The two weary partners trudged into the loft and shrugged out of their wet jackets and soggy shoes abandoning them by the door.
The trip home had been unusually quiet. Jim knew his younger friend was hurting again. It had taken Blair awhile to get over Maya the last time and here she was breaking his heart all over again. After some hesitation he broached the subject one more time.
"You sure you're ok, Chief?"
"Yeah," he knew what Jim was really asking, "Like you said, I'll get over it." Blair fell into the sofa and rested his head against the back.
Jim walked into the kitchen and rummaged around emerging with two glasses of water, two packages of frozen vegetables and a bottle of aspirin balanced in his arms. He joined his guide on the sofa.
"Here take two of these," he handed off the aspirin and a glass, setting his own on the coffee table. Then he laid a package of carrots by Blair's leg. "Put this on your eye, it'll keep the swelling down."
"Ok, but why do I need two?" he asked eyeing the smaller package of peas.
"This one's for me," Jim replied matter of factly.
"You?" Blair's eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"Yeah, one of Gustavo's goons knocked me out on the way to the dock. Got a pretty good knot back here." He placed the peas against his head.
"Let me see."
Jim obligingly leaned forward and temporarily removed the frozen vegetables so Blair could examine his injury.
"Yeah, you've got a goose egg there. You let the paramedics look at that?"
"No, it's ok."
"You might have a concussion."
"Chief, I'm fine. Now your fussing is making my headache worse, stop it." Jim laid his head back against the cold compress and closed his eyes.
Blair got up and softly padded to the bathroom returning with the bottle of antiseptic and a handful of cotton balls.
"Sit up, Jim."
One eye opened, "Why?"
"Come on, your head's been bleeding. We need to clean it up," Blair said as he up ended the bottle against a cotton ball.
Jim sighed and leaned forward again to let Blair tend his wound.
When he finished, Blair settled back and lay his own ice pack against the side of his face and cheek. He tapped Jim's arm with the aspirin bottle.
"You should have some of these too."
"Oh thanks." Jim shook out two pills and downed them with half a glass of water. "You wanna watch TV?" Jim asked laying his head back again.
"No, I like the quiet."
"Me too...Think I'll just stay right here for awhile."
Blair nodded his agreement as silence fell over the loft.
"So who's gonna get up and make dinner?"
11 July 2000
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