A/N: Again, I appreciate feedback because this is unfamiliar territory for me. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: The Outsiders aren't mine.
I shut the office door behind me and sat down. It was Thursday: it was almost the weekend, and normally I'd be glad. The next day would be the last day of the work week, and I could go home and spend the following two days with my wife... Instead, I had to catch a plane to New York the next day, and I wasn't in the best mood about it. I hadn't had any special plans, but I still didn't like cancelling everything in order to go chasing after history.
I picked up the phone. If I was going to be late, I'd better call Lisa and let her know… She'd been livid the last time I'd not come home on time. She'd ranted and raved about thinking I'd been shot. That was crazy- if I were to be shot, she'd be informed right away… But that's just how she was. She worried about everything, and always wanted to know what was going on.
"I'll be a bit late," I told her when she picked up, and I heard her sigh.
"We don't spend enough time together as it is," she said.
She was right. Our time together had always been limited because of my work, but since I'd been promoted, it had been worse than ever. I'd been working overtime nearly every week, and now, I'd be gone for the weekend, which was one of the only times we got to spend together.
"I'll be home as soon as I can," I told her.
I pulled the file out of the side drawer and put it on the desk in front of me. I wanted to read through it one more time... It was important to know as much as I could before going, and I knew that, but the details that were inside kept slipping from my mind. It was all facts about James Winston, and even though the proof that he was real was right in front of my face, I kept thinking of him as some sort of a fictional character. I couldn't bring myself to think of him as any more real than Mickey Mouse.
"Just one more time," I said to myself. I'd just look through it one more time... I opened the folder. It was getting late- I would normally head home right after work, but I thought I'd stay for an extra twenty minutes and get the job done. It was better to do that than to come in twenty minutes early in the morning.
His name was James Winston. He was 39 years old. He was in jail for drug related offences.
My eyes kept scanning the words, but not picking them up. I should get a coffee, I thought, but I quickly threw the thought out of my mind: the quicker I got this done, the quicker I'd be home...
He had been caught by an Officer Brant after a month long investigation, when neighbours reported strange behaviour...
"What the Hell?" I asked, jerking my head up from my desk. My eyes were blurred, and my cheek was hot from where it had been against the desk. I must have fallen asleep... I glanced at the clock against the wall, and it read 12:45... I must have been out of it for quite a while. I'd promised Lisa I'd be home 'a bit late', which to her would mean around 7- there would be a fight over this, no doubt, but that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary: there was a fight about everything these days. This was just one more stick to throw on the fire.
It had been a long day. I'd been wrapping up some paperwork, and preparing for this damn trip to New York to visit- who was it? James Winston. All the reading I'd been doing on him and his family didn't seem to be doing one lick of good- I could barely remember his name, much less any of the details I'd been reading. It all seemed so obscure- there were thousands of cops out there, yet this case landed right in my lap.
I reached out and closed the file that was laying open on the desk. It outlined the crimes James had committed, and I wasn't sure how it was supposed to help. I'd go there, ask if he knew anything- if he said no, I'd come home, and if he said yes, I'd find out what he had to say. There was no reason to know his entire history. I stuffed the file inside one of my desk drawers. The ghosts living within those pages would have to wait until the next day. I wasn't going to see him until Saturday, so I'd have time to catch up on my reading.
I debated whether or not I should call Lisa and tell her I'd be home soon. On the one hand it would show her I was thinking of her, but on the other, she may be sleeping, and I didn't want to wake her.
I stood up and grabbed my coat. The faster I got home, the better it would be- there was no need to call, because I was already late.
An icy hand grabbed my arm, and forcefully spun me around, forcing me against the desk. I knew the move- I'd pulled it so many times I'd lost count. Its a great way to take control of a situation, and had never failed me... Being on the receiving end of it, with no idea who was behind me, wasn't such a great feeling. I stupidly thought that this must be what a criminal feels like when being arrested… But I was no criminal. People weren't supposed to break into my own office and push me around.
I fought to get free, but I could feel the weight of someone crushing me like a rock- I was completely pinned, and could barely breathe. I tried to shove whoever it was off me, but it was like pushing against a brick wall. I wasn't the scrawny 12 year old I'd once been, but I still didn't have a chance. I'd been caught off guard, and was paying the consequences.
Before I could wrap my head around what to do next- yell? Grab for my gun? The choice was taken away from me, and I was flung across the room, where my entire body hit the wall, and I collapsed. It had stunned me- the man must be a giant, to toss me around that easily…
"Bet you weren't expecting to see me," a voice said, and I shook my head to try to clear it. I knew that voice...
I looked up into ice blue eyes that I'd thought I'd never see again. I was looking right into the face of Dallas Winston.