End of Term Report
Summary: Detective Blair Sandburg has a 'back to school' moment.
Usual grovelling thanks to Joy and Aly for the beta and Wadj for some info. You be da best, guys.
Jim Ellison sat at his desk first thing on Monday morning and grinned. Blair wasn't with him, but that wasn't the reason he was feeling so cheerful. No, the reason was that as soon as he'd got there, he'd realised that during the previous week, when Blair had been in without him, his partner had done all of the paperwork that had built up.
Jim had been sick all of the previous week. Blair, being the good and true partner that he was, had made sure that Jim was lying comfortably on the sofa before he left for work; a pile of easy to eat food had been prepared and was placed, along with bottles of orange juice, in a cooler beside the sofa; medicines were left in easy reach on the coffee table and the TV remote was at hand. When he'd come home from work, Detective Second Class Blair Sandburg had regaled him with Tales from the Precinct, which was way funnier than anything currently being shown on the box. All in all, Jim had been spoilt rotten and he knew it. Though, he now realised, despite his stories of their colleagues, Blair hadn't really mentioned just what he'd been doing all week. Couldn't have been much, he thought to himself, or he'd have heard about it.
Anyway, as it was Blair's turn to get sick, Jim figured that the least he could do was return the favour. He'd set Blair in front of the TV with all of the accoutrements that had been left for him. Now it was up to him to have a good, safe week so that he could entertain his best buddy.
A folder sat in Jim's top drawer. Innocent-looking, it didn't jump out and bite him when he touched it. It didn't smell or feel like it was a practical joke waiting to happen. So, with only a little trepidation, Jim took it out, kicking himself when he realised that it was, in fact, only a folder with some papers inside. He took out the paper and his eyes nearly popped out. Intrigued, he started to read.
Being a summary of the student's actions, reactions and inaction. There's a lot of the latter.
Student: Det. 1st Class (that's a joke) Kermit (oh, that's so tempting) Holt.
As my permanent partner, Det. 1st Class, James - my, is that your night-stick or are you just pleased to see me? - Ellison was off sick with the flu, it was deemed necessary by the powers that be, i.e. Capt. Simon - I own your ass Sandburg so shut up and follow orders - Banks, that I would need another, more experienced partner, brought in from Homicide for the duration.
Will someone please tell me why I was saddled with the candidate for Cascade's Jerk of the Year for the 5th year running? Was it something I said? What?
I wish I had.
Or run away.
Joined a monastery.
So, with heavy heart, and at 9 a.m., I left Simon's office and did my duty, following said lunatic out of the building on our first call.
Having only taken three wrong turns to get to the most famous landmark in the city...
"Shut up, rookie, I've bin drivin' this city since your momma was wipin' your ass. I know all the shortcuts."
...we finally arrived at 10:15. I could have walked there quicker. Even the busses move faster than that.
I got out of the car, said the Gomel in thanks for my deliverance and swore that I'd drive in the future. He makes you, Mario Ellison ('cause I know you're reading this), look like a Sunday driver - but with a worse sense of direction and an even more diabolical hat... than a Sunday driver, not you Ellison. I quite like your hat.
We arrived at the crime scene, where I promptly turned green and threw up. It had nothing to do with the body, nor the fact that it was at the top of the Space Needle and I really don't like heights, or even the fact that it rotates. No, it was the journey catching up with me and the fact that the elevator had a moment where it seemed like it was about to stop and maybe plummet to the floor. Of course, since Galileo, I've not really liked elevators either.
Needless to say, Mr. Sensitivity himself fell about laughing. I got my own back when he stepped in the mess.
The victim seemed to be another in the Cascade Carver's lengthening list. Not a laughing matter. It wasn't a pretty sight.
Holt decided to do a quick investigation of his own on the body - "Stand back green-boy, we don't want you puking again" - [Fucking half-witted half-wit! Does that make him a quarter-wit?] while I had a look around the scene for clues. The victim was a janitor at the observation deck and had been found when it was opened that morning. It didn't take me long to realise, however, that it had been nothing more than a tragic accident.
What had happened was this. There was a step near a window, a bucket of water and some window cleaning tools on the floor that looked like they'd been dropped. I surmised that the poor man had possibly been taken ill when he'd been trying to clean it, fallen off the step and landed on something sharp. He'd then bled to death. The shards of glass of a broken bottle peaking out from under his body would have appeared to back up my theory.
I mentioned said theory to Kermit the Twit and was promptly shouted down. [By the way, did you know that 'twit' is the name for a pregnant goldfish as well as meaning someone of little brain and even less common sense? I wonder if there's a correlation?]
"I am the detective with years of experience, Sandburg. You are here to learn off me. I don't know what your sugar daddy Ellison lets you get away with, but while you're with me, you shut up and let me figure things out."
SUGAR DADDY? Does he know you, Ellison?
Anyway, I put up my hands and said, "Sure, man, you're the expert. Go ahead."
By then, Dan had arrived. He took one look, promptly repeated my theory and bagged the poor guy up. Holt wasn't happy.
I insisted on driving back, telling him that as the junior partner, it made more sense for me to chauffeur him around. I was relieved when he agreed as I couldn't afford a set of worry beads, a prayer mat and a conversion to every other religion on the planet. Just hedging my bets, naturally.
Needless to say, when we got back, not a word of my contribution was mentioned to Simon. Simon did, however, look at me and wink, so I think he guessed.
Then came the report.
I wrote mine in precise, scientific language, guaranteed to make Simon smile. No embellishments, no half-truths, just the facts and only the facts. Holt's was a hand-scribbled (in crayon) work of art.
It should be made into one. Origami is a precise skill. Have a sample.
We rushed to the Space Neddle. (Rushed? Neddle?)
Sandburg puked when he saw the body. (Oh no I didn't, dork brain, it was your driving).
I soon figerred out that it was an acsident. (WHAT????)
Then he handed me the report to type. So I did. Verbatim. I be bad.
Holt got called in and dragged over the coals by Simon for that one. Then Holt tried to do the same to me. I pointed out that I was only doing as he told me. I wasn't going to have any more initiative that week.
He went off and found a dictionary, looked up 'initiative' when Rhonda spelled it for him and came back with a smile.
"You're learning, boy."
BOY! I'm fucking thirty years old! I had my rite-of-passage seventeen years ago! Holt's still waiting for his. Along with his high school certificate. Thank God he's up for retirement soon.
The rest of the day was fairly quiet. I got through some of the paperwork that you hadn't managed to finish the previous week as Kermie the Love Newt boasted of his sexual exploits to anyone that would listen. After three minutes and nine seconds, he'd run out of material and started dissing the Jags.
I begged Simon to partner the moron with someone else. I pleaded. I offered him up my first-born (in the safe knowledge that there ain't gonna be one, natch) but he saw through that ruse. Jim, I think we've been rumbled, buddy.
This time, we went out to meet his snitch. Oh God.
His snitch is as stupid as he is. Not only does he wear the most god-awful clothes (he makes Sneaks look full of sartorial elegance), his vocabulary stank. It wasn't that I blushed when I heard every other word being a swear-word. Far from it. I'm a big boy now, I can cope. It was the fact that anything longer than the word 'fuck' seemed anathema to him. If ever there was a candidate for a study on polyphobia, this man was it. I managed to count ablutophobia, ecclesiophobia, odontophobia, xenophobia, homophobia (you guessed it!), trichophobia (the man hated my hair!), ideophobia (sorry, that's Holt), Judeophobia (it was NOT my day!), dikephobia, gnosiophobia, sophophobia (see? I said it wasn't my day!), hypengyophobia, ergophobia and last, but not least, hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. Look it up, Jim.
Unfortunately, this meeting, while otherwise totally unproductive (I'd rather have lost my Nikes to Sneaks) - along with the week with Kermit - has left me with a whole alphabet of phobias myself. Too many to mention, but they include, aerophobia, bacteriophobia, coprophobia, dermatosiophobia, entomophobia and batrachophobia (a fear of frogs).
I begged off lunch and did more paperwork that afternoon.
You'd think that Simon would have taken pity on me by now. Not a fucking hope in HELL!
I drove us to meet up with Councillor MacDonald. After the obligatory 'Hi Ronald' greeting by Holt (yes, I was cringing and flagging sincere apologies to the poor woman), he finally decided to question her about the missing funds we'd been sent to investigate. Now, you do remember that it was her that reported the funds missing? You do? Good. He didn't.
After about ten minutes of ranting at her, I pulled him to one side and quietly reminded him of the fact.
He actually blushed. So did I when in his embarrassment, he announced that he had to 'take a piss' and left me to question her. I apologised to her and found out that she had some ideas about who might be behind the crime. Mercifully, she liked me and handed me a list of possible suspects and their computer account details. I promised her that I'd look into it personally.
Before we left, she did ask me 'how long are they letting him out for?'. I nearly wet myself, but managed to contain it and just said that Conover thought that it was a good idea to let out a few of the less harmful inmates to realise their fantasies once in a while. I told her that Holt had been obsessed with being a detective since he'd first seen Dirty Harry.
I think she believed me.
Speaking of Dirty Harry - the one of only two potentially dangerous moments of the week happened after lunch that day (which was too horrible to remember, let alone write about).
Out in the big, bad world, Holt spotted (i.e. the perp landed on him) an armed robber coming out of a shop. Now, the gun-toting criminal was faster on his feet than Doughnut Boy (the original model for the Elbeews - Weebles, only the version where they fall down but don't get up again) and grabbed a passing gym queen.
Said gym queen screamed the place down, leaving his blonde bimbo girlfriend looking astounded as he started crying. No doubt this was a terrifying experience, but I've seen 90 year-old widows with more balls than him.
Kermit - I'm gonna git you suc-kah! - the Twerp pulled out his gun and aimed it at them, yelling that he was going to blow the head off the said criminal. This, needless to say, did nothing to calm the situation down.
I crept behind the perp as he edged backwards towards his car, crouched down, and when he reached me, he stumbled, fell backwards, dropped his gun (see, Jim? Criminals do that too!) and landed face down in a puddle behind me. Whereupon I promptly kicked his gun out of reach, cuffed him and read him his rights.
Kermie claimed that arrest too.
And no, you don't want to see his report. One painful exposition is enough, thank you very much.
Oh God. Thursday. I could never get the hang of them. Shit, I know that's going to be lost on you, Ellison. One of these days you're going to have to read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
If Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were bad, this Thursday can go down in history as being the worst one on record. Major Crime turned into a pit of pain.
Kermit - the Bog of Eternal Stench - Holt had obviously skipped a shower. Again. I'm thinking that he still has baths on Sundays, just as his momma made him when he was a kid. Only Sundays. Sundays with an R in the month. Which is a pain, as it's summer. Hot. Humid. Steamy. And the fucking AC was down in MC.
Why can't it rain? It is Cascade after all. They didn't name this city Cascade after the mountains but for the torrents of RAIN that plague us. Except when we really need it, natch.
So, there we were, hot, sweaty, desperate for a call - anything to get us out. I'd have gone to see Holt's snitch, Richard the Risible (as long as I could stand upwind) just to get out of the stinky sauna that MC had become. Using meditative techniques, I was able to dial down my sense of smell to the point where I could finally stop my eyes from watering and I finished the backlog of Ellison-Sa... Ellison paperwork. I don't think it would have been so bad if there hadn't appeared to have been a garlic festival the night before - to which I hadn't been invited.
Then - to my relief - a breakthrough in the Anderson case.
Conversation between Det. Sandburg and Det. (HA!) Holt, transcribed verbatim:
"C'mon, Holt, we've got to get moving. We've got a witness that says Anderson's in a shop. If we get a move on, we can get him!"
[I then got up and made for the door.]
"Anderson? Who the fuck is that?"
[I counted to twenty - backwards - in Quechua (thanks for the lessons, Jim)]
"An-der-son. Franklin Anderson. Wanted for the murder of the local union leader, Seymour Bunns."
Yeah. I knew that saying that guy's name would be a mistake. What I couldn't believe was that a homicide detective wouldn't know who Anderson was! Anyway, after he'd stopped laughing at Bunns' name, he finally agreed to come, saying how an arrest like that would help him - get this - get a permanent place in MC, it being about time with the many years he'd spent on the force and all. After all, if a rookie like me could work there...
Thinking to myself that the guy could dream, I led the way. No fucking way was I following him. I opened all of the windows in his car as soon as I got behind the steering wheel - thanking God that the jerk had a car with electric windows and AC, he had to do something right - and sped off, keeping to the speed limit and without lights and siren.
"Why don't you put the siren on? We need to get there!"
"Yes, we need to get there. We also need to get there without spooking him. Lights and sirens are conspicuous and whereas it would be gratifying to have an unencumbered passage to our objective, I hypothesise that results will be more favourable if we proceed in an orderly and imperceptible manner."
By the time he'd figured out what I was saying, we'd arrived.
Somehow, I just knew it wasn't going to go well. After all, where, on a day plagued by foul aromas, would we end up if not 'Persephone's Perfect Perfumes'? 'Sandra's Suffocating Stenches' is more like it.
It appeared that Anderson was in there buying his wife/bimbo/secretary/whatever a birthday gift. Apparently taking a chance on getting caught for murder was safer than forgetting said anniversary.
I tried, Jim, I really tried. I knew that letting Holt go into the shop would be a mistake. I mean, he doesn't look like the sort of guy that would know what perfume was, let alone have a wife for whom to buy some. (I'm not touching the idea of him having a mistress with a ten foot pole. No woman with any taste - or without breathing apparatus - would attach herself voluntarily to him). Just knowing that this was a bad idea, I still did my cop-like duty and entered the shop and - God forgive me - pointed out Anderson to him.
You guessed it. He did the Dirty Harry thing again. This time, however, we ended up with a firefight. Hundreds of bottles of perfume were sacrificed in the effort to bag the bad man. Simon threw a complete hissy fit when he got the bill for damages, by the way. Holt blamed me. But seeing as my gun hadn't even been fired, I was able to prove, without any effort, that it wasn't me. So he shifted the blame onto Anderson. Let them fight it out, that's what I say.
Anyway, that didn't happen until later. Much later. After I'd got the staff out of the shop and out of the line of fire, found an intact bottle of Chanel No. 5, thrown it at Anderson and knocked him out which gave me the opportunity to cuff him.
Holt wasn't pleased with my actions. Called me all the cowards under the sun for not shooting the bastard. Given that he'd emptied two clips and missed with every shot, I didn't really think that he had much to complain about.
Of course, going back to the station smelling like a tart's boudoir didn't really help. You were wondering why I'd got completely changed that day, weren't you, Jim? Well, now you know. Being called Holt's bitch in the showers by Dirk Dooley from Vice didn't go down very well with me, either. Don't worry, Jim, you don't need to kill him. That would just be adding insult to injury. Heh heh heh heh.
I won't be having any problems from him again. He now has a phobia. Sandburgophobia.
Thanking God that this was going to be my last day with Holt, assuming you'd recovered (if you hadn't, I was going to claim some sort of sick leave, religious holiday, anything!), I turned over the daily calendar on our desk. That was when my blood ran cold. Friday the 13th. Was this some kind of sick cosmic joke?
Determined to avoid Holt if at all possible, I went into see Simon and told him that a day on the computers would be far more productive for me, as I could then work on cracking the 'fraud at the council' case.
I should have been suspicious when he agreed.
Unfortunately, I wasn't. So surprised was I when he agreed, that I fairly bounced out of his office, forgiving him wholeheartedly for being a total bastard to me during the week (and if you're reading this now, Simon, I'm telling you - I still hate you!) and sat back in my chair. I booted up the computer, got out the paper with the accounts on it and started to hack.
Megan came over to see if she could help. Seeing as she's pretty good with computers too, I agreed. She booted up your PC and together we started to break into the council's system.
Holt hovered. He kept looking over my shoulder at what we were doing. He didn't ask what we were doing, just looked. And hovered. Not to mention he got too close to Megan. Just the once. I love Megs. She's got way more balls than Holt would ever have, even with a testosterone injection.
He finally asked what we were doing.
Okay. Perhaps I shouldn't have told him we were surfing for gay porn and putting the bill on the Mayor's account. I didn't really think he'd believe me, though.
But you'd have thought that IA would have believed me when I showed them the evidence, wouldn't you?
Simon was his usual, helpful self. He left Megan and me to explain it all to them. We were with them for hours, Jim!
When I got out of the investigation, Holt had made himself scarce.
Aptitude. 1/10 (and only that one for knowing the name of the trolley dolly).
Diplomatic Skills. Don't make me laugh.
Firearms. 2/10 for the pretty pattern he caused in the wall of the perfume shop. It traces the outline of a man. The one that was shooting at him.
Fitness. Ha ha ha fucking ha!
Detection Skills. Ditto.
Observational Skills. This student wouldn't spot a clue if it jumped up and smacked him between the eyes, stark naked and doing the hula. I have myopia and I see things - without my glasses - that he manages to miss, even though he boasts of 20:20 vision. I think that means it's only working at 8:20 at night, just when the barman asks 'what will you have?'
Holt should be fired immediately. Preferably from the inside of a cannon. His so-called experience seems to be in garnering the world's most disgusting contacts, eating doughnuts and drinking coffee (with five sugars! I mean, eew). Whoever does his annual assessment should also be shot. If he is an example of the elder statesmen of homicide, then bring back Columbo.
Jim put down the report and wiped his eyes. He'd been giggling like an idiot since he started reading it. Realising that he wasn't on his own, he looked up and saw the usual suspects, who'd been reading over his shoulder. So engrossed in the contents had he been, that he had completely failed to notice H, Rafe, Rhonda, Joel and Megan joining him.
"You've got to hand it to Sandy," Megan said with a grin. "That guy sure knows how to write a full and accurate report."
"Will you show the Captain?" Henri asked.
With a broad grin, Jim nodded.
"Er, Jim," Joel pointed out, "I wouldn't worry about the comment concerning you guys being rumbled."
The others sniggered as he blushed a little.
"You knew?" he asked.
"We're detectives too, you know," Rafe said with a shrug.
Seeing only smiles, he stood up. "Thanks." His word was whispered but they all understood how much he meant it.
Holding the report in his hand, he strode over to Simon's door and knocked. When the order to enter was barked, he turned and winked at the others and opened the door.
"Hey, buddy, how're you feeling?" Jim asked as he bent over the semiconscious Blair who was still tucked up on the sofa.
"Not up for a long conversation, I see," he observed.
"We've got a visitor, Chief."
The long groan let Jim know that Blair thought that dealing with anyone at that moment was a bad idea.
"Sandburg. You look like shit."
"Thanks, Simon," he croaked, trying to sit up. "You really know how to make a guy feel good."
"Just doing my job," Simon answered with a pleased-with-himself smile. "By the way, a report you wrote last week was brought to my attention."
Blair gave up the unequal battle with gravity and flopped back onto the sofa. He knew just what Simon was talking about.
"Jim, I'm going to kill you," he said evenly. Without turning to look at his boss, he asked, "Just how much trouble am I in?"
Taking pity on the sick man, Simon chuckled. "None. We were hoping that you'd be able to prove just how useless that man was. Over the years, he's taken credit for his partners' work. It's been difficult to prove, and other cops were reluctant to say what they thought about him. It's why the new captain in homicide - a certain Sarah Finkleman - asked for our help. When Ellison took sick, it was our golden chance. Someone with your experience of cutting through the crap was perfect for the job. We couldn't tell you that you were looking out for that, it would have invalidated your unbiased opinion."
"Oh, man, I was biased," Blair admitted. "From the moment you saddled me with him." He tried to sit up hurriedly and nearly passed out when his head realised that his blood was elsewhere. Jim caught him and held him tight, shuffling to sit behind him on the sofa and then propping Blair up when the dizziness had passed.
"You trusted me to do that?" Blair continued in amazement. "Me? But I'm a rookie!"
"You're honest," Simon shrugged. "And you're good at identifying BS. Besides, who else would be able to write a school report like that one?"
"Wow." Blair was taken aback. His front and sides were taken too, but not in front of Simon.
Another wave of tiredness hit him and his eyes shut. As his brain started to drop off, his mouth moved. Simon couldn't tell what he was saying, but Jim heard every word. When they stopped, and the quiet snores started, Simon asked.
"He couldn't believe that you trusted him to do that," Jim replied. "He kept saying, over and over again. They trusted me."
Silence fell for a moment as the men digested that. Then Jim spoke again.
"Oh, and he said one other thing, Simon."
"He still hates you."
With a quiet laugh, Simon waved and saw himself out.