Not a Day goes By – Part III – Billie's view point

I was asked to provide Billie's view on the whole affair – so here goes…

I can't figure out what they're bitching about. It's not early for them – this is the time they usually get to bed, so it's not like I'm depriving them of their beauty sleep. The last thing those two pretty boys need is beauty sleep. You'd think they weren't used to being up for two, three days at a time they way they carried on about a 6:30 a.m. bust. As I reminded them, if the perp wants to show up at 6:30 a.m., they'd better. It's what the city pays them for.

As for the hysterics that went with my insistence on the vests – I sometimes long for a nice quiet desk job where I don't have to witness the drama queen, also known as Van Ray, pitch a hissy fit- because I think they should have a little extra protection. The perp knew what he was doing when he picked this place – the SWAT team and I have to stay way back, too far back for my taste, so I want to make sure if worst case happens – and with Van and Deaq that is pretty much a given – they have every advantage.

Funny thing, though, Van's performance was lacking some of its usual melodrama. It's almost like he did it simply out of habit. Not that the boy needs a reason to mount his soap box, but he has been a little off for the last few days. Nothing serious, but when this is over I guess I better have a little heart to heart and find out what is going on in that seriously twisted head of his. I can tell from watching Deaq that he feels it too.

Sometimes I think I should have my head examined for picking this undercover wonder – the kid had a childhood that makes Dickens look family friendly, and he takes everything to heart…Of course he is the best of the best. He can play anything, anybody at the drop of a hat, and when the shit hits the fan, there isn't anyone else I'd want beside me. Maybe one of these days I should tell him that…God it must be early if I'm thinking of confessing that secret!

And now he's grousing about the buyers being late. Sometimes he acts like he's wired solely for my entertainment. This is normal behavior so I take some comfort in that. Deaq's silence is new though – usually he joins in at this point. I think it's their way of working off the pre-bust jitters. I hate it when they don't play true to form. It's not that I expect them to be robots – okay sometimes late at night I fantasize about how easy that would make my life - but I don't like the funny feeling in my gut. Come on guys, get your act together.

Van's spotted them. I listen to him tell Deaq to wake up! There is no way he was really sleeping – that pit in my stomach is expanding. What! Additional players – not surprising since Van predicted it so why is he telling me to call it off. I try to control the tone of my voice as I inform my team to move forward…he knows we can't call it off now. That is really out of character for him. Usually the unexpected simply ramps him up another notch. I am so going to kick his ass when this over.

What's he doing talking to himself? Damn it all, if he screws this up so help me…That's right Deaq, use that smooth charm you're always bragging about to soothe things over. Thank heavens one of them has his head in the game. I cannot believe he's talking to the perps like that. Maybe I've been right all along and the light is on but nobody's home. Jesus Van, get your act together before I shoot you myself. Please tell me you didn't just accuse them of holding a 'Hands Across America' moment?

They're yelling – I can hear the shots – Move! Move! Move! Why didn't I listen to them and postpone? They'd better be alright when I get there or so help me…Come on move! Too far away, I knew I was right on the vests….just hang on guys, please. Okay let's check the situation out. I can see Deaq. Where's…what is Van shooting at? Oh god, a sniper. Damn, that was not in my contingency plan. He's totally focused – may be best to leave him to it and work on rounding up the rest of these idiots.

As I see the sniper go down, I make a promise never to tease Van again about all the time he spends at the firing range. Looks like the good guys came out of this in one piece for a change. That makes it one for the books. I motion Deaq to check the sniper while I head for Van. He's movement is a little awkward as he slips into the car. He's leaning back in the driver's seat, trying to look like he doesn't have a care in the world. Not buying it. I struggle with my feelings – do I strangle him for worrying me or hug him simply for being okay – no he needs his boss right now. He looks a little pale – probably just the post bust let down.

He's done his part today – they both have. So after I give him a hard time about his treatment of the perps, I tell him to grab his partner and head back to start the paperwork. He looks, confused? Well I guess it is a bit out of character on my part, but it's always good to keep them guessing.

So I'm standing here hip deep in SWAT members making sure we have everybody and the evidence techs are on the search for bullets when Deaq grabs me. What is he still doing here? Great, you try to do something nice and what does it get you – I can't believe Van took off without him – well I might as well get some work out of him since he's not taking my car!

Deaq looks worried as we drive back to the office. I agree that it is pretty unprofessional to refuse to answer your phone, but I'm sure we'll find Van back at the office, headphones on, working his way through the reams of paper this bust will generate. Deaq clearly wants to argue but instead turns his attention to the scenery.

I'm officially worried. He's not here. I was so sure…when have I ever really been sure what either one of them would do. Who am I kidding? I'm their boss. They show me what they want me to see - they're not the city's best undercover cops for nothing. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the real guys who live under the complicated souls that are Van and Deaq. And right now I'm feeling a little uneasy as I see the concern in Deaq's eyes. He knows Van better then anyone and if he's worried, I am too. I try to cover it up, but he knows I feel it too when I send him on a mission to track Van down and drag his sorry ass back here.

He calls me from the car. He's been everywhere he knows to look and there is an edge of panic to his voice I haven't heard since Rudy took his partner. This is not gonna be good. At the start of their partnership, if Van had pulled this I wouldn't have thought much of it, but now…now they turn to each other not away when they have a problem. Guess that's what being best friends is all about. I admit I'm jealous of their relationship sometimes…they just get each other in a way I'm not sure I'll ever understand or experience.

I don't know what to tell him so I turn to doing what I do best, figuring out the why. I pull up his personnel file on the computer and start reading. I'm pretty sure I have it memorized by now, but there has to be something in here – a hint even – somewhere to help me figure out what the problem is. It's in here, I know it.

Damn it all to hell, how could I be so stupid? No wonder…Deaq thinks I've lost my marbles, I can tell by the way he's answering my question with a question. It's clear though that he's as clueless as I've been on this, this day….the silence when the date hits home makes that clear, but at least it tells him what he needs to know. He hangs up abruptly after telling me he knows where his partner is.

Now all I can do is wait. And maybe plot my revenge on Van for putting us through this. Although as his commanding officer I should have kept track of this day…I knew it would be hard for him, but he hid it so well…or maybe I really don't pay enough attention to the men I use to carry out my missions. I know I'm supposed to be the Queen Bitch but still, I can't believe I missed this one.

The phone – I hesitate for a ring before grabbing it. He has him…thank god. He can't have been shot – I would have noticed…but I didn't it. And I stood over him, giving him a hard time about his actions. Billie Chambers, you have some serious ass kissing to do once you know he's okay…Of course he's okay, I made him wear a vest. Stop it, get Dr. Grant on the phone and get over to the hospital. I have a feeling both my boys will need me before this long day is over.

I wait uselessly in the waiting room while Dr. Grant works his magic. I only caught a glimpse of my downed officer, and I don't like being kept in the dark, but here I sit. I tried to talk with Deaq when he was kicked out of the treatment room, but he's gone silent.

When I come back from the cafeteria with coffee and sandwiches, I'm directed up four flights. I start to enter, but hear Deaq talking…his voice is so gentle. It's at odds with the tough cop who works for me. But Van seems to bring out the soft side of everyone who sticks around long enough for him to slide in under their defenses. He does it so easily, most of us are taken aback when we realize he's gotten past all our walls…I sneak a peak and manage to get in the room without disturbing them. Van is talking now…his voice raspy. This is clearly a private moment, and I feel like a voyeur, so I slip out again.

They're both asleep. Deaq is holding Van's hand and Van's hand is resting on his partner's neck. I can feel the tension leaving my body and all I really want to do is cry. How I let these two in is beyond me. They both look so young… I'll have to remember to add a thanks to my prayers tonight for keeping them safe.

I guess I better start figuring out the lecture Van is going to get for pulling this stunt. Why didn't he just tell us it had been a year since he lost Dre? I know why he didn't tell Deaq. It's still a difficult subject for the two – mostly because Van still won't accept the fact it wasn't his fault. Still he could have told me.

Maybe now it's time for both of them to come clean on this subject. It would probably do them a world of good. Okay I'm starting to sound like Dr. Phil here so it must be time to go home. They're in good hands, and Deaq will call if they need anything. I take on last look at my boys and leave the room.