Perchance to Dream

It had been a very long day. Lundy sighed and leaned back in his chair. The reports were barely done, but he couldn't bring himself to care. His leg was aching, and the reports were already a day late. One more wouldn't get him into any more trouble. Wasn't like Joanne was likely to get on his case today, anyhow.

He hoped.

He glanced around the bullpen, verifying what he'd been subliminally aware of as he'd been typing. Quiet. Most of the detectives in the room were sitting at their desks, wading through paperwork. Even the cages were quiet.

Must be something in the air, he supposed. He set his own paperwork aside and stood up, grabbing his jacket. A moment later he reached for the cane he was using, before he lost his balance. The movement made his shoulder twinge, and for a minute he just stood there and waited for his head to clear.

"You ready to go?" his partner asked, and Lundy glanced over and smiled.

"I'm ready whenever you are."

LaFiamma had been working with Wilson the last few days while Lundy had been on medical leave. Today Joe had been in the building all day, alternating between running up and down the stairs to various departments, and arguing over the phone with people in those departments who wanted him to come back with whatever had been forgotten the first time. Lundy felt a little sorry for the man, but hoped it wouldn't ruin his mood for the rest of the evening.

Lundy put his hat on and headed for the door, moving slowly enough that Joe glanced back to see if he were coming. LaFiamma was dropping him off at his place...according to plan. Lundy was hoping he could get himself invited over to Joe's apartment, for dinner and a little waiting on. Slouched on Joe's couch, game on the set, and someone to bring him his beer....

It was the high point of being injured on the job. He kept the smile off his face as he left the bullpen, not wanting Joe to think he was in too chipper a mood to warrant any pampering. No point in blowing it now, when all he'd thought off all day was going back to Joe's place for home-cooked food and friendly company. Joe's company, which was as relaxing as any he'd ever found.

When they weren't shouting at each other, of course. And that, at least, was more invigorating than infuriating, nowadays. Least it was when neither of them started grinning halfway through a perfectly decent argument.

Lundy leaned on the cane as he felt his leg protest standing. It might have been too soon to come back to work, though he'd never in his right mind admit so. He could manage walking from his desk to the car, from the car to the couch. He caught his partner glancing over at him, worriedly. "You all right?"

"Course I'm all right," Lundy replied. Wouldn't be any point in wincing and moaning over his leg here in the parking garage. Better to wait until he could have Joe's attention all to himself.

"Got any plans for tonight?" Joe asked, and Lundy restrained himself from rolling his eyes -- or saying 'yes'.

"Not really. Might watch the game." Football, tonight. They'd discovered they couldn't watch any other sports together. Joe didn't like baseball and Levon didn't like hockey and neither of them cared for basketball. One more reason to like autumn.

"Sounds nice," Joe replied in a casual tone. Then, "I'm meeting Candice at the Rialto." He smiled.

Levon kept his face impassive. "Candice? The blonde?"

Joe nodded. "That's right. The cute blonde with the gorgeous--"

"I get the picture, LaFiamma. Reckon I won't need to ask if I can get a ride to work in the morning?" He managed a grin.

"Hey, if you need a ride," LaFiamma began.

"That's all right, I'll be fine. Don't want you to have to rush in the morning. What with you not being home and all," he teased.

"Hey, who's to say I won't be home?" Joe replied with a cheerful, leering grin.

Lundy just shook his head and didn't answer.

They talked a bit on the rest of the drive home, Lundy's responses growing more quiet and short the closer they got. For all that he'd done very little, he was remarkably tired. He was glad he had someone looking after his horse, still; one less thing he had to do once he got home.

When LaFiamma pulled up in front of his house, Lundy pulled himself up out of the low seat with as much coordination as he could. Left the cane in his hand, rather than leaning heavily on it, and looked back at his partner.

"Thanks for the ride, LaFiamma. See ya at the station."

"You sure you don't need anything?" his partner asked with a concerned expression.

"I'm sure. All I need is a quiet evening to recover from filling out reports." He stepped away from the car. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"OK, Lundy. Take care."

Lundy half-waved as his partner turned the car around and headed off. As soon as the car was out of sight, Lundy leaned onto the cane and walked slowly into the house.

The trouble with not telling Joe his plans to be coddled tonight. His fool partner had gone and made other plans, without him.

Levon managed to heat up some dinner, and settle himself in front of the TV. He watched the game for a couple hours, unable to completely relax. Every time he needed something, he had to wrestle himself up off the couch, then hobble around -- his leg was beginning to ache, and finally he simply gave it up.

He found the vial of painkillers, and took two before getting ready for bed. It was early, yet, but he knew he'd appreciate the extra rest in the morning.

Levon could feel the painkillers already kicking in as he headed back through the house, locking the doors and shutting off the kitchen light. Then he made his way back to his bedroom, laid the cane on the floor beside the bed, and sat down on the mattress to undress. His nightshirt was across the room, on a hook on the back of the bathroom door, so he left it where it was, and slid under the blankets wearing only his shorts.

Reaching up to turn off the lamp, Levon sighed as the ache in his leg finally dimmed to insignificance.

He opened his eyes as the bed moved, mattress dipping underneath someone's weight. He glanced over his shoulder, feeling groggy and half-awake. "Uh?"

"Shh, it's just me." Joe wrapped an arm around him, and laid down. Levon turned over, careful of his shoulder, rolling onto his side and snuggling in. He closed his eyes as he felt Joe shift to accommodate him, then he fell back asleep.

When he woke the next morning, Joe was gone. Levon grinned, and stretched. He felt great -- the extra hours of sleep had been just what he needed. He pushed himself out of bed, forgoing the cane for now.

A short trip to the bathroom, then, grabbing his robe and belting it on, he headed for the kitchen.

Where there was no sign of Joe. Confused, he looked into the living room. Not there. Levon headed on into the kitchen to start some coffee -- everything was just as he'd left it the night before, down to the dirty dishes still piled in the sink. Though he didn't expect Joe to have done them, it was kinda odd that he hadn't even started a pot of coffee, or left his own dirty dishes in case he'd made a quick breakfast, earlier.

He went outside and looked around. Joe's car wasn't in the drive, at all. Scratching his head, Levon went towards the barn, hearing Fooler awake, inside. She hadn't been fed yet, so he did so before heading back to finish making the coffee.

Totally unable to figure out when Joe had left.

The drive to the station wasn't too bad. His leg was starting to feel sore again by the time he'd arrived, and he was secretly grateful he had a few more days of desk-duty left. His shoulder hadn't bothered him at all, but he didn't want to try being on his feet all day for a while, yet.

He nodded good morning to Joe-Bill as he entered the bullpen, and spotted his partner already sitting at his desk. Levon grinned and headed over.

"Morning, LaFiamma."

Joe looked up and returned the smile. "Hey, Lundy."

"How'd your night go?" He didn't mind that Joe had come and gone without leaving a trace -- happy enough that his partner had shown at all. Even if he'd slept through most of the visit.

"Went pretty well. And I'm not telling you where I slept, last night."

"That a fact?" Levon sat down at his desk, and tried to figure out the look on LaFiamma's face. "You tellin' me you *didn't* sleep at her place?" he asked in a tone of exaggerated innocence. It wasn't like either of them would say anything out loud, here...but there was something about his expression that didn't quite fit.

"I'm telling you it's none of your business where I slept," Joe replied cheerfully, before he turned his attention back to the papers on his desk.

"And what did Candice have to say about it?"

Joe glanced up. "She said 'good morning'." He winked.

Levon just stared at him. Then he looked back down at his desk. Maybe two painkillers had been one too many. He'd only take one, tonight -- if he took any, at all.

He sighed, and started in on the two-days-late reports.