Rated: PG
Category: Drama
Spoilers: The first and (boo!) last season.
Description: There's a fine line between love and hate. And there are a lot of things that Jim hates.
Notes: I love the song "This is First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes. No point.
Disclaimer: I don't own blindness, justice, Braille, adultery or Hank. But Hank is cute.
Feedback: You betcha.

Jim spent a whole year of his life counting his blessings. Or rather, having them counted for him. While he lied catatonic in bed, or gritted his teeth through physical therapy, or faced a hard reality with quick touches to his eyeballs, people much more positive, and accepting and able-bodied than him sat around and told him all the reasons he should be happy that another day was headed his way. Looking back, he's not sure he was listening at the time. But now that he's back living, back on the job, and somehow still married to the love of his life, he sometimes rides the train home and finds himself thinking about the things that make him happy. Like...

Well, Jim likes his money scanner, especially the way it belches out each bill's value in that electronic voice. It's one more boon to his independence, and it's a neat little contraption that he'd never even heard of before he became blind. He figures that if he ever got his sight back (not that he thinks that's going to happen) he just might keep using it.

Jim likes his apartment in Brooklyn. It's familiar, the furniture is always cool to the touch, and, from what he can tell, it makes a lot of sense the way it's arranged -- something he never appreciated until he was blind.

He likes good food -- as in, he has real affection for it. He thought he liked to eat already, but now a loaded New York Sicilian pizza is almost a spiritual experience.

He likes beer. A cold, cold, ice cold, wet pilsner that glides down his throat -- hard, numb, and bitter. Yeah, he likes beer.

He likes the way it feels when, in a flash, a crime comes together. The rush is almost euphoric. The stars align, the clues add up, and the suspect is right in front of your face and confessing. That...that is the most awesome thing.

He likes his brother. Heck, he loves his brother. He's a good guy. He has kids (he's a great father), treats his wife right, and even when he was busy he visited Jim in the hospital, or rehab, or at home, or at two in the morning when Jim was depressed and impossible.

He loves Hank. Hank is loyal, is a great Frisbee partner, always wants Jim's love, and never, ever tells Jim that he should "pace himself." Jim has never in life had so much affection for an animal. Sometimes he thinks he would marry Hank if his wife weren't so incredible.

And his wife.


His wife. Jim loves his wife. He loves her with every ounce of his being -- every cell, every atom. He loves to think that when the world was a dark, dark place for more reasons than one, she never left his side, and she had faith in their future, even though she was scared and uncertain herself. He loves her so much that he wonders what in life -- in a million lifetimes -- he's done to deserve a woman so simultaneously supportive, and intriguing, and intelligent, and beautiful. Very beautiful. The most beautiful person he remembers. And he's thrilled that to him, she will be that beautiful forever. Sometimes he loves her so much, that he gets angry for nothing, thinking that she might cash in on every bad decision that he's ever made and leave him in the middle of the night, and that he'll wake up alone. He loves her because she believed in his love, even when he was unworthy of her, even when he was too stupid to show it and too much of a jerk to give her that same loyalty in return. He loves her so much that sometimes...he hates himself.

Because there's a fine line between love and hate. And there are a lot of things that Jim hates.

He hates the stares he can't see when he's following Hank through life. He hates being pitied, even when he's not sure he is.

Jim hates the fact that his very presence turns Marty into a walking butt-wipe, especially when he's been told that the guy is otherwise a pretty decent fellow.

He hates that sometimes, his partner doesn't believe in him, even when she wants to.

He hates that sometimes...he doesn't believe either.

He hates the fact that this is the first time in...man, years he hasn't had a Yankees season pass, and that he's already forgotten what A-Rod looks like. He still listens on the radio, which describes the games much better, but, it's not the same.

And he really hates, more than he should, that his wife has to set his clothes out for him the night before. And though he knows he's probably better dressed than he's ever been, it makes him feel like a kid. And it sucks.

But today, Jim helped put another criminal behind bars: a high-profile crime-boss who was using a kid to do his dirty work -- until the kid ended up mysteriously dead last week behind the Q & U Laundromat. But now the guy's facing twenty to life, which is justice. And walking home from the train station, with Hank's leash in his hand, and feet away from the apartment and food and beer and wife that he loves so much, he's pretty proud that he works for Justice, blind Justice.

It's one more thing he can add to his list of blessings.