Sentinel is and most probably will be owned by UPN/Paramount networks.

Same disclaimer as all the rest, that we don't own the guys or get anything from doing this, just our continued love for the show and its characters....

I want to thank Shycat98 (chris) and bonnie for doing the betaing for this story. without them who knows how long it would take till it would have been posted. Thanks gals for a wonderful job. Hugs Brenda

The Tour

by Brenda Knoodle

********************

The day started out in the loft of Jim Ellison and his guide, Blair Sandburg.

Jim came down the steps of the loft in his boxers and robe that hung open. "Morning, Chief. You're up early?"

"Yeah, today's the day Daryl and his class come for a tour of the campus," Blair said, bubbly as he always was.

"How did he manage to con you into this anyway?" Jim asked, taking the cup of coffee that Blair had handed him.

Blair laughed a little, "Well, I told him if he got an A+ in Math and English I'd give a tour with the works all day. Believe it or not, I hadn't seen Simon more proud of Daryl as I did the day he came to the station after school with his report card to show his dad his grades and to tell me I lost the bet. So I set it all up for today. My calendar at the university has been cleared. So I am the center of attention. So what's your agenda for the day Jim?"

"Nothing much, finishing up some paper work then I might take half day vacation and just relax." Jim smiled.

"OK. Well, I gotta run," Blair grabbed his jacket and backpack and headed for the door.

"You'll be home for dinner right?" asked Jim before Blair got out the door.

"Yeah, sure, your night to cook," laughed Blair and quickly went out the door before Jim could say or do anything. Jim laughed and then saw the door open back up slightly and Blair pop back in and reach for the basket that sat by the door and grab his keys. Then he was gone in a shot again. Jim laughed and shook his head at his young energetic friend, and went upstairs to get ready for work.

******************** Blair arrived at the university early like he had planned. He went over a few test papers for class that he still needed to grade. After about a half-hour he grabbed his lecture book and headed outside to the front steps by the fountain to wait for Daryl and his class to show up. Just as Blair walked out the front doors a school bus pulled up in front of the steps and stopped. Blair took a deep breath and walked down the steps toward the bus. Daryl was the first one to get off the bus.

"Hey, Blair!" Daryl greeted excitedly. He was glad to see Blair. He liked hanging around with Blair even if his dad didn't like him to do so. Blair, he said, was a bad influence on Daryl, but at least he got him to study harder. For that, Simon was thankful and for the friend he had become to Jim over the past several years.

"Hi, Daryl," said Blair giving Daryl a high five.

A man then stepped off the bus and Daryl said, "Uh, Blair Sandburg this is Mr. Travis, the English teacher."

Mr. Travis and Blair shook hands. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Sandburg."

"Please, it's Blair," said Blair, smiling as the others started to file off the bus.

"It was nice of you to give the tour of your campus here."

"Hey, thank Daryl, I told him if he got an A in English and Math I would give him and his class the tour."Blair smiled at Daryl, who you could tell was embarrassed about what Blair had said.

"I wish I knew how you did it. I've been trying to get him to do better for a long time. And when he told me the day report cards came out that he'd made a bet if he got an A in math and English, which he did, you would give the class a tour of the university. I must say we were impressed that you had that much influence on him."

"I'm just glad he got the good grades and that you were all able to come for the day." Blair smiled. He turned to the other 15 students who were able to come to the campus for the day and said, "If you all will follow me please, I'll take you to the lecture hall and we can get started."

As Blair led the way several girls brought up the rear of the line. They talked and giggled about how cute Blair was and his gorgeous eyes and hair. Blair knew they were talking about him and wished Jim was there to tell him what they were saying about him. They soon arrived to the lecture hall. It was huge and in a horseshoe shape. "Please everyone find a seat," said Mr. Travis.

Once everyone was seated, Blair and Mr. Travis walked to the podium and Mr. Travis said, "All right, class, attention please. I know you're all excited about being here, but first we want to remember we are representing our school here today, need I say more? We would like to thank Mr. Sandburg for taking the time out of his busy schedule today to give us a tour of the campus. Now I'll let Mr. Sandburg take it from here."

Blair took a deep breath and walked up to the podium mike to be heard better. He was used to talking with his students on anthropology, not a bunch of students from high school.

"Hi, I'm Blair Sandburg, but please just call me Blair. If you call me Mr. Sandburg it makes me feel like one of the older professors and I am not that old." The kids laughed a little. "OK, guess I'll start off by telling you about myself and what I do. I am a grad student in anthropology and working on getting my doctorate. An anthropologist is a person who finds out about past places and how they worked and find out about cultures that are still alive today and how things were done hundreds of years ago for there customs," said Blair. "I like what I do. I've been in to ancient cultures since I was little. Something about the way things were done hundred of years ago just fascinates me. Sometimes it can be boring, but I have traveled all over the world and participated with other cultures' rituals. My experience with anthropology has also been helpful with the police department. So I have been teamed up with Detective Ellison for now, but strictly as an observer."

********************

Meanwhile:

Detective Ellison had arrived at the station and went into Captain Simon Banks' office. "Morning, Simon."

Simon looked up, "Hey, Jim, how's it going?"

"Pretty good sir. Uh, I was wondering if I get done with what work is on my desk if I could possibly take a half-a-day vacation."

"Would this have anything to do with Blair being at the university all day with Daryl's class?"

"Maybe." Jim smiled.

"Sure, no problem; but if something comes up I will call and you had best respond." Simon smiled.

"You know I always do, sir," said Jim. "Oh, and Simon: Thanks."

"No, actually thank you for your friendship with Sandburg, who got my kid to get 2 As on his report card. I have never seen one of those on there before."

"Yeah, but the price of getting it a day with a class of kids and Daryl at the university," laughed Jim.

"Yeah, wonder how it's going."

"I'm sure we'll both find out later tonight," laughed Jim and went to his desk as Simon nodded at the remark.

Jim did his paperwork that took most of the morning. Around noon he went into Simon's office.

"Sir?" Jim said, walking into the office.

"Yeah, Jim?"

"Uh, just wanted to let you know I'm out of here for the rest of the day. You want to go grab some lunch?"

"You know what, that sounds great. Let me finish this report and then we're out of here."

"OK, meet you in a few minutes," Jim confirmed as he walked out the door.

Soon Simon was finished with his report and met Jim at his desk. "OK, I'm ready to go." Jim grabbed his coat and they walked out the door. As they got onto the elevator Simon asked, "OK, where do we want to eat?"

Jim looked at Simon and they both said, "Wonderburger," and laughed.

Jim and Simon drove across town to Wonderburger,ordered, sat down and began eating.

********************

Across town at campus:

Blair had finished talking and answering any questions. He then took the kids around campus for a tour. Around noon they then went back to a picnic area and had lunch.

******************** Meanwhile across town across from Wonderburger at the First Nation Bank:

"Everyone down on the floor and the first one to hit the alarm dies!" yelled a man in a sky mask.

He and 5 others were holding up the bank. They hurriedly gathered up the money from the tellers and the bank safe without incident and left the building quickly.

********************

Meanwhile, across the street Simon and Jim sat eating lunch. Jim's hearing kicked in just as the robbers entered the building.

"Uh, sir," said Jim, looking across the street.

"Jim, what's up?"

"Bank's being robbed," said Jim, getting up and going outside.

Simon followed and as he neared the door he held up his badge and said, "Captain Banks, Cascade PD. Please, everyone stay in the building and someone dial 911 and tell them the bank across the street is being robbed, officers need back up." He then took off outside after Jim, who was running across the street.

Just as Jim neared the front to the building the robbers came outside the front door. "HOLD IT, CASCADE PD!" yelled Jim with his gun aimed.

Two of the robbers ran for a parked van and got in. The other 3 aimed their automatic weapons and opened fire. Jim drove behind a car, as did Simon. Several people on the street also took cover from the gunfire. The 3 men flooded the street with gunfire, setting off car alarms and blowing up a couple of cars for cover. They then ran and got into the van.

Jim jumped to his feet and ran into the street firing at the van. Just as he took a couple of shots, the back of the van opened up and two men stood in back firing at Jim. Jim drove for cover as the van turned the corner.

Simon ran to Jim. "Are you all right?"

"Dammit!" said Jim, getting to his feet. "Yeah, I'm all right, Simon. Come on, we're gonna lose them," he yelled running to his truck parked across the street. Jim and Simon got in and Simon radioed telling they were in pursuit of the bank robbers. They followed behind the robbers in pursuit of them. But with the way it goes sometimes, someone pulled out in front of Jim causing him to swerve and miss hitting the vehicle. He hit an embankment and the truck stalled. Jim jumped out of the truck and ran into the street with his gun drawn.

"Dammit!" yelled Jim as Simon joined him.

"Come on, Jim. Let's try and find out were they went." Jim went back to the truck and got in along with Simon. Jim started the truck up and pulled out trying to find the way the robbers had went. After a few minutes of looking and listening they returned to the bank scene.

They pulled up in front of the bank and got out. Several officers were there, taking statements from the people inside.

"Hey, guys, wondering where you went to," said Rafe as they walked into the bank.

"We went after them, but someone cut us off and we lost them," Simon explained.

"Anything here?" asked Jim.

"Well, we think one of you guys must've hit one of them cause there's blood out on the sidewalk in front of the building," Brown said, joining them.

"I want an APB on the van," said Simon, handing the number, make and model of the van to Rafe.

"I'll put it out right know," said Rafe and walked off.

"OK, let's get the video camera and see if we can pick up anything. Jim," said Simon and he and Jim went to look at the video of the robbery. Jim watched as the robbery took place on the view screen. He noticed no one was injured which was good. He'd seen to many robberies where someone tried to stop the robbers only to get injured or even killed. All had done the right thing and did as they were told.

They watched the tape, but Jim picked up nothing. Simon then switched the tapes to the video of what happened outside. When the van drove off, the video camera had a shot of the license plate that no one but Jim could read.

"Simon," said Jim and nodded at the man sitting behind the console running the tape. "Back it up some." The man did until Jim said, "hold."

Simon asked, "Uh, could you get me Detective Brown please?" The guy nodded and left the room. "What do you got, Jim?"

"License plate number and something else," Jim said and he zoned in his eyes on the window of the van. Then after a second come back to normal.

"Well?" asked Simon.

"Plate number is ZE261 Cascade but in the corner of the left rear window is a sticker that has Rainier University on it," Jim said, looking at Simon.

"There are hundreds of people who attend that campus, Jim. Anyone could have one of those stickers."

"Yeah, but this one is dated for yesterday as an admittance date. This person goes to the campus."

"OK, so you're saying..." said Simon, looking at Jim.

"I think they're heading for the university. They have one man injured," said Jim as he headed out the door with Simon close on his heels.

"Rafe, Brown, let's go. Follow us. We think they're headed for the university," yelled Simon.

Jim and Simon climbed into Jim's truck and headed for the university.

********************

Meanwhile at the university:

Blair had finished giving the tour of the campus and they all went to the sports arena. They had some time to kill before they had to go back to their school. The sports area was a little off to the side of the rest of the building. Blair and Mr. Travis stood by the back of the building as the kids played basketball or just shot hoops.

"Blair, it's great that you let the kids come for the day; I think they have had a great time. I really appreciate it. I was wondering if maybe we could set up arrangements to come visit each semester. I think it would be great for them."

"Hey, its no problem. I really was nervous about the kids coming, because I hadn't ever given a tour of the campus before. But it seems to have gone fine. Seems the kids enjoyed themselves."

"I am impressed with your ability to get him to do his work. I was wondering what was up when he started getting As in the class, turning in homework and passing the test. I was shocked when I figured his grade and he got an A+ in the class. When he told me that he had made an arrangement with you about coming here if he got As, I was shocked that you had that much influence on him."

"I met Daryl when his mom and dad were going through their divorce. He needed someone to talk to and I just happened to be there when he needed a friend. We've been through a lot together." Blair smiled.

"I'm glad he has a friend he can turn to if he needs one," said Mr. Travis. "Well, if you'll excuse me I think I'll go show these kids how to shoot some hoops."

Blair laughed and watched as Mr. Travis went over to join his students. Blair stood there for a second, watching them play. He decided that maybe he'd go join them. Just as he was gonna start toward the kids he heard the door open behind them and turned to see who had just entered the arena. He saw a couple of men walk in and started toward them.

"Excuse me..." Blair never got to finish his sentence. Next thing he knew something hard struck him across the face. Blair fell to the floor unconscious.

The men drew their guns and shot a couple of rounds into the ceiling. Mr. Travis and his students all dropped to the floor, covering their heads from any debris that may fall from the ceiling. "All right, everyone stay down and don't move and you won't get hurt!" yelled one of the men. The rest of them came through the door, two men carrying another man. They took him over and laid him on one of the benches.

"He's not good," said one of them.

"All right, you," pointing to the teacher. "Find the first aid kit. And a couple of you kids move the hippie guy out of the doorway," the man in charge ordered.

Mr. Travis did as he was told, he had an idea where it was kept. He went with one of the other guards to find the kit. Daryl and another kid got up and went over to Blair and half-dragged half-carried him over to the rest that were all sitting in a group now.

The man who had hit Blair came over to the group and said, "Who's in charge of this group?"

"He is," said Daryl, looking down at Blair.

"Oops, hit the wrong guy, huh?" The man grinned.

"Just back off MAN!" Daryl exclaimed.

The man pointed his gun at Daryl and said, "I would watch my mouth and not try anything, kid, or someone could get hurt worse then he already is."

By then Mr. Travis had come out of the back with the first aid kit and went to the man who had been shot. As he was about to touch him one of the other gunmen shoved him away. "Listen to me! I have medic training. I run with a life squad on the weekends. I can help him if you'll let me." The man in charge nodded at the other man. He then addressed the hostages, "OK, listen up, kiddies. I know you're all scared and if you could leave you would. But since we arrived, doesn't look like you're gonna be going anywhere for a while. I want you all to relax and just sit tight and don't move around or talk. Just sit there quietly while I talk with my friends here and find out what we're gonna do about you." He smiled.

He walked back over to his friends as Mr. Travis tended to the wounded man. "Jay, Steven isn't doing too good. That teacher says he could die if not gotten to a hospital soon."

"All right, John, settle down," Jay said.

"What are we gonna do? We are here with a grad student, a high school teacher and a bunch of high school kids?" asked Barry.

"Grad Student?" asked Jay, the one who was in charge.

"Yeah, the one you hit, Blair Sandburg, he's in charge of the anthropology department. He's pretty well known around here." Barry started pacing and got a ghostly white color to his face. "Oh man," he said, running his fingers through his hair. "Oh man!" he said again. The man had suddenly become very upset.

"Barry! What's gotten into you? Settle down for god's sake," said Jay. Getting a little frustrated by the pacing and the sudden change of moods on his friend.

"Oh god, I forgot about that," said Barry still pacing.

"FORGOT WHAT!" yelled Jay, demanding to know what was going on.

Barry stopped in his tracks and took a deep breath. "Blair Sandburg also is a consultant for the Police department. I heard him talking with one of the other anthropology students about how he helped a Detective at the police station on his work as a consultant. We have a cop's partner hostage, man. What are we gonna do now?"

"First off, you need to settle down. We'll take this one thing at a time. Go find some rope and tie them all up. Make sure the cop lover is tied really good. I want to make sure there is no way for him to get loose and warn his friends that we're here."

Barry went to do as Jay had said. Mr. Travis had done his best with the wounded man and now stood up to walk towards Blair.

"Hold it, teacher. Where do you think you are going?"

"I'm going over to check on Blair and bandage that gash on his forehead from where someone hit him," said Mr. Travis, cocky.

Jay walked over to him and said, "If I were you I would watch how you talk to me. I'm the only one who says you get to walk out of here alive."

Mr. Travis walked over to Daryl and the other kids. Blair was lying on his back, still unconscious. His head rested on Daryl's backpack. Mr. Travis knelt down next to him.

"Is he gonna be all right?" asked Daryl.

"Yeah, I think so, Daryl. Don't worry, OK. Or the rest of you. We'll get out of this. Just do as you're told and stay calm."

"Oh I know we'll be fine," said Daryl.

"Oh? And how do you know this Daryl? Got some hidden talent we don't know about?" smiled Mr. Travis.

"No," smiled Daryl. "But when I first met Blair, the police station was being held hostage along with me and anyone at the station, and Blair kept his cool and even took out 2 of the men. They took him hostage and tried to use him to get away, but he kept his cool and ended up coming out of it along with the rest of us." Daryl stroked back Blair's hair as Mr. Travis put a bandage on the gash on his forehead.

"That's good, Daryl, but remember all of you what Blair did; he kept his cool. And Daryl I wouldn't let any of these guys know who your dad is, OK? That could add for more trouble." Daryl nodded at the teacher.

Blair then moaned a little and put his hand to his forehead. "What happened?" he asked confused. "Oh my head," he said weakly.

"Relax, Blair," Daryl said.

"What hit me?" Blair tried to sit up, only to be held down by Mr.Travis.

"Easy, buddy. You took a nasty blow to the head and you may have a concussion. You need to take it easy for a few," said Mr. Travis.

Sandburg looked around at all the kids gathered around him. He could tell by Daryl's face that something wasn't right. "What's going on? What's wrong?"

"We have some unwanted guests, Blair," said Mr. Travis.

Blair turned his head; he could see the 3 men with guns standing around. "How many?" he asked, his voice low.

"There are 5 total. One's been shot he's in bad shape."

"What do they want?" asked Blair. He hadn't seen Jay walk over to the group.

"What we want is just some time till we can get out of here. And we don't want any heroes trying to stop us either," said Jay. Barry then returned with some rope he'd found in one of the exercise rooms. He walked up to Jay and the others.

"Barry Stevens, what in the world?" asked Blair.

"Uh, sorry, Blair. Uh, I found the rope, Jay," said Barry and then handed the rope to Jay.

"All right, I want all of you to have a seat on the bench over there," Jay said loudly so all could hear and pointed to the bleachers.

Mr. Travis and Daryl helped Blair to his feet. They walked over to the bleachers and they all sat down.

"What's going on?" asked Blair as Barry and several others started to tie the students' hands behind their backs.

"We're just making sure that no one tries anything," Jay said as he tied Blair's hands behind him. Once all of them were tied, Jay grabbed Blair by the front of his shirt and yanked him to his feet.

"What are you doing?" yelled Daryl and stood up as if to protect Blair. One of the guards pushed him back down to sitting by the shoulders.

"I want to talk to you for a minute, cop lover!" and he half-shoved half-threw Blair across the gym.

Blair landed hard on the floor on his left side; he grunted as he landed. All he could do was lie there, gritting his teeth against the pain he felt as he landed hard on the wooden floor. Two men picked Blair up by his arms and hauled him across the gym to the other set of bleachers and sat him down.

Jay walked over to Blair and demanded, "All right, what I want is to know what kinda connections you have with the police force?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Blair.

"Oh I think you do. Maybe this will refresh your memory," Jay punched Blair in the stomach as hard as he could. Blair doubled over with pain and gasped for air.

"BLAIR!" Daryl yelled and stood up. He was once again forced to sit back down.

Jay turned to Daryl and said, "I wouldn't do that again if I were you, young lad." He then said to Benny, "Go through their stuff. Find out who we have here." Benny nodded and Jay turned back to Blair. "All right I'll ask you again. Who do you know in the police force with pull?"

"Drop dead!"

Jay wiped his face and started to turn away from Blair and then turned back and punched him in the jaw as hard as he could, knocking Sandburg off the bench to the floor, where he lay stunned. Jay then walked around behind Blair's back, knelt down behind him and whispered in his ear. "I will make you talk so you best start talking and soon. I don't think you can take a lot of this if I guess right."

"Now one more time: who do you know in the police department," Jay demanded.

Blair didn't say a word. He wasn't going to give in to this jerk if it killed him. Jay was running out of patience with Blair. He grabbed Sandburg's right hand, took his four fingers and yanked back as hard as he could. Blair cried out in pain as the fingers snapped. He then fell silent as he blacked out from the pain.

"BLAIR!" cried Daryl again.

Jay walked over to Daryl who stayed sitting this time. "Am I to understand that you know this guy personally?" Jay asked.

"Yeah he's my friend. And you had best leave him alone."

"Daryl! Enough!" said Mr. Travis sharply only to have Jay backhand him across the face.

"Shut up!" he told Mr. Travis. Mr. Travis was stunned by the blow but just looked up at Jay who had Daryl by the shirt front. "If you don't want the same as your friend just got you will tell me what I want to know and tell me now."

"Blair is a friend, that's all," said Daryl, who was now scared, staring at the man face to face.

"I want to know who he knows in the police department and I want to know right now. Barry says he works with them who does he work with while he's at the station?" Jay demanded.

Daryl was torn. Should he tell the man and risk injury himself or should he just be quiet and not tell at all. Daryl looked towards Blair.

Jay let go of his shirt, started towards Blair and said, "How about I do some more damage to your friend, maybe that will get you talking?"

Jay let go of Daryl and started walking towards Blair. Daryl became very scared and didn't want them to hurt Blair any more.

"I'll tell you! Just leave him alone all right?" demanded Daryl.

Jay walked back over to Daryl and put a foot on the bench beside him."Well?"

Daryl took a deep breath and said, "He hangs around with a Detective Ellison." He bowed his head.

"Oh ho, he's a friend of Ellison's. This may turn out better than we thought," said Jay with a sheepish grin. "What's your name kid?"

"Daryl," he said, not knowing what was to happen next.

********************

Meanwhile, Jim and Simon drove to the university hoping to find out if the bank robbers had gone that way. They pulled up in front of the main building across from the auditorium and got out of the truck.

"Simon, look the bus is still here," said Jim, pointing to the bus parked on the side of the building.

"I would've thought they would've headed back to school by now. It's almost time to dismiss the class for the day."

"Let's go find out," Jim said as they started towards the auditorium.

Jim's hearing then kicked in as if a warning. He heard a gun cocking and as he tackled Simon to the ground he yelled, "Take cover!" Just as they hit the ground behind the water fountain, automatic machine fire filled the area.

"Simon, you all right?" Jim asked, peaking over the fountain to see the front of the building.

"Yeah," he said, grabbing his cell phone and pushing a button. "This is Captain Banks. We have a situation at Rainier University. Shots fired. Possible hostages. We need back up and this place emptied out," he closed his phone. "Rafe, Brown you guys all right?"

"Yeah, think so," said Rafe. "What's going on?"

"The bank robbers are in the auditorium. Jim?" he whispered. "You hear anything?"

Jim held up his hand to Simon and then focused his hearing into the building. He piggybacked his eyes to see what he was hearing in the building. Jay was standing in front of Daryl. He saw that all the kids were OK. He looked around. He needed to find Blair and make sure he was all right. He saw his friend/partner lying on the floor. He focused on his heartbeat to make sure he was still alive. He heard a slow heartbeat, meaning that he was alive; but he was unconscious.

Jim shook his head, coming back to join Simon. "Well, Daryl and his class and teacher are in there. They don't seem to be injured at all, just scared," Jim said quietly, looking at the front door.

"Jim, what's wrong? I can tell something is wrong from your voice. Where is Sandburg?"

Jim took a deep breath and said "He's there, he's lying on the floor on the other side of the area, away from everyone else; his hands are tied. He appears to be unconscious, sir."

"Dammit, they hurt the kid. Any idea who they are?"

"Uh, no, not yet. Guess we best find out what they want. My guess is they don't know who Daryl is. If the one who was in on the robbery attends the school, then my guess is they know Blair works with the police and that may be a bad thing."

He got up and, staying low, moved from behind the fountain. Simon joined him out of fire range as the backup started to arrive. Simon went and gave orders about what should be done, and told the newcomers that they had a class of kids there, as well as Blair and a teacher.

********************

Meanwhile, inside, Daryl had shouted at Jim and Simon as they got near.

"What's going on, Daryl?" asked Jay as he walked over to him at the front door.

"The cops have just showed up."

"OK, keep an eye on them." Jay then walked over to the other guy. "Dave, check the cop lover and see if he has a cell phone, or find some way to call outside."

Dave did as he was told and walked over and checked Blair's pockets but found nothing. He shook his head at Jay. Jim was on the same wavelength as the robbers, because he grabbed his cell phone and dialed Blair's number, hoping that he had his cell phone with him. Inside, they couldn't find Blair's cell phone on him. But once the phone starting ringing they soon found Blair's backpack that had the phone in it.

Jay opened the phone and put it to his ear, "Yeah?"

"Who am I talking to?" Ellison asked.

"This is Jay. And you are?"

"Detective Ellison, Cascade PD."

"Well, well, Ellison, it's been a long time, hasn't it?"

"All right, Jay, what will it take to turn the kids loose and the others?" demanded Jim. He wasn't up to playing games; he wanted his friends out of there, and now.

"Well, let's start off by talking to the real man in charge, OK? And I know it's not you, so why don't you put whoever is in charge out there on the phone," Jay demanded.

Jim didn't say anything to Jay. "Simon, he doesn't want to talk to me, he wants whoever is in charge," he handed Simon the phone.

"This is Captain Banks."

"Hello, Captain. Now, I think that is a lot better; maybe I can get something done with the head man instead of that pain, Detective Ellison. Besides, he's probably too emotional knowing that I have his friend in here."

"What do you want?" Simon asked, trying to keep his cool.

He didn't want to run the risk of them knowing Daryl was his son if they didn't know it already. It could put Daryl in as much danger as it had Blair.

"I want this: I want a doctor to come in here and look at my friend. I also want a van to get us out of here with no cops on our heels when we leave. I want a plane at the airport, away from the terminal, with plenty of fuel to get us out of here; and I want no one trying to stop us or someone will die. It may be Detective Ellison's friend who suffers."

"OK, I'll see what I can do," Simon agreed. "But this has to be done on trust on your behalf, not just mine. I want to talk to Sandburg; I figure you know who he is since you called him Ellison's friend. I want to make sure he's all right. Then I want some hostages exchanged for the items you want, to show good faith."

"Well, it will be kinda hard to talk to him. He's taking a little nap at the moment. But let me assure you he is fine. All right, we'll send out several of the students, but we do a switch for a doctor and a helper."

"All right, give me a few minutes to get someone to volunteer to come in there. I want them to do this of their own free will. I'll call you right back," Simon hung up the phone. He turned to Jim. "They will deal. They want a doctor to come in and take care of their friend who has been shot. They will exchange a doctor and a helper for some of the hostages."

"Let's pray they send Daryl out with them," said Rafe. "Uh, Simon, did they say anything about Blair?"

"I asked to talk with him and they said he was taking a nap. Sorry, Jim."

"It's all right, sir, let's hope they let Daryl go first. Then we will know he is safe." Jim walked away from the others.

Simon said to Rafe, "See if you can get a doctor and maybe a nurse to volunteer to go in and take care of the injured person." Simon went to talk to Jim. "Jim, you all right?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, sir," said Jim, looking at the building.

"Jim, he's gonna be all right. He's a strong kid. He faced Kincaid the first day he was with us, and he faced Lash. He will come out of this all right."

"Yeah, I know, sir. I just can't help but worry sometimes that if it wasn't for this sentinel thing, he wouldn't be in the messes he's in. I mean, it's like he became a magnet for trouble the day he started with me. It's almost scary the trouble he can get into in one week." Jim shook his head.

"I understand, Jim. Sometimes I wonder the same thing about the kid, but he's got more guts than anyone I know and I'm glad I've gotten to know him."

Rafe walked over to them. "Uh, excuse me, guys, but we have a doctor and a nurse who are willing to go in and help the injured man. They are friends of Blair's and they want to help get him out of there if they can."

Simon nodded and Rafe walked away to join the others. "Jim, can you find out what's going on in there right now? I don't want any tricks from these guys and you're my only help to get them out of there."

"OK," said Jim, and focused his hearing to find out what Jay was saying in there.

Jim heard Jay's voice. "All right, we'll let the doctor and nurse take care of Steven and let the hostages go. I guess we'll keep them to take care of Steven, and keep the teacher and the cop lover. We'll let the kids go; we don't want to hurt any of them ... I wonder if Ellison has figured out who I am yet. Though I did use a different name then, when I first met him. I used the name Carl Stevenson."

Jim focused back. "DAMMIT!" he exclaimed, surprising Simon.

"Jim, what's wrong?"

"Oh, sorry, Simon. Everything's fine; they're gonna keep the doctor and nurse but let all the kids go. They don't want any of the kids to get hurt."

Simon nodded. "That's good, but something else is bothering you; what is it? I can see it in your eyes."

Jim took a deep breath, and said, "Well, seems I know this jerk, Jay. We had a run in years ago. He used the name Carl Stevenson. That's why I didn't know him when I first talked to him. Seems he used an alias at the time we first met. He's wanted for several murders and robberies. He's also wanted for attempted murder on a police officer. Me."

"What are you talking about?"

"Right after I came home from Peru and joined the police force, before I became a detective, I was on a call with another officer. The other officer took the back and I took the front. We called for back-up and went in on a robbery call we had tracked to this place. We entered the building and before I knew what was going on we had a chase through the building and somehow I lost sight of him in the dark area. Next thing I know, I felt a bullet hit me and I was out. When I woke up it was days later. The bullet had grazed my heart. The other officer was dead and I barely made it. But they never found him and till this day no one had any idea of his whereabouts or anything else on the guy. Now he reappears and takes Blair and Daryl hostage on a day of praise for Daryl. I won't let him get away this time, sir."

"I understand, Jim. But you better keep your cool on this or I'll pull you off this so fast your head will spin."

"I know, sir. I'll get them out of this in once piece." They started back towards the others to give instructions to the doctor and the nurse who were about to walk into the lions' den.

********************

Meanwhile, inside, Jay had walked over to Blair to check on how he was doing. "Hmmm, about time for our friend to wake up. Hey, Barry, untie the good teacher and have him come look at the cop lover."

Barry did as he was told. Mr. Travis walked over to Blair and knelt down next to him.

"Untie him, please, and help me roll him over on his back so I can tend to his hand," said Mr. Travis, opening up the first aid kit.

When Jay had snapped Blair's fingers, he had done it with such force that the fingers were bleeding. Barry untied Blair and helped Mr. Travis roll him over. As they did, Blair began to come to.

"Blair, easy, I'm gonna help you. This is gonna hurt though, your fingers are broken so badly that they punctured the skin."

"What's been happening?"

"Everything is all right. They made a deal with the cops outside to let the kids go in exchange for a doctor and a nurse for the injured man."

Blair made a hissing sound through gritted teeth as Mr. Travis moved his fingers to wrap them to stop the bleeding.

"Sorry," he said to Blair.

"It's all right."

"One thing though: Daryl told them who your cop friend was, he was afraid that they were gonna hurt you more and they probably would have if he hadn't told them he was looking after you."

"It's all right; tell him thanks for me, ok?"

"I will," smiled Mr. Travis.

"All right, you done yet?" asked Jay, walking back to them.

"Yeah, he's all fixed up and is awake now," said Mr. Travis, getting to his feet.

He helped Blair to his feet. He could tell the young man was hurting from the punches and the broken fingers; he wished there was something he could give him to help ease the pain, but he hoped the doctor would take care of that for him. He walked back over to Daryl and the others and they retied his hands. Blair, on the other hand, was led to the other side way from the others. He was then retied with his hands behind him. Jay then walked over to him and said, "You should take lessons from your friend Daryl over there, he knows what's good for him and tells me what I want to know. Now, I'm gonna call your friends outside again and do our little trade thing and then we'll go from there. They seem awful anxious to talk with you. What's Ellison's number?"

"Push *1 and it automatically dials it for you," said Blair.

Jay pushed the buttons and the phone rang.

"Yeah, Ellison."

"Hey, Jim, where's your captain? I want to deal with him."

Jim handed the phone to Simon. "It's Jay."

"Yes?" Simon spoke into the phone.

"All right, are we ready to trade here or what?"

"Yes, we have a doctor and a nurse; they are gonna be unarmed, all they are bringing is medical supplies and medications for the injured man."

"Oh yeah, Captain, there is someone who wants to talk with you," said Jay; there was a pause.

"Hello?" It was Blair's voice.

"Sandburg!" Simon said and snapped his fingers at Jim. Jim leaned over to hear the conversation.

"Blair, are you all right?"

"Yes sir, I'm all right."

"Listen, Blair, we'll get you out of this. Just hang tight and do as they want, ok?"

"Yes, sir."

"Jim's with me, he's helping me out; you understand that?" Simon said in a code that only Blair would understand. He couldn't say anything else cause of the other people standing around them.

"I gotta go, sir," said Blair, and then it was Jay's voice again.

"See, I told you your buddy was fine. Now, I want the doctor and the nurse in here. When they are at the door I'll send the kids out." Jay broke the connection. He walked over to the students. "All right, this is how we're gonna do this, ok? You all are gonna get up and in a single line, walk to the door slowly. Once you're told to, you can slowly leave; don't run, don't push or shove, just walk nice and calmly to the officers out there, ok?"

They all nodded. Jay walked over to the door to look out to see if the doctor and nurse were headed their way.

Mr. Travis leaned next to Daryl and said softly, "I told Blair what had happened; he said to say thank you for protecting him and that not to worry, he understands what they were gonna do and why you had to tell them. He knows you were doing it to protect him and he is thankful."

********************

Simon said, "All right, people, look alive. Dr. Lee and Mandy, go slow and easy; if there is any shooting, you hit the deck, ok?"

They both nodded and grabbed their equipment and headed for the doors.

As they got to the door, it opened and the kids started walking out single file. Soon all were out of the building and the doctor and nurse were inside. Once all the kids were to the officers, their hands were untied and Daryl ran to his dad.

"Oh, Dad!" he cried as he hugged his father for dear life.

"Shhh, Daryl, it's ok, it's over for you."

Jim walked over to Simon and Daryl and said, "Daryl, buddy, are you all right?"

Daryl let go of his dad. "Yeah, I'm all right, Jim."

"Daryl, how many men are in there with guns?"

"Four, and one man who had been shot; he's not good. Looks pretty bad to me."

"Daryl, what about Blair?" asked Simon before Jim could ask the question they all wanted answered.

"He's all right. Jerks beat the crap out of him cause they wanted to know who he knew in the police department, and when he still wouldn't answer the questions they broke four of his fingers. He then blacked out. They asked me who he knew and I couldn't help but answer them. They threatened to hurt him more than they already had if I didn't tell them. I'm sorry I told them it was you, Jim," said Daryl, bowing his head in shame as if he had let them all down.

"Daryl, it's all right, you did the right thing. Remind me to talk with Blair about doing the same thing. I'm just glad they didn't find out you were my son," Simon hugged his son.

"Come on, Daryl, let's get you home with your mom," Rafe said.

"Daryl, one more thing: who else is in there beside the people we just sent in and Sandburg?" asked Jim.

"Oh, Mr. Travis, our teacher. They didn't hurt him. He works part time as an EMT so they needed him to help their man. He also has looked after Blair," said Daryl, starting to walk off with Rafe. "Uh, Dad, Jim, please get them out, ok?" Daryl turned back to his dad and friend.

"We will, son, we will," said Simon. Daryl left with Rafe, who had officers take the kids to the hospital to be checked out; then they were being taken to the police station to give there their statements and finally they were taken to their homes.

Jim took a deep breath. "I'm glad he's out of there, Simon," he said, patting his Captain on the shoulder.

"Yeah, but we still have to get Sandburg out of there, and as long as they know he works with you they will go harder on him, and it may be harder to get him out. You know this."

"Yeah, I know, Simon. Let's just pray this all works and everyone in there comes out fine,"

********************

Meanwhile, inside:

The doctor and nurse were checked for weapons as soon as they were inside, then they were taken to where Steven was lying.

The doctor knelt over Steven and checked his pulse, and then stood back up and said, "I'm sorry, but he's dead. There's nothing we can do for him now." Which also just told them that there was no reason to keep them around any more.

"What?" demanded Jay as he walked over to them and felt for a pulse himself. "Dammit!" he yelled.

Blair and the others watched as the man in charge went nuts. He drew his gun and started pointing it at people as if deciding which one to shoot. They waited with suspense for the gun to fire and take one of these lives away, but the shot never came; he walked over to Blair and said, "Your partner did this and you're gonna pay in his place. If I can't kill him for killing my baby brother, then you will have to be the one who dies!"

Jay moved like a cat; without a warning, he pulled Blair to the ground and knelt over him, his hands around the anthropologist's throat, strangling him. Blair's hands were tied behind him and he couldn't fight the man off. He tried with all his strength to wiggle his body to break the grip on his throat, but with his hands tied behind him and with the fingers on his right hand broken, he couldn't get the man to let go of him. Blair felt everything around him going black as he drifted off into unconsciousness.

"You're gonna die, you bastard, 'cause your friend killed my brother," yelled Jay. His rage was out of control. Barry and the others saw what Jay was doing and quickly ran to help Blair.

"Come on, Jay, cool it, let him go!" yelled Berry at the top of his lungs as he and the others tried to pull Jay off Blair.

After a few minutes of struggling to get the bigger man off Blair, they finally managed to get him to let go after Sandburg had blacked out from lack of oxygen. Jay half-lay, half-sat on the ground on his side gasping for air. Barry went over and untied the doctor. The doctor then quickly grabbed his bag and went to Blair; he knelt down next to him. He checked the young man's pulse. It was faint but it was there. He then checked around Blair's throat.

"I need an oxygen tank in here fast!" yelled Dr. Lee.

Barry picked up the cell phone that Jay had dropped and handed it to him. "Call them, tell them to set an oxygen tank outside the door, that we need it right now!" yelled Barry.

Jay just lay there, unmoving. Barry shook his head and pushed the buttons for Ellison's cell phone and said, "This is Barry inside the gym, we have a medical emergency and we need an oxygen tank and mask outside the door in one second or this person dies!" He then broke the connection.

********************

Simon had picked up Ellison's phone and listened without saying anything as Jim walked up to him. "Get an oxygen tank and place it at the door, move it... medical emergency in there!" yelled Simon as someone grabbed the tank and ran it to the door.

Once he turned to run back to the others, Barry was out the door, grabbing the tank and running it inside to the doctor. As the doctor placed the oxygen on Blair, Barry walked over to Jay who still lay on the floor. Jim focused his hearing and listened inside the building.

"Jay, dammit, what's wrong with you! Yes, your brother is dead but killing Blair won't help us any. He's our only chance to get out of here. I like him and the last thing I want is to see someone I really like hurt over you losing your head. You could have killed him and probably would have if that doctor weren't in here. You need to get a hold of yourself, and now!"

Jay looked at Barry with eyes that could kill. He got to his feet, walked over to Barry and backhanded him across the face. Barry was stunned that Jay had hit him. He wiped the corner of his mouth as he looked at his friend.

"I don't ever want you to stop me from doing something or telling me what to do, is that understood?" and he walked away from Barry.

******************** Jim had heard what had been said and then faced back. "Simon, we have trouble. Jay's brother is dead. Apparently Jay went after Blair when he died; that is who the oxygen was for. But what's more, Jay is out of control and it looks like this guy Barry may be turning the tables; he was pretty ticked that Jay had hurt Blair. Simon, we have to find a way to get them out of there and fast before this guy loses all control and no one can stop him from hurting any of them."

Simon nodded and then turned to another officer standing beside him, "Get me the blueprints of this place. Of the building and the ground under it. There has to be a way inside that building without them knowing we're coming in."

The sun had set on Cascade and all was lit up with portable lamps brought in by the electric company, and the University had a few they also lent the department. The university put out a city-wide alert that all classes had been canceled for the time being, until further notice. It was getting late and everyone was getting tired.

"Jim, go get some rest," Simon ordered.

"I'm all right, Simon, besides I don't think I can get some rest until Blair is out of there."

"Listen, Jim, you need to keep yourself going for him. And running yourself down won't help matters; anyway I need all of you intact, if you know what I mean."

"I know what you mean, Simon, and I'm fine; I have to get Sandburg out of there."

Just then a guy from the city came up with the blueprints of the areas that Simon had asked for.

"Captain Banks, here's the prints you wanted." Simon and Jim and the man went to a table and began looking the prints over.

********************

Meanwhile inside:

Doctor Lee had stayed next to Blair since Jay had tried to kill him. It had been a couple of hours since the attack and Blair was still out. He had since then started breathing better, so that Dr. Lee had taken off the oxygen. Jay stayed near the door. Barry walked over to Dr. Lee and knelt down next to him.

"How's he doing?" he asked, concerned.

"He's better," said Dr. Lee. Blair then made a small moaning sound and moved his head a little. "Mr. Sandburg?"

"He likes being called Blair," said Barry.

"Blair, can you hear me?" Dr. Lee asked again. Blair moved his head to face the person talking to him.

"What happened?" Blair asked with a scratchy, dry voice. He could hardly talk.

"Everything is all right, just relax," said Dr. Lee.

"My throat... it's very scratchy," Blair coughed a little. "What happened?"

"Don't worry about that right now, just relax," said Barry.

"Barry, why are you doing this?" asked Blair.

"I didn't know it would come to this, honest, Blair. I got sucked in to this robbery and ended up here and I got you involved. I am so sorry, Blair."

"We have to stop him," Blair insisted.

"You aren't doing anything, Blair," said Dr. Lee. "Your hand is broken, you were almost strangled. I want you to let Jim and Simon and your friends outside take care of Jay and his friends; I want you to stay still and relax."

"Relax?" asked Blair hoarsely.

"Right," Dr. Lee confirmed.

"Oh, speaking of relaxing: What are you doing in here? And where is Daryl?"

"They needed someone to take care of the injured guy, who died, so nurse Mandy and I traded ourselves for the kids. So that means Daryl is with his dad and Jim." Dr. Lee smiled.

"That's great. We need to figure out a way to get out of here," said Blair, ignoring what Dr. Lee had said.

"I tell you what, he's gonna kill me when he figures out I didn't tell him that Daryl was Captain Banks's kid. But I was afraid of what he'd do if he found that out. I wanted the kids out of here safely," Barry explained.

"You did the right thing, Barry," said Blair.

"Have them put that on my tombstone when they bury me if Jay finds out."

"BARRY!" snapped Jay.

Barry nodded at Blair and Dr. Lee and walked over to Jay.

********************

Meanwhile outside:

It was now around 4 am and everyone was tired and ready to go home, but they knew they couldn't leave till Blair and the others were out of there safely.

"I'll go around the back and go up the ladder on the side of the building, and then go in through the air duct; then when I am able, I will give the word and we'll all move in. I'll just be on the inside," Jim said. Simon took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose, sighed, and but the glasses back on. "Come on, Simon, you know I can do this, and this may be the only way to get those people out of there without anyone else being hurt."

"He's got a point, sir," said Rafe.

"I know, but it's still pretty risky. But, all right, just be careful, Jim, and let us know when you're in and ready. I want the kid back also. If anything, he should be out here getting on my nerves instead of in there waiting to see if some nut is gonna kill or hurt him more. Go on, get suited up and make sure you let us know when you make your move so we can join in," Simon ordered.

Jim and Rafe left him to go get Jim ready to go in.

They talked as they walked around the back of the building. "When you get to the roof, there will be a small air duct on the other side. It doesn't look too big, so watch you don't get stuck, ok? I really don't want to have to go up there and pull you loose," Rafe attempted a bit of humor.

"Ha ha, you must be getting tired, Rafe, your jokes are getting worse," Jim joked as he started up the ladder.

"Watch your back, Jim," Rafe said as Jim went up the ladder.

Jim quickly went up the ladder and found the air duct he needed to go in. He quietly went through the duct and found himself up in the rafters above the hostages. He looked over the place. He finally focused on Blair who lay in the floor on the other side of the arena. He focused his eyes on his partner and zeroed in on him. He could see that Blair was all right by looks and his heart was steady so there was no threat to him at this moment. But who knew when that would turn. Jim said softly into the mike on his vest: "Simon, I'm in."

"Ok, Jim, when you're ready give the word," Simon acknowledged into the earpiece so only Jim could hear him.

"OK, Simon, let me get moved around here a little and I'll give the word."

Jim began to move himself around so that he would have easier access to Jay. That was the only one he was worried about. He figured Barry wasn't into violence like this and wouldn't do anything to stop Jim. The gang outside would come in and take out the other two.

"All right, I'm done playing; it's time to get out of here, and now!" yelled Jay and started towards Blair.

"I'm leaving and you're going with me; get up!" he barked towards Blair. Dr. Lee helped Blair to his feet as Jay neared.

"Jay, what are you doing?" asked Barry, rushing beside him.

"I'm leaving and taking the hippie with me."

"Hey, I'm not a hippie! I'm an anthropologist!" snapped Blair hoarsely.

Jim knew it was now or never; if Jay got out of there with Blair he would never see his friend alive again. He knew this in his gut. As Jay passed under Jim he said into his mike, "Go now!"

He then waited a second until there was an explosion at the door, sending the two gunmen standing there flying into the air. As Simon and the others raced into the arena, Jay spun to see what had happened, as the hostages all hit the floor. Jay then turned back towards Blair and quickly started toward him who stayed on his feet.

"JAY!" yelled Jim as he jumped from the rafters.

Just as Jay turned to look up and point his gun, Jim was on him in a flash, sending the gun flying backwards along with Jay. Jim rolled to the floor and was on his feet, with his gun drawn; but to Jim's surprise, Jay had another gun and had moved so quickly that he now had his hand around Blair's neck with the gun pointed at the young man's temple.

"Easy, Jim, easy, you don't want me to hurt your young friend, now do you? Put the gun down and we're gonna walk out of here and get into one of those police cars. And no one is gonna stop us either or the kid gets it," said Jay, jerking on Blair's neck in the direction he wanted him to go.

Simon and the others had the other two men at the door already cuffed and out of the building. Barry stood behind Jay and Blair. "Shoot him Jim!" called Blair hoarsely.

"I don't think so!" said Jay, and tightened his grip on Blair's neck so that he coughed a little.

"Let him go, Jay, you won't leave here with him," said Jim, holding his gun steady. "I'll take you out before you have a chance to hurt him." His gun was steady as if he wasn't even holding it.

"Back off, Ellison, now, or he gets it right here, right now!" yelled Jay, getting angry because Jim wouldn't budge.

"Yeah, if you kill him all the cops in this area are gonna kill you," said Jim. Blair felt Jay's grip tightening on his neck and he was afraid of blacking out again if the grip got any tighter. "Come on, Jay, this is going nowhere; there is no way for you to get out of here with Blair, just let him go."

Jay knew his time had run out and if it was the last thing he did, he was gonna get even with Jim for killing his brother. Jay cocked the gun and started to pull back on the trigger when there was a loud sound like gunfire. Blair felt a sudden jerking feeling, as if Jay had shoved him forward, though he hadn't let go of Blair. Blair then felt as if he was being pulled downward. He and Jay fell to the floor. Sandburg grunted in pain as he landed on Jay, with his tied hands between them. Jim and the others watched as Jay and Blair fell to the floor. Jim stood there looking as if he had no idea what had happened. He knew he hadn't shot the man, nor had anyone behind him. Jim realized that Barry was standing in front of him, now pointing the gun at Jim. Jim quickly pointed his gun at Barry. Before Jim could say anything, Barry dropped the gun and put his hands over his head.

"I couldn't let him hurt Blair," said Barry as Simon rushed to him and took the gun from the floor and cuffed the man; and Brown took him out to join the others.

Jim quickly replaced his gun into its holster and went to Blair and Jay. "Easy, Chief, I got ya," said Jim, helping Blair to sit up. He then cut the ropes around his friend's wrists looking at Blair's fingers. "Sandburg, your fingers?"

"Yeah, Jay got a little mad at me and broke them. I'm all right, Jim, really," said Blair hoarsely.

Brown checked Jay. He looked up at Jim and said, "He's dead."

Simon then came running back in. "Sandburg? You all right?"

"Yeah, Simon, I'm fine. I don't think I'll be writing anything for a while. But I'm all right," said Blair hoarsely.

"What's wrong with your voice?" asked Simon, concerned.

"Jay tried to strangle me to death, that's all, it'll come back soon."

Dr. Lee, Nurse Mandy, and Mr. Travis walked over and joined them.

"Captain Banks, thank you so much for getting us out of this in one piece. You too, Det. Ellison," said Dr. Lee.

"Uh, Blair?" asked Mr. Travis.

"Yes?" asked Blair.

"Uh, if you don't mind, the next time you make a deal with Daryl and he wins and you offer a tour of the university, could you leave out the bank robbers, please?"

"Oh, but that was highlight of the day," smiled Blair.

"Thank you all. Now, if you'll excuse me, I would like to go and call my family and tell them I'm all right and then get something to eat; I'm starving," smiled Mr. Travis. "Take care, and keep Daryl working on those grades." Mr. Travis walked out of the gym with Brown.

"All right, I want you, Blair, to the hospital, now! That hand needs x-raying and setting, and I want some tests done on your throat to make sure Jay didn't crush or break anything there," Dr. Lee ordered as Nurse Mandy took Blair by the arm and led him to a waiting ambulance.

"Man, do I have to go, Jim? You know how I hate hospitals."

"Sandburg! Stop complaining and go!" demanded Simon. Simon and Jim finished up the work that needed to be done at the scene and took statements.

********************

The sun was up and the city was busy going about its daily ritual as if nothing had happened in the university the night before. It was almost 8 am when Simon and Jim had arrived at the hospital to look in on Blair. They found him in a bed sleeping.

"Blair?" Jim called as he came near his friend.

Blair opened his eyes, smiled and said, "Hey, guys, where have you been? You left me here all night."

"Sorry, Chief, but we had some work that had to be done before we could get away; sorry, it took longer than we had hoped, but you needed some rest. How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine. Dr. Lee said my hand will have to be in a cast for a while 'cause of the broken fingers. My voice box wasn't damaged, my voice should return to normal soon. Now can I go home?" pleaded Blair with begging eyes.

"I'll find out," said Simon and left the room.

Jim laughed at Blair. He noticed Blair's hand; it looked so funny with the cast on it. "Hey, Chief, just remember when you decide you want to playfully swing a hand at me that you don't hit me with that cast, ok?"

"I can't promise anything, Jim. Uh, Jim, thanks for getting us all out of there in once piece," Blair added more seriously.

"Hey, I'm glad you're all right, but next time you give a tour, go easy on the hostage stuff. And next time don't be so hard to get when they ask questions," scolded Jim.

"I had to, Jim. They were gonna start checking bags and stuff if they found out Daryl was Simon's son... I really think this would have all turned out for the worst. I had to protect him."

Just then a new voice entered the room. "And that you did, Blair," said Daryl. He had arrived at the hospital.

"Hey, Daryl. What are you doing here?" Blair asked.

"I wanted to make sure you were all right. The whole class got the day off. I also wanted to thank Blair for giving us the tour of the school even if the day was a total loss when those robbers showed up. I'd also like to thank you for everything you did while we were inside. I mean, like, if they had found out who I was I don't want to even think about that. And I wanted to apologize for telling them Jim was your friend. I was afraid that they would hurt you more, and you weren't gonna tell them no matter what they did to you."

"Hey, it's all right, I understand. Don't worry about it, I'm just glad all you kids got out without anything happening to you," Blair said.

"Yeah, but once they found out about you being Jim's friend, they almost killed you. Jay could've and would have if Jim here hadn't come to the rescue."

"But they didn't; and what are you doing here?" asked Simon, who had come back into the room.

"I came to see Blair. Hi, Dad," said Daryl, hugging his dad. "I'm glad you're my dad. Thanks for helping get me and Blair out of there, Dad. Well, I gotta get going. I'll see you guys later." Daryl left the room.

"Uh, Jim, what about Barry? You find out his story in all this? He's a pretty good kid; he's been in some of my classes."

"Yeah, seems he borrowed some money from Jay a while back for class and ended up missing some payments; it was either he gets some bones broken or helps Jay. Barry didn't know what was going on till they got to the bank, and if he dared try and chicken out, Jay would have killed him also."

"I talked with the judge this morning," Simon chimed in. "Barry was the one who shot Jay and ended up helping us stop a madman. The judge took the information and decided he would give Barry 100 hours community service and 3 years probation, so he's not going to go to jail."

"Man, that's great," said Blair. " So, did you find out when I can leave this place?" he begged, wanting the heck out of there.

"Yeah, you can leave now. Tests all came back fine and Dr. Lee said to get you out of here. He'd seen enough of you for a while. He also said to take it easy for a while and no extracurricular activities, like giving tours with robbers joining the tour," Simon smiled.

"Ha ha, Simon," said Blair, getting out of the bed. He walked over to the closet and opened it only to hear laughter behind him. It then dawned on him that his hospital gown was open in the back and that he had nothing on underneathit. Blair quickly turned around and closed the gown and smiled sweetly. "Oh, I'll never live this down. I think I'd rather give another tour than to deal with this." Blair shut himself in the closet.

The End

Brenda Knodle