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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Flashback
October 1990


Shawn stared in awe at the ocean waves crashing onto the Santa Barbara shoreline.

 

The cooler weather brought bigger waves as they pounded the beach, and surfers could be seen trying to tame the wild waves. The white foam of the waves looked spectacular as it shimmered in the sunshine. He hummed the Baywatch theme song as he scanned over the sand like Lt. Mitch Buchannon always did and smiled. All that was missing was Pam Anderson running toward him in her tiny little red swim suit.

The beach was practically empty. The overcast sky, left over from the recent tropical storm, and the cooler temps, drove most people off the beach. He heard Gus stop next to him, breathing heavily. “Dude no fair, you cheated,” his best friend griped at him.

“What? You totally tripped and a good lifeguard needs to know how to stay on his feet. You don’t see Dave Hasselhoff falling all over the beach,” Shawn said with a grin.

“Not this again. There is no way that your father is going to let you become a lifeguard.”

“Come on, dude. You know you love that show just as much as I do. Look at all the girls those lifeguards get, that could be us man.
Lieutenants Spencer and Guster keeping Santa Barbara’s beaches safe,” Shawn said dramatically. “In our killer red swimsuits, sliver Raybans, running down the beach, looking cool, plus saving the lives of honeys like them.” He pointed to a group of young bikini clad girls, in their early twenties, playing volleyball.

“Oh my,” Gus gasped. The ball suddenly flew at them, landing at Gus’ feet.

“Little help, guys,” one of the girls called. Shawn quickly scooped up the ball and threw it back.

“Thanks cutie. Nice arm,” the same girl said and the rest chuckled. Shawn grinned proudly and Gus slugged him in the arm, as the girls went back to their game. The pair started walking away, headed down the beach.

“Ow. What was that for?” Shawn asked as he rubbed his sore arm.

“You, showing off for those girls,” Gus said. “Think we’ll ever get girls as pretty as that?”

“Absolutely buddy. We’re cool, and after we become lifeguards, the hotties will be flocking to us. Let’s go practice the Baywatch run again.”

“Good idea,” Gus said. The two boys ran off in a slow motion run, heads held high, arms pumping with long strides. They collapsed onto the sand in hysterics 400 feet down the beach.

“You have the dumbest look on your face when you run,” Gus laughed.

“You laugh now, but someday, women will find this face very attractive,” Shawn said and Gus fell over laughing, having trouble catching his breath. “Hey you better breathe or you’ll pass out, and am so not carrying you. Gus. Gus. Stop laughing. It’s not that funny.”


Present Day about 18 years later

Shawn and Gus pulled up to the newly built Santa Barbara Beach Volleyball Arena. The venue was located next to the beach where past tournaments had been held. It was a long way from the old days of only a few bleachers on beach. This was a small circular stadium that held a few thousand spectators. The sand court was in the center with the seats raised up for a better view.

The two friends blended into the large crowd milling around the stadium and started to navigate to their seats for the event. Public address speakers lined the arena inside and out to let the people know of upcoming events.

The nearby speaker roared to life as they walked by. “It’s another beautiful day here in Santa Barbara at the annual AVP Pro Volleyball Tournament. The world’s highest ranked female pair, the seasoned veteran Christine Haines and her younger protégé partner Monica Peters
are looking to repeat last year’s tremendous victory,” the announcer said as Shawn and Gus strolled on.

“How exactly did you get these tickets Shawn?” Gus asked as he and Shawn gave their tickets to an usher.

With ripped tickets in hand, they continued toward their seats. “Gus, the details aren’t important. What’s important is the time honored tradition that is women’s professional beach volleyball,” Shawn said with a fake dramatic flair.

“Long-legged women in bikinis,” they said in unison and fisted bumped. They continued their walk to their seats.

* * * * * *
Buzz walked past the front desk with the file that Detective O’Hara had requested. He hummed happily, oblivious to the usual station chaos occurring around him. Two officers were struggling with a suspect on their way in to the building. The man was yelling, “I was framed.” Everyone shook their heads and went about their business. Other officers were on the phone or chatting loudly. He enjoyed the busy atmosphere, sure it usually meant more crime, but at least it wasn’t dull.

As Buzz approached Juliet’s desk, he noticed that Detective Lassiter was angry. “Where the hell is my mug?” he fumed. Buzz sighed. This was the third time this week that the mug had been “misplaced” by the Head Detective. Buzz contemplated throwing the file from where he was and running. He felt a shiver down his spine as he made eye contact with the older man. Damn. “McNab! Where is my mug?”

Buzz timidly walked forward. “Well sir, I honestly haven’t seen it. Have you checked in the break room?”

“Why would it be there? I left it right on my desk two minutes ago.” Lassiter scratched his head for a minute, and then glared at Buzz. “Has Spencer been here?”

At that moment Juliet appeared from the direction of the Chief’s office, in her hand she was carrying the missing mug. She walked back to her desk, sipping the coffee. Placing the cup on the desk, she looked up to see Buzz and Carlton staring at her. “What?”

“That’s my mug,” Carlton growled. Juliet smiled and glanced down at the offending ceramic.

“Look at that, I must have grabbed the wrong one. Sorry Carlton,” she said with a mischievous smile. “You’re welcome to use mine.” She pointed over at the coffee machine. There sat a bright pink mug with magenta flowers. Carlton looked horrified and stalked over toward the machine. Juliet grinned at Buzz, “That’ll teach him for making me climb in the dumpster last week.”

Buzz frowned, not sure of what the woman was talking about. She nodded and said, “Long story. I see you found the Donnelly file.”

“Yes,” he said, holding up the file. He handed it to her and headed back toward the front desk. As he passed the Chief’s office he heard, “McNab, can you please come in here for a second.” He froze and racked his brain to try to figure out what he had done. “Officer, now…please.”

Buzz entered the office. Chief Karen Vick was seated behind her desk. “Close the door,” she said firmly. He gently closed the door and stood attention in front of the desk. “Sit McNab.” He quickly flopped down in the chair.

“Officer McNab, you’ve been
doing a great job here and I’ve been thinking it’s time to give you the opportunity of more responsibility,” she told him.

“Wow, thank you ma’am,” he said, pleasantly surprised.

“This assignment I’m going to give you needs to be a top priority, due to its political nature.”

“Sure thing Chief,” he said, sitting up straight. “I welcome any chance to grow as a police officer.” He noticed her crooked, amused grin.

“That’s the attitude I like to hear. McNab, the lieutenant mayor is having trouble with trespassers in his backyard.”

“Are they doing extensive amounts of damage?” he asked, excited. The possibility of catching vandals red handed was a dream come true.

She appeared to swallow nervously. “Not exactly,” she stood and came around the desk. Sitting on the edge, she continued, “They are using his pool without his permission.”

He looked at her slightly confused. She wanted him to find pool trespassers, not exactly the case of a lifetime. “It’s probably just some neighbor kids,” he said quietly.

She appeared to sense his apprehension. She nodded, “That’s what Mr. Tyler thinks. Listen McNab, I know this doesn’t seem like much, but if you can close this case, you win a lot of support for the department with the mayor and his staff.”

“No problem Chief. I’ll take care of it,” he said standing.

“You’re dismissed,” she said. He headed toward the door and stopped when she said, “Do us all proud Officer.”

He grinned, “Yes ma’am.” Then closed the door to her office. “Woo hoo!” he yelled jumping into the air. As he landed, he realized everyone was looking at him. He could feel his ears turning red. Shrugging shyly, he waved and headed off to find out where the lieutenant mayor lived. He had a case to solve.

* * * * * *

Finding their row, Shawn and Gus sat and admired the great view of the court. “Are you ever going to tell me how you scored these seats?”

“Where is the fun in that? Besides I think the bigger question is; what the hell are you wearing?” Shawn said as he looked over Gus’ outfit. Gus was dressed in a purple golf shirt that was obviously neatly pressed and a pair of golf shorts that could probably stand up on their own if the well defined creases were any indication.

“What’s wrong with my outfit Shawn?” Gus asked, clearly annoyed.

“Dude, this is the beach, not Pebble Beach. Are you expecting Tiger to ask you to play a round?”

Gus rolled his eyes. “There is nothing wrong with looking my best. Besides you look like a reject from a Point Break.”

“Point Break, really Gus. I thought we had an agreement, no Keanu references, especially after that chick flick The Lake House. What was he thinking?”

“I’m pretty sure it involved making money. And you are forgetting all the Matrix movies. One chick flick can neutralize those. Wait…hey, is that your dad?" Gus asked pointing to the other side of the court. Henry was sitting with a few other men that appeared to be his age. Gus chuckled as he saw Henry’s shirt. It was a short sleeved black Hawaiian shirt with an assortment of neon colored sea shells on it. “And what the hell is he wearing?”

Shawn looked toward where Gus was pointing and grimaced. “Where does he find those things, ugly shirts dot com? I mean, it looks the ocean threw up after a long night of drinking.”

“Dude, that didn’t even make sense,” Gus said with a laugh.

“Yeah, well that shirt has stolen my ability to be witty.”

“You don’t seem too surprised to see him here,” Gus said. He grinned as he watched the tips of his best friend’s ears turn a bit red. “You knew he’d be here. Did he get you these tickets?”

Shawn turned to face him, “Gus please, I gave him those tickets. It was his birthday and they were free. Now can we talk about something else?” Gus grinned at Shawn’s embarrassment, but decided to keep that little tidbit of information for a later date.

Gus jumped slightly as his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID. “I’ll be right back. I need to take this,” he said walking away. Shawn heard, “Burton Guster. Yes, thank you. I’m doing well—“ The rest being cut off and Gus went through the tunnel they just arrived through.

“Weird,” Shawn said to himself. He continued to scan the crowd. He saw his dad give a brief wave. He frowned and waved back. He battled with the idea of jumping up and up and screaming “Hi Dad”, but found it might be more embarrassing to him then his father.

Then he spotted him. “No way,” he whispered. He looked around. “Why didn’t I tell Gus to bring those binoculars?” he asked himself. The woman next to Gus’ seat had a pair around her neck. She was pretty cute, but her short hair cut and “Chicks rule” t-shirt gave away that she was batting for the other team. He smiled; hey at least they had something in common.

He leaned over toward her. “Excuse me; can I borrow your binoculars? I think I see David Hasselhoff.”

She grinned. “Sure, but if you see Pam Anderson you be sure to point her out,” she said handing over the set.

He chuckled, “No problem. I’ll try to stop drooling long enough to do that.” He pointed the lens in the direction where he’d seen him. He sighed, “Where’d he go?”
“Did you lose him?” she asked him.

“Looks like it, thanks,” he said handing back the pair.

She smiled and took back the glasses. “No problem. I’m Cheryl by the way.”

“Shawn,” he said. He watched Gus head back up the aisle and to their row. He passed Cheryl and sat down.

“What’d I miss?” he asked.

“David Hasselhoff,” Shawn said.

“What? You’re lying,” Gus said and Cheryl laughed beside him. He looked over at her.

“Sorry,” she said and turned away, trying to hide another laugh.

“Gus, this is Cheryl. Cheryl, this is Gus,” Shawn said. Gus and Cheryl smiled at each other. Gus turned back toward Shawn.

“I walk away for two minutes and you make a new friend.”

“Sure, no harm in being nice. So who was on the phone?” Shawn asked. He watched Gus squirm a little.

Gus couldn’t quite look at him as he said, “Just someone from work. It’s no big deal.”

Shawn was about to continue interrogating his friend when he was interrupted by the announcer’s voice that came over the PA system, “Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for last year’s champions Christine Haines and Monica Peters.” The crowd erupted into applause and cheering as the pair ran onto the court.

Both women were quite tall, close to six feet tall. Christine had long dark hair, tied back in a ponytail. She was well toned and tanned with long legs and pale blue bikini. Her sunglasses were dark to cover her eyes. Monica was wearing a pale pink bikini with flowers, not one typically seen on the professional circuit. She was also had a well maintained athlete’s body. Her most striking appearance was her flaming red short hair. She wore a visor to keep it out of her eyes and also wore sunglasses.

Gus opened up the program he picked up on the way in. “Wow can you believe that Haines is thirty-seven. She looks younger,” Gus said in astonishment.

“Oh man, I’m drooling over old women,” Shawn said, slightly aghast.

“She's only like 7 years older than you moron,” Gus pointed out. “And besides your dad and his buddies don’t seem to have a problem drooling over them.”

“No Henry and drool in the same sentence unless we're talking tapioca and nursing homes, Gus,” Shawn shivered. “Besides you know the rule, plus or minus five years.”

“You are insane,” Gus said.

Cheryl leaned over toward the pair, “I hear that Peters is dropping Haines after this tournament.”

“Really, but they’re ranked number one in the world,” Shawn said, sounding slightly confused. Gus looked over at Shawn, surprised. Shawn smirked, “I told you dude, ESPN.” Gus glared at him, then turned this attention back to Cheryl.

“So, are you a big fan of beach volleyball?” Gus asked. Cheryl was cute, so he figured a little conversation wouldn’t hurt.

“At least women get some respect in this sport, of course thy have to be half-naked in order to get men to watch it,” she said seriously. “But who cares, right? They are so hot!”

Gus looked straight ahead as Shawn started chuckling. “Dude,” was all Shawn said.

“Shut up Shawn,” Gus growled.

Thinking that he better get the conversation on a different topic, Shawn asked Cheryl, “So Cher, any scuttlebutt about who Peters’ new partner will be?”

Cheryl leaned closer, forcing Gus to lean back a little. Whispering, she told them, “Well, Danielle Montonya is the top runner, but rumor has it that there might be someone else in the wings.”

“So?” Gus said.

“These girls are getting ready for the next Olympics and this is big money Gus,” Cheryl scolded.

“Yeah Gus, please,” Shawn said teasingly, earning him a smack from his best friend.

The trio watched as the match began. Haines and Peters were a well choreographed pair. They easily won their first set against their unranked opponents. After the win, the partners sat as far apart on the bench as possible.
“They look like a happy pair,” Shawn said to Gus.

“Maybe they just work together, nothing else,” Gus countered.

“Well, I heard they were lovers at one time,” Cheryl butted in.

Gus rolled his eyes, “She’s getting annoying now.”

“Really,” Shawn said as he was watching Peters. The woman finished a liter bottle of bottle and opened another one. “Wow, that girl can put away the fluids.”

“Keeping hydrated is key to preventing heat exhaustion,” Gus told him.

“Thanks for the info Mr. WebMD.”

Cheryl leaned over again, “Probably doesn’t hurt that she has an exclusive contract with the Aqua Puro. She probably gets paid big bucks for every bottle she drinks.”

Both men smiled stiffly at her and she looked back at the match that was starting again. “Okay, now she is just creeping me out,” Shawn said.

“Hey you talked to her first,” Gus said.
“I’m not the one that tried to flirt with her,” Shawn smirked and was rewarded with a smack. “Ouch dude.”

Haines went to make a save and dove into the sand, but missed. The crowd cheered and booed. But the arena was silenced when Peters started screaming, “You idiot, you should have easily had that. This game has so passed you by. Do I have to do everything?”

“Well, apparently you do,” Haines yelled back. “Is this what I get for showing you how to play this damn game?!”

Peters laughed, “Oh shut up you old bag and try to remember how to hit the ball.” The crowd was eating the fight up and roared.

The judge yelled at the pair, “Ladies, save it for later. Play!” Then the game continued.

Gus and Shawn shared a look. “Wow, is it hot out here?” Cheryl said next to them. They shook their heads.

“Monica is a bit intense, huh?” Shawn said.

“They don’t call her the big B for nothing,” Cheryl informed them. As they looked at her, the crowd suddenly erupted and most people jumped to their feet.

Gus and Shawn stood as well. Down on the court, Peters was face down in the sand. Haines flipped her over, “She’s not breathing. I need some help!” The court was suddenly flooded with medical personnel.

Gus looked at Shawn. Shawn had that “connecting all the dots” expression on his face.

“Let me guess, we need to get down there,” Gus said sarcastically, “And there’s more to this than the woman just passed out from the heat.” Gus shook his head and started walking toward the stadium exit.

“Hey, that’s not fair, I’m supposed to say that,” Shawn shouted after him. “Maybe I need to vary that stuff up a little bit,” he muttered to himself and followed Gus. He grinned. They so had a case.




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