Bedtime for Team One & Protection Detail
Jules opened her door and sluggishly closed and locked it behind her. She was so worn-out, had climbed up and down so many ravines today. Both physical and mental she realized. The stairs to her bedroom looked like Mt. Everest. She wasn't up to scaling another mountain so headed directly to the living room couch.
She would shower in the morning she thought as she laid down tucking one of the couch pillows under her head and pulling the throw blanket over her. Sleep is what she needed now. She was emotionally spent.
As she settled in her mind wandered a bit and she realized damn I stroked his hair again in front of the guys. They are gonna tease me big time, but it was worth it.
Her last thought before falling into an exhausted sleep was whoa my walls are the same color blue as his gorgeous eyes.
Spike quietly let himself into the house. He did not want to wake his parents. Today had been unparalleled to any he had before.
He saw the note on the fridge from his mom. What a wonderful mother she was, she always took care of him; a huge dinner plate ready for reheating. Looked delicious but he was too wrung out to eat.
He had a lot of questions for the JTF2 guys. Things they needed to know but didn't necessarily want to know. He needed to be well rested to deal with the raw emotions that would come with the answers he expected to get.
He'd just take a quick shower then sleep.
Lou sat at the kitchen table finishing off a quick sandwich. He'd been in a lot of bad situations in his youth, did things he wished he hadn't, things that still hurt today if he thought too closely about them.
He had wanted desperately to be something different, something better, to help people instead of hurt them. Thinking over the past few months he saw those same feelings reflected in Sam.
Tomorrow should be interesting, give him insight so he could help Sam if he ever wanted to talk to anyone. Not that he thought he would, he and Sam were alike there as well. My past stays in the past, forward is the only direction.
He switched off the light as he left the kitchen and headed for bed.
Wordy walked slowly down the hall and opened the door to Allie's room. His sweet little girl was nestled safely in her bed. He didn't want to see her reaction when she saw Sam at the BBQ next week. His face would still show in bright colors the damage from today. Allie adored Sam and it would break her heart. He stepped in and gave her a kiss and tucked her covers around her.
After he showered he slid carefully into bed so he would not wake Shel, scooted in close and placed his arm over her. She was his rock, his port in the storm that allowed him to do the things he did and still feel safe and cared for.
He wondered if Sam had someone like that, if he didn't, he needed one the thought as sleep swiftly overtook him.
Ed rearmed the alarm after entering his home. Sophie had fallen asleep on the couch waiting for him tonight. The TV was on with the volume turned down low. The news was on.
He saw Sam's official SRU picture flash on the screen followed by an amateur video taken at the gas station incident. He grabbed the remote and turned up the volume. He sat dumbfounded as a newscast from earlier that night was replayed.
Man he hated the inane commentary and wondered how much of this garbage Sophie and Clark had watched. He switched off the TV and lightly shook Sophie awake. She looked at him and smiled then wrapped her arms around him and said "Bad day?"
He just nodded drawing comfort from her warm embrace as they stood and headed towards the bedroom.
Greg lay in bed, the grime of the day cleansed from his body but not his mind. He could not have ever imagined what had happened to his team today. They dealt with emotionally charged situations all the time, but nothing could compare to today.
He hoped nothing would ever come even remotely close to this again. They had endured so much today and except for two times acted professionally. There was nothing to forgive for those two times, they all were human and they had feelings.
This team was family and family protected one another. He was so very proud of all of them. The rookie sure had a complex and agonizing past. Sure had a lot of names too, just special like that.
As sleep came for him he thought, I'd be proud to have him as my son.
Hospital - ICU - Outside Room A
Patrol officer Marc Fergus thought the coffee sure tasted weird at the first small sip. After decades on the force he had learned to listen to his gut feelings. Something was kicking it into high gear.
As he engaged the janitor in everyday conversation, nothing out of the ordinary and highly forgettable, as he probed for information. "So if I need another cup of joe, where would I find it?" he lightly asked.
The janitor happily told him where and offered up that anyone on the floor was welcome. That in fact he had just met another haggard looking guy grabbing a cup. Said that no one ever looked rested in the ICU unit as he shook his head.
"Thanks, appreciate it. I'll let you get back to it" Fergus said with a smile and nod as he sat back down in the chair and pretended to take another sip.
As the janitor walked away, Fergus thought, I have a job to do, protect the sleeping young officer from whatever was coming. He was not at all comfortable with the plan but it was not his call to make. They wanted to catch the guy in the act so they could make the charges stick, whatever they might end up being.
Shortly after Team One and those other guys ran into the ER, Donner had stomped out of the hospital looking like a baby whose candy had been taken away. Just he, agent Stevens and Commander Holleran were left in the waiting room. Holleran made a phone call and a short time later the Head of SIU, Scott Caldwell arrived.
Holleran and Stevens expressed concerns over Donner's behavior today. Caldwell confirmed he had been having concerns after several incidents had been reported to him from a lawyer named Gibbons. Gibbons did not understand the hostility that Donner always displayed towards Constable Braddock. Gibbons had shared with Caldwell that since his first encounter with the guy. When he found how far off protocol he had gone with Braddock he had made sure he was always there before Braddock arrived if the agent in charge was Donner.
He told Caldwell that Donner seemed to go out of his way to make Sam review every grotesque element in excruciating detail multiple times even when they were irrelevant to determining if it was a good shoot. An SRU officer's job was hard enough, especially when they were forced to end a life. They had both agreed that you could always see the pain in their eyes and that it was never easy for them. They were men and women who wanted to save people and it hurt them when they couldn't. The interview process was necessary to maintain accountability but shouldn't be used as a weapon to inflict more pain on the officer.
Caldwell, Holleran and Stevens had discussed what could be done about the situation. Donner had done nothing illegal, pushed protocol yes, but nothing that would warrant any legal or official action like dismissal. Steven's voiced her concern that after the altercation tonight that Donner would probably do something to Braddock while he was vulnerable. She said Donner was looking more and more unstable over the past few weeks and he would often rant in the office about Braddock.
They devised a plan. Fergus would have preferred it to include Braddock's teammates but Holleran rightly insisted that they were too exhausted and too personally involved to stay objective. He also indicated that Donner would recognize any SRU officer so they had to use normal officers in plain clothes so as to not tip him off if he showed up. They needed to let it play out fully, well not quite fully, if the intention was deadly. Donner's behavior of late indicated to them they were dealing with an irrational issue but had no clue what it was.
So Fergus had alerted the others via the agreed upon signal, rolling his head and rubbing his neck, that he thought something was in play when he tasted the coffee. He was pretty sure the janitor was just an opportune tool used by Donner, but the others would detain him and investigate to be sure. He took another pretend drink of the coffee, set the cup on the floor then leaned back, relaxed and closed his eyes as if he was nodding off. He was in fact fully alert.
It took forty-five minutes after getting the coffee before Donner made his move and entered Sam's room.
Hospital - ICU - Inside Room A
Donner was so happy the opportunity had presented itself for him to easily get around the guard to Sam's room. He'd slipped the sleeping powder into the coffee as the janitor turned to get the sugar, so easy. The guard would be out for hours and he could take his time with the cocky son of a bitch.
He'd bring him down fully this time, torture him with emotions, he'd finish him off the best way he knew. All those interview questions had a purpose; they showed him how to hurt him most. Sam would pay for what he had done all those years ago. He laughed softly and maliciously as he watched the SOB sleep. He was going to enjoy this; all he needed now was for Sam to wake.
Senses instantly alert, danger his gut was telling him, someone was in the room with him. Breathing kept steady as to not alert whomever it was that he was awake. Sam heard a quiet laugh that unnerved him. Who was it?
Better to remain as is and gather my strength and wits,. Yes he could think now, good. He had not surveyed the room when he woke earlier. Not that it would have helped; he was too loopy before to even recognize if there was anything close he could use to protect himself.
He admitted to himself he was not doing so great physically right now; in pain, but manageable pain. He was physically and mentally exhausted. Hand to hand would be really hard to do in his current state. Sam hoped it didn't come to that. Let them make the first move he thought. So he waited.
"Guess I'm just gonna have to wake this bastard up" Donner sneered after ten minutes in the room. He threw his empty coffee cup at Sam's head and said "Wake up asshole".
Damn okay maybe I should have opened my eyes sooner Sam thought as he allowed his eyes to open and adjust to the dim light in the room. "Ow, what the hell?" he said aloud as he turned to look at the person who threw something and rubbed his temple where it had struck.
"Nap time is over Braddock" he returned, yes he read the transcripts of today's calls and thought the nap jokes were stupid.
"Donner, what the hell, why are you here?" Sam retorted.
"Well I'd like to get some sleep too. You were the subject officer in six kills today including the murder of an officer under your command. I need information and I'm not waiting any longer" Donner replied with a snarl.
"Five lethal actions not six. I know SIU protocol now Donner, this can wait until I'm released. Don't you read your own protocol manual? Or do you just like interviewing me while I'm undressed?" he replied irritated. He couldn't help adding the last comment, not the best idea to antagonize him right now. But Sam hurt and he didn't want to put up with the man's shit tonight, didn't have the stamina. Donner just glared at him.
Tired of the staring contest, Sam said firmly "You've been on my case since the first time we met. I don't know what your problem is with me. But for now you need to get out and let me rest."
Damn that used up most of my strength Sam thought. God he was so tired right now. He carefully scanned the area. He noticed the patrol officer outside his door leaning back in a chair. Why? Oh 'protection was protocol for injured subject officers until after the interview'. Good, back up if needed. He relaxed a bit but stared directly at Donner and waited for him to leave.
Sam saw hatred and something else disturbing flare in Donner's eyes. Whatever this is it is not good. This guy is on a razor's edge. He was just about to call out to the patrol officer to remove Donner when the man took a menacing step toward him. Sam tensed.
Donner ranted "You are a destroyer. You ruin everything in your path. You always have. There is nothing in your life left UNTAINTED. Today, in the span of thirteen hours you murdered SIX PEOPLE! But that is only a small portion of the blood you have on your hands. You are not worthy, you destroy families. You should have died years ago! Why didn't you DIE? If you would just DIE people would be safe."
Taking another step towards Sam, Donner taunted with malice in his voice "Your best friend Matt would still be alive. How many more friends have you MURDERED? So many heads have you BLOWN off from long distance. Watched their bodies fall BLOOD splattering everywhere. You are a killer, that's all you've ever been. That's all you will ever be. KILLER! MURDERER!"
"You can't save anyone. Everyone you care about will DIE because of YOU. No one is safe with you. You should just DIE" Donner taunted.
Sam reeled from the onslaught, no shield to protect him. His emotional walls had not been refortified yet. He lay wide open to attack. Venom laced words entered his bloodstream the poison rapidly pulsed toward his heart.
Donner continued to slash into his soul "SIX! Six Braddock! Do you hear me? Six people you killed today! Without a second thought. In cold blood. You murdered SIX PEOPLE! You are so sure of yourself, so cocky, too fast on the trigger. Your badge is NOT a license to KILL. You murdered Aaron you are a MURDERER. Even if you didn't pull the trigger you killed him. How can YOU even believe you are fit to be an SRU officer? You put your team at risk every time. With every person you kill you put BLOOD on THEIR HANDS TOO!"
Sam fixated on one word 'murderer'. I was just doing my job. Am I a murderer? White-hot pain perforated his soul and it started to bleed.
Vile words continued to spew from Donner's mouth "You should just DIE and save the world from all the harm you do. You say you want to protect but all you do is KILL. I know how MANY people you have MURDERED, the EXACT NUMBER. You are worse than any serial killer ever known. You deserve to DIE. You do not deserve to be safe. Murderer!"
Slammed hard, powerless to make him stop, thoughts swirled in Sam's head. He had killed so many. Every single one a rip in his soul; it was almost completely shredded. So much blood on his hands and now his soul bled and he could not staunch the wound. Emotional pain so visceral engulfed him as he turned and vomited violently.
A horrifying gleeful look entered Donner's eyes as he could see he was having the impact he wanted on Sam. The lost, hurt and self-disgust look that appeared on his face just before he hurled delighted him. He would make him hurt, repayment for all the hurt he had caused. He watch as Sam vomited several times until nothing was left but dry heaves.
Hospital - ICU - Outside Room A
Officer Fergus had been itching to go in and put a stop to it after the first few comments. Caldwell kept saying no, they didn't have anything they could charge him with; saying hurtful thing was not illegal. Now the kid was retching how much could he take? No one could stay objective hearing this, the guy would be dead already if Team One was here.
Holleran was on the brink and about to pull the plug, the ability to charge the asshole with anything be damned. He could not put his godson through anymore of this. The kid had suffered too much for one person to bear. He could see Sam starting to drown in cruelty of the words spewed forth.
Hospital - ICU - Inside Room A
Survival instinct tried to kick in. Sam puked again then gagged out "Why? Why are you doing this?"
Donner, entirely lost to his psychosis lashed out "You killed my family. You murdered my dad. I was just thirteen and you killed him. You did not pull Sara out of the way. You let her get hit. You KILLED my dad!"
"How did I kill your dad?" Sam moaned as his stomach rolled again, not able to comprehend.
"You did not save Sara. You looked at my dad with your sad, lost eyes. You made him shoot himself in the head. You destroyed my family. YOU KILLED HIM."
Understanding so gut wrenching hit Holleran he gasped out "Oh my god, he's the son of the driver that killed Sara. The driver committed suicide a week later. Couldn't live with the fact he killed a little girl. Sam doesn't know anything about that, we never told him."
Caldwell stared at Holleran.
Attention was drawn back to the room as Donner started to hysterically laugh rocking back and forth on his heels as he shoved his hands into his jacket pockets.
Sam was reaching the end of his physical endurance as he retched again then turned to Donner with eyes that sadly asked 'why'.
Donner screeched "Now I kill you!" as he ripped a gun from his jacket and aimed at Sam's head.