Dan Fielding was not a good man. He enjoyed the finer things in life, as long as he could get someone else to pay for them, and he also appreciated the cheaper things as well, mostly women. He did lots of things that he was not proud of, but the fact that he kept repeating them spoke volumes of his character. Not one of his friends would stand up and vouch for his character, mostly because they knew that he would not do the same for them. But in the end, his friends were loyal anyways, so when they got the call they all clamored by his bedside in the hospital.
"What do you say, Dan? Looking good," Harry said cheerfully as he sat beside Dan.
"Yeah yeah, I can't even get a second glance from the nurses around here. And they've seen my best side!"
"I wasn't aware that you had a best side."
"That's because you're not of the gender who would get a chance to see my good side. Although, you may want to stick around, because I'm not sure that my robe ties in the back."
"Oh, Dan," Christine covered her eyes. "Do you always have to be so…so…"
"Happy? What do you want from a guy who was just shot? Wanna tie my gown for me?"
"Here," she tossed him a second gown from the edge of his bed.
"No peeking!" Dan laughed. "Unless you really want to."
"Oh, Dan, I don't know why I even bother. You're so, so …"
"Hey Mr. Irresistible, do you want me to toss you your bed pan? We'd be glad to give you a moment of privacy," Harry held it up, laughing.
"Oh, shut up." Seeing the look Harry was giving him, Dan hurried to add. "Shut up, your honor," he said in a softer voice.
"Oh, Dan, I brought you a present!" Bull walked in, carrying an enormous, oversized thermometer. "Open up and say 'ah'!"
"Bull, I don't think that's oral," Harry grinned. It took Bull a minute to figure it out, but when he did he threw it at Dan.
"Gee guys, I appreciate your concern, but I'm not really sure as to why you're here. I mean, if it were one of you, Lord knows I wouldn't be here."
"This is true. I'm only here because I'm getting paid overtime," Roz chimed in.
"No, you're not," Harry said firmly. "Now turn around and get back here. We're all here for you Dan because you're our friend. You're so…nicely dressed and so…well you're our friend. Hope you get to feeling better soon, buddy!"
"Yeah I do too. I was supposed to have a hot date tonight. If Stephanie calls give me five minutes to get dressed."
"Dan, you can't be serious! You can't be thinking of a date at a time like this! You just got shot!" Christine cried.
"Can't think of a better time to think of a date. I'm not above sympathy sex you know"
"Oh Dan. Surely there's more to you than just cheap sex!" Harry scolded.
Dan pretended to think about it. "Nope. That's about it."
"Well then, I guess we'd better get back to work and leave you to your…business." As the gang walked out, Dan muttered under his breath.
"Harry, please stay."
"What did you say?"
"Nothing. Never mind. Just go on, I'll be okay. Don't worry about me. I have nothing but time, time and pain medication. Just go on live your life; enjoy it while you can."
"Dan do you want me to stay?"
"Oh all right, have it your way. Since I can't seem to get rid of you you might as well sit back down."
Harry smiled. "So, now that we're alone, what would you like to talk about? News, weather, sports?"
"Harry, do you believe in an afterlife?"
"Or we could talk about the afterlife. So your little scare has got you to thinking?"
"You could say that. I didn't want to say this in front of everyone, but yeah, it kind of dawned on me that a few inches more and I could be sitting around roasting marshmellows- off my hair."
"Well, Dan, I never knew you to be one afraid of his immortality. Guess this has shaken you up pretty badly, huh?"
"You think?" Dan growled. "I'm sorry, I'm not feeling quite like myself. Yeah I guess it's starting to sink in that I could have met my maker and there wasn't a thing I could do about it."
"Well," Harry pondered that for a minute. "It kind of seems to me like you have someone on your side. After all, you're just banged up a little, not…"
"Roadkill? Yeah. I guess I didn't think of it that way. But Harry, do you think I'm a bad person?"
Harry looked away.
"Harry? Do you think I'm a bad person," Dan repeated firmly.
"It doesn't matter what I think. Do you think you are?"
"Kind of. Yeah."
"Well," Harry started. "They say a man's worth is measured not by the things he loves but by how loved he is by others."
"I should have a front row seat to the pearly gates then," Dan deadpanned.
"No, I don't think they mean that kind of loving. I think they mean by your friends, your loved ones, even your coworkers."
"You know, sometimes I forget you're my boss."
"No, can we be serious for a minute? I mean sometimes you're more like a friend, or what I imagine a friend is, than just my boss. I'm glad that I've gotten to serve under you."
"Isn't that what you told Stephanie last weekend?"
"Okay, okay. You know what, Fielding, you're okay. You're going to be okay. You're tougher than you let on. You have a lot of people rooting for you, so you just hang in there."
"Thanks, your honor." Dan held out his hand and Harry shook it, knowing that something very good could come out of this incident. Knowing Dan, he would probably use his injury to his advantage with the others, or try to at least, but for now, Harry knew that everything was going to be just fine.