Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters are completely the property of Paramount and Pet Fly Productions. I use them out of reverence, solely for fun and not for profit.

A Hero to His Men



Simon Banks stood silent at his blinded windows, peering surreptitiously through two slats. Yep, there they went again. He shook his head sadly.

First Jim Ellison, foremost of the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit, Cascade P.D., looked up with a moue of utter distaste, then shot his partner an unbelievably sour look.

Said partner, one Blair Sandburg, unofficial observer with the P.D. but very official Shaman of the Great City and Guide to the Sentinel, Jim Ellison, caught the look and mirrored back shock, hurt and anger.

Simon felt his stomach roil.

Jim muttered something, keeping his eyes on the folder in front of him.

Blair turned red, plopped dejectedly into the chair beside him, and played with a paper clip, choosing not to answer.

Jim wasn't buying the 'I'm so engrossed in the paper clip because it holds the key to the universe' routine. He kept on picking at Blair, who got redder and redder with every word.

Simon watched as Jim's taunting built. The Sentinel was clearly spoiling for a fight.

Simon rubbed a hand over his face. Blair could only stand so much. The Guide did have a temper, though he kept it firmly in check almost 24 hours a day. When the Guide squared off against the Sentinel, it always meant days of tragedy, with a spillover effect on the rest of the unit that dragged them all along with the two best friends, brothers of the soul.

Banks went to a side window and watched the door to his department. If he wasn't altogether incorrect, the cause of the turmoil between his own two best friends would be waltzing through the doors any time now.

Pause. Pause. Pause. Oh, yeah, there she came. Simon's lips tightened and he nearly chomped his cigar in two.

Cassie Welles, red curls atop a ferrety face spoiled with much petulance, mini-skirted with high leather boots, strutted her stuff down the length of the department to Jim's desk.

Simon wondered absently if she saw herself as Emma Peel and would start showing up in flared jumpsuits. There was no excuse for the boots.

Jim's face had carefully faded to blank. Blair was watching his Sentinel carefully and shoved a handful of tissues in his face suddenly. Jim grabbed at them and began to sneeze.

Simon scratched an itch at the side of his nose. Yep again. Jim *had* smelled her coming. No one had ever told Cassie that there was such a thing as too much musk. Why didn't that perfume cause her to go into asthma attacks, the police captain asked himself for the hundredth time. It caused everyone else serious allergy problems, Jim most of all.

Simon went back to his original stance and watched the mumshow before him. Cassie was handing over a forensics report, rapping Jim's desk, pointing with vicious fingernails to the most important findings, and generally lecturing on how to solve the case for the Organic Surveillance Equipment Monster (the hypersensitive Detective Ellison) while managing to put Jim at Blair's throat as she coquetted with the observer, who was just trying to calm things down.

As if the Sentinel and Shaman needed it.

As if Major Crimes needed it.

As if Simon Banks needed it.

Simon had had enough. Cassie Welles had destroyed the peace of the department for the last time. There had to be some way to get rid of her. He, they, needed her to be somewhere else far, far away, for as long as absolutely possible.

A glint of genius lit the dark eyes, and Simon left his post in a hurry. Where was it? He scrambled through a double dozen forms in a sheaf in his In tray and came up with the one that could spell success.

The telephone number was at the bottom of the form. Simon rang it. "Harold?" he said. "I have a favour to ask."

Twenty minutes later, Simon Banks was smiling.

He looked out on his department, thrown into furore by that short visit of Miss Welles. He watched as Jim and Blair faced off in a furious subvocal battle, as H and Rafe clearly were arguing about who should take the Ghirardelli witness statements to Jim and Rhonda reached for a bottle of soda mints, her features tense and taut.

Hopefully this would be the last time he would ever look upon such turmoil again.

He opened the door and growled out, "Ellison, Sandburg, my office, now!"

Yep a third time. Ellison was the arrogant, pissed-off, muscleman Simon remembered from his earliest days with the Department. The days before Sandburg had gotten to him and sweetened the sourness. Simon had to shake his head at the degree of regression Ellison always displayed at prolonged contact with Cassie Welles.

And Blair, of course, was absolutely miserable and hangdog. As a love interest, Cassie had first tried to come between the two by dating them both on the same day in the same restaurant and declaring they were obviously in competition for her, so she'd have to say no to both. Then she changed her mind and said yes to Blair. Jim had every right to be as pissed off as he was, but it was his best friend who came in for the flak and not the femme fatale herself.

No more of that, Simon decided, gesturing the two into chairs. He spoke only of the findings in the forensics report to begin with, but segued into a somewhat more general calming influence, one he seldom used, talking about fishing and the Jags, getting past the Cassie incident.

Blair was looking at him with surprise and gratitude, and Jim had drawn his eyebrows down sharply. They knew what their captain was doing.

When they left, Jim's hand was carefully ushering Blair out the door and over to the desk, while H, Rafe and Rhonda stared and smiled.

Simon smiled too.

Thank goodness for the synchronicity, he said to himself as he settled back into his chair, picking up the form and a black pen for filling it in. "Cassie Welles," he wrote, "is supremely good at what she does, and her devotion to her work makes her a stand-out choice for this honour." He didn't say that what she did was spread havoc and that her concept of her job was to get into the real detectives' hair as thoroughly as possible.

He read the form over a couple of times, adding a remark here and a new superlative there, and signed on the dotted line. Then he hit the intercom for Rhonda, who came into his office instantly.

"See that this gets to where it's going ASAP."

Rhonda took a look at the form and gasped. Then she broke out into an enormous smile. "I could order up the helicopter..." she started to offer.

"I think that may be overkill," Simon chuckled. "Fed Ex will do."

"You got it, sir! Thank you," Rhonda said on behalf of the entire department, then made her way out.

Cassie Welles' days were numbered. She was about to be given an honour she couldn't refuse, plus a whole lot of ego-boosting too. And a one-way ticket to Australia. Who knows? Maybe she'd meet a croc while doing fieldwork, like Captain Hook! Just as long as the lost boys of Major Crimes were left in peace, Simon Pan would be a happy man.

The Foreign Exchange Program had definitely come at the right time for Major Crimes, Simon congratulated himself. He didn't know who they would get as their Australian troublemaker foisted onto Major Crimes unawares, because *of course* that's what these programs were really all about, but it had to be a trade up. Anyone, as long as they were free of Cassie!

In the morning, Simon found his desk cluttered with a box of Cubans (from Jim), a pair of tickets to the next Jags game (from Blair), a book on fly-fishing (from H), a blues CD (from Rafe) and a small black angel (from Rhonda).

It's good to be the captain, Simon smiled with much satisfaction.

He knew he was a bona fide hero to his men.

~ End ~

E-Mail Ismaro at ligela@sympatico.ca
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Page last updated 8/15/03.