Warning: An experimental piece -- Talking heads. I was just in the mood.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No money exchanged hands. As if!!

Feedback: Pretty please.



Hello. Sandburg speaking.

Hey, Jess. How're you doing?

No. I'm doing great. What are you up to?

Yeah... yeah... yeah.





But I'm a cop now.

Of course.


Yes. Of course.

What time?

No, I mean it. What time?

Yeah. That would work better. Downstairs, out front.

Okay. I'll see you then.

Yeah, aren't I a prince? ~laughing~

Yes, I will too regret it.

No, an obligation is an obligation.

See you then.


"You want to explain that call, Sandburg?"

"Not particularly."

"I hope it's nothing illegal."

"Give me a break, Jim."

"Then what?"

"It's no big deal. It's just that when I was a grad student I had to trade favors in order to cover some of my classes so I could be with you when cases got hot."

"But you're a cop now."

"Yeah, and Jess was one of the few who stuck by me during the whole dissertation fiasco. I have an obligation to her and I intend to pay it off."

"Do you... need any help?"

"Thanks, man, but no. This is way too dangerous for you. I can't be worrying about you and completing my task at the same time. You stay home. It'll be safer that way."




"I mean it, Jim. No."

"Do you need back-up?"

"Jess will be there. Don't worry."

"Well, for god's sake, be sure to take your gun and shield."

"No way, man. The temptation to use them will be too great."


"Trust me, Jim. It'll all be over by noon tomorrow. One way or the other, it will all be over tomorrow by noon."

"You must be Jim."

"Who... Are you, Jess? Christ. What happened to you, Sandburg?"

"Nothing. I'm okay, Jim. Really. I just need to sit down for a while."

"Here, help me get him to the couch. You should really be proud of him, Jim. He was my hero today."

"What did you do, Chief?"

"I told you, man, just paying off an obligation."

"I wish I could feel bad about asking you to do it, Blair, but I can't. I promised, Dillion. You know my funds are tight and the list is so damn long. I would've never gotten it in time and... and I couldn't have borne seeing his disappointed face on Christmas morning."

"Hey, Jess, I'm not asking you to be sorry. We did it, didn't we? Austin and Sandburg, together again."




"So are we square?"

"Hell, B, I think I'm back to owing you again."

"I can live with that. But seriously, if you make me a couple loaves of your killer banana bread, we'll call it even."

"Deal. Well, I guess I should go take it over to my mom's and hide it. You take a warm bath and lay on a heating pad."

"Will do."

"NO ONE is going ANYWHERE until I find out just what in the hell happened this morning. Christ, it's not even nine a.m. and you look like you've been in the middle of a riot, Sandburg."

"Well, I guess... technically, I was."

"Don't make him laugh, Jim. Look, it's no big deal. Well, yes, it was a big deal... to me, at least."

"Don't go all BP on me, Jim. All I did was go to Best Buy with Jess and help her get a PlayStation2 for her son."

"I thought there was a waiting list for those things."

"So did I, but the store over on Rosecranst advertised they had fifty of them. Jim, you don't know my son, but Dillon's a good kid. The best, really. He's had a hard time this year... with his father dying and all. This is the only thing he's said he'd like for Christmas. But with the earthquakes in China, production was almost halted. Sure, you can get them on Ebay, but I'm still a teaching fellow. Where am I going to get a $1000? So, when Best Buy offered them for two hundred dollars I knew it was my only shot at getting one. But my leg is still busted up from the accident. I knew I'd never be able to manage the foot race to the back of the store."

"And that's where Sandburg comes in?"

"He was a sight to behold, Jim. He got the last one."

"Good God, Chief, you could have been torn to shreds. Are you nuts? It's the day after Thanksgiving!"

"Hey, an obligation is an obligation."

"I'm surprised you got it out of the store."

"I almost didn't. If it hadn't have been for Jess I'd have been a goner."

"As soon as he got it, Jim, he dropped and curled his body around it and waited for me to get there."


"Hey, chill out, man. It was all part of the master plan."

"I might be slow, but no one and I mean no one mess with me."

"You go, girl."

"You're so bad, B. Are you sure I can't get you breakfast?"

"No, I'm okay."

"You'll come over on the twenty-sixth so Dillion can thank you properly, right?"

"Dillon doesn't owe me a thing, Jess."

"Jim, you're invited too. Make sure he comes, okay? I promise to feed you both so much it'll take both Dillion and I to roll you into that hayseed truck of yours."


"We'll be there, Jess. I think Darwin here should be fully recovered by then."

"You really are the best, B."

"It's the least I could do. Thank you for sticking by me through all things, Jess."

"You're my friend, Blair. How could I do any less? Okay, I'm out of here. Bye, guys."

"She seems like good people, Chief."

"She is."

"She stroked my cheek as I let her out. I think she suspects about--"

"Probably. Jess is one of the smartest people I know."

"And the reason you didn't want me to come with you today?"

"Get real, Jim. The crowds. The noise. The scents. Your Blessed Protector instincts going into hyper-overdrive when I was down. Lord, I can't even imagine the chaos that would have caused."

"Jess says you're not suppose to laugh, Chief. Why?"

"I think I bruised a rib. Hey. Hey. I'm all ri..."

"Just shut up and lay back down, Junior. Okay. Nothing appears to be broken. Why don't you go take a shower and I'll locate the heating pad."

"You're the best, man."

"No, I'm not the best, but I'm a personal friend of someone who is. Now, go take a shower."

"Okay, okay. Hey, Jim?"


"I wouldn't change a thing, man."

"And that's what makes you the best. Now go on. Get out of here."


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