THE DETECTIVES OF THE 9TH PRECINCT
“THE ANGEL OF DEATH”
“Neal what are you looking for?” Steve asks as the sounds of Neal opening and closing desk drawers are heard.
“My lucky quarter.” Neal replies.
“You’re lucky quarter?” Steve asks. “You mean the quarter you use every time we have to make a decision about who is going to do something dangerous or something stupid. Like the time I had to wear the Elf tights?”
“Hey they fit you and anyway it was Christmas but yeah that quarter. Have you seen it?” Neal asks.
“Nope.” Steve replies.
“Are you sure?” Neal asks.
“Positive.” Steve replies.
“Oh okay. So what case have you picked out today Steve?”
“Well Neal you know I am having a hard time deciding between these two….”
“Let’s see here…The Angel of Death or High School High”? Well those are two good ones but I’m partial to the High School High one.” Neal says.
“Why?” Steve asks.
“Because you did most of the work that’s why!” Neal says as he laughs.
“Yeah and as I recall it was all because of that stupid, lucky quarter of yours that’s why! All you did was stand around and hold a damn stop watch!!” Steve replies.
“Hey bucko! You told everybody that you
ran track in High School and at the
“Well I did have the best time of the recruits in that class….” Steve says rather smugly.
“See! So what are you bitching about?”
“Neal!!! Watch your language!!” Steve says.
“Oh hell yeah I forgot we were taping….sorry John Q. Public out there….so I suppose you want to talk about the Angel of Death one.”
“Yes I would.” Steve says.
“Why?” Neal asks.
“Because it was the first time I had to really work by myself….”
“True….” Neal replies.
“But if you’re still unsure we could always flip for it.” Steve says.
“That would be a good idea that is if I could find my lucky quarter.” Neal replies.
“Well I have a quarter we could use that.”
“Okay….” Neal says.
“I’ll call it….I’ll take heads….”
“Well then I guess I have to take….” Neal says.
“Ah sorry Neal it was heads. I guess you lose for once!!!!” Steve says.
“Hey wait that’s my lucky quarter! Where did you get it?”
“From Ruby!” Steve replies. “And you ought to be ashamed of yourself Neal; you’re a cop for goodness sakes! All these years your lucky quarter was a two headed quarter!!!”
“I can’t believe the woman that I love ratted me out!!!” Neal says.
“She’s a good woman Neal much too good for you obviously! What a thing to do to your best friend!! When I think of all the things you tossed this on and the stupid things I had to do because you cheated!!!”
“Now wait Steve I didn’t always use that quarter….”
“The Captain told me that he needed some help this weekend to clean out his garage and I told him that we would toss for it….” Steve replies.
“Wait? This weekend? No, no the big game is on this weekend….” Neal protests.
“Let’s see….I choose heads again and again you lose!!! Ah!! No big game for you this weekend!!!”
“Two out of four with a real quarter….” Neal says.
“No….” Steve replies.
“Three out of six?” Neal says.
“No….” Steve replies.
“Okay then why don’t I toss something else instead….?” Neal says.
“Such as?” Steve asks.
“You!!!” Neal exclaims. “I toss you in the air and if you land on your head then you help the Captain clean out his garage and if you land on your tail then I’ll clean out the garage….”
“The answer to that is….no!!!” Steve replies.
“No huh? Okay I guess I lost then….hey I’ll toss you to see who goes and gets dinner. Look I have a real quarter….” Neal says.
“Okay….I want heads….” Steve says.
“Oooppps sorry Steve its tails I win.”
“Oh okay I guess I’ll go then, hey start this while I’m gone okay?”
“Sure Steve no problem.”
The next sound is the office door opening and closing and then Neal laughs. “What Steve doesn’t know is I have a lot of these quarters….!!!! Now onto the next case.”
V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7
THE STREETS OF OCEANVIEW:
The bad guy always run. Always. And that was precisely what Steve and Neal were doing on this bright spring like morning, the streets still wet from an early spring rain, as they chased the bad guy who had just robbed a drug store. Steve had jumped a fence in his sprite like way, then he dodged a few puddles as he runs out of the alley from in front of a truck that was parked there which gained him a few car horns blowing and angry words flew his way as he ran out into traffic still in pursuit.
Neal was only a few hundred yards behind him as he jumped the same fence, he dodged the same puddles as he ran out of the same alley in front of that same truck that was parked there and then Neal ran out into traffic….
It was too late before Neal knew it was too late and the yellow checkered cab’s bumper hit him just above the knees and it propelled him over the hood and up onto the windshield. Neal’s head hit the windshield hard enough to crack it and then his momentum rolled him right off the cab and down onto the pavement….
The entire time Steve could feel Neal behind him and when he ran across the street and he entered the other alley he heard a car horn, the squeal of brakes trying to find purchase on the wet pavement then he heard, a sickening dull thud, and then it was like a scene out of a television show. Filmed in slow motion for the most dramatic effect possible. Steve skidded to a stop in the alley then he turned to look behind him and he saw Neal flying up onto the hood of the cab and then down once again to the pavement below.
Steve heard someone yell and then he realized that it was him as he turned and ran out of the alley where he fell to his knees beside Neal who laid in a crumpled heap on his left side.
“Neal!” Steve carefully felt for a pulse at his neck. “Oh god Neal.”
“Hey what in the hell!!! What are you two guys doing!!!! I didn’t see him!!! I swear to god I didn’t see him!!!” The cab driver says as he kneels down at Neal’s head. “What in god’s name was he doing running out in front of me…..!!!!”
Steve grabs him by his jacket and he pulls him roughly to him then he shows the cab driver his badge.
“We’re cops man!!!”
“God almighty!!! Cops!!!! I’m sorry….is he?” The cab driver says.
“No he isn’t and he won’t be if I have anything to say about it! Do you have an emergency road kit in the trunk of your cab???”
The stunned cab driver doesn’t answer as he looks down at Neal
Steve pulls him closer to him. “Hey!!!!”
The cab driver looks at him.
“I said do you have an emergency road kit in the trunk of your car?” Steve says again.
“Yeah, yeah I think I do….”
Steve hears Neal groan and he looks down to see Neal slowly open one eye and then Steve reaches out to hold Neal’s hand.
“Hey buddy….” Steve replies as he smiles down at him.
“Don’t yell man…..St....eve…..I’m….I’m….cold.” Neal manages to say.
Steve takes off his jacket and he drapes it over Neal then he looks back up at the cab driver. “Does it have a blanket?”
The cab driver just nods as he looks down at Neal. “Then get it!!! I have to keep him warm otherwise he’ll go into shock….” Steve hits him on the arm. “Move damn it!!! And after you get that blanket get on the horn and tell your dispatcher to send an ambulance!!” Steve grabs the cab driver’s arm. “Tell them an officer is down!!!! Now move!!!!”
The cab driver stands up and he runs off to the back of the cab then Steve turns his attention back to Neal as he looks at the back of his head.
“Bad guy?” Neal asks.
Steve takes his handkerchief out of his back pocket and he places it underneath Neal’s head where it hit the windshield to stop some of the blood flow.
“No Neal he got away.”
“….Shot?” Neal asks.
“No pal you weren’t shot….” Steve answers as the cab driver returns and he hands Steve the blanket and he drapes that over Neal as well. “Better Neal?”
Steve snaps his fingers at the cab driver. “Give me your jacket! Now!!!”
“The ambulance is coming.” The cab driver says as he takes off his jacket and he hands it to Steve who immediately wads it up and he gently places it under Neal’s head.
“There you go.” Steve says as he holds Neal’s hand again.
“….Left arm can’t….feel….feel….my….” Neal tries to say.
“Don’t talk. It’s still there you’re just lying on it that’s all.”
Neal looks up at Steve. “….Shot?”
“You big lummox I already told you no….” Steve says.
“Scared….” Neal says.
“Don’t be I’m right here.” Steve replies as he holds his hand tighter.
“Hurt bad….?” Neal asks.
“You hit your head and we both know how hard that is.” Steve replies.
“No Neal you aren’t going to die!!! Don’t say that okay? That won’t happen….”
“Ruby….” Neal says.
“I’ll call her.”
“Sleepy….” Neal says.
“No Neal don’t go to sleep okay, stay with me. Listen their playing our song.” Steve says as the sirens grow closer. Then Steve feels a hand on his shoulder.
Steve looks up to see Greg one of the motorcycle officers.
“Greg man can you get those people back? Give Neal some air.”
“Sure man….I’ll flag down the ambulance.” Greg says as he walks off.
“Who….?” Neal asks.
“That was Greg our friendly neighborhood motorcycle jockey….” Steve replies.
“I know you are but you have to stay with me Neal okay, the ambulance is right around the corner. Besides you owe me a dollar from that pin-ball game last night….” Steve says as the ambulance wails signals that it is coming up the street behind them and Steve looks up to see Greg directing the ambulance over to them.
“Cheat….” Neal replies.
“I’m just better at pin-ball than you….” Steve says.
“Tilt….” Neal says as he looks at Steve.
“You always say that every time I beat you….” Steve replies.
“Don’t cry softie….” Neal replies.
Steve sniffles. “I won’t….Neal I have to move so they can take you to the hospital okay?” Steve says as he leans in closer to him.
“Not alone….” Neal says as he holds tighter to his hand.
Steve puts his hand on Neal’s head. “I’ll be with you okay….”
“I swear to god….” Steve says.
“I know you do me too. Let them take you to the hospital okay?” Steve says.
Neal nods his head then Steve slowly lets go of Neal’s hand.
“I have to go in there!!! I told him that I would be with him!!!!” Steve yells to the nurse that is holding him back.
“You can’t go in there sir!”
Steve shows her his badge. “You don’t understand I’m a cop and he’s my partner!”
“You’re a cop?” She asks.
“Yeah I am….”
“Then you guard that bench right there!” She says as she points to it. “And fill out this paperwork….” She hands Steve a clipboard.
“You’re insane you know that!!! My partner is badly hurt and you want me to fill out paperwork!!!!” Steve replies.
“Detective!” Steve corrects her.
“Whatever!!! Detective! You’re partner is getting the best medical care there is right there in that room and they don’t need you in there getting in the way!!!”
“Yeah but I….” Steve says just as the examining room doors fly open and Neal is wheeled out with the nurses and a doctor in attendance.
“Doctor! What’s going on? Where are you taking him?” Steve asks as he catches up to the doctor.
“Surgery. His spleen has ruptured and we have to remove it. Excuse me.” The doctor replies.
Steve watches as they wheel him into the elevator and the doors close behind them.
“What floor is surgery on?” Steve asks as he hugs the clipboard.
“The fourth floor.” The nurse replies.
“Thanks….” Steve looks at her.
“Thanks Muriel.” Steve says.
She takes the clipboard from him. “You can fill this out later. Go and be with him.”
Steve paced back and forth and then when he couldn’t pace anymore he sat down on one of the chairs with his head in his hands.
“Oh Captain Reynolds you made it….” Steve says as gets up and he goes over to the Captain.
“I just got the message Steve what happened?” The Captain asks.
“Ah we were chasing a guy and we ran across the street and Neal was hit by a cab, he’s in surgery, the doctor said they have to remove his spleen and other than that I don’t know….”
“How long has he been in surgery?” The Captain asks.
“It seems like days but I think it’s been about an hour now. Oh my god I have to go and call Neal’s….” Steve stops as he looks at the Captain. “….Friend.”
“You mean Ruby?”
Shocked Steve looks at him. “Well yeah….you know about Ruby?”
“Yes Neal told me all about her.” The Captain says.
“Well then I better go and call Ruby.” Steve says and before he can walk away the doors to the operating room opens and they watch as Neal is wheeled out of the room and down the hall and following behind is the doctor.
He pulls off his operating mask as he walks towards Steve. “Detective Perry?” He asks in
the Captain’s direction.
“No I’m Detective Perry that’s our Captain, Captain Reynolds.”
“Captain….” The doctor says as he nods at the Captain. “Your partner is a very lucky man; if he had lain out on that street for much longer he would have died. A ruptured spleen, which we removed, broken ribs and his left arm was fractured and oh he had a slight concussion….”
“Doctor is he going to be alright?” Steve asks.
“It will take time but yes he will be fine in about a month or so….”
“A month?” The Captain and Steve say at the same time.
“Yes about a month or so….” The doctor repeats.
“Can I see him?” Steve asks.
“Not for a couple of hours Detective he’s going to recovery….”
“Can’t I just see him for a few minutes?”
“Detective he won’t even know that you’re there….” The doctor replies.
“Yes he will, Doctor look he’s my best friend and I promised him that I would be there….”
The doctor saw the hopeful look on Steve’s face and he hated to turn him down. “Alright Detective….” He says as he takes a deep breath. “….But only for a few minutes….”
“Cool thanks Doc….” Steve says.
“I’ll call Ruby.” The Captain says as he goes off to find a phone.
The doctor leads Steve into the recovery room and Steve had never seen Neal so still. His left arm was in a cast and there were the usual tubes, wires, catheters and an I.V. inserted into his right arm and the nurse was there setting the dosage.
“Nurse I told him that he could stay for a few minutes.” The doctor says as he puts his hand on Steve’s shoulder.
“Is it alright if I touch him?” Steve asks the nurse.
“Yes go ahead.”
Steve approaches the bed and he slowly reaches out and he takes a hold of Neal’s right hand and he squeezes it.
“Hey buddy I’m here….” Steve says.
In response Neal squeezes Steve’s hand. “Thank god. The doctor says you’ll be fine Neal. I just wanted you to know that I was here, the Captain is here too and he’s calling Ruby….” Neal squeezes Steve’s hand again. “See I knew that would make you feel better. As soon as they move you into your own room I’ll be back to visit you and don’t worry about a thing, just rest okay?”
In response Neal squeezes Steve’s again.
“You scared me Neal don’t ever do that again, okay?” Steve says then Neal squeezes his hand again.
“Detective you should really go now.” The nurse says to him.
“Alright nurse. Neal when you get your room I’ll see you okay?” Steve says and Neal squeezes his hand. “I’ll see you later.” Steve says as he reluctantly lets go of Neal’s hand.
A WEEK LATER HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL ROOM 1612:
“Pick a card Neal.”
Neal reaches over with his good arm and he picks a card.
“Now look at it and memorize it and put it back in the deck.”
Neal looks at and then he puts it back in the deck and it is shuffled.
“Your card was the ninth of diamonds right?”
“Yeah it was! That’s amazing Homer how did you do that?” Neal asks.
“It’s a marked deck. It’s for fun only you don’t really want to play a serious game with them you may end up getting shot!” Homer says and Neal laughs.
“Oh hey I have something else to show you.” Homer says as he goes over to the closet and he pulls a box out of his bag.
“You’ve heard of the coin toss right?” Homer asks.
“Oh you mean heads or tails? Sure.”
Homer opens the box and he takes out a coin. “With these coins you will never lose another coin toss again.” Homer says as he hands it to Neal.
“Well I’ll be it’s two headed!!!” Neal says as he turns it around.
“Again for fun, here you can have the box.”
“Oh Homer I shouldn’t….” Neal says.
“It’s alright they are just samples.”
Neal smiles, “Okay can you put them in my bag that’s in the closet?”
“Sure.” Homer takes the box and he puts them in Neal’s bag.
Just then the door opens and Steve walks in carrying a huge plant. “Hey Neal are you awake I got you a….” Steve says then he stops when he sees a strange man standing in the middle of the room, wearing a bathrobe and slippers. “Oh hey man I’m sorry I guess I have the wrong room I was looking for….”
“No Steve you’ve got the right room.” Neal replies. “That’s my roommate Homer….”
“Homer Stiles….” Homer says as he approaches Steve and he shakes his hand and the next thing Steve knew he felt a slight electrical shock in his hand.
“Hey man what was that!!!” Steve says as he jumps.
Neal and Homer laugh. “It’s a hand buzzer see.” Homer says as he holds his hand up and he shows Steve.
“He got me too Steve.” Neal says as he continues to laugh.
“Here’s my card.” Homer hands Steve his business card.
“Homer Stiles….Seller of fine novelties, Gag gifts and fun items, suitable for parties, conventions and what-have-yous. Wow! It’s nice to meet you Homer I’m….”
“Oh Neal told me all about you, how you’re his partner and that your Detectives and it all sounded very exciting!” Homer replies.
“Steve that is quite a plant.” Neal says.
Steve sits it on the floor by the window. “Yeah it’s a Ficus and its name is Fred….”
“Fred?” Neal replies.
“Yeah it looked like a Fred to me.”
The door opens and the nurse comes in pushing a wheel chair. “Mr. Stiles what are you doing out of bed?”
“Hello Nurse I was just talking to Neal here….” Homer says.
“You are supposed to rest. It’s time for some more tests.” The nurse says.
“Oh okay but I feel fine.” Homer says.
“Yes I know you do now have a seat.” The nurse says as she pats the wheel chair.
Homer sits down. “It was nice meeting you Steve maybe I’ll see you later.”
“Sure Homer see you later.”
The nurse wheels him out of the room.
“I thought you were supposed to have a private room?” Steve asks.
“Me too but they brought him in here after you left yesterday. I think they don’t have enough room for people to have private rooms.”
“So what’s wrong with him? He looks healthy enough.” Steve replies.
“Problems with his ticker….” Neal says.
“They are trying to decide if he needs a pacemaker or not.” Neal says.
“That’s rough he seems like he’s a nice guy. Hey I brought you something else….” Steve says as he pulls a bag out of his jacket pocket.
“What is it?” Neal asks as he takes it from Steve. “Chocolate pudding?”
“Yeah I know you love Chocolate Pudding and I bet the hospital’s isn’t as good as Ida’s.”
“How do you feel today partner?” Steve asks.
“Oh the pain come and goes.” Neal says.
“What’s a spleen?” Steve asks.
“The doctor said something about how it gets rid of abnormal blood cells or something like that….he did say that I can live without one….it’s no big deal. So did you get the number of the bus that hit me?”
“Actually Neal it was a yellow cab and its number was 13.” Steve says.
“13? That used to be my lucky number.”
“You know this is a pretty nice room for a hospital and all, you have a TV. And a nice view of the parking lot and a comfy bed….”
“That’s easy for you to say you don’t have to be here, this hospital is just, I don’t know, creepy I guess.”
“Creepy? Why is it creepy?” Steve asks.
“I don’t know but the week I have been here a lot of people have died.” Neal says.
“Well Neal it’s a hospital and people have a tendency to die in hospitals you know.”
“I know but there has been a lot around here lately. Two rooms up the hall somebody died and the floor above me somebody else died and when the nurse took me to x-ray I heard the nurses talking and they said that the deaths were odd.” Neal replies.
“Odd? What do you mean by odd?” Steve asks.
“I don’t know exactly the technician came in then.” Neal says.
“Ah Neal you’re just missing the street and all of that, you aren’t used to being laid up in bed so your mind is working overtime. Those Detective wheels are turning!” Steve says as he points to his head.
“Speaking of which how’s it going solo?” Neal asks.
“I….” Steve starts to say but he doesn’t finish.
“Are you remembering to keep up the log book?” Neal asks.
“Yes mother….” Steve replies.
“Doing the daily reports?” Neal asks.
“Any problems?” Neal asks.
“No….” Steve replies.
“How’s the streets….?” Neal asks.
“Willie the weasel sends you his love.” Steve says as he winks at him.
“I’m being a nag aren’t I?” Neal says.
“Maybe just a little.”
“I’m sorry Steve but in all the years I’ve been a cop I don’t think I have been off the streets this long and it’s only been a week or so and to think I have to be out of commission for a month….”
“….Or more.” Steve points out.
“Look Neal think of this as a vacation by now you must have at least a bazillion hours of vacation time saved up.”
“Well Steve I wish we were fishing….” Neal says.
“I know me too do you think I like seeing you lay up in this bed? It was like watching something out of a television show when that cab hit you and Neal I’m not a rookie….”
“You trained me you know….” Steve points out.
“I did didn’t I….?”
“Yes you did….hey are you okay?” Steve asks.
“I think the pain medication just wore off….holy….Steve it really hurts.”
“Alright Neal breath man breath I’ll call the nurse here grab my hand and when the pain gets bad….”
Neal squeezes Steve’s hand hard almost bringing tears to Steve’s eyes.
“….Neal easy man that’s my gun hand!”
Steve leans on the call button for the nurse. “Are they all deaf?” Steve asks when the nurse doesn’t come fast enough so Steve leans on it again.
“If you don’t mind all you have to do is push it one time.” The nurse says as she comes into the room and over to the bed.
“Well I did that and you didn’t come!” Steve replies.
“What seems to be the problem?” The nurse asks.
“My buddy here is in pain, really bad pain and he needs another shot or whatever it was you gave him the last time.” Steve says as she checks his chart.
“According to this he had pain medication about two hours ago….”
“I don’t care what that says he needs more right now….”
In the middle of their discussion the door opens and the orderly comes in and he goes over to Homer’s bed and he begins to strip it of its old sheets.
“….Look Nurse….” Steve says.
“Beatrice. He’s really hurting can’t you do something for him?” Steve asks. “Please.”
“The doctor did make a notation on the chart to give him pain medication as needed. I’ll be right back.” She pats him on the arm before she leaves.
“Wow Steve you’re tough.” Neal says as he winces.
Steve comes out of the bathroom with a washcloth and he wipes the sweat off of Neal’s forehead. “And I was being nice. Hang on she’ll be back and she’ll give you something to make you feel better.”
“What would I do if I didn’t….” Neal inhales sharply then when the pain passes he continues. “….Have you to run interference for me?”
Steve smiles. “Let’s hope we never have to find that out.”
The nurse returns carrying a tray with a bottle and a syringe and she sit it down on the table at the foot of the bed. “It’ll be just a few more minutes Mr. Schon.”
Neal nods and they both watch as the nurse puts the pain killer in the I.V. that is inserted into the vein in Neal’s hand.
“There. You should be feeling better in just a few minutes.” The nurse replies.
Neal closes his eyes and Steve feels the tension leave Neal’s hand as he relaxes as the pain medicine takes effect.
“Wow!! That is amazing! What is that? I hope you keep that locked up!” Neal replies.
The nurse laughs. “Good old morphine. You….” She says as she points at Steve.
“Me?” Steve says as he points to himself.
“Yes you. In five minutes visiting hours are over.”
Steve looks over at Neal. “Well we still have a lot to talk about you know….”
“It better be the Reader’s Digest condensed version because now you have four minutes and counting.” The nurse says. “I’ll be back to check on you later Mr. Schon.”
“Thanks Nurse.” Neal replies.
“Mark the room next door has been empty for an hour when do you plan on changing the sheets on the beds?” The nurse asks the orderly before she goes out the door.
Mark finished tucking the sheets in on Homer’s bed before he answers. “When I finish this one then I’ll go next door.”
“Make sure that you do.” She says then she goes out of the door.
Steve and Neal watched that little exchange in silence even though they tried to ignore it which was difficult to do.
“I’ll bring you some magazines tomorrow. I think you got Playboy, Better Homes and Gardens and the Ladies Home Journal and Cosmo….” Steve says.
“The Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens are not mine you moron!” Neal protests.
“Uh huh they were in your mailbox.” Steve says.
“They belong to Ida.” Neal says.
Finally the orderly finishes the bed and as he leaves he knocks the water pitcher off of the bedside table and he bangs the laundry cart against the door frame and he lets the door shut behind him. Steve goes over and he picks up the empty water pitcher and he sets it back down on the table.
“I thought you were suppose to be quiet in hospitals.” Steve says.
“Yeah I thought so too.” Neal says.
“Well I better go I guess. I’m come back tomorrow and I’ll bring you some magazines and the Book of the Month Club selection you ordered.” Steve says.
“I didn’t order any Books of the Month Steve that was Ida again.”
“Yeah sure I’ll bring it anyway.” Steve says.
“Watch your ass out there Steve since I ain’t there to protect you.” Neal says seriously.
Steve smiles. “Who got hit by the cab? I’ll be careful and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
THE HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL PARKING GARAGE THE NEXT DAY:
“Hey Greg….” Steve says as he walks to the small group that is gathered around the body on the pavement.
“Steve how’s Neal doing?” Greg asks.
“Better he’s going to need a lot of time off though, what’s the story here?” Steve asks as he goes over to the gurney and he carefully lifts the corner of the sheet.
“They found her this afternoon. Her shift started over an hour ago and when she didn’t show they called her apartment and when she didn’t answer, her co-worker….” The officer points to where Nurse Muriel is standing. “….decided to go to her apartment and when she got out here she saw her car and she found her.”
Steve looks up to see the Coroner coming his way. “If it isn’t Sam, Sam the Coroner man.”
“Do you know her?” The Coroner asks.
“We weren’t formally introduced or anything like that but she came into Neal’s room yesterday. She just looks like she is asleep Doc.” Steve says.
“There isn’t a mark on her not that I can see anyway. I’ll find out more once I get her back to the lab....Detective….Steve!” The Coroner says.
“Hmm what?” Steve says.
“I said there is no visible signs of trauma. What are you thinking about?”
Steve looks down at body. “I was just remembering something Neal told me yesterday, he said that the hospital was creepy. I better go and talk to Muriel and let me know what you find Doc.”
“Don’t I always Detective and give my best to Detective Schon.”
“Nurse, nurse can I take that?” Steve asks the nurse that is pushing Neal’s wheelchair back to his room.
“Be careful Detective.” The nurse says.
“Hey yourself.” Neal says as he gives his standard greeting.
“We have to talk partner is your roomy at home?” Steve asks.
“He was watching t.v. the last time I saw him. I told you this hospital was creepy.”
“So I guess you heard about Beatrice Carmichael?” Steve asks.
“Who hasn’t? It’s the talk of the hospital. Have you found anything out yet?” Neal asks.
Steve parks Neal near the window down at the end of the hall then he grabs a nearby chair. “Just that the ex-husband has an alibi for the time she got off of work and the Coroner determined that she died from a heart attack but that was strange because according to him her heart was healthy.”
“So she just walked out to the parking garage and keeled over?” Neal replies.
“Would seem so and we have to wait on the drug screen to come back. Sam, Sam the Coroner man and I agree that it looks fishy. And of course everybody she worked with didn’t have a bad thing to say about her, no enemies, you know the usual. I still have a lot more people to interview….”
“So I guess that means we can’t watch Adam-12.” Neal says as he pouts.
“Ah don’t pout you’re get wrinkles.” Steve says.
Neal starts to say something then he stops.
“What?” Steve asks.
“Oh it’s silly.” Neal says.
“Oh go ahead and say it.” Steve says.
“All of a sudden I know what it feels like to be one of the women in our lives.”
“Huh?” Steve replies.
“You know you make plans to do something with your girl and then you have to go to work and now I know what that feels like.” Neal says.
Steve wheels Neal back in the direction of his room.
“Ah Neal you just aren’t used to being cooped up this long that’s all. Hey give Ruby a call….and while you do that I have work to do. See you later partner.” Steve says.
HOLY CROSS ORDERLY LOCKER ROOM:
“Mark….Mark Castro?” Steve says to the guy who is changing his clothes at his locker.
“Maybe, didn’t you see the ‘Employees Only’ sign on the door?” Mark asks as he sits down on the bench to put on his shoes.
“Yeah I did but I think this gives me access anywhere.” Steve says as he shows him his badge.
“You’re a cop?!” Mark says as he looks Steve up and down.
“Yeah and you’re an orderly? I want to ask you a few questions about Nurse Beatrice Carmichael.” Steve puts his foot on the bench as he slips his badge back into his pocket.
“What sort of questions?” Mark asks.
“Oh you know the usual.” Steve replies as he takes a notepad out of his jacket pocket. “Let me see you left work at the same time….”
“No I didn’t….” Mark protests.
“You didn’t….?” Steve says.
“No I get off work at . I work and she got off of work at one in the morning, I was long gone by then.”
“So Mark how do you know what time she got off of work?” Steve asks.
Mark shrugs. “It’s common knowledge….”
“Common knowledge, okay, but someone did tell me that they saw you leaving….” Steve says.
“They were wrong.” Mark replies.
“Okay….a few of the other nurses told me that she was well-liked and that she didn’t have any enemies.” Steve looks at Mark as he says that.
“Everybody has enemies….” Mark says.
“So I take it you didn’t like her Mark?” Steve asks.
“I didn’t say that now did I Detective?” Mark says as he stands up to his full height of at least 6’1 which causes Steve to remove his foot from the bench and look up at him.
“I was in the room that night when she told you to change the sheets in the room next door, and the way that she spoke to you, you know Mark, I wouldn’t like it if a woman spoke to me like that. In fact it would make me angry, did it make you angry Mark?”
“She spoke like that to all the orderlies Detective….”
“Hey are those medical books in your locker?” Steve says.
Mark then slams his locker shut. “Maybe.”
“Going to medical school Mark?” Steve asks.
“That isn’t any of your business Detective. I have to go to work so if you don’t have any other questions….” Mark says.
“I’ll know where to find you….Mark.” Steve replies.
Steve watches as Mark leaves the room and just as Steve is about to leave another orderly enters the room.
“Hey man you know this place is for….” The guy says.
Steve takes out his badge again and he shows it to him.
“Hey man it’s cool; I bet you’re here about that Nurse right?”
“Right man but first maybe I can ask you about Mark….” Steve says.
“Ah Muriel my lovely Muriel.”
“What do you want Steve?” Muriel asks.
“Want? Muriel what makes you think I want anything?” Steve replies.
“By that tone in your voice.”
“Tone what tone? I just wanted to see if you would join me for a cup of coffee….”
“I don’t drink coffee.” Muriel replies.
“Oh okay well then how about a nice, juicy steak….”
“I don’t eat meat either.” Muriel replies.
“Alright then how about a cup of herbal tea and a spinach salad?”
Muriel laughs. “Maybe but you do want something right?”
Steve looks down at the counter then he looks back up and he smiles at her. “Maybe just a little something….” Steve says as he takes her by her hand and he looks her in the eyes. “I know there have been some odd deaths here and I was just wondering….”
“….Wondering?” Muriel asks as she continues to look in his eyes.
Steve bites his lip as he leans in closer to her. “Yeah you know wondering about the deaths….” Steve kisses her on her hand. “….How they died and who was around when they died that sort of thing.”
“Well you know I can’t give out confidential patient information….”
“Oh no baby I understand….” Steve kisses her hand again. “But I just want the times of death and how they died and you know honey I can make it….worth your while.” Steve says as he leans in even closer to her.
“Hmmm Detective is that a bribe?” Muriel asks.
“No honey that’s a promise so what do you say?” Steve asks.
“Hmmmm….” Muriel leans in and begins to kiss him. “….No.”
Steve blinks once then twice. “No?”
Muriel shoves him back. “And you ought to be ashamed of yourself!”
“Me?” Steve says as he points to himself. “What did I do?”
“Batting those long eyelashes at me!!” Muriel says.
“Ah Muriel honey I’m just trying to conduct an investigation and you could be a big help so let me buy you lunch….” Steve smiles sweetly at her. “Come on baby….”
Steve takes her hand and he wraps it around his arm as they walk down the hall.
HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL ROOM 1612 THE NEXT DAY:
“Whoops sorry!” Steve says as he covers his eyes as he comes into Neal’s room.
Ruby and Neal stop kissing when Steve flies into the room.
“Hi Steve sweetheart.” Ruby says as she smiles.
“Hey….” Neal says.
“Hey yourself.” Steve says back to Neal. “Don’t mean to interrupt you two….”
“Now if I had a private room then you might be interrupting something….” Neal says as he winks at Ruby.
“Sugar if you had a private room that door would be locked!” Ruby says as she kisses Neal again.
Steve’s eyes widen. “Whoa! I can always leave and come back in five minutes….!” Steve says as he laughs.
Neal makes a face at him. “Ha, ha and ha!! You can stay I’m afraid that Ruby has to go.”
“Yes but I’ll be back tomorrow sugar, you know, I kinda like you laid up in bed like this. At least I know where you are.” Ruby says as she winks at Neal.
Steve looks at the floor and he smiles as they say their goodbyes.
“What are you smiling at?” Neal asks as Steve walks towards the bed.
“Ain’t love grand, and to think I was worried about you.”
“Well you couldn’t have been that worried about me I haven’t seen you in days.” Neal points out.
“Well I have been busy, where’s your roommate?” Steve says as he points over to the other bed.
“Surgery their putting in his pacemaker today.”
“Oh.” Steve replies. “Well Sam the Coroner got back to me. He said that Beatrice’s heart attack was not natural.”
“Wait was not natural? What in the hell does that mean?” Neal asks.
“That means that her death was helped along a little bit, the coroner found a tiny hole from a syringe. She was attacked in the garage and somebody injected her with something.”
“Wow that doesn’t sound like your average, run of the mill, psycho killer.” Neal says.
“No it doesn’t and it gets more interesting from there.” Steve says.
“Those deaths you told me about well come to find out that they weren’t really normal either, they all died from some sort of heart thing and they were all pretty similar.” Steve takes out his notepad and he flips thru the pages. “I did a cross reference with the time the patients died with the staff that was on duty at those times and why are you giving me that look?”
“How did you get all that information?” Neal asks.
“Wanna you mean?”
“I mean I would think a lot of that stuff is confidential….Steve what did you do now?”
“Do? What do you mean what did I do?” Steve asks.
“Uh huh you batted those long eye lashes at….at….which one was it by the way?”
“Muriel.” Steve says.
“Muriel and she told you everything, so how was the date last night?” Neal says as he raises his eyebrows at him and Steve tries his best to look shocked.
“Okay, okay so I used my many charms….”
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself….” Neal says.
“Funny that is what she said too but it worked didn’t it? I mean she told me what I wanted to know and is it my fault….” Steve points to himself. “….that god gave me this face and she’s pretty so it wasn’t that difficult, you know.”
“Jeez….” Neal says as he rubs his face. “….So all the patients died from the same thing?”
“Yeah but the thing is none of them were in the hospital for heart ailments, one had gall bladder surgery, another to repair a bleeding ulcer things like that and here’s the list of the people I crossed-referenced….” Steve hands Neal his notepad.
“Wow you have been busy there are a lot of names here.” Neal replies.
“Yeah there are.” Steve says.
“So you think these patients were….” Neal says.
“….Murdered?” They both say at the same time. Steve nods. “Yes I do.”
“But why, what’s the reason? What’s the connection between all of them?”
“I don’t know, from what I could find out they didn’t know each other, they all had different jobs and they came from different parts of the city. The only connection I found was that they were in this hospital and they were all cared for by those people.”
“Steve man sometimes I can’t read your chicken scratching! What is this suppose to be?”
Steve leans over and he looks at the notepad. “That? Oh that says pain.”
“Pain?” Neal replies.
“Yeah pain and that was another thing they had in common. They had a lot of pain. Especially the one who had back surgery, he was under going pain management when he died.”
“And somehow all of this ties in with Nurse Beatrice’s murder?” Neal asks.
“I think so and I’ll be willing to bet that the drug that was used to kill her killed the others as well. I’m going to talk to the Captain and see what he says about all of this and why are you looking at me like that….again?” Steve asks.
“What did you do on that date again?” Neal asks.
Before Steve can answer the door to the room opens and being wheeled into the room is Homer. Neal and Steve watch as the orderlies prepare the bed and they lift him up into it and then the nurse arranges the covers over him and she checks his vital signs. Then she closes the curtains and she writes in his chart.
“What are you doing here?” She asks as she looks at Steve.
Steve looks back over his shoulder then he looks at her as he points to himself. “Me?”
“Yes you, visiting hours have been over for thirty minutes now.”
Steve looks at Neal. “Well I didn’t know what time it was we were busy doing some work and we….”
“This is a hospital room not an office. Mr. Stiles needs his rest, peace and quiet and Detective Perry….”
“Oh you know who I am?” Steve asks surprised.
“Yes Muriel told me.” The nurse replies.
“Oh.” Steve looks over at Neal.
“….Visiting hours are over. Now.”
“Now?” Steve says.
“Yes right now. Goodbye Detective.” The nurse says.
“Yeah bye Detective.” Neal repeats.
“Alright, okay I know when I’m not wanted!! See you later partner.”
HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL ROOM 1612 THREE DAYS LATER:
The image was fuzzy to Neal’s eyes but someone was there nevertheless and soon after is when the bells, whistles and alarms went off. The door to the room flew open as nurses and a doctor pushed and pulled carts into the room and then they surrounded Homer’s bed. From there it was a study in control chaos; everyone knowing their parts in this dance with death, and Neal for all of his years in cop land had never seen anything like this. It was like watching a car wreck or something else just as hideous, you didn’t want to look but you couldn’t turn away. Neal was transfixed on the action in the next bed and that is when one of the nurses noticed Neal looking and she quickly grabbed the curtain and drew it closed but by then it was too late for Homer and for Neal.
“Well there you are man I thought I was never going to catch up to you.” Steve says to Neal as he runs up the hallway to catch up to him.
Neal looks back over his shoulder at him. “Hey.” Neal says.
“Hey yourself, I see that you’re doing a lot better partner.” Steve replies.
“Yeah I suppose so; they tell me I have to walk so I’m walking. The ribs are still a little tender and this….” Neal points to the cast on his arm. “….Itches likes a son-of-a-gun!!”
Steve laughs at this as they walk along.
“But if all goes well I may get to go home next week.” Neal says.
“Really, wow’s that great!!” Steve replies as he puts his hand on his shoulder. “Muriel told me about Homer.”
Neal stops then and he looks at the floor as he takes a deep breath. “You know Steve I thought I had seen a lot of bad shit out there on the street but what I saw last night….” Neal shakes his head. “….And they were trying to save him. It was scary….”
“He was a nice guy.” Steve says.
“Yeah he was.”
“Did he have a family?” Steve asks.
“Hmmm yeah a wife and a daughter.” Neal replies.
“How are you doing?” Steve asks.
Neal looks at him. “Me? Oh you know me….”
“I know that is why I’m asking.”
Neal smiles. “I’ll be alright eventually; hey do you have your notepad on you?”
“Yeah sure.” Steve says as he takes it out of his pocket. “What do you want me to write down?”
“You can add Homer Stiles name to your list of suspicious deaths.”
Steve looks at him. “Are you sure?”
“Oh yeah I’m sure I saw somebody next to his bed just before it happened.”
“Maybe it was a nurse.” Steve says.
“Nope and since I had to walk anyway I did some investigating myself, the nurse on duty last night was up the hall with the doctor helping another patient.”
“Then who was it?” Steve asks.
“I don’t know….” Neal rubs his eyes. “….It was fuzzy. He, she, it was fuzzy but it was definitely somebody.”
“Well that certainly narrows it down partner.” Steve replies.
“How do you think I feel? The guy who is sharing a hospital room with me, in the next bed for god sakes was murdered! That pain medicine they gave me just really kicked my ass.”
“Well I bet whoever was in that room with you last night doesn’t know that you saw them.”
“You know I really miss my gun.” Neal says.
Steve laughs as he takes Neal by his arm. “Come on let me help you back to your room.”
“So what did the Captain say?” Neal asks.
“Well he agreed that there is something going on around here now all he has to do is convince the Hospital Admin of that. Pretty soon the newspapers will get wind of it and that kind of publicity they don’t want.”
“Well I plan on doing some snooping around myself.” Neal says as Steve helps him into bed.
“Same here partner and now that you’re all tucked in I’m going to go and find Muriel.”
“Speaking of such you never did tell me what you two did on your date.” Neal asks.
“Ah a gentleman never kisses and tells.” Steve says as he raises one finger in the air.
Neal makes a face. “Gentleman my ass.”
“Oh yeah you’re getting better, see you later partner.” Steve replies.
“Later man.” Neal says.
“Hey man do you mind if I join you?” Steve asks Mark as he stands at his table holding his tray of food. Mark looks up at him from the book that he had been reading then he looks around the room.
“There’s plenty of empty tables why do you….?”
Before Mark can even finish Steve sits down across from him. “Thanks man.”
Mark just looks at him as Steve opens his carton of milk. “Do you always do that?” Mark asks.
“Do what?” Steve asks after he takes a sip of milk.
“Just sit anywhere you want whether you’re invited or not?” Mark asks.
Steve nods. “Yeah pretty much.”
“Oh I forgot your badge gives you access anywhere.” Mark replies as he looks back down at his book.
“Whatcha reading there Mark?”
“A book De….tect…ive.” Mark says without looking up.
Steve laughs as he takes a bite out of his sandwich. “Very good there Mark. Hey you know man there are a lot of cute nurses out here why aren’t you sitting at one of their tables?”
Mark raises his head from his book again. “First of all they are stuck-up little snobs….”
“Oh.” Steve says.
“Secondly I like my privacy and thirdly don’t call me Mark like we’re old friends or something because we aren’t.”
“We aren’t?” Steve asks.
“No we aren’t.” Mark says.
“Well you know, Mark, we could be friends we have a lot in common, you and I.”
Mark laughs. “Such as?”
“Well for one thing my mother died from cancer too in a hospital pretty much like this one….”
“What did you just say?” Mark asked surprised.
“….And your step-father is a real nice guy just like my step-father was….” Steve continues.
“Wait how do you know about my mother and step-father?” Mark asks.
“Because I talked to your step-father that’s why.” Steve replied.
“Why did you do that? You can’t do that! I’m I some sort of suspect or something?”
Steve nods. “Yep but you know everybody that works here is pretty much a suspect….” Steve leans over the table. “….Actually Mark everybody is guilty of something…..or other.”
“You can’t do that!! That is a violation of my civil rights!!! Are you doing that to anybody else here?”
Steve eats his sandwich and he nods. “I’ll get around to it….eventually.”
“You….you have a boss right? What’s his name I want to sign a complaint against you!!!”
“Oh come on man don’t get your orderlies uniform in a wad! I am conducting an investigation a homicide investigation….” Steve says.
“Nurse Carmichael? I heard she died from a heart attack….” Mark says.
Steve holds up one finger to stop him. “It was murder….”
“How do you….?” Mark asks.
“You know I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but the coroner found a needle mark on her. When she was attacked in that parking lot the maniac that did it injected her with something….” Steve takes his notepad out of his pocket and he turns a few pages until he comes to the one that he wants. “….Epinephrine.” Steve looks over at Mark. “I don’t have to tell you what it does you’re going to medical school, aren’t you Mark?”
“Yeah sure.” Mark replies.
Steve looks again at his notepad. “Actually I think you’re step-father said that you dropped out….”
“No I didn’t drop out!! I’m taking a semester off that’s it!” Mark says loudly.
“Really? Well actually I think the words he used were ‘washed out’ or maybe even ‘flunked out’”
Mark then reaches over and he snatches the notepad out of Steve’s hands and he rips it apart. “I didn’t flunk out!!! I’m taking a semester off!!”
Steve sits up straighter in his chair with his hands in the air. “Alright man cool it I might have heard him wrong and why did you go and do that for? That notepad had all the info I needed about the other suspicious deaths here….ooops….there I go again talking out of turn again.”
“What other so-called suspicious deaths?” Mark asks.
“Oh you know Mark the ones that have been happening over the last three months here and haven’t you worked here that long?”
“I….” Mark says but Steve interrupts him.
“Your mom was a patient here too wasn’t she Mark?”
“Stop it.” Mark says.
“….She came here for help but they couldn’t stop her pain….”
“Stop it!” Mark says louder.
“….The only thing that stopped her pain was….dying.”
Mark stands up quickly turning his chair over in the process as he slams his hand down onto his book causing other people in the cafeteria to turn and look in their direction.
“STOP IT!!” Mark yells loudly.
Steve stands up and he points across the table at him. “And you helped her to die didn’t you?”
“Shut up!! You shut up about my mother!!!”
“How many others….?” Steve asks.
Mark laughs. “You’re crazy!! This is a hospital! People die in hospitals every hour, everyday, every week….”
“No you’re wrong!! Not that many and not in the same ways and not with the same drug!! Homer Stiles and Beatrice Carmichael were killed with the same drug, Epinephrine. Homer Stiles died last night at two in the morning.” Steve says.
“I wasn’t on duty if that is what you’re getting at!”
“You don’t have to be on duty to be in the hospital aren’t I right Mark? I mean you have worked here long enough to know all the ins and outs of this place. Places you can hide so you won’t be seen….”
Mark rounds the table and he advances on Steve but Steve holds his ground not flinching a muscle as Mark, all 6’1 of him, sticks his finger in his face.
“Look Detective I wasn’t here!!! Either you arrest me for something or you leave me alone!! Got it?”
By now most of the people in the cafeteria had cleared out but standing in the doorway was two, big, huge Hospital Security Officers watching the action between them. After Mark yelled at Steve he looked back over his shoulder at the Security Officers then he backed up a few steps then he went around the table and he gathered up his book and he started to walk off.
“There was an eyewitness last night to Homer’s murder Mark.”
That causes Mark to stop with his back to Steve. “Homer’s roommate, you know, the guy in the next bed saw you and when he gets out of here next week he’s coming down to the station….”
“Screw you and your eyewitness.” Mark says as he walks away. Steve motions for the two Security Officers to let him pass.
They watch him leave then they approach Steve who by now was picking his ripped up notepad from off of the floor.
“What in the hell was going on in here?” One of the Security Officers asks.
“Yeah what was all that about?” The other Security Officer asks. “I thought that guy was going to deck you.”
“Well you know that is always a likely possibility in my line of work.” Steve says as he shows them his badge.
They nod their heads at this.
“I was just doing some tweaking fellows and hey thanks for the back-up.” Steve says as he slaps one of them on the arm as he walks out of the Cafeteria.
“Did he say tweaking?” One of the Security Officers say to the other.
He shrugs. “Must be some obscure police lingo.”
Steve was used to sneaking and hiding and ducking around after all he was a Detective so he managed to get into the hospital and get to Neal’s room without being spotted and he was just about to put his hand on the doorknob when….
“What are you doing here?”
Steve lets out a cry of surprise and he jumps jerking his hand back from the doorknob. His hands flying up to his chest.
“Don’t do that you scared me!!”
“Detective Perry what are you doing here? Do you have any idea what time it is?” Nurse Chambers asks.
Steve looks at his watch. “Yeah it is in the morning.”
“And visiting hours have been over for hours Detective so why are you sneaking….”
“Sneaking? Oh now I think I’m offended! I just wanted to make sure that my partner was okay. You know lately there has been a lot of weird things going on around here. Nurse Carmichael and all those deaths, not to mention the fact that the guy who shared my partner’s room died! Died mind you just like that!!” Steve snaps his fingers.
“I just checked on him and he’s fine, he’s sleeping. Which is what you should be doing at home.”
“You know Nurse Chambers I was planning on sticking around for awhile and did anybody ever tell you that you have the loveliest blue eyes?”
Nurse Chambers tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. “Well no not really.”
“Oh no no don’t do that its looks better like this.” Steve says as he removes the strand of hair from behind her ear. “Why in the world did a good looking girl like you want to be a Nurse?”
“Oh you know the usual reasons I want to help people.”
“Well you know honey you can help me by letting me go into my partner’s room and crashing for awhile.” Steve holds her hand. “I’ll be quiet and I’ll leave in the morning and nobody will be the wiser. Tell you what baby when you get off work I’ll buy you breakfast.”
“Well you know Muriel did tell me about you. I’ll let you stay if you let me fix you breakfast at my place Steve.” She smiles at him.
Steve looks her up and down. “Well you know baby I would like that and then you can cure what ails me!” Steve winks at her. “You won’t be too tired now will you?”
“Oh no and from what I heard you won’t be either. Promise to be quiet?” Nurse Chambers asks him.
“I promise. Scout’s Honor.” Steve says to her.
“Alright see you later.”
“Later baby.” Steve watches as she turns and walks away then she looks back over her shoulder at him and she waves goodbye.
Steve waves back at her as he goes into Neal’s room.
HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL THE NEXT DAY ROOM 1612:
Neal had just gotten out of the shower and he was just wearing a towel when Steve blew into his room.
“Hide me Neal!!!” Steve says as he runs about the room.
“Hide you? From what? From whom?” Neal asks as he watches Steve runs around the room like a squirrel in a cage.
“Nurse Hamilton! I’m not supposed to be here remember?”
Neal looks at the clock on the wall. “Imagine that it’s only what four hours since visiting hours ended? Finally found a nurse you can’t charm Steve?”
“Well you please stop flapping your gums and hide me!!! She told me if she ever caught me she would drag me out by my hair!! Do something!!” Steve pleads with him.
“Hide you where? Oh tell you what hide out on the ledge!”
“That isn’t….oh hell I hear her coming! Neal hide me!!!” Steve pleads again.
“Okay, okay get in the bathroom….”
“Yeah….” Steve says.
“And turn on the shower.”
“Huh?” Steve says.
“Just do it!” Neal says as he pushes Steve into the bathroom and he follows him and in the next minute the shower comes on and then Nurse Hamilton comes into the room.
“Alright where is he?”
Neal opens the door to the bathroom just enough for him to stick his head out. “Oh Nurse Hamilton I thought I heard somebody….”
“Can the chatter where is he?” She asks as she looks in the closet.
“Who? I was just about….” Neal replies.
“That skinny little partner of yours! He’s been around here all day! Hanging around the nurse’s station and getting my nurses into such a tizzy they can’t concentrate on their jobs. Marge was putting charts back into the B section when they should have went into the P section, Roberta dropped a whole box of tongue depressors and they had to be thrown out and I told him if I saw him come into this room after visiting hours again that I would drag him out by his hair!! And I saw him and his skinny little ass run in here!! So where is he? Is he in there with you?” She asks as she approaches the bathroom door.
Neal responds by pulling the door closer to him. “I think not! What do you take me for? You aren’t coming in here!”
Nurse Hamilton puts her hands on her hips. “I’m a nurse remember and you haven’t got anything that I haven’t seen before.”
“That maybe but I like to keep mine to myself!! And his name is Steve and I haven’t seen him! You know I have plans! Take a shower, watch the Movie of the Week which you are making me late for and go to bed early so if you don’t mind!!!”
“Mr. Schon I have two grown sons but when they were kids I could always tell when they were up to no good and you have that same look about you! I have two more hours on my shift and if I see….see….”
“Steve.” Neal finishes for her.
“….Steve….I’m going to yank him up by that long hair of his! And I don’t give a good damn if you two are cops here in this hospital I am the mother of all cops!!! I am the Head Supervisor for the nurses! Is that clear!!”
“Yes ma’m crystal.” Neal says as he practically cowers behind the door and when she finally leaves he takes a deep breath.
“Psssst Neal is she gone all this steam is murder on my hair!!” Steve says from behind him.
“Yeah she is. Did you hear all of that? Turn the shower off.”
Steve reaches over and he turns off the shower. “Yeah I did.”
Neal opens the door to the bathroom and he goes over to the bed where he had laid out his pajamas and he gets dressed.
“What in the hell did you do anyway, Roberta, Marge?” Neal asks.
“Do you need any help I mean with your arm in a cast and all?” Steve asks.
“No I think I got it and don’t change the subject. Steve I am really shocked I thought I knew you but now I see that I don’t know you at all.”
“Neal what in the hell are you talking about?”
“The nurses! How many on the roster have you slept with?” Neal asks.
Steve laughs. “Neal I haven’t slept with all of them, I mean, you know it’s been dinner and lunch a few breakfasts here and there and yeah okay maybe a little you know….but they give me vital information and some leeway to skate around the rules.”
“What ever happened to paying your informants with money?” Neal asks.
“I don’t have that much money.” Steve says seriously.
“Oh brother….oh shit I hear something! Quick get in the bathroom!!”
Steve runs into the bathroom and he shuts the door but when the door opens it is Carmen who works in housekeeping.
“Oh never mind Steve its housekeeping.”
Steve opens the bathroom door and he comes out and immediately he goes over to Carmen and he takes her by the hands and he kisses her on both cheeks. “Hola Carmen.”
“Hola.” She says back as she smiles.
Neal watches as they converse in Spanish for a few minutes then Carmen goes about her business picking up the towels from the bathroom.
“Steve the girl from housekeeping too?”
“She makes killer enchiladas Neal. Look this hospital maybe creepy and it may have a homicidal maniac running around it but damn if it doesn’t have some foxy nurses!! It is the 70’s and I’m single and over 21….”
“Way over 21.” Neal points out.
“Well that was rude!” Steve says.
“Now I know what you’re doing when you don’t answer your phone. Getting a physical….”
“I will have you know all my time and attention have been focused on this case or should I say cases.” Steve says. “That is why I have been haunting your room I’m here to protect you from our prime suspect.”
“Protect me? Steve what did you do exactly?”
“I tweaked things just a little.” Steve replies.
“What do you mean you tweaked things just a little?” Neal asks.
“I told him that there was a witness….”
“YOU TOLD HIM WHAT???!!” Neal replies loudly.
“Sssshhhhh!!! This is a hospital you know!!!”
“Steve I can’t believe you did that!!!! What in the hell are you trying to do get me killed? You little shit you set me up!!!! And you’re suppose to be my best friend!!!” Neal replies.
“I am your best friend that is why I am here. When he shows up and he will I’ll be here to catch him in the act!” Steve says.
“Okay munchkin boy how can you be so sure he’ll show?” Neal asks.
“Because I told him that next week you’ll be getting out of the hospital so he has to do it this week and he won’t let the only eyewitness go home will he?” Steve says.
“I can’t believe that I’m saying this but you have a point but how can I sleep now?”
“You’re sleep just fine because I’m here to keep watch nothing has happened so far has it? And you have been sleeping like a baby….”
“Well yeah you know….” Neal says.
“….A baby elephant….”
“Hey wait a minute!” Neal says.
“….With a frigging head cold Neal do you know that you snore? I mean you really snore! How does Ruby stand it? How do I stand it? I mean in a car you don’t sound that bad, how is that possible? I mean a car is smaller than this room….”
“Are you finished?” Neal asks.
“Yeah I think so.” Steve replies.
“I really, really miss my gun.” Neal says.
“Well don’t worry partner I have my gun and its all cleaned and ready to go! You know what they say….” Steve gives him that look.
“I know I’m going to hate myself for asking this but no Steve what do they say.” Neal asks.
“A clean gun is a happy gun and her name is Gertrude!” Steve replies.
Neal rubs his eyes. “Oh yeah I really, really miss my gun. Well on that note I’m going to bed.”
“Cool man you go to sleep and I’m going to watch Adam-12 and then I’ll hide out in the bathroom, just look at this as a stakeout.” Steve replies.
“Oh yeah man if Nurse Hamilton catches you, you’re be stakeout in the parking lot and that long hair of yours will be flying from the flag pole! So man keep a low profile if you know what I mean.”
“No problemo man.”
“Hey I saw the doctor leave, is it good news?” Steve asks as he goes into Neal’s room.
“As a matter of fact it was what’s that?” Neal asks as he points to the bag that Steve is carrying.
“Chinese food I thought we could share dinner.” Steve says as he pulls the table over to the bed and he sits the bag down on it. Neal opens it.
“Wow Steve you got all my favorites, Peking Duck, Sweet and Sour Pork.” Neal calls them off as he takes them out of the bag. “Combo fried rice….”
“Oh that’s mine.” Steve says then Neal hands it to him.
“Egg rolls wow Steve you brought quite a feast here.”
“Well I felt bad….” Steve replies as he sits down next to Neal on the bed.
Neal stops with his fork in mid-air as he looks at him. “You felt bad, about what?”
Steve opens the food container as Neal hands him a fork. “Thanks. I felt bad about setting you up and all I mean you were right I did put your life in danger. It was stupid….”
Neal puts his hand on Steve’s shoulder as he rocks him back and forth.
“….But you know man I was on a roll and once I got started I couldn’t stop.” Steve says.
“See what happens when I leave you by yourself partner.” Neal says as he smiles.
Steve nods as he smiles.
“I know what you were trying to do Steve you were trying to push his hand….”
Steve turns to look at Neal. “All the evidence against this guy is circumstantial at best, he was on duty when every patient died, and he had access to all the ones that died, and he has medical knowledge probably more so than any other orderly that works here but then again some of that also fits everybody else in this hospital! When I was talking to him Neal I knew there was no other way to stop him, other than him confessing….”
“He had to be caught in the act….” They both say at the same time.
“And that is where you came in Neal.”
“You’re really hot for this guy aren’t you?” Neal asks.
“Oh yeah and I guess my zeal put you right in the line of fire.” Steve says.
“It’s alright Detective you’re going on your gut instincts.” Neal winks at him. “And truth be known I would probably have done the same thing.”
“Really?” Steve asks.
Neal nods as he eats some of his Peking duck. “I trust you Steve and right now we are the only ones we got and besides I knew the job was dangerous when I took it….”
“Super chicken?!” Steve says as they both laugh. “So what was the good news the doctor gave you?”
“Oh….” Neal wipes his mouth with a napkin. “After my last x-ray today and you know I should be glowing in the dark by now I have had so many x-rays….”
“….The good doctor said that everything is knitted back together and Monday I can go home!!”
“Neal that is good news!!!”
“Yeah I can finish recuperating at home!! Come back for follow-ups that sort of thing and the Captain even said after a couple of weeks at home I can do some light desk duty, you know until my wing comes out of the cast…..hey man where are you going?” Neal asks as Steve jumps off of the bed.
“To find Muriel to tell her that you’re going home and for her to pass it around….”
“But what about dinner? You know the dinner that you brought and that we, you and me, are supposed to share?” Neal asks.
“I have some work to do but I’ll be back I promise!!” Steve says as he runs out of the room. Then he suddenly opens the door and he pops his head in. “Watch TV!” Then he is gone again.
“Watch TV? Now I know what one of our girlfriends feel like….Again!!” Neal yells at the closed door.
“Nurse Hamilton you look lovely tonight….” Steve says as he tries to sweet-talk his way out of trouble.
“Can it!” Nurse Hamilton orders.
“Yes ma’m.” Steve replies. “You didn’t get that memo from the Administer?”
“Memo?” Nurse Hamilton says skeptically.
“Yeah the memo that says I’m supposed to be able to come and go when I please because I am conducting a Homicide investigation and I am suppose to be able to see my partner whenever I please. Especially tonight because tomorrow he goes home and I think, no I know, that my prime suspect will attack him tonight so I have to be there to save him….you didn’t get that memo?” Steve says.
“No.” Nurse Hamilton says with her arms crossed over her chest her foot tapping.
“Are you sure that you didn’t get it?” Steve asks.
“Oh okay.” Steve replies.
“Nurse Muriel and I’m sure that you know who she is has gone to check on him and I am sure….”
Even before she could finish her sentence the bells and whistles started signaling a code blue and from Neal’s room they heard a high pitched scream and then as they watched Mark came out of the room holding Muriel tight around the neck with his forearm as he held a syringe in the other.
Steve reached underneath his jacket and he pulled out his gun and he pointed it at Mark as he slowly approached him.
“Come on Mark let her go.”
“Steve….” Muriel says.
“Back off Detective! There’s enough left in this syringe to finish her off.” Mark says as he backs up with her still tight in his grasp. “Don’t you hear all that noise Detective? That means your friend is dying….put your gun on the floor and let me walk out of here….with her.”
“No….” Muriel says as she shakes her head.
Steve slowly approaches still pointing his gun at him. “I can’t do that Mark, let her go man she hasn’t done anything to you.”
By now Steve has backed him up far enough up the hallway that the crash carts were able to get into Neal’s room and Mark put the syringe closer to Muriel’s neck. “Put the gun on the floor Detective.”
“Alright man just stay calm and don’t hurt her okay?” Steve says as he puts his hands in the air and then he slowly bends over, keeping one eye on Mark and Muriel, as he puts his gun on the floor. “There you go man.”
“That’s a good boy. Now wait twenty minutes before you come to the roof that’ll give me enough time to get away and that is where you’ll find your girlfriend here.”
“Steve! No! Don’t let him….!” Muriel says.
Mark grabs her tighter around the neck. “Shut up!! Remember Detective twenty minutes!” Mark begins to drag her backwards toward the stairwell’s doors and all Steve can do is watch as Mark opens the door and he drags Muriel through it and when the door shuts Steve picks up his gun.
“Twenty minutes my ass.”
Then he goes after him.
HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL ROOFTOP:
There was 20 floors in this building and they were on the 16th floor and Steve counted every step between here and there to the roof as he made his way up the stairs and on them he found remnants, bits and pieces of Muriel. Her hat on one floor, one shoe on another and the other on another floor, her nameplate and then finally he was to the door that went out to the roof. He took a deep breath counted to five raised his gun then he kicked open the door and when he stepped down onto the roof he saw Muriel lying still on her side.
He ran to her side as he holstered his gun and he carefully turned her over. “Muriel? Dear god Muriel!” He felt her pulse and she was alive. “Muriel I know you can hear me, I have to leave you here, I have to find him, please forgive me.” He took off his jacket and he draped it over her to protect her from some of the night chill then he stood up and standing over her he once again pulled his gun from his holster. He couldn’t have gone far he reasoned as he started off across the rooftop to find him.
Steve himself didn’t get far before he was jumped on from above and when he was hit and taken to the ground the gun he was holding came free from his hand and skittered across the rooftop finally coming to rest against the raised lip of the roof. Mark was bigger and stronger and he had the advantage as they both landed half on and half off the roof, Steve with his upper back hanging over the edge of the roof as Mark straddled him. Mark had one hand underneath Steve’s chin and he was pushing it backwards and Steve was holding that wrist with one of his hands and with the other he held in a death grip the wrist of Mark’s other hand that was holding the syringe and out of the corner of Steve’s eye he could see it creeping ever closer to his neck.
Steve’s strength was waning with each and every passing second and the pain in his back was growing as the edge of the roof dug deeper into his flesh, he begin to breath harder as he tried his best to hold back the syringe that was even closer than it was before and he closed his eyes against the sight of the needle piercing his skin and then the stillness of the night was broken by one gunshot. Steve’s eyes flew open as he felt Mark’s body jerk atop of his and then Mark’s eyes, wide with surprised looked into Steve’s and Mark took one last great breath, his body shuddered and then his dead body collapsed down onto Steve.
Steve rolled Mark’s body off of his then he looked up to see a figure illuminated by the moonlight holding his gun and now it was pointed at him.
“Muriel?” Steve asks surprised.
“Oh my Steve what a big gun you have!” Muriel’s hair had come loose from its clip and along with the white of her dress she seem to glow in the moonlight.
“Muriel, my gun give it to me.” Steve says as he extends his hand to her.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk poor Mark but good riddance to bad rubbish!” Muriel says as she continues to point Steve’s gun at him.
“Muriel you killed Beatrice didn’t you?” Steve asks.
“She found out and I had to because she was going to the police….”
“She was going to the police about you two right?” Steve replies.
“Oh Steve you’re very smart and yes she was going to the police about us and the patients that we had killed, you see, it all started with his mother three months ago in this hospital.”
“Mark killed his mother?” Steve says.
Muriel drops the gun slightly shocked by what Steve had just said. “Yes! You see Steve pain is a hideous thing and no one deserves to live in pain and his mother was one of those people. The doctor’s could do nothing for her and she begged me to end her pain….” She says as he waves the gun back and forth.”….Begged me to end her life!!! To take the pain away but I couldn’t but Mark could….”
“You gave him the drugs and the patient’s names didn’t you?” Steve replies.
“It was all very simple and easy. He was going to be a Doctor and take care of me, he had promised!! But then he got sloppy!!! The man that shared your partner’s room!!! He was seen!!! Your partner saw him!!! He was stupid!!!! I told him that he had to kill your partner!! No witnesses!! He told me….” Muriel turns her head to the side.”….he told me after tonight it was over! He was going to go away! The police were too close!!! He wanted to end it….!!! In the room, after he injected your partner, I told him that he had killed all those people and I was going to go to the police….”
“All the medical records Muriel, all the information that you gave to me was wrong wasn’t it? You were protecting Mark all along…..”
Muriel has a faraway look in her eyes. “I loved him and I thought that he loved me but he was using me….using me….”
“Muriel give me the gun….” Steve replies. “….Please….”
“He killed your partner and when I kill you there will be no witnesses my confession dies with you….” Muriel says as she raises the gun again and points it at Steve and then she pulls the hammer back.
“Wanna bet.” Neal says suddenly from behind her and before she can turn around he hits her in the back of the head with his cast and before she can hit the ground Neal catches her.
“Took you long enough.” Steve says as he stands up and he adjusts his neck.
was dead remember?” Neal says as he lays Muriel down on the roof and off in the
distance they could hear sires coming in their direction. “And here comes the
“Did you have to hit her?” Steve replies.
“What did you want me to do shoot her? This cast is all I had since somebody, you….” Neal says as he points at Steve. “….Forgot to bring me my gun!! I didn’t hit her hard she’ll be alright.”
“Uh huh did you hear all of that?” Steve asks.
“Yes and that was another reason it took me so long to get out here I was listening to her. Steve you really know how to pick them. You know this whole thing could have turned out back I mean really bad she could have shot you before….”
“Na.” Steve says as he holds up his gun. “It only had one bullet.”
“One bullet? Are you crazy! That was taking one hell of a chance you know….”
“Neal in case you haven’t noticed through this whole case we were taking one hell of a chance. I mean everybody in this hospital should get the Academy Award because we pulled off one hell of an acting job! Come on help me with her we need to get downstairs.” Steve says as he puts his gun back into its holster.
Steve takes Muriel by one arm and Neal takes the other and they carry her in between them.
“Yeah buddy Steve you are going to have a lot of paperwork to do.” Neal says.
“This is true and that is why I need to get started on it as soon as possible….I have a date.”
Neal stops and he looks over at Steve. “Ah Steve man with whom?”
“Nurse Hamilton.” Steve says.
Neal’s eyes widen with surprise. “Nurse….? I thought she hated you?”
“Neal I told you that everybody was doing one hell of an acting job!” Steve says as he smiles at Neal.
“There you are man I have been waiting for hours. What took you so long?” Steve says as he takes the bags out of Neal’s lap and then he helps him to stand up out of the wheelchair. “Thanks Nurse.”
“Well after that fiasco last night they wanted to give me the once over one more time, to make sure I didn’t rip open any stitches, or do any more damage to my ribs just to give me a clean bill of health before they released me and that took time. But I’m here now.”
Steve puts the bags in the trunk of Neal’s car. “Good thing because I’m starving.” Steve opens the car door for Neal then Steve gets in the driver’s side.
“Hey Steve you never did tell me what you did on all your dates with the Nurses.”
“Neal you know I don’t kiss and tell.” Steve says.
“Ah come on Steve just give me something!” Neal pleads.
“Oh alright, are you ready?” Steve asks.
“Yeah.” Neal replies.
“We played….Twister!” Steve says as he hits Neal on his shoulder.
Neal makes a face. “Twister?”
“Yeah Twister.” Steve replies.
“That’s it?” Neal asks.
“Yeah that’s it.” Steve says.
“But Twister is a kid’s game!”
“Not the way I play it!!!” Steve replies as he winks at him.
“Wait! What does that mean?” Neal asks.
“Come on partner let’s get you home.” Steve says as he smiles.
V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7 V7
“Neal you dirty, dirty dog!!!” Steve replies.
“What?” Neal says as he laughs.
“You better turn off that tape because I’m about to give you what-for!! You smuck!!! You have a whole box of those double-headed quarters!”
“Actually yes I do.” Neal replies.
“Oh that is so wrong!!! Of all the things that you have done to me over the years that ranks right up there at the top!!” Steve says.
“Oh come on it was all just in fun!!!” Neal says.
“Yeah well you better tell Bruno that!”
“Bruno?! You mean Bruno from the garage?” Neal asks.
“Yeah the guy who can bench press a Volkswagen Bug that Bruno.”
“What does he have to do with this?” Neal asks.
“He broke his hand and it’s your fault!!!” Steve says as he points at Neal.
“My….my fault? How is that my fault!!?”
“Because when I was coming back up here after getting dinner I saw Bruno and he hit me up for a quarter to get something out of the candy machine….” Steve says.
“Yeah?” Neal replies.
“….So I gave him a quarter! That double-headed quarter of yours that I had in my pocket!”
“So!!” Neal says.
“….So the candy machine kept spitting that quarter back out at him and he got pissed so he clobbered the machine and he broke his hand!!!”
“He did what?” Neal asks.
“Yeah man all the bones and you should see the machine!! He was going to go to the clinic up the block and by now he should be back and if I was you….” Steve says.
“How does he know that quarter was mine Steve?” Neal asks.
“I told him.” Steve replies.
“You told him….?”
The next thing heard was a loud banging on the door.
“Oh man that’s Bruno! Go! Go! Out the back way and I’ll cover for you!” Steve replies.
“Really thanks man I owe you!!!” Neal says.
The next sound heard is Neal getting up from the desk and running out the back door then Steve goes over and he opens the other door.
“Hey Tommy!” Steve says to the janitor as he opens the door.
“So was that loud enough Detective?” Tommy asks.
“Just fine Tommy just fine! Here’s the twenty I promised you.”
“Thanks and if you ever need anything else….” Tommy says.
“I’ll keep you in mind Tommy and thanks again.” Steve says as he closes the door. “GOTCHA NEAL!!! Until next time this is Victor 7 over and out…..!”
The last sound heard is the tape being turned off.
©LAB and SRP & JRNY FANFICTION 2007 to 2008. 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. And for the love of things and people back in the day.