The Last Boy Scouts

My sequel to the 1991 action movie The Last Boy Scout.

10 years after starting their private detective partnership Joe Hallenbeck and Jimmy Dix are about to end it as Jimmy and his wife who is expecting their new baby are about to move New York.

Joe and Jimmy have one last case to work together a simple skip trace on a junkie who jumped bail. As usual for Joe and Jimmy, the case is nowhere near as straightforward as it first appears.

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2. Partners

Private Detectives Joe Hallenbeck  and Jimmy Dix are in the Beverly Hills office of their agency, offices they've worked out of for more than eight of the ten years of their partnership, after Jimmy made them move from the West Hollywood dump Joe had worked out of before they met. Well when Joe hadn't been sleeping off another hangover in his car.

 

Jimmy finally got a reluctant Joe to agree to upgrade to the Beverly Hills office space that they could afford due to the bump in business they picked up from the notoriety they gained after they foiled the assassination attempt on a United States Senator.

 

They had gained a celebrity clientèle and their own level of celebrity status thanks to that and Jimmy's earlier career in pro-football, he reveled in it, fronting TV ads for the agency and enjoying several appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk all about the trauma of his first wife's death and his fall from grace from star athlete to washed up drug user, his personal and professional rehabilitation, to the joy of a new wife and starting a new family.

 

Even Joe appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show to tell the story of his fall from grace, from being a secret service agent who once took a bullet for then President Jimmy Carter to being fired for assaulting a Senator. His marriage problems and reconciliation with his wife, and difficult time with their daughter.

 

With all that he had gained from meeting and becoming friends with Joe, Jimmy was midway through one of the most difficult conversations he'd ever had, but it was one they had to have.

 

"It was a big talk we had, but in the end what kind of dick would I be to stand in her way. It's just too good an opportunity for Ria to pass up the huge salary, plus  the benefits."

 

"Then there's the fact, they're willing to wait for her until after she's had our baby, all that on top of the fact she gets to go back home to the Big Apple, where she'll be closer to her parents, who surprisingly don't hate me."

 

"Yeah, so come September we'll be in New York full-time. I know it's a shock and not a lot of notice if you want to find a new partner, Jimmy says to him."

 

"I had less time between my last partner getting killed and hooking up with your dumb ass and the $650 leather pants you still wear." 

 

"Well, it would be more like $850 these days." Jimmy answered smiling.

 

"Yet they still don't come with a tv in them," Joe replied.

 

"No, they still don't have a tv in them, Jimmy answered 

 

"I am very old," Joe said rehashing a bonding moment they shared shortly after they met.

 

"Don't you worry about it Ace, I think I'll find someone to replace you, I could just throw a rock into that group of  homeless people who live in the railway tunnels." Was Joe's typically abrasive response.

 

"Why, are you hoping if you do trawl the local homeless population you might find a partner with a worse dress sense than you."

 

"I reckon you'll be shit out of luck, I still think a homeless man would have more pride in their appearance than you. You might smell better though, well only just."

 

"Oh, look at you with the big words, population, you the inventor of scrabble now."

 

"Nah, don't you remember you killed his ass a decade ago, shortly after we met and then almost got crushed to death and set on fire by that car you blew up."

 

"Yeah, good times."

 

"Yo Joe, my man, you still got that fucked up sense of what is an what  ain't fun."

 

"To me that was not fun, I still remember that big goon he was with punching me in the face a lot."

 

"Like I said, good times."

 

"Fuck you Joe."

 

"Fuck you as well flash."

 

"Whoa, been a long time since you called me flash."

 

"Well been a long time since you pissed me off this much."

 

"Sorry Joe, don't mean to, but it is what it is. Ria and I got to go."

 

"Well, it's a tragic loss to the P.I. World. I gotta tell you."

 

"We gonna trade barbs or you ever gonna admit how you feeling 'bout me going."

 

"Do you want me to get weepy, would that make you feel better."

 

"Typical Joe, you can't fucking show any kind of emotion is that why Sarah eventually left you after you tried to reconcile or why your daughter hates you."

 

"Well been good seeing you Ace, feel free to fuck off, don't let the door hit the ass of your $850 pants on your way out." Joe said his tone having lowered and the look on his face letting Jimmy know he'd crossed a line bringing up his personal problems.

 

"Don't worry, I won't, so fuck you Mr. Nobody," Jimmy yelled at him as he got up and walked out of the office. 

 

Even in angry and a little embarrassed at himself for stooping so low as to throw his broken marriage and fucked up relationship with his daughter, Jimmy had still tossed out a reference to the first thing he'd called Joe when they met. 

 

When in a round about way, Jimmy's then girlfriend Cory an exotic dancer, had hired Joe, supposedly just to protect her against her a stalker. Only the case proved more complicated and Joe ended up being framed for the murder of an L.A.P.D detective and almost for the murder a United States Senator.

 

Jimmy went from being a disgraced ex-football star banned from the game because of a betting scandal to getting punched, a lot, shot at, a lot, and almost blown up and barbecued and involved in high-speed car chases and gun fights.

 

He survived thanks for the most part to Joe, along with a smidgen of dumb luck and stupidity of the bad guys they were up against.

 

It hurt that Joe was reacting like that he had been there for him 5 years ago when his marriage fell apart. Joe and Sarah had been witnesses when he and Ria got married, Joe drove him to the hospital when she gave birth to their daughter Jade Alexandra Dix.

 

He hoped that the time they had left working together, Joe wouldn't be grumpy and angry  all the time. Joe was not one to react well to change, usually hiding his feelings behind a barrage of anger and sarcasm, which was still better than the old days when he buried them in a bottle of whiskey as he had done after the break up of his marriage.

 

Jimmy went home and stayed away from the office for the next few days having copies of all their case files on his home computer so he was able to carry on working cases. The only contact he had with Joe was a message he left on his answer phone apologizing for bringing Sarah and Darian into their spat.

 

When Jimmy finally went back to the office the next few weeks were painful as Joe only really talked to each other about their cases, but finally his bad mood gave way when Joe broke the ice with a joke, well an attempt at a joke.

 

"Hey Jimmy, do you know the name of your wife's new boss in New York."

 

"Yeah, why the fuck do you want to know. Jimmy asked him confused."

 

"I figure if I got his name I can call him tip him off about your wife being a crack addict, he might fire her and neither of you have to move to New fucking York."

 

"Oh, my aching sides, you're fucking hilarious Joe."

 

"Was that your attempt to break the ice, coz if it was well you know, what was it you said to me back then I think it was the day after we met when I was making small talk and you said to me."

 

Jimmy repeats what Joe said to him imitating his voice as he says it.

 

"I like ice, leave it the fuck alone."

 

"Yeah, ok, I've been a grumpy bastard, but I don't like change and losing my partner and my friend for the last 10 years is hard, sorry for being a dick, good luck to you both in your new life."

 

"Now that sentimental bullshit is over with, can we get back to work might as well get my money's worth out of your ass while you're still here."

 

"Is that it your goodbye speech Joe, did you practice that in front of the mirror at home. Cause it got me right here," Jimmy said, tapping his chest over the spot where his heart is."

 

"Yeah, you were maybe expecting a teary eyed speech. Did you want tears an unashamed outpouring of emotion, sorry ace that ain't my style."

 

"Yeah, sometimes I forget Arnie copied his emotionless robot in The Terminator from you."

 

"Sorry kid, but I'm too old for that shit, so that's all you get. That and one last trip to that shitty bar you like so much to get drunk on over priced drinks then it's over we go our separate ways."

 

"Thanks Cornelius, Jimmy said, calling Joe by his middle name. That's all I was after some acknowledgment of our parting."

 

"I did that, now let's shut the fuck up and get on with the shit."

 

The next couple of months were about back to normal between them. Trading insults as they worked cases.

 

August 14th, 2001

It was a few weeks before Jimmy was due to leave, Ria had given birth to their new baby a boy they named Cole Joseph Dix, Cole after Ria's dad and Joseph after Joe obviously.

 

As things were looking up for them, things got worse for Joe. First he found out that Sarah was getting married again, to a doctor who worked in the same hospital where she was a nurse.

 

Then their friend in the L.A.P.D detective Amaro Constantino gave them the heads up on an arrest warrant about to go live on a fugitive.

 

Joe was on the phone when Jimmy walked in late that morning as he had been lately, what with the new baby and clearing out the house for the move.

 

"Who is it Joe," Jimmy asked, seeing him on the phone and the even more dour than usual look on his face.

 

Joe just ignored him as he finished up the call.

 

"What we got Joe, new client, new case."

 

"Hold your enthusiasm Ace it's just a  simple skip trace for a junkie who jumped bail."

 

"It doesn't need both of us on so stay here smoke a cigarette, play Canasta or whatever the fuck you feel you need to do, but I've got this and the last thing I need is you getting in my way fucking things up."

 

Jimmy didn't get a chance to reply as Joe grabbed his leather jacket, the same one he'd been wearing when they met a decade earlier, off the back of his chair, got up and stormed out.

 

"Fuck you too Joe." Jimmy said to the empty office.

 

Knowing Joe the way he did, he knew something was very wrong, he only ever got that defensive when it was about something personal.

 

Jimmy knew what to do he went over to Joe's desk, picked up the phone and dialed star 69 to see who had called.

 

He recognized the number straight away, he'd called Amaro loads of times for help the two of them went way back they had been starters for their high school football team.

 

Maro as Jimmy often called him, had been at his first wedding. It had only been in grief at her death and his losing his playing career and his spiral into drug addiction that they'd lost touch.

 

Well, not so much lost touch as Jimmy had deliberately walked out on everyone in his life back then when they had all tried to help him.

 

He hit reverse dial and after a few rings he answered.

 

“LAPD robbery homicide, detective Constantino's desk.”

 

"Yo Maro, it's Jimmy you called a few minutes ago spoke to my charmer of a partner what you tell him, man he was even more growly than usual, then attempted to swallow my head whole before storming out going who the fuck knows where."

 

"Oh man Jimmy, he didn't tell you. It's bad. I gave him a heads up on an arrest warrant that has gone over the wire."

 

"Yeah, yeah, I know he told me before walking out, it's a simple skip trace he said doing his best imitation of Joe again."

 

"Hold on Jim it's more complicated than that."

 

"Why, who is it for?"

 

"It's his daughter, the warrant is for Darian."

 

"Fuck, it's for Darian, what did she do, look I know she's been kind of a fuck up for a while now, but she ain't all bad, so what's the warrant for."

 

"She's wanted on suspicion of murder."

 

The Cops thinking Darian is a murderer or is at least involved somehow stunned Jimmy.

 

"No way, that's bullshit I've known that girl since she was 13 years old, she might be a brat who threw away a great education and chances at a better life than he or Joe ever had but from there to killer, he wasn't buying it."

 

"Yo, Jimbo you there, I'm telling you what happened and I get dead air on your end of the conversation."

 

"Yeah sorry my man, drifted there trying to wrap my head round this bullshit."

 

"Sorry Jimbo, I'll tell you what we got but it sounds airtight, I'll tell it to you, again."

 

"Like I said, cops responded to a call about a shooting at an address in Oakhurst they found one man there dead."

 

"They identified him a known local drug dealer they heard from neighbors about a young woman who was in and out of his apartment regularly, that she was often seen kissing him and being affectionate with the vic in public."

 

"They're thinking she's his girlfriend, she had been seen with him earlier in the day and a neighbor says he saw her fleeing on foot shortly after the shots were heard."

 

"Another neighbor showed us a photo he has from some neighborhood barbecue from a few weeks ago with her with the vic."

 

"So, she knew the dead guy that don't mean shit, coz I can tell you I know this kid, she ain't a killer."

 

"Yeah well tell that to the catching detectives they recovered the gun and a little while ago they get a hit back on the prints forensics found on the handle and the trigger."

 

"What the fuck Maro, how have they got Darian's prints on file, I thought that stuff that happened at Harvard got swept under the rug. I saw Joe personally burn that print card and there were assurances none of that shit got put on computer."

 

"This is nothing to do with all that Jimbo, it's from an arrest warrant issued for her two months ago."

 

"What another warrant, the fuck is this one for." Jimmy asked, genuinely shocked hearing about it now for the first time."

 

"You didn't know," Amaro asked, also surprised to find out that Joe hadn't told him.

 

"Nah man, Joe didn't tell me a damn thing about it." Jimmy answered, still upset to learn he'd been kept in the dark.

 

"Tell me Maro my man, what's that warrant for," Jimmy asked.

 

"It's for skipping bail on a possession bust in Las Vegas. She was in a car that L.V.P.D patrol pulled over on the strip, a search revealed a couple a kilo's of dope under a seat."

 

"She was the only one in the car but denied any knowledge of the drugs being there, she made bail but then the Feds came looking to put a distribution charge on her for crossing state lines."

 

"That's when she skipped out before she could be arrested," Amaro finished explaining.

 

Jimmy had become distracted thinking that all of this had happened while Joe wasn't talking to him, and that it was petty of Joe not to tell him about any of it.

 

He hadn't really been listening as Amaro was telling him that he would do what he could to help, that if he and Joe believe she's innocent so does he.

 

"Thanks for giving Joe a heads up, but I hope that shit ain't gonna blow back on you," Jimmy said half-joking, half giving him a heads up that where a pissed off Joe went gun fights, explosions and dead bodies usually followed.

 

"What how is that going to happen," Amaro asked.

 

"Come on man, you know Joe the next few days is gonna be him going round punching and shooting people and getting punched and shot at until he finds out how to prove his girl didn't do this."

 

"I'm telling you Maro, the next few days the attendance in local ER's and morgue's is gonna go thru the roof, so I tell you what, I'm gonna get out there now and find Joe."

 

"At least that way I might be able to keep the body count down to single figures, but I ain't promising that, but I'll do my best," Jimmy told Amaro.

 

"Look Maro, I gotta go. Joe's already got a head start who knows how much chaos and mayhem he could be getting into already."

 

"I best leave now and catch up, ok, bye-bye," Jimmy hung up before Amaro could say anything else.

 

Amaro was left sat on his desk in his office holding the phone, the sound of a dial tone in his ear since Jimmy hung up, and all he could think was 'what the fuck did I just get myself into.'

 

Jimmy grabbed his jacket off the hanger and his keys when he saw the trading card he signed for Joe. Jimmy was stunned and saddened by all this, 10 years he'd known Darian, and his memory drifted back to that first time he met her, being shocked by the foul language coming from a 13-year-old girl toward him, still it was mild compared to the foul language aimed at her own father. 

 

Then to his surprise when he left he found her waiting outside to get him to sign the trading card Joe owned of him from his playing career, that she wanted him to dedicate it to her dad.

 

Then he should have been blown away by the incredible bravery she showed walking into the middle of a scene filled with armed thugs and a knife wielding psycho. 

 

To get a gun to her dad, but between the gunfire and the ensuing car chase he didn't have time to think about it then. He'd thought about it since and he was in no doubt she saved both their lives that day.

 

The sound of a car horn from somewhere nearby pulled Jimmy out of his recollections and he headed for door. He was almost out when he realized he didn't have his gun.

 

He'd been licensed to carry a concealed weapon for a long time now, yet several times he had gone out without it and almost gotten his head blown off by the gun toting bad guys working with Joe seemed to bring him into contact with on a fairly regular basis.

 

Hopefully the agency he planned on opening in New York would attract less violence.

 

Jimmy got out of their office and locked up when he realized where the car horn had come from when he spotted Joe's car parked across the street in its usual spot with Joe sat behind the wheel, Jimmy crossed over to talk to him.

 

"Hey Joe, what the fuck you still doing here I figured you would be up to your neck in shit, you know fist fights, gun fights explosions and car chases."

 

"You know, all your usual fun stuff."

 

Joe saw Jimmy coming over and all he said to him in response to what he thought was some of his idiotic bullshit about gun fights and car chases.

 

"What the fuck took you so long Ace, get in we got some shit to sort out so we can save my little girl."

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