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.
Warnings: This story is rather angsty.
Author's Notes: With thanks to SentinelWorkshop and the members thereof for feedback on this piece. Kate's list is a terrific place to test out your writing, and find inspiration or fixes when a work proves ornery. <g>
The Sinner in the Saint
Simon Banks glared at their backs. What the hell had gotten into Ellison? For that matter, what the hell had happened to his own good sense?
He groaned. This was never going to work. A civvie riding with Ellison, the hardass, the man who cracked cases with his bare hands? A candy-ass. A student-teacher. A punk.
Something deep inside him twinged. Simon sighed; it was his conscience, his very active and demanding conscience. Guilt rode him. Okay, okay. So maybe it wasn't that the kid was riding with Ellison. That would take care of itself. Ellison would be back inside his office demanding he pull the observer's credentials before noon the next day. He should make book on it with the rest of the 'tecs in his department. He had Daryl's education fund to think of.
But Ellison! Jim. Premier detective and Simon's best friend. How could he had have fallen for the con artist's tricks? Simon had better look out for Jim, because he surely wasn't looking out for himself, and as captain of Major Crime, Simon Banks was in exactly the right position to do it. Sandburg would find himself on the other side of the bars in no time, once Simon caught him in the act, the little swindler.
It had to be an act. Sentinels? The thin blue line shit the kid had shovelled stank, but the fairy tale he wove afterwards reeked to high heaven. And Jim had bought into it. Damn! He ought to have given the man the leave of absence he'd all but begged for; the pressures of Simon's job had overtaken his judgement; he'd let Jim down both as friend and superior. Stillturning to Sandburg for help? God, but that was a bitter pill to swallow.
Even more bitter... Simon tried to stuff it down, but that twinge was sharper now and he couldn't let himself be blinded to his motivations. What he'd done to Jim, he'd done for political reasons, because of the pressure to solve the Switchman case, and he ought not to hide that from himself. He owed it to his men to face squarely what was going on inside him, how he was being influenced against his wishes and his honour, and who was doing it, as well. It was the least he owed Jim, seeing what he'd brought him to. But there was more to it than that. The twinge wasn't going away.
Time for brutal frankness. He was jealous of Sandburg. There it was, pure and simple. Jimhis best friend for years, the cop he'd swiped from Vice with glee in his heart, the man he'd gone to the mat for again and again when his 'tude put the detective's career in jeopardy. And Jim had gone to Sandburg for help. What an insult! Gall corroded the police captain's throat.
Yet there was that twinge, again! Simon had gotten sidetracked. Brutal frankness demanded he re-examine his soul. It wasn't only doubting Sandburg, the faker. It wasn't even jealousy over Jim, though Simon didn't want to share, not at all, not with that punk kid. It wasn't the hit his pride had taken, right where it hurt. There was something far bigger than doubt, jealousy and insult.
What it really was, was envy. That's what it was, and Simon hated himself inside even more than he hated the thought of the kid taking over Jim's mind and heart.
Jim, after all, was merely his best friend. It was going to work out for Jim anyway: he couldn't be fooled forever, and when he caught on, Sandburg had better be on the other side of the continent, because Jim enraged was a dangerous man. Simon was almost sorry for the punk. Almost, but not quite.
Diversion, again. Simon fisted his hands and brought them down hard on the desktop. Brutal frankness wasn't easy. He pinched the bridge of his nose, and tried again.
Envy. Ugly envy. Ungracious. Evil, yes, evil, too. He was envious of Sandburg.
For Jim Ellison wasn't the only person Sandburg had helped, when it should have been Simon. Sandburg had intruded into Simon Banks' life twice, the first time before they had even met, but the second time, he had ripped away at another relationship, one Simon would never let go. He would never let go of Daryl Banks, no matter that the court order gave him to Joan. His baby, his fourteen-year-old son, his troubled child, who owed his life to Blair Sandburg, and who couldn't stop talking about him.
It had been 'Blair this' and 'Blair that' and 'Daddy, did you know Blair did the other?' All day long, all night long, until Daryl's visit ended and he was returned to his mother's custody. God, Simon had been grateful that his son had been vouchsafed to him. He was grateful. He always would be. Kincaid having his men hold Daryl by the heels outside the window of Major Crime on the seventh floordear Jesus, but that was the worst thing he'd ever seen, and he hoped never to see such a thing again in his life.
Simon had tried to save him. Jim had held him back, by main force. It wasn't sane, of course. One cop against an army of wacko militarists. Not sane. But it was loving, and Simon had been more than willing to die for his son's sake. No one on earth held Simon Banks' heart like Daryl did. He got there, or, rather, he and Jim did, but by that time, Sandburg had used his facile lies so cleverly that Kincaid had taken him hostage, rather than The Police Captain's Son, who was the obvious choice.
Oh, God. Simon had been Daryl's hero, until Sandburg came along. Now Sandburg was Daryl's hero, with huzzahs and triumphal marches blaring his name and fame in Simon Banks' ears. Simon would never regain that hitherto unique status in Daryl's eyes, not entirely. He had to share Daryl with Sandburg, who had done what his father could not, and for that, Simon thought, he would resent Blair Sandburg forever.
Guilt: jealousy, pride, envy, anger. Simon Banks was human, with all the human frailties, and he knew it. He was also devout, a believing man. He said a brief prayer. Let me deal honourably with Blair Sandburg, oh, Lord.
But, God help him, he still wanted the little son of a bitch dead.
~ End ~
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