Blair helped Joel inside, the two of them moving slowly as Joel negotiated his crutches through the front door.
'Bad day' didn't even begin to cover it - Major Crime had been called out to back up Narcotics on a bust that had gone so far south that at one point Blair had asked Jim if they should be looking for penguins. Bullets, explosions, shrapnel... It had been a miracle that no one had been killed.
Injuries, however, were another story. At least two Narcotics detectives were in serious condition but expected to recover. Simon acquired a black eye, Henri Brown had broken three fingers somehow, Jim ended up with stitches in his left upper arm, and Megan hadn't ducked fast enough and had gotten a scalp laceration. Blair still snickered when he recalled the Australian invective the inspector had hurled at the emergency room doctor who'd suggested shaving part of her head.
Rafe had been lucky, as had Blair, neither suffering anything worse than a few scrapes.
And then there was Joel. Joel was Major Crime's worst casualty of the day, having taken a bullet to the calf that had turned out to be a superficial through and through wound, requiring no more than a few stitches and a couple of prescriptions. Still, it hurt like hell, and Blair, who remembered too well how it felt to get shot in the leg, had appointed himself Joel's driver, while Jim had volunteered to make sure Megan and Simon got home safely.
"Bed or sofa, Joel?"
"Sofa, Blair, thanks. I can veg out on the afternoon soaps," Joel teased, his breath catching slightly as he sat, glad now he'd bought the comfortably overstuffed couch. Blair took his crutches and was careful to arrange them within his reach, then handed him the remote for the television with a snicker.
"Afternoon soaps? Man, are you serious?"
Joel gave a tired grin, switching the TV on, the Sci-Fi Channel already pre-set.
"Nah, I'll take Kirk and Spock over Sonny and Carly," he announced nonchalantly, huffing out a low chuckle when Blair's eyes widened.
"It frightens me that you even know who Sonny and Carly are," Blair said with mock concern. "You need to eat something before you take that antibiotic, Joel."
"Sandwich fixings in the fridge," Joel replied, allowing Blair to prop up his leg on a pillow before the younger man made his busy way into the kitchen.
Blair looked about him with appreciation, admiring Joel's lavishly appointed kitchen. Gleaming stainless steel appliances contrasted beautifully with shining copper pots and black granite countertops; the entire room fit for a magazine cover.
An ornately framed certificate on one wall caught Blair's eye and he went over to inspect it more closely, gasping as he recognized the traditional blue medallion embossed onto the paper and the name of its recipient below.
He made sandwiches out of thick slabs of homemade wheat bread and pale white turkey, laughing at himself when he caught himself wondering if they'd be good enough. Carrying them out to the living room with two glasses of fruit juice, he caught Joel watching General Hospital and had to giggle.
"Busted, man," he said, setting the tray within Joel's reach and grabbing a sandwich for himself. "I didn't know you were a Cordon Bleu chef, Joel."
"I wasn't packing all that weight for no reason, Blair," Joel replied equably, and pointed at the TV. "Look, Lucky just found Luke in the Cassadine family crypt."
"Cool! Does Stefan know that Stavros is alive?"
"Yeah, I'm busted," Joel said with one high eyebrow.
He and Blair started laughing, settling in for an afternoon of sandwiches and soaps.
It wasn't such a bad day, after all.
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