Across town, the scene of the attack had been cordoned off. Jo stood in horror as she drank in the scene that greeted the team. Bill Hunt's body leaned against the front wheel of Mac's black Avalanche. The windscreen was shattered and the bodywork riddled with bullet holes. A white pick-up was embedded into the rear of the Avalanche, its doors opened wide. Yellow water containers from the City Roads Department lay broken and strewn around the scene. Jo, Lindsay and Sheldon exchanged glances, each knowing what the other was thinking.
But they had to put their emotions aside and get to work. Sheldon asked an officer on scene to be shown to the body of Raymond Harris. He began taking preliminary shots of the deceased before the Sid arrived. Lindsay and Jo worked the scene around the two vehicles. Jo took the inside of the Avalanche, Lindsay the outside. Together they tried to create a picture of what had transpired. It didn't take long for Jo to determine that Bill Hunt had been shot while seated in the passenger seat of the Avalanche. Obvious blood stains and bullet holes made that pretty safe assumption. She also determined that Mac had made it out of the car relatively unscathed. There were blood smears on the airbag but little else to indicate that Mac was badly injured. She proceeded to examine the driver's door of the Avalanche and saw the multiple bullet holes, several of which had penetrated the door. Walking towards the rear of the car, she noticed the first signs blood drops. They were directional, which mean the person who was bleeding was moving at the time. From this she was able to determine that Mac was hit by a bullet that had either penetrated the door or the window of the car as he was running from the vehicle.
Torchlight in hand, she followed the blood trail, discovering a large smear on some concrete pillars further into the alley. Mac had obviously leaned against them briefly. Harris must have followed Mac into the alley and fired at him here, as the pillars had several bullets embedded in them. She continued following the trail to a stack of wooden pallets, against which she assumed Mac had sought cover. The blood smears on the wood were approximately shoulder height, leading her to believe that he was standing against them. Another short trail of drops led her to another point of cover, a pile of piping. The smear was much lower, leading her to assume that Mac was bent down or kneeling at this time. She followed the trail a little further until she came around a stack of tires and found Sheldon Hawkes examining the body of Raymond Harris.
"What have you got?" Jo asked him.
"Ray Harris. Mac put four rounds into him, one in the shoulder and then three in close formation to the chest. The wound to the shoulder is from a smaller calibre weapon, his service weapon I'd guess. The other three are a larger calibre, definitely not Mac's," Sheldon surmised.
"I followed a blood trail to here. From what I can determine, Mac was shot exiting the vehicle and somehow managed to stay on his feet and shoot back," Jo told him.
"Well, his determination probably saved his life because looking at Harris' fire power, he wasn't planning on taking any prisoners," Hawkes commented, standing over the automatic weapon close to the body.
"He's going to be okay, right?" Jo asked, searching for reassurance.
"Mac? Of course he is. He's a Marine, tough as nails. He'll be fine," Sheldon replied confidently.
Jo smiled at his conviction. She found it hard to be so assured, however. She was the newest member of the team but had already forged a deep bond with Mac. She wondered, sometimes, whether her feelings were a tad more than professional. She always tried to maintain professionalism within the workplace, but sometimes she caught herself unintentionally flirting with her new boss. At least she thought it was unintentional. However, intentional or not, she was convinced that he flirted back. She chastised herself for allowing her mind to wander while on the job and quickly snapped back to reality. She hoped Danny would call sooner rather than later. She needed to know.
While Jo's mind visited some dark places, Danny was arriving at the hospital. He was directed to the fourth floor and found Don looking lost and restless in the waiting room.
"Any word?" Danny asked as he entered.
"Nothing new," Don replied. "He's in surgery. The bullet is lodged in his lung or something. It's pretty serious, Danny."
"What happened?" Danny asked, hoping to shed some light on things.
"Harris happened. From what I saw at the scene, he crashed into Mac's car and shot it up. Hunt was killed and I gather that Mac managed to get Harris," Don told him. "Are the team at the scene?"
"Yeah, Jo took Lindsay and Sheldon. We'll know more when they process it," Danny replied.
Danny looked at Flack. Seeing the bloodstains on his hands and clothing, he advised Don to go and freshen up. Don took his advice and excused himself and went looking for a rest room. Danny sat down and grabbed a magazine from the coffee table. He began to flick aimlessly through it, as if somehow the answers to all his concerns would be inside. Flack returned eventually and had no choice but to sit also, as he realised how manic he must have looked pacing around the tiny space. He tried to relax but knew his attempts were futile. He nervously bounced his leg, much to Danny's annoyance.
Together, he and Danny waited. Minutes soon turned into hours and as each hour passed, their concerns grew. Every so often one or other of their colleagues would call, looking for news, which made it even more tortuous for them. Just as they were reaching their breaking point, a scrubs-clad surgeon entered the room. Seeing the NYPD badges on their belts, he was left in no doubt that the two men were waiting on news of his patient.
"Hi, I'm Dr. Lukic and I operated on Detective Taylor," he said by way of introduction.
Both Danny and Don held their breaths, half afraid to ask how he was for fear of the answer they might receive.
"We've managed to remove the bullet and stabilise him. He's a lucky man. The bullet entered just below his scapula and by some miracle stopped short of the heart muscle. We repaired his lung and his BP is satisfactory. At this stage, I would expect him to make a full recovery," the doctor told them, smiling.
Both men couldn't contain their relief and hugged each other and slapped each other on the back before remembering to thank the doctor.
"That's great, Doc, thanks," Don said, shaking his hand. "Can we see him?"
"I'll send someone to get you in a little while. We're just taking him into recovery and you can see him then," the doctor explained.
"I'm just going to call Lindsay and the others," Danny said to Don as they sat back down.
Lindsay and the team were by now back at the Crime Lab sifting through evidence. She was down in the underground garage, with Jo and Adam examining the vehicles involved in the shooting. She was so engrossed in her work that the shrill ring of her cell phone startled her. She took it out and looked at the caller ID.
"It's Danny," she announced, knowing that everyone around her was as anxious as she for news on Mac's condition.
"Hey," she answered.
"Hey, Babe," Danny said coolly as usual. "He's out of surgery and it looks like he's going to be okay."
"That's great," Lindsay said with a sigh of relief. She turned towards her colleagues to ensure that they understood that the news was good. "He's going to be okay."
"The doc said that it was a miracle the bullet didn't reach his heart," Danny told her. "He's lucky to be alive."
"Luck? I don't know. The evidence suggests that he was hit by a bullet that came through the car door, which would definitely have slowed it down. Maybe you could call that lucky? Personally, I'd consider getting shot unlucky, but the main thing is that he's going to be okay," Lindsay agreed.
"Absolutely. Hey, I gotta go," Danny told her. "They're letting us in to see him."
"Send him our love," Lindsay reminded her husband.
"Sure," Danny replied. "Later, Babe."
Danny followed Don Flack down the hall and they were led away from the OR's by an older nurse. She explained to them that Detective Taylor was still under the influences of the anaesthetic and would be groggy for another few hours. She explained that he was breathing unaided, which bode well for a speedy recovery. She showed them into a small private room.
Both men were a little taken aback at the sight of Mac Taylor, looking weak and vulnerable, which ultimately reminded them both of that fact that he was only human after all. His breathing sounded a little raspy, but he was receiving a rich oxygen/nitrogen mix though a nasal cannula that rested on his upper lip. His face bore the marks of the car crash. He wore a hospital-issue gown which was open at the chest, revealing a couple of monitor pads and an ugly looking chest tube protruding from the side of his chest.
Danny shook his head.
"We could have lost him, Don," Danny said, looking down at Mac as he slept.
"Yeah, but we didn't," Flack reminded him. "He's going to be fine."
"Thank God," Danny replied. "It doesn't bear thinking about."
Danny and Mac had forged a solid relationship over their years working together. He held Mac in great esteem. He was someone he could always depend on, a father figure.
Danny and Flack stood alongside Mac's bedside, conversing in whispers. It wasn't long before Don noticed a flicker of Mac's eyelids.
"Mac?" he said, moving closer to his head.
Danny watched closely as Mac struggled against the lingering effects of the anaesthesia. A soft groan, a frown, the struggle to open his eyelids all signalled that Mac was courting consciousness.
"Hey, Mac," Danny said, reaching for Mac's hand and placing his own hand gently on the back of Mac's.
From the depths of his fuzzy brain, Mac battled his way through the darkness towards the voices. Instinct drove him towards them. They offered him reassurance. He associated them with safety and security. They were his constant back-up. He felt desperate to get to them. He summoned every ounce of strength he could muster. Then he saw it: the light. It hurt his eyes. He closed them quickly before trying to open them again.
"Mac? Hey," Danny said, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.
Mac swallowed noticeably before licking his dry lips and attempting to speak.
"Dan…," was all he could manage.
"Yeah, Mac, I'm here. Don's here too," Danny told him, moving into his eye-line.
"Hey," Mac said weakly turning his head towards Flack.
"You're going to be fine, Mac. Do you remember what happened?" Flack asked.
Mac closed his eyes, trying to remember. It was there, somewhere, locked away. He just needed someone to press play. He opened his eyes, looking pleadingly at Danny.
"You were shot, Mac," Danny told him. "Ray Harris shot you."
There it was. It all came flooding back. The white truck smashing into his Avalanche, the screech of tires, the shotgun blasts peppering the windscreen and blasting Bill…Bill. Bill was dead.
"Hunt's dead," Mac croaked.
"I know, Mac," Danny said, reaching for a cup of ice chips that had been left close by. He placed a couple in Mac's mouth.
Mac was never so grateful for anything in his life. As he swallowed, he recalled more events of the evening. He remembered the automatic gunfire and running for his life. He remembered Harris' face as he left Mac with no choice but to shoot him. He had a feeling that his face would haunt him for some time. The one thing he couldn't remember was actually being shot.
His eyes were growing heavy once more. Both Flack and Danny noticed Mac's struggle to stay awake.
"Hey, Buddy, you sleep. We'll be right outside," Flack said, placing his hand reassuringly on Mac's upper arm.
"Thanks," Mac said drowsily before he allowed his eyes to close.
The next morning, Mac woke to warm sunshine filtering through the window blinds in his room. His chest ached. Each breath was agony. He was alone, or at least he thought he was. He was unaware that his colleague, Jo Danville, was curled up on a chair close to the foot of his bed. He shifted sorely, trying to get more comfortable but instantly regretted it. The movement disturbed Jo, who was dozing. She sat up suddenly.
"Mac?" she said immediately.
"Jo?" Mac said with surprise. "What are you doing here?"
"I was worried about you," she replied, getting to her feet. "How are you feeling?"
Mac looked at her and raised his eyebrows as if to say "how do you think I feel?"
"Okay, silly question," Jo said with a smile. "Danny and Don left a couple of hours ago. I said I'd take over."
"Take over?" Mac asked quizzically.
"Well, we didn't want you to wake up alone," Jo admitted, her voice kind and soothing.
"I'm glad you're here," Mac told her, reaching his hand out.
Jo took his hand in hers. She had spoken to Flack and heard what the doctor had said. Mac was lucky to be alive. She had almost lost him, without ever really having him. She raised his hand to her lips and kissed it tenderly, her eyes never leaving his. Maybe now, they were being given a chance.
Hope you liked it. Just something that popped into my head.