What A Day
© February 2005
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Los Angeles Police Officer Pete Malloy walked down the hall of Central Division heading toward the locker room to get ready for roll call. As he walked, he spotted fellow station-mate, Bob Brinkman, coming from the main lobby area. Brinkman smiled cheerfully as he saw Pete. As Pete saw Brinkman he took a deep breath and let out a sigh. This is going to be a long day. He waved at his colleague and continued toward the locker room. He was just at the door when he ran into another fellow officer, Ed Wells.
"Hey Pete, where's Junior?" Ed asked as he stopped in front of Pete.
"Get lost, Wells," Pete said irritably.
Wells threw up his hands in defense. "Hey, all I did was ask where Reed was."
"And all I said was 'get lost'," Pete said, clearly annoyed.
Ed looked at Pete with a puzzled expression on his face. "What's with you today, Malloy?"
Pete turned around to face Ed and let the locker room door close. "Ed, don't you ever shut up?"
Pete didn't wait for a response; he entered the locker room and walked over to his locker, where he found his partner, Jim Reed, sitting on the bench tying his shoes.
"Morning, Pete," Jim said, and flashed him his customary bright smile.
Pete nodded his head in response but didn't say anything. He opened his locker and began putting on his uniform.
"Hey, what's up?" Jim looked up at his partner, his brow creased in a frown.
"Rough night," Pete told Jim, keeping his tone neutral.
"You want to talk about it?"
"All right." Jim looked at Pete with concern but let the conversation drop.
Jim finished dressing, but waited for Pete to finish as well. He sat, uncharacteristically silent, for which Pete was grateful. When Pete tied his shoes and gathered his things, he nodded at Jim, and they both left the locker room. They were almost to the roll call room when Sergeant MacDonald stopped them in the hallway.
"Pete, Mrs. O'Brien called for you."
"All right. I guess I need to go call her back." Pete walked down the hallway to the pay phone. "Thanks, Mac."
Jim and Mac stood in the middle
of the hallway watching Pete as he walked to the payphone.
"Isn't Mrs. O'Brien Pete's landlady?" Mac asked, with a curious look on his face.
"Yeah," Jim said.
"It must be something important, then," Mac said sarcastically. He moved a little down the hallway then turned back to Jim. "Reed, get to roll call." Mac walked off and headed toward the briefing room.
"Yes, sir!" Jim gave him a mock salute, but then walked down the hall toward Pete. He stayed back to give Pete a little privacy to complete his phone call and did his best not to eavesdrop. When Pete was off the phone the two of them headed to roll call.
"So what did she want?" Jim grinned at his partner.
"Oh, nothing much. She just wanted to know how I was," Pete looked down at his feet and stopped.
"What's the matter?" Jim was about two feet in front of Pete when he realized that his partner wasn't beside him anymore. He stopped to let Pete catch up with him.
"Nothing." Pete walked on past Jim.
"Okay." Jim looked at Pete, trying to read his expression. It wasn't like Pete to be so crabby. Jim decided to try and talk to Pete again later. "Something's bugging him, that's for sure." Jim said quietly to himself. By this time they had reached the briefing room, and Jim followed Pete inside.
"Reed, I thought I told you to head in here five minutes ago!" Mac said in an aggravated voice as they walked in.
Jim shrugged his shoulders, wondering if the entire watch was going to be crabby as his partner and his Watch Commander. "Sorry, Mac."
Mac just shook his head as they took their seats.
Mac cleared his voice and began the morning briefing. "Everyone, listen up. There's a 211 suspect on the loose in the division. He's already hit three stores in the division, and has managed to keep from getting caught so far. He's believed to be using a .357 magnum, chrome-plated. Malloy, Reed, he was last seen in your area, in the vicinity of the Deerfield Housing Development, so keep a look out and patrol the housing development a little more often. Any of you other guys that have a few minutes of dead air might want to wander that direction as well. The suspect is a white male, about 6 feet, 165 pounds, brown and brown.
"Wells, you and Brinkman keep an eye out for trouble at the supermarket at the corner of Magnolia and 5th. They've been having trouble with juveniles shoplifting and getting into fights in the parking lot. It might be gang-related. There's been at least four disturbances there in the last week." Mac paused and looked up from his pile of papers. "That's all for the briefing. Listen up for the car plan and roll call."
Mac went through the almost-automatic recitation of the roll call and car plan. When he finished he stood and announced, "Everyone fall in for inspection."
The day watch officers stood and lined up beside the tables for inspection. After Mac had finished making sure everyone's uniform was on correctly and met department standards, he dismissed them to start the watch.
"You still haven't told me what's
Jim looked over at Pete, but Pete kept his eyes focused on the road and his driving.
"Pete." Jim's voice was sharp.
"What?" Pete took his eyes off the road for a second to glare at Jim, then turned back to the road.
"There's something you're not telling me."
"You're like a dog with a bone, sometimes, Jim."
"I just want to help if I can."
"Jim, there's nothing to help."
Dispatch broke in to tag them with a call, so Jim didn't answer.
"1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, a 311-M. 123 West Elm Street. 1-Adam-12 handle code 2."
"1-Adam-12 roger." Jim hung the mic back on the radio.
They drove a few blocks toward the unfamiliar address, Jim watching the signs of street names and oncoming traffic.
"Turn here, Pete!"
"Turn here. This is West Elm Street. Are you sure you're with me?
"I'm sure," Pete growled, then turned on West Elm Street and drove until they got to the address given. Pete stopped the car, and he and Jim got out, donned their hats and stepped onto the sidewalk. They walked up to the house, and knocked on the door. A slender, middle-aged woman with long brown hair answered the door.
"Ma'am, did you call the police?" Jim asked.
"Yes, officer I did." The woman looked annoyed.
"Ma'am, may I have your name?" Jim asked in a professional tone.
"Mrs.?" Jim asked before he wrote
the name in his notebook.
"Yes, that's correct." The woman looked at Jim.
"Mrs. Andrews, what's the problem?" Pete asked.
"The man next door is walking around in the yard with no clothes on!" The woman exclaimed.
Jim and Pete exchanged glances.
"Mrs. Andrews, how long has he been outside with nothing on?"
"Maybe twenty to thirty minutes. Are you just going to stand here or you going to do something about him?" the woman said, sounding even more annoyed.
"Mrs. Andrews, if you'll wait in your house we'll go talk with him and we'll come back if we need any more information from you," Pete said.
"Yes, of course, officers. Please do something about that man! It's so…so…uncivil to be walking around the neighborhood with no clothing on!" The woman threw her arms up as she spoke and it was clear she was getting more agitated as she talked.
"Mrs. Andrews, please calm down. We're going to go talk with him," Pete said.
The woman went inside her house, but not before she gave the officers an dissatisfied look.
Jim and Pete walked over to the neighbor's house. They didn't see anyone around front so Jim checked to see if anyone was in the backyard. Sure enough, he found the naked man in the backyard standing at his flower garden, just staring at the flowers. "Oh, Lord," he muttered as Pete walked up beside him. He looked over at Pete and let out a sigh. "You want to handle this one?"
"Nope," Pete said, as they walked through the back gate. "You're doing just fine."
Jim gave him a look, but walked over to the nude man, Pete trailing him. He made a note of his appearance - slim, young, slightly tanned. "Excuse me, sir."
The man looked at the two officers now standing in his back yard and asked, "May I help you officers?"
"Yes, sir. Your neighbor made a complaint about you walking around outside with no clothes on," Jim said, keeping his voice even. Jim worked very hard to keep his eyes on the man's face.
"Oh, I see." The man took a deep breath and let it out. "That nosy neighbor of mine can't mind her own business!"
"Why, may I ask, are you walking around without any clothes on?" Pete asked
"I was trying to get a suntan."
"Uh, sir, couldn't you just put on shorts or something?" Pete asked.
"Well, I guess I could." The man frowned. "But then I'd have tan lines. I don't care for tan lines. "
"Sir, what's your name?" Jim asked as he pulled out his notebook and pen.
"Robertson, Herman Robertson."
"Now, Mr. Robertson, why don't you go put some clothes on."
"Can't I finish my tan first?"
"No, sir. You're out in public with no clothes on, and that's called indecent exposure. So, if you don't go put some clothes on we're going to take you into the station," Jim told him firmly. "You don't want that, do you?"
"No, I guess not," the man sighed. "All right, officers." He went inside the house.
"Well, that wasn't so hard," Jim said.
"He's not dressed yet," Pete said.
It didn't take long before the man returned, this time sporting a bright red bathing suit, "That's much better," Pete said.
"I still would rather be naked. I don't want tan lines." He folded his arms over his chest.
"But you have to wear clothes in public," Jim told the man.
"That's a dumb rule."
Jim sighed, choosing not to comment. It's almost like trying to reason with Jimmy. But he's only 2. What's this man's excuse? "Sir, we're going to go. If we get another call out here, we're going to have to take you in. Remember that."
With that Jim and Pete returned to their car and Jim cleared them."1-Adam-12, clear."
"Wasn't that fun?" Pete asked sarcastically.
"Yeah, a guy walking around with nothing on just so he can get a tan!" Jim laughed.
"People are strange at times."
"Yeah, so I've noticed," Jim said.
The two sat quietly for a few minutes, watching the streets as they patrolled.
"Maybe we should do like Mac said and patrol the housing development for a while," Jim said. "It seems quiet here anyway."
"Yeah it does," Pete said. "We'll head that way."
"Yeah?" Pete responded, but kept his focus on the road.
"Are you sure that nothing's bothering you?"
Pete sighed, "Yes, Jim, I'm sure nothing's bothering me."
They drove over several blocks, through the rather quiet streets, before they reached the housing development and started to patrol. They drove slowly through the development, neither man talking, but both studying the streets. After only a few minutes, Jim spotted a young man walking down the sidewalk about a half-block away that roughly fit the suspect's description.
"Pete, that guy looks like the suspect Mac was telling us about!" Jim said in a loud voice.
"Don't get excited. Lots of guys fit that description," Pete told his younger partner.
"Get closer to him." Jim said, clearly convinced that the guy walking down the street was their suspect.
Pete eased the black and white down the street and passed the guy so Jim could take a closer look at him.
"What do you think?" Jim asked.
"I think it's worth you talking to him." Pete slowed the car and let the young man draw closer. Finally, he stopped it and Jim stepped out.
"Excuse me sir, may I speak with you a moment?" Jim asked the man.
The young man looked at Jim, his expression a little panicked. He switched from one foot to the other while waiting for Jim to approach him. As Jim drew closer, the suspect turned and bolted away from him.
"Hey!" Jim called, running after the man. "Stop!"
The suspect ignored him and continued his flight. He appeared to be in good shape, and built a good lead on Jim. The suspect ran down Maple Street then turned left around a fence, and Jim pushed himself to make up ground. When Jim rounded the fence, he saw the suspect stumble over an uneven spot in the pavement and Jim inched closer. The suspect regained his balance and continued to run down the street, now with Jim only a few yards behind.
As they ran, Jim yelled for the suspect to stop. The suspect continued to run, so Jim continued the chase. Once again Jim called for him to halt, but the suspect continued to ignore his commands. After another half block of running Jim yelled again.
The suspect glanced back over his shoulder, then returned to looking in front of him, refusing to obey Jim's command. As they ran further down the street they came to another fence. The suspect jumped over the fence, barely losing a step. Jim followed and continued the chase into some backyards in the development. As the two ran between houses toward the street again, the suspect pulled out a gun. When Jim saw the suspect had a gun Jim jerked his from the holster and readied himself to find some cover if needed.
When the suspect took off with his partner in pursuit, Pete gunned the car forward, so he could cut the suspect off. As he drove, Pete picked up the mic and call in the foot pursuit. "1-Adam-12, requesting back up at 3rd and Maple, the Deerfield Development My partner is in foot pursuit, last seen heading north on Maple." Come on, Jim, where are you? Pete drove down almost two blocks when he saw the suspect take a left, so Pete made the block, hoping he'd beat the young man to the corner. He barely did so.
As Pete wheeled around the corner, the suspect was almost on top of him, Jim not too far behind. Pete jammed the car to a stop and bailed out, noting as he did so that the suspect had a gun.
Does Jim see that? "Drop it, mister!" Pete commanded, leveling his gun at the suspect.
Instead of obeying, the suspect snapped off a shot in Pete's direction. Pete flinched, but didn't return fire, fearing he'd hit his partner. But he heard Jim yell, and return fire. Jim's bullet missed the suspect. The suspect fell to the ground, rolling over, but somehow managed to snap off a shot at Jim.
The bullet from the suspect's gun hit Jim in the leg, and he fell to the sidewalk with a grunt. His gun skittered away from him.
"Jim!" Pete yelled. But he didn't have time to spare more than that for his partner, because the suspect started to get to his feet.
Pete stood and leveled his gun at the man. "Freeze, mister, or you're a dead man! Drop the gun, now!"
The suspect hesitated.
"I said drop the gun!" Pete commanded once more.
Finally, after seconds that seemed like hours, the suspect complied. The suspect dropped the gun and lay down on the ground. Pete made his way cautiously around the car. He moved toward the suspect, his gun level at the man lying on the ground. Pete kept his own gun trained on the man, but quickly recovered the suspect's discarded gun. Pete stuck the gun in his belt and pulled out his handcuffs. He placed the cuffs on the man.
All the time he kept one eye on his fallen partner.
"Jim, you okay?"
"Yeah," Jim said through gritted teeth. "Watch that guy."
"Don't worry." Pete reached down and pulled the suspect up to his feet. "Let's go." He pushed the man toward the car, then put him in the backseat and locked him in.
After Pete secured the suspect in the back seat he picked up the mic. "1-Adam-12 , officer down, suspect in custody. 100 block of Beach Street. Dispatch an ambulance, and a supervisor. What's the ETA of the back up?"
"Roger 1-Adam-12. Back up should arrive in 2 minutes."
Pete hung up the mic and went to check on Jim.
"I'm all right, Pete." Jim tried to sit up and let out a groan of pain.
"Lay down," Pete said, trying to keep his fallen partner still. "Just hang on. Help will be here soon and we'll get you to the hospital. You'll be just fine." If only I could convince myself of that. Where's the back up and ambulance? What the hell is taking them so long?
While he hovered over Jim, Pete looked over at the black and white to make sure the prisoner was still seated in the back seat.
You could have killed my partner if that bullet had been just a little higher, Pete seethed silently.
As if reading his mind, the suspect yelled, "I just wish my aim had been a little better! I'd like nothing better than to have killed some pig today."
Pete ignored the comment, but he wanted to get up and go punch the guy. Could things have gotten any worse today? Today just isn't my day! First trouble at home and now Jim shot! What else is going to happen?
Almost exactly two minutes later Wells and Brinkman arrived. They quickly got out of their unit and jogged over to Pete and Jim.
"Well, Malloy, looks like junior got shot for a change and not you," he said, but the concern in his eyes took the sting out of his words.
Pete glared up at Ed, but it was Jim who moaned and said quietly, "Shut up, Ed."
Ed tried to look hurt. "What's the matter Reed? You getting tired on the job?"
Jim rolled his eyes and groaned in pain and annoyance.
Pete gave Ed an angry look. "Ed,
will you just lay off?"
"Pete, I'm not feeling so good." Jim said in a weak voice. He shut his eyes.
"Okay, Jim just relax." Pete said in a tone that made everybody stop kidding around. "You stay with me, okay?"
"Yeah," Jim said in a whisper, then opened his eyes. "Hey, Pete?"
"What?" Pete looked concerned.
"Call Jean… for…" Jim stopped in mid-sentence.
"Jim? Jim!" Pete gently shook Jim's shoulder trying to rouse him.
"What's the matter Malloy?" Ed asked
from behind Pete. When he saw that Jim's eyes were closed he stopped joking
and looked at Pete.
"He passed out, Ed." Pete looked at Ed with an angry, annoyed look. A few seconds later the siren of the ambulance could be heard.
"Brinkman and I will take the suspect in," Wells said. "We'll check in at the hospital as soon as we can kick free."
After getting Jim onto a gurney, with a lot of help from Pete, the ambulance attendants loaded Jim into the ambulance and roared off to County General hospital, Pete in the back with him.
Pete's worry intensified. Should Jim still be out? Shouldn't he be awake? Jim! Come on, partner, wake up!
But Jim didn't answer. In fact, through most of the trip Jim remained unconscious, but when they were almost to the hospital, Jim roused.
"Pete," Jim whispered.
"I'm right here, Jim." Pete leaned over Jim so he could hear him a little better.
"Take care of… Jean for me. She'll be…scared."
"Don't worry, I will. Just hang on. We're almost at the hospital."
Jim didn't answer Pete, but took a deep breath and rested against the pillow, still awake, but looking more than a little rocky.
When the ambulance arrived at the hospital the attendants set the gurney out of the ambulance and rolled Jim into the Emergency Department. A young nurse met them at the door and escorted them toward a treatment room Pete followed them down the hallway.
"I'm sorry but you can't come in here." The nurse stopped Pete from entering the room.
"But he's my partner," Pete said. He wasn't happy about not being able to go inside the treatment room.
"I'm sorry, but I can't let you in there. You can wait in the waiting area."
"Well, can I at least get his gun belt and badge?" Pete said, not happy about being unable to go inside the treatment room.
"I'll bring Officer Reed's gun belt and badge out to you as soon as we're finished. Please wait in the waiting room," the nurse said, then turned and went into the treatment room.
Irritated and upset, Pete walked to the row of chairs in the waiting area to wait for news on Jim. He plopped down into one and held his head in his hands. I wish they would've let me in the treatment room. I wonder how he's doing? Is he going to be all right? How's Jean going to take this? She worries about Jim a lot. Pete stood up and began to pace around. I wonder where Mac is? He never made it to the scene. And now he's not here. Is he already talking to Jean?
Completely restless and tired of pacing after only a few minutes, Pete walked back over to the chairs and sat down. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. He ignored everything around and tried to think back to how in the world he let Jim get shot.
Pete looked up to see Mac standing in front of him. About time.
"How's Jim?" Mac looked concerned.
"I don't know yet. The doctor's still with him."
Mac took a seat beside Pete. "What happened?"
"We were chasing a guy we thought
matched the description of the 211 suspect you mentioned in the morning briefing,
and he pulled a gun. He fired a shot at me and Jim returned fire. He missed,
but the suspect hit the ground and fired off a shot at Jim. Jim caught it in
"All right, you can tell me the
whole story later, and you'll need to fill out the report. There'll be a shooting
review, too. Have you talked to Jean yet?"
"No. I was waiting to see what you wanted to do, and what the doctor says."
"I'll take care of it, then. I'm going to go pick up Jean."
"All right." Pete frowned. "Be sure and tell her it's not that serious, okay?"
"I'll take care of it. Try and relax. I'm sure Jim'll be okay." Mac gave Pete a pat on the shoulder, then walked out the exit.
Pete was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn't notice when the doctor finally came out of the treatment room. Pete looked up when he heard the doctor call out, "Excuse me, officer, are you Officer Reed's partner?"
"Yes. Pete Malloy." Malloy and the doctor shook hands.
"I'm Dr. Fowler. Your partner is in a stable condition, but we're going to have to surgically remove the bullet. It's lodged up against the femur - the thighbone. His vital signs are looking good and he lost some blood, which is to be expected, of course. Barring complications, he'll make a quick, complete recovery."
"Thanks doc," Pete said. He kept his expression neutral. On the outside he looked as if Jim was just taken in for a little scratch, but on the inside he felt like everything was turning upside down. I can't believe I let my partner get shot! And now surgery…
"His wife is on her way over. When will you know anything further? How long is the surgery going to last?"
"We're taking him up to surgery now. You and Mrs. Reed can wait in the waiting room on the surgical floor and someone will come get you after the surgery is over. The surgical waiting room is on the 5th floor. The surgery will probably take around two to three hours."
"Thanks. I'm going to wait here on his wife, though, and bring her up"
"Very well. Try not to worry; your partner will be fine."
"Thanks, Doc." Pete shook the doctor's hand, and then sat back down as the doctor walked to the elevator.
He didn't stay seated for long. Too nervous to sit, Pete paced back and forth in the waiting room as he waited for Jean's arrival. He'd only made a few passes when Pete saw Jean come running through the emergency door. Pete got one look at her and could tell she'd been crying. She's worried sick about Jim. "Jean," Pete called as he made his way over to meet her. She practically threw herself into his arms, blinking back her tears.
"Pete, is he okay? What's happening?"
"Calm down, Jean, it's okay." Pete hugged her and they walked over and sat down.
"Is he okay?" Jean repeated, anxiously.
"They just took him up to surgery. The doc says he'll be fine, it's not too serious."
"If he's all right, then why do they have to do surgery?" Jean asked, the worry obvious in her tone.
"The bullet is up against the thigh bone and they have to remove it." Pete tried to sound reassuring as he explained. "But the doctor says there's no permanent damage. He'll be fine."
Jean nodded her head to let Pete know that she understood. But still tears pooled in her eyes.
"We can wait in the surgical waiting area on news of how Jim's doing."
Pete escorted Jean to the elevator
and hit the call button. When the elevator came down, they climbed aboard and
Pete pressed the 5th floor button.
Pete thought of what else he could say to Jean. How can I explain to her that I let Jim get shot? How can I make it up to her? I've gotta say something. "Jean, I'm sorry I let Jim get shot."
"I'm sure there was nothing you could do. I'm just glad you were there to help him."
"I wish I could have done more."
"Pete, you're always watching out for Jim. You know how much I appreciate it," she said with a weak smile.
Pete returned the smile. "If I don't watch out for him who will?"
Jean smiled more widely at Pete's attempt to make a joke, and Pete felt his load lighten a little.
The elevator stopped, and Jean and Pete walked in to the almost empty waiting room and took a seat. Pete sat down tiredly in the first chair he came to. Thanks to that rude neighbor of mine, I'm about beat. The guy kept me up most of the night, first yelling, and then loud music! At least it's quiet here.
Pete looked over at Jean, who sat nervously on the edge of her chair. "Jean, are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm fine Pete. I just wish the doctor would hurry up and tell me how Jim is."
"Jim will be fine. Just relax. The surgery's just started. Don't wear yourself out worrying."
Jean smiled and Pete leaned his
head back against the wall and listened to everyone around him, but his thoughts
were focused somewhere else.
What did I do wrong? I know
I didn't do something right, because my partner is lying in the hospital with
a bullet in his leg.
"Pete!" Jean said, rather loudly as she gently shook his shoulder.
Pete looked up.
"Yeah? Sorry, Jean. What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I just asked you a question, but you didn't answer. Are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm fine," Pete said standing up."I'll be back in just a minute." He said barely above a whisper.
Pete walked towards the bathroom, not noticing the concerned look Jean gave him
As he walked he heard voices in his head. One of them said, "It was all your fault! You weren't focused today. " The other said, "Don't listen to that nonsense. It wasn't your fault! These things happen even under the best conditions." What did I do wrong? Should I have fired instead of just ducking down? Why didn't I do something? Pete was so intent on assigning himself fault he walked into a nurse.
"Sorry, miss," Pete apologized.
"It's okay." She smiled softly at him. "You look worried."
"My partner got shot. He's in surgery, and I'm waiting for word."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sure he'll be all right."
"I hope so."
"What's your name?"
"Pete Malloy. "
"I'm Sarah Wilson. Nice meeting
you. If I can do anything for you, please let me know."
She gave Pete another smile and walked on down to the nurses' station.
Pete smiled at her as she walked away. She's pretty.
Pete turned on his heel and walked back to the waiting room feeling a little better than he did.
"Pete, sit down before you wear the soles off of your shoes," Jean said. "You look worn out."
Pete walked over to his chair and sat down. "I'm just a little tired." He leaned his head back against the wall and said a silent prayer for Jim.
"Jimmy has been wondering when his 'Unca Pete' is going to come over," Jean said quietly.
The thought of his godson made Pete smile. "I'll come over this weekend and see him."
"I'll tell him. He'll be happy to see you."
"Pete. Pete, wake up!"
Pete's head snapped up.
"What? Huh?" he said, half asleep.
"Come on, Jim's out of surgery and in recovery. They've got his room ready and we can wait there."
"I'm sorry I fell asleep. How's
"Jim is just fine." Jean smiled at him. "And don't worry about falling asleep. You needed the rest. I'm glad you got a little sleep."
Pete pulled himself to his feet and followed Jean tiredly out the door and into the hallway. As they walked past the elevator Pete saw Sarah, who gave him a friendly wave. Pete returned the smile and waved back.
"Who's that?" Jean asked
"Sarah Wilson, I think her name is." Pete covered a yawn.
"She seems nice,"
"Jean, do you ever give up?" Pete smiled to take the edge off of his words.
Jean and Pete walked down the hallways
and into Jim's newly assigned room. The two of them stood by the window, making
small talk and watching the outside world while waiting for hospital personnel
to bring Jim in from recovery. They only had to wait about a half hour.
Some nurses and an orderly brought Jim into the room on a gurney The orderly moved Jim to the bed and propped up his leg with pillows. The nurses told the two Jim would probably be sleeping on and off for the next few hours. They fussed around him a few minutes, adjusting his IV drip and taking other measurements, then they left.
Jean moved over to the bed and
took Jim's hand in hers.
"Oh, Pete. He looks so pale."
"He'll be fine, Jean." Pete tried to sound reassuring, but he agreed with Jean's assessment. He does look pretty bad.
Jean stood beside Jim's bed holding his hand and brushing his hair off his face.
After only a short time, Jim shifted restlessly and opened his eyes. "Jean?" Jim called sleepily, his voice raspy.
"I'm right here honey, and Pete's here too."
"Yes, Pete's here."
Pete moved over to the side of the bed. "Right here, partner."
"Hey." Jim said trying to lift his hand to greet Pete.
"Jim, honey, go back to sleep." Jean soothed, gently stroking Jim's hair. She leaned over and kissed him.
"Jean, not… now. We have a visitor," Jim tried to joke.
"Jim, you're so funny sometimes."
Jim tried to look over at Pete. "Pete?"
"No problem, partner." Pete said, though the guilt he felt about Jim getting shot made him feel like he'd done less than nothing.
Pete ran his hand through his hair, then he yawned.
"Pete, go home." Jim closed his eyes.
"Why, so you can be alone with that
lovely wife of yours?"
"Yeah, so go 'way." Jim gave a weak
smile and Pete grinned.
"Jim's right, Pete. You should go home and get some rest," Jean said.
"I don't know, Jean. You or Jim may need something."
"Pete, we'll be fine."
"Jean, are you going to be all right staying here?"
"Yes, I'll be fine. Thanks for all you've done, Pete."
"You'll call if you need me?"
"You know I will."
Pete finally gave in. "Okay, I'm going to go. Let me know if you need anything. I'll stop by in the morning."
"I will Pete, and thanks for everything." Jean gave Pete a friendly hug.
Pete smiled and walked out of the room. Those two are something special. He walked over to the elevator and pressed the call button, his tired body telling him it really was time to get home. As soon as the elevator doors opened Pete stepped aboard, pushed the first floor button and stepped back against the far wall of the elevator, letting it support him. When the elevator reached the first floor Pete stepped off, and walked over toward the waiting area for the emergency entrance so he could get to a phone to call a cab.
As he made his way over he was surprised to see Brinkman, Wells, MacDonald and a few others from day watch sitting in the waiting area. All but Mac were in civilian clothes. When they saw Pete they moved hurriedly over to talk with him.
"Hey, Pete. How's Jim?" Brinkman asked.
"He's doing all right." Pete responded tiredly.
"What did the doc say?" Ed Wells asked, evidently worried.
"He said that if there's no complications that Jim should make a fast, complete recovery. He's still pretty out of it. But I'm sure once he's fully awake and feeling better the doctor will let you see him. He's in room 314. "
"That's great news, Pete., but you look beat. Why don't you go home and get some rest. Jim's fine and there's nothing more you can do here. I'm leaving too, so I'll drive you to the station," Mac said.
"All right, Mac." With that Pete and Mac walked out the door to the black and white. They got into the car and began the trip to the station. Pete didn't notice much on the way to the station. His thoughts were focused on other things: his partner, and the trouble with his neighbor. He looked up when they pulled into the parking lot of the station.
It was really weird riding in that car and Jim not sitting beside me.
Pete made his way into the building and trudged into the locker room. He grew a little more tired with each passing moment. Pete pulled his clothes out of his locker and flopped down on the bench, too tired to get dressed. Pete thought about the day that he and Jim had had and wondered what awaited him at home. While he brooded, the locker room door opened.
"Pete?" Mac's voice filtered from the doorway.
"At my locker," Pete responded.
Mac walked over to where Pete was sitting. "Why don't you finish getting dressed and I'll drive you home."
"I can drive, Mac."
"As tired as you are?"
"Mac, I'm fine, I can drive."
"Well, I don't want another one
of my officers in the hospital."
"I'll be fine. There's no sense
in you driving me to my apartment then having to drive back to your house. What
time is it, anyway?"
"We were at the hospital that long?" Pete looked at his watch to confirm Mac's announcement.
"How did the time go by so fast?"
"All the waiting. You be careful driving home."
Pete finished dressing, then the
two of them walked out of the locker room and down the hallway. They walked
out to the parking lot, where they parted ways.
Pete got into his car and drove to his apartment. When Pete pulled into the parking lot of his apartment building he shut the engine off, pocketed his keys and wearily climbed the stairs to his apartment.
He walked straight to his bedroom.
He tossed his jacket on the bed, grabbed some clean clothes and headed to the
bathroom to take a shower. Pete let the hot water splash on his face hoping
to wash away the tiredness he felt. Once Pete finished he crashed into bed,
hoping sleep would come easily.
But it didn't.
Pete tossed and turned, his mind refusing to turn itself off . What little sleep that he did get was mere fitful dozing, filled with snatches of disturbing dreams that left him even more exhausted. Once, a particularly vivid image awoke Pete in a cold sweat.
"It was just a dream," he said to himself. He looked over at the clock. "4:00 a.m." He fell back against the pillows and stared at the ceiling for a while. "Why do I keep dreaming of Jim getting shot and dying? Jim's fine. The doc said he would make a compete recovery." He closed his eyes and tried to get back to sleep.
But once again, Pete tossed and
turned restlessly. He finally decided to get up. Might as well get up. I
wanted to go to the hospital before I go to work anyway. I'll barely make it
by early roll call as it is.
Pete dressed and left for the hospital. When he got to Jim's room he was surprised to see his young partner awake, and Jean asleep in the chair next to him. Her arm snaked through the bedrails and her hand was curled around Jim's.
"Hey, partner," Jim said quietly
"Hey. How are you feeling?" Pete
answered in a whisper.
"I'm doing pretty good. Much better than yesterday."
"How's the pain?"
"Not too bad. Whatever they've got me on is pretty good."
"Good. Did the doc say when he's going to let you leave?"
"Yep, if I'm doing all right, tomorrow morning," Jim smiled.
"Hey, that's pretty fast. I know you're glad."
"You're not kidding." Jim stopped
and studied Pete closely. "Partner, you don't look so good yourself. Have another
"You never told me what was wrong."
Jim said, worry pushing away the pain in his blue eyes.
"Nothing's wrong. I'm fine, just
had a little trouble getting to sleep."
"Pete, I know it's something more
than you not being able to sleep well."
"It's really nothing."
"Yeah, I bet." Jim said, obviously
"Jim, really. I said nothing's bothering
me. Can't you just leave it at that?"
"If you don't tell me, I'll call Mrs. O'Brien."
Pete crossed his arms over his chest
and glared at Jim. If Jean hadn't been sleeping and Jim recovering, he'd had
a lot more to say to his younger partner. As it was…
"Well, I better tell you so you'll relax. My neighbor, Ron Jacobs, has been giving me a lot of trouble. It started out with him and his girlfriend yelling in the night then it turned to loud music. Now he's trying to start fights with me." Pete sat down in the other empty chair in the room. He ran his hand through his hair. "We usually get along fine, so when the trouble started, I ignored it. I thought maybe he was just having a bad run of luck, but it got worse. So, a couple nights ago, he started up again. So I knocked on his door to get him to be quiet, and he cursed at me and threatened to fight me. I tried to be reasonable, but then Mr. Jacobs got hostile. I reminded him that I'm a cop, and that if things didn't stop, I'd have to take him in for disturbing the peace. It's turned into a real mess." Pete shrugged. "So that's my problem."
"Maybe you should trying reasonably
talking to him again, and if he decides to take a swing at you arrest him for
assaulting an officer." Jim smiled.
"I knew I shouldn't have told you."
Pete said irritably.
"Pete, I'm sorry. I figured a few
jokes would cheer you up. But seriously, you could always talk to him again.
In the daylight, when he's calm. Maybe he'd been drinking, or was just so upset
he couldn't calm down." Jim said, dead serious.
"Yeah, I guess I could at that."
Pete shook his head. "Here I am, laying this stupid problem on you the day after
you had surgery."
"Don't worry about it. You needed
to talk to someone."
"But I shouldn't have…"
Jim cut Pete off. "Pete, don't worry
"Anytime. That's what partners do."
"I guess that's true. And I also
better get going or I'll be late for roll call." Pete replied, looking at his
"Don't do that. I'll see you later,
Pete. Watch yourself out there."
"You bet. I'll stop by after shift or on break. If I can get 7 today." Both men laughed quietly and Pete left.
It was a typical Tuesday for the
day watch officers. A few traffic stops, one 211, which thankfully ended peacefully,
and several 415 complaints rounded out the day's work. Pete also spent an hour
with homicide detectives answering questions about yesterday's shooting. They
told him they'd already been to the hospital to take Jim's statement, and that
Jim seemed in good spirits.
After work Pete headed over to County
General to see Jim again. When he got to Jim's room he was surprised to see
Jim up and moving around with the help of crutches.
"Hey partner. What's with this?"
Pete said pointing to the crutches.
"Doc says I can't leave until I'm
up and moving," Jim said to his partner. "So I'm practicing."
"I bet so. Where's Jean?"
"She went to get something to eat."
"It's about time she left this room."
"Hey!" Jim objected.
"Well, she's been by your side since you were moved into this room. She needed a break."
Jim crutched over to the window
and looked out. Pete thought he looked tired. Probably pushing himself too
hard, as usual. He really wants out of here.
"Hey, Jim, maybe you'd better get
back to bed before you collapse and hurt yourself."
"Yeah, I guess so. I am pretty tired." Jim said, yawning. He crutched back over to the bed and sat down on the edge.
Pete took the crutches as Jim settled himself painfully in the bed. "Can I help you?"
"Nah, I've got it." Jim leaned back against the pillows, looking completely worn out.
Pete leaned the crutches against
the nightstand next to Jim's bed. "I'll put these here. But if I were you, I'd
sleep instead of getting back on these anytime soon."
"Yeah, I think I'll take a little
snooze," Jim said. "What about you? Where are you headed now?"
"Well, I'm headed home. I'm going
to go try talking to Mr. Jacobs again."
"Thanks. I have a feeling I'll need it."
"See you later, partner."
Pete drove to his apartment and made his way up the stairs. As Pete, got to the top of the steps of his apartment building he saw an angry-looking Ron Jacobs waiting outside his apartment door and dreaded having to go talk with him again. Is he still ticked off? Looks like he is. How's it going to turn out this time? Man, I don't want to have to arrest him or anything.
Jacobs caught sight of Pete, then.
"Yes, Ron?" Pete kept his voice
calm and even.
"I'm tired of your complaints! Now
Mrs. O'Brien is threatening to kick me out!" Jacobs said angrily.
"Ron, if you would stop making so
much noise at all hours of the night then I wouldn't complain. You're causing
a disturbance for the entire building. Like I told you the other night, if you
don't stop, you can be arrested for disturbing the peace. I'm trying to help
you out here," Pete stated to the angry man.
"Look Malloy. I've had enough of
this from you!"
"If you would just quiet down, I
wouldn't make complaints. Do you realize just how loud you were?"
"No, I guess not. I really can't
remember a whole lot about what happened. But if everybody had that much of
a problem, then why didn't somebody just say so?" The man asked, now acting
"I tried to, Ron. In fact, I tried
a couple of nights ago, but you weren't inclined to listen to me. As I recall,
you threatened to punch my lights out."
Ron sighed, some of the anger seeming
to seep from him. "I did? I didn't remember. I'm sorry about that. My girlfriend
had made me really mad and on top of that I was drinking. I hope you understand,
that I didn't really mean to cause so much trouble and well, I'm sorry."
"That's all right. But maybe next time if something like this happens, you'll be able to handle it better?" Pete said.
"Yes, I'll try to be a little less hostile. I like living here. I really don't want any trouble."
"I'm glad to hear that."
"Well, good day, Mr. Mal--I mean,
Pete. Thanks for your help." Jacobs extended his hand.
The two men shook hands and Mr.
Jacobs left to return to his apartment.
Pete shook his head and entered
his own apartment. That was a lot easier than I thought. I need to tell
Mrs. O'Brien to go easy on him.
The next afternoon, Pete drove Jim
home, feeling much better about life in general. His problem at home apparently
was solved, and Jim on his way to a quick recovery. Life feels good again.
When they got to Jim's house Jean
was waiting at the front door, with Jimmy in her arms. Getting to see his godson
was definitely a great plus for playing chauffeur.
"Daddy!" Jimmy wiggled out of his
mother's arms and raced to his dad. Pete intercepted the toddler and placed
him in Jim's arms. Pete stood close by incase he needed to quickly help Jim
or grab Jimmy. Jim managed to stay upright as he hugged his son for a few minutes
and then handed Jimmy over to Pete so they could all go into the house.
Jean helped Jim sit down and get
settled on the couch while Pete played with Jimmy. Pete tickled the little boy
until he could barely breathe, something Jimmy loved.
"Pete, are you staying for supper?"
Jean asked with her usual charming smile.
She looks happy to have Jim
home. "No, Jean. Not tonight." Pete said.
"Why not, Pete?" Jim asked, looking
puzzled and a little disappointed.
"You two and Jimmy should be alone
on your first night home. And I have some things to do," Pete smiled.
"All right, that's fair. How about
tomorrow?" Jean asked. "I owe you a nice dinner for taking care of Jim like
"Tomorrow will be fine." Pete shook
his head. "Not that I did anything to deserve it."
"Pete, don't be silly! You're always welcome here, no matter what," Jean said.
"Yeah, Pete. You're family," Jim echoed.
"Thanks, I really appreciate it," Pete said, smiling at his adopted family. "But I really do need to go. I have a few things around the apartment to do."
"All right, see you tomorrow, partner," Jim said.
"Drive carefully, Pete," Jean said, as she walked Pete to the door.
They said their good-byes and Pete
hugged Jimmy one last time.
"I guess I'll head out now. I'll
see you tomorrow night."
"Bye, Unca Peete." He opened and closed his chubby little hand, waving "bye-bye."
Pete smiled. No matter how tough life got, that little one could always make him feel better. "Bye Jimmy."
Pete left and headed back to his apartment feeling better than he had the whole week. Things finally feel like normal again.
Thanks to Karen for beta reading and thank you to all the people that created the show Adam-12 and the characters we all know and love.