By Cindy Brewer
Forty minutes after the IA inspector relunctently left the squad room Jim stood and walked over to Bank’s office.
Simon waved him in as he returned to his phone conversation.
“I want forensics over every inch of that car.”Simon ordered as he stood,”We’ll be right there.”
“What is it?”Jim asked noticing for the first time the grim expression on Bank’s face.
Bank’s stiffled a sigh,”Black and whites found what might have been the get-a-way car.”
Jim blinked as a cold feeling of dread starting to form in the pit of his stomach,”Might have been?”
Banks walked around the desk,”They found a DOA in the backseat. I’m sorry Jim, the DOA is Blair.”
Casey Wells brushed rain soaked bangs away from her face as she glanced up at the sound of screaching tires. She spotted Jim’s pickup truck instantly. The young woman stepped away from the Lexus and stepped forward to meet her friend.
“Don’t get in my way,Casey.”Jim said quietly.
Casey placed a gentle hand on his left shoulder,”Jim, you don’t want to remember him like this.”
Jim blinked as he looked past her at the body laying by the side of the car covered by a white blanket. How many times had he told a victim’s relaitive that?
Jim shook his head and stepped around her. Something was nagging at him. Something more than disbelief.
Casey started after him,”Jim you really don’t....”
Simon placed a hand on her right shoulder pulling her back,”Let him deal with this his own way,Casey.”
With a heavy heart Ellison knelt next to the white blanket and gently lifted it away from his friend’s face. He winced at the amount of blood that covered his friend’s torso.
Maybe it was wishful thinking or maybe part of his Sentinel abilites were coming back but some how he found himself reaching forward to feel for a pulse.
Jim was nearly knocked off his feet when he found one.
Very faint and thready but defintely there.
Whirling around Jim looked at his commanding officer,”Simon, get an ambulance down here,ASAP!”
Simon looked at his detective as if he had just grown three heads,”Jim, I know you want to believe....”
Ellison glared at him,”He has a pulse,Simon!”
Casey shook her head as she stepped forward,”Jim, he’s dead. I declared time of death myself.”
“Simon if you’ve ever trusted me do it now.”Jim urged as he pulled off his jacket and placed it over his friend.
When Simon still hesitated Casey knelt next to Blair and searched for a pulse.
She turned wide eyes back to Simon,”He’s alive,Sir. I don’t know how but he defintely has a pulse.”
Casey Wells paused as she turned the corner of the hospital hallway. The site of Jim Ellison sitting on a lone bench broke her heart.
The young woman approached Ellison,”How is he?”
Jim turned tired eyes toward her as he shook his head,”They’re not telling me anything. Simon went to see if he could find anything out.”
Casey sat down next to him,”If anybody can pull through this its Blair.”
Jim shook his head as he ran a hand over the back of his neck,”Ordinarily I’d agree with you. But we have no idea how long he’d been in that car, Casey.”
“Well judging from the amount of blood loss,”Casey replied softly,”I’d say he was shot no more than two hours ago.”
Jim sighed,”I just hope Forensics can pull the shooter’s prints off the car. If Blair doesn’t make it there will be no rock that bastard can hide under.”
Casey glanced to her right at the sound of foot steps only to discover Simon coming down the hallway a grim expression on his face. The red haired woman gently tapped Jim on the shoulder to gain his attention.
Ellison stood and waited for Banks to join them.
“This place is more tight lipped than the CIA.”Simon muttered darkly as he came to a stop in front of Ellison
“What did you find out,Simon?”Jim asked struggling to keep a reign on his emotions.
Simon sighed,”He’s in surgery. The bullet lodged between his heart and his left lung. An inch ethier way......”
Jim closed his eyes briefly as he stepped away from them,”What do they say his chances are?”
“The Doc said its a risky surgery under normal circumstances but with all the blood Sandburg lost well....”
“He’ll make it.”Jim stated firmly as he turned to face Banks.
Simon exchanged a concerned glance with Casey before replying,”Of course he will.”
Jim Ellison blinked in surprise at the small shaft of sunlight coming through the window of the waiting room.
When did it get to be morning?
With a weary sigh Jim stood and stretched the kinks out of his back. The sentinel glanced at his watch nearly six thirty already.
Jim walked over to the window and watched Cascade slowly awaken. Blair had been in surgery for nearly two hours now and no word.
After Simon had told them of Blair’s condition a nurse had appeared a few minutes later and ushered the trio into a waiting room on the surgery floor.
Jim turned away from the window and looked around the small room. Casey was curled up on the tiny sofa sound asleep. Simon had somehow managed to accomplish the same feat in a straight backed wooden chair.
Jim shook his head slightly must be a talent Banks gained from all those hours of doing paperwork.
Ellison looked at Casey again and took his coat from the back of his chair and draped it gently over the young woman.
Her red hair was plastered to her face still wet from the rain. Her coat and clothes were still covered with Blair’s blood. She had refused to leave the waiting room even for a few minutes to change clothes.
Casey must’ve sensed someone watching her. She stirred slightly then opened her eyes.
The focused on Jim,”Any news?”She asked in a whisper.
Ellison shook his head,”No,he’s still in surgery. Go back to sleep.”
Casey nodded as she closed her eyes sleep quickly over takening her.
Jim sighed as he once again returned to his spot by the window. He wished he could sleep. But everytime he tried to close his eyes he only saw Blair’s still and bloody form lying on the asphalt.
Ellison swallowed the wave of guilt as he folded his arms over his chest.
If his senses hadn’t gone haywire he could’ve easily taken down those robbers before they had taken two steps into the coffee house.
The Commissoner wouldn’t be happy but his son would still be alive even if he had to spend most of it in jail.
Blair would be sound asleep in his own bed not fighting for his life on an operating table.
“Hang in there,Chief.”Jim whispered.
“Detective James Ellison?”A male voice asked from the doorway.
Jim started and whirled around expecting to find a doctor but instead he found himself staring at the same IA officer who had been in the squad room earlier.
“You might as well go home.”Ellison growled out,”I don’t have time to deal with you right now.”
Simon awoke at Jim’s raised voice and glanced at the doorway. He slowly rose to his feet recognizing the IA.
“I thought we had settled all of this earlier, Inspector Alveraz.”Banks stated as he glanced at Jim.
Alveraz shook his head as he stepped into the room handing Simon a folded document,”I’m afraid the Commissoner wasn’t happy with our settlement. Detective you’ll have to come with me.”
Casey awakened at that moment and rose to a sitting postion,”What’s going on?”
Jim glared at the older man,”Like hell.”
Alvarez stiffled a sigh,”You don’t have a choice in the matter. You know the policy,Detective.”
Jim took several angry strides forward causing Banks to quickly move between the two men.
Ellison ignored his friend’s attempt at peace and took out his badge and gun and threw them at Alvarez’s feet.
“Yes I know the damn policy! The commissoner want’s my badge? Fine there they are you can deliver them to him on a silver platter!”
“Don’t make me handcuff you,Detective.”Alvarez began as he took a step forward.
Casey was standing now Jim’s jacket still around her shoulders as she looked at Banks with wide eyes,”Captain, can they do this? The shooting at the coffee house while tragic was a clean shoot.”
“Forget the damn handcuffs!”Jim replied,”You’ll have to shoot me to get me to leave this room. Do you even care about the man who is lying a few feet away fighting for his life?!”
Alvarez’s eyes narrowed sharply as he grabbed Ellison by the right shoulder,”Of course we do but we have a job to do just like you do. When the commisoner says jump we ask how high. What he wants is for you to come down and make a statement.”
Jim shook his head,”I can make a report from here.”He replied breaking free of the man’s grasp.
Simon placed a reassuring hand on Ellison’s shoulder,”Go with him,Jim.”
Ellison looked at his friend like he had gone insane,”Simon.....”
“Jim, the longer you stand here and fight the longer it’ll take you to answer the questions. I’ll let you know if anything changes with Sandburg’s condition.”
Ellison looked from Casey to Simon and back again before bending over to pick up his badge and gun,”Fine.”
Casey stepped forward and handed Jim his coat,”I’m coming with.”
Jim shook his head,”Thanks for the offer,Case, but stay here. Blair needs all the friends he can get right now.”
“Okay.”Wells replied as she watched Ellison quietly leave the waiting room.