A/N: So I really miss this fandom and the stupid TV channel that used to air 21 Jump Street cancelled it to put Malcolm and Eddie on. Seriously! They canceled 21 Jump Street to replace it with Malcolm and Eddie of all things! Anyways, I decided to write this after rewatching Swallowed Alive. I hope you enjoy! Oh, and I don't own 21 Jump Street. Warning: Death of a character and cursing.
Tom Hanson stared at the empty classroom. His eyes were wide as they fell upon each empty seat. The ominous sound of each ticking second lurked from the clock above his head; each tick a second closer to when he would face them. They would be here in about five more minutes. Tom bit his lower lip thinking back to that week undercover with Doug Penhall and Dennis Booker at this very detention center. That was years ago though and he had left that lifestyle so long ago that some days he found it hard to even remember placing a white bandana over his head and yanking ripped and faded jeans onto his scrawny legs. That had to be at least a good fifteen years ago. He was younger then, and stupider. He hadn't a head on his shoulders much less common sense. Now that he had finally figured out what to do with his life, he had felt set for good. He knew this was what he wanted, what he needed but now as each second ticked by, Tom began to wonder if he had made the right decision by applying for this job in the first place.
He began to pace as each second ticked by. He tried to tell himself that everything would be okay. This was his first day, the hard day. After today, the rest would be a downhill ride, he was sure of it. Besides, there was a button next to the door that he could push if anything got out of hand. Yesterday, when he had had the rundown from the head warden, he had learned that if he needed anything or if any trouble arose, all he had to do was press the button and three officers would come immediately. Also, Tom wasn't completely clueless when it came to throwing punches which was something else the warden had also advised him of. If he ever felt in danger, all he would have to do was defend himself. But then again, Tom wasn't big on knocking around kids – even if they needed it. Besides, he was a firm believer of "pick on someone your own size" considering most of his life, and even now, he was a runt.
Tom glanced at the clock. It was nine. They would be coming in any minute now. They would be here and they would take their seats and he would have to teach them. Tom began to wonder if any of them actually wanted to learn. Maybe he could light somebody's bulb. That was, after all, why he had applied for this job in the first place. He wanted to make a difference in a kid's life. He wanted to be that one person, the same kind of person his father and Captain Adam Fuller were to him. If only one, just one, kid would allow him that satisfaction.
The opened and a group of fifteen boys sauntered in. Three guards were with them, making sure no one got out of hand, that no one got into any trouble. Tom stood behind the desk, pushed his shoulders back, and firmly squared his jaw. He had to look tough, it wasn't a hard thing for him to accomplish. After all, he had survived a lot in his life, probably more than half these kids in here. Tom watched as each one took a seat. They seemed fairly easy from what he could tell. Then again, there were three guards there. Would they have the same ease after they left, after the door was closed? Tom tried not to gulp.
"Everything squared away, Mr. Hanson?" One of the guards asked.
"Yes. If I need anything, I'll just call."
The guard nodded before sending an evil glare to the students before taking his leave. Tom straightened and stared at the students before him. He had a speech prepared but suddenly, he couldn't recall his words. Tom swallowed hard before introducing himself.
"Hi," he tried his best to smile pleasantly, "I am Mr. Tom Hanson – your new teacher. I have never taught a class before so I guess this is a first time for both of us. I would like to tell you a little about myself before we get started. I used to be a cop," several of the boys snickered or sneered. Tom ignored them and continued, "I worked undercover and was even stationed in this very center for a week. I have seen the same things you have, experienced the same things you have. I want to let you know, I understand. I know what it's like."
"So why did you quit being a cop?" A kid in the middle row asked. He had a tough face but kind eyes. He didn't look like the type of person that would be in a detention center. Tom zeroed in on the kid and swore he would find out more about him.
"What's your name?" Tom asked.
"Joseph," the kid answered.
"Joseph, the only reason I became a cop was because my father was one. On the night he died, I swore to myself that I would protect my mother and all the others my father no longer could. That's why I became a cop. Four or five years into it, I decided I wanted to do something more with my life. Something meaningful. That's when I decided to get certified to become a teacher and work here."
"Oh," a kid in the back rolled his eyes, "One of those self-righteous types, huh? Probably just trying to make yourself look good. We don't need your kind in here. You don't know what we've been through. You haven't seen what we have seen. You were here for a week. I've been here for five years and I've got five more to go so don't you dare start talking about your little experiences here, got it, Tommy?" The kid raised an eyebrow and Tom could feel himself flush. What was with this kid?
"Alright, so maybe I don't know everything. Maybe I don't know what you've seen or what you've been through but I do know this, all of you have potential that is falling to waste in this hellhole so why not put your minds to good use?"
"You march in here wanting to make a difference, impact us, change us?" The same kid challenged, "Well I can tell you know, it won't work. Go back to wherever you came from, Tommy. Go back to your little cop friends and leave us the fuck alone!"
"Alright," Tom nodded, trying to keep his calm, "I could do that. I could just walk out of here right now and then where will you be? If I leave, what will you do once you get out of here? People don't heir unless you got a high school diploma, ya know. But that's fine by me. What do I care that you'll wind up on the streets, veins pickled to the gills in God knows what and heart beats fading. What do I care?" Tom's voice was rising now and a few kids' eyes widened, "What's your name?" Tom asked the boy in the back."
"Wouldn't you like to know."
"Alright," Tom nodded again, "Don't tell me. But you can stay after class today and…"
"Sorry, teach," the kid sneered, "I'm in isolation. I get out only five hours out of each day to have my class and then I go back right in there so no staying after for me."
Tom's mind instantly drifted to Doug Penhall, his partner, his best friend, his brother, stuck in isolation. He could still hear the deafening screams. The very memory caused Tom to wince.
"Yeah," Joseph grinned, "Ol' Big J over there killed a cop!"
"Shut up, fa…"
"Alright!" Tom cut them off, "Joseph, leave Big J alone and Big J…" Tom gulped.
"Scared, Tommy?" J laughed, "You should be. I killed a cop like yourself. He had to die, understand, Tommy? Officer Doug Penhall had to die."
Tom's eyes widened. It seemed like just yesterday that he had gotten the phone call at the bowling alley where he worked.
"Fuller? What's going on? Is everything okay?"
"I'm afraid not, son," Fuller's voice cracked, "There's been a-a shooting. Doug was on a drug bust when…when one of the kids we were after pulled a gun…"
"The kid…he shot Doug before fleeing. We haven't caught the kid yet, Tom but we will. I swear to you that we will."
"No! This…this can't be right. There's a…a mistake."
"There is no mistake, Tom. Doug is dead. He had no living family left but you, Tom. You'll have to make the arrangements."
"He…he would have wanted a memorial, not a funeral. Funerals were too sad for a kid like Doug. He wouldn't want cryin' either. Hated cryin'. Also…he wanted to be cremated. He…he couldn't stand the idea of…of bugs eating…his…eyes out."
"Tom…I know this is hard."
"Captain…he was my brother. My best friend."
"I know, Tom. I know you and Doug were close…"
"Not just close, Cap'n…best friends. He…he didn't deserve to die. Not like this. Not so soon."
"Tom, when would you like the service to be?"
"Soon. Tomorrow…would be good. Get everyone together, Cap'n. Get them all there. Even…even Booker and Blowfish. He'd have…he'd have wanted us all there."
The memorial service had been the next day. Everyone from Jump Street had come, each with their own words of comfort for each other. No one really knew what to do or what to say. Not even Booker who, surprisingly, had looked just as sad as the others. Tom had tried to be strong. He had tried not to let his emotions get to him. He tried to tell himself that Doug wouldn't want him to cry. But Doug wasn't there, and after the service, Tom jumped into the Mustang and drove away, tears streaking his cheeks, his heart heaving with grief. That was five years ago. He was older now and had thought he had gotten past the death of his brother, but as Big J sat before him, Tom couldn't help but feel a sudden sense of anger and hate.
"Doug…Penhall?" Tom choked, "Douglass Penhall?"
"Yup," J sneered, "Jerk deserved it. All cops do."
"Johnny Davis!" Tom growled, his voice chilled with icy hate, "Johnny Christopher Davis!"
"How…how do you know that?" J asked.
"Because," Tom answered coolly, "You took the life of my best friend, my brother, Douglass Penhall."
"Sweet," Johnny sneered, leaning back in his seat with a smirk plastered on his face. Tom had to fight the urge to run over, throw Johnny against the wall, and beat the shit out of him but he couldn't. Doug wouldn't have liked that. Calm down, Tom told himself, just do what you came here to do. Johnny is doing his time. Don't compromise things…"
"Turn…turn in your text books to page thirty-seven and read the story. There are questions on the next page. Answer those and turn them in. You have thirty minutes. Go!" Tom's voice was cool and surprisingly calm. He would just have to get this past him. Johnny killed Doug and he in here serving his time. He had been caught and brought to justice. Too bad that sitting there in isolation for ten years didn't seem like enough to Tom Hanson.
A/N: So, should I continue…?