Nicholas wasn’t sure how long he’d been running; he knew it couldn’t have been too long, but he wasn’t one hundred percent sure. Either way, he was now running at top speed through the back alleys of Sandford, on the heels of yet another pesky teenager.
Nicholas and Danny had just been sitting in their patrol car, keeping a close eye on things, when suddenly they saw the guy exiting the shop at a speed that was far from normal. Nicholas was out of the car faster than Danny could comprehend and by the time he set foot on the street, the Inspector was already turning a corner into an alleyway. Danny followed as quickly as he could, but wasn’t able to catch up. He kept going though, with hope that he would be able to get there in time to help Nicholas with the arrest.
Nicholas, meanwhile, was now making his way through the narrow paths and winding passages in an attempt to catch the shoplifter. He turned onto a long stretch just in time to see him disappear around a corner about ten yards away. He picked up the pace, desperate to not lose him. He got closer and closer to the corner and he hoped that it would produce a dead end that the thief had been stopped by. As he reached it, however, he wasn’t quick enough to duck under the metal pole that was swinging towards him. The speed he was running at combined with the momentum of the pole that the thief swung at him sent him flying backwards through the air.
Danny turned a corner onto the straight stretch and could see someone lying on the floor down the path. The closer he got, the more his fears were realised. Lying in the dirt, motionless, was Nicholas. One arm stretched out to the side, the other resting over his torso, his left leg lay straight while the other was bent up underneath it. His eyes were close and where his head lay to the side, Danny could see a thin trail of blood ran from a gash on his right temple. He saw the pole a few feet away from his friend and put two and two together. He looked around and saw that there was no one else around. The shoplifter had made a break for it. Danny wasn’t sure what to do. He wanted to stay and look after his friend but he knew that if Nicholas woke and found that the thief had got away, he would be rather pissed. Looking between the unconscious Nicholas and the empty space left by the thief, Danny made his mind up.
With one last glance at Nicholas, he started to run. He knew these alleyways better than anyone; he used to play in them as a child. He would be able to take an alternate route and find their man then get back to Nicholas. As he ran, he pulled out his mobile and dialled Doris.
“Y’alright Danny?” she answered, confused at his shallow breathing.
“Yeah, Doris I need your help. I’m chasing a guy right now, but could you get someone to the alley behind Old Man Gregory’s house? Nicholas is hurt.”
“Right away, Danny. Be careful.”
“Cheers, Doris.” He hung up the phone and continued his pursuit. In the aftermath of his shooting, Danny’s rehabilitation had inspired him to work out a bit and since then he had become much faster. He liked to call himself Speedy Gonzalez; he was surprised when Nicholas revealed that he actually knew what he was referring to. After several twists and turns, Danny reached the point where he hoped to apprehend the thief. Turns out, his calculations were one hundred percent accurate, as he found himself blind siding the guy, knocking the pair to the ground. The second he hit the floor, Danny was moving, placing a knee on the shoplifter’s back and pulling out his cuffs. As he read him his rights, Danny flinched at having to use the words “and assaulting a police officer”, picturing Nicholas’ body lying in the dirt.
Danny led the thief to the street and saw Tony standing near their car, not far from which was an ambulance.
“Tony, take this guy to be processed.” Tony nodded at Danny’s words and watched the sergeant make his way back into the alleys. Despite being drained from the chase, Danny managed a jog, as he wanted to reach Nicholas as quickly as possible. As he turned that same corner, he remembered seeing Nicholas lying there earlier. This time, he was relieved to see him moving. His movements were only slight, but it made Danny feel better knowing that his friend was now conscious. As he got closer, Danny noticed that Nicholas was trying to brush off the paramedic who was struggling just as much as the Inspector to keep him from getting up.
“Honestly, I’m fine.” Danny could hear Nicholas protesting.
“I understand that, Inspector Angel, but you really should come down to the hospital, just to get it looked at properly.” the poor paramedic didn’t know what to do.
“And I thought it was my job to be the pain in the arse.”
Nicholas looked up at Danny as he spoke. “Well it’s my turn now.” He gave a weak smile, still obviously slightly dazed from the blow. “What happened?”
“Well I found you just lying there. Couldn’t see the shoplifter anywhere.”
“What did you do?”
“Whatcha think I did? Chased him down, of course. Man, you should have seen it… what?” Danny noticed Nicholas’ smile had turned into a grin.
“Nothing, I’m just impressed.”
“Didn’t think I had it in me?”
“Did I say that?” Nicholas raised his eyebrows. “Great work, Danny. Now can you please let this kind paramedic know that I’m fine and I don’t need to be fussed over?”
Danny and the paramedic shared a glace before the sergeant began to speak. “Well, Nicholas, what would you do if roles were reversed?”
Nicholas glared at Danny like a child whose friend had dobbed them in to their mum. “Fine.” he said with a sigh. “But you’re buying the drinks tonight.”