Detective Jim Ellison hated hospitals. It seemed he spent far too much time in them. Not as a patient but waiting for his partner to be released. They'd been on their way out of the grocery story when a teenaged boy, needing a fix, grabbed a woman's purse. They'd pursued the fleeting boy into an alley. During the subsequent altercation, Blair had been shoved to the ground, cutting his arm on a piece of broken glass.

Now, several hours later, Jim waited. The wound hadn't been deep, but God only knew what crap might have been on that piece of glass. X-rays. Blood tests. All took time. Time that Jim spent sitting in an uncomfortable chair waiting. Time that Blair Sandburg spent getting phone numbers of the nurses.

"Here you go, Jim."

Jim glanced up to see Simon Banks holding out a cup of coffee. Surprisingly, it smelled good.

"How's he doing?" Simon asked with a knowing grin.

"Not bad. He's gotten two phone numbers and a pretty good promise of a third," Jim commented, sipping the liquid.

"I meant the wound," Simon grunted.

"He'll need a few stitches," Jim grinned. "He doesn't know that yet. We'll hear him yelp when he does."

Simon rolled his eyes. Sometimes Ellison treated his partner like a little brother rather than a grown man. He'd use every occasion to tease the younger man, but God help anyone who actually hurt Sandburg. He studied the other man for a few seconds, then smiled when Ellison grinned. "Sandburg found out about the stitches, huh?"

"Yep." Ellison finished the coffee. "He's doing a halfway decent job of arguing his way out of it. I better get back there and set him straight." He finished the coffee and tossed the empty cup into the nearby trash can."

Simon settled back in his chair. "I sure hope he's worth it," he muttered.

Jim turned and grinned at his friend. "Yeah, he is, Simon. Don't ever doubt it."