So yeah. It's been a while. I've been wandering through various fandoms, some with unsettling veracity. While The Glades isn't the best show, it does have promise. And it really needs some Gen fic! And h/c. Seriously.
Unbeta'd as usual.
As he approached the car, Jim felt something was off. Talking to Callie nearly distracted him, but something was definitely hinky. The doors were locked.
"I never lock the doors at work," he said absently.
Heart thumping heavily in his chest, the detective moved away from the car. Ignoring the fact that he might look foolish running away from an object, Jim stood at what he considered a safe distance.
"Hang on," he said absently. Pressing the button on his key fob, Jim distantly heard Callie's voice as the car unlocked.
Feeling the heat against his face, a memory popped into his head. A summer evening when he was twelve. Matches. And missing eyebrows. Things you shouldn't do with lighter fluid.
Did my car just blow up? Jeff made me a mixed tape. Well, a cd...
More disjointed thoughts assaulted his mind until he felt his head connect with the stucco wall behind him.
"Jim? Hey, Jim?" A deep voice inquired. "You with me?"
Blinking at the bright sunlight above him, Jim followed the sound of Carlos' voice. Ears ringing, head throbbing, he began to sort out the commotion around him; everyone had come out of the building to get a look. If Jim were a bitter man, he might think they were laughing at him. Big city cop can't handle a little Cuban spat.
All the events of the last two days, hell, two months crashed down on Jim, pinning him to the ground with complete exhaustion.
"Jim? Carlos asked softly. "You gotta open your eyes for me." Blindly he reached into his shirt pocket.
Knowing exactly what the ME grabbed, Jim belatedly closed his eyes. "C'mon, Carlos!"
"I gotta do this, man. Open up." Frowning, he shook his head. "Well, your pupils are equal and reactive, but you look -"
"Yeah, yeah. I get it." Holding his hand up, the detective gazed in fascination at the bright red blood streaming down his arm. Shiny pieces of glass lodged in the wound looked like diamonds in a river of scarlet. "What's -"
"I need a medic over here!" Carlos stood from his position at his friend's side. "Don't move, Jim. I mean it!"
Jim had no intention of moving just yet; suddenly every part of his body ached. It certainly wasn't the first time he had been close to an explosion.
"Jim? Jim! What happened? Hello?" a tiny voice said, then it was gone.
Glancing at his outstretched arm, Jim tried to focus on his phone as it went quiet. Callie's name faded from there screen.
Rising, Jim let his friend and a paramedic guide him over to the back of an ambulance.
"Hey, man. You're pretty quiet." Carlos stepped aside, allowing the paramedic to clean his friend's wounds. "You feel okay?"
"Yeah," Jim answered immediately. "Just sore. Ouch!"
Carlos chuckled. "I'm sure you'd rather let that sweet hottie patch you up, but Diego'll have to do."
"Sorry, sir," Diego smiled. "This is gonna sting a bit."
Jim felt the medic carefully remove shards of safety glass from his arm and face. Glancing at the smoldering remains of his car, all Jim could think about was paperwork, Callie, and sleep. As soon as the last bandage was placed, Longworth rose. He only had a few hours left to resolve a murder. Black spots swam across his vision; he closed his eyes, merely breathing.
"Sir, if you could step up, I'll give you a ride to General-"
"No, I'm good."
"Hermano, you need to get checked out. I saw you hit that wall -"
"I'm fine, Carlos. Really." Shaking glass out from his shirt, Jim took an unsteady step forward. Taking another deep breath, the detective walked straight toward the crime scene. Ignoring the pain, Jim crossed his arms as he allowed his gaze to rest on the remains of a still-smoking car.
That coulda been me!
"Jim, you better sit down," his captain suggested firmly.
"No, I'm -"
"You don't look fine. In fact, you almost match the color of your bandages." Colleen ignored his glare, but raised her hands in defeat. "All right. What do you need?"
With a weary smile, Jim dug into his work.
In light of everything, he really wished he had called Callie back. Especially after the second shove. His body still sore, and fatigue threatening to take him down, yet all he could do was oblige her anger.
"I'm sorry," he said again.
"I know, I know. It's just – You scared me." Reaching out with both hands, Callie took a gentle hold of his arm. "Let me take a look -"
"It's fine. Diego did a nice job. Just some glass, and it's pretty shallow."
Callie searched his face, knowing she couldn't tell if Jim was lying. So far as she could tell, the only thing her new friend lied about was his health. "All right. But promise me you let me look at it later," she said, pointing a severe finger as she let her nurse's eye rove his body.
Watching Jim walk away, Callie tried to decipher any signs of concealed injury. She knew he wouldn't give anything away, but she was glad Jim let her look anyway.
Jim had watched the sun come up this morning. He was a little miffed that hadn't been his first, particularly in the last few weeks. Swallowing ibuprofen, with a glass of water, he hadn't realized how thirsty he was. Gulping down another glass, Jim refilled and took the glass to his bedroom.
Setting the glass down, he flopped onto the bed, his legs refusing to hold him up any longer.
The last thing he remembered was toeing off his shoes. Separating his face from his pillow, Jim was surprised to find the sun high in the sky. Moving his stiff and sore body, he rose and limped into the bathroom. Glancing at his reflection, Jim suddenly realized he'd been wearing the same shirt for more than twenty-four hours. It was smelly, and stained with blood, and he considered throwing it away rather than laundering it. Dammit. I liked this shirt.
Peeling it off carefully, Jim showered quickly. He needed to get back to the station. "Quero" had revealed the location of Miguel Garcia's body, and Eduardo wanted to tag along.
A squad car came to pick him up; Colleen thought it best to keep him from behind the wheel just a little longer. He met with Carlos and Eduardo at the gravesite. Finding Garcia's body changed the family's history and prevented an all out war with another.
"How do they even know?"
"They know, Jim."
Instantly, the detective felt a weight shift in his chest. He could still smell a hint of smoke on his skin; it made him nauseous.
Drawing her detective away from the small crowd, Colleen sighed. "Look, Jim. Think about it, but deep down, you know what to do. Go home, get some sleep. See you in a couple days."
Jim crossed his arms, shaking his head. "I'm -"
"You're fine. I got it. But you look like crap, Longworth, and to be perfectly honest, you still smell like burnt car."
Despite himself, Jim chuckled. His superior's comment caught him off guard. "You win."
Driving home in a new car was disconcerting; Jim had driven that car for a while and had gotten used to its quirks. Soon that fact was overshadowed by new information – and questions – And all roads led back to Callie.
There's no way she'll accept this, he thought. But what if she does?
Immediately banishing the thought, Jim entered his much cooler home. He hoped that the hot sticky feeling was just the result of the weather, and not something worse.
Tossing the keys in the general direction of the counter, Jim grabbed a beer out of habit. After staring at the middle distance for minutes – or hours – he sank into the sofa glancing over small piles of paperwork and mail. Lost in menial tasks, Jim was snapped out of his fugue by his phone.
The phone stopped ringing. Deep down, he hoped she wouldn't call again. Leaning back, he grabbed the bottle he'd been nursing, feeling the dull throb behind his eyes worsen.
Suddenly, Jim Longworth's life just got more complicated.
So. Yeah. That was my first Glades fic. Maybe one of a few more?