Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with Streets of San Francisco and make no profit on anything related to the series or characters. All is done for enjoyment and writing skill development.
This was done as a result of a variation on a writer's challenge. The challenge was to have one character maim the other. The twist was that I wanted one character to 'think' they maimed the other.
"I can't believe you 'bet' me to do that," Mike grumbled as he got into the passenger side of the Ford LTD. "I feel like we should go somewhere now and have a 'real' meal."
Entering the driver's side, Steve replied, "I didn't think you would do it. All this time, you've eaten nothing but anchovy covered pizzas, chili and hotdogs. You realize that lesser men have died eating what you eat. But if I had known it would be this easy to get you to eat vegetables or a salad, I would have 'bet' you a long time ago."
"Jeannie won't know what to think. She gave up feeding me salads years ago. At some point, we figured I'd go into some sort of fibroid shock if I ate one," Mike chuckled.
"Fibroid?" Steve choked back a laugh, but instead grinned in response. "Are you sure?"
"Fibroid, fiber. What's the difference?" Mike said as he loosened his tie. He let out a slight groan.
"You okay?" Steve asked.
"I - uh - I don't know. I feel kind of strange." The senior detective's voice began to quiver as he clutched his chest.
"Mike?" Steve looked over with great concern.
"It must have been the…radicchio." Mike put his hands up to his chest and then keeled over, leaning against the car door.
"Mike?" Steve shouted. "The radicchio? Jesus, Jeannie's going to kill me. Oh my God, can you hear me? Wake up!"
Steve quickly moved over next to Mike and tried to take the pulse in his neck. "No, no," he whispered to himself. "No, please…" Feeling a rather strong pulse, Steve let out a sigh of relief and then decided to take Mike to the hospital. He needed to radio in their status first and reached over to grab the mic to contact dispatch. Suddenly, he felt a sharp tug at his wrist.
"I'm generally an iceberg man myself." Mike opened his eyes and smirked at his partner.
"What?! Iceberg? That was a joke?" Steve's greeted Mike with a look of bewilderment and hurt. "It wasn't funny."
Mike chuckled. "You should have seen your face. Jeannie's going to kill you all right, for making her old man eat a salad. Ha!"
The young man straightened himself behind the steering wheel. Within the span of three seconds, he went from sheer panic to relief to anger to plotting his revenge. Steve's eyes watered slightly and he swallowed hard.
"Hey, it was just a joke. Don't take it so hard." Mike's laughter faded and he became conciliatory.
"It's okay," Steve replied quietly. He looked over at Mike with large eyes and then did his best to exude vulnerability. "It's just…well, my dad died after choking to death on an…an anchovy. It was horrible. He was eating a slice of pizza and pulled the anchovy off and popped it in his mouth. Next thing I knew, he was gone. I was only five." The young man turned away and looked out the driver's window.
Mike was stunned and didn't know what to say. Steve rarely spoke of his family and the older detective figured that something must have happened to his parents.
The young man continued. "Every time we order a pizza and you sit there eating those anchovies, I just hold my breath. Honestly, I can't take it anymore." Steve fought hard not to break into laughter.
"Steve, I knew you didn't like anchovies because you pick them off, but I had no idea about your father. I'm really sorry. You should have said something earlier."
"Of course, mom did okay. She hooked up with the green grocer down the street. We had salads every night since they married. Even radicchio." Steve answered Mike's guilty look with a smirk of his own.
Mike sat in stunned silence for the second time in as many minutes until he shook himself back to reality. "So your father's okay?" Mike then asked.
"Dad? Yeah, he ran off to Brazil with his secretary when I was ten. I haven't seen him in years, but he's fine."
"Are you still kidding me?"
"Nope. He's with a different woman now, but he lives in Argentina."
Mike sighed. "A real Romeo. Well, at least the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree," he said as he ruffled the young man's hair.
"Did you just call me a fruit?" Steve feigned exasperation.
"Well, I do think you're a little bananas sometimes."
Steve rolled his eyes. "Okay, enough. I've learned my lesson. No more salads for you. We'll go back to Mama's and I'll just watch you eat your chili dogs topped with anchovies and pray that Jeannie won't be an orphan before she's twenty-five."
"And I won't fake an attack again. I promise."
"Good." Steve agreed as he turned the ignition and pulled out of the restaurant parking lot.
"Good." Mike agreed. And while he would feel badly about the scare he gave Steve at least for a little while longer, Mike realized that his partner wouldn't have reacted so strongly if he didn't care. Hell, he wouldn't have bet Mike about eating the salad if he didn't care. The idea that his partner cared made him feel happy. And when he was happy, his appetite was front and center.
"How about dessert, Buddy boy? I know a place that serves a mean pecan pie."
"Pecan pie? Do you have any idea how bad that is for…" Steve paused. "Nevermind. Okay, just tell me how to get there."