Disclaimer: The Sentinel, Blair Sandburg, Jim Ellison, Simon Banks, and all other characters are property of Paramount and Pet Fly. No copyright infringement is intended, and no money has exchanged hands.

Just Another RTA

by Leesa Perrie

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Time was playing games with him. A fast paced morning, followed by a slow paced afternoon. A sigh, followed by the wish for someone to tell him how his two men were doing. He looked around the waiting room. The TV was on in the corner, showing cartoons for one bored teenager, and magazines were rustling as adults tried to occupy themselves, waiting to hear about a loved one or a friend. He wasn't the only one waiting for news.

Another sigh, wishing this time for a book to read. Something to distract his mind. Something other than women's magazines or a crass cartoon show. There was nothing.

The accident had been caused by an arrogant business man. Too busy to stop for a red light, he had tried to run it instead. And had crashed into Jim's truck. So here he was, waiting for news on two of his men, in hospital thanks to one man's impatience. The man in question was reasonably fine; shaken, shocked and probably going to suffer from whiplash for a while. He had been booked for reckless driving. Jim's injuries were more severe, but that was all he knew. No news on anyone else, not yet.

A third sigh escaped. Henri and Rafe had offered to come down, but they were working a big case that was close to breaking, so he had told them to keep on with that. He had promised to ring when he had news though.

Megan, too, had wanted to come down, but he had asked her to contact family and friends. No doubt she would be down as soon as she had done that. Maybe that would be a good idea, she could help him with family when they arrived. He wasn't looking forward to that, and hoped he would at least have some information to give by then. He hoped he would have some information soon for himself.

As if someone had read his mind, a doctor appeared and called his name.

"I'm Captain Banks. What can you tell me about my men's conditions?"

"I'm Dr Taylor, and I'm in charge of Detective Ellison. I don't know about the other patient, but I'll see if I can find out anything for you. What I can tell you, is that Detective Ellison's injuries weren't as severe as first feared. In fact, he has been quite lucky, all things considered. He has a concussion. It doesn't appear too bad, but we'll be keeping an eye on it all the same. He also has a broken leg and arm, both clean breaks, and two cracked ribs, with the others being badly bruised. Otherwise, he has a lot of bruises and some cuts, but nothing serious. We were worried about internal bleeding, but have found no evidence of that. He will be in some pain for a while and have limited mobility, so we'll be keeping him in for a few days at least."

Simon sighed, this time in relief.

"So, he's going to be okay?"

"I'd say so, but he won't be a happy camper for a while."

"I think we can all live with that, given the alternatives," Simon smiled grimly.

"Well, I'll go and check with my colleagues and see what I can find out for you about, Captain Taggert, is it?"

"Yes. Thank you."

The doctor left, and Simon was about to find a phone when a mini-cyclone of flannel and hair entered the waiting room, zeroing in on him straight away.

"Simon! How's Jim? And Joel? Any news yet?"

"The doctor's just been out about Jim. He'll be okay, though he's not going to be happy for a while yet. I don't know about Joel, the doctor has gone to see what he can find out for me."

"Jim's gonna be okay? You sure?"

"Yes, Sandburg. He's got a broken leg and arm, two cracked ribs, a concussion and a lot of bruising, but nothing life threatening."

"Oh man, that's great. I mean, considering the alternatives," Blair sighed in relief, "I hope Joel's gonna be okay as well."

"We'll just have to wait to find out. How did you get here so fast? I thought you were lecturing at some big conference at Rainier, and wouldn't be contactable until this evening?"

"Megan managed to contact the organisers, and they let me know. Professor Stone, who was due to be lecturing tomorrow, stepped in to do the rest of today's lectures. I'll have to be there tomorrow to give the last of mine. It's a good job that everyone is booked to attend all the sessions, so the mix up shouldn't be too disruptive for the attendees. Man, there's no way I could have concentrated once I heard about the accident. Has anyone mentioned Jim's allergies to the doctors? I'd better go do that…"

"Sandburg! Breathe, won't you? And yes, I've mentioned that he has allergies, and the staff assured me he wouldn't be given any medication without checking his medical records first. He'll be fine. It's not like it's the first time they've had to deal with him."

"No. No, I guess not."

"I'm sure we'll be able to see him in a short while. He'll probably want to go home, but he's going to have to be in for a few days, at least."

"Oh boy, that's not gonna be a pretty sight! He's gonna be a real grouch! I don't envy the nurses, man."

Simon smiled.

"Neither do I, Sandburg, neither do I. But I'm sure they'll cope. Now, I'd better let the bullpen know that Jim's going to be okay. I did promise to ring as soon as there was any news."

"Okay."

Simon was about to leave, when Dr Taylor re-entered the waiting room and headed over to him.

"Captain Banks?"

"Yes, do you have any news on Captain Taggert?"

"Yes. It seems that Captain Taggert has a broken arm and various bruises. Fortunately, the car hit them side on, and Captain Taggert was on the side that wasn't hit. I'm sorry it has taken so long to get the information to you, but things have been rather manic today. Anyway, Captain Taggert is just having his arm set, and then can be released to go home."

Both Simon and Blair sighed in relief.

"Thank you for letting us know. Can you let Captain Taggert know that there'll be someone waiting to take him home?"

"Yes, I'll do that. Once again, apologies for the delay."

The doctor left, just as Megan and Joel's wife entered the waiting room.

"I'll ring the bullpen, while you give them the news," Blair offered.

"Fine."

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A Few Hours Later

"Hey, Jim, what do you think you're doing?" came Blair's voice from the doorway to Jim's hospital room.

Jim paused in his efforts to get up from his bed.

"I'm going to get myself signed out of here," he growled.

Blair rolled his eyes.

"Jim, you need to stay in. I mean, look at you? You can't even get up without help, and I bet it hurts like crazy."

"I'm going to go home." Jim answered in a belligerent tone.

Blair sighed. This was not going to be fun.

"You're not coming home until you're released by the doctors. You sign out AMA and you'll get no help from me when you get home. None."

"I don't need your help," said Jim, as he struggled to get upright.

"Oh sure," Blair watched Jim's struggles, "you're doing really well at getting up on your own, aren't you? And how are you gonna manage to do anything with both your left leg and arm in plaster, not to mention your poor, abused ribs?"

Jim laid back, exhausted by his futile efforts, and panting against the pain.

"You wait until the doctors let you go, and I'll give you all the help you need. And you might want to turn that pain dial down some, while we're at it."

Jim scowled, but realised that Blair was right. As much as he hated hospitals, he knew he couldn't manage on his own. He'd been hoping to have signed himself out before Blair had arrived so that Blair wouldn't have known it had been against medical advice, and would have been willing to help Jim, without Jim needing to acknowledge his need for that help. After all, a man had to have some pride, right? And he really did hate hospitals. A lot.

Just then, Simon entered the room.

"Hi, Jim, how are you feeling?"

"Frustrated. Not to mention oppressed."

"Oppressed?" Simon raised his eyebrow.

"Because I won't help him if he goes home against medical advice." Blair said, with a smirk.

"Oh. Sounds reasonable to me."

"Thanks," muttered Jim, darkly.

"On a happier note, you'll be glad to know that the garage reckon they can repair your truck, though it might take a while. Not that you'll be driving anytime soon, anyway. Going to cost a packet, though."

"Great." Jim winced at the thought of the cost.

"At least this time you can get the other guy's insurance to pay. That'll make a nice change for you," he continued, with a smirk.

"Simon, with all due respect, why don't you go…"

"Ah, ah, ah. Don't go there, detective." Simon put on his best 'captain' look.

Blair laughed.

"Don't know why you're laughing, Chief?" Jim muttered, "I'll just borrow the Volvo if need be."

"Uh, uh, no way, man. You want to go somewhere, then I'll play taxi driver, but you're not driving my car. No way! Besides, you won't be driving for a few weeks anyway, and I'm sure that 'sweetheart' will be back by then."

"Sweetheart? Jim, tell me you don't call your truck 'sweetheart'?"

Blair nodded. Jim blushed. Simon laughed.

"If you tell anyone, I'll have to kill you, sir."

"You shouldn't have said that with Sandburg here as a witness."

"Hey, I'm keeping out of this," Blair protested.

"No, you started it, Chief. And I think I should return the favour. Hey, Simon, do you know what Sandburg calls his car?"

"I don't call it anything, other than a classic, honest, Simon," declared Blair.

"I don't know what you call it, but I'd call it a hunk of metal looking for a junkyard," Simon stated.

"Hey! Not fair!"

"He calls it….." Jim started.

"Oh no, you don't!" Blair interrupted, trying to put his hand over Jim's mouth. Jim pushed Blair's hand away with his good hand, and then quickly told Simon before Blair could stop him.

And Simon nearly choked on his laughter.

The End

Author's Note 1: So what does Blair call his beloved classic Volvo? I guess you'll have to ask Simon or Jim, won't you?

Author's Note 2: RTA stands for 'Road Traffic Accident'

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