AUTHOR'S NOTE I HATED Booker when he first joined the show in season three, but then he sort of grew on me. He makes a comment in the episode "High High" (where they go undercover at a performing arts high school) about how he's only 22 years old and he's high on life. That got me thinking about just how different he is from the others.
DISCLAIMER I don't own these characters. Stephen J. Cannell does. Or maybe someone else, I'm not entirely sure.
Well, here I am. Sitting at my new desk, in my new headquarters, on my new assignment, surrounded by my new partners. There are a lot of people who work in the Chapel – the undercover cops, the runners, the support staff, the occasional beat cop, and Blowfish the janitor – but I sit here at my desk every day all alone.
I have been stationed at Jump Street for a while now, but only for the last week have I really understood what I have gotten myself into. When I first came into the team, albeit undercover and working for IAD, Jump Street was in a holding pattern. They weren't a whole unit yet. What I got used to was not what this place was really about.
It did not matter which one was missing; it just mattered that one of them was. When I got here, Judy Hoffs, Harry Ioki, and Tom Hanson were close, but not to the point where I was an outsider. But now, since Doug Penhall's return, it's clear that I do not belong here.
This is the time that I'm supposed to be adapting easily to my surroundings. All people in their twenties do that. And I'm an undercover cop! I do it better than most people. Still, this damn unit remains a mystery to me.
Although, for all the reasons that I should fit in here, there are many more reasons that I don't. Judy and Harry are twenty-seven years old. They're lucky they can even stay at Jump Street. Both miraculously still look young enough to pass for high school kids. But in their real lives, they are settled into the people they are meant to be.
Doug Penhall is not much younger than they are. But at twenty-six, I think he's still wandering. He tried to grow up a little when he left Jump Street for Intelligence, but now that he's back at the Chapel, he's back to being the clown I've heard he was before he left.
He was my most recent partner here. Captain Fuller sent us in to infiltrate a football team and investigate negligence. And we went in as brothers. I don't think that there's a person in this Chapel who less wanted to be my brother, except maybe Hanson.
Tom Hanson. He's only twenty-four and the second youngest after me. You would think that that would offer some kind of solidarity, but it doesn't. Actually it does the opposite. Hanson hates me most out of anyone here.
Maybe it's because he felt the most burned by my Internal Affairs investigation. He was my partner. He was supposed to be able to trust me, though I'm pretty sure he never did. Then he got a tip from his old buddy Penhall and my cover was blown.
Oh yeah, I know it was Penhall who told Hanson I was from Internal Affairs. But I'm not saying so. And I'm not saying so because even though it goes against my better judgment, I don't want these people to be my enemies.
I am only twenty-two years old. People my age aren't necessarily supposed to fit in anywhere. But I hate this feeling of alienation. I thought that I had gotten used to it. I was wrong.
I am a good cop and I know it. I didn't have to throw myself head first into playing high school football to know that that coach was guilty. I just knew. My instincts are policeman's instincts. In fact, I think I might be the best cop on this team.
But there's no way they're going to tell me so, even if any one of them could admit it to themselves. There's no way they're going to do anything for me, other than the occasional "Good job, Dennis," from Judy.
Because I'm twenty-two. And I'm not one of them.