To Angie...the one to blame for all of this...
It was a dark and stormy night. Really stormy. And dark. And night. The stormiest, darkest night of the year. Which didn't really mean much since it was only the second of January.
They were stuck out in the storm on a stakeout. Not even in the truck. Oh, no. They had to huddle behind the dumpster in the alley...a smelly dumpster...A big, honking, overflowing, stinking dumpster, behind a Chinese restaurant (although not their favorite Dim Sum House). A just-closed-down-by-the-health-department Chinese Restaurant. It would be a long time before they would want to eat Chinese again, or even play Chinese checkers.
Blair was wearing ten layers of shirts, blue over red over teal over magenta over yellow over green over gray over purple over brown over orange over chartreuse over white, and with Jim's Cascade PD Sweatshirt on the top. Blair's socks match three of his shirts.
Jim was just wearing a ratty old, faded torn gray tank top which barely covered his well-developed gleaming muscles, his arms and shoulders bulging out...his gleaming chest swelling with every breath. His oh-so fashionable white socks and his short hair, ruffling softly in the breeze.
But Jim wasn't cold, oh, no. He's got the dials turned down. Blair is shivering and complaining 'cause he's forced to smell that dumpster, and Jim isn't. And, since he's leaning up against the dumpster, he's making it rattle with his shivering...
Jim's complaining about the noise, how's he supposed to hear the bad guys if Blair's making so much racket?
"But I wanted to stay in the truck, Jim. It's not my fault." Blair whined. "It's cold out here."
"It's too far away, Sandbag, we need to be able to see the doorway, and we can't because of this lousy, stinking dumpster in the way if we're in the truck."
"You know, Jim, there might be a way to get your vision to work around this lousy stink-a-roo dumpster. Let's test it!"
"Oh, no, Sandbag...despite what you may think, I'm not superman, I do not have x-rayed vision."
"No tests, Darwin."
"But Jimmmmm, look! I've got this little mirror, maybe we could stick it to the wall with something..." He started looking around on the ground, and yelped in glee as he found a large, gooey wad of used chewing gum on the sole of his shoe.
Jim's nose wrinkled in distaste. "Spearmint."
"See? Like this." He proceeded down the alley towards the door they needed to watch and used the gum to stick the mirror to the dirty brick on the other side of the alley.
"A little more to the left, I can't see the door yet."
"OK, like this?" Blair adjusted the mirror a bit to the right...
"No, Darwin, your other left..."snapped Jim.
"Oh, OK..." Blair hastily twisted the mirror the opposite direction with a twist of his tiny hand, building up the wad of gum behind it.
"Too far," Jim growled.
The wind picked up, and suddenly, Jim found his face full of Blair's long, luxurious, flowing, curly locks. Jim spit it out in disgust, because the wind has not only blown it into his face, but into his mouth, as well
"Will you control this stuff, chief?!" he said, spitting it out.
"Hey, easy with the hair, man!" Blair rebuked, checking each delicate strand for damage.
Just then, squealing tires heralded the arrival of their suspects as they spun around the corner. Its huge, powerful engine roaring, its enormous headlights reflecting off the buildings. Screeching to a halt on its three bald tires, the hydraulics malfunctioning and causing the enormous vehicle to bounce uncontrollably... with pockets of rust scattered across its dented brown frame and spider web-like cracks dividing the front windshield like a spider's web.
The bright headlights catching in the mirror and sending a blinding, amplified beam of light directly into Jim's eyes. The unexpected glare knocked Jim to the ground, shrieking shrilly and flinging his large hands over his already tear-filled eyes; the pain causing him to whimper like a baby who'd worn the same dirty diaper for days.
Blair kicked Jim in the ankle with the toe of his Nike's and told him to "Suck it up, man. You've got work to do."
Jim sniffled a few times, full lip curled in a childish but winsome pout.
A second well-placed kick knocked the still sniveling sentinel over into the sludge that had leaked from the stinking, overflowing dumpster. The seat of his pants rapidly absorbing the week-old effluvium of the former restaurant.
Jim has fumbled his pistol from the holster in the small of his back, but he's so soaked with the rotted effluvium from the stinking dumpster, he drops it.
The bad guys have trained their stolen poodles to burglarize businesses (they originally stole the poodles for their jewelled collars...who ever said bad guys were bright? Since most of those 'jewels' are merely glass or plastic...). At first it was thought that they only stole the poodles for their jewels, but they had discovered that the poodles were being trained...
They've been stealing jewelry for the last week - both costume and real - because they don't know the difference and the poodles don't care. They just like the bright sparkly stuff. Yeah, it's real purdy...'cause it shines and sparkes, and it's bright and reflects the light...blinding Jim again... who falls back down to his knees, screaming in agony.
"Will you get up, Jim!" Blair snarls.
"But it hurrrrrrts!"
"Get my gun, Sandbag!"
"Hey, I ain't packin'!"
"Where's my gun? I just had it a second ago? Where did it go? Have you seen it? Where could it have gone? I need my gun, Blair...Where could it have gone? Have you seen it?"
"How could I have lost it? Where did it go?"
"Blair, I have to have my gun, Simon will kill me if I lose another one."
"It's in your hand."
"But I can't feel it," Jim whimpered.
"Man, dial the senses up a bit will ya?"
"Huh? What did you say?"
The bad guys come closer.
Blair slaps Jim upside the head with his tiny, delicate little hand causing the big bruiser to fall back into the muck of the alley, crying. "Sandbag!!"
"It was for your own good!"
"But Blaiiiiiiiirirrrrrrrr!" Jim whined, choking back his tears that his supposed best friend would be so mean to him. His bestest friend in the whole world. The whole universe. And meanwhile the bad guys are still getting closer...
"Jim. Pull yourself together, man!" Blair shouted, noticing that the bad guys were gettin closer, their stolen poodles out front, snarling and gnashing their teeth at the thought of fresh meat, the sparkling imitation jewelry hanging loosely out of their pockets. The poodles crept closer, snapping and slavering in anticipation of a meal even better than WonderBurger...
"Bestest friend, bestest friend," Jim mumbled, rocking himself, with his hands pressed against his eyes, sobbing and wiping the tears from his tear-filled eyes and the tear tracks from his tear-tracked cheeks.
Suddenly, Jim's strong, masculine long fingers clenched the gun, squeezing the week-old effluvium from the seat of his pants with one hand and pushing Blair out of danger with the other. The gun went off, missing Blair and killing all the poodles and ricocheting through the garbage and off the dumpster and grazing all the bad guys.
Suddenly, Blair noticed the lead poodle, the animal's haircut was just like...Lola's! Lola, the showgirl, who could have been 'the one'. "Ah Lola, that curly platinum blond hair. Those gorgeous dark eyes, that smile..." he murmured to himself.
It was a dark and stormy night, Blair had sought shelter from the maelstrom in the local pub, a place called the Copa Cabana, the coolest spot in all Manaus. He ordered a tall, cool drink and leaned back against the bar to watch the floor show. Her name was Lola, she was the showgirl, the best looking...the only, woman in the place. She couldn't sing, dance, or even talk well...but she was still the only game in town. And Blair was hopelessly in love.
"Oh, my Blairsy, Wairsy, I do so hate to tell you this," she said, the smoke from her cigarette circling her head in a graceful crazy eight before lazily floating toward the lovestruck wanna-be anthropologist.
"Tell me what, my love?" inquired the short, curly haired young man with a cough, waving his hand in front of his face, trying to direct the smoke in another direction.
Dropping into the chair beside him, she leaned forward, her low-cut dress revealing her appalling lack of assets. "Tell you that, alas, I have fallen in love with another man."
*****END OF FLASHBACK*****
"NO!!!!! Lola!!!!!" Blair screamed, seeing his beloved...wait, that wasn't his Lola, just a poodle that looked like his Lola...
Pulling Blair away from the frightening sight, Jim encased him in a gentle hug that squeezed the breath out of him, and nearly the stuffing, managing to wipe the effluvium from the dumpster on his beloved partner as he did so.
Suddenly, a bright light lit the alley from above, as a huge black Jaguar and an ethereal wolf pounced down on the poodles, snapping them up and swallowing them whole.
Jim started whimpering again as the bright lights stabbed his eyes. "Ah well, the cat always did know how to get the women out of my life," sighed Jim recovering quickly. "Welcome to my world, Sandbag."
"Speak for yourself, man." Blair growled, watching as his spirit wolf gobbled down the last poodle and stood looking hungrily around for more. The panther was licking its paws contentedly and washing his face while purring.
Just then, the masterminds behind the series of burglaries and thefts stepped out from behind the car. Blair looks up and sees... No, it can't be. Garrett Kincaid?!?!?!?
"Man, what happened to you?" he squeaked out through his laughter, seeing the former Sunrise Patriot dressed in a pink feather boa. Just then, Garrett's girlfriend stepped out from behind him.
"Cassie?" Jim gasped, spotting the redhead wearing a matching pink feather boa.
Cassie smiled, tucking one hand into the crook of Kincaid's arm. "Hi, guys. I told you I didn't date men I worked with," she purred.
Jim nodded slowly, "Oh no, this explains the pink feathers left at the crime scenes and the one long strand of heavily conditioned red hair."
"Sorry, boys," Cassie simpered. "But me and Gare-Gare, here, are a little busy right now. So why don't you be good little boys and just give us your guns, so we can...EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY PRECIOUS POODLES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Cassie rushed forward and tripped over the panther's gracefully extended front paw, landing face first in the effluvium at Jim's feet.
"You wear it well," sang Blair giggling.
Jim managed to rise to his full, enormous height and bellowed, "FREEZE! CASCADE PD!" Unfortunately, what he thought was a gun in his hand, was a soggy, week-old eggroll. Realizing his boo-boo, Jim lifted his hand and threw the soggy piece of garbage with perfect aim... right in Blair's face.
Sputtering angrily, Blair wiped the slimy goo off his face and crouched down to pick up a piece of garbage for himself.
"Now, Chief, that was an accident..." Jim pleaded with a pleading look on his face.
"Yeah, well so is THIS!" Blair cried, heaving the piece of offal.
Jim ducked, and the unidentifiable garbage landed in Kincaid's face, instead.
As Jim planted a foot on Cassie's back to keep her in the muck and out of everyone's face, he called, "How about some noodles, chief?"
"Thanks, Jim, here, have some broccoli...beef?" Blair answered, stepping up on Cassie's head, while using Jim's shoulder to help him balance his tiny, delicate feet on the obnoxious redhead's skull in order to keep her down. Realizing that his handful of rice was in actuality a handful of maggots, Blair flung them at the enemy, the individual 'grains' separating and splattering over the remaining bad guys.
Soon, the garbage was flying, and although there were only two of them, between Blair's unerring aim and Jim's sentinel hand-eye coordination; they soon had the bad guys covered in crud and begging to give up.
Suddenly, Simon shows up, demanding a report on his desk in the morning. He's had a report of a disturbance where the stakeout was and responded on his way home. He chomped on his cigar, the stench of the smoke was far preferable to his grody detectives. Looking at the subdued, stinking, garbage-covered culprits, Simon smiled. "Good work, men."
"Do you mean it? Do you really like me?" asked Blair.
"I didn't say that, Sandbag, Only that you did a good job...for a change."
"So much for ordering Chinese for dinner tonight," muttered Simon.
"Or for the foreseeable future, sir." Jim agreed.
"Just find a hose and clean yourselves up before you go back to the station, will you?"
The bad guys are handcuffed...Jim carrying enough pairs for everyone. "You have the right to remain silent... so shut up!" Jim yelled at Cassie.
"I only wanted to find a good man. A man who could appreciate me for who I am," Cassie wailed.
"He doesn't exist," screamed Garrett Kincaid as he was led away.
Simon is kind enough to find a fire hose and turns it on, knocking everyone, bad guys and good guys alike, down into the garbage, then proceeded to hose the alley clean...along with the people.
"By the way, where are the stolen poodles, gentlemen?" Simon asked, suspiciously.
"They don't exist," screamed Garrett Kincaid as he was led away.
"Uh," Blair began, "You tell him, Jim," ducking his small body out of the way behind his enormous partner.
"Well, you see, sir...." Jim began, searching for the right words... "It's a sentinel thing, sir. I don't think you really want to know." Jim stammered, watching as the two spirit guides belched contentedly.
Blair's head peeked out, smiling faintly and ingratiatingly as he nodded wisely in agreement.
Suddenly, the large black panther walked up to Simon and started to purr in the back of its throat. It proceeded to rub its head against his leg and finally rolled over for a belly rub....
"Do I want to know?" Simon asked. Then, seeing what his men were staring at, decided, "No, I do NOT want to know. Get this thing off of me, it's leaving hair everywhere!" Simon bellowed, his voice going up into a girlish scream as the wolf stepped up to 'mark' him as his territory.
Jerking violently away from the animals, Simon lost his grip on his cigar and it went flying down the alley, where it landed on the rear bumper of the bad guys' car. The force of the cigar landing on the rear of the Pinto was enough to cause the gas tank to explode, sending up a fiery ball of flame and enough concussive force to drive Jim once more to his knees, screaming shrilly.
"Oops," Blair whispered in horror, as he patted Jim on the head with one hand, and the wolf's head with the other.
"But...how am I going to explain this to the Chief of Police and the Mayor?" Simon sobbed.
"At least my insurance doesn't have to cover that car...." sighed Jim in relief, as he leaned against his bestest ever buddy's side and smiled winsomely up at Simon.
Simon was distracted from the possible ending of his career with this rotten case when the panther abruptly wrapped his enormous paws around his ankle and sniffed deeply at his foot. "Jim? Jim? Get him off me. What does he want? Get him off me!" his voice rising up in a shriek.
Glancing at each other, Jim and Blair wrapped their arms comfortably around one another and smiled."S'okay Simon. He's just bonding. Either that, or learning to play with his food," quipped Blair playfully.
With a purr as loud as a diesel truck the huge beast let go of Simon's legs and rose lithely up on his hind legs to lick the tears from the tall man's face.
"He'd better not follow me home tonight," muttered Simon as the enormous beast continued purring and rubbing against the captain's legs. "My landlord has rules against pets."
"Uh, Simon? I thought you owned your house?" corrected Jim.
"I do. But I don't like animals" he said as he reached down to scratch the wolf behind the ears and petted the panther's head.
Now that everyone was soaked to the skin, Jim and Blair piled in the truck to go home. They grinned at each other as they heard Simon yelling at the panther and wolf to get off the upholstery. Chuckling, Jim started his truck and headed for home as Blair giggled and waved as Simon drove unsteadily down the street, still yelling at the animals.
The night was still dark and, if possible, even stormier than it had been before, and no one was there to see as the vehicles disappeared into the pouring rain.