You Have Stitches In Your What?
"A.J., doesn't it bother you even a little that we swore we would never ever take a case like this again?"
"Don't start with me, Rick.”
"Me? Start? I'm not startin' here, pal. You're the one startin'."
"The Carlton divorce case," Rick interrupts as way of explanation. "You had just put the ladder up against the second story window at 246 Peach Tree Avenue--"
"And the Carltons lived at--" A.J. takes his turn at interrupting.
"248 Peach Tree Ave." The brothers say in unison.
"And who gave me the wrong address?"
"Well...I'm only human."
"Ha!" A.J. scoffs in doubt.
"What did you see in the neighbors bedroom by the way?" Rick inquires. "Musta' been somethin' to get the guy that furious."
A.J. smiles smugly. "I'll never give you the satisfaction."
"Never again, you said," Rick reminds. "No, check that, you screamed at the top of your lungs as you lay face down in the emergency room having multiple ladder rungs removed splinter by splinter from your--"
"Cool it," A.J. silences as activity begins to occur outside the luxurious home the brothers are parked in front of.
*The above conversation is from the 8th season aired episode Photo Finished.
S&S S&S S&S S&S S&S S&S
One Year Earlier
Rick Simon handed the nurse at the emergency room desk the completed insurance forms.
"I think that's everything, Sue."
The woman rose from the computer terminal. "They look fine, Rick," she acknowledged after a moment. A large grin suddenly dominated her features. "So A.J.'s real name is Andrew Jackson? This isn't some joke of yours, is it?"
Rick grinned. "No, Susie, it's no joke. That's his real name. "
"I've often wondered," the nurse said. "You guys are in here so much you're almost permanent fixtures, but in all this time I guess I've never had an opportunity to see any admittance forms or insurance papers. Andrew Jackson, huh? That should be good for a few laughs in the nurses' lounge. Poor A.J. will never live it down."
Rick chuckled, then asked, "So...uh, how much longer do you think he'll be in there with Raj?"
"Could be a while," the woman replied as she glanced up at the clock. "Dr. Raj just got started. I don't see why you can't go in there if you want to, Rick. It's not like anything life threatening is going on."
"You might feel differently about that if it was you who had a butt full of splinters."
"I suppose that's true,” Sue chuckled. “You two do get into some of the strangest situations. "
"That's the life of a private eye, darlin.'" Rick winked, before turning toward the trauma room A.J. was being treated in.
Rick was halfway down the hall when he heard his brother's "Ouch!" and then, "Raj, could you be a little more careful there, please?"
The brunette detective entered the treatment room to see A.J. lying on his stomach. Rick's younger brother was wearing his shirt yet, but a sheet covered the blond's bare legs and feet. That left only one strategic part of A.J.'s anatomy bare.
"Aren't you a little old to take up the sport of mooning?" Rick quipped, as he came to stand by the side of the exam table.
“Oh, shut up.” A red-faced A.J. glared at his brother. "And what are you doing in here anyway? I would really prefer it if you waited outside."
Rick let forth his high pitched laugh. "And miss this? You gotta be kiddin' me. I'm only sorry we lost the camera somewhere in the bushes when you fell. This is definitely an award winning photo opportunity."
"Rick...ouch! Raj, watch it back there!"
"I am most sorry, J.A.," the Indian physician apologized from his position over A.J.'s rearend, tweezers in hand. "I must ask of you one question though. How does a man come to get splinters in his posterior, and more importantly, why?"
"Raj, just shut up and get them out, please," the long- suffering A.J. ordered, as the young student nurse assisting Raj giggled.
"Geez, A.J., your butt's red," Rick observed.
"Rick, you're not helping the situation any," A.J. warned from his vulnerable position on the table.
"Now, come on, don't be so sensitive."
"Sensitive! I'll give you...ouch! Raj! Ouch!"
"I am most sorry, J.A., but some of these wounds are very deep, and the wood slivers are very large. You may need stitches to close some of these abrasions."
"Stitches! No, Raj, no stitches, I'll--"
"Now, J.A.," Raj soothed, while he worked on A.J.'s red tush. "Stitches will not hurt. I will give you a shot of Novocain first, most assuredly."
"No, Raj, you don't understand, I....."
Rick's laugh interrupted the proceedings. "Geez, A.J., what is it with you and your butt? This will be the second time in seven years that you've had stitches in your--"
"I know that, Rick,” A.J. moaned, letting his face fall into the pillow. “Just shut up, please.”
The young nurse assisting Raj commented quite seriously, "This is very interesting, Doctor. I haven't had the opportunity to assist at this type of procedure before."
"Stick around County General, darlin', and you'll get to assist in a lot of these," Rick announced. "My brother comes in once every couple of years to get this done."
"Rick!" Came the irate cry from table that quickly turned to an, "Ouch, ouch, ouch! Raj, watch it! You're getting uncomfortably close to...uh, other parts I'd rather not have you messing with."
"He means the family jewels," Rick stage-whispered to the smiling young woman.
"Oh, please, please, someone tell me this is just a dream,” A.J. moaned with embarrassment. “Just a horrible nightmare I'll wake up from."
"Nope, it's not dream," Rick took glee in informing his brother. "This is reality."
As Raj meticulously went about his work with an occasional "Ouch!" and "Damn!" thrown in for good measure from his patient, and the student nurse kept up a steady patter of technical questions and observations concerning A.J.'s battered behind, the blond man glared up at his sibling yelling, "Never again, Rick! Never again! Never again will I do another stakeout of any kind. I don't care who it's for, or how much they're paying us, or if it's a favor for Abby, or Mom, or Uncle Bud, or whoever, I just don't care! Never...ouch! Never again!”
"Aw, A.J., in a couple of weeks. . .when you can sit down again, you'll have forgotten all about it."
"Forgotten all about it? I'll never forget all about it! The irate husband. The crying wife. The fall down the ladder. The splinters. The ride here, laying on my stomach across your dirty truck seat--"
"You're makin' too big of a deal over all this, little brother, " Rick scoffed. "It's not that bad. So your butt's a little scraped up. It's not the end of the world you know."
"A little scraped up! A little scraped up, you say! Try a lot scraped up, Rick! Try having to lay here mooning a nurse that's almost young enough to be your daughter--"
"I'm not that young, Mr. Simon," the nurse contributed from the vicinity of A.J.'s bottom.
"He's a lot older than he looks," Rick informed the twenty-one-year old with a wink. "Believe me, you are young enough to be his daughter."
"Yes, Rick, she is," A.J. agreed. In a raw tone of voice he went on, "And then find out you'll probably have to have stitches where no one should ever have to have stitches, and to top it off your brother, who thinks he's a comedian, decides he needs to be present to enjoy the show, and spends his time making smart-ass remarks that you'd rather not hear, and--"
"That's interesting that you should use the term 'smart- ass' at this particular moment," Rick contemplated out loud.
"Shut up! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be in this mess anyway. It's all your fault."
"My fault? How is it my fault?"
"You were the one that took down the address. You were the one who told me, 'No, A.J., not here. It's 246 Peach Tree Avenue, not 248.' And didn't I ask you,' Rick, are you sure? Are you sure it's 246? I thought you told me it's 248.' But you said, and I quote, 'No, A.J., it's 246. I got it stored right up here in this old brain of mine. It never fails me.' "
"Hey, give me a break! I was close! If you hadn't had the ball game on the radio, and they hadn't been announcin' the score, I woulda' got it right. But with all those numbers that were bein' thrown out I got a little mixed up."
"Oh, you're a little mixed up all right," A.J. informed his brother sarcastically. "Ouch! Ouch! Never again! I swear, never again! Never again will I listen to you! Ouch! Damn! Ouch! Never again will I ever agree to another stakeout!"
"You'd better sedate him, Raj," Rick advised. "It's gettin' kind of ugly in here."
Raj gave A.J.' s rump a solicitous little pat. "J.A. is doing just fine, Ricky. There is no need for sedation. We will do a few stitches now, and he will once again be as new as good."
A.J. turned his head to look at the doctor. "How many is a few?"
Raj pushed A.J.'s hip back down on the table. "Oh, the number is not important, J.A. After all, what is a number? A number is nothing but a useless tool of measure. We are much too controlled by numbers. We would all be much happier if we did not let numbers rule our lives."
"Raj, how many?" The impatient A.J. asked again.
"Oh...judging by these abrasions on your tushy, J.A., quite a lot I'd say. Possibly twenty five small sutures here and there, possibly more."
"Twenty five...or more?" A.J. croaked.
"Hey, A.J., you're butt's gonna look like a road map of Los Angeles. Kind of an interesting novelty to show to the ladies, wouldn't you say?"
"No really, A.J., think about it. All you gotta do is turn on that old A.J. Simon charm, and ask some gorgeous woman, ‘Do you wanna see my stitches?’ then you can drop your drawers."
"Rick...please.” A.J. moaned. “Please, just leave me alone."
"I'm not kiddin' you. I'm serious. It'll be a great way to pick up women. Seein' you layin' here wounded and vulnerable, with your little red bottom showin,' makes me wish I'd thought of it first. Women love this kind of stuff."
"Women love a man with stitches in his ass? Is that you're trying to tell me? Rick, you're crazy, you know that? Why Mom ever let you live past your fifth birthday is beyond me, she should have...ouch, ouch! Ouch! Raj, what are you doing back there?"
A.J. frantically twisted his upper body to have a look, a movement that proved futile as Rick quickly grasped him by the shoulders and held him firmly to the table.
"Just two shots of Novocain, J.A. One for each cheek, shall we say?"
"Let's not," A.J. groaned with embarrassment.
All activity in the room came to a halt for a few minutes, while Raj waited for the numbing effect of the Novocain to take place. In an effort to continue to keep the atmosphere light, Rick contributed, "Well, A.J., I think this means you'll have to call Kathy and cancel your date for tomorrow night. I gotta feelin' you two won't be dancin' cheek to cheek for a while."
A.J. 's features molded into an angry scowl. "Raj, when you're through back there, do me a favor, please. Stitch Rick's mouth closed...permanently."
"Now there is a most interesting thought, J.A," Raj agreed, as he picked up a needle and posed it over A.J.'s bottom. "An unethical one, but interesting one nonetheless. Ricky with his mouth stitched closed...yes, very interesting."
Rick was wise enough to get the hint, and managed to keep his smart remarks to himself for the remainder of the proceedings.
It was several "Ouches!" and two "Damns!" later, before he was finally allowed to take his wounded brother home.
S&S S&S S&S S&S S&S S&S
Later that afternoon, after getting A.J. settled as comfortably as possible into bed, Rick inquired, "Can I get you anything?"
"A gun, so I can put myself out of my misery," A.J said from his stomach down position on the bed.
"Oh, come on, it's not that bad."
A.J. glared upward. "It's bad, Rick. Take my word for it, it's bad. "
Rick glanced at the bare rear-end now marked with small rows of stitches. The skin around those twenty-seven areas was irritated and shining bright red.
"I guess it doesn't look too pleasant. "
"That's because it's not."
"Look at it this way, A.J., you beat your past record of twenty stitches in your butt," Rick pointed out.
"Oh, now there's a comforting thought. It'll make great party conversation I'm sure."
Rick smiled wickedly. "You know, that's what I was just thinkin'."
"Don't you dare. If you ever, ever mention this to anyone, I'll see to it personally that you find out exactly what this feels like. Do you get my drift?"
Rick jokingly rubbed his hands over his blue jean clad rear.
"Yep, A.J., I get your drift."
"Seriously now, is there anything I can bring you?"
A.J. grimaced as he tried to shift position. "Do you have those pain pills Raj sent along?"
"Yeah, in my jacket pocket. Do you want one?"
Upon seeing A.J.'s nod Rick went to the bathroom to fill a glass with water. He returned to set it on the bedside table, while he fished in his coat pocket for the small prescription bottle he had been handed an hour earlier. He shook two pills into his hand, then gave them to A.J. along with the water.
When A.J. handed him the empty glass, Rick walked it back to the bathroom, calling over one shoulder, "I'm gonna go to the marina long enough to pack a bag and get Marlowe. I should be back in an hour or so. Do you want me to pick us up some burgers or something?"
"You don't have to come back," A.J. informed his sibling. "I'll be fine."
Rick laughed as the first sight that greeted him upon his return to the bedroom was A.J.'s tender, naked rear-end.
"You don't look fine. I think you're gonna need some help for a day or two. I practically had to carry you up the stairs. And if you'll recall from the last time you had stitches in your...uh there, you couldn't get around too well for a few days."
A.J. reluctantly did recall the last time he'd had stitches in this part of his anatomy. Yes, it sounded funny, he had to admit that, but actually it was a downright painful place to injure. It made sitting nearly impossible for two or three days, and even walking hurt like hell. He'd tried to climb the stairs a half an hour ago, only to have to lean on Rick and let the older man do all the work in getting him up to his bedroom. The simple movement of raising his legs was excruciatingly painful at this point in time.
"Okay, okay, I give in. You and Marlowe can stay here for a few days," A.J. finally conceded.
"I'm gonna go then, I'll be back in a--"
"A.J.! A.J.!" Suddenly rang through the house.
"We're up here, Mom!" Rick called.
Cecilia Simon moved toward the stairway, chattering, "Hi, Rick! A.J., are you up there, too? I brought back those cookbooks you let me borrow, and I want..."
As Cecilia continued to cheerfully rattle on, her footsteps could be heard climbing the stairs. In a sudden state of panic, A. J. reminded, "The sheet, Rick. The sheet!"
"Pull the sheet up! Quick!" A.J. urged, as he struggled painfully to move, not wanting to be lying in his birthday suit when his mother entered the room.
Rick purposefully dawdled over the job of untangling the bed sheet from A.J.'s feet, and pulling it up over his waist.
"And, honey, I also think I'd like to take a look at that those new cassettes you were telling me you bought. I might want to..." Cecilia's voice grew closer.
"Aw, A.J., it's not like Mom has never seen your sweet little bare bottom before."
"Yeah, but she hasn't seen it for a good number of years, and I would prefer that she not see it now. Hurry!"
Rick had just gotten the sheet and a light blanket pulled up to his brother's waist when Cecilia entered the room.
Cecilia stopped short in the doorway.
"What's wrong? A.J? Rick?"
"It's nothing, Mom. You don't need to worry about it," A.J. attempted to reassure with a smile.
"I do need to worry about it when I find my son in bed at four o'clock in the afternoon, and it's obvious to me he's in pain. Now what's going on here?"
Rick gave a laugh while explaining, "Well, Mom, it's like this. A.J. peered into the bedroom window of a guy who was otherwise engaged in....well, the type of activity a man and woman don't normally want an audience for. So anyway, this guy gets real ticked off and pushes the ladder A.J.'s on away from the house--"
"Oh, honey, are you okay? You could have been killed!" Cecilia exclaimed as she moved to sit on the side of A.J.'s bed. "Did you break anything? Hit your head?"
"No, Mom. Nothing like that," A.J. tried his best to smile. "I'm fine. Really."
"Except for one little thing," Rick contributed.
While A.J. glared at his brother, Cecilia questioned Rick.
"What little thing?"
"Take a look at his butt."
Cecilia began to pull back the blanket and sheet. Just as quickly, A.J. grabbed for them and held them firmly in his right hand.
"Why not?" Cecilia asked.
"Because...well because..." A.J. stammered, as he began to blush.
"Because he's naked under there," Rick took delight in finishing.
"Rick!" The indignant A.J. warned for the tenth time that afternoon.
"Oh, sweetheart, for Heaven's sake. I've seen your bare bottom before. Thousands of time. Now come on and let me--"
“No.” A.J. held onto the blankets more tightly. "Suffice to say I have twenty-seven stitches in a place no person should ever have stitches and--"
"His behind, butt, posterior, rear-end, rump, bottom, heiny, fanny--"
"I get the picture, Rick," Cecilia interrupted in an effort to stop her eldest's teasing. "Are you in pain,
sweetheart?" She asked of her youngest.
"I don't feel real good,” A.J. told his mother as he relaxed once more, settling back into his pillows. “This is not exactly the most comfortable place to sustain an injury."
"No, I imagine it's not," Cecilia agreed. "I don't know, what it is about you and stitches in your rear-end. This is the second time in how many years?"
"Seven," Rick contributed.
"Thank you for keeping track of such important events, Rick," came A.J.'s sarcastic remark. "It's a miracle if he remembers to show up for work on time, but when it comes to being able to perfectly recall some stupid little injury from seven years--"
"That's 'cause it was funny," Rick defended.
"To you maybe, but not to me!"
"Boys, now that's enough," Cecilia scolded. "You two don't need to be arguing right now."
"But this is the best time to argue with him, Mom. He can't hit me."
"Don't be so sure of that," A.J. warned.
"Hey, A.J., do you know that if you went to a party right now, you'd be the butt of everyone’s jokes."
"Rick. . .”
"Rick, stop it!" Cecilia scolded again. "Have some pity on your brother."
"Oh, I do, Mom. I do."
"Ha!" A.J. scoffed.
Cecilia couldn't resist getting in on a little bit of the fun herself. She looked up at Rick with a twinkle in her eye, then back at A.J.
"You know, dear, I do find it to be a rather odd coincidence that twice now in the last few years you end up with stitches in your rear. This little story your brother and you are giving me isn't a cover up for some...kinky sex thing you've been engaging in with your lady friends, is it?"
"Mother!" Was all that was heard from A.J., while Rick burst into uncontrollable laughter.
"It's not funny, you two," A.J. pouted at both his laughing family members.
Cecilia reached out and patted her youngest's back. "No, sweetheart, it isn't. I'm sorry. I just couldn't help myself."
"Now I know where Rick gets his disgusting sense of humor from," A.J. mumbled.
"He does come by it honestly," Cecilia agreed. "Is there anything I can get for you, A.J.? A book, the paper, maybe something to eat?"
A.J. stifled a yawn. "No, I don't need anything. But thanks for offering."
By the time Cecilia and Rick were done conferring back
and forth about the arrangements for the next few days in regards to A.J.'s care, the youngest Simon was sound asleep.
like those pain pills Raj prescribed did the trick," Rick said softly upon
catching sight of his slumbering brother.
"Are they that strong?" Cecilia asked with concern, not happy to think that her son was in so much pain as to need a powerful sedative.
"No, I don't think so. It's just Tylenol with codeine. Tylenol 3, I think Raj called them. He said within a couple of days A.J. should be gettin' around a little better."
"When do the stitches come out?"
"Next Tuesday. If I take A.J. back to County, Raj will take 'em out in the emergency room."
"That's only five days away. That's not so bad."
"Better not let A.J. hear you say that, Mom. I think as far as he's concerned right now, one day with those stitches is one day too many."
Cecilia smiled. "I can't say that I blame him."
"No, me either. He definitely wasn't having a good time in that trauma room earlier this afternoon."
"By that smile on your face, Richard Simon, I'd say your brother wasn't having a good time, but you were. At his expense."
Rick chuckled at his mother's knowing gaze. "I couldn't help it, Mom. You gotta admit, it is pretty funny."
Cecilia chuckled a bit as well. "Yes, it is, but nonetheless, I don't like to see one of my children in pain. Even if the source of that pain is radiating from a rather...shall we say, unusual area."
"I don't like to see him in pain either," Rick agreed. "Despite the hard time I gave A.J., I did feel sorry for him. He was hurting, and he was embarrassed as hell, and then when we thought it was finally all over, Raj pulls out this big, long needle and gives A.J. a tetanus shot in about the only part of his body that didn't hurt up until that point, his right arm."
Cecilia looked down at her youngest, lightly rubbing a hand across his bare back. "My poor baby," she sympathized with a chuckle in her voice.
"Then to top it all off," Rick went on to relate, "When Raj and I tried to get A.J.'s jeans back on him, we couldn't. It hurt him so much that Raj finally had to get a pair of pajama bottoms for him. I ended up bringing him home in those," Rick nodded in the direction of the bedroom chair, where a pair of hospital-issue pajama bottoms had been tossed. "Boy, was A.J. mad then."
"I can picture it," Cecilia nodded.
"That's why he's layin' here in the buff now. He's in too much pain to have anything against his skin."
"Why don't you go and collect Marlowe, and pack your things while A.J.'s sleeping," Cecilia suggested. "That way when he wakes up, if he needs any help, you'll be here. I doubt he'll let me do much for him as long as he's more comfortable without his clothes, than with them."
Rick laughed. "I doubt it too, Mom."
"I'll start supper for all of us while you're gone. I'm sure A.J. has a chicken in his freezer. I'll make a big pot of chicken and dumplings, and see what I can find for dessert. Maybe I'll make a chocolate cake."
"All A.J.'s favorites," Rick commented.
"Yes. Possibly that will help get his mind off some of the pain."
"But I thought oxtail soup was your remedy for flesh wounds," Rick reminded.
"Well, in this case, I think it's more important to pamper our patient a bit. It's not everyday a person ends up with twenty-seven stitches in his bottom."
"No, Mom, I guess it's not," Rick agreed, as he bent to kiss his mother's cheek. "You go ahead and pamper him all you want for the next few days. I can guarantee you he's not going anywhere."
Cecilia smiled, glancing down at her sleeping, wounded youngest. "From the looks of things, I'd say you're right about that."
Rick left for the marina then, promising to be back within an hour or so.
Cecilia remained sitting next to A.J. for a while longer, continuing to rub her hand in a soothing, circular motion over his back.
"I swear, Andrew, you and your brother cause me more worry and concern now than either of you ever did as children. I wish you two could learn to stay out of trouble."
That was one wish Cecilia Simon was certain would never come true.
A.J.'s mother rose in order to go down stairs to prepare dinner. She tucked the covers around his shoulders as she stood. She bent and placed a light kiss on the side of A.J.’s blond head before heading for the doorway.
Cecilia paused in the act of turning off the light and shutting the door, fondly studying her youngest a moment longer. She smiled while shaking her head and saying softly, "Who'd ever believe it? Stitches in your butt...again. Rick and I will sure have a good time telling this story at next month's family reunion."
And the next month, long after the stitches had been removed and A.J.'s bottom had healed, that's exactly what happened. And as Rick had predicted, A.J. was indeed, the butt of everyone’s jokes.
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