Seconds

By: Tidia
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Street Justice is owned by Cannell Entertainment. No monies were made in writing this work of fanficiton.
Comments: There are many spoilers ahead as you read this: Legacy, Loyalties, Bashing, Parenthood, Debt of Honor, Circle of Death, Cross Fire, Honor and Trust and Desperate. This is an old story I had I my website. Sodakey did not want to be alone with her Street Justice story so I am posting here. if you have not seen this 90s show- there are dvds available. It was a fun show.


It takes 30 seconds for one's eyes to adjust to the darkness. In that short period of time so much can change. A gun can be fired; blood spilled and lives affected.

"Too many criminals and not enough time B?" Grady said over the cacophony of the crowd gathered at Malloy's. The young man was wiping down the bar, preparing for the next round of drinks that would shortly be requested.

"Something like that," Adam replied as he went behind the bar to get a bottle of mineral water. He was still on duty, and wasn't about to relax with a beer. The detective had stopped by on the way back from investigating a lead that didn't pan out on a missing person's case. Beaudreaux realized if he didn't come up with something soon Gary Lipton would end up in the dead file case.

"Adam, don't forget we're going to be closed on Sunday and Monday," Malloy lowered her voice as she added, "for the fumigators."

The detective smiled, the customers hadn't appeared to hear her. It was purely a yearly precautionary measure. Malloy kept the bar clean and in great shape, she was the mistress of the bar, queen of her domain with Adam and Grady set in the roles as her servants. Adam wanted to laugh out loud as he thought how quickly Malloy made him work the pub when she knew he had some free time. Beaudreaux had come by for a break. It was with these two friends he found some solace and an escape from the outside world.

Grady was pouring a shot. "Hey B, mind if I stay with you for the weekend?"

Malloy gave Jamieson a sideways glance. "Afraid of some bug spray, Grady?"

Grady snapped a towel out at the blonde, missing her by a foot. Adam sighed and looked upward at the antics of his two friends. He wished he didn't have to leave, but duty called and he wanted to work on this case.

"Sure, Grady, I'll be home late tonight." Beaudreaux tossed the young man a set of keys. "I'll see you later."

Usually Grady was tired on a Saturday night. The crowds, the noise and being on his feet for six hours straight was draining. This time though he was feeling a little pumped so he headed for the movies. There was an action flick he wanted to check out and it seemed like a perfect time to unwind.

He was ready to crash by the time he maneuvered the motorcycle through the late night streets. The young man parked his bike in the back, making his way up the stairs. Jamieson had the keys in his hand, the jingling echoed through the empty hallway. Grady hadn't seen B's car out front, so he knew he had time to raid the refrigerator before hitting the couch. Adam was a great cook, and the martial artist was looking forward to some leftovers.

Grady inserted the key into the lock, with a snap the door opened. He entered the darkened apartment. Jamieson's hand stretched for the light switch, pausing when he heard breathing.

"B?" he questioned as he stepped forward in a fighting stance sensing something was wrong. Karate moves would not be enough though as Grady heard a whispering sound, then felt a searing pain in his abdomen. His hand went to the wound automatically; he stumbled down on one knee. The martial artist heard heavy footsteps and lunged at the shadow. Grady threw a punch followed by an uppercut. The intruder stumbled, then retreated out the door. Jamieson lurched after him only to find himself falling, entering another kind of blackness.

Adam turned the little switch on his desk lamp. The precinct was still bustling with activity; criminals didn't wear a watch that said enough was enough. The detective reclined back in his office chair as he opened the Lipton file. Gary was reported missing by his employer, CGX Group, makers of computer chips. The human resource representative, Mary Selby, became concerned when Lipton did not show up for work for 5 days.

"Just not like him. He is very reliable." She had said when she made the report. Mary had allowed Adam access to his employment records. The missing man had no family to speak of and according to his neighbors led a quiet life. Upon investigation of his apartment, Beaudreux only learned the man liked baseball because of the card collection in one of his closets. Gary Lipton was perfectly normal.

Beaudreaux put his feet up on the gray metal desk. This wouldn't be the first time a man walked away from his humdrum existence to seek a different life. Sometimes the responsibilities of life were a heavy weight to carry. Adam could empathize. There were days when he wished so many people didn't count on him. Grady needed to be constantly pulled back from the abyss of his soul's darkness. Miguel needed a moral compass and mentor. Malloy needed to have a connection to her father and the job needed him most of all. He had a responsibility to keep the streets safe.

"Well Mister Lipton," Adam said as he placed his feet back on the floor and closed the folder, "if you don't want to be found then you won't be found." The detective looked at the clock, noticing the late hour. He pulled the leather jacket off his chair, deciding to head home. Adam only hoped that Grady cleaned up after raiding the refrigerator.

Adam rubbed his hand over his haggard face, feeling the stubble already forming. He climbed the stairs two by two wanting to make it to his bed sooner rather than later. He stopped; noticing his apartment door was ajar. Instinctively, the detective took out his weapon and leaned against the wall, making his way up the hallway. He took a deep breath as he walked in front of the door, his gun facing into his apartment.

Beaudreaux squinted, trying to see into the darkness. "Grady," he called out, hoping the young man was safe. There was no answer, quickly Adam reached inside and threw on the switch. The lights were momentarily blinding, but illuminating-on the floor lay Grady, unconscious with blood pooling around him.

Adam dropped to his knees, not caring if there was an unknown attacker waiting for him. He cradled the body close to him, feeling a pulse still beating, the young man's chest rising and falling. Grady's ashen face prompted him into action. The detective grabbed the afghan that was sprawled on the sofa using it to apply pressure to the wound. Adam rocked back and forth, the same scene playing over in his mind of an 8 year-old Grady crying out; "Please, don't leave me!" while the Vietnamese jungle engulfed him.

Beaudreaux found the anguish and emotions overwhelming, finally yelling out, "Help, someone help me!"

Oh God, she really hated Pine's phone calls. Even in her groggy, half-asleep mind she still recognized the Lieutenant's voice. Malloy had nothing against Charlie personally, it was just he had been the one to tell her that her father had been killed. Pine's voice instantly made her alert. "Is it Adam?" Her stomach churned in dread.

Malloy heard the Lieutenant sigh. "No, Grady's been shot. Adam's neighbor called 911."

The blonde pushed her hair away from her face, and put her feet down on the carpeting. "What?" She looked around the room, locating the clothes she had taken off, readying to make a hasty departure.

"I don't know much except they are at Mercy General," Pine replied. She hung up the phone once she heard the hospital name to get dressed.

Malloy maneuvered the streets deftly, knowing she was breaking the speed limit to get to the hospital. She parked her Volkswagen roughly in the first available space and ran through the parking lot, repeating to herself that everything was going to be fine. She had to wait while the automatic doors pulled open. At the emergency room's reception desk, she slapped her hand down to get the nurse's attention. Malloy quickly glanced around the room. "Never mind," she said to the perturbed nurse as she saw Adam in the waiting room. She ran to him, engulfing him in a hug, thankful he was strong and whole. "How's Grady?"

Adam's eyes did not focus on her. Instead his attention was on the door separating the waiting room from the trauma area. His usual brilliant brown eyes were dull. "Don't know yet."

Malloy looked at the blood on Beaudreaux's shirt; sickened by the red stain that represented another violent act. "What happened?" she asked as she guided him to a chair.

Adam dropped his head into his hands. "I don't know that either."

Malloy thought back to when she had resented Grady as a ghost haunting Adam. The blonde had seen Beaudreaux build himself up only to depress himself with each disappointment. She had been wary when Jamieson finally did surface only to discover that once the martial artist befriended you he was never-endingly loyal and supportive. Grady had been there when she had lost her brother, Danny, and when Jack had attacked her. Now she was unable to help him except pray to a God she didn't really believe she was on speaking terms with since her dad was killed. Malloy gripped Adam's arm. He needed her and Grady would want her to keep the detective steady.

Miguel appeared out of nowhere. "Beaudreaux, Malloy, I heard about Grady." The former gang member's hands were clenched by his side, ready to attack an unseen enemy. The two hot heads had originally hated each other, but over time they formed a bond through Adam.

"No news, Miguel," Malloy said as she patted the chair on the other side of her.

Mendez crossed his arms and stayed standing. "He's tough." He commented as though it was an epitaph. "Word's out on the street, Beaudreaux, but ain't no one taking credit."

Adam looked at the young man, steely determination entering his eyes, making Malloy shiver at the ferociousness she saw. "Someone did it and they'll pay."

There was silence amongst the trio and Malloy studied the detective again. He had been saddled with the name, 'By The Book Beaudreaux'. It was a name the detective took pride in. It took a large amount of convincing to have Adam bend the rules. Malloy knew this time Beaudreaux would not hesitate to break the rules if it would lead to Grady's attackers.

"The family of Grady Jamieson?" The doctor came out, a surgical mask dropped around his neck, his blue cap in his hands.

"Right here, doc," Miguel spoke up. Malloy and Adam stood up slowly.

"We got the bullet out." The doctor gestured to his right lower abdomen." It was lodged in the small intestine, nicking his large intestine."

Malloy tried to make sense of what the mustached doctor was saying. "Can we see him?" She wouldn't be at ease until she could touch him, see that he was breathing.

"In a moment." The doctor directed them back towards the chairs. "Mister Jamieson lost a lot of blood. There is also a threat of infection- peritonitis." The doctor waited before continuing.

"Is he going to be all right?" Miguel demanded, raising his voice.

The blonde patted his arm to calm him, and gestured for the doctor to continue.

"We'll have to wait and see. He's young, strong and has a good chance." The doctor sighed.

Adam was stoic and nodded. He extended a hand to the doctor. "Thank you."

The doctor accepted the handshake. "He's in recovery and then going to ICU. I'll have a nurse come get you when they're ready."

Malloy gave Adam another hug. Grady had to be fine. He just had to be. Malloy couldn't imagine another situation like when they had almost lost Adam. Divine intervention had saved Grady from killing the Shadow Dragon who had tried to murder the detective. Luckily, Adam woke up to stop the martial artist. Malloy didn't know if she had the strength to pull Beaudreaux from the abyss if he decided to go down that path.

Miguel saw the look that passed between the nurse and the doctor. Mendez was aware that it was only supposed to be one person at a time in the intensive care unit. The doctor had given the stern nurse a nod and mouthed, 'It's okay.'

The former gang member grimaced as he caught sight of Grady, shirtless, his torso covered with wires leading to different glowing and beeping machines. The room was dark except for an overhead light near Jamieson's head that set him awash in unnatural fluorescent lights. Grady looked frighteningly pale, his mouth a tight line acknowledging even in slumber he was in pain.

Miguel was unaccustomed to seeing Grady so helpless. It made Mendez shiver. He had seen the martial artist work out, seen him beat up people effortlessly. Miguel even admired Jamieson when he first met him and the gang member had pointed a gun at him.

Mendez tapped Grady's foot, the only part of the martial artist that was untouched by clutter. Under his breath Miguel uttered the words that Grady's mother had said to Jamieson nightly before death had taken her away from him. "Goodnight, sleep tight and . . ." Mendez's throat constricted and he let the words trail off.

Malloy went to the head of the bed and brushed Grady's hair off his face. Adam stayed back, leaning against the glass window.

Miguel sighed. "Beaudreaux, what are we going to do about this?" Mendez let his disdain for the justice system carry in his voice. It was a trait he and Grady had in common. They both knew there were exceptions to the rules. It was a lesson learned on the streets where both young men had grown up.

Adam stepped forward. Miguel couldn't read the emotions that played on the detective's face as he studied his injured friend. "I want you to sit tight, and watch over Grady." He gave Jamieson a quick nod and headed for the door. "I'll take care of this."

Miguel caught up to Adam as he made his way to the elevator. "He's my friend too," Mendez stated hands stuffed in his pockets.

Beaudreaux placed a hand on the former gang member's shoulder. "I know, and if I need you I'll call." Adam squeezed the shoulder once, then hopped on the elevator.

Miguel watched the doors close. He still had his contacts on the streets. The detective could always use some behind the scenes help.

"There's a lot of stuff I haven't told you. Stuff that no one knows about." Adam recalled how crazed Grady had been, his words running together almost incoherently. "We'll deal with it together," Adam had replied, then he went off to solve the Circle of Death case. The detective punched the steering wheel. He should have stayed put to help Grady with those demons, instead the martial artist had run off and almost gotten himself killed. "Should have, if only, next time," Adam mumbled under his breath. "I hope I get the chance. . ."

The detective took a deep breath focusing on the case he wasn't supposed to be working on. Hard when it was your own home, thought the detective as he looked at his apartment building swathed in blue police lights.

When he reached his apartment, he stayed staring at the stain in the wood floor. Kelsey must have seen him.

"I'll clean it up, sir," Tricia said in a quiet voice. "How's Grady?" The martial artist had helped Kelsey when Shoeham's murderer was trying to kill her too.

"Holding his own," Beaudreaux replied gruffly going into his kitchen to make himself some coffee.

Tricia followed, leaning against the kitchen counter. "Have any ideas on who's after Grady?"

Beaudreaux shook his head as he opened cabinets looking for some coffee. There were too many variables. Grady had given Adam a generic explanation about his past- jail in Vietnam, then to Hong Kong, making it to the U.S., his time on the East Coast searching for Harden, and then here where they were finally reunited. If the closet door of Grady's past was open then the detective knew it was only ajar about a quarter of the way. There was much Adam didn't know, he never wanted to push the martial artist into revealing too much. Grady wasn't ready to tell him everything; still afraid he would lose Adam's friendship if he found out about some evil past deed. Beaudreaux figured they had time. He had treated Jamieson like a peer. Grady was a man, but maybe he should have been like a father questioning his son's whereabouts after a night out. "Keep an open mind, maybe they want me."

"I'm working that angle, Sarge," Rothman stated, pushing the Taster's Choice container towards Adam. "Seeing if anyone has an axe to grind."

Suddenly, coffee didn't sound like a good idea. "Keep me informed," Beaudreaux told his two detectives. He headed out the door, glancing around at all the activity taking place in his home. Adam hadn't planned on staying at the apartment to get some rest anyway. The sun was already up. He would check on Grady and then go and talk to Willis.

Grady was in his room, his little box holding all his prized possessions, his scattered memories in front of him. In Nam he had found the box and placed his photos and important trinkets that reminded him of his parents and time with B in it. When the kids at the orphanage tried to steal it, Grady knew he had to do something. He ran away and hid the box. The martial artist didn't see the leather case for years while he was in prison, but once they were reunited, it hadn't left his sight. Jamieson shivered, something was wrong. Why was he so afraid of the box? The case, sensing his emotions, began to quiver. Finally, it threw its latch open and like Pandora's box, allowed evil to enter the world.

Warriors dressed in black flew out. Too stunned to move Grady stood riveted to the ground, his limbs feeling sluggish and heavy. The shadow soldiers began to circle around him. Jamieson shuddered as the ghostly faces revealed themselves-his parents, Harden, Lan Duc, the guards and inmates at the prison. All the people who had caused Grady pain began to attack. The martial artist tired as he threw roundhouse kicks, uppercuts, and sidekicks. He tried a jump-spinning crescent only to have one of the attackers swiftly catch his leg and bring an elbow smashing down. Grady buckled at the assault. The warriors started to smother him; one had him in a headlock, slowly twisting his neck.

Grady grasped at air, like Pandora's Box only hope remained. Jamieson cried out hoping the person who cared about him could save him. "Don't leave me B!"

"It's okay. I'm here." The martial artist felt a hand slip into his. The figures began to retreat back into the box. As Grady relaxed he let the blackness creep in. The warmth emanating from the hand escorted him to a dreamless sleep.

Vaguely Jamieson heard a buzzing whisper. "Delirious. . . . Peritonitis."