stand and wait"
Notes: Set right after Survival. Thanks to my beloved Retro for the idea.
The first phone call, from the Commissioner's aide-de-camp, was bad enough. I was really not looking forward to explaining to the man himself how it came to be that a civilian, a non-staff-member who has been part of the department for 18 months longer than his original 3 month observer pass allowed, managed to rack up a $7,500 medi-evac bill that the department was now being asked to cover.
If I'd been thinking at the time I submitted the open payables, I would have changed the line-item title and buried it deep in the budget of some other case. One more lie in the string of lies that I had been holding up with a smile for the approval of my superiors really should not have been such a big deal. But I wasn't thinking. I was too busy being grateful that Dawson Quinn was behind bars again, grateful that Sandburg had survived and grateful that I'd kept Jim from tossing Quinn's body--and with it his own career--down that mine shaft. I'd had my doubts about all of those things at the time. So now I was going to have to take a little heat over the budget item, pucker up and kiss a little higher-up ass over it. It wasn't the first time.
I'd always known that some day I would have to pay for what I had allowed to happen in my department; hell, what I had done myself-- deliberately falsifying reports, looking away while my detective and his observer stretched the truth, leaving out critical information. By the police standards I had trained to, it was wrong.
But Sandburg had said that Jim's abilities were a gift, and if Jim had been given a gift, so had Cascade and the police department. Jim's gifts meant that we caught and put away high-level criminals that probably would have slipped away otherwise, and there was not a doubt in my mind that those criminals were guilty of the crimes they had been convicted of.
It would be foolish to turn such a great gift away because it didn't fit into a neat, preconceived box. But the day it all becomes public is the day my head goes into that neat box. So I wait for the Commissioner's call, sorting through my strategies, and hoping that today I will be clever enough to divert everything, just one more time.
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