Once they were alone, Jim steeled himself for the one question no one had asked yet, the one which broke his heart even to think about.

"Chief ...we found you...with your pants..."

Blair shook his head and smiled. "I think that was just for humiliation. They never even touched me there. No need for a rape kit."

"Thank God! Blair, if they had...Well, they didn't."

"I would have said something, I think. I hope. I don't know. Just hold my hand, Jim."

Jim did.


"Jim, you *are* taking me back to the station. I feel *fine*."

"We didn't spend three and half hours in that damned hospital because you feel fine, Sandburg."

"I'm just a little bruised."

"And broken. I don't care if it is just a hairline."

"Jim...I *need* to go back there. You know..."

Jim nodded. Blair, as usual, was right. Even though Dr. Priss...er, Peters had insisted that Blair rest in bed for a couple of days, he had to return to the station now.

No way could those bastards believe they scared him off.

"You win, Chief, but we're still going to stop at the loft to get clean clothes. If you have any clothes you aren't already wearing."

Blair tried to snort, but his nose didn't cooperate.

"It isn't my fault that Cascade is so cold."



"Sandburg's back!"

"Captain Banks! He's back."

Simon dashed out of his office. "Sandburg!" There was an enormous grin on Simon's face. He quickly sobered, or tried to. "I'm glad to see you back, Blair."

"Thanks, Simon."

"Would the two of you please come to my office?"

"Of course, Captain. Do you have news for us?"

Henri grinned. "We got them. We surely got them."

"Brown!" Simon sounded exasperated.

Despite his tone, Simon was obviously too happy to be angry. He laughed as he led Jim and Blair into his office. He then proceeded to fuss over Blair, offering him coffee and giving him his own chair, and asking him if he were all right. Jim sat on the conference table and grinned at the scene.

"If everything's settled, Captain, we'd like to learn what happened to those..."

"Seriously out of work bastards? You sure you're all right, Sandburg?"