[Grayson High School, Afternoon]
Two scruffy looking punks trailed behind a well built, red haired cheerleader. The smaller of the pair sighed as the campus clock bonged out the half-hour.
"How long is that girl gonna keep goin'? Lunch will be over soon!" The small punk complained.
"Don't remind me, Tommy!" His larger companion held his stomach. "I'm starving to death!" He searched his pockets. "Tommy, do you have anything to eat on you?"
Tom Hanson pulled out a stick of gum and a crushed packet of half-melted gummi bears. "Help yourself, Doug," He held out the "food." Doug Penhall grabbed the gummi bears while his partner and best friend popped the gum into his mouth.
The cheerleader spun around and snapped her fingers. "McQuaids!" She yelled. The "McQuaids" jogged up to her. She wrinkled her nose at the pair. "Math is in ten minutes and I want to stop at the girl's room to fix up my make up."
"Your make up looks fine, Miss Kerri," Hanson sighed, dreading having to stand right outside the girl's bathroom for any length of time.
"It has to be extra fine!" She snapped. "Mr. Cannon is a total hottie!"
"Yes, Miss Kerri," Penhall and Hanson sighed in unison. It would do them no good to fight with her. Kerri turned and minced away on new high heels.
"Why didn't Booker get this assignment?" Penhall hissed.
"Miss Kerri thought he looked to devilish," Hanson answered.
"And, we are guarding her from…"
"Who ever is stalking her and killed her cousin," Hanson groaned. "You read the file just like I did."
Penhall frowned as he remembered the case. Kerri Tessa's cousin, Ami, died a month ago after opening a package containing a large pipe bomb. Weeks before receiving the fatal present, Ami reported receiving threatening letters and phone calls and obscene gifts. She also claimed that a dark blue van had followed her on several occasions. According to police reports, witnesses spotted a dark blue van fleeing from Ami's house just moments before the blast.
Only a day after her cousin's funeral, Kerri received her first threatening letter. Her father, one of Seattle's wealthiest businessmen, ordered the Chief of Police to assign two undercover officers to guard Kerri until the stalker was caught. Kerri and her father went to Jump Street Chapel to handpick the bodyguards. Judy Hoffs, the only female on the team, was quickly discarded. Kerri rejected Dennis Booker, the newest member of the team, because his wild black hair and sharp eyes made him "too scary." Harry Ioki, Booker's partner, was discarded also. The only officers left were Hanson and Penhall. Kerri originally laughed when she saw the small and slender Tom Hanson until she saw Doug Penhall. The two officers choose to use the "McQuaid Brothers" as their alias, much to Kerri's dismay.
Kerri paused on the sidewalk to adjust her purse. A dark blue van, matching the descriptions in the police reports, pulled up beside her. Hanson nudged his partner and whispered, "Isn't that the van…?"
"Yeah. Let's go!" Doug yelled and the pair ran to Kerri. Just then, a hulking man with a broken nose jumped out of the suspect van and grabbed Kerri.
"HELP! MCQUAIDS!" Kerri screamed. All activity on the school campus stopped. Kerri struggled against her attacker.
"Freeze!" Hanson yelled as he pulled out his gun. He tried to get a clear shot at the assailant, but failed. The small cop launched a flying tackle and slammed into the man's back. The attacker dropped Kerri, who scrambled away from the fight. Before Hanson could try to subdue the man, the attacker grabbed Hanson by the arms and threw him into a near by trash bin. Hanson struggled to get out of the smelly can.
"Big mistake, freak!" Penhall snarled and took the stalker down. Penhall slapped cuffs on the man. "You have the right to remain silent…" Doug read the man his rights.
"Penhall, get me outta here!" Hanson cried out from the trash can.
Penhall rolled his eyes and cuffed the man to a signpost. Then, Doug picked up his soiled partner and set him gently on his feet. Both officers brushed at the refuge that clung to Hanson.
"You OK, Tom?" Penhall asked.
"I stink, but I'm OK," Tom sighed. Kerri wrinkled her nose at the officer. "Radio Detective Kasey, then let's go."
Penhall took out his walkie-talkie and called for the detective who was in charge of the Tessa case. The stalker, his wallet claimed him to be Chuck Paulson, struggled against the handcuffs.
"Lemme go! I ain't done nothin'! You don't have no right to keep me!" Paulson wailed.
"Well, we can bust you on illegal use of a double negative," Hanson teased. He looked into the van and turned off the engine. He glanced over at the front passenger seat. "Hello!" Hanson exclaimed. He poked at a large pipe bomb that sat on the seat with the seatbelt around it. "Penhall, get the bomb squad here!" The young officer barked. He backed away from the van. Penhall gathered up the stalker and scrambled away. Hanson grabbed Kerri's arm.
"You're filthy!" Kerri yelled. "Don't you dare touch me!" She jerked her arm away.
"Listen," Hanson growled. "That van has a large bomb in it! Now, come on!" He pulled her away. Kerri sulked but obeyed. The school's principal stormed out of the building.
"What is going on?" The principal demanded.
"Evacuate the school to the football field!" Hanson ordered. The principal stiffened his back.
"Now, just a minute, young man…"
"I'm a cop!" Hanson flashed his badge. Penhall displayed his also. "That van," Hanson pointed to the van. "Contains a large pipe bomb!" Hanson handed Kerri over to the principal.
Behind the principal, a gaggle of students gathered. Penhall shoved the stalker to Hanson and rushed towards the crowd. "Move it, monkeys!" Penhall shoed away a small group of students that had ventured too close to the van. The teens scattered back to the steps of the school building. The principal took charge of his students and led them away from the front of the school building; taking them to the football field, on the far side of the campus. Kerri followed with her small clique of social equals.
Hanson struggled with the stalker as Paulson watched the object of his obsession stroll away. The stalker, fueled by insane rage, slammed the smaller cop around. Penhall jumped and knocked the stalker down.
"Get off me!" Hanson gasped from the bottom of the pile. Penhall sheepishly stood up and hulled up the prisoner. Hanson picked himself off the ground. "Why me?" Hanson moaned. Penhall smiled sympathetically at his partner.
Just then, Detective Kasey and the bomb squad pulled up. Chuck Paulson frisked and taken away. Hanson and Penhall spoke briefly with the bomb squad, then left.
[Jump Street Chapel]
Hanson and Penhall entered the chapel with a gust of warm spring wind. Ioki held his nose as the "McQuaid brothers" strolled pass his desk.
"What happened to you?" Ioki asked Hanson and picked off a piece of moldy pepperoni.
"We caught the stalker," Hanson answered.
Hoffs and Booker stood downwind of Hanson. "Tom," Hoffs waved her hand in front of her face. "Did you roll in the garbage before you came here? You stink!" Booker and Ioki snickered behind their hands. Hanson growled and stormed off to the showers. Penhall smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Then, he followed his friend downstairs.
In the locker room, Hanson pulled off his soiled clothing and kicked them down a laundry shoot.
"Today's Wednesday, right?" Hanson asked Penhall as the larger man entered.
"Well, Wednesday evening the laundry is sent out to be cleaned," Hanson grabbed a bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap from his locker. Penhall glanced in his friend's locker. A pair of gray jogging pants hung next to Hanson's summer uniform. Scuffed sneakers hung out of the bottom.
"Yo, Tom," Penhall called out. "You need a tee shirt? I've got an extra one in my locker."
"Thanks, Doug," Hanson answered. Penhall snagged a tee shirt from his locker and put it in Hanson's. Then, Penhall left his friend to shower in peace.
Hanson winced as the hot water hit his body. The fight with Paulson left him bruised and scraped. He lathered up his wash cloth and carefully cleaned out the small cuts. He hissed from the sting of soap and the hot shower.
Upstairs Penhall got a soda from the old machine near the windows. He plopped down into his chair and yawned. Captain Adam Fuller stepped out of his office and scanned the room, as was his habit. He did a double take when he saw Penhall at his desk.
"Penhall, what in the devil are you doing here?" Fuller demanded. "You and Hanson are supposed to be guarding Kerri Tessa!"
"We caught the bad guy, Coach," Penhall sat up. Fuller leaned close to the officer as Penhall recounted what happened, including Hanson's entrapment in the garbage bin. Fuller grinned and stood up.
"Well, looks like you and Hanson got another collar," Fuller smiled proudly. Just then, the telephone on Penhall's desk rang. Fuller picked it up. "Hello, Jump Street Chapel, Fuller speaking."
"Fuller? This is Lieutenant Ingremme from 88th Precinct," Ingremme said.
"Hello, Lieutenant. What can I do for you?"
"I was just calling to ask why your officers are doing our Precinct's work," Ingremme growled in Fuller's ear.
"Kerri Tessa was attacked and my men were assigned to protect her. They did their job," Fuller said.
"Unlike you," Penhall said under his breath. Fuller choked on sudden laughter.
"Captain Fuller, the Tessa murder case was ours. We don't go down to Jump Street and tell you bust your little punks," Ingremme pointed out.
"Thank goodness you don't," Penhall commented after he hit the button for the speakerphone. Ioki, Hoffs, and Booker snickered. Fuller raised an eyebrow at the officers. Penhall tried to put on an innocent look, but failed.
"Lieutenant Ingremme, thank you for your call of congratulations and good luck on your cases," Fuller said, then hung up. Ioki high-fived his captain.
"Good job, Coach!"
A clean Hanson finally emerged from the showers. Penhall's shirt hung around Hanson's thin frame, brushing his knees. Booker snorted with laughter when he saw that the shirt was a shockingly bright pink with a dewy eyed bunny on the front. Hanson's longish brown hair flopped in his face. Hoffs and Ioki giggled behind their hands. Hanson glared at his friend as he sat down at his desk.
"Sorry," Penhall whispered. "I forgot which shirts I had in there. It was either that one or a bright yellow smiley face!" Hanson winced and pulled out a pen and a stack of forms. He gritted his teeth as he and Penhall began to fill out the numerous forms required after a collar.
[Detective Kasey's car]
Chuck Paulson quietly worked his handcuffs open as Detective Kasey drove from the Grayson campus. He had been frisked by one of Kasey's men before being loaded in the car, but he had managed to hide a sharp, flat knife from the fuzz. He pulled out his knife and quickly slit Kasey's throat. The detective died quietly and quickly. Officer Regina, Kasey's new partner, uttered a cry of despair as he tried to pull out his gun. Paulson snatched it from the rookie and shot him in the head. The car spun out of control and crashed into an abandoned building.
Paulson crawled out of the wreckage and hurried off before the police could be alerted to this situation. He hurried off to his apartment, which was close to the crash site. He scurried up the half-rotted steps that lead up through the dilapidated building.
His apartment, number 205, held all of the bombs he spent his days lovingly creating and perfecting. A recent gossip column, the last one written by Russell Buckins, sat on the kitchen table with the article about the Jump Street program highlighted. The words "Death to Jump Street's Pigs!" decorated the margins in Paulson's shaky handwriting. The mad man's eyes narrowed as he remembered following Hanson and Penhall to Jump Street Chapel day in and day out as they guarded Kerri Tessa. He cased the Chapel grounds unnoticed by the police officers there. He knew of the only unguarded area in the Chapel and now he was going to exploit that weakness to gain his revenge.
Paulson tenderly placed all of his beautiful bombs in a hand carved trunk. The ten pipe bombs, deadly alone, together had the power to level a building, especially an old one like Jump Street Chapel. He gingerly carried the box to his car and strapped it into the front seat.
"Patience, my lovelies," He purred to the bombs. "Soon, soon, we'll be there."
[Jump Street Chapel, several hours later]
Hanson and Penhall hunched over their desks, filling out the mountains of paper work they had to have done before they could call it a night.
"Paper work, punishment for a clean collar!" Penhall growled as his hand cramped up. Hoffs giggled at her friend. A basketball flew over Penhall's head. Hoffs grabbed it and threw it into the basketball hoop.
"Two points!" She gloated. Booker, feeling cocky as usual, had challenged Hoffs to a little game of one on one with the looser buying dinner.
"Looks like you're buying dinner, Dennis!" Ioki sniggered.
Dennis Booker glared at Ioki as Hoffs passed him the ball. He went for a lay up, but missed. The ball bounced off the rim and slammed onto Penhall's desk. Triplicate papers flew into the air.
"DAMMIT!" Penhall yelled. A stack of papers slipped under Penhall's desk. The large cop knelt under his desk to grab the papers. Ioki snatched the papers that floated in the air. Hanson looked up from his work with an eyebrow raised in question. Then, the small cop returned to his work. Booker stood still, blushing furiously. Hoffs stuck her tongue out at Booker.
"I win," She whispered in his ear.
Before Booker could retort, the phone on Penhall's desk rang. He reached over and snagged it. "Jump Street Chapel, Officer Dennis Booker speaking."
"This is Lieutenant Ingremme! I need to speak with either Officer Hanson or Penhall immediately. It's urgent!"
"Hold on, I'll transfer you," Booker pressed a button on Penhall's phone. "Yo, Tom, call!" He called out.
Hanson laid down his pen and picked up the phone. "Hanson speaking," He said into the mouthpiece.
"Hanson, this is Lieutenant Ingremme. Chuck Paulson escaped from Detective Kasey and killed her and Officer Regina," Ingremme said hurriedly.
"What?" Hanson yelped. All the activity in the Chapel stopped. All eyes turned to the young cop. "When did this happen?"
"We don't know. A sweep of Paulson's apartment turned up no bombs, but an article about the Jump Street program with the words "Death to Jump Street's Pigs!" written on it was found. Along with materials to make more bombs."
"Was the article written by a Russell Buckins?" Hanson interrupted.
"Son of a bitch!" Hanson growled.
"Anyway, alert your captain and your partner. We have an APB out on Paulson, but we have no idea where he is."
"You think he's heading towards Jump Street?"
"It's very likely," Ingremme said.
Hanson didn't bother with a good bye. He hung up the phone, then stood up. Fuller had came out of his office when he heard Hanson swear.
"What is going on?" Fuller demanded.
"Paulson escaped from police custody and the suits downtown think he's heading here with some bombs," Hanson reported to his captain. Before Fuller could respond, the phone rang again.
[Jump Street Chapel Basement]
Paulson gloated as he put the finishing connections onto his "mega" pipe bomb. He set the timer, then dialed a number on his mobile phone.
[Chapel Main Room]
"Jump Street Chapel, Officer Hanson speaking." Hanson answered the phone on the first ring.
"Hello, little pig, little pig."
"Paulson?" Hanson asked.
"You know my name? I'm honored, little pig."
"Paulson, why are you doing this?" Hanson asked as Fuller motioned to keep the bomber talking.
"You took away my lovely, sweet Kerri. That was very naughty of you, little pig," Paulson sulked. Then, Paulson brightened up. "There is a bomb at 12 Jump Street," He giggled. "You have an hour to find it and disarm it! Good luck, little pig!" He hung up.
"Dammit!" Hanson slammed the phone down. The other officers looked over at their friend. "That was Paulson. He said that there is a bomb at 12 Jump Street…." Hanson's voice trailed off as he paled. "Oh, god, 12 Jump Street is that old lot at the corner! The bomb is here!"
The old church rumbled as the timer ran down to zero. The blast ripped through Jump Street Chapel. Twisted chunks of metal and brick hurled through the air, slamming into nearby buildings. Stained glass windows shattered and fell as a deadly rain over the smoking crater that had been Jump Street Chapel.
[Several Hours Later]
Sweat rolled down Doug Penhall's bruised face as he slammed his body against the debris that trapped him under the remains of his desk. Twisted metal and broken bricks poked the officer each time he moved. The blast that leveled Jump Street Chapel buried Penhall's desk, crushing half of it. Penhall pounded his fists against the debris, slicing them open on the shards of glass embedded in the mess.
"Please…" Doug prayed. "OH GOD PLEASE!" He howled. The small space became stuffy as the air turned stale. Above his prison, a dog howled and scratched. "HELP!" Doug yelled. The dog whined. A voice drifted to him.
"Hang on!" The voice said.
Machinery whined and the larger debris was slowly lifted off the remains of the desk. Then, human hands removed smaller pieces. A saw cut through the metal desk and the pieces fell away. Rescue workers helped Doug Penhall out of the tangle of brick and metal. A cool breeze ruffled Doug's hair as dawn shone down on the wreckage.
"What the hell happened?" Penhall asked, confused.
A young woman dressed in tight jeans and a jacket emblazoned with the letters FBI walked up to Penhall. She saluted, then brushed her long, blonde hair out of her face. "I'm Special Agent Kray. If you'll please come with me."
Doug followed the agent. He could see the rest of the Jump Street Unit gathered by an ambulance. In the distance, the media gathered with their cameras rolling. Another rescuer dashed pass Penhall and Kray. Penhall paused and watched as a group worked over a pile of rubbish from the chapel. A pale, limp arm stuck out from the mass. A medic attached an IV line and monitored the victim. Penhall recognized the thick leather band that encased the wrist.
"Tom," Penhall breathed. He broke away from Kray and stumbled over to his friend's side. Penhall crossed himself and prayed as the rescuers slowly freed Hanson. Doug held Tom's exposed hand. A hand clamped on Doug's shoulder.
"Is he a friend of yours?" Kray asked in a gentle voice.
"Yeah," Penhall bowed his head, tears falling down his face.
"How is he?" Kray demanded of the head of the rescue team.
"Alive, barely," The EMT answered.
"Let's go," Kray said quietly.
The pair left the crater that had been Jump Street Chapel. Kray took Penhall to his friends. All were bloodied and battered. Fuller sat on the bumper of the ambulance, a large brace around his neck. Hoffs cradled her right arm while Ioki sat on a stretcher with his left leg entombed in a mass of bandages and metal strips. Blowfish stood behind Fuller, shaking his head. The maintenance engineer was the least injured of the group. Booker leaned against the ambulance with a scarlet stained bandage wrapped around his forehead. As Kray approached with group with Penhall, she flashed a bright smile at Booker. Booker returned it. Kray stood next to Booker. They watched as Hanson was lifted onto a stretcher and rushed into an ambulance.
"Oh, god, Tom," Doug whispered. Fuller laid a hand on Doug's shoulder. Kray cleared her throat.
"Excuse me, but I am to escort you to Saint Francis Medical Center. Your friend will be there," She said. The Jump Street cops were herded into an ambulance. Kray rode escort on her motorcycle. [Saint Francis]
Amanda Hanson cried in one of her late husband's old hankies. Mick Penhall, Doug's uncle, wrapped his beefy arms around the distraught woman. Mrs. Gina Booker, Dennis' mother, held Amanda's hand. The Jump Street cops filed into the waiting room. Booker sat with his mother and Penhall sat with his uncle while the rest gathered near Fuller. "How are you doing, Douglas?" Mick asked, eyeing the gauze that covered Penhall's hands. Doug nodded, but didn't speak.
"Dennis," Gina spoke up. "Will you be coming home with me?"
"No, ma. I'll get a ride to my place. I'll be OK." Booker answered his mother.
Agent Kray came in behind the officers and cleared her throat. Booker looked up at her and smiled. She grinned back at him. She flashed her badge. "Special Agent Raven Kray, FBI," She said in a clear voice. "I'll be the officer in charge of investigating the Jump Street chapel bombing. I know that you all have had a rough night, but I need to know what happened in the moments leading up to the bombing."
Captain Fuller stood up and approached Kray. He showed her his badge. "I'm Captain Adam Fuller."
"You were in charge of the Jump Street program, right?" Raven asked, writing in a notebook.
"Yes. Anyway, Officer Tom Hanson received a call stating that a bomb was at 12 Jump Street."
"12 Jump Street is the overgrown lot on the corner right? Used to be tenant housing, if I remember correctly. Burned down in '68."
"Correct," Fuller tried to nod his head, but the neck brace wouldn't let him. "Then Hanson paused. The next thing he said was something like "Oh, god, the bomb is here!" Then, the bomb went off."
Kray scribbled in her notebook. "Chuck Paulson was dyslexic," She said with a smirk. "He messed up the timer, setting it for 2 minutes instead of an hour." She paused. "I know this is gross, but when you were being evacuated, did you notice a head laying about that no one was using?"
Mick, Gina, and Amanda looked away. Fuller, Hoffs and Ioki gagged. Penhall seemed lost in his own world. Booker looked thoughtful.
"You looking for a spare?" Booker smirked.
"Nah. I haven't even broken the head I got on right now in yet!" Raven joked. "Seriously, Paulson lost his head over this whole bombing mess. Literately." Raven sat next to Booker and smiled up at him.
"Well, at least we don't have to worry if he had been an immortal!" Booker laughed, then winced as the pain jarred his head. Hoffs glared at Booker, but a glance from Fuller stopped her from making a smart retort and possibly starting an argument.
"Um, miss," Raven looked over at Hoffs.
"Officer Judy Hoffs," Hoffs showed her badge.
"Thank you. Officer Hoffs, what were you doing when the bomb went off?" Raven looked up.
"I was playing Officer Dennis Booker at one on one, looser buys dinner," Hoffs answered. She pointed at Booker so Kray could identify him.
"Who was winning?" Kray asked with a sly smile.
"I was ahead by ten points," Judy grinned wickedly.
Ioki leaned forward and sighed. "Jude, when this mess is over, I'll take all of you out to a fancy meal at one of those restaurants that I can't pronounce the name. And I'm sure Booker will help to pay for it too."
"And, you are Officer…?" Raven looked up from her notes.
"H.T. Ioki," Ioki answered. "I was helping Officer Doug Penhall," Ioki paused and pointed to the dazed Penhall. "Collect papers after a wild shot by Booker sent his reports flying."
"Officer Penhall," Raven looked over at Doug. "Where were you?"
"Under my desk, trying to get more papers." Doug answered shortly. He looked up at Raven. "Have you had any news on Hanson?"
"Hanson's the guy who took the call and was the last one out of the chapel," Penhall growled.
Raven went over to a desk and spoke quietly with a nurse. She returned and said, "Officer Hanson is still in surgery. His condition is critical," She reported. Amanda wailed softly and buried her head into Mick Penhall's shoulder. Raven looked over the group. She spotted Blowfish. His wife and family had just arrived at the hospital. Raven excused herself from the officers and approached Blowfish. "Sir, may I ask you a few questions?"
"OK," Blowfish answered.
"First of all, your name."
"Sal Banducci, but everyone calls me 'Blowfish,'" He answered.
"Where were you when the bomb went off?"
"Getting the dumpsters ready for trash pick up."
"Are you an officer?" Raven asked, wide eyed.
"I'm the maintenance engineer," Blowfish responded. Raven nodded her head. She tapped her pen against her lower lip.
"Are you any relationship to Jilly "Balls" Banducci?" She asked suddenly.
"He's my cousin. Why?"
"He's the maintenance engineer at Quantico," Raven pulled a letter from her jacket pocket and handed it to Blowfish. "When he heard that I was being coming back to Seattle as my assignment, he wanted me to give a letter to his cousin Blowfish."
"You're from Seattle originally?" Fuller spoke up.
"Yes. I have family that lives around here," Raven answered.
The hours passed slowly as the group waited for new of Hanson. A doctor lent them a few decks of cards and Raven, Booker, Blowfish, Fuller, Hoffs, and Ioki passed the time playing poker. Penhall remained in his own world, brooding. Gina and Mick tried to comfort Amanda.
"How long has Hanson been in surgery?" Hoffs asked as she lost another hand to Ioki.
"Five hours and twenty minutes. Exactly fifteen minutes longer than the last time you asked," Raven answered.
"What is taking so long?" Ioki frowned. He had won almost every hand that the group played.
"I don't know," Raven answered honestly. "I can't get the nurses to say anything other than he's in surgery and his condition is critical."
"Well, don't you have any special FBI powers that you can use to force them to talk?" Hoffs asked. The group snorted.
"Sure, Super Agent to the rescue!" Raven flexed her arm. "I'll just use my truth ray…" Hoffs glared at the agent. "Sorry, Jude. No, I don't have the authority to demand anything of the nurses, unless I can prove that their silence is impeding my investigation."
"What investigation?" Ioki asked. "The bomber is dead!"
"But we don't know how he got the materials for the bomb. We still have to take that freak down," Raven pointed out.
Just then, a doctor in surgical scrubs entered the room. He looked around, then called out, "Mrs. Amanda Hanson?"
Mrs. Hanson looked up. "Yes," She whispered. The doctor walked over to her.
"I'm Doctor Rays. I'll be treating your…" He checked his chart. "Your son during his stay here."
"How is he?" Penhall spoke up.
"He's alive," Rays said cautiously. "If you want to, Mrs. Hanson, you can visit your son now. Officer Hanson is unconscious, though."
"Please take me to him," Amanda answered.
"This way." The doctor led Amanda out of the room. The Jump Street cops and Blowfish followed. "Excuse me, but family only."
"I'm Officer Hanson's partner. Fuller is Tom's captain. Booker, Ioki, and Hoffs are his teammates. Blowfish is Tom's friend. We're his family!" Penhall growled.
The doctor glared at the officer, but backed down with a united front facing him. With a shrug, Rays lead them to Hanson's room. Agent Kray, Gina and Mick followed behind them. Rays paused at the door.
"I won't attempt to sugar coat this," He said. "Officer Hanson was severely hurt in the bombing. He suffered damage to his eyes. We found shards of colored glass and lead in his eyes. What kind of building was he in?"
"An old chapel," Booker answered. "With stained glass windows."
"OK, that explains it. Officer Hanson is in a coma and we don't have any way of knowing when he'll come out of it. It could be tomorrow, it could be months from now. We just don't know." With that said, the doctor opened the door to Hanson's private room.
Amanda Hanson whimpered quietly as she entered the room. A bed dominated the small room. Lying on his back, swathed in blood stained bandages and connected to machines, was her only child, Tom Hanson. "Oh, Tommy," She wailed and stumbled. Penhall grabbed her before she could fall. "My poor baby," She knelt by his bedside and clutched his still hand.
"Tom," Penhall brushed stray strands of hair that hung over the bandages that covered Hanson's eyes. "Please, buddy…" He prayed. [One Month Later]
A warm, summer breeze shook loose a shower of pale pink petals from the tree outside Hanson's room. Doug Penhall leaned against the back of his chair and closed his eyes. He rested a battered paperback on his lap. The book fluttered closed. Penhall sighed softly, the only sound in the room. He didn't open his eyes when Dennis Booker and Raven Kray, Booker's constant companion these days, entered the room.
"Hey, Doug," Raven said quietly. Penhall snorted awake and sat up. The book on his lap fell to the ground. Booker picked it up.
"'Jane Eyre'?" Booker read the title. "You've been reading this to Tom? No wonder he's still comatose!"
Penhall glared at Booker. Raven stepped in between the two officers before a fight could break out. "Chill out, you two!" She ordered. "Dennis was only joking, Doug!" Penhall sat back in his chair while Booker muttered "sorry." An uncomfortable silence fell over the room.
"Where is Mrs. Hanson?" Booker asked, looking around.
"Home. The doctor ordered her to get some sleep. She's exhausted," Penhall answered.
"You know," Raven spoke up. "You should try to get some rest too, Doug. You've been by Tom's side for a whole month."
"Tom needs me," Penhall growled at the FBI Agent. Raven held her hands up. Booker placed a hand on Penhall's shoulder.
"Take it easy, Doug," Booker said.
Before Penhall could respond, Hanson moaned and thrashed within the confines of his bed. "TOM!" Penhall yelled as he and Booker restrained their friend. Raven ran for a doctor. Hanson's dark eyes fluttered open. "He's alive!" Penhall cried out. "He's alive!"
Doctor Rays flew in with Raven behind him. The doctor pushed Penhall and Booker away from the bed. Hanson's weak voice called out, "Doug? Where are you?" Rays shined a light into Hanson's eyes. The young man didn't blink. His eyes remained wide and unfocused.
"Oh god," Raven whispered. "He's blind."
"It's shock," Penhall shook his head in disbelief.
Rays made a few notes on Hanson's chart, then faced the officers. "I'll call Captain Fuller and Mrs. Hanson immediately," He paused. "I'm so sorry."
Penhall fell back into his chair. A panicked Hanson clung to Doug's hand. Dennis pulled Raven close and buried his face into her pale hair. The FBI Agent felt the stoical Booker silently cry.
"Doug, what's wrong with me?" Hanson whimpered. Penhall squeezed his friend's hand.
"I don't know, Tommy."
Penhall, Booker, and Kray didn't look up when Judy Hoffs and Harry Ioki entered the room. "Douglas James Penhall!" Hoffs scolded "How the hell can you eat five Big Macs and five large fries?" When Penhall didn't answer, Hoffs looked over and saw the awake Hanson. "Tom!" She squealed and dropped the food.
"Shit!" Ioki, burdened by drinks, closed his eyes and prepared for the splat of greasy food against the hospital floor. Raven snatched the Big Macs in mid-air while Dennis dove and caught all the fries. They placed the fast food on the bedside table. Hoffs briefly applauded. When Penhall didn't comment, Judy looked over.
"Doug, what's wrong?" Hoffs asked. She laid a hand on Penhall's shoulder.
"Judy, Harry, can we talk outside?" Dennis asked. "I need a smoke." He held up a silver lighter and a pack of cigarettes.
Harry sat down the five large strawberry shakes next to the fast food. Doug didn't look up. The small group left and ran into Captain Fuller, who had driven Hoffs and Ioki to the hospital. "Hey," Fuller started, but Booker grabbed his captain's arm and lead him away from Hanson's room. As soon as the group was safely outside, Booker lit up a cigarette. Fuller faced his underlings.
"What's wrong?" Fuller demanded.
"Hanson's awake," Booker said. Hoffs started to laugh, but Dennis cut her joy. "But, he's blind."
Hoffs, Fuller and Ioki paled. Tears fell down Judy's face. "Oh, poor Tommy!" She whispered. Fuller wrapped an arm around her. Ioki sat on a rough stone bench.
"I don't believe this!" Ioki shook his head. "How did Tom take it?"
"He's still in shock," Raven answered. "He's scared, understandably."
"Is Penhall with Tom?" Fuller asked.
"Yeah. And he's not taking it well at all," Booker flicked off a long ash from his cigarette.
Suddenly, Raven's pager went off. She checked the number. "Excuse me," She pulled out a cel phone and walked away from the building so the electronics inside would not interfere with the reception. Raven quickly returned to the group, excited.
"Let's go!" She yelled. "They've found the jerk who sold the explosives to Paulson!" She paused and took a deep breath. "The Jump Street Unit has been temporarily assigned to the FBI to aid in the apprehension of the suspect," She added in a formal voice.
Raven and Booker jumped on their motorcycles while Fuller, Hoffs, and Ioki piled into Fuller's new car, a dark blue Lincoln. All of the officers' personal vehicles were destroyed in the bombing. The wealthy of Seattle donated money for the Jump Street officers to purchase new cars. Hoffs and Ioki had yet to pick out new cars since they had only recent been relieved of their burdensome casts. Money had been set aside for Tom Hanson to buy a new car once he recovered from his injuries, but the officers realized that Hanson would not need a new car now. [Docks]
The building on the end of the wharf leaned dangerously over the rough waters of the Pacific Ocean. FBI Agents blocked off the street. A burly agent stood infront of the barriers. Raven flashed Booker a "thumbs-up" sign. The pair jumped over the shocked agent and the barrier, landing safely on the other side. The officers in Fuller's car tensed, waiting for the crash. When they didn't hear it, they looked up and saw a shell-shocked agent pulling himself up from the trash littered streets. Fuller, Ioki, and Hoffs dashed out of the car and leaped over the barrier, forcing the unlucky agent back down onto the street.
"Agent Kray," A tall, gray haired man saluted.
"Agent Williams," Raven nodded and saluted. "What is the situation?"
"The suspect is holed up in the building. He's taken a few shots at us since we surrounded the building."
"Anyone hurt?" Fuller spoke up.
"No. He's a terrible shot."
"Anyone else in the building?" Raven asked.
"Not that we know of. However, that rat trap is probably booby trapped," Williams answered.
Raven nodded and pulled on a bulletproof vest. Vests were distributed to the Jump Street cops. The officers checked their guns, then slipped them back into their holsters. Radios were issued. Raven, the agent in charge, quickly made the introductions, then gathered the group around her. On a squad car, she laid down blue prints of the building.
"Captain Fuller, you'll head up Team Two. Officers Hoffs and Ioki will join you," Raven said in a professional voice. "I'll will command Team One. Officer Booker, you will be my partner. Team Two will enter from the rear of the building at the same time Team One enters the front. Maintain radio contact at all times."
Fuller nodded his head in agreement. He saluted Raven, then said "Good luck, Special Agent Kray."
"Maybe spirit of fortune be with you, Captain Fuller," Raven responded.
The group separated and positioned themselves by the battered doors. Agents with battering rams stood ready. Booker tightly gripped his gun. He shared a tight smile with Raven.
"Team Two in position," Fuller's voice crackled over Raven's radio.
"Move on the count of five," Raven ordered. "One…Two…Three…Four…FIVE!"
The battering rams made short work of the shoddily built doors. Agents and the Jump Street cops flooded the building.
Fuller stepped over a trip wire and pointed it out to Hoffs and Ioki. The group slowly climbed up the shaky stairs. At the top of the stairs stood a rotted wood door. The officers could hear a faint voice singing behind it.
"Ring around the rosy! A pocket full of posies! Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down!"
"Police!" Fuller pounded on the door. "Open up!"
The door creaked open and a smudge faced child stared up at Fuller with wide eyes. Fuller put his gun away and Hoffs and Ioki followed suit. The door opened wider. The first child, a little girl, smiled at Fuller. Her light brown hair hung around her thin face in a tangled mess. Another little girl joined the first one. Behind them, a little boy, maybe only three years old, played with a pile of pale, putty like material.
"Hi!" The first girl chirped. "I'm Jenna!"
Fuller knelt down. He held out his hand. "Hello, I'm Adam. This is Judy and Harry."
Jenna beamed at Hoffs. "You're pretty, Miss Judy!" Hoffs blushed. Jenna pointed to the second girl. "Her name is Abby. We're twins."
"Who is the little boy?" Harry asked.
"Matt. He's the baby," Jenna answered.
Ioki walked into the room. Matt looked up and giggled. Ioki poked at the putty on the floor. A strong plastic smell reached his nose.
"Captain!" Ioki stood up. He scooped up Matt. Fuller turned his attention to Ioki. "This is plastic explosives!"
"Jenna, Abby, would you like to go outside with Miss Judy?" Fuller asked.
"Can Matt come too?" Jenna asked.
"Of course. Mr. Harry will carry him," Fuller answered. Then, he activated his radio. "Raven, we have a problem."
Raven and Booker stepped into an inch of dust and insect carcasses. A large rat ran onto Booker's foot and bit deep into his ankle. "Damn!" Booker growled. The wound bled heavily. Raven knelt and tied a handkerchief around it. "Thanks, Babe," He smiled at her.
Suddenly the wall next to Raven exploded in a hail of gunfire. Booker grabbed her and threw her out of the line of fire. Raven pulled out her gun, aiming for the stairwell.
"Hold it! FBI!" Raven yelled. Dennis pulled out his gun. The shooter responded by firing another round of bullets at the pair.
Raven, we have a problem, Fuller's voice echoed in Raven's ear.
Raven and Booker retreated into an alcove. "What's wrong, Captain?"
We found some children playing with plastic explosives. We are in the process of evacuating them.
"Good. Get CYS out here," Raven suggested.
Right! Over and out!
"What do we do?" Dennis gritted his teeth as splinters of wood showered over him after another round of gunfire.
"Get a clear shot at the bastard and blow his balls off!" Raven growled.
"I love it when you talk dirty!" Booker leered.
The pair rushed out of the alcove, surprising the shooter. The shooter raised his gun and aimed at Raven.
"Drop your gun, bitch!" The shooter growled. Raven lowered her gun. Before she stood back up, Booker aimed and fired his gun. The shooter collapsed in a bloody heap. Shaken, Raven radioed the command post.
"The suspect is down. Officer Booker and I are pulling out."
Booker limped to the door jam. Raven quietly supported him as they left the building. The remaining Jump Street officers rushed towards the pair. Fuller helped Booker over to his motorcycle.
"What happened, Dennis?" Fuller asked.
"Mickey Mouse got a little too friendly," Booker answered. He sat on his motorcycle while a paramedic knelt next to him. The medic pulled off Booker's damaged boot and blood soaked sock. He probed the deep wound. Booker gritted his teeth. Raven quietly rubbed his shoulders.
"So," Fuller asked. "Who took down the prep?"
"Dennis did," Raven said proudly. Hoffs and Ioki exchanged smirks. "So, the collar goes to Jump Street."
The twins padded over to the officers. A CYS (Child and Youth Services) social worker followed close behind them. Raven smiled at the girls and reached into the saddle of her motorcycle. She pulled out two pieces of wrapped candy.
"Hi!" Jenna said, eyeing the candy. "Are you a police officer too?"
"Yes. I'm Raven and this is Dennis," Raven answered. She held out the candy. Jenna and Abby snatched it from her hands.
"Thank you!" Jenna said. Abby smiled, but remained silent.
"What are your names?" Dennis asked as the girls unwrapped the candy.
"I'm Jenna. This is Abby," She pointed to her sister. "We're twins! Mr. Hokey has Matt."
"Mr. Hokey?" Raven asked. Jenna pointed to Ioki who was holding baby Matt. "Oh, that's Mr. Ioki."
Dennis snickered behind his hand. Raven bit her lip. Fuller and Hoffs choked on their laughter. Ioki looked up. Matt grabbed a fist full of Ioki's long black hair. "What's up?" Ioki asked.
"Nothing," Hoffs giggled.
"Jenna," Raven asked. "Who was that man with you?"
"Where is your mommy?"
"In Hell," Jenna answered. The officers gasped.
"Why do you say your mommy is in Hell?" Judy asked.
"Daddy always said that."
"Do you remember your mommy?" Ioki spoke up.
Jenna and Abby shook their matted heads. The CYS worker spoke up. "They were taken from their mother three years ago. I recognized the birthmarks on the twins' necks and call my office." The social worker patted her cell phone.
"Will they be returned to their mother?" Fuller questioned the woman.
"Yes. We are going to take them to the hospital first, for a full check up."
"I don't wanna go to Hell!" Jenna wailed.
Dennis slid down from his bike and took both girls' hands. "You're not going to Hell. Your daddy lied to you," He explained gently. "You're daddy was very sick."
"Where is Daddy?" Jenna looked around.
"He's dead, Jenna," Dennis answered.
"Did the thunder make him die?"
"The thunder?" Dennis raised an eyebrow.
"In his room. Abby and I weren't allowed in there, but we'd hear thunder come from it."
"Explosives," Raven growled.
"Jenna, Abby, your daddy used the thunder to hurt people. In fact, a friend of mine is in the hospital because of the thunder. He was a police officer like me, but now he can be one any more…" Booker paused. He looked up at Fuller, Hoffs and Ioki. The officers' eyes were filled with tears. Hoffs buried her face into Fuller's chest. The captain wrapped an arm around Hoffs. The CYS worker quietly took baby Matt off Ioki. The Vietnamese man's face was streaked with tears. Fuller held out his other hand and pulled Ioki into the embrace.
"It's OK to cry, Dennis," Fuller said softly. Booker shook his head.
"Crying is not my style," Booker frowned. He angrily scrubbed at the stray tears that sneaked down his face. Jenna and Abby stood puzzled. Dennis turned his attention back to the girls. "Jenna, Abby," He started in a scratchy voice. "I killed your daddy. He was gonna use the thunder to kill Raven." Booker shook as he remembered seeing the bomb maker facing down Raven.
Jenna screamed and hit Booker in the face. Her untrimmed nails cut a jagged line across Booker's cheek. Abby looked down at her feet, silent as usual.
"Daddy never killed anyone with the thunder!" Jenna wailed.
"Jenna," Raven spoke up. "Two people died because of your daddy's thunder."
Jenna shook her head and sobbed. The CYS worker came up and escorted the girls into a dull gray car. Jenna glared out the back window at Booker.
"You did the best thing, Dennis," Raven said. "You were honest with her. Even if she always hates you for killing her father, she'll respect you for telling her the truth."
"I know," Dennis answered in a tired voice.
Ioki loaded Dennis' motorcycle onto the back of Fuller's car. Booker started to protest, but Fuller cut him off.
The Jump Street cops stood in the doorway to Hanson's room. Mrs. Hanson lay on the small cot Penhall used during his month long vigil at Hanson's bedside. Penhall had not moved from his seat and now held Hanson, who was almost totally lost in a mass of pale blue hospital blankets. Penhall looked up when he heard his friends come into the room.
"Where were you guys?" Penhall asked quietly.
Booker sat down and sighed. Raven rubbed his shoulders. Hoffs and Ioki hurried over to the table that still held the five Big Macs and French fries. They grabbed the now cold hamburgers and stuffed them in their faces. Fuller snagged the remaining three and passed them out to Booker and Raven.
"The Jump Street Unit was temporarily assigned to the FBI to aid in the capture of the person suspected of supplying Chuck Paulson with the material used in the Jump Street Chapel bombing," Raven said.
"Why wasn't I told?" Penhall demanded.
"Doug," Fuller spoke up. "You were with Tom. He and Mrs. Hanson needed you at that moment."
Penhall frowned at the group. Booker propped his foot up on the edge of Hanson's bed. "What did you do to your foot, Dennis?" Penhall asked. Booker opened his mouth, but Raven cut him off.
"Dennis was injured during the apprehension of the suspect," Raven said proudly.
"A rat bit me," Dennis smirked. Hoffs looked over at the sleeping Mrs. Hanson.
"What happened to Amanda?" Judy asked.
"The doctor gave her some Valium," Penhall answered.
"When Doctor Rays told her about Tom," Penhall paused and shivered. "She lost it. Totally lost it."
"Oh poor Amanda," Hoffs sat on the edge of the bed. "How is Tom?"
"Sleeping," Penhall glanced down at Hanson's pasty face. "So, did you guys arrest the perp?" He asked.
"No," Booker answered. "I thought I save the government the cost of a trial."
"Dennis!" Raven scolded. She faced Penhall. "The dude was heavily armed and shooting at us," She explained. She draped an arm around Booker. Dennis kissed her arm.
Penhall rocked back and forth, humming softly. He lightly stroked Hanson's back. The officers exchanged worried look. Dennis leaned forward.
"Doug, why don't you put Tom down? I need some coffee and I want to talk to you alone."
Penhall gently laid Hanson on the small hospital bed and tucked the covers around him. Dennis struggled to his feet and motioned for Penhall to go ahead of him.
Dennis sat down in the hospital cafeteria. Penhall placed two large coffees on the table, then plopped down in the seat across the table from Dennis. He eyed Booker as the black haired cop lit up a cigarette.
"What did you need to talk to me about?" Penhall growled.
Booker sipped his coffee. "How are you holding up, Doug?"
"What do you mean?" Penhall glared at Booker.
"You're Tom's best friend! This has to be hell for you."
Doug dumped sugar into his coffee. Then, he shredded the packets. "I'm OK. I mean Hanson's awake and it'll only be a short time before he's back on his feet…I'll bet that the Chapel will be rebuilt by then," Penhall looked almost happy.
Booker opened his mouth, then shut it. Dennis gulped down the scalding coffee and stubbed out his cigarette. He struggled to his feet and limped out of the cafeteria.
Raven yawned as she leaned against the wall. She had wondered out of Hanson's room to give the friends their privacy. "Hey, Sweetie," She smiled sleepily when she saw Booker. She straightened up when she saw the worried looked on Booker's face. "What's wrong?"
"It's Penhall. I think he's loosing it," Dennis whispered. He stopped as Penhall strolled by and entered Hanson's room.
"Let's discuss this at home," Raven suggested. She stuck her head in the door and said, "Hey, Dennis and I are gonna blow this place. See ya tomorrow!" She and Dennis got onto her motorcycle.
Raven pulled her motorcycle into a slot behind Booker's apartment. She helped Dennis off the bike and the pair hopped up the stairs. Once inside, they collapsed on the couch. Raven laid her head on Dennis' shoulder.
"Long day," Raven commented.
"And we'll be in for more of them," Booker said grimly.
The young FBI agent looked up at Booker. "Sweetie, what is it?" She hugged Dennis' muscular arm.
"I don't think that Doug has accepted all that's happened to Tom. He was…happy. Well, happier than he's been in a month," He said. "He said that it would only be a short time until Tom was back on his feet. Like everything would be back to normal," Booker bunched his hands into fists.
"Easy," Raven murmured and rubbed Booker's powerful shoulders. She nuzzled his neck. "There's nothing that can be done tonight."
"What do you think I should do?" Booker tilted his head back so he could see Raven.
"Talk privately with Fuller. I'm willing to bet that he'll have the same concerns."
"Thanks, babe." Dennis smiled up at Raven.
Raven kissed the top of Booker's dark head. She continued her massage of Booker's shoulders. "Let's go to bed, sweetie," She grinned wickedly. Booker reached over his head and pulled her onto his lap. Raven yelped in the surprise, then giggled as Booker kissed her neck.
*** *** ***
Early morning sunlight played over the sleeping figures of Dennis Booker and Raven Kray. Dennis grumbled and pulled the rumpled covers over his head. Raven murmured and buried her head into Booker's chest. Neither heard the key scrape in the lock on the front door.
Gina Booker shook her head as she entered her only child's apartment. She picked up the clothes that littered the living room. Gina carefully folded a pair of tight jeans and laid them on the back of the couch. She added Booker's old Harley tee shirt to the pile. Gina picked up the next article of clothing and cried out. A lacy black bra dangled from her fingers.
"Oh, no!" Gina whispered as she stormed into Dennis' bedroom. "What is going on here?" She roared as she stood in the doorway. A sleepy Booker looked up.
"Ma?" He asked, then yawned. Raven opened her eyes and blinked.
"Is this yours?" Gina waved the bra in Dennis' face.
"I don't think I'd need an under wire bra, ma," Dennis answered, half asleep. Gina snarled and struck her son with the bra. "Wha?" Dennis sat up. The blanket fell off his chest and exposed Raven in the process. Raven sat up and covered herself with the blanket.
"What is going on here?" Raven asked, fully awake.
"Why are you doing in my son's bed?" Gina demanded.
"Sleeping," Raven answered. Booker hid a smile as his mother's face turned deep red.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Special Agent Raven Kray, FBI, Mrs. Booker," Raven answered. "We met on the night of the Jump Street chapel bombing." Booker shivered slightly when Raven mentioned the bombing. Raven reached over and lightly kissed his cheek. Gina glanced at Raven's left hand and saw no ring.
"How long have you been…" Gina frowned. "With my son?"
"A month, Ma'am," Raven answered.
"Ma," Booker preempted the tirade he knew was coming. "What are you doing here so early in the morning?"
"Your captain dropped off your motorcycle at my house last night," Gina answered. "Why did Captain Fuller have your motorcycle?" Dennis leaned against his pillows and sighed.
"Yesterday was a long day, Ma," Dennis answered honestly. "I was too tired to ride it home. Raven and I doubled up on her bike."
"Does Captain Fuller live near you?" Raven asked.
"He lives right across the street from me," Gina answered. Booker shifted his body and part of the blanket slid off, exposing his injured foot. She glanced at Booker's foot and saw the bandage. Then she looked at the raw cut on Booker's face. "What happened to you?"
"That," Booker pointed to his foot and lightly traced the wound on his cheek. "Was part of the long day, Ma."
"Are you alright, baby?" Gina sat on the edge of the bed, her anger forgotten.
"I'm fine, ma," Dennis smiled. "I just won't be dancing for a while, that's all."
"How is Tom Hanson doing?" Gina asked quietly.
"He's awake, but he's not out of the woods yet," Dennis closed his eyes as he felt tears threatening to form. Raven stroked Dennis' wild, dark hair and laid his head on her bare shoulder.
"What do you mean, he's not out of the woods yet?" Gina asked.
"Remember the night…" Booker's voice trailed off. "The night the chapel was destroyed? Remember the doctor said that Tom had suffered damage to his eyes?"
"He's blind, isn't he?" Gina whispered.
"Yeah," Booker frowned.
"Oh, poor thing! How is Amanda taking this?"
"Not too well," Raven spoke up. "She had to be sedated."
"Poor dear. This hasn't been easy on her," Gina sighed, remembering the long nights she spent with Amanda Hanson after the bombing. "First she looses her husband and now this happens to her son."
"How did Tom's dad die?" Raven asked.
"He was shot during an armed robbery at a coffee shop when Tom was sixteen. Jack Hanson was on duty at the time. They never caught the guy," Booker answered.
"Poor guy," Raven commented. "Did Tom see his dad die?"
"No. Tom was at a Valentine's Day dance when it happened," Booker answered her.
Gina cleared her throat. "Is Amanda at the hospital?"
"She was last night. She was still out from the sedatives when Raven and I left," Booker said. "So, she might still be there."
Gina Booker stood up. "I should head over there. Has anyone called Mick Penhall?"
"I don't know," Booker answered honestly.
Gina paused at the door and stared at her only child. "Dennis, I still want to talk to you about what I saw today."
Booker flopped back against his pillow. "I'm dead!" He squeaked.
[St. Francis ]
Booker and Raven pulled into the hospital parking lot. Booker swore softly when he saw a dark green Honda in the parking lot.
"What's wrong?" Raven asked.
"Ma's here," Booker sighed. He lit up a cigarette. "And, she's probably already told everyone about what happened earlier." Raven stared at Booker with large eyes.
"I don't get it. I don't get it at all," Raven shook her blonde head.
"Ma's Catholic and conservative. She doesn't believe in people of the opposite sex seeing each other from between ten at night and ten in the morning unless they are married."
"So, seeing us in bed together at six in the morning…"
"Freaked her out totally," Dennis finished for her. "It's like the eighth deadly sin or something to her."
"Oh," Raven winced. "I never knew…"
"Ma's a good woman, don't get me wrong. It's been hard on her since Dad disappeared five years ago," Booker looked up at the sky.
"What happened to your dad?"
"No one knows. He just vanished one day. No note, nothing," Dennis sighed. Raven rubbed his shoulder.
"I'm so sorry, sweetie," Raven stood on tiptoes and kissed his cheek. Just then, Fuller pulled into the slot next to the couple. The tall captain shut off the engine and opened the door.
"Yo, Captain!" Dennis called out. "Thanks a lot!"
"For what?" Fuller stood next to the couple. A puzzled look crossed his dark face.
"For getting' Ma after me! She came over at six in the morning and found Raven and I in bed together," Dennis smirked. He knocked an ash off the tip of the cigarette.
"What were you two doing?" Fuller asked.
"Sleeping," Dennis answered. "But, she found our clothes scattered all over the living room and…" His voice trailed off as his captain blushed. Raven laughed.
Fuller cleared his throat and mumbled, "Sorry about that."
"It's alright, Captain. I knew I'd have to tell Ma some day," Dennis paused, then said, "Adam, we have a problem."
"What?" Fuller asked, instantly serious.
"It's Penhall," Booker stated, then proceeded to tell Fuller about last night's conversation with Penhall.
"I see. Have you told anyone else about this?"
"Let's keep this between the three of us. I'll have a private talk with Penhall once we get to Tom's room," Fuller answered.
"OK." Booker swung his leg off his Harley. He tested his weight on his injured foot. "Where are Judy and Harry?" He asked, looking around.
"Car shopping," Fuller answered. Hoffs and Ioki had only recently been relieved of their burdensome casts. "I dropped them off at the car lot about an hour ago."
"I bet they are excited," Raven commented.
"Well, I think anyone would love a chance to get the car of their dreams and not have to worry about the price," Fuller grinned. He glanced at Doug's yellow 1954 pick up truck. "Or a vehicle that brings back memories," He added quietly. Booker and Raven looked at the truck.
"Why did Doug pick out that truck?" Booker asked.
"I don't know. Tom might know, though," Fuller answered. The police captain glanced at his watch. "We should go and see how Tom's doing."
Just then, a black Porsche and burgundy Mercedes 500SL roared into the visitors' parking lot. Raven and Booker laughed as Hoffs leapt out of the Porsche and Ioki strolled out of the Mercedes.
"Nice cars," Raven commented. Hoffs and Ioki flushed.
"You know, I'm almost going to miss ferrying you two around town," Fuller smiled softly at his officers. Harry and Judy reached out and squeezed Fuller's hands.
"Where's Doug?" Judy asked.
"I think he's still with Tom," Fuller answered.
The group entered the hospital and quickly headed to Hanson's room. Mrs. Hanson sat in a recliner, still in a state of shock. Mick held her hand while Gina tried to coax the distraught woman to eat. Tom Hanson was propped up in his bed with a tray across his lap.
"Come on, buddy, just one more spoonful," Doug cajoled. He scooped up a spoonful of pale, runny oatmeal. "I know it doesn't taste all that good."
"It tastes like ground up cardboard!" Hanson complained after swallowing the oatmeal. "And goes down about as smoothly," He grimaced. Penhall wiped off the oatmeal that dribbled down his friend's chin. Then, he held a cup with a straw in it so Hanson could drink. The small cop sipped at the cold water. When he was finished, Hanson laid his head back against his pillow. Penhall brushed a few rogue strands of hair from his friend's face.
"Hey, Tom," Captain Fuller called out softly. Hanson turned towards the sound of Fuller's voice.
"Hey, Coach," Tom said.
Fuller sat on the edge of the bed. He lightly patted Tom's leg. "How are you doing?"
"I want real food," Hanson frowned. "Not this stuff the hospital says is oatmeal." The group laughed at their friend. Hanson's sensitive ears picked up a new voice in the group. "Who all is here?" He asked.
Raven took his hand and said, "I'm Special Agent Raven Kray. I'm Dennis'…" She paused, trying to find the right word. "Good friend and roommate."
"Roommate!" Gina snorted. Everyone looked at her. "A roommate doesn't share your bed after you've only known each other a month!"
"Well, actually, Ma," Booker spoke up. "We've been sharing a bed since we've first known each other." Gina Booker's face reddened.
"What else have you two been doing? Screwing since you've first known each other?" She demanded, heedless of the audience.
"No, Mrs. Booker. We waited a night. Dennis had a really bad concussion, remember?" Raven spoke up honestly. Hoffs and Ioki snickered. Penhall flushed in embarrassment while Hanson looked totally confused. Fuller cleared his throat in nervousness. Booker buried his head in his hands and groaned quietly. Gina growled angrily.
Doctor Rays interrupted a fresh tirade before Mrs. Booker could start. "Hello, Tom," Rays called out. The Jump Street cops, except for Penhall, left the bedside and stood with Amanda Hanson. Dennis made sure Mick Penhall and Captain Fuller were between him and his still angry mother. Penhall held his friend's hand as Doctor Rays examined Tom. Rays glanced at the tray and smiled. "I'm glad to see that you have an appetite."
"I'd have a better one if you'd serve real food," Hanson grumbled. Doctor Rays laughed.
"Well, if you behave yourself, you can go home in a week to finish your recovery there," Rays promised. "You'll be able to have real food again."
"Doug, is Rocket Dog still standing?" Hanson asked.
"Of course it is. The buns shielded the building," Penhall snickered. Doctor Rays blanched at the mention of Rocket Dog.
"I thought you wanted real food, Tom," Rays said.
"Rocket Dog is real food," Hanson insisted.
"Yeah, real bad food," Dennis spoke up.
Penhall reached over and snagged an apple. He threw it at Booker, who caught it easily and munched on it. "If it's so bad, then why do you eat there?" Penhall demanded. Booker thought about the question, then shrugged his shoulders. Doctor Rays shook his head, then left the room. Fuller pulled out a cream colored envelope with the seal for the Seattle-Metro PD on the upper right hand corner. Fuller cleared his throat as he opened the envelope. The entire group looked at him.
"I received this letter before I came to the hospital today," Fuller stated. "It's from the President of the Police Commission." Fuller paused and took a deep breath. "It's regarding the future of the Jump Street Program." Everyone in the room tensed. Fuller glanced at the letter. "First of all, it has been decided that Jump Street Chapel will not be rebuilt."
"Oh, no!" Hoffs cried out.
"When the Jump Street Program reactivates in the fall, the Unit will be located at the old Symons Mansion on the corner of Jump and Elm Streets," Fuller hastily added. He paused. "That's not too far from where you grew up, right Tom?" The young man had gone frightfully pale. "Tom?" Fuller frowned.
"Oh, god, not the Headless Owl Mansion!" Hanson wailed.
"Headless Owl?" Booker repeated, voicing the other officers' confusion.
"There is a statue at the top of the northern most gable on the mansion roof. It's of an owl, but the head was destroyed years ago. Long before my grandmother was born." Hanson explained in a shaky voice. Penhall stroked his friend's hair. It had grown during the past month and now hung down past Hanson's thin shoulders. "That place is filled with evil." The heart monitor increased its beeping as Hanson started shaking.
"Take it easy," Penhall murmured. Tom took several gulping breaths of air.
"What do you mean, it's filled with evil?" Fuller demanded.
"A week before my father was killed," Hanson whispered. "Russell and I broke into the mansion. Just for kicks. The whole place felt cold and slimy." The young man shivered. "We went into the master bathroom at one point. It was filled a blue light. But, there's no electricity in there. No candles either. Just this awful blue light. It hurt…" Hanson's voice trailed off. Hanson clung to Doug's strong hand. "It was pulsing. Evil. Just filled with evil." He uttered a soft cry. An alarm on the heart monitor blared out, startling the cops. Hanson kept mumbling. "Hurt. It hurt. It was evil." Then, Hanson stiffened. "DAD!" With a startling burst of movement, Hanson threw himself forward. "Sorry! DAD!"
"Take it easy," Fuller murmured. He and Penhall pushed Tom back against his pillow. The young man struggled against the restraining hands.
"DAD! I'm sorry! DAD!!!!" Hanson surged forward again.
Doctor Rays ran into the room and pushed the cops away from the distressed young man. The doctor quickly examined Hanson. He called for a sedative. A nurse rushed in. She handed Dr. Rays a large hypodermic syringe. He injected the contents into Hanson. Hanson fell back against his pillow. His large, dark brown eyes fluttered shut.
"What happened?" Fuller demanded.
"Stress. Something upset him," Rays explained. "His mind and body are still very weak and he shouldn't be subjected to any shocks."
A candy striper slipped in and quietly removed the food tray. She didn't notice the sharp steak knife that had slipped onto Hanson's bed. Penhall had used it to cut up an orange for Hanson to eat.
"Will Tom have attacks like this again?" Fuller asked.
"I don't know. For now, it's the kid glove treatment, or you'll be banned from the hospital," The doctor glared at the cops. Then, he added, "Maybe you all should go home. You look tired and Officer Hanson will be a sleep for a while."
The officers nodded their heads. Mick and Gina helped Amanda to her feet.
"Amanda," Gina said. "Why don't you come and stay with me? I have a spare bedroom you can use." Mrs. Hanson weakly nodded her head. Mick and Gina lead the weakened woman out of the hospital.
"Doug, could you help me get the bike rack off my car?" Fuller asked.
"Sure," Doug responded. He squeezed his best friend's hand. "I'll come right back, Tommy," Penhall promised his sleeping friend.
The pair strolled into the parking lot. The rest of the Jump Street cops quietly left the two alone. Doug tugged at the jury-rigged bike rack. The metal bars resisted him, fueling his anger.
"DAMMIT!" Penhall growled and ripped the bars off the back of Fuller's car. The large cop fell to his knees. Blood flowed from a large gash on his hand. Fuller dropped to his knees and wrapped a handkerchief around the wound.
"Doug?" Fuller whispered. Penhall looked away from his captain as he started to cry. Fuller pulled Penhall into a tight embrace. "It hurts. I know it hurts," Fuller murmured. Doug's sobs took on a hysterical note.
Fuller shivered as he remembered that awful night a month ago. Right after the blast leveled the chapel, Captain Adam Fuller found himself pinned between two large sections of brick wall and forced to listen to the wild sobs and wails that echoed over the crater. Fuller shivered in his prison as Penhall's claustrophobia reached a howling, insane pitch. As he comforted Doug Penhall, the same helplessness rushed back.
Penhall pulled away and scrubbed his face with his hands. He stood up and leaned against Fuller's car. Fuller stood next to Penhall.
"I'm sorry, Coach," Penhall smiled tiredly. "I guess I need a good night's sleep, then I'll be OK."
"Have you seen the police shrink?" Fuller asked.
"Penhall," Fuller took a deep breath. "Why don't you see the shrink tomorrow. I don't think you've fully accepted everything that's happened in these past two days."
"I'm OK, Coach," Penhall lied. "I just can't wait for Tom to be out of the hospital. I'm sure he'll be back on his feet in no time." Fuller bit his lip in worry.
"Dammit, Penhall, you have to face reality!" Fuller boomed. "You won't do Tom any good if you keep pretending that everything is going to be happily ever after!" Penhall shied away from his captain. "Tom needs us all to be strong, but he also needs us grounded in reality, Doug."
Penhall shook his head and walked over to his truck. Fuller followed after him. Penhall looked at his feet. "I think I'll go home and get a shower and some clean clothes, then I'll come back here. I don't want Tom to wake up alone."
"Doug…" Fuller started. He looked at Penhall's shiny eyes. He quietly revised what he had been about to say. "Get some sleep at home too. I think Tom'll be asleep for a while," He said instead.
"Sure thing, Coach." Penhall climbed into his truck and left the parking lot.
[Tom Hanson's Hospital Room, four hours later]
The drugs' hold on Tom faded away. Hanson opened his eyes and found it all dark. *What time is it? * Hanson asked himself. He listened and didn't hear anyone in his room. He couldn't feel the sun on his face like he could earlier. *How long was I asleep? * Hanson sighed. He couldn't see the clock he knew had to be by his bed nor could he find a radio he could listen to for some kind of distraction.
Tears welled up in his sightless eyes. Hanson could feel them splash down his face and hit something by his nose. Hanson reached up and felt his face. The doctors had threaded a tube of some kind up his nose. It was then that Hanson became aware of the pain in the backs of his hands. IV's no doubt. A new scent tickled Hanson's nose. It was the strong smell of Brute cologne that Doctor Rays wore. His father had always worn Brute. Memories flooded back to Hanson of his father before he had died. That smell was always so strong around Jack Hanson. Amanda complained that Jack bathed in the stuff.
"Dad," Hanson whispered. His mind called up the images of Valentine's Day, seven years ago. A much younger, more innocent Tom Hanson standing in the ER in his powder blue tuxedo. A doctor telling him that his father was dead. Captain Briody, then only a Lieutenant, laying a hand on his shoulder.
You're the man of the house now, Tommy, Briody's voice echoed in Hanson's mind.
"I'm so sorry, Daddy," Hanson whispered. He weakly brushed the tears from his face. His hands fell limp to his side. One brushed against something cold and metallic. Hanson's sensitive fingers explored it.
It was the steak knife.
Hanson closed his hand around it. His body trembled as he slowly pressed the blade against the flesh of his right wrist. He winced as the knife made its first cut into his skin. It hurt like hell. Tom forced his left hand to continue to drag the knife away from his wrist and up his arm. He could feel the blood pouring out of the wound. Hanson felt light headed as his blood pooled on his sheets. Tears fell down Hanson's thin face.
"Daddy," He cried, then passed out.
[Fifteen minutes later, right outside of Hanson's room]
"Are you sure it's here?" Booker asked Raven as they strolled through the sterile halls of the hospital.
"It has to be. Either it's in Tom's room or it was stolen. I can't believe I misplaced my purse like that. And I have my ID and my gun in it!" Raven sighed.
"Well, we were hurried out of the room by that doctor," Booker consoled her. "What if Tom's sleeping?"
"We'll be quiet," Raven said.
The pair nodded to Doctor Rays, who was making his afternoon rounds. "May I help you?" He asked the law enforcement officers.
"We're just going to see if we can find Agent Kray's purse," Booker answered. "She thinks she might have left it in Officer Hanson's room."
"Just don't wake up Officer Hanson. He needs his rest," Rays said, then went into the room across the hall.
"How much sleep does Tom need? He was asleep for a month!" Booker snorted angrily. Raven laid a hand on Booker's tense shoulder.
The pair quietly slipped into Hanson's dark room. Using the faint sunlight that filtered through the window, Raven quickly found her purse. Booker stood by Hanson's bedside and stared at his friend. Hanson had lost a lot of weight in the past month, and Tom Hanson didn't have any extra poundage to spare. His skin still had an unhealthy, grayish-white tone. Booker took one of Hanson's limp hands into his own and squeezed it gently. The young man didn't stir. Booker suddenly became aware of a strange smell in the room; something heavy and metallic. Hanson's hand was oddly slick. Booker slapped on the bedside lamp and cursed.
"What's wrong?" Raven hurried over to his side. She saw the massive cut in Hanson's arm and the blood that soaked the sheets. "Dammit!" She hurried out of the room, in search of Doctor Rays.
"Damn you, Tom," Booker growled. He grabbed his handkerchief and pressed it against the wound. It was still bleeding heavily.
Doctor Rays rushed in the room with a trauma team baring a gurney behind him. The doctor pushed Booker out of the way. The team lifted Hanson onto the gurney and rushed him out of the room. Booker stared at the bloodied bedclothes. Raven hugged Booker from behind.
"I don't believe this," Dennis shook his head. "Why the hell didn't that asshole doctor have Tommy under a suicide watch? I know he read Tommy's profile! He knew that Tommy wasn't the poster boy for mental stability!" He growled.
A nurse's aide came in and changed the sheets. The bloodied ones would be destroyed after Tom Hanson's suicide attempt was investigated. The aide avoided the angry cop. Raven flashed a brief smile at the unsure girl. The young FBI agent laid a hand on the girl's shoulder.
"Are you OK?" Raven asked.
"I've never seen so much blood before," The girl whispered. "I just started yesterday." The aide was extremely pale.
"Why don't you go and take a break? You look like you need it," Raven smiled. "It's OK to be frightened and a little nauseated by the site of blood," She whispered. "Especially so much of it." The aide brightened a little bit, then hurried off the dump the soiled sheets. No one noticed a knife fall from the bundle with a faint clink. She quickly returned with fresh ones and made the bed. Then, the girl sped off for her break.
Booker noticed a blood stained steak knife on the ground. It had fallen when the aide gathered up the soiled sheets. Booker slipped on a pair of surgical gloves from a box near the bed and picked up the knife. He shook his head and then wrapped it in some tissues and laid it on the nightstand.
Raven watched as Booker headed to the phone. "Who are you calling?"
"Fuller. He needs to know what happened," Booker answered. He paused as the phone rang, then was answered. "Coach, we have a problem," Booker said.
What's wrong? Fuller demanded.
"It's Hanson. He tried to commit suicide."
WHAT? Fuller yelped. Is he OK?
"I don't know. The doctor took him into surgery I think. Raven and I found him."
What were you doing at the hospital?
"Raven left her purse in Tom's room. It's a good thing too. I don't know when Doctor Rays would have found him, if we hadn't been here." Booker growled softly.
I'll be over as soon as I call Amanda and the others. Fuller hung up with out saying good bye.
Booker let the phone fall back into its cradle. He and Raven walked out of the hospital room and sat in the visitors' lounge. Dennis rested his dark head on top of Raven's pale gold one.
[Half an Hour later]
Doug Penhall paced back and forth in the visitors' lounge. Hoffs and Ioki huddled near their captain. Much like the day after the bombing, the two cops found comfort in their commanding officer. Raven and Booker talked quietly with Fuller, filling him in on the details of Hanson's suicide attempt, including the knife Dennis found. They knew the origins of the knife. They had all seen it on the tray and the orange peels on the plate.
"The knife had to have fallen onto the bed during Tom's panic attack," Raven surmised. "I guess no one saw it fall. And Doctor Rays was so insistent that we leave immediately."
"Poor Tom," Dennis sighed. "What is gonna happen to him next?" He asked rhetorically.
Before Raven could answer, Doctor Rays came into the lounge. He came over to the group. "Officer Hanson is going to be OK," He announced. Amanda wilted with relief. Mick Penhall supported her. "He did loose a lot of blood though and is now extremely weak. As soon as he wakes up, a psychologist from the Sullivan Institute will come in and evaluate him."
"The Sullivan Institute?" Penhall looked up. "The one that has all those schools for the blind?" Rays nodded.
"Can we see Tommy now?" Amanda asked in a weak voice. Doctor Rays nodded his head again. The group entered Hanson's room. Amanda wailed and passed out when she saw her son strapped down to his bed. Mick Penhall caught her before she hit the floor.
"Why did you tie Tom down?!?" Penhall turned on the doctor.
"It's standard procedure for any suicide attempts," Rays defended the restraints.
"Tom hates being restrained in any way!" Ioki spoke up angrily.
"He'll freak when he wakes up," Hoffs agreed.
"Officer Hanson will remain in the restraints until the psychologist says that it's safe to undo them," Rays answered stiffly.
"If you had placed Tom under a suicide watch before this, when he first woke up, he wouldn't be tied down to his bed!" Booker snarled.
"We had no reason to believe that he'd become suicidal," Rays defended himself.
"That's bullshit and you know it!" Booker roared. "I know you read Tom's profile. You mentioned it to me two weeks ago. Remember? You said that 'Officer Hanson had an interesting career.' Or did you forget?"
"I-I remember," Rays stuttered.
"Then you know that Tom's not all that stable mentally! Common sense alone would have dictated that you took certain precautions," Booker hissed in the doctor's face. Rays backed away from the enraged cop. Rays mumbled something about other patients that needed his attention, then hurried from the room.
"I think you might have gotten through to him, Dennis," Fuller commented.
"I doubt it," Booker growled softly. He looked over at Raven, who was busy reviving Mrs. Hanson.
"Amanda, are you OK?" Raven whispered as Amanda slowly woke up. Raven and Hoffs helped her to a chair.
"I'll be OK," Amanda swallowed. "My poor little baby boy," She whimpered. She unsteadily stood up and stumbled over to her son's side. She kissed his pale forehead. "Oh, sweetie," She whispered into Hanson's ear.
[Five Hours Later]
Large metal carts carried food trays to the patients. A nurse's aide stopped in Hanson's room, but did not leave a tray since the young man was still unconscious. Penhall's stomach growled, as he smelled the bland hospital food.
"Any one else hungry?" He asked the group. No one had left since learning of Hanson's suicide attempt.
"Yeah," Ioki spoke up. Hoffs and Fuller nodded their heads. "Pizza?" The Vietnamese man suggested hopefully.
"Harry," Judy scolded. "You had pizza yesterday. There are more foods in this world than pizza!"
"Yeah, like stromboli!" Harry announced. Judy groaned and buried her head in her hands.
"I give up," She sighed. Hoffs glanced over at Raven, who had been strangely quiet during the exchange. Raven's blonde head was bent over a thick chart.
Thomas Jack Hanson's medical chart.
The thick sheath of paper contained Hanson's medical history from the time he was born. At first, it was ordinary. Tonsils and adenoids out at age five. An emergency appendectomy at age twelve. A broken wrist at age thirteen. A host of minor illnesses ranging from ear infections to the occasional bout of bronchitis.
February 20, 1982 jumped out at her from one of the pages. A week after his father had been buried; Tom Hanson was treated for a suicide attempt. He had swallowed over fifty sleeping pills that had been prescribed for his mother. He spent a week in the hospital and was ordered to undergo counseling.
The attending physician was one Doctor Edward Rays.
"Dammit!" Raven growled. She smacked the papers down on the night stand.
Dennis picked up the stack and swore as his eyes scanned the page. The rest of the group looked up, confused. "That stupid son of a bitch!"
"Dennis!" Mrs. Booker scolded. Booker silently held out the chart for his mother. Gina's eyes flew open when she read the report. "I don't believe it," She shook her head. The other members of the Jump Street Unit expressed similar feelings when they got a look at Hanson's medical chart.
Fuller closed the chart and sighed. As the metal cover fell closed, he caught sight of something and flung the chart back open. "I don't believe this!" Fuller exclaimed. The group looked over at the police captain. "According to Dr. Rays' notes, Tom's heart stopped three times during the surgery a month ago!"
"What?" Penhall leaned over Fuller's shoulder and read the notes. "Why weren't we told about this?"
Fuller didn't answer his officer. Instead, he grabbed the phone and dialed a long string of numbers. He set the phone to speaker phone. "Hey, Reggie!" Fuller said.
"Hey, Cuz! What's going down?" A new voice responded.
"I need some info on a Doctor Edward Rays. He went to your school right?"
Fuller's ears picked up. "What do you mean, unfortunately?"
"He was one demerit away from washing out. If we could have made that last demerit stick, he would have been out of there before graduation!" Dr. Reggie Fuller growled. "How do you know Rays?"
"He's treating an officer of mine," Fuller answered and proceeded to fill his cousin in on the events of the last month, including the surprises of just a few minutes ago. Reggie cursed softly.
"I'm so sorry," He finally said. "Rays never received a letter of recommendation from anyone at my school. I don't know how he got the post at Saint Francis."
"It's not your fault, Reggie," Fuller responded. "See you around and thanks."
"I hope to hear from you soon. And, tell Officer Hanson that my prayers are with him and his mother during this time."
"Sure." Fuller hung up the phone. Amanda Hanson shook her head in disbelief.
"That bastard!" She growled, showing more energy than anyone had seen in a month. Amanda stood shakily on her legs, tears streaming down her face. "That horrible bastard!"
"Amanda, calm down!" Gina advised.
Mick Penhall hurried over to Amanda's side. He tried to guide her back into her chair, but she pushed his large hand away. Just then, Dr. Rays entered Hanson's room. Amanda screamed and slammed into him. "You bastard!" She wailed. The Jump Street Officers were stunned by the sudden violence. "You hurt my baby!"
"Amanda!" Fuller yelled in the same voice that even Officer Dennis Booker obeyed when he heard it. Amanda didn't even flinch. Her fists flew as she tried to hit the doctor, but he was too quick. Rays dodged the blows and took refuge by Hanson's bedside. Captain Fuller grabbed Amanda and held her until she's stopped struggling. "That bastard hurt my baby boy," Amanda sobbed.
"I know, Amanda," Fuller shushed the woman. Then, Fuller glared at the doctor. "Doctor Rays, you have some serious explain to do!"
"What do you mean?" Rays babbled.
"Like this," Booker held up the chart, opened to Ray's notes about Hanson's surgery a month ago. "According to this, Tom's heart stopped three times during surgery. You never told us about that! And, you knew that he tried to commit suicide before. You treated him for it!" Booker leaned closer to the doctor and hissed. "So, how did you treat him the last time, doc? Strap him to a bed, then dope him for a week?"
"N-no," Rays stammered.
"Dennis, back off," Fuller ordered. Dennis sullenly obeyed his captain. He stood next to Raven. Fuller looked over his cops. All of their faces were hard and they were glaring at Dr. Rays. Even Raven, who had only known Hanson for a month was upset. Her large green eyes flashed dangerously at the doctor.
Rays quickly summoned up the bravado and bluster that he called courage. "If you'll restrain that mad woman over there," He pointed to Mrs. Hanson. "I need to examine my patient."
"Amanda's mad alright," Gina spoke up. "She's mad as hell." Booker's eyes bulged when he heard his mother swear. "We all are. You're not a doctor. You're a fraud!" "That's slander!" Rays sputtered.
"It's only slander if it's a lie," Fuller answered. "Do you remember a Dr. Reggie Fuller? He heads up the Cross Creek Medical School. Your Alma mater," The stunned doctor nodded. "Well, Reggie is my cousin." Rays' face reddened.
"So?" Rays sneered.
"So, according to him, you were one demerit from failing med. school," Fuller answered.
"That doesn't make me a fraud!"
"Maybe it doesn't, but it does make me wonder how you got your post here at St. Francis. St. Francis has the reputation of hiring the very best doctors..." Fuller smirked.
Rays scowled at Fuller, but didn't speak. Amanda Hanson stormed over to the doctor and slapped him across the face. Rays rocked back on his heels, stunned.
"Why did you do that?" Rays demanded. "I should have you removed from this hospital!"
"Don't you dare try to keep me from my Tommy!" Amanda yelled. "You're the one who should be removed! You messed up seven years ago when you treated Tommy the first time! I didn't say anything because I was too upset. I just wanted my baby boy home again," Tears fell down the distraught woman's face. Her tears lightly stuck her unconscious son's sunken in cheeks. "I just want my baby boy home right now," She whispered.
Something wet hit Tom Hanson's face. He groaned quietly, far too softly to be heard over the drama playing out in his hospital room. His eyes itched and ached. He tried to lift his hands to rub them. The sturdy leather straps held his thin wrists in place. He tugged against them, panic rising in his heart. He tried to sit up, but more straps bit into his emaciated chest. "No," He whispered. "NO!" He struggled and jerked with in the confines of the straps. "Help!" Tom cried out.
All eyes went from Rays to his patient. Amanda reached out and lightly stroked her son's shaggy hair. "It's OK, baby," Amanda whispered into his ear.
"Lemme go!" Hanson screamed. Rays started to call for a sedative, but Booker cut him off.
"Drugging Tommy won't help," Dennis growled. He pushed the doctor away from Hanson.
"It's OK, Tom!" Penhall yelled.
Into this cacophony burst the head doctor, a Dr. Rosenbloom. "What in God's name is going on here?!?" The head doctor demanded. Rays looked up.
"These people are attempting to prevent me from treating my patient," Rays said.
"Is that true?" Rosenbloom looked over at the cops.
"Hey, this doctor's method of treatment is strapping our friend down, then doping him up!" Booker snapped.
"How else can we handle a suicidal patient?" Rays sneered.
"By finding out what is hurting him," Penhall suggested.
Rosenbloom hurried over to Tom Hanson's bedside. He glanced at the young man's thin hands. They had turned a frightening shade of blue. Rosenbloom quickly undid the straps. "Rub his arms and legs," The new doctor ordered the cops. Amanda cradled her son's dark head and stroked his gaunt face while Booker, Penhall, Ioki and Fuller worked to restore the circulation to Tom's arms and legs. Once Hanson could move, he calmed down significantly.
"It's OK now, baby," Amanda cooed softly.
"Momma, what happened?" Hanson whispered in a little kid's voice.
"Oh, baby," Amanda whispered and hugged her son close to her chest. "Momma won't let Dr. Rays hurt you again, I promise."
Rays tried to move Amanda away so he could examine Hanson. Rosenbloom blocked his way. "Edward W. Rays, you are not to come with in one hundred feet of Officer Hanson or his associates," The head doctor ordered.
"What?" Rays exploded.
"You are suspended from this hospital, pending a formal investigation," Rosenbloom said with some satisfaction.
"You can't do that! I have patients here..."
"Not any more," The head doctor stated. Then, he picked up the phone and called for security. Two hulking guards rushed over to Hanson's room. "Paul, Raymond, please escort Mr. Rays off hospital grounds."
The two guards nodded their head and grabbed the sputtering Rays by the arms. Then, he was forcibly removed from the hospital. As soon as Rays was gone, Rosenbloom turned to the assembled group. "I'm terribly sorry about all of this. If you wish it, Mrs. Hanson, I can have your son examined by an independent doctor to make sure that he is recovering properly."
Amanda looked up at the doctor, then nodded her head silently. "If that's what Tommy wants," She added.
Rosenbloom knelt by the bed. Hanson could sense the new presence by the bed and turned to face him. "Tom, I'm Doctor Rosenbloom," The doctor said in a clear voice. Hanson turned to face the doctor.
"Hi, Doctor," Tom whispered.
"Tom, did you hear me talking to your mother?"
"Tom, do you want a doctor, another doctor, to examine you?"
"Then can I go home?" Tom asked.
"I can't promise that," Rosenbloom answered.
"Dr. Rays said that I can go home in a week..." Hanson's voice rose with panic.
"I know that's what he said, but we have to make sure that you're really OK before you go home," Rosenbloom explained.
"OK," Hanson sighed, then shifted in his bed. "My back's sore," He complained.
Rosenbloom's eyes narrowed. "Tom, I'm going to roll you onto your side OK?"
Rosenbloom gently rolled Hanson onto his side. The hospital gown slid away, exposing his thin back. Rosenbloom cursed under his breath when he saw the mass of infected sores that mottled Hanson's pale skin. Rosenbloom called for a nurse to bring a tray of supplies.
"Tom, you're back is covered with sores. I'm going to give you a local anesthetic so I can clean them," Rosenbloom said. A nurse came in and laid a tray on the night table. Rosenbloom slipped on a pair of surgical gloves. He rubbed a swab soaked in alcohol on a patch of clear skin. Then, he injected anesthetic into Tom Hanson. "This is pretty fast acting," the doctor commented. "Let me know when your back is numb, OK?"
"OK," Tom sighed. After awhile, the doctor touched Hanson's back and asked,
"Could you feel that?"
"I'm going to assume that the anesthetic is taking effect. Let me know if you feel anything." The doctor cleansed the sore back with hot, soapy water. The nurse behind him shook her head in disgust. As soon as the wounds were cleaned, the doctor layered a cooling, soothing gel on the sores. A fresh bandage covered it. "Tom, I want you to stay on your side as much as you can OK? Give your back a rest."
Rosenbloom scanned over the metal chart that caused all the up roar. "I see Rays ordered that Tom not be moved."
"Why?" Amanda asked.
"At first, it made sense. Tom's injuries were too severe for him to be moved around. But once he healed up, that order should have been lifted," Rosenbloom explained. Rosenbloom shook his head. "You hungry, Tom?"
"A little," Hanson answered, then yawned.
"I'll have a light supper brought up then you can get some sleep." Rosenbloom said, then left.
Ioki looked at his watch. "How about I run out and get some pizza?" He offered. The other cops groaned, but agreed. They handed over their money and Ioki trotted off to Noel's Pizza Palace.
[Noel's Pizza Palace]
Ioki ran into the pizza parlor. A small man looked up from a mound of pizza dough and toppings. "'Ello, 'Arry!"
"Hey, Noel," Harry smiled at the British man. Harry slid into his regular seat and leaned against the vinyl back. Noel strolled over to his customer.
"What can I do you fer tonight?" Noel asked.
"My usual, three times. To go."
"Takin' food back fer yer mates?" Noel asked.
"'Ow is Officer 'Anson?" Noel asked suddenly.
"He's gonna be OK," Harry smiled at the man. Harry picked up a paper that laid next to the menu. "Do you mind if I read this?"
"Go right A'Ead."
Harry opened the paper. On the first page, the head line "DAMAGE FROM JUMP STREET CHAPEL BOMBING TOPS FIVE MILLION" caught his attention. A color map of the city showed the damage done a month ago. Three buildings surrounding the Chapel had been destroyed. All buildings and houses with in a half mile radius suffered varying degrees of damage from holes punched through the walls from the flying debris to broken windows even backyards a mile away had to deal with pieces of stained glass and lead from the old chapel.
A small sidebar caught Ioki's eye. It dealt with the cars that suffered damage, mainly cars that were passing by the Chapel or were parked near it at the time of the blast. Apparently, two young men, Mark and Stevie, had volunteered their time to help repair the damage. Also, the pair would be stripping down the demolished cars in the Chapel lot. They were arrested by the Jump Street cops for running a chop shop. A small smile creased Ioki's face as he remembered that case. And the Mercedes that he lost in the line of duty.
Ioki skimmed through the rest of the paper. He saw another article about the students of the elementary a block from the old Chapel. Practically every child in that school wanted to be a police officer when they grew up. The Jump Street cops had a good relationship with the children in that school and often brought over little treats for holidays and other special occasions.
Apparently, the children had been ready to go home when the bomb went off. The children and their teachers were forced to stay in the school until well after midnight, so that it could be determined that the area was safe. The children were having nightmares and problems coping with what had happened. Ioki made a mental note to speak with Fuller about it. Maybe Fuller and Hoffs and himself could go and talk with the children.
"All ready!" Noel placed three extra large pizzas on the table. He also added in orders of his special garlic and cheese breadsticks and sodas. Harry quickly paid for the meal and prepared to leave. "Tell Officer 'Anson, I said to get well soon, OK?" Noel added quietly.
"I will," Ioki promised, then left.
The Mercedes pulled into the hospital lot and Ioki paused when he saw Rays hanging around the door, talking to a reporter. Rays ignored the cop and Ioki hissed quietly, but didn't say anything. He hurried into the hospital to deliver food to his hungry friends.
[In The Visitor's Waiting Room]
The Jump Street cops tore into the pizzas as soon as Ioki set them on the coffee table. The Vietnamese cop peaked in on Hanson and found the young man fast asleep. Amanda looked up and smiled softly at him.
"You can come in if you to, Harry," She said. "Tommy just fell asleep."
Ioki came into the room and lightly brushed Hanson's shaggy bangs out of his face. "Did he get something to eat?"
"Yes, then Dr. Rosenbloom gave him a light sedative to help him sleep."
"Do you want some pizza, Mrs. Hanson?"
"I'll have some later, once Douglas or maybe Adam can sit with Tommy."
"Why?" Ioki sat in a chair by the bed.
"Because Dr. Rosenbloom doesn't want Tommy to be alone right now. Especially when he first wakes up. It's so disorienting for him to wake up blind. He's not used to it," Amanda paused. "And, you remember what happened the last time he woke up alone." Tears fell down her face
Ioki reached over and squeezed her hand. "Mrs. Hanson, do you know why Tommy tried to kill himself seven years ago?"
"Guilt," Amanda shook her head.
"He blames himself for Jack's death."
"How could he be to blame? He was at the dance..."
"And, Tommy didn't want Charlie Rosemont teasing him in front of Diane. Jack was going to drop Charlie off at that diner, then pick up Tommy and take him home. If Tommy hadn't asked for Charlie to be dropped off before the dance was over, they never would have gone to that diner. Or at least, that's what Tommy thinks. Charlie and Jack spent a lot of spare time in that diner. Sort of how you kids live at Rocket Dog."
Ioki laughed, then offered "Do you want me to sit with Tom while you get something to eat?"
Mrs. Hanson smiled at the young cop. "Thank you, Harry." Mrs. Hanson stood up and kissed Harry on the cheek. Ioki couldn't help but blush. An evil grin spread over Amanda's face, but she held her peace.
"OK, Mrs. Hanson. I'll sit with Tommy."
"Thank you," Amanda paused at the door, then she fired off, "Haven't you ever been kissed before, Harry? I thought you'd had a lot of girl friends."
Harry gasped and stared in shock at the mother of his friend. As soon as she was gone, Harry whispered to the sleeping Hanson, "Your mother's nice and all, Tom, but she's about as subtle as an earthquake in a jello factory!"
Hanson shifted in his sleep, but didn't wake up. Part of the blanket fell away, exposing a fat, white, furry stuffed bunny rabbit. Its lop ears fell over sad, dark brown eyes. Tom clutched the rabbit in a death grip. Harry stared at the rabbit and realized that the eyes on the toy matched Tom's own puppy dog eyes perfectly. Hanson shivered slightly and Ioki tucked the covers back around him. Tom snuggled against his hard pillow, still asleep.
"Poor guy," Harry sighed and leaned against the chair. All the emotional shocks of the day caught up with the young cop, and his eyes drifted shut.
In the hall way, a nurse hurried through the halls as she checked on her charges. She was reading the charts, not paying attention to where she was going. A cart laden with janitorial supplies rested in the middle of the aisle as the janitor fixed a broken bulb. The hurried nurse slammed into the cart, upsetting large boxes of light bulbs, screws, and glass covers. The sundry material scattered on the floor, the light bulbs exploding, mixing the shattering of the glass and the tinkling of the metal.
Harry twitched in his sleep when he heard the cacophony outside Hanson's room. The Vietnamese cop's face wrinkled into a frown as a familiar nightmare, one that had been plaguing the little sleep he was able to get since the bombing.
...Harry was sitting at his desk, a warm salty breeze ruffling his hair. A shadow flew overhead. Harry looked up. His desk was on Vung Tau Beach. He looked around, and saw his parents talking to Fuller and Thai-Kieu joining in on Judy and Dennis' basketball game. Tom smiled as the basketball slammed into Doug's desk.
Suddenly, the sand beneath Harry's desk shook. He jumped to his feet and saw the Communists surround his friends.
"NO!" Ioki screamed as the Communists opened fire. A wave of energy washed up from the bottom of the sand. Grit and smoke mingled in the air. Ioki coughed and ran to where he had last seen his friends. A piece of his desk slammed into his back, knocking him down. Paralyzed, Ioki watched as Thai-Kieu was cut down by the Communists. A body fell next to him. Ioki wrenched his neck around and wailed. It was Tom Hanson, his eyes open and blank, his body broken and still...
"NO!" Harry jerked awake. He had fallen from his chair and was trapped between the night table and Tom's hospital bed. He waited for the disorientation of sleep to pass before he tried to get up.
"Momma?" Hanson whimpered and opened his eyes slightly.
"It's Harry, Tom," Ioki said in a clear, soft voice. "Your mom went to get something to eat."
"What time is it? It's dark out,"
"It's a little after 8 in the evening," Harry refrained from reminding his friend of his blindness. Tom's eyes grew heavy again and he drifted off. Harry buried his head in his hands and tears fell down his face.
[The Next Day, Late Morning]
Harry picked up the paper as he joined his friends in the waiting room. He sat next to Booker and Raven. "Any news?" Harry asked.
"The results from the first tests should be back soon," Raven spoke up.
"Great. Is Tom back in his room?"
"No. They were doing more tests," Fuller answered.
Harry opened up the paper and scanned through the articles. He paused when he saw the interview with Dr. Rays. "Damn," Harry scowled. Penhall, Hoffs, Booker, and Kray looked up at their friend.
"Harry?" Judy asked quietly.
"Listen to this! 'As soon as the call came in that a police station had been bombed, we were put on alert. I was the one who triaged Officer Hanson. I tried all that I could to save his life and his livelihood. The damage to his eyes was too great though.' I don't believe this!"
"What a jerk! I guess he didn't mention strapping Tom down, ignoring the fact that he was suicidal in the past..." Booker hissed.
Just then, Doctor Rosenbloom came into the waiting room. His face was grim. The officers stood up together. "Doctor Rosenbloom, what's wrong?" Fuller demanded.
"You'll want to be with Mrs. Hanson and Officer Hanson when I give them the news."
"Damn. Damn. Damn!" Penhall growled, prepared for the worst.
The group hurried over to Tom's room. Their friend was propped up in bed and his mother held his hand. Once the door was closed, Rosenbloom cleared his throat.
"I'm sorry I have to tell you this, but according to these tests, most of the damage done to Tom's eyes was done after the bombing. The glass shards in his eyes, while painful were not immediately threatening to his life or his vision. If a trained specialist had been called in after Tom's condition stabilized, his eyesight could have been saved."
Amanda Hanson moaned softly and hugged her son tight. Harry's fist tightened around the paper. "That arrogant bastard!" He showed the doctor the interview with Doctor Rays.
"Well, he's just hung himself," Rosenbloom sighed.
"What do you mean?" Doug asked.
"If Mrs. Hanson decides to sue him, if the hospital decides to press malpractice charges against him, all that he said in this interview is public record. And admissible in court," Fuller said.
"Do I have to decide right now?" Amanda whispered as she cradled her son close.
"No. Take your time to heal. Your son needs you more than anything else right now," Fuller whispered to Amanda. She laid her head on Fuller's shoulder. A small laugh escaped from her lips.
"I was just thinking about something I said to Tommy a few months ago."
"What was that?" Fuller asked.
"If you hadn't been Tommy's commanding officer, I would have jumped your bones a long time ago!"
Fuller flushed as the officers laughed at their captain. "Oh, um, er," Fuller stuttered and rejoined the rest of the cops.
A muffled groan of "MOTHER!" came from the hospital bed.
Doctor Rosenbloom cleared his throat again, then said, "If you won't object, Mrs. Hanson, the hospital will file the fraud and endangerment charges against Rays."
"If that will stop him from hurting some one else," Amanda agreed.
"Then, we will file charges first thing tomorrow morning." Rosenbloom nodded his head. "Oh, Tom, if there are no complications, you can leave here in a week. But you will have to take it easy for a while."
"OK," Tom answered.
"Do you have a place to stay long term? You can't live by yourself for a long time."
"He'll stay with me, of course," Amanda answered.
"Very good. I'll make arrangements with a Home Health Care nurse to visit Tom when he's been discharged."
"Great," Amanda answered.
"I'll see you later, Tom," Rosenbloom said, then left.
"Momma," Hanson spoke up. "Will you sue Doctor Rays?"
"I don't know baby, I don't know. Don't you worry about that now, Sweetie. Just focus on getting better."
"What about next fall?" Tom asked suddenly.
"You have all summer to worry about next fall, Tom," Fuller knelt by the young man and took his hand.
End of Part 1