Act V

Cascade Hospital

"Captain Banks!" Amy fretted as she put one hand on her patient's shoulder. "You really shouldn't be getting out of bed."

Simon chuckled. "Yeah, so why are you helping me?"

Amy grabbed his elbow and supported him as he moved from the bed to a wheelchair. "Because you're trying to save a life, and I admire that." Two red spots highlighted her cheekbones as she looked deliberately at Simon.

A slow smile filled Simon's face as he looked at the pretty nurse. "Guess I must be feeling better." Amy smiled back and reached to adjust his robe. "Do you think..." Simon started to ask, when the door opened and Joel walked in. The captain turned to glare at his friend.

"Uh ... am I interrupting anything?" Joel asked, looking from one to the other.

"Get out of here!" Simon said, in a fair imitation of his usual growl. When Joel reached for the doorknob behind him, he raised one hand. "No, it's all right. What did you find out?"

"The hospital administrator was very helpful. She was unable to give me the agenda for the meeting, but she did cut loose with a couple names."

"So, let's hear them."

Joel pulled a paper from his pocket. "Two surgeons; Julie Chaney and Burt Phelps. There's also a pathologist named Dr. Laura Quint. The first two, Chaney and Phelps are partners. I called their office but they've been in surgery all afternoon."

Rubbing his chin thoughtfully, Simon nodded. "A man and a woman. What about the other name? What was it...Quint?"

Joel nodded. "Laura Quint. I called down to the lab, but the voice mail was on."

"That's strange," Amy interjected, concern on her face. "Someone should be answering the phone there at this time of day."

"Let's go down to the lab, then." Simon said, his voice determined. With Joel at the handles of the wheelchair, the two police officers followed Amy through the maze of corridors, changing elevators once, to the Pathology Lab. It looked deserted.

Amy held the door as Joel pushed Simon's chair through. "Anybody home?" Simon called.

"Doesn't look like it," Joel commented.

"Where's Quint's office?"

Amy pointed. "Down at the end of the hall." She took over the control of the wheelchair as Joel led them cautiously down the corridor toward the office.

"Dr. Quint?" Simon called, knocking on the door. "Dr. Quint?" At the touch of his hand, the door swung slowly open, revealing a woman lying on the floor. All three professionals took in the rolled up sleeve, the bleeding puncture mark on the woman's arm, and the syringe on the floor next to her.

Amy was the first to spring into action. She ran to the woman's side. "Go dial zero!" she shouted over her shoulder, "Tell them we need a crash cart, stat!"

Cascade Hospital, Nurse's station

"They're coming," Joel said lowly, nodding down towards a closed office door. Simon nodded grimly.

"What time can we meet?" a male voice asked as the door opened. Two doctors came into view: Chaney and Phelps.

"Twenty minutes," Chaney snapped out.

"That will be good," Phelps started to answer. He stopped in surprise when Simon rolled around the corner in his wheelchair; Joel right behind him.

"Excuse me, Dr. Chaney, Dr. Phelps," Simon said pleasantly. He fished his badge from the seat beside him and held it up. His eyes narrowed as he stared at the two surgeons. "You're both under arrest for attempted murder."

Phelps stood still, his mouth opening and closing, but Chaney dropped her papers and ran. Joel stepped around the nurses' station and caught her easily. "Going somewhere?" he asked his voice mild.

Dropping his briefcase, Phelps turned to run the other direction. Simon rolled the chair in front of the slight man, stopping him dead in his tracks.

"Don't even think about it."

Bear Island Ferry, parking deck

Blair took a deep breath and headed toward one of two trucks parked in Lot B. He hoped that he had the right one, Jim would kill him if he was wrong. Hell, the Brocks would kill him if he was wrong, and Sabin was still lurking around somewhere, so he was probably in line for that as well... A noise caught his attention, and he looked under the truck they were headed for, recognizing Jim's feet and hands rolling a body under the car on the other side.

He took a deep breath. Show time!

"Yeah, yeah, here's the truck," Blair said, speaking out of one side of his mouth like Bogie. "It's right over here," he repeated loudly, trying to cover any suspicious noises. He almost sighed in relief as Jim walked around the truck, meeting them at the back.

"Sorry, boss," Jim said his voice submissive, "I tried to get through on the cell phone, but I couldn't. You told me to stand by the truck."

"It's all right," Blair said graciously. Jim's mouth twitched with amusement.

"Can we just get on with this, please?" Joe Brock asked impatiently.

"Yeah, relax." Blair said, glaring at him. He ignored Jim's warning look; now that Jim was here, this was almost enjoyable. He gestured to the truck. "Let's open this up for Mr. Impatient."

Obediently, Jim opened the back of the truck, revealing hundreds of canisters, all full of Freon.

Joe rubbed his hands together, exchanging a greedy look with his brother. "All right, now we're talking!" There was an awkward pause, and both Jim and Finkelman stared at Blair.

"Good," he said belatedly, "Now let's talk some money. Let's see it." He took the briefcase Joe handed him, and immediately passed it on to Jim. "Help me out." As Jim held it steady, Blair opened the case. He looked from the piles of money to Jim, and recognized the tense listening look on his partner's face. Jim caught his eyes and nodded to the side. Quickly, Blair snapped the briefcase shut and took it back. He turned to face the Brocks, unsurprised as Jim ducked around to the side of the truck.

Two men--the real Arthur Sabin and one of his lackeys, Blair presumed--were approaching the truck, guns drawn. Jim had gotten out of sight just in time.

"Freeze right there!" Sabin said, his gun pointed at Finkelman, his voice deadly. "What's going on? Who are these guys?" he demanded. She ignored him. The Brocks did not.

"Who are you?" Joe asked his hands in the air as ordered.

"Arthur Sabin," Sabin replied.

Rick dropped his hands and gestured toward Blair. "We thought he was Sabin," he said, confusion crossing his features.

"You thought what?" Sabin asked. He turned to glare at Blair, inspecting him from head to toe. He did not look impressed. Blair shrugged nervously.

"Drop the gun, Sabin," Jim said, coming around the truck, his gun out.

Sabin smirked. "Brock, you slay me."

Joe looked confused. "I don't even know you."

"Shut up!"

Joe subsided, muttering "This is nuts."

"I'm Detective James Ellison with the Cascade PD," Jim announced, his gun aimed steadily at Sabin.

"Ah, geez," Rick moaned.

"Put the gun down. Let's go!" Jim ordered, ignoring the Brocks.

"Detective, huh?" Sabin asked. He nodded towards Finkelman. "She one, too?"

"Captain, actually," Finkelman said coolly, covering the Brocks with her gun.

"Ah, geez!" Rick moaned again.

"Put the gun down!" Jim ordered, his voice implacable. Sabin started to lower his gun, motioning for his companion to do the same. As the second man bent, Sabin lurched into him, knocking him into Jim, who momentarily lost his balance, though he kept hold of his gun. Taking advantage of the distraction, Sabin took off running.

Jim shook his head, then looked at Finkelman. "Your call, Captain."

She smiled. "Go get him, Detective. Sandburg and I are fine."

With a nod, Jim handed his gun to Blair and took off after their big fish.

Upper Deck

Sabin ran at full speed, his legs churning as he pushed through the crowd, sending men, women and even children stumbling in his haste. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a uniformed crewmember, and made his way to the man's side. Grabbing him, he demanded "How do I get off this boat?"

"Down the back stairs," the crewmember answered, trying to pull away. "The gangway may still be open below. Jerk!" he called after Sabin, straightening the collar of his uniform.

Sabin took off, running toward the back stairs, pushing his way through the thickening crowd. "Hey, out of my way! Excuse me. Hey! Excuse me, excuse me."

Nearby, taking a faster route, Jim raised his eyebrows. Sabin, polite? Who would have thought.

Reaching the back stairs, Sabin turned to go down them. Jim turned the corner just in time to catch sight of him. He ducked behind a wall as Sabin pulled out his gun and fired.

Hastily, Jim turned down his hearing as the crowd erupted into screams. "Get down! Police!" he shouted, motioning for people to run. He pulled out his backup piece, but the press of the crowd was too great.

Sabin, however, seemed to have no such concerns as he fired again. Jim peeked out from behind the wall and noted the number of tourists still on the deck; either hiding behind inadequate cover or completely exposed and panicking. Sabin fired again, and Jim growled. There had to be some way to take him down without harming anyone else.

Jim's eyes roamed the deck, looking for a way to get behind Sabin, a way to get the people into safety; a way...his eyes flickered over, then came back to, a fire hose set into the wall. Sandburg had used a fire hose against crooks with good results before...

Tucking his gun into the back of his pants, Jim ran over to the hose, rapidly unrolling it. "This better work for me, too, Chief," he muttered under his breath.

"Out of my way!" he heard Sabin shout, firing another bullet over the heads of the crowd.

Enough was enough. Jim turned on the water and jumped around the corner. "Get down!" he shouted to crowd of people still trapped on deck. Fighting to control the high-pressure flow of water, he aimed the nozzle at Sabin. He crowed as the water hit the man, pushing him back against the rail of the ferry, where he stumbled and twisted, going over the rail and into the water. With a smirk of appreciation, Jim turned off the water and dropped the hose. "Thanks, Chief."

He ran over to the railing, peering over to see Sabin treading water below, sputtering, and chuckled. "Well, he's going nowhere fast."

Major Crimes

Fireworks. Sparklers flared on the top of the small tray of cupcakes Dolly the donut girl carried across the crowded bullpen. "Welcome back, Captain," she said with a sweet smile.

The entire bullpen burst into cheers and applause as Simon grinned. "Thank you." Leaning down, he tried to blow out the sparklers. They kept on sparking. "Woo-hoo."

As the crowd got their desserts and dispersed, Simon led Jim and Blair to his office. Rafe and H stopped them just in front of the doorway. "Good to have you back, sir," Rafe said, pushing a box of cigars into Simon's hand.

Simon accepted it, looking pleased. "Thank you very much."

"We really missed you, sir," H said, looking furtively towards Simon's open door. Movement from that direction caused the two detectives to exchange a quick glance and scuttle away.

Blair and Jim moved away from the doorway as a box emerged. Behind the box was their temporary captain. "Oh, hello," she said, turning sideways to smile at the three men.

Jim and Blair nodded. "Simon Banks, Sarah Finkelman," Blair said, introducing them.

Simon handed his cupcake to Blair so he could offer his hand to Finkelman. "Oh, hello. Thanks for minding the store while I was away." He smiled. "I hear you were busy?"

Finkelman exchanged glances with Jim and Blair and nodded. "You could say that. I just got off the phone with headquarters. Since Sabin's been in custody, his dealers have been scrambling for product. Narcotics busted several of them." She shrugged. "They got careless."

Simon nodded. "Well, congratulations."

Finkelman glowed with pleasure. "Well, thank you." She looked over to his companions. "It wouldn't have happened without Ellison..." At Blair's raised eyebrows, she grinned and added "...and Sandburg. They're quite a team."

Looking over at them appreciatively, Simon laughed. "Don't I know it."

"Any word on your new command?" Blair asked, breaking in.

"They're giving me my own substation," Finkelman reported proudly. "I start next week."

"That's great!"

As they exchanged a few pleasantries about the new location and knowledge of that area of town, Joel approached carrying a large flowering plant. He held it up, wagging his eyebrows at Simon. "Oh, Simon," he sang out, "These came from Amy at the hospital for you." Grinning from ear to ear, he thrust the plant at the Captain.

Jim sneezed.

"Oh, so it is the flowers," Finkelman observed. "All this time, I thought it was me."

Jim sniffed and looked from Finkelman to Banks. "No, just captains in general." He walked away, a slight smirk pulling at his mouth.

Simon frowned, looking down at Blair. Finkelman chuckled.

"Uh, these are nice," the younger man said, nervously fingering the flowers. "So, Simon...are you and Amy seeing each other?"

"That's Captain Banks, Sandburg, and that's none of your business!" Simon blustered, looking after Jim and missing Joel's quick nod and wink to the anthropologist. Blair laughed and followed his partner, eating the cupcake.

Joel changed his laugh into a cough as Simon turned to look at him, then smiled at Finkelman. He took the box from her hands. "Let me carry that to your car, Captain," he offered. They moved away.

Simon stood at the doorway of his office, the new plant tucked in the crook one arm, the box of cigars in the opposite hand, and no cupcake. As he surveyed the bullpen, he shook his head and wondered what he had just missed. With a self-depreciating grin, he shook his head, turned and entered his office. It didn't matter, he was back.

The End


Act IV