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Friend In Need

by




Blair Sandburg raised his arms high enough to be seen through the back window of his ancient Volvo and waved them madly in what he thought was a clear indication to go around. Evidently no one understood him, however, since for the last 45 minutes people had come up behind him and parked in line waiting for the red light and then cursed him out as he failed to go when the light turned green. Eventually they would get the idea and, swearing some more, merge into the next lane and go around.

It would have helped if he had had his hazard lights on; but for some weird reason, when your alternator quits and kills your battery and your car, it takes all its electric functions, like lights, with it. It also would have helped if he had a cell phone along, but his was sitting on his desk at the university, charging. Stuck in traffic with a dead car and no way to call for help, life just didn't get any better than this, he thought, waving at the person who was gesturing rudely at him.

Fortunately, he didn't need a phone to call for help, not with his best friend and roommate on the job. It would only be a matter of time before Jim would come and rescue his sorry butt, lecturing him the whole time about forgetting his cell phone; but at least, Blair grinned, he could say it was charged.

The smiled on the graduate student's face broadened as a familiar blue and white Ford pick up drew up behind him. The truck did not get waved away.

A tall, brown haired man exited the truck, which had police lights flashing to warn people to go around, walked up to the driver's door. "I take it your classic died, Chief?"

"Yeah, it's really sucked out here, man," Blair answered, giving his friend and partner, Detective Jim Ellison, an apologetic smile.

"I'll push, you steer, we'll get the wreck in that parking lot," the taller man said, indicating a lot on the right.

"It's a classic, Jim, it's just having a bad morning," Blair retorted, both men smiling at the good-natured bantering they exchanged about their vehicles.

"When my classic and I have to come and do roadside assistance, than it's a wreck," Jim answered back, lightly cuffing his friend as he went to the back of the car and start pushing.

Five minutes later the dead car was safely in the lot, and Jim's mechanic had been called to come and tow it in for servicing.

Jim pulled up his truck and Blair scrambled into his seat. Other people borrowed Jim's passenger seat on occasion but everyone knew it was Blair's.

"Thanks for coming, Jim," Blair smiled as he fastened his seat belt, one ride with Jim was enough to teach people to buckle up if Ellison was at the wheel.

"When you were half an hour late at the station and I hadn't heard form you I figured you were stranded somewhere between the station and the university, so I went for a drive," Jim smiled.

"So, you're saying whenever I'm gone too long you'll come and find me?" Blair asked, looking over at his friend.

"Always," Jim promised.

Blair looked over at his friend again. Blair may have been the one who said it was all about friendship, but Jim was the one who made it a way of life.


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