Colby had got back to his apartment too wired to sleep at 2am following a raid that had cleaned up one of the teams most recent cases. Throwing on some sweats he decided to run the adrenaline out of his system, taking his Cell Phone on a lanyard with his FBI ID and his key on it he set off towards the park he liked to run in.
As his feet pounded the pavement about 30 minutes into his run Colby pulled up short as a scream ripped through the night air. He stopped and listened, hearing another scream he set of at a sprint in the direction the sound had come from. He slowed as he reached where he had estimated the source of the noise; Colby crept around the bushes on the corner so he could assess the situation before rushing in blindly.
What he saw filled him with anger, an anger that was not diminished by the fact that he saw violence every day in his job. He just wished he had brought a weapon, feeling rather inadequate to come to the rescue armed with his wits only. He quickly called it in quietly as he decided on the best course of action.
The scene was disturbing, a group of 3 males, young probably early 20s were watching as another man pinned a young woman to the floor, obviously intent on raping her. Colby swore to himself quietly before deciding that announcing himself loudly as FBI would be the only option that would halt the assault before it went too far and hoping that the little gang dispersed in panic.
"FBI, step away from the girl." Colby shouted as he stepped from behind the foliage. It didn't play out as he had wanted, he knew it was a long shot but he had hoped. Instead of running the 3 turned towards him and grinned.
"Yo, FBI, niiiice, what are you gonna do homes? You haven't even got a piece?"
"You are making a mistake guys, the police are on the way, you don't want to do anything you will regret." Colby said in a calm voice, realising that he was the one who had made the mistake realising too late that the 3 were armed with a baseball bat and at least one knife that he could see. The only relief was that the 4th male had got off the young woman and let her run off into the darkness, though of course that meant that the gang had found better sport. Him. He could only hope that the police arrived soon or he would need a paramedic not a police car.
"Yo, homes, not so confident now huh?" The 4th said, leering at him in a menacing manner.
Colby decided discretion was the better part of valour in this unwinnable situation and turned tail and ran, the gang hot on his heels. It wasn't long before he felt an impact from behind as he was taken down by a rough tackle. Colby rolled with it and came up to his feet in time to receive a fist in the face.
"You done now FBI, you gonna think twice before messing with the 55's again." Aw shit, thought Colby, trust me to pick realbangers and not some weak wannabes to tangle with.
Colby started stepping around carefully taking in the positions of his attackers, waiting for the next blow. It was the knife that he found most disconcerting; despite the bangers seeming desire to teach him a lesson and not kill him a knife was no laughing matter. He didn't have to wait long, he stepped forward into the incoming baseball bat, lifting his arm over it taking the blow in the ribs but trapping the bat under his arm. He grunted in pain as he felt a sickening crack in his side.
Before he could even think about breathing, blows rained down on him, beating him to the ground where fists were soon replaced by kicks as he released his grip on the bat and curled into a ball protecting himself as best he could hoping that they would get bored soon.
Suddenly the blows stopped and despite his injuries Colby immediately rolled to his knees and pushed himself to his feet. Only to find himself grabbed from behind, an arm round his throat and a hand clamped down over his mouth. Suddenly realising the reason for the pause in his beating he started to struggle, seeing the LAPD officer walking round the park. He started to feel woozy before he registered the warmth spreading across his abdomen and the sharp pain in his ribs. The last thing he heard was a whispered "Later FBI" as he saw 4 pairs of sneakers retreating into the undergrowth.
"Eppes" Don answered automatically as he picked up his cell having been asleep mere seconds earlier.
"Hey Lt, what can I do for you?" Don asked.
"It's about Agent Granger, my guys called me after they found his FBI ID"
"What do you mean 'found' his ID, what's going on Gary?" Said Don worry tingeing his voice.
"He has been injured in an incident and is on his way to County General."
"An incident? What kind of incident? How badly injured is he?"
"Don, he is not good, you had better come to the hospital, I will fill you in on the few details I have when you get here."
With that Don hung up.
"How is he?" Don demanded as he jogged up to Lt Walker in the waiting room.
"He is up in surgery, he has taken one hell of a beating, has 2 broken ribs and has been stabbed. I am not going to lie to you, he was intubated when they rushed him up to the OR, it doesn't look good."
Don let out the breath he had been holding and sank down on a plastic chair. "God Gary, what's going on? Last I knew he was headed home for some sleep after wrapping up our case. How the hell has he ended up in hospital?"
"Well I don't know all the details, we may have to wait for Agent Grangers return to health to get them all but this is what I have got: He was out jogging in the park, we know that much from his state of dress, at some point he stumbled on a small gang who were busy attacking a young woman, we know this because he called it in. After that it is nothing but guesswork. There is no sign of the girl or the gang but I am guessing that your Agent wouldn't stand idly by and watch while he waited for backup?"
"No." Was all Don could manage, still soaking up the information Gary had given him.
"Well I am also guessing that he wasn't armed because it appears that there were no gun shots and your agent was stabbed and beaten which wouldn't have happened had he been armed. Further than that Eppes, your guess is as good as mine, we are canvassing trying to get a handle on the girl and shaking down local bangers to get to the men who hurt Agent Granger."
Don let out a breath "Thanks Gary, I need to get hold of David and Megan, they are going to want in on this."
"Agent Granger was lucky", the doctor had said, "his broken ribs and the stab wound missed his lungs. However the stab wound hit a minor artery causing him to lose a considerable amount of blood. He is not breathing on his own, the damage to his abdomen caused by the stab wound and blunt force trauma have compromised his diaphragm so he is on a ventilator."
Don was staring at Colby trying to take it all in. The ventilator was eerie, pumping air into his agent at regular intervals, it was weird watching Colby's chest rise and fall not of his own accord. He was hooked up to several IV's, feeding blood and various drugs into his body. Don had never seen his agent so still.
It had been 2 days since his early morning call from Gary and Don had spent what little time he was not spending trying to catch Colby's attackers at the stricken agents bedside in rotation with the rest of the team, including Charlie and Gary.
Lucky, he thought how is this lucky, lying half dead in hospital, god Colby, how did this happen.
His thoughts were interrupted by a stirring from the bed. The stirring suddenly stepped up a notch and Don was on his feet looking at the pain filled and confused eyes of his fallen agent. Colby was struggling against the ventilator, Don hit the emergency button and tried to soothe Colby.
"Colby, COLBY, look at me, you are ok, you are in hospital, the docs are on the way, calm down, stop fighting it, STOP fighting it." This last shout stilled Colby, he stop struggling and continued to stare straight at Don, eyes boring into him filled with pain, confusion and panic.
"Agent Granger", Don hadn't heard the doctor come in,"we are going to get that tube out but it is going to hurt, I am going to put a pillow over your stomach" Colby's eyes now fixed on the doctor blinked and he nodded slightly,"now I am going to ask you to cough and then I will pull the tube out OK?" Colby nodded again. "Now cough."
Colby complied and the tube was removed, leaving him breathless and face screwed up in pain, eyes shut tight. "Agent Granger, open your eyes, try to relax." A nurse slipped an oxygen mask on him and Colby's breathing evened out a little.
Don watched as the doctor checked Colby over, questioning his agent gently and injecting something into his IV. "Agent Granger needs to rest, I have just given him some morphine as he is some considerable pain due to his injuries. You can stay for a short while but please don't question him or agitate him." With that the doctor swept out.
"Don?" Colby's voice, muffled by the oxygen mask and rough from the ventilator, turned Dons head, "What happn" He slurred.
"Bud we were hoping you could tell us, but don't worry about that now, get some rest, the questions will be here when you wake up." Don could see Colby's eyes drifting shut.
"Th...grll?" Colby slipped out as he fell under the blanket of darkness that welcomed him.
"Get some rest bud, we'll find her."
Don was wakened by a gasp and a crash as the nurse that had just entered Colby's room dropped the metal tray she was carrying and rushed out.
What the hell? Thought Don as he got up to check on Colby who has roused from his drug induced slumber at the noise.
"Hey Colb, how ya feeling?"
"I think... confused and in pain would cover it." Colby replied in obvious discomfort.
"I bet you are, feeling up to a few questions?" Don raised his eyebrows in question
"I, uh, think so, if I can stay awake, I feel so tired man."
"What's the last thing you remember?" Don asked. Waiting patiently as Colby closed his eyes, Don thought he had fallen asleep already when Colby opened his eyes and spoke.
"Don the girl, what happened to the girl?"
"I don't know bud, the LAPD found you in the park near your house, unconscious, beaten and stabbed, all we know about the girl is what you said on your backup request."
"I think I can fill in a blank or two here" a voice interjected from the door, "I am 'the girl'"
Both Colby and Don's eyes widened as Colby recognised his damsel in distress and Don recognised the nurse from earlier.
"I ran when the man let me go, I have been feeling awful for leaving you but I panicked" she continued, a sob entering her voice towards the end. Don stepped towards her and put a hand around her shoulder.
"Hey, that's understandable, but why didn't you report it later?" Don asked gently.
"I, I, I didn't want to think about it, I was nearly raped and, and...." She dissolved into tears and Don held her to his chest, sneaking a look Colby's way who had yet to say anything. He looked relieved but wired.
"Don, what the hell is going on?" Colby sat up, he started to cough and wheeze, his body not ready for the exertion of sitting up so suddenly.
It was a while before the nurse had calmed down, a doctor had come in and sedated Colby who couldn't get his breathing under control and had told the nurse to take the night off. Don gave Gary a call and was surprised to hear that the Lt was about to call him having just dragged in 4 suspects in Colby's attack.
"He's in no shape to identify anyone yet Gary, he can't stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time. But we have hit a stroke of luck, the girl that was attacked too? She is a nurse here at the hospital and has just recognised Colby."
"You think she will play ball Eppes?" Gary asked in his usual direct manner.
"I'll talk to her." Don said as he snapped his phone shut.
A week later Colby was released into the care of a very grateful nurse who felt she owed him one for his heroics. The bangers had been charged and were awaiting trial on the charges of assault, attempted rape and attempted murder of a federal agent.
"You don't have to do this." He grumbled as she settled him onto his couch.
"Says you." She said back lightly laughing.
"I didn't have a choice, what was I gonna do, leave them to it?"
"I don't know run faster maybe?" She ribbed him. Colby had recounted his story several times now and he was a little sick of the slights on his speed.
"I had just been on a half hour run, what did you expect?" He said grumpily.
"Oh Colby, I'm sorry, I was just kidding."
"What were you doing in the park at that time of night anyway?" His one till thus far unanswered question.
"It was just a run in the park, FBI agents aren't the only ones who keep strange hours you know."