This is my first attempt at fanfic although I do write general fiction so would love any constructive criticism.
A Final Session
It was a hot night. One of those sauna sticky ones that made everything cling to the body no matter what you wore. You could have been naked and you'd have still felt as though the air had dressed you in a flak jacket. Karen groaned inwardly as she woke and fought with the thin sheet that she had covered herself with for what felt like the hundredth time that night. Sitting up she pushed the sheet aside, pulled down the NYPD mascot t-shirt that had wound up under her arm pits during the sheet battle and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her toes curled happily as they met the cool of the wooden floor then curled unhappily as they met one of the many slightly raised wood tacks that lived in her DIY assaulted stained floorboards. Still, she had done them herself when she couldn't afford the new carpet and although they were no match for the solid oak laid at her partners condo she was very proud of them.
Picking up the empty glass from her nightstand she padded through her single bedroom apartment to the kitchen, leaned heavily at the edge of the sink and ran the cold tap. She might as well get up and read or flick the TV on for all the sleep she was going to get tonight. 'Nope' she muttered to herself, 'you're goin' back to bed missy, you got work tomorrow.'
Clumsily she filled the glass, turned off the tap and returned to bed. Laying there, smoothing the sheet over her stomach, she wondered if it had just been the heat that was keeping her awake or that little comment that she and Jim had overheard at the club earlier that day.
The lieutenant had handed them a DOA. A woman found out the back of a strip joint just off Bowery. They had gone down there only to be met inside the club by a couple of detectives from the 2-5. They had heard the call and it matched something they had picked up in their district two days before. It seemed sensible to leave it with the guys from the 2-5 so she and Jim had headed out. She was happy. She didn't really want to hang around the club especially when they were still operating. Business as usual, nothing stopping for the dead body out back.
Just as they neared the end of the bar Karen stopped abruptly leaving Jim to bump clumsily into her shoulder.
"Sorry Jim. Damn shoe lace. I snapped it this morning and didn't have another so I kind of tied it using about two inches of lace. It keeps coming undone. Gimme a minute?"
"You can't afford new laces on your salary Detective? We'll stop off and I'll treat you to a new pair." Jim laughed easily.
"Gee thanks partner!" Karen tried to sound pissy but ended up laughing back as she crouched down and fought with the short lace.
That was when the little comment had happened. The two detectives from the 2-5 must have thought they had left already because as they neared the opposite end of the bar they started talking.
"Shit. It must be like being a diabetic in a candy store!" Detective Jay Connaught said, shaking his head.
"What you talkin' about now? How can you talk when there is so much to look at in here! Didn't you just see what she did on that pole? I swear these girls are like athletes or something. They should have pole dancing at the Olympics. Maybe I'd watch the damn thing then!" Laughed Arty Shaw as he scanned the club and swished his orange juice around the tall glass held in his sweaty hand.
"I'm talking about him. Dunbar. All this eye candy about and that fine piece of ass he has leading him around and he can't see any of it. Shit, I'd rather blow my brains out man! "
"You think of the weirdest things my man. You know that don't you? I wouldn't sweat it. They probably don't think that way anymore."
"Yeah. You know, the handicapped." Arty dropped his voice to a whisper as he said the last word. "He probably doesn't even get turned on anymore, hell, what's he gonna do to get the motor running? Films? Mags? I don't think Playboy comes in Braille. I can't imagine where they'd put all the dots."
Shaw and Connaught started to laugh, a little at first until it rose to belly laughs as they doubled up.
In the middle of all their laughter neither of them had heard or seen Jim walk slowly back down the length of the bar, trailing his hand along the polished marble until he knew he was only a step away from Arty. Only when he was a few short inches away from the two Detectives did they see him. Straightening up they both glanced at each other nervously.
"Hey ah, Dunbar we didn't mean a…" Shaw began to stammer out an apology.
Jim held his hand up in front of him.
"No need Arty, Just one thing though." He said evenly.
Even if there had been anymore to hear Shaw wouldn't have caught it as Jim knocked him off his feet with a sharp right hook.
"What? You didn't see that coming?" Jim asked lightly. "Refer to my partner as a piece of ass again and you won't see the next one coming either"
Jim straightened his tie and turned away as Connaught struggled to pull his over weight partner up from the floor. His hand trailing the bar Jim walked back to Karen and her waiting arm.
Karen had been shocked. Shocked by the offensive bull those two idiots had been spouting but more shocked by Jims' reaction. He took loads of really low comments all the time, from perps, Marty, interviewees, everyone, but he always let them wash over him like it was nothing. He seemed impervious to everything thrown at him. But not this time. It had been a really personal comment and it had to have cut deep down but he didn't say anything on the way back to the squad.
As they parked she saw him flex his hand and wince a little.
"Your hand ok?"
"Yeah, it's fine" he replied.
"Not like you to get riled over someone else's' dumb ass comments." Karen probed.
"He insulted you and I don't care what people say about me but he went too far when he disrespected you." Jim looked down, his mouth set in a hard line.
"What if Shaw reports you?"
"You really think a tough guy like Shaw wants his squad knowing he got knocked on his ass by me?" Jim asked, looking over to Karen.
"No, probably not," she replied. "But hey, Jim,"
"At least he called me a 'fine' piece of ass, not just a piece of ass".
It was quiet in the car for a second until both Karen and Jim started to laugh. Shaking his head Jim opened the car door and got out.
As they neared the squad room Karen slowed and put her hand on Jims arm for a second, long enough to signal him to stop.
"What?" He asked
"Just one thing," she started, a little nervously, " What you said downstairs, about not caring what anyone says to you, well Jim you should care. They were out of line and well, you just should care."
Jim stood his head tilted down to where he figured Karen was, an unreadable expression on his face. It was impossible to tell what he made of Karens last comment.
Breaking the silence she continued walking pushing the swing gate that enclosed their group of desks. "Come on, that's my Oprah moment over for today. We better get some paperwork done." She huffed.
Leaning out of bed a little to reach her nightstand, Karen turned the desk fan up a notch and lay back down. Closing her eyes she folded her hands over her stomach, laced her fingers and tried to stop her mind racing so she could get some rest.
In a red brick building in the shadow of the Manhatten Bridge Christie Dunbar slept peacefully. Now the air con was fixed for the first time in three days she could get a good nights sleep. Her face was peaceful and her black hair fanned out on the pillows beneath her.
Less peacefully Jim lay next to her staring up at the ceiling wondering if there was a ceiling fan above him. It seemed ridiculous but he couldn't remember. He knew there was one in the other room above the couch but was there one in here? He could ask Christie in the morning but how would that look? Not knowing. It was ridiculous. Mind you he should be able to ask her. Out of anyone on the planet he should be able to ask his wife.
Dr Esther Bergen had talked to them a long time ago about trusting each other with their insecurities. Jim hadn't understood at first, still clinging to the idea that Christie shouldn't see him as blind, that if he could hide all the daily problems blindness threw up for him from her she might forget it and see him as the man he used to be. Dr Bergen had eventually managed to get him to realize that Christie was his 'safe person'. Someone he could ask anything and not feel embarrassed or vulnerable. He had come to understand that he didn't need to project an image for Christie and letting her see how he felt sometimes wasn't a weakness.
It had certainly helped their relationship. He still fell into his old patterns sometimes but then so did she – she was just as bad at talking in riddles and never finishing arguments, letting them stew until the atmosphere was unbearable but they had learned how to break out of the pattern. Now, not only did Jim remember why he fell in love with Christie in the first place but also he had seen new aspects to her personality that made him fall in love with her all over again. For her part Christie had finally vocalized how she felt about his affair not only in terms of what it had done to her but why she thought it had happened and her own part in the decline of their marriage.
Finally they seemed to be getting better. They weren't totally fixed yet but were realistic enough to understand that no couple ever is. Christie had learned to trust Jim again and he had learned to trust Christie with some of his innermost feelings. They had begun to trust each other and that meant everything to them both.
Jim passed his hand over his face. The air con was fixed but he was still too hot. It wasn't the whether that kept him awake though. It was what had happened today at the strip club.
He had lied to Karen and himself, and he knew it. He hadn't decked Shaw because he insulted Karen but because of what he had said in reference to Jims sex life.
He had hit him because what he said was true.
At another building in DUMBO over on Cedar Street, not far from Jim and Christie Dunbar's condo on Front Street, Elise Robson shifted in her sleep. She felt as though she was on the cusp of waking but was too groggy to rouse herself completely. She stretched and moved over onto her right side thinking how nice it was that her husband was making her breakfast in bed. Even in her half comatose state she knew that's what he was doing because she could smell the coffee and heard the rattle of the plates and silverware as she lay in the cocoon of her bed. If only she could wake herself properly she thought she would get up and persuade him to come back to bed for a while whilst the coffee brewed. She giggled lazily and rolled forwards only to be met by her husbands sleeping form.
Somewhere in the back of Elise's' mind she knew an alarm bell was ringing, that she should be worried about something. If only she could wake up properly, clear her head of this unfamiliar cotton wool; shift the vaguely nauseous feeling from the pit of her stomach. Now, what was it? What was wrong?
Ah yes, a fleeting moment of clarity that skittered away almost as soon as it had arrived! That was it!
If Robert was in bed beside her, who was making the coffee?