“What have you been doing while I’ve been here?” Sig asked Vi.
His question was a direct follow on from her question asking what they would do now he was awake. Before making any wild, or less than wild, plans about what needed to be done once he was out of hospital he wanted to know what Vi had been doing for the cause while he was incapable of doing anything..
“Not much. To tell you the truth once I found out you were here I went to ground. I didn’t know what happened to you, and the news outlets were useless, but I knew you didn’t jump. For the first week and a half I didn’t leave home. I was so jumpy! I was jumping at shadows in my own house. But the worst thing was I didn’t know who I was scared of.”
“Is that why you dyed your hair?” Sig asked referring to the black hair that was blonde last he saw it.
“Yeah, not much of a disguise, hey.”
“Superman relied on glasses alone.” Sig replied shrugging his shoulders. “Looks good anyway.”
“Thanks.” Vi replied. “Didn’t really help with the nerves though. First time I came to the hospital I had no idea what to do. I told the nurse I was your girlfriend hoping they’d let me in.” Sig knew that wasn’t the only reason she used the term but he let it slide. “Then when I saw the cop standing at the door I turned tail and nearly walked straight into the plain clothes guy.”
Vi went on to tell Sig how her first encounter with Inspector Fairbrother had been a non-event, but the second time he’d seen her he started to suspect there was more to her being out the front of Sig’s room and he started asking questions. The girlfriend who knew nothing story worked fine with the law, no so much with Sig’s mother, and despite the Inspector being dubious he didn’t continually badger her with questions, just strange looks. Vi also told of how difficult it was to get news on Sig’s condition and although his mother had told the nurses that Vi was not permitted to visit her son there was one nurse who did keep her up to date and even a few times told her when Penelope had left so she could come in and visit.
“That must be the nurse who I asked to ring you.” Sig said. “She had no issue with calling you when I asked her.”
“Yes, same woman. Apparently she knows what it’s like to have an overbearing mother-in-law.”
“Well, I’m glad she helped you out. I know Fairbrother isn’t finished with me, Roadson will for sure be here one day when he puts the pieces together and there is no way my mother wont get less overbearing than she is.” Sig’s voice was starting to feel the strain of talking on and off for more than an hour and he asked Vi for his cup of water.
“So what do you think our next move should be?” Vi asked.
Sig was just about to answer with something along the lines of getting out of hospital was the first thing he needed to do when the ward door opened. The hole where the door had been only a second before was suddenly taken up by the shapes of two men both trying to walk in the door at the same time and realising they didn’t quite make it. There was a groan, a thump and a stumble as the two men stepped into the room.
Sig had been expecting a visit from the doctor with an update on his situation and was not surprised when the door opened. What he had not been expecting, right at that time, was both Inspector Fairbrother and Inspector Roadson to be walking in almost as if they were holding hands. He let out a groan wishing he could feign an excuse that he couldn’t talk, but he knew they wouldn’t believe it.
“Well isn’t this a surprise seeing the two of you together again!” Inspector Roadson said as he recovered from his stumble of coming through the door.
“And why would it be a surprise?” Sig asked forgoing any formalities that might sound like he was welcoming the men into his room.
Sig didn’t know, or particularly care, which inspector out ranked the other but it appeared from way Fairbrother nudged Roadson with his right elbow which immediately stopped the larger man talking, that Fairbrother had some control. All doubt was removed when Fairbrother spoke.
“This isn’t a pissing contest Max. I only invited you along because you brought it to my attention that he was part of an on going case you’ve failed to make official.”
“I told you it’s not official because Kelly, as honourable as he is, didn’t want to make it public record.” Roadson replied.
Sig thought about making a comment in relation to Kelly’s reluctance being more to do with knowing his treatment of Sig at the conference was heavy handed, or that Kelly’s responses whenever Sig disagreed with him were over the top, but he decided that would only upset the inspector more. Roadson might have been doing his job but he was doing it with more favouritism towards the elected official and having that pointed out would not end well for Sig.
“That says maybe but I’m the one in charge of this investigation and if you don’t like that take it up with the Commissioner.” Inspector Fairbrother then turned to Sig and asked. “Whatever is between you two stays that way unless it’s part of the investigation, alright?” Sig thought about reminding him how everything Roadson had said was part of the investigation but he thought better of it and simply nodded as if in agreement. The inspector then asked the one question Sig didn’t want to answer. “Don’t suppose either of you know why there is three members of the Devil Dogs sitting down in the waiting room?”