Summary: While trying to make an arrest against a man suspected of beating and raping homeless boys, Officer Hanson gambles with his own safety to ensure an arrest against their suspect. Having gone off alone with the man without telling his fellow officers, Hanson finds he might have dug himself into a hole too deep to get back out of. Alternate ending to Blinded by the Thousand Points of Light.
I've recently watched the season 3 episode, "Blinded by the Thousand Points of Light," where *SPOILER* the officers go undercover as homeless kids who sometimes prostitute themselves out for money. They are trying to find a missing kid who they fear was assaulted by the same guy who assaulted other local homeless kids in the past. At the end, Tom Hanson finds the guy - he knows it's him because of his vehicle. (Hanson gets into the guy's car and goes with him someplace - maybe an apartment - and then arrests the him, but not before the guy acts really creepy and it is implied he was going to beat Tom with this baton thing he had on him... Probably just like what he did to Aaron - the kid who all the cops were trying to find)
Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to write an alternate ending to that scene, where things don't go so smoothly... After all, Hanson was all by himself - seemingly none of his fellow officers even knew where he was going, so things could have potentially worked out much more horribly. It may seem odd, but I like having my favourite characters get themselves into serious trouble - mostly so my other favourite characters can make everything better... (that's where the brother/father figure characters come in...)
I'm so sorry this intro is so long... I just wanted to make sure people knew which episode I was talking about - and maybe people who haven't seen it could still understand what's going on. I'll shut up now:
Tom was scared. In fact he was absolutely terrified. Of course, he always was when he was working on cases like this. Putting himself into dangerous positions was sometimes necessary if he wanted to catch his suspects. Now it was just a matter of if his dangerous plan was going to work or not. His badge had the potential to save him in an instance such as this, but it also had the potential to get him killed. Timing was everything in moments like these. He had found the man he and his fellow officers had been looking for. Now he just needed to wait for the right moment to arrest him.
Hanson was normally excellent at timing, and at out-thinking the people he was arresting. On a normal day, he'd have known exactly when to pull out his gun and badge. He wouldn't have hesitated at all. But normally he was working with high school kids, in the relative safety of a school. Not this time. This time he was working in the cold, dangerous streets, and he was face to face not with a drug peddling seventeen year old kid, but with a man who had to be at least fifty years old - who was almost definitely guilty of beating and raping teenaged boys. There was a reason Tom didn't work out great on the regular police force. Older people didn't take him seriously, and they were much more intimidating than teenagers.
He could see the way this man looked at him, and of course he knew what the guy's intentions were. Even if he didn't beat other boys to a pulp, he still had just blatantly offered to pay Tom for sex... And for all this man knew, Tom was a teenager. He certainly looked like one; his job depended on it.
The guy had even made a remark about how the officer looked just like his son. That was what haunted Hanson the most right now. This guy was specifically seeking out boys who looked like his own child, to have sex with them, and then beat them nearly to death. Was this man's son even still alive? Had this sickening old man done the same things he was doing to these other boys to his own son as well?
Tom wasn't sure what he had been thinking, but for some reason he'd let this guy take him all the way back to an apartment building. Instead of just arresting him in his car, Tom still acted out his role - a teenaged homeless boy willing to do just about anything for some quick cash. Maybe it was because they had put so much effort into finding this guy that Tom didn't want to risk scaring him off. Maybe somewhere in the back of his mind he feared that if he arrested the guy while they were still in the man's car, the old man would push Tom out the door and speed off, never to be seen in this town again... He couldn't say exactly, but now he found himself standing in a cold, dimly lit room, with his back toward his suspect.
The pedophile had instructed Tom to turn around for some unknown, but likely insidious reason, and Tom had refused, telling the man he didn't turn his back on anyone. His refusal was in part to keep up his character, but he said those words also out of fear. Turning his back on this guy probably wasn't that great of an idea... But a few moments later, when the guy took a few steps away, against Tom's better judgement, the young officer made himself more vulnerable on purpose, consciously turning his back on the man in order to entice him to try something.
Again, he wasn't quite thinking straight, and though he had good intentions, his actions weren't what many other officers would consider wise. Making a gamble like this could pay off big, or it could get him killed. As scared as he was about turning his back on this man, Tom knew it was the best way to go forward with his plan. This case was important, and he didn't want to mess it up. He didn't want to arrest the guy and then not have anything to pin on him... So he figured if he could make himself a target, he could catch the guy in the act of trying to do to Tom what he did to the other boys. The fact that the guy was trying to pick up a prostitute was enough to arrest him, but Hanson wanted more. He wanted this guy to pay for what he'd done to those poor kids. He didn't want the old man to claim he never thought Tom was a minor and get off with a slap on the wrist. He needed something big - some evidence other than what type of car the man drove to tie him to the beatings and rapes of the homeless boys.
As best as he could, Tom Hanson listened to the creaking floorboards behind him. He needed to time this exactly right - to pull his gun in time so that the man would be caught doing something incriminating. Hanson gripped his gun in his right hand but kept it hidden away in front of his body where the suspect couldn't see it.
The floorboards were creaking very softly as the man walked up behind him. He was walking too slow. He might not even have even had a weapon or anything. Maybe walking was all he was doing... If Tom were to bust him now when he wasn't even really a threat, they might not be able to convict him on the other charges. What little rock solid evidence Tom had against the guy simply wouldn't suffice; he needed just a bit more. This moment was crucial. Hanson could ruin this case right now if he didn't play it right.
Slow, steady breathing could barely be heard by the officer. The man behind him seemed calm. Maybe he wasn't going to try anything after all...
But that hope was dashed as soon as it entered Tom's mind. Seemingly out of nowhere, the man's snail pace quickened. He went from slow, almost tip-toeing, to what could almost be described as a lunge. Tom tried to spin around and push his gun in the guy's face, but he felt a sharp, terrible pain in his back before he could turn completely around. Something solid smacked him, hard. It almost felt like the guy had hit him with a baseball bat. Before Tom could even think, he had not only lost his grip on his gun, but had fallen down halfway onto the floor, and halfway against the wall.
Breathing was no longer coming easy. All Tom could think about was the excruciating pain radiating from his back, and the fact that the man who had issued that pain was grabbing him by his arms and hauling him up off the floor and across the room.
Groaning in pain, Tom struggled to free himself from the man's iron grip, "Wait!" Tom gasped as the man dragged him roughly across the floor and over near a bed on the other side of the room. The guy might not have looked like much at first glance, but he was proving his physical strength now. The fact that he was clearly at least fifty-some years old had lead Hanson to foolishly assume he wouldn't be so strong. But now that Tom was scuffling with the man, the officer realized just how thick the guy's arms were. It was no wonder he was able to overpower so many young kids. Perhaps the kids being homeless, tired, and malnourished had little to do with this guy's success in beating them senseless.
Tom reached up and groped at the hands on him, but his attacker had a good grip and barely acknowledged the young cop's struggles. He dropped the officer in the corner made by the bed and the wall, so that Tom was on the floor, his wide eyes fixed on his assailant as he tried desperately to regain a steady breathing pace as well as some amount of control over this situation. The middle-aged suspect stared down at Hanson, his eyes full of some emotion Tom couldn't quite place, but that terrified him nonetheless.
At this point, Tom wasn't sure what he should do. He could tell the guy he was a cop, and that might scare him off. Or it might make him more angry. Did the man even realize Tom had been holding a gun? It didn't seem so. The gun still lay on the floor across the room where the officer had dropped it. Tom supposed it might be wisest for him to keep up his act for a little while longer - until he was able to get back to his gun. As long as this guy didn't know Tom was a cop, he'd have no reason to kill him, and no reason to look for the officer's gun.
"You really do look a lot like him," the man smiled sickeningly down at his prey. He sounded a bit out of breath, not from being tired, but from being excited, "your hair's even a god-awful disaster, just like his..."
Hanson stared up at him. The cop was still in pain, and was still putting a lot of his focus on keeping breathing. He was certainly not in a good position right now. The old man held a short black stick in his hand. It looked like the kind of baton a prison guard would be issued. That's what he'd hit Tom with. No wonder it hurt so much. But Tom knew the guy wasn't through yet. The homeless boys who were almost definitely all victims of this man's rage were said to have been beaten quite badly. This guy wasn't in the business of just hitting his victims once and then letting them go. He seemed to truly hate the boys he picked up, the boys who resembled his son so closely, and he didn't hold back much of his hatred when he had the kids in his clutches.
The man bent down slightly and reached toward Tom's face, as though he planned on caressing the officer's cheek. But Tom wasn't going to just sit back and allow that. Maybe if the guy hadn't hit him... and he still needed to keep up his persona... Even a boy who sold his body for money wouldn't allow someone to assault him and then still have their way with him.
The officer reached up and swatted the man's hand away, "deal's off," Tom growled, moving to stand. Maybe if he acted as though he was no longer interested in the man's money, the guy wouldn't put up a fight when Tom tried to leave.
Hanson cried out as he felt another strike from the baton, this time over his ribs. He couldn't help but fall backward and raise his hands up in defense, "Stop!" Tom managed to hiss in a pained gasp. But the man found it necessary to beat the poor young man down a bit more.
Tom pushed himself back further into the corner as the baton connected with his shoulder, just as hard, if not harder, than the previous two strikes.
When the man hit him yet again, Tom knew he'd have to fight back. If he didn't do anything, the guy would just beat him until he passed out. His time to act was now. He moved to stand, pushing himself up off the floor with one hand and grabbing out toward the older man's weapon with his other. He felt a sharp smack to his hand, which caused him to recoil back. The man swung his weapon yet again, hitting Tom in the stomach, and then again, hitting his cheek below his left eye.
Tom brought his hand up to his now-bruised cheek as he continued to struggle to get himself away from the man who was assaulting him. But he had nowhere to go, and was becoming increasingly weak as the suspect continued striking him with the baton again and again, all over Hanson's body. With each additional strike of the baton, Hanson found it harder and harder to keep himself standing and to keep himself breathing, and was finding that fighting off the guy just wasn't going to be an option. Having all of his fingers broken wasn't going to help him at all.
That was all Tom could take. He couldn't keep fighting with the man hitting him in such sensitive areas as his face and stomach, and he was pretty sure some of his fingers were broken. So he raised his arms up over his head and backed away from the man. He'd rather have bruised forearms than a broken jaw or a concussion, "please, stop!" he breathed a shaking breath as he turned his body so that he was half-facing away from the man. As much as he didn't want to turn his back on the guy, he also didn't want his stomach or face to be hit again.
But the man struck him again, this time on his back. Tom fell forward onto the bed and proceeded to try to crawl over it and away from his captor. But his entire body ached, and he barely made it half-way over the mattress before the cruel man struck him again and his limbs gave out, causing him to collapse onto the bed.
He felt the man grabbing him and turning him over onto his back. Tom just lay there and stared up at the man's eyes as he tried to catch his breath. He could try to fight back again, but that hadn't worked out so well last time. So instead, he just waited to see what would happen. His captor wasn't hitting him anymore; maybe holding still was his best bet right now.
"My son is so aggravating," the guy began to explain, "never listens to a damn thing I say... He's defiant, a smart ass, thinks he knows everything... Sometimes I want to just beat the living hell out of him. I could do it too... easy. He's just a kid, like you, young, attractive, skinny... vulnerable... I could do whatever I wanted to him, technically... I mean, I'm able, but I mustn't really. He'd tell his mommy... Or the cops... You boys on the street aren't like him. No one cares about you. You tell the cops someone beat the hell out of you, and what are they gonna say? They're gonna ask you what you were doing with a middle aged man in the first place. And you're gonna tell them you were whoring yourself out. And they're going to arrest you."
Tom shook his head, "That's not true..." he breathed out in a pained, shaking breath, "You can't beat someone up just because they're breaking the law too... And you're the one having sex with under-aged boys. You really think the cops are going to arrest a teenager who's being molested by creeps like you, just because he okayed it? You can't have sex with children, no matter what they say. They can't consent."
That earned him another harsh strike from the baton. This blow landed against his thigh. It didn't hurt as bad as the others, but it was still enough to make him wince and squeeze his eyes shut.
"You're not telling anyone about this," the man growled, bringing the baton down and pressing it horizontally against Tom's throat. He pressed it downward, choking the young officer in the process, "you understand?"
Hanson grabbed at the baton and tried to push it off himself, but had no success, "yes," he choked, but the man didn't let up. Tom's eyes widened in fear. He couldn't breathe, "please!" he begged as he tried to suck some air into his lungs. It didn't seem like the guy was going to relent any time soon, so Tom finally just kicked out as hard as he could. He felt his feet connecting with the man's legs, and the guy finally pulled his baton back away from the officer's throat. But he wasn't through. He raised the firm object up again and proceeded to hit Hanson with it again and again, hitting any part of the poor officer's body that he could.
Meanwhile, Tommy curled in on himself, raising his hands over his head again and trying to shield anything important with his own arms and legs. He couldn't even plead any longer. Even breathing was difficult enough. He wondered if this man was planning on killing him. If he didn't do so on purpose, he might just do it on accident...
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