Solid Brass

By Polly


Story Notes: Part two of the Beau Geste series.

Rating: PG, language warning

Summary: William Ellison, force of nature, decides to 'fix' things for Blair and Jim.

Notes: This dang story has taken on a life of its own. Part 3 is up to 974 words and happily expanding... you'll note I said 'series' up there. *raises eyebrow*


Ellison Industries had been part of the Cascade business landscape since William Ellison's grandfather founded the company back in the twenties, so Steven wasn't too surprised to find that his dad knew a lot of influential people... people who belonged to Rainier's board of trustees and in Cascade's city commission; people who owned KCDE and KPOV television, the Cascade Herald, Times, and Sun.

Many were William Ellison's golfing buddies at the country club. The city's business leaders, whose companies formed the backbone of Cascade's economic health, were also friends and acquaintances of William Ellison's.

When Steven added in his own contacts and resources, both Ellisons were a bit taken aback to realize precisely how much influence they had - but Steven had to admit he was surprised to learn the identities of some of his father's closest friends.

Only half joking, Steven said "Hey, dad, good thing we aren't using our powers for evil."

William, who might have scoffed impatiently at his son's whimsy a couple of years ago, gave an imaginary twirl of his moustache and a hearty "nyah-ha-ha." He was rewarded beyond all measure when Steven cracked up laughing at him.

And that, goddamnit, was also why he was going to help Blair Sandburg. In the months since he and Stephen had reconnected with Jim and gotten to know Blair, they'd learned a little bit about not taking life - and themselves - so seriously. Everything Blair Sandburg had done to help Jim with his senses aside, William had noticed some time ago that Blair also encouraged Jim to be more approachable and less unforgiving, and without that young man's influence William knew his relationship with his oldest son might be a lot more strained than it was... if not still virtually nonexistent.

The fax machine started chattering, distracting them both. They waited impatiently then began to read, passing pages between each other as the information came across.

When he finished reading everything their attorney's private investigator had uncovered, Steven shook his head and huffed out a disbelieving chuckle.

"You know, Blair may own Rainier by the time this is over."

"And Berkshire Publishing, too," William said absently, astonished at the sheer stupidity Sid Graham had exhibited. "Releasing excerpts from an illegally obtained work of intellectual property without signed consent from the author..."

"And the thesis was never formally submitted to committee *as* a dissertation, which means Blair was wrongfully terminated from the PhD program..."

"I'd say we have 'em by the short hairs, son."

"Yeah, all we have to do is pull," Steven agreed, laughing.

"That just leaves restoring Blair's credibility in a way that won't compromise Jimmy's safety... and I know just the man for the job."

William picked up the phone and dialed.

//You've reached the office of Joseph Mooney, Commissioner of Police. How may I direct your call?//

"Anna, this is Bill Ellison. Is Joe in?"


"Billy, me boyo, you're fucking nuts."

"You've known that since we were in high school, Jojo."

"Yeah, that I have. Sandburg's that important to you?"

"He's Jimmy's friend, and he got shafted. I'm not going to stand for it."

"I've read the reports and seen the statistics. He's been a real asset to Major Crime, but damn, man, he held a press conference and confessed to fraud."

"There's more to it than you know."

"Are you saying-"

"Joe, you're my oldest friend. You know me, you knew Jimmy's mother, and you met her uncle that time you came home with me for Christmas break. Do you remember him?"

"Hell yeah, I remember him. How could I forget? He told me to get my ass to a doctor before my dick rotted off with the clap, which he claimed he smelled on me. Miserable old bastard was right, too. Are you saying Sandburg's thesis was true? Jimmy's a- what did he call it, a sentinel?"

"It's not my place to say. That's a discussion you probably need to have with Jimmy in private. The fact is, Sandburg trashed himself to get the media off Jimmy's back, and while I agree with his reasons, I can't accept what his method will cost him and Jimmy. Sandburg's a good kid. Believe that if you believe nothing else."

"Yeah, I get that. Christ, what he did took balls! When do you want this to happen?"

"Soon as, buddy."

"Okay. What's your next move?"

"I'm going to see Andy next. That bitch Edwards is going down."

"Billy, remind me never to piss you off."

"I think you're safe. Thank you, Joe."

"You've never asked me for a thing where Jimmy was concerned, and trust me, this won't be a problem... but you've got to promise me after this is settled that you and I are going to sit down with a bottle of Bushmills and talk."

"If it's that 16 year old bottle I bought you when your grandson was born, you've got a deal."

"I knew I was saving it for a good reason."


Blair wrapped himself up like a mummy and huddled, shivering, on his bed. He couldn't seem to get warm no matter what he did, because the cold wasn't external, it was welling up from inside the hole in his soul that he'd carved out with his own actions.

He'd spent all day cleaning out his office at Rainier, under the narrow-eyed stares of two security guards who'd been dispatched to make sure he didn't abscond with university property -as if he wanted any of it, having fantasized more than once about burning Hargrove Hall to the ground.

By late afternoon, Edwards had shown up and tossed a bunch of paperwork onto his newly bared desk; happy to twist the knife. Revoked grants that would demand reimbursement, same as his student loans, delivered by Edwards with the threat of further litigation...

He'd held his head high and dropped the papers in a box, which he'd picked up before he'd walked out, saying nothing to her. Then he'd driven home, stopping halfway to pull over and scream until he'd gone hoarse. He'd have to go back in the morning to finish his office, he knew, then go on to do the same thing at Major Crime, but he'd done all he could bear to do for one day.

Now he was home- back at the loft, and he was thankful just to be alone. Naomi was out who-knows-where, Jim was taking Simon home from the hospital, and all he had to do was lie here and try to decide what to do with his life.

Maybe he'd just sleep.

God, just let him sleep.


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