Chapter One

"Who's the best shot now, Reagan?" Eddie laughed as she sent a dart straight into the bullseye for the second time that game.

"In here, Janko," Jamie laughed. "And only in here." Jamie took a sip of his beer and slid his arm around his wife. "What do you think, honey? Ready to go?"

Sydney nodded, "I have court in the morning, I'm not lucky like the two of you having a 3-11 tour."

Eddie laughed, "That's this week. Next week midnights then it's back to work with all the rest of the folks in the rat race." Eddie smiled at her boyfriend of five months, Paul. He was no stranger to the rat race, as an investment banker. Eddie vowed never to date a man in the finance industry after her father's crimes were exposed but Paul was a friend of Sydney's so she gave it a try.

"If you don't mind, I'm going to catch a ride with Jamie and Syd," Paul told Eddie as the foursome exited the bar. "I have a very early meeting and I'm going their way."

Eddie nodded, "I guess we'll say goodbye here then." She leaned on his tip toes and gave Paul a firm kiss. That made Jamie shiver, he didn't like this man when he was Sydney's acquaintance, he really didn't like him being Eddie's boyfriend.

Jamie and Sydney each gave Eddie a hug then headed off towards their upper West side apartment while Eddie headed to her abode near Jamie's old place in Chinatown.

Eddie tapped her hand on the steering wheel waiting for the red light to change. She was glad to spend time with Jamie and Paul but the way Sydney clung on Jamie's arm made her sick. Granted they were husband and wife, but the place wasn't crowded or even overly loud that night. Sydney worked for a high powered law firm, she had to be able to hold her own. Eddie sighed, sometimes she wondered about the state of her best friend's mind.

When the light changed Eddie pressed on the gas to go not seeing the speeding car coming at her until it was too late. Metal crunched on metal as Eddie felt her head snap back then lop to the side as she was thrown into the door, her head cracking the glass. The last thing Eddie remembered was seeing red and Jamie's face.

Shocked onlookers stopped to dial 9-1-1 for help. Police and ambulance sirens wailed minutes after the initial call was logged. There were numerous reports that the driver fled the scene, and as the accident occurred in 5-4 territory, Danny and Baez caught the case.

When they rolled up on the destroyed silver Porsche Danny's heart started to speed up. "No, it couldn't be…" The fire rescue team was already removing the pieces of the destroyed car and lifting the victim out strapped down to a backboard with a c-collar and many other restraining devices. Danny stepped out of his car, and groaned at the sight before him.

"Son of a bitch," he mumbled moving in for a better view of the victim, the car had his curiosity piqued. He had to make sure that it was just a silver Porsche and not the silver Porsche that often times carried his little brother. Even with an inkling in his gut, Danny wasn't prepared for what he saw.

The two medics that had carefully cut the driver side door and removed the victim were beginning life saving measures. "She's not breathing!" one told the other. Quickly the medics took a nasal airway and inserted it down Eddie's nostril. Danny's eyes widened and tears spilled out of his eyes as the medics started CPR in front of him while Eddie remained ghastly still with cuts on her face. He heard the senior medic call out, "We've got a possible cord injury, gently on my count…" Eddie was carefully placed in the bus and whisked away.

"Baez, that's my brother's partner, Eddie. I have to call Jamie. He's her next of kin, but I want him to hear it from me."

Baez quickly agreed and Danny placed the call.

Jamie groggily reached for his buzzing phone. "Reagan," he croaked.

"'Jamie, it's Danny." Jamie sat up, this couldn't be good. While he waited for Danny to speak the call waiting began to go off. He looked at it and found an unknown number. He let that go to voicemail and listened to his brother.

"Danny? What's happened?" By this time, Sydney sat up in bed and put her hand on Jamie's back. She could feel him coiled like a rattler ready to strike.

"Oh, God, Jamie...Kid, you have to get down to St. Victor's right now. There's been a terrible accident. Jamie...it's Eddie and it's bad."

Jamie hung up on Danny and jumped from the bed. "Jamie, what's wrong?" Sydney asked her husband as he jumped into his clothes.

"Get dressed," Jamie told Sydney as he searched for socks and shoes. "Eddie's been in an accident. Danny said they are taking her to St. Victors and it's bad!"

Sydney jumped from bed and pulled on her own clothes. "We just saw her! I'll drive, you better call Paul and let him know. He'd want to be there."

Jamie rolled his eyes, Paul Bauers was a jerk that didn't deserve Eddie but she found something in him. He picked up the phone and called the snobby investment banker, his heart in his mouth at what they would find when they arrived at the hospital.

Sydney navigated the late night traffic like a true New Yorker. Jamie's heart was pounding, "She can't be dead," Jamie kept saying over and over again. "Syd, she can't be..."

"She's not, Jamie. She isn't...I'm going to get you there as fast as I can." It was nearly thirty minutes after the accident happened when Sydney dropped Jamie off at the ER entrance. He ran to the admissions desk, "Eddie Janko, she was in a car accident. She was brought here."

"Just a minute, Sir. Are you family?"

"I'm her partner at the NYPD and I'm her next of kin on all the forms," Jamie told the nurse. "I need to know where she is."

The nurse typed Eddie's name into the system. "The doctors are with her now, they just called for a neurology consult and an orthopedic consult. I'm sorry that is all the information I have."

"But she's still alive and they are working on her?" Jamie confirmed.

"She's alive..." the nurse confirmed. "Have a seat in the waiting area, I will call you when I know more. The doctor will be out as soon as he can."

Jamie sat on a hard plastic chair putting his head between his knees. His eyes misted over as his big brain processed the nurse's words. Neurology consult; that was her brain...what if Eddie had brain damage? And orthopedic...that was bones...she could have broken bones, be in pain and all alone. Jamie felt like he was going to be sick. He got up from the chair, running his hand through his hair and paced like a caged tiger.

Sydney parked then hurried into the ER. She found Jamie, pacing back and forth, wringing his hands. "How is she?" she asked trying to grab onto her husband's arm.

"Alive, but uh…" Jamie's eyes were filled with tears. "Syd, they want a neurologist and an orthopedist…they won't let me see her."

"I'm sure as soon as she is stable, they will let you see her," Sydney comforted. "Why don't you sit down, I'll get you some water and we'll wait. Did Paul say when he would be here?"

"It doesn't matter when Paul is going to be here," Jamie snapped. "I'm the one that has to be here to sign things for her and take care of her! He's just…"

"Jamie, Paul really cares about Eddie," Sydney sighed getting his water. He took it but didn't sip at it.

"Then why did it take us twenty minutes to get here, its been 45 since I called him!"

The ER doors opened and Danny rushed in. "Maria is taking point on the case, how is she?"

"They don't know much Danny," Sydney replied. "Jamie's worried sick."

"Let me call Linda and see if she can get some information from some of her friends, sit tight." Danny dialed his wife as Jamie stood up to pace again. "It's taking too long, Syd. We should know something by now."

"I'm sure they are just trying to be thorough."

Danny caught Jamie's arm when he returned, "Okay, Linda called the charge nurse and she said that Eddie is with the best doctors they have. She hurt her neck so they have to get it secured or something like that so she can breathe and not swell up or whatever. They'll be out when they are sure she's okay. Just sit tight." Danny rubbed Jamie's shoulder as Sydney tried to get him to actually sit.

An hour after receiving Jamie's call, Paul arrived. He sat down and read the Wall Street Journal, but it was clear he wasn't reading it. Finally the doctors came out.

"Edit Janko," the doctor called out looking at the sea of blue uniforms crowding waiting room. Two men, one in a rumple black suit and the other in sweats and an NYPD hoodie stepped over to him.

Jamie offered his hand, "Jamie Reagan, I'm Eddie's partner."

"Jamison Reagan? You hold the power of attorney?" the doctor clarified. "Can we speak here or..."

"This is Paul Bauers, he's Eddie's uh...and my wife, Sydney...you can speak in front of them."

"Ms. Janko suffered severe trauma to her neck and back in the accident. The preliminary testing shows she's broke two bones in her neck, that break was at the C-5-6 level. Typically, a patient with a break at that level is does not need assistance in breathing, however, Ms. Janko's oxygen levels were dangerously low, she was placed on assisted ventilation."

Jamie felt like he was punched in the heart. Broken neck. Assisted ventilation...She had to be scared out of her mind. "Can I see her?" Jamie asked. "Before we talk more I want to see her, she's got to be so scared."

"I'm sure if she could be...She's in a coma. There is extreme swelling along the neck where the bones have been broken and that swelling is impeding the function above the fracture sight. At this point, Ms. Janko is suffering the same effects of a C2 or C3 quadriplegic. We hope that with time and perhaps medical intervention, the swelling will go down and feeling will return for the areas above the injury site."

"Well, what can we do to get the swelling to go down? Medications, surgery, what?"

"Ms. Janko needs immediate surgery to stabilize her neck. We'll stabilize her externally for now with a halo device and specialized bed to keep her body from moving and injuring her further. There is also the option of steroid therapy. Ms. Janko was injured just an hour ago, we can begin the steroid therapy now and run it for 24 hours. That may reduce the swelling and improve her prognosis but I must warn you it's not without substantial risk."

"Well, come on, you're telling me we're on a clock and you're dragging this out!" Jamie's nerves were raw.

"Jamie," Sydney soothed. "Try to listen."

"The steroid therapy carries risk of septic shock, internal bleeding, and pneumonia, there's not enough data for me to advise you to take those risks given the..." Jamie cut the doctor off.

"Where do I sign? I want you to operate on her neck and put whatever screws or bolts you have to into her bones, and I want you to run that medication. Eddie would want every conceivable chance at surviving this and she would want the best possible outcome. Where do I sign?"

Through all of this, Eddie's boyfriend listened to the doctor's words. He wasn't doing this. No way was he going to do this! He knew something about spinal injuries, and at that level Eddie would be rendered nearly helpless. "I didn't sign up for this!" Unfortunately for Paul he said this out loud.

Jamie turned on Paul like a rattle snake in August. "You what!" Jamie thundered lurching for the smaller and heavier man. "You son of a bitch! You didn't sign...she didn't sign up for it either!" Jamie hands were inches from Paul's throat when Danny grabbed his younger brother and pulled him back. "Jamie, calm down," Sydney urged. "This won't help Eddie. It won't help her."

Jamie glared at Paul with an icy stare, "Get out of my sight! If I see you around this hospital, if I see you near Eddie every again I promise you, you'll regret it. My older brother won't always be here to save your ass!"

With that, Paul hurriedly left the hospital and all thoughts of Eddie Janko behind. She was always talking about Jamie anyway. She always chose spending time with Jamie over spending time with him. Let him wipe her butt for the rest of her life, Jamie and Eddie deserved each other. '

Jamie turned on his heel and looked up at the doctor, who quickly handed the excitable young man the forms. With a flourish of his hand Jamie signed the consents for the beginning of what he knew would be months or years of medical treatment.

A/N: Yes, Jamie is married to Sydney, but don't let that turn you off. This story explores love in many forms, I'm a Jamko shipper at heart, so have no fear. Special thanks to Lawslave for previewing this story as it unfolded and for supporting this unique idea. Also thanks to Yanks20 for offering additional creative assistance. I hope you all enjoy this story. I have researched Eddie's injury in depth and will try to bring to light how both sides are affected in a case like this.

Next –Several members of the Reagan clan visit Eddie and wait for her to wake up.