THE DETECTIVES OF THE 9TH PRECINCT SERIES

 

PSYCHOBABBLE

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey Steve.” Neal replies.

 

“Hey yourself.”

 

“Whatcha doing?” Neal asks.

 

“Reading Psychology Today.”

 

“Wow! That is quite a read.” Neal replies.

 

“Actually I was going to take this test.”

 

“What test?” Neal asks.

 

“An Arguing Style Test.” Steve replies.

 

“An Arguing Style Test?”

 

“Yeah an Arguing Style Test.” Steve replies.

 

“What does it do?” Neal asks.

 

“This test is designed to evaluate the arguing style you use when you fight with the people you care about. Arguing is an indication of wanting to communicate something, usually something close to one’s heart.” Steve replies then he looks up at Neal.

 

“It sounds easy enough.”

 

“Are you saying you want to do this test?” Steve asks.

 

Neal thinks about it a minute then he says. “Yeah sure why not? Give me the rundown.”

 

“Okay I’ll ask the question and you’ll answer 1 thru 5. 1 being most of the time, 2 being often, 3 being sometimes, 4 being rarely and 5 being almost never. Got it?” Steve asks.

 

“Wait let me write that down.” Neal grabs a notepad and he writes it down. “Okay I got it. What’s the first question?”

 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Steve asks.

 

“Yeah sure I’m sure! It sounds like fun so what’s the first question?”

 

“Alright. Question 1 even if I don’t intend to, I raise my voice when I get upset.” Steve looks at Neal.

 

Neal taps his pencil against his chin. “Number 4.”

 

“What?” Steve asks.

 

“I said number 4, rarely. Well mark it down.”

 

“Number 4 are you sure?” Steve asks as his pencil hovers over the magazine.

 

“Sure I’m sure mark it down!” Neal replies.

 

“Alright.” Steve marks it down. “Question 2, I refuse to be the first one to apologize after a fight.”  Steve looks at Neal.

 

“That’s easy! Number 4 again!”      

 

“What?!” Steve asks.

 

“What do you mean by what? Number 4! Mark it down!” Neal replies.

 

“Alright already.” Steve marks it down. “Question 3, When I argue with my partner, we end up fighting over something completely different than what we started with.”

 

Once again Steve looks at Neal.

 

“It doesn’t say that.” Neal replies.

 

“Yes it does, see.” Steve shows Neal the magazine.

 

“Oh it does say that. Okay the answer is 3.”

 

“3?” Steve replies.

 

“Yes 3 write it down!” Neal replies.

 

“Question 4, when arguing, I prefer bringing up all the issues that are bothering me, rather than resolve them one at a time.” Steve looks over at Neal.

 

“That would be 4 rarely.” Neal replies.

 

“I know Steve write it down.” Steve replies as he writes it down. “Question 5, when I feel that my partner's arguments are not making any sense, I try to show her/him how ridiculous they are.” Steve tilts his head as he looks at Neal.

 

“Number 4 rarely.”

 

“Neal.”

 

“Yeah Steve?”

 

“You’re supposed to answer these questions honestly and truthfully.” Steve points out.

 

“I am answering them honestly and truthfully, so far 3 and 4 have fit the questions. What’s the next one?”

 

“Question 5, I am understanding when my partner becomes emotional during an argument.” Steve asks.

 

“Number 1.”

 

“WHAT?” Steve says loudly.

 

“Number 1, most of the time I understand when you become emotional during an argument. I mean you can’t help it, you are who you are, Mr. Sensitive Type-Guy.” Neal replies.

 

“Question 6, I encourage my partner to tell me what is bothering him/her about my behavior.”

 

“That would be number 2!” Neal replies.

 

“NEAL JOSEPH SCHON!!” Steve says loudly.

 

“Uh oh! You’re using my whole name, that isn’t good when you use my whole name.”

 

“I’m using your whole name because you are full of hooey!!” Steve replies as he points at him.

 

“Wait! Did you just say that I am full of hooey?”

 

“Yes I did because it’s true!” Steve replies.

 

“I think I’m hurt by that statement.”

 

“Oh please!!! Okay let’s try this question; I get so furious during arguments that it is difficult to think straight.” Steve looks at Neal.

 

“The answer would be 3.”

 

Steve laughs. “What???!!! Neal!  The answer to this question should be number 2! And the answer to question 1 should be 2!”

 

“Oh I see how this is going to be!! You begged me….”

 

“I begged you?” Steve replies.

 

“Yes begged me to do this stupid test with you just like last week when you begged me to answer that quiz in Cosmo!! But what you forgot to tell me about that quiz, because your memory is bad, is that it was for married couples!!!” Neal replies as his voice gets louder.

 

“So?” Steve replies.

 

“We scored 95 out of a 100!!!” Neal exclaims.

 

“Why is that a bad thing? I mean….I mean it said we were….were very compatible!” Steve replies as he wipes his eyes.

 

“You’re going to get emotional aren’t you? I mean why do you always to get so….emotional!!” Neal replies loudly.

 

The next thing they knew their door opened and one of the other detectives stuck his head in.

 

“Neal, why are you yelling? I can hear you all the way down the hall? Are you guys arguing again?”

 

“We aren’t arguing Dave! We are having a discussion!” Neal replies loudly.

 

“Look Neal you’re making your partner cry! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!” Dave replies as he closes the door.

 

Neal looks over at Steve who has his face buried in his hands and he is crying in earnest.

 

“Steve man don’t cry. Come on.” Neal replies. “Okay, okay maybe, just maybe, the answer to question 1 should have been 2.” Neal reaches over and he takes a handful of tissues and he hands them to Steve. “Steve, Steve please don’t cry. Ah look I’m sorry….”

 

Suddenly Steve hits the desk with his hand and he sits up straighter. “Ah gotcha!!! You finally said that I’m sorry first!!!”

 

“You tricked me!” Neal replies.

 

“No, no I didn’t! You wanted to take that test remember?” Steve points out. “Besides it never hurts to point out one’s flaws you know.”

 

“Yeah right I remember a time that we did that and we almost lost everything!” Neal points out.

 

“Well yeah that can happen to….hey what are you doing with the magazine?” Steve asks.

 

“I want to see what other tests are in here….ah! Here we go!” Neal replies happily.

 

“What?” Steve asks.

 

“It’s a Communication Test….”

 

“A Communication Test?” Steve replies.

 

“Yeah, let’s see Question 1; I am able to resolve problems without losing control of my emotions.” Neal asks.

 

“That would be answer number….”

 

“Yes?” Neal asks.

 

“5.” Steve replies.

 

“5?” Neal repeats.

 

“Yes 5 almost never. I am an emotional person.” Steve replies.

 

“Alright question 2; when I know what someone is going to say, I finish the sentence for him or her.” Neal asks.

 

“And the answer will be 1 quite often.” Steve replies.

 

Neal takes a deep breath. “Next question, I change the way I talk (ex. the type of words I use, my tone of voice) depending on who I’m speaking with.”

 

“The answer is 2; you can’t talk to a kid the same way you talk to an adult.” Steve replies as he shrugs. 

 

Neal throws the magazine on the desk. “You know Steve….”

 

“Yes Neal?” Steve asks as he smiles up at him.

 

“All of this psychology stuff is just….just psychobabble!!!”

 

“You know Neal that would be a great one to talk about and folks it started something like this.” Steve replies.

 

 

 

 

V7V7V7V7V7V7V7V7V7V7

 

 

 

 

“Hey Steve!!” Neal replies happily as he sees Steve sitting at his desk as he comes into the squad room.

 

“Hey yourself!!” Steve replies.

 

Neal crosses the room and Steve gets up from the desk and they shake hands then they laugh and they do what they really want to do….they throw their arms around each other and hug.

 

“Neal we better stop people are going to start to talk.” Steve replies.

 

“They already are.” Neal replies as he smiles then he gives Steve a couple of pats on the back then they separate. “You look really good Steve how do you feel?”

 

“I feel great! I went to the doctor yesterday and he cleared me for duty!!!” Steve replies as he hits Neal on the shoulder.

 

“He did!!!” Neal replies happily. “Not light duty or desk duty?”

 

Steve shakes his head. “Nope regular duty.”

 

“Great!! I’ll take you to your favorite place to have lunch today to celebrate!! You can get that weird thing you always order!!” Neal replies.

 

Steve holds up his hand. “We can’t celebrate just yet partner.”

 

“Why not?” Neal asks.

 

“You forgot I have to go and see the Psychiatrist, you know so he can say that I am fit for duty…” Steve replies.

 

“Oh that, that’s no big deal.” Neal replies.

 

“But Neal I’m nervous.”

 

Neal takes Steve by his arm and he sits him in his chair as he sits on the desk. “Why are you nervous? You just go and talk to good old Doc Owens….why are you shaking your head? It’s not like you haven’t talked to him before….Steve I can hear that pea rattling in your head!!”

 

“Yeah but good old Doc Owens isn’t our Psychiatrist anymore.” Steve replies.

 

“He isn’t?” Neal replies surprised.

 

“No man he retired!” Steve replies.

 

“Oh wow when did that happen?” Neal asks.

 

“Last month.” Steve replies. “That’s why I’m nervous! You know I hate these things!!!” Steve leans in closer to Neal. “What if….what if this shrink thinks I’m strange or something! Or even worse weird!!!”

 

“Steve you are weird.” Neal replies.

 

“Neal!!! I don’t mind if the people that love me ergo….”

 

“Ergo?” Neal repeats.

 

“Yes ergo, you, Ruby, Joey and Ray think that I’m weird that’s okay because you guys are family but some stranger! This Doctor is new what if….what if he asks me all sort of new questions or even worse yet!!! He shows me all those weird picture things!!!” Steve replies.

 

Neal makes a face. “What weird picture things?”

 

“You know the…the Roscoe pictures!!!” Steve replies.

 

Neal makes another face then he suddenly knows what Steve is talking about. “Oh you mean the Rorschach Test!!”

 

Steve hits the desk with his hand. “That’s it!!! Neal I don’t know what you see but I see women….”

 

Neal leans in closer. “Women?”

 

“Yeah you know, women, in compromising positions.” Steve replies.

 

“You do?” Neal asks.

 

Steve nods his head as he bites his lip.

 

“Damn! All I ever see is birds and butterflies.”

 

“So you see that is why I’m nervous this guy could end my career like that!” Steve replies as he snaps his fingers.

 

Neal laughs. “Ah come on Steve that won’t happen! He just wants to talk to you about what happened to you….”

 

“I still don’t really remember all that much…” Steve replies.

 

“Well then he’ll help you to remember….”

 

“Neal don’t you think that just maybe I don’t want to remember.” Steve replies as he looks up at Neal.

 

“Still not sleeping at night?”

 

Steve shrugs. “So that doesn’t mean anything.”

 

“Steve for as long as I’ve known you, you can sleep thru a hurricane.”

 

Steve shrugs again. “So from what I’ve read sleep patterns change when people get older.”

 

Neal smiles. “What is this Doctor’s name?”

 

“Bobby Cartwright.” Steve replies.

 

“That sounds like a good normal name.” Neal replies.

 

“Neal….”

 

“Yeah Steve?”

 

“Can you go with me?” Steve asks.

 

“When is your appointment?”

 

“Tomorrow at 1 o’clock.” Steve replies.

 

“You know I can’t go in the office with you.” Neal replies.

 

“I know but at least you can sit out in the lobby with me until I have to go in.” Steve asks hopefully.

 

“Alright I’ll go with you.” Neal replies.

 

“You will?” Steve replies happily. “Cool!”

 

“And Steve don’t be nervous it’ll take an hour or an hour and a half max.” Neal replies.

 

“I just hate telling strangers my inner most thoughts.”

 

“Look at it this way he isn’t a stranger he’s a doctor, he’s used to strange, weird innermost thoughts.” Neal replies.

 

“Thanks.”

 

“Oh you know what I meant, come on Steve smile.” Neal says as he moves the chair back and forth with his foot. “Come on Steve….”

 

Steve looks up at him and he smiles.

 

“That’s my boy!” Neal replies.

 

“Can we have a rain check on that celebration lunch you know, for after….? Steve asks.

 

“Sure. Since you’re here you can do some work.” Neal replies.

 

“Can I really? I mean I didn’t think that I could since I haven’t been, you know, found fit for duty and all.” Steve replies as he follows Neal over to the file cabinet.

 

Neal puts his hand on Steve’s shoulder. “To do this job you don’t need to be found fit for duty and all.”

 

“No?” Steve replies.

 

“No.” Neal replies as he opens one of the drawers.

 

“What do I have to do?” Steve asks.

 

“Remember when you were a rookie detective and I told you about the importance of getting your paperwork straight?” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah.” Steve replies suspiciously.

 

“Well we have to get this paperwork straight.” Neal replies as he pulls a shoebox out of the drawer of the filing cabinet and he hands it to Steve.

 

Steve looks down at it. “We?”

 

“Well okay you.” Neal replies.

 

Steve takes the lid off. “Ah Neal! Is this what I think it is?”

 

“Yes Steve there are receipts, food, gas and various other ones and I hope they are all here. We need to….”

 

“We?” Steve replies.

 

“Okay you….need to put these in order. Put gas receipts in the gas pile; put food in the food pile….”

 

Steve pulls a receipt out of the box. “What if it’s for gas and food? Like this one?”

 

“Then that goes in the gas and food pile, Alicia needs them.” Neal replies.

 

“Well that doesn’t sound so hard, put them into piles….”

 

“Well yeah then we need to….” Neal replies.

 

“We?” Steve replies.

 

“Okay you….need to add them up and put them on this form in the appropriate places.” Neal replies as he puts the paper on top of the box.

 

“Neal there are a lot of receipts here it could take hours.” Steve replies.

 

Neal pats Steve on the arm. “Then you better get started partner.” Neal replies as he starts to walk away.

 

“Hey! Where are you going?”

 

Neal looks back over his shoulder. “On patrol. Somebody around here has to do some real police work.”

 

“Yeah but Neal….!!! Alicia!!!” Steve replies as he goes towards Alicia’s desk.

 

 

 

OCEANVIEW MEDICAL COMPLEX THE NEXT DAY:

 

 

 

 

“Steve are you sure this is the right place?” Neal asks as they stand on the sidewalk looking at the entrance to the building.

 

“Sure I’m sure.” Steve replies.

 

“Where’s that piece of paper with the address written on it.” Neal asks.

 

“I think I lost it.”

 

“You think you lost it?” Neal asks.

 

“Yeah well after you left yesterday that receipt thing got sorta crazy….” Steve explains.

 

“Alicia was wearing that short skirt again wasn’t she?” Neal asks.

 

“Well no actually she was dangling one of her high heels off of her foot and I, well you know….Neal you know I can’t work with Alicia she’s too much of a distraction!!!”

 

“So what does this have to do with you losing the address to your doctor’s appointment?” Neal asks.

 

“Well Alicia distracted me so much that when I was stapling the receipts together I could’ve stapled the paper with the address written on it to one of the piles….”

 

Neal rubs his forehead.

 

“But it’s cool because the address is right up here!” Steve replies as he points to his head.

 

Neal points to Steve’s head as he says, “It’s up there?”

 

“Yeah man this is a steel trap!!!” Steve replies as he once again points to his head.

 

“Uh huh. Steve there are about a dozen or so, maybe more, doctor’s office in this place….” Neal says as he gestures to the building. “….Tell me you remember the office number.”

 

“Yes I do! Come on let’s go!!!” Steve replies.

 

Neal shakes his head as he follows Steve into the building and they walk up the corridor and when Steve comes to the second office door he opens it and they go inside. Once inside they see that the lobby is painted in calm, neutral tones, plants, throw rugs and sitting in the waiting room two women, who look up when they come into the room.

 

“You know Steve this place looks sorta familiar.” Neal replies as he looks around.

 

“You’ve been here before?” Steve asks as he looks at the women that are looking at them.

 

“No not here exactly but the layout and stuff….damn it seems awfully familiar.” Neal replies.

 

Steve walks over to the window that the receptionist sits behind but when he looks he sees that her desk is empty.

 

“She’ll be back in a few minutes.” One of the women say.

 

“Thanks.” Steve replies as he sits down next to her and Neal sits down next to Steve as he grabs a magazine.

 

“Excuse me.” She says after a few minutes to Steve. “Are you two waiting for someone?”

 

Steve glances at Neal then he looks back to the woman. “No. I have an appointment.”

 

“Oh you do?” The woman asks.

 

“Yeah this is my partner Neal….”

 

Neal looks over the edge of the magazine and he waves. “Hi ya.”

 

“Hello. You’re partner?” The woman replies as she waves back.

 

“Yeah for quite awhile now, right Neal?”

 

“Yeah.” Neal replies.

 

The woman smiles. “Oh that’s nice, so you two want children?”

 

“Oh Neal already has one and there is another on the way.” Steve replies.

 

The woman looks at Steve. “Oh really how far along are you?”

 

Steve laughs as he looks at Neal elbowing him. “Ah!! Neal isn’t that funny!!”

 

“Hilarious.” Neal replies.

 

“Why are you here?” Steve asks the woman.

 

“Oh I’m here for some tests….” She replies.

 

“That is a coincidence so am I!” Steve replies.

 

“You see my husband and me we’re trying to have a baby….” She replies.

 

“This doctor can help you with that?” Steve asks.

 

The woman looks at Steve. “Why yes of course.”

 

“Wow that is just amazing!!! Neal don’t you think that’s just amazing?”

 

“Yeah fascinating, Steve you know I think I figured out why this place seems so familiar….” Neal replies.

 

“Hey is that a gun?” The woman asks as she points to Neal.

 

Neal looks down. “Oh yeah you see we’re cops….” Neal replies as he points to himself then to Steve.

 

“You two are cops?” The woman replies.

 

The woman behind them moves up to a chair closer behind them. “You know I read about this same exact thing in Time magazine.”

 

“You did?” Steve asks as he turns and looks behind him.

 

“Yes I did!! You know it’s the 70’s and times and morals are changing.” The woman points out. “And this is California after all.”

 

Steve and Neal look at each other. “What does this being California have to do with it?” Steve asks.

 

“Well here in California we are more free spirited….” The woman replies.

 

“And more accepting of different lifestyles.” The woman sitting next to Steve replies.

 

“I had no idea that this was such a big deal I mean aren’t they doing this in other parts of the country?” Steve asks.

 

“Not as much as they are doing it here, I mean look at you two, you two being cops and all.” The woman replies.

 

“Steve you know….” Neal replies but doesn’t finish because the door to the inner offices are opened by a nurse.

 

“Barbara….Can I help you two?” The nurse asks.

 

“Yeah I’m here to see the doctor.” Steve replies.

 

“You’re here to see….the doctor?” The nurse asks.

 

“Yeah I have a one o’clock appointment with Doctor Cartwright.” Steve replies.

 

“Doctor Cartwright’s office is on the second floor, suite 210.” The nurse replies.

 

 

 

 

FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER:

 

 

 

 

“You know Steve I think that steel trap mind of yours is rusty!!!” Neal replies as he taps Steve on his head.

 

“Alright already.” Steve replies. “Suite 110, Suite 210 anybody could get them mixed up.”

 

“That was just down right embarrassing!!! I mean I haven’t been that embarrassed in a long time bucko!!!” Neal replies.

 

“Well stick with me long enough and I am sure I can embarrass you even worse than that!!!” Steve replies.

 

Neal laughs. “Did you just hear yourself? I mean come on….!!”

 

“I can’t hear anything what with you yammering in my ear!!” Steve shoots back.

 

“You took us to a Gynecologist’s office!!! I knew it looked familiar!!” Neal replies. “It looks just like Ruby’s Gynecologist’s office!!”

 

“Well if you knew that why didn’t you say something!!!” Steve replies.

 

“I tried but you were too busy talking to those two women!! Leave it to you, the wolf of the 9th Precinct….”

 

“The wolf?” Steve replies.

 

“Yes the wolf!! Leave it to the wolf of the 9th Precinct to head right to a Gynecologist’s office!!! Not to mention the fact….” Neal replies.

 

“Well then don’t mention it then!!!” Steve replies as he crosses his arms over his chest as he slides down in the chair.

 

“That every time you and I go somewhere they think that we are a couple, a gay couple no less!!” Neal points out.

 

“Yeah why is that Neal?” Steve asks.

 

“Well maybe it has something to do with the way you introduce me as your partner all the time!” Neal replies.

 

“Well….” Steve gestures wildly. “….You are my partner, partner!!”

 

“Yes I know but when you introduce me as your partner, partner people really think that I am your partner, partner!” Neal replies.

 

“So how do you want me to introduce you Neal?” Steve asks.

 

“You can say this is my friend Neal that is pure and simple.”

 

“Alright next time I’ll do that….”

 

“Mr. Perry you can go in the Doctor will be with you in a minute.” The secretary says as she opens the door to the inner office.

 

“Give me a call Steve when you get finished and I’ll come back and pick you up.” Neal replies.

 

“Alright later man.”

 

“Later.” Neal replies.

 

Steve goes into the inner office and while he waits he looks around at the Diplomas on the wall, the books on the book shelves and he plays with the paper weight on the desk.

 

“Detective.”

 

Steve turns at the sound of the voice. “Just how many good looking secretaries does this doctor have anyway?” Steve asks as he smiles at the woman who just opened the door.

 

“As far as I know one. Good afternoon Detective Perry I’m Doctor Bobby Cartwright.” The doctor replies as she extends her hand to Steve.

 

“Oh….I….well….” Steve wipes his hand on his pants before he shakes her hand. “I….ah feel stupid and embarrassed ma’m, I mean Mrs. Cartwright…I mean….”

 

“Doctor Cartwright.” 

 

“Doctor Cartwright.” Steve repeats as he smiles.

 

“It’s alright Detective I get that reaction from a lot of people and if I didn’t know that you were a Detective I would think that you were a high school student.”

 

Steve smiles as he scratches his head. “I….ah get that reaction from a lot of people actually.”

 

“I can imagine that you do. Now why don’t you have a seat and we can get started.”

 

Steve looks around and he points to the sofa. “Should I lie down there?”

 

“If you like or we can sit over there near the window, whichever makes you feel more comfortable.”

 

“I think I would like to sit down over there.” Steve replies.

 

“Alright.” The doctor replies as she grabs a file folder and a notepad and she joins Steve at the sitting area near the window. “Now Detective….”

 

“Oh please call me Steve.”

 

“Alright Steve since you were a patient of Doctor Owens I want you to know that I have the file that he had on you and I have read it and I would like to take a few minutes to get to know you and to tell you how I work. I take notes and I also like to tape our sessions so I can go back later and review them. Is it alright with you if I tape our sessions?”

 

“Oh sure.” Steve replies.

 

“Good, now let’s talk a little. Tell me about yourself Steve….”

 

“I’m not really good, you know, at talking about myself.” Steve replies as he smiles.

 

“Well then we can talk about the shooting….”

 

“I was born in Hanford Ca….” Steve replies quickly.

 

 

 

THE NEXT DAY 1 IN THE MORNING:

 

 

 

 

“Hey fellow it’s Sunday!!!! Keep it down!!” Steve yells as he continues to shakes his head.

 

When the light changed Steve progressed thru the intersection continuing to sing along with the radio when up ahead, from out of the alley comes that same motorcycle and they were headed right in Steve’s path, so Steve did what anybody would do, he put on the brakes but on the wet, slick pavement the tires found no traction and Steve, like he was trained to do, turned in the direction of the skid and he felt the rear bumper come in contact with the motorcycle and from his rearview mirror he saw the motorcycle and the rider fall to the ground. When the car finally came to rest Steve throw the car into Park and he jumped out of the car and he ran around to the back where the motorcycle and rider both lay.

 

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hit you but you drove out in front of me….are you alright? You see I’m a cop….”

 

The motorcycle rider, clad in black leather pants, black leather jacket and still wearing a helmet, was still astride the motorcycle as it lay underneath the rear bumper on it’s side, turned their head and looked in Steve’s direction.

 

“I know who you are and this is for Frank….” The motorcycle rider replied.

 

 

 

At that moment is when Steve sat up in bed and he screamed.

 

“Oh my god what happened? Are you okay?” The girl that he had been spending the night with asked as she was rudely awakened by Steve’s screaming.

 

Steve didn’t answer as he swung his legs over the side of the bed holding his head in his hands as the girl then crawled over next to him.

 

“Hey are you okay?”

 

Steve runs his hands thru his hair as he looks at her. “Huh? Yeah, yeah I’m okay.”

 

“You’re okay huh? What was all that screaming about? Did you have a nightmare? What are you doing?”

 

Steve throws the covers off of him as he gets up from the bed. “Can you turn on a light?

 

She crawls back over the bed to the night table and she turns on the light then she sees a naked Steve grabbing his pants from the floor.

 

“Hey what are you doing?” She asks.

 

“I have to go.” Steve replies as he puts his pants on.

 

She gets off of the bed and she stands next to Steve. “You have to go? What about breakfast, you promised me breakfast!”

 

“I know that I promised you breakfast but I have to get out of here.” Steve replies as he pulls his shirt on over his head. “I have to get some air….”

 

“You have to get some air?” She replies loudly.

 

“Yeah baby….” Steve replies as he puts on his shoes then he leaves the bedroom heading in the direction of the living room where he grabs his jacket from the back of a chair. “Look don’t be mad….”

 

“Mad? Why would I be mad? I just thought you were different that’s all but you’re like all the other guys!”

 

Steve opens the front door then he kisses her. “I’ll call you okay.” Then he goes outside.

 

“Call me? Call me how? You didn’t even have my number!!” She yells after him. “Jerk!!”

 

 

 

THE COPS AND ROBBER’S BAR THAT SAME MORNING:

 

 

 

 

Neal comes in thru the back and Barney the bartender slash owner nods in the direction of the booth that Steve has been sitting in for the past couple of hours or so. Neal nods back to him as he makes his way across the room and to the booth finally ending up standing behind it.

 

 Neal leans over and he says “Hey sailor come here often?”

 

Steve shakes his head as he looks over at Barney. “So much for the brotherhood eh Barney!”

 

“Oh come on don’t rattle Barney’s cage, slide over.” Neal replies.

 

Steve slides over closer to the wall to make room for Neal.

 

 “What are you doing here?” Steve asks.

 

“I was driving by….” Neal replies and Steve laughs.

 

“Liar.”

 

“You didn’t call me after you left the doctor’s office, how did you get home?” Neal asks.

 

Steve shrugs. “I called a cab.”

 

“Uh huh and who was she?” Neal asks.

 

“She?” Steve asks.

 

Neal puts his chin in his hand. “Yeah she, the girl you were spending the evening and night with?”

 

“How do you know that?” Steve asks.

 

“I’m a detective remember? First I called your apartment, you never answered and then I went by your apartment, you weren’t there and so….”

 

“So?” Steve replies.

 

“Your shirt is inside out.” Neal replies as he points.

 

Steve looks down. “Oh.”

 

“And this girl wasn’t one of your usual girlfriends I gather, right?”

 

Steve shrugs again. “I….”

 

“Steve it’s alright you know.” Neal replies.

 

“What’s alright?” Steve ask as he looks at Neal.

 

“Not wanting to be alone.” Neal replies.

 

“Night time is the hardest you know and not having anything to do, I mean, not working and all….”

 

Neal nods.

 

“I called all my girlfriends but I couldn’t get a hold of anybody so I went to the Green Room….”

 

“Ewww nice place Steve what were you doing, slumming?” Neal asks.

 

Steve exhales. “I know it’s not exactly my usual haunt….”

 

“Please tell me that was your first and last time to go there.” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah my first and last time I swear.” Steve replies as he raises his right hand. “I met her there and we went back to her place.”

 

“And….?”

 

“And when I woke up screaming….” Steve replies.

 

“She kicked you out?”

 

“No I left.” Steve replies as he looks at Neal. “I don’t even remember her name.”

 

“Well I bet she didn’t like it when you woke up screaming did she?”

 

Steve nods his head. “No not especially but she was really pissed when I left.”

 

“Well, why wouldn’t she be? I mean look at you, you stud muffin you!!!” Neal replies as he nudges Steve which causes Steve to smile. “Why didn’t you call me?”

 

“Well for one thing and no offense to you Neal I wanted female companionship and I also knew that you were busy….out on the street and all.” Steve replies.

 

“Steve you know I am never too busy for you. All you have to do is call buddy and I’ll be there, I’ll find some way to get to you. You do know that….right?”

 

“Yeah Neal I do know that.”

 

“Good, so grab your jacket and let’s go.” Neal replies.

 

“Where are we going?” Steve asks.

 

“First to your apartment so you can pack a bag or two and then we’re going back to my house where you’re going to be staying until….”

 

“No Neal I can’t do that!”

 

“….Until you get thru this thing and yes you will. You will be doing me a favor you can keep an eye on Ruby…”

 

“Neal you and I both know that Ruby doesn’t need a babysitter!”

 

“Maybe a few months ago I would have agreed with you but now she’s carrying your future godson or goddaughter and I would feel better if you were there and there’s another good thing to this.”

 

“Which is what exactly?” Steve asks.

 

“You won’t be alone Steve.” Neal replies as he leans his head in closer to Steve’s.

 

Steve looks at him. “Where would I….”

 

“Joey’s room.” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah but what about….”

 

“It has a television so you won’t miss Farrah.” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah but what if I want to….”

 

“You can use the kitchen anytime.” Neal replies.

 

“You know I take….”

 

“The water heater is huge!” Neal replies.

 

“You wont take no for an answer will you?” Steve asks.

 

“Nope.” Neal replies as he shakes his head.

 

“Okay.” Steve replies.

 

Neal smiles as he puts his arm around Steve. “Come on let’s go to your apartment and get your things.” Neal replies as he slides out of the booth and Steve follows him.

 

“You never did tell me what happened at the doctor’s.” Neal replies.

 

“I go back tomorrow to see her and from there, who knows.” Steve replies.

 

“She’ll help you to get this out of your head and then we’ll be partners again, partner.”

 

“You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to that Neal.” Steve replies as he puts his arm around Neal.

 

 

 

LATER THAT SAME DAY:

 

 

 

“I’m a little nervous…I’ve never done this before.” Steve replies.

 

“It’s alright a lot of people haven’t.”

 

“I mean I have heard a lot about it but….” Steve replies. “….You’ve done this a lot, right?”

 

“Yes lots.”

 

Steve sits up. “Since this is my first time you’re be gentle with me, won’t you Doc?”

 

She smiles at him. “Yes I promise to be gentle. Now are you ready to get started?”

 

“As ready as I will ever be.” Steve replies as he lies back down.

 

“Alright Steve I will be right here and nothing will happen to you, now close your eyes.”

 

Steve closes his eyes.

 

“Listen to the sound of my voice Steve. Listen as I count back from the number ten and by the time we reach the number one, you will be back in that day in October but this time you will be safe. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes.” Steve says slowly.

 

“When you are ready to come back I will snap my fingers like this.” She demonstrates by snapping her fingers. “Understand?”

 

“Yes.” Steve says slowly.

 

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two….one, where are you Steve?”

 

“In my apartment.” Steve replies slowly.

 

“What time of day is it?”

 

“Morning….it’s early.” Steve replies slowly.

 

“Is it a weekday?”

 

Steve shakes his head. “No….it’s Sunday.”

 

“Are you still asleep?”

 

Steve shakes his head again. “No….I’m getting ready to go out.”

 

“Where are you going so early?”

 

“To Neal and Ruby’s house for breakfast.” Steve replies.

 

“You sound very happy to be going there.”

 

Steve smiles. “Yeah I am I can’t wait to get there and see them, Ruby promised to make me one of her omelets.”

 

“Now you have left your apartment and you are in your car driving.”

 

Steve nods. “Yes and it had been raining and its cold.” Suddenly Steve’s forehead crinkles as he looks around him.

 

“What’s happening Steve?”

 

“A noise, I hear a noise and it’s getting louder.” Steve replies.

 

“Can you describe the noise?”

 

“Yeah it’s a motorcycle it passed me. Hey Buddy its Sunday keep it down why don’t you!” Steve replies.

 

“Where did the motorcycle go Steve?”

 

“Up the street, it’s quiet again.” Steve replies.

 

“Where are you now?”

 

“Still driving up the street and oh shit!!!!” Steve exclaims.

 

“What is it Steve?”

 

“It’s that motorcycle and it’s coming out of the alley up ahead and I can’t stop….” Steve mimics grabbing the steering wheel and turning it.

 

“Steve what happened?”

 

“I hit the motorcycle! Oh god I tried to stop but I couldn’t! I have to help the person on the motorcycle I have to help them….”

 

Steve then sits up and he mimics opening the car door and getting out and the Doctor watches as Steve kneels on the floor.

 

“Oh my god, I’m sorry! I couldn’t stop, you rode out in front of me you see I’m a cop….I know who you are and this is for….Frank!!!”

 

In the next minute Steve screams and he grabs his stomach as he falls to the floor.

 

“Steve! Steve! When I snap my fingers you will come back and you will be safe, you won’t be hurt, you will be back in my office.” The Doctor replies as she puts her hand on his shoulder then she snaps her fingers and Steve opens his eyes and he looks up at her.

 

“Hey Doc when are we going to start?” Steve then looks around.  “Hey what am I doing on the floor?”

 

The doctor smiles at him. “Making progress.”

 

 

 

LATER:

 

 

 

“Steve, sugar what are you doing?” Ruby asks as she stands in the door that separates the garage from the kitchen clutching a robe around her.

 

“Oh hey Ruby! I’m just you know organizing the garage for Neal, see I’ve put the tools on the pegboard over the workbench….something wrong are you okay?”

 

Steve rushes over and he takes Ruby by her hand as she makes her way down the stairs into the garage.

 

“I’m fine honey but it’s two in the morning.”

 

“It is? Wow I had no idea it was that late, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to wake you.”

 

Ruby tilts her head slightly as she looks at Steve. “Why don’t you take those sleeping pills the doctor gave to you?”

 

“Ah Ruby….” Steve replies as he kicks at a box. “I don’t like taking pills, especially sleeping pills, they make me feel weird.”

 

“Steve honey I’m worried about you….”

 

“You’re…you’re worried about me? Oh no Ruby don’t be worried about….I mean….you shouldn’t….you’re going to have a baby remember….” Steve replies as he shakes his head. 

 

Ruby then reaches out and she takes Steve by his hand and with her other hand she places it on his cheek.

 

“Steve ever since you got here you have been going ninety miles an hour don’t you think it’s time for you to….stop?”

 

“I….”

 

“Do you love me Steve?” Ruby asks.

 

“Oh yes Ruby you know I do!” Steve replies.

 

“Then take a sleeping pill so you can get some sleep, alright?”

 

“Okay Ruby I’ll do it for you.” Steve replies.

 

Ruby takes him by the hand. “Come on sugar I’ll stay with you.”

 

“You will? Thanks Ruby I….you know.”

 

Ruby looks back over her shoulder at him and she smiles. “I know Steve I do too.”

 

 

 

LATER THAT DAY:

 

 

 

“Detective Schon I’m glad you could come and talk to me this morning, you must be exhausted after working all night.” The Doctor replies as she shakes Neal’s hand.

 

Neal returns her handshake. “Oh no problem Doctor I’ll do anything for Steve. Where do I sit?”

 

“Oh any place you feel comfortable.”

 

Neal sits down in the chair near the window.

 

“Now Detective….”

 

“Call me Neal.” Neal replies.

 

“Okay Neal as you know this is just a routine matter in the process of getting Steve back to work and I would like your input on a few things.”

 

“Okay Doc fire away.” Neal replies.

 

“How long have you and Steve been partners?”

 

“Well, let’s see this year it will be almost five years.” Neal replies.

 

“But you knew each other when you two were growing up, isn’t that right?”

 

“Oh yeah sure, we were kids together for awhile and then Steve moved away and kids being kids, we sorta lost contact with each other.”

 

“I heard the story about how you two met again and it was quite interesting, arresting your partner before he was your partner.”

 

Neal smiles at the memory. “Yeah you know it was really something and in a lot of ways it was the like all those years never happened.”

 

“What do you mean?” The doctor asks.

 

“Well, when we were kids we were inseparable! We were always together, Steve was either at my house or I was at his, we went to school together, ate lunch together, we were always close.” Neal replies.

 

“Sounds like you two hit it off right from the beginning.”

 

“Yeah we did and it was weird because Steve has been the only person that I have met, besides Ruby, that that has happened with. Even back then we both loved each other as brothers.” Neal replies.

 

“It must have really hurt you when Steve moved away.”

 

Neal takes a deep breath remembering. “Yeah it did. We wrote letters to each other and my mother sent Steve birthday cards and such but I guess after awhile, our different lives intervened and we lost touch.”

 

“You and Steve have been thru a lot together as partners haven’t you?” The doctor asks.

 

“Oh sure, I mean anybody that has been cops and partners as long as we have, have been thru a lot of stuff. It’s been good and it’s been bad, it’s been strange and scary but there‘s one thing it has never been.” Neal replies as he holds up one finger.

 

“And what is that?” The doctor asks.

 

“Boring, it has never been boring! No Siree Bob as long as old Steve is around….”

 

“And what if old Steve isn’t around anymore, what then?” The doctor asks.

 

“What?” Neal asks.

 

“I said what if old Steve isn’t around anymore, what then?” The doctor asks again.

 

“What do you mean what then?” Neal asks.

 

“What would you do….after? Has it ever crossed your mind what you would do if Steve was suddenly not your partner anymore? What would you do if Steve had died….?”

 

Neal stands up. “Look I really don’t want to talk about this…”

 

“How did you feel when you heard that Steve had been shot?”

 

“How in the hell do you think I felt?” Neal yells back.

 

“I don’t know Neal why don’t you tell me?”

 

Neal looks out of the window for a few minutes then slowly he says. “Time stopped, time stopped and I couldn’t breath. The entire time Steve was in the hospital I had been holding my breath and I didn’t even realize it….” Neal covers his eyes. “Jesus God I was so scared that he was going to die….”

 

“What if he had?” The doctor asks.

 

“I would turn in my badge.” Neal replies as he looks at her.

 

“You mean you would stop being a Detective?” The doctor asks.

 

“Yeah I would, I mean I wouldn’t see the point to any of it if Steve wasn’t there.”

 

“Have you told anybody else about this decision?”

 

Neal shakes his head. “No not even Ruby and if I told Steve….”

 

“What would he say?” The doctor asks.

 

Neal smiles. “He would laugh at me and call me a dumb butt or something just as bad, he would tell me that it would be a waste of a good cop and that I was getting all mushy and that I should carry on, for the both of us.”

 

“You trust Steve with your life?” The doctor asks.

 

“Oh most definitely!!! I trust Steve with everything….”

 

“Even your wife?”

 

“Yes!” Neal answers quickly. “Even with my wife! Ruby loves him just as much as I do! I trust him with my son Joey, I trust him with my bank account and I even trust him with my car! Which he stole by the way! I trust Steve driving my car with Ruby sitting next to him and Joey in the back seat!!!”

 

“How do you feel about the nickname the other Detectives have given you two?” The doctor asks.

 

Neal scratches his head. “Which one would that be I mean…?”

 

“The Beauty and the Brain one.” The Doctor replies.

 

“Oh that one.” Neal replies.

 

“Does it bother you that they call Steve the beauty?” The Doctor asks.

 

“Well no I mean he is a good looking guy and yeah some might call him beautiful….”

 

“Are you jealous that Steve is so good looking?”

 

“What? No! I am not jealous that Steve is so good looking I mean I am not bad looking myself….”

 

“Were you ever jealous of the fact that Steve would get all the girls?”

 

“Well….I mean no….I mean no I was never jealous just in awe. Yeah that would be a better word….in awe!! Even when we were kids Steve had all the girl’s attention.”

 

“What about you?” The doctor asks.

 

“Me? Well maybe not so much as Steve but I did have my share.”

 

“Does it bother you that you are referred to as the brain?”

 

Neal scratches his head. “Well….no. I mean I am smart….”

 

“So what you’re saying is that you are smarter than Steve?” The doctor asks.

 

“No! Wait! I didn’t say that!” Neal replies.

 

“But that is what you meant, isn’t it?” The doctor asks.

 

“No what I meant to say was I am smarter about some things that Steve is not so smart about but then again Steve is smart about some things I am not so smart about.”

 

“Such as?” The doctor asks.

 

“Well….cars! Steve is really smart about cars! He can take a car that is a piece of junk and fix it and you wouldn’t know it was the same car! Now I wouldn’t know how to do that and I know more about relationships….”

 

“Didn’t Steve call you a male chauvinist pig?” The doctor asks.

 

“I….yeah he did.”

 

“And how did that make you feel Neal?” The doctor asks.

 

“Well…it’s true actually so if something is true the truthfulness of it can’t really hurt you….”

 

“Neal….”

 

“Okay it did hurt but Steve was right! I am, but not as much as I was, a male chauvinist pig.”

 

“So Steve is right about most things?” The doctor asks.

 

“I….well I wouldn’t say that….”

 

“So you’re more right than Steve is that what you’re saying?” The doctor asks.

 

“Well no I didn’t say that either.”

 

“So you would say that it is fifty-fifty right?”

 

“Yeah that sounds good….I mean yeah.” Neal replies.

 

“Would you say that Steve is complicated?” The doctor asks.

 

“Yeah Steve is complicated, I mean things and situations affect Steve differently than they would affect me. He processes things differently, he really loves the law and he hates it when women or children are hurt.” Neal replies.

 

“You would do whatever you could to protect Steve wouldn’t you?”

 

“Oh sure!” Neal replies quickly.   

 

“Would you say that Steve is a good cop?” The doctor asks.

 

“Steve is a damn fine cop! I mean he is honest, trustworthy, and hard working….”

 

“What if Steve wasn’t such a good cop?” The doctor asks.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I mean if Steve wasn’t such a good cop and you found out he was taking bribes….”

 

“Just wait one damn minute!!! Steve would never take bribes, Steve hates bad cops and corruption!!!” Neal replies.

 

“What if you found out differently? Would you turn him in?” The doctor asks.

 

“Look now!” Neal replies as he points his finger at her.

 

“But you agreed that you would do anything to protect him, didn’t you?” The doctor asks.

 

“Yeah I did agree but I wouldn’t protect him if he did anything like that!!! And Steve would never, ever take a bribe!! Money is something that isn’t very important to Steve; he gives away so much he barely has any left over for himself!! He would give you the shirt off of his back!”

 

“Does it bother you that there are parts of Steve’s past that you know nothing about?” The doctor asks.

 

“I wouldn’t say that it bothers me but it makes me curious but I know why he doesn’t tell me.” Neal replies.

 

“Why doesn’t he tell you?”

 

“Because he’s worried if he tells me that I won’t be his friend anymore or I’ll look at him differently or think about him differently.”

 

“Would you?” The doctor replies.

 

“No of course not, I mean he’s human and none of us are angels! Back then Steve was alone and like most people he had to survive, somehow, he was just trying to exist.”

 

“According to your record while Steve was in the hospital you disobeyed a direct order from Captain Reynolds and you were severely reprimanded why did you do that? You put your whole career in jeopardy, now it will be hard for you to be promoted, why would a career police officer like yourself take such a risk?” The doctor asks.

 

“For my partner, for Steve and I would do it again too! By that time Steve had been in the hospital for awhile and the trail was getting cold! In police work timing is everything and I needed to find who shot him!! Don’t you see, Steve and I have made promises to each other, when we started to be partners we decided to give it our all, not do a half-ass job!!”

 

“I see that you two do have a very impressive arrest and conviction record.” The doctor replies.

 

“That’s because we push it! We push that envelope everyday and sometimes you have to say the rules be damned! When it comes to crimes against women and children we have no limits to what we will do.” Neal replies.

 

“You mentioned that you and Steve made promises to each other, what were those?”

 

“I can’t tell you all of them but the most important one is the one where we won’t let the other die alone. We were there at the beginning together and we will be at the end together, whenever or wherever that might come about.”

 

“I have talked to a lot of police officers and with you two I get something that I have never gotten from anybody else.” The doctor replies.

 

“Oh what is that?” Neal asks.

 

“Loyalty.”

 

Neal looks at the floor. “We only have each other out there.”

 

“I also have a notation here something about not ever saying goodbye?” The doctor replies.

 

Neal rubs his eyes. “Yeah we don’t say goodbye to each other, never had. Goodbye is too final.” Neal looks at her. “We always say see you later, because we always have hope in seeing each other, later.”

 

“And you have no problem in showing affection towards each other?” The doctor asks.

 

“No I don’t care who sees us or what they think about us. I know the other detectives in the squad room think we’re weird but you know I don’t care what they think. If any of them had a partner like Steve well then they would see, we are the best team that department has!”

 

“It says here that you and Steve hold the championship title in the Police Olympics Scenario Shootout competition.”

 

“Two years in a row!!! That’s just another reason why they don’t like us, they are jealous!! Hey Doc you know I told you things that I have never….told….anybody….else…oh Doc!” Neal replies as he wags his finger at her. “You know Doc you would make a great interrogator!”

 

“Why do you say that?”

 

“Because Doc you got me to talk about everything!! If this would have gone on much longer I would told you where Jimmy Hoffa is buried… and I don’t even know where he’s buried!”

 

The doctor laughs. “Well I will say that I learned from the best.” The doctor replies as she points to her diploma hanging on the wall. “Now would you like a cup of coffee?”

 

Neal smiles. “Yeah Doc I would love one.”

 

“So would you like to talk about Steve some more?” The Doctor asks as she hands Neal a cup of coffee.

 

“Sure Doc I’ll do anything for Steve.” Neal replies as he takes the cup from her.

 

 

 

A DAY LATER:

 

 

 

“Ruby?” Neal yells.

 

“She went to the club!!” Steve yells back.

 

Neal yells as he opens the door to the laundry room. “What?”

 

“I said she went to the club!!!” Steve yells back.

 

“You don’t have to yell I’m standing….what are you doing?” Neal asks.

 

Steve asks as he points the iron at him. “What does it look like I’m doing?”

 

“Are those my pants? By god they are!!! You’re ironing my pants!!!!” Neal yells as he points.

 

“Of course I am.” Steve replies.

 

“Of course you are.” Neal replies with his hands on his hips.

 

“And I am using the stiffest starch possible see! Look at these creases!!” Steve says happily.

 

“Yeah they are really something! Wait why are you ironing my pants in the first place, hey are those Ruby’s clothes?” Neal asks as he goes around Steve and points at the table where some clothes are folded.

 

“Of course.” Steve replies.

 

“Of course. Steve you know I don’t think I like the fact that you have been folding my wife’s underwear!!”

 

“Oh come on!! After you wash it you have to fold it!!” Steve replies.

 

“Wait you did all of this laundry?” Neal asks as he looks around.

 

“Of course.” Steve replies.

 

“Of course.” Neal repeats.

 

“I did my laundry so I thought I would help Ruby out, she cleaned house while I did the laundry.”

 

“Wait you washed your clothes with my clothes?” Neal asks.

 

“Of course.”

 

“Of course.” Neal repeats. “Steve you know it makes me feel a little weird to have your clothes mingling with my clothes.”

 

“Neal!!! We have shared a bed….”

 

“I know that.” Neal replies.

 

“And we have eaten food from the same plate.” Steve replies.

 

“I know that.” Neal replies.

 

“And drunk from the same glass.” Steve replies.

 

“I know that.” Neal replies.

 

“And we even took a bath together.” Steve replies.

 

“Don’t go telling people that Steve.” Neal replies as he points his finger at him.

 

“Neal we were six years old.”

 

“Well you and I but know that but nobody else has to know that.” Neal replies.

 

“So what is the big deal about me washing our clothes together?”

 

“Oh I don’t know but is just sounds so….gay!!!” Neal replies.

 

“Oh Neal stop it….”

 

“Hey what is this setting on the dryer for?” Neal asks as he points.

 

“Air fluff? You use it to dry clothes that shouldn’t have heat.” Steve replies just as the dryer buzzer sounds.

 

“Oh okay like what? Hey look it’s finished.” Neal replies as he opens the door.

 

“No Neal don’t bother yourself I’ll take care of it!” Steve replies.

 

Neal pulls a bra and a negligee out of the dryer. “Hey! Steve! You’ve seen Ruby’s bra!!!”

 

“No! Oh no I haven’t!” Steve replies.

 

“Oh yes you have and hey look, matching panties!!! Hey you know….”

 

“Those aren’t Ruby’s!!” Steve replies.

 

“These aren’t Ruby’s!!” Neal points out.

 

Steve reaches over and he grabs the bra out of Neal’s hands. “No kidding!!! I just told you they weren’t Ruby’s”

 

Neal covers his mouth as he looks at Steve.

 

“What? What? Tell me so we’re both know!!!” Steve replies.

 

“If they aren’t Ruby’s then that means….” Neal replies.

 

“What?” Steve asks suspiciously.

 

“That means these are yours!!!” Neal replies as he laughs.

 

“Stop it! No they aren’t mine they belong to Vanessa.”

 

“Vanessa?” Neal asks.

 

“Yeah Vanessa she works at the library!” Steve replies.

 

“She works at the….library? You mean she’s a librarian and she wears this?” Neal replies as he holds up the negligee.

 

“Neal I don’t know what political party she belongs to but I do know that she works at the library.” Steve laughs. “And she doesn’t wear that to the library.”

 

“Steve…”

 

“Yeah Neal?”

 

“Never mind. Steve you are the only guy that I have ever met that can go to the library and pick up a few good books and pick up a woman at the same time.”

 

“Well when I went there I didn’t plan on that happening, you know lately I have had a lot of time on my hands….”

 

“No kidding and you did a great job on the garage by the way.” Neal replies.

 

“Thanks you know everything is organized. Nuts are here and screws are here….”

 

“Did you find the screws that you lost?” Neal replies as he laughs.

 

“You make jokes while I’m ironing your pants and they call you the Brain?” Steve replies.

 

Neal clears his throat. “Yeah, good point. So how did you meet Vanessa again?”

 

“I thought I could catch up on my reading so I went to the library and there she was, in the D to G aisle standing up on a ladder, she dropped a few books I picked them up and the rest is history.” Steve replies.

 

“History huh? So how did her clothes end up in my dryer?” Neal asks.

 

“She spent the night over here of course.” Steve replies.

 

“Oh of course. So did she leave here naked?” Neal asks.

 

Steve laughs. “No of course not! We were enjoying….”

 

“Wait!” Neal holds up his hand to stop him. “This wont make me go deaf will it?”

 

Steve continues to laugh. “Of course not! We were enjoying some Fondue and she spilled some on her clothes….”

 

“You were enjoying Fondue in your P.J.’s?”

 

“Sure doesn’t everybody?” Steve asks.

 

Neal rubs his eyes. “Okay let me get this straight. You went to the Library to get some books and you picked up Vanessa and she just happens to keep negligees in the trunk of her car, you came back to MY house and used MY fondue pot that YOU gave to me as a wedding gift? Then you probably did heavens knows what in JOEY’S room and then you washed her clothes in MY washing machine, is that about right Steve?”

 

Steve nods his head. “Pretty much, but I didn’t pick her up the first day that I met her, we talked for about a week or so. Neal you told me that I should go to more cultural like places to meet new people and I did, you really can’t get more cultural than the library.”

 

“I know I said that Steve but I didn’t mean for you to pick up girls there!” Neal looks around. “So am I going to have any clothes to wear to work?”

 

“Oh yeah sure, they are hanging up over there.” Steve replies as he points. “You’re dinners in the over too.” Steve replies.  

 

“Cool! What did Ruby make for dinner?”

 

“Tuna casserole and she didn’t make it I did.” Steve replies.

 

“Oh you did huh? You know Steve, you organized the garage, do laundry and ironing and you cook dinner, someday buddy you will make somebody a great wife!” Neal replies as he puts his hand on Steve’s shoulder.

 

“Ah Neal you say the sweetest things.” Steve replies as he blushes slightly.

 

“Join me for dinner?” Neal asks.

 

“Sure.” Steve replies as he turns off the iron and sits it down.

 

“So what are your plans for tonight while I’m slaving away at work?”

 

“Well Charlie’s Angels, a hot bath and to bed.” Steve replies.

 

“Sleeping better?” Neal asks.

 

“Oh yeah much better, that doctor has helped a lot and tomorrow is supposed to be my last appointment. By the way how did your appointment go?” Steve asks.

 

“It went great!  She is real easy to talk to, we talked about everything!!”

 

“So when you say that you talked about everything what does everything mean, exactly?” Steve asks.

 

“Well I suppose everything means….everything.” Neal replies.

 

“So….when you say that you talked about everything, that could mean that you talked about anything.” Steve replies.

 

“Well yeah I guess that could mean that we talked about anything which would include everything, I suppose.”

 

“Well I suppose that anything would include….me?” Steve asks.

 

“Steve.” Neal laughs. “You know I can’t tell you that.”

 

“Ah come on Neal! Did she say that I was normal?” Steve asks.

 

“No Steve she didn’t say that you were normal.”

 

“Oh no she said I wasn’t normal!!!” Steve replies as he grabs his face.

 

“Steve she didn’t say that you were normal and she didn’t say that you were abnormal either.”

 

“Okay! Well what did she say then? Oh come on Neal tell me!! Give!!” Steve replies.

 

“No Steve you know I can’t tell you that either! Let’s go and eat dinner.”

 

“Ah Neal can’t you just throw me a nugget, a crumb or something?” Steve asks.

 

Neal puts his arm around Steve’s shoulders as he smiles at him then he pats him on his chest. “I’m not Hansel and you’re sure in the hell aren’t Gretel! The answer is no!”

 

“I’ll pay you that five dollars I owe you!!” Steve replies.

 

“It’s ten and the answer is still no!!!” Neal replies as he shuts the door to the laundry room behind him.

 

“Ah Neal!!!”

 

 

 

THE NEXT DAY:

 

 

 

“Did you say gay?” The doctor asks.

 

“Yes I did say gay doc.” Steve replies.

 

“That is an interesting word.” The doctor replies. “So you think the other detectives that you work with think you and Detective Schon are….”

 

“Gay? Yes I do.” Steve replies as he nods.

 

“How does that make you feel?” The doctor asks.

 

“I think it’s funny that they think that because it isn’t true….we aren’t….you know….gay.”

 

“Hypothetically speaking….what if Detective Schon had those feelings about you?”

 

“What sort of feelings?” Steve asks.

 

“You know if he felt about you the same way he felt about his wife?” The doctor asks.

 

Steve scratches his head. “Well he does feel that way about me….”

 

“But what if he didn’t like….women?” The doctor asks.

 

Suddenly Steve’s eyes widen. “Oh!! Oh!! Oh no!!” Steve laughs. “Neal loves women! I mean he loves one woman!!!”

 

“But what if he didn’t?”

 

Steve scratches his head again. “Well….I mean…it wouldn’t matter he would still be my partner and best friend. Did he…you know…say anything about liking me…I mean that way?” Steve asks.

 

“Would it bother you if he did?” The doctor asks.

 

“Well. I mean no….I mean we could work thru it….did he say anything like that?” Steve asks.

 

“I really can’t discuss what we talked about but I will say I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” The doctor replies.

 

“Well I don’t think I would be worried about it….I mean I’ve never really thought about it before….I mean I know I don’t feel that way about him….at least I don’t think I do….” Steve pauses for a minute. “Can we talk about something else?”

 

“How about we talk some more about what happened to you in the hospital?”

 

Steve thinks about this for a minute. “Okay, sure I think I can do that. You know Doc I have only told a few people about what happened to me in the hospital, I mean, the near death….thing. I was afraid no one would believe me, but you do, don’t you?”

 

“Let’s just say that I believe that anything is possible and there are many things out there that we don’t understand, and perhaps we weren’t meant to understand them.”

 

“Has anybody ever told you Doc that you would make a great interrogator? I mean you got me to talk about things I have never told anybody else.” Steve replies.

 

The Doctor smiles, “Yes actually somebody else told me that exact same thing. Now before we talk about the hospital I would like to do one thing first.”

 

“Okay Doc whatever you say. What do you want me to do? Lay down on the sofa?”

 

“Oh no nothing like that but I would like you to look at a few pictures for me.” The doctor replies as she brings out some inkblots then she see the look on Steve’s face. “Are you alright?”

 

“Huh? Oh yeah, yeah sure are those what I think they are?” Steve asks as he points at them.

 

“Yes they are the Rorschach Tests, is there a problem?” The doctor asks knowingly.

 

“A problem, oh no, no I mean they are just pictures right? I mean it doesn’t really mean anything….right?”

 

“Well it does tell us a lot about the patient’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning, so tell me what you see.”

 

“I see….what if I don’t see anything?” Steve asks.

 

“That could be bad.” The doctor replies.

 

“Really?”

 

The Doctor nods, “Yes, so just tell me what you see and I’ll take notes.”

 

Steve takes a deep breath. “Okay, well Doc I see….”

 

 

 

A FEW DAYS LATER CAPTAIN REYNOLD’S OFFICE:

 

 

 

“Well boys we finally got the results back from Doctor Cartwright.” Captain Reynolds replies.      

 

Steve and Neal look nervously at one another then Neal looks at the Captain as he clears his throat. “So…come on Cap don’t leave us in suspense.”

 

“Yah Cap, you know, don’t leave us, you know, in suspense!” Steve repeats.

 

“Well first of all, Detective Perry she cleared you to go back to work. You are fit for duty.” Captain Reynolds replies happily.

 

Steve and Neal shake hands then Neal pulls him into a hug. “See I told you!!” Neal replies.

 

“But Detective Schon….”

 

They both stop and they look at the Captain.

 

“But?” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah but?” Steve replies.

 

“The Doctor would like to talk to you again.” The Captain replies.

 

“Me?” Neal replies as he points to himself.

 

“Yes you Detective Schon.” The Captain replies.

 

Steve doubles over with laughter. “You! She wants to see you Detective Schon….” Steve replies as he laughs harder.

 

“I wouldn’t be laughing if I were you Detective Perry.” The Captain says which causes Steve to stop laughing.

 

Steve clears his throat. “Why…ah…do you say that Cap?”

 

“Because she would like to see you too.” The Captain replies.

 

They both look at one another. “When you say she wants to see us do you mean that in the professional sense Cap?” Neal asks.

 

“Yeah, like do you mean, is this a mandatory, type of work thing?” Steve asks.

 

“No, this isn’t a mandatory, type of work thing. She just thinks you two could benefit from more sessions. She says here “I have never seen two partners who are such in tune with each other’s feelings and thoughts, there is a general friendship and love there. I find Detective Schon to have high self-esteem, quite capable in his duties and his loyalty to his job and his partner are unshakable.” The Captain replies.

 

Steve and Neal wink at each other.

 

“She goes on to say, “I find Detective Perry to have a young, carefree attitude, a boyish style to him. I would believe that he is quite approachable and that the public finds him easy to talk to. His mind set is positive and his love and friendship for his partner encompasses his decisions.” The Captain replies.

 

Steve gives Neal the thumbs up as Neal smiles.

 

“However….” The Captain continues.

 

“However?” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah….however?” Steve replies.

 

“However….Detective Perry seems to have a hyper-sexual nature.” The Captain replies.

 

Neal snorts and he laughs as Steve looks shocked.

 

“Hey! You know I don’t think I like the sound of that! My nature being hyper-sexual!!” Steve replies.

 

“Oh come on you don’t even know what that means!!!” Neal laughs.

 

“See I told you it was those damn Roscoe pictures things!!! Can I help it if I see two women!! Or three?! Well Cap can I?!” Steve asks.   

 

“However….Detective Schon seems to have a need to be in control….” The Captain replies.

 

“Ah!! Oh, brother if that isn’t the truth!!” Steve replies as he crosses his arms over his chest.

 

“What does that mean you big nose, hyper-sexual pip squeak!!” Neal says as he grabs Steve by his jacket and he pulls him towards him.

 

“….It also says that when you feel threaten you lash out at whoever maybe the closet and that is usually your partner.” The Captain replies as he looks at them.

 

Neal and Steve look at the Captain then they slowly turn their heads back and they look at one another, Neal still holding tight to Steve’s jacket, their noses almost touching.

 

“Do I do that Steve; I mean do I lash out at you?” Neal asks.

 

“Well….I…you know….every so often there might be….” Steve replies.

 

“I want an honest answer.” Neal replies back.

 

Steve nods his head. “Then the answer would be….yes. What about me?”

 

“What about you?” Neal asks.

 

“Is my nature hyper-sexual?” Steve asks.

 

“If that means you are a casa-nova, a lover of women, a hedonist….”

 

“Neal I’m Catholic you know that….” Steve says back.

 

“Boys.” The Captain replies.

 

“No….” Neal replies as he shakes his head.

 

“Yes Neal I’m Catholic….”

 

“Boys.” The Captain replies again.

 

“No, I mean, yes I know you’re a Catholic but no….” Neal replies.

 

“Yes you know I’m a Catholic but no….Neal you’re confusing me!!!” Steve replies.

 

The Captain puts two fingers in his mouth and he whistles loudly which causes them to look quickly at the Captain. “Excuse me boys but I hate to interrupt your moment even thou this is my office!!!”

 

“Oh yeah sure it is your office.” Steve points out.

 

“Neal….” The Captain replies.

 

“Yeah Cap?”

 

“Let Steve go.”

 

Neal then looks back at Steve. “Oh yeah sure, sorry.” Neal replies as he lets him go.

You know Steve it wouldn’t be a bad thing….” Neal replies as he straightens the collar of Steve’s jacket.

 

“Oh no, no certainly not. I mean it could really help us to be better partners….” Steve replies.

 

“And in this day and age there is nothing wrong in talking to a….” Neal replies.

 

“….Psychiatrist….” Steve replies.

 

“Yeah Psychiatrist.”

 

“And she could really help you with your problems.” Steve points out.

 

“Wait, did you just say that she could help me with my problems?” Neal replies as he points to himself.

 

Steve puts his hands on his hips as he looks at Neal. “Yes partner I did say she could help you with your problems.”

 

“Take it back Steve.”

 

“No Neal I won’t take it back!!”

 

“Take it back or else!!!” Neal replies.

 

“Or else what Neal?” Steve asks.

 

“Boys!!!” The Captain yells.

 

“This!!!” Neal says as he grabs Steve and he puts him into a headlock.

 

“BOYS!!!” The Captain yells louder which causes them both look at the Captain. “It’s covered by our insurance.”

 

“Well then sign us up!” Neal replies.

 

“Yeah Cap sign us up!” Steve replies.

 

 

 

 

  

 V7V7V7V7V7V7V7V7V7V7

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey Steve what is this?” Neal asks.

 

“That….my curly headed friend is what they call a stress ball.” Steve replies as he looks up from the file he is reading.

 

“A stress ball huh? What does it do?” Neal asks.

 

“It doesn’t do anything.”

 

“Then what’s it for?” Neal asks.

 

“It’s for stress, it’s a stress ball.” Steve replies.

 

“Oh I know it’s a racquet ball!” Neal replies.

 

Steve raises just his eyes from the file. “No I told you it’s a stress ball.”

 

“What kind of game is stress?”

 

Steve takes a deep breath. “Stress isn’t a game Neal. The Psychiatrist gave it to me, when you feel stress you squeeze it. It relieves stress. It’s supposed to help.”

 

Neal squeezes it a couple of times. “I don’t get it.”

 

Steve closes the file then he puts it on the desk. “Here I’ll show you, toss it to me.”

 

Neal tosses it to him. “Now what?” Neal asks.

 

“Do or say something that you know would cause me stress.”

 

Neal thinks a minute then he stares at Steve’s head.

 

“What?” Steve asks as he raises his eyes upwards.

 

“Nothing.”

 

“No what?”

 

“Well I just thought I saw….na.” Neal replies.

 

“You thought you just saw what?” Steve asks.

 

“Gray hair. I thought I saw gray hair.” Neal replies as he shrugs.

 

Steve squeezes the stress ball.

 

“Wow! Does that really help?” Neal asks.

 

“Sure I feel a lot better. Do something else.”

 

“Are you sure?” Neal asks.

 

“Yeah positive, go ahead.”

 

Neal moves the pencil holder on Steve’s desk just an inch or two from its original position. Then Steve squeezes the stress ball again.

 

“Okay?” Neal asks.

                                                                                                                         

“Just fine.”

 

Neal looks around the room then he gets up and he goes over to the pictures on the wall and he deliberately makes them all crooked which causes Steve to really start to squeeze the stress ball.

 

“You know this is kinda fun, I have my own big stress doll!!”

 

Then Neal walks back over to Steve and he stands behind him and he picks up a strand of Steve’s hair.

 

“What?” Steve asks.

 

“Just checking.” Neal replies.

 

“Just checking for what?” Steve asks.

 

Split ends and I thought I saw the start of a bald spot back here.” Neal replies.

 

Steve really starts to squeeze the stress ball again.

 

Neal leans on the chair. “And oh by the way your new mustache….”

 

“Yeah….” Steve says.

 

“It makes you look like Wayne Newton.”

 

Steve really starts to squeeze the stress ball and he squeezes it so hard it explodes.

 

“Wow!!!” Neal exclaims. “Feel better?”

 

“Oh yeah I am just peachy keen.” Steve replies.

 

Neal goes and he sits back down at his desk. “Too bad you had just one.”

 

“Actually the Psychiatrist thought I might need more than one.” Steve replies as he gets up and goes to the closet and he opens it to reveal a large box which Steve reaches into and he takes out another stress ball which Steve tosses into the air.

 

“Wow!!! That is a lot!! Why did she give you so many?” Neal asks.

 

“Because you’re my partner that’s why.” Steve replies.

 

“You know that isn’t very….” Neal replies just as his phone rings. “….Detective Schon. Oh! Hey! Hi mom.” Neal replies.

 

Steve tosses the stress ball he had been tossing up in the air to Neal who catches it and he immediately starts to squeeze it as he talks to his mother. Just as Steve reaches into the box to get another stress ball the door opens and Alicia comes in carrying paperwork.

 

Steve immediately stands up straighter as he puts his hand behind his back that is holding the stress ball.

 

“Alicia!! My you look wonderful today! Is that a new sweater? It really brings out….your eyes!!!” Steve replies smiling as he squeezes the stress ball.

 

“Detective Perry you always say the sweetest things.”

 

“Ah…” Steve replies just as the stress ball Neal had been squeezing suddenly explodes which causes Alicia to jump.

 

“What was that?” Alicia asks.

 

Steve looks over at Neal. “Nothing.” Then Steve takes the paperwork from Alicia and he sits it on his desk then he takes her by the arm as he steers her towards the door.

 

“Oh look Alicia your shift is over how about we have dinner? We can dance, maybe have a few drinks?” Steve asks her as they go out the door and up the hall.

 

“Oh I would love to have dinner!!! Do you know what else I would love to have?” Alicia asks.

 

“No what?” Steve replies.

 

“Sex on the beach!!”

 

The next thing Neal heard was the stress ball exploding out in the hall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

©LAB and SRP & JRNY FANFICTION 2007 to 2010. All rights reserved. Steve Perry and Neal Schon’s likenesses appear only as characters. Any resemblance to any one living or dead is purely a coincidence. This fictional story is for entertainment purposes only and for the complete enjoyment of the author and the readers. I have no permission from Steve Perry or/and the members of Journey to use their likenesses or names and this story is purely fiction and written solely for the love of things and people back in the day.  No real rock stars were injured in the writing of these stories and I put them back when I am finish with them.