A/N: Written for an unpublished zine.

Sentimental Journey

By Lizabeth S. Tucker

Time simply can't be stopped or even slowed down for anyone, no matter the reason. Hair becomes gray, skin begins to wrinkle, bellies begin to sag, it is inevitable. Some days he looks at his reflection in the mirror and wonders who that old man could be. Inside he still feels as young as when he and his partner first met, over thirty years earlier. They were young and feisty and clicked from the first.

No one could understand what they saw in each other, but from the Police Academy on, they were inseparable. Almost from the first they simply knew what the other was thinking. It had been a struggle trying to work with others as smoothly. No one put two uniformed rookies together as partners. They had to learn and wait. Luckily their training officers were intelligent enough to use the magic given to them.

It wasn't long before every bust was done together, every stakeout found them at opposite sides of the building under observation. It was less than a year later before they were considered ready to be put out on their own. After that, the two men hooked up before and after work, planning their days, checking with their growing stable of informants, and making friends on both sides of the law.

People on the street soon came to realize that they weren't men to mess with. Attempts were made to bribe them, only for the potential corruptors to be shoved into the nearest wall followed by a stay in the local holding cell. A few tough guys thought they could separate the partners, without success. Attacks were made on their persons without achieving their objectives. Once released by the emergency room, the pair soon had the attackers locked away.

Their closeness was a constant topic of conversation for everyone, from the police brass to the lowest scum on the street. Were they or weren't they? Did they or didn't they? The argument would range from yes to no depending on the moment or the action observed. Without a doubt, neither of them were shy about touching the other. Everyone quickly caught on that they were more than friends, but couldn't decide if they simply were brothers in all but blood or even more.

And, he admitted to himself, they would go out of their way sometimes to help fuel the discussions. They were lucky, with their successful record, soon no one really cared whether they were partners in every sense of the word. It was just another office betting pool.

"Hey, are you done admiring yourself in the mirror?"

He turned to see the one constant presence in his life standing in the bathroom doorway. "I was just remembering."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"We've got a lot to remember, lots of good times."

"And some bad."

"Don't. It all worked out. We're still alive, we're still together. It's all good, babe."

"Yeah, I guess it is." He moved to where his better half stood, snatching a quick kiss. "C'mon, we have a double retirement party to go to."

August 2008