Yeah, OK, I'm getting impatient waiting for Juliet to show back up. So, I turn to FanFic.
"He's not talking," Miles grumbled, returning to his desk.
"Oh, he'll talk to me," James declared. Hell, he better, he thought. They had Captain Falafel dead to rights, on the security cameras, fleeing his brother's house. Nothing left for the guy to do but confess, and James just had a feeling about him. He couldn't put his finger on it, but he just knew. Something about the guy . . . it was like they had a connection.
He picked up the file and stood up to head back to the holding cells. "Incoming," Miles muttered under his breath. James looked up to see Phil, the rule-following, pain-in-the-ass, uptight prick who'd recently transferred to their precinct.
"Looks like we're gonna close that schoolteacher hit and run," Phil smarmed.
"Is that so?" Miles offered, rolling his eyes in James' direction.
"Yep. Guy just walked in off the street to confess."
"Well, ain't that just dandy? Some guys have all the luck," James grumped.
"Well, see, the thing is," started Phil, "this guy who wants to confess? Only wants to confess to you, Ford."
"Sorry, chief, but I'm kinda busy. Now, if you'd excuse me, I gotta go interrogate an Iraqi."
They hadn't noticed their lieutenant, who'd materialized over Phil's shoulder. "Sorry, Ford, but this is non-negotiable." James started to protest, but the lieutenant threw up a hand to stop him. "Look, Ford, the election's in 6 weeks. What case do you think the mayor wants solved? The Korean mob shooting? Or the wheelchair-bound school teacher run over in broad daylight in front of dozens of high school kids? Hmmmm?"
"I don't give two shits about the mayor gettin' re-elected," James declared.
"I do," the lieutenant stated with finality.
"I'll go get our suspect," Phil oozed. As he turned away, James flipped him the bird. James quickly scanned the files Phil left on his desk. Phil returned ten minutes later saying, "He's all yours, detective." He ushered a well-dressed, well-groomed gentleman to the seat across from James' desk. Miles perched on his desk, interested in the proceedings.
Once Phil was gone, James started in. "What's your name?"
"So, Desmond, you're the man who ran over the crippled teacher?"
"And you'll sign a confession to that effect?"
"And could we get you to stand in a lineup?"
"I'm confessin' to the crime, brutha. What do you need me in a lineup for?"
"Because, Scrooge McDuck, we get lunatics in here all the time confessin' to crimes they didn't commit. We got another schoolteacher says he talked to the perp just before he ran the old bastard down. And I want to make sure you are who you say ya are, and you ain't some kinda attention-seekin' kook."
Desmond considered that, nodded sagely. "All right, I'll stand in a lineup."
"All right then," said James. This was all too easy. He looked at Miles. What the hell am I missing here? he wondered. Miles returned a flabbergasted look. James slid a pad of paper across the desk. "All right then, start writin' up what ya did." He offered a pen, and Desmond took it.
"Before I start writing, I've got a question for you, detective."
"Go ahead," James offered.
"Have you ever been in love?"
"Sure," James agreed. "Pretty much every weekend. Ladies love a man of the law."
Desmond smiled ruefully, shook his head. "Not what I mean, brutha. I mean the real thing. Not what you can get in a weekend. I'm talking about the kind of love you spend a lifetime looking for, and when you find it . . .well, there's nothing more, nothing better. You'd do anything for her, and she'd do anything for you. And without her, you know your life isn't complete."
"Uhm, no. Nothing like that," James mumbled. He shot a sideways glance at Miles. Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh, he thought. Yup. This Desmond was certifiable. Anyone who'd run down a teacher – a crippled teacher – in broad daylight, walk in to the precinct to confess, and start yammering on about true love . . . well that was plain crazy. Crazy enough that James started to worry the guy was trying to set up an insanity defense. Best to just play along, let the guy write his confession, and be done with it.
"You're a detective," Desmond stated. "Surely you've had a near-death experience, yeah?"
"Sure," James allowed, wondering where the hell this was going.
"So tell me, James, when you had this near-death experience, what did you see?"
Miles snickered. Now James made damn well certain to NOT look at Miles, because he knew exactly what his partner was thinking. A little over a year ago, James had been shot breaking up a robbery attempt. Miles was one of the first people he spoke to when he came to.
"Jim, holy shit man, you gave us a scare. Did you know your heart actually stopped? They had to use the fuckin' paddles."
"Yeah, doc said somethin' about that," James wheezed out.
"So, man, I gotta ask ya. What did you see? Like when you were dead? A bright white light? All your loved ones beckoning you to the other side?"
"I don't know, Miles."
"Ah, come on man. My partner nearly dies, and he's not gonna share with me his experience with the other side? What good are you?"
James started to chuckle, but it hurt too much. Miles and his infatuation with death and the recently deceased. Sometimes James figured Miles only became a cop because he was so damn obsessed with the dead. Hell, he might as well tell his buddy.
"I saw a beautiful woman, Miles. And we were kissing. You wouldn't believe the color of this woman's eyes. It was like . . ." James trailed off, no way he could describe it without being too mushy. "Her hair was like gold." Crap, that sounded even more ridiculous. Miles was scoffing. James started up again, trying to regain a sense of his manhood. "Not just that. I mean, you wouldn't believe this chick's rack."
Miles threw up his hands. "Hold up, hold up, hold up. It figures. It fucking figures."
"Jim, you are such a male slut. It just Goddamn figures that on your death bed, you'd be having a sex dream."
"It wasn't a sex dream," James argued, but Miles smirked and shook his head. "Well, it wasn't just a sex dream," James clarified. "I mean, there was sex, but there was like . . .I don't know, just sitting around eating and laughing, and . . ." he trailed off, trying to recall some of what he'd seen. "Guns," he added. "We had guns and we sat around reading a lot."
"OK, I get it," Miles interrupted. "You dreamed of a gorgeous woman who was good with a firearm and sat around reading with you before making sweet passionate all-consuming love? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nice try, Ford. Why didn't you just tell me to bug off instead of making up a bunch of bullshit?"
The thing was, James was telling Miles the truth, but now Miles was giving him an out. At least he wouldn't make fun of him if James admitted it was all a lie. "Cause, chief, you're so fuckin' fixated on death and shit, figured I'd make it a good story."
They never mentioned it again. But, damn, the thing had seemed so real. For months after he'd gotten out of the hospital, James did a double take at every blonde woman he met on the street. He'd pray to dream of her again, and when he had to go in for a follow-up surgery he hoped against hope that when he was knocked out for the surgery he'd see her, but no such luck.
And now here was this kook. This teacher-flattening, Scrooge McDuck-sounding, blissed-out kook asking, "So tell me, James, when you had this near-death experience, what did you see?" Miles snickered, but then got up and walked off.
"I didn't see nothin', Scotty."
"Sure you did. I'm just here to tell you that it's all real. Every bit of it. It's real, brutha. She's real"
"Uh huh. So, you gonna write that confession or what?"
They were interrupted by Rhonda, the precinct receptionist. "Sorry to butt in, detective," she said, handing James a pink slip of paper. "Good news. That Korean vic in your restaurant shooting is out of surgery, and the doc says she's gonna be OK." James nodded. That was good news. Rhonda continued. "Even better, the doctor said she was able to recover the bullet, so you've got some ballistics right there. Doctor's on shift till 5. She said call her when you get a chance. All the info's on the slip."
"Thanks, Rhonda," James said, tossing the pink slip onto the restaurant shooting file.
Rhonda left, and Desmond spoke up. "That's a call I think you ought to make, yeah?"
"So now you're Sherlock Holmes?" James asked. "I'll get my partner to call when he gets back. No shit, we need to call and get the bullet, but thanks for your concern."
"No, brutha. I mean, I think that is a call you've been waiting your whole life to make. Listen, you pick up the phone, make that call, and I'll start writing out my confession. Deal?"
What a fuckin' nut. "Fine," James declared, picking up the message slip and the phone. Desmond began to write as James dialed. The phone rang four times before someone answered. "Yeah, I'm looking for a Dr. Carlson," James stated.
"Speaking," said the voice on the other line, professional and hurried, but soothing nonetheless.
"This is Detective Ford. I'm the lead on the Sun Paik case. I hear you got some good news for us."
"We have your bullet," she said. "Pardon me, detective. Can I put you on hold? Something minor's just come up. It'll just be a second."
Normally, he'd be put out, pissed off, but he was feeling so. . . good. This was all good news. The vic was going to be able to talk (once they rounded up a Korean translator) the ballistics on that bullet would be a Godsend, all was going well. But he'd solved hundreds of cases tougher than this one. Why did he feel so damn good? He glanced over at his Scottish nutjob, busily scratching out a confession. He listened to some soothing 1970s pop tune on the hospital's "hold line." Idly waiting, he typed the doctor's name into the Google search box on his desk computer. Up popped the hospital's biography page. "Holy shit," he murmured. "Holy shit. Holy shit. This is her."
Desmond glanced at him with a knowing smile. Now who's the crazy one?
The phone line clicked back on. "So sorry about that, detective. So, we have your bullet, and I can just have one of the uniform police here get it or . . .I don't know. What's protocol in a case like this?"
"Stay right there," he said. "I'm going to be right over to get it. Please, don't go anywhere."
"All right then. See you in a few," she said and hung up.
James was already grabbing his jacket, badge, keys. "Miles!" he called over to his partner. "Finish up with this guy's statement for me. I gotta run to the hospital."
He turned to Desmond before leaving. "Can you finish up with my partner?"
"Sure," agreed Desmond. "Hey, see you in another life, brutha, yeah?"
And that's that. They all live happily ever after. Please? Pretty please?