Thanks to Gail and Ferry for all your help.
This story is Cannon, and there is a spoiler for Blind Mans Bluff.
Officer Frank Doyle, fifteen-year veteran of the Cascade PD, took cover behind a police cruiser as yet another shot rang out across the underground car park.
There were many places where you expected to get shot at, but the PD car park wasn't one of them. He and his partner had been among some of the first officers on the scene. They'd been shocked to discover the gunman was Blair Sandburg, but then his partner had muttered, “What do you expect from that hippy, always knew he was a druggie. Hell, you just have to look at the guy, he's as high as a kite.”
Something was very wrong about this; Frank just knew it. He had seen the kid around, and drugs and that kid…no way!
So far no one had returned fired, and now Sandburg's partner, *only don't call him that to his face,* had arrived on the scene. Jim Ellison was slowly edging his way towards the kid, and for a tense moment the big Detective was staring down the barrel of a gun.
Whatever Ellison had said, Sandburg had started to listen, although he looked as twitchy as hell, still snapping off bullets in all directions. And he'd kept screaming about fire people. Whatever hell Sandburg was in, it was burning him up alive.
But Ellison didn't reacted to the gunfire; and simply reached up and took the gun, as if blind to the fact that any minute he could eat a bullet. Then the kid had let go, and Ellison had put the gun on the floor and pushed it away as he reached for Sandburg. The kid's face showed the horror only he could see and hear. Yet he began to clap his hands as if his life and sanity depended on it, and maybe it did.
Ellison had spoken to him again, and Sandburg had climbed down. It seemed that the kid had only waited for his *partner* to hold him, then he went down as if someone had cut his wires, as limp as a puppet. The paramedics had taken over and Sandburg had been rushed away.
For the next few days that was all anyone at the Station could talk about; the drugged out observer. Of course the rumour mill did its worst.
Half of the ranks said that Sandburg had been unlucky to catch a slice of the pizza; that it could have happened to anyone. But the rest of them were unsure. Some thought the only reason Ellison knew how to talk Sandburg down was because he had prior experience from the kid possibly coming home dusted most of the time. But one thing that Frank knew, Ellison would not have brought the kid into his own home if he had any inkling that the kid was dirty.
Later some of the talk had faded when it had come out that Sandburg had very nearly died from the overdose.
Two weeks later
Frank Doyle was just getting his sandwiches out of the vending machine when Dave Shore stopped in the middle of his rather long story involving a hooker, a pumpkin and a Nissan … It was that sudden silence that caused him to look up.
Down the corridor walked Blair Sandburg.
Everyone just stared at him. Dave said loud enough for it to carry to the grad student; “They shouldn't allow him back in the place, he'll get Ellison killed.”
Blair had nearly halted in his tracks when he heard that, but then he took a deeper breath and brought his head up higher, meeting their looks head on.
Frank looked from Sandburg to Shore and back again as Shore added, “Another twenty he resigns before the end of the week, we don't need his sort here.”
Blair's eyes flashed.
Frank gave a nod; the guy sure had guts. He still remembered how the guys had laughed when he had kept to, and won, his original bet. That was the problem, they looked at the wrapping and missed the package; there was steel in there.
Most people had said that Ellison would give Sandburg the push. But none of them had seen the look on the big cop's face when he had cradled Sandburg; it was a fleeting look of despair and grief. It had quickly been replaced by the usual stony mask, but not before Frank had seen it all. This was not a druggie student, leeching off a good cop so that he could get those three letters after his name. This was a true partnership, a cop's partnership, and one that was unbreakable.
His mind made up, the veteran cop stepped forward, blocking Sandburg's way to the bullpen.
For a moment Frank looked into wide blue eyes and saw the resolve; no matter what he said the kid was here to stay.
Frank stuck his hand out, and for a moment it just hung there in the air, and then Sandburg accepted it.
“Welcome back Sandburg.”
The smile he received was brilliant.
“Thanks man, uh, Officer Doyle”, Blair corrected as he read the name badge.
It was like a dam breaking, other officers came forward, and Blair suddenly found himself surrounded by blue.
Frank suddenly had the feeling of being watched. He could almost feel eyes burning into his back, and turned his head. James Ellison stood unobserved in the doorway to the bullpen, and the look he gave Doyle spoke volumes. He had the feeling that he had just been accepted by the Pit bull of Major Crimes…and Blair Sandburg was here to stay.
28th April 2001