Protecting the Protectors

By Polly


Rating: PG for a little bad language

Notes: Futurefic. One of these days I may expand this bunny, but in the meantime...


Daryl Banks rubbed his tired eyes and wondered what he was supposed to do next.

After going to bed at midnight, he'd been awakened by the phone at 3 A.M. That was fifteen hours ago. The voice on the other end of the line had belonged to an anxious state trooper who was looking for his dad... and like any 3 A.M. phone call, it hadn't been good news.

Jim and Blair had been camping in the Cascades - why couldn't they just take normal vacations like everybody else? - and had apparently come across a drug lab. There'd been an explosion in which both men had been injured. Blair was in and out of consciousness, having received such a blow to the head that even when he was awake, he was incoherent. His doctor said his X-rays looked good, though, and he basically just needed time.

Jim, on the other hand, was deeply unconscious, but Daryl suspected it was some kind of zone relating to the explosion itself, since the doctor hadn't found any physical injuries other than superficial cuts and bruises. Jim was stable, but Daryl knew Jim was going to need Blair to pull him back to reality.

That was all bad enough. Worse was the fact that his dad was out of state at a law enforcement symposium on domestic terrorism. Daryl had notified his dad as soon as he'd gotten off the phone with the trooper, and Simon Banks was already on his way from San Francisco.

Daryl had arranged for Jim and Blair to be placed in the same room; a request thankfully backed by Henri and Rafe, who'd been pulling an all-nighter in Major Crime - which had also been contacted by the state police. The staties had been talked into posting a guard in case anyone involved in the drug ring decided to seek revenge - so another problem was covered.

The biggest hassle was standing right in front of Daryl. While searching for next-of-kin, the hospital in Sedro-Woolley had naturally called the loft itself. Unfortunately, Naomi Sandburg had been there and gotten the message, arriving soon after Daryl.

Daryl had heard his dad say what a lovely woman Naomi Sandburg was. He personally couldn't see it. The fight had been on all day; Naomi pushing to have Blair transferred to Cascade General, while Daryl had been turning himself inside out trying to block her efforts.

The argument had escalated, traveling from the waiting room (where H was now snoring out his own utter exhaustion), to Blair's bedside (Rafe and the nurses had thrown them both out when they got loud), and was currently situated in the offices of the hospital's administration, with an audience that included a CFO, a couple of attorneys, a social worker, and a state police captain who'd come down firmly on Daryl's side.

Not that that swayed Naomi at all; she was still tripping.

Daryl took a deep breath and tried again to be the voice of reason.

"Miss Sandburg, Blair gave Jim his medical power of attorney almost a decade ago. In the event that Jim is injured or incapacitated, the responsibility for both of them falls to my father, and he'll be here soon. Not only is what you're planning not in Blair's or Jim's best interests, you don't have the legal right-"

"I have every right. I'm Blair's mother. I want him moved to a hospital in Cascade as soon as possible and I'm not going to let anybody stand in my way."

Damn, the woman was whacked! Eight years after trashing Blair's career, and she still didn't get that sentinel and guide had to stay together?

"If you separate Jim and Blair you'll be risking their lives. They're safer together, under guard."

"My baby will never be safe as long as he hangs around-"

"Your baby is almost forty years old and a decorated police detective," Daryl shot back angrily, the last of his hard-earned patience going up in a cloud of steam. Whirling, he glared at the hospital's lawyers. "Detective Sandburg's medical power of attorney is quite specific. At no point is his mother given any decision-making power. If you let her take him out of here, you will regret it. I may have just passed the bar but I'm quite capable of filing suit-"

"Are you threatening me? Blair won't appreciate-"

"There's a reason he doesn't include you on his notification information or his power of attorney! He doesn't trust you, Miss Sandburg, and from what I can see he's totally justified!"

"How dare you! I am taking my son out of this hospital and getting him away from you people-"

"'We people' are his family, his real family, the one that sees him ALL THE DAMN TIME instead of doing a drive-by once or twice a year!"

"I think that's enough," Simon Banks said calmly as he walked in, still a powerfully stern authority figure with an air of gravitas that Daryl doubted he'd ever achieve. Letting out a poorly-hidden sigh of relief, Daryl made the introduction.

"Chief of Police Simon Banks, City of Cascade."

"And designated secondary health care advocate for Blair Sandburg and James Ellison," Simon added, holding up the relevant forms. He put one arm around Daryl's shoulder and whispered in his son's ear. "I just came from their room. Sandburg's making almost as much sense as he ever does and Jim's awake now. Why don't you go on up and see them?"

"Thank you, Jesus," Daryl whispered back, taking a moment to wearily lean into his dad's sheltering arm, happily ignoring Naomi Sandburg's indignant squawks.

"You did great, Daryl. I'm so proud of you," Simon murmured. Daryl drew himself up straight and met his father's warm eyes.

"Thanks, Dad."

He had done enough. He'd protected their friends.

And they were all going to sit down soon and have a nice discussion about adding his name to that paperwork... just in case.


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