A/N Watching the episode "Deadly Silence I thought about a time I had surgery to repair my eardrum in my good ear. I started thinking about how it had been a bit frightening to not be able to hear right away when I woke up. I guess this could be a what happened instead rather than what was shown on the episode.

Disclaimer: I do not profit from the characters of The Streets of San Francisco. I am not the creator of the series, that is Quinn Martin.

Sound Of Silence

Jeannie's thoughts were reeling. She had expected the surgery to help Mike. They all had expected that, especially Mike. It was a frustrating situation to deal with. The doctor had tried to give them hope before Mike was released. He'd spoken of how at times it was possible the results had a delayed reaction. He urged all of them to not give up. At the sound of the knock on the door Jeannie went to answer it. Steve Keller was standing there. They went into the kitchen to talk.

"Steve, this doesn't seem fair. He was counting on his hearing being restored. What now? I mean he's not able to be back at work without his hearing." Jeannie stated a bit louder than she intended.

"I know Jeannie believe me I know." Steve answered quietly. "We can't give up hope though. You heard Dr. Reynolds it could still happen. I admit I thought he was trying to placate us but he wasn't. I checked into this surgery just to satisfy myself. It has happened, not many times but it has happened."

"It's been five days Steve! It's getting harder to find any hope to hang onto." Jeannie tersely answered. "I don't know how to help him and that scares me. Mike's not usually so snappish with me."

"Look Jeannie, try not to take how Mike was earlier too personally. He's afraid. He loves you and hadn't meant to hurt you." Steve assured her.

"I know. It's just harder seeing him like this than I thought. Don't worry though I'll be okay. I am Mike's daughter after all. I just hope sooner rather than later he could hear again. You'll stay for dinner with us." Jeannie invited. "Maybe if you're here Mike will eat. You can stay can't you Steve?"

"Sure I'll stay. Don't worry about anyone taking over Mike's job while he's out either. The guys and I won't let that happen I promise you."

"That's a promise I think you can keep buddy boy." Mike's voice caused Steve to jump.

"Mike, you heard Steve?" Jeannie questioned and Mike nodded. "Dr. Reynolds was right, just as Steve was right."

"Right about what?" Mike inquired as Jeannie hugged him.

"Not to give up hope. You can really hear?" Steve asked.

"I was sleeping and when I woke up there were warbled sounds. I knew it sounded like you and Jeannie. When I sat up I felt a bit dizzy and shook my head to clear it. The sounds were more clear after that and I came in here." Mike responded. "I guess I can really hear, I heard you with your back turned."

Steve called the doctor to let him know of this new development. It was arranged that Mike would be checked over the next morning. The exam and hearing test that Dr. Reynolds performed proved conclusively that Mike's hearing was fully restored. The doctor seemed as relieved as the two Stones and Steve. After the doctor had completed his examinations and cleared Mike for a return to regular duties Captain Olsen was contacted. Once he was certain that Mike was able to return fully functional he conferred with the chief regarding Mike's return. Both were very happy to approve Mike's immediate return. The news spread fast that Mike would be returning to Bryant Street. When he arrived Captain Olsen was one of the first to greet him.

"Mike, you don't know how good it is to have you back. I know your men did a good job while you were gone, but it's a relief that their leader can keep an eye on them for himself now. Don't ever scare us like that again." Olsen smiled warmly.

"It's good to be back Rudy. I'll try not to I assure you. This partner of mine has become worse than a mother hen. I'm sure he'll be watching me like a hawk when we're out." Mike groused good naturedly.

"Not to mention in the bullpen as well Lieutenant Stone." Steve teased.

"I'm sure he will be. Welcome back Mike. I'll let you get on to see the rest of your men. I know they're as anxious to see you as you are to see them." Olsen remarked.

When Steve and Mike entered homicide everyone just stared. Smiles lit up each and every face there as their eyes focused on their fearless leader. Words though were slow in coming. You could actually almost hear a pin drop. Well, you could have before Mike's booming voice sounded out.

"Well, let's not all talk at once. You know there's one thing that I learned while I was out. I never really feared anything before, at least not until the sound of silence. Do me a favor someone say something before I think my hearing's gone again." Mike barked.

At that the guys crowded around and all seemed to be talking at once to welcome him back. Mike and Steve looked at each other smiling and shook their heads slightly.

"You wanted them to talk Mike. Welcome back." Steve reminded him happily.