.

"Sandburg. How you doin'?" Simon asked, noting the glassy look to Blair's eyes and the blood on the sheet under his arm.

"Oh, I'm fine. It's just a scratch."

"That's an interesting definition of scratch, Chief. I've never seen a scratch need fifteen stitches before, have you, Captain?"

Simon shook his head. "Where do you think he gets it from, Jim?"

"You're all set, Mr. Sandburg," the doctor said interrupting their teasing.

"Call me Blair."

"OK, Blair. You need to keep this clean and relatively dry for the next few days. Here are some bandages for you to take home with you. The dressing needs to be changed daily. I'm writing a prescription for antibiotics, make sure you take all of it. You don't want an infection. If your arm starts to hurt too much, you can take some aspirin or Tylenol." The doctor packed the extra bandages and tape into a small bag and handed Blair a slip of paper that was the prescription. "You'll need to make a follow up appointment with your regular doctor to make sure your arm is healing."

Blair nodded along with everything to doctor said and Jim could tell very little penetrated. Gathering up his partner, the bag of supplies and the prescription Blair tried to accidentally leave on the bedside table, he led Sandburg out of the emergency room and out to the truck.

"I'll need your report on the Willis arrest tomorrow, Jim," Simon said helping get a groggy Blair into the truck.

Jim looked up a started to protest.

"You can come in tomorrow afternoon, Jim. I'm pretty sure you're gonna have your hands full tonight." Simon glanced through the window and noticed Sandburg was asleep. "Need any help getting him up to the loft?"

"No, I'll manage fine. I'll get him to wake up long enough to get upstairs and eat something." Jim smiled as Blair turned away from the window and faced him still asleep. "He saved my life today, Simon."

"I know, Jim."


Fishing Lessons
By Lady Shelley

 For all of you. In friendship.


"You need to straighten your wrist more."

"Like this?"

"That's better, man, but I think the fish are starting to laugh."

"Sandburg, explain to me again how this is resembles a test."

"Jim, you and I both know you cheat when you fly fish. I want to test your concentration here, maybe keep you from zoning at the wrong time. Besides, you lost the bet and promised one test with no complaints. At least this way we both win; I get my test and you get to fish," Blair said this last with a none to innocent grin.

"It was a stupid bet," Jim groused.

"You only say that because you lost, man."

"I still don't see how this is going to help. What difference does it make if I fish with a rod or some crazy fishing spear." Jim held the offending spear up for Blair's inspection.

"It's simple, Jim. At close range, you need to concentrate more. This way we can test your sight in a natural setting, with natural distractions. Just relax and go with it; you might just have fun!"

Jim continued to grumble a little, but went back to standing still waiting for dinner to swim past. He had to admit this was better than some of the tests the grad student had devised. At least this way, his success was rewarded with fresh fish. Maybe.

Their weekend fishing trip was supposed to be a relaxing affair to wind down after a hectic few weeks of crime in the big city. That was until Sandburg had suggested a friendly bet on a Jag's game. Who would have thought the Denver Blaze would rally in the last period to win.

So here they were, Jim standing in the middle of a stream and Blair sitting a few yards away on the bank making notes and occasionally digging in his backpack for trail mix.

Jim could see the fish easily at a distance, but when they came closer to his position, the glare of the sun on the water became trickier. At best he would be momentarily blinded and simply lose his target. At worst, the sun would reflect off the water and he would zone on the prism effect. They had been at it for about an hour and a half, and Jim was starting to get a headache from the glare. And he was getting hungry.

Jim glanced back at the shore in time to see Blair's hand jerk back from his pack.

"Sandburg?" Jim wanted to know why the younger man looked so guilty.

"Yeah, Jim? How're you doing? Do you see anything that looks promising for dinner?"

"Sandburg, I really don't think this is going to work. How much longer are you going to make me suffer?"

Blair glanced up from his notebook and noticed the stress lines starting to form around Jim's eyes. Taking pity on the man, it was after all supposed to be a vacation, Blair replied, "How about another ten minutes? If you haven't caught anything by then, we'll take a break until tomorrow. You can go back to cheating with a modern rod and reel."

Jim was only half listening to the compromise as a large trout was making it's way toward him. Holding his arm the way Blair showed him and remembering to look through the water to the fish, Jim let fly with the spear. At the same time, he heard the distinct click whirl of an instant camera.

"Got it!" Blair crowed from shore. "Simon's gonna love it. And he will owe us his tickets to the next Jags game."

Jim turned with the fish still speared, and looked at his friend on shore, a sneaking suspicion growing in his mind. "Why is Simon going to owe us tickets, Chief?" Jim said strolling up to shore. "I thought this was a test."

Blair stood and backed away. "Yeah, it was a test, Jim. The tickets are just a bonus. Simon didn't think I could get you to use anything more primitive than a cane pole to catch fish. He knows you cheat, too. So, I borrowed his instant camera in order to get proof. Besides, man, these tickets are courtside."

"Courtside? You bet Simon his courtside tickets that I would use your spear and catch something? And he accepted?" A slow grin was spreading across Jim's face. "Now I know why I keep you around. Here. I caught it, you cook it."

Blair took his spear, complete with trout and followed the older man back to camp. He knew why Jim 'kept him around' and he knew why he stayed.

It had nothing to do with papers, or senses, or basketball tickets.

It is about fishing trips, stakeouts, whose turn it is to cook, take out food, laundry, and calling home when you will be late.

Somewhere along the line, friendship had become family.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 November 2005 )
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