House Call

By Travelin

EMAIL: Travelin

 

“Beth, calm down,” the anthropologist said calmly into the telephone. “Your Mom does have the right to see and date anyone she wants, you know.”

 

“Blair, you should have seen the way he looked at me! He said if I tried to break them up, he would kill me!” Beth gasped. “Please Blair, come and help me kick that bastard out of my Mom’s home. He’s just using her!”

 

The teaching fellow looked at his watch then at the phone, wishing there was more time in the day. He really liked Beth, but she could become unduly alarmed in average situations.  Hysteria was just a way of life for her.  “Listen. I have a class in, oh, 10 minutes, so I have to get moving,” he said sighing. “I will cancel my office hours for the rest of the day, so I can head over to your Mom's place. That’s the best I can do,” he said hoping to placate his friend.

 

“Thanks Blair.  I knew you’d come through for me,” Beth replied gratefully. “I’ll see you in a couple of hours.  Bye, thanks again,” she said as she hung up the phone.

 

“Yeah, bye, later,” Blair quietly responded as he too hung up his phone. 

 

I hate getting in the middle of these family squabbles, the curly headed police observer thought. I guess that’s why I am the observer, he continued. I think I’ll call Jim about this and give him a head’s up. I so hope he can be there. Sounds like that boyfriend is one fry short of a happy meal! 

 

Blair picked up his backpack, stuffed his notes for the day’s lecture into the opening, closed the bag and headed to his classroom.  As he walked, he reached into his pocket, withdrew his cell phone and dialed his roommate and police detective, Jim Ellison.  The phone rang once then Blair heard, “Ellison.”

 

“Jim, it’s Blair. Can you do me a favor?” the grad student asked as he entered his classroom.

 

At the station, the sentinel leaned back in his chair. Smiling, he replied, “What’s up? Too many dates for tomorrow and you need some back up?”

 

“No, man, nothing like that. See, I have this friend, Beth…”

 

“I knew there was a woman involved,” the sentinel smirked into the phone.

 

“Give me a break, Jim. This is important. She says her Mom is being taken by her latest boyfriend. Says that when she, that is my friend Beth, confronted the guy, he threatened to kill her if she tried to come between him and her Mom. She even told me that the guy, Bob I think was his name, had a gun,” the guide finished almost panting his story.

 

The tall detective sat back up in his chair. This type of call would usually be handled by uniformed officers, but… “Whoa, kid, take a breath!  OK, Chief, I’ll go meet with your friend. She wants moral support to go talk to her Mom? Is that the general plan?”

 

“Oh yeah, Jim, that’s the plan. Just meet her at her Mom’s place. Beth has evidence proving that jerk has been stealing from her Mom.  One of the pawnshops he took stuff to actually called Beth about it. So, once you get Bob out of the house, show the evidence to her Mom; shouldn’t be hard to convince Beth’s Mom to shake free of that leach.”

 

Blair looked at the phone, wishing he could see his friend. “Oh, man, almost forgot. Let me give you her number. Just call Beth so she knows you’re going to be there. Tell her I’m coming and will be there as soon as I can.” Blair dropped his backpack on his desk. He reached into the side pocket, drawing out the infamous ‘little black book’. Thumbing through it until he found the number, he then spoke into the phone again. “It’s 555-3928. Thanks again, Jim. I’ll see you in a couple of hours by her Mom’s place,” the teaching fellow concluded. Looking at the students seated in front of him he continued, “Bye, need to fill these sponge-like minds in front of me!”

 

“OK, kid, see you later.” Both men hung up their phones with a quiet click.

 

Detective Ellison picked his phone up again and dialed the number his guide had just relayed to him. It rang two times before someone picked it up on the other end.

 

A tentative “Hello” then silence on the other side of the call.  Not being much of a talker himself, he found that at times like this, he wished his ‘never at a loss for words’ partner was there with him.

 

“Hello, Beth,” the sentinel began, “our mutual friend, Blair Sandburg, thought I should give you a call.”

 

One did not have to be gifted with enhanced senses to note the relief in her response. “Oh, are you his roommate, the cop…I..I mean policeman?”

 

“Yes, Detective Jim Ellison with the Major Crimes Unit.  Blair asked me to accompany you to your mother’s home.  Blair said he would come as soon as he could, but could we meet now? Perhaps have it all settled before Blair arrives?” he asked without giving her a chance to decline the assistance.

 

“Um, well, I wasn’t expecting a co…I mean a detective to help with this, but sure, let’s meet at my Mom’s house. She lives at 394 Sycamore,” the relieved daughter replied.

 

The sentinel looked at his watch. “That’s about 15 minutes from the station. I can meet you there in about 20 minutes. Have a couple of things to do here before I leave.  Does that work for you?”

 

“Oh yes, thank you. That’s just great. See you in 20 minutes.”

 

 

Blair arrived at Beth’s mother’s home about 2 hours later than the first phone call.  As he drove up the street, he saw flashers. There were two ambulances, 3 patrol cars and the coroner’s van. Blair anxiously drove up to the taped yellow police line, stopped, parked the car and exited it quickly. The officer on the other side of the yellow line almost missed the blur of motion that was Blair Sandburg in his own version of ‘Blessed Protector’. 

 

Before the uniformed policeman could say anything, Blair pulled his observer’s identification from his pocket. He showed it to the officer as he looped the chain holding the id over his head.  Determined to continue to the house where all the activity was centered, Blair started under the tape. The stationed guard put his hand up.

 

Before Blair could utter a word, a familiar voice shouted, “He’s with us, let him through.” The relieved guide looked in the direction of the voice, finding the owner, the captain of Major Crimes.  The guide continued to scan the crowd of police, medical technicians, and civilians to find his roommate. Simon could see the guide trying to find his friend as he called to the observer, “Blair, come on over here. I need to talk to you.”

 

Those words sent a chill down Blair’s back. He slowly inched over to the large police captain, stopping directly in front of the man.

 

“Blair, this whole thing went down so ugly,” he began. “You want to sit down? I was going to call you in a few minutes, when I knew the whole story.” The captain looked quizzically at the curly headed man. “Why are you here anyway? Did someone else call you?”

 

“No, man. I had asked Jim to help me out with a friend and her Mom’s boyfriend.” At that point, Blair told Simon everything he knew about the situation before the sentinel had arrived on the scene.

 

Looking directly into the worried eyes of the police captain, Blair asked slowly, “Where is Jim, man? …. Come on, Simon, tell me. Dammit, I asked him to come here to help a friend. Now,” the grad student voice softened, “all this equipment is here for a reason. I’ll ask again, where is Jim?”

 

“He’s still in the house. That lunatic, Bob, released your friend, Beth and her Mom, but kept Jim. They reported that Jim was shot,” Simon hesitated, looked at the injured man’s partner, and continued, “at close range...in the chest. They put some towels on the wound before they were released.” The captain stopped as he watched the young guide face turn an ashen gray. Simon caught him under the arms just before Blair would have slammed into the ground. The large man held onto the shaken guide, slowly helping him to lean against the tree they had been standing under.

 

“He’s alive, you know,” Blair stated without question. “I would know if he die….died.”

At that, Simon’s radio crackled to life. The sounds emanating from the unit made no sense to the stunned guide, yet Simon seemed pleased at the sounds. Blair took comfort from that at least.

 

Captain Banks returned the radio to the case on his belt; he turned to Blair, putting his hands on the shorter man’s shoulders. “Blair, SWAT took out the assailant. He's down; SWAT is entering the house to retrieve, well, to…”

 

“Find and account for all the persons in the house,” Blair spat out. “Yeah, I know the procedure.” Immediately regretting the tone he took with the patient captain, the tense guide continued, “Sorry, Simon. I, uh, well, I just need to know Jim’s status, you know. I mean I KNOW in my heart he is alive, but my head is trying to tell me otherwise.”

 

“Yeah, I …” Simon started to say, when the radio squawked into existence again. The captain put the device by his ear to listen. There was not a smile, or even a smirk, portrayed on the experienced policeman’s face.

 

Putting the radio back in its case again, he returned his hands to Blair’s shoulders. “I won’t sugar coat it for you, kid. It’s bad. He’s lost a lot of blood. The EMT is not sure he will, um, not sure…” the captain could not continue. He simply stood off to the side of the distraught guide and let him watch as his friend and sentinel was loaded into the ambulance.

 

“I need to be with him, Simon. Don’t let them go without me. If….When he wakes up, he’ll need me to help sort out his senses.” Blair’s eyes pleaded with the captain.

 

“Go, go with Jim,” he pushed the guide towards the ambulance, then grabbing the radio, called out instructions to allow the guide to ride with his sentinel.

 

Blair did not have to be asked twice. He ran over to the ambulance, hopped in the back, and gazed at his injured friend. Slightly lifting Jim’s hand, the guide put his own under it and held on for dear life.

 

 

The ambulance arrived at Cascade General in record time.  During the drive, the EMT had been in constant communication with the hospital. Upon arrival, the nurses and orderlies met the ambulance and the OR staff were already setting up as the injured man was quickly taken from the ambulance to the ER room to prep for surgery.  Blair was left in a daze as his best friend was taken away from him so quickly.

 

I didn’t even have a chance to tell him, Blair mumbled in his head.  Jim went to that house as a favor, to me, the guilt ridden grad student berated himself.  Oh, man, now I know how he feels when I end up in the hospital! Blair continued his self-flagellation even as he filled in all the appropriate forms.  Since each man held the other’s medical power of attorney, he knew the doctor would be allowed to tell him the condition of his friend.

 

Eventually, Simon joined Blair in the surgical waiting area. He relayed to the tired guide the order of the events that occurred after Jim and Beth’s arrival at the house.

 

“It seemed that the boyfriend, Bob, was convinced Beth’s Mom, Vivian, was beginning to listen to her daughter. Bob was sure that Vivian was going to tell him to leave. That was when Ellison and Beth knocked on the door.  Bob pulled out a gun that was tucked into the front of his pants, hidden under his shirt, and told them to enter. Of course, the gun was pointed at Vivian’s head.  Jim was forced to put his weapon down on the floor and kick it over to Bob.  The boyfriend then had Beth get the duct tape from the garage. He ordered her to tape Jim’s hands behind him. He also had her put the tape around his ankles.  With Jim out of the picture, he slapped Vivian around a little.  By now, neighbors have heard the shouting and called the police. We arrive, I see Jim’s truck….”

 

Blair looked at the exhausted police captain.  “Jim, um, had heard us outside, of course. Tells Bob that the police are all around. No way for him to escape.  Somehow, he convinces Bob to release the women, keep him as the hostage. Bob agrees, but somehow in that screwed up mind of his, decided to make his position more important or…something.  Anyway, that’s when he shot Jim in the chest. The women grabbed towels and pushed on the wound to help stop the bleeding. Bob couldn’t have someone taking care of ‘the cop’, so that’s when he pushes Beth and Vivian out of the house. You know the rest. SWAT finally had a clear shot at him and took it.”

 

Blair’s stare asked the question he could not voice. Simon simply responded, “Yeah, the bastard is dead. One shot, in the head.”

 

“Good, saves me the effort,” the usually peaceful guide quietly responded.

 

Simon gazed at the distraught partner.  He knew how hard it was to have a friend so badly injured. He also knew it was far worse on this pair, as they seemed to have a bond that was so delicately woven throughout all aspects of their lives. If one hurt, the other felt it. If one died…he didn’t want to continue that thought. 

 

The two concerned men did not notice time moving past them. They did not notice a green clad woman approach them. Finally, the doctor gently tapped the curly headed man.  Blair fixed his eyes on the doctor while he stood to face her.

 

“Are you two here for James Ellison?” she queried.

 

Blair opened his mouth, but no sounds came out.

 

“Yes, we are,” Simon’s voice replied from below where Blair was standing.

 

“How…how is he?” Blair stuttered finding his voice.

 

Doctor Patel looked at the young man. “Do you know someone named ‘Chief’? As we were putting him under anesthesia, he just kept repeating, ‘Not your fault Chief’.”

 

Blair tightly closed his eyes as a tear escaped from the closed lids. He opened his eyes, signaling for the doctor to continue.

 

“As to his condition, it goes without saying he lost a lot of blood. We pumped that in as fast as we could. We did lose him once on the table,” she paused as the guide gasped and was then supported by the now standing police captain, “but were able to bring him back and stabilize him. The bullet tore a lot of muscle tissue and chipped his clavicle. We are hoping, if he pulls through the next twenty-four hours, that he will recover. What we are not sure about, and only time will tell, is whether or not he will have full use of his left arm,” the doctor concluded. “Gentleman, he will be in recovery for a couple of hours then onto ICU. Go, get some rest. We will call you with any changes.”

 

“No,” the guide replied fervently. “He needs me there when he wakes up.  Please, I have to be there.”

 

The doctor looked at Simon for his support in her suggestion. “Actually doctor, it's true, there’s something about those two. You can look at their history. When the other is around, recovery time is quicker. Please, allow him to stay. He won’t be under foot, will you son?” Captain Banks asked patiently.

 

“No, I mean, yes, I will stay out of the way. Please…” The grad student’s eyes begged the doctor for this large exception to her rules.

 

“You may stay Mr. Sandburg. However, the moment your presence is a hindrance, you are out. Do you understand?” Doctor Patel asked sternly.

 

“Yes ma’am. I do understand. You won’t regret this. Thanks…” Blair rambled.

 

“You may stay with him at the ICU, but now, go eat, rest, shower and come back in two hours,” the doctor demanded of both men.

 

“I..” Blair started but was interrupted by Simon.

 

“Yes, I will see that Mr. Sandburg eats and showers before he returns in two hours.”

 

“But Simon, …” the guide started to plead.


”No ‘buts’ Sandburg. Lets go so you can come back here all nicely fed and cleaned.”

 

“Okay, Simon. Fine. But I WILL be back in two hours.” At that the two friends of Jim Ellison headed out of the hospital.

 

 

Blair looked at his reclined friend in bed in the ICU wing.  It had been eight hours, and still nothing. Only sixteen more hours to get past the first critical mark the doctor had given them earlier that day, or was that yesterday?  Oh well, thought Blair, whatever day it is, will be a better day, if he could just see the blue orbs of his friend’s eyes.

 

As if on cue, James Ellison, sentinel and detective, slowly opened his eyes.  He tried to speak, but could not make any sounds. Blair gently put a small ice chip on the waiting tongue, letting Jim take it slowly into his mouth to melt and coat the dry throat.

 

“How long?” Jim whispered.

 

“You’ve been in the hospital about fifteen hours altogether; you were in surgery for five hours, recovery for two and in ICU for the last eight,” Blair slowly explained to the recovering sentinel. “You had us worried there for a little while, man.” Blair’s smile at seeing his friend awake changed to a somber look when he considered why his friend was even in the hospital. “Jim, man, I am so sorry I asked you to …”

 

The sentinel interrupted the upset grad student. “I am glad you asked me to help you out. It would have been you in there with that maniac.  I am not happy I was shot,” the sentinel paused, “but I am glad you weren't hurt at all. Makes it all even in my book.”

 

“Aw, Jim, man…If, if … you….” Blair began to wipe the tears away with the back of his hand.

 

“Me too Chief, me too,” the sentinel echoed the feeling Blair was trying to say, but could not verbally express.

 

Clearing his throat, Blair tried to tell the sentinel everything the doctor had told them. After absorbing the information, including the possible impairment to his left arm, Jim’s eyes gazed into those of his guide.

 

“Whatever lies ahead of us, as long as we work on it together, everything will be fine. What is important is that we are both here. The rest will work itself out.”

 

With that last comment, the sentinel fell into a restful sleep. The guide watched over the sentinel, ready for what they would be facing, as one.    

END

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