Belonging

Chaos, Pain & Good Shit


Hospital - ER Nurse Information Desk

Heather was sitting at the ER nurses desk. She giving information to an older gentleman about the condition of his wife. Suddenly the normally hushed ER waiting area was shattered by a sonic boom of rage and pain filled yelling exploding from the private waiting room. So many roaring voices on top of one another nothing could be comprehended but thundering noise.

She raced to the room with only one thought OH MY GOD, SAM DIED.


Hospital - ER Private Waiting Room

She threw open the door and was stunned to find the room in absolute chaos oozing uncontrolled rage. Everyone was shouting and the target of the rain of fury was a fearful looking Donner pushed up against the far wall.

Wordy, Spike, Lou, Patch and Winds were desperately trying to disengage Ed and Blaze from the man as they all were bellowing. Blaze had his hands around the guy's throat and Ed had firmly grabbed the front of Donner's shirt in his fists and was pushing him hard into the wall.

Greg was pacing in a tight circle frantically rubbing the top of his head roaring at Holleran who was shouting back waving his hand wildly in the direction of the guy on the wall.

Jules was standing feet apart hands on hips fists tightly clenched intently screaming at Kendall who appeared totally shocked as she was shrieking back and gesturing at Donner.

Dr. Fraser was hiding behind a patrol officer in the corner both looking shell-shocked by the pandemonium around them.

Heather's brain began to register individual comments but not from whom.

"Ed stop think man."

"You're fucking kidding me."

"You're a dead man Donner."

"Blaze no, god no, stop now."

"You fucking bastard."

"I will see him, you will not stop me."

"Stop NOW!"

"He can't do that can he?"

"You son of a bitch!"

"I won't let this to happen."

"He is not a murderer!"

"Sam needs us NOW!"

Holy shit, what the hell happened? Heather thought knowing this would not be the reaction if Sam had died. Her next thought was how do I get the room under control?

She could call security, but what could they really do in the face of a group of elite SRU officers and Special Forces men on an emotional rampage. Several of them were still armed. Thank god no one had pulled a weapon. 'Yet' entered her mind unbidden then receded.

As she stood there with the door open a crowd was gathering around behind her. She had to act and now otherwise there would be bad repercussions for the officers and she would not allow that. She would deal with the crowd, knowing that the officers would regain control of themselves, she hoped quickly. Heather rapidly closed the door and turned to the crowd.


Hospital - ER Private Waiting Room - Outside

She plastered her emotionless nurse face on and said "They got some really bad news about a fellow officer. The one injured in the gang war today. Please move away and give them the privacy they deserve."

Thus giving them something legitimate to chew on that would both explain and excuse the behavior they had seen. Especially since the news had been running accounts of Team One's day all evening. The news had found out who the injured officer was and were having a heyday reporting on his exploits today.

Someone had supplied them with cellphone video of one of their calls today. It showed the handsome young officer, flanked by his teammates, carrying a sleeping child in his arms. He carefully put her into the waiting arms of her mother, whispered something that made the mother smile then he stepped back. He smiled down at the little girl, gently stroked her golden hair and kissed her forehead.

The video ended with his teammates protectively surrounding him as they walked away. You could hear the 'aahhs' from the women in the room every time it was shown. The newscasters were calling him a hero, saying he saved that little girl from a drug crazed gunman.

They had also interviewed the bank manager who was a hostage in a bank robbery call who recounted how Sam had saved two men from committing suicide by talking to them. He seemed too shaken up to give many details, only saying that the officer showed him the beauty of life that morning.

They delved into his history and reported that he was ex-JTF2 and had served with distinction before joining the SRU's best of the best Team One. The video showing the unguarded, volatile reactions of the team when they heard him being hurt was played over and over as the newscasters commented on the fact that he must be special to garner emotional reactions like that from teammates who typically were highly composed even in the worst situations.

If they only knew the price the young man had paid today to save others they wouldn't be all smiles she sadly thought. They wrapped it up in fancy paper and pretty bows. But the reality was that it was ugly, bloody, and agonizingly brutal. Heather stayed outside the door acting as guard allowing the violent storm inside the room to blow itself out.


Hospital - ER Treatment Room

Sam knew only two things for sure, he was conscious and he was in inconceivable pain. His eyes may or may not be open, it was all blackness. Not a glimmer of light appeared. Only deafening silence roar in his ears. He had no voice. He had no idea if he was alone or surrounded. He did not know where he was. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the physical world registered except pain incredible pain.

Time had no meaning. He had no idea how long he laid awake and in pain. It felt infinite and unrelenting. His head throbbed with merciless pain. Breathing brought searing pain. Moving was met with pulsating pain. Pain, pain, pain.

That is all his world consisted of at the moment. Why couldn't he just stop existing? It would stop the pain. Why wouldn't oblivion take him back and stop the pain? Why must he always feel pain? Was he such a bad person that he deserved to be in pain? God why can't I just slip away and be released from the pain?

I'm so very tired of pain.

"Please … oh god please …stop the pain" he screamed in his head but came out as a barely audible obstructed cry.

"Doctor!" yell the nurse Clare looking frantically around for Dr. Fraser. Not seeing him she grabbed the closest orderly and asked where the doctor was.

"With the family I think in the private waiting area" he replied.


Hospital - ER Private Waiting Room

Clare ran as fast as she could to the waiting room. Heather was standing outside the door. She pushed her away and jerked open the door and yelled "Doctor Fraser, he spoke!"

The tempest in the room instantly stilled. No one moved a muscle. All sound ceased.

Clare blinked not believing the scene in the room.

Dr. Fraser's years of emergency room experience kicked in as he quickly moved toward the door calling out to Clare "What did he say?"

"It was so soft and choked I almost didn't hear him but he said 'please oh god please stop the pain'." Clare reported as the doctor reached the door and then started to follow him toward the ER.

"Shit!" Patch cried and raced after the doctor. If Blondie was begging them to make the pain stop then he was in real physical pain. He had a high pain threshold normally but sometimes his body overloaded him with pain, it was a level of pain he couldn't begin to manage, it would be his whole world.

Shit, shit, shit. This should not be happening. He told them exactly what and how much to give him to prevent it. Why didn't it work, was something different? It always worked in the past and he was right as rain in a few hours as his body adjusted. He needed to get to Blondie now and he would not let anyone even that god damned SIU guy stop him.

Hearing Patch cuss and run, Blaze and Winds knew it was serious and immediately followed. They would remove any barrier be it doors or people that got in Patch's way. They'd done it before and they would do it again. Blondie needed Patch and needed him now!

Team One realized something serious was up. They did not have the experience the JTF2 guys had with Sam and injuries. This was the first time he'd been hurt badly enough to require the hospital since joining SRU.

He usually avoided EMS for checkouts at the scene saying he was okay. Donner be damned, they all followed Blaze, Winds and Patch. Sam needed help, they knew without a doubt Patch knew what he needed and they would ensure he got the cooperation he needed to get it for Sam.

Commander Holleran watched the nine of them leave the room and a tight smile briefly crossed his face. Sam would be alright, those nine would ensure it. So he would stay here and deal with that asshole SIU agent. He would set him straight.

As he turned to face Donner, agent Stevens stormed over to Donner and icily said "Just what the hell do you think you are doing asshat! I am so lodging a formal complaint against you. You will be lucky to even have your job by tomorrow …".

As Kendall went on and on verbally lashing out at Donner, Holleran took a position slightly behind her. He assumed his best stern command stance and face and provided solid but silent support to Stevens.

The patrol officer moved quietly to a chair and slowly sank down thinking wow this is one profoundly unique day, never seen one like it in all my decades on the force. He wasn't sure what to expect when agent Stevens requested he join her as protection detail. But it certainly wasn't this. He still wasn't sure why she needed him here; she was doing a damned good job of protecting herself. Maybe it wasn't her she needed him to protect? He would wait until she finished whipping that idiot agent before he asked.


Hospital - ER Treatment Room

Nine people stormed through the ER looking for Sam. The looks on their faces were so fierce that everyone immediately moved out of their way. They arrived at Sam's bedside at nearly the same time as the doctor and nurse.

The doctor's description of he will not speak or move and stares blankly had nothing to do with a mental state. It was clearly the result of intense physical pain. Of someone in so much pain they had tensed every muscle to prevent movement that would cause even greater pain.

The pain was most evident in his wide open pleading eyes. Pleading eyes not blank empty eyes. Why the hell couldn't they see the difference? Patch noted this was not the blank non-emotional mask he saw in the ravine, this was overwhelming physical pain.

Their hearts fragmented when they heard low, coarse sounds; barely distinguishable as words so desperately slowly escape his dry throat with the minimum possible movement, pain showing with each syllable.

"… please make it stop, please, … I can't take … any more, please, … no more pain, … please, no pain, oh god … please stop the pain."

"Blondie I'm here, I'll make the pain stop. Hold tight, it will go away soon I promise. I'm sorry I wasn't here. I'll make the pain stop" Patch crooned to Sam.

He looked directly at the doctor and angrily said "What and how much did you give him for the pain?"

The doctor grabbed the chart and handed to Patch. He scanned it and said "Why the HELL didn't you give him what I TOLD you to give him? I KNEW what he needed! Can't you tell PAIN when you see it? DAMN YOU!"

The doctor stared at him a moment then replied defensively "Per protocol we gave him the standard dosage based on his weight."

"But he is NOT standard issue. He's exceptional. You were told how to care for him and you did not do it" fumed Blaze.

Patch checked his anger, moved into medic mode and quickly outlined exactly what Sam needed to control the pain. After getting a curt nod of agreement from the doctor, Clare rushed to comply. Within minutes she was back with what was requested and began to add the medication via the IV line.

After giving instructions Patch leaned in close to Blondie. He placed one hand on Blondie's arm and gently squeezed as he murmured in his ear "It'll be okay in a moment, rest now, rest. Close your eyes buddy. Stand down, we've got your back. Stand down. Shhhh, pain will go now. It will go, hold on. I'm here. It should be easing now, that's right close your eyes. The pain will go now. Rest, please close your eyes. No more pain now."

Jules was at his other side and leaned in close gently threading her fingers through his hair as she whispered "We're here. Not going anywhere. There is no pace I'd rather be. Sleep now, close your eyes. You are safe. I'll keep you safe, we will keep you safe. Sam rest now, close your eyes, rest."

As Sam's eyes slowly drifted close the tension released from his body. Patch and Jules turned their heads towards each other and locked eyes. Both sets were filled with tears of compassion and they both mouthed "Thank you." Then they straighten up but Jules kept stroking his hair and Patch kept his hand on his arm.

With dread coloring his voice, Winds asked "How long was he awake?" not really wanting to know the answer.

Clare replied "About an hour and a half maybe closer to two. Why?"

Winds didn't answer he just hung his head, lifted his hand to his face and wiped away tears.

Greg had picked up on the reason for the question from the tone Winds used and his body language. He responded wearily "Because that is how long your patient has been stuck in a world of unbearable pain and unable to communicate and none of you noticed."

A horrified look took over Clare and Dr. Fraser's faces as they quickly left to care for other patients.

Greg, Ed, Lou, Wordy, Spike, Blaze and Winds all moved towards Sam and reached out to lay a comforting hand on him. They hadn't dared touch him before not wanting to cause more pain. The group stood silent, surrounding the bed, watching Sam sleep for a long time each in their own thoughts.

Seeing Sam's face relaxed and pain free now Spike said in a deadpan manner "I think our Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic manual needs some additional chapters."

Team One laughed. It was the JTF2 buddies turn to stare and wonder what was so funny.

"What exactly is a 'Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic' manual?" Blaze ventured.

"I think the nine of us need to have a serious exchange of information. Then a long talk with Sam" Ed replied.

Eight heads nodded in agreement. They decided that they would meet at SRU HQ tomorrow morning. The team was off duty but the briefing room would accommodate them all, a good place to meet.

A little while later Dr. Fraser cleared his throat to gain their attention. They turned their heads as one towards him but did not move. They were Sam's protective barrier and they would not allow anyone close to him at this moment.

Dr. Fraser had a look of contrition planted squarely on his face as he cautiously said "We need to move him to ICU now. Also Jim, I would like to have a discussion with you on proper dosing for Constable Braddock. I want enter it into his permanent medical charts so we never repeat the inexcusable episode that occurred here today. I would also like your opinion on giving him a sedative to help him sleep tonight."

Wordy stated in a voice that would brook no defiance "We go with him to the ICU."

The doctor nodded as he and Patch stepped away for their discussion. The rest opened ranks to allow the nurses prepare to move him. They encircled the gurney as they took him to the ICU. They all waited outside the glass paneled room as the nurses attached the necessary monitors. Patch rejoined the group just as the nurses finished and left.


Hospital - ICU - Outside Room A

The room was only large enough for two at a time. As they were deciding who should enter, Commander Holleran, the Head of SIU Scott Caldwell and the patrol officer approached the group.

Caldwell stated "I'd first like to apologize to each one of you regarding agent Donner's behavior. He clearly overstepped bounds. He will be dealt with appropriately. No assault charges will be brought against Constable Lane or Captain Blain."

Gesturing to the patrol officer Caldwell explained "This officer has been assigned protection detail and will be stationed outside Constable Braddock's room. I will allow each of you a moment with Constable Braddock to assure yourself of his well-being then you will need to leave."

Looking at the SRU team he continued "Afterwards you are to consider yourselves sequestered, no further discussion of today's cases with anyone. We will convene for statements and interviews tomorrow at one pm at SRU headquarters. Any questions?"

Blaze asked "We are not SRU, does that mean we have to leave?"

"Unfortunately yes, in the case of an injured subject officer the compassion protocol states that only family may stay" Caldwell answered.

Their faces dropped. No one wanted to leave Sam alone. "Could we just remain outside the room without speaking to him, just so if he wakes he knows he is not alone?" Patch tried.

"No I'm sorry that is not allowed. It is also doubtful he will wake tonight. The doctor informed me he will be giving him a strong sedative shortly to help him sleep and recover" Caldwell replied.

"You all have had one hell of a day. You are dead on your feet. Go home, sleep. That's an order. Braddock will be okay. I need you clear headed and focused tomorrow" Holleran stated.

They all realized that they had no choice at this point. They also agreed they all were dead on their feet. He was right, Sam would be okay now. Patch had assured them that once the proper meds were given the intense pain Sam was in would subside quickly as he slept through it. He said when he awoke Sam would only feel a normal level of pain associated with his injuries. He also told them the doctor was now fully briefed on Sam's needs and fully onboard with his recommendations.

Patch invited Blaze and Winds to stay at his apartment since they were planning to meet up with the SRU team in the morning to discuss additions to this 'Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic' manual Spike was talking about.

They each had a short visit with Sam then the group left the hospital together.

The patrol officer slumped down into the chair next to the room and sighed.


Hospital - ICU - Inside Room A - One hour later

Sam woke slowly keeping his eyes closed and his breathing steady; an innate habit born of need. Ookay dokey time to me assess, wait wrong order, assess ne, me, ahh hell, should be fun.

Physical? Injured, yep. Feels like I went ten rounds with my hands tied behind my back, not fair, not fair at all. Wait I did. Sorta, wrap, mean crap, Basto got the drop on me after we shared such nice little trip down the ravine. Sucks. I'm a mummy, wrapped in too much gauze.

Deep breath in, crap no that hurts. Shallow breaths it is. Hey I got new holes in me, great. Ooh and stitches, gonna lose the pretty boy face if I keep gettin stitches there. Not much pain now, well no duh must be pumped full of the good shit, loopy, definitely sucky weird feeling, think no straight, hey the only part that doesn't hurt is my … wait nope hurts too. Ah crap hate this loopy shit.

Where the fuck am I? Hospital, definitely hospital. Damned incessant beeping, not nice for sleeping beep damn beep beep beep damn beep shut the fuck up, IV, uncomfortable bed, nicer than ravine. Not by much

Ok mental? yeah well that'd be fucked up, can't worth think shit, yeah gonna leave this, later. Sleep now. Sleep good nighty night

Sam drifted off to into a light sleep.


Hospital - ICU - Outside Room A - One hour later

A brown haired man in a hospital janitor uniform stopped to talk to the officer. "Long night?" he asked.

"Had longer" the officer replied.

"I know what it is like, pulled many night guard duty when I was in the military. On my way to get a coffee, could I get you one?" the man queried.

"That'd be nice, no cream, three sugars please" the officer answered.

"Be back in a minute" the man said as he left to get the coffee. Five minutes later he returned with the coffee and they had a short conversation about mundane things before the man left. The officer slowly sipped his coffee.


Hospital - ICU - Inside Room A - Forty-five minutes later

A man slipped into Sam's room unnoticed by the now sleeping patrol officer. Slipping him the sleeping pill had been easier than expected. The idiot will be out for hours and never even know it. Some people were just so trusting.

Now to take care of this cocky son of a bitch …
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