The office was deserted when Joel arrived that morning, and the principal reason was the hours before decidedly dawn schedule, however it hadn't discouraged his superior, Simon Banks, from being already there, dictating orders to the telephone.
Turning toward Simon's office, the bomb squad captain passed by Jim Ellison's desk with a thoughtful, sad sigh.
Joel was aware of the accident which Sandburg had become indirectly involved in, and his current hospitalization due to the violent shock.
Needless to say, the big black man was seriously worried about the young observer.
Ever since Blair had helped him overcome a difficult period in his job, Taggart had grown extremely fond of the student and had developed an almost fatherly concern for him.
On the other hand, it was impossible not to like the incredible cocktail of energy, understanding and generosity that was Blair Sandburg. It was impossible to remain immune to his enthusiasm or indifferent when his presence had contributed to the resolution of several cases, but especially to the remarkable change that had occurred in a certain detective. Ex-ranger, ex-covert-ops Jim Ellison.
Absorbed in his thoughts, Taggert did not notice Banks' presence initially.
Touching him on the shoulder to gain his attention, Simon addressed his old friend.
"What are you doing here? Did you get called in on something? "
"No, Simon, no bomb. I wanted to find out how Blair's doing. I was going to call into the hospital but in the end, I didn't want to disturb him, so I came here. I didn't expect to find you here already. Have you heard something? How's Blair? "
Banks sighed and leaning against his best detective's desk, he allowed his gaze to rest upon his friends' photo by the computer.
"I spoke to Jim about twenty minutes ago. Blair had a relatively quiet night. Every now and then he became agitated, whimpering, tossing, he has even crying for a time in his sleep however it seems that Jim's presence has been enough to ease Sandburg, allowing him to rest.. In fact, the kid still hasn't woken up."
"Is it normal, Simon? For him to sleep all this time. What does the doctor say? "
"For now, Doctor Andrews says not to worry, that in this case, it isn't so unusual that a person subjected to extreme stress might react this way, and in this case, the rest is the best medicine."
"Then, I guess all we can do is hope that Blair will overcome this, given time."
"I fear that it's not so easy, Joel. We both know how extremely sensitive, even empathetic Blair is to other people's problems. He's going to need all our help before Sandburg returns to being the Energizer bunny that we know and love."
"And he'll have it, Sir"
It was Rafe who spoke, soon joined by Henri Brown in the bullpen.
"You bet, Sir! Hairboy will have all the help he needs. He one's of us."
Banks agreed, pleased with his men's declaration, quite surprised by the camaraderie and spirit in his department and having no doubt that the reinforced sense of friendship was due to one Blair Sandburg. Concern for the anthropologist was evident in everyone's eyes.
"Captain, any news on the bastard responsible for the accident?"
"No Rafe, still nothing. Unfortunately none of the witness were able to see the license plate, which complicates things. But Patrolman Kylie assures me that I'll be notified the moment they trace that miserable."
"Well.." Intervened Brown "Perhaps Hairboy saw the plate, after all, the lunatic's car was right in front of his and the kid has an amazing photographic memory. That S.O.B won't get away!"
"It's possible, Henri," Simon agreed, "but I'd prefer not to ask for Sandburg's help, if it's possible. God Knows, it's better if Sandburg doesn't have to live this nightmare one more time than is necessary."
For a moment, the entire bullpen was plunged into sad silence, then Simon spoke up.
"Joel, do you mind taking charge of Major Crimes for a couple of hours? I'd like to call into the hospital. Even if they won't let me in to see our favorite observer, I can at least speak directly to Jim."
"Sure, Simon, don't worry! I'll see to it.Ehm Simon.."
"If Blair,.. well when Blair wakes up, you tell him that we are all behind him, that he isn't alone and I'll call in later..."
"All right Joel, see you later!"To Part Two