Before anything else, I'm very grateful to Whumpqueen for giving me her blessing to write and post this story! I love her story 'I Once was Lost' (and recommend you read it as well) and always hoped that it would be finished someday. It prompted me to wonder about how that scenario would play out if a missing Jamie was found decades after he was kidnapped while life for the rest of the family went on just like it did on the show with both Mary and Joe gone. I tried to make this story a little different than Whumpqueen's, but the idea was all hers and again, I can't say thank you enough for her blessing to play with this concept and get it out of my head. I hope I did it justice.
Police Commissioner Frank Reagan glanced up as the doors of the elevator opened onto the fourth floor of St. Victor's Hospital. His expression confirmed to all that saw him that he was not happy to be here. As hopeful as he had been for a way out of a luncheon comprised of visiting foreign dignitaries, he would have preferred to suffer through the inane pleasantries and rubber chicken over having to leave because of the news that had been quietly whispered into his ear by a member of his detail. And no one knew better than Frank Reagan as to how devastating an incident like this could be, because when an officer-down call went out over the radio, he was instantly transported back to one of the most horrible nights of his life, one three years ago when that same call went out for his very own son, Joe...another son lost, taken by another set of evil circumstances that even he could not anticipate. Joe had been gone before any of them could get to the emergency department forty feet below from where he stood right now and while every call of this nature was upsetting, ever since that day they caused a true sense of dread to settle in the pit of his stomach whenever that sort of bitter news was delivered.
Frank found his DCPI Garrett Moore waiting for him in front of the nurses station and could only assume he had better news to report considering that he'd been led up to one of the hospital's medical wards. "How's my officer?"
Garrett blew out a sigh, relieved to be saying the following words. "He's going to be okay, he got real lucky."
"I don't call getting shot being lucky, Garrett," Frank remarked while the area between his eyebrows remained wrinkled in concern.
"Maybe not, but it could have been worse, Frank. The bullet only grazed his side, more of a flesh wound," Moore explained.
"There is that," Frank exhaled.
"Yeah. Docs stitched him up and he'll spend a night in the hospital just as a precaution. The nurses are just getting him situated in his room."
Frank nodded as he felt a heavy weight lifted from his shoulders. "What do we know about the shooter?"
"Matthew Shay, twenty-eight year old junkie from Queens, priors for possession, assault and armed robbery. He was holding the bodega owner at gunpoint when our guys were walking by on patrol. They went in to try and diffuse the situation, Shay was high as a kite and panicked, fired first and hit Officer Riordan. His TO, Seargent Renzulli, fired back and hit Shay in the shoulder. He's in surgery now, but the bastard got lucky in that regard too, he should make a full recovery."
"So that he can get locked up for good this time," Frank declared. There was no way this Shay character was getting a slap on the wrist for shooting one of his men.
"Amen to that," Garrett agreed.
Now came the task of visiting his injured officer, but he hated to walk into that room knowing nothing more than his officer's name. He prided himself on knowing something more about those that worked for him than just their rank and name, but with a force 35,000 strong, that was obviously impossible. Thankfully, he had people to help him with that. "What do you know about Officer Riordan? How long has he been on the force?"
Garrett was thoroughly prepared for those questions. It was one of the things he admired most about his boss - his desire to have a deeper understanding of the men and women under his command. It was too bad that frightening incidents like this prompted these impromptu reports on his officers' lives. "Under two years, Frank. Graduated at the top of his class. Single, no wife or kids. Goes by Jimmy. Renzulli said he's a great kid, real smart. He nearly had a coronary himself when he saw him go down."
Frank pursed his lips at the mention of that name. "Renzulli's a good cop. Trained my Joe too," he remarked.
It wasn't often the Frank mentioned his younger son and it caught Garrett by surprise. "I didn't realize..." he said as his brows arched up.
"You couldn't have known," Frank shrugged and looked over at the small empty waiting area before turning back to his DCPI. "Has his family been notified?"
"We tried reaching his mother in Buffalo but haven't had any success. She's the only family listed as his emergency contact. Renzulli said he's an only child, doesn't think the father was ever in the picture and he doesn't say much about the mom or anyone else back home so he couldn't offer any other suggestions on getting a hold of her. He's been partnered with him since he got out of the academy - recently came off probation - but Riordan doesn't volunteer much about his background."
Frank nodded in understanding. Despite all of the ups and downs his own family had endured over the years, they were still there for each other no matter what and God knew it sometimes felt like they'd had more bad than good to deal with. But keeping mum on the subject of family with a guy you road with every day for over a year was an indication that Officer Riordan probably hadn't been as lucky in that respect. "That's a shame. No one should be alone after something like this."
Garrett turned when he noticed the nurses leaving a hospital room down the hall. "Looks like they got him settled, Frank," he said and led the way.
Frank followed Garrett and acknowledged the officer standing guard outside of Riordan's hospital room before laying eyes on the young man reclining against the raised head of the hospital bed...and his heart stuttered for a moment. Frank remained frozen just inside the doorway, struck first by the officer's appearance. His brows furrowed at the striking resemblance to Joe - the high cheekbones, the shape of his face and then...
"Sir?" Garrett whispered in confusion when he turned and found his boss staring oddly at the wounded officer.
That drew Riordan's attention, who up until that moment had been laying back with his eyes closed, struggling to fight off the effects of the pain medication they had injected into his IV downstairs before moving him into a room. But the meds weren't enough to prevent the discomfort that came from sitting up quickly at the sight of the Police Commissioner standing in his room.
The eyes, Frank thought, they were just like Joe's - an unusual hazel with flecks of blue that he'd never seen on anyone else. Shaken by the similarities, Frank swallowed thickly and shoved all thoughts of his late son from his mind to focus on the task at hand. "At ease, Officer Riordan," he ordered gently when noticing the young man's pained grimace.
"Sir, uh, sorry, I guess I wasn't expecting to see you here," Riordan replied nervously while trying to remain partially upright or at least as much as the damn stitches would allow. He wasn't sure what the protocol was when greeting a superior with a gunshot wound to your side and assumed it was a free pass on saluting his boss but he didn't think he should slouch back against the bed either.
"Neither was I. This isn't exactly how I want to be meeting one of my newer officers for the first time, but I am relieved to be standing here speaking with you, Officer Riordan," Frank said in a lighter tone, instantly picking up on the young man's nervous demeanor. Garrett's cell phone interrupted them and he quickly excused himself after checking the caller ID, leaving the two on their own.
Riordan was at a loss on what to say or do now that he was left all alone in the small hospital room with the commissioner watching over him and blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "I'm sorry, sir."
Frank's brow creased in confusion. "For what? For doing your job and walking up on a crime in progress? You and Sergeant Renzulli did well, son. Unfortunately, you had a perp who wouldn't or maybe couldn't listen to reason," he said, hoping his officer wasn't thinking he was here to fault him for getting shot.
Riordan wasn't one to argue with a superior, much less the Police Commissioner himself, and took his words at face value, relaxing against the bed once he started to believe he wasn't in any trouble. "Yes, sir."
"I understand the wound wasn't too bad."
"No, sir. They may let me out of here tomorrow after the doc checks me out again," Riordan advised.
"That's good to hear, son," Frank smiled. "Do you have family we could contact?" he asked, hoping that he had someone nearby.
"Uh, no...well, not..." he stammered and looked down to where his hands were worrying the edge of the hospital blanket, unsure of how to answer that question for his superior.
"Your mother, perhaps?" Frank suggested, saddened more than he expected to be by the shaky response. "I understand we've already made an attempt to reach out to her but we have not been able to get a hold of her. I would hate to have a mother hear about something like this from the media. Have you been allowed to try her yourself yet?"
"Uh, no, well, yes, but...uh, I'll try her in a bit. She's probably working," Riordan rambled, as he usually did when the subject of his family arose.
"Are you alright, Jimmy? I mean, aside from the obvious," Frank questioned, his concern for the young officer deepening for some inexplicable reason.
"Yes, sir. I'm fine. Must be the medicine they gave me...got me a little foggy," Riordan covered quickly. The meds had gotten to him but not as much as this visit.
"I'm sure they did, that along with everything else. You've had an exciting day," Frank smiled kindly. "I won't keep you from resting. I just wanted to make sure you were alright and let you know you did a fine job out there. I'm real proud of you, son."
"Thank you, sir. That means a lot," Riordan replied. It really did; Frank Reagan was a cop's cop and the main reason he'd left Buffalo and headed for the academy in New York City. There wasn't a more upstanding, ethical leader in all of law enforcement than Frank Reagan, of that he was sure because he had done his homework before deciding on where to apply. He was the type of person he wanted to work for.
"You take care, son," Frank said, wanting to put an end to the visit so that the poor boy could rest, but there was something about this young man that made him want to stay, hating the idea of leaving him behind with no family to sit by his side. "If you need anything, anything at all, well, you know where I am," he offered.
"Yes, sir," the officer nodded in return, taking that as nothing more than the standard words he would offer to any other officer he'd visit in the hospital. "Thank you, sir."
I would also like to give a shout out to BlueBlood82 for the constant feedback through each and every chapter; it was greatly appreciated and extremely helpful in developing this story. :)
Lastly, with all of my stories, I try hard to make everything as true to the show as possible or, when it comes to legal procedures or medical situations, etc, to make them accurate as well. But remember that this is fan fiction and sometimes it works better for the story to stretch the truth or mold the facts a little bit to make them fit better. There is some of that here in this story, so be prepared. I hope that you'll read this for your entertainment and that you enjoy it...and please review so I know what you think. :)