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.

Spoilers: Siege

Warnings: This story contains a bit of bad language.

Author's Notes: Okay, this one is pure wish fulfillment. I throw out all common sense, knowledge of the architecture of police buildings, police procedures, and the administration of justice, oh, and canon too, btw. Why let a little cavilling get in the way of telling a STORY? So consider this AU, very AU, fantasy-like AU, okay, and don't send me any nasty letters about how it couldn't have happened. I know.


Muffled Laughter and Loud Smiles
by
Ismaro

ligela@sympatico.ca

 

Two men stood at the sixth floor elevator, weary, worn, and wired.

The big one punched the call button hard, shaking his head.

"He did what?" his companion yelped in unbelief, grabbing the other's sleeve and tugging it for emphasis. Then he smacked a balled fist into his palm and spun in place, tearing at his long curls when he was done.

The big man looked on with what was almost grim amusement. "He hung him out the window. Or rather, he had his two goons, uh..."

"Southern and McBride."

"Yeah, them, hang the kid out the window by his heels."

"Oh, God, that sucks, man!"

"I thought Simon was gonna leap up all six stories to get him, and get gunned down in the process."

"Oh, shit, that poor kid. He not only nearly loses his life, he nearly sees his dad lose his! And poor Simon. God, that Kincaid is a monster!"

The big man gently grabbed the fist pounding at the metal frame of the elevator. "Hey, hey! Quit pounding the building. You might wear out the steel. What's taking this car so long?" He punched the call button a couple of time again himself.

The medium-sized man with the long hair and the many layers of clothing was muttering under his breath, "Sorry, Jim. No, I'm not. I can't believe he'd make war on a kid, Jim. What has he got for a heart?"

"Who said he had a heart?"

"It's a good thing I didn't know this when they caught me. I don't know what I would've done."

"What could you do, Chief? Anything you did would've gotten you killed."

"You laughing at me?"

"No, no, I'm not." And the big man wasn't laughing indeed. "I'm just relieved you didn't decide to take matters into your own hands. You make a great guerrilla, but he was surrounded by his own men in Major Crimes. You'd have ended up dead." A big hand landed on a surprisingly broad shoulder, buffered with many types of fabric.

Dark blue eyes looked into light blue eyes, crackling, discharging negative energies. "Oh, man, what a monster he is! Makes me believe in the bogeyman. He's so twisted. Making war on a child and he thinks he's all about justice. Sick, soooo sick. Siiiiick."

"Yeah," the big man said, looking over the head of his companion, back and forth from one end of the hallway to the other, just in case, "we're gonna put him where he can't get out."

"I sure hope so. I can't get Daryl out of my mind. The poor kid must be traumatised. I mean, what about Daryl, Jim?"

"What about him, Sandburg?" A man even taller than the big man hove into view, with a child in his early teens close behind.

"Oh, uh, hi, Captain." The medium-sized man was abashed. He smiled a quirky smile and raised his spread hand in a quick wave to the boy standing behind his daddy.

"Simon. Daryl."

"'Lo, Detective Ellison."

"Daryl, this is Blair Sandburg. Sandburg, my son, Daryl."

"Hi, Daryl. How you doing?"

"Whatchoo mean, De-tec-tive?" The teen was posturing, a lot of shoulder action in his hand movements. "How should I be doing?"

"Sandburg's not a detective, son," the very tall man said with a strained smile.

"Thoughtchoo were Lieutenant Sandburg of Narcotics. His partner." The boy jerked his chin at the taller white man. "You shittin' us, man?"

"Daryl!" his father protested.

(Muffled laughter.)

"Uh, yeah," said the curly-headed man with the dark blue eyes, glancing daggers at his tall companion, "I was shitting you. Well, really, I was shitting Kincaid."

"Huh. So what are you?"

"I'm an anthropologist."

"Like Indiana Jones?"

"Just like Indiana Jones, Daryl," the companion put in, shooting rubber daggers back. "You should have seen him in the helicopter. Pushed Kincaid out the door then shoved a flare gun in the pilot's face and told him he'd flown Apaches in Desert Storm."

"Jim!"

(Muffled laughter.)

"You flew Apaches in Desert Storm? Damn!"

"Uh, no, Daryl, I didn't."

"You shitting again?" There was wonder in the words.

"Uh, well, uh..."

(Muffled laughter).

"Shut up, Jim! Yeah, Daryl, I was shitting again."

"Damn! You are bad, m'man!"

Sound of high fives slapping.

(Loud smiles.)

The elevator doors opened, the car filled up with four people, and the doors close again. Someone pushes the button for the parking garage of the police precinct.

The laughter is over. The child is silent, eyes downcast. The three adults look at each other over his head.

"I for one," announced the shortest adult there, "am definitely looking forward to a hot shower."

"You can use one, Chief."

"Huh," said the child, looking up again and fixing the two police officers with a beady gaze, "I don't know where you two been, butchoo stink."

"Uh, yeah, Daryl, m'man, I got to agree with you." There was the loud smile back in the blue eyes. "Jim and Simon, uh, Captain Banks, are definitely ripe, raw, redolent..."

"They stink."

"Daryl!"

"Well, you do, Daddy!"

(Muffled laughter).

"We came through the sewer system to get into the parking garage, son."

"Good infiltration technique, huh?"

"Thanks, Chief."

"But you guys still need showers, don't they, Daryl?"

"You said it, Blair!"

"You can probably use one too, huh?"

"Yeah, would be nice. Can we shower here, Daddy?"

"Not now, son. Too damn busy. Every cop in the precinct is crawling the building."

"'Sides, home has a nice ring to it, right, Daryl? And food too. Right, guys?"

"I could eat, Chief."

"Oh, yeah. How about you, son?"

"A Supremo Maximo Deluxe with the wings extra. I could eat the whole thing myself!"

(Unmuffled laughter.)

"Your imagination is bigger than your tummy, son."

"Yeah, Daryl, you'd throw your old man a few crusts at least, wouldn't you?"

"Watch it with the 'old man', Detective Ellison. I'm still your boss!"

"Hey, you guys wanna come over and share a pizza? They can come, right, Daddy?" The boy made the announcement as if by right, but there was pleading in his eyes.

"Ellison needs a shower."

"So they can shower at our place. We got more than two bathrooms." The pleading was more pronounced.

The tallest man looked over his glasses rims at his detective and the curly-haired man to get their okay's, and looked down at his son. "Yeah, Daryl, they can shower at our place too."

"Cool." There was such satisfaction in that one word that quiet rejoicing filled the cab.

(Loud smiles.)

A discussion of the do's and don't's of pizza ordering took up a couple of minutes, and then the medium-sized man looked around.

"What's up with this elevator? We've been stuck here for minutes?" he asked.

"Must be transporting the prisoners,"—a small gasp did not go unnoticed by the adults—"They'll have frozen all the elevators."

"Makes sense, Captain."

"Why freeze all the elevators, Simon? Uh, Captain?"

"To prevent contact between everyone not on the transport team and Kincaid."

"Good idea," the medium-sized man said darkly, and the taller man at his back looked down sharply to check his expression. There was rage blooming in it.

"Oh, Daddy, if I ever got my hands on that bastard!" Daryl put in unexpectedly.

Such bravado! The three grown men vowed that whatever else happened in their lives, this boy would never suffer at the hands of Garret Kincaid again.

"Daryl! It's not just you, son, it's all us cops too. We all want a piece of him." Simon's mouth was working hard.

"Why don't you take him apart, Daddy? Why didn't you already?" The last line was whispered.

Simon sighed deeply, and put his hands on his son's shoulders, bending down to look into the dear face. "Because I'm a cop, Daryl, and he's a prisoner, and I can't do that. No matter how much I want to. And, son, you'll never know how much I want to."

Dead silence.

The elevator lurched and pinged-pinged, then pinged again and again and again and again and again.

"Parking level," Jim said, having counted the pings, and the doors opened. But the freeze on the elevator had interfered with its signals. It was not the parking level for general use they had reached. It was the transportation dock one level further down for prisoners on their way out of the precinct.

A spare blond man with blank eyes, his hands cuffed behind him stood before the elevator, flanked by two officers.

The cops in both parties looked at each other in dismay. This wasn't supposed to have happened.

The child took a step back behind the three adults, who all moved up together in a common front. The father swept a protective arm back, around his son.

The master of the scene was the maniac.

"Captain Banks. And his disrespectful little boy. I already told your daddy this isn't over, and now I'm telling you, too, Junior."

The two officers moved together to grip the arms of the prisoner, and the middle of the three men in the elevator lunged forward. "You son of a bitch! All you can think about is taunting a child you've already terrorised?"

"Whoa, hold on there, Chief!" Jim grabbed Sandburg's left forearm and dragged him back.

"I'm gonna take him down," Sandburg said, struggling.

"No, you're not!"

"Let go, Jim!"

"Captain, I could use a little help here!"

It was none too soon. Sandburg was within a step or two of the so-called freedom fighter.

"Sandburg, calm down! That's an order!" Banks took the right arm and hauled backwards.

"You are a traitor to this proud nation, Lieutenant Sadsack. It's no wonder you stick up for your own kind."

"That's tears it!"

"No!"

"Let me go!

"Calm down!"

The medium-sized man struggled titanically with his big captors. The child looked on with big eyes. The prisoner smiled a proud and twisted smile

Finally the two very big men seemed to have subdued the one in the middle. He sank back against them, and they relaxed, though they still held him firmly.

The blond man with the blank eyes opened his mouth for another insult when the man in the middle suddenly swung both legs up together, using his captors as a springboard, and piloted both feet toward the hateful face of the man who made war on children in the name of justice.

THUD-THUNK.

"All RIGHT, all RIGHT, all RIGHT!" came the chant from behind the three men.

The blond man with the blank eyes had landed a yard backwards, on his butt.

"Jee-zus!" said one of the officers who had been holding Kincaid, but it wasn't said in anger.

The two officers yanked their prisoner back up, and Sandburg was helped by his friends to regain his footing.

"God damn it, Sandburg! Get that man up and out of here, officers!"

"Quit it now, Chief!" Detective Ellison was holding Blair Sandburg up, now that all the fight had gone out of him, expended in that one burst of violence.

The two uniforms begin to haul Kincaid away, when he recovered his aplomb and started declaiming. "I do believe that is called police brutality, Lieutenant Sadsack." He licked a trickle of blood from his lip. " I do believe you have shown just how much injustice your so-called justice system actually deals out."

Blair Sandburg smiled at Daryl and Simon and Jim, then kept the smile as he faced Kincaid again. "Big news flash, Kincaid. I am not a cop."

The blond man with blank eyes opened them wider.

"Yeah, man, he's not a cop, so he can take you apart, Kink-aid!"

Daryl smiles from his daddy to his friend Detective Ellison and to his newest hero, Blair Sandburg, who was not a cop.

And through all the afterwards, with the threat of charging Sandburg with assault and the private wishes that both cops held that they had done it themselves, and the assurances to Daryl that this was a heinous piece of violence that he should never ever attempt to emulate and that Blair was very sorry he let Daryl see him do such a thing, because he let down his own values, and had someone ripped the bullethole in his sleeve wider 'cause he thought it reached all the way down to his red Henley now and what would patching it all cost, the loud smile never quite left any of the faces of the four travellers in the elevator.

And they were absolutely certain that all four of them needed showers at Simon's and pizza with Daryl, and when the younger set took the first round of showers, the older set ordered two Supremo Maximo pizza's with wings and laid out sweatsuits for temporary wear, wondering how much trauma Daryl would be carrying around. But when they emerged from their showers, Jim shushed Simon, listening to the conversation going on over Supremo Maximo slices which seemed to concern girls, music, girls, school, girls and pizza, and he reported back each word.

When he got to the part where Daryl yawned, and Blair yawned and said it was contagious, and they both yawned and put down their pizza slices, Jim and Simon trod softly into Simon's living room where the pizza gleamed with oily gustatation, ignored, and the two youngest of the four in the elevator party were dozing in an L-formation, heads together at the intersection of the wraparound couch.

"What'll we do with them, Captain?" Jim asked sotto voce, a softness to his features that Simon Banks was amazed and delighted to see. Jim placed an afghan over Daryl, pulling it up to cover the boy's shoulders.

"Leave them for the night. They're fed"—they had managed to destroy one Supremo Maximo all by themselves—"and comfortable. I'll give Sandburg a lift to the U tomorrow."

And Jim saw that same extraordinary gentleness settle on Simon Bank's face too, as he took a blanket from a settle across the room and shook it delicately over Blair Sandburg's sleeping form.

"He was asking what it would take, Simon."

"Huh? What do you mean, Jim?"

"Sandburg. Asking what it would take for Daryl to get over this trauma."

"It hasn't exactly gone away, has it?" Simon asked sadly.

"No, but it's a start. And this, you know. I think this is what it's gonna take, Simon."

Simon was puzzled as he glanced at his best friend. But when he looked down at his son sleeping warm and secure in his father's home, with an everyman who had done a helluva job of protecting him sleeping the sleep of the just, and his own father, and his best detective, taking the first watch of the night, Simon looked past the boundaries between them as individuals and saw the bonding of trust that ran soul-deep throughout and was the only proof possible against the mass insanity that had nearly destroyed them all that day.

And he was a grateful man with a loud smile in his heart.

~ End ~


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