No-Zoning Zone: Jim
This is Part B, Part A was Blair "zoning" and being observed by others.
Detective Rafe looked at the silent, still form beside him and sighed. His partner, Detective Brown, also sighed. Between them sat Detective Jim Ellison, his hands firmly clenched on the railing that marked the gallery area of the courtroom, his attention firmly fixed... somewhere else.
"We've seen the Sandburg handle this before, right? I mean, how hard can it be? He just talks to him, touches his arm, and, bingo, Ellison's back."
"We don't seem to have a winner here, Rafe. I've tried, you've tried and jack happened."
"Call Sandburg again. He and the Captain have to be finished with the feds by now."
"We already called him twice and left messages for him on his cell, at the loft and at the PD. And for Captain Banks. We're on our own."
Detective Rafe looked around the empty courtroom. "Yeah, for about the next five minutes, then the lunch break will be over, the courtroom will fill up with people and the DA is going to call Ellison to the stand. And we are going to have to say "so sorry, Judge Winters, but Detective Ellison has been turned to stone" - that'll go over big."
"Maybe we should get him out of here. Find an empty room and just bunker down until Sandburg and Banks can get here."
Rafe gestured to Ellison's hands, still clenched on the wooden railing. "That is not going to work, short of breaking his fingers or breaking the railing."
"What happened, anyway? It was like he was listening to something. I didn't hear anything, did you?"
"Maybe. But he was already listening when it happened." Rafe looked at Ellison thoughtfully. "Remember last month on the Tanner stakeout, when we were using those really sensitive directional microphones?"
H grinned. "Yeah. Tanner was having himself a fine party with a young lady and then Old Lady Tanner got home and caught him en flagrante, and started screaming like a banshee." He shook his head. "My ears are still ringing. We had the volume cranked and when she started screaming it was like an ice pick to the head."
"Well, Ellison was already listening to something when the emergency exit door in the hall got triggered. Maybe it was sort of the same thing?"
"That wasn't anywhere near as loud as Old Lady Tanner."
"Maybe not to us."
Detective Brown nodded. "I see it, I think. You know, it was obvious that there was something different going on with those two. Hell, it's been obvious for, what, 3-4 years now?"
"Ever since I met them." Rafe had met Ellison and Sandburg first when he was a patrol officer and they were investigating an armored car that had exploded, literally carpeting a poor neighborhood with money, and they'd made a strong impression then. The chance to observe them up close in Major Crimes had just confirmed his first opinions.
"You know, once before, I saw Sandburg..." Brown reached forward toward Ellison's head. "Man, I hope Ellison doesn't rip my head off for touching him." He cupped his hands over Ellison's ears and then flattened his palms, blocking Ellison's hearing as much as possible. To his great surprise, Ellison drew in a long shuddering breath and released the railing, slumping back into the bench.
Rafe grinned at him. "Great job, Henri!"
Brown frowned and was about to reply when the courtroom doors behind them opened and several of the reporters covering the trial entered, talking loudly. The area reserved for the press was several aisles away and Ellison and two of the reporters had already clashed earlier in the trial and none of the reporters moved or looked their way, giving them a few extra moments of privacy.
"Look at him -- he's still not all here, what are we going to do NOW?" They looked at Ellison's still, slumped form with dismay.
The sound of the bailiff locking the court doors open stopped Rafe's reply and they both turned to look at the crowd entering the room.
In the middle of the newest crowd was Major Crime's personal dervish, Detective Blair Sandburg. As always he was in complete motion, moving quickly into the room, his head swiveling to find his quarry, his hands spread in eloquent gesture. "Rafe, H. What happened?" He turned sideways and squirmed down the narrow row toward them.
Rafe scooted over so that Blair could take his place on the bench. "We think he was listening to something and then got surprised or whatever by the alarm when some idiot opened the emergency doors."
Sandburg looked up at them, startled. Then he shrugged. "Uhhh, yeah, you're probably right. You, uh, did a good job, guys, stopped him from zoning any further. Let's see if I can convince him to come back." He put his hand on Ellison's arm and spoke softly, his voice low and smooth. "Hey Jim, it's Blair, I came as soon as I got the message the guys left for me." He patted Ellison's arm gently.
He paused for a moment and frowned when there was no response from Ellison. Brown shifted nervously. "Is he gonna be okay?"
Blair didn't look up. "Come on, man," he murmured, "work with me here, Jim, we're in a no-zoning zone and you're scaring the nice, helpful Detectives." He crouched down and put his hands on either side of Ellison's face, his thumbs along the jawline. "Jim. Come on back, Jim, feel the warmth of my hands, hear my voice calling you back. I need you to pull out of it. I need you to come back now, Jim."
Ellison groaned softly. "Blair..."
"Yeah, man, it's me. Easy, easy, nice and slow." Jim shook his head to clear it, like a bear coming out of a long winter's hibernation, and Blair continued to speak to him as he straightened and sat up.
Detectives Brown and Rafe moved in to flank the two men, closing ranks as the courtroom filled to protect the two special members of their tribe.
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