A Quiet Weekend
by Angie T.

Angie's Fiction Page

Author's notes: Dawn won this story from me in the last gen story auction. I appreciate her patience, as the final story was lost and I had to take an earlier version and revise it. Dawn also did the beta reading. Any mistakes in the story are mine, not hers.

The premise Dawn asked for was a plot where Jim and Simon must be rescued by Blair. I liked the idea and ran with it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"This is heaven.  Pure heaven.  It just doesn't get any better! "

Blair stretched his legs out, allowing his bare feet to dip into the shallow,
cold water that rushed by below him.  The sun warmed him gently as he
perched on the rock, listening to the sounds of  nature as they ebbed and
flowed around him.

"A good book, a warm day.  Sunshine, of all things!  Nothing to do, no
worries at all!"   Blair smiled as he leaned back against the rock behind
him.  He took a sip from the water bottle next to him,  found his place in his
book and began to read again.  It wasn't long before his eyes drooped and
the bookfell from his hands as he dozed in the warm summer afternoon.

************

Simon gave the pole in his hands a slight jerk before reeling in a
couple more feet of line.  Two hours, and he hadn't gotten a single bite.
There was a fly that kept buzzing around  him, and he suspected that
his rubber waders had developed a pinhole that was letting water seep
into his left boot.  He hated wet feet!  The only good thing was that,
while he hadn't caught anything, neither had Jim.

He glanced over at his friend, who was standing about 20 yards downstream.
Jim was  methodically reeling and tugging his own line, seemingly as patient
and unmovable as the large boulders that lined the wide, shallow river.

"Hey, Jim?"  Simon spoke softly, knowing that his friend could hear him even
over the burbling of the water.  The other man looked up in his direction.
"Ready to break for a bit?  I could use a beer."

Jim nodded, evidently reluctant to yell back loud enough for Simon to hear,
and reeled in his line.  The two men waded back to shore, not speaking until
they were close enough that their voices wouldn't disturb the tranquillity of
the forest around them.

"I thought you said this was a prime fishing spot!"  The tall black man
grumbled as he pulled off his waders and began inspecting the left foot.  "I
haven't even gotten a nibble, let alone a bite!"

Jim smiled and shrugged his shoulders.  "Well, sometimes they bite and
sometimes they don't."  He ran his fingers softly across his reddened
cheekbones and winced.  "You know, Simon, I have never had a problem with
sunburn before, but I think I'm going to regret ignoring Blair's advice about
sunscreen."

"Yeah!  You'll probably never hear the end of it!"  The two grinned at each
other and picked up their gear.  "Where is he anyway?  I know he got bored
with fishing, but did he go back to the truck?"

Jim cocked his head to the side a bit and got a look of concentration that
Simon knew meant he was using his extraordinary hearing.  A few seconds
later, Jim lifted  his hand and pointed upstream.  "Over there, probably a
hundred yards or so.  I think he's asleep."

"How do you know?"

"Slow breathing,  sounds like pages of a book moving in the wind.  No sounds
of him moving around...."  He shrugged his shoulders.  "An educated guess,
really."

"Well, let's let him sleep a bit.  I'm really enjoying the quiet."

"He's not that bad, Simon."  Jim frowned slightly at his boss.

"I know, Jim.  I just like to rag him a bit. " They were quiet as they walked for
a few moments, then Simon continued, "You know, even Daryl doesn't make
me feel as slow and old as that partner of yours can sometimes."  Simon
smiled at his mental comparison of the curly haired anthropologist and his
own belligerent teenager.

Jim stopped suddenly.  Simon saw him sniff the air around him and frown.
Closing his eyes, he sniffed hard, distorting his face with the effort.  His face
lost the relaxed easiness that it had held earlier and became hard and set.

"POT!"  Jim said the word as a curse.  "Somebody around here is farming pot,
Simon."

"You sure, Jim?"

"Yeah, I'm sure.  Remember that big bust a couple of weeks ago?  The guy
had a growroom in the basement?  Smells the same.  I think it's down this
way."  Jim headed in the direction he indicated.

"Now hold on, Ellison.  We don't have jurisdiction here.  Now maybe we can
take a look around and file a report with the county, but we can't  go in and
start arresting people."

Jim looked up as if asking the Almighty for patience. "I know that!  But we
both know a report is useless unless one of us actually sees a cannabis plant
with our own eyes.  So why don't we put our gear in the truck and take a nice
hike in the country?"

Simon grinned at him. "And if we happen to run across a plant or two, well, we
will  just have to inform the Sheriff, won't we?"

Jim laughed.  "Well, Captain, when you put it that way, who can resist a  little
exercise on a such a fine day?"

"What about Sandburg?"  They had reached the truck and were stowing the gear.

"Why don't we let him sleep?"  They looked at each other, smiling in
agreement. "We should be back before too long.   I'll leave him a note so he
doesn't come wandering after us."

With the note tucked under the windshield wiper where Blair would see it,
Jim reached under the driver's seat and pulled out a pistol.

"Damn, do you take that thing everywhere?" Simon demanded.

"Oh, and I suppose that's a fancy, new fishing lure you just pulled out of your
tackle box?"  Jim smirked.

"I just thought I'd be prepared for what passes as a 'quiet weekend in the
country' for you and Sandburg."  Simon returned the smirk and slapped Jim on
the back as they left the clearing and headed downstream.

************

Blair rummaged in the cooler for a cold bottle of water and wondered if Jim
and Simon had caught anything yet.  His eyes caught sight of the note tucked
under the windshield wiper, and he reached across the hood to snag it.

"Blair -- Fish not biting, went for a hike. You were asleep so we didn't wake
you.  Be back by 4:30 or so.  Don't drink all the beer!  (haha)  Jim"

"Haha... " Blair rolled his eyes.  A look at the long shadows on the ground
made him wonder what time it was and he checked his watch.  It was already
past four, they should be back soon.  Funny, hadn't Simon said just this morning
that hiking was "a necessary evil if a man wants to fish and no person in their right
mind does it for fun!"

Since campfires weren't allowed in this area, Blair pulled out the camping
stove they had brought, as well as the bag of food and -- since no one had
caught any fish -- dug the Italian sausages out of the cooler.  By the time the
potatoes were cut and peeled for frying, the sausages were sizzling in the
frying pan.  He added the potatoes and stirred them together.

"It's getting late.  They must've gone farther than they planned,"  he thought.
He set about making sure all his things were stowed back in the truck and
then stirred the food again.  He was distracted, worried a bit that Jim and
Simon would be late coming back from the hike.  Which way had they gone?
Suddenly one of the sausages spit hot grease onto his hand.

"Yeowch! son of a ..." Blair swore, sucking on the burn to ease the pain.  He
turned the propane off  and went around to the driver's side of the car.  He
knew Jim liked to keep a first-aid kit under the seat, along with his back-up
gun...  what the...?  where was the gun?  Jim never went anywhere without it,
and Blair was positive he had seen him check it before they left this morning.
If it wasn't here, that meant... Shit!!  Jim had it with him, which meant Jim
and Simon expected trouble, which meant there was probably a reason they
weren't back yet.

Blair's mind worked frantically as he bandaged the burn.  Which direction did
they go?  What if one of them got hurt?  He reached in the back of the
Explorer and grabbed his backpack, emptying it onto the seat.  He put the
entire first-aid kit into the pack, along with two bottles of water, and anything
else that looked like it might be helpful..

After another moment's thought, he reached in and grabbed the cell phone.
As he expected, it was useless up here.  Thinking that it had been worth a
shot, he pitched the phone back into the glove box.

Remembering the food, he made sure the stove was off.  The potatoes were
done, so he grabbed the large, heavy-duty ziplock bag the silverware had been
packed in and emptied it before dumping the whole pan of food into it.  He used
a towel to wrap the bag and stuffed it in the backpack.

"Now, which way to go, upriver or down?  Think Sandburg!!  You were
asleep upstream, you didn't hear them go by, sooooo... they must've gone
downstream. "  He settled the backpack on his back, straps over both
shoulders to make the load lighter, and started off.

*********************

"Over here Simon... the smell is stronger in this direction. "

"How much farther, do you think?"

Jim glanced up at the sky, forehead furrowed in thought.  "Not much.  A few
hundred yards, if I can judge properly from the wind."

"Well, can't you tell from how strong the smell is?"

The Sentinel just shook his head.  "Not without Sandburg  here to help me
focus."

Simon took off his glasses, wiping at his forehead with the back of his hand.
He sighed softly and nodded in understanding.  "Well, can you *hear*
anything?  Any one around?"

Jim shrugged.  "Let me try."  He cocked his ear, searching for any indication
of human movement.  He tried to filter out the birds' singing, the chittering of
the insects and the soft susseration of leaves being brushed against each other
by the wind.  There... a slithering sound he couldn't identify immediately.  He
focused on it, straining to bring it to the front of his mind.  He never even
noticed when he shifted from intense concentration to zone-out.

Meanwhile, Simon tried to stand quietly.  He didn't know much about how
Jim's senses worked, but he didn't want to distract the man while he was trying
to do his thing.   A sense of being watched made the hair on the back of his
neck rise.  As he turned slowly, eyes scanning the forest around him, he was
tackled from behind.

The captain rolled and tried to fight the man who had taken him down,
catching only a brief glimpse of a bearded man clubbing Jim with the stock
of a rifle.  Simon took a right to the chin from the walking mountain that had
tackled him.

A kick at his attacker accomplished nothing, as his leg was grabbed and
twisted.  A feeling of nausea swept over him as the knee popped and gave way
under the pressure.  The world swam crazily around him before going black.

********

"Jim!  Ellison, dammit, talk to me!!"  Simon was really worried now.  He
looked around the shack appraisingly.  There wasn't much to see.  It was a
rough shack slapped together from odd bits of wood and paneling.  There
were no windows but light entered through the many cracks between the
boards.  Jim lay still on the floor next to him, blood running down from a gash
in his temple.

Simon knew head wounds often looked worse than  they were, but Jim hadn't
woken up yet and the captain was worried about concussion.  He tried to get
loose, but his arms were tied behind his back at his wrists and elbows, making
it downright painful to even try.

So here he was, trussed like a sacrificial lamb, with no idea exactly where
they were and no clue as to his friend's condition.  Simon shifted around
trying to shift closer to Jim.  He hissed in pain as his knee protested the
movement.  Even if he could get free of the ropes,  he wasn't going to be
walking out of here on his own.

As the shadows on the floor lengthened, he wondered what time it was.
Sandburg wouldn't start worrying until around 5:00 when they didn't show up.
Even then, they hadn't told him the truth about where they were going.  And if
he did come looking, the anthropologist would be easy prey for men who
had managed to capture two cops without even being injured.

********

Blair walked quickly down the path, keeping to the rocky areas so that the
leaves and sticks that littered the path would not betray his passage with
rustling and crackling when he stepped on them.  He had no idea where Jim
and Simon were, but an uneasy prickling in the back of his mind grew
stronger.  They were in trouble.

The young man had spent a lot of time among primitive peoples, hunting and
scouting with them, and he had learned quite a bit about moving stealthily.
He was out of practice, of course, but hadn't lost the skills.

A sharp *crack* from the trail ahead warned him that someone was approaching.
He stepped off the trail and slunk behind a large rock with a tree branch hanging
low over it to provide cover.   A few minutes later,  two men passed by, arguing softly.

"What are we gonna do with 'em? "

"That's for Martin to decide.  He'll be here soon.  We just need to make sure
that they don't have any friends around who might start missing them."

"And if they do?"

The sound of a shotgun being pumped was the only answer Blair could hear as
they passed out of range.  He leaned back against the rock.

"Oh man, oh man, oh man... " he whispered, as his eyes darted wildly around.
A few deep breaths later, he was ready to move on again, headed in the
direction the men had come from.

Sandburg stayed off the path, reluctant to meet any more 'hikers'.  He moved
carefully among the shrubs, disturbing very little of his surroundings.  Five
minutes of careful movement brought him to a clearing.

"Think, Sandburg, think!  Where to now?" he muttered to himself as he
walked the circumference of the clearing.  He could see evidence of three
trails leading from the grassy area.  One obviously led toward the main hiking
trail.  The second was little more than a deer run, probably leading to a
stream.  The third showed signs of recent use, the dirt scraped and scuffed.

As he looked back at the grassy area toward the hiking trail, he heard a
noise.  A low growl, barely heard, rose in the back of his mind.  He turned
slowly in a circle;  as he faced the third trail, the growl became a pleading
whine.  It reminded him of a dog or wolf begging for attention.  "I'l take path
number three, Monty!"  he muttered.   A few yards down the track he found
confirmation.  Simon's glasses glinted dully up at him from the grass.

Blair picked them up and wiped at the lenses with his shirt-tail.  The glasses
didn't seem damaged too badly, though one of the earpieces was slightly bent.
He stuck them in an outer pocket of the backpack before moving on down the
trail.  A sharp crack sounded behind him and he pushed through the bushes
next to the path and desperately tried to make himself small.

The two thugs he had seen earlier passed by him without looking to either
side, but he still held his breath until he couldn't hear them anymore.  As he
shifted his weight to stand up, a leafy branch hit him in the face bringing a
pungent aroma to his attention.

"Oh, man!  Marijuana! "  Blair thought.  Now he knew what had drawn his
friends into trouble.  He took a couple more steps away from the path and saw
more plants planted strategically among the small bushes that constituted the
old forest undergrowth.  He stayed off the path but kept close to it until he
came to a clearing.

****************

Simon heard two men bickering and figured that his captors were returning.
Hoping to learn more about the men who had him and Ellison, he closed his
eyes and slumped back down to the ground, feigning unconsciousness.

The men stopped outside the doorway to the shack and Simon heard the
scrape of metal on wood.  "Probably propping their shotguns against the side
of  the shack," Simon thought.

A burst of static told the captain that one of the men had switched on a radio.
Wishing he had Jim's hearing, Simon strained to hear what was being said.

"Fagin, this is Dodger.  Come in Fagin."

"This is Fagin.  What's happening up there?"

"The two strays we found are sleeping quietly.  Went back to their den, but we
didn't see any others.  What should we do?"

"Wait 'till I get there.  We may have to take 'em to the pound."

"Right!  What's your ETA? "

"Give me about half an hour."

"Half an hour, then."

"Fagin out."

"Dodger out."

When the radio was turned off,  Simon could hear the other one asking
'Dodger', "What did he mean by that?  Take 'em to the pound?"

"What do you think he meant?  We all know what happens to unwanted
puppies at the pound, don't we?"  As he said this, he opened the door to the
shack a bit and looked in.

Simon concentrated on lying still and limp.  "Never thought I'd be playing
'possum,"  he thought.  "Hope Sandburg's still OK."

****************

Blair spent a busy few minutes in the trees while the two creeps stood next to
the shack.  While he couldn't see exactly what they were doing, he thought
they might be talking on a radio.

He kept one ear toward the clearing as he dug the reel of fishing line from his
backpack.  A few minutes of work and he was ready to go.  He reached the
edge of the clearing, he saw one of them looking into the shack.  He didn't see
Simon and Jim anywhere, but the little building was the only place in the
clearing that could hide two adult men.

"Jim, I'm out here.  The cellphone won't work up here, but don't worry  --  I've
got a plan. Just hang in there."  Blair knew that if Jim was listening at all, he
would hear the softly spoken words.

He stepped  out of the trees into the clearing and shouted.  "Hey, guys!!  You
know how to get to the main trail?  Cause I am *so* lost!"  The two men
grabbed their shotguns and headed his way.  He waited for a few heartbeats
then went back up the trail, his Swiss Army Knife ready in one hand with the
blade out.   He stopped behind a tree and hid.   When the men reached the
right spot on the trail, he cut the fishing line tied to the branch beside him.

Dufus One and Dufus Two, as Blair had privately nicknamed them, heard the
slight whistling overhead just as the supple branch smacked into the back of
their heads.  Dufus One took the brunt of the blow, falling heavily  to the
ground.   The branch only grazed Dufus Two, but it was enough to make him
stumble.  As he dropped the shotgun, Blair stepped out and picked it up.

Holding the shotgun levelly at  Dufus Two, he cocked the gun and grinned.
"You know,  I never had much luck with these things.  I always miss those
squirrels by about two inches.  'Course, you are a little bigger than a squirrel."

Dufus Two held his hands up hesitantly.  Blair ordered him to turn and face
the tree.  As soon as the man's back was to him,  he grasped the shotgun by the
barrel and swung the stock against the big man's head, who went down like a
tree.

"Sorry about that," he muttered, wincing.  Blair had hated to do it, but didn't
want to chance attempting to restrain them while they were conscious.  He dug the
duct tape out of his backpack and  taped the two together around a tree.
Given enough time, they could probably get free, but not without a painful
loss of skin and body hair.

With those two out of the picture, Blair ran toward the shack.  The backpack
swung from his hand as his long strides carried him closer to his friends.   He
opened the door slowly, peeked inside to see Jim lying motionless on the
ground and Simon struggling to free his hands.

"Simon!"  he called as he opened the door and rushed to his friends.  He
quickly released Simon's hands,  using his pocketknife once again.  "You all
right, man?"

"I'm okay... my knee is screwed up though. "

Once the black man's hands were freed, Blair immediately went to Jim's side,
fingering the cut on his head gently.  He used his knife on  his roommate's
bonds and rolled him on his back.

"Hot or cold?"

"huh?"  The look of confusion on Simon's face was priceless to the young
man.

"Hot pack or cold?  On your knee?"  Blair started digging in his backpack
again.

"Uh, cold would probably be best.  Why?"

Blair handed him a chemical cold pack from the first aid kit and used duct
tape to bind it to the knee. He pulled a water bottle out of the backpack and
used it to wipe away the blood on Jim's head.  "This cut isn't too bad.  I don't
think it'll even need stitches. "  He slapped Jim's face lightly.  There was no
response.  "This isn't good.  How long has he been out?"

"At least an hour.  I think he may have a concussion."

"Well, we need to get him to a hospital."

"We need to get out of here, fast.  The leader of this little outfit is headed this
way.  He could be here any minute and I'm sure he'll be armed.  There are two
others around here, somewhere... did you see them?"

"They're in a sticky situation right now, Simon.  They won't be joining the
party anytime soon. "  Blair's voice was smug and full of mischief.  "Here, lets
get you two out of here."

"And just how do you propose to do that, Sandburg?  With this leg, I'm not
going to be walking anywhere without help.  I can't possibly carry Jim."

Blair looked around a bit and found a shovel.  "Can you lean on this?  Take
the pressure off that knee?  We need to get you out of this shack and into the
woods where the Bossman can't find you."

With Blair's help, Simon used the tool to lever himself up and then leaned on
it.  He took a couple of hesitant steps using the shovel as a staff.  "I think
this'll work.  What about him, though?"  He nodded toward the supine Sentinel.

Blair  tugged Jim into a sitting position against the wall.   He crouched
between Jim's splayed legs and slid the limp body across his shoulders.
Balancing carefully,  he made sure that Jim was not going to slip off.  One hand on the wall to steady himself, the other with a firm grip on Jim's arm, he managed to stand
without shifting his load.  Once standing, he was able to settle his load more
firmly on his shoulder, Jim now snugly in a Fireman's Carry.

"Good Lord, Sandburg!!  Are you sure you manage?"

"As long... as we hurry... " he panted.  "You know... what they say, Simon...."

"No, what?"  Simon was panting, too, with the effort of trying to move on his
injured leg.

"He ain't heavy... oof!!"  Blair stopped a moment to shift the weight a bit to
the right.  "He's my...  partner...."  He grinned up at his friend, while blinking
sweat out of his eyes.

The tall black man chuckled as he limped along.  They were nearly into the
trees when the sound of a motorcycle engine grew loud enough for them to
hear.  Blair moved faster, trying to hurry with Jim bouncing on his shoulders.
He made it behind a large, leafy bush and soon reappeared without his
friend.

The anthropologist came back to help Simon.   He pulled the larger man's arm
over his shoulders and tossed the shovel into another large bush.  The pair
made it into the safety of the trees before the loud rattle of the motorcycle
rang through the clearing.  As they watched, a skinny man in his mid-twenties
got off the bike and called out, "Hey, where are you guys?"  He walked over to
the shack and walked inside.  A few seconds later, he was back outside, cursing.

He took out a hand-held radio and spoke into it for a few moments.  Evidently
displeased by the lack of an answer, he spent a few moments walking around
and swearing.   He went back into the shack and came out again carrying a
nylon gym bag, which he strapped to the back of the bike.  A few moments
later, motorcycle and rider were gone.

"What do you think, Simon?"

"I think he figured things went bad and it was time to get out.  He probably
grabbed all  the marijuana that was ready to sell and any money they had."

"Did you recognize him?"

"No, I can't see that far without my glasses."

"Oh, I forgot." Blair picked up the backpack and started rummaging in the
front pocket.  "I got part of the plate number.  It should help narrow it down,
anyway." He pulled out Simon's glasses.  "Here, " he said as he handed
them over.

The stunned look on the captain's face made Blair smile.

The two discussed logistics and decided that Blair would use the radio by the
shack to call for help.  Simon and Jim would wait where they were.  First,
Blair handed Simon the shotgun, digging the shells out of his pocket so he
could load the firearm.

Then he tried to make Jim comfortable.  He pulled a towel out of his
backpack and quipped, "The towel... no Hitchhiker should be without one."
He tucked the folded towel under Jim's head for a pillow.   A large rock went
under the detective's feet to elevate them.

"What hitchhiker, Sandburg?"

"Nevermind.  Still got that cold pack?"

"Yeah. What else you have there? "

Blair handed him the pack.  "Water, first aid kit, this, that and the other thing.
You may as well keep it. ."

"I'm going to get on the radio, see if I can get us a helicopter."  He patted Jim,
the man now covered by Blair's flannel shirt.  "Keep an eye on him for me?"

"Naturally.  Get goin', huh?"

"Right, Captain."

****************
(next day, Cascade Hospital)

Blair stopped outside the hospital room when he heard Simon's voice.  He
could see see a little of the scene through the crack of partly open door.

"So then, the helicopter shows up and they airlift Jim and me out.  The State
Police showed up to haul Specter andTimmons away.  End of story. "

"Hold it, Simon.  You're telling me that you and Jim had to be rescued.  By
Hairboy?"  Brown chucked until Rafe nudged him in the ribs and he saw the
glare his captain directed at him. "Urmm... anyway, when did the doc say
you're getting out?"

"Tomorrow.  But I'll be in physical therapy everyday for a few weeks. What
did you get on the partial license plate?"

"Based on that, and the physical description Blair gave us of the bike and the
rider, we narrowed it to a Wilson Martin.  Vice has been looking at him for quite
a while but never had any proof.  There's a watch on the apartment, we'll get
him if he shows."  Rafe sounded confident.

Blair decided to let them know he was there and entered the room.  The
detectives teased Blair about playing cop and Simon for being rescued by him
until a noise from the bed behind them caused them all to turn around
and look at it's occupant.

"Wha'?  How the hell did I get here?"  Jim's groggy voice made
everyone smile.

"Well Ellison, you  had a quiet weekend in the country.   Where else would you
end up?"  Rafe quipped as the others laughed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~