[Peregrinus]
 

Unseen
Part Two

by Liz


Mr. Whitman handed him an identical headshot as the photo Viv had on the whiteboard.

"What was he wearing?" Elena said, pulling out her pad.

"Jeans and a red sweatshirt," Mr. Whitman answered.

"May we see Jonathan's bedroom?" Martin asked.

"Why would you want to do that?" Mrs. Whitman asking un-bending her legs and sitting stiffly upright.

"It might lead us to him. Often, young boys run away to a friend's house. Does Jonathan have many friends?" Elena queried.

"Tons," Mr. Whitman replied.

"I'm going to need their names," Martin said.

"I'll go get my address book," Mrs. Whitman said.

"Great, I'll go with you," Elena said, following her.

Mrs. Whitman looked at her in fear and then at her husband, before heading upstairs with Elena in tow. Martin turned to Mr. Whitman, who was leaving the room. Following, Martin caught up with him in the kitchen where he had just poured a hefty glass of scotch.

"Want some?"

"No, thanks, a little early for me."

"He's a good boy, you know; quiet and loving."

Martin continued to observe the father, sensing that something was off.

"What happened to Jonathan, Mr. Whitman?"

Taking a large sip of his drink, the older man swallowed.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing."

"Where is your son?"

"Exactly where he has been for the last six years; in a private facility in Connecticut."

"What's wrong with him?"

"When he was three, he was in a car accident with my wife. His car seat failed and he was badly injured. When he recovered, we took him home. The doctors told us that he would never truly recover; his head injuries were too severe. We tried for a year, to take care of him ourselves, but it was too much. Jeanine had a breakdown. That was when we made the decision to hospitalize him. I'm sorry about misleading you. Today is his birthday. I should have stopped her when she called the police. She has so much guilt. Sometimes she just forgets that he isn't here with us. I know this is madness; but it stems for her love for him."

Martin heard a noise behind him and saw Elena alone walking into the kitchen.

"You should be with your wife," she directed.

Mr. Whitman downed the remainder of his drink and headed upstairs.

"What did she tell you?

"That she loved her son very much."

"Right, let's go to the office.

"So that's it? The mother makes up the story to take away her grief and guilt?" Vivian asked.

"Yeah," Martin said, sighing.

"So we drove to the hospital in Greenwich and saw Jonathan for ourselves. He was happy and loving; just as the mother said," Elena remarked.

"Write up your reports and get them to Van Doren before the end of the day. She'll have to decide if charges will be pressed."

"Where's Danny?" Martin asked.

"He's escorting Anne Cassidy home."

Martin nodded and turned to his computer start on his report. Viv took a sip of coffee and then her desk phone rang.

"Johnson."

"Hi, Vivian. It's Maria Malone. Do you know where Jack is?"

"Hi, Maria, yes, I'm sorry, I should have called you. It's just been crazy here at the office. Wednesday, Jack and another agent were caught in an explosion. He broke his ankle and had some bumps and bruises."

"It's Saturday, where is he? There's no answer at the apartment, his direct-dial to the office, or his cell phone."

"He was in a house when a bomb went off. It collapsed on top of him. He was buried under debris and five inches of water for over sixteen hours before they were able to extract him. He aspirated some water and now has pneumonia and a viral infection. Tyler called me around noon and said the fever is coming down and he is much better according to the doctors."

"How...how much longer do you think he'll be in the hospital?"

"I don't know. I would expect two days or so."

"I'm going to send you an email. Would you respond with the particulars on the hospital? I think the girls will want to make cards. I can courier them to him for delivery tomorrow."

"Sure, Maria."

"Thanks, Vivian. Have a good weekend."

"You too, bye."

"Bye."
 



6:00 p.m.

"How is he?" Dr. Aswan asked, walking up to the bed.

"He's been coughing a lot; just about every hour he wakes himself up," Tyler replied.

"Why don't you take a break while I examine him?"

"Good idea," Tyler said, standing slowly and heading for the door.

Dr. Aswan returned his attention to Jack. His fever still hovered at one hundred two. Taking out his stethoscope, he listened to Jack's lungs, only to be interrupted by a spontaneous coughing attack. Slipping the stethoscope out of his ears and around his neck, Dr. Aswan pulled Jack into a better position, handing him a towel to spit into.

"Easy, Jack. Easy, do you want some water?"

Jack vehemently shook his head as the coughing subsided. He sat for a moment just trying to catch his breath before leaning back against the pillows. Dr. Aswan listened again to Jack's lungs and looked at his watch.

"How's the pain, Jack?"

"It hurts to breathe and I have a headache."

Dr. Aswan took his flash light and checked Jack's pupils before starting a basic neurological exam. Finishing, he decided that Jack's headache wasn't related to his injuries.

"Jack, I can't sedate you, because of the fluid in your lungs. I will give you a painkiller."

Jack nodded, closing his eyes tightly against the pain.

"I'll be right back."

Dr. Aswan left Jack alone as he went to the nurses' station to make notes on the chart before pulling the medication. Tyler walked back into Jack's room and stopped. His friend appeared asleep except for his hands clenching the sheet and the overall tension on his face.

"Okay, okay, I'm here. You're safe, you're okay."

Jack released the sheet from his right hand and offered it to Tyler who took it in both of his.

"Just relax into it, Jack."

Jack shook his head very slowly and continued to breathe quickly through his mouth against the pain. Moments later, Dr. Aswan came into the room and administered the analgesic into the IV. Slowly, Jack's muscles decompressed.

"What's going on?" Tyler asked.

"His chest hurts, he has a headache and he's tired. Tell me this, Tyler, is he generally tired?"

"When I see him, yes. I've known him for about twenty years. But it's only been since he joined Missing Persons that he's been this way."

"Maybe he should take a break."

"Yeah, maybe he should, but I don't think he will," Tyler said, looking back at his friend.

"I just gave him some pain relief. Depending on his fatigue, he might be up in an hour. I'm off duty. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Thanks, night, Malouf."

"Night, Tyler."

Dr. Aswan left the cubicle as Tyler settled into the chair by Jack's bed.
 



9:00 a.m. (Sunday)

"Good morning, Mr. Simpson," the nurse greeted him.

"Good morning, how is he today?"

"Another rough night, I'm afraid. He woke up every hour."

"Coughing?"

"No, not always."

"Damn, he's looking for me. I'm in the doghouse."

Tyler left the confused nurse and walked in to see his friend. He wasn't surprised to see Jack awake.

"Hi, I'm sorry I wasn't here last night."

Jack closed his eyes while collecting his thoughts.

"How do you feel?"

"Tired, anxious; it hurts."

Tyler picked up Jack's right hand and held it as he sat down in the chair. Jack gripped it solidly.

"Please, please stay, Tyler."

"I will, Jack. I will. Now please try to sleep. You need to sleep."

Very gradually, Tyler felt Jack's grip loosen on his hand as he slipped into sleep. Tyler smiled and pulled out the paperback book from his pocket and started to read.
 



6:00 p.m.

"Good to see you, Tyler."

"Malouf, I need to ask a favour."

"Go ahead," Dr. Aswan said as he removed his stethoscope and prepared to check on Jack.

"I need to be with him."

"Excuse me?"

"Jesus, Malouf, we're not a couple. But he relaxes when I'm here; he let's down that Great Wall of China that he's built around himself."

"Let me think about it."

Tyler nodded and stood to walk to the window while Dr. Aswan conducted his exam. Nodding and making several positive sounds, he left the room. Ten minutes later, he returned.

"Can you give us the room? These last nine hours when you've been here have helped him turn the curve. I want to move him from ICU back upstairs."

"Sure, uhm the fifth floor?"

"Yes, we'll meet you up there."

Tyler smiled, picked up his topcoat, and left the room. He went to the cafeteria and engaged his phone.

"Johnson."

"Hey, Viv, it's me. They're moving him out of ICU."

"Great Tyler, that's great news."

"Could you call your team and Annie? I need to get back to wait for him."

"Sure, of course. Oh, and Van Doren sent an email that Alvarez looks good for your killings. The D.A. is prepping a case now."

"Excellent, we win all around."

"You bet, I'll talk to you soon, Tyler."

"Thanks, Vivian."

"Bye."

"Bye," Tyler replied terminating the call before turning his phone off.
 



7:00 p.m.

Tyler paced at the nurses' station waiting for Jack to be brought up. Finally, Tyler saw Dr. Aswan with several associates, moving Jack into a room down the hall. Walking up to them a nurse held up her hand indicating they needed five minutes. Tyler resumed his pacing.

"Tyler," Dr. Aswan called ten minutes later.

He walked in to see Jack awake but agitated.

"Hey, buddy, you're okay. You got moved out of ICU. You're getting better. Just sleep. I'm here, now, Jack. Just sleep."

Jack looked to him silently. Tyler walked up to him reaching for his shoulder.

"What's wrong?"

"Are you staying, now?"

Tyler looked to Dr. Aswan who nodded.

"Yeah, Malone, I'm staying. You need to get better soon though. I don't have any clean clothes with me!"

"Funny," Jack said, closing his eyes.
 



Chapter Six
3:00 a.m. (Monday)

Jack woke up from a nightmare, panting in the semi-darkness of his room. He could see Tyler asleep in the chair. Looking to the side table, he didn't see anything to drink. Slowly, he got out of bed. Dressed just in pajama bottoms, Jack looked for his silk bathrobe and found it in the closet. He put it on and limped out of his room.

"Jack?"

Jack turned to see a familiar nurse.

"Hi, uhm, can I have some juice please?"

"Sure, any special kind?"

"No, well, uhm, not tomato."

"Right; wait here I'll be right back."

Jack stood, listening to the sounds of the floor.

"Here we are, Jack. I brought a pitcher so we could put it in your room. I understand you don't drink water."

He finished the glass quickly and set it down on the counter.

"No, not right now. I'm going to go for a walk," Jack said, turning to walk down the hall.

"Jack, I'm sorry but there are only three of us on this shift. I need you to be in your room."

Jack walked back to her. She looked at his face and recognized the look.

"But if you want to hang out here with me, that's all right."

"Thanks. What's your name?"

"Jessica."

"Thanks, Jessica."

Jessica sat back at her desk and looked around before seeing the envelope in the bin four feet away.

"Oh my gosh, I forgot to give this to you, Jack," she said as she stood to retrieve the envelope and hand it to him.

"Thanks, Jessica; it's all right," Jack said, opening the envelope.

He pulled out three pieces of paper. The first was a get well card from Hanna. It was very well drawn and he felt himself getting choked up. The next was from Kate. She loved rabbits so she drew a rabbit with a broken paw. The final note was from Maria. A surprise really, but as he read her note, he realized that somewhere he still had feelings for her.

"Hey, buddy. This is the time most people sleep," a voice called from behind him.

Jack turned to see a very sleepy looking Tyler Simpson standing in the hallway.

"I'm sorry. I was thirsty," Jack said softly.

"Okay, so you have your juice? Great, back to bed with you. What's that?"

"Get well cards from the kids. I missed my Friday night call."

"Let's go, Jack."

"Night, Jessica."

"Good night, Jack."

Tyler picked up the pitcher of juice and followed his friend back to his room. Setting the pitcher on the table, he helped Jack into bed. Gently, he took the get well cards from him as Tyler watched Jack fall asleep. Sitting back in his chair he read the three cards. By the end, he too was wiping tears from his face.
 



8:00 a.m.

"No, no, no, no. Don't leave me. I'm here," Jack cried from his sleep.

Tyler stood next to him.

"You're safe, Jack," he said, setting his hands on Jack's shoulders.

Jack woke up and looked at his friend.

"You're okay. How do you feel?"

"Physically, okay. I'm just a little jumpy, I guess."

Dr. Aswan walked in at that moment, noticing the get well cards, and smiled.

"How are you today, Jack?"

"Pretty good, I guess. No real pain to speak of."

"He says he's a little jumpy," Tyler added.

"Okay, let me take a look."

"I'll be back in a few minutes," Tyler said, leaving the room.

"He's a good man," Dr. Aswan commented.

Jack took a slow breath as Dr. Aswan began his exam.

"When we met, twenty years ago, we hit it off."

"Twin Sons of Different Mothers."

"What?"

"A Dan Fogelberg album from the seventies."

"Oh."

"You and Tyler are very close, like brothers. Were you in the military together?"

"No, we went to Quantico together."

"I see. Jack physically, you're ready to go home. I would like to see you try to eat something though. Are you hungry?"

"Dr. Aswan, Tyler will confirm that I wrap my head around things and don't eat often. For you I will try."

"Thanks, I'll send some soup your way. In the meantime, sleep," Dr. Aswan said as he looked back at him.

Jack's eyes were shut and his face looked relaxed. Walking into the hallway, Dr. Aswan found Tyler.

"He tells me he doesn't eat much."

"No and with our schedule what he does eat is crap."

"I want to release him this afternoon. He needs to eat and process his soup."

"Uhm, okay. We'll be here."

"I'm sending the soup down. Get him to eat."

"I will, Malouf."

Tyler frowned slightly and walked back into Jack's room to wait for the soup.
 



9:00 a.m.

"Hi, I have some broth?"

"Thanks, just put it on the table."

"Okay."

The orderly left and Tyler smelled the soup. It actually smelled good.

"Jack, time for soup," Tyler said loudly.

Jack rolled onto his back and opened his eyes. He breathed in and smiled.

"Might be good,"

"Let me help you sit up a bit higher," Tyler said, adjusting the pillows before moving the special table over the bed.

Jack reached for the spoon and slowly began to slurp his soup. He groaned quietly.

"Jack?"

"Just a little pain. I can...I can work through it."

"Okay, just take easy. They want to release you today only if you can digest your soup."

"I understand, just let me try to do this."

"Sure, okay."

Jack continued with his soup until there wasn't anything left. He set his spoon down and closed his eyes.

"Jack?"

"Very tired."

Soon he was asleep, his head lolling to the left. Tyler moved the table and lowered the bed a bit before sitting in his chair.
 



12:00 p.m.

Jack woke up not knowing exactly why until he moved.

"You okay?" Tyler asked.

"Uhm, yeah, nature calls."

"Okay, you call if you need help," Tyler said, returning to his paperback.

Jack grunted as he made his way to the toilet. Tyler heard the sink run and watch a pale Jack head back to bed. Moments later, he was asleep. Tyler walked out to the nurses' station.
 



6:00 p.m.

"Jack?"

Jack woke up and focused on Dr. Aswan.

"I'm releasing you. I need the bed. You are to follow up with your physician and the staff psychologist. I don't think you should be back to work until next Monday."

"Thanks, Dr. Aswan."

"You're welcome, Jack. There is a prescription for antibiotics that you need to fill when you check out. Start taking them tomorrow. Take care, Jack."

"Thanks again, Dr. Aswan."

Dr. Aswan left the room and Tyler took the duffle from the closet.

"Ready to go?"

Jack looked at him quizzically as he opened the duffle. There was a sweatshirt and sweatpants in addition to a pair of shorts and Adidas. Tyler helped Jack out of his pajamas and into something he could wear home. Twenty minutes, they were at the nurses' station filling out paperwork and getting Jack's personal belongings back.

"The Bureau is buying a new vest for you."

"Big of them," Jack replied from his seat in the taxi.

Tyler looked over at him as they made their way to the city.

"What do you remember?"

"Please, Tyler, not here. Wait till we get to the apartment."

"Sure, I'm sorry."

Jack closed his eyes and leaned his head back onto the seat.
 



7:30 p.m.

The taxi left them off in front of Jack's apartment and they made their way through the snow to the front door. Fifteen minutes later they were inside his apartment. Jack looked at his phone machine and groaned at the number of 98.

"You can deal with that later. Come on, let's get you settled. Are you hungry?"

"No, just tired."

"Okay, let's get you to bed then."

Tyler took Jack's coat and draped it over the living room sofa before they walked to the bedroom. Within five minutes, Jack was under his sheets and asleep. Looking through the duffle, Tyler removed the get well cards and put them on the fridge. He made himself a cocktail and looked inside the refrigerator, noting a prescription bottle for Prosom. Sighing at the virtual emptiness, he scrounged for menus and called in for a pizza. Hanging up that call, he called Vivian.

"Johnson."

"Hey, Viv, it's me. He's home."

"Great, Tyler. What's the plan?"

"Malouf said not to go back to work for a week. He has to check in with Glenn Bradley at the Bureau and his private physician."

"What about you?"

"I have to call the office. I think I'll have to go back to Washington soon."

"Thanks, Tyler. I'll try to get the group over tomorrow after work. Samantha came in today. A little sketchy, but okay."

"Night, Viv."

"Night, Tyler."

He hung up the phone and walked to his computer that he had set up in the living room. Since the accident he had been staying at Jack's apartment. Turning the computer on, he started dealing with the missing hours when he was at the hospital. Thirty minutes later, the bell rang and the pizza appeared.

"Thanks," Tyler said to the delivery man.

"Thank you," the man said, before leaving the apartment.

He settled down at the computer with his cocktail and his pizza; working.
 



10:00 p.m.

"No, no, no," Jack shouted from the bedroom.

Tyler woke up from his carb-induced sleep and ran to the bedroom. Jack was sitting up, panting, covered in sweat.

"Easy, Jack. I'm here. You're okay."

"No, Tyler, I need to see Sean. Please, get me to Sean."

"Okay, okay, just relax. I need to find him."

"Number is in my book by the phone. The one with the red x."

Tyler looked for Jack's phone book and found it and the special number.

"Rectory."

"Father Sean? This is Tyler Simpson. Jack needs to see you."

"This is Father Brian; Father Sean is out of the office. Would you like his beeper?"

"Yes, please, Father."

"Okay that number is 917-555-6742."

"Thanks, Father."

"You're welcome, Tyler."

Tyler hung up the phone and re dialed, entered his number, hung up the phone and waited.

A few minutes later, the landline rang.

"Hello?"

"This is Sean Walker, I'm responding to a page."

"Father Sean, this is Tyler Simpson, Jack Malone's friend."

"Yes, of course, Tyler, what can I do for you?"

"He was in an accident last week and just came home from the hospital. I know it's late but Jack's asking to see you. We're in his apartment in the West Village."

"Well, I'm on Christopher Street, at the men's shelter. We just finished dinner, dishes and a prayer session so I'm available."

"Jack lives on Sullivan Street two blocks south of the park, on the west side, a brownstone. Call my cell when you're nearby."

"Okay, I'm on my way."

"Thanks, Father Sean."

"You're welcome, Tyler."

He hung up the phone, heading back to his pizza; Tyler pulled a plate out and tugged a piece from the pie. He munched steadily while reading his emails until his cell phone rang.

"I'm out here at the north end of Sullivan Street."

"Number 48 apartment 3B."

"See you soon."

Tyler closed his phone and took another piece of pizza. The buzzer rang five minutes later. Tyler stood at the open door, smiling when he saw Father Sean's face. Extending his hand, Tyler shook Father Sean's while ushering him into the apartment.

"What's happened?"

"Last week, Jack and Samantha were caught in a trap. A man set explosives in his house. Jack was buried in the basement for almost sixteen hours in water. On top of that, recently, his girlfriend told him she was pregnant. While he was in the hospital, she lost the baby."

"Good Lord, where is he?"

"In the back, the bedroom on the right."

Father Sean nodded, setting his topcoat on the sofa before walking back to the bedroom carrying a small bag. Jack was still asleep but dreaming. Sean sat in a chair at the foot of the bed and watched him. Five minutes later, Jack woke up, breathing rapidly.

"Still a little displaced, I see," Sean noted softly.

Jack pulled himself to a sitting position and looked at him, as he tried to gain some control.

"I need to confess."

"All right," Sean said, pulling his stole from his bag before kissing it and putting it around his neck.

Jack gingerly swung his legs over the side of the bed to present his back to Father Sean.

"Father, please forgive me. It's been more than a month since my last confession."

"Proceed my son."

"Father, I impregnated a woman. I was arrogant and thought because she was in her forties, she was beyond the age. Subsequently, she lost the baby. I may be to blame."

Father Sean paused for a moment.

"What do you mean you might be to blame?"

"I was injured and she saw that. It upset her and she had a miscarriage."

Father Sean nodded to himself and gathered his thoughts.

"Jack, the Church does not look fondly on children borne out of wedlock. However, it appears as that was not your intent. Therefore, say twenty five Hail Marys, and twenty five Our Fathers."

Jack's body relaxed when he heard his sentence. Slowly he fell back onto the bed. Sean walked over quickly to make sure he had simply fallen asleep. It appeared that that was the case, so Sean carefully lifted Jack's legs to the bed and covered them with the blanket. He looked at Jack once more before leaving the room.

"So, how is the fallen knight?"

"That's a good analogy, actually. He's asleep right now, passed out after confession."

"Drink?"

"Yeah, please, it's been a long day," Father Sean said, carefully folding his stole and replacing it in his leather bag.

"You're not kidding," Tyler agreed as he poured two generous amounts of scotch into glasses.

"To Jack," Father Sean said, raising his glass.

"To Jack,"

Sean smiled and socked back the entire glass. Tyler looked at him in amusement.

"I need to head back up to the parish. Keep me in the loop, Tyler, please."

"I will, Father."

"Good night."

"Good night."

Tyler shut and locked the door before heading back to check on Jack. He noted it was almost eleven o'clock and Jack was quietly asleep. Tyler yawned and walked back to the living room to check his email before heading horizontal himself.
 



Chapter Seven
8:00 a.m. (Tuesday)

Tyler woke up without an alarm clock and yet he was alarmed. He got out of bed quickly and walked to Jack's room to find him in the exact position he had been more than twelve hours before. Reaching a hand out, he made sure that the steady thump-thump was there before heading to the kitchen to make coffee. He listened to the gurgle of the machine brewing as he read the prescription for Jack's antibiotics. When the coffeemaker made its final death rattle, Tyler poured himself a cup. Realizing that Jack wasn't going to be able to take his medicine with water, Tyler searched the refrigerator and then the cupboard for juice. He found a box of Ceres apple juice and smiled, knowing that Annie probably had purchased it. Opening it, he filled a glass half-full and put the container into the fridge. Slipping the pill bottle into his trouser pocket, Tyler took a cup in each hand and walked back to Jack's bedroom. Setting the cups on the bedside table he sat on the edge of the bed.

"Jack, time for your meds."

Jack opened his eyes and looked at Tyler. He was lying on his right side with his arm tucked under his head. Carefully, he rolled onto his back. Tyler reached over and helped him to sit up with the stack of pillows behind him.

"How do you feel?" Tyler asked, pulling the pill bottle from his pocket.

"Sore and tired," Jack said, taking the offered capsule.

He put them on his tongue and swallowed it dry before accepting the glass of juice.

"Drink all the juice, Jack. You haven't had anything in your stomach since your soup yesterday."

Jack finished the juice and closed his eyes. Within minutes he was asleep. Tyler took the glass from his slack hand and set in on the table. He tucked Jack in; making sure the blanket was up to his neck. Picking up his coffee, he sat in the chair and watched his friend sleep. Ten minutes later, when he needed a refill, Tyler left Jack alone and headed for the kitchen. He poured a fresh cup and sat at his computer, losing himself in the emails that had come in since the night before.
 



12:00 p.m.

The phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Hello, Tyler."

"Hello, Annie. How are you feeling?"

"Better, thanks. I have my first session with the psychiatrist this afternoon."

"Good. Do you have to go to Queens?"

"No, she has an office in the city."

"Okay, good, then it's convenient."

"Yes, it is. How is he?"

"He said he was sore and tired this morning. He's basically sleeping unless I wake him up for his meds."

"Oh...can I come to see him?"

"Of course you can, honey. Look, it's a little after twelve, why don't you come by at dinnertime. Maybe you can get him to eat something."

"Okay, do you have any soup?"

Tyler walked into the kitchen and looked at the cupboard.

"Soup, but not simple broth. He had broth yesterday at around two. But before that, he hasn't had real food since before the accident, discounting the breakfast that didn't stick."

"I'll stop at Whole Foods. Do you need anything else?"

"Some more of that Ceres juice; I only saw one box and he'll finish that today. And, of course, anything you want to have for dinner."

"Right, bachelor apartment; food when needed."

"Hey, I resemble that remark, and my kitchen has food."

"I'm sorry," she giggled. "I'll see you around six."

"We'll be here."

"Bye, Tyler."

"Bye, Annie."

Tyler hung up the phone and walked back to the living room. He heard Jack coughing and headed back to the bedroom. Jack was sitting up, his face red from exertion. Walking quickly to the bathroom, Tyler took a towel and dropped it in the sink before turning the water on. He dampened the towel, turned off the water and went to Jack's bedside. Wiping his neck and face with the cool towel calmed Jack and his coughing began to subside. He leaned back onto the pillows and tried to get his breathing back to normal. Tyler took to towel and wiped the mucous from Jack's hands.

"I'll be right back. Stay awake; you need your meds and juice."

Jack nodded, though his eyes were tightly shut. Picking up the glass from the bedside table, Tyler walked quickly to the kitchen and filled the glass with apple juice. He returned to the bedroom and set the glass on the table. Shaking out the pill, he put it in Jack's hand. Again Jack swallowed it dry.

"Open your eyes, Jack, or you'll be wearing this juice."

Jack opened his eyes and reached for the glass. He drank it slowly, taking small sips.

"What's wrong?" Tyler asked.

"It hurts."

"What?"

"My chest, mainly. It hurts when I cough and there's a dull pain when I breathe."

"Okay, don't finish your juice. Let me get you some Aleve."

Walking into Jack's bathroom, Tyler opened the medicine cabinet, found the Aleve and brought the entire bottle out.

"Three pills, Jack. This should give you some relief," Tyler said, putting the pills in Jack's hand.

Jack swallowed them dry and then drank the rest of the juice. He shivered slightly and Tyler pulled the blanket back up to his neck after taking the glass from his hand.

"Go to sleep Jack."

Tyler took the chair and moved it toward the head of the bed. He sat down and looked at Jack. He was staring at Tyler as if he had never seen him before. Tyler knew that look.

"Yes, it's me, Malone. I'm staying here while you get better. But you need to sleep, okay? Just relax. Let your body heal."

Jack's eyelids fluttered shut as he finally let himself go. Tyler sighed before picking up the juice glass and heading to the kitchen.
 



5:30 p.m.

Tyler stood to stretch. He had been on the phone with his office in DC and with Van Doren, double-checking the details on the Alvarez case. His office wanted him back in Washington on Wednesday. He had to talk to Annie to see who could stay with Jack.

Walking to Jack's stereo, he looked at what was in the CD player and decided to give it a try. The restrained sounds of Jimmy Barnes singing 'What Will They Say' flowed through the living room. Tyler set the table for dinner and then poured Jack a fresh glass of juice. The buzzer rang.

"Hello?"

"It's me."

Tyler buzzed Anne in and unlocked the door. He waited a moment and then opened it. Anne walked up the stairs carrying two full bags of groceries. He reached out and took them from her at the top of the stairs.

"Let me get those."

"Thanks, Tyler."

They walked into the apartment and Tyler set the groceries on the counter. Anne took off her coat and hung it in the closet. She slipped off her boots and set them just inside the door.

"This will be perfect. Do you want to wake him up? He needs his antibiotics, anyway. Here's his juice," Tyler said, holding up the glass.

"Uhm, okay, sure," Anne said, taking the proffered glass and heading to the bedroom.

She walked into the bedroom and reached for the light on the wall by the bed. Jack groaned in his sleep at the light. She smiled and sat on the edge of the bed, running her fingers through his hair.

"Wake up, Jack; medicine time."

Jack opened his eyes and looked at her. She took one pill out of the bottle and handed it to him. Setting his elbow under him, he elevated himself enough not to spill the juice. He drank about half the glass and handed it back to her, settling back into the pillows.

"How are you feeling?"

"I'm sore and tired. How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine, thanks. You need to take a shower, my friend. Then come out for some broth."

He didn't answer, so she took that as a yes, putting the glass of juice on the table before walking back to the kitchen.

"How is he?"

"Sore and tired. I told him to take a shower and come out for broth," Anne said, walking into the kitchen to heat the broth for Jack.

"Would you like some pasta?" Anne asked.

"Sure, just let me finish this email and I'll be right in to help you."

"Tyler, it's just pasta."

"I know, but you don't have to cook for me."

He pressed <send> and stood to walk to the kitchen. He made himself a drink, noting that Anne was drinking juice. They worked together in the kitchen until Tyler stopped.

"I don't hear the shower."

"Oh."

"Let me go. Maybe he's unsure about his cast."

"Okay," Anne said, her voice timid.

Tyler turned to look at her and pulled her into an embrace, kissing her forehead. She hugged him tightly and then pulled back from him. She kissed his cheek and then turned to the soup. Sighing, he walked back to the bedroom. Jack was fast asleep.

"Jack, shower time."

He opened his eyes.

"I...I thought she was a dream."

"No she's heating up some broth for you in the kitchen. She really needs to do this. Please, take a shower and spend some time with her."

Jack nodded and slowly sat up.

"I think I need to stand by if you're okay with that. I'm a little nervous at the prospect of you getting in and out of the shower."

"Me too."

Jack stood slowly and limped into the bathroom. He pulled off his t-shirt and pushed his shorts to his knees where Tyler was able to manoeuvre them over the cast.

"This is a waterproof cast, right?"

"That's what I remember Dr. Aswan saying."

"Six weeks," Jack grumbled.

"Yep, straight break; five weeks to go."

Tyler reached in and turned on the water, getting it moderately hot before switching the flow to shower. Jack reached for him and the towel rod as he stepped into the shower. Groaning at the heat and strength of the water, Jack started to clean himself. Tyler put his arm into the shower near the spigot at waist height for Jack to grab. He was thankful that he was wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt from Jack's drawers, as his entire arm was wet. Ten minutes later, the water stopped and Tyler helped Jack out of the shower and onto the bathmat. Handing him a towel, Tyler went into the bedroom to get a clean shirt and shorts. When he returned, Jack was fairly dry. He helped him dress and they left the bathroom. Jack slipped on his silk bathrobe and bedroom slipper before following Tyler to the living room.

"Wow, what a difference!" Anne remarked, seeing Jack limp into the room.

"Amazing what a little soap and water can do," he replied, his voice low and rough.

"Are you cold, Jack? I forgot that silk bathrobe isn't very warm," Tyler asked.

"No, but would you mind getting the Aleve?"

"Be right back."

Jack limped to the sofa. Anne stood and he pulled her into a soft embrace, kissing her softly on her lips. When Tyler walked in, they were still hugging. He went to the kitchen and poured Jack some apple juice and then went back to the living room.

"Here you go, Jack."

"Thanks, Tyler."

"Are you ready for soup, Jack?"

"Can we wait until the Aleve kicks in?"

"Sure, let me turn the heat down. Tyler what type of sauce do you want?"

"You mean I have a choice?"

"Yes, I picked up marinara, alfredo, pesto, and clam sauce."

"Well then, the clam sauce I think."

Tyler helped Jack sit in one of the leather chairs and retrieved his drink from the kitchen before sitting on the sofa.

"Was Sean here?"

"Yes, last night."

Unconsciously, Jack reached for his cross and St. Jude.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Jack. Let me get your chain," Tyler said, walking quickly to the bedroom.

He found them in the brown manila envelope that had along with Jack's waterlogged watch and cell phone, and two extra clips for his gun. Carefully, he extracted the chain and went back to the living room.

"Here you go, Jack."

"Thanks, Tyler," he said, putting the chain back around his neck.

Anne returned from the kitchen and sat next to Tyler on the sofa.

"Uhm, I...I think I need to tell you what I remember," he started, looking over at them.

Anne reached over for Jack's hand.

"Okay," Tyler replied.

"I had a premonition and told Sam to put on her vest as I put mine on. She was having trouble with the fitting and I went on alone to the house. The door was unlocked. I knocked because there was no bell. I drew my gun and announced myself. Standing in the foyer, I felt something was wrong. I took a few more steps, still in the hallway on the main floor. Sam ran in and stood in the doorway. By then, I knew something was very wrong. I told her to leave. She must have walked in some more, I don't know, I was looking into the house. I ordered her to leave. She fell, I think, and there was a click, an unmistakable click. I ran into the living room and dove behind the sofa. The next thing I remember is coming to in the dark, in water, on my left side, with debris on top of me. It was cold, I was in pain, I couldn't hear or see, and I had no idea if anyone knew where I was. I didn't know if Sam was alive or dead. I passed out and woke up frequently until the water was about to drown me. I tried not to panic and just to breathe. That's when Ritchie found me, I think."

Anne choked back a sob and Tyler wiped his face of tears.

"Honey, I didn't tell you for you to cry. I just wanted you to know. I didn't want any secrets."

Anne stood and went to him, gently guiding his face to hers for a passionate kiss. Tyler picked up his scotch and went to the kitchen to heat up the clam sauce and turned the heat up on Jack's broth. He stood in the kitchen refilling his cocktail and stirring the broth.

Five minutes later, Anne walked into the kitchen.

"Thanks, Tyler," she said, sliding her arm around his waist.

"How is he?"

"Fading, I think. We need to eat."

Tyler nodded and drained the pasta as Anne ladled Jack's soup into a bowl. Moments later, they brought the bowls to the table. Jack was standing, looking out onto the snow falling outside.

"Jack, dinner," Tyler announced.

Jack limped back to the table and sat down. He sipped his soup and Anne and Tyler ate their pasta. Looking at Jack, holding his head in his left hand, they knew he wasn't feeling well. Tyler just hoped he could keep the soup down. He got through half of the soup before he set down his spoon.

"I'm sorry. I really need to go to bed, now."

"Sure, no problem," Tyler said.

Anne stood and helped steady him as he got up and walked to the bedroom. Carefully, he kicked off his bedroom slipper before dropping his robe to the floor. He got into bed and rolled onto his right side. Anne pulled the sheet and blanket up to cover him and then sat on the bed, running her fingers through his hair. Ten minutes later, he seemed asleep. She turned off the light and left him alone. Tyler had cleaned up from dinner, saving Jack's soup in the fridge. He also made himself a new cocktail.

"He's asleep?"

"Yes," she said, sitting on the sofa.

Tyler walked over to sit beside her. He took a long sip from his cocktail.

"I have to go back to Washington, tomorrow."

"When?"

"They want me on the 8am shuttle. I don't think Jack can be left alone, yet."

"I agree, but I'm going back to work tomorrow."

"Let me call Viv and see what she thinks," Tyler suggested.

He picked up the landline and dialed Vivian.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Reggie, it's Uncle Tyler. Is your mom around?"

"Sure, Uncle Tyler, hang on....Mom, it's Uncle Tyler."

"Got it, hi, Tyler."

"Hi, Viv. We have a scheduling conflict. I have to be in Washington tomorrow and Annie is going in to work. There's no one to watch Jack."

"Let me talk to Danny. He has time and we're quiet right now. I'll call you in an hour."

"Thanks, Viv."

"You're welcome. I take it he's getting better but it's slow going?"

"That's about right."

"Bye, Tyler."

"Bye, Vivian."

He hung up the phone and turned to Anne.

"She's going to call back after talking to Danny."

Anne nodded.

"How was your session?"

"It was rough, but I really like Dr. Chesny. She's approved me to go back to work, obviously, and I'll be going to a support group that she's heading. I have to see her twice a week."

"I'm glad she's helping you."

Anne took a deep breath and smiled at him before standing.

"It's almost eight and I need to get at least one load of laundry done before I go to bed."

Tyler stood as well and walked to the closet to get her coat as she slipped on her boots.

"Thanks for coming, and thanks for the groceries. I'll email you Danny's response," he said, helping her on with her coat.

Anne buttoned it and pulled a knit cap from her pocket. Reaching out, she embraced him and kissed his cheek.

"Thank you, Tyler. I don't know what we would have done without you."

"You're very welcome, Annie. Sleep tight," Tyler said, kissing her on the cheek.

He put his hand to her lower back as he escorted her to the door. Unlocking it, he held it open for her.

"Night," she said, walking into the hallway.

"Night," he replied before locking the door.

He walked back into the living room and retrieved his drink before heading to his computer to finish his work.

9:00 p.m.

The phone rang and Tyler answered it quickly, hoping that Jack didn't wake up.

"Hello?"

"Tyler? It's Danny."

"Hi, Danny."

"What time do you need me tomorrow?"

"Seven a.m. I'm trying to get on the early shuttle."

"Okay, and what, until Friday?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Okay, I'll bring clothes until then. See you tomorrow."

"Thanks. See you tomorrow."

"Bye."

"Bye."

Tyler hung up the phone and sent off an email to Viv and Anne about Danny.
 



Chapter Eight
12:15 a.m. (Wednesday)

Tyler woke up to an unfamiliar sound while lying on the sofa watching TV. He sat up and looked towards the noise. Jack came into view, dressed in his shorts and t-shirt. His face was pale, seeming paler by his week's growth of beard. He walked unsteadily even with the uneven gait the cast provided. Tyler stood quickly and went up to him.

"I can't do it," Jack said, walking to the leather chair and dropping into it.

"Can't do what?"

"I can't sleep. I'm having flashbacks."

"How long have you been awake?"

"Since right after Anne left the room."

Tyler went to Jack's bedroom and picked up the antibiotics. Walking to the kitchen, he removed the pill bottle of Prosom from the refrigerator. He picked up the portable phone and called the number by the name on the bottle.

"Dr. Bradley's service."

"Yes, I'm calling for Agent John Malone."

"Is this an emergency?"

"Yes."

"What is your telephone number?"

"212-555-0821."

"212-555-0821?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"The doctor will call you shortly."

"Thanks," Tyler said to a dial tone.

He looked over at Jack, who had moved to the window. Five minutes later, the phone rang again.

"Hello?"

"Jack, it's Glenn Bradley."

"No, Glenn, it's Tyler Simpson. Let me put him on."

Tyler handed the phone to Jack, who continued to look out the window.

"Hello?"

"Jack, it's Glenn. I didn't know you'd been released from the hospital. What's wrong?"

"I can't sleep. I get caught in flashbacks and wake up. I'm so tired. I just want to sleep."

"Do you have any pain?"

"I have a headache, and my chest hurts when I breathe."

"Okay, put Tyler back on."

"He wants to talk to you."

"Hello?"

"Does he still have sleeping pills from the script I wrote him six months ago?"

"Yes; the label says there were ten and there are ten in the bottle."

"Hmm, that's interesting. When and what has he eaten?"

"He had some broth around seven last night and he's been drinking juice all day with his antibiotics."

"What's he on?"

"Amoxicillin for the pneumonia and chest infection and he took three Aleve before dinner."

"Yeah, I requested Jack's file from Dr. Aswan, but I haven't received it yet. Okay, look, give him one of the sleeping pills with juice. These will hit him pretty hard so don't be surprised if he doesn't surface until tomorrow afternoon. Call me if you have any concerns. My cell number is 917-555-2357."

"What about the antibiotics?"

"Give him his meds whenever he's awake and write down when you do. The next two days will be tricky."

"Okay, I have to head back to Washington. Agent Danny Taylor is going to stay with Jack until Friday."

"I understand. I'll make a note in my book to call him. When is Jack due back to work?"

"Monday."

"Okay, well, I'll let you get to it. Night, Tyler."

"Night, Glenn, and thanks."

"You're welcome. Bye."

"Bye."

Tyler set the phone down and turned to look at Jack. He was resting his forehead against the glass, his eyes and fists closed.

"Okay, Jack, Glenn says you can have a sleeping pill but you have to get into bed first. I guess they're very powerful."

Jack didn't move, nor did he indicate that he heard Tyler. Walking to the window, Tyler turned to face him.

"Malone," he said, reaching his hand to his friend's shoulder. "Let's get you to bed. I have something to help you sleep."

Jack looked up at him and slowly turned around and limped to the bedroom. Tyler picked up the pill bottles before following his friend. Jack sat on the edge of the bed, resting his head in his hands. Seeing the half-full glass of juice, Tyler shook out one antibiotic and one sleeping pill. He touched Jack's shoulder and set them in his open palm. Jack sat up and swallowed them dry, rinsing them down with the last of the juice. He slowly lay back into bed and felt the sheet and blanket magically cover him. He felt a hand on his shoulder and then nothing.

Tyler cleaned up the bedside table and walked back to the living to write notes to Jack and Danny. Forty minutes later, after turning off the TV and all of the lights, he stumbled with fatigue back to his bedroom and fell asleep.
 



7:05 a.m.

Tyler woke up to a ringing phone.

"Hello?"

"Sorry to wake you, I'm downstairs."

"Damn, Danny. I'm sorry; rough night. I'm on my way to buzz you in."

"Okay."

Tyler hung up the phone and got out of bed. Dressed just in his shorts, he shivered as he pressed the door buzzer. He unlocked the front door and opened it slightly before heading back to check on Jack.

Danny walked in and set his bag by the breakfast bar and his coffee cup on the counter. He took off his coat, stuffed his scarf down a sleeve and his hat in a pocket, and then hung it up in the closet. He went to the counter and noticed the note addressed to him and started to read.

Jack was fast asleep. It didn't appear that he had moved at all. Tyler felt his cheek and it didn't feel too warm. He went to his room, got dressed and threw his dirty clothes in his bag before heading to the living room to pack up his laptop. He found Danny happily sipping his coffee and watching the morning news.

"I forgot that Jack had cable."

"Yeah, it's great. Did you see my note?" Tyler said, as he slipped his laptop into his briefcase.

"Yes, am I supposed to call Dr. Bradley no matter what?"

"When Jack wakes up, which he said would be this afternoon; he wants you to call him."

"Okay, uhm apartment keys?"

"I'm leaving you my set. I don't know where Jack's set is."

"Probably in the trunk of his car, with his suit jacket."

"Annie brought some food but it may not be what you want. There's cash in his right hand desk drawer. Just stick in receipts. Fast food menus are by the phone. Man, I've gotta go," he said, pulling his coat out of the closet.

"Wait, here's my card with my cell number on it." Danny said, walking up to him.

"Thanks a lot for all of this, Danny."

"You're welcome."

Tyler put on his coat, picked up his bags and unlocked the door. Danny reached around and opened it for him.

"Talk to you soon."

"You bet."

Danny locked the door and walked down the hallway to check on Jack. He was soundly asleep. Looking at the bedside table, he noticed the medications and a note in Tyler's handwriting addressed to Jack. Nodding to himself as he read the labels, he picked up the empty glass and went to the kitchen to rinse it out. He walked back to the living room and continued to watch TV.
 



2:00 p.m.

Listening to a jazz CD, Danny was deeply involved in a biography of Pablo Neruda in Spanish when he heard a noise from Jack's bedroom. He walked to the kitchen and poured him a glass of juice, then headed to see if he was awake. Jack was sitting up in bed, his left leg out in front of him and his right leg bent. He arms were carefully positioned at his sides, the palms flat on the bed.

"Jack? Are you okay?"

"Dizzy."

"Dr. Bradley wanted you to call him when you woke up." Danny said, pulling Tyler's note from his trouser pocket to get the number.

He picked up the phone and dialed.

"Bradley."

"Hi, this is Danny Taylor. I'm with Jack Malone. He just woke up."

"Okay, put him on."

Danny handed him the phone.

"Hey."

"Hey, yourself. Were you able to sleep?"

"Yes, just very dizzy right now."

"Slowly, put one foot on the floor. That should help. I need you to stay awake for four hours before you try to sleep again. Let me speak to Danny."

Jack handed the phone back and carefully pivoted his body, placing his feet on the floor. He grimaced slightly and tried to sit still.

"Hello?"

"Danny, please call me Glenn. Give him his amoxicillin and keep him awake for four hours or so. It will help him in the long run with his recovery and with his insomnia. I finally got a copy of his file from the hospital. If you can get him to eat something that would be good, too."

"I'll do my best."

"That's all I can ask. Call me tomorrow."

"Will do."

"Bye, Danny."

"Bye, Glenn."

Danny hung up the phone and took out an amoxicillin pill and handed it to Jack. He handed him his juice. Jack took the medication and drank the entire glass of juice.

"Are you feeling any better?"

"Yeah, a little."

"Glenn wants you to stay awake and upright for four hours."

"Why are you here?"

"Oh, right, Tyler didn't have a chance to tell you. He had to go back to Washington this morning. He left you a note," Danny said, handing it to Jack.

 Malone, 
I'm sorry I had 
to leave you to go back to work. Danny is staying 
with you until Friday. Please call your physician. Remember you
need a physical even for desk duty. Also, you need to make your
appointments with Glenn. Call Annie today at work. It's her first
day back. I'll call you at some point today.
 
Love, Tyler 

Jack set the note down and stared at the floor. Danny looked around the bedroom and found a zip up sweatshirt and sweatpants. He picked them up off the chair in the corner and brought them to the bed. Jack reached over and took the sweatpants. Carefully, he pulled them over his right leg. Danny knelt in front of him and helped him put his cast ankle through the leg opening. Jack hauled the pants up to his thighs and stood slowly before getting them to their final position. Danny handed him his sweatshirt and they walked together to the kitchen.

"I hope you don't mind. I was listening to a CD on your stereo."

"No, that's fine," Jack said, sitting at the breakfast bar to listen to his ninety eight messages.
 



3:15 p.m.

Jack cleared the cache of the answering machine and looked at the list on the legal pad in front of him of names, numbers, and notes. He sighed audibly. Danny looked up at him and smiled.

"Jack, where are your clean sheets? I thought I'd change your bed and the guest room, as well."

"There's a bureau in the guest room with a black and white photograph above it. All the linens are in there."

"Okay," Danny said, heading to the bedroom.

Jack turned back to his list and added Anne, Glenn and Stephen to his list of phone calls. He turned his wrist to look at his watch and then remembered he was wearing it at the time of the accident. He looked at the microwave, noting the time, and picked up the phone.

"Anne Cassidy."

"Hi, honey. How's your day going?"

"Hi, Jack. I'm okay. I'm taking it easy, today."

"I'm sorry I wasn't very good company yesterday."

"You were fine. I was fading, too. But enough about that, how are you feeling today? You sound much better."

"Glenn prescribed a sleeping pill at some point late last night. I woke up at two. I have to stay awake and upright until six if I can."

"Well, I guess that's what you needed. Look, Jack, my three o'clock has just arrived. I'll call you later."

"Okay, sounds good. I love you, Anne."

"I love you, too. Take care."

"You, too."

"Bye."

"Bye."

Jack hung up the phone and dialed Stephen Siegel, his physician.

"Dr. Siegel's office."

"Hi, it's Jack Malone. I need to set up an appointment for work fitness."

"Sure, Mr. Malone. When do you want to do this?"

"This Friday, if possible."

"We can see you at nine."

"All right. You'll need to get my records from Dr. Aswan at Queen's General beforehand. I'll have Glenn Bradley, the staff psychiatrist send over his evaluation as well."

"Oh, okay. Thanks Mr. Malone."

"You're welcome."

"Bye."

"Bye."

Jack hung up the phone as Danny walked in.

"I'm going to make some coffee. Do you want anything?"

"My ankle is beginning to pound. Can you grab the telephone books and I'll sit with my leg on the coffee table?"

"Sure."

Jack took the cordless phone and his list and headed to the leather chair. He sat down and gingerly set his cast on the phone books.

"Better?"

"Yeah, I just need to sit here for a while."

"Tyler said you had some broth last night. Would you like me to heat some up? I see leftovers in the refrigerator."

"Yeah, Danny, that would be great."

"Here's the remote for the TV. Don't sleep!"

"Okay, I won't."

Danny turned stopped the CD and turned off the stereo on his way to the kitchen. He heard the TV and the distinctive voice of James Earl Jones announcing CNN. Four minutes later, he poured the broth into a coffee mug as he listened to the coffee-maker go through its protestations. Walking back into the living room, he handed Jack his mug of broth.

"Thanks."

"You're welcome."

Jack sipped the broth slowly, waiting for it to cool. Danny sat with his coffee and they watched the television.
 



6:00 p.m.

Jack shifted again in his seat, trying to get comfortable.

"Why don't you lie down?"

"I'm sorry, it hurts to sit for a long time," Jack said, standing slowly.

"Goodnight, Jack."

"Goodnight, Danny."

Jack limped to his bedroom, closing the door behind him. He used the bathroom, washed his hands and face, and stood looking at the bed. He pulled off his sweats. Suddenly he was overcome with absolute fatigue. He crawled onto the bed and fell asleep.
 


Part One
Part Three

 

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