4:07 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
Jacob leaned into the lab, tapping his knuckles against the door once to grab Bo’s attention. The blonde lifted his head, hands frozen above his satchel, a red notebook clutched in his right hand. “I talked to David about the case, and then he had a meeting with another higher-up. We’re trying all we can, but I can’t promise anything. You… you might wanna call Jamal to make sure they don’t embalm the body,” he said. “He can make sure of that, can’t he?”
Bo nodded sliding, looking down as he shoved the notebook into his satchel. “He can do just about anything,” he said quietly. “Thank you, Jake. Honestly.”
“Ah, my pleasure, Bo. You know I trust you, so… so I’m gonna do what I can to make sure this comes over as a homicide,” Jacob said.
“Thank you for that. Again,” Bo said.
Jacob smiled. “You betcha.” He cleared his throat, finally stepping into the lab. “Heading home then?”
“Not yet. I’ve got a bit of paperwork to push around first,” Jacob said. “But Allie’s gonna be home tonight, so that’s a plus. I’ll get more sleep that way.”
Bo nodded. “Makes sense. I was going to point out that you looked rather tired.”
“So do you.”
Bo smiled faintly, packing another notebook away. “Kayla and I slept on the couch. She slept soundly through the night, thankfully, but I only managed to get a few hours in. Hopefully, she’ll be all right to sleep on her own tonight.” He lifted his shoulders ever so slightly, a motion that aggravated the already tender muscles of his back. “Or, if nothing else, I hope she falls asleep in my bed instead of on the couch. My back can only take so much.”
Jacob chuckled. “I hear ya. Doesn’t matter how comfy the couch is. You can never beat a mattress,” he said.
“That’s pretty much how I see it,” the blonde agreed. He packed his laptop into the satchel, closing the flap before lifting the strap over his shoulder. “Have any big plans tonight?”
“Nah. Cookies, maybe. Brownies, probably,” Jacob said. Bo snorted, rolling his eyes. “What about you?”
“Nothing spectacular. I do believe Jensen’s planning on working this kink out of my neck, though,” Bo said.
“Good. Every time I’ve seen you today, you’ve been holding yourself really…”
Bo chuckled. “Believe me, I feel just as bad as I look. Planning on… going home, calling Jamal to let him know about halting the embalming, and then I’m probably going to take a bath for the first time since my parents adopted me. Just…”
“Relax?” Jacob filled in.
Bo nodded, one corner of his mouth lifting. “Yeah, just to relax,” he agreed softly. “Still figuring out how to easily do that, but I’m getting there.”
Jacob smiled. “I’ve said it before, Bo, but Jensen’s been damn good for you. Once upon a time, brother, there was a time where you couldn’t even begin to imagine what that word meant.”
“I know.” Bo grabbed his camera bag, lifting it to rest on the opposite shoulder as his satchel. “Imagine if I didn’t love the dork. You’d be stuck dealing with all of my problems,” he said.
Jacob laughed, rolling his eyes. “Hey, that’s what I’m here for, you know.”
“It’s always appreciated,” Bo said simply as he crossed the room. He shut off the light, following Jacob out into the hall. “I’ll let you know what Jamal says once I get ahold of him,” he said, pulling the door closed.
“Doesn’t he literally answer your calls after the first ring?” Jacob asked, hands shoved into his pockets as they headed down the hall.
Bo chuckled, nodding. “Yes, but I like to pretend he doesn’t. Makes me feel like…” He shrugged. “I’m not entirely certain. I have trouble placing certain feelings sometimes,” he said quietly.
“It makes you feel like you’re not important to him if you pretend it takes time to contact him,” Jacob said.
“That sounds about right,” Bo agreed. “It makes me nervous, being… important. You know?”
“I get it. Being important to anyone puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders,” Jacob said, heading up the stairs, Bo beside him. “It’s the constant concern that you’ll do something wrong to disappoint them,” he said. He glanced over at Bo. “Right?”
“It’s like you read my mind, Jake.”
Jacob snorted. “No one can read your mind, Bo. You’re impossible.”
Bo chuckled. “There is that,” he agreed. He smacked the back of his hand against Jacob’s upper arm. “I’ll talk to you later, all right? After I call Jamal.”
Jacob nodded. “Sounds good to me. Enjoy your evening, Blondie.”
“You, too, Jake.” Jacob patted the blonde on the back before heading back into his office. Bo headed through the station, backing into the door to open it. He walked toward the car, smiling faintly as Jensen pushed away from the car and opened the passenger side door. “You don’t have to do that, Jens.”
Jensen smiled faintly. “I know. Still feels natural.” He lifted his shoulders. “I like opening doors for you.”
“Mm.” Bo leaned up and kissed the younger man. “Thank you,” he said softly, sliding into the car.
“My pleasure, Eli.” Jensen closed the door and walked around to the driver’s side of the car. “Who’re you calling?” he asked, closing the door.
“Jamal. Jake’s doing what he can to get the ‘suicide’ marked as a homicide, but he can only do so much,” Bo said, pressing his phone to his ear.
“Listening,” Jamal greeted after the first ring.
“I need a favor,” Bo said, clicking his seat belt into place.
“Of course. What do you need?” Jamal asked.
“The body I told you about?”
“It was labeled as a suicide, but I believe it’s a homicide,” Bo said. “Do I… need to tell you why?”
“Nah, kiddo. I trust your instincts. What do you need me to do?”
Bo smiled faintly, turning to look out the window as Jensen drove out of the parking lot. “His name was Alonzo Sáez. He’s being embalmed tomorrow at noon. I want to know if you can prolong that process, even if only for a day. Jake and David need more time to swing this as a homicide, and if I’m right about this, the embalming will destroy any evidence that may be there.”
“Consider it done. No embalming,” Jamal said.
“Would I lie to you?”
“Precisely. So, I’ll handle the embalming issue. Want me to make sure it gets moved over to a homicide?” Jamal asked.
Bo chuckled. “No, Jamal, I think we’re set. Let Jake and David work their magic first. If all else fails, I’ll give you another call.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“My pleasure, kiddo.” Jamal cleared his throat, and Bo could hear him flipping through papers. “How’s Kayla?”
“Good. A few relatively sleepless nights, but she’s all right,” Bo said.
“Good. Is she back at school?”
“Tomorrow. They thought the kids needed more than one day away.”
“A wise idea.” A pause. “Say, I’ve found something here that I thought you would understand better than anyone. Mind if I read it to you?”
Bo frowned. “Uh, no, go ahead.”
“Perfect.” Jamal cleared his throat, and Bo could only imagine him dramatically shaking whatever piece of paper was in front of him. “ ‘Forensics is an incredibly progressive field, even when we don’t realize it. From the first discovered use of DNA to identify a victim or a killer to the first time we were able to lift a fingerprint from fabric rather than just flat surfaces, it is continually progressive. It has to be, for without it, crime solving falls into an endless lull.’ Now, Mister Austen, what would that be from?” Jamal questioned.
“That, umm… That would be my article for, uh, for Forensics Monthly: A Progressive Future,” Bo said. Jensen glanced over at Bo, his brow furrowed.
“Right. I’m looking at this magazine, and I see it’s from last June. Now, tell me, Bo, why didn’t I know about this?”
“There’s no reason to brag about it. It’s just an article, Jamal.”
“There is a reason to brag about it. Bo, this article is featured on their first page. It’s the longest article they’ve ever published, according to Frank,” Jamal said.
“Well, I… I just don’t see a reason for praise,” Bo said.
Jamal snorted. “Kid, I love you, but you’re fucking impossible. I hang this kind of shit in the goddamn halls of LAPD. That’s why it’s important I know.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry. You’re just… different than most people I know,” Jamal said. “I’m going to hang it up in the hall.”
“Because you’re my boy, and I’m proud of you,” Jamal said.
One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “Thanks, Jamal.”
“My pleasure, kiddo.” Jamal cleared his throat. “You need to get in a good cardio workout tomorrow.”
“Sure thing. I’ll take lunch at the gym instead of the diner,” Bo said.
“That’s not an excuse not to eat.”
“I know. I’ll eat.”
Bo rolled his eyes. “I will. You have my word,” he said.
“Good. Anyway, I have things to do here, but I’ll let you know once I sort out the embalming thing,” Jamal said.
“Mmhmm. And, again, Bo, congratulations on the article.”
“Thank you, again.”
Jamal chuckled. “No problem, kiddo. Love you.”
“Love you, too, Jamal.” Bo ended the call, setting his phone on his lap.
“Article?” Jensen questioned.
“I wrote an article for a forensics magazine back in June,” Bo said.
“And… you didn’t tell me because you didn’t want to brag about it?” Jensen asked. Bo only nodded. “You’re insane. Don’t take that literally,” Jensen said. He laid a hand on Bo’s thigh. “I love you. You should be proud of things like that. It just means other people are starting to realize you’re amazing,” he said.
Bo smiled, laying a hand over Jensen’s. “Thank you, Jens.”
Jensen nodded. “I wanna read it.”
“I’ll bring it up for you tonight,” Bo said.
One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted. “Thank you.” He squeezed Bo’s thigh. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
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