BACK UPSTAIRS WITH THE TEAM
Once Chase had stopped crying and had composed himself Heidi told him that they were going to go upstairs and she was going to ask everybody whether they blamed him for yesterday's events and for her and Lachie being injured.
Heidi: 'I know you now know it wasn't your fault, but trust me, this will show to you that nobody blamed you in the first place. I don't want you to say anything, just let me do the talking.'
Chase: 'Okay. Wait what if they do say they blame me? With the whole jinxing thing.'
Heidi: 'If they do it will be as a joke but I am sure that once they see what I am talking about they won't say anything like that.'
Chase: 'Right. Well, lets go. Oh and Heidi, thank you. For everything. You are always there for me and I couldn't have done this without you.'
Heidi: 'That's what families do.'
They smiled at each other and made their back inside the station, Heidi telling Chase that there was no need for him to be nervous, and Chase replying that from where he was standing there was a lot to be nervous about. He didn't say anything to Heidi but Chase was terrified about this. He was worried that if somebody were to say that they got the callout because he jinxed them, they would be serious. That would devastate him, and everything Heidi had just said about it not being his fault would in his mind, seem false. It would seem like she said those things to convince him it wasn't his fault but really she blamed him too. He decided to put all of his worries and doubts to the back of his mind and concentrate on trying not to look nervous. As they reached the bullpen he could feel everyone turn to look at him and so focussed on Heidi and what she was saying.
Heidi: 'Hey guys, can you all come here. I need to ask you all a question.'
Vince: 'Hope this is important Heidi-ho, this is a place of work and not circle time. Michelle's talking to the cops again so I wouldn't disturb her. Chase I thought you were cleaning the trucks?'
Heidi: 'Chase won't be cleaning the trucks Vince, at least not by himself. And yes this is important.'
Once everybody had gathered around except for Michelle, and she had their attention Heidi took hold of Chase's hand and pulled him away from the wall to stand beside her. She could feel him shaking and so kept hold of his hand to show him he wasn't alone and there was nothing to be afraid of.
Heidi: 'I need you all to be truthful with your answers and to not make any jokes about this. This is important for Chase to hear and so I need you all to listen very carefully. Yesterday may not be an accident in the eyes of the police, and it is probably true that those two women blew that building up deliberately for some unknown reason. However when Lachie and I fell through that unstable floor, that was an accident.'
Vince: 'What else would it be. Nobody knew that it was too dangerous to be up there.'
Heidi: 'Exactly. So I need to ask you all if any of you blame Chase for everything that happened yesterday.'
Dean: 'What are you talking about Heidi?'
Vince: 'Of course its not Chase's fault! He didn't blow that building up.'
Heidi: 'Do any of you hold Chase responsible for the floor caving in that hurt me and Lachie.'
Lara: 'Why would we?'
Dean: 'Wait, you didn't think this was your fault, did you?'
Dean turned to look at Chase and when his words and Heidi's question sunk in with everybody else they also turned to look at him and were shocked that he thought that yesterday was his fault.
Lara: 'Chase, why would you think that!'
Vince: 'Mate what happened was an accident, pure and simple. You couldn't have prevented any of it, none of us could.'
Lachie: 'This is why you've been acting strange. Trying to make up for something that you think you caused. But how could you have. . .'
Lachie's sentence trailed off when he realised that Chase blamed himself for the jinx that everybody teased him about.
Lachie: 'The jinx. You thought you caused this by saying it was quiet.'
When everybody realised that this was what had been up with Chase they all silently cursed themselves for making Chase think that he was to blame. Chase had kept his head down the entire time, not wanting to look at anybody in fear of being laughed at. He felt Heidi lift his chin up so brought his head up so his eyes met hers and saw her smiling at him.
Heidi: 'Do you believe me now? I told you nobody blamed you.'
Chase: 'I know. '
He whispered those two words that Heidi was waiting to hear and when she did she kissed him on the cheek and watched as Dean got up and embraced his brother, telling him to never think like that again. He also told him that he could talk to him anytime about anything he wanted to. When they pulled away Chase wiped away tears that had formed in his eyes before Lachie hopped up and told him that next time he wanted to apologize for something, to actually tell them what he was apologizing for, instead of making everyone worried about him. And before people started to think he had turned into a housewife or something. Lachie also told him that the only time he wanted Chase cleaning his room is never. He liked his room the way it was as he knew where to find everything. Chase said that that was debatable, but laughed along with him. Vince and Lara came up, and while Lara gave him a hug Vince clapped him on the back and told him that if he thought a jinx could actually happen then he was more of a goose than he first thought.
Vince: 'Right then people, now that that is cleared up and out the way, because you've all finished your paperwork you can all go down and help Chase clean the trucks.'
Everybody turned to stare at him, but he just gave them his usual smile that said I'm the boss and I tell you what to do.
Vince: 'They still need cleaning and you've got nothing better to do. Heidi, you and I are going to do a stock check of the trucks and make sure all of the gear is working and ready to go.
Lachie: 'What about me? I can't move much but I could supervise.'
(His way of trying to get out of 'chores.')
Vince: 'You aren't going to sit on your bum doing nothing. (Vince knew what he was trying to do) No I have a special job for you.'
At this everybody but Lachie starting smiling and tried to stifle a laugh. Instead Lachie looked rather confused as to what this 'special job' was and why everybody thought it was so funny. Vince walked over to his desk and picked up a rather large pile of folders that all had green stickers on them. The stickers indicated that all the folders Vince was holding were reports, the green stickers indicated they were specifically Lachie's reports.
Vince: 'Mr Gallagher I'm sure you'll have fun completing these reports that you thought you could slip under the radar.'
Nobody could hold their laughs in anymore, and they all started laughing so hard it brought Michelle out of her office.
Michelle: 'What on earth is going on out here?'
Vince: 'Ah, Michelle. I've just informed our middle Gallagher how he will be spending the rest of today.'
He showed her the pile of reports in his hands and Michelle smiled.
Michelle: 'Every time. Lachie, nobody gets unfinished reports past Vince I'm afraid. He knows all the tricks in the book from when he used to do it. He still does if I'm not mistaken.'
She said this while pointing to a pile of folders sat on the edge of her own desk.
Michelle: 'These will be making their way back to you shortly.'
Everybody started laughing again, this time Lachie included. When they all calmed down and stopped laughing they all got on with what they were supposed to be doing. Michelle went back into her office to sort through the reports of yesterday's accident that the team had given to her while Lachie made himself comfortable at his desk to start the mountain of paperwork Vince had given to him. Vince and the others made their way downstairs where Dean, Chase and Lara got on with cleaning the trucks and Heidi started helping Vince to make sure the trucks were fully stocked and ready to go, as well as all the equipment they used on a daily basis.
This was what happened on a regular day at the station when they had no callouts. It was nice once in a while to be able to have a calm day. It gave everyone chance to reflect on how much people really depended on them everyday to be ready to dive in to the toughest of situations, and how important it was for them as a team to be able to work together and talk to each other about everything. They needed to trust each other more than anybody, and today, with what happened with Chase, they realised that that was the most important thing a team could have.