Notes: Credit for this goes to Sunglow for giving me the gist and letting me run with it. One day I will get her to submit a fic of her own!
Jim Ellison took the steps down from the hospital two at a time, eager to get away from the smells and sounds of illness. Long legs stretched across the ground and got to the truck in record time. Leaning over the hood, he bowed his head and took a deep breath, waiting for his partner to catch up.
"You okay, Jim?"
"Do I look okay?" he bit out, eyes closed.
"No, you look like shit. What happened in there?" Blair leaned back and rested against the truck next to him.
"Was it the smell?"
"..because you should know by now to dial it down.." all the time he was talking one hand was on Jim's shoulder and rubbing back and forth, bringing his friend comfort and waiting patiently for him to open up.
"I know that."
"Sure you do."
"Was it your hearing? I know that some of the noises.."
"Chief!" Jim lifted his head to see Blair eyeing him compassionately. He turned and slumped next to him against the hood, sighing.
"It wasn't the smell, or the noise. It was.." he stopped, not sure where to start. His eyes caught movement to the left of them and he followed the progress of the small family walking across the parking lot.
"Poor guy." Blair commented.
"After your impression of Jesse Owens back there, I caught part of a conversation between a couple of doctors."
"What, no nurses?"
"You want to hear this or not?"
"Severe head trauma, six months ago. Poor guy."
"Why? He looks okay now."
"Yeah, if it's okay to have three years wiped from your head."
"That's what the doctor said. Woke up from a coma and didn't remember his wife or his daughter." Blair watched as the young woman strapped the two year old into the car seat and then helped her husband into the passenger seat; he didn't need Jim's vision to see the sadness in her eyes.
"Oh. Don't suppose you heard whether he'd get them back?"
"Doubtful. They said he'd have to make new ones."
"I can't imagine what it's like for him." Jim felt small and mean. He straightened and opened the truck, reaching across to let Blair in.
"No?" Blair slid in and snapped the belt in place; "Think about it for a minute. Imagine waking up tomorrow and the last say, four years, didn't exist in your mind."
"Well, I suppose finding you in the loft would give me a hell of a shock." Jim started the truck and pulled out into the late afternoon traffic.
"Especially if you'd been expecting Carolyn to be there." Blair's hands flashed as he expounded his theory and Jim found himself relaxing as he listened.
"What about you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Just that, Chief. What would you do?"
"Me? Well, I wouldn't remember Kincaid, which is a bonus." Blair turned in his seat.
"Being drugged, poisoned, shot.."
"No Stacy." Blair's face softened in remembrance.
"No Cassie." They both shuddered.
The journey continued in silence and they rode the elevator up to 307. Jim unlocked the loft door hung up his gun and coat, keys in the basket before heading over to get a couple of beers from the fridge. He joined Blair on the sofa and handed him a beer, ready to start the talk that his partner was obviously waiting for.
"You know what the worst would be?" Jim reached for Blair's beer and put it on the table before tugging the smaller man into his arms.
"Yeah." Blair nestled closer.
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