Title: Blood is Thicker than Blue
Chapter 14 – Closing the Case?
A/N: A HUGE and very special thank you to everyone who read and reviewed this story - your feedback kept me going and even inspired me to change and add a few things. I really did enjoy writing this story and hope you will all like this ending just as much as the previous chapters. To those that have annoymous accounts, a very special thank you to you as well as I cannot personally reply.
"Well kid that is one hell of a story."
"Dad saved Lydia," Jamie looks at his father with pride. "And Ron."
"Way to go Francis," Henry smiles at his son. "You actually think Winston will cop a plea?"
"Depends on what he has to lose and what he has to gain."
"Gain?" Jamie looks at his father sharply. "He murdered Joe he should gain nothing."
"That is emotion talking," Frank gently corrects. "He could also be like Malvesky, a pawn in a bigger game."
"Ron even confirmed in that file that it was his initials on those changed files," Jamie argues back. "He had the motive and you said he confessed."
"In anger he suggested that what I said was right. But he never came out and said that he murdered Joe and why," Frank tries to explain. "I only hope that he doesn't say anything and if there is anyone else involved that it will possibly draw them out also."
"You don't think it's over do you," Henry states more than questions.
"I…I don't know," Frank huffs as he looks down at his hands, his mind quickly replaying the exact moment where he was when Joe was gunned down and he got the call.
'Chief what is it…'
'Frank it's um…oh god it's Joe…he…he…oh god I'm so sorry. He's gone…'
"What?" Jamie looks up at his father in wonder.
"Just thinking back to when Bill called me just after Joe was killed," Frank's voice dies out into a soft whisper before he looks back up at the two expectant faces with a small smile. "But it's over for now. Lydia will take the witness protection deal that Erin will present to her tomorrow after the judge signs it and then her and her children will go someplace safe. Winston will probably put it all onto Malvesky and if it ever goes to trial…"
"Trial - ha! He'll be dead long before then," Henry interjects.
"Probably," Frank nods in agreement before he looks over at Jamie. "You need some rest and now that you know everyone is safe I hope you'll at least try to sleep in a little bit more than yesterday."
"I think I will. Well…" Jamie slowly stands up and then looks at his father and grandfather and gives them a small smile. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight son," Frank answers warmly. Both older men watch the youngest Reagan leave the room and exchange glances.
"I'll bet he'll be up before us," Henry chides.
"We learned all our best traits from you pop," Frank smirks as he stands up and pats his father on the shoulder.
"Hey, I sleep in…well I did once," Henry mumbles to himself in the now quiet living room. "Sleep well Jamie," he whispers as he raises his eyes and looks toward the stairs.
Jamie, however, isn't able to get to sleep just yet, his mind still wondering what cryptic meaning the look that Chief Winston gave him before Danny took him away to be booked. As he was the police Chief he would be held in a special holding cell, with only certain officers; those hand-picked by Frank himself, to watch until he would be officially arraigned.
He thinks about Danny arriving just on time but as he ponders for a few seconds the chance that his brother would be late, his whole body shudders and he finds himself curling further into the middle of the bed, seeking shelter in the blankets snugly wrapped around him. Lydia was alive and would fully recover and then her and her children would be safe, for that he was more than thankful. She had risked her life to help him and the least he could do was offer another prayer of thanks that her children wouldn't be orphans.
He was told by his father that he wasn't able to explain everything to his partner, Frank's office would be drafting up an official statement the following day; one that would try to preserve the reputation of the now slightly tainted police precinct. But he knows that things won't ever be the same – Joe was murdered. He wasn't gunned down in the line of duty as they had so thought, he was murdered in cold blood.
That thought made his both shudder once more and he now wonders if he was the only one so emotionally affected; almost mentally crippled the longer he allowed his mind to dwell on the fact of just how vulnerable they really were with someone sinister on the inside working against them.
I miss you Joe, Jamie's mind laments in torment. He feels his eyes water and quickly swallows, squeezing his eyes shut before he completely breaks down. His breathing starts to shallow as his mind pictures himself holding Joe's lifeless body while Chief Winston stands overhead and just laughs down at him.
Sleep well little bro, Joe's comforting words from long ago come into his mind and forces the negative image to finally fade into the blackness. Jamie finally feels his body stop fighting the fatigue and allows himself to be pulled further into darkness, his mind losing the battle and his eyes not opening again until the morning.
Linda wakes up the next morning, slowly opening her eyes and glancing over at her husband, finally noticing the small bruise on his cheek and cut above his upper left brow.
"It's nothin' to worry about babe," Danny's soft voice is heard as he opens his eyes and looks over at her.
"How did you know?"
"Felt your body tense and when I got home last night it was dark. So I just figured," Danny smirks as he rolls onto his side, propping himself up on his elbow and looking down at her, his fingers absently playing with a stray dirty blond lock. "Jamie was in trouble."
"I'm glad that Lydia is going to be okay."
"Yeah Erin will get everything ready for her and her kids and at least they'll get to go someplace safe."
"While the rest of us are still in danger?" Linda asks softly.
"Depends if anyone else was working with Winston."
"Do you think he was the last?"
"I would love to say yes to that, but I honestly don't know," Danny tells her in truth. "But everything is going to be okay."
"Sure," Linda gives Danny a fake smile.
"But you don't believe me," he huffs.
"Can you blame me? Danny, Joe was murdered. If there is someone else with Winston and he doesn't give up as you said he probably wouldn't then which of us is really safe? Will they want further revenge?"
"I…I don't. Why um…do you wanna move?"
"For you and the boys? Sure."
"Liar," Linda retorts. "I'd never ask you to back down from anything," she smiles up at him as her hand comes to rest on his rough cheek. "But I can ask you to be extra careful."
"And that I can try to do," he smirks as he leans in, his lips brushing hers with a searing kiss. "I love you Linda and I promise that I won't take needless chances."
"That I can live with," she mumbles as her arms wrap around his neck as his lips crush hers in passion.
As suspected Jamie was up before even Henry and Frank, leaving a note so they wouldn't worry and then heading to the hospital to see how Lydia was doing. She had been moved from the ICU to a regular recovery room during the night, still with Ty McEvers as her guard for most of the night.
But as he nears her room, he hears soft talking and wonders who else was visiting the courageous female Detective. He rounds the corner and stops to see Erin look up with a broad smile.
"Morning," Erin greets him as he nears Lydia's bed.
"Hey uncle Jamie," Nikki draws her uncle's gaze to a small couch where his young niece was flanked on either side by Lydia's children, an iPad in her hands with some kind of game on to keep the kids entertained.
"What's up going on?" Jamie asks in wonder.
"I was just telling Lydia the terms of her witness relocation deal. Lydia, however is a bit reluctant to accept."
Jamie's young face furrows into a very aged brow as he looks past the face of his older sister to that of Lydia Gonzales.
"I don't…run from a…fight."
"But this might not be over yet," Jamie tries to reason. "And if they ask you to testify…"
"Your sister has…already gone through…all this."
"It's the only way you will be able to see them grow up Lydia," Erin reminds her in a soft tone.
Lydia's weary gaze pulls itself away from Erin's concerned expression and rests upon her two beautiful children. She had watched them bear the brunt of an ugly nemesis; two men holding her while her children were mildly beaten and then drugged; before left for dead in a watery grave. If she did stay, it wasn't just her future she would be risking and she knows deep inside that it would be selfish for her to stay just for her own stubborn refusal. And that wasn't fair.
"Where do I sign?" She finally asks after a few minutes of silence.
Jamie looks up at Erin who just nods and smiles. He had asked her the night before on the phone if there was a chance that Lydia might actually say no to the deal.
'Trust me Jamie, she'll say yes for her children.'
"Okay that's all I need," Erin takes the freshly signed form and then tucks it into her bag.
"How are you feeling?" Jamie asks Lydia in a soft tone after Erin had wandered over to the couch and was visiting with Lydia's children and her own daughter.
"Angry," Lydia confides in truth. "And ashamed."
"Ashamed of what?" Jamie asks in haste.
"Of not coming forward sooner."
"You were afraid for your children," Jamie just hands her the line she had handed to him so many weeks ago.
"I was a coward."
"You fought back pretty hard and are still alive. Your written testimony will put Winston away for life," Jamie tries to assure her. "Right," he smirks when he sees her cock her head at him. "I sound like a lawyer now right?"
"Nah you still smell green," she winks and offer a small smile. "I'll miss you rookie."
Jamie and Lydia talk a bit longer before he lets her talk to the doctor when he comes in and then joins his sister on the couch. They all enjoy a bit more association before it was time to leave; Erin to her office to file the paper, Jamie to the precinct to start his afternoon shift and Nikki staying with the children until Erin would pick her up later that day.
"Think she'll be okay…I mean in the long run?" Jamie asks Erin as they head outside the hospital.
"They will be. Will you?"
"Yeah," Jamie answers with a small huff. "Just don't tell dad I didn't sleep last night."
"Give it a few days," Erin stops and gives him a small hug. "Just be careful okay?"
"I will," he pulls back with a soft smile. They head toward their separate cars, Erin reminding him that family dinner was to be tonight since they missed the past few nights.
"Well well well," Renzulli just shakes his head as Jamie enters the locker room before their shift. "You are trouble."
"Am I?" Jamie retorts with a wry smile.
"Really thought you had women problems."
"Just the opposite."
"Yeah crooked cops," Renzulli's face creases into a heavy frown. "Wouldn't want to be your dad right now."
"At least he'll have something prepared," Jamie replies as he heads for his locker.
"So everything back to normal now?"
"Hope so," Jamie shrugs.
"Because if that's the case you know I got this cousin who…"
"No thanks sarge…"
"What?" Renzulli calls after Jamie as he watches his rookie partner take his uniform into the other room to change. "She shaved the stash," he chuckles as he slides down onto the bench. Jamie's lips just offer a soft chuckle as he starts to get dressed for his shift. Today would be different; he wouldn't have to be looking over his shoulder as he had in the past few weeks and getting back to business was more than appealing to him; especially after all this.
He finishes getting dressed and then stands before his locker, his eyes lingering in a picture of him and Joe. "Better late than never right?" He whispers, his mind showing him a wink from his brother before Jamie closes the locker and the area is engulfed in black.
Jamie heads into the room toward roll call, looking at Danny and giving him a knowing smile. Danny and he had really come to a brotherly understanding through all this and Joe had often told them that it would take something drastic to happen between them before they would finally acknowledge just how much one meant to the other and vice versa. This was it; they now wouldn't have to hide their concern, especially Danny and knowing just how much his older brother cared, settled his mind more than he could have imagined.
"Hey rookie, you okay?"
"Yeah sarge," Jamie looks at him with confidence. "Everything is just fine."
Danny looks at his brother and nods, his lips twitching into a small smile until the door closes and his brother is taken away into the roll call room. He would always worry; Jamie was his little brother and that was part of the contract of being an older brother. Jamie had impressed him though; even when he was kidnapped and rescued and scared as hell, he had bounced back and had kept going, never wavering in his determination to see the Blue Templar brought to justice.
But as Danny's eyes scan the room, his mind now wonders just who else was involved in all this? Any cops that he worked with? His superior? His partner? Money was a very powerful motivator as was blackmail; if there was another Templar out there and he had both means, he would be a very deadly forced to be reckoned with and that thought actually scared him. He would protect his family – all of them, at any cost. Jamie especially.
"Hey…you still here with me?" Jackie's voice breaks his thoughts.
"Where else would I be?" Danny retorts with a wry smirk.
They weren't allowed to discuss any particulars of what happened even Renzulli and the others would be told that it had to do with evidence tampering and that would be it; the rest of the details would be locked away in another file, the department still needed to maintain credibility; self-preservation was the name of the game now and Frank knew that all to well and had instill it into his boys just as his father before him did the same. If there was indeed someone else out there, they would flush him out and bring him to justice as he had done the others.
Frank leans back in his chair and looks at the file on Lydia Gonzales; her acceptance into the witness protection program and then locks it, only himself and Ron Lewis having the code.
"You'll get yours you bastard," Frank utters in a low but firm tone as he looks over at the clock on his desk. In about an hour he would be heading down to visit Bill Winston, a man he had personally hand-picked as his Chief of Police. But he would be too late.
Bill Winston's fate was already sealed; it was sealed the day he decided to join the dark side of the Blue Templar.
'I have that special dietary request for Chief Winston.'
'Perfect timing, I was just about to take this into him. Are those homemade?'
'Yes have one for yourself as well. I promise you'll never have anything like it again,' the man in black gives the hapless police messenger a wink before he turns and leaves; Winston and the messenger would be dead within minutes and as soon as he would erase his image from the footage they'd all be back at square one.
He steps into the alleyway and then pulls out a small photo with the Reagan family on it; the five principal members all together, taken the day of Joe Reagan's commemoration. His dark eyes narrow at one Reagan in particular before a slow smile spreads across his thin evil lips. A new plan was forming, a new enemy would soon arise with a new plan for a final showdown. He utters one word in a dead whisper before he disappears into the dark shadows, a low evil laugh lingering in the air long after his form had faded into the surroundings.
A/N: okay wow didn't expect them to kill off Lydia (Suicide? Or is that for real and she just disappeared?) and am now very interested to see what else they have in store and who else is involved (gosh not Renzulli but who knows right?). So I left this a bit open ended and might come back after this season wraps and I see what they do and Alice might put her own twist on it. She really loved writing this for you all and we can't thank you enough for all your amazing feedback! YOU GUYS ROCK - JUST LIKE OUR FAVE SHOW :D
Please leave me a final review for this story and chapter and especially note if you'd even like a sequel to this. In the meantime thanks so much and stay tuned for new stories with our two favorite male crime fighting brotherly duo (and the rest of the family of course) :D
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