White and Red and Dead All Over.
Author: G. Waldo
Rating: Case-fic'. Some angst. humour, and of course Jane-pain.
Characters: Jane/Lisbon friendship. Jane/Cho friendship.
Summary: To save the team from a hostage situation and solve the case of the hostage taker, Jane must resort to some old talents - and die! (NON-character death).
Disclaimer: Not mine though I wish he was.
*This will be a shorter romp than the last story.
"No tea?" Jane said under his breath. He methodically searched every cupboard and drawer in a vain attempt to find some, coming up empty. The utility room ought to have a supply – that's where everything that hadn't yet made it to its proper place was stashed by the clerk. Bruce hadn't been up to par lately. "Must be a new boyfriend."
Jane had to have his morning tea. He couldn't think without it. The delicate aroma, the blossom flavour, the heat on his tongue, the charge to his body...tea was like sexual practical magic. He should have brought in his own supply in case of such an emergency. In the future, he would.
"Excuse me, sir, may I help you?" Van Pelt asked the fellow in the mid-length official looking raincoat with a VIP pass pinned to his left breast pocket standing at the door. There had been a lot of visitors today – tours mostly - arranged by Bertram's office to promote public consumer confidence in the CBI.
Rigsby and Cho paid almost no attention as Van Pelt often dealt with the boring public relations side of things, and continued their report writing, filling in details, answering the multitude of questions, and putting X's in the appropriate boxes.
Lisbon entered the office and asked. "Anyone seen Jane yet?"
Cho answered. "I think he's in the kitchen. Tea-making probably."
"Okay." Lisbon said. "Well, at least he got here before nine." Lisbon's gaze followed Van Pelt's over to the quiet man by the door.
At that point he stepped in and began walking toward the far end of the office where Van Pelt was seated at her desk.
He was another tourist who had no doubt strayed from the herd, one of many. "You're not actually supposed to be in here." Van Pelt said, ever helpful. She stood and walked toward him. "I'm pretty sure your tour is already leaving. I can show you the way out..."
When she was within two feet of the man and about to brush passed him, he hauled back a hand that was now, Van Pelt noticed, holding a small revolver. Before she had a chance to react with anything other than shouting "Gun!" he struck her hard across the face, the impact spinning her one-eighty. She landed slumped over her desk, dazed, her lip bleeding and painful.
Then she felt the gun's muzzle against the left side of her skull. "Turn around." He said. She decided it was wise to obey and turned around to see both Cho and Rigsby on their feet ready to advance, and Lisbon to her left ready to do the same. But none of them were armed. It was policy that while in office, all agents' weapons were to be emptied of clips and both gun and ammunition stowed in separate desk drawers. Until now it was a policy that had seemed wise. But now that the man with the gun in his hand was in charge...
Cho was the first to shake off the momentary shock and locate his voice. "You know this sort of thing won't end well for you. There are fifty cops in this building."
The fellow, a Caucasian man in his mid thirties, six-foot-one with short brown hair and red-rimmed grey eyes said "Yeah? They're not in here, are they?"
Rigsby held out his empty hands, palms up, his eyes flicking back and forth from the guy's look of desperation to Van Pelt's carefully controlled fear, and the blood on her face. "What is it that you want?"
"What everyone wants; justice." He said laughing, a chuckle originating from low-level hysteria. He licked his lips and Cho recognised it as a sign of nervousness determination. The fellow was scared but he wasn't about to put the gun down anytime soon.
"Lower your weapon and tell us what's going on." Lisbon said. "I promise we'll try to help you."
He huffed at her suggestion. "Right. Like every cop I ever met tried to help. Like every goddamn lawyer helped."
Lisbon had not thought the first attempt would work but it had been worth a try. "Just tell us what you want, and..." She added "please point the gun elsewhere –point it at me if you want to, but point it away from Agent Van Pelt. Do you really want to shoot someone in the head today?"
The fellow seemed to think that was a good idea and swung the gun away from Van Pelt's skull over to Lisbon's mid-section.
"Thank you." Lisbon said. "Grace, go get your lip looked at."
The man swung it back to Grace. "Don't move!" He looked over at Lisbon. "Nice try lady."
"I just don't want anyone getting hurt." Lisbon explained. "Now tell me what's going on."
"I want..." Hard to articulate when you yourself didn't know. "Fuck you - I'm tired of it all. Do you understand? I'm sick of this."
"Sick of what? What's your name?"
His hand was shaking, the one holding the weapon. "I won't tell you. It's never done any good anyway. You fucking cops and all your rules and regulations and sticking your noses in where they don't belong. I'm not telling you a fucking thing anymore."
"Not even your name?" Lisbon asked, trying to diffuse him a little, enough that he did not shoot one of them out of sheer frustration. "I'm agent Teresa Lisbon."
The fellow smiled but it was not out of anything akin to good humour. "You want a name? Fine, you can call me Smith. How's that?"
"Fine." Lisbon decided not to push for his real moniker. The man was already walking on the edge of a knife. "So what is it you want here, Mister Smith?"
He did suddenly know. Hope, in fact, does not spring eternal for everyone. "Well, I'm pretty sure I want to die if given no other alternative and I might want to take a few cops with me. That's what I want."
Just as "Smith" stepped back a few paces to better keep a be-line on all four cops, the door to his right opened and a blonde man in a vest entered carrying a box of pastries in one hand with a large mug of something balanced on top of it. Vest-wearing man spoke - "Hey, Grace, I got your favourite..."
Lisbon watched the next set of events in disbelief as Smith swung the revolver to the dead-center of Jane's chest and fired twice. It wasn't point-blank range but it was close enough that he could not have missed. In the confining space, the shots boomed in their ears.
Jane did not even get a chance to look up and see what was coming or who was shooting him as the first bullet stopped him in his tracks, almost doubling him over. The second bullet struck his skull, snapping his head back violently. The cup he had been carrying left his hands, the tea in it spraying out in a comical arc, soaking him and the desk he was standing next to. The pastry box flew from his grip and landed somewhere out of sight, pastries tumbling out onto the floor in a hail of sugar and crumbs.
Jane dropped like a rag doll, thrown to his back by the impact of the shots, and landing behind an unoccupied desk nearest the door. Only his tan leather shoes were visible from where Lisbon and the others were standing a few feet apart from each other at the opposite end of the office.
Lisbon shouted. "You bastard! " She stared at those soft leather shoes, willing them to shift. "You didn't have to do that - he was un-armed. He's not even a cop!" Lisbon tried to swallow her fear for Jane's injuries and keep calm, but his feet refused to move for her.
Smith was un-repentant. "Well, I guess he shouldn't have come in, then."
Cho, Van Pelt and Rigsby were all staring at Jane's stillness as well. Cho could feel the rush of adrenaline coursing through his body and a little voice inside his head telling him they were all going to make it, and that Jane was not dead. "Let me check on him."
"No." Smith wasn't listening to any more suggestions for the time being. "Nobody touches him."
Just to be an asshole. "Come on, man, he might be dying." Cho insisted. "You want to go down for murdering a government agent?"
"Shut-up!" Smith waved the gun to the group, the four were scattered apart a little too widely for his liking. "All of you toss your keys, cuffs and weapons at my feet and then get over to that corner! On the floor. Now!"
Rigsby and Cho looked to Lisbon as to whether they should obey, and she nodded. It seemed they had no choice at the present time. "No weapons on us, man." Cho explained.
Smith ignored him. "You." he said to the red-headed woman, "Cuff those three to the filing cabinets and yourself, too." Smith tossed her four sets of cuffs. "To the bottom handles." He dipped the gun to indicate his meaning. "And I said sit on the floor - all of you."
Lisbon and the others crouched down, trying to make themselves comfortable on the low-pile carpeting.
Once all of his hostages were cuffed, Smith shed his rain-coat and draped it over a chair. Ignoring the man he had just fired two bullets into, he made use of the keys and started unlocking drawers. He found Cho and Van Pelt's Glocks and loaded the clips, and lay the guns on a desk next to him with the safety's off, stuffing the spare clips into the pockets of his jeans.
Lisbon thought furiously. Having all the issue Glocks stored away in drawers was great for in-office safety but lousy when a maniac was holding the only loaded weapon, because that put him in charge.
"Let one of us at least check on our friend to make sure he's okay." Lisbon said. "We're not armed, we can't hurt you, but he could die."
Smith ignored her. Satisfied at his arsenal, he picked up a cell phone off the desk and tossed it to Lisbon. "You're the one in charge? First you get to make a call." He said. "Tell those cops I know who are taking up sniper positions in the hall to back the-fuck off or I start shooting again." He swung the gun back in the direction of Van Pelt's head. "Starting with pretty Red here."
Lisbon had to try. "First let me get the EMTs in here."
Smith shook his head. "No medical guys. I kinda' like having your friend over there as leverage."
"He won't be much good to you as leverage if he dies." Cho reasoned.
How many minutes had it been since Jane went down – three, four? Cho wondered. He had not looked at his watch since the gunman appeared. You don't do those things when an emergency explodes in the middle of your morning. How long does it take for a person to die from a center shot? Maybe six if it's a sucking air wound and the bleeding into the thorax is bad enough. Unless the bullet went straight through his heart. If so Jane died about one to three minutes ago.
Cho cast the thought from his mind. If Jane was dead...if any of the team were to die at Smith's bullets, he wasn't positive he could err on the side of the law afterward. The gunman would have to die. Cho tried out the idea for a few seconds. Not a problem. "Let me at least check on him."
Lisbon, her jaw set in iron, added. "You let him die and I guarantee no cop out there is going to negotiate with you for anything. In their eyes you'd just be a cop killer." She pointed at Cho with one finger. "Just let Cho make sure Jane's okay - he's got some army medic experience." She lied. It was actually Cho's greater speed and physical strength she was counting on – if he got the chance to take the trigger-happy prick out. "It's better for all concerned that our colleague stays alive, especially for you."
Smith smiled and laughed - a one syllable dog-like yip. "That's his name – Jane?"
Cho didn't think it was funny. Nothing about this was funny. "It's his last name."
Smith rubbed the butt of his revolver on his chin. He seemed to have no problem using hand-weapons and to Lisbon it showed that he was a bit of a contradiction. Smith was a man used to being around and firing weapons, yet he risked shooting his face off by using a loaded gun as a chin scratcher. Maybe, though, the guy just didn't care.
Lisbon did not even open the cell phone. "I'm won't make the call if you don't let us take care of our friend." She was angry as hell at the bastard who had shot Jane without even looking at him, as though killing a perfect stranger didn't matter in the least.
Soft-sell time was over. Lisbon wanted to shoot him herself. "You know what asshole?" She said her tone contemptuous. "You'll have to shoot all of us and then your plan to negotiate anything – whatever the hell you really want – is over. Don't tell me you're trying to do a suicide in a blaze of bullets-by-cop because you don't look the type."
Smith thought for as moment while Lisbon held her breath. It was a gamble. If the guy really did want to die in a blaze of policeman bullets, her tactic wouldn't work.
Smith tossed Cho the hand-cuff key. "You - check on him. Only you."
Cho expertly unlocked the cuffs and walked passed Smith. He disappeared behind the desk, but smith backed up until in his peripheral vision he could everything Cho was doing. The oriental agent was softly talking to his friend, trying to rouse him to consciousness.
At the other end of the office Lisbon and the others watched even though they could see almost nothing. Lisbon silently prayed.
Cho could see immediately that while Jane's injuries were serious, he was not dead. He was breathing, though faster than normal and he had a cold sheen of sweat on his face.
"Hey buddy." Cho said quietly while touching the side of Jane's head, brushing aside his hair. Blood still seeped out from a two inch long, clotting wound just above his left ear. The second bullet, travelling at six hundred feet per second, had hit and bulldozed away a swath of hair and flesh down to the bone. A small pool of blood was congealing on the floor and in Jane's hair, making it sticky to the touch. Cho decided the bullet had not penetrated his skull however and thanked god or whoever was in charge for small miracles.
But the blood on his clothes was another matter. Cho checked the pulse at Jane's throat and found it fast but not dangerously so. Then he undid Jane's belt and unbuttoned Jane's vest and shirt to pull them aside and out of the way. "This doesn't mean we're dating okay?" Cho said. Humour might relax Jane's rapid pulse. And his own.
As he pushed aside the clothing, there was something weirdly familiar about it, but Cho shook off the de-je-vu. Probably just an old girlfriend memory creeping in because of the stress.
"How ya' doing?" Cho spoke as much to keep himself calm as Jane.
Jane was dazed from the bullet striking his head and although he was awake, did not appear entirely lucid. But Cho's voice seemed to rouse him and he managed to focus enough to whisper. "Hey Cho - didja' get the license plate?"
Cho smiled inside despite himself. Trust Jane to crack a joke, a really old, lame joke, even when he was bleeding all over himself. "Looks like a bullet bounced off that thick skull of yours. Any pain?" He asked.
The first bullet had entered Jane's lower left abdomen. Although there was significant blood, the flow seemed to have slowed but some of it had pooled in his navel and for some reason that image bothered Cho most of all. He used a corner of Jane's pin-striped shirt to very gently sop it up. But the wound needed some pressure and some patching up. Cho took off his tie and folded it, placing it gently over the wound.
"Jane? I need you to keep your hand over it." Cho took Jane's left hand and placed it flat on the folded tie. "Press firmly but not hard. How does that feel?"
Jane sucked in a quick breath. "Hurts, only more." Jane sounded dismayed. "More holes in my gut? This has been a bad year for holes, Cho. I'm so tired of holes."
"Sorry. Keep even pressure on that wound, it'll help stop the bleeding."
Jane nodded and then winced, regretting the movement. "I think the bullet is in my guts – m-my bowel."
Cho nodded. There was little else he could do. Unlike on television where the hero still escapes after being shot, a bullet wound was almost always immobilizing. The impact alone was enough to drop you in your tracks, first it was often the physical stun to your body – the pain usually arrived second but full on force. From both the body literally froze in shock, and a bowel shot was extra painful. "Don't suppose you brought your lock-pick kit with you today?"
"Sorry." Despite the pain he was in, Jane kept talking, though in a whisper "Hey, Cho, he isn't going to talk. S-sounds like a man at the end of his rope. We need to find out what kind of rope. I need to see the guy's coat."
That didn't make any sense to Cho. "Jane, you need to stay still and keep breathing." He stared down on Jane's pale face, missing his fun-loving smile and his flashing eyes when he was on a case, eyes that continuously sparkled with fresh ideas for tripping up the bad guy. When he wasn't obsessing over Red John, Jane was a blast to work with.
A tiny shake of his bleeding head - "No, we need to figure out what happened to this guy an...and who he is."
"Jane...stop. You're in no shape to do anything."
"Not me – you. Listen - four times. That's all I need. I need you to come back here four more times, okay? One: to bring me some water. Two: to check on my health, and three: to bring me that coat. Tell him you need it to keep me warm."
Cho shook his head at the blonde's tenacity. Jane must have been awake almost the whole time and listening to everything that had been said since he'd been shot. The stubborn blonde had been lying there bleeding and in pain, all the while his neurons had kicked into over-drive, busy-busy-busy little bee's figuring out a way to figure out the man who had shot him. Jane was one of the most relentlessly innovative thinkers he had ever known. Cho shook his head in the negative, and in awe of the type of brain a person would have to possess to work that way. "That's only three. What's the fourth one?"
"Respect f-for the dead. To cover up the rest of my body."
"Body? You're still alive and you're going to stay that way."
Jane was more alert now and had his head mostly about him. "We'll know that but he won't."
Cho wasn't crazy about the idea. "So you want me to tell Lisbon and the others you're dead?"
"After the second time, it'll make a good distraction while I look through the pockets. Besides, you can't have a body if it isn't dead."
"What if I don't convince them?"
"You will. Oscar-worthy, that's my man Cho."
Damn the man for being so Jane, even when wounded and flat on his back in what had to be startling pain.
"Then what? What's the fourth time for?"
"I'll tell you once you bring me the rain coat."
"How are you going to figure out anything from here?"
Jane rolled his eyes and even that caused him head pain. "What do you have to lose? Lisbon's angry eyes aren't getting us anywhere."
Cho wished he had more to offer than a pat on the shoulder. Jane was sweating and growing ever whiter of face, if it was even possible. "You're sure you're up to this? You have to be in pain."
"You get used to it. Now go before he shoots you, too."
The gunman jerked his revolver at Cho. "Come on, that's enough for now. He's fine, he's fine."
Cho resumed his seat on the floor and cuffed himself once again to the filing cabinet next to Lisbon.
"How is he?" She asked, her face a mask of worry.
"One bounced off his head, the other is lodged in his lower intestines I think. He's okay for now, but he won't stay that way." Cho knew Jane could probably last hours although each hour that went by set him up for infection and organ death. Cho wasn't thrilled about Jane's subterfuge or lying to his colleagues but if he knew his Jane, the blonde would fret and worry and probably make himself worse until he got his way, so as Cho saw it he had no choice but to set the scene for Act I.
Besides there was still the matter of the nutcase with a gun pointed at everyone. "He's in a lot of pain. He needs to be in the hospital."
Lisbon knew that a call had probably already been made to the Oakland SWAT division, and they would be arriving within the hour with their infrared scopes and sharp-shooters, so eventually this guy was either going to give himself up or be taken out with a head shot right through the glass windows, blinds and any other inanimate thing that was in the way, but time was not on Jane's side. "Are you sure he's okay?"
The first real lie "No, I'm not." Cho said. "The bleeding has slowed but it isn't stopping." At least he didn't have to make his face lie. He really was worried and he knew that it would make Lisbon worry, too.
"Hey." Lisbon said to Smith. "How about getting this show on the road, huh? Why don't you tell us what it is you really want?"
Smith aimed the gun directly at her head. "Why don't you shut the hell up?"
Lisbon stared directly up the gun barrel. It was not the first time she had been confronted by an out-of-control person with a gun pointed at her head. "Look, this, whatever this is, isn't going to go anywhere until you start talking, is it? Five, ten hours from now, we're all still going to be here unless you talk to us."
Smith directed his aim down and to the right of Lisbon. "You want to talk? Let's talk. Which one of you do I shoot next?"
It had been over a half hour, and Cho decided it was time to visit Jane again. "Hey, my friend needs some water. I want to bring it to him."
Smith looked around. "Well, there's none in here. He's going to have to wait like the rest of us."
Cho nodded toward his desk. "I have a bottle of water in my drawer."
Smith kept the revolver on his hostages and walked to the desk himself. "This desk?" At Cho's nod he asked "Which drawer?"
"The bottom one."
Smith only looked for a second as he opened the drawer. Spotting the bottle he pulled it out. It was two-thirds full. "I'll give it him."
Cho crossed his arms and hoped his method of subterfuge was as convincing as Jane's would have been. "Good idea. You take it to him." He said while trying to form an expression on his face that said "I'm not going to try anything while you're busy over there."
Smith narrowed his eyes at him and threw Cho the bottle. "I changed my mind – you give it to him."
Cho wriggled his hand to show Smith he couldn't do anything while he was still cuffed.
Smith tossed him the tiny key and Cho unlocked the cuff, and walked to Jane. Cho leaned down. Jane appeared, if it was possible, worse than before. Instead of sweating, his face was dry and pasty. "How are you feeling?"
"Oh, pretty much like I have a hole in my gut. Is that water?"
Jane held his hand out for the bottle and tried to his lips, but only managed to dribble it on his chest. He couldn't lift his head high enough to drink without pain. A trickle of blood seeped from his head wound.
"Just a second." Cho said, silently chastising himself for forgetting about the head wound. He dug around in his pocket for a tissue and came up with one he had used to wipe the dust from his computer screen. It was dirty on one side but it was better than nothing. He folded the tissue dirty side-in and pressed it gently against the side of Jane's head. Jane hissed, closing his eyes.
"Here." Cho said, holding the water bottle to his lips. Jane drank. "Not too much." Cho advised, pulling the bottle away again. "We don't know what's damaged down there."
Jane said "Get him some food."
"Don't you feel better when your stomach is full? The guy's obviously distressed over something. Fill his stomach - if nothing else it'll absorb some of the alcohol in his system."
It was true. The man did smell like a brewery.
"He's not a tough guy." Jane reasoned. "He's only trying to act like a tough guy."
"So food. Any particular kind?"
"Something heavy on the carbs' – pizza, but I want chicken–salad. Is he tanned?"
"He's too stressed to just be getting back from Fiji so he's probably just back from a war somewhere. PTSD maybe."
"Because he's tanned?"
"It's just a guess. Does he wear cologne?"
"Hard to tell under all that booze but no, I don't think so."
"Definitely a veteran."
"Because he's tanned and doesn't wear cologne?"
"You don't wear any."
More humour "Only because you never take me anywhere. When do you need the coat?"
"As soon as possible. I'm a-actually a bit chilled."
Cho felt the first real fear than Jane might be injured far worse than he let on. It was ninety-three degree's outside and eighty in the building. "Here." Cho slipped off his suit jacket and draped over Jane almost to his chin. "And no arguing."
Jane swallowed hard. "Isn't that your best ugly jacket?"
Cho lifted the jacket up again for a second to check Jane's abdominal wound. It looked inflamed and though the bleeding had stopped, there a still a trickle of cloudy fluid seeping through the tie makeshift dressing. "How much pain are you in? Scale of one to ten."
Jane took a deep breath. "About a five, maybe six."
Cho knew Jane needed something for pain soon. There would be no plan if Jane lost consciousness. "I'll be right back."
Jane could hear Cho talking to Smith. "My friend needs something for the pain. At least let the EMT's bring something in."
There was silence and then Cho's voice again. "He could die. You want that on your conscience? They don't have to come in; they can just slide it in through the door."
Smith walked over to where Jane was lying and really looked at him, probably for the first time. "Okay, but I keep my gun on his head. I even smell a hint of deception, or see anything but a hand come through that door, I'll shoot him."
Cho didn't ask permission to speak through the door. To make sure he was heard, he yelled. "We got a wounded man in here with GSWs to the abdomen and skull. He needs something for pain."
Smith's voice took up the call. "Open the door a crack and slide it in. If anything else comes through that door, I'll shoot him and maybe someone else too."
A voice of authority called back. "All right, all right, but we need some assurance you won't shoot anyone else. We need to establish a dialogue."
Smith shouted. "No! Just send in the damn meds."
Cho whispered to Smith. "Ask for some food too."
Smith looked at him. "What?"
"It's been hours, it might be days. Aren't you hungry?"
Smith thought about it for a moment. "And we need some food in here. Fried chicken and pizza. And some of those little potato salads with the eggs in them."
"And chicken salad." Cho suggested.
Smith didn't even blink. "And chicken salad. And coffee."
"And tea." Cho said.
"And tea. And hurry it up!" Smith shouted. He was pacing. "Shit." He muttered.
"What?" Cho was surprised and pleased that Smith had not insisted he re-cuff himself yet.
Smith waved the gun at him. "None of your goddamn business."
Smith finally noticed that Cho was still free. "Go cuff yourself again."
"They're sending in the med's in a minute. You know how to give someone a shot of morphine?"
Smith paced. "After you give him the shot." Smith's pacing grew more frantic and took on a sort of greatly shortened side to side wiggle. "Shit!"
"What's up?" Cho knew he was pushing his luck trying to talk to the guy.
"I gotta' piss."
Cho was feeling the urge himself. "No bathroom in here. Sorry."
Smith waved Cho over to the filing cabinets. "Cuff yourself."
Cho obeyed and once Smith saw he was immobilized again, Smith took the plastic garbage can from beneath Rigsby's desk and dumped out the waste paper. Turning his back he unzipped and fumbled with himself. In a few seconds a strong stream was filling the plastic can that lasted and lasted, finally slowing to a trickle. The stink of ammonia filled the small corner of the room. Smith tucked himself away again.
Rigsby stole a look at the garbage can he vowed never to use for anything again, and said "What about the rest of us?"
Smith resumed his pacing. "Hold it."
"We're ready to send in the morphine." A voice shouted through the door.
Smith tossed the cuff key once more to Cho who unlocked himself and walked to the door. "That's close enough." Smith said when Cho was ten feet away, his feet next to Jane's shoulder.
Smith stood above Jane aiming his revolver directly at his head. "Send the stuff in and remember that I'll shoot this guy if anyone tries anything stupid."
The door opened a crack and two items were pushed through by a man's hand. Cho gathered up the small box containing a bottle of liquid morphine and also a plastic covered syringe. "Hey!" Cho shouted back. "I need to know best where to inject him and how much."
"Vein is best but next best bet is a big muscle - the buttocks. Four to six units depending on body weight."
"He's about one-eighty." Cho shouted.
"One seventy-two." Jane corrected him.
"About one hundred seventy-two pounds." Cho shouted.
"Four or five units will put him out for a few hours." The voice instructed.
As Smith wandered away a few feet, Cho whispered into Jane's ear. "I think Smith's blood-queasy. Maybe not a veteran."
"Can't say I blame him." Jane winced. "I hate it, too. Cho, only three units. I need to stay awake."
"You're going to have to roll over, Pal. Gotta' stick this in your backside."
"Medical guys..." Jane complained, "always sticking things where the pain isn't."
Cho helped Jane roll enough to the right so he could yank his pants down off his left butt-cheek.
Jane said. "No funny stuff."
"No promises." Cho stuck the needle in harder than he meant to, making Jane gasp. "Sorry."
Cho pulled his pants back in place and eased Jane onto his back once more. He watched Jane's face for signs of relief. "Better?" As he waited for the morphine to take effect, Cho spent a few seconds pressing his fingers into the places of Jane's abdomen where the bullet wasn't, checking for fluid build-up that might indicate severe internal bleeding. The flesh seemed normal, but so dead white against the redness around the bullet wound.
Jane grinned up at Cho. "Wow, that stuff is gold. Already feelin' goofy."
For a few seconds Cho indulged himself, admiring the return of Jane's smile. Jane, despite everything he had been through, possessed an extraordinary capacity for enjoying life. The littlest things delighted him; falling leaves, ocean waves, sunshine, rain, a stroll, even pigeons pecking up crumbs from the sidewalk. It was as though when the most wonderful things in his life had been taken from him – his family – he had then embraced the less significant things, the external things which individually played a small part in his comfort.
"Okay, okay." Smith growled nearby. "He's fine. Get back over with the others."
Cho reluctantly left Jane and walked back to where Lisbon and the others were cuffed to the filing cabinets, cuffing himself in once more.
Lisbon asked Cho, not bothering to keep her voice down. "How is he?" Lisbon's eyes held a hard worry.
"Not in pain anymore, but I don't like the look of him. I think he may still be bleeding internally."
The news fell hard on Lisbon who looked away. It was not the first time he had seen that look on her face - the fear that Jane might really be dying. It was there the night Jane was drowned and only just survived when the EMT's had managed to shock his heart into beating and got him breathing again. Only then did Lisbon stop to wipe at her eyes and put on a brave face, insisting that Jane was strong and would be okay.
That event combined with what was happening in the room right now made Cho suspect Lisbon might be harbouring deeper feelings for the blonde than she was ready to admit to anyone, let alone herself.
Cho focused on more crucial matters. "We need to figure out a way to disarm this guy."
Grace leaned over. "How? He's pretty twitchy."
Cho honestly didn't know how without risking himself or someone else getting shot. "I don't know."
Lisbon said. "Maybe while he's eating, if the damn food ever gets here."
Cho nodded. "Yeah."
Part 2 soon :